HotFreeBooks.com
The Leading Facts of English History
by D.H. Montgomery
Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

Here, and elsewhere, the army again attempted to come to some definite understanding with the King, but all to no purpose. Politically speaking, Charles was his own worst enemy. He was false to the core, and, as Carlyle has said: "A man whose word will not inform you at all what he means, or will do, is not a man you can bargain with. You must get out of that man's way, or put him out of yours."

447. The Second Civil War (1648); Pride's Purge (1648); the "Rump Parliament."

After two years spent in fruitless negotiations, Charles, who had fled to Carisbrooke Castle in the Isle of Wight, made a secret treaty with the Scots (1648), promising to sanction the establishment of the Scotch Presbyterian Church in England (S444), if they would send an army into the country to restore him to the throne.[1]

[1] When Cromwell found out that Charles had resolved to destroy him and the Independent army, he apparently made up his mind to put the King to death. See Lord Broghill's story in S. R. Gardiner's "History of the Great Civil War," III, 259.

The Scots marched into England, the Royalists rose to aid them, and the second civil war began. It speedily ended in the utter defeat of the King's forces. The People's army now vowed that they would bring the King to justice. To this neither the Presbyterians in the House of Commons nor the members of the House of Lords would agree.

Colonel Pride then proceeded (1648), as he said, to purge the "Long Parliament" (S439) by driving out all who were opposed to this measure. Cromwell had no part in Pride's expulsion of members, though he afterwards expressed his approval of it. Those who remained were a small body of Independents only (SS422, 439). They did not number sixty; they became the mere tool of the Parliamentary or People's army and were called in derision the "Rump Parliament."

448. Execution of King Charles, 1649.

This so-called "Rump Parliament" named one hundred and thiry-five persons to constitute a high court of justice to try the King on a charge of treason against the nation; the chief judge or presiding officer was John Bradshaw. Less than half of these judges were present throughout the trial. Of those who signed the death warrant Oliver Cromwell was one. Prince Charles, the King's son, then a refugee in France, made every effort to save his father. He sent a blank paper, bearing his signature and seal, to the judges, offering to bind himself to any conditions they might insert, provided they would spare his father's life; but no answer was returned.

The King was brought into court in Westminster Hall, London; a week later the trial was over. The judges pronounced sentence of death on "Charles Stuart, King of England," as a "tyrant, traitor, murderer, and public enemy."

Throughout the trial Charles bore himself with dignity and self-possession. The crisis had brought out the best elements of his nature. He was beheaded January 30, 1649, in London in front of the royal palace of Whitehall. "A great shudder ran through the crowd that saw the deed, then came a shriek, and all immediately dispersed." Tradition declares that Cromwell went secretly that night to see the beheaded corpse. He looked steadfastly at it, shook his head, sighed out the words "Cruel necessity!" and departed.[1]

[1] S. R. Gardiner's "Great Civil War," III, 604; and see in Delaroche's works the picture of Cromwell looking at the King's corpse.

449. Summary.

The whole of Charles I's reign must be regarded as a prolonged struggle between the King and the nation. Under the Tudors and James I the royal power had been growing more and more despotic, while at the same time the progress of the Protestant Reformation and of Puritanism had encouraged freedom of thought.

Between these opposite forces a collision was inevitable, since religious liberty always favors political liberty. Had Charles known how to yield in time, or been sincere in the concessions which he did make, all might have gone well. His duplicity was his ruin. Though his death did not absolutely destroy the theory of the Divine Right of Kings, yet it gave it a blow from which it never recovered.

The Commonwealth and Protectorate—1649-1660

450. Establishment of the Commonwealth, or Republic, 1649.

While the crowd that had witnessed the execution of Charles I was leaving the spot (S448), the remnant of the House of Commons met. This "Rump Parliament" (S447), composed of only about fifty members, claimed the right to act for the whole nation. A few days later it abolished the House of Lords as "useless and dangerous." Next, for similar reasons, it abolished the office of king, and declared that "The People are, under God, the origin of all just power."

England was now a commonwealth or republic, governed, in name at least, by a Council of State. Of this Council John Bradshaw (S448) was president, and the poet Milton was foreign secretary, while General Fairfax with Oliver Cromwell had command of the army. The real power was in the army, and the true head of the army was Cromwell. Without him the so-called republic could not have stood a day.

451. Radical Changes.

All members of the House of Commons, with those who held any civil or military office, were required to swear allegiance to the Commonwealth "without King, or House of Lords." The use of the English church service was forbidden, and the statues of Charles I in London were pulled down and demolished.

The Great Seal of England (S145) had already been cast aside, and a new one adopted, having on one side a map of England and Ireland, on the other a representation of the House of Commons in session, with the words, "In the first year of freedom, by God's blessing restored 1648."[1]

[1] 1648 Old Style would here correspond to 1649 New Style. (See S545, note 2.)

452. Difficulties of the New Republic.

Shortly after the establishment of the Commonwealth, General Fairfax (S442) resigned his command, and Cromwell became the sole leader of the military forces of the country. But the new government, even with his aid, had no easy task before it.

It had enemies in the Royalists, who, since the King's execution, had grown stronger; in the Presbyterians, who hated both the "Rump Parliament" (S450) and the Parliamentary army; finally, it had enemies in its own ranks, for there were half-crazy fanatics. "Levelers,"[1] "Come-outers,"[2] and other "cattle and creeping things," who would be satisfied with nothing but destruction and confusion.

[1] "Levelers": a name given to certain radical republicans who wished to reduce all ranks and classes to the same level with respect to political power and privileges. [2] "Come-outers": those who abandoned all established ways in government and religion.

Among these there were socialists, or communists, who, like those of the present day, wished to abolish private property, and establish "an equal division of unequal earnings," while others declared and acted out their belief in the coming end of the world. Eventually Cromwell had to deal with these crack-brained enthusiasts in a decided way, especially as some of them threatened to assassinate him in order to hasten the advent of the personal reign of Christ and his saints on earth.

453. The Late King's Son proclaimed King in Ireland and Scotland; Dunbar; Worcester (1649-1651).

An attempt of the English Puritan party (S378) to root out Catholicism in Ireland (1641) had caused a horrible insurrection. The Royalist party in Ireland now proclaimed Prince Charles, son of the late Charles I, King. Parliament deputed Cromwell to reduce that country to order, and to destroy the Royalists. Nothing could have been more congenial to his "Ironsides" (S445) than such a crusade. They descended upon the unhappy island (1649), and wiped out the rebellion in such a whirlwind of fire and slaughter that the horror of the visitation has never been forgotten. To this day the direst imprecation a southern Irishman can utter is, "The curse of Cromwell on ye!"[3]

[3] At Drogheda and Wexford, Cromwell, acting in accordance with the laws of war of that day, massacred the garrisons that refused to surrender.

Several years later (1653-1654), Cromwell determined to put in practice a still more drastic policy. He resolved to repeople a very large section of southern Ireland by driving out the Roman Catholic inhabitants and giving their lands to English and Scotch Protestants. It seemed to him the only effectual way of overcoming the resistance which that island made to English rule. By the use of military power, backed up by an Act of Parliament, his generals forced the people to leave their houses and emigrate to the province of Connaught on the west coast. Part of that district was so barren and desolate that it was said, "it had not water enough to drown a man, trees enough to hang him, or earth enough to bury him." Thousands were compelled to go into this dreary exile, and hundreds of families who refused were shipped to the West Indies and sold to the planters as slaves for a term of years,—a thing often done in that day with prisoners of war.

In Scotland also Prince Charles was looked upon as the legitimate sovereign by a strong and influential party. He found in the brave Montrose,[1] who was hanged for treason at Edinburgh, and in other loyal supporters far better friends than he deserved. The Prince came to Scotland (1650); while there, he was crowned and took the oath of the Covenant (S438). It must have been a bitter pill for a man of his free and easy temperament. But worse was to come, for the Scottish Puritans made him sign a paper declaring that his father had been a tyrant and that his mother was an idolater. No wonder the caricatures of the day represented the Scots as holding the Prince's nose to a grindstone. Later, Prince Charles rallied a small force to fight for him, but it was utterly defeated at Dunbar (1650).

[1] See "The Execution of Montrose," in Aytoun's "Lays of the Scottish Cavaliers." Prince Charles basely abandoned Montrose to his fate.

Twelve months afterward, on the anniversary of his defeat at Dunbar, the Prince made a second attempt to obtain the crown. At the battle of Worcester Cromwell again routed his forces and brought the war to an end. Charles escaped in Shropshire, where he hid for a day in an oak at Boscobel. After many narrow escapes he at length succeeded in getting out of the country.

454. Cromwell expels Parliament.

Cromwell now urged the necessity of dissolving the "Rump Parliament" (S450) and of electing a Parliament which should really represent the nation, reform the laws, and pass a general act of pardon. In his despatch to the House of Commons after the victory of Worcester, he called the battle a "crowning mercy." Some of the republicans in that body took alarm at this phrase, and thought that Cromwell used it to foreshadow a design to place the crown on his own head. For this reason, perhaps, they hesitated to dissolve.

But at last they could not withstand the pressure, and a bill was introduced (1653) for summoning a new Parliament of four hundred members, but with the provision that all members of the present House were to keep their seats, and have the right to reject newly elected members.

Cromwell, with the army, believed this provision a trick on the part of the "Rump" (S450) to keep themselves in perpetual power.

