Page images
[ocr errors]

Char.I. gave such an advantage to his enemies, who knew but too 1642. well how to improve it, that it was no longer practicable

for him to recover the confidence of those who till then had

preserved some good-will towards him. Before this, the
design of divesting the king of his authority was a secret
among some of the leaders of the party, who were labour-
ing to accomplish it by degrees, without daring to be too
open, so that it was not ealy to know perfectly, they had
really such a design. But it was not so easy to deceive the
king, who was chiefly concerned. He saw, that his autho-
rity was gradually undermining, and readily perceived,
where this mine would end at laft, if suffered to continue.
In this perplexity, he found it incumbent on him to take
precautions, in order to oppose his enemies : But on the
other hand, he was sensible he should make his cause bad,
if he fell upon the parliament itself, which was seduced by
these able leaders, and thereby set the whole nation against
him. This confideration, very likely, induced him to at-
tack in particular the lord Kimbolton with five of the most
powerful commoners, imagining they would be sent to the
Tower upon his accusation, and then the parliament, as be-
ing no longer directed by these men, would be better in-
clined in his favour. He was not only deceived in his con-
jecture, but did himself also an irretrievable injury, in that
the precaution he would have taken to secure himself from
the secret practices of some private persons, passed for a
settled design upon the whole parliament. He thereby con-
firmed the suspicions which were infusing into the people,
that he was seeking to render himself absolute, as he had
formerly been ; and from thence it naturally followed, that
therefore it was necessary to put it out of his power to exe-
cute that design.

Then it was that this resolution, taken first by some few,
was approved by the majority, and endeavoured to be effec-
tually executed, by beginning with the important affair of
the militia. For, depriving the king of the power to com-
mand the militia, and lodging this power in the hands of
persons devoted to the parliament, was properly disarming
him entirely. The king's condition growing much worse,
he easily perceived, that as his enemies managed, there was
no medium for him, between being a llave or rendering
himself master. He was unwilling to be a slave, and it
was difficult to become master, in his circumstances, and
especially, having to deal with very able and watchful ene-
mies. Very probably, in the belief of the impossibility to


free himself from his present danger but by a war, he re-CHAR.I. folved to send the queen into Holland to buy arms and 1642. ammunition, to retire to York himself, and to try to secure Hull, though he coloured his designs with other pretences. He saw that the parliament reckoned among the pretended malignants, not only such as openly appeared for the king, but also those who were for preserving any moderation, and that many

fuffered themselves to be drawn into the same plot, out of fear, and because they could not be secure of protection, in case they declared against the two houses. He thought, therefore, he should chiefly endeavour to render himself able to protect those who dared to espouse his cause openly. But moreover, as the parliament never ceased to infuse suspicions into the people, it was absolutely necessary for the king to try to efface these impressions, so prejudicial to him. Hence flowed, in all the papers published by him concerning the militia, those fo frequent expreflions of his affection for his people, and his attachment to the laws. His aim was to Thew the nation, that the parliament acted directly contrary to law, in usurping an authority which belonged not to them. As it was by the very fame thing that the king had given occasion to the people to be prejudiced against him, he hoped, the usurpations of the parliament would produce the same effect. But herein he was much mistaken. The people were persuaded, that the king, without any provocation, had invaded the privileges of the subject, during the first fifteen years of his reign, whereas if the parliament had in any thing incroached upon the rights of the king, it was in maintenance of the nation's liberties, and for the revival of the laws.

Though it was hard to prove by unquestionable evidence, that the king had formed the project of seizing, at once, the Tower of London, Portsmouth, and Hull, there were, however, so great signs of it, that it would have been very imprudent in the parliament, not to think of securing those places in the present situation of affairs. Sir John Byron lieutenant of the Tower was a man devoted to the king. The earl of Newcastle had been sent to Hull, under a bor-Rushworth, rowed name, and information was given, that he would IV. p. 564. have persuaded the mayor to deliver that place to him. As for Portsmouth, the journcy the queen was to take thither on some pretence, and the meeting of the officers at Kingfton, were more than sufficient to breed strong suspicions on that account. In fhort, the lord Clarendon freely owns the T.1.p.396, king's defigns upon Portsmouth and Huil, tho' he mentions &c.


A 2

Char.I. not the Tower. Had these designs succeeded, the king 1642. would have been master of the three principal forts of the

kingdom, with the magazincs of the Tower and Hull, and thereby enabled to subdue the parliament. These projects failing, as I have said, the king endeavoured, as well as he could, to ftifle them, and make them pass for imaginary. But the two houses judged otherwise of them. Accordingly, the commons never rested till the lieutenancy of the Tower was given to one they could confide in, and 'Hotham fent to Hull. As for Portfmouth, the parliament not miltrusting Goring the governor, because he was the person that discovered the plot to seduce the army, were contented with sending him sufficient orders, as they thought, for the preservation of the place. From that time, there was no more mention of Portsmouth, for the king found ineans to gain colonel Goring, who promised to declare for him at a proper time, as he did accordingly.

Notwithstanding the king's ill success in his secreet undertakings, he persisted in his design to free himself by force from the slavery to which it was intended to reduce him,

perceiving it would be impossible for him to succeed any Annais. other way. To that end, doubtless, he sent the queen to Wi.itelock. Holland, and having but little money to give her, put into

her hands the crown-jewels, which were used in buying arms and ammunition. If the queen’s voyage had been only to conduct the princess Mary to the prince her spouse and to drink the waters of the Spa, there would have been no occasion to give her wherewithal to buy arms and ammunition. Very probably therefore the king from that time thought of war, whether it were offenfive or defensive only. But his attempt upon Hull, where was a magazine of arms for sixteen thousand men, is a ftill clearer evidence. The

king himself had caused these arms to be brought to Hull, Rushworth, when he had resolved to make war upon Scotland. IV. p. 564.

