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BY Til E R E V? R .CATTE RMO L E , B '.!). 

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VOL. I. 


























THIS volume the first of a proposed series on 
like subjects is the result of considerable re- 
flection on the possible means of raising a very 
attractive class of publications, the Annuals, 
into a higher field of literary design, without 
depriving them of those charms of novelty 
and grace which have so long secured to them 
the public favour. 

The Author wishes to add, that, though it 
did not come within his purpose to encumber 
his page with authorities, strict and conscien- 
tious historical accuracy was the first object at 
which he aimed. In endeavouring to set before 
the reader, History m action in avoiding as 
much as possible all formal or dry detail, and 
giving prominence and amplitude only to those 


heroic deeds, those eloquent discussions, and 
those noble traits of personal character, which 
distinguish all great events or eras in the world 
he has sought to avoid those extreme differ- 
ences of opinion, and partisan views, that have 
unhappily entered so largely into most works 
respecting the Great Civil War of the Seven- 
teenth Century. He cannot acknowledge in- 
difference to any cause which has inspired 
high achievements among mankind. He looks 
upon the great drama of human events as, in 
all its provinces, the work of ONE who assigns 
no prominent part whatever to minds unde~ 
serving of earnest regard. Great qualities still 
find a sanctuary in the heart, even though the 
ends to which they were devoted may be dis- 
approved by the principles and the judgment; 
and history, in common with all true know- 
ledge, promotes the noblest charities of our 




IF the Petition of Rights, which in the third Par- 
liament of Charles I. confirmed those liberties that 
were already the birthright of Englishmen, had been 
ingenuously assented to by the king, and taken by the 
brave and strong-minded men who were its authors 
for a final measure, it is possible the kingdom might 
have been spared the calamities of the following twenty 
years. But when, in the confidence of victory, the 
popular leaders proceeded to make that just and ne- 
cessary enactment a vantage ground for direct attacks 
on the prerogative of the crown ; and when, on the 
other hand, the distrustful sovereign withdrew, in effect, 
that assent to it which had diffused among the people 
universal joy; a breach was made, which the living 
generation, though they successively flung into it every 
thing dear to man, were never to see closed. 

The triumphs of that assembly were achieved by 


men whom, or whose like, even the great period we 
propose to sketch saw not again met together. The 
fiery Eliot, foremost, if not greatest, perished long 
ere another parliament was called unhappily in prison. 
Sir Thomas Wentworth, satisfied with that noble vic- 
tory, so large a share of which was his own, mindful 
to which of the great parties in the state was now 
due the devotion of his vast political genius, went over 
to the king. 

His example was followed by Digges, Littleton, 
Noy, and others of inferior note. Yet, that the spirit 
of the party survived, and would survive, while one 
man in particular lived, was apparent from a now 
familiar anecdote of the time. That man was Pym ; 
whose sterling eloquence, learning, application, and 
matchless tenacity of purpose, admirably fitted him for 
his office, as leader of an opposition so weighty in 
talent and vast in its designs. Wentworth, before 
carrying into effect his final resolve, sought an inter- 
view in private with his inflexible associate, in which 
he imparted his present views, suggesting the advantages 
that would accrue from conciliation. 

" You need not," interrupted Pym, indignantly, at 
once perceiving Wentworth 's drift, while visions of 
impeachment rose upon his sight, " to tell me that 
you have a mind to leave us. But remember what I 
say you are going to be undone. And remember, 
also, that though you leave us now, I will never leave 
you while your head is on your shoulders." 

Refusing to pass a bill for supplies, which the 
wants of the executive rendered urgent, the third 


parliament was dissolved in the midst of an ominous 
storm of contumacy on the part of the commons, and 
of disappointment and displeasure on that of the king. 
The representatives of the people retired to their 
homes, to brood over their personal wrongs and the 
despotism which now more than threatened the coun- 
try, and to inflame, by their various statements of 
grievance, the popular discontent. The course pur- 
sued by the king had in it so much of inconsider- 
ateness and obvious impolicy, beside what wilfulness 
may be imputed to it, as no hypothesis can explain, 
but one that includes a thorough conviction in the 
royal mind of its justice, in existing circumstances. 
He now commenced in earnest the fatal plan of go- 
verning by the bare force of prerogative, until a par- 
liament could be convened with the prospect of a 
more complying temper. It is fair to acquit Charles 
of a wish to encroach upon the known rights of his 
people ; but a crisis had arrived, when the people 
would no longer distinguish between such a wish and 
a resolution to maintain those adverse claims of the 
crown, which he had inherited from his predecessors, 
and thought himself bound to defend in his own 
person, and transmit, unimpaired, to his children. King 
Charles really desired to be the father of his people ; 
but in his code of parental duty he included denial 
and correction with indulgence. We have no dispo- 
sition to vindicate those infractions of the constitu- 
tion, as now defined, which followed rapidly on each 
other. We cannot but observe, however, that, numerous 
and gross as they were, and directed equally against 

B 2 


the freedom and the property of the subject, there 
were never wanting powerful minds ready to expose 
and exaggerate, if they were unable to prevent them; 
while few mentioned, perhaps few believed, the advancing 
prosperity of the people, which their combined operations 
did not check. 

The brightest track along the course of the years 
which followed, is, with all its errors, the path of Went- 
worth. Raised to the dignities of baron and viscount, 
and to the offices of a privy-counsellor and president 
of the Council of the North, this great statesman, on 
the dissolution of the parliament, instantly applied him- 
self with characteristic ardour to the high and perilous 
duties of his presidency. 

The Council of the North was a court erected at 
York, in the reign of Henry VIII., with jurisdic- 
tion over the five northern counties, in those times 
the theatre of frequent insurrection. The great and 
irregular powers exercised by this court, were on 
Wentworth's appointment, enlarged to an almost un- 
limited extent. In administering them with strict but 
haughty and severe impartiality, he succeeded in the 
twofold object of bearing down with a high hand 
every show of disaffection towards the government, 
and of raising to an unprecedented amount the in- 
come derived from that part of the kingdom to the 
royal exchequer. Charles had soon to acknowledge, 
rather than discover, such extraordinary zeal and 
ability in his new minister, as manifestly qualified 
him to serve the state in a wider sphere. Went- 
worth was % nominated lord-deputy of Ireland, without 


being required to resign the chair of the northern pre- 

That ever unhappy country was now for the first 
time governed by a hand vigorous and steady enough 
for the task. Wentworth made his appearance in 
Dublin with the pomp and ceremonial of royalty : it 
was his acknowledged principle of government to 
rule, not merely as a vice-king, but as the deputed 
sovereign of a conquered province. Benefits and 
severities he dispensed with a sternly equal hand ; 
but even the severities of a master-mind, when first 
placed at the head of an arbitrary government, be- 
ing for the most part merely the extinction of minor 
oppressions in the sovereign sway, are, for the people, 
blessings in disguise. One of the many historians 
who have poured their vials of angry censure on 
the proud head of Wentworth, bears this reluctant 
testimony : " the Richelieu of Ireland, he made 
that island wealthier in the midst of exactions, and, 
one might almost say, happier in the midst of oppres- 

The benefits conferred on Ireland by Wentworth 
were diffused through all her institutions. We trace 
them in a more than quadrupled revenue ; in the 
church strengthened and made more efficient ; in the 
courts of justice reformed ; in the army disciplined ; in 
commerce and manufactures cherished and extended ; 
in a population wealthier, more peaceful, and more 
humane. Its concomitant excesses are illustrated 
(among other less-remembered instances) by the trial 
and sentencing to death of the Lord Mountnorris, 


ostensibly for an impatient or disrespectful word ; 
an outbreak of tyrannous pride, made available to 
the strengthening of the government, which Went- 
worth's enemies did not forget. The sentence was 
meant only to humble the victim ; but a stretch of 
power so violent in itself, and yet so capable of aggra- 
vation by unfriendly tongues, swelled prodigiously the 
gathering indignation against the viceroy, and was 
grimly noted down in the great impeachment-book, by 
those who watched with patience till the shadow upon 
the darkening political sun-dial should point the hour of 
his undoing. 

Beyond the esteem of the sovereign, to whom he 
was ardently attached, Wentworth with one excep- 
tion cared little to supply the vacancies in his 
former friendships from the party which he had now 
joined. Sincere, laborious, proud, he had no sympathy 
with the heartlessness and indolence of the courtiers. 
The exception refers to Laud ; whose translation to 
the see of London and paramount authority in the ad- 
ministration nearly coincided with the period of Went- 
worth's elevation, as both did with the fall of Buck- 
ingham. With a mind of less majestic dimensions, 
though more learnedly cultivated; with directness and 
integrity equal to Wentworth's steady and unquench- 
able ardour; below him in pride, as became a church- 
man, but as keenly capable of rigour, for conscience 
sake; as great in courage, as inflexible in constancy; 
above all, animated by like devotedness to the master 
whom both served "not wisely," but, in their view of 
duty, " well ;" Laud, whatever may be thought by 


those who strangely discover the bond of these men's 
union in that most dissociative of principles, a common 
despotic will, was not unworthy of that intimacy with 
the larger-minded Wentworth which remained firm till 
violently and most affectingly terminated by death. 
Such as they were, these eminent persons continued 
to be the main agents of King Charles's government in 
Church and State, through many difficult, and, finally, 
disastrous years. They did not originate all his plans, 
but they were ever ready, in the fearlessness of duty, 
to carry forward even the worst of them. If they 
erred in an honest view of their duty, mistook the 
times, wounded the immature constitution, overrated 
even their abilities, or indulged private passion at the 
cost of the public weal ; they received in their persons, 
and will ever be paying in their fame, the penalty of 
those whom Providence places, as doomed yet not use- 
less barriers to the violent current of changeful times ; 
augmenting, while they brave, the fury of the waters, 
but preparing fertility for other generations, by forcing 
them to sweep away injurious impediments, and then to 
waste their rage in diffusion. 

The means by which the government of Charles I. 
endeavoured to provide for its exigencies, without par- 
liamentary aid, are known to every one. Taxes on mer- 
chandize (the " tonnage and poundage " of the period) ; 
compositions for declining to receive knighthood ; fines 
from those whose estates were discovered to have 
encroached on the ancient boundaries of the royal 
forests ; patents of monopoly on an infinite number of 
articles of ordinary consumption ; with other sources 


of revenue, some of them unprecedented and illegal, 
the greater part arbitrarily and oppressively levied; 
all proved insufficient. Large sums were extorted, of 
which no more than a trifling proportion found its 
way into the treasury; for an unsettled despotism is 
always plundered, and always improvident. " It is now 
almost fifteen years," said Pym, in the first session of 
the Long Parliament, " since his majesty had any 
assistance from his people ; and these illegal ways of 
supplying the king were never pressed with more 
violence and art than they have been in this time : 
and yet I may, upon very good grounds, affirm, that 
in the last fifteen years of Queen Elizabeth she re- 
ceived more by the bounty and affection of her sub- 
jects than hath come to his majesty's coffers by all 
the inordinate and rigorous courses which have been 
taken." Refusal to comply with these demands was 
frequent, and was followed in numerous instances by 
fine and imprisonment in the Star Chamber, or other 
oppressive courts. 

A more memorable tax is celebrated under the 
name of Ship-money. A feeble and distracted govern- 
ment at home had diminished the respect in which 
England had formerly been held by foreign nations. 
Her ancient dominion of her own seas was slighted by 
her neighbours ; corsairs from Barbary made descents 
upon her coasts. To repel these disgraceful aggres- 
sions, the sea-ports were required to equip vessels for 
the king's service ; and the demand was presently ex- 
tended to the whole kingdom, the inland counties com- 
pounding for their assessments in money. The funds 


thus raised were honestly and successfully applied to 
the purposes for which they were required. But the 
demand was startling and novel revived, at least, 
from the dust of forgotten records. Numbers opposed 
it, and were thrown into prison. Among the most 
memorable and important processes in judicial history, 
is that by which the legality of this impost was tried in 
the case of Hampden. The patriot's assessment, upon 
an extensive landed property, was twenty shillings. On 
so small a point turned the issue of a great constitu- 
tional question ! Judgment was given for the crown ; 
but as the judges were believed to be corrupted, and 
as the elaborate arguments of Hampden's counsel had 
convinced the nation that substantial right, if not the 
technical construction of statutes, favoured his cause, 
" the judgment," says Clarendon, " proved of more 
advantage to the gentleman condemned than to the 
king's service." Hampden, indeed, reaped a cheap 
immortality ; but he was a man who had studied the art 
of winning golden opinions ; a man whose constancy 
of purpose was shaded by caution, or smoothed by the 
blandest of demeanours ; and ship-money was in all men's 
ears a hated word. 

But, as will always be the case in this serious 
nation in unsettled times, the deepest and widest 
grounds of discontent were occupied by questions of 
religion. The people were kept in perpetual terror 
of popery by the slumber allowed to the existing 
statutes against papists, and by the insolence or in- 
discretion of that party, in consequence of Charles's 


marriage with a daughter of Roman Catholic France, 
and of his known deference to the personal predi- 
lections of his queen. This, however, was only an 
aggravation of an older and more deeply seated griev- 
ance. It could not but befall, in the great conflict 
of the Reformation, that the antagonists of popery, 
driven at once by indignation, fear, and hatred, would 
take up on the other side some extreme, and" such 
as in cooler times would appear, to sound judgments, 
untenable or worthless positions. These, when the 
purified National Church had been fixed on her 
own secure basis, all sane persons would have been 
ready to abandon, had no fresh causes of excitement 

But events kept alarm wakeful ; and timid na- 
tures, remembering as a terrible dream whose images 
oppress the waking fancy, the sanguinary and flaming 
horrors of the past, thought themselves less secure in 
the efficiency of their arms and ramparts than in re- 
moteness from the hated foe. The most primitive vest- 
ment, if the Romish, though only in common with 
other churches, had adopted its use, retained the in- 
fection of Antichrist: observances the most venerable, 
in passing through that " chamber of abominable ima- 
gery," had become symbols of the mystic Babylon. 
That aversion to apostolical government, and that im- 
patience of uniformity in rites and ceremonies, which 
abhorrence of popish corruption had already generated 
at home, were heightened by the sojourn of the Ma- 
rian exiles among those reformed communities abroad, 


whom not choice, but the pressure of circumstances, 
had deprived of episcopacy and the decorous adjuncts 
of a national church. The strictness of Elizabeth's 
ecclesiastical government, acting on the stubborn na- 
ture of conscientious Puritanism, increased both the 
number and the vehemence of the Church's enemies. 
A farther element of mischief was brought in after 
James had sent over his committee of divines to grace 
the synod of Dort. Davenant and his compeers on 
their return, inoculated the factions with a more virulent 
type of religious dissidence the disputes of Prelatist 
and Puritan were henceforth to be sharpened by the 
reproachful appellations of Calvinist and Arminian ; 
and, by a strange contradiction, a slavish theology, in 
which the Father of mankind takes the character of 
a despot, became the watchword of political and religious 

With the authority, Laud had succeeded to the 
principles, of Cranmer, Whitgift, and Parker ; but 
in worse times, and, as both prime minister and me- 
tropolitan, in circumstances at once more likely to 
betray him into violence, and expose him to obloquy. 
The Puritans, who in Elizabeth's reign, though tur- 
bulent, were comparatively inconsiderable, and hardly, 
till towards the close of that brilliant period, lifted 
their hands as a political party, grew formidable 
under James, and, after the accession of Charles, in- 
solent ; concessions which they regarded as less 
than their due, and slight punishments which raised 
them into credit with the multitude, turning equally 
to their advantage. Laud was fully awake to the 


greatness of the danger ; his error as a statesman 
lay in believing that the danger could be averted by 
an appliance, on the part of the rulers, of bare un- 
yielding principle. He knew he had the king's perfect 
confidence ; he felt he had a strong heart and un- 
quenchable zeal ; he trusted in the help of God, for 
he esteemed it his cause. Thus supported, he judged 
himself able to work out the justification of that policy 
which he felt convinced was just to keep no terms 
with an implacable foe. " Resolve there is no end 
of yielding," was his motto. This is the sole secret 
of that frequent reference to " thorough, " which has 
been so much commented on in his correspondence 
with Strafford. To this principle we confidently refer 
all those public acts, which often irreconcilable both 
with charity and prudence, and rendered doubly irri- 
tating by a sharp ungracious demeanour, overwhelmed 
him at length in a tide of popular hatred without ex- 
ample. His preference of Papists to Puritans, as less 
dangerous and inveterate enemies to the Church (in 
which he agreed with Queen Elizabeth) ; his excessive 
zeal for the splendid externals of public worship ; his 
measures for checking the perversion of pulpit influence 
to the furtherance of political designs ; his revival of 
the obsolete jurisdiction of the ecclesiastical courts, in 
punishing gross profligacy of manners ; even the enor- 
mity of his share in the mulcts and mutilations in- 
flicted by the Star Chamber, in such cases as those of 
Leighton, Prynne, Bastwick, and Burton; had all 
that origin. The offence for which these individuals 
were indicted, viz. the publication of libels on the hier- 


archy, was one so prevalent and popular, that the ex- 
istence of the Church seemed to depend, on steps being 
taken for its discouragement. Their " censure " has 
nevertheless been, with justice, reprobated by historians, 
as equally cruel and impolitic. It proceeded from a 
tribunal already the object of popular odium ; it was 
known to have been instigated by the prelates, whose 
actions needed no character of harshness to secure them 
an unfriendly colouring ; the ignominy of the punish- 
ment outraged all the three great professions for 
Prynne was a lawyer, Bastwick a physician, Burton a 
clergyman, and Leighton a Presbyterian divine ; finally, 
the manner of its execution was calculated, as penalties 
for licentiousness of language and opinions commonly 
are, to invest aspiring malevolence with the honours of 

While these and other concurrent events prepared 
England for a great political and religious explosion, it 
was in the king's northern dominions that the torch of 
revolution was first applied. 

In the march of rapacity and violence which hur- 
ried forward the Reformation in Scotland, episcopacy 
was almost swept away. Only an obscure name and 
powerless existence remained, during many years, to 
intimate that law had not sealed its actual extinction. 
To restore the primitive worship and government of 
the church, in his native land, was among the fondest 
desires of Charles's heart, as it had been of his father's. 
Some distant preparatory steps toward this object had 
been taken by King James ; but the attendance of Laud 
at the coronation of his royal successor, in the northern 


capital, was indignantly perceived to have reference to 
an immediate plan for bringing that desire to effect. 
All orders of men looked on the progress of this design 
with unqualified disgust ; for in Scotland hatred of 
episcopacy (where, indeed, from the ignorant or designed 
confounding of the ideas of pope and prelate, it had, 
as an abstract principle, its birth) was continually kept 
alive by two of the most powerful motives of human 
action by self-interest among the nobles, and by re- 
ligious enthusiasm among the people. In the mean- 
time fatality, or infatuation, waited on every proceeding 
of the government. The Scotch bishops persons in 
no esteem with the people, and whom the primate's 
fatal policy had made hateful to the nobility, by con- 
ferring on them the highest secular preferments 
were directed to prepare a Liturgy and Canons. The 
result of their labours was submitted for revisal to the 
heads of the Anglican church ; but, whether from dis- 
trust or contempt, the sanction of the native clergy 
was wholly overlooked. This was extreme imprudence 
towards a body who carried their notions of inde- 
pendence so high, and whose influence over their congre- 
gations was unbounded. Moreover, by a preposterous 
inadvertency, the canons made their appearance before 
the liturgy, to which they prescribed submission. Both 
were, in reality) inoffensive ; the canons being chiefly 
a compilation from the acts of the General Assembly 
of Scotland, and the liturgy or service-book only just so 
much varied from the English Book of Common Prayer 
as was required by the national vanity of the northern 
prelates. Nevertheless the people were taught to re- 


gard both as instruments of antichristian tyranny ; and, 
as such, a determined stand was to be made against their 

Till the day appointed for the publication of the 
service-book not a murmur was heard. The sup- 
pressed ire of the populace then first escaped in a riot 
of the lowest classes, chiefly women, which interrupted 
the public reading of the prayers, and endangered the 
lives of the officiating clergy. More perilous and de- 
cisive tumults succeeded; in which, by degrees, first 
the wealthy citizens, and finally the nobles, took part. 
For several months the government, contemptuously 
looking on, left the impotent local authorities to 
deal with its seditious subjects. At length a pro- 
clamation was sent down to assure the people of his 
majesty's regard for the Protestant religion, and to 
enforce the peace. By the treachery of some members 
of the privy council, the contents of this document 
became known in Scotland before its arrival. A 
counter proclamation was instantly prepared by the 
popular leaders, which, as if of equal authority with the 
king's, they read and posted up at Stirling, Lithgow, 
and Edinburgh ; their armed partizans forcibly de- 
taining the royal heralds to witness the completion of 
this daring act. The pretext of the tumultuous as- 
semblies which convulsed the nation being to present 
petitions against the bishops and the liturgy, the magis- 
trates consented to a plan devised and insidiously pro- 
posed by the leaders^ for the establishment of central 
" tables," or committees, to represent the petitioning 
parties. So ably were these boards conducted, that 


in a few weeks they had possessed themselves of un- 
limited authority throughout Scotland. An easy way 
was thus laid open to introduce the confederacy, so well 
remembered under the name of the " Solemn League 
and Covenant." The subscribers to this great national 
vow, after abjuring the superstitions of popery, in the 
language of a former covenant adopted in the reign of 
King James, and citing the several acts of parliament 
for the maintenance of the kirk, bound themselves, 
" according to the laudable example of their worthy 
and free progenitors, by the great name of the Lord 
their God," to defend their religion against all nova- 
tions, and to stand by each other in resistance to 
the contrary errors and corruptions, to the uttermost, 
against all persons without exception. A solemn fast 
was observed, preparatory to subscribing. On the 
day appointed, multitudes of every rank, age, and sex, 
thronged the great church of St. Giles's and its pre- 
cincts. The force, the freedom, and the extravagance 
of the republican model of devotion, rose, on this occa- 
sion to the highest pitch. Lifting their out-stretched 
hands towards heaven, the vast assembly swore to the 
national bond, amid shouts, and tears, and mutual 
embracements. The enthusiasm flew through the 
country ; and all Scotland, with the exception of the 
immediate servants of the government, a few Ro- 
man Catholics, and the solitary town of Aberdeen, 
was bound together in this vast confederacy, by the 
strongest tie of human associations, a burning religious 

Three months longer the government continued 


wavering and irresolute. It then sent down the Mar- 
quess of Hamilton, Charles's principal minister for Scotch 
affairs, with a commission " to conclude and determine 
all things respecting the peace of the kingdom." To 
impress the commissioner with a high notion of their 
union and strength, the Covenanters, to the number of 
twenty thousand, on foot and on horseback, met and 
conducted him into the city ; and seven hundred robed 
ministers are said to have placed themselves on an 
eminence by the roadside, and with one voice intonated 
a psalm as he passed by. 

Hamilton had undertaken a difficult task. The 
demands of the confederates grew bolder as the ne- 
gotiations advanced. Twice he journeyed to London, 
and twice returned to his increasingly excited coun- 
trymen with modified powers ; bringing, on his second 
re-appearance, a surrender of every thing demanded 
the abolition of the Liturgy, Canons, and High 
Commission Court; on the single condition, that for 
the new Covenant should be substituted that of King 
James. At the same time, a national assembly and 
a parliament were fixed, to discuss freely all questions 
in dispute. 

With these concessions the clergy and the people 
were disposed to be content. Not so the secular 
leaders. The king, they said, could not mean to grant 
all he had promised ; his object was to gain time to 
reduce them by force. In a large body, headed by 
several noblemen, they mounted a scaffold at the Market 
Cross of Edinburgh ; where, sword in hand, they 


delivered a formal protest, asserting their determination 
to persist in adherence to the Covenant. 

The assembly met at Glasgow ; but the members 
having been almost all returned by the overpowering 
influence of " the tables," the commissioner found him- 
self wholly powerless before a majority resolved to carry 
forward the plans of the confederates. At the end of 
seven days, therefore, he dissolved the unmanageable 
convention, quitting it in the midst of a burst of real or 
affected grief; and departed for England. But the 
assembly refused to separate. Under the auspices of 
the Marquess of Argyle, who from this time became the 
acknowledged head of the Covenanters, the dissolution 
was annulled, and Episcopacy abolished, with every 
other existing institution which could interfere with the 
joyful deliverance of Scotland from the absorbing terror 
of " popish and prelatic tyranny." 

Naturally concluding that the king would seek by 
force to suppress the rebellion, the Covenanters now be- 
gan to make warlike preparations. Troops were levied, 
arms purchased, the Scottish soldiers of fortune serving 
on the Continent invited home. Encouragement was 
not wanting from the discontented party in England; 
from France came the not less important aid of money. 
Lesley, a veteran from the wars of Germany, was ap- 
pointed to the chief command ; and forthwith began 
hostilities by seizing the castles of Edinburgh and 
Dumbarton. The king, on his part, proceeded with as 
much alacrity as his want of resources permitted. At 
York, in which point the royal forces were concen- 


tred, he was met by a brilliant feudal gathering of 
the nobility and chief gentry of the realm ; from 
thence he advanced to the vicinity of Berwick. Thither 
Lesley drew his Covenanters twenty thousand men, 
indifferently equipped, but inspired with zeal which 
was kept constantly at a boiling temperature by the 
unwearied vehemence of pulpit oratory. Charles's 
troops were equal in number, and far better provided ; 
but without heart for the quarrel. Conscious of the 
unpopularity of his cause, and reluctant to shed his 
subjects' blood, he readily admitted commissioners from 
the Scottish camp ; with whom was presently con- 
cluded, on the basis of the conditions before proposed 
at Edinburgh by Hamilton, the miserable armistice 
known in the history of the time as the Pacification of 

It was a fatal hour for England, when whoever 
might be its true author the attempt was made to 
force religious uniformity on the associated kingdom. 
The temper in which that measure was long pursued 
was plainly contempt contempt for the independence 
of the kirk, and for the spirit of Scotchmen. But it is 
a dangerous thing to despise a nation even for a great 
nation to despise a mean one. Scotland became power- 
ful, less in her own deep sense of wrong endured, than 
in England's consciousness of wrong inflicted ; unnerved 
by a sympathy half magnanimous, half traitorous. Eng- 
land became the dupe and the victim of her wily sister, 
in requital for having treated her in a delicate point as 
her vassal. 

c 2 



WHILE that hapless arrangement, the Pacification of 
Berwick, was looked upon as dishonourable in Eng- 
land, by the Scots its stipulations were disregarded. 
Instead of disbanding their army, which they had en- 
gaged to do, the Covenanters dismissed a part only of 
the troops, and kept in pay all the officers ; nor were 
the lawless proceedings of the unarmed revolters 

Already, in Scotland, Wentworth's was a name of 
hatred and of terror. A report, that he intended to 
cross the Channel at the head of a body of troops, 
was among the earliest pretexts of the Covenanters for 
flying to arms. This report had no foundation in fact ; 
yet the energy of his government awed into stillness 
and inaction their numerous countrymen settled in 
Ireland, who had begun to take the Covenant, and had 
shown an eager disposition to join the insurgents. 
Wentworth, however, was not blinded, either by the 
boldness of his temper or by the readiness of his re- 
sources, to the delicacy of the king's position ; he well 
knew the financial difficulties of the government, and 
its want of support in public opinion ; and justly appre- 
hended the odium that would attach to the side which 
should be the foremost to shed blood in civil strife. 


Though not directly consulted, it is probable that to the 
lord-deputy's earnest advice, in his correspondence with 
the king, to remain on the defensive, was chiefly owing 
the facility with which Charles yielded to an accommo- 

Foreseeing perhaps, designing in that measure, 
a delay merely of the war, Charles now sent for the 
sole minister on whose counsels he could depend for its 
conduct. Preceded in the atmosphere of the court 
by dread of his paramount influence, in the nation by 
anxious curiosity respecting its probable results, Went- 
worth hurried over; scarcely, in his zeal to serve his 
master, allowing himself to be retarded by a terrible 
attack of one of his habitual diseases, which at that 
time weighed him down. Of several honours conferred 
on him by the king at his arrival, the most distin- 
guished was an earldom, by the title which his great- 
ness and misfortunes afterwards impressed so deeply on 
the national memory of Strafford. The Earl of Straf- 
ford's advice decided the renewal of the war, and the 
assembling of a parliament. Laying down a munificent 
contribution towards the expense of raising an army, 
he again, though severe illness continued to press on 
him, hastened to Ireland; and, in an incredibly short 
space of time, returned once more, with a large subsidy 
from the parliament of that country, having besides 
secured for the king a levy of eight thousand horse and 

Not so obsequious was the parliament which now 
met in England. Although, of the great popular 
orators of 1628 some were wanting, and with them 


was absent the fervid excitement of that period, yet 
the same spirit was there only calmer, because more 
assured; more cautious, because too confident to risk 
any thing by prematurely advancing. The manifest 
wants of the king were coldly put aside, on the old 
ground of precedence being due to the people's griev- 
ances. In vain Charles, among other arguments to 
enforce his assertion that delay was ruin, brought for- 
ward the celebrated letter, in which the Scotch had 
traitorously solicited aid of the French king. The oppo- 
sition were in no haste to put down a movement, which, 
they had long foreseen, was to be their most effective 
auxiliary. Already an interchange of friendly offices 
and familiar counsels had been established. It is said, 
that Scotch intrigue had carried the election of more 
than one member : that the commissioners of the Cove- 
nanters, now in London, were in the full confidence of 
the English party, is certain. To none were the doors 
of the Lords Dunferline and Loudon more familiarly 
thrown open than to Essex, Bedford, and Holland, to 
Say, to Hampden, and to Pym. Hither came the re- 
presentatives of every class in England who felt, or fan- 
cied, any oppression, or indulged a hope of change; 
those who had been taxed without law, and those who 
had been imprisoned without mercy ; the haters of 
bishops, and the friends of the presbytery; the restless 
patriot, who was seeking reformation of the state by 
any means; the sullen or the smooth republican, who 
by any means had vowed its overthrow. 

The sudden dissolution of this parliament was fol- 
lowed by the regret of most honest and unsuspicious 



men ; and by the rage of the populace, who had been 
prematurely taught that the day of its assembling was 
their time of promise. Those in the secret, who saw 
farther, smiled as the usurer smiles, his finger on the 
bond, and his eye turned to the day of reckoning, when 
the prodigal flings over to him all but his last posses- 
sion. The blame of the dissolution has been unfairly 
divided between the elder Vane, whose weakness, or 
treachery, was really in fault; and Laud, who had as 
little share in it as any other of the king's ministers, 
Popular odium however fixed it, as it did every sinister 
occurrence in church or state, upon the archbishop ; 
and this imputation nearly cost the aged primate his 
life, in a tumultuous assault upon his palace at Lam- 

Meantime, in the north, " rebellion prospered. " 
Lesley's army had been ready to march towards the 
inviting south, whenever the crisis might be judged 
meetest for " promoting," by their presence beyond the 
border, " the peace of both nations and the honour of 
the king." The king, on the contrary ,Vhad to contend 
with two fatal difficulties in raising the means to 
receive, as he thought became him, this armed visit of 
his northern subjects want of money, and a more 
than unwilling disposition in his levies. At length, by 
order of StrarTord who, with the title of Lieu tenant- 
General, had taken the chief command Lord Con- 
way, with three thousand foot and fifteen hundred 
horse, but in a state bordering on mutiny, advanced 
to dispute the passage of the Tyne. " When," says 


M. Guizot, "the army came in sight of the Scots, 
the insubordination increased. The soldiers beheld 
the Covenant float on their banners ; they heard 
the drum summon the troops to sermon, and their 
camp at sunrise resound with the voice of prayer and 
psalmody. At this spectacle, at the accounts which 
had reached them of the pious ardour and friendly dis- 
positions of Scotland for the English people, by turns 
softened to tenderness and stung with indignation, they 
cursed the impious war, and were already vanquished, 
for they conceived themselves brought to fight against 
their brethren and their God." The Scots, with little 
resistance, passed the river at Newbourne ; the English 
retreating before them towards Yorkshire : not, per- 
haps, so sentimentally affected, as in the preceding 
extract they are described; but, certainly, with such 
a remarkable melting away of the ancient contemp- 
tuous valour of Englishmen, when opposed to their 
northern neighbours, as can be explained only on the 
supposition of a strong sympathy, whether the conse- 
quence of mutual misrepresentation, or of a sense of 
common injuries. 

Indignation at the novel pusillanimity of his coun- 
trymen, mingling with scorn for the rebel Scots 
which that people repaid with an animosity that 
nothing less than his blood could assuage Strafford 
wasted himself in strenuous efforts to inspire his officers 
with the same spirit of loyalty that animated his own 
bosom, and to put the retreating army in a condition 
to chastise the invaders. Vain were all his exertions : 


in spite of threats and blandishments, he was borne 
back upon York, leaving the northern counties in the 
undisputed possession of the enemy. 

No longer able to forego the aid of his people, 
Charles, as an alternative at once readier and less 
galling than a parliament, now summoned, at York, a 
great council of peers, in conformity with the feudal 
practice of some of his predecessors. An interval of 
fifteen days, which elapsed between the issuing of the 
proclamation and the assembling of the council, was 
employed by Pym, Hampden, and St. John, in pro- 
curing the signatures of twelve noblemen, to a peti- 
tion for a parliament. A second petition, with the 
same prayer, subscribed by ten thousand citizens of 
London, was quickly followed by others; all set on 
foot bv the same untiring band of patriots. Charles 
found it impossible to consider the assembly at York 
in any other light than as an expedient to supply the 
instant emergency. In his opening speech he an- 
nounced a parliament for the ensuing November, and, 
at the same time, the actual commencement of negoti- 
ations with the Scots; the management of the treaty 
he consented to intrust to sixteen peers, every one of 
whom was connected with the popular party. The 
king desired to have it conducted at York; but to this 
the Convenanters, who had now the game in their 
own hands, objected, on the pretence that Strafford, their 
grand enemy, the chief " firebrand" of the common- 
wealth, held the government of that city: it was, in 
consequence, opened at Ripon. 