Sir Harry Vane, who was a leading member of the House of Commons, and who had been governor of the colony of Massachusetts, feared that the country was in danger of falling into the hands of Cromwell as military dictator. He therefore urged the immediate passage of the bill as it stood. Cromwell heard that a vote was about to be taken. Putting himself at the head of a squad of soldiers, he suddenly entered the House (1653). After listening to the debate for some time, he rose from his seat and charged the Commons with injustice and misgovernment. A member remonstrated. Cromwell grew excited, saying: "You are no Parliament! I say you are no Parliament!" Then he called in the musketeers. They dragged the Speaker from his chair, and drove the members after him.

As they passed out, Cromwell shouted "drunkard," "glutton," "extortioner," with other opprobrious names. When all were gone, he locked the door and put the key in his pocket. During the night some Royalist wag nailed a placard on the door, bearing the inscription in large letters, "The House to let, unfurnished!"

455. Cromwell becomes Protector; the "Instrument of Government" (1653).

Cromwell summoned a new Parliament, which was practically of his own choosing. It consisted of one hundred and thirty-nine members, and was known as the "Little Parliament."[1] The Royalists nicknamed it "Barebone's Parliament" from one of its members, a London leather dealer named Praise-God Barebone. Notwithstanding the irregularity of its organization and the ridicule cast upon it, the "Barebone's Parliament" proposed several reforms of great value, which the country afterwards adopted.

[1] A regularly summoned Parliament, elected by the people, would have been much larger. This one was chosen from a list furnished by the ministers of the various Independent churches (S422). It was in no true sense a representative body.

A council of Cromwell's leading men now secured the adoption of a constitution entitled the "Instrument of Government."[1] It made Cromwell Lord Protector of England, Ireland, and Scotland.

[1] "Instrument of Government": The principal provisions of this constitution were: (1) the government was vested in the Protector and a council appointed for life; (2) Parliament, consisting of the House of Commons only, was to be summoned every three years, and not to be dissolved under five months; (3) a standing army of thirty thousand was to be maintained; (4) all taxes were to be levied by Parliament; (5) the system of representation was reformed, so that many large places hitherto without representation in Parliament now obtained it; (6) all Roman Catholics, and those concerned in the Irish rebellion, were disfranchised forever.

Up to this time the Commonwealth had been a republic, nominally under the control of the House of Commons, but as a matter of facct governed by Cromwell and the army. Now it became a republic under a Protector, or President, whowas to hold his office for life.

A few years later (1657), Parliament offered the title of King to Cromwell, and with it a new constitution called the "Humble Petition and Advice." The new constitution provided that Parliament should consist of two houses, since the majority of influential men felt the need of the restoration of the Lords (S450). For, said a member of "Barebone's Parliament," "the nation has been hopping on one leg" altogether too long. Cromwell had the same feeling, and endeavored to put an end to the "hopping" by trying to restore the House of Lords, but he could not get the Peers to meet. He accepted the new constitution, but the army objected to his wearing the crown, so he simply remained Lord Protector.

456. Emigration of Royalists to America.

Under the tyranny of the Stuart Kings, John Winthrop and many other noted Puritans had emigrated to Massachusetts and other parts of New England. During the Commonwealth the case was reversed, and numbers of Royalists fled to Virginia. Among them were John Washington, the great-grandfather of George Washington, and the ancestors of Jefferson, Patrick Henry, the Lees, Randolphs, and other prominent families, destined in time to take part in founding a republic in the New World much more democractic than anything the Old World had ever seen.

457. Cromwell as a Ruler; Puritan Fanaticism.

When Cromwell's new Parliament (S455) ventured to criticize his course, he dissolved it (1654) quite as peremptorily as the late King had done (S431). Soon afterwards, fear of a Royalist rebellion led him to divide the country into eleven military districts (1655), each governed by a major general, who ruled by martial law and with despotic power. All Royalist families were heavily taxed to support Cromwell's standing army, all Catholic priests wre banished, and no books or papers could be published without permission of the government.

Cromwell, however, though compelled to resort to severe measures to secure peace, was, in spirit, no oppressor. On the contrary, he proved himself the Protector not only of the realm but of the Protestants of Europe. When they were threatened with persecution, his influence saved them. He showed, too, that in an age of bigotry he was no bigot. Puritan fanaticism, exasperated by the persecution it had endured under James and Charles, often went to the utmost extremes, even as "Hudibras"[1] said, to "killing of a cat on Monday for catching of a rat on Sunday."

[1] "Hudibras": a burlesque poem by Samuel Butler (1663). It satirized the leading persons and parties of the Commonwealth, but especially the Puritans.

It treated the most innocent customs, if they were in any way associated with Catholicism or Episcopacy, as serious offenses. It closed all places of amusement; it condemned mirth as ungodly; it made it a sin to dance round a Maypole, or to eat mince pie at Christmas. Fox-hunting and horse-racing were forbidden, and bear-baiting prohibited, "not because it gave pain to the bear, but because it gave pleasure to the spectators."

In such an age, when a man could hardly claim to be religious unless he wore sad-colored raiment, talked through his nose, and quoted Scripture with great frequency, Cromwell showed exceptional moderation and good sense.

458. Cromwell's Religious Toleration.

He favored the toleration of all forms of worship not directly opposed to the government as then constituted. He befriended the Quakers, who were looked upon as the enemies of every form of worship, and who were treated with cruel severity both in England and America. He was instrumental in sending the first Protestant missionaries to Massachusetts to convert the Indiands, then supposed by many to be a remnant of the lost tribes of Israel; and after an exclusion of many centuries (S222), he permitted the Jews to return to England, and even to build a synagogue in London.

On the other hand, there are few of the cathedral or parish churches of England which do not continue to testify to the Puritan army's destructive hatred of everything savoring of the rule of either Pope or bishop.[1] The empty niches, where some gracious image of the Virgin or the figure of some saint once looked down; the patched remnants of brilliant stained glass, once part of a picture telling some Scripture story; the mutilated statues of noted men; the tombs, hacked and hewed by pike and sword, because they bore some emblem or expression of the old faith,—all these still bear witness to the fury of the Puritan soldiers, who did not respect even the graves of their ancestors, if those ancestors had once thought differently from themselves.

[1] But part of this destruction occurred under Henry VIII and Edward VI (SS352, 364)

459. Victories by Land and Sea; the Navigation Act (1651).

Yet during Cromwell's rule the country, notwithstanding all the restrictions imposed by a stern military government, grew and prospered. The English forces gained victories by land and sea, and made the name of the Protector respected as that of Charles I had never been.

At this period the carrying trade of the world, by sea, had fallen into the hands of the Dutch, and Amsterdam had become a more important center of exchange than London. The Commonwealth passed a measure called the "Navigation Act"[2] (1651) to encourage British commerce. It prohibited the importation or exportation of any goods into England or its colonies in Dutch or other foreign vessels.

[2] The Navigation Act was renewed later. Though aimed at the Dutch, this measure damaged the export trade of the American colonies for a time.

Later, war with the Dutch broke out partly on account of questions of trade, and partly because Royalist plotters found protection in Holland. Then Cromwell created such a navy as the country had never before possessed. Under the command of Admiral Blake, "the sea king," and Admiral Monk, the Dutch were finally beaten so thoroughly (1653) that they bound themselves to ever after salute the English flag wherever they should meet it on the seas. A war undertaken in alliance with France against Spain was equally successful. Jamaica was taken as a permanent possession by the British fleet, and France, in return for Cromwell's assistance, reluctantly gave the town of Dunkirk to England (1658), and the flag of the English Commonwealth was planted on the French coast. But a few years later (1662), the selfish and profligate Charles II sold Dunkirk back to Louis XIV in order to get money to waste on his pleasures.

460. Cromwell's Death; his Character (1658).

After being King in everything but name for five years, Cromwell died (September 3, 1658) on the anniversary of the victories of Dunbar and Worcester (S453). During the latter part of his career he had lived in constant dread of assassination, and wore concealed armor. At the hour of his death one of the most fearful storms was raging hat had ever swept over England. To many it seemed a fit accompaniment to the close of such a life.

In one sense, Cromwell was a usurper and a tyrant; but, at heart, his object was his country's welfare. In such cases the motive is all in all. He was a lonely man of rough exterior and hard manner.[1] He cared little for the smooth proprieties of life, yet he had that dignity of bearing which high moral purpose gives. In all that he did he was eminently practical. In an age of isms, theories, and experiments, he was never confused and never faltered in his course. To-day a colossal bronze statue of the great soldier and ruler stands in the shadow of the Houses of Parliament, where the English people, more than two hundred and forty years after his burial, voted to erect it.

[1] Cromwell was always a lonely man, and had so few real friends that Walter Scott may have expressed his true feeling when he makes him say in his novel of "Woodstock": "I would I had any creature, were it but a dog, that followed me because it loved me, not for what it could make of me."

461. The Times needed Such a Man.

There are emergencies when an ounce of decision is worth a pound of deliberation. When the ship is foundering or on fire, or when the crew have mutinied, it will not avail to sit in the cabin and discuss how it happened. Something must be done, and that promptly. Cromwell was the man for such a juncture. He saw clearly that if the country was to be kept together, it must be by decided measures, which no precedent, law, or constitution justified, but which stood justified none the less by exigencies of the crisis, by his own conscious rectitude of purpose, and by the result.

If there is any truth in Napoleon's maxim, that "The tools belong to him that can use them," then Cromwell had a God-given right to rule; for, first, he had the ability; and, next, though he used his power in his campaign in Ireland (S453) with merciless severity, yet the great purpose of his life was to establish order and justice on what seemed to him the only practical basis.

