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was promised a glorious fortune for some time, but all was to be overthrown in conclusion. When the earl of Montrose returned from his travels, he was not considered by the king as he thought he deserved: so he studied to render himself popular in Scotland; and [being vain and forward,] he was the first [and fiercest] man in the opposition they made during the first war. He both advised and drew the letter to the king of France, for which the lord Lowdun, who signed it, was imprisoned in the tower of London. But the earl of Lauderdale, as he himself told me, when it came to his turn to sign that letter, found false French in it; for instead of rayons de soleil, he had writ raye de soleil, which in French signifies a sort of fish; and so the matter went no farther at that time; and the treaty came on so soon after, that it was never again taken up. The earl of Montrose was gained by the king at Berwick, and undertook to do great services. He either fancied, or at least he made the king fancy, that he could turn the whole kingdom: yet indeed he could do nothing. He was again trying to make a new party: and he kept a correspondence with the king when he lay at Newcastle; and was pre31 tending he had a great interest among the covenanters, whereas at that time he had none at all. All these little plottings came to be either known, or at least suspected. The queen was a woman of great vivacity in conversation, and loved all her life long to be in intrigues of all sorts'1, but was not so secret in them as such times and such affairs required. She was a woman of no manner of judgment: she
J Not of love, I hope. S.
was bad at contrivance, but much worse in the execution: but by the liveliness of her discourse she made always a great impression on the king: and to her little practices, as well as to the king's own temper, the sequel of all his misfortunes was owing. I know it was a maxim infused into his sons, which I have often heard from king James, that he was undone by his concessions. This is true in some respect: for his passing the act that the parliament should sit during pleasure, was indeed his ruin, to which he was drawn by the queen. But if he had not made great concessions, he had sunk without being able to make a struggle for ite; and could not have divided the nation, or engaged so many to have stood by him: since by the concessions that he made, especially that of the triennial parliament, the honest and quiet part of the nation was satisfied, and thought their religion and liberties were secured: so they broke off fromf those violenter propositions that occasioned the war.
The truth was, the king did not come into those concessions seasonably, nor with a good grace: all appeared to be extorted from him. There were also grounds, whether true or plausible, to make it to be believed, that he intended not to stand to them any longer than he lay under that force that visibly drew them from him contrary to his own inclinations s.
e In a letter of the earl of Northumberland (printed aniong the Sydney papers, vol. ii. p. 663.) to the earl of Leicester, and dated Nov. 13th, 1640, he says, " the king is in "such a strait, that I do not "know how he will possibly "avoid (without endangering
"the loss of the whole king"dom) the giving way to the "remove of divers persons, as "well as other things, that will "be demanded by the parlia"ment." O.
f Dark nonsense. S.
s Sad trash. S.
The proofs that appeared of some particulars, that made this seem true, made other things that were whispered to be more readily believed: for in all critical times there are deceitful people of both sides, that pretend to merit by making discoveries, on condition that no use shall be made of them as witnesses; which is one of the most pestiferous ways of calumny possible. Almost the whole court had been concerned in one illegal grant or another: so these courtiers, to get their faults passed over, were as so many spies upon the king and queen: they told all they heard, and perhaps not without large additions, to the leading men of the house of commons. This inflamed the jealousy, and pushed them on to the making still new demands. One eminent passage was told me by the lord Hollis: An account The earl of Strafford had married his sister: so,
of the earl ,
ofstmf- though in that parliament he was one of the hottest giwnup bymen of the party, yet when that matter was before the kins^ them he always withdrew. When the bill of attainder was passed, the king sent for him to know what he could do to save the earl of Strafford. Hollis answered, that if the king pleased, since the execution of the law was in him, he might legally grant him a reprieve, which must be good in law; but he would not advise it. That which he proposed was, that lord Strafford should send him a petition for a short respite, to settle his affairs, and to prepare for death; upon which he advised the king to come next day with the petition in his hands, and lay it before the two houses, with a speech which he drew for the king; and Hollis said to him, he would try his interest among his friends to get them to consent to it. He prepared a great many by assuring them, that if they would save lord Strafford, he would become wholly theirs in consequence of his first principles: and that he might do them much more service by being preserved, than he could do, if made an example upon such new and doubtful points. In this he had wrought on so many, that he believed, if the king's party had struck into it, he might have saved him. It was carried to the queen, as if Hollis had engaged that the earl of Strafford should accuse her, and discover all he knew: so the queen not only diverted the king from going to the parliament, changing the speech into a message all writ with the king's own hand, and sent to the house of lords by the prince of Wales: (which Hollis had said, would have perhaps done as well, the king being apt to spoil things by an unacceptable manner:) but to the wonder of the whole world, the queen prevailed with him to add that mean postscript, if he must die, it were charity to reprieve him till Saturday: which was a very unhandsome giving up of the whole message. When it was communicated to both houses, the whole court party was plainly against it: and so he fell truly by the queen's means.
The mentioning this makes me add one particular concerning archbishop Laud: when his impeachment was brought to the lords bar, he apprehending how it would end, sent over Warner, bishop of Rochester, with the keys of his closet and cabinet, that he might destroy, or put out of the way, all papers that might either hurt himself or any body else. He was at that work for three hours, till upon Laud's being committed to the black rod, a messenger went over to seal up his closet, who came after all was withdrawn. Among the writings he took away, it is believed the original Magna Charta, passed by king John in the mead near Stains, was one. This was found among Warner's papers by 33his executor: and that descended to his son and executor, colonel Lee, who gave it to me. So it is now in my hands; and it came very fairly to me h. For this conveyance of it we have nothing but conjecture.
I do not intend to prosecute the history of the wars. I have told a great deal relating to them in the memoirs of the dukes of Hamilton. Rushworth's collections contain many excellent materials: and now the first volume of the earl of Clarendon's history gives a faithful representation of the beginnings of the troubles, though writ in favour of the court, and full of the best excuses that such ill things were capable of. I shall therefore only set out what I had particular reason to know, and what is not to be met with in books. The new The kirk was now settled in Scotland with a new presbytery mixture of ruling elders; which, though they were inSco0sad- taken from the Geneva pattern to assist, or rather to be a check on the ministers in the managing the parochial discipline, yet these never came to their assemblies till the year 1638, that they thought it necessary to make them first go and carry all the elections of the ministers at the several presbyteries,
h There was reason enough tory of the Reformation) in for the bishop's giving an ac- searching all records, private count how he came by this most and public, gave good grounds valuable piece of antiquity: his to suspect he had obtained it having been trusted (especially in a less justifiable manner. D. after his publication of the His