Strafford now felt that the cause was lost, for which 


he had so long toiled and suffered. Yet, before finally 
sheathing his sword from so fatal and inglorious a 
campaign, he resolved to justify the confidence he had 
already put on record : that if the king could be per- 
suaded even then to try his fortune in a battle, he 
would undertake, on peril of his head, to drive the 
Scots beyond their borders. A cessation of arms had 
not yet been formally agreed upon ; Strafford therefore 
judged it no breach of faith to the invader, to dispatch 
an officer with a troop of horse to attack his quarters in 
Durham. The expedition was successful; many of the 
Covenanters were slain, and their officers taken pri- 
soners. This action brought, however, no advantage to 
the king, while it farther exasperated the earl's ene- 
mies against himself. Loud was the outcry of the 
Scots ; the English commissioners complained that 
they were compromised ; finally, the king was con- 
strained, by a strict order to Strafford to forbear, to tie 
up the only hands that were willing to strike for his 
cause. A second disgraceful treaty secured the grand 
object of the Covenanters, and entailed on England a 
fatal civil war, with the overthrow of the church and 
the monarchy. Charles, wholly without the means 
of paying his own troops, agreed to maintain, at an 
enormous cost, the army of the invaders, on the soil 
of England ; and, when prudence would have dic- 
tated the assembling of the parliament any where 
rather than in the capital, whose disaffection was 
notorious, he not only convened his parliament in 
London, but transferred to that city the comple- 
tion of the treaty with the Scots. Thither their 


commissioners hastened, elated by success, and secure 
of being surrounded with friends and partisans, and 
with facilities of adding to their numbers and their 

The steps of the patriot leaders while these events 
were passing, though secret, have not escaped the 
search of history. Pym, their acknowledged head, is 
said by Lord Clarendon to have continued, after the 
unhappy dissolution, for the most part in and about 
London, industriously improving the prevalent jea- 
lousies and discontents. The correspondence of the 
party with the Convenanters, established long before, 
was now securely and diligently kept up by means of 
the Scotch commissioners. In London their meetings 
were held at the house of Pym, in Gray's Inn Lane. 
In the country, Lord Say's house at Broughton, in 
Oxfordshire, and Sir Richard Knightley's at Faws- 
ley, in Northamptonshire, were the scenes of frequent 
consultation. At Fawsley they had a private press in 
active employment. It was in the convenient seclu- 
sion of those mansions to which tradition has at- 
tached several anecdotes connected with events so 
deeply interesting that those great designs received 
a mature shape, which were brought forward at the 
beginning of the Long Parliament. 

The issuing of the writs for that memorable con- 
vention became the signal of fresh activity. Pym and 
Hampden, we are told, " in the discharge of their 
great duty, as chiefs and advisers of the people" in this 
stirring crisis, made the circuit of all the counties of 
England. Other members of the party were not less 


diligent, in the respective districts where their in- 
fluence was strongest. Their success, in general, may 
be inferred from the report of the Earl of Warwick ; 
who, writing from York, so lately the residence of the 
king, and still the head-quarters of Strafiford, assures 
them that " the game was well begun." 

Though occupied with the affairs of the army, Straf- 
ford had too high a stake in that game to remain an 
inattentive spectator of the march of public events. 
Magnanimous as he was, his keen eye could not but 
rest with anxiety on that dark spot of the cloud now 
hanging over the king's affairs, which threatened his 
own personal safety. Perhaps, amidst the presageful 
thoughts which swept frowningly across that bright 
but troubled sphere the intellect of Wentworth, was 
the parting threat of the man. whom he now saw 
every day developing larger capacities to " ride on 
and direct" the coming "whirlwind." He sought 
permission to return to Ireland; alleging, that while 
the absence from parliament of a minister so obnox- 
ious would remove an obstacle to the settlement of the 
king's affairs, and enable him to provide for his own 
safety, his services would at the same time be more 
available in that kingdom to the royal cause. But 
Charles, who began to perceive how few friends he 
really had, relied mainly on the genius, the energy, 
and faithfulness of the lord-lieutenant to support him 
in the approaching shock : " he could not want his 
advice," he said, " in the great transactions that were 
like to be in this parliament. As he was king of 
England, he was able," he added, "to secure him 


from any clanger ; and the parliament should not touch 
a hair of his head." Strafford yielded. 

The day the 3rd of November, 1640 arrived, 
when an eagerly expectant nation saw assemble the 
most extraordinary and eventful parliament in English 
history. Laud was advised to have the ceremony 
deferred ; the 3d of November being of ill omen in 
the history of parliaments, as signalised by the opening 
of that, in Henry the Eighth's reign, which was fatal in 
its commencement to Wolsey, and at its close to the 
dominant church. As if to countenance these fore- 
bodings, the ceremonial of the day was shorn of its 
usual pomp. " The king," observes the noble his- 
torian of the period, " did not ride with his accustomed 
equipage, or in his usual majesty, to Westminster ; 
but went privately in his barge to the parliament 
stairs, and after to the church, as if it had been to a 
return of a prorogued or adjourned parliament." Never 
had king of England been less supported by valour, 
virtue, ability, or attachment in his nobles, than 
Charles I. on that day ; never had king of England 
beheld in the Commons so many countenances ex- 
pressive of haughty confidence in the justice of the 
cause they designed to assert, or in their ability to 
assert it with success, as Charles in that numerous 
assemblage, which thronged to hear the royal speech ! 
There stood Pym by experience, learning, industry, 
and a grave, yet facile eloquence, undisputed leader ; 
Hampden, formidable by his great abilities, more for- 
midable by his arts of popularity ; the dark St. John ; 
the accomplished Denzil Holies ; the able though less 


decided Nathaniel Fiennes ; the rich-minded enthu- 
siast, the younger Vane. Of the Peers, were associated 
with them the Earls of Bedford and Essex, the Lords 
Kimbolton and Say, who, in their house, took the lead, 
echoed and supported by the Earls of Warwick, Hol- 
land, and Hertford, the Lords Brooke, Paget, and 
William Fiennes. The truest and ablest friends to the 
king, the admirable Falkland and the romantic Digby, 
Hyde, Selden, Rudyard, equally distinguished by their 
talents and their virtues, were also, at this time as, 
for a little longer, it became such men to be on the 
side of the opposition. 

If the despondency of the court was indicated in 
the absence of its accustomed splendour at that great 
solemnity, and in the subdued tone of the king's 
speech, its weakness also was manifest in its failing 
to carry the election of the person whom the king 
had designed to fill the Speaker's chair. All circum- 
stances, indeed, surprisingly concurred to confirm the 
patriots in their lofty ground and determined front. 
Even Hampden, therefore, at length fitting his exterior 
to his views, stood forth a " root and branch " reformer. 
Their conscious strength in parliament; the well- 
ascertained support of opinion without ; the maturity 
of their vast plans; every thing justified a mien and 
language which were characterised, not by the in- 
decorum, but by the boldness and nerve of menace 
and defiance. In fact, the real power of the state had 
already passed into the hands of a few bold, active, 
and large-thoughted men, who embodied the national 
demand for a secure settlement of public liberty. These 


swayed the house by their eloquence ; governed the em- 
pire by their committees ; drew after them the house of 
Peers ; and, finally, bowed the sovereign at their feet. 
Issuing from the bar of the Lords, scarcely a member 
entered the Commons' house without a petition in 
strong language from his constituents against griev- 
ances in church and state ; others were brought to 
the door by the petitioners in person, accompanied 
in several instances, by processions, on horseback and 
on foot, from distant counties. The presentation of 
these was taken advantage of by many members to 
deliver speeches of extreme violence and acrimony, 
against every act of the government during the greater 
part of the king's reign. The appointment of above 
forty committees followed, including five called grand; 
i. e. committees of the whole house, for trade, religion, 
Irish affairs, general grievances, and courts of justice. 
These, under the mask of inquiry, assumed substantial 
jurisdiction over all the public institutions, and over 
the rights and liberty of the subject. A day was ap- 
pointed for a general fast ; on which occasion both the 
clergymen nominated to preach, respectively, before 
the Lords and Commons, were known to be dissatisfied 
with the existing church government ; and each recom- 
mended in his sermon a solemn league and covenant 
for reformation. To swell the popular cry against 
grievances, orders were issued to the gaolers to dismiss 
from prison the victims of the law : Prynne, Bastwick, 
and Burton, with Leighton and Lilburne, their fellow- 
sufferers, under sentence from the courts of Star 
Chamber and High Commission, were sent for " to 


prosecute before the house the business of petitions 
presented on their behalf. " So passed the first 

Meanwhile, the Earl of Strafford was still with the 
army. His friends in parliament, startled by the temper 
and tendency of the debates, warned him that they had 
reason to apprehend a design to procure his impeach- 
ment. He hastened up to London, ill, as usual; but 
not till he had taken the precaution to furnish himself 
with such proofs of the correspondence with the Scots, 
as might justify his anticipating that measure, by first 
impeaching his enemies. 

It was the 10th of November when the earl arrived 
in the capital. On the llth rose Pym, in the midst of 
a fierce debate on Ireland ; and, with the gesture of one 
who embraces on a sudden a great resolve, demanded 
the attention of the house. He had a business, he said, 
of that weighty importance to impart, that it might 
reach the ears of none but members. Strangers 
were immediately excluded from the lobby, the doors 
locked, and the keys of the house laid upon the table. 
The report, from Clarendon, of the speech that fol- 
lowed, may serve, slight as it is, to convey some notion 
both of the temper and ability of the speaker. " Mr. 
Pym," says the noble historian, " in a long, formed dis- 
course, lamented the miserable state and condition of 
the kingdom, aggravated all the particulars which had 
been done amiss in the government, as done and con- 
trived maliciously, and upon deliberation, to change 
the whole frame, and to deprive the nation of all the 
liberty and property which was their birthright by 


the laws of the land, which were now no more con- 
sidered, but subjected to the arbitrary power of the 
privy counsel, which governed the kingdom according 
to their will and pleasure ; these calamities falling 
upon us in the reign of a pious and virtuous king, who 
loved his people, and was a great lover of justice.' 
And thereupon enlarging in some specious commend- 
ations of the nature and goodness of the king, that he 
might wound him with less suspicion, he said, 'We 
must inquire from what fountain these waters of 
bitterness flowed ; what persons they were who had 
so far insinuated themselves into his royal affections 
as to be able to pervert his excellent judgment, to 
abuse his name, and wickedly apply his authority to 
countenance and support their own corrupt designs. 
Though he doubted there would be many found of this 
class, who had contributed their chief endeavours to 
bring this misery upon the nation ; yet he believed 
there was ONE more signal in that administration than 
the rest, being a man of great parts and contrivance, 
and of great industry to bring what he designed to 
pass ; a man who, in the memory of many present, had 
sat in that house an earnest vindicator of the laws, and 
a most zealous assertor and champion for the liberties 
of the people : but that it was long since he turned 
apostate from those good affections, and, according to 
the custom and nature of apostates, was become the 
greatest enemy to the liberties of his country, and the 
greatest promoter of tyranny, that any age has pro- 
duced.' And then he named * the Earl of Strafford, 
lord-lieutenant of Ireland, and lord-president of the 


conncil established in York, for the northern parts of 
the kingdom ; who, he said, had in both places, and in 
all other provinces wherein his services had been used 
by the king, raised ample monuments of his tyrannical 
nature ; and that he believed, if they took a short 
survey of his actions and behaviour, they would find 
him the principal author and promoter of all those 
counsels which had exposed the kingdom to so much 
ruin : ' and so instanced some high and impious 
actions done by him in England and in Ireland, some 
proud and over-confident expressions in discourse, and 
some passionate advices he had given in the most 
secret counsels and debates of the affairs of state ; 
adding some lighter passages of his vanity and amours ; 
that they who were not inflamed with anger and de- 
testation against him for the former, might have less 
esteem and reverence for his prudence and discretion: 
and so concluded, ' That they would well consider how 
to provide a remedy proportionable to the disease, and 
to prevent the farther mischiefs which they were to 
expect from the continuance of this great man's power 
and credit with the king, and his influence upon his 
counsels.' " Several other speakers took up and car- 
ried on the discussion ; and so passionately intent on it 
were all sides of the house, that a request of the Lords 
for a conference on Scotch affairs, by which they were 
unwillingly interrupted, was put aside; while, at the 
same time, the Commons, by an intimation sent to 
some of their friends in the Lords, desired that house 
not to rise : " which, " observes Clarendon, " would 
otherwise have very much broken their measures. In 


conclusion," he continues, " after many hours of bitter 
inveighing, and ripping up the course of his life before 
his coming to court, and his actions after, it was 
moved, according to the secret resolution taken before, 
' that he might be forthwith impeached of high 

Lord Falkland, though no friend to Strafford, was 
the only man in the house such was the sweep 
with which Pym had carried passion, conviction, and 
resolve along with him who offered to interpose, 
by even qualifying his assent. That excellent person 
" modestly " desired the house to consider, that it 
might be more consistent with the dignity of their 
proceedings to examine and digest in a committee the 
particulars which had been brought forward, before 
they sent up to accuse him. " Delay," it was replied 
by Pym, " would ruin all their hopes. Such was the 
earl's credit with the king, that if allowed to approach 
his majesty, a dissolution of parliament, in order to 
escape its justice, would be the certain result ; whereas, 
if they proceeded on the instant, the Lords would have 
no alternative but to commit him to immediate cus- 
tody." In allusion to some doubts which had been 
thrown out, whether all the particulars alleged would, 
if proved, amount to high treason, he added, that 
" the House of Commons were not judges, but ac- 
cusers only." The Lords, who probably had a sus- 
picion that these unwonted proceedings regarded some 
of their own body, and are accordingly supposed to 
have sent their messengers, under cover of a con- 
ference, in reality to gain information, were at length 

D 2 


relieved from suspense by the apparition of Pym at 
their bar ; where, " in the name of the Commons assem- 
bled in Parliament, and of all the Commons of Eng- 
land," he accused "Thomas Earl of Strafford, lord- 
lieutenant of Ireland, of high treason;" and desired 
their lordships, in their name, that he might forthwith 
be committed to prison. 

The scene which followed will be described in the 
words, nearly as they stand, of that gossiping annalist 
of the day, Principal Baillie, whose curiosity and gar- 
rulousness, stimulated by Presbyterian spite to the 
accused nobleman, have left posterity a narrative of 
it, which, for graphic liveliness, no historian has 
equalled. " As soon as Mr. Pym withdrew, the Lords 
began to consult on that strange and unexpected 
motion. The word goes in haste to the lord-lie\itenant, 
where he was with the king. With speed he comes to 
the house ; he calls rudely at the door ; James Max- 
well, keeper of the black rod, opens. His lordship, 
with a proud glooming countenance, makes towards 
his place at the board-head : but at once many bid 
him quit the house; so he is forced, in confusion, to 
go to the door till he was called. After consultation, 
being called in, he stands, but is commanded to kneel ; 
and on his knees to hear the sentence. Being on his 
knees, he is delivered to the keeper of the black rod, 
to be prisoner till he was cleared of those crimes the 
House of Commons had charged him with. He offered 
to speak, but was commanded to be gone without a 
word. In the outer room, Maxwell required him, as a 
prisoner, to deliver his sword. When he had got it, 


he cries, with a loud voice, for his man to carry my 
lord-lieutenant's sword. This done, he makes through 
a number of people towards his coach ; all gazing, no 
man capping to him, before whom, that morning, the 
greatest of England would have stood uncovered. 
Coming to the place where he expected his coach, it 
was not there ; so he behoves to return that same way, 
through a world of gazing people. When at last he 
had found his coach, and was entering, Maxwell told 
him, ' Your lordship is my prisoner, and must go in 
my coach ; ' so he behoved him to do." From the 
house of this James Maxwell, who presents no unim- 
portant figure in the events of the period, the earl was, 
after a few days, committed to the Tower; that last 
home, on earth, of so many of the great and brave of 

This terrible feat of infant Freedom shews to 
what strength she had already been fostered in her 
cradle, the Commons' house of Parliament. To venture 
to will, to dare to resolve, was all that was now needed 
there to give success to any project conceived in her 
name. With a hurried hand, merely, can we touch 
even the prominent incidents that now marked her 
growth. Persons who had been in any way concerned 
in monopolies, were voted by the house to be unworthy 
of occupying its benches. The ship-money tax, and the 
judgment in Hampden's case, were declared subversive 
of property, of the laws, of the resolutions of former 
parliaments, and of the Petition of Rights. A petition 
prepared at the instance of the Scotch commissioners, 
signed by fifteen thousand inhabitants of London, 


praying that episcopal government might be abo- 
lished, with all its dependencies, roots, and branches, 
was received without objection. In this petition Laud 
was struck at the remaining great obstacle in the 
path of reform. Farther, to prepare the way for the 
archbishop's impeachment, the canons issued by the 
convocation, which sat during and for some time after 
the last parliament, were condemned as contrary to 
the fundamental laws of the realm, the prerogatives of 
the king, and the rights of the subject ; while articles 
were delivered, in a conference of the two houses, by 
the Scotch commissioners, in which he was charged, 
with Strafford, as the prime author of all the miseries 
that had befallen the two nations. Two days later, viz. 
18th December, an accusation of high treason was 
brought forward against " William Laud, archbishop of 
Canterbury," in the name of the Commons of England. 
It was adopted, after a short but strongly vituperative 
debate led by Pym : for this time, however, the leader 
waved his peculiar office, and Denzil Holies carried up 
the impeachment to the bar of the Lords. The primate 
was consigned to the custody of Maxwell ; and after 
a costly durance of ten weeks, under the roof of that 
useful person, the gates of the Tower opened to him 

Retribution now reached minor delinquents. Sir 
George Ratcliffe, who, as the friend and " confede- 
rate " of Strafford, had been sent for from Ireland, 
immediately after the earl's impeachment, on an accu- 
sation of treason, followed his master to the Tower. 
Informations were laid against the Bishops of Ely and 


Bath, and against a Durham prebendary, for " idolatry 
and superstition ;" they were obliged to give securities, 
the prelates to the amount of 10,000/. each, the pre- 
bendary in 4000/. " Complaints, " we are told by 
the historian of Puritanism, " were made against 
several other bishops and clergymen, but the house 
had too many affairs upon their hands to attend to 
their prosecution." Yet the records of parliament shew 
that the clergy of inferior rank were not so commonly 
overlooked, as minor delinquents among the laity 
certainly were ; and it is observable that, from the 
opening of the. session, accusations against all classes of 
ecclesiastics were entertained with marked encourage- 
ment. Windebanke, the secretary of state, and the 
lord-keeper Finch, were driven to the Continent, to 
avoid the charges of high treason suspended over them. 
Such of the other judges as had concurred with Finch 
in the decision respecting ship-money, were bound in 
recognisances to the amount of 10,000/. each, to abide 
the judgment of parliament ; one only, Sir Robert 
Berkeley, excepted. That " learned man, and good 
orator and judge," as Whitelocke styles him, was im- 
peached before the Lords, and by their command taken 
off the bench, in the open court, by their usher 
Maxwell, and carried to prison : " which," the memo- 
rialist subjoins, " struck a great terror in the rest of 
his brethren then sitting in Westminster Hall, and in 
all his profession." Prynne and his fellow-martyrs, in 
obedience to the order of the Commons, entered London 
in triumph, amidst the acclamations of the citizens ; 
their sentences were declared illegal, and heavy 


damages were awarded them out of the estates of 
the archbishop and the other members of the council 
who had sat on their trial. The house also voted 
a gratuity of 300,0001. to their " brethren " of Scot- 
land. We might wonder whither had flown the valiant 
and haughty spirit of the English, when we find 
them thus lavishing endearments and liberality on those 
who, at this time, actually held, as if by right of con- 
quest, some of the best provinces of England ; did we 
not know that, independently of all party exaggeration, 
the vexations of the people had been such, as made 
them willing to hold out the grateful hand of fellow- 
ship to any party who brought, or professed to bring, 
deliverance for them from the evils of arbitrary power. 
As to the parliamentary leaders, they were not to be 
deterred by the remonstrances of national honour, from 
a vote which at once so deeply obliged their ser- 
viceable friends, and added to the embarrassments of the 

In the midst of every other business, the great 
affair of Strafford's impeachment was zealously urged 
forward. For more than four months, through which 
the preliminary arrangements extended, the anxious 
attention and boundless power of the House of Commons 
were taxed, that nothing might be left undone to 
secure justice on the accused, to manifest the dignity 
and authority of the house, and to vindicate the laws. 
On the side of the defence, the way was not so clear. 
It has already been noticed that Strafford's impeach- 
ment was instantly followed up by that of his friend 
and assistant Ratcliffe ; at the same time, all inter- 


course between the prisoners, and all visits to either from 
members of parliament, were prohibited. The Com- 
mons were unwilling that counsel should be allowed ; 
this, though overruled by the Lords, in respect to points 
of law, was agreed to as regarded matter of fact: in- 
tending to manage the accusation by their own mem- 
bers, the Commons desired to be present at the trial as 
a house of parliament ; the Lords not assenting, it was 
agreed they should sit as a committee of the whole 
house. The articles of accusation, as reported by the 
committee of impeachment, at their first presentation 
in November, were only nine; as finally taken up 
to the Lords by Pym, on the 30th of December, they 
had swelled to the number of twenty-eight. These 
charges were of great length, and referred to the 
public and private incidents of fourteen years of a life 
of unusual activity. The earl desired three months to 
prepare his answer : the Commons opposed : the Lords 
directed three weeks to be allowed; at the end of 
which period, February 24th, the answers to each 
several accusation were read to the house in the 
presence of the king, and the trial was fixed for the 
22d of the following month. 

While these preparations were in progress, nothing 
was omitted on Charles's part which appeared likely 
to soften the hostility of Stafford's enemies. He sent 
for the houses, and addressed them in an exceedingly 
conciliatory speech. He had been long and loudly 
inveighed against for suffering the impunity of Papists ; 
he now placed at the disposal of the Commons the life 
of a condemned priest, on whom they had desired 


justice to be done. He consented to a bill for triennial 
parliaments ; and intimated his willingness to wave 
the claims of the crown in regard to the royal forests. 
A further plan to which the king yielded, was no less 
than to throw the great offices of state into the hands 
of the patriots. The framework of a cabinet, to be 
constructed on this principle, was actually laid down, 
and the project in part executed. But the members 
disagreeing on the two great conditions required by 
the king, viz. security to the church, and the 
preservation of Strafford, the negotiation fell to the 
ground, leaving the whole party more incensed than 
ever. Finally, Charles gave what has justly been 
termed a " suicidal" consent to the examination of the 
members of his privy council, on oath, at the approach- 
ing trial. 

Strafford's trial was the most solemn and august 
judicial inquiry, in its circumstances, as it was the most 
elaborate in its preparation, which England had ever 
witnessed. It was for the life or death or rather 
for the death only ; for that was a point to be gained, 
at all events of one so great and dangerous, that 
three realms rose up by their representatives to be 
his accusers; and, as the day approached, the eyes 
of their millions of citizens (of whom all, and to the 
remotest posterity of each, had a vital interest involved) 
were turned, with earnest emotion, towards West- 
minster Hall ; that largest abode of " the British 
Nemesis" being chosen as alone not unworthy of the 

At an early hour on the appointed morning the 


noble prisoner came from the Tower, accompanied by 
the lieutenant and one hundred soldiers, armed with 
partizans, in six barges, rowed by fifty pair of oars. 
On landing at Westminster, he was received by double 
the number of the trained bands; those citizen- 
soldiers, whose subsequent familiarity with the view of 
great men in adversity had now its beginning, in the 
instance of one who in bearing it nobly has not been 
excelled. Disease and care not age had begun 
to impress on Strafford the appearance of bodily 
decay ; but his countenance was marked with intel- 
lectual vigour, and bore the impress of authority. 
Awed, in spite of hate, by the actual presence of 
the individual whose name had often stirred them 
with terror, the crowd falls back; even the rudest 
vail their bonnets a token of respect which the 
earl courteously acknowledges. 

The entrance by which Strafford was brought into 
the hall was on one side, at the lower end. He is 
preceded by Maxwell ; advancing to whom, an officer 
inquires whether the axe is to be borne before the 
prisoner : " The king," replies Maxwell, " has ex- 
pressly forbidden it!" Balfour, the lieutenant, now 
conducts the accused to the bar, where a space, fur- 
nished with seats and a bench, is enclosed for him, 
for his gaoler, his counsel, and secretaries. "After 
obeisances given," he kneels ; and, rising, looks calmly 
round upon a scene of imposing grandeur. 

In the centre of that proud historic chamber sit 
Strafford's judges, the Lords of England. They are 
covered, and all wear the habits of temporal peers ; 


for the prelates have been persuaded to take no part 
in the judgment. With them, in scarlet robes, appear 
the lord-keeper and his brethren of the legal bench ; 
and, at their head, fronting his compeers, sits the 
Earl of Arundel, for this occasion lord high-steward 
of England. At the upper end of the hall, under a 
canopy of state above the peers, are placed two raised 
seats, designed for the king and the Prince of Wales, 
but unoccupied. On either side the canopy of state 
runs a small gallery, closed with trellis-work; one of 
these contains the king and queen, the prince, and 
their attendants ; the other accommodates such fo- 
reigners of distinction as have been attracted by this 
high solemnity. Scaffolds, rising stage above stage, 
on each side of the hall, are filled, respectively, by 
the great accusing parties ; the Commons of England, 
uncovered, on the lower benches ; in those above, 
their assessors, the Lords of Ireland and the Com- 
missioners of Scotland: with whom are mingled many 
spectators, mostly persons of quality. The peeresses 
and other ladies present occupy a gallery at the foot 
of the throne. Adjoining the place assigned to the 
accused, a similar space encloses the managers of the 
impeachment ; a band of the ablest lawyers and 
most eloquent statesmen of that great age of English 

The lord-steward rises, and commands the trial to 

The treason charged against the prisoner, it was 
contended by his accusers, was either particular, con- 
sisting in individual acts of a treasonable nature; or 


cumulative, the aggregate result of many acts tending 
to a treasonable design. The articles of impeachment 
were distributed over his whole official life as pre- 
sident of the North ; in his government of Ireland ; as 
chief minister, since his return, of England. In pro- 
portion, however, as it became clear that the evidence 
could not sustain this accumulated charge, the Com- 
mons altered their accusation to " an attempt to sub- 
vert the fundamental laws of the country, and to 
introduce an arbitrary and tyrannical government. " 
But, as no such offence is specified in the statute, or 
recognised by the common law, they demanded that he 
should be tried, not merely by the rules of the courts, 
but by certain maxims said to be inherent in what we 
now call the constitution. 

To Pym, chiefly if not to him alone belonged 
the credit of that philosophic tact, or that vindictive 
boldness, by which it was resolved to carry out the 
substantial allegation, beyond the reach of law, into 
the awful, but dangerous and indefinite, regions of 
Eternal Right. Into that abyss, whither an arbitrary 
power in a state may, at any time, on the falsest pre- 
tences, thrust to their destruction the doomed victims 
of its will, Strafford, remembering he stood before the 
legal tribunal of his peers, deemed it needless to look : 
with the question as one of law, it was not hard for 
such a mind to deal. 

For fifteen days, he, with manifest success, directed 
his defence to this point. Though suffering grievously 
from disease, and surrounded with embarrassing diffi- 
culties, some, and the worst of them, thrown in his 


way by his accusers, once only in all that time did he 
permit himself to be led by his natural heat of temper 
to make a recriminatory observation. He asserted, in- 
deed, on all occasions, his right ; when that was allowed, 
modestly thanked his judges ; complained not when it 
was refused ; and, in reference to an angry and insult- 
ing remark by one of the managers, on his insisting upon 
a point of order, which he regarded as of vital import- 
ance to his defence, merely observed, that he thought 
he had as good a right to defend his life, as any person 
had to endeavour to take it away. His eloquence, 
acknowledged by his accusers to have been " full of 
weight and reason, " was regulated by manly temper 
combined with the finest flow of diction and the most 
finished grace of delivery ; while his countenance, exhi- 
biting a severe loftiness, natural to the man, with con- 
scious intellectual power, shaded by suffering and a just 
sensibility to his condition, harmonised well both with 
his past greatness and his present misfortunes. The 
effect is described as strikingly favourable. The clergy, 
the courtiers, above all, the ladies in that illustrious 
auditory, are loud in admiration. The general sentiment 
penetrates to the judicial benches ; and the Commons 
perceive, with undissembled vexation, that the peers 
are recovering the courage to be just. Vehement cries 
of " Withdraw ! withdraw ! " resounding from their 
galleries, startle the court. The members retire within 
their own walls, and there, amid tumultuous confusion, 
debate the question, " What is next to be done ? " 



THE genius of Pym had long since anticipated the 
reply. Should so pernicious a foe to liberty be allowed 
to escape for want of a specific statute, or known law, 
capable of reaching his great crimes ? It was not to be 
thought of! To the remedy for their difficulties he had 
pointed, when he argued for the existence of a treason 
against the principle of justice, as well as treason in 
violation of the law; for a treason against the people, 
no less than against the sovereign. The remedy was a 
bill of attainder the ready instrument of tyranny, 
and tacitly acknowledged such by these statesmen 
themselves, when they inserted in it the much-lauded 
proviso (what action may not win praise from parti- 
sans ?) that this attainder should not be acted upon by 
the judges as a precedent in determining the crime of 
treason. To give the necessary support to his plan, 
Pym, resorting once more to the solemnity of closed 
doors, announced a discovery involving important sup- 
plemental evidence of Straffbrd's guilt. It consisted 
in a minute of the privy council on Scotch affairs, 
in May, purporting to contain words spoken by Strafford 


to the king, advising his majesty to employ the army 
of Ireland to reduce England. These minutes had 
formerly been found by the younger Vane, in his father's 
library. The bill it was already prepared was 
produced, and instantly read. The trial now proceeded 
upon the additional evidence ; to which Strafford having 
replied, was called upon to make his final answer to the 

The earl began by alluding to the advantages pos- 
sessed by his accusers, and in gentle terms to the 
violence with which those advantages had been pressed, 
to bear down a man standing alone against the whole 
authority and power of the House of Commons ; his 
health impaired, his memory weakened, the order of 
his thoughts discomposed. In a tone of cheerful and 
generous confidence, he threw himself upon the justice 
of his judges; giving God thanks that they were the 
peers of England, and celebrating the wisdom of those 
times " which had so ordained." 

" My lords," he said, "I have learned that in this 
case, which I did not know before, that there are trea- 
sons of two kinds statute treasons, and treasons con- 
structive and arbitrary. First, then, I shall, as I hope, 
clear myself of statute, and then shall come to con- 
structive, treason." 

Having, at great length, and with surprising acute- 
ness and force, replied severally to the articles which 
charged him with treason against the statute, he pro- 
ceeded : 

" My lords, I have all along watched to see if I 
could find that poisoned arrow that should envenom 


all the rest, that deadly cup of wine, that should 
intoxicate a few alleged inconveniences and misdemean- 
ours, to run them up to high treason. That those 
should be treason together that are not treason in any 
one part, and where one thing will not do it of itself, 
yet woven with others it shall do it, I conceive, my 
lords, under favour, that neither statute law nor com- 
mon law hath declared this. It is hard I should here 
be questioned for my life and honour upon a law that 
is not extant, that cannot be showed. My lords, 
where has this fire been lying all this while, so many 
hundred years together, that no smoke should appear 
till it burst out now, to consume me and my children ? 
That a punishment should precede promulgation of a 
law ; that I should be punished by a law subsequent to 
the fact, is extreme hard ! What man can be safe, if 
this be admitted? It is hard in another respect, 
that there should be no token set by which we should 
know this offence, no admonition given by which we 
should avoid it. Where is the mark, where is the 
token upon this crime, to discover it to be high trea- 
son ? My lords, be pleased to have that regard to the 
peerage of England, as never to expose yourselves 
to such moot points, such constructive interpretations 
of law ; if there must be a trial of wits, let the subject 
be of something else than the lives and honours of 
peers. It will be wisdom in your lordships, for your- 
selves, your posterity, and for the whole kingdom, to 
cast into the fire those bloody and mysterious volumes 
of constructive and arbitrary treason, as the Christians 
in the primitive time did their books of curious arts, 


and betake yourselves to the plain letter of the statute, 
that tells you what is and what is not treason ; and not 
to be ambitious to be more learned in those killing 
arts than our forefathers ! It is now full two hundred 
and forty years since any man was touched for this 
alleged crime, to this height, before myself. Let us 
not awaken these sleeping lions to our destructions, 
by raking up a few dusty records that have lain by 
the wall so many ages, forgotten or neglected. May it 
please you, my lords, not to add this to my other mis- 
fortunes, that a precedent should be derived from me, 
so disadvantageous as this will be to the whole king- 
dom. Do not through me, wound the interest of the 
commonwealth : and howsoever those gentlemen say 
they speak for the commonwealth, yet, in this parti- 
cular, I indeed speak for it, and shew the inconve- 
niences and mischiefs that will fall upon it : for, as it is 
expressed in the statute of Henry the Fourth, ' no man 
will know what to do or say for fear of such penalties.' 
Do not, my lords, put such great difficulties upon 
ministers of state, that men of wisdom, of honour, and 
of fortune, may not with cheerfulness and safety be 
employed for the public : if you weigh and measure 
them by grains and scruples, the public affairs of the 
kingdom will lie waste ; no man will meddle with them 
who hath any thing to lose. 