462. Summary.

Cromwell's original object appears to have been to organize a government representing the will of the nation more completely than it had ever been represented before. He strongly favored the restoration of the House of Lords, he endeavored to reform the laws, and he sought to secure religious toleration for the great body of Protestants. One who knew Cromwell intimately said, "A larger soul, I think, hath seldom dwelt in a house of clay, than his was."

Circumstances, however, were often against him; he had many enemies, and in order to secure peace he was obliged to resort to the exercise of absolute power. Yet the difference in this respect between Cromwell and Charles I was immense: the latter was despotic on his own account, the former for the advantage of those he governed.

RICHARD CROMWELL—September 3, 1658-April 22, 1659

463. Richard Cromwell's Incompetency.

Richard Cromwell, Oliver's eldest son, now succeeded to the Protectorate (S455). He was an amiable individual, as negative in character as his father had been positive. With the extreme Puritans (S457), known as the "godly party," he had no sympathy whatever. "Here," said he to one of them, pointing to a friend of his who stood by, "is a man who can neither preach nor pray, yet I would trust him before you all." Such frankness was not likely to make the new ruler popular with the army, made up of men who never lacked a Scripture text to justify either a murder or a massacre. Moreover, the times were perilous, and called for a decided hand at the helm. After a brief reign of less than eight months the military leaders requested Richard to resign, and soon afterwards recalled the "Rump Parliament" (S447).

464. Richard retires.

The Protector retired not only without remonstrance, but apparently with a sense of relief at being so soon eased of a burden too heavy for his weak shoulders to carry. To the people he was hereafter familiarly known as "Tumbledown-Dick," and was caricatured as such on tavern signboards.

The nation pensioned him off with a moderate allowance, and he lived in obscurity to an advanced age, carrying about with him to the last a trunk filled with the congratulatory addresses and oaths of allegiance which he had received when he became Protector.

Years after his abdication it is reported that he visited Westminster, and when the attendant, who did not recognize him, showed him the throne, he said, "Yes; I have not seen that chair since I sat in it myself in 1659."

465. The "Convention Parliament."

The year following Richard Cromwell's withdrawal was full of anxiety and confusion. The army of the Commonwealth had turned Parliament out of doors (1659). There was no longer any regularly organized government, and the country drifted helplessly like a ship without a pilot.

General Monk, then commander in chief in Scotland, now marched into England (1660) with the determination of calling a new Parliament, which should be full, free, and representative of the real political feeling of the nation. When he reached London with his army, the members of the "Rump Parliament" (S447) had resumed their sessions.

At Monk's invitation the Presbyterian members, whom Colonel Pride had driven from their seats eleven years before (S447), now went back. This assembly issued writs for the summoning of a "Convention Parliament" (so styled because called without royal authority), and then dissolved by their own consent. Thus ended that memorable "Long Parliament" (S439), which had existed nearly twenty years. About a month later the Convention, including ten members of the House of Lords, met, and at once invited Charles Stuart, then in Holland, to return to his kingdom. He had made certain promises, called the "Declaration of Breda,"[1] which were intended to smooth the way for his return.

[1] The Declaration of Breda, made by Charles in Holland (1660) promised: (1) free pardon to all those not excepted by Parliament; (2) liberty of conscience to all whose views did not disturb the peace of the realm; (3) the settlement by Parliament of all claims to landed property; (4) the payment of arrears to Monk's army.

466. Summary.

Richard Cromwell's government existed in name only, never in fact. During his so-called Protectorate the country was under the control of the army of the Commonwealth or of that "Rump Parliament" which represented nothing but itself.

The period which elapsed after Oliver Cromwell's death was one of waiting and preparation. It ended in the meeting of the free national Parliament, which put an end to the republic, and restored royalty in the person of Charles II.

CHARLES II—1660-1685

467. The Restoration of Monarchy; Accession of Charles; a New Standing Army, 1660.

The English army heard that Charles was coming, with sullen silence; the ex-members of the "Rump Parliament" (S465), with sullen dread; the rest of the nation, with a feeling of relief. However much they had hated the despotism of the two Stuart Kings, James I and Charles I, four fifths of the people stood ready to welcome any change which promised to do away with a government maintained by bayonets.

Charles II was received at Dover with the wildest demonstrations of joy. Bells pealed, flags waved, bonfires blazed all the way to London, and the King said, with characteristic irony, "It must have been my own fault that I did not come before, for I find no one but declares that he is glad to see me."

The existence of the late Republic and the Protectorate (SS450, 455) was as far as possible ignored. The House of Lords was restored (SS450, 455). The new reign was dated, not when it actually began, but from the day of Charles I's execution twelve years before. The troops of the Commonwealth were speedily disbanded, but the King retained a picked guard of five thousand men, which became the nucleus of a new standing army.

468. The King's Character.

The sovereign who now ascended the throne was in every respect the opposite of Cromwell. Charles II had no love of country, no sense of duty, no belief in man, no respect for woman. Evil circumstances and evil companions had made him "a good-humored lad but hard-hearted voluptuary." For twelve years he had been a wanderer, and at times almost a beggar. Now the sole aim of his life was enjoyment. He desired to be King because he would then be able to accomplish that aim.

469. Reaction from Puritanism.

In this purpose Charles had the sympathy of a considerable part of the people. The Puritan faith (S378), represented by such men as Hampden (S436) and Milton (S450), was noble indeed; but unfortunately there were many in its ranks who had no like grandeur of soul, but who pushed Puritanism to its most injurious and offensive extreme. That attempt to reduce the whole of life to a narrow system of sour self-denial had at last broken down.

Now, under the Restoration, the reaction set in, and the lower and earthly side of human nature—none the less human because it is at the bottom and not at the top—seemed determined to take its full revenge. Butler ridiculed religious zeal in his poem of "Hudibras" (S457), which ever courtier had by heart. Society was smitten with an epidemic of immorality. Profligacy became the fashion in both speech and action, and much of the popular literature of that day will not bear the light.

470. The Royal Favorites.

The King surrounded himself with men like himself. This merry gang of revelers vied with each other in dissipation and in jests on each other. Charles's two chief favorites were the Earl of Rochester, a gifted but ribald poet, and Lord Shaftesbury, who became Lord Chancellor. Both have left on record their estimate of their royal master. The first wrote on the door of the King's bedchamber:

"Here lies our sovereign lord, the King, Whose word no man relies on; He never says a foolish thing, Nor ever does a wise one."

To which Charles, on reading it, retorted, "'Tis true! because while my words are my own, my acts are my ministers'."

A bright repartee tells us what the second favorite thought. "Ah! Shaftesbury," said the King to him one day, "I verily believe you are the wickedest dog in my dominions." "Yes, your Majesty," replied Shaftesbury, "for a SUBJECT I think perhaps I may be."

471. The Clarendon Ministry; Punishment of the Regicides.

From a political point of view, the new reign began decently and ably under the direction of the Earl of Clarendon as leading minister or adviser to the King. The first act of Charles's first Parliament was to proclaim a pardon to all who had fought against his father in the civil war. The only persons excepted wre the members of that high court of justice (S448) which had sent Charles I to the block. Of these, ten were executed and nineteen imprisoned for life. Most of the other regicide judges were either already out of the country or managed to escape soon after.

Among these, William Goffe, Edward Whalley, and Colonel John Dixwell took refuge in Connecticut, where they remained concealed for several years. Eventually the first two went to Hadley, Massachusetts, where they lived in seclusion in the house of a clergyman until their death.

The bodies of Oliver Cromwell, Ireton, Bradshaw, and Pride, all of whom had served as judges in the trial and condemnation of Charles (S448), were dug up from their graves in Westminster Abbey and hanged in chains at Tyburn.[1] They were then buried at the foot of the gallows along with he moldering remains of highway robbers and criminals of the lowest sort, but Cromwell's head was cut off and set up on a pinnacle of Westminster Hall.[2]

[1] Tyburn: near the northeast entrance to Hyde Park, London. It was for several centuries the chief place for the public execution of felons. [2] It has since been questioned whether Cromwell's body was disposed of in this manner or whether another body, supposed at that time to be his, was dealt with as here described. See the "Dictionary of National (British) Biography," under "Oliver Cromwell."

472. Religious Persecution; Covenanters; Bunyan.

The first Parliament that met (1661) commanded the common hangman to publicly burn the Solemn League and Covenant (S444); it restored the Episcopal form of worship and enacted four very severe laws, called the "Clarendon Code," against those Nonconformists or Dissenters who had ejected the Episcopal clergy (S444).[1]

[1] The chief Nonconformists then were: (1) the Presbyterians; (2) the Independents, or Congregationalists; (3) the Baptists; (4) the Society of Friends, or Quakers. Originally the name "Nonconformist" was given to those who refused to conform to the worship of the Church of England, and who attempted to change it to suit their views or else set up their own form of faith as an independent church. The name "Nonconformist" (or Dissenter) now applies to any Protestant outside the Established Church of England (SS496, 498).

The first of these new laws was entitled the "Corporation Act" (1661). It ordered all holders of municipal offices to renounce the Covenant[2] which had been put in force in 1647, and to take the sacrament of the Church of England. Next, a new Act of Uniformity (1662) (S382) enforced the use of the Episcopal Prayer Book upon all clergymen and congregations. This was followed by the Conventicle Act[3] (1664), which forbade the meeting of any religious assemblies except such as worshiped according to the Established Church of England. Lastly, the Five-Mile Act (1665) forbade all dissenting ministers to teach in schools, or to settle within five miles of an incorporated town.

[2] Covenant: the oath or agreement to maintain the Presbyterian faith and worship. It originated in Scotland (S438). [3] See, too, on these acts, the Summary of Constitutional History in the Appendix, p. xix, S20.

