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BOOK council in which the assurance was contained. His
former extrajudicial confession, the only evidence
admonished Lauderdale of the existence of the act, BOOK
VII. possessed neither virtue nor fortitude sufficient to attest the fact, as a witness or as a judge, but pro. nounced condemnation to death, upon a man whom his evidence ought to have preserved. 71
Before the jury had returned a verdict, the four and execu-lords, as soon as the court had adjourned, examin- Jan. 18. ed the books of council where the evidence of their perjury was recorded, and where it is still preserv, ed to their eternal reproach. Their conduct suffi. ciently evinces the persuasion under which they acted, that there was no record of their assurance to Mitchel; and they still affected to believe, that nothing more was intended than a promise to intercede with the king for his life. The blame was transferred from the chancellor who subscribed, to the clerk who inserted the assurance in their mi. nutes; the latter discovered that the act of council was framed by Nisbet, from whom they proposed to levy a severe fine; but the latter procured nine privy counsellors who offered to swear, and lord Hatton's letters also were produced to prove, that a full assurance of life had been approved and confirmed by the privy council, when engrossed in its books. Lauderdale was at length inclined to grant a respite till the king was consulted; but the primate was inexorable. He urged that the example was absolutely necessary to preserve his life from assassins, to which Lauderdale assented with a
State Trials, ii. 627.
BOOK profane and inhuman jest.72 Doubtless the fana.
ticism of Mitchel was of the most daring and atro. cious nature; but the guilt of that fanatick is lost in the complicated perfidy, cruelty, perjury and revenge which accomplished his death. It was the ardent desire of ministers to involve the whole body of presbyterians in his guilt; but in the prosecution of this object they incurred the just imputation of more detestable crimes. Horror and universal execration were excited by the treachery and almost unexampled perjuries of the first ministers in the church and in the state; and the precautions employed by Sharp for his safety and revenge, contributed two years afterwards to his disastrous fate.
ya “ Nay, then, let him glorify God in the Grass-market," the place of execution. Burnet, ii. 80. Wodrow, i. 375.514.
SCOTLA N D.
Introduction of the Highlanders, and their severities
in the West.-Murder of Sharp.--Insurrection of Bothwell Bridge - Suppressed by MonmouthDuke of York's administration Act of succession, and the test-Argyle's trial and escape.-Ryehouse plot-Prostitution of Justice, Executions, Extortions, Murders in the fields—Death and character of Charles II.
1678. Pretext for
N the marriage of the prince of Orange with BOOK
the princess Mary, eldest daughter of the duke of York, an alliance was lastily concluded with Holland, in consequence of a transient dis- a standing gust at the French court. A large army was appointed to be raised, and the king, if supported by the English parliament, was apparently determined
BOOK' to consult for once the inclination of the people,
and the interest of the rest of Europe, by a war with France. But the popular party were alarmed at an army of twenty thousand men, suddenly raised within six weeks: thcy apprehended that the military force with which they had intrusted the court, was intended, not to prosecute the war abroad, but to subvert their religion and their liberties at home. From late discoveries, it appears indisputable that their apprehensions were just. The duke of York, who considered his religion as otherwise lost, had resumed the design of procuring a large army, which he expected to command in person, and by reducing the kingdom to subjection, proposed to render his brother absolute, and to secure his own precarious succession to the throne. The exccution of this desperate design was prevented by the combination of the popular leaders with the court of France; and the army, which was equally formidable to both, was dissolved by a secret treaty, or money transaction, between the latter and Charles.
Sir John Dalrymple's Memoirs, vol. i. p. 165–53–9. oct. edit. “The duke of York (says Barillon) believes himself “ lost as to his religion, if the present opportunity does not « serve to bring England into subjection; it is a very bold en“ terprise, and the success very doubtful. The king still wa“ vers upon carrying things to extremity ; his humour is very “ repugnant to the design of changing the government. He “ is, nevertheless, drawn along by the duke of York and the
high treasurer." Id. 194.