" My lords, I have troubled you longer than I 
should have done, were it not for the interest of those 
dear pledges a saint in heaven hath left me." [At this 
word, we are told, he stopped a while, letting fall some 
tears to her memory ; then he went on.] ' What I 


forfeit for myself is nothing ; but that my indiscretion 
should extend to my posterity, wounds me to the very 
soul. You will pardon my infirmity, something I 
would have added, but am not able ; therefore let it 
pass. And now, my lords, for myself I have been, by 
the blessing of Almighty God, taught that ' the afflic- 
tions of this present life are not to be compared with 
the eternal weight of glory which shall be revealed 
hereafter.' And so, my lords, even so, with all tran- 
quillity of mind, I submit myself freely to your judg- 
ment ; and, whether (he concluded, looking upward,) 
that judgment be of life or death, TE DEUM LAUDAMUS : 


The effect of this noble and touching address upon 
the audience in general, may be understood from the 
following testimony, subjoined to the report of it, for 
which we are indebted to Whitelocke, the chairman of 
the committee of impeachment. " Certainly, " writes 
that honest adversary of Strafford, " never any man 
acted such a part, on such a theatre, with more wis- 
dom, constancy, and eloquence, with greater reason, 
judgment, and temper, and with a better grace in all 
his words and gestures, than this great and excellent 
person did ; and he moved the hearts of all his 
auditors (some few excepted) to remorse and pity. " 
Pym had prepared a reply, in force of reasoning 
and condensed power of language, worthy of a juster 
cause ; in sanguinary violence, far exceeding every 
thing hitherto drawn forth by this memorable trial. 
Among many sterling passages, it contains a descrip- 
tion of law, equalled only by the famous one in 

E 2 


Hooker. " The law," says the Commons' orator, " is 
that which puts a difference betwixt good and evil, 
betwixt just and unjust. If you take away the law, 
all things will fall into a confusion; every man will 
become a law to himself, which, in the depraved con- 
dition of human nature, must needs produce many 
enormities. Lust will become a law, and envy will 
become a law, covetousness and ambition will become 
laws ; and what dictates, what decisions such laws 
will produce, may easily be discerned in the late 
government of Ireland." These sentences were re- 
peatedly quoted, or referred to, in the able proclama- 
tions and manifestoes, from the pen of Clarendon, 
put forth by the king at a subsequent period ; when 
the same men who had once started so honourably, 
were recklessly hurrying forward over the prostrate 
ruins of the constitution. From statements so just 
and philosophic, Pym could pass, however, to the 
following tone of truculent aggravation : " The for- 
feitures inflicted for treason, by our law, are of life, 
honour, and estate, even all that can be forfeited ; and 
this prisoner having committed so many treasons, 
although he should pay all these forfeitures, will be 
still a debtor to the commonwealth. Nothing can be 
more equal, than that he should perish by the justice 
of that law which he would have subverted. Neither 
will this be a new way of blood. There are marks 
enough to trace this law to the very original of this 
kingdom ; and if it hath not been put in execution, as 
he allegeth, these two hundred and forty years, it was 
not for want of law, but that all that time hath not 


bred a man bold enough to commit such crimes as 
these ! " 

At this point an incident occurred that shook 
the orator's firmness. During the delivery of this 
speech, the earl had frequently regarded his accuser 
with an earnest look. At length, just as the above 
words were uttered, their eyes met. What sudden 
feeling smote through the " firm nerves " of the pur- 
suer, as he caught the steady gaze of his great quarry, 
once his admired associate, can only be conjectured. 
He loses, however, his self-possession, falters, 
stops ; with trembling hands he seeks, among his 
papers, somewhat towards the next paragraph of pre- 
meditated invective. " They could not help him," 
writes an eye-witness ; and, amidst the evident im- 
patience of the hall, he huddles up the unheeded 

The law which exacted Strafford's blood was not 
yet in the statute-book. Persuasion had not reached 
the Lords. Now, therefore, the whole strength of 
the party was to be applied to force on the bill of 
attainder. Selden, the most learned and venerable of 
the advocates of freedom Holborne, the least corrupt- 
ible of the judges, argued against that sanguinary 
enactment. Digby, as long as he believed there was 
evidence against the earl of high treason, one of his 
severest accusers, became now his advocate; and pro- 
tested vehemently against the shedding of his blood. 
But opposition served only to whet the eagerness of 
pursuit. The language of St. John was the raving of a 
fury. Strafford asked to be heard against the bill: he 


was denied. On the 21st of April it was read a third 
time in the Commons ; and the same afternoon Pym 
hurried up with it to the Peers, with a special demand 
for expedition ! 

Actuated more by motives of conscience and kingly 
honour than by personal attachment, Charles resolved, 
at all hazards, to save his unfortunate minister. He 
assured Strafford by letter, that, " upon the word of a 
king, he should not suffer, in life, honour, or for- 
tune ; " and what he said, he fully designed. But the 
king was in the power of the Commons. By his conni- 
vance, large offers were made to Balfour, the lieutenant 
of the Tower, to suffer the escape of his prisoner : the 
stern Scotchman remained true to the cause espoused 
by his nation, and revealed every thing. The troops 
were discontented at the preference given to the Scotch, 
in the article of pay ; the king was privy to an intrigue, 
founded on this circumstance, the object of which was, 
to overawe the parliament by bringing the army into 
the neighbourhood of the metropolis : it was instantly 
betrayed to the popular leaders. Baffled in every 
more decided attempt to save his minister, Charles, in 
the extremity of his distress, took what proved to be 
a fatal step. He went down to parliament and ad- 
dressed the houses, acknowledging that StrafFord had 
been guilty of misdemeanours, and promising never 
again to employ him in his affairs ; but added, that 
having been present and heard the whole of the evi- 
dence at the trial, he in his conscience acquitted him 
of high treason, and could not give his assent to the 
bill of attainder. 


A more unfortunate course could not have been 
pursued. The Commons exclaimed loudly against this 
declaration, as an attempt upon their privileges. The 
next day being Sunday, the party to use an expression 
of Queen Elizabeth's " tuned the pulpits " of the 
Presbyterians to the cry of "Justice on the great de- 
linquent ; " and on the Monday armed multitudes, set 
on by the same instigation, placarded the names of 
fifty-nine members of the House of Commons who 
had voted with Lord Digby against the bill, and occu- 
pied the passages to the House of Lords ; insulting 
the peers on account of their delay, with shouts of 
" Justice and execution ! Justice and execution ! " and 
openly, before the windows of Whitehall, demanding 
the blood of Strafford. By these means the judges 
were intimidated to deliver an opinion, that on certain 
of the charges the earl was guilty in law ; and it is 
said that some of the bishops (the absence of Laud 
had been wisely provided for !), to whom the king 
appealed in his despair, advised him to yield, by means 
of a quibbling argument, grounded on the distinction 
between what he owed to his conscience, as a man, 
and what as a sovereign. Pym seized the moment 
to announce the discovery of the "army plot," the 
doors, as usual, when a great blow was to be struck 
being previously closed. Terrible things were added, 
of corresponding dangers from abroad. All day the 
house continued in debate, which at night issued in 
the famous " Protestation," imitated from the " Solemn 
League and Covenant" of Scotland. Following up 
the prodigious impulse given by these, and other 


methods of excitement, the Commons then bring in a 
bill for securing the perpetuity of the parliament. It 
passes the Lords. Three days later, in a thin house, 
and by a small majority, the bill of attainder likewise 
passes. Together they are presented to the king, 
with pressing entreaties to his majesty to preserve 
the peace of the kingdom by an immediate assent. 
With a magnanimity worthy his character, Strafford 
himself implores his afflicted master to withdraw his 
pledge, and, by assenting to the bill, seal a " blessed 
agreement " between himself and his subjects. " Sir," 
he writes, "my consent shall more acquit you herein to 
God, than all the world can do besides : to a willing 
man there is no injury done." 

In agony the king passed the interval which he 
had required to consider his final answer to the 
solicitations of the two houses; and at the close of 'it 
subscribed, with tears, a commission to the Earl of 
Arundel, and two other lords, to give the required 
assent, scarcely noticing in his distress that other no 
less fatal enactment. The next day, when Secretary 
Carlton announced the terrible decision, and explained 
its motives, to the earl, a moment's flush of that attach- 
ment to life, common alike to all, which religious 
trust, generous greatness of soul, or even the resolves 
of a strong intellect, can crush, but ^not extinguish, 
came over him. Some surprise appeared in his coun- 
tenance ; he inquired if it was so indeed ; rdfee up from 
his chair; and, with uplifted hands, exclaimed, in the 
words of the Psalmist, " Put not your trust in princes 
nor in the sons of men ! " 


Laud, the associate of his greatness, and the com- 
panion of his fall, had some time previously become 
the earl's neighbour in the Tower. The steps by which 
he was transferred thither may be here briefly traced. 

It is probable, that, at the time of the primate's 
impeachment, no intention existed to take away his 
life : it was thought sufficient to keep him from mis- 
chief, and let him find, it might be, a grave in prison. 
Before passing into the custody of Maxwell, he had 
permission to go over to Lambeth, and select some 
papers and books for his defence. He remained there 
till night, and attended prayers, for the last time, in 
his own chapel. When the hour arrived for his de- 
parture, he found hundreds of his poor neighbours 
waiting to receive his benediction, and praying for his 
safe return. Such particulars are worthy to be re- 
lated, in the story of a man whom even they who 
admit his virtues scarcely believe to have been capable 
of inspiring attachment. 

Towards the latter end of February, the archbishop 
was ordered to attend the House of Lords and hear 
the articles of impeachment read. Pym appeared at 
the bar in support of the accusation ; but his speech on 
this occasion did not display those marks of a powerful 
intellect, engaged in its chosen vocation, which shone 
so brilliantly through his arguments against Strafford. 
Laud having now permission to speak, enlarged at 
some length upon the charge ; which, he said, was 
great and heavy, and such, indeed, that he should 
regard himself as unworthy to live, if it could be made 
good. On the first of March he was committed to the 


Tower ; in his passage through the City, " baited " 
by the rabble with a degree of brutality which deeply 
shocked even his gaoler, Maxwell. No intercourse 
between the great and unfortunate friends was al- 
lowed ; but Laud derived some consolation from the 
reports made to him by Balfour, of many expressions 
of reverence and affection towards himself which the 
earl had been heard to utter. 

Strafford's days were now literally numbered. The 
royal assent to the bill of attainder was given on 
Monday ; Wednesday was fixed for his execution ,' 
nor could the utmost endeavours of the afflicted king 
negociation, entreaty, supplication, to all of them 
he resorted, procure so much as a short respite. 
The earl employed the interval in calmly settling his 
affairs. He wrote a petition to the House of Lords, 
entreating them, in terms perhaps too humble, to 
have compassion on his innocent children ; addressed 
a letter to his wife, bidding her affectionately to sup- 
port her courage, and accompanied it with an address 
of final advice and instruction to his eldest son, ex- 
quisite for its pathos, its wisdom, and deep religious 
tone. He had tender and tearful farewells for other 
friends beside ; but the most solemn he reserved for 

The day previous to his execution, Strafford sent 
for the lieutenant of the Tower, and requested to know 
if he might speak with the archbishop. Balfour 
replied, that such an indulgence was contrary to his 
peremptory orders. " Master lieutenant," said he, with 
melancholy playfulness, "you shall hear what passes 


between us. It is not a time either for him to plot 
heresy or me to plot treason." The lieutenant sug- 
gested that he should petition the parliament. " No," 
rejoined the earl ; " I have gotten my despatch from 
them, and will trouble them no more. I am now 
petitioning a higher court, where neither partiality can 
be expected, nor error feared." He then turned to the 
primate of Ireland (Usher), who had been permitted to 
attend him, and said, " My lord, I will tell you what 
I should have spoken to my lord's grace of Canter- 
bury. You shall desire the archbishop to lend me 
his prayers to-night, and to give me his blessing 
when I go abroad to-morrow ; and that he will be 
in his window, that by my last farewell I may give 
him thanks for this and all his former favours." 
Laud, on receiving this message, replied that he 
was bound, by every obligation of duty and affec- 
tion, to comply with the request ; but feared that 
his weakness and passion would not lend him eyes to 
behold the departure of his friend. The next morn- 
ing, when Strafford was on his way to the scaffold, as 
he approached the apartment of the archbishop, he 
remarked to the lieutenant that he did not see him : 
" nevertheless," continued he, " give me leave I pray 
you, to do my last observance towards his chamber." 
An attendant, in the meantime, having apprised the 
archbishop of his approach, he staggered to the win- 
dow. The earl perceiving him, exclaimed, bowing 
himself to the ground, " My lord, your prayers and 
your blessing !" The aged primate lifted up his 
hand, pronounced his benediction, and, overcome with 


anguish, fell fainting to the earth. Strafford added 
these parting words "Farewell, my lord; God pro- 
tect your innocency !" and passed calmly onwards. 
At the gate of the Tower, the lieutenant wished him to 
enter a coach, lest the enraged populace should rush 
upon him to tear him in pieces. "No," said he, 
" Mr. Lieutenant ; I dare look death in the face, and, 
I hope, the people too. Have you a care that I do 
not escape. 'Tis all one how I die ; whether by the 
stroke of the executioner, or the madness and fury of 
the people, if that may content them." And, being 
freer than usual from bodily infirmities, he walked 
onward, going before the guards, with a serene yet 
somewhat elated countenance, like a general (as was 
observed) at the head of his troops. He was habited 
in black, with white gloves on his hands. A numerous 
crowd, consisting of not less than one hundred thou- 
sand persons, stretched in long perspective across 
Tower Hill ; to whom he frequently took off his hat, 
and saluted them as he passed. 

Having ascended the scaffold, followed by Sir 
George Wentworth, the primate Usher, and others of 
his friends, he knelt down, and, rising, examined the 
block. He then intimated his desire to speak to the 
people. " I am here," he said, " to pay my last debt 
to sin, which is death ; and I solemnly declare, in the 
presence of Almighty God, in whose mercies I trust, 
that in all my service to his majesty, however it be my 
ill fortune to have my acts misconstrued, I had never 
any intention but to promote the joint prosperity of 
the king and his people. I wish this kingdom all 


prosperity and happiness ; I wished it living, I wish it 
dying. But let every one consider seriously, whether 
the beginning of the people's happiness should be 
written in letters of blood." After making protesta- 
tion of his faith and devotion to the Church of Eng- 
land, and his cheerful forgiveness of his enemies, 
" One thing," he continued, " I desire to be heard in, 
and do hope that for Christian charity's sake I shall 
be believed. I was so far from being against par- 
liaments, that I have always thought parliaments in 
England to be the happy constitution of the kingdom ! 
and the best means under God to make the king and 
his people happy." 

He then turned to take leave of his friends. To 
each he affectionately gave his hand. " Gentlemen," 
he said, " I would say my prayers ; and I entreat you 
all to pray with me, and for me." Again standing up, 
he perceived his brother, Sir George Wentworth, weep- 
ing excessively. " Brother," said he to him, " what do 
you see in me to cause these tears? Does any inde- 
cent fear betray in me guilt, or my innocent boldness 
want of religion? Think that you are now accom- 
panying me once more to my marriage-bed. That 
block must be my pillow, and here I must rest from 
all my labours. No thoughts of envy, no dreams of 
treason, no jealousies or cares for the king, the state, 
or myself, shall interrupt this easy sleep. Therefore, 
rather pity with me those who, without intending it, 
have made me happy. Brother, we must part. Re- 
member me to my sister and to my wife ; and carry 
my blessing to my eldest son, and charge him from me 


to fear God, to continue an obedient son of the Church 
of England, and a faithful subject to the king, and that 
he bear no grudge or revenge towards any concerning 
me. Carry my blessing to Ann and Arabella (his 
daughters), not forgetting my little infant, that knows 
neither good nor evil, and cannot speak for itself, 
God speak for it, and bless it ! I have now well-nigh 
done : one stroke will make my wife husbandless, my 
dear children fatherless, and my poor servants master- 
less, and separate me from my dear brother, and all 
my friends ; but may God be to you and them all in 
all ! " 

He proceeded to undress himself, winding up his 
hair beneath a cap with his hands ; and while thus 
employed, he said, " Never did I take off my clothes 
with greater cheerfulness and content, when I went to 
bed, than in this preparation for my grave." He in- 
quired for the executioner. " Where," he said, " is the 
man that should do me this office? call him to me." 
The headsman approached, and asked his forgiveness. 
Strafford replied, that he forgave him and all the 

The affecting narrative of this great man's departure 
from life thus closes. " Kneeling down by the block, 
he went to prayer again by himself, the primate of 
Ireland kneeling on the one side, and the minister on 
the other ; to the which minister after prayer he turned 
himself, and spoke some few words softly ; having 
his hands lifted up, the minister closed his hands 
with his. Then bowing himself to the earth to lay 
down his head on the block, he told the executioner 


that he would first lay down his head to try the fitness 
of the block, and take it up again, before he laid it 
down for good and all ; and so he did : and before 
he laid it down again, he told the executioner that he 
would give him warning when to strike, by stretching 
forth both his hands; and then, having laid down his 
neck on the block, stretching out his hands, the exe- 
cutioner struck off his head at one blow, then took up 
the head in his hand, and shewed it to all the people, 
and said, ' God save the king !' " 

" Thus, " wrote Laud, on recovering his usual 
serenity, after that overwhelming farewell, sufficiently 
to proceed with the task which solaced his imprison- 
ment until his own turn came, " thus ended the 
wisest, the stoutest, and every way the ablest subject 
that this nation had bred these many years." The ex- 
cellent Evelyn also says, under date of that sanguinary 
12th of May, 1641, I beheld on Tower Hill the fatal 
stroke which severed the wisest head in England from 
the shoulders of the Earl of Strafford ; whose crime 
coming under the cognisance of no human law, a new 
one was made, not to be a precedent, but his destruc- 
tion : to such exorbitancy were things arrived." These 
were the sentiments of persons of humanity and reflec- 
tion. But the populace, though awed into decency at 
the scaffold, celebrated their triumph for such they 
were taught to esteem it with shouts of exultation as 
they returned through the City. 



THE rapidity with which the great movement ad- 
vanced, after Strafford's fall, was in proportion to the 
magnitude of the impediment removed. It was now 
easy for the triumphant party to sweep away all real 
abuses. As long as their measures spared the episcopal 
order, they were submissively adopted by the Lords, and 
assented to by the king without much hesitation. This, 
however, was the very point toward which the main 
force of the onset was directed. 

Of the leaders, indeed, in both houses, several, 
who adopted the language of religion from policy, 
or the fashion of the time, would have been content 
to press no farther upon the power of the hierarchy, 
than they might have done with the concurrence of 
some among the bench of bishops themselves. Wil- 
liams had consented to preside in the committee of 
religion ; a scheme of " moderate episcopacy," designed 
to assimilate the episcopalian and presbyterian systems 
on a footing of mutual compromise, was sanctioned by 

But moderation was no longer in their choice. 
The Church's overthrow was the condition of that 


support, in which lay their chief strength : the patriots, 
therefore, dared neglect no step tending to this object. 
" Delinquent " clergymen were daily deprived. A 
vote passed the Commons, that bishops should, no 
longer sit in parliament : it was presently followed 
by a bill to deprive the whole body of the clergy of 
all temporal functions ; and this again, by the well- 
known presentation of a bill for abolition of epis- 
copacy, root and branch, brought in by the unhappy 
Sir Edward Dering. And though the peers withheld 
their concurrence, and had the courage to defend the 
ecclesiastical constitution a few months longer, yet it 
was evident they were gradually yielding to the pressure. 
On minor points they at once gave way ; and already 
the personal treatment of the lords spiritual, in their 
own house of parliament, was disrespectful, if not 

The king had engaged to be present in Scotland 
at the approaching session of the parliament of that 
kingdom. The fulfilment of this pledge was looked 
forward to by the patriots with alarm. Pleading 
the unsettled state of the public affairs, they requested 
a regent to be named during his majesty's absence : 
he consented only to appoint, for that period, the Earl 
of Essex to be commander-in-chief south of the Trent. 
On various pretexts, alleged by the houses, he from 
time to time delayed his journey ; but at length set out 
from London, in the beginning of August. The parlia- 
ment, not unreasonably suspicious of his purposes, 
despatched after him a committee, with Hampden at 
their head, to watch his steps and thwart his negoti- 


ations. A fortnight later, the two houses, having each 
appointed a committee, empowered for all exigencies 
during the recess, voted an adjournment from Sep- 
tember 9th to October 20th. Pym, whose influence 
and popularity were at this time unbounded, was named 
chairman of the Commons' committee ; and had, in fact, 
management of both. 

The king's determination to conciliate Scotland, at 
all hazards, was early displayed. In passing through 
the head-quarters of the armies, at that time in the 
act of disbanding, he made no stay at York, but 
accepted an entertainment at Newcastle from Les- 
ley, whom he created Earl of Leven. To the cove- 
nanters he made ruinous concessions, humouring 
them at the same time in matters the least palatable 
to his tastes : he stripped the crown of its most 
valuable prerogatives ; gave up episcopacy to de- 
struction ; nominated the leading ministers of the 
Kirk to be his chaplains, and regularly attended the 
presbyterian service. But all his concessions were 
now regarded by that rapacious race as the plunder 
of the vanquished; while in England both his attempts 
to win the Scots, and his efforts to search out the 
treasonable intrigues of the preceding year (which 
was quickly discovered to be a second, but scarcely less 
anxious object), served alike to exasperate the existing 

Before Charles's return, intelligence came from 
Ireland of the frightful rebellion in that country. 
Transferred from the able government of Strafford to 
feebler hands but harsher treatment ; encouraged by 


the successful issue of the Scotch insurrection, and still 
more by those domestic feuds which occupied their 
masters ; the native Irish conspired to throw off the 
yoke, and to massacre all the English and Protestants 
in the island. Unfortunately facilities were afforded 
for the execution of this dreadful project by the parlia- 
ment's refusal, contrary to the king's desire, to allow 
the disbanded Irish soldiers to enter into foreign 
service. The plan of the insurrection had been in 
agitation as early as the month of March, and, by 
degrees, the whole Roman Catholic population were 
drawn into it ; but so well had the terrible secret been 
kept, that it was not till the night previous to the day 
fixed for its execution that the government received 
the least intimation of the impending blow. Intelli- 
gence of it reached the lords justices, Borlase and 
Parsons, scarcely in time to secure the Castle of 
Dublin; in most other places the design was carried 
into effect, amid scenes of cruelty and bloodshed 
almost too horrible for belief. The rebels had the 
audacity to assert that they had risen in defence of 
the royal cause : they even exhibited a forged com- 
mission from the king. That Charles connived at, 
if he did not instigate, this work of blood, though 
now not, indeed, without manifest reluctance given 
up, even by those who are most hostile to his fame, 
was too convenient, and, at the time, too plausible 
a falsehood, not to meet with countenance from the 

A common danger should have reconciled the 
contending parties. But to the patriots all dangers 


appeared trivial, in comparison with the returning tide 
of the nation's loyalty, with which they were now 
seriously threatened. Fresh appeals were, therefore, 
to be made to the fears and credulity of the populace. 
Hence plots thickened, of which some were brought 
to light ; others, more numerous and terrible, were 
suspended in darkness. Mysterious hints of the dan- 
gerous tendency of the court intrigues in Scotland 
were sent up by the vigilant northern committee : 
the swords of disbanded officers, who lurked in the 
purlieus of Covent Garden and Whitehall, were 
said to be thirsting for the blood of their brethren 
at Westminster : Pym's life had actually been at- 
tempted, by means of a plague-paster, conveyed to 
him, at the House of Commons, in a letter: for all 
these reasons, the members of parliament, on re-assem- 
bling at the appointed day, found the trained bands 
under arms in the Palace-yard, watching night and 
day for the safety of that indefatigable band of 

The time had now arrived for the adoption of an 
expedient, of which some rumours had already been 
heard : this was the famous Remonstrance. According 
to its original plan, the Remonstrance was designed 
to display the actual evils under which the country 
laboured : one by one, however, those evils had vanished 
it was for this very reason that the Remonstrance 
was now revived, though in a different shape. It 
contained, in strong but popular language, a sombre 
view of the king's reign, from his accession to the 
hour of its presentation ; representing the miserable 


writhings of the people under the rod of despotism, 
set off by a highly coloured picture of the parliament's 
labours for their relief, through difficulties seemingly 
insurmountable, followed by alarming announcements 
of worse calamities to be dreaded from the machina- 
tions of some unnamed but terrible " malignant par- 
ties." To this statement, the form of a petition was 
not given; but it was accompanied by a request, that 
the bishops might be deprived of their votes in parlia- 
ment ; that his majesty would be pleased to remove 
all objectionable persons from his counsels ; and that 
in future he would employ such individuals only, in 
public affairs and places of trust, " as," in the words 
of the Remonstrance, introducing a phrase frequently 
employed from that time by its authors, " as the 
parliament may have cause to confide in." 

The production of this paper in the House of 
Commons was the critical and decisive point in the 
history of the Long Parliament. Its contrivers intended 
by it to ascertain, and fix, their strength. It was, and 
was designed to be, a severe touchstone of each man's 
actual principles and views ; and, at the same time, 
a barrier against their future abandonment. Doubt 
and suspicion immediately pervaded the minds of the 
moderate and undecided. Why recall the bitterness 
of grievances that had ceased to exist? Why this 
studied harshness of speech ? What was the destina- 
tion of this fierce manifesto ? Silence and mystery 
were, for a time, the only answers. 

It was the 21st of November. The house had 
been occupied with other subjects of ^discussion till 


the hour of twelve a late hour of the day, in those 
times, to bring on new and important matter. Would 
there be a debate ? " A trifling one," replied the am- 
biguous member for Cambridge, Cromwell, to whom 
the question was addressed. Those who were best 
acquainted with the relative state of parties in the 
house foresaw at least a part of the result : the debate 
was deferred to the following morning. 

At nine o'clock on the 22nd it was opened, and 
continued through the day with unwonted violence. 
Many members those especially whose indisposition, 
from age or infirmity, to sit out so protracted a discus- 
sion was not overcome by the interested zeal of party, 
dropped out one by one. " This," cried Rudyard, 
observing Secretary Nicholas take his departure, " will 
be the verdict of a starved jury." Midnight came: 
the Remonstrance was put to the vote, and carried by a 
majority of nine. And now appeared the real object 
of the Remonstrants ; for thereupon rose Hampden, 
and moved that it should be printed. A debate, 
fiercer than the last, ensued. It appearing that no 
intention existed to bring the question before the 
Peers for their concurrence, Hyde warmly asserted 
that the house was incompetent to proceed alone in 
such a measure. " Should, however," he said, " this 
dangerous proposal be adopted, I for one must be 
allowed to protest against it." On this, Palmer, 
one of the moderate men, stood up, crying out, " I, 
too, protest ! " Other members did the same. Pym 
now reminded the house that the privilege, allowed 
to a minority, of protesting, was unknown to the 


Commons, and directed the displeasure of the house 
against the attempted innovation. Instantly the 
whole assembly rose in a tumult. The scene which 
ensued is set before us by the lively pen of a mem- 
ber present. " At three o'clock in the morning," 
writes Sir Philip Warwick, "when they voted it [the 
resolution to print], I thought we all, like Joab's and 
Abner's young men, had catched at each other's locks, 
and sheathed our swords in each other's bowels, had 
not the sagacity and great calmness of Mr. Hampden, 
by a short speech prevented it, and led us to defer 
our angry debate." An effectual separation was now 
made between the moderate and the " root and 
branch " men ; but only to prove the comparative 
weakness of the former. From this period, the Par- 
liament constituted the Government ; the Commons, 
the Parliament ; the Country, or patriotic party, 
the Commons the last being themselves but the 
agents of the Presbyterian and Puritan sections of the 

The king's return took place two days afterwards, 
amidst a burst of returning loyalty, bright, brief, 
and delusive. On the way, he was received at 
York, in particular with the warmest testimonies of 
dutiful affection. The loyalists had succeeded in 
placing in the civic chair of London Sir Richard 
Gurney, a man of character and courage. Under his 
auspices, the king and queen, with the whole court, 
were magnificently feasted in Guildhall ; and, while 
the conduits in Cheapside and Cornhill ran with wine, 
the whole city accompanied the royal party back to 


Whitehall, surrounded with the blaze of innumerable 
torches, and attended by the prayers and acclamations of 
the fickle multitude. 

The next day Charles received back Essex's com- 
mission ; dismissed the guard from about the parliament 
houses ; published a proclamation commanding obe- 
dience to the laws for the defence of religion ; and pro- 
ceeded to attach to his person the more distinguished 
of the seceders, by creating Falkland secretary of state, 
and Colepepper chancellor of the exchequer ; while in 
Hyde, afterwards Earl of Clarendon, though that states- 
man declined a specific office, he secured a firm friend 
and an invaluable servant. 

On the first of December a committee attended 
the king at Hampton Court, to present the Remon- 
strance. Charles received them graciously. " Does 
the house purpose to publish this declaration ? " he 
inquired. " We are not authorised to answer your 
majesty's questions, " was the reply. " Well, " re- 
joined the king, " I suppose you do not expect an 
instant answer to so long a document? You shall 
have one with as much speed as the weightiness of the 
business will permit." He made it his request to the 
house, that the Remonstrance might not be allowed to 
appear till his answer was ready : it was forthwith 
printed, without any notice in the house of this re- 

This paper was an appeal, not to the king, but 
to the people ; and it did its expected work. Innume- 
rable pamphlets, in the same strain, " pursued the 
triumph. " Tumultuous demonstrations of popular 


strength, on pretence of meeting to petition, daily fol- 
lowed. Then came the outrages at Westminster. The 
City of London was at that time the residence of the 
greater part of the nobility and foreign ambassadors ; 
and, besides the retainers of the great, swarmed with a 
bold, reckless, and dissatisfied population. Every man 
had arms, and had learned to use them. Crowds 
of these citizens, under the general name of " ap- 
prentices," mixed with the yet meaner rabble of the 
suburbs, flocked to Westminster, shouting " No 
bishops ! no bishops ! " The Commons (for the 
Lords refused to join with them) petitioned the king, 
at this moment, " in regard of the fears they had of 
some design from the papists, that they might continue 
such a guard about them as they thought fit." He 
ordered the trained bands of Westminster and Middle- 
sex on this duty. So little satisfaction, however, did 
the order give, that when the Earl of Dorset, lord- 
lieutenant of Middlesex, directed them to remove the 
rioters from about the doors of the house of PeerSj 
against whom their violence was chiefly directed, " the 
Commons, " says Clarendon, " inveighed against the 
earl, and talked of accusing him of high treason. " 
The tumults hourly increasing, and many members 
of the Lords complaining, in their places, of the 
insults they met with, that house sought a conference 
with the other to consider the proper remedy. The 
request was evaded : they must not discourage their 
friends; and Pym exclaimed, in the presence of both 
houses, " God forbid, the House of Commons should 


proceed in any way to dishearten the people to obtain 
their just desires ! " 

With how much promptitude and decision any 
indiscreet step which the parties assailed might, in 
this miserable state of things, be induced to take, 
was turned to account by the watchful energy of 
the House of Commons, is seen in the memorable 
incident of the bishops' petition. Those reverend 
persons having been several days forcibly excluded 
from the House of Peers by the mob, Williams, 
archbishop of York, an able man, but whose rest- 
less temper did little 'service to the church, pre- 
vailed with eleven of his brethren to join him in 
subscribing a protest against the validity of every act 
of the house during their absence. It was addressed 
to the king, and by him forwarded to the Lords, who 
heard it with surprise and resentment, and imme- 
diately communicated it to the other house. No 
occurrence could have fallen out more favourably for 
the enemies of the church, than this weak attempt. 
It was instantly debated in the Commons, with 
the usual signs of secrecy and importance ; and a 
resolution passed to impeach the twelve prelates of 
high treason. The result was, that they appeared, 
on their knees, as culprits at the bar of the House of 
Lords ; and that ten of these venerable and learned 
fathers were instantly despatched by water to the 
Tower, through the inclement air of a winter's 
evening ; the remaining two, in tenderness to their 
great age and infirmities, being committed to the 


care of Maxwell. Nor were some of those schemes 
by which the king himself attempted to counter- 
work the assaults now openly made on his authority, 
either more prudently contrived, or happier in their con- 

On the breaking out of the Irish rebellion, his 
majesty, as the likeliest means of silencing the calumny 
that he had himself given countenance to that atro- 
cious plot, remitted to the parliament the measures for 
its suppression. The power thus rashly conceded 
was eagerly grasped; but the purposes of its transfer 
were but tardily and sparingly fulfilled. Repeatedly 
urged by the king to provide money and troops for 
suppressing the rebellion, and for the defence of his 
loyal subjects, they answered by passing a resolution 
never to consent to the toleration of popery in 
Ireland, or any other part of the king's dominions. 
A bill, however, was introduced, for the impressment 
of soldiers. In the preamble it was declared that 
the king had no right, in any case, except a foreign 
invasion, to order an impressment of his subjects. 
Charles required that the bill should not be incum- 
bered with any question respecting the abstract rights 
of sovereign or subject. This unconstitutional inter- 
ference with a parliamentary measure, not yet regu- 
larly brought before him, gave high offence to the 
Commons, was voted a breach of privilege, and 
drew forth a fresh " petition and remonstrance, " in 
which they required the king to name the persons 
by whose evil counsel he had been led into that error. 
Charles replied soothingly ; but referred, with some 


not unkingly marks of scorn, to this insulting de- 

The audacity of the populace, encouraged by the 
connivance of their friends in parliament, rose at length 
to an intolerable pitch. They no longer respected 
the person of the king : Whitehall resounded with 
cries of " No bishops ! no papist lords ! " " We will 
have," they exclaimed, " no porter's lodge here ; but 
will come and speak to the king, without obstruction, 
when we please ! " At length, the indignation of some 
loyal gentlemen, officers of the army and students 
from the inns of court, was so much roused, that 
they came and voluntarily offered themselves to pro- 
tect his majesty from these insufferable insults. Some 
personal conflicts ensued between the parties. On 
one of these occasions, an officer, from contempt for 
the rabble, whose close-cropped hair made them appear 
ridiculously unfashionable to the higher classes of the 
time, threatened them by the name of " Roundheads." 
The term instantly obtained vogue ; and with its anti- 
thesis, " Cavaliers, " which came into fashion shortly 
afterwards, has brought down to our own age, in 
picturesque contrast, the ideas of the two great rival 
parties, who, in so many subsequent encounters, shed 
each other's blood for loyalty and for freedom. 

Among the most zealous of those royalists who 
joined to check the fury of the rabble, was Colonel 
Lunsford ; a gentleman regarded rather for courage 
than discretion or gravity. Into the hands of this wild 
soldier, after procuring the resignation of Balfour, at 
the cost of three thousand pounds, the king was per- 


suaded to put the office of lieutenant of the Tower. 
Parliament remonstrated against this appointment, and 
Charles transferred it to Sir John Byron. The Com- 
mons had repeatedly applied for a guard, to be under 
the command of the Earl of Essex, or some other 
officer c hosen by themselves. They now renewed the 
application with greater urgency ; but before the king's 
answer could be reported, as if to provide against some 
imminent personal danger, arms were introduced into 
the house itself, and, at the same time, an order was 
sent to the sheriffs of London and Middlesex to sta- 
tion the trained bands round the houses, under the 
command of Skippon, an illiterate but honest soldier, 
captain of the Artillery Company, whom they commis- 
sioned for that purpose, with the new title of Major- 
General of the Militia of London. 

It was while engaged in debating the question of 
the guard, that the House of Commons was startled 
with information of the king's celebrated attempt against 
the five members. Who, in this most unhappy instance, 
were his advisers, has not been satisfactorily determined. 
But sufficient motives to almost any expedient, short 
of an act of madness (and the boldest expedient 
might, not absurdly, seem to him the most pro- 
mising), were supplied in the oppressive and in- 
sulting measures of his adversaries. An order stood 
on the order-book of the House of Commons for a 
committee on that day, "to take into consideration 
the militia of the kingdom ;" in other words, to pro- 
ceed to secure the power of the sword ; and as the 
extreme of all subjects of irritation, hints had reached 


the king, that during his absence in Scotland a design 
had been actually on foot to impeach his royal consort. 
A message from the Lords acquainted them that 
Herbert, the attorney-general, had appeared at the 
bar of that house, and accused of high treason the 
Lord Kimbolton, and five members of the House of 
Commons Hollis, Halerigg, Pym, Hampden, and 
Strode. A serjeant-at-arms now presenting himself 
demanded, in the name of the king, to have the five 
members given up to his custody : at the same instant, 
the house learned that officers were engaged in 
sealing up the studies and trunks of the accused. 
It was a moment for the display of that decision, 
in the exercise of which the great leaders of the Com- 
mons delighted. They instantly sent the Speaker's 
warrant, to break the seals, and apprehend the persons 
by whom they were affixed; ordered, at the same 
time, that any members upon whom similar seizures 
were attempted, should stand upon their defence ; 
despatched a deputation to the king with the reply, 
that their answer to a charge so serious required 
grave consideration ; and, desiring the accused mem- 
bers to attend in their places the next morning, 
adjourned the house. 