The second of these stringent retaliatory statutes, the Act of Uniformity, drove two thousand Presbyterian ministers from their parishes in a single day, and reduced them to the direst distress. The able-bodied among them might indeed pick up a precarious livelihood by hard labor, but the old and the weak soon found their refuge in the grave.

Those who dared to resist these intolerant and inhuman laws were punished with fines, imprisonment, or slavery. The Scottish Parliament abolished Presbyterianism and restored Episcopacy. It vied with the Cavalier or King's party in England in persecution of the Dissenters,[4] and especially of the Covenanters (S438).

[4] The Scottish Parliament granted what was called the "Indulgence" to Presbyterian ministers who held moderate views. The extreme Covenanters regarded these "indulged Presbyterians" as deserters and traitors who were both weak and wicked. For this reason they hated them worse than they did the Episcopalians. See Burton's "Scotland," VII, 457-468.

Claverhouse, who figures as the "Bonny Dundee" of Sir Walter Scott, hunted the Covenanters with bugle and bloodhound, like so many deer; and his men hanged and drowned those who gathered secretly in glens and caves to worship God.[1] The father of a family would be dragged from his cottage by the soldiers, asked if he would take the test of conformity to the Church of England and the oath of allegiance to King Charles II; if he refused, the officer in command gave the order, "Make ready—take aim—fire!"—and there lay the corpse of the rebel.

[1] See the historical poem of the "Maiden Martyr of Scotland," in the collection of "Heroic Ballads," Ginn and Company.

Among the multitudes who suffered in England for religion's sake was a poor tinker and day laborer named John Bunyan. He had served against the King in the civil wars, and later had become converted to Puritanism, and turned exhorter and itinerant preacher. He was arrested, while preaching in a farmhouse, and convicted of having "devilishly and perniciously abstained from coming to church."

The judge sentenced him to the Bedford county jail, where he remained a prisoner for twelve years (1660-1672). Later on, he was again arrested (1675) and sent to the town jail on Bedford Bridge. It was, he says, a squalid "Denn."[2] But in his marvelous dream of "A Pilgrimage from this World to the Next," which he wrote while shut up within the narrow limits of that filthy prison house, he forgot the misery of his surroundings. Like Milton in his blindness, loneliness, and poverty, he looked within and found that

"The mind is its own place, and in itself Can make a heaven of hell."[3]

[2] "As I walk'd through the wilderness of this world, I lighted on a certain place where there was a Denn, and I laid me down in that place to sleep: and as I slept I dreamed a dream."—"The Pilgrim's Progress," 1678. [3] "Paradise Lost," Book I, 253.

473. Seizure of a Dutch Colony in America (1664).

While these things were going on in England, a strange event took place abroad. The Dutch had established a colony on the Hudson River. It was on territory which the English claimed (S335), but which they had never explored or settled. The Dutch had built a town at the mouth of the Hudson, which they called New Amsterdam. They held the place undisturbed for fifty years, and if "Possession is nine points of the law," they seem to have acquired it. Furthermore, during the period of Cromwell's Protectorate (S455), England had made a treaty with Holland and had recognized the claims of the Dutch in the New World.

Charles had found shelter and generous treatment in Holland when he needed it most. But he now cooly repudiated the treaty, and, though the two nations were at peace, he treacherously sent out a secret expedition to capture the Dutch colony for his brother James, Duke of York, to whom he had granted it.

One day a small English fleet suddenly appeared (1664) in the harbor of the Dutch town, and demanded its immediate and unconditional surrender. The governor was unprepared to make any defense, and the place was given up. Thus, without so much as the firing of a gun, New Amsterdam got the name of New York in honor of the man who had now become its owner. The acquisition of this territory, which had separated the northern English colonies from the southern, gave England complete control of the Atlantic coast from Maine to northern Florida.

474. The Plague and the Fire, 1665, 1666.

The next year a terrible outbreak of the plague occurred in London, 1665, which spread throughout the kingdom (S244). All who could, fled from the city. Hundreds of houses were left vacant, while on hundreds more a cross marked on the doors in red chalk, with the words "Lord have mercy on us," written underneath, told where the work of death was going on.[1]

[1] Pepys writes in his "Diary," describing the beginning of the plague: "The 7th of June, 1665, was the hottest day I ever felt in my life. This day, much against my will, I did in Drury Lane see two or three houses with a red cross upon the door, and 'Lord have mercy upon us' writ there, which was a sad sight."—Pepys, "Diary," 1660-1669. Defoe wrote a journal of the plague in 1722, based, probably, on the reports of eyewitnesses. It gives a vivid and truthful account of its horrors.

The pestilence swept off over a hundred thousand victims within six months. Among the few brave men who voluntarily remained in the stricken city were the Puritan ministers, who stayed to comfort and console the sick and dying. After the plague was over, they received their reward through the enforcement of those acts of persecution which drove them homeless and helpless from their parishes and friends (S472).

The dead cart had hardly ceased to go its rounds, when a fire broke out, 1666, of which Evelyn, a courtier who witnessed it, wrote that it "was not to be outdone until the final conflagration of the world."[1] By it the city of London proper was reduced to ruins, little more being left than a fringe of houses on the northeast.

[1] Evelyn's "Diary," 1641-1705; also compare Dryden's poem "Annus Mirabilis."

Great as the calamity was, yet from a sanitary point of view it did immense good. Nothing short of fire could have effectually cleansed the London of that day, and so put a stop to the periodical ravages of the plague. By sweeping away miles of narrow streets crowded with miserable buildings black with the encrusted filth of ages, the conflagration in the end proved friendly to health and life.

A monument near London Bridge still marks the spot where the flames first burst out. For many years it bore an inscription affirming that the Catholics kindled them in order to be revenged on their persecutors. The poet Pope, at a later period, exposed the falsehood in the lines:

"Where London's column pointing toward the skies Like a tall bully lifts its head and lies."[2]

[2] "Moral Essays," Epistle III.

Sir Christopher Wren, the most famous architect of the period, rebuilt the city. The greater part of it had been of wood, but it rose from the ashes brick and stone. One irreparable loss was the old Gothic church of St. Paul. Wren erected the present cathedral on the foundations of the ancient structure. On a tablet near the tomb of the great master builder one reads the inscription in Latin, "Reader, if you seek his monument, look around."[1]

[1] "Lector, si monumentum requiris, circumspice."

475. Invasion by the Dutch (1667).

The new city had not risen from the ruins of the old, when a third calamity overtook it. Charles was at war with France and Holland. The contest with the latter nation grew out of the rivalry of the English and the Dutch to get the exclusive possession of foreign trade (S459). Parliament granted the King large sums of money to build and equip a navy, but the pleasure-loving monarch wasted it in dissipation. The few ships he had were rotten old hulks, but half provisioned, with crews ready to mutiny because they could not get their pay.

A Dutch fleet sailed up the Thames. It was manned in part by English sailors who had deserted in disgust because when they asked for cash to support their families they got only worthless government tickets. There was no force to oppose them. They burned some half-built men-of-war, blockaded London for several weeks, and then made their own terms of peace.

476. The "Cabal" (1667-1673); Treaty of Dover, 1670; the King robs the Exchequer (1672).

Shortly after this humiliating event the enemies of Clarendon drove him from office (S471). The fallen minister was accused of high treason. He had been guilty of certain arbitrary acts, and, rather than stand trial, he fled to France, and was banished for life. He sent a humble petition to the Lords, but they promptly ordered the hangman to burn it. Six years later the old man begged piteously that he might "come back and die in his own coutnry and among his own children." Charles refused to let him return, for Clarendon had committed the unpardonable offense of daring to look "sourly" at the vices of the King and his shameless companions flushed "with insolence and wine." Charles now formed a new ministry or "Cabal,"[1] consisting of five of his most intimate friends. Several of its members were notorious for their depravity, and Macaulay calls it the "most profligate administration ever known."[2] The chief object of its leaders was to serve their own private interests by making the King's power supreme. The "Cabal's" true spirit was not unlike that of the council of the "infernal peers" which Milton portrays in "Paradise Lost," first published at that time. There he shows us the five princes of evil, Moloch, Belial, Mammon, Beelzebub, and Satan, meeting in the palace of Pandemonium to plot the ruin of the world.[3] he chief ambition of Charles was to rule without a Parliament; he did not like to have that body inquire too closely how he spent the money which the taxpayers granted him. But his lavish outlays on his favorites made it more and more difficult for him to avoid summoning a Parliament in order to get supplies of cash. At length he hit on a plan for securing the funds he wanted without begging help from Parliament.

[1] This word was originally used to designate the confidential members of the King's private council, and meant perhaps no more than the word "cabinet" does to-day. In 1667 it happened, however, by a singular coincidence, that the initial letters of the five persons comprising it, namely, (C)lifford, (A)shley-Cooper [Lord Shaftesbury], (B)uckingham, (A)rlington, and (L)auderdale, formed the word "CABAL," which henceforth came to have the odious meaning of secret and unscrupulous intrigue that it has ever since retained. It was to Charles II's time what the political "ring" is to our own. [2] Macaulay's "Essay on Sir William Temple." [3] Milton's "Paradise Lost," Book II. The first edition was published in 1667, the year the "Cabal" came into power, though its members had long been favorites with the King. It has been supposed by some that the great Puritan poet had them in his mind when he represented the Pandemonic debate. Shaftesbury and Buckingham are also two of the most prominent characters in Dryden's noted political satire of "Absalom and Achitophel," published in 1681; and compare Butler's "Hudibras."

