Page images
PDF
EPUB

From this period, the party averse to the present government were distinguished by the appellation of non-jurors, who, rejecting the distinction of a king de jure, and a king de facto, were the authors of all the conspiracies against the new settlement, and for the restoration of king James. This fugi. tive monarch, his family and followers, had been fe. ceived in France, not only with every mark of attention, regard, and sympathy due to their misfor. tunés, but with all that magnificence, generosity, and noble profusion which distinguished Lewis XIV, When he knew that the queen of England was on her way to St. Germain with the prince of Wales, he went from Versailles beyond St. Germain, attended by a numerous court, to meet her majesty. After having accompanied her, and endeavoured by every "consolation in his power to alleviate her sorrows, which were already much abated by the happy intelligence she had received of the safe land. ing of her husband at Ambleteuse ; Lewis return. ed to Versailles, and sent the next day to the queen a very rich toilet, with a complete assortment of fine clothes and dresses both for her majesty and the prince of Wales; the latter had been made on the same pattern as those of the young French princes ; and in one of the drawers of the toilet, there was a purse of six thousand pistoles for the queen, who had been presented a few days before, on her landing at Boulogne, with another purse of four thousand.

The day after, king James being expected at St. Germain, Lewis repaired thither nearly an hour before-hand, and waited for his majesty's arrival in the queen's apartment. As soon as he heard that James was entering the palace, he ran to meet him to the door of the body-guards' hall, where they simultaneously precipitated themselves into one another's arms with the most cordial affection, and after repeated embraces, went hand-in-hand to the

queen's apartment. After a conversation of nearly half-an-hour, Lewis led him into the room of the prince of Wales, where he was extremely interest. ed by: James's narrative of the principal circumstances of his escape. The courtiers who attended them, participated in the feelings of their royal master, whose magnanimity, they admired, and whose kind sensibility rendered him still dearer to them. The visit to the infant priņce, being over, the two . kings repaired to the queen's apartment, and soon after Lewis returned to Versailles. Next morning James found in his room every thing he could want or wish for, and ten thousand pistoles on his bureau, He went after dinner to Versailles and paid his visit to the king, who went to meet him at the door of the body-guards' hall, and took him in the most friendly way into his private apartments, where he introduced him to the queen. James, after a very long conversation with Lewis, paid a visit to the dauphin and the dauphine, monsieur and madame. He had no sooner arrived at St. Germain, than the dauphin and monsieur camne, to return the visit to their majesties. James returned to the dauphin the same honours he had received in his visit to him as it had been settled between the two kings on condition that the same honours should be paid to the prince of Wales at Versailles. As to the other princes and princesses of the blood, as well as the duchesses, and ladies of the court, many difficul. ties arose about the punctilios of ceremonial or etiquette to be observed towards them at St. Ger. main. Lewis, to whom the king and queen of Eng. land referred all these questions, decided that the ceremonial or etiquette should be altogether the same at the court of St. Germain as at the court of Versailles. (Mem. de la cour de France pour les années 1688, 1689, par Madame la Comtesse de la Fayette, Amsterdam, 1733.)

In the mean time the non-jurors were preparing in England several attempts against the new govern. ment. William having discovered their designs through some intercepted letters, ordered the earl of Arran, sir Robert Hamilton, and some other Scottish gentlemen, to be sent to the tower. He consulted the two houses with regard to his conduct in such a delicate affair. The lords thanked him for the care he took of their liberties, and the commons empowered him by a bill to dispense with the habeas corpus act till the 17th day of April next ensuing. On the 11th of the same month, the ce. remony of his coronation was performed, and according to the new-framed coronation-oath, he swore and promised « To govern the people of « England, &c. according to the statutes in parlia6 ment agreed on, and the laws and customs of the 66 same; to cause law and justice in mercy to be 66 executed in all his judgments; to maintain to “ the utmost of his power the laws of God, the « true profession of the gospel and the protestant

reformed religion as by law established ; and to “ preserve unto the bishops and clergy, and to the “ churches committed to their charge, all such « rights and privileges as by law do or shall apper.

tain unto them or any of them."

A bill was also passed at the same time for removing papists from London and Westminster, and an address was proposed to order the duchess of Maza. rin to depart the kingdom. The Dutch ambassador and his brother made use of all their interest in her behalf, at the desire of St. Evremond, who was a great friend to her. They represented the assemblies at her house, which were thought by some to be so many popish cabals, to be only meetings for gaming and other diversions, by the former of which she chiefly subsisted. The marquis de Sivrac spoke for her to the king, alledging that she would

clrrendered at cessity of recifection of

starve in any other country. But the address not having passed the upper house, the duchess was permitted to continue her diversions, and his majesty out of regard to her situation, allowed her a pension of two thousand pounds a year.

An alarming spirit of discontent having pervaded the-army, the king resolved to detain the Dutch troops in England, and to send over to Holland in their room such regiments as were the most disaffected. One of the latter mutinied on its march, seized the military chest, disarmed the officers, declared for king James, and with four pieces of cannon, took their way to Scotland, but being pursued by general Ginckel with three regiments of Dutch dragoons, they surrendered at discretion.

William, sensible of the necessity of recurring to some popular means to conciliate the affection of his subjects, informed the commons by a solemn message, that he would readily acquiesce in any measure for a new regulation, or total suppression of the hearth-money, a tax which produced two hun. dred and forty-five thousand pounds at the rate of two shillings on each chimney. The commons presented on this occasion an address of thanks, in which they assured his majesty that they would be so careful of the support of the crown, that the world might see that his majesty reigned in the hearts of his people. The bill, however, met with such opposition from the tories, as to be nearly rejected in the house of lords. It was thought, that expecting a speedy revolution in favour of James, some of them were unwilling to pass an act which would oblige him either to maintain it, or by resuming this branch of revenue, to raise again the hatred of the nation against him. But whatever their motives might be, the bill obtained at last the majority in the two houses.

As the protestant dissenters were hearty friends III. AND MARY. (Period 9. to the revolution and to the new establishment, the king was very desirous that they might be admitted to offices and employments. The dissenters at that time were divided into four sects ; presbyterians, independents, anabaptists, and quakers. The presbyterians and independents formed the three parts of them out of four, and were now looked upon as one sect, though a material difference existed between them, as the presbyterians, upon some amendments, appeared reconcileable to the established church, episcopal ordination and liturgy, and wished for a limited monarchy; while the independents put all the power of the church in the people, disapproved all set forms of worship, and wished for a republic. The anabaptists, though generally men of virtue and universal charity, were totally averse, as well as the quakers, to the church of England; therefore, nothing less than an universal toleration could render them admissible to employments. The king's plan was accordingly to unite by what was called a comprehension, the moderate presbyterians with the church, and to remove, by a general tole. ration, all obstacles arising from non-conformity. Several clauses were drawn up to that effect, but they were all rejected. Thus, William's plan not only miscarried, but it very much heightened the prejudices of the clergy.against him. This failure, however, was compensated in some measure by the two bills which passed soon after, one of which suspended all penal laws for not coming to church, and was called the toleration act; while by the other, the oath of supremacy established in the reign of queen Elizabeth, and that of allegiance in the reign of James I. were abrogated, and others appointed. As to the bill of comprehension, when, after passing the lords, it was sent to the commons, they, instead of proceeding in it, made an adeiress to the king for summoning a convocation of the clergy to

« PreviousContinue »