Page images

he put on those he sent to treat at Uxbridge made the whole design miscarry. That raised the spirits of those that were already but too much exasperated. The marquis of Montrose made a great progress the next year: but he laid no lasting foundation, for he did not make himself master of the strong places or passes of the kingdom. After his last and greatest victory at Kilsyth, he was lifted up out of measure. The Macdonalds were every where fierce masters and ravenous plunderers: and the other Highlanders, who did not such military executions, yet were good at robbing: and when they had got as much as they could carry home on their backs, they deserted. The Macdonalds also left him to go and execute their revenge on the Argiles country. The marquis of Montrose thought he was now master, but had no scheme how to fix his conquests: he wasted the estates of his enemies, chiefly the Hamiltons J; and went towards the borders of England, though he had but a small force left about him: but he thought his name carried terror with it. So he writ to the king, that he had gone over the land from Dan to Beersheba: he prayed the king to come down in these words, Come thou, and take the city, lest I take it, and it be called by my name. This letter was writ, but never sent; for he was routed, and his papers taken, before he had despatched the courier. [In his defeat, he took too much care of himself; for he was never willing to expose himself too much.] When his papers were taken, many letters of the king, and of others at

j Which might have been an of the marquis of Montrose's inducement for the bishop to transactions. D. give so malicious an account

Oxford, were found, as the earl of Crawford, one appointed to read them, told me; which increased the disgusts: but these were not published. Upon this occasion [the marquis of Argile and the preachers shewed a very bloody temper;] many prisoners that had quarters given them were murdered in cold blood: and as they sent them to some towns that had been ill used by lord Montrose's army, the people in revenge fell on them, and knocked them on the head. Several persons of quality were con40 demned for being with them: and they were proceeded against both with severity and with indignities. The preachers thundered in their pulpits against all that did the work of the Lord deceitfully; and cried out against all that were for moderate proceedings, as guilty of the blood that had been shed. Thine eye shall not pity, and thou shalt not spare, were often inculcated after every execution: they triumphed with so little decency, that it gave all people very ill impressions of them. But this was not the worst effect of Lord Montrose's expedition. It lost the opportunity at Uxbridge: it alienated the Scots much from the king: it exalted all that were enemies to peace. Now they seemed to have some colour for all those aspersions they had cast on the king, as if he had been in a correspondence with the Irish rebels, when the worst tribe of them had been thus employed by himk. His affairs declined totally in England that summer: and lord Hollis said to me, all was owing to lord Montrose's unhappy successes. Antrim's Upon this occasion I will relate somewhat conencTwtth1 cerning the earl of Antrim. I had in my hand

the king

and queen. Lord Clarendon differs from all this. S.

several of his letters to the king in the year 1646, writ in a very confident style: [for he was a very arrogant, as well as a very weak man.] One was somewhat particular: he in a postscript desired the king to send the inclosed to the good woman, without making any excuse for the presumption; by which, as follows in the postscript, he meant his wife, the duchess of Buckingham. This made me more easy to believe a story that the earl of Essex told me he had from the earl of Northumberland: upon the restoration, in the year 1660, lord Antrim was thought guilty of so much bloodshed, that it was taken for granted he could not be included in the indemnity that was to pass in Ireland: upon this he (lord Antrim) seeing the duke of Ormond set against him, came over to London, and was lodged at Somerset House: and it was believed, that having no children, he settled his estate on Jermyn, then earl of St. Alban's: but before he came away, he had made a prior settlement in favour of his brother. He petitioned the king to order a committee of council to examine the warrants that he had acted upon. The earl of Clarendon was for rejecting the petition, as containing a high indignity to the memory of king Charles the first: and said plainly at council table, that if any person had pretended to affirm such a thing while they were at Oxford, he would either have been severely punished for it, or the king would soon have had a very thin court. But it seemed just to see what he had to say for himself: so a committee was named, of which the earl of Northumberland was the chief. He produced to them some of the king's letters: but they did not come up to a full proof. In one of

41 them the king wrote, that he had not then leisure, but referred himself to the queen's letter; and said, that was all one as if he writ himself. Upon this foundation he produced a series of letters writ by himself to the queen, in which he gave her an account of every one of these particulars that were laid to his charge, and shewed the grounds he went on, and desired her directions to every one of these: he had answers ordering him to do as he did. This the queen-mother espoused with great zeal; and said, she was bound in honour to save him. I saw a great deal of that management, for I was then at courtBut it was generally believed, that this train of letters was made up at that time in a collusion between the queen and him: so a report was prepared to be signed by the committee, setting forth that he had so fully justified himself in every thing that had been objected to him, that he ought not to be excepted out of the indemnity. This was brought first to the earl of Northumberland to be signed by him: but he refused it; and said, he was sorry he had produced such warrants, but he did not think they could serve his turn; for he did not believe any warrant from the king or queen could justify so much bloodshed, in so many black instances as were laid against him. Upon his refusal, the rest of the committee did not think fit to sign the report: so it was let fall: and the king was prevailed on to write to the duke of Ormond, telling him that he had so vindicated himself, that he must endeavour to get him to be included in the indemnity. That was done; and was no small reproach to the king, that

1 (The bishop was born in 1643, and did not visit England till 1663. See his Life, by his son, p. 674.)

did thus sacrifice his father's honour to his mother's importunity. Upon this the earl of Essex told me, The

111111 ' 11 • . Dal of the

that he had taken all the pains he could to inquire Irish masinto the original of the Irish massacre, but couldsacre* never see any reason to believe the king had any accession to itm. He did indeed believe that the queen hearkened to the propositions made by the Irish, who undertook to take the government of Ireland into their hands, which they thought they could easily perform: and then, they said, they would assist the king to subdue the hot spirits at Westminster. With this the plot of the insurrection began: and all the Irish believed the queen encouraged it. But in the first design there was no thought of a massacre: that came in head as they were laying the methods of executing it: so, as those were managed by the priests, they were the chief men that set on the Irish to all the blood and cruelty that followed.

I know nothing in particular of the sequel of the war, nor of all the confusions that happened till the murder of king Charles the first: only one passage I had from lieutenant general Drumond, afterwards 42 lord Strathallan. He served on the king's side: but he had many friends among those who were for the covenant: so the king's affairs being now ruined, he was recommended to Cromwell, being then in a treaty with the Spanish ambassador, who was negociating for some regiments to be levied and sent over from Scotland to Flanders: he happened to be with Cromwell when the commissioners, sent from Scotland to protest against the putting the king to death, came to argue the matter with him. Crom

m And who but a beast ever believed it? S.

« PreviousContinue »