In that strangely varied sphere, the court of the 
most moral of princes, the fairest star was the beau- 
tiful Dowager-Countess of Carlisle. To this -lady's 
smiles, brilliant talents and a great part in the 
drama of life were indispensable, but effectual, pass- 
ports. What wonder if her favour dwelt, for a season, 
on Strafford? But Strafford perished: and it is hard 


to say, whether disgust points rather to the patriot 
or the courtesan, whether delicacy or moral principle 
suffer the more grievous wound, when we learn that, 
immediately afterwards, the contrasted person, but 
hardly less intellectual brow of his remorseless pro- 
secutor, stained as it was with the reeking blood of 
the great minister, possessed charms for the Countess 
of Carlisle. 

No marvel, if so many of Charles's schemes proved 
abortive, when the most important of his affairs were 
in the power of such a woman ! The afternoon of the 
following day had arrived, and each of the five accused 
members had spoken in his place against the accu- 
sation, when Pym received a private intimation from 
the countess that his majesty in person was coming to 
the house to apprehend him. A gentleman who had 
hastened from Whitehall entering, and confirming this 
intelligence, with the addition that he had actually 
beheld his majesty on the way, Pym and his friends 
withdrew ; the house, meantime, waiting the result in 

All that followed is well known: the king's 
entrance with his nephew, the prince palatine ; the 
stillness which prevailed ; his majesty's looking around 
for Pym and his friends; his seating himself in the 
Speaker's chair ; his speech to the house, in which 
he assured them that no king of England had ever 
held their privileges in greater respect than him- 
self, but that he was advised treason had no privilege ; 
his confirming all that he had recently done for the 
advantage of his subjects; finally, his retiring, un- 


covered, as he had entered, with an air of courteous 
deference, but followed by those prolonged and omin- 
ous murmurs of " Privilege ! privilege !" by which 
alone the members broke, at length, the profound 
silence they had hitherto observed. 

The next day the house passed some resolutions, 
denouncing, in haughty terms, this " high breach 
of the rights and privileges of parliament," and im- 
mediately adjourned for a week ; but resolved to sit 
in the meantime, as a committee of the house, at 

A proclamation was issued commanding the ports 
to be shut, and forbidding any person to harbour the 
accused members ; yet the very house in which they 
were living they can scarcely be said to have been 
concealed was well known. Lord Digby, the author, 
it was asserted, of all this mischief, Lunsford, and some 
other Cavaliers, offered to go and secure them by force. 
To this proposal the king had the firmness to refuse his 
consent, but the day following proceeded himself to 
the City. Arrived at the Tower, he sent to the lord- 
mayor, to meet him at Guildhall, with the aldermen 
and common council. " Gentlemen," he said, when 
they were assembled, " I am come to demand such 
prisoners as I have already attainted of high treason; 
and believe they are shrouded in the City. I hope no 
good man will keep them from me. Their offences 
are treason and misdemeanours of a high nature. I 
desire your loving assistance herein, that they may be 
brought to a legal trial." The attempt had no other 
result but to exasperate farther "the madness of the 


people," and to expose Charles's powerless condition 
to contempt. 

Six days passed ; days of intoxicating excitement 
without, of painful regret for this futile demonstration 
within, the palace at Whitehall. On the llth, Hamp- 
den, Pym, Hollis, Haslerigg, Strode, (now too much 
the idols of the people, as well as the objects of the 
king's enmity, to preserve that manly moderation, 
without which, though they might win many vic- 
tories, they could hardly achieve enduring success,) 
returned in triumph, escorted by the sheriffs and by 
vast crowds of shouting people, to the house of Com- 
mons, where congratulations, thanks, and plaudits, 
resounded on all sides. Their clamorous rejoicings 
reached not the king ; he had retired, the previous 
evening, with his queen, their children and attendants, 
and " some thirty or forty " of the cavaliers, to his 
house at Hampton Court. 



THE Commons strengthened their hands, once more, 
for the great work before them, by encouraging pe- 
titions expressive of confidence in the wisdom and 
firmness of parliament, aud praying for the removal of 
papists, prelatists, and other malignant advisers of the 

Hampden's county, Bucks, led the way ; four thou- 
sand freeholders of that county, each wearing a copy of 
the recent protestation of the Commons against the 
breach of their privileges, brought up three several 
petitions to the Commons, the Lords, and the Sove- 
reign. Middlesex, Essex, Surrey, Hertford, followed. 
Petitions came in from separate classes of citizens ; the 
porters of London, the " many thousands of poor 
people in London," separately petitioned. At length, 
" the gentlewomen and tradesmen's wives " delivered 
their petition ; a document couched in language of such 
fulsome extravagance, as must have sorely tried the 
risible faculties of " the noble worthies now sitting in 
parliament." It was gravely heard, however, and 
" the honourable assembly sent them an answer by 


Mr. Pym, which was performed in this manner : 
" Mr. Pym came to the Commons' door, called for the 
women, and spoke to them in these words : * Good 
women, your petition, and the reasons, have been read 
in the house, and are thankfully accepted of, and are 
come in a seasonable time. You shall (God willing) 
receive from us all the satisfaction which we can pos- 
sibly give to your reasonable desires.' " All these 
petitions were printed and circulated, with innumerable 
other papers, appealing to the terrors and enthusiasm 
of the people. The effect of all this agitation was 
prodigious. New plots succeeded. Rumours of a 
design to surprise the City, by land and water, were 
brought to the houses ; on which Major-General 
Skippon received orders to send out horsemen as scouts, 
in all directions, for intelligence, and to provide boats 
or like vessels for the like service upon the river. 
Orders were likewise issued to search the houses of 
suspected persons for arms, in almost every part of 
England ; but the services of any who would voluntarily 
undertake these lawless invasions of their neighbours' 
dwellings were thankfully accepted : nor, as may be 
readily supposed, were arms, in every instance, the only 
kind of property seized. 

Of all those dangerous and treasonable designs, 
none were ever traced to any ascertainable origin, unless 
we except that attributed to Lord Digby, too often, 
indeed the "wild and whirling" adviser of the king. 
Digby's own account of the affair bears the stamp of 
truth. " When," he wrote from abroad, " the rude- 
ness and violence of that rabble drove both their ma- 


jesties, for the safety of themselves and their children, 
to Hampton Court, thither by command I attended 
them. In this short journey many soldiers and com- 
manders (who had come to solicit the payment of their 
arrears, for the late northern expedition, from the two 
houses of parliament) waited on their majesties; and, 
leaving them at Hampton Court, provided their own 
accommodations at Kingston, the nearest place capable 
of receiving them, and constantly so used for the over- 
flow of company, which the court itself could not ac- 
commodate. To these gentlemen, of whom few or 
none were of my acquaintance, was I sent by his ma- 
jesty, with some expressions of his good acceptance of 
their service ; and returning the same night to Hamp- 
ton Court, continued my attendance to Windsor, whither 
their majesties then repaired. I had not been there 
one day, when I heard that both houses of parliament 
were informed that I, and Colonel Lunsford, a person 
with whom I never exchanged twenty words in my life, 
had appeared in a warlike manner at Kingston, to the 
terror of the king's liege people; and thereupon had 
ordered that the Sheriff of Surrey, and, as I conceive, 
that all other sheriffs throughout England, should raise 
the power of their several counties to suppress the forces 
that he and I had levied." 

On such grounds did the watchful or inventive 
wisdom of Pym and his fellow-patriots found those 
energetic measures which signalised the reassembling 
of parliament. They impeached Digby of high trea- 
son, and committed Lunsford to the Tower ; they 
placed Skippon with a sufficient guard about that for- 


tress ; and sent Goring down to his government at 
Portsmouth, with orders that no forces should pass out 
or in, but with the king's authority signified by both 
houses of parliament. The Earl of Newcastle, whom 
the king had privately directed to take the govern- 
ment of Hull, was recalled by the House of Peers to 
his place in parliament : and Sir John Hotham, with 
orders similar to Goring's, was commissioned to super- 
sede him. Sir John Byron being found unmanageable, 
he was brought upon his knees as a delinquent, at 
the bar ; his dismissal extorted from the king ; and 
Conyers, " a man in whom they could confide," made 
lieutenant of the Tower. 

Finding himself too little removed at Hampton 
Court from the vexations which had pursued him at 
Whitehall, Charles, as has been intimated, removed to 
Windsor. Both parties now found leisure to contem- 
plate the probable consequences of their mutual hosti- 
lity, and both were preparing, covertly and in silence, 
for an appeal to force. Meantime secret stratagems 
were, on neither side, omitted. Every movement of 
the parliamentary leaders were reported to the king ; on 
the other hand, every project of Charles became in- 
stantly known at Westminster. The court resolved 
that the queen should go over into Holland, under the 
pretence of conducting the Princess Henrietta Maria to 
her husband the Prince of Orange : the parliament was 
not deceived respecting the real object of this journey ; 
which was, to solicit aid from foreign powers, and to 
purchase arms and ammunition, with money to be 


raised on the valuable jewels she took out, should war 
become inevitable. Messages and answers, remon- 
strances and replies, were continually interchanged. 
But the whole interest of the dispute quickly became 
absorbed in the great question which regarded the 
command of the military forces of the empire. The 
Commons required, as a " ground of confidence " for a 
mutual accommodation, that the government of the 
forts, and the command of the army and navy, should 
be intrusted to officers nominated by the two houses of 
parliament. Amid the noise and heat of these discus- 
sions, the bill for taking away the bishops' votes, which 
had been long depending in the house of Lords, passed 
that assembly, and ultimately received the assent of the 
sovereign, extorted, it is said, by the passionate fears 
of his queen. The Commons' demand to have the 
power of the militia, in effect involved the whole 
question in dispute. Their pertinacity on this point was 
proportioned to its importance its monstrous ille- 
gality appeared to them no impediment. " The notion," 
observes Mr. Hallam, " that either or both houses 
of parliament, who possess no portion of executive 
authority, could take on themselves one of its most 
peculiar and important functions, was so preposterous, 
that we can scarcely give credit to the sincerity of 
any reasonable person who advanced it." Never- 
theless, this right was assumed in the famous Ordi- 
nance, which now passed both houses, and was pre- 
sented to the king for his sanction. Again and again, 
it was pressed upon him. He refused; but promised 


to accept it, with certain modifications, providing 
against the permanent abandonment of his consti- 
tutional right. 

Having seen his consort embark at Dover, and pro- 
vided for the safety of the Prince, by placing him under 
the care of the Marquess of Hertford, Charles by de- 
grees withdrew himself northward. At Theobald's, a 
message overtook him with a vote of the houses upon 
his proposal of a modification, declaring it a positive 
denial, and threatening that, unless he speedily gave 
his unqualified consent, they would proceed without 
it to dispose of the militia by the authority of the 
houses. He repeated his former answer, adding that 
he relied upon the goodness and providence of God 
for the preservation of himself and his just rights. 
At Newmarket, a committee, once more deputed by 
the parliament, attended him. They were bearers 
of a " declaration," containing a fresh statement of 
their sufferings and fears, justifying all their pro- 
ceedings, and urging reasons for his return to his 
parliament. It was a kind of supplement to the 
famous " Remonstrance," drawn up with great ability, 
and expressed in strong and insulting terms. " What 
would you have ?" said the king. " Have I violated 
your laws ? Have I refused to pass any one bill for 
the relief of my subjects ? I do not ask you what 
you have done for me. Are my people transported 
with fears and apprehensions ? I have offered as free 
and general a pardon as yourselves can devise. There 
is a judgment from heaven upon this nation, if these 


distractions continue. God so deal with me and mine, 
as all my thoughts and intentions are upright, for the 
maintenance of true protestant profession, and for the 
observation and preservation of the laws of the land ; 
and I hope God will bless and support those laws 
for my preservation." Lord Holland, a member of 
the committee, entreated him to continue to reside near 
his parliament. " I would," replied the king, " you 
had given me cause ; but I am sure this declaration 
is not the way to it." Being then asked by the 
Earl of Pembroke whether the militia might not be 
granted in the manner desired by the parliament, at 
least for a time, " No," he answered with vehemence, 

" by G not for an hour ! You have asked that 

of me, in this, was never asked of any king, and with 
which I will not trust my wife and children." 

All prospect of reconciliation was now closed. 
The parliament passed the ordinance for the militia, 
commanding it to be obeyed as the fundamental laws 
of the kingdom; and pronouncing the king's appoint- 
ments of lieutenants over the respective counties to 
be illegal and void. This momentous vote completed 
the separation of the royalist and parliamentarian 
parties, in the legislature. Hyde, Palmer, Bridgman, 
and other eminent persons, having spoken against the 
ordinance, refused to sit any longer, and withdrew 
to the king. Many retired to their country-seats ; 
but the strength lost in numbers was supplied by 
unanimity, and by that stern resolvedness, which the 
glorious prize in view, and the belief of most minds, 


that the die was already irrevocably cast, were calcu- 
lated to produce. The king, meantime, arrived at 

No one, be his political views what they may, who 
has considered the occurrences of the last few months, 
can fail, if he has the true English desire to see " fair 
play" between contending parties, to feel some satis- 
faction on finding the king fix his residence in the 
north. In London, and its vicinity, where his adver- 
saries had exclusive command of parliament, pulpit, and 
press, where their trained rabble besieged his doors, 
and where spies in their pay waited in his bed-chamber, 
freedom to stand upon his defence was denied him ; and 
he was daily driven to perform the disingenuous part 
of submitting to concessions, which they who violently 
extorted them knew he would regard as void should 
prosperous times return, and made that conviction the 
excuse for fresh and still more formidable exactions. 
At York he breathed a freer air, and was able to 
resume a more kingly, and therefore a more ingenuous 
tone. His court, in the deanery, was attended by 
nearly all the distinguished families of the northern 
counties, and was daily augmented by fresh arrivals 
from London of royalists who had not the hardihood 
to appear such at Whitehall or Windsor. Within 
two months of his arrival, out of seventy-four 
members, of whom the house consisted, thirty had 
joined him, and were shortly afterwards followed 
by ten others. Of the Commons, it was ascertained 
about the same time, that sixty-five had withdrawn 
from the house. An object of some importance was 


gained, when Hyde, on the eve of his own departure 
for York, persuaded Lord-keeper Littleton to forward 
the great seal to his master, himself immediately 
following. The retinue of a court, and the defence 
requisite for its security, in the dangerous times now 
commencing, were, in the same manner, completed by 
embodying, from among the neighbouring gentry, a 
personal guard for the king. 

While the thoughts of both parties were evidently 
pointing to war, an incessant correspondence was 
nevertheless kept up between them, under the mask 
of peaceful intentions. A double motive operated, on 
either side, throughout this protracted paper combat : 
first, to gain time to prepare for physical encounter; 
secondly, to justify the respective proceedings of the 
combatants to the people. On neither side did the 
authors of those declarations and replies, votes and pro- 
testations, remonstrances and replications, which con- 
tinued in rapid interchange between York and London, 
so much address themselves to each other, as to a 
great, earnest, and intelligent nation, listening alter- 
nately with growing enthusiasm and expanding nerve 
to their mutual appeals to history, to law, to the inde- 
feasible rights of sovereign and subject. Hence, the stir- 
ring interest with which we still peruse this collection, 
and this alone, of the dullest of all the productions of 
able pens state manifestoes. On the parliament's 
side, those great documents were could they be other- 
wise? uniformly bold, haughty, full of purpose and of 
passion: those on the king's side are described, by a 
modern historian of liberal principles, to be " temperate 


and constitutional, and as superior to those on the op- 
posite side in argument as they were in eloquence." 
Something not unlike the same conviction in the 
minds of the parliamentary leaders was surely indi- 
cated by the fact, that while the king invariably 
accompanied his publications by the correlative state- 
ments of the two houses, they, on the contrary, did 
all in their power to suppress the king's. The most 
remarkable of all the series is the famous " nine- 
teen propositions," presented to Charles, June 2nd. 
When we are told, by the same learned writer, re- 
specting this final demand, that " it went to abrogate 
the whole existing constitution, and was in truth so 
far beyond what the king could be expected to grant, 
that terms more intolerable were scarcely proposed 
to him in his greatest subsequent difficulties," we 
cannot be surprised at the result. In truth, who can 
doubt, that, unfortunately for the interests of freedom, 
the parliament had now placed themselves in a false 
position; had given just cause for the indignation with 
which the king rejected this proposal to be "allowed 
to wear a crown and carry a sceptre, to have his hand 
still kissed and be addressed with the style of majesty; 
but at the same time to be without real power, the 
slave of a party, the phantom of a sovereign?" Pity! 
that Charles Stuart should ever have been placed in 
a position which enabled him to awaken a generous 
echo in thousands of bosoms panting to be free, by 
quoting, on this occasion, that manly sentiment of the 
barons of Runnymede not designed for the mouth of 
kings " Nolumus leges Angliae mutari!" 


Less fortunate was the king, in points more essen- 
tial than evidence of right, to immediate success. 

The parliament had obtained absolute possession of 
the fleet, by boldly appointing to the command of it, 
without the king's consent, the Earl of Warwick, one of 
their partisans. Respecting Charles's attempt to dis- 
possess them of one of his fortresses, it will be neces- 
sary to give some account; that event being commonly 
regarded as, more than any other occurrence, deci- 
sive of the war. Hull had, in consequence of the 
recent disbanding of the army near its gates, become 
the richest magazine of military stores in England. 
Its possession was therefore eagerly contested. Re- 
garding with suspicion the king's choice of York 
for his residence, the parliament had passed an order 
for the removal of the arms and ammunition from 
that fortress to the Tower of London. They had 
little confidence in Sir John Hotham, the governor, 
who was a man of no great courage or ability, and, 
in fact, at heart a royalist. The town itself also was 
friendly to Charles: in fact, he believed that nothing 
more than his presence was needed to obtain its 
instant surrender. Accordingly, early on the 23d of 
April, his majesty, accompanied by two or three 
hundred gentlemen, rode over from York; and when 
within a mile of the walls, sent to acquaint Hotham 
that he intended that day to dine with him. Hotham, in 
great confusion and uncertainty at this intimation, called 
a council of his officers, who advised him to refuse ad- 
mittance to the king. Charles, arriving at the gates 
an hour after his messenger, found them closed, the 


drawbridge raised, the walls manned. The governor 
now making his appearance on the ramparts, he 
commanded him to open the gates. Hotham fell on 
his knees, and answered that, holding his trust on 
oath from the parliament he dared not. " Let me 
see your order to keep me out," replied the king. 
" Were your majesty admitted with such a train," 
continued Hotham, " I could not answer for the safety 
of the town." " I will enter, then," said the king, 
" with only twenty horse, while the rest stay here 
without." The governor refused. " Come out to me, 
then," demanded Charles, " that we may have confer- 
ence together : I pledge my royal word for your safety 
and free return." He still refused, protesting, at the 
same time, his loyalty. The enraged cavaliers attending 
on the king now cried out to the officers of the gar- 
rison, who thronged the wall, to throw him down : 
they addressed those by whose resolves the poor man's 
own inclination was overborne. "This," added the 
king, "is an unparalleled act, and cannot but produce 
notable effects : had you, Hotham, performed a sub- 
ject's duty, the miseries and bloodshed that may fall 
upon this kingdom might yet have been averted." 
Charles had, the previous day, sent the Duke of York 
and his nephew, the Prince Elector, on a visit of 
pleasure to the town. He withdrew till joined by 
them without ; and then, once more advancing to the 
ramparts, proclaimed Hotham a traitor by sound of 
trumpet. That night the king slept at the neigh- 
bouring town of Beverley : from whence he instantly 
despatched a message to the parliament, demanding 


justice: the parliament answered, at their leisure, by 
a vote, " That Sir John Hotham had done nothing but 
in obedience to the commands of both houses, and 
that the proclaiming him traitor was a high breach of 
their privileges !" 

The melancholy sequel of this tragedy can find no 
fitter place than the present. It is one among num- 
berless domestic instances of the miseries attendant 
on those wars, to the more specific occurrences of 
which we are now approaching. 

Sir John Hotham was of an ancient family and 
good estate in the neighbourhood of Hull ; a circum- 
stance which led to his appointment to be governor 
of that town. He was, in heart, a royalist. It was 
his personal hatred to Strafford alone which engaged 
him on the side of the parliament; and so little 
confidence did that party place in his fidelity, that 
he perceived, with bitterness, his eldest son, Captain 
Hotham (a youth who, with all the headlong ardour of 
his years, had embraced the popular cause), was asso- 
ciated with him in his trust, that he might act as a 
spy on his parent. Sir John Hotham's conduct, sub- 
sequent to the repulse of the king, gave, in several in- 
stances, so little satisfaction to his masters, that nothing 
but the great confidence they placed in the son's 
zealous discharge of the office he had undertaken pre- 
vailed with them to continue the father in his govern- 
ment. The war began ; and events occurred to check 
the forward zeal of young Hotham. He grew jealous 
of Fairfax, under whose orders he was placed, and en- 
gaged in a correspondence with the Earl of Newcastle, 


commander in Yorkshire for the king. Both were 
now to be got rid of. An accusation was easily 
procured against the father. Father and son were, 
therefore, suddenly seized and sent up to the par- 
liament, by whom both were instantly charged with 
high treason, and committed to the Tower. In that 
fortress they passed upwards of a year, their fate being 
held in suspense by the interest of friends. This sup- 
port then failing them, they were brought before a 
court-martial, and both condemned to the loss of 
their heads. The artifices, says Clarendon, that were 
used against these unhappy gentlemen, both before 
and after their trial, were so barbarous and inhuman, 
as had hardly before been practised in any Christian 
land. Yet the instrument of them was a pretended 
minister of religion. The famous Hugh Peters was 
the chaplain sent to prepare them for death. This 
man, by insinuating to both that the life of only one 
of them would be exacted, drew over each by the 
miserable hope of saving his own life to become the 
accuser of the other. The father aggravated the 
offences of the son ; the son inveighed against the 
delinquencies of the father; and thus Peters, on 
whose mediation each relied for a reprieve, drew from 
them sufficient to procure the sure destruction of 
both. The son was first executed; the next day 
Peters appeared on the scaffold with the father, and 
assured the gaping multitude who came to glut them- 
selves with the sight of blood, that they died justly, 
for " they had made their confession to him, and 
acknowledged their offences against the parliament ! " 


Preparations for war now proceeded rapidly. The 
parliament issued orders to the lieutenants of counties, 
appointed by them, to carry into effect their ordinance 
for the militia. The king in return sent forth com- 
missions of array, according to the custom of ancient 
times, to raise forces in each county. The parliament 
declared all the commissioners of array to be traitors, 
and ordered them to be apprehended. They voted 
that an army should be raised " for the defence 
of the king and parliament," and appointed the Earl 
of Essex to command it. The king immediately raised 
a regiment which became the nucleus of an army; 
appointed Lindsey his general ; and proclaimed Es- 
sex, and all the officers under him, who should not 
lay down their arms rebels and traitors. The par- 
liament declared the proclamation a libellous and 
scandalous paper> and retorted the crime of treason 
on all those by whom it had been advised, and by 
whom it should be abetted or obeyed. Both parties 
appealed to God and the people, as witnesses that 
not they, but their opponents, were the authors of the 
impending war ; both, finally, abandoned all pretence 
of expecting a settlement of their differences by any 
but the arbitrement of the sword. By these proceed- 
ings the whole kingdom was thrown into confusion. 
In every county, almost in every town, the recruiting 
drum of either party summoning the inhabitants to 
muster beneath the standard of Essex, Bedford, and 
Kimbolton, or that of Lindsey, Newcastle, and Hert- 
ford, mingled its harsh notes with those of its war- 
like rival. Strife and variance, hatred and all evil 


passions, soon found a consecration and an open 
avowal in every neighbourhood and on every hearth. 
The father was divided against the son, the son against 
the father; brother was separated from brother, never, 
it might be, to meet again, unless in mutual oppo- 
sition amid the conflict of battle. Many, and those 
not the least conscientious, torn with doubts, hesi- 
tated ; not daring to choose, where both sides ap- 
pealed, with equal confidence, to justice and the 
laws. But neutrality was the one crime which both 
avenged; and he who was plundered to-day for being 
neutral, by the royalists, might to-morrow be carried 
before the parliament for the same offence, committed 
to prison, and there perish. Yet it was within the 
walls of the house of Commons, that the voice of 
moderation was still raised by two or three individuals ; 
endured, from invincible respect for truth and honesty, 
but unregarded, and having indeed, with their pure 
and prudential virtues, no longer " any business " in 
that agitated convention. From the speeches of such 
men, among whom Rudyard and Whitelocke were 
the chief, we select that of Whitelocke, as eloquently 
and most prophetically descriptive of the miseries 
which were actually suspended over the nation. 

After adverting to the restless attempts of popery, 
as the alleged origin of those divisions which dis- 
tracted the country, he thus continued: "But I 
look upon another beginning of our troubles. God 
blessed us with a long and flourishing peace, and we 
turned his grace into wantonness, and peace would 
not satisfy us without luxury, nor our plenty without 


debauchery; instead of sobriety and thankfulness for 
our mercies, we provoked the Giver of them by our 
sins and wickedness to punish us, as we may fear, by 
a civil war, to make us executioners of the Divine ven- 
geance upon ourselves. 

" It is strange to note how we have insensibly slid 
into this beginning of a civil war, by one unexpected 
accident following after another, as waves of the sea, 
which have brought us to this point. But what may 
be the progress of it, the poet tells you: 

' Jusque datum sceleri canimus : populutnque potentum 
In sua victrici conversum viscera dextra.' 

We must surrender up our lives into the hands of inso- 
lent mercenaries, whose rage and violence will com- 
mand us and all we have ; and reason, honour, and 
justice, will quit our land : the ignoble will rule the 
noble, baseness will be preferred before virtue, profane- 
ness before piety. Of a potent people we shall make 
ourselves weak, and be the instruments of our own 
ruin; we shall burn our own houses, lay waste our 
own fields, pillage our own goods, open our own veins, 
devour our own bowels. You will hear other sounds 
besides those of drums and trumpets, the clattering 
of armour, the roaring of guns, the groans of wounded 
and dying men, the shrieks of deflowered women, the 
cries of widows and orphans; and all on your account, 
which makes it to be the most lamented. Pardon the 
warmth of my expressions : I would prevent a flame 
which I see kindled in the midst of us, that may con- 
sume us to ashes. 


"The sum of the progress of civil war is the rage 
of fire and sword, and (which is worse) of brutish men. 
What the issue of it will be, no man alive can tell; 
probably few of us now here may live to see the end 
of it. It has been said, ' He that draws his sword 
against his prince, must throw away the scabbard.' 
Those differences are scarce to be reconciled. Those 
commotions are like the deep seas: being once stirred, 
they are not soon appeased. I wish the observation of 
.he Duke de Rohan may prove a caution, not a pro- 
phecy. He saith of England, that it is 'a great crea- 
ture, which cannot be destroyed but by its own hand.' 
And there is not a more likely hand than that of civil 
war to do it. The best issue that can be expected of a 
civil war, is, 'Ubi victor flet, et victus perit;' which of 
these will be our portion is uncertain, and the choice 
should be avoided. 

" Yet, though I have said this, I am not for a tame 
resignation of our religion, lives, and liberties, into the 
hands of our adversaries, who seek to devour us. Nor 
do I think it inconsistent with your great wisdom to 
prepare for a just and necessary defence of them. But 
I humbly move you to consider, whether it be not yet 
loo soon to come to it. We have tried by proposals of 
peace to his majesty, and they have been rejected. Let 
us try again; let us review our former propositions; 
and where the matter of them (as our affairs now are) 
is found fit to be altered, let alterations be made; that, 
as far as may consist with the security of ourselves and 
our cause, we may unite our endeavours to prevent 
those miseries which look black upon us: so that there 
H 2 


may be no strife between us and those of the other 
party, 'for we are brethren.'" 

The speech of Sir Henry Killigrew, on the same 
occasion, though in a different strain, was equally 
characteristic. When, says Clarendon, the mem- 
bers of the house stood up, and declared what horse 
they would raise and maintain, and that they would 
live and die with their general, one saying he would 
raise ten horses, another twenty, that frank and 
couragous royalist rose with the rest: " When," said 
he, " I see occasion, I will provide a good horse, and a 
good buff coat, and a good pair of pistols ; and then 
I make no question but I shall find a good cause." 
Perceiving that after so blunt and unexpected a de- 
claration his presence was little desired, either on the 
benches of the Commons or in the streets of London, 
he took horse for Cornwall, where his estate lay, and 
was among the first who distinguished themselves in 
the brillant actions of the king's friends in the west. 

But the members did not depend on their indivi- 
dual resources. The parliament had the whole reve- 
nues of the kingdom at their command. They im- 
mediately applied to the purposes of the war one 
hundred thousand pounds of the money raised for the 
relief of Ireland; the same sum was lent them by the 
authorities of the City, whose liberality was eagerly 
seconded by the popular enthusiasm. Plate, money, 
jewels, were poured out before the committee of trea- 
surers, until hands were wanting to receive and room 
to lay up the profuse, but, in some instances, cum- 
brous offerings of the poor people; some of whom 


attended again and again, to purchase, with property 
which they could ill spare, the unknown miseries of 
years of bloodshed. Yet this abundant voluntary aid 
from the capital did not preclude the employment of 
other means in the country, and wherever a less 
willing disposition prevailed; one of the first exploits 
of Cromwell was to plunder the house of his uncle, 
Sir Oliver Cromwell, at Ramsey, of his arms and 
plate. On the royalist side the sinews of war were 
not so easily strung. Far from having means to levy 
or pay soldiers, Charles found himself reduced so low, 
at this time, by the seizure of his revenues, that one 
table, at which his children ate with him, was all he 
could afford. Some arms and ammunition had with 
difficulty found their way to the coast of Yorkshire, 
from the queen, but no money. A few contributions, 
however, came in from the nobility and gentry. Ox- 
ford sent the University plate to be coined for the 
king's use ; Cambridge also was following the ex- 
ample, when the vigilance of Cromwell succeeded in 
arresting the valuable treasure on its way. 

Eager for the carnage to come, the sword of this 
restless and robust puritan had, in fact, already left 
its scabbard. Before any commissions were issued, 
he had trained and armed, at his own expense, the 
fearless yeomanry of his native neighbourhood; and 
had begun to exercise their activity and valour in 
such exploits as those above related. Hampden, be- 
neath his " breezy hills" and among the " ancient 
woods" that surround, at this day, his mansion in 
Buckinghamshire, and other patriots in their several 


counties, were similarly engaged. Some trifling skir- 
mishes had already occurred, in the north, between 
comparatively large bodies of men on both sides; 
whom, not want of daring or of mutual animosity, but 
awe at the thought of being the first to shed blood in 
that unnatural strife, withheld, for a time, from serious 
conflict; when, at Portsmouth, the war actually com- 
menced. Goring, the governor of that town, an officer 
of ability and experience, was raised by the parlia- 
ment to the rank of lieutenant-general, and appointed 
to organize and discipline the army for the Earl of 
Essex. On various pretences he delayed, as long as 
he could, to appear in that service; and, on receiving 
peremptory orders from Lord Kimbolton, replied, that 
he held Portsmouth from the king, and could not, 
without his majesty's permission, absent himself from 
his government. He then administered an oath of 
allegiance to the garrison and inhabitants, and shut 
the gates. Sir William Waller immediately advanced 
to besiege him ; while, at the same time, some ships 
were brought to blockade the town by sea. On hearing 
this, Charles judged that the time was come, when he 
could no longer delay a solemn appeal to the sword ; 
he therefore published a proclamation, requiring all 
his subjects who could bear arms to meet him at Not- 
tingham by the twenty-third of August, on which day 
he designed to set up his royal standard. 

When the day arrived, Charles, with his shadow 
of an army, consisting of a few troops of horse, was 
lying near Coventry; into which place he had been 
refused admittance by the parliamentarian party 


within. Leaving his forces there, he rode over 
to Nottingham, where preparations had been made 
for his reception, attended only by a small party of 
his family and adherents. The weather was sullen 
and tempestuous ; the greater part of the day had 
been consumed in the journey ; and evening began 
to draw in, and when Sir Thomas Brooks, Sir Arthur 
Hopton, Sir Francis Wortley, and Sir Robert Dading- 
ton, the knights chosen to bear the royal standard, 
proceeded with it from the castle to the adjoining hill, 
followed by his majesty, the Prince of Wales, Prince 
Rupert, and other lords and gentlemen who had 
joined the king. A numerous company, mounted and 
on foot, had likewise come in from the surrounding 
country; rather, indeed, as afterwards appeared, to 
indulge their curiosity with respect to the mode of 
conducting an ancient ceremony, never before wit- 
nessed in the memory of man, than to offer loyal 
assistance to their sovereign. 

On the hill, three troops of horse and a corps of 
about six hundred foot were drawn up, to guard the 
standard. As soon as it was brought to the summit, 
the king directed a herald to read his proclamation, 
declaring the ground and cause of that act of warlike 
solemnity. Just as the herald was about to begin, a 
scruple seemed to cross Charles's mind. He de- 
sired to see the proclamation; and, calling for pen 
and ink, placed the paper on his knee, as he sat in 
the saddle, and made several alterations with his own 
hand; afterwards returning it to the herald. That 
officer then read it, but, on coming to the pas- 


sages which the king had corrected, with some embar- 
rassment. Immediately the trumpets sounded, the 
standard was advanced, and the spectators threw up 
their hats, shouting, "God save the king!" The 
standard was a large blood-red ensign, or streamer, 
bearing the royal arms quartered, with a hand pointing 
to the crown, which stood above, and inscribed with 
the motto, " Give to Caesar his due." Farther on, 
towards the point, were represented, at intervals, the 
rose, the fleur-de-lis, and the harp, each surmounted 
by the royal crown. A more stirring legend, than that 
cold appeal to justice might, perhaps, have been wisely 
chosen ; yet its temperate demand was calculated to 
rouse in English bosoms a thought which the wild 
course of events had been sweeping towards oblivion 
viz. while all besides were clamouring for rights, real 
or feigned, had not the king his rights also; rights 
which never should have been regarded as hostile to 
those of the people? 