Louis XIV of France, then the most powerful monarch in Europe, wished to conquer Holland, with the double object of extending his own kingdom and the power of Catholicism. He saw in Charles the tool he wanted to gain this end. With the aid of two members of the "Cabal," Charles negotiated the secret Treaty of Dover, 1670. Thereby Louis bribed the English King with a gift of 300,000 pounds to help him carry out his scheme. Thus, without the knowledge of Parliament, Charles deliberately sold himself to the French sovereign, who was plotting to destroy the political liberty and Protestant faith of Holland.

In addition to the above sum, it was furthermore agreed that Louis should pay Charles a pension of 200,000 pounds a year from the date when the latter should openly avow himself a Roman Catholic. Later (1671), Charles made a sham treaty with Louis XIV in which the article about his avowing himself a Catholic was omitted in order to deceive Parliament.[1]

[1] See Summary of Constitutional History in the Appendix, p. xix, S21.

True to his infamous contract, Charles provoked a new war with the Dutch, but found that he needed more money to prosecute it successfully. Not knowing where to borrow, he determined to steal it. Various London merchants, bankers, and also persons of moderate means had lent to the government sums of money on promise of repayment from the taxes.

A part of the national revenue amounting to about 1,300,000 pounds, a sum equal to at least $10,000,000 now, had been deposited in the exchequer, or government treasury, to meet the obligation. The King seized this money,[2] partly for his needs, but chiefly to squander on his vices, and to satisfy the insatiate demands of his favorites,—of whom a single one, the Duchess of Portsmouth, had spent 136,000 pounds within the space of a twelvemonth! The King's treacherous act caused a financial panic which shook London to its foundatyions and ruined great numbers of people.

[2] "'Rob me the Exchequer, Hal,' said the King to his favorite minister in the 'Cabal'; then 'all went merry as a marriage bell.'"—Evelyn's "Diary."

477. More Money Schemes; Declaration of Indulgence; Test Act, 1673.

By declaring war against Holland Charles had now fulfilled the first part of his secret treaty with Louis (S476), but he was afraid to undertake the second part and openly declare himself a convert to the Church of Rome. He, however, did the next thing to it, by issuing a cautiously worded Declaration of Indulgence, 1673, suspending all penal laws affecting the religious liberty of Protestant Dissenters (SS382, 472) and Roman Catholics. Under cover of this act the King could show especial favor to the Catholics. Parliament issued such a vigorous protest, however, that the King withdrew the Declaration.

Parliament next passed the Test Act,[1] 1673, requiring every government officer to acknowledge himself a Protestant according to the rites of the Church of England. Charles became alarmed at this decided stand, and now tried to conciliate Parliament, and coax from it another grant of money by marrying his niece, the Princess Mary, to William of Orange, President of the Dutch republic, and head of the Protestant party on the Continent.

[2] See Summary of Constitutional History in the Appendix, p. xix, S21.

478. The So-Called "Popish Plot"; the Exclusion Bill, and Disabling Act, 1678.

While the King was playing this double part, a scoundrel, named Titus Oates, whose hideous face was but the counterpart of a still more hideous character, pretended that he had discovered a terrible plot. He declared that the Catholics had formed a conspiracy to burn London, massacre the inhabitants, kill the King, and restore the religion of Rome.

The news of this alleged discovery caused an excitement which soon grew into a sort of popular madness. The memory of the great fire (S474) was still fresh in people's minds. In their imagination they now saw those scenes of horror repeated, with wholesale murder added. Great numbers of innocent persons were thrown into prison, and many executed.

As time went on, the terror seemed to increase. With its increase, Oates grew bolder in his accusations. Chief Justice Scroggs showed himself an eager abettor of the miserable wretch who swore away men's lives for the sake of the notoriety it gave him. In the extravagance of his presumption Oates even dared to accuse the Queen of an attempt to poison Charles. The craze, however, had at last begun to abate somewhat, no action was taken, and in the next reign Oates got the punishment he deserved—or at least a part of it (S485).

An attempt was now made (1679) to pass a law called the "Exclusion Bill," debarring Charles's brother James, the Catholic Duke of York, from succeeding to the crown; but though voted by the Commons, it was defeated by the Lords. Meanwhile a second measure, called the "Disabling Act," had received the sanction of both Houses, 1678. It declared Catholics incapable of sitting in either House of Parliament (S382); and from this date they remained shut out from all legislative power and from all civil and corporate offices until 1829, a period of over a century and a half (S573).

479. Rise of Permanent Political Parties, 1678; the King revokes City Charters.

It was about this time that the names "Whig" and "Tory" (changed after 1832 to Liberal and Conservative) (S582) began to be given to two political parties, which soon became very powerful, and practically have ever since divided the government of the country between them.

The term "Whig" was originally given by way of reproach to the Scotch Puritans, or Covenanters, who refused to accept the Episcopacy which Charles I endeavored to impose upon them (S438). "Tory," on the other hand, was a nickname which appears to have first been applied to the Roman Catholic outlaws of Ireland, who were regarded by Elizabeth and by Cromwell as both robbers and rebels (S453).

The name of "Tory" was now given to those who supported the claims of the King's brother James, the Roman Catholic Duke of York, as successor to the throne; while that of "Whig" (or "Country Party") was borne by those who were endeavoring to exclude him (S478), and secure a Protestant successor.[1]

[1] Politically, the Whigs and Tories may perhaps be considered as the successors of the Roundheads and Cavaliers of the civil war, the former seeking to limit the power of the Crown, the latter to extend it. At the Restoration (1660), the Cavaliers were all-powerful; but at the time of the dispute on the Exclusiiion Bill (1679), the Roundhead, or People's party, had revived. On account of their petitioning the King to summon a new Parliament, by means of which they hoped to carry the bill shutting out the Catholic Duke of York from the throne, they were called "Petitioners," and later, "Whigs"; while those who expressed their abhorrence of their efforts were called "Abhorrers," and afterwards, "Tories." The more radical Whigs came to be known as the "Country Party," and at least one of their most prominent leaders, Algernon Sidney, was in favor of restoring the republican form of government in England.

The excitement over this Exclusion Bill (S478) threatened at one period to bring on another civil war. In his fury against the Whigs, Charles revoked the charters of London and many other cities, which were regranted only on terms agreeable to the Tories. An actual outbreak against the government would probably have occurred had it not been for the discovery of a new conspiracy, which resulted in a reaction favorable to the Crown.

480. The Rye-House Plot (1683).

This conspiracy, known as the "Rye-House Plot," had for its object the murder of Charles and his brother James at a place called the Rye House in Hertfordshire, not far from London. It was concocted by a number of violent Whigs, who, in their disappointment at their failure to secure the passage of the Exclusion Bill (S478), took this method of gaining their ends.

It is said that they intended placing on the throne James, Duke of Monmouth, a natural son of Charles, who was popularly known as the "Protestant Duke." Algernon Sidney, Lord Russell, and the Earl of Essex, who were prominent advocates of the Exclusion Bill (S478), were arrested for participating in the plot. Essex committed suicide in the Tower; Sidney and Russell were tried, convicted, and sentenced to death on insufficient evidence. They died martyrs to the cause of liberty,—Russell, with the fortitude of a Christian; Sidney, with the calmness of a philosopher. The Duke of Monmouth, who was supposed to be implicated in the plot, was banished to Holland (S486).

481. The Royal Society (1662).

Early in this reign the Royal Society was established for purposes of scientific research. In an age when thousands of well-informed people still cherished a lingering belief that lead might be changed into gold; that some medicine might be discovered which would cure every disease, (including old age, that worst disease of all); when every cross-grained old woman was suspected of witchcraft, and was liable to be tortured and hanged on that suspicion,—the formation of an association to study the physical facts was most significant.

It showed that the time had come when, instead of guessing what might be, men were at last beginning to resolved to know what actually is. In 1684 an English mathematician and philosopher demonstrated the unity of the universe by proving that the same law which governs the falling of an apple also governs the movements of the planets in their orbits. He published his great work on this subject a few years later.

It was with reference to that wonderful discovery of the all-pervading power of gravitation, which shapes and holds in its control the drop of dew before our eyes, and the farthest star shining in the heavens, that the poet Pope suggested the epitaph which should be graven on the tomb of the great thinker in Westminster Abbey:

"Nature and Nature's laws lay hid in night; God said, 'Let Newton be!' and all was light."

482. Chief Political Reforms; Abolition of Feudal Dues, 1660; the Habeas Corpus Act, 1679.

As the age did not stand still with respect to progress in knowledge, so it was not wholly unsuccessful in political progress. A great reform inaugurated in the outset of Charles's reign was the abolition, 1660, of the King's right to feudal dues and service, by which he was accustomed to extort as much as possible from his subjects[1] (S150), and the substitution of a fixed yearly allowance, raised by tax, of 1,200,000 pounds on beer and liquor.[2] This change may be considered to have practically abolished the feudal system in England, so far as the Crown is concerned, though the law still retains some remnants of that system with respect to the relation of landlord and tenant.[3]

[1] See Blackstone's "Commentaries," II, 76. [2] This tax should have been levied on the landed proprietors who had been subject to the feudal dues, but they managed to put it on beer and spirits; this compelled the body of the people to bear the burden for them. [3] See Summary of Constitutional History in the Appendix, p. xviii, S20.

The second great reform measure was the Habeas Corpus Act,[4] 1679, which provided that no subject should be detained in prison except by due process of law, thus putting an end to the arbitrary confinement of men for months, and years even, without conviction of guilt or even form of trial.