When the parliament sent Sir John Hotham down to The king's Hull, the king complained not of it, whether he was apdesign upon

prehensive of being reproached with attempting to secure Rushworth, that place, or to amuse the parliament and hinder them IV. P. 565. from taking great precautions. Mean while, both houses Both houses finding the king at a distance from London, and fearing for petition the Hull on account of the magazine there, petitioned him, to king to re- order the magazine to be removed te the Tower of London. magazine at The king answered, “ He rather expected, that both houses Hull to the “ would have given him an account, why a governor and Tower, “ garrison had been placed in Hull without his knowledge,

" than



gentry a

ft than to be moved to consent for the removal to the Tower CHAR.I. " of a magazine (which were his own proper goods) upon 1642. “ such general reasons, as gave no satisfaction to his judg

The king's “ ment: that in short, he would not agree to the removal

answer, " of these arms, till he knew for what service they were ibid. “ intended : and if any attempt should be made in this Clarendon, “ matter without his approbation, he should esteem it as

T. I. p. 382,

396, &c. “ the greatest violation of his right.” A little after, fome Petition of gentlemen of the county of York petitioned the king, that some of the the magazine might not be removed, by reason they con

gainst received the kingdom, and particularly the north, to be in dan-moving the ger. This perition was probably begged, since affairs were magazine. not yet in such a situation, that private persons tould dare

Ruhworth, to present an address to the king, directly contrary to that IV. p. 566. of the parliament, had they not been encouraged thereto. It is certain, the king intended to seize Hull with the mag zine. He was desirous to have a place, which would enable him to protect his adherents, and depended upon this magazine to arm them in due time. This was the cause of his refusing to remove the arms to the Tower, though he alledged other reasons. The parliament also, on their part, urged for the removal reasons that were not the true ones. At last, finding the king would not consent to it, they or- Part of the dered most of the magazine to be brought to the Tower, magazine, without asking his approbation any more.

The king and the parliament used all possible endeavours by the parto make the people believe, that in all their proceedings, Clarendon, they had no other motive than their good and the kingdom's T.I.P.385 advantage. From these protestations it is, that the historians 396. take their strongest arguments to demonstrate the innocence and sincerity of the party, whose cause they undertake to support. But the impartial reader muft pci use the manifeftoes, and all the papers of that kind with great caution for fear of being drawn into error. It is certain, the king intended to become master of Hull, that he might not be at the parliament's mercy: but it is not so certain, that herein his view was only to maintain the constitution of the government, that the laws might be punctually executed. On the other hand, the parliament had ferit Hotham to Hull, to hinder the king from seizing the town: but who can affirm, that their real aim was to prevent the malignant party from making use of it, to establish an arbitrary power and insave the kingdom ?

The king's design broke out the 23d of April, when the affair of the militia was agitated with great heat on both A3


removed to the Tower


T.I.P. 397.

CHAR.I. fides. The day before, he had sent to Hull the duke of 1642. York his second son, with the young elector Palatine his

nephew, under colour of seeing the place, and very likely The king these two princes had a pretty numerous retinue. Hotham

and the mayor received them with all the respect due to Rushworth, their rank. The princes were entertained the first day by IV. p. 567. the mayor, and invited to dine with the governor on the Clarendon,

morrow being St. George's-day. But the entertainment was disturbed by an officer, Sir Lewis Dives, who came a little before dinner, and told the governor, that his majesty intended to dine with him, being then within four miles of the town, with a train of above three hundred horse a Hotham, surprised at this message, consulted with some of his friends , and it was resolved among them, that a mersenger should be dispatched to the king, humbly to beseech him to forbear to come, foraímuch as he could not, without betraying the trust committed to him, set open the gates to so great a guard as he came attended with. The meflenger returning with a doubtful answer, and certifying of the king's advance to the town, Hotham drew up the bridge, shut the gates, and commanded the soldiers to stand to their arms round the walls. The king being come to Beverleygate, called for the governor, who appearing on the walls, he commanded him to open

The governor answered, “ He was intrusted by the parliament for the secu“ ring of the town for his majesty's honour, and the king"dom's use, which he intended by God's help to do; prof“fering, however, that if his majesty would be pleased to

come in with twelve more, he should be welcome, other“ wise he could not, without betraying his trust to the state, 66 admit entrance to so great a guard.

But the king refusing to enter on these terms, repeated several times his command to open the gate, and still received the same answer. Presently after, the duke of York, and the prince elector went out of the town and came to the king, who was pleased to give the governor one hour more to consider


the gate.

[ocr errors]

a The lord Clarendon fays, that the of this offer of Hotham's, but only king came attended with two or three that he should say, he would not adhundred of his servants, and gentlemen mit him, though with twenty horfe of the country, T. I. p. 397.

only. Indeed it does not seem likely, 'b Particularly with Mr. Pelham, that the king would have stood upon member of parliament and alderman eight horse, since he offered to come of Hull. Rushworth, Tom. IV. p. in but with twenty. Clarendon, Tom. 567.

I. p. 397. Whitelock, p. 57.
Ć This is Rushworth's account: See d But they were not suffered to go
Tom. IV. p. 567, 573. But the lord out, till after some consultation. Ruth.
Clarendon, and Whitelock say nothing worth, Tom. IV. p. 568.

« PreviousContinue »