Some delay now took place. It was with diffi- 
culty the standard could be fixed in this place, the 
ground being a solid rock, and no instrument to pierce 
it having been provided. Scarcely had this object 
been accomplished, by means of digging into the firm 
stone with the daggers and halberd-points of the sol- 
diers, when a fierce gush of wind, sweeping with a wild 
moan across the face of the hill, laid prostrate the 
emblem of sovereignty. Many persons regarded this 
accident as a presage of evil, and a general melan- 
choly overspread the assembly. That day no further 
attempt was made. The louring sky of evening sym- 


pathised with the shadow that lay on men's spirits ; 
and the standard was borne back into the castle, with 
the same state as had attended it to the field, but nearly 
in silence. Whispers, and words low and dubious, 
as of suppressed apprehension, passed from man to 
man; and if, now and then, some faint acclamations 
rose from the people, their effect was rather to startle 
than to animate. The next day, indeed, the ceremony 
was repeated, with less gloomy auspices; again, like- 
wise, the day following; his majesty and his train 
presenting themselves, each time, as at first. Within 
three or four days, however, the news arriving that 
the important town of Portsmouth had been sur- 
rendered to his enemies, that royal solemnity, by 
which the horrors of intestine strife were sanctified, 
and a charter given to impetuous passions and wasting 
calamity to riot through the land, became associated 
in the mind of Charles himself with a gloom neither 
visionary nor transient. 



THE reader may adopt which side he please, in the 
much-contested and interminable question, so inter- 
esting to the fame of both the two great belligerent 
parties, " Who began the civil war?" But, one 
thing is beyond question, that the forces of the 
parliament were actually in the field earlier than those 
of Charles. At the time when the king set up his 
standard, he had with him scarcely troops sufficient to 
guard it, or to protect his own person; his slender 
stock of arms and ammunition was still lying at 
York; and the troops he had left before Coventry, 
neither in numbers, nor in any other respect, deserved 
the name of an army. It was, indeed, the common 
belief of his adversaries, both in and out of parlia- 
ment, that he would be wholly without means to 
oppose their successful levies ; and would consequently 
be obliged, after all, to submit to their terms without 
drawing the sword. In the majority of counties, they 
were able to prevent the commissioners of array from 
carrying the royal proclamation into effect; while, at 
the same time, their own levies proceeded without 


interruption. Kent, Surrey, Sussex, and the southern 
counties in general, chose the popular side; the vigi- 
lance and activity of Cromwell, in Norfolk, Suffolk, 
Huntingdonshire, and Cambridgeshire, crushed, at a 
blow, the whole interest of the royal party in the east; 
Middlesex, including London, was entirely at their 
command. Such indeed, was the eargerness of the 
capital to serve under Essex, that, immediately on the 
issuing of the commissions, four thousand citizens pre- 
sented themselves in one day, at the Artillery Ground, 
for enlistment. 

On both sides, the raising of troops was undertaken 
by the zealous friends of the cause, chiefly in their own 
neighbourhoods, where their interest was greatest. 
On both sides also, but not to an equal extent, the 
expense of the levies and equipments was defrayed 
by those individuals who raised their respective regi- 
ments, and by whom they were afterward, in most 
instances, commanded. The king, in effect, was 
wholly dependent on the wealthy royalists for the sup- 
port of his troops; but the parliament, having the 
command of the national revenues, and beginning 
already to seize for the public service the property 
of delinquents, had, from the first, the means of pro- 
posing a regular scale of pay, extending from ten 
pounds per day for the lord-general, to eightpence per 
day for the privates in infantry regiments. Those 
noblemen and gentlemen were in general the most 
active in collecting troops, whose names acquired 
the chief celebrity during the earlier periods of the 
war. On the part of the parliament, Sir Thomas 


Fairfax, in the north; Sir William Waller, at Exeter; 
the Earl of Bedford, in Bedfordshire; Lord Brooke, 
in Warwickshire; Lord Kimbolton and Cromwell, in 
Huntingdonshire and the adjoining counties; Sir 
Arthur Haslerigg, in Leicestershire; Lord Say and 
his sons, in Oxfordshire; Lord Wharton and Hamp- 
den, in Buckinghamshire ; Hollis, Stapleton, and 
Skippon, in Middlesex, distinguished themselves by 
their exertions in this service. The recruits were 
placed at the disposal of the Committee of safety, 
the parliamentary executive, and supplied the rein- 
forcements for the army under Essex, mustering at Nor- 

England, the loud beating of whose warlike pulse 
had, since the great dispute arose, wholly drowned 
the faint, decaying traditions of those miseries that 
attended her ancient domestic feuds, had likewise 
happily forgotten military tactics, and their very 
nomenclature had become an unknown language. To 
drill their zealous recruits, withdrawn suddenly from 
the plough, the anvil, or the loom, the parliament 
employed officers who had served in the wars of Ger- 
many: the fortifications and management of the artil- 
lery were chiefly confided to foreign soldiers of fortune, 
German or French. The proper equipment of the men 
was, for the same reason, a difficulty which it required 
time to surmount. The rude but picturesque match- 
locks, or muskets, of the period, and, when these could 
not be had, pikes and poleaxes, supplied the arms of 
the infantry; the long heavy sword, the carbine and 
pistols, the back and breast plates, with the steel cap, 


common to both horse and foot, presented the supe- 
rior accoutrement of the cavalry or troopers. Both 
armies, but especially the king's, were at first but 
imperfectly furnished with arms of any kind: Crom- 
well's " Ironsides" obtained that well-known title as 
well on account of the more " complete steel" in which 
they were belted, as for their invincible daring; and 
every one has heard of Haslerigg's regiment, nick- 
named, by the Cavaliers, " lobsters," " because of 
their bright iron shells, with which they are covered, 
being perfect cuirrassiers." The colours of the regi- 
ments were various, according to the fancy, or, more 
frequently, agreeing with the household livery, of 
the respective leaders. This mark of distinction was 
the more important, because, at the outbreak of the 
war, it was sometimes the only means of recognition 
by which, in battle, friend could be discerned from 
foe, no distinctive field-word having been adopted. 
"Hollis's," Lord Nugent, in his life of Hampden, in- 
forms us, " were the London red coats; Lord Brooke's, 
the purple; Hampden's, the green coats; Lord Say's 
and Lord Mandeville's the blue; the orange which 
had long been the colour of Lord Essex's household, 
and now that of his body guard, was worn in a scarf 
over the armour of all the officers of the parliament 
army, as the distinguishing symbol of their cause." 
The king's famous regiment likewise adopted red ; 
the Earl of Newcastle's regiment of Northumbrians 
were termed, from the white colour of their coats 
(or, as some say, with reference to their fierce cour- 
age), " Newcastle's lambs." It was only by degrees, 


however, that any thing like uniformity was attained: 
the choice of clothing and arras was, in the first 
instance, often decided by the taste or circumstances 
of the individual wearer. Each regiment or each 
troop had its standard, or cornet, bearing, on one 
side, the watchword of the parliament, " God with 
us," and on the other the device of its commander, 
with his motto. The inscription on the Earl of 
Essex's was "Cave, adsum;" the better-chosen and 
more characteristic words which waved, in battle, 
over the head of Hampden, were " Vestigia nulla 
retrorsum;" later in the war, Algernon Sidney, one of 
the steadiest adherents to the cause, thus expressed 
in the motto of the regiment which he commanded, 
the source of his devotedness to the service : " Sanctus 
amor patriae dat animum." 

The force which Essex, shortly after the com- 
mencment of hostilities, was enabled to bring into 
the field, consisted of about 15,000 infantry and 4500 
cavalry. The cavalry were distributed into seventy- 
five troops; of the infantry, there were twenty regi- 
ments. Under him, the commanders of highest rank 
were, the Earl of Bedford, general of the horse, 
assisted by Sir William Balfour; the Earl of Peter- 
borough, general of the ordnance; and Sir John 
Meyrick, serjeant-major, or (in the language of that 
day) serjeant-major-general. 

Such was the constitution of the army, to put him- 
self at the head of which, that noble commander passed 
through London on the 4th of September, 1642. Essex 
was, at this period, in the highest favour with both 


parliament and people. His journey resembled a tri- 
umphal procession. Accompanied by all the military 
officers in London, by a long retinue of peers and 
gentlemen, and by the trained bands, who officiated as 
his guard, he traversed the City ; from whence to 
Highgate, " a hedge of people" lined the road on each 
side, and saluted him with acclamations, crying out, 
" God bless my lord-general ! Long life to the lord- 
general !" 

Meantime the king's affairs wore still a depressed 
aspect few adherents coming in, and no money; 
hesitation and uncertainty pervading the minds of his 
council; a general gloom louring on men's counte- 
nances. Charles's resolution was not overcome; for 
he was confident in the righteousness of his quarrel, 
naturally sanguine, and inclined to that romantic 
temper, which is roused and supported by the diffi- 
culties attending great enterprises. He was advised 
to make yet one more attempt to negotiate with 
the parliament; not with any expectation that his 
proposals would meet with acceptance, but that, in the 
event of their rejection, the people might be disabused 
of the opinjon that it was he whose obstinacy was the 
true cause of the war. This advice was ungrateful to 
him ; but he yielded to the importunity of his council, 
and despatched propositions for a treaty, by the Earl 
of Southampton, Sir John Colepepper, and Sir William 
Uvedale. The event was as had been expected. 
Conscious of their strength, the parliament treated 
the messengers with incivility, and haughtily returned 


for answer, that until the king withdrew his procla- 
mation, and took down his standard, they could treat 
no more with him. Charles promised to consent to 
those conditions, provided the parliament would recall 
their votes against his friends. They refused; and 
voted, that they would not lay down their arms till 
delinquents were brought to justice, and their estates 
made to defray the debts of the commonwealth. A 
few days later he sent a third message, in which he 
solemnly conjured them to reflect what blood would be 
shed, and referred his cause to the God of heaven : the 
parliament replied by retorting on him the charge of 
indifference to the bloodshed that must follow. This 
correspondence was of prodigious advantage to the 
king's cause. The sincerity of Charles's wish to retain 
the sword still in the sheath, if it were possible, consist- 
ently with security and honour, was now admitted by 
many who had doubted it hitherto: concession could 
go no farther; sufficient barriers against the encroach- 
ments of regal power had now been erected; adversity 
likewise had begun to produce its usual, softening 
effect upon the king: there must be, at the least, a 
better prospect of safety to individuals in supporting 
their sovereign, than in extending the already enor- 
mous and illegal power of a party who had declared 
their purpose to vote whom they pleased delinquents, 
and seize on their estates for their own purposes. Led, 
therefore, on the one hand by reviving loyalty, on the 
other by interest, numbers now hastily sought the 
royal standard; and when the king prepared to leave 


Nottingham, which he did presently after, about the 
middle of September, his affairs already began to wear 
a much more cheering appearance. 

The royal army having been increased by reinforce- 
ments from the west and north, contributions from 
several sources having come in, and Charles's military 
stores and little train of artillery being brought up 
from York, he marched across Derbyshire towards 
the Welsh borders, designing to fix his head quarters 
at Shrewsbury. 

Between Stafford and Wellington the king halted 
his army, placed himself in the centre, and, after the 
reading of his orders of war, reminded his followers 
of their duty to obey them, and of the probability of 
an immediate engagement with the enemy. He then 
proceeded thus ; " In the presence of Almighty God, 
and as I hope for his blessing and protection, I de- 
clare that I have no other design, no other wish, but 
to maintain, in life and death, the Protestant religion 
as established in the Church of England; to govern 
according to the known laws of the land ; and, in par- 
ticular, to observe the statutes enacted in the present 
parliament. Should I wilfully fail in any one of these 
particulars, I renounce equally all claim to assistance 
from man, or protection from heaven. If, however, 
I should be driven, by my present difficulties, and by 
the dire necessities of war, to any unwilling violation 
of this engagement, I trust it will be imputed by God 
and men to the true authors of the war, and not to me, 
who have earnestly laboured for the preservation of the 
peace of this kingdom. But as long as I remain 



faithful to this promise, I hope for cheerful aid from 
all good subjects, and am confident of obtaining the 
blessing of heaven." 

The solemnity of this protestation, and the affecting 
circumstances in which it was made, produced a strong 
impression, throughout England, in favour of the 
king; and at Shrewsbury the neighbouring gentry 
and inhabitants received him with enthusiasm. Here 
his army presently swelled to the number of about 
10,000 foot and between 3000 and 4000 horse. The 
great bulk of these consisted of the nobility and 
landed gentry, their tenants and retainers, those classes 
on whom the fine magic of loyalty was not yet 
powerless, and those who were linked to the cause 
of ancient right and order, by kindred, though less 
distinguished, ties of duty and dependence. In point 
of equipment the royal troops were inferior to those 
of the parliament; but their arms, both offensive and 
defensive, were nearly similar. Among the most emi- 
nent of those royalists, to whose efforts Charles was 
indebted for the means of taking the field, were 
the Earl of Newcastle in the north ; the Earl of 
Lindsey, and his son Lord Willoughby, in Lincoln- 
shire ; John (afterwards Lord) Bellasis, son of Lord 
Falconbridge, in Yorkshire ; Lord Strange in Lan- 
cashire ; the Earl of Northampton, in Warwickshire ; 
in Cornwall, Sir Bevil Grenvil, his younger brother 
Sir Richard, and his son Sir John Grenvil, Sir 
Ralph Hopton, and Sir Nicholas Slanning. In the 
Earl of Lindsey, for too short a period general of 
his army, the king possessed a brave officer and a 


generous subject; the wise and noble-minded Hert- 
ford he made lieutenant-general of the west ; his com- 
missary-general was Henry (subsequently Lord) Wil- 
mot; in the office of major-general he was well 
served by the blunt Sir Jacob Ashley ; Sir John 
Heydon, a good officer, was general of the ordinance ; 
and Sir Arthur Aston, "of whose soldiery there was 
a very great esteem," was made colonel-general of 
dragoons. Prince Rupert's name has come down to 
us as almost a synonyme for impetuous daring, as dis- 
tinguished from sedate and manly courage ; and for 
intolerable haughtiness, unsupported by real superi- 
ority. A more striking instance Charles never gave 
and his life exhibits not a few of his blindness to 
the faults of those he loved, or who stood to him in a 
relation which in his opinion entitled them to his love, 
than when he presented that headlong youth with his 
commission as general of the horse, inserting the 
strange concession to his vanity, that he should receive 
orders from no one but himself. 

Yet, in the very first considerable skirmish of the 
war, the youthful German prince performed a part 
which seemed, for a time, in the eyes of both armies, 
to justify the favour of his royal uncle. Rupert, with 
his brother Maurice, Wilmot, and other officers, had 
been despatched by the king to watch the move- 
ments of Essex, now on his march from Northamp- 
ton towards Worcester, and at the same time to sup- 
port Sir John Byron, who was on his way from 
Oxford, with a convoy of plate and money. Byron 
had already reached Worcester; where Nathaniel 

i 2 


Fiennes and Edwin Sandys, with a party of the troops 
raised by Lord Say, had formed a plan to seize and 
carry him off. In the meantime, Rupert, after a long 
and rapid march, arrived under the walls of that place. 
The greater part of his wearied men he permitted to 
go into the town for refreshment; but intending to 
retire as soon as they returned with such intelligence 
as they could meet with, he remained in the field, 
and, dismounting, threw himself on the grass, in the 
midst of his officers, without suspicion that any of 
the enemy's forces were near the spot. On a sudden, 
a body of about five hundred horse made their ap- 
pearance, marching in good order up a lane within 
musket-shot of the reposing party. No time was there 
to consult what should be done, or put themselves 
at the head of their respective troops. Scarcely had 
they, in their confusion, mounted, when Rupert, 
crying out, " Let us charge them ! " dashed on with . 
his group of officers, followed at intervals by the 
men ; and came upon the advancing party as they 
were in the act of issuing from the lane. The parlia- 
mentarians were well armed, splendidly mounted, and 
gallantly led by Colonel Sandys ; yet, so fierce and 
unexpected was the onset of the royalists, that the whole 
body was at once routed, fled, and were pursued by the 
conquerors. Between forty and fifty, chiefly officers, 
were killed. Sandys himself was taken prisoner, and 
shortly afterwards died of his wounds. Six or seven 
colours were likewise captured, with many good 
horses, and some arms. "This rencounter," remarks 
Lord Clarendon, "proved of great advantage to the 


king. For it being the first action his horse had been 
brought into, and that party of the enemy being the most 
picked and choice men, it gave his troops great courage, 
and rendered the name of Prince Rupert very terrible, 
and exceedingly appalled the adversary ; insomuch that 
they had not, in a long time after, any confidence in their 
horse, and their numbers were much lessened by it. 
For that whole party being routed, and the chief officers 
of name and reputation either killed or taken, many 
of those who escaped never returned to the service ; 
and, which was worse, for their own excuse talked 
aloud, wherever they went, of the incredible and 
irresistible courage of Prince Rupert and the king's 

The Earl of Essex's orders were, about this time, 
forwarded to him by the parliament. He was directed 
" to march with his forces against the king's army, 
and by battle, or otherwise, to rescue his person, 
and the persons of the prince and Duke of York, out 
of the hands of the ' desperate' men by whom they 
were surrounded; to offer a free pardon to all who, 
within ten days, should return to their duty, except 
the Earls of Richmond, Cumberland, Newcastle, Car- 
narvon, and Rivers, Viscounts Newark and Falkland, 
Secretary Nicholas, Endimion Porter, and Edward 
Hyde ; and to forward to the king a petition that he 
would withdraw himself from his wicked counsellors, 
and once more rely on the loyalty and obedience of his 
parliament. As far as regarded the petition, the 
earl lost no time in discharging his trust. Immediately 
on his arrival at Worcester, he signified to the Duke 


of Dorset, then in attendance upon the king at 
Shrewsbury, that such a paper was intrusted to him 
to deliver. Charles replied that he ever had been, 
and would be, ready to receive any petition from 
his two houses of parliament ; but that he would not 
receive the petition out of the hands of a traitor. 
With respect to the more substantial part of his 
commission, the general of the parliament appeared 
dilatory and wavering. The impatient energies of 
Hampden, and Hollis, and Brooke, could not endure 
a detention of three weeks within the crumbling walls 
of Worcester : they sought, and found opportunities 
of breathing their valour, in encounters, far and near, 
with such detachments of the enemy as were to be 
met with at a distance from the main body. It was 
not lack of courage, or of ambition, or of honourable 
fidelity to the solemn duty he had undertaken, that 
withheld Essex from advancing. That noble person* 
in common with many on both sides, was perplexed 
with the contest in his soul between his old habitual 
feelings and his new engagements. Owing to the 
misfortunes of his early life, the earl had at no 
time been held in that consideration at the court 
which his merits, as well as his rank might fairly 
challenge. By Charles himself he had been coldly, 
nay, unkindly treated. But for the alienation caused 
by these circumstances in the mind of a nobleman and 
soldier, conscious of what was due to himself, the par- 
liament might have had to seek some other for their 
general. And still the uneradicable sense of loyalty 
and honour had held him back, but for that subtle 


distinction between " the king in his corporate and his 
personal capacity, which had decided stronger heads 
than his own to arm in the king's name against the 
king." Such was then the distracted condition of 
the noblest and manliest minds. In that unhappy 
period these adverse wrenchings of a " divided duty" 
were a source of misery, compared with which im- 
prisonment and forfeiture, proscription, or even death 
itself, were tolerable. This torn state of feeling was 
experienced on both sides, but especially on the side 
of the parliament; the mere novelty of whose position 
was sufficient to harass the conscience with misgivings. 
Hence, when the critical, the trying hour arrived, not 
a few who, up to that hour, had striven resolvedly 
with the parliament against the king, now sought 
relief by passing over to cool their fevered thoughts 
beneath the shelter of the royal banner. There it 
was better with them, yet not well. The worm was 
gnawing still, though its fangs were fastened in a less 
vital part; for, to men of high honour and true re- 
ligion the ennobling characteristics of so many in 
that generation at once to cast off allegiance to the 
sovereign, and to trample on the church, was felt 
as a doubled parricide. The oppressed bosom yielded 
to melancholy forebodings of its own fate, or vented 
itself in vain and womanly reproaches on those it 
regarded as the authors of its agonies. Thus the once 
vivacious, but now broken-hearted Falkland, "sitting 
among his friends, often, after a deep silence and fre- 
quent sighs, would, with a shrill and sad accent, in- 
geminate the word Peace ! peace !" and thus the 


stronger, but equally foreboding heart of Sir Bevil 
Grenvil, poured its burning indignation over his own 
neighbours who had turned " traitors," and raked into 
the sad story of Essex's early life for a scornful epithet 
to level against " the great cuckold who is forced to shut 
himself up within the walls of Worcester." 

Charles had been able to raise his army to a more 
respectable state of numbers, discipline, and equip- 
ment, than, in so short a time, could have seemed 
possible. Encouraged by the reviving sentiment in 
his favour, by the success of his skirmishing parties, 
and by the inaction of the enemy, he resolved to 
march from Shrewsbury directly on London, at once 
to terminate the war. Two days elapsed before Essex 
had put his forces in motion to follow. 

Great surprise pervaded the parliament at the 
unlocked for manner in which their urgent entreaties 
for the king's return to London seemed now about to 
be granted; while the people, who had been taught to 
expect no more to see the sovereign, except as the 
submissive thrall of " his faithful parliament," were in 
the greatest consternation. Not vainly, however, did 
they look to that energetic convention, for direction 
and support in their apprehended danger; nor did the 
" malignants," who now began to emerge from con- 
cealment, find that peril had relaxed the arm of the self- 
appointed guardians of the nation's safety. All persons 
who had neglected to contribute to the charges of the 
army were ordered to be secured and disarmed; all 
the horses fit for service in the city and suburbs were 
seized; chains were drawn across the outlets of the 


city, and barricades erected in the streets. Men, 
women, and children, worked together at these rude 
defences; and the citizens cheerfully obeyed the order 
of parliament to close their shops and manufactories, 
and place their time and their property at its disposal. 

On the morning of the 23d of October, the capital 
was agitated by a sudden rumour that a fatal battle 
had been fought. Fugitives from the field had been 
seen, breathless with haste and fright, hurrying along 
the roads, and proclaiming that all was lost. The news 
was circulated in a thousand varied but terrific shapes. 
Essex had perished, and with his dying words exhorted 
every man to shift for himself: the king's army was 
terrible, and resistance utterly vain. All Monday the 
city continued a prey to these rumours. At length 
came despatches from Essex; but fear had, by this 
time, taken complete possession of men's minds; the 
earl's report was favourable, and could not be true. 
The Lord Hastings had entered the house, with ghastly 
looks, during the reading of the despatches, and de- 
clared that he had himself been an eye-witness to the 
defeat. Hastings had indeed been among the foremost 
to run away; but the last messenger that arrived was 
the most trusted, more particularly if his report con- 
firmed the worst. In the horror and consternation of 
eight-and-forty hours, writes the royalist historian, every 
man underwent a full penance and mortification for 
the hopes and insolence of three months before. This 
must be understood of the honest citizens of Lon- 
don. The great assembly at Westminster seems to have 
been but little moved. On that very day they voted, 


indeed, an order for the trained bands to put them- 
selves in motion ; but proceeded quietly, at the same 
time, with the ordinary business of parliament. 

On the third day, two members, Wharton and 
Strode, arrived from the army, and gave a circum- 
stantial statement of the occurrences there, first in 
their places in parliament, and afterwards to the citi- 
zens in the common hall. Their narratives, as might 
have been foreseen, were partial and confused; nor was 
that afterwards ordered by the houses to be printed 
and circulated, free from the same defects. The plainer 
relation of the king presents a more correct, though 
meagre, outline of the main incidents which signalised 
that day, so memorable in English annals as that the 
first battle of the GREAT CIVIL WAR. 

Charles had received intelligence of Essex's march, 
and had turned to face his pursuer. It was early 
in the morning of the 23d day of October, 1642, 
when Prince Rupert, dashing on, as usual, with his 
gallant cuirassiers, found himself on the brow of the 
wild ridge of Edge-hill, which overlooks the " vale 
of the Red Horse," near Kineton, in Warwickshire. 
His quick eye caught at once the object of its search 
the army of the Earl of Essex; its dark masses 
drawn up along the vale below, in compact order of 
battle. At this sight, the prince checked his career; 
for the van of the king's infantry was left far behind, 
and his artillery was at a distance of not less than 
three hours' march: noon had, therefore, long passed, 
ere the royalists had wound their march, which they 
were permitted to do without interruption, down the 


declivity of the hill, and confronted, on even ground, 
their expectant adversaries. 

Charles assembled round him his lords and cap- 
tains, and addressed them with feeling and dignity. 
" My lords, and all here present," he said, " the foe is 
in sight. Your king is both your cause, your quarrel, 
and your captain. I have written and declared that I 
intended always to maintain the Protestant religion, 
the privileges of the parliament, and the liberties of 
the subject; and now I must prove my words by the 
convincing argument of the sword. Let Heaven show 
his power by this day's victory to declare me just, and 
as a lawful, so a loving king to my subjects. Come 
life or death, your king will bear your company, and 
ever keep this field, this place, and this day's service 
in his grateful remembrance." He then rode through 
the ranks clad in shining steel armour, and wearing a 
mantle of black velvet, on the front of which glittered 
his brilliant star and George, and thus continued: 
" Friends and soldiers ! you are called cavaliers and 
royalists, in a disgraceful sense. If I suffer in my 
fame, needs must you do likewise. Now shew your- 
selves no malignants, but declare what courage and 
fidelity is within you. Fight for the peace of the 
kingdom and the Protestant religion. The valour of 
cavaliers hath honoured that name both in France and 
other countries, and now let it be known in England, 
as well as horseman or trooper. The name of cavalier, 
which our enemies have striven to make odious, sig- 
nifies no more than a gentleman serving his king on 
horseback. Show yourselves, therefore, now courage- 


ous cavaliers, and beat back all opprobrious aspersions 
cast upon you. 

"Friends and soldiers! I look upon you with joy 
to behold an army as great as ever king of England 
had in these later times. I thank your loves offered 
to your king, to hazard your lives and fortunes with 
me in my urgent necessity. I feel at this time that no 
father can leave his son, no subject his lawful king. 
But matters are not now to be decided by words, but 
by swords. You all think our thoughts, while I reign 
over your affections as well as your persons. My reso- 
lution is to try the doubtful chance of war, while with 
much grief I must stand to and endure the hazards. I 
desire not the effusion of blood, but since Heaven hath 
so decreed, and that so much preparation hath been 
made, we must needs accept of the present occasion for 
an honourable victory and glory to our crown, since 
reputation is that which gilds over the richest gold, 
and shall ever be the endeavour of our whole reign. 
Your king bids you all be courageous, and Heaven 
make you victorious!" 

Already the fatal cause in Prince Rupert's com- 
mission, which placed the officer above the orders of 
his general, had begun to produce its malignant fruits. 
Lindsey's plan for the disposition of the army was dis- 
approved by the prince. Ruthen, afterwards Earl of 
Brentford, to whom the king had given a field-mar- 
shal's staff at Shrewsbury, having been trained in the 
same school of tactics, supported the royal hussar. 
Charles approved. With a grieved heart, the generous 
veteran, who bore the name, without having the autho- 


rity, of general, retired to the head of his regiment ; 
where he declared he would fight, and there die, as 
a private colonel. When the signal to engage was 
given, he encouraged his men with a few cheerful 
words ; then, grasping a pike, gallantly led them 
forward to the charge, on foot. With equal bravery, 
Essex advanced, in the same manner, on the other 
side ; and the cannon from both hosts " having dis- 
charged their choleric errands," the battle closed, the 
king, giving the word with solemnity. " Go in the 
name of God, and I will lay my bones with yours." 
The command of the royalists' right wing was 
taken by Prince Rupert ; of their left, by Commissary- 
general Wilmot. To Rupert was immediately op- 
posed the chief strength of the parliament's horse ; 
in which force they were inferior to the king. Here 
it was that the fight began. Rupert, his strength aug- 
mented by the accession of a regiment which, at the 
instant of charging, came over and joined him, fell 
upon the enemy with his characteristic impetuosity, 
and bore down all before him. In a moment their 
entire left wing gave way, and was dispersed. On 
the king's left wing, Wilmot, following, with corre- 
sponding success, the example of the prince, drove the 
parliament's horse opposed to him through a body of 
musketeers which had been drawn up for their sup- 
port. Every other consideration was now lost sight of 
by the victors, in the pursuit, which they continued as 
far as Kineton, a distance of between two and three 
miles. There Hampden, hastening forward with his 
own and another regiment and some pieces of artillery, 


found them engaged in pillaging the rich baggage of 
Essex and his officers; and, by his unexpected ap- 
pearance, first reminded Rupert, and his ill-employed 
followers, of returning to the scene they had so im 
prudently abandoned. 

Night was closing in upon the field of civil carnage, 
when Prince Rupert returned to witness the effects of 
his rash conduct. He found the royal army harassed 
and broken, and the king himself exposed to imminent 
danger, while riding to the foremost ranks, he ani- 
mated the few troops that yet stood firm, by his words 
and his example. Charles's own "red regiment," at 
their earnest request, had obtained leave to be absent 
that day from his person, and to charge in front among 
the horse. Against this, and the Earl of Lindsey's, 
the king's next best regiment, were directed the suc- 
cessive charges of the powerful brigades of Essex's 
foot, commanded by the general in person, by Hollis, 
and by Colonel Charles Essex ; while Sir William 
Balfour, bringing up his reserve of horse, which had 
not shared in the general rout of the parliament's 
cavalry, broke in with terrible execution upon the 
main body of the royalists. It was now that Lindsey 
fell, severely wounded, and was instantly surrounded 
and made prisoner ; which Lord Willoughby per- 
ceiving, rushed into the midst of the enemy, and 
voluntarily surrendered himself, to attend on his barve 
parent. Sir Edmund Varney, the king's standard- 
bearer, was slain, and the standard taken and retaken : 
two regiments only maintained their ground. The 
king and Prince Rupert made every effort to prevail 


on such squadrons of cavalry as had now returned, to 
charge afresh ; but without success. Their reappear- 
ance, however, put a stop to the slackened movements 
of the parliamentarians ; and the shadows of night 
descended on the motionless hosts, where they stood 
gazing on each other, as if struck with silent remorse, 
neither side daring to believe that they had gained 
the first fratricidal victory of the war. Charles now 
commanded the Prince of Wales and the Duke of 
York, who had hitherto been by his side, to retire 
from the field ; but refused to yield to the entreaties 
of his officers to abandon it himself. He had 
shown himself equal, in gallantry and firmness, to 
the great and unexampled circumstances in which 
he that day stood: he determined to risk nothing 
now ; " well knowing," observes Clarendon, " that 
as that army was raised by his person and presence 
only, so it could by no other means be kept together ; 
and he thought it unprincely to forsake them who had 
forsaken all they had to serve him." Doubtful of his 
actual position, and of what might follow, the sove- 
reign merely dismounted from his horse, and seated 
himself by such a fire as could be kindled with the 
furze and scanty brushwood which grew on the 
barren heath. It was a keen autumn night; and a 
freezing wind sighed along the unsheltered slopes of 
Edge-hill. Essex's camp was well furnished with pro- 
visions ; but the king's troops, who had had nothing 
to eat for many hours, were in danger of perishing 
with cold and hunger : for the peasantry of the sur- 
rounding country, zealously devoted to the interests 


of the parliament, refused to supply provisions for the 
"papistical cavaliers and malignants" who fough) 
with King Charles. More than once, during the 
night, a report arose that the rebels had retreated ; 
but when day appeared, they were seen standing in 
the same spot. Morning advanced, yet neither army 
moved from its position. 

The king having received intelligence, some dayt 
before, that many officers and soldiers of the enemy 
were ready to lay down their arms, and come ovei 
to him, upon assurance of a good reception, hac 
prepared a proclamation to that effect. With this 
proclamation, he, about noon, sent one of his heralds, 
Sir William le Neve, to the Earl of Essex ; rather, 
indeed, to observe the enemy's condition, and to 
ascertain what prisoners had fallen into their hands, 
than with much hope of its producing the effect 
originally contemplated. Clarendon's account of Sir 
William's reception is amusing. " Before Sir Wil- 
liam came to the army he was received by the out- 
guards, and conducted with such strictness, that he 
could say or publish nothing among the soldiers, to 
the Earl of Essex ; who, when he offered to read 
the proclamation aloud, that he might be heard by 
those who were present, rebuked him with some 
roughness, and charged him, ' as he loved his life, 
not to presume to speak a word to the soldiers ; ' and, 
after some few questions, sent him presently back, 
well guarded, through the army, without any answer 
at all. At his return he had so great and feeling a 
sense of the danger he had passed, that he made little 


observation of the posture or number of the enemy ; 
only, he seemed to have seen or apprehended so much 
trouble and disorder in the faces of the Earl of Essex, 
and the principal officers about him, and so much 
dejection in the common soldiers, that they looked 
like men who had no further ambition than to keep 
what they had left." The king and Essex were both 
ujsirous of renewing the engagement, but were pre- 
vented ; Essex, by the advice of Dalbier and the other 
mercenaries, by whom, chiefly, his brigades were offi- 
cered ; the king, by the exhausted condition of his 
troops. Charles drew out his horse at the foot of the 
hill ; brought off his cannon, including several of the 
parliament's, without disturbance; lingered till evening 
upon the summit ; then moved forward his standard, 
which, in that conspicuous position, had all day long 
tossed its defying streamers in the breeze ; and led his 
wearied followers to their previous quarters at Edgcot, 
where they obtained food and rest. 

In this first great action there fell between 5000 
and 6000 men, of whom two thirds were parliamen- 
tarians. On that side two colonels, Charles Essex, 
reputed the ablest officer under the earl, and the 
Lord St. John, were slain. Of the king's party, there 
died on the field of battle, besides Sir Edmund 
Varney, Lord Aubigny, one of three brave sons 
of the Duke of Lenox, who that day fought for the 
king, and Colonel Monroe, "a great commander." 
General Lindsey was borne, profusely bleeding, from 
the fight, by the pious assiduity of Lord Willoughby, 
to the rude shed of a neighbouring farm. In the heat 


and distraction of the engagement, Essex, "among 
whose faults, however, want of civility and courtesy was 
none," forgot to send surgeons to tend his unfortunate 
antagonist. It was midnight when one arrived, with 
Sir William Balfour, and other officers, whom the par- 
liament's general had sent to tender Lindsey such as- 
sistance as was at his command, designing himself to 
visit the wounded commander. They found him 
stretched on a little straw, pale from loss of blood, 
but with looks full of animation. " Gentlemen," he said, 
I am sorry to see so many of you, and among you some 
of my old friends, engaged in so foul a rebellion." Then 
directing his discourse particularly to Balfour, he put 
that knight in mind of the great obligations he was 
under to the king. His majesty had incurred the dis- 
pleasure of the whole nation by giving him the com- 
mand of the Tower of London : was it not odious ingra- 
titude to make his royal master the return he had that 
day made? " Gentlemen/' continues the dying earl, 
" tell my Lord Essex that he ought to throw himself 
at the king's feet, and implore forgiveness ; speedily let 
him do it, if he would not have his name a word of re_ 
proach among his countrymen ! " The passionate ear- 
nestness of the loyal veteran quickened the exhausting 
flow of blood. The parliamentary officers retired in 
silence. Ere morning dawned, Lord Willoughby, amid 
his unavailing services by that forlorn bed of death, had 
become Earl of Lindsey. Charles made earnest efforts 
for the immediate release of the .victim of filial affec- 
tion ; but the parliament refused to accept any exchange 
for young Lindsey, and he remained nearly a year their 


prisoner. Other scenes, no less sad, were passing nigh 
at hand : the following is related, as one of the affecting 
incidents of this bloody field. " A parliamentary soldier, 
dying of his wounds, declared that his deepest grief was 
having received his death from the hand of his brother. 
Him he had recognized among the royal troops, and 
turned aside ; but the carbine was impetuously dis- 
charged by the hand which had never before been raised 
but in affection." 