[4] Habeas Corpus (1679) (you may have the body): This writ is addressed by the judge to him who detains another in custody, commanding him to bring him into court and show why he is restrained of his liberty. The right of Habeas Corpus was contained in germ in the Great Charter (S199, Article 2); and see Summary of Constitutional History in the Appendix, p. xix, S21, and p. xxxii.

483. Death of Charles.

The reign came suddenly to an end (1685). Evelyn, one of the courtiers of the day, tells us in his "Diary" that he was present at the palace of Whitehall on Sunday morning, the last of January of that year. There he saw the King sitting in the grand banqueting room, chatting gayly with three famous court beauties,—his special favorites,—while a crowd of richly dressed nobles were gathered around a gambling table heaped with gold. Six days after, as he expresses it, all was "in the dust."

Charles died a Roman Catholic, his Catholic brother James (S478) having quietly brought a priest into the King's chamber in time to hear his confession and grant him absolution. Certainly few English rulers ever stood in greater need of both.

484. Summary

The chief events of the period were the persecution of the Puritans, the Plague and Great Fire of London, the Secret Treaty of Dover, the Test Act, the Disabling Act, the so-called "Popish Plot," the Rye-House Plot, the Dutch Wars, the Abolition of Feudal Dues, the Habeas Corpus Act, the rise of permanent Political Parties, and Newton's Discovery of the Law of Gravitation. Aside from these, the reign presents two leading points: (1) the policy of the King; (2) that of the nation.

Charles II, as we have seen, lived solely to gratify his inordinate love of pleasure. For that, he wasted the revenue, robbed the exchequer, and cheated the navy; for that, he secretly sold himself to France, made war on Holland, and shamefully deceived both Parliament and people.

In so far, then, as Charles II had an object, it began and ended with himself. Therein he stood lower than his father, who at least conscientiously believed in the Divine Right of Kings (S429) and their accountability to the Almighty.

The policy of the nation, on the other hand, was divided. The Whigs were determined to limit the power of the Crown, and secure at all hazards a Protestant successor to the throne. The Tories were equally resolved to check the growing power of the people, and preserve the hereditary order of succession (then in the Stuart family) without any immediate regard to the religious question involved in the Exclusion Bill (S478).

Beneath these issues both parties had a common object, which was to maintain the National Episcopal Church and the monarchical system of government. Whigs and Tories alike detested the principles of the late Commonwealth period. They preferred to cherish patriotism through loyalty to a personal sovereign rather than patriotism through devotion to a democratic republic.

James II—1685-1689

485. James II; his Proclamation; his Two Objects; Titus Oates again.

James, Duke of York, brother of the late Charles II, now came to the throne. He at once issued a Proclamation pledging himself to "preserve the government in both Church and State as it is now by law established." This solemn declaration was welcomed as "the word of a king," but unfortunately that king did not keep his word. His first great ambition was to rule independently of Parliament, so that he might have his own way in everything; his second, which was, if possible, still nearer his heart, was to restore the Roman Catholic religion in England (SS370, 382, 477).

He began that restoration at once; and on the Easter Sunday preceding his coronation, "the worship of the Church of Rome was once more, after an interval of a hundred and twenty-seven years, performed at Westminster with royal splendor."[1]

[1] Macaulay's "England."

Not long afterwards James brought the miscreant Oates to trial for the perjuries he had committed in connection with the so-called "Popish Plot" (S478). He was found guilty and sentenced to imprisonment for life; in addition he was publicly whipped through London with such terrible severity that a few more strokes of the lash would have ended his worthless life (1685). But in the next reign Oates was liberated and a pension was granted him.

486. Monmouth's Rebellion; Sedgemoor, 1685.

At the time of the discovery of the Rye-House Plot (S480) a number of Whigs (S479) who were implicated in the conspiracy fled to Holland, where the Duke of Monmouth had gone when banished. Four months after the accession of James, the Duke, aided by these refugees and by a small force which he had gathered in the Netherlands, resolved to invade England and demand the crown. He believed that a large part of the nation would look upon him as representing the cause of Protestantism, and would therefore rally to his support. He landed at Lyme on the coast of Dorsetshire (1685), and there issued an absurd proclamation declaring James to be a usurper, tyrant, and murderer, who had set the great fire of London (S474), cut the throat of Essex (S480), and poisoned Charles II!

At Taunton, in Somersetshire, a procession of welcome, headed by a lady carrying a Bible, met the Duke, and presented him with the book in behalf of the Protestant faith. He received it, saying, "I come to defend the truths contained in this volume, and to seal them, if it must be so, with my blood." Shortly afterwards he proclaimed himself sovereign of Great Britain. He was popularly known as "King Monmouth." Many of the country people now joined him, but the Whig nobles (S479), on whose help he had counted, stood aloof, alienated doubtless by the ridiculous charges he had made against James.

At the battle of Sedgemoor, in Somersetshire (1685), "King Monmouth," with his hastily gathered forces, was utterly routed. He himself was soon afterwards captured, hiding in a ditch. He desired to be taken to the King. His request was granted. When he entered his uncle's presence, he threw himself down and crawled to his feet, weeping and begging piteously for life—only life—on any terms, however hard.

He denied that he had issued the lying proclamation published at Lyme; he denied that he had sought the crown of his own free will; finally, in an agony of supplication, he hinted that he would even renounce Protestantism if thereby he might escape death. James told him that he should have the service of a Catholic priest, but would promise nothing more. Monmouth groveled and pleaded, but the King's heart was like marble, and he turned away in silence. Then the Duke, seeing that all his efforts were vain, rose to his feet and regained his manhood.

He was forthwith sent to the Tower, and shortly afterwards to execution. His headless body was buried under the communion table of that little chapel of St. Peter within the Tower grounds, where the remains of Anne Boleyn, Lady Jane Grey, Sir Thomas More, and many other royal victimsf, are gathered. No sadder spot exists on earth, "since there death is associated with whatever is darkest in human nature and human destiny."[1]

[1] Macaulay's "England."

After Monmouth's death there were no further attempts at insurrection, and the struggle at Sedgemoor remains the last encounter worthy of the name of battle fought on English soil.

487. The "Bloody Assizes" (1685).

The defeat of the insurgents who had rallied under Monmouth's flag was followed by a series of trials known, from their results, as the "Bloody Assizes" (1685). They were conducted by Judge Jeffreys, assisted by a band of soldiers under Colonel Kirke, ironically called, from their ferocity, "Kirke's Lambs." Jeffreys was by nature cruel, and enjoyed the spectacle of mental as well as bodily anguish. As he himself said, he delighted to give those who had the misfortune to appear before him "a lick with the rough side of his tongue," preparatory to roaring out the sentence of torture or death, in which he delighted still more.

All who were in the remotest way implicated in the late rebellion were now hunted down and brought to a trial which was but a mockery of justice. No one was permitted to defend himself. In fact, defense would have been useless against the blind fury of such a judge. The threshold of the court was to most that crossed it the threshold of the grave. A gentleman present at one of these scenes of slaughter, touched with pity at the condition of a trembling old man called up for sentence, ventured to put in a word in his behalf. "My Lord," said he to Jeffreys, "this poor creature is dependent on the parish." "Don't trouble yourself," cried the judge; "I will soon ease the parish of the burden," and ordered the officers to execute him at once.

Those who escaped death were often still more to be pitied. A young man was sentenced to be imprisoned for seven years, and to be whipped once a year through every market town in the county. In his despair, he petitioned the King to grant him the favor of being hanged. The petition was refused, but a partial remission of the punishment was at length gained by bribing the court; for Jeffreys, though his heart was shut against mercy, always had his pockets open for gain. Alice Lisle, an aged woman, who, out of pity, had concealed two men flying from the King's vengeance, was condemned to be burned alive; and it was with the gratest difficulty that the clergy of Winchester Cathedral succeeded in getting the sentence commuted to beheading.

As the work went on, the spirits of Jeffreys rose higher and higher. He laughed, shouted, joked, and swore like a drunken man. When the court had finished its sittings, more than a thousand persons had been brutally scourged, sold as slaves, hanged, or beheaded. The guideposts of the highways were converted into gibbets, from which the blackened corpses swung in chains, and from every church tower in Somersetshire ghastly heads looked down on those who gathered there to worship God; in fact, so many bodies were exposed that the whole air was "tainted with corruption and death."

Not satisfied with vengeance alone, Jeffreys and his friends made these trials a means of speculation. Batches of rebels were given as presents to courtiers, who sold them for a period of ten years to be worked to death or flogged to death on West India plantations; and the Queen's maids of honor extorted large sums of money for the pardon of a number of country schoolgirls who had been convicted of presenting Monmouth with a royal flag at Taunton.

On the return of Jeffreys to London after this carnival of blood, his father was so horrified at his cruelty that he forbade him to enter his house. James, on the contrary, testified his approval by making Jeffreys Lord Chancellor of the realm, at the same time mildly censuring him for not having shown greater severity!

The new Lord Chancellor testified his gratitude to his royal master by procuring the murder, by means of a packed jury, of Alderman Cornish, a prominent London Whig (S479), who was especially hated by the King on account of his support of that Exclusion Bill (S478) which was intended to shut James out from the throne. On the same day on which Cornish was executed, Jeffreys also had the satisfaction of knowing that Elizabeth Gaunt was burned alive at Tyburn, London, for having assisted one of the Rye-House conspirators, who had fought for Monmouth at Sedgemoor, to escape.

488. The King makes Further Attempts to reestablish Catholicism; Second Declaration of Indulgence (1687); Oxford.

An event occurred about this time which encouraged James to make a more decided attempt to restore Catholicism. Henry IV of France had granted the Protestants of his kingdom liberty of worship, by the Edict of Nantes (1598). Louis XIV deliberately revoked it (1685). By that shortsighted act the Huguenots, or French Protestants, were exposed to cruel persecution, and thousands of them fled to England and America.

