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executed with his approbation, if not subscribed BOOK with his hand; and his refusal to alleviate the calamities of his subjects, bespeaks a cruel, unfor. 1685. giving, and obdurate heart; irreconcileable to the presbyterians from former indignities, and though exempt from religious bigotry, secretly gratified with religious persecution,

THE

HISTORY

OF

SCOTLAND.

BOOK IX.

Accession, and Parliament of James.-Argyle's In

vasion and Execution.Opposition to the repeal of the Penal Laws and the Test.Dispensing powers exerted.--Origin and progress of the Revolution in England-in Scotland.--Convention of Estates.--Forfeiture of the Crown by James,-its settlement on the Prince and Princess of Orange.

BOOK

IX.

WHATEVER O

of James.

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HATIVER opposition had been made to

a popish successor, in the preceding reign, accession there was no party now to resist or to disturb the

accession of James. The administration of the three kingdoms had been placed in his hands and when the alarm of the popish, was succeeded by the detection of the Ryehouse plot, the English, apparently, were not averse from a tacit compromise for the surrender of their libertics, if their religion were preserved. The first ambiguous declaration of James, that he would neither de.

BOOK
IX.

1685,

laud.

part from his just prerogatives, nor invade the established government in church or state, was represented as the word of a prince never yet broken, and magnified as a security above all law. Addresses from every corporate body promised a secure and permanent authority, if from servile corporations, who had surrendered their privileges or suffered them to be violated, it were possible to collect the latent spirit or the sentiments of the people.

His accession was equally secure in Scotland. 'n ScotAmong the nobility and gentry, his residence there had procured many personal friends, and the royalists were attached to his person by the impunity with which they were indulged in the abuse of power; the highlanders, by his attention to their chieftains, and his care to compose the dissensions of their clans. The presbyterians appeared the objects rather of his commiseration than fear. An indemnity was proclaimed on his accession; but an act of ostentatious clemency was disappointed, as usual, by the exception of all above the rank of mechanics or peasants, and the unhappy fugitives were required to surrender within three weeks, and to submit to the oath of allegiance or to perpetual exile. While the oath of allegiance was thus exacted, it is observable that the coronation oath for Scotland was declined by James, as repugnant to the religion which he proposed to introduce; but the omission was em

IX.

1685.

BOOK ployed, in a few years, to justify the declaration

that he had forfeited the throne !

The indemnity afforded no intermission to the Tyranny continued. murders in the fields; on the contrary, military

violence continued to increase. The wretched fugitives were daily shot; or, if tried by a jury of soldiers, were executed, often in clusters, on the highways; and the officers, who should have restrained the troops, were accustomed, with a savage fury, to pistol the prisoners with their own hands. Even the humanity of government was barbarous, and disgraceful to a civilized state. Numbers were transported to Jamaica, Barbadoes, and the North American settlements; but the women were not unfrequently burnt in the cheek, and the ears of the men were lopt off to prevent or to detect their return. The most inhuman injunctions which the council had issued, were implicitly executed. Three women at Wigton, who refused the oath of abjuration, were condemned to be drowned. The youngest, a child of thirteen, was suffered to escape. But her sister, a girl of eighteen, and the other, a woman upwards of sixty, were fastened to stakes beneath the sea mark, that as the tide filowed around them, they might suffer the lingering horrors of a protracted death. The eldest was first suffocated by the rising tide. The youngest was suffered to recover, and after respiring awhile, was persuaded by her relations, to

> Wodrow, ii. 471--3. Fount. Mem. MS.

IX.

1685.

to acknowledge or bless the king; but when they BOOK
demanded her release, Winram, the oslicer who
attended the execution, on her refusing to sign
the abjuration, ordered her to be plunged again
into the stream till drowned ?.

A parliament, summoned in the preceding A parlia-
reign, was opened by Queensberry the commis- April 28.
sioner, who had engaged to render the govern-
ment more despotical than ever, on assurance that
the protestant religion should be preserved. The
king's intentions were signified in the most arbi-
trary strain, that the estates were assembled, not
only to express their duty, but to exhibit an ex-
emplary compliance to others (the English parlia-
ment); that his demands were necessary rather
for their own security than for the aggrandize-
ment of his prerogative, which he was determined
to maintain in its brightest lustre; and as nothing
had been left unattempted, by a fanatical band of
assassins and traitors, he trusted that no measure
would be omitted to suppress their murderous
designs. The commissioner and the chancellor,
who enlarged successively on the letter, indulged
in the most virulent invectives against the fanatics,
whom they humanely proposed to extirpate, not
as rebels merely to the king, but as inveterate
enemies to the human race. They recommended
the most unreserved submission, and never per-
haps was a parliament assembled more obsequious

2 Wodrow, ii. 481-5, 6. Appen. 153,

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