As soon as the armies had quitted the ground, other 
parties took possession of it. The fugitive soldiers who 
had skulked in the neighbouring villages, returned with 
the rude rustics to rifle the dying and the dead. The 
clergy of the vicinity assembled their more charitable 
parishioners to register and give sepulture to those 
earliest sacrifices to the Moloch of intestine strife. 
Brother sought out brother, and sons their fathers, to 
snatch the remains of those they loved from an undistin- 
guished grave, or it might be, to cherish and rekindle 
the yet lingering spark of life. The name of more 
than one son, of knightly race, is preserved, who, 
after a search of days, found his parent, naked, 
covered with wounds, and well nigh frozen in his 
blood ; and had his pious cares repaid by the sufferer's 

Both sides claimed the victory at Edge-hill, which, 
in fact, neither obtained. The parliament voted that 
their army had been victorious, and ordered a solemn 
thanksgiving. The king published a " declaration" of 
his acts and motives ; and forwarded a proclamation, 
offering a free pardon to the cities of London and West- 


minster, if they would lay down their arms, in which it is 
implied that his majesty had been prosperous in the 
late action. With Charles rested, at all events, the ad- 
vantages of victory. While Essex, his rear harassed by 
the royal horse, retreated on Warwick and Coventry, the 
king's army pushed forward towards the metropolis ; took 
Banbury, with Lord Peterborough's regiment of six hun- 
dred men, quartered in the town ; and continued its 
march, without interruption, to Oxford. 



WHILE, after the battle of Edge-hill, the operations of 
the two great armies were suspended, or conducted 
with languor, the warfare of partisans, in the more 
remote provinces, grew every day sharper and more 
general. There the movements of the leaders were 
unembarrassed by public responsibility or political 
views ; and the private feuds of families and indi- 
viduals stimulated their zeal, or even determined their 
choice of a party. The means of commencing and 
carrying on those little insulated wars, into which every 
man, even in the remotest corners of the country, if 
he failed to be drawn by his inclinations, was never- 
theless cruelly forced by the circumstances of the time, 
were obtained in two ways. In the one case, the pre- 
dominant disposition of a district, of a county, or even of 
several adjoining counties, influenced and directed 
probably by one or more distinguished proprietors, 
embodied itself in an application to the parliament 
or the king, respectively, for authority to raise troops, 
and enforce contributions for their maintenance. 


Such authority was readily given ; a chief or chiefs 
appointed, or sanctioned, on the recommendation of 
the applicants, free from all control, except the duty 
of now and then communicating to the great belli- 
gerent parties at Westminster or at Oxford a state- 
ment of their operations; or if need arose, of 
asking advice or assistance. Of these associations, 
the earliest were those of the northern counties, 
under the Earl of Newcastle ; of the eastern counties, 
under the Earl of Manchester and Cromwell ; of 
the midland counties, under the Lord Brooke. In 
the other case, a single bold and zealous individual 
raised, equipped, and supported, at his own expense, 
his little band of guerilla warriors, drawn from among 
his tenantry and neighbours ; and carried on the war, 
as occasion offered, either single-handed, or in con- 
junction with other adventurers like himself, until 
his forces became absorbed in some more considerable 
armament. Of such bodies, the strength, the posi- 
tion, the objects, were continually changing from 
day to day. One thing alone was permanent, and 
common to all to imitate on a smaller scale, but 
with greater freedom from constraint, the deeds and 
vices of more numerous armies. Yet the generous 
nature of the objects of contention, loyalty, liberty, 
religion, in which selfishness had no part, rendered 
the explosion of the coarser passions in acts of heart- 
less or wanton violence comparatively rare. The 
English have proved that revolution and civil war, 
while they rouse honour from the embrace of luxury, 
and awaken slumbering genius in high and low, are 


not necessarily the worst of public evils. Englishmen, 
in the deadliest conflicts of the Civil War, seldom forgot 
that they were such; nor was there any one circum- 
stance which contributed more to injure Charles's repu- 
tation with this partially misled, but, upon the whole, 
sound-hearted people, than the powers and indulgences 
lavished on an individual of a different temper. The 
unfeeling insolence and predatory fierceness of Rupert 
were qualities of the foreign soldier of fortune, which 
darkly distinguished the royal trooper from every other 
general in the service ; and they reflected on the cause 
for which he fought, a portion of that prejudice wherewith 
he was himself regarded, partly as a foreigner by birth, 
but more as foreign in character and manners to the 
manly and humane temper with which the English 
mingled in that awful contest. 

Various movements occurred in the north between 
the chivalrous Earl of Newcastle, the king's general 
for those parts, and Fairfax, whom the parliament had 
appointed to the chief command of their northern 
forces. Sir Hugh Cholmondeley defeated and killed 
Slingsby, the gallant secretary of Lord Strafford, at 
Gisborough. Lancashire and Cheshire yielded alter- 
nately to Sir William Brereton's garrison at Nantwich, 
and to the royalists at Chester, under Sir Nicholas 
Byron. In the south, Sir William Waller took Chi- 
chester ; but this success was more than counterbalanced 
by the fall of Cirencester, which yielded with its strong 
garrison to Prince Rupert Eleven hundred prisoners 
taken in that place are said by Whitelocke to have 
been marched into Oxford, in a wretched plight, in 


the presence of Charles and his lords ; and the memori- 
alist adds an anecdote of a remarkably handsome 
soldier, who, as he was led along on horsehack, on 
account of the state of exhaustion he was in from 
his wounds, dropped down and expired while in the 
act of rallying his sinking strength for an angry reply 
to some reproachful words addressed to him by one of 
the spectators. 

In the county of Cornwall a romantic and successful 
spirit of resistance started up, which the parliament, 
who were strong in the adjoining counties, by no 
means expected. " There was in this county," ob- 
serves Clarendon, " as throughout the whole kingdom, 
a wonderful and superstitious reverence towards the 
name of a parliament, and a prejudice against the 
power of the court ; yet a full submission to, and love 
of, the established government of Church and State, 
especially as concerned the Liturgy, which was a 
general object of veneration with the people." An 
observation from which, as indeed from a thousand 
other sources, we may understand how men were torn 
by the unhappy events of that period, not only from 
each other, but from themselves ; and, even, within 
themselves, were divided, not merely by the frequent 
crossing of their interests and their attachments, but by 
adverse duties and conflicting principles. The gallant 
Sir Ralph Hopton, aided by the Grenvils and Sir 
Nicholas Scanning lighted a fire of loyalty in those 
remote regions which rapidly spread through the whole 
west of England. Launceston, Saltash, with a garri- 
son of Scots, opened their gates to the king's forces. 


In the famous fight at Bradockdown, Hopton beat an 
army sent against Cornwall, under the orders of 
Colonel Ruthen ; and with the loss of very few 
common men, and no officer of name, took 1200 
prisoners, most of the colours, and all the ordnance, 
of the enemy. Ruthen again occupied Saltash, and 
within three days found means to raise works before that 
place, fortified with cannon taken from a vessel which 
he had brought up to the side of the town; but 
Hopton with his Cornish men coming up, drove the 
Scot from his fortifications, and then out of the town, 
with the loss of most of his followers. Ruthen himself 
with difficulty escaped by water to Plymouth, leaving 
his artillery, his remaining colours, and 1300 prisoners, 
in the hands of the enemy. Hopton, who distinguished 
himself in this action, no less by his humanity than his 
ability and courage, now remained undisputed master 
of Cornwall. The next march of this gallant chief 
was upon Tavistock ; where the leading gentlemen of 
Devonshire laid before him a proposition, designed to 
avert from their county the miseries of a contest, in 
which they foresaw the two parties, being nearly 
balanced, would injure each other without materially 
affecting the general result. To the plea of humanity 
Hopton listened, and a solemn engagement was 
entered into for the two counties. The example of 
such confederations had already been set in York and 
Cheshire. The counties agreed to disband the troops 
already on foot, within their respective jurisdictions, 
and to oppose the raising or introduction of any 
others, without the joint consent of the king and the 


parliament. Both the belligerents, however, natu- 
rally declared against the authority of contracts which, 
if generally adopted, must have at once put an end 
to all prospect of that supremacy which each had in 
view. They were, therefore, quickly laid aside and 
forgotten ; and the demon of Civil War, having shaken 
from him these ineffectual shackles, traversed, unim- 
peded and unresting the length and breadth of fair 

As the English imported republicanism in religion 
from Geneva, where it existed because the Helvetians 
could get no bishops ; so they brought in republic- 
anism in government from Holland, where it had 
been adopted because the Dutch could get no king. 
In our island, republican principles of both kinds 
(they have both one root) prospered surprisingly, 
for this, beyond all other reasons, that England and 
Scotland had too severely felt the authority both of 
kings and of bishops. 

One of the earliest and least virtuous of English 
republicans was the Lord Say, who with his sons 
performed so conspicuous a part in the great revo- 
lutionary drama of the seventeenth century. The next 
of note was Sir Henry Vane the younger. The con- 
stitutional disposition (for such it may be termed) of that 
gifted and admired individual, to the wildest political 
fancies, was generated by a religious fanaticism so eager, 
that English puritanism, though in the freshness of youth 
and the fervour of suffering, was found too tame a 
stimulant : he sought the intoxicating draught in its 
more genuine purity, by the waters of Lake Leman, 


and amid the " obscure wildernesses of Massachusetts." 
The third was Vane's contemporary, the second Lord 
Brooke. Church and king, with whatsoever appertained 
to them, this nobleman " hated with a perfect hatred ; " 
and as his honesty was thorough, and his intellectual re- 
sources, natural and acquired, hardly inferior to the 
greatest of that illustrious age, he neither concealed his 
sentiments, nor, when the opportunity presented itself, 
was found wanting in energy and ability to clothe them 
in action. 

A party of the inhabitants of Lichfield and its 
vicinity had taken possession of their beautiful cathe- 
dral, a place easily defensible ; and held it for the king. 
The Lord Brooke, who had at this time under his 
command the greater part of the counties of Warwick, 
Leicester, Stafford, and Derby, resolved to dislodge this 
inexperienced band of royalists before they should have 
had time materially to increase the natural strength of 
their fortress. On the first of March he appeared 
before the town, at the head of 1200 men, drawn 
from the Earl of Essex's army, from the garrison at 
Derby commanded by Sir John Gell, and from his own 
determined band of followers at Warwick Castle. With- 
in a short space of the city, the noble republican halted, 
drew up his forces, and addressed them in a solemn ex- 
hortation. He avowed his purpose to destroy that 
stronghold of popery and superstition, the Cathedral ; 
whose richly decorated arches and clustering spires, 
rising high above the fortifications and fair prebendal 
dwellings in the Close, presented a prospect calcu- 
lated to win admiration and reverence from sectarian 


prejudice itself. Long shouts of applause followed 
the announcement. He then lifted up his voice in 
prayer, desiring that God would by some special token 
manifest his approbation of their design. Afterwards, 
the whole army joined in singing the 149th Psalm. The 
concluding verse, 

" To execute on them the doom 

That written was before ; 
This honour all the saints shall have : 
Praise ye the Lord, therefore, " 

was still sounding through the ranks, when, the word 
being given, they marched forward upon the town. 
Lichfield had no exterior defence, except its feeble gates, 
which at once giving way before the cannon of the par- 
liamentarians they took possession of the town ; driving 
before them into the Close the Lord Chesterfield, who 
had brought in a small party the day before from Bretby, 
with such of the citizens as were disposed to take 
part with the garrison, or to throw themselves into 
the consecrated fortress for protection. The following 
day began the siege of Lichfield Close ; an occurrence 
memorable in the annals of that pleasant city, and not 
without special interest, as a link in the great chain 
of similar events which then, like the connected 
explosions of a thunder-clap, were bursting out, suc- 
cessively or simultaneously, in every quarter of Eng- 

The Close was separated from the town by a broad 
moat, or pool, traversed by two causeways, which 
offered the only means of access on that side. The 


available defences of the fortress had been prepared, 
with some care, to resist an attack. " Mounds had 
been thrown up between the cathedral and the moat; 
the old houses had been pierced with loopholes and 
embrasures; and the bastions of the south gate and 
the battlements of the Lady Chapel had been lined 
with musketeers and marksmen, who were protected 
partly by the battlements, partly by woolsacks carried 
up to the roofs of the buildings for that purpose. 
Some of the long iron guns, called * drakes,' had also 
been mounted on the great central tower of the Cathe- 

The besiegers having brought up their artillery as 
near as they could, opened their fire briskly upon 
the fortress. It was returned with spirit. Though 
unequal in numbers and military resources to the 
task they had undertaken, and impeded in their 
operations by the crowds of people, herds of cattle, 
and various property deposited for safety in the enclo- 
sure, the garrison entered on their defence with great 
courage and determination. "Under cover of their 
guns, they made a vigorous sally from the south gate, 
and captured a large piece of ordnance ; but were over- 
powered by numbers, and obliged to draw off again 
into the Close without their prize, and content them- 
selves with annoying the besiegers by their fire from 
the battlements," A group who had taken possession 
of the top of the centre tower of the Cathedral, imme- 
diately under the great spire, caused great annoyance 
to the assailants, by being enabled, from their elevated 
position, to fire over the breastwork upon the gunners. 


One of this little party was a son of Sir Richard Dyott, 
a gentleman of property and consideration in the town ; 
who, though deaf and dumb, entered with the utmost 
animation into the royalist cause, and from his un- 
common skill as a marksman was able to serve it, 
on this occasion, by a singular exploit. 

Lord Brooke had taken up his quarters in a house 
near the spot where his battery was placed. This 
nobleman was accustomed to pray aloud in public, 
even in the presence of his chaplain. He this day in- 
tended to storm the Close: he had therefore performed 
his devotions with more than usual fervour, desiring 
a sign from heaven to mark the divine approbation 
of his enterprise, and wishing that if the cause he 
was engaged in were not the righteous cause, he 
might presently be cut off; if it were, that his eyes 
might witness the ruin of that proud edifice, as the 
prelude to the destruction of all the other cathedrals 
in the land. Shortly after the utterance of this fana- 
tical petition, the party in the centre tower perceived 
a distinguished person issue from one of the houses, 
with some attendants, and advance as if to give or- 
ders to the gunners. He wore a complete suit of 
plated steel armour; a tall plume, springing from a 
chaplet of laurel, nodded in his shining helmet. This 
warlike figure pointed upwards to the spire, he raised 
his visor, as if to descry more plainly the object 
against which he seemed to be commanding the sol- 
diers to direct their fire. At that instant the keen- 
eyed Dyott discharged his fowling-piece; and Lord 
Brooke fell dead, pierced by the bullet in his brain. 


The cry of triumph, that rang from roof to roof, and 
was quickly taken up by the multitude in the Close 
below, and the answering silence of consternation with- 
out, were both prolonged through England. The en- 
ergy, integrity, and determined zeal of Lord Brooke 
were universally known: every royalist, therefore, re- 
joiced in the destruction of an irreconcilable foe to 
the church and crown: every parliamentarian lamented 
his fallen champion, and vowed revenge. The fu- 
rious animosity displayed by this brave but unhappy 
young nobleman against the ecclesiastical government, 
with the peculiar circumstances of his death, not un- 
naturally, in that age, gave rise to the opinion that 
his fall was a judgment of heaven. He himself, 
indeed, while ostentatiously defying such superstitious 
conclusions, in reality gave countenance to them: for 
he had chosen the day on which he fell, for the 
assault, as being that of the saint to whom the Ca- 
thedral was dedicated, from contempt for his supposed 
tutelary power. The particulars which, at the time, 
lent currency to such an opinion, are thus quaintly 
brought together in a letter of the period, printed by Mr. 
Gresley; to whose arrangement of the incidents, in The 
Siege of Lichfield Close) we are indebted in this part of 
our narrative. " That enemy to our church," says the 
contemporary writer, "was slain in his quarrel against 
our church, by the God of our church, with a shot out 
of the Cathedral, by a bullet made of church lead, 
through the mouth which reviled our church" (mouth 
for eye, a 'modest adjustment of facts to the theory): 
"and," continues he, "(if this be worth your reading), 


this cathedral being dedicated to an old holy Saxon man, 
called Ceadda (commonly Chad), the blow of death 
came from St. Chad's church upon St. Chad's day." 

Brief, however, was the respite to Lichfield. Sir 
John Cell had brought over from Derby, where he 
commanded for the parliament, to reinforce Lord Brooke, 
a party of his "good, stout, fighting men; but the 
most licentious, ungovernable wretches, that belonged 
to the parliament." The remainder of that day pass- 
ed in sorrow and inaction. Before day-break, however, 
the next morning, the besiegers, enraged by the loss 
of their noble leader, assaulted the fortress on both 
sides at once; but were repulsed with great bravery; 
and in a sortie from the western gate many of them 
were slain or drowned in the moat, -and several 
made prisoners. In his attack, Sir John Gell's men 
made good their claim to the unfavourable charac- 
ter which the memorials of the time have handed 
down, by the dastardly contrivance of lining their 
files of soldiers, while advancing, with the help- 
less relatives and dependants of the besiegers, who 
remained in the town; thereby rendering it impos- 
sible for them to return the fire of their assail- 
ants. That day nothing further was attempted; but 
on the third, the intrepid little garrison found them- 
selves attacked from a new quarter. Gell, having 
received a reinforcement of artillery from Coventry, 
including a terrible mortar " to shoot grenadoes," 
planted his guns, amounting now to a very consi- 
derable battery, in the gardens along the side of the 
pool. From this point their fire was directed with 


deadly effect upon the buildings in the Close, now 
thronged with the best families in the neighbourhood, 
upon the Close itself, and upon the Cathedral, the 
peculiar object of animosity to the assailants. The 
great spire had been seriously injured on the first 
day of the siege ; and a shot now carrying away a 
portion of the tower beneath, it fell down suddenly 
through the roof into the choir, only a few minutes after 
the clergy had concluded the afternoon services, and 
retired to the equally becoming employment of tending 
the wounded in the nave. The following morning, 
March 5th, the enemy still " proceeding with all 
imaginable vigour in their attacks upon the Close, 
and having thrown over many grenadoes, and being 
ready to blow up the wall," farther resistance was 
deemed hopeless, and the garrison surrendered, on 
condition of quarter to all persons in the place. Lord 
Chesterfield, his son, and other gentlemen of dis- 
tinction, were among the prisoners ; and the plate 
and money, the arms, ammunition, and horses, fell 
into the hands of the victors. 

Blame has been cast on Lord Chesterfield for 
so early a surrender; and it is probable that an 
effort would have been made to hold out some time 
longer, had the distressed garrison known that relief 
was nigh at hand. The Earl of Northampton, whom 
the king had left in Banbury, was already on his 
march, with a strong party of horse and dragoons, 
to relieve Lichfield ; when, hearing of its fall, and that 
some of the royalists in the vicinity had taken refuge 
in Stafford, he threw himself into the latter town. 


In the brief military career of this gallant noble- 
man we find an illustration of the fact, that war, even 
in its most deplorable form, as it now raged through 
our country, is not an unmixed evil. Independently of 
those great results which a war of principle may ulti- 
mately secure, the horrors of a great contest of a 
civil contest, perhaps, more than any other' are in 
some degree mitigated in the view of humanity, by 
the opportunities its progress may open for the deve- 
lopement of personal as well as national energies. 
Families hitherto obscure or insignificant, throw out, 
through the fissures caused by such political earth- 
quakes, shoots of genius and virtue, which else had 
never struggled into the light. Individuals, sunk in 
luxury and sloth by the security of a passionless and 
protracted peace, start from their slumber ; with 
new-strung vigour snatch from their ancestral walls 
the armour of their forefathers ; and, by being roused 
as men, to battle with men, for a possession dear to all 
mankind, renew their nobility in something nobler 
than the name : or else, it may be, perish by such an 
honourable fall as every generous nature would prefer 
to the long lethargy of corrupting enjoyment. 

Not till some few months before his death did the 
world, or himself, become acquainted with half the 
virtues of the Earl of Northampton. During the long 
period of ease and luxury which preceded, he partook 
largely of " that license which was then thought neces- 
sary to great fortunes." But, "when the blast of war 
blew in his ears," the earl, like so many others, became 
a new man. Before the king's standard was set up, 


his neighbour, Lord Brooke, had found him, in some 
encounters that occurred between them, more than a 
match for himself in courage, promptitude, and zeal. 

We will not wrong at once the noble historian of 
the Rebellion, and this gallant subject of his pen, by 
farther varying from the original draught of the cha- 
racter of Northampton. " As soon as an army was 
to be raised, he levied, with the first, upon his own 
charge, a troop of horse, and a regiment of foot, and 
(not like some other men, who warily distributed their 
family to both sides, one son to serve the king, whilst 
his father, or another son, engaged as far for the par- 
liament) entirely dedicated all his children to the 
quarrel, having four sons officers under him ; and, 
from the time he submitted himself to the profession 
of a soldier, no man more punctual upon command, 
no man more diligent and vigilant in duty. All dis- 
tresses he bore like a common man, and all wants and 
hardnesses as if he had never known plenty or ease ; 
most prodigal of his person to danger; and he would 
often say, that if he outlived these wars, he was certain 
never to have so noble a death." 

Knowing himself in no condition to cope with the 
earl, Sir John Cell retired towards Nantwich, and 
formed a junction with Sir William Brewerton, who 
advanced from that place to meet him. The two 
knights then fell back with their joint forces, num- 
bering about three thousand horse and foot, with a 
good train of artillery, upon Stafford. Northampton 
had notice of their approach ; and instantly marched 
out to meet them, with less than a thousand men 
L 2 


expecting to find only Sir John Gell, whose numbers 
he knew, and for whose courage he had some con- 

When the earl came within view of the enemy, 
who were drawn up to receive him on Hopton Heath, 
two miles from Stafford, he at once perceived his mis- 
take. But his resolution to engage them did not 
change. The heath was spacious, and appeared well 
adapted to the movements of cavalry ; he saw, like- 
wise, that his great inferiority lay in his foot. The 
parliamentarian horse were posted in two bodies, in 
front of the infantry. He charged the more advanced 
body, and dispersed them; the second likewise, with 
such complete success that scarcely a horse of theirs 
remained on the field. At the same time eight pieces 
of cannon were captured by the royalists. Dear, how- 
ever, was the cost of the victory. The earl's cavalry, 
pursuing their advantage with that rashness and preci- 
pitation, of which Prince Rupert had set the example, 
threw themselves among the ranks of the enemy's 
foot. While thus engaged, his horse was killed 
under him, and he found himself alone on the ground, 
surrounded by furious enemies. The colonel of the 
regiment, among whose ranks he fell, advancing to 
encounter him, the men drew back, only to see their 
commander fall, slain by the earl. The enraged sol- 
diers now closed round the gallant nobleman, striking 
at him on all sides. One of them, with his heavy 
matchlock, smote off his helm. They now such was 
their own report offered him quarter; which, it was 
said, he refused, exclaiming that he scorned to take 


quarter at the base hands of rebels. A ruffian hal- 
berdier then dashed his weapon into his brain behind, 
and he fell covered with wounds. Sir Thomas Byron, 
colonel of the prince's regiment, now followed up the 
impression made by his commander, in a successful 
charge upon the infantry of the parliamentarians. 
But the victory that day was turned into mourning. 
" They who had all the ensigns of victory but their 
general, thought themselves undone; while the other 
side, who escaped in the night, and made a hard shift 
to carry his dead body with them, hardly believed they 
were losers." They refused to give it up on any other 
terms than the restitution of all their prisoners, can_ 
non, and ammunition ; they even, with what a writer 
not apt to censure that party with severity terms an 
"incredible baseness," denied to the filial piety of the 
young earl (who, with two of his brothers, had charged 
by his father's side at Hopton Heath) permission to 
send surgeons to embalm the mangled remains. 

In less than a month the walls of Lichfield Ca- 
thedral objects, during that period, of the ruthless 
violence, and witnesses to the insolent profaneness, of 
the puritan soldiers once again echoed to the roar of 
the besiegers' cannon. Prince Rupert, with a strong 
body of horse and seven hundred foot, marched from 
Oxford to recover that singular fortress to the king; 
and being joined by some of the troops which had 
lately been victorious under the Earl of Northampton, 
entered the town on the 8th of April, without oppo- 
sition, and immediately laid siege to the Close. It 
was now strongly garrisoned, commanded by a resolute 


officer, and supplied with every thing necessary to a 
protracted resistance. For several days the fire of the 
royalist batteries made no impression. The prince 
now opened a mine under the walls ; it was met by a 
counter-mine on the side of the besiegers: the hostile 
parties met, and fought with fury, in the bowels of the 
earth. A second mine was sprung, in a place where 
the besieged were least prepared for it. A tower, 
with a party of the defenders in it, was blown up ; 
and a breach of twenty feet in width being made in 
the walls, the prince assaulted it with his whole avail- 
able force, but was ultimately forced to retire with 
the loss of many officers and men. A second time he 
prepared for the assault; when the garrison, knowing 
that the king's orders to his highness were to grant 
them honourable terms, surrendered, and marched out 
the following day, under a convoy, to Coventry. Prince 
Rupert left a powerful garrison in Lichfield, and com- 
mitted the government of it to Colonel Bagot. Then 
directing his army to follow him with all possible 
expedition, he immediately hastened off, with only a 
few attendants, to rejoin his majesty. 



A MODERN historian, speaking of the lively consort of 
Charles I., styles her " that pernicious woman ; " 
Warburton is severe even to rancour, in his strictures 
upon her conduct : in short, poor Henrietta is exposed 
to nearly equal censures from both friend and foe of 
her husband. The daughter of Henri IV. was, it 
is true, the most unfit of princesses to be, in that 
age, queen of England. The English disliked her 
country, despised her manners, and abhorred her 
religion, all of which appeared to herself perfec- 
tion. Her numerous foreign attendants; the spies 
who lurked about her in the guise of ambassadors ; 
the evil counsellors who enjoyed her unlimited con- 
fidence under the character of chaplains and confes- 
sors, did unspeakable mischief to the royal cause. 
Their insolent behaviour was among the most palpable 
means of disgusting the people, of inflaming the mis- 
understandings between the court and the country, 
and hence, of hurrying on the nation into the vortex 
of civil war. Charles, while he had an extreme con- 
tempt for all those parties, was fretted so much by 


nothing else as by their impertinences, and proved 
both by the manner in which he at length freed him- 
self from the annoyance ; yet the people, instead of 
pitying him, believed him to be in league with his 
tormentors. He was tender of his consort's honour, 
and intent on what he deemed her happiness ; but the 
moral English nation visited this virtuous behaviour as 
a crime, because the fair object of it was a daughter 
of France, and a bigoted Roman Catholic. He was as 
firm and enlightened a foe to her religion, as any 
in his dominions ; but she was his wife ; she was 
known to have great influence over the monarch, and 
to use it unsparingly : could he, whatever were his 
professions, be, in heart, less than a papist ? Finally, 
the parliament, as if at once to direct against her the 
full measure of the popular dislike, rewarded the 
most commendable action of her life by impeaching 
her of high treason ! But we are anticipating the 
course of events. 

Before the queen's departure from England, in the 
spring of 1642, it had become obvious to both parties, 
though both were far from making the avowal, that 
the sword must ultimately decide their differences. 
At that time, however, Charles had not the means of 
raising a single regiment. The great object of Hen- 
rietta was, therefore, to strengthen her husband's in- 
terest in Holland, whither she had retired; and, in 
particular, to procure arms and ammunition, to be 
transported to England as his necessities might 
require. Her activity and address surmounted the 
repugnance which was naturally felt by the States 


(with whose assertion of their freedom England had 
warmly sympathized), to favour any design which might 
impede the struggles of the English in winning their 
own. It was to little purpose that the parliament sent 
over an ambassador armed with declarations and remon- 
strances, to desire at least a complete neutrality. The 
States affected compliance ; but the queen's preparations 
went on as before. It was chiefly owing to her exer- 
tions, that Charles had been enabled to bring an army 
into the field. She had repeatedly sent him arms and 
ammunition, and, what he equally wanted, officers of ex- 
perience, to train and discipline his forces. At length, 
after a year's absence from England, she herself sailed, 
with a convoy of four vessels supplied by her son-in-law, 
the Prince of Orange ; eluded the vigilance of Batten, 
the parliament's vice-admiral, who had received 
orders to intercept her ; and landed safely at Bur- 
lington, in Yorkshire on the 22nd day of February, 

The Earl of Newcastle, with a detachment of those 
forces, which, on account of the favour he was in 
with her majesty, and because they had, from time 
to time, been reinforced by her means, was styled 
by the parliament, " the Queen's army of Papists," 
had drawn toward the coast, for the purpose of 
conducting her to York. Designing, however, to 
rest a day or two from the fatigues and anxieties 
of the voyage, she took up her residence in a house 
on the quay. The second night Batten arrived, 
unperceived, with his fleet, anchored in the road, 
and, enraged at his disappointment, exposed the 


adventurous princess to a new danger, by an out- 
rage the particulars of which are preserved in her 
own spirited narrative. "About five of the clock in 
the morning, the ships began to ply us so fast with 
their ordnance that they made us all rise out of 
our beds and leave the village. One of them did 
me the favour to flank upon the house where I lay, 
and before I was out of my bed the cannon bullets 
whistled so loud about me, that all the company press- 
ed me earnestly to go out of the house, their cannon 
having totally beaten down all the neighbour houses, 
and two cannon bullets falling from the top to the 
bottom of the house where I was ; so that, clothed as 
well as in haste I could be, I went on foot some little 
distance out of the town, under the shelter of a ditch, 
like that of Newmarket, whither before I could get, 
the cannon bullets fell thick about us, and a servant 
was killed within seventy paces of me. We in the end 
gained the ditch, and stayed there two hours, whilst 
their cannon played all the while on us. The bullets 
flew, for the most part, over our heads; some few 
only grazing on (he ditch, covered us with earth, 
&c., till the ebbing of the tide, and the threats of the 
Holland admiral, put an end to that danger." In- 
formation of these particulars was sent to the par- 
liament, and the Lords voted an order to the Earl of 
Warwick to inquire into their truth; but no further 
notice was taken of the outrage. On the contrary, it 
was for this act of romantic obedience to the senti- 
ments of the heart and the laws of society, that the 
Queen of England was charged by the Commons 


with the crime of high treason. The impeachment 
was, as uusal, carried up to the bar of the house of 
Lords by Pym; and this odious attempt was the last 
effort, in his peculiar province, of the now failing 
patriot. Could the statesman, who thus sacrificed all 
other considerations at the shrine of a daring policy, 
be indeed the same, who, really in the great con- 
test for the Petition of Right, and ostensibly in the 
prosecution of StrafFord, contended for freedom, the 
blessing which both enables men to enjoy, and teaches 
them to venerate, the great moral duties of mankind; 
and for law, and that imprescriptible justice, which is 
its fathomless source ? 

The displeasure of the parliament was so far jus- 
tified, that the arrival of the queen certainly imparted 
a new impulse to the king's affairs, and contributed 
in no small degree to the successful issue of the en- 
suing campaign, It was the signal for fresh exertions 
among his adherents ; and supplied a point for the 
discussion of new projects, and the diffusion of a more 
general spirit of loyalty. The balanced successes of 
that noble commander, and his able opponents, the 
Fairfaxes, father and son, which had so long de- 
vastated the northern counties without any decisive 
result, now preponderated in favour of the royal cause. 
Sir Hugh Cholmondeley, who had served the parlia- 
ment with great courage and vigour against the earl, 
attracted by the new aspect of affairs, or yielding to the 
contagion of chivalrous feeling, offered his allegiance 
to the queen ; delivered up the castle of Scarborough ; 
and received again the command of that fortress 


for the king. Proposals to raise a party for Charles in 
Scotland were earnestly made to her majesty by Mon- 
trose, but defeated, for the present, by the craft, or pru- 
dence of Hamilton. Even Sir John Hotham seemed not 
indisposed to admit Henrietta within the fortress whose 
gates he had formerly closed against her royal lord ; and 
it was one of the charges on the trial of his unfortunate 
son, that he had suffered the royal convoy to pass unmo- 
lested from Burlington to York. 

Four months the queen, in the enjoyment of the sunny 
prospects thus opened before her, held her court in the 
capital of the northern counties ; her ambition taking de- 
light in the exercise of an independent power, and the 
affability and liveliness of her manner imparting it to all 
around her. Immediately after her landing, she had for- 
warded a part of her supply of arms and ammunition 
under a strong convoy to the king ; but to have pursued 
her journey towards him at that time, would have been to 
throw herself into the power of her enraged enemies. 



WINTER was approaching when King Charles en- 
tered Oxford, intending to fix his court, for a sea- 
son, with the Muses; whose charms, had peace and 
leisure waited on his steps in life, few princes could 
have better appreciated than himself. The boiling 
blood of Rupert, however, was impatient of a day's 
inaction. From his head-quarters at Abingdon, the 
prince made many successful incursions with his cava- 
liers into the adjacent counties, each time approach- 
ing near to the capital. In one of these expeditions 
he attempted Reading; where the parliament had 
placed a garrison, under the command of the fan- 
tastic republican Henry Marten. At sight of Prince 
Rupert and his fiery cuirassiers, governor and gar- 
rison precipitately abandoned the town; and such 
were the accounts of the terror and disaffection in and 
near the capital, which the prince received from the 
inhabitants, that he prevailed on Charles, always too 
ready to give way to the views of those about him, 
to advance with his army towards London. 