James, who, like his late brother Charles II, was "the pensioned slave of the French King" (S476), resolved to profit by the example set him by Louis. He did not expect to drive the Protestants out of Great Britain as Louis had driven them from France, but he hoped to restore the country to its allegiance to Rome (SS370, 382, 477). He began by suspending the Test Act (S477) and putting Catholics into important offices in both Church and State.[1] He furthermore established an army of 13,000 men on Hounslow Heath, just outside London (1686), to hold the city in subjection in case it should rebel.

[1] The Dispensing Power and the Suspending Power were prerogatives by which the King claimed the right of preventing the enforcement of such laws as he deemed contrary to public good. A packed bench of judges sustained the King in this position, but the power so to act was finally abolished by the Bill of Rights (1689). See S497 and top of page xxxii, Article XII.

He next recalled the Protestant Duke of Ormonde, governor of Ireland, and put in his place Talbot, Earl of Tyrconnel, a Catholic. Tyrconnel had orders to recruit an Irish Roman Catholic army to aid the King in carrying out his designs (1687). He raised some soldiers, but he also raised that famous song of "Lilli Burlero," by which, as its author boasted, James was eventually "sung out of his kingdom."[2]

[2] Lord Wharton, a prominent English Whig (S479), was the author of this satirical political ballad, which, it is said, was sung and whistled from one end of England to the other, in derision of the King's policy. It undoubtably had a powerful popular influence in bringing on the Revolution of 1688. The ballad began: "Ho, Brother Teague, dost hear de decree? Lilli Burlero, bullen a-la, Dat we shall have a new deputie, Lilli Burlero, bullen a-la." The refrain, "Lilli Burlero," etc. (also written "Lillibullero"), is said to have been the watchword used by the Irish Catholics when they rose against the Protestants of Ulster in 1641. See Wilkins's "Political Songs," Vol I.

Having got the courts completely under his control through the appointment of judges in sympathy with Jeffreys (S487) and with himself, the King issued a Declaration of Indulgence similar to that which his brother Charles II had issued (S477).[1] It suspended all penal laws against both the Roman Catholics on the one hand, and the Protestant Dissenters (S472) on the other. The latter, however, suspecting that this apparently liberal measure was simply a trick to establish Catholicism, refused to avail themselves of it, and denounced it as an open violation of the Constitution.

[1] See Summary of Constitutional History in the Appendix, p. xxi, S23.

James next proceeded, by means of the tyrannical High Commission Court, which he had revived (S382), to bring Magdalen College, Oxford, under Catholic control. The President of that college having died, the Fellows were considering the choice of a successor. The King ordered them to elect a Catholic. The Fellows refused to obey, and elected a Protestant. James ejected the new President, and drove out the Fellows, leaving them to depend on the charity of neighboring country gentlemen for their support.

But the King, in attacking the rights of the college, had "run his head against a wall,"[2] as he soon discovered to his sorrow. His temporary success, however, emboldened him to reissue the first Declaration of Indulgence (1688). Its real object, like that of the first Declaration (S477), was to put Roman Catholics into still higher positions of trust and power.

[2] "What building is that?" asked the Duke of Wellington of his companion, Mr. Croker, pointing, as he spoke, to Magdalen College wall, just as they entered Oxford in 1834. "That is the wall which James II ran his head against," was the reply.

489. The Petition of the Seven Bishops, 1688.

James commanded the clergy throughout the realm to read this Declaration (S488) on a given Sunday from their pulpits. The clergy were by nature conservative. They still generally upheld the theory of the "Divine Right of Kings" and of "Passive Obedience." A majority of them taught the doctrine which James I had proclaimed: "God makes the King; the King makes the law; his subjects are bound to obey the law" (SS419, 429). Now, however, nearly all of them revolted. They felt that to comply with the mandate of the King would be to strike a blow at the supremacy of the Church of England. In this crisis the Archbishop of Canterbury, accompanied by six bishops, petitioned the King to be excused from reading it from their pulpits. The King refused to consider the petition. When the day came, hardly a clergyman read the paper, and in Westminster Abbey the entire congregation rose in a body and left rather than listen to it. Furious at such an unexpected result, James ordered the refractory bishops to be sent to the Tower and kept prisoners there.

The whole country now seemed to turn against the King. By his obstinate folly James had succeeded in making enemies of all classes, not only of the Whig Roundheads (S479) who had fought against his father in the civil war, but also of the Tory Cavaliers (S479) who had fought for him, and of the clergy who had taught the duty of obedience to him.

One of the bishops sent to the Tower was Trelawney of Bristol. He was a native of Cornwall. The news of his imprisonment roused the rough, independent population of that country. From one end of it to the other the people were now heard singing:

"And shall Trelawney die, and shall Trelawney die? There's thirty thousand Cornishmen will know the reason why."

Then the miners took up the words, and beneath the hills and fields the ominous echo was heard:

"And shall Trelawney die, and shall Trelawney die? There's twenty thousand underground will know the reason why."

When the seven bishops were brought to trial the popular feeling in their favor was so strong that not even James's servile judges dared use their influence to convict them. After the case was given to the jury, the largest and most robust man of the twelve rose and said to the rest: "Look at me! I am bigger than any of you, but before I will bring in a verdict of guilty, I will stay here until I am no thicker than a tobacco pipe." That decided the matter, and the bishops were acquitted (1688). The news was received in London like the tidings of some great victory, with shouts of joy, illuminations, and bonfires.

490. Birth of a Prince; Invitation to William of Orange (1688).

But just before the acquittal an event took place which changed everything and brought on the "Glorious Revolution" of 1688,—for such was the title which was solemnly given to it after William and Mary had come to the throne (SS491, 494).

Up to this time the succession to the throne after James rested with his two daughters,—Mary, who had married William, Prince of Orange (S477), President of the Dutch republic, and resided in Holland; and her younger sister Anne, who had married George, Prince of Denmark, and was then living in London. Both of the daughters were zealous Protestants, and the expectation that one of them would receive the English crown on the King's death had kept the people quiet while James was endeavoring to restore Catholicism.

But while the seven bishops were in prison awaiting trial (S489) the alrming intelligence was spread that a son had been born to the King (1688). If true, he would now be the next heir to the crown, and would in all probability be educated and come to power a Catholic. This prospect brought matters to a crisis.

Many people, especially the Whigs (S479), believed the whole matter an imposition, and it was reported that the young Prince was not the true son of the King and Queen, but a child that had been smuggled into the palace to deceive the nation. For this report there was absolutely no foundation in fact.

On the very day that the bishops were set at liberty (S489) seven of the leading nobility and gentry, representing both the Whigs and the Tories (S479),[1] seconded by the city of London, secretly sent a formal invitation to William, Prince of Orange, "the champion of Protestantism on the Continent and the deadly foe of James's ally, the King of France." Admiral Herbert, disguised as a common sailor, set out on the perilous errand to the Prince. The invitation he carried implored William to come over with an army to defend his wife Mary's claim to the English throne, and to ensure "the restoration of English liberties and the protection of the Protestant religion."

William decided to accept the invitation, which was probably not unexpected on his part. He was confirmed in his decision not only by the cordial approval of the leading Catholic princes of Europe, except, of course, Louis XIV of France, but also by the Pope himself, who had more than once expressed his emphatic disgust at the foolish rashness of King James.[2]

[1] The seven gentlemen who signed in cipher the secret letter to William, Prince of Orange, were Henry Sidney, brother of Algernon Sidney (S480); Edward Russell, a kinsman of Lord Russell, beheaded by Charles II (S480); the Earl of Devonshire, chief of the Whig party; Lord Shrewsbury; Danby, the old Tory minister of Charles II; Compton, Bishop of London, whom James II had tyrannically suspended; and Lord Lumley. See the letter in J. Dalrymple's "Memoirs of Great Britain," II, Appendix, p. 228. [2] Bright's, Guizot's, Lingard's, and Von Ranke's Histories of England.

491. The "Glorious Revolution of 1688; William comes, James goes.

William's ship, which led his fleet, displayed this flag.

I WILL MAINTAIN THE LIBERTIES OF ENGLAND AND THE PROTESTANT RELIGION

He landed with 14,000 troops on the shore of Torbay, Devonshire. (See map facing p. 334.) It was the fifth and last rgeat landing in the history of England.[1] He declared that he came in the interest of his wife Mary, the heir to the throne (S477), and in the interest of the English nation, to secure a free and legal Parliament which should decide the question of the succession. James endeavored to rally a force to resist him, but Baron Churchill, afterwards Duke of Marlborough (S509), and the King's son-in-law, Prince George, both secretly went over to William's side.

[1] The first being that of the Romans, the next that of the Saxons, the third that of St. Augustine, the fourth that of William he Conqueror, the fifth that of the Prince of Orange.

His troops likewise deserted, and finally even his daughter Anne went over to the enemy. "Now God help me!" exclaimed James, in despair; "for my own children forsake me!" The Queen had already fled to France, taking with her her infant son, the unfortunate Prince James Edward, whose birth (S490) had caused the revolution. Instead of a kingdom, he inherited nothing but the nickname of "Pretender," which he in turn transmitted to his son.[2] King James soon followed his wife.

[2] Prince James Edward Stuart, the so-called "Old Pretender," and his son, Prince Charles Edward Stuart, the so-called "Young Pretender." See, too, Genealogical Table, p. 323.

