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exertion of the royal authority, might have been easily dissipated, had now increased to such a portentous size, that the heavens were black with the clouds and wind of open rebellion. The kingdom was in a mighty distemper, and the disease was contagious, and infected the rest of the king's dominions. in the words of lord Napier, the falling sickness whence men's hearts fell from their obedience and duty to the king, having been tormented with unreasonable fears that he intended to establish popery and superstition, and destroy the liberties and laws of his kingdoms?. Yet, with all these fears, so great was the excitement which was artfully kept up by the committee of parliament, that the people were blind to the rerolutionary changes which had been effected, in opposition to the king and destruction of their own liberty and religion, by the very men who had promoted such a calumny on the king.
The estates of parliament met, according to their own act of adjournment, on the 14th of January, and the king's advocate produced his majesty's warrant for their further adjournment till the 13th of April. They proceeded, notwithstanding, to business, and re-elected the lord Burleigh as the president. An act of continuation was passed, declaring the parliament current, and which was proclaimed by the heralds at the market cross. They next re-established the committee, in whose hands the whole government of the kingdom was reposed, and at the head of which was the earl of Argyle, and then they adjourned till the 13th of April, when they again met, and were again adjourned by his majesty's warrant till the 25th of May. On that day the parliament was again prorogued by the king's warrant till the 15th of July, at which time the king promised to be present himself. At all these meetings the lord Burleigh was elected president for the session. At this meeting an act was passed to prosecute the earl of Traquair, as one of the chief incendiaries, and a warrant was dispatched to the commissioners at London to direct them to return; and another act was passed to prohibit the king's advocate, or any one employed by the king, from acting as his counsel, or for any other of those whom they called incendiaries, under the pain of high treason.
In the neantime the committee commenced that vigorous persecution against the loyal noblemen, who had entered into a band or association for the preservation of the monarchy, which, if the king had adopted in time against his enemies, he need not have been in his present distress. A band had been
· Napier's Montrose and Covenanters, i. 421.
entered into by Montrose, and some other conservative noblemen,“ to save the monarchy and the best interests of the country from that rampant democracy of which they eventually became the prey, and the simple design was to persuade his majesty to come in person to Scotland, to satisfy the people on the subject of religion and liberties, and there to save the prerogatives of the crown from the lawless attacks of a grasping faction!.” This association was kept a profound secret; yet it was suspected that something of the kind was in existence, and which was confirmed by the lord Boyd, who made some mysterious allusion to it on his death-bed. Argyle's guilty conscience took the alarm, and he paid a visit to lord Almond, ut Callender, who, in the unsuspecting confidence of private friendship, communicated the whole affair to the dictator, who reported it to the committee. Montrose, and as many of the associates as could be found, were cited to appear. They frankly acknowledged the band by which they were united to preserve the monarchy from the usurpation of unprincipled men, that made a cloak of religion. They were declared censurable by the committee; but some of the presbyterian ministers pressed that they might be executed as traitors, and which would have been done, had not Argyle considered that they were too powerful to take such a violent course with them. The affair was therefore patched up by a mutual compromise, and the banded lords made a written declaration that they intended nothing against the public peace. They surrendered the band itself, and it was burnt by order of the committee 2.
A treaty was concluded betwixt the king and the Scottish commissioners, and as their lip-loyalty was so great, he naturally concluded that they were sincere in their professions; but he was soon undeceived. They issued a declaration of their grievances, with which they artfully mixed up some of the puritan complaints, and expressed their zeal against episcopacy in England, and for the earl of Strafford and the archbishop of Canterbury's blood. Dr. Laud says, “I was made the author of all, and presently a committee put upon me to inquire into my actions, and prepare a charge. The same morning, in the upper house, I was named as an incendiary in an accusation put in by the Scottish commissioners: for now by this time they were come to that article of the treaty which reflected upon me.
And this was done with noise, to bring me yet farther into hatred with the people, especially the Lon
Napier's Montrose and Covenanters, ii. 422.
doners, who approved too well of the proceedings of their brethren the Scots, and debased the bishops and church government in England. The articles which the Scots put into the upper house (by the hands of their lords commissioners, against me, December 15th), were read there December 16th. I took out a true copy as it follows here.” This charge consists of three long articles; but the whole is pithily condensed into the preamble, and which is as follows:
“ The novations in religion (which are universally acknowledged to be the main cause of commotions in kingdoms and states, and are known to be the true cause of our present troubles) were many and great; besides the Books of Ordination and Homilies. Ist. Some particular alterations in matters of religion, pressed upon us without order and against law, contrary to the form established in our kirk.-2dly. A new Book of Canons and constitutions ecclesiastical.-3dly. A Liturgy, or Book of Common Prayer; which did also carry with them many dangerous errors in matters of doctrine. Of all these we challenge the prelate of Canterbury, as the prime cause on earth 1."