The parliament were now seriously alarmed. They 


ordered Essex to bring up his army to the metropolis; 
and, by a vote of thanks for the victory at Edge-hill, 
and a present of 5000/., engaged him to pursue the war 
with activity and decision. They proposed to invite the 
Scotch to their assistance; resolved to raise another 
army, to be placed under the command of the Earl of 
Warwick; and ordered that all apprentices who would 
enlist, should have the period for which they served 
reckoned towards their freedom. For the means of 
carrying on the war with increased energy, they ap- 
plied, as usual, to the city, and levied assessments by 
oppressive and arbitrary methods ; declaring it legal, 
not only to sieze the goods of those who refused to 
contribute one-twentieth part of their estates, but also 
to imprison their persons, and expel their families 
from the metropolis and its vicinity. They hastily 
voted a petition to the king for peace; but while their 
commissioners were attending at Colnbrook to present 
it, hostile movements were, on both sides, renewed. 
The general received orders to draw his army west- 
ward from the city; the military were commanded, 
under the strictest penalties, to repair instantly to their 
colours; and a committee of both houses was sent to 
encourage the citizens to renewed resolutions " of de- 
fending and maintaining their liberties and religion with 
their lives and fortunes." 

Essex advanced toward Brentford, and occupied that 
town with Hollis's regiment. There Prince Rupert, 
with some troops of horse and several pieces of ar- 
tillery, fell suddenly upon them, intending, it was said, 
to cut his way through to London; when Hamp- 


den's and another regiment coming to the rescue, a 
more equal contest followed. After repeated charges 
on both sides, in which great numbers were slain, and 
many prisoners taken, the parliament's forces were 
driven from the town, and it was taken possession of 
by the king. But reinforcements were sent in, from 
all quarters, to the earl. " Bands and regiments of 
armed men sprung up in succession, as if out of the 
earth," says a patriotic writer. An effectual appeal was 
made to the trained bands to march out, and protect 
their municipal wealth, and household hearths, from 
the avidity and license of the cavaliers. These sub- 
stantial troops were led on by the brave but coarse 
Skippon; who, passing from company to company, 
cheered his unfleshed battalions with familiar talk; 
"and the soldiers," observes Whitelocke, "seemed to 
be more taken with it than with a set, formal oration." 
Essex's army consisted of full 24,000 " stout, gallant, 
proper men, as well habited and armed as were ever 
seen." The general, however, was averse to engage; 
the "old soldiers of fortune," whose pacific advice 
coincided with his own inclinations, averred that it was 
honour and safety enough to stop the march of the 
king. Hampden, mortified by this coldness, proposed 
to march a body of men to Hounslow, and cut off 
Charles's retreat, while the main army assailed him in 
front. This was agreed to; but they had not pro- 
ceeded a mile when they were recalled. For one 
whole day the army stood drawn up on the side of 
Turnham Green; while its columns were confronted, 
on the opposite side, by those of the king. At length 


a movement appeared in the royalist ranks. On this, 
two or three hundred lookers-on from the city turned 
their horses' bridles, and galloped homewards, followed 
by some of the soldiers. It was the king preparing to 
quit the field. Either for want of ammunition, or 
because he dreaded the discredit of interposing farther 
difficulties to the proposed treaty, Charles had resolved 
on a retreat. The citizen-soldiers now directed a fierce 
attack upon the provisions, the wines, and tobacco, 
which their wives and daughters had forwarded to 
them in abundance, from the markets and cellars of 
the city; and confidence and hilarity once more pre- 
vailed in the parliamentarian ranks. The king, in the 
meantime, marched, by Colnbrook, to Reading; where 
he left a garrison of 3000 men under the command of 
Sir Arthur Aston, and presently re-entered his winter 
quarters at Oxford. 

From many parts, a loud cry was now heard for 
peace. The city of London, by an order of common 
council, presented a petition to that effect to the 
houses of parliament; in which was enclosed another 
to the king. The parliament rejected that addressed 
to themselves, but voted that the petition to the king 
should be presented. By the advice of the houses, 
a deputation from the common council proceeded with 
it to Oxford. When a passage of this document was 
read in which the petitioners earnestly besought his 
majesty "to return to his parliament, accompanied 
with his royal, not his martial, attendance," engaging 
" to preserve his majesty and the two houses from 
all tumults," Charles smiled : " You seem to me," he 


said, "gentlemen, to promise more than you are able 
to perform ; for I hear you cannot maintain peace and 
quiet among yourselves." He promised, however, to 
give a full answer, which he desired should be read out 
publicly in the city of London. 

The largest confluence of liverymen ever remem- 
bered, met on this occasion. A committee of both 
houses were present. The petition was first read, and 
was received with such tumultuous applause, that the 
gentleman by whom the king had sent his answer, 
alarmed at the cries of the citizens, sought to evade 
the reading of it, alleging, in excuse, the weakness of 
his voice. The assembly insisted ; and the abashed 
messenger was required to read it a second time, from 
a place where he could be better heard. This time a 
small party of royalists attempted to raise a shout ; but 
finding none to second them, desisted. Lord Man- 
chester then addressed the hall. He was followed by 
Pym, " that worthy member of the house of Commons, 
and patriot of his country" (as the reporter styles him), 
in a speech containing the usual evidences of his mental 
vigour and unbending repugnancy to the king. " At 
the end of every period, the applause was so great, that 
he was fain to rest till silence was again made." The 
concluding " words were no sooner uttered, but the 
citizens, with one joint harmony of minds and voices, 
gave such an acclamation as would have drowned all 
the former ; which, after a long continuance, resolved 
itself into this more articulate and distinct cry : ' We 
will live and die with the parliament! We will live 
and die with the parliament ! ' " 


Such was the report of one of their thorough -going 
admirers. But the people were weary of the burdens 
laid upon them to support the parliament's army ; the 
citizens also began to feel the effect of an interruption 
of trade, and dreaded, besides, another visit from 
Rupert and his cavaliers. Giving way to these dis- 
positions without, to the demands of the Lords, 
and of a powerful minority in their own house, the 
leaders of the Commons consented to discuss propo- 
sitions for a treaty. Their adoption of this vote is 
supposed to have been obtained partly by the elo- 
quence of Sir Benjamin Rudyard, who failed not to 
appear on the scene as often as the warning voice of 
wisdom and humanity might be expected, in some 
momentary calm of the passionate elements, to find 

" We have already," said that true patriot, " tasted 
the bitter, bloody fruits of war: if we persist, there 
will be such a confluence of mischiefs break in upon 
us as, I am afraid, will ruin the king, the kingdom, 
the nation. I have long and thoughtfully expected 
that the cup of trembling, which has gone round about 
us to other nations, would at length come in amongst 
us : it is now come at last, and we may have to drink 
the dregs of it, which God avert! There is yet some 
comfort left that our miseries are not likely to last 
long, for we cannot fight here as they do in Germany ; 
in that vast continent where, although there be war 
in some parts of it, yet there are many other remote 
quiet places for trade and tillage. We must fight as 
in a cock-pit ; we are surrounded by the sea. We 


have no stronger holds than our own skulls and our 
own ribs to keep out enemies ; so that the whole 
kingdom will quickly be but one flame. 

" It hath been said in this house," he continued, 
" that we are bound in conscience to punish the shed- 
ding of innocent blood ; but who shall be answerable 
for all the innocent blood which shall be spilt hereafter 
if we do not endeavour a peace, by a speedy treaty? 
Certainly God is as much to be trusted in a treaty as 
in a war. It is he that gives wisdom to treat, as 
well as courage to fight, and success to both, as it 
pleases him. Blood is a crying sin, it pollutes a land : 
why should we defile this land any longer ?" 

Early in March, 1643, the Earl of Northumberland? 
with four members of the Commons' house, Pierre- 
point, Armyn, Holland, and Whitelock, commission- 
ers appointed by the parliament to treat of a pacifi- 
cation, proceeded to the king at Oxford. Lord Say 
had also been named, as a second commissioner on 
the part of the Lords ; but Charles excepted against 
his lordship, as being one of those individuals whom 
he had publicly proclaimed traitors, some months be- 
fore. Charles had his residence in Christ Church. 
It was in the gardens of that noble college, where he 
daily walked, accompanied by the prince and the lords 
of his court, that the commissioners first had access to 
him. They were most favourably received ; and their 
intercourse with the court was, throughout, distin- 
guished by a tone of mutual frankness and honour. 
The Earl of Northumberland displayed, in his style of 
M 2 


living, unusual splendour ; his plate, his furniture, his 
wine, and other provisions, were all sent from his 
house in London. The lords and gentlemen of the 
court appeared often at the earl's table ; the king him- 
self condescended to accept from him some presents for 
his own. On the other hand, the commissioners had 
unrestricted approach to his majesty, and were allowed 
all possible freedom of discourse. 

In fact, it was a part of their instructions to treat 
with no one but the king in person. That Charles, 
on his part, was competent to the task laid upon 
him, is thus testified by one of the commissioners. 
" In this treaty the king manifested his great parts 
and abilities, strength of reason, and quickness of 
apprehension, with much patience in hearing what 
was objected against him ; wherein he allowed all 
freedom, and would himself sum up the arguments, 
and give a most clear judgment upon them. The 
lords of the council never debated any thing with 
the commissioners, but gave their opinions to the 
king in those things which he demanded of them, 
and sometimes would put the king in mind of some 
particular things ; but otherwise they did not speak." 
But the hands of the commissioners were absolutely 
tied. Their instructions did not so much as leave 
to their discretion the interpretation of a doubtful 
phrase. " I am sorry," observed Charles, when this 
was explained to him, "that you have no more trust 
reposed in you: the parliament might as well have 
sent their demands to me by the common carrier, 


as by commissioners so restrained." The proposals 
brought by them were substantially the same which 
were embodied in the " nineteen propositions," and 
had already been rejected before a sword was drawn : 
abolition of episcopacy, and command of the militia to 
remain with the parliament. But before coming to 
the conditions of peace, they were to treat about a 
cessation of arms. To finish the whole treaty, only 
twenty days were allowed. Six they might employ 
on the cessation ; and then, whether that point were 
determined or not, they were to enter upon the 
terms of pacification. If these were not concluded 
before the end of the twenty days, the whole negoti- 
ation was to cease, and they were to return to the 

The most valuable servant King Charles ever had 
was Edward Hyde, lord chancellor after the Restor- 
ation ; and author of the admirable, though extremely 
imperfect, History of the Rebellion. It was to Hyde that 
Charles was indebted for that information respecting 
the plans and movements of his opponents, by which, 
during the appalling interval that followed his return 
from Scotland, he was enabled, in some degree, to 
counteract their efforts. It was he who, with the aid 
of his accomplished friend Falkland, composed those 
eloquent public manifestoes which were poured forth 
so profusely, and with such effect, in the king's name. 
The sense they entertained of the value of Hyde's exer- 
tions, in these and other points, the parliament marked 
by naming him with ten others, in their instructions to 
the Earl of Essex, as incapable of being ever admitted 


to pardon. But Hyde had no official station at court : 
his appointment to one, at the time of the treaty, fur- 
nishes no unpleasing court anecdote. When the com- 
missioners came to Oxford, some one of their company 
brought a copy of a letter of the king's to the queen, 
which had been intercepted by the parliament, and 
printed. In this letter he adverted to a promise which 
he "had given her, on the eve of her departure for 
Holland, not to dispose of places at court without 
her advice ; but excepting from that promise the 
offices of state, and such other changes as the urgency 
of his affairs might require to be made without 
delay. In particular, he observed, " I must make 
Hyde secretary of state; for the truth is, I can trust 
nobody else." The next morning when Hyde, as was 
his custom, joined the king in his walk, Charles in- 
quired if he had seen his letter to the queen, which 
had been intercepted and printed. Hyde answered, 
he had not. Charles gave it him to read; and, after 
he had read it, said, " I wish it were as much in my 
power to make every one else amends as I can you. 
I am resolved, this afternoon, to swear you secretary 
of state." Hyde refused the secretaryship, but was 
made chancellor of the exchequer. He would, at all 
events, have had a share in the treaty, as the king's 
secret adviser ; he now took his place also at the board, 
in his official character as a member of the privy 

Owing as well to the restrictions on the commis- 
sioners, in consequence of which every proposal or 
demand which arose had to be referred to the parlia- 


merit, and debated by both houses, as to the real in- 
difference of both the parliament and the king to the 
success of the negotiations, no progress was made. 
The period fixed for the committee's return was nearly 
expired, and only two articles, viz. the first demand on 
either side, had yet been brought into discussion. The 
commissioners were not to blame. They were govern- 
ed, upon the whole, by just and honourable views ; and 
so earnestly desired the success of their labours, that, 
perceiving the insuperable difficulties which surrounded 
them, while they complied in all their public pro- 
ceedings with the letter of their instructions, they 
nevertheless privately intimated to the king, that if he 
would submit to some sacrifices, they might possibly 
find means to obtain a corresponding concession on the 
other side. The Church was the point on which, be- 
yond all others, Charles was inflexible. Would he, in 
order to secure it, surrender the command of the 
militia an advantage which the parliament deemed 
indispensable to their security ? The discussion of this 
point had been, on one occasion, protracted till mid- 
night. The committee indulged a belief that the king 
had been won over ; but at so late an hour they would 
not ask his written consent. It was agreed to defer it 
to the morning. Morning came ; and the eager com- 
missioners made their appearance earlier than usual. 
But the king's mind was changed. He had been pre- 
vailed on, during the night, to prepare a totally dif- 
ferent answer. The disappointed commissioners now 
suggested, that if Northumberland were restored to 


the office of Lord High Admiral, which Charles had 
taken from him in consequence of his having appointed 
Warwick to the command of the fleet, that nobleman's 
influence might be found available to soften the obsti- 
nacy of his opponents. But Charles was stung with the 
ingratitude of the earl; whom, to use his own words, he 
" had ever sought to live with as his friend, and courted 
as his mistress." The eloquent importunity of Hyde 
and Falkland was of no avail: the king would merely 
promise, that he might one day restore Northumber- 
land's commission, when he had performed some such 
service as should atone for the past. Still Charles 
desired that the negotiations should proceed, and pro- 
posed a prolongation of the term. The parliament 
refused ; at the same time instructing their commis- 
sioners to press his majesty to name a day for disband- 
ing the armies, and to return to his parliament. He 
replied, that when the command of his revenue, maga- 
zines, ships, and forts, should be restored to him; when 
all the members of the two houses, with the exception 
of the bishops, should be allowed to return to their 
seats, as they held them at the opening of the parlia- 
ment; and when the houses should be secured from 
tumultuary assemblies, which could only be done by 
adjournment to some place twenty miles distant from 
London, he would consent to the immediate disband- 
ing of the armies, and return to his parliament. No 
answer was returned to these proposals; but on the 
19th day, the commissioners received peremptory 
orders to quit Oxford the next morning. They 


obeyed; and from that time all communication be- 
tween that city and London was interdicted by the 

Clarendon assigns as the true cause of Charles's 
haughty refusal of all concession, the famous promise 
to the queen, that he would neither give away any 
office nor consent to a peace except by her mediation. 
The noble historian likewise asserts, that at her land- 
ing she wrote to Oxford, expressing apprehension on 
the subject of the treaty; and that the king's motive for 
desiring a prolongation of the treaty was, that she 
might have time to reach Oxford before its conclusion. 
But we have seen that he did not regard the first part 
of this promise as binding, in the sense commonly 
understood; and of the other (if it ever were made), 
the most rational and probable interpretation seems to 
be that of Lingard. " As far as I can judge," writes 
that historian, " it only meant that whenever he made 
peace, he would put her forward as mediatrix; to the 
end that, since she had been calumniated as being the 
cause of the rupture between him and his people, she 
might also have, in the eyes of the public, the merit of 
effecting the reconciliation." The truth is, the wound 
had long become immedicable. The faults of both the 
leading parties in the nation perhaps, the sins of the 
nation itself demanded, at the hand of a corrective 
Providence, the excision of the " ulcerous part" by 
the sword; and peace was impossible till one of them 
had fallen. War was renewed amidst the mournful 
apprehensions of the good and wise, who clearly saw 
that, whichsoever side should now prevail, the liberty 


as well as the prosperity of the country must inevit- 
ably suffer. 

On the very day the commissioners returned to 
London, the Earl of Essex quitted it; and, rejoining 
his army, laid siege to Reading. 



THE parliament passed the winter in devising schemes 
for raising money to carry on the war. The assess- 
ments were rigidly enforced; the estates of delin- 
quents and the lands of the church were sequestered ; 
an excise was, for the first time in our country, im- 
posed on a great number of commodities. Neither 
these designs, nor their efforts to recruit the army, 
were for a moment relaxed during the negotiations at 
Oxford. The army of Essex when he sat down be- 
fore Reading on the 17th of April, was the finest that 
had yet been seen in this unhappy war. It consisted 
of about 16,000 foot and about 3000 horse, all well 
armed, and abundantly supplied with every thing 
necessary for the siege. Under the command of Sir 
Arthur Aston, there were few short of 4000 excel- 
lent troops; but he had very little ammunition; 
and the slight defences of the town were not capable 
of being long maintained against a powerful enemy. 
Essex resolved to reduce it by the cautious method 
of approach. The indefatigable Skippon, to whom 


the operations were committed, had already planted 
his batteries within less than musket-shot of the out- 
works, in doing which the besiegers succeeded in 
beating back the garrison in several sorties; when 
Hampden, whose influence in the army was now of 
nearly equal weight with the authority of the lord- 
general, impatient any longer to wait the issue of 
that dilatory procedure, determined to attempt the 
walls by assault. Advancing silently from the trenches 
with 400 picked men, seconded by Colonel Hurry, 
he passed the ditches in the grey twilight of the 
morning, and, mounting the rampart, seized upon the 
northernmost bastion. They met with a brave resist- 
ance, and were driven back. Hampden, calling for- 
ward his reserves, immediately placed himself at the 
head of a second attack; and, again struggling up the 
well-defended walls, renewed the fight. The governor 
had previosuly been disabled by a shot. Colonel 
Fielding, who had supplied his place, now brought 
forward the main strength of the garrison, and a 
bloody conflict ensued. Both leaders fought, hand 
to hand, on the ramparts, each at the head of his 
party. Overpowered by the numbers and determined 
valour of the royalists, Hampden was on the point of 
once more retiring, when Hurry, by a sudden move- 
ment, threw himself between the royalists and the 
town. The inhabitants, ill-affected to the royal cause, 
at once ceased firing; and, after a severe struggle, 
a parley was demanded by Fielding, and a truce 

Meantime the king, who had no intention to retain 


the permanent occupation of Reading, reluctantly ad- 
vanced to its relief, with some divisions of his array 
hastily drawn together ; designing only to force one 
of the besieger's quarters, and withdraw the garrison. 
But Essex had drawn the principal strength of his army 
to the west side of the town, towards Oxford. On that 
side there was no pass, except over Caversham Bridge. 
To protect that place, a body of the parliamentary 
troops was posted : against which the king, understand- 
ing them to consist of only two regiments, the Lord 
Robert's and Colonel Berkeley's detached two of his 
own, the green and the red, commanded by General 
Ruthen in person. The parliamentarians, however, were 
immediately supported by strong reinforcements. The 
skirmish that followed was sanguinary ; and the royalist 
troops suffering severely, and perceiving no movement at- 
tempted from the town, retired, in the end, to their main 
body. In the night came Fielding to the king, and as- 
sured him that neither could he, on his part, hold out 
the town, nor would the small force which Charles had 
brought suffice to raise the siege ; but that if the king 
agreed to his surrendering, good terms might be granted. 
Charles, who only desired to secure the safety of his 
troops, consented. The next morning, the town was 
given up on honourable conditions ; the garrison joined 
the army at Wallingford ; and the king once more retired 
to Oxford. Essex lingered in the neighbourhood of 
Reading. There his army was wasted with disease and 
desertion ; and his counsels, at the same time, thwarted 
both by his great masters in Westminster, and by dis- 
satisfied officers in the camp. 


Six weeks Essex lay at Reading. It was in this 
interval the famous Waller plot was discovered. This 
plot was a design on the part of some royalist politicians 
in London to satisfy the general desire for peace, and for 
the prevention of farther and direr calamities to the 
country, by forcibly promoting an accommodation between 
the king and the parliament. Its results were the expul- 
sion from the House of Commons, the fining, and ban- 
ishment of the principal conspirator, the execution of two 
of his friends, and a great accession of strength to the war 
faction. Again Pym was the safeguard of his party; the 
genius who laid open their dangers, the thunderer who 
struck down their foes. With his usual happy blending 
of adroitness and force the great secret of popular in- 
fluence he so told the tale of his great discovery to the 
citizens, as effectually to scatter to the winds the dull 
ashes which had been gathering, of late, upon their 
zeal. He introduced an oath against similar designs ; 
an engagement nominally optional, but in reality im- 
posed on every member of the Peers and Commons, 
on the army, and on all citizens. After a terrible pre- 
amble, asserting that " there has been, and now is on 
foot in this kingdom, a popish and traitorous plot for the 
subversion of the true protestant religion, &c., in pursuance 
whereof a popish army hath been raised, and is now on 
foot in various parts of the kingdom, " the subscribers 
bound themselves never to lay down arms so long as the 
papists now carrying on war should be protected from 
the justice of the parliament ; and never to adhere to, or 
willingly assist, the forces raised by the king, without the 
consent of both houses. " The popish plot and popish 


army," observes a modern historian, "were fictions of 
their own to madden the passions of their adherents." 

At length the parliamentarian general, being enabled 
to advance, fixed his head-quarters at Thame. And 
now occurred one of the most eventful actions of the 

Hurry, a Scotch mercenary, bred in the German wars, 
had led the attack on Reading, under Hampden ; and 
had before done good service for the parliament at 
Edge-hill, and under Waller. Having, from discon- 
tent with his employers, thrown up his commission of 
colonel of horse in their army, this man came over to 
Oxford, and offered to Prince Rupert to lead an ex- 
pedition against an exposed quarter of the enemy. 
Knowing Hurry to be an able officer, receiving good 
assurance of his sincerity in the cause he had adopted, 
and aware of his thorough acquaintance with the habits 
and condition of the army he had left, Rupert accepted 
his proposals, put himself at the head of a powerful body 
of cavaliers, and, late in the evening, marched out of 
Oxford, under the guidance of the renegade. At Post- 
combe, the expedition came unexpectedly upon a regi- 
ment of dragoons, and killed, or took them prisoners to 
a man. At Chinnor, a second regiment was annihilated, 
and the place itself set on fire. The party then marched 
back upon Oxford, intending to fall in with a body of 
infantry, which Rupert had ordered out to meet them by 
the pass at Chiselhampton Bridge, the point where he 
would have to recross the river. 

The army lay in Hampden's country, where every 
" dingle and bosky bourne" was familiar to him from 


childhood. Sagacious, and dissatisfied with his excel- 
lency's arrangements, the Buckinghamshire gentleman, 
now a veteran colonel, for in his year's service he had, by 
day, seldom quitted the saddle, or allowed his sword to 
rest in its scabbard, had already perceived, and had 
pointed out to Essex, the exposed condition of his 
lines. That night he lay at Watlington, where the 
alarm of Rupert's irruption quickly roused him. In- 
stantly he despatched the only trooper that attended 
him, to the lord-general, to recommend his moving a 
competent force upon the pass at Chiselhampton ; and s 
at the same moment, a body of the parliament's horse, 
consisting of Sheffield and Cross's troops coming up, 
he volunteered to put himself at their head, and 
by attacking the prince's rear-guard to impede his re- 
treat and give time for Essex to draw out his troops 
towards the river. " Whereupon the officers and sol- 
diers freely consented, and shewed much cheerfulness 
that they could have the honour to be led by so noble a 
captain." By this time, being joined by Colonel Dalbier 
and several other officers, they amounted to a body of 
horse not greatly inferior to Rupert's. 

The prince, meantime, hastened on through Tets- 
worth, his rear constantly threatened by the pursuing 
party. On Chalgrove Field, from which a lane led 
down to the bridge of Chiselhampton, he fell in with 
his infantry. This spot, made famous that day in 
English history, was then, and still is, an uninclosed 
plain, of several hundred acres. Here, among the 
green corn which covered it, Rupert drew up his forces 
in order of battle ; directing the parly who guarded 


his prisoners and booty to move forward to the bridge. 
The parliamentarians now came fiercely on, in three 
bodies. Tired and harassed as his men were with a 
march of twenty miles, and frequent skirmishing, 
Rupert resolved, notwithstanding, to anticipate the 
attack. The first body which reached the ground was 
led by Colonel Gunter; it consisted of several troops 
of horse and dragoons, and bore down upon his right 
wing. Rupert charged ; and the long rapiers of his 
life-guards did terrible execution. Gunter's party, 
though at once reinforced by the troops of Colonel 
Neale and General Percy, gave way and fled, leaving 
their commander dead upon the field. At this junc- 
ture, Hampden arriving eagerly advanced to rally the 
broken squadrons. Essex, too, was at hand with his 
main body. Hampden, relates Lord Nugent, at once 
put himself at the head of the attack : but in the first 
charge he received his death-wound. He was struck 
in the shoulder with two carbine bullets, which, 
breaking the bone, entered his body, and his arm fell 
powerless and shattered by his side. Sheffield, who 
charged with him, was severely wounded, and fell into 
the hands of the enemy. Sir Samuel Luke was three 
times made prisoner. Duller,, a captain under Sir Philip 
Stapleton, received a shot in the neck, and was also 
taken : in no fight, hitherto, had the parliament lost so 
many soldiers of name. Overwhelmed by numbers, 
their best officers killed or taken, their great leader 
and the hope of their cause retiring in a dying con- 
dition from the field, and the day absolutely lost, the 
forces of the parliament gave way and fled towards 


Essex's now unavailing squadrons. Rupert, though 
not able to pursue, made good his retreat across the 
river; and about noon entered Oxford, with near two 
hundred prisoners, seven cornets of horse, and four 
ensigns of foot, bringing back most of the men who 
had marched out with him : some officers had been 
taken prisoners, but none killed. 

The first accounts of this eventful day, published 
by the parliamentarians, spoke with confidence of their 
great champion's recovery : " his wound was more 
likely to be a badge of honour than any danger of 
life." But these hopes were quickly dissipated. On 
moving from the scene of conflict, Hampden was first 
observed to make for the house of a relation in the 
neighbourhood. But Rupert's cavalry were covering 
the plain between. Turning his horse, therefore, he 
rode back in the way to Thame. When he came to 
a brook which divides the plain, he paused a while; 
but it being impossible for him, in his wounded state, 
to remount, if he had alighted to turn his horse over, 
he suddenly summoned his strength, clapped spurs, and 
cleared the leap. Through such particulars the recent 
biographer of this eminent person naturally delights to 
carry his reader. But what must have been Hamp- 
den's thoughts, as he crossed the field of his youthful 
remembrances, staining the green blades that glittered 
in the sun of a bright morn of May with no ignoble 
blood? There he had first practised his confiding 
neighbours, and his admiring tenants and serving-men, 
in the use of those pikes which they were to level at 
the crown and the mitres of England; and there the 


avenging ball of the royalist had shivered his vigorous 
right arm ! The cause was, to all appearance, declin- 
ing: the army weakened, and commanded by a cold 
and vacillating partisan ; the enemy victorious, and every 
day gathering new strength ; the parliament rapidly 
losing the confidence of the people ; Pym, his great 
fellow-champion, lying on his death-bed the most 
sentient nerve of Freedom, the toughest sinew in the 
whole body of Rebellion, shrivelling like a parched 
scroll ! Yet, could he have looked further, and with 
prophetic eyes beheld Naseby Carisbrook White- 
hall defiled with the blood of a king, and the residence 
of an usurper, more appalling would have been that 
contemplation of its triumph. Where would he have 
discovered the laws which he had vindicated the 
Liberty, at whose shrine he had sacrificed so much, 
besides what was his own or even a free field for 
that sly but strong ambition, which, more, it may be, 
than he was himself aware, directed the movements of 
his life ? In great pain, and nearly exhausted, Hamp- 
den reached Thame. The surgeons who dressed his 
wounds encouraged his grieving fellow-patriots and 
brothers-in-arms with hopes of recovery; but his own 
impression from the first was, that his hurt was mortal. 
It was too true an one. After six days of intense 
suffering, Hampden breathed his last. 

The prosperous appearance of Charles's affairs, and 
the contrast exhibited in the depressed condition of the 
parliament's, became more obvious after the occurrence 
of this event. So reduced was Essex's army by sick- 
ness, defeat, and destitution, that he no longer deemed 


it safe to remain in the vicinity of his restless enemies. 
Yet the difficulties which surrounded the cause of the 
patriots had not the effect of relaxing their determined 
tone. When Charles, feeling himself fully prepared to 
meet any forces which his opponents could call into the 
field, once more sent a message for peace, intimating that 
the calamities which would follow a renewal of hostilities 
between the main armies would, if they obstinately re- 
fused all accommodation, be solely chargeable on them, 
the houses answered merely by committing the messenger 
to prison ; and with a view to close the door against all 
farther attempts at negotiation, the Commons carried up 
to the Lords the impeachment of the queen, already 
mentioned. The king replied to this insult by a declara- 
tion, that the two houses at Westminster were no longer 
a real and free parliament ; and forbade his subjects to 
obey their ordinances. The houses, on their side, resolve 
to impart legal warranty to their acts, by making a new 
great seal ; appoint an assembly of divines to consult in 
affairs of religion ; vote the despatch of a second embassy 
for advice and assistance into Scotland ; and, finding 
much inconvenience from the " multitudes of scandalous 
books, pamphlets, and papers," with which the whole 
country swarmed, pass an ordinance to restrain " the 
liberty of the press ! " 



HITHERTO Essex was treated with external respect; 
but his popularity, both in and out of parliament, 
was rivalled by more active and decided, though less 
important, chiefs. Hampden, indeed, could no longer 
dispute his laurels; but Fairfax and his father in 
the north, and Cromwell in the east, were already 
more stirring names in the ears of the patriots. The 
favourite general of parliament and people, however, 
was Sir William Waller. 

Waller had served abroad, and, on his return to 
his own country, obtained an office under the crown. 
But having engaged in an indiscreet quarrel which 
brought him under the severe notice of the Star 
Chamber, and his resentment being quickened by the 
puritan zeal of his wife, he went over to the patriots ; 
and was among the first who took out commissions 
to raise troops for the parliament. The cautious temper 
of Essex served as a foil to the rapidity and irregular 
daring of the general of the horse; and while the im- 
patience of eager partisans sickened at the dull and 
indecisive movements of the grand army, they followed 


with exultation the meteoric flashing of the sword of 
Waller. His successes at Portsmouth and Chichester, 
at the close of 1642, have been referred to already. 
About the same time, he recovered Winchester for the 
parliament. Shortly afterwards, Lord Herbert of Rag- 
land having raised a large body of troops for the king, 
Waller detached himself from Essex's army, dashed 
through Wiltshire, and surprised and took the whole 
prisoners, under the walls of Gloucester. Hereford, 
Tewkesbury, Chepstow, Monmouth, successively re- 
ceived his victorious bands. From Worcester he was 
repulsed; but, avoiding the more numerous forces of 
Prince Maurice, who had been sent by the Marquess 
of Hertford to intercept him, he led his party safe 
back; and rejoined Essex, with a dazzling reputation, 
which was acknowledged in the quaint appellation, 
popularly given him of William the Conqueror. 

But the conquests of Waller only interrupted the 
growth of the royalists' strength in the west, as the 
arrow cuts the air, which, behind it, closes again. 
The towns he had entered immediately re-opened their 
gates to the enemy; for he left in them no garrisons. 
These hasty successes, however, determined the par- 
liament to make an attempt, by sending out an expe- 
dition under his command, to maintain their waning 
influence in those parts; while Essex, who was un- 
able to obtain for his diminished forces such supplies 
of clothing and ammunition as would enable them 
once more to take the field, had yet the mortification 
to see an army of 8000 men prepared, on a liberal 
and effective scale, for his rival. 


At the time when Waller was marching out of Lon- 
don, the Marquess of Hertford, with Prince Maurice, 
effected a junction, on the borders of Devonshire 
and Somersetshire, with the Cornish men, victorious 
from the fight at Stratton, in their own county, who 
had advanced to meet them, under the command of 
the brave and virtuous Hopton. The king's army, 
hearing that Waller was already at Bath, marched 
through Wells to give them battle. Waller drew 
out his forces on Lansdown Hill; from whence, on 
the approach of the enemy, he dispatched Haslerigg, 
with his famous regiment of cuirassiers, to charge 
their horse. At first, the cavaliers, who, till now, 
had charged the cavalry of the parliament with con- 
tempt, gave ground, in some dismay, before this novel 
armament; but, on being brought a second time to 
the charge, they completely routed, and chased them 
to the foot of the hill. The summit of Lansdown 
Hill was crested with breastworks, which were mount- 
ed with cannon, and flanked on each side by a wood 
lined with musketeers ; the reserves of the parlia- 
ment's horse and foot being drawn up behind. Un- 
appalled by this disadvantage, the valiant Cornish 
men modestly asked permission "to fetch off those 
cannon." The ascent in that spot was deemed in- 
accessible ; but order to attempt it being, after some 
hesitation, given, Sir Bevil Grenvil charged fiercely 
up with his dauntless Britons; drove the whole body 
from their ground ; and the king's troops took quiet 
possession of it. The two shattered armies now faced 
each other on level ground, neither shewing any dis- 


position to renew the fight ; " so that exchanging only 
some shot from their ordnance, they looked upon one 
another till the night interposed." About midnight 
Waller silently withdrew into Bath ; and when day 
appeared the royalists found themselves in possession 
of the field, some arms and ammunition, and the 
dead. Those who fell, on the royalist side, were 
chiefly officers and gentlemen; among them, Sir Bevil 
Grenvil, " whose loss/' observes Clarendon, " would 
have clouded any victory. He was indeed," the his- 
torian continues, " an excellent person; whose activity, 
and reputation, were the foundation of what had been 
done in Cornwall; and his temper and affections so 
public, that no accident which happened could make 
any impressions in him," unfavourable to the royal 
cause. "In a word, a brighter courage, and a gen- 
tler disposition, were never married together to make 
the most cheerful and innocent conversation." The 
Lord Arundel of Wardour was carried off the field 
severely wounded, and died soon afterwards at Ox- 
ford ; having just survived long enough to be made 
acquainted with the surrender of his beautiful fortress 
to the forces of the parliament, after a short but 
spirited resistance by his heroic lady. 

