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sion of Strathbogie. He plundered his lands of two thousand horses and cattle, and many thousands of sheep, which he sold back again to their owners, at 54s. Scotch each. From Strathbogie he marched to Banff, the 2d of August,“ where he plays the devil, and demolishes the lord Banff's house. Here I leave him, plundering and destroying the policy of the land, and reducing all those that formerly danced after Huntly and Banff's fiddling (who called themselves the king's friends) to the obedience of the covenant."
On the 14th April, a provincial synod was held by the archbishop of Canterbury, which granted the king a subsidy for the public service. The king, by his letter of the 17th May, desired the synod to “conclude upon such a canon as may secure us and all our loving subjects against all growth and increase of popery in this our kingdom, as also of any heretical or schismatical opinions, to the prejudice of the doctrine or discipline of this church of England, established by law. . And to agree upon some oath to be taken by yourselves and all the clergy respectively, and by all which shall hereafter take on them holy orders, that they shall adhere constantly to the doctrine and discipline here established, and never give way ( : ...) to any innovation or alteration thereof." The synod sat till the 29th May, when it was dissolved.
The General Assembly met at Aberdeen on the 28th of July; but there was no peer to represent the king. On the second session, Andrew Ramsay, one of the ministers whom they had elected moderator, “ asked, in the face of the Assembly, if there was any commissioner come from his majesty ; and finding there was none, the Assembly proceeded according to their liberties.” Acts were made for the demolition of idolatrous monuments, and against witches and charmers. In the fifth session, “ the Assembly ordains, that such as have subscribed the covenant, and speak against the same, if he be a minister, shall be deprived ; and if he continue so, being deprived, shall be excommunicated; and if he be any other man, shall be dealt with as perjured, and satisfy publicly for his perjury.” The last act was against the expectants who refused to subscribe the covenant, and who were declared “ incapable of a pedagogic teaching of a school, reading at a kirk, preaching within a presbytery, and shall not have liberty of residing within a burgh, university, or college: and if they continue obstinate, to be processed 3." The Assembly then dissolved itself, and appointed the next meeting to be at St. Andrews, on the third Tuesday of July, 1641. The moderator was instructed, “in a convenient way, by the secret council or otherwise, as may best serve, to request the king's majesty to send his commissioner to the said Assembly; and if any exigent fall out, that the presbytery of Edinburgh give advertisement for an Assembly pro re natal.” Balfour observes, very justly, that there
· Balfour's Annals, ii. 380-82. 2 Nalson's Collections, i. 351-73.
s Johnston's Acts of Assembly, p. 91-94.
was no business of any consequence handled, but only a persecution against all such ministers as did not relish the covenant well, was raised ; and the execution thereof remitted to a committee of ministers and ruling elders 2"
The Covenanter chiefs sent a peremptory order to the several counties, to collect their men, and send them forward without delay towards the capital, where they would be placed under the command of general officers. At the same time, the committee of the covenanting ministers who sat at Edinburgh wrote pressing letters to the presbyteries to preach up the covenant, and inflame the public mind with those imaginary dangers of the king's attempting to bring in popery, and its usually arbitrary government, and in all other ways to accelerate the enrolment and despatch of troops. The rich burgesses ill relished the melting down of their plate, and becaine very slack in offering it; but the ministers beset their wives and daughters, who persuaded them to comply, and the royalists gave the covenant the name of the Golden Calf. It was observed that the chiefs of this rebellion were the most backward in contributing either money or plate; and Argyle, who had reached the summit of authority among them, made no advance whatever3.
The spirits of the rebels were greatly cheered by the arrival of lord Loudon from his imprisonment for high treason in the Tower. The Covenanters had so far fraternised with their natural friends, the papists, that they had written the following letter to the king of France, soliciting his assistance in money and arms, to prosecute the war against their sovereign. It appears exceedingly inconsistent in the Covenanters, who had bound themselves under an oath and covenant to extirpate popery and superstition, to fraternise with papists, and the upholders of idolatry; and, accordingly, some of the more fanatical of the Covenanters objected to the solicitation of military assistance from the French, not on the grounds of its
Johnston's Collections, 91-94. 9 Balfour's Annals, ü. 382-3.
3 Guthry's Memoirs, 63, VOL. II.
being unpatriotic, or of dangerous consequences to political liberty, but because “a confederacy with Lutherans, but much more with papists, was a leaning to the rotten reed of Egypt. The letter was addressed “au roi," as if the French king had been their natural sovereign
“SIRE,—Your majesty being the asylum and sanctuary of afflicted princes and states, we have found it necessary to send this gentleman, the Sieur Colville, to represent to your majesty the candour and openness not only of our actions and proceedings, but also of our intentions, which we wish to be engraven and displayed to the
whole world, and also to your majesty, as if by a sun-beam. We therefore very humbly beg of you, Sire, to grant your faith and credence to him and to all he shall say on our part touching our affairs; being well assured, Sire, of an assistance equal to the former accustomed clemency which you have so often shewn to this nation, which will never cede to any other the glory of being, Sire, for ever, your very humble, obedient, and very affectionate servants, (signed,) Rothes, Montrose, Leslie, Mar, Montgomery, Loudon, Forrester.”