All these charges, however," the prelate of Canterbury" triumphantly refuted, and proved that he merely acted by his majesty's commands, as dean of the chapel-royal, in conveying his majesty's instructions to the Scottish bishops, and receiving their answers, and laying them before the king. It was charged against him, that he had inserted in the Scottish liturgy the doctrine of transubstantiation; but he says, “they must pardon me; I know it is not there.” They cited the prayer of invocation to prove their position; but he says, “ the change here in the elements] is made a work of God's omnipotency. Well, and a work of omnipotency it is, whatever the change be; for less than omnipotence cannot change those elements either in nature or use to so high a service as they are put in that great sacrament. And, therefore, the invocating of God Almighty's goodness to effect this by them, is no proof at all of intending the corporal presence of Christ in ihis sacrament. 'Tis true this invocation is not in the prayer of consecration in the Service-book of England; but I wish with all my heart it were. For though the consecration of the elements may be without it, yet it is much more solemn and full by that invocation 2.” Archbishop Laud's defence was given in to the House of Lords, and sent to the Commons, who had
| Troubles and Trial, pp. 86, 87.
? Ibid. p. 121.
no articles drawn up, but immediately came up in haste and impeached the archbishop of high treason, when he was committed to the Tower. The covenanting commissioners were in league with the leaders of the movement among the Commons, and the whole charge of impeachment and imprisonment of the “ prelate of Canterbury” was well understood and arranged beforehand. He fixes the brand of ingratitude on the Scots commissioners; for, says he, “ the Scottish nation in general, the city of Edinburgh in special, and very many particular men of good worth, and some men of honour, besides clergymen of all sorts, during the time I had interest in court, have been more beholden to me than to any ten English subjects of what rank and condition soever, and this his majesty knows, and I dare say will witness. And for their present afflictions of which they speak, the current of this discourse will shew to the indifferent reader what a principal means I have been of them. In the meantime, I little deserved from them the name of this great firebrand, for many of them have warmed themselves at me, but yet I never fired any of them ?.”
Suspicion of Montrose's loyalty now haunted the minds of Argyle and the committee, and that gallant nobleman again fell into trouble after the adjournment of parliament on the 25th of May. The reverend John Graham, of Auchterarder, was challenged by the committee for a speech which he had uttered to the disparagement of Argyle. He acknowledged his speech, and gave the reverend Robert Murray, minister of Methven, as his authority; and who, being present, confessed having given the information, and said he had received it from the earl of Montrose. His lordship admitted having said that “ when the earl of Athol and those eight gentlemen with him, whom my lord Argyle made prisoners, were in Argyle's tent at the ford of Lion, Argyle spoke publicly to this sense that they had consulted both lawyers and divines anent the deposing of the king, and had gotten resolution that it might be done in three cases—1, Desertion; 2, Invasion ; 3, Vendition; and that once they thought to have done it at the last sitting of parliament, and would do it at the next sitting thereof.' Montrose asserted that he had received his information from Mr. John Stuart, commissary of Dunkeld, who was present in Argyle's tent when these words were spoken.” To prevent his enemies from tampering with Stuart, or of inducing him to quit the king
? Troubles and Trial, p. 136.
dom and leave him wholly to Argyle's vengeance, Montrose sent some friends to Dunkeld to bring Stuart to Edinburgh, where he arrived on the 30th of May, and the next day appeared before the committee, and subscribed a paper bearing all that Montrose had said in his name. Argyle broke out into a passion, and with great oaths denied the whole and every part of this accusation, which excited considerable astonishment amongst his associates, who knew better. Stuart was committed to the castle, and a few days afterwards lord Balmerino and lord Dury were sent by the committee to examine and draw him out; and, says Guthry," they did try another way with him, and dealt with him, that he would rather take the task upon himself than let Argyle lie under such a blunder.” They persuaded him that by exculpating Argyle he might save his own life, which was now in hazard, and who would prefer and enrich him; therefore Stuart agreed to assert that he had told a lie, and wrote a letter next day to the effect that he himself had forged the story out of malice to Argyle. He went farther, and alleged that by the advice of Montrose, lord Napier, sir George Stirling of Keir, and sir Andrew Stewart of Blakhall, he had sent a copy of Argyle's speech to the king by the hands of Captain Walter Stewart. The captain was arrested on his return with despatches from the king to Montrose and Napier, and sent to the castle. Montrose and the other gentlemen were likewise committed to the castle, a manæuvre which removed the king's friends from all intercourse with him when he arrived in August. The lord advocate gave it as his opinion that although Mr. Stuart had removed the guilt of treason from Argyle, yet, because the world miglit allege that he had been bribed, which in fact he was, to make a recantation, he ought to suffer, for Argyle's vindication and future safety. Without any form of trial, but simply upon his own simulated confession, he was beheaded in the month of July. Bishop Guthry relates these circumstances as of his own knowledge, having been chosen by Stuart to attend him in his last moments, from whom he had the whole relation, and who blamed himself much for having, by asserting an untruth, been accessory to his own death in the preposterous hope of saving his life, after having implicated so implacable and powerful an enemy as the earl of Argyle. “Alas!" says Mr. Napier, «« the plotters' were sent to the castle on the 11th of June thereafter, and when Charles arrived in Scotland he was welcomed only by his enemies. He had just been compelled to sign the death-warrant of his greatest statesman in England, and now, the few who struggled to save his honour and his