« PreviousContinue »
CHA P. they might serve. Hating monarchy, while a sub
1x. ject; despising liberty, while a citizen; though he 1649. retained for a time all orders of men under a seem
ing obedience to the parliament; he was secretly paving the way by artifice and courage, to his own unlimited authority.
The parliament, for so we must henceforth call a small and inconsiderable part of the house of commons, having murdered their sovereign with so many appearing circumstances of solemnity and justice, and so much real violence and even fury, began to assume more the air of a civil, legal power, and to enlarge a little the narrow bottom upon which they stood. They admitted a few of the excluded and absent members, such as were liable to least exception; but on condition that these members should sign an approbation of whatever had been done in their absence with regard to the king's trial: And some of them were willing to acquire a share of power on such terms: The greater part disdained to lend theirauthority to such apparent usurpations. They issued some writs for new elections, in places where they hoped to have interest enough to bring in their own friends and dependants. They named a council of state, thirty-eight in number, to whoin all addresses were made, who gave orders to all generals and admirals, who executed the laws, and who digested all business before it was introduced into parliament. They pretended to employ themselves entirely in adjusting the laws, forms, and plan of a new representative; and as soon as they should have settled the nation, they
professed e Their names were, the earls of Denbigh, Mulgrave, Pembroke, Salisbury, lords Grey and Fairfax, Lisle, Rolls, St. John, Wilde, Bradshaw, Cromwel, Skippon, Pickering. Massam, Hesil. rige, Harrington, Vape jun. Danvers, Armine, Mildmay, Constable, Pennington, Wilson, Whitlocke, Martin, Ludlowe, Stapleton, Hevingham, Wallop, Hutchinson, Bond, Popham, Valentine, Walton, Scot, Purefoy, Jones.
professed their intention of restoring the power to C H A P. the people, from whom they acknowledged they hadLX. entirely derived it.
1649. The commonwealth found every thing in Eng. land composed into a seeming tranquillity by the terror of their arms. Foreign powers, occupied in wars among themselves, had no leisure nor inclination to interpose in the domestic dissensions of this island. The young king, poor and neglected, living sometimes in Holland, sometimes in France, sometimes in Jersey, comforted himself amidst his present distresses with the hopes of better fortune. The situation alone of Scotland and Ireland gave any immediate inquietude to the new republic.
AFTEk the successive defeats of Montrose and Of ScotHamilton, and the ruin of their parties, the whole land. authority in Scotland fell into the hands of Argyle and the rigid churchmen, that party which was most averse to the interests of the royal family,
Their enmity, however, against the independents, who had prevented the settlement of presbyterian discipline in England, carried them to embrace opposite maxims in their political conduct. Though invited by the English parliament to model their government into a republican form, they resolved still to adhere to monarchy, which had ever prevailed in their country, and which, by the express terms of their covenant, they had engaged to defend, They considered besides, that as the property of the kingdom lay mostly in the hands of great families, it would be difficult to establish a commonwealth, or without some chief magistrate, invested with royal authority, to preserve peace or justice in the community. The execution, therefore, of the king, against which they had always protested, having occasioned a vacancy of the throne, they immediately proclaimed his son and successor, Charles II.; but upon conditions of his good behaviour and strict “ obfervance of the covenant, and his entertaining
CHAP “ no other persons about him but such as were godly LX. - men and faithful to that obligation”. These un
usual clauses, inserted in the very first acknowledgment of their prince, sufficiently shewed their intention of limiting extremely his authority. And the English commonwealth, having no pretence to interpose in the affairs of that kingdom, allowed the Scots for the present to take their own measures in settling their government.
The dominion which England claimed over IreOf Ireland. land, demanded more immediately their efforts for
subduing that country. In order to convey a just notion of Irish affairs, it will be necessary to look backwards some years, and to relate briefly those transactions which had passed during the memorable revolutions in England. When the late king agreed to that cessation of arms with the popish rebels,' which was become so requisite, as well for the security of the Irish protestants as for promoting his interests in England, the parliament, in order to blacken his conduct, reproached him with fa. vouring that odious rebellion, and exclaimed loudly against the terms of the cessation. They even went so far as to declare it entirely null and invalid, because finished without their consent; and to this declaration the Scots in Ulster, and the earl of Inchiquin, a nobleman of great authority in Munster, professed to adhere. By their means the war was still kept alive; but as the dangerous distractions in England hindered the parliament from sending any considerable assistance to their allies in Ireland, the marquis of Ormond, lord lieutenant, being a native of Ireland, and a person endowed with great prudence and virtue, formed a scheme for composing the disorders of his country, and for engaging the rebel Irish to support the cause of his royal master. There were many circumstances which strongly invited
the ; 1643.
the natives of Ireland to embrace the king's party, CHA P. The maxims of that prince had always led him to give a reasonable indulgence to the catholics 1649 throughout all his dominions; and one principal ground of that enmity, which the puritans professed against him, was this tacit toleration. The parliament, on the contrary, even when unprovoked, had ever menaced the papists with the most rigid re- · straint, if not a total extirpation; and immediately after the commencement of the Irish rebellion, they put to sale all the estates of the rebels, and had engaged the public faith, for transferring them to the adventurers, who had already advanced money upon that security. The success, therefore, which the arms of the parliament met with at Naseby, struck a just terror into the Irish; and engaged the council of Kilkenny, composed of deputies from all the catholic counties and cities, to conclude a peace with the marquis of Ormond. They professed to return to their duty and allegiance, engaged to furnish ten thousand men for the support of the king's authority in England, and were content with stipulating, in return, indemnity for their rebellion and toleration of their religion.
ORMOND, not doubting but a peace, so advantageous and even necessary to the Irish, would be strictly observed, advanced with a small body of troops to Kilkenny, in order to concert measures for common defence with his new allies. The pope had sent over to Ireland a nuncio, Rinuccini, an Italian; and this man, whose commission empowered him to direct the spiritual concerns of the Irish, was emboldened, by their ignorance and bigotry, to assume the chief authority in the civil government. Foreseeing that a general submission to the lord-lieutenant would put an end to his own influence, he conspired with Owen O'Neal, who com
GH A P.manded the native Irish, in Ulster, and who bore a:
LX. a great jealousy to Preston, the general chiefly trusted 1649. by the council of Kilkenny. By concert, these two
inalcontents secretly drew forces together, and were ready to fall on Ormond, who remained in security, trusting to the pacification so lately concluded with the rebels. He received intelligence of their treachery, made his retreat with celerity and conduct, and sheltered his small army in Dublin and the other fortified towns, which still remained in the hands of the protestants..
The nuncio, full of arrogance, levity, and ambition, was not contented with this violation of treaty. He summoned an assembly of the clergy at Waterford, and engaged them to declare against that pacification, which the civil council had concluded with their sovereign. He even thundered out a sentence of excommunication against all who should adhere to a peace, so prejudicial as he pretended, to the catholic religion; and the deluded Irish, terrified with his spiritual menaces, ranged themselves every where on his side, and submitted to his authority. Without scruple, he carried on war against the lord-lieutenant, and threatened with a siege the protestant garrisons, which were, all of them, very. ill provided for defence.
MEANWHILE, the unfortunate king was necessitated to take shelter in the Scottish army; and being there reduced to close confinement, and secluded from all commerce with his friends, despaired, that his authority, or even his liberty, would ever be restored to him. He sent orders to Ormond, if he could not defend himself, rather to submit to the English than to the Irish rebels; and accordingly the lord-lieutenant, being reduced to extremities, delivered up Dublin, Tredah, Dundalk, and other garrisons, to colonel Michael Jones, who took possession of them in the name of the English