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me of it, and that at the Isle of Wight they had all the engagements from the king that he could give. Duke Hamilton quickly saw, it was a vain imagination to hope that kingdom could be brought to espouse the king's quarrel. The inclination ran strong the other way: all he hoped to succeed in was to keep them neuter for some time: and this he saw could not hold long: so after he had kept off their engaging with England all the year 1643, he and his friends saw it was in vain to struggle any longer. The course they all resolved on was, that the nobility should fall in heartily with the inclinations of the nation to join with England, that so they might procure to themselves and their friends the chief commands in the army: and then, when they were in England, and that their army was as a distinct body separated from the rest of the kingdom, it might be much easier to gain them to the king's service than it was at that time to work on the whole nation. Montrose's This was not a very sincere way of proceeding: ings. but it was intended for the king's service, and would probably have had the effect designed by it, if some accidents had not happened that changed the face of affairs, which are not rightly understood: and therefore I will open them clearly. The earl of Montrose and a party of high royalists were for entering into an open breach with the country in the beginning of the year 1643, but offered no probable methods of maintaining it; nor could they reckon themselves assured of any considerable party. They were full of undertakings: but when they were pressed to shew what concurrence might be depended on, nothing was offered but from the Highlanders: and on this wise men could not rely: so duke Hamilton would not expose the king's affairs by such a desperate way of proceeding. Upon this they went to Oxford, and filled all people there 37 with complaints of the treachery of the Hamiltons; and they pretended they could have secured Scotland, if their propositions had been entertained. This was but too suitable to the king's own inclinations, and to the humour that was then prevailing at Oxford. So when the two Hamiltons came up, they were not admitted to speak to the king: and it was believed, if the younger brother had not made his escape, that both would have suffered; for when the queen heard of his escape, she with great commotion said, Abercorn has missed a dukedom; for that earl was a papist, and next to the two brothersk. They could have demonstrated, if heard, that they were sure of above two parts in three of the officers of the army; and did not doubt to have engaged the army in the king's cause. But the failing in this was not all. The earl, then made marquis of Montrose, had powers given him such as he desired, and was sent down with them: but he could do nothing till the end of the year. A great body of the Macdonalds, commanded by one col. Killoch,
k Before the civil war the queen had a very particular aversion to duke Hamilton, which he perceiving, prevailed with Mrs. Seymour, who attended upon her in her bedchamber, to let him into the queen's private apartment at Somerset House, (the usual place for her retirement,) where he surprised the queen in great
familiarities with Harry Jermyn; after which she never durst refuse the duke any thing he desired of her. This, sir Francis Compton told me, he had from his mother, the countess of Northampton, who was very intimately acquainted with Mrs. Seymour, that was afterwards drowned in shooting London Bridge. D.
came over from Ireland to recover Kentire, the best country of all the Highlands, out of which they had been driven by the Argile family, who had possessed their country about fifty years. The head of these was the earl of Antrim, who had married the duke of Buckingham's widow: and being a papist, and having a great command in Ulster, was much relied on by the queen. He was the main person in the first rebellion, and was the most engaged in bloodshed of any in the north: yet he continued to correspond with the queen to the great prejudice of the king's affairs. When the marquis of Montrose heard they were in Argileshire, he went to them, and told them, if they would let him lead them, he would carry them into the heart of the kingdom, and procure them better quarters and good pay: so he led them into Perthshire. The Scots had at that time an army in England, and another in Ireland: yet they did not think it necessary to call home any part of either; but despising the Irish, and the Highlanders, they raised a tumultuary army, and put it under the command of some lords noted for want of courage, and of others who wished well to the other side. The marquis of Montrose's men were desperate, and met with little resistance: so that small body of the covenanters army was routed. And here the marquis of Montrose got horses and ammunition, having but three horses before, and powder only for one charge. Then he became considerable: and he marched through the northern parts by Aberdeen. The marquis of Huntly was in the king's interests; but would not join with him, 38 though his sons did. Astrology ruined him: he believed the stars, and they deceived him: he said often, that neither the king, nor the Hamiltons, nor Montrose would prosper: he believed he should outlive them all, and escape at last; as it happened in conclusion, as to outliving the others. He was naturally a gallant man: but the stars had so subdued him, that he made a poor figure during the whole course of the wars. The marquis of Montrose's success was very mis- Good ad.
B vices given
chievous, and proved the ruin of the king's affairs : to the king, on which I should not have depended entirely, if I had had this only from the earl of Lauderdale, who was indeed my first author: but it was fully confirmed to me by the lord Hollis, who had gone in with great heat into the beginnings of the war: but he soon saw the ill consequences it already had, and the worse that were like to grow with the progress of it: he had in the beginning of the year fortythree, when he was sent to Oxford with the propositions, taken great pains on all about the king to convince them of the necessity of their yielding in time; since the longer they stood out, the conditions would be harder: and when he was sent by the parliament, in the end of the year forty-four, with other propositions, he and Whitlock entered into secret conferences with the king, of which some account is given by Whitlock in his memoirs. They, with other commissioners that were sent to Oxford, possessed the king, and all that were in great credit with him, with this, that it was absolutely necessary the king should put an end to the war by a treaty: a new party of hot men was springing up, that were plainly for changing the government: they were growing much in the army, but were yet far from carrying any thing in the house: they had gained Vol. I. F
much strength this summer: and they might make a great progress by the accidents that another year might produce: they confessed there were many things hard to be digested, that must be done in order to a peace: they asked things that were unreasonable: but they were forced to consent to those demands: otherwise they would have lost their credit with the city and the people, who could not be satisfied without a very entire security, and a full satisfaction: but the extremity to which matters might be carried otherwise made it necessary to come to a peace on any terms whatsoever; since no terms could be so bad as the continuance of the war: the king must trust them, though they were not at that time disposed to trust him so much as it were to be wished: they said farther, that if a peace should follow, it would be a much easier thing to get any hard laws now moved for to be repealed, 39 than it was now to hinder their being insisted on. With these things Hollis told me that the king and many of his counsellors, who saw how his affairs declined, and with what difficulty they could hope to continue the war another year, were satisfied. The king more particularly began to feel the insolence of the military men, and of those who were daily reproaching him with their services; so that they were become as uneasy to him as those of Westminster had been formerly. But some came in the interval from lord Montrose with such an account of what he had done, of the strength he had, and of his hopes next summer, that the king was by that prevailed on to believe his affairs would mend, and that he might afterwards treat on better terms. But not This unhappily wrought so far, that the limitations