Waller's army was rather dispersed than mate- 
rially weakened. Collecting, therefore, his scattered 
squadrons, and being reinforced from Bristol and 
the adjoining counties, he pursued the royalists, who 
had marched towards Devizes, engaging their rear- 
guard in skirmishes, till they entered the town. The 
same night, the Prince and the Marquess marched out 


with the horse to Oxford, leaving Hopton shut up in 
Devizes with the infantry; where it was hoped they 
might be able to defend themselves, for a few days, 
till relief should be brought. The next morning Waller 
assaulted the town with horse, foot, and cannon ; 
but was repulsed. Having intercepted a party march- 
ing in with powder and shot, of which he knew the 
besieged were in extreme need, he thought it a fair op- 
portunity to propose high terms of surrender. Hopton 
consented to a cessation of a few hours ; when, his 
soldiers having obtained a little rest, and found means 
to supply their immediate want of ammunition, both 
sides again fell to their arms. Waller had resolved on 
a general assault ; he had even written to the parlia- 
ment that " their work was done, and by the next post 
he would send the number and rank of his prisoners ;" 
when the startling news was brought, that Lord Wilmot 
had been sent from Oxford with a large body of 
horse to raise the siege, and was already within a 
few miles of the town. Instantly, the parliamentarian 
general drew off " without drum or, trumpet," to 
Roundway Down, an open space, two miles to- 
wards Oxford, over which the king's forces must pass ; 
where he ranged his columns very advantageously, 
in order of battle; the besieged wondering what 
the sudden silence around them imported, for they 
could not believe that, in two days, relief could be 
at hand. 

Waller, seeing the royalists less numerous than 
he expected, from pure contempt threw away the ad- 
vantage of his position ; and, putting Haslerigg and 


his cuirassiers in front, advanced with his cavalry 
alone to the attack. So well was the onset of that 
hitherto invincible regiment met, on the other side, 
by Sir John Byron, that they were forced back in full 
career upon the main body of the parliament's horse. 
There, for a moment, they rallied ; when Wilmot made 
such an effectual charge upon the whole body, defeat- 
ing it division after division, that it was entirely routed 
and dispersed, and not a trooper remained in sight upon 
the Down. Still the foot stood firm ; but, by this time, 
the Cornish regiments making their appearance from 
the town, and Wilmot, who had got possession of their 
ordnance, turning it upon themselves, they also broke 
their ranks, and fled in every direction. All the 
cannon, arms, and ammunition, colours, and baggage of 
Waller, with 900 prisoners, fell into the victors' hands. 
On the side of the parliament, the slain amounted to 
600: the king's army lost few common men, and 
only one soldier of rank. Sir William Waller, Sir 
Arthur Haslerigg (who had received several wounds), 
Colonels Strode and Popham, and other commanders, 
took refuge in Bristol, whither their arrival brought 
the first news of that disastrous fight. This was a 
terrible blow for the garrison of that city, a great 
part of whose strength had been lost in the defeat ; 
but worse apprehensions assailed them, when, ten days 
later, on the 22d of July, two hosts sat down before 
their walls Prince Rupert, with his Oxford forces, 
on the Gloucestershire side; the Marquess of Hert- 
ford and Prince Maurice, with the victorious Cornish 
army, on the side of Somersetshire. 


The first step taken by the royalists was to seize 
on the ships in the harbour ; in which were many 
persons of consideration, who had prepared to avoid 
the horrors of the siege, by escaping, with their 
families and treasure, to London. The next was to 
determine on the method of attack. Rupert's opinion, 
according with his hot and impatient temper, that it 
should be by storm, ultimately prevailed. The garrison 
of Bristol consisted of about 2500 infantry and a regi- 
ment of dragoons. The town had a line of fortifications 
drawn entirely round it. At daybreak on the 24th day 
of July, the besieged beheld from their walls, on either 
side of the town, at the same moment, their enemies 
advancing to the assault, in three separate divisions. 
Each division was crowded with officers, eager for the 
glory, and disdainful of the danger, of seizing so im- 
portant a prize. On the west side, the middle division 
was led by Sir Nicholas Slanning and Sir John Tre- 
vannion, " the life and soul of the Cornish regiments." 
The second, on the right, was brought up by Colonel 
Buck, and Colonel Bernard Ashley, who commanded 
Hertford's own regiment. Sir Thomas Basset, major- 
general of the Cornish regiments, advanced with the 
third division, on the left. The moat in this part 
was deep, the lines well flanked, and the ground 
level and exposed; over which the divisions now 
poured at once, though provided with hardly any other 
means of assault besides their ordinary weapons and 
determined courage. They filled the moat, and some of 
them mounted the wall; but the defenders behaved 
like men of the same mould with their assailants. 


Seeing Buck precipitated from the rampart to perish in 
the foss; the noble friends, Slanning and Trevannion, 
also fallen together; and useless slaughter mowing 
down their ranks in all directions the besiegers, on 
this side, quickly retired in disorder from their bootless 

The attack was made on Rupert's side, under more 
favourable auspices ; for here the ditch was shallow^ 
the walls low and weak, and the ground rocky and 
uneven. His three divisions were conducted by the 
virtuous and pious Lord Grandison, by Colonel John 
Bellasis, and Colonel Washington. Of these officers, 
the first two were quickly wounded, Grandison mor- 
tally. Meantime, Washington, who headed the centre 
division, surmounting the outworks, effects a breach in 
the wall, enters the line, and is followed by Rupert 
with a party of his horse and a body of the Cornish 
foot, who had come round to retrieve their honour on 
this side; the besieged retreating before them through 
the suburbs, or assailing them from the houses. Hav- 
ing reached the gate of the city, with the loss of 
several other officers, and many men, they prepare for 
a second, and, apparently, no less difficult assault, on 
that barrier, before they can enter ; when the go- 
vernor, Nathaniel Fiennes, demands a parley. Host- 
ages are given, a treaty commenced; and evening 
closes the events of a sanguinary day, by the surrender 
of the second English city to the arms of its sovereign. 

Nor was this prosperous condition of the king's 
affairs confined to the west. The chivalry of the 
Earl of Newcastle had by this time reduced the whole 


north, as far as York, and driven the scattered ad- 
herents of the parliament to take refuge in the strong 
fortress of Hull. By placing a garrison at Newark, the 
earl had cut off the communication between Fairfax 
and the parliamentary forces which were overrunning 
Lincolnshire. He had already penetrated into the 
latter county. A light army of horse and dragoons, 
levied by General Charles Cavendish, younger brother 
of the Earl of Devonshire, had bravely assaulted and 
taken the parliament's garrison at Grantham, with 
above 300 prisoners, all their officers, arms, and 

Early in June, the perils of a southward march 
being now lessened, the queen set out from York to join 
her husband at Oxford, escorted by a large body of 
horse and foot, under the command of Cavendish. 
That gallant young nobleman attended her as far as 
Burton-upon-Trent ; through which town he opened 
a passage for her by storming it across the river, 
which he swam, at the head of his troops. Here the 
queen and Cavendish parted; to their mutual regret, 
if we may judge from the language of Henrietta, in 
her letter, written at the time, to the king. That 
lively despatch thus describes the amount and ar- 
rangements of her convoy. " I carry with me," she 
writes, " 3000 foot, 30 companies of horse and dragoons, 
six pieces of cannon, and two mortars. Harry Jermyn 
commands the forces which go with me, as colonel of 
my guard; Sir Alexander Lesly, the foot under him; 
Gerard, the horse ; and Robin Legge, the artillery : 
her she-majesty generallissimo, and an extremely 


diligent one, with 150 waggons of baggage to govern 
in case of a battle. Have a care that Essex's troops 
incommode us not; for I hope that for the rest we 
shall be strong enough." With Cavendish she left, 
for securing Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire, 2000 
foot, with arms for 500 more, and twenty troops of 

All these forces properly belonged to Newcastle's 
army. The earl was, about this time, farther weak- 
ened by the capture of Goring, and his garrison, at 
Wakefield. Still prosperity attended his operations. 
At Atherton Moor, near Bradford, he gained a great 
victory over Fairfax, in which 700 of the parliament's 
troops were slain, and 300 made prisoners ; on so 
considerable a scale was that northern, and, mostly, 
least-noted, branch of the great contest conducted! 
Fairfax fled to the stronghold at Hull ; while New- 
cas.tle marched forward into Lincolnshire, and laid siege 
to Gainsborough, which the Lord Willoughby of Par- 
ham had seized for the parliament. 

It was in a skirmish near Gainsborough, that the 
first military exploit occurred by which Cromwell 
made his name a familiar word throughout England. 
Enough, indeed, had already been seen of his character, 
to enable discerning observers to perceive that it em- 
bodied, in a shape of prodigious but coarse energy, the 
spirit of the age, its serious eloquence, running, in 
him, into affected mysticalness and heavy verbiage : its 
steady valour, changed to calculating fierceness ; its in- 
tense religious affections, perverted to stern fanaticism. 
Into the deep focus of his strong and ambitious mind 


Cromwell had gathered those characteristics ; and now 
sought to send them forth again, in a form moulded by 
his will, and made subservient to his designs. He saw 
around, and felt no less convincingly within himself, 
that the age of loyalty was gone ; and that religion, as 
a social and political force, was to supply the place of 
loyalty : but religion, uninformed and unregulated by 
the church, and therefore (such will ever be the case, 
when it is thrown wholly upon individual feeling) 
taking the characteristics of fanaticism ; religion tor- 
tured, at least in words, to every vulgar appliance, and 
hence often no more than the cloak of the hypocrite. 
These were the elements that composed this extra- 
ordinary person ; and to this model he effectually 
moulded his instruments. Collecting about him a 
band, from those classes among whom, in every age, 
such dispositions most readily meet, and in whom 
the thirst of freedom is generated by a sense of inde- 
pendence, the sturdy yeoman, the easy, thriftful, 
conceited burgher, he wrought them, by the master- 
power of his energy and genius, into an engine, which 
he doubted not, and he was not deceived, would 
effectually resist, and finally explode, the dreaded chi- 
valry of the cavaliers, animated as it was by the lin- 
gering breath of fealty in the nobles, and by piety, if 
by little else, in the sovereign. These stout-hearted 
associates he armed, mounted, trained, and disciplined, 
himself. He was their comrade, as well as their chief; 
associating with them at all seasons, and in all moods, 
he could lay by the part of the drill-serjeant and, equally 
for their behoof, assume the office of the preacher. 


Crafty and stringent was the creed he taught them. 
The gospel as exhibited in puritanism, liberty as 
exemplified in the parliament, constituted the cause of 
God. The king had allied himself with popery and 
malignancy: to fight against him, while fettered by 
those fiendish confederates, was to fight, not for them- 
selves, not for their families and country, only, but for 
God and Truth. Should they conquer, they would be 
glorious and happy ; should they fall, it was good to 
forfeit life in such a cause ! Faith grew, as confidence 
increased, with increasing strength. Here was the 
germ of a military and religious despotism. From this 
little fulcrum was launched the power which, finally, 
scattered all that remained of church and parliament, 
including the first instigators of the war themselves ; 
frighted this great nation into submissive, dumb de- 
spair ; and 

"hewed the throne 
Down to a block ! " 

Cromwell, in his march to relieve the garrison at 
Gainsborough, at the head of his Huntingdonshire 
troopers, joined with some regiments from Lincoln- 
shire and Nottingham, fell in with the first division 
of Newcastle's army, under the command of young 
Cavendish. The royalists were first perceived on the 
summit of an acclivity ; towards which when Crom- 
well advanced, he found his progress impeded by 
a fence, running along at the foot of the hill, with 
only one narrow opening. Through this passage he 
deliberately filed his men, while exposed to the fire of 


the enemy; and then led them on to the top of the 
eminence. Here a large body of the royalists charged 
them ; but, meeting with such resistance as that army 
had never before encountered, were borne down, after 
a short but determined fight with swords and pistols, 
and fell back upon their reserve of cavalry. Caven- 
dish, unable to rally his main body, now put himself 
at the head of the reserve, fell upon and put to flight 
the Lincoln and Nottingham troops ; but was, in his 
turn, attacked, in his rear, by Cromwell, who by this 
time had formed his men afresh. The onset was fierce 
and unexpected ; and Cavendish's troops giving way 
before it, were forced into a marsh, at the foot of the 
acclivity, where, unable either to fight or to fly, they 
were savagely butchered, with their chivalrous com- 
mander, by the Huntingdonshire troopers. It was 
fruitless bloodshed ; for the army now making its 
appearance, Cromwell brought off his men, and re- 
treated into the town ; from thence falling back to Lin- 
coln ; which also he abandoned at the approach of the 
royalists, and took refuge in Boston. 

Cavendish was among the most lamented victims of 
this deplorable contest. When his body was brought to 
Newark, where he had commanded, the people would 
not suffer it to be interred, till for some days they had 
feasted their eyes with the sight of it, " and embalmed it 
with their tears." Even at the distance of many years, 
when the remains were removed to Derby, fresh lamen- 
tations were made by those who had known him, and by 
others who had been taught from infancy to revere his 
name ; and the whole town, as one man, expressed the 


most sorrowful unwillingness to part with the reliques of 
so dear a person, who had been the ornament and defence 
of that place." 

Another striking incident occurred, in connexion with 
the occupation of Gainsborough. At its first capture by 
the parliament's forces, several persons of rank were 
made prisoners ; in particular, the Earl of Kingston. 
This nobleman was one of those moderate persons, who, 
like Falkland and Rudyard, bitterly deprecated the war : 
it is related by the anecdotists of the time, that being 
urged to declare himself for either parliament or king, he 
uttered a passionate wish that, whenever he took part with 
either against the other, a cannon ball might divide his 
body between them. When Lord Willoughby under- 
stood that the Earl of Newcastle was advancing against 
the town, he sent away his noble prisoner, in a pinnace, 
to Hull. The vessel was fired at on the passage, by the 
royalist troops ; and though she got clear, the good Earl 
of Kingston, as he was called, perished from a cannon 
shot, divided so say the admirers of fatalism in precise 
accordance with his imprecation. 

By this time, the queen had pursued her journey 
southward ; the towns yielding at her approach, and the 
nobility and gentry flocking to her standard. At Strat- 
ford-on-Avon she was met by Rupert; and Charles, having 
received information of her advance to the borders of Ox- 
fordshire, proceeded with his sons to give her welcome. 
The joy of the meeting was enhanced by two most pleas- 
ing circumstances : -it occurred in the same field, under 
the height of Edge-hill, where, a few months before, 
Charles had valiantly fought his first battle ; and hardly 


was the first embrace, endeared by long separation, much 
suffering, and mutual peril, over, when a breathless mes- 
senger broke in upon the royal pair, with the news of the 
great victory gained that day at Roundway Down. Their 
entry into Oxford was a triumph. 

The effects of Stratton, of Lansdown, of Roundway 
Down, and of Bristol, were now felt, in all directions. 
Exeter was surrendered to Prince Maurice, by the Earl 
of Stamford. Dorchester, Portland, Wey mouth, sub- 
mitted to the brave Earl of Carnarvon. Barnstaple and 
Bideford yielded to Colonel Digby. Taunton, Bridge- 
water, and Bath had likewise, by this time, opened their 
gates to the forces of the king. The prosperity of the 
royal cause amazed Charles's adversaries : it equally sur- 
prised his friends. Gloucester excepted, all the inland 
parts of the west had now returned to their allegiance. 
The north, from Berwick to Newark, was for the king. 
And now the chivalry of Newcastle was striking through 
the grand association of the east, the largest and com- 
pactest surface on which the parliamentarian interest 
moved. But, what seemed of more importance, this 
prosperous condition of the king's affairs was the means 
of daily bringing over converts to his cause. Beneath the 
royal banner, the timid now began to think there was the 
most safety ; the selfish, that there was most to gain ; the 
idolaters of power, that there the object of their worship 
was the most worthy of it ; the lovers of peace, that by 
throwing themselves and their fortunes into that descend- 
ing scale, they might soonest obtain their benevolent de- 



THE war-party in the parliament were not men to 
despair. But on the news of the last of the great 
successes of the king's armies, the victory at Atherton 
Moor, reaching them, they determined on an expe- 
dient, which nothing but the present failure of all 
other resources could have led them to adopt. The 
nation had seen so much of the Scots, in their two 
recent inroads into the south, and in the conduct of 
their commissioners, that not even the popular sym- 
pathy on the score of religion, nor the gratitude of 
the party for their services against the king, could 
prevent a revival of the ancient hostile prejudice 
against that people. An intelligent Scotchman, writ- 
ing from London in June, complains bitterly of the 
contempt and ill-usage which his countrymen met 
with. In fact, Hurry's revolt, which led to the defeat 
at Chalgrave Field, and to the death of Hampden, 
originated in just discontent with the treatment of 
the Scots by the parliamentarians. " The name of 
a Scot," observes the letter-writer alluded to, " is 
grown as odious amongst the Londoners, as the 


name of Satan is to the soul of a saint : yet," he 
adds, " they are still longing and praying for our 
help. " Such was the fact : notwithstanding this 
prevalent dislike, no other expedient appearing to 
promise safety in the present terrible crisis, it was 
resolved, at a conference of the two houses, instantly 
to send a committee for aid from Scotland. The 
patriots were enabled to obtain the consent of the 
Lords to this proposal, in consequence of the offence 
taken by them at the declaration, recently received 
from Oxford, denying the legality of the parliament. 
But the measure was unpopular. Only a few days 
earlier, the Lords had passed a solemn protestation of 
loyalty to the king, and prepared a petition for peace. 
A letter arrived at this very juncture, from the Earl 
of Essex, describing his want of means to carry on the 
war, and advising the parliament to send propositions 
to the king for such a peace as would secure the reli- 
gion, the laws, and liberties of the nation. No mem- 
ber of the house of Peers could, therefore, be induced 
personally to engage in the proposed mission to Scot- 
land. The Lord Grey of Werke, their speaker, hitherto 
the unflinching agent of his party, refused ; and was 
committed to the Tower for contempt. The Earl of 
Rutland was then named : but eluded the employment 
on pretence of ill health. At length, it was resolved 
to send only members of the Commons ; and on the 
20th of July the committee, consisting of Sir Henry 
Vane and Sir William Armyn, with two other mem- 
bers, and Marshall and Nye, the one a presbyterian, 
the other an independent minister, were dismissed 


from London by sea, it being impossible to reach Edin- 
burgh by land, except through the quarters of the Earl of 

On Vane, the projectors of the scheme wholly de- 
pended for success. As the bearing of this measure 
upon the events which followed was in a high degree 
important, it will be proper to show the state of opinion 
in the parliament, with respect to the great question 
it involved, and the difficulties with which its authors 
had to contend. For this purpose, we shall transfer 
a paragraph from the recent Life of Vane, by Mr. 

" The Scots," observes that spirited advocate of 
the parliament, "were known to be bigoted to their 
own persuasions of narrow and exclusive church govern- 
ment, while the greatest men of the English parlia- 
ment had proclaimed the sacred maxim, that every 
man who worshipped God according to the dictates 
of his conscience was entitled to the protection of the 
state. But these men, Vane, Cromwell, Marten, and 
St. John, though the difficulties of the common cause 
had brought them into the acknowledged position of 
leaders and directors of affairs, were in a minority of 
the house of Commons ; and the party who were their 
superiors in number were as bigoted to the most ex- 
clusive principles of presbyterianism as the Scots 
themselves. Denzil Hollis stood at the head of this 
inferior class of patriots ; Glyn, the recorder of 
London, and Maynard, were among its ablest sup- 
porters. Waller and Massey in the army, Sir Philip 
Stapleton and Sir John Clotworthy, ranged themselves 


under the same banners. The most eminent of the 
parliamentary nobility, particularly Northumberland, 
Essex, and Manchester, belonged also to this body; 
while the London clergy, and the metropolis itself, 
were almost entirely presbyterian. These things con- 
sidered, there was indeed great reason to apprehend 
that this party, backed by the Scots, and supported 
with a Scottish army, would be strong enough to 
overpower the advocates of free conscience, and set 
up a tyranny, not less to be deplored than that of 
Laud and his hierarchy, which had proved one of the 
main occasions of bringing on the war. Yet, opposing 
to all this danger only their own high purposes and 
dauntless courage, the smaller party of more consum- 
mate statesmen were the first to propose the embassy 
to Scotland." 

Leaving, then, Vane to his tedious voyage of twen- 
ty days from London to Leith, and to the deep and 
difficult part afterwards, which none, like him, could 
play ; let us glance at the equally critical and perplexed 
position in which his colleagues in the capital were 
placed, after his departure. 

Every day brought an account of some fresh skir- 
mish, in which the royalists were victorious ; or some 
application to parliament, for relief from the hardships 
which pressed upon their armies. Waller, after having 
departed from London, a few weeks before, with a fine 
army, and in so confident a temper that in every town 
upon his route he left orders for the reception of his 
prisoners, had re-entered the capital a solitary fugitive. 
Essex also was returned to Kingston, with his troops in 


so broken and destitute a condition, that he himself 
declared they were not worthy the name of an army. 
He, at the same time, demanded redress for his own 
injured honour: his troops had been defrauded of 
credit and supplies, for the benefit of another army ; 
yet the very parties by whose misconduct that army 
had been ruined, and the west lost to the parliament, 
had aspersed the general-in-chief as the author of 
these reverses. At the moment when these ill-timed 
dissensions occurred, came forth a new and more gra- 
cious declaration from the king. A door of pacifi- 
cation seemed again thrown open. On the 4th of 
August, the Lords seized the occasion to desire a con- 
ference with the other house ; in which they submitted 
some propositions for a treaty, of a more moderate 
tenour than any yet brought forward. They proposed 
the immediate disbanding of both armies ; that the 
members who had been expelled for absence should be 
recalled ; that all questions relating to the church and 
the militia should be reserved for future considera- 
tion, the first in a synod of divines, the others in 
parliament. The moderation of these articles was 
terrible to the men of root and branch. The prospect 
they held out of accommodation was, to the last de- 
gree, alarming. Pyrn was now far gone in that sick- 
ness which shortly after laid his slumbering body in 
the grave; but the dying lion roused up at the dan- 
ger which threatened the darling object of his life's 
struggles, Republican Liberty. A hot debate ensued 
upon the conference; at ten at night it was resolved, 
by a majority of twenty-nine voices (ninety-six to 


sixty-five the house, at that time, could muster no 
more !), to adopt the propositions. This was on Satur- 
day. " Unparalleled efforts" were to be made. The 
next day all the pulpits resounded with prophecies 
of destruction to the city, if a peace were now offered 
to the king ; the citizens were exhorted to rise, as 
one man, and come down, the next morning, to the 
house of Commons. Twenty thousand Irish rebels, 
it was averred, were landed, and on their march to 
London. Inflammatory placards were stuck up, and 
printed papers scattered abroad, with a celerity and 
effect never imagined until the war of pamphlets and 
libels, which, from the beginning of this distracted 
period, kept pace with the nobler strife of the senate 
and the field. Pennington, lord mayor of London, 
assembled a common council, the same evening, at 
Guildhall ; in which was passed a petition to the Com- 
mons against any accommodation. In the morning a 
deputation of citizens made their appearance before the 
Commons with the petition, and, annexed to it, a 
draft of an ordinance, empowering a committee to 
raise means for a vigorous prosecution of the war. 
An immense concourse of people, brought together 
for that purpose, demanded, with cries that penetrated 
through both houses, a favourable answer to their 
prayer. The Lords sent to acquaint the Commons, 
that they had resolved on an adjournment till the 
tumults were put down : the Commons took no notice 
of this intimation, but thanked the petitioners for their 
zeal and attachment. 

The propositions were again brought forward, in 


the midst of great disorder and excitement ; and after 
a very long debate, a division being called for, the 
tellers counted eighty votes for sending them to the 
king, and seventy-nine against that proposition. A 
fearful uproar followed the announcement of the num- 
bers. The Pyms, Vanes, and St. Johns, loudly insisted 
on a second division. Some terrified members escaped 
in the confusion ; for now the last vote was found to 
be reversed by a majority of seven ! 

The next morning a counter-petition was brought 
from the City, not by the men, for the recent exe- 
cution of the associates of Waller had taught the 
male population to be cautious ; but by the women. 
Two or three thousand of that sex, wearing white 
ribands, the emblem of peace, in their hats, came with 
their petition to the door of the house of Commons. 
It was received, read, and an answer returned ; though 
not, in the former instance of a ladies' petition, by 
the leader of the Commons, or in equally favourable 
terms. The petitioners, not satisfied with the answer, 
remained about the house. By noon, their numbers 
were nearly doubled. Some men in women's clothes 
now appeared in the throng, and, mounting to the 
door, set up a shout of (t Peace ! Peace !" The guard, 
a party of the City trained bands, endeavoured to re- 
pulse these troublesome suitors; and, having succeeded 
in clearing the stairs, fired their muskets, loaded with 
powder only, to fright them away. But this merely 
increased the violence of the mob : " Give us." they 
exclaimed, " the traitors who will have no peace, that 
we may tear them to pieces! Give us the dog Pym!" 


On this a troop of horse was ordered forward, who 
dispersed them with great cruelty : " killing some 
three or four women," as Baillie alleges, "hurting 
some, and imprisoning many." 

Immense exertions were now made by the patriots 
to confirm their hard-won victory. The greater part 
of the members of the assembly of divines, which had 
now commenced its sittings, visited, by order of the 
parliament, their respected parishes, for the purpose 
of stimulating the people to new efforts in the cause. 
Waller, who, notwithstanding his total defeat, had 
been received on his return "as if he had brought the 
king prisoner with him," was appointed commander- 
in-chief of the militia and defences of London, and 
preparations were made for enabling him again to take 
the field. An ordinance was passed for an army to be 
put under the command of the Earl of Manchester; and 
another, empowering the committees in the counties to 
press soldiers, gunners, and surgeons. Having given 
the lord-general this practical intimation, that they 
did not depend on his excellency alone for the con- 
duct of the war, they next plied every artifice to fix 
him in their interests, and to urge him to exertions 
worthy of himself and of the common cause. Pym, 
Say, and St. John (it was Pym's last public labour), 
visited the camp, as a committee of the two houses. 
They assured Essex of the cordial support and confi- 
dence of the parliament ; asserted that ingratitude was 
the reward with which Charles acknowledged the 
services of his ablest generals ; and hinted that he 
nourished peculiar feelings of resentment against the 


earl. Essex now as plainly indicated a want of intel- 
lectual firmness, in the readiness of his convictions, as, 
by his wavering conduct, he had before done of the 
strength of his conscientiousness. Pym, by his dex- 
terous arguments and insinuations, wholly changed 
him, and wrought him to that resolved temper which 
he afterwards continued to retain. In three days, he 
said, he would begin his march to meet the king ; 
and at twelve o'clock that very day, would draw his 
troops to the rendezvous on Hounslow Heath ; where 
he besought the commissioners to attend and inspect 

The fortifications around London were also now 
completed. Great part of the labour required to 
construct these defences was supplied by the voluntary 
enthusiasm of the people. An esprit de corps, merged, 
in our days, in sentiments either narrower or more 
diffused, animated, in those times, the separate guilds 
of citizens. Those bodies rivalled each other in the 
alacrity with which they engaged in this novel em- 
ployment. The trades marched out to the work in 
separate parties, bearing mattocks, shovels, and other 
tools, with drums beating, colours flying, and swords 
girded. Mixed with most of those companies were 
to be seen women and girls, some of them ladies 
of rank and education, two and two, carrying baskets 
filled with earth ; many of whom wrought in the 
trenches, till they fell ill from the effect of unusual 
exertion. Of the works thus patriotically raised, 
an interesting description remains; and though long 
ago, every vestige of their existence has been swept 


away, by the hand of time, or the march of Im- 
provement, they appear to have been, for that age, of 
respectable efficiency. The stranger on approaching 
the capital by water, before he found himself en- 
closed between those dense ranks of merchantmen, 
which, even then, covered both banks of the Thames, 
was frowned upon, from either shore, by a stern 
multangular fort, with its deep trench and bristling 
palisades ; surmounted by cannon, and guarded by 
many a steel-capped musketeer, sworn foes to cava- 
liers and malignants. From Limehouse, where they 
commenced, the lines stretched on to Whitechapel, 
to Shoreditch, to Hoxton ; then along, by Holborn, 
to St. Giles's and Marylebone, to Tyburn and Hyde 
Park ; whence bending round by Tothill-fields, the 
river was again commanded by two forts, the one 
erected at that station, and the other at Nine Elms, 
on the opposite side ; from which point they stretched 
across the angle of Surrey, through Newington, to 
Redriff, where they again terminated upon the stream. 
At each of these, and of many intervening angles, a 
fort commanded the adjoining approaches. There 
were, in all, twenty-four forts, besides redoubts, 
counterscarps, and half-moons, along the trenches, 
between; the whole planted with 212 pieces of ord- 
nance : a circuit of twelve miles, enclosing great 
wealth, and swarming with a various and eager popu- 
lation. At each chief central point, within this wide 
circumference, was placed a corps-de-garde, in the 
City, in Southwark, by the houses of Parliament, 
at Whitehall. The writer, from whose curious details, 


we copy the present sketch, though a Scotchman, a 
presbyterian, and a devoted admirer of the Parliament, 
unconsciously throws in a natural touch of loyal feeling, 
which finishes the grand but melancholy picture of a 
mighty capital in rebellion against its sovereign : " I 
found," says he, " the grass growing deep in the royal 
courts of the king's house ; which, indeed, was a lament- 
able sight." 

When Charles engaged the sons of his sister, the 
Queen of Bohemia, in the prosecution of the quarrel 
with his parliament, he introduced into his cause ele- 
ments of dissension, which materially contributed to 
its defeat and ruin. Bristol was the chief city inclu- 
ded in the brave Marquess of Hertford's commission, 
as lieutenant-general of the West ; and the marquess 
was chief in command at the siege; nevertheless, 
Prince Rupert had not only engaged in the treaty 
without his advice, but concluded the articles of 
capitulation without naming him, or noticing his 
presence. This was not to be borne by a nobleman, 
who, though "of the most gentle nature to the 
gentle," was equally " rough and resolute to the 
imperious. " In return, Hertford, with as little cere- 
mony proceeded to the choice of a governor for that 
important place ; selecting for that office the unex- 
ceptionable Sir Ralph Hopton. Rupert, on the other 
hand, proceeding upon the right of conquest, which he 
arrogated to himself, wished to reserve the appoint- 
ment in his own disposal : and, understanding what 
the marquess designed, in the same despatch by which 
he acquainted the king with his success, besought him 


to bestow the government of it on himself, as its captor. 
Charles, perplexed by the incident, and more so by 
the factious temper which it indicated, endeavoured 
to solve the difficulty by himself going to Bristol, and 
conferring the government on his nephew, upon his 
agreeing to grant a commission to Hopton, as his lieu- 
tenant ; and by lavishing many personal attentions 
upon the marquess. To this arrangement Hertford 
submitted, from a sense of duty to his sovereign; but 
the army rang with murmurs that a rude young 
foreigner, whose best quality was animal courage, and 
whose highest merit consisted in the nepotic partiality 
of the king, should contemptuously step before one of 
the prime nobility of England into the government of 
the capital of the West. A second motive was like- 
wise forced upon Charles, for keeping the Marquess of 
Hertford about his person ; notwithstanding that, all 
this time, the heroic army of Cornwall was eagerly 
demanding back their leader. Rupert had inspired 
his brother Maurice with his own petulant disposition: 
it was too much that the king's nephew should be the 
lieutenant of a marquess. Hence, while the magnani- 
mous and experienced Hertford was retained, an un- 
willing satellite in the royal tent, the temperate 
heroes of the West were submitted to the command 
of a youthful prince, unacquainted with English man- 
ners, and ignorant of the merits of the cause in which 
he drew his sword. The consequences were soon appa- 
rent. The gallant Earl of Carnarvon, than whom no 
man had contributed more to the successes of the royal 
arms at Mendip Hill, at Lansdown, and at Round- 


way Down, and to whom Dorchester, Weymouth, 
Portland, had successively yielded, was driven from 
that army by disgust ; and from this time the previous 
terror of the enemy at the sight of its banners so far 
subsided, that the little burghs of Lyme and Poole now 
laughed at its summons with impunity. 

The advantage secured to the patriots by their great 
and irreversible triumph, was not lessened by its dimi- 
nishing the numbers of their adherents ; yet the king, 
by the reception given, on his part, to the seceders, 
strangely overlooked his own. Charles was recalled 
from before Gloucester to Oxford, by the consequences 
of this event. Seven peers more than a third of the 
Lords' house with several Commoners, the most 
eminent of the advocates of peace, had quitted West- 
minster ; most of them for the king's quarters. The 
Earl of Northumberland, with characteristic prudence, 
obtained leave to retire to his house at Petworth, 
designing to wait there till he should be enabled to 
decide his movements from observing the reception 
given to his friends by the court. The Earl of Clare 
went into Worcestershire ; the Earl of Portland, and 
the Lords Conway and Lovelace, directly to Oxford. 
The Earls of Bedford and Holland, being suspected, 
reached, with some difficulty, the royalist garrison at 
Wallingford; from whence notice of their arrival was 
forwarded to the king. A generous, nay, a sound 
policy, would have dictated a cordial reception to the 
seceders, tardy as their repentance had been. But 
Charles had his own feelings, always strong against 
undutifulness, to consult ; while his council, to whom, 


with seeming indifference, he referred back the ques- 
tion, had their own selfish views. Bedford had served 
against the king, as general of the parliament's horse ; 
Holland, by his repeated treachery and ingratitude, 
had still more deeply offended. The court was ex- 
travagantly elated with the successes of the royal 
arms, and considered it no season for concession. 
Perhaps, the baser minds among its adherents were 
already calculating the plunder of the vanquished, and 
were unwilling to let the wealthiest of the expected 
prey deliver their estates from the forfeiture of treason. 
Never had so warm a debate shaken the council-board, 
though nearly all the members were unanimous against 
the pi-oselyte earls. Some suggested, that since they 
had come into the king's quarters without leave, they 
ought to be made prisoners of war. Others as vehe- 
mently urged that they should be permitted to live 
within the king's quarter, but not be suffered to come 
to Oxford, until by some good service they had mani- 
fested the sincerity of their repentance. A third party 
thought so much severity impolitic : these proposed 
that the peers should be suffered to come to Oxford, 
that thereby they might be kept from returning to the 
parliament ; but that they should neither be allowed 
to appear at court, nor be visited by any member of 
the king's council. Wiser too wise for the occa- 
sion was the unseconded advice of Hyde. " My 
advice," said that honest counsellor, " is, that they 
should be very graciously received by both their ma- 
jesties, and visited and well-treated by every body ; 
that by their treatment others may be encouraged 


to follow their example. On what disadvantageous 
ground will the king and his cause stand," he con- 
tinued, " if, while the parliament is using every effort 
and every artifice to corrupt the duty and affection of 
his majesty's subjects, and receiving all with open arms 
who come to them, he should himself close all return 
against those who have been faulty, or have not come 
so soon as they should have done ? If the king were 
disposed to gratify and oblige his enemies, he could 
not do it more to their hearts desire than by rejecting 
the application of these lords, or allowing it to pass 

Charles listened to the debate, without taking any 
part in it; but did not conceal his satisfaction, when 
any expressions of peculiar severity reflected on the 
Earl of Holland. At the close, he said, he agreed that 
it would be unwise, at the present juncture, to treat 
any persons with extreme rigour ; and thereupon gave 
command