This most treasonable letter was intercepted, and delivered to the king, who mentioned it in his speech from the throne at the opening of his English parliament, and which letter was read to the members. It was signed by several noblemen; but of these Loudon was the only one who was then in London, and he was accordingly arrested, and sent to the Tower. He came up as one of the deputation sent by the Tables; and they carried themselves with as much dignity and authority as if they had been ambassadors of some foreign and independent power, who were treating with the king on a footing of equality; " but then,” says Clarendon, “they polished this sturdy behaviour with all the professions of submission and duty which their language could comprehend 2.”
On perusing this treasonable letter the privy council were of opinion that it ought not to be overlooked; and Loudon having been brought before them, refused to give any other answer than “ that it was written before the agreement [at Birks), and thereupon was reserved, and never sent; that if he had committed any offence, he ought to be questioned for it in Scotland, and not in England; he, therefore, insisted upon his safe conduct, and demanded liberty to return." He was committed to the Tower, where he remained for some time. The marquis of Hamilton visited him there; and, through his influence with the king, procured the enlargement of his liberty
Nalson's Collection, i. 311. 2 History of the Rebellion, i. 211.
from a solitary apartment to three or four rooms, next to the freedom of the whole fortress, and at last to his full liberty. He next brought him to Court, where he kissed the king's hand; and Charles was so infatuated as to take this traitor into favour, and to send him down to Scotland with a commission to reduce the covenanters to obedience!!
Thus Charles was betrayed, on all hands, by those men on whose fidelity he reposed a fatal confidence that they would perform their respective sworn duties; but who pretended to misunderstand his instructions, and who wilfully acted in direct opposition to his known will and designs, and his peremptory commands, which he unfortunately wanted firmness to enforce. Indeed, it appears evident that God had given over the chief actors in the transactions of these times to a reprobate mind; had placed a lying spirit in the mouths of the presbyterian ministers, a strong
delusion to believe their lies on the people, and an infatuated monomania of concession, confidence in false friends, and infirmity of purpose on the king himself, that was fatal to his crown and life, as preludes to a national punishment for national crimes. De Foe has well described a covenanter, when he says,-“ It is no difficulty for him to take oaths against what he really purposes to do; to abjure the cause he from his breast espouses, and the person
he reserves his allegiance for; no parliament will make an oath he will not take, and should you ask him to abjure God or the devil, the matter is equal; for if he abjures the last, he is never the farther off from his service, and if he does not abjure the first, he is never the nearer to regard him. Under this jury are couched and concealed innumerable mischiefs, such as these : he becomes protected by the very government he abhors; he eats the bread of the nation he betrays, obtains the favour of the prince he conspires to depose ; he is cherished by the poor well-meaning creatures that he debauches; he is embraced by that church he in his heart disowns, and he is ignorantly received by those that in their hearts abhor his designs.” They addressed a foreign prince at the very time that they were swearing fidelity to their own natural sovereign, and calling God to witness the sincerity of their loyalty. In the session of parliament for this and the succeeding years, they insidiously but quietly effected a complete revolution, which subverted the fundamental laws of the kingdom, and paved the way for the republic and the dictatorship of Argyle, and all the bloodshed and national infamy, distress, and suffering, that followed.
· Hist. of the Rebellion, i. 211, 212.-Nalson's Collection, i. 377.
PRESBYTERIES, THE COVENANT, AND THE GRAND REBELLION.
1640.-The Covenanting forces rendezvous at Dunse-passage of the Tweed
their proclamation—the military presbytery-passage of the Tyne-Newcastle occupied.—The king repairs to York-his proclamation.—The Covenanters petition the king-earl Strafford's advice-Hamilton's counsel - Leslie's oppression.—Treaty of Rippon-removed to London.-Meeting of the English parliament--and of the Scottish parliament.--A popish plot.—Sir William Boswell's letter.- Plots of the jesuits-Monsieur Conn's intrigues.-Impeachment of the earl of Strafford.— Acts of the English parliament.—Bishops interrupted in their way to the House-Conduct of the Commons.-Reflections.
1640.-IT HAVING BEEN unanimously agreed to invade the realm of England, the covenanting troops rendezvoused at Dunse on the 27th July, where they lingered in inactivity a full month. The passage of the Tweed was made at Coldstream on the 21st of August, when dice were cast to see who should be the leading traitor, and the first to pass the Rubicon. The lot fell on Montrose; “either it was so managed, to test his willingness, and commit him conspicuously in the rebellion, or the fortune was remarkable?." Sir Alexander Leslie had been again chosen the general; and a declaration was issued, to precede the rebel forces," wherein they obtest the all-seeing God, that they intended not the least diminution of the king's honour and greatness, nor any prejudice or hurt to England, but only to seek their peace!" To assault the king, and invade the realm of England, appears, to the uninitiated in covenant ing casuistry, rather a strange way of “ seeking peace and ensuing it;" but such was the hypocrisy of the age, that the worst acts of sedition and rebellion were always reputed to be done for the glory of God, and to make the king the most glorious and exalted monarch in the world!
In this expedition every regiment was attended by a chaplain, who was always “the most eminent of the ministers in the bounds where they were raised;" and, consequently, their parishioners were left without“ supply of sermon.” Mr. Henderson, Mr. Robert Blair, Mr. John Livingstone, Mr. Robert Baillie, Mr. Andrew Cant, Mr. George Gillespie, and others,
· Napier's Montrose and the Covenanters, i. 318.