As he crossed the Thames in a boat by night, James threw the Great Seal of State into the river, in the vain hope that without it a Parliament could not be legally summoned to decide the question which his adversary had raised.[3] The King got as far as the coast, but was discovered by some fishermen and brought back. William reluctantly received him, and purposely allowed him to escape a second time. He reached France, and Louis XIV, who had long had the treacherous King in his secret pay, received him at the court of Versailles. There could be now no reasonable doubt that James's daughter Mary (S477) would receive the English crown.

[3] On the Great Seal of State (S145).

492. Character of the Revolution of 1688.

Never was a revolution of such magnitude and meaning accomplished more peacefully. Not a drop of blood had been shed. There was hardly any excitement or uproar. Even the bronze statue of the runaway King was permitted to stand undisturbed in the rear of the palace of Whitehall, London, where it remains to this day.

The great change had taken place thus quietly because men's minds were ripe for it. England had entered upon another period of history, in which old institutions, laws, and customs were passing away and all was becoming new.

Feudalism had vanished under Charles II (S482), but political and religious persecution had continued. In future, however, we shall hear no more of the revocation of city charters or other punishments inflicted because of political opinion (SS479, 487), and rarely of any punishment for religious dissent.

Courts of justice will undergo reform. They will cease to be "little better than caverns of murderers,"[1] where judges like Scroggs and Jeffreys (SS478, 487) browbeat the prisoners, took their guilt for granted, insulted and silenced witnesses for their defense, and even cast juries into prison under penalties of heavy fines, for venturing to bring in verdicts contrary to their wishes.[2]

[1] Hallam's "Constitutional History of England," p. 138. Hallam also says that the behavior of the Stuart judges covered them "with infamy," p. 597. [2] See Hallam, and also the introduction to Professor Adams's "Manual of Historical Literature." For a graphic picture of the times, see, in Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress," Christian's trial before Lord Hategood.

The day, too, had gone by when an English sovereign could cast his subjects into fetid dungeons in the Tower and leave them to die there of lingering disease, in darkness, solitude, and despair. No future king like the marble-hearted James II would sit in the court room at Edinburgh, and watch with curious delight the agony inflicted by the Scotch instruments of torture, the "boot" and the thumbscrew, or like his grandfather, James I, burn Unitarian heretics at the stake in Smithfield market place in London (S518).

For the future, thought and discussion in England were to be in great measure free, as in time they would be wholly so. Perhaps the coward King's heaviest retribution in his secure retreat in the royal French palace of Versailles was the knowledge that all his efforts, and all the efforts of his friend Louis XIV, to prevent the coming of this liberty had absolutely failed.

493. Summary.

The reign of James must be regarded as mainly taken up with the attempt of the King to rule independently of Parliament and of law, and, apparently, he sought to restore the Roman Catholic faith as the Established Church of England.

Monmouth's rebellion, though without real justification, since he could not legitimately claim the crown, was a forerunner of that memorable Revolution which invited William of Orange to come to the support of Parliament, and which placed a Protestant King and Queen on the throne.

WILLIAM AND MARY (House of Orange-Stuart)—1689-1702

494. The "Convention Parliament"; the Declaration of Right. 1689.

After the flight of James II, a "Convention Parliament" met, and declared that, James having broken "the orginal contract between king and people," the throne was therefore vacant. The Convention next issued a formal statement of principles under the name of the "Declaration of Right," 1689.[1]

[1] It was called a "Convention Parliament" because it had not been summoned by the King (S491). Declaration of Right: see Summary of Constitutional History in the Appendix, p. xxii, S24. On the coronation oath see S380, note 1.

That document recited the illegal and arbitrary acts of the late King James II, proclaimed him no longer sovereign, and resolved that the crown should be tendered to William and Mary.[2] The Declaration having been read to them and having received their assent, they were formally invited to accept the joint sovereignty of the realm, with the understanding that the actual administration should be vested in William alone.

[2] William of Orange stood next in order of succession to Mary and Anne (provided the claim of the newly born Prince James, the so-called "Pretender," was set aside [SS490, 491]). See Genealogical Table, p. 323.

495. Jacobites and Nonjurors (1689).

At the accession of the new sovereigns the extreme Tories (S479), who believed the action fo the Convention unconstitutional, continued to adhere to James II as their lawful King. Henceforth this class became known as "Jacobites," from Jacobus, the Latin name for James. They were especially numerous and determined in the Highlands of Scotland and the south of Ireland. They kept up a secret correspondence with the refugee monarch, and were constantly plotting for his restoration.

About four hundred of the clergy of the Church of England, including the Archbishop of Canterbury and four more of the famous seven bishops (S489), with some members of the universities and also some Scotch Presbyterians, refused to take the oath of allegiance to William and Mary. They became known on this account as the "Nonjurors," and although they were never harshly treated, they were compelled to resign their positions.

496. The Mutiny Act and the Toleration Act, 1689.

We have seen that one of the chief means of despotism on which James II relied was the organization of a powerful standing army (S488), such as was unknown in England until Cromwell was compelled to rule by military force (S457). Charles II had perpetuated such an army (S467), but it was so small that it was no longer formidable.

It was now evident that owing to the abolition of the feudal levies (SS150, 482) a standing army under the King's command must be maintained, especially as war was impending with Louis XIV, who threatened by force of arms and with the help of the Jacobites (S495) to restore James II to the English throne. To prevent the sovereign from making bad use of such a power, Parliament passed a law called the "Mutiny Act," 1689, which practically put the army under the control of the nation,[1] as it has since remained. Thus all danger from that source was taken away.

[1] The Mutiny Act provides: (1) that the standing army shall be at the King's command—subject to certain rules—for one year only; (2) that no pay shall be issued to troops except by special acts of Parliament; (3) that no act of mutiny can be punished except by the annual reenactment of the Mutiny Bill.

James's next method for bringing the country under the control of Rome had been to issue Declarations of Indulgence (S488). It was generally believed that his object in granting these measures of toleration, which promised freedom to all religious beliefs, was that he might place Roman Catholics in power.

As an offset to these Declarations, Parliament now passed the Toleration Act, 1689, which secured freedom of worship to all religious believers except "Papists and such as deny the Trinity." This measure, though one-sided and utterly inconsistent with the broader and juster ideas of toleration which have since prevailed, was nevertheless a most important reform. It put an end at once and forever to the persecution which had disgraced the reigns of the Stuarts, though unfortunately it still left the Catholics, the Unitarians, and the Jews subject to the heavy hand of tyrannical oppression,[1] and they remained so for many years (SS573, 599).

[1] In 1663 Charles granted a charter to Rhode Island which secured religious liberty to that colony. It was the first royal charter recognizing the principle of toleration.

497. The Bill of Rights, 1689, and Act of Settlement, 1701.

Not many months later, Parliament embodied the Declaration of Right (S494), with some slight changes, in the Bill of Rights, 1689,[2] which received the signature of the King and became law. It constitutes the third and last great step which England has taken in making anything like a formal WRITTEN Constitution,[3]—the first being Magna Carta, or the Great Charter (S199), and the second the Petition of Right (S432). The Habeas Corpus Act (S482) was contained, in germ at least, in Magna Carta (S199 (2)); hence these three measures, namely, Magna Carta, 1215; the Petition of Right, 1628; and the Bill of Rights, 1689 (including the Act of Settlement to be mentioned presently), sum up the written safeguards of the nation, and constitute, as Lord Chatham said, "The Bible of English Liberty."

[2] See Summary of Constitutional History in the Appendix, p. xxii, S25, and p. xxxi. [3] It should be borne in mind that a large part of the English Constitution is based on ancient customs or unwritten laws, and another part on acts of Parliament passed for specific purposes.

With the passage of the Bill of Rights,[4] the doctrine of the Divine Right of Kings to govern without being accountable to their subjects (SS419, 429), which James I and his descendants had tried so hard to reduce to practice, came to an end forever.

[4] For summary of the bill, see Constitutional Documents in the Appendix, p. xxxi. For the complete text, see Taswell-Langmead's "Constitutional History of England" or Lee's "Source Book of English History."

The chief provisions of the Bill of Rights were: (1) That the King should not maintain a standing army in time of peace, except by consent of Parliament. (2) That no money should be taken from the people save by the consent of Parliament. (3) That every subject has the right to petition the Crown for the redress of any grievance. (4) That the election of members of Parliament ought to be free from interference. (5) That Parliament should frequently assemble and enjoy entire freedom of debate. (6) That the King be debarred from interfering in any way with the proper execution of the laws. (7) That a Roman Catholic or a person marrying a Roman Catholic be henceforth incapable of receiving the crown of England.

Late in the reign (1701) Parliament reaffirmed and still further extended the provisions of the Bill of Rightss by the Act of Settlement, which established a new royal line of sovereigns confined exclusively to Protestants.[1] This Act with the preceding one may be said to have introduced that principle of the British Constitution which has been called "The Reign of Law." It practically abolished the principle of a fixed hereditary succession and reestablished in the clearest and most decided manner the right of the nation to choose its own rulers.

[1] Compare S349, note 2. The Act of Settlement (see p. xxxii of Appendix) provided that after Princess Anne (in default of issue by William or Anne) the crown should descend to the Electress Sophia of Hanover, Hermany, and her PROTESTANT DESCENDANTS. The Electress Sophia was the granddaughter of James I. She married Ernest Augustus, Elector (or ruler) of Hanover. As Hallam says, she was "very far removed from any hereditary title," as, aside from James II's son (S490), whose legitimacy no one now doubted, there were several who stood nearer in right of succession.

Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13     Next Part
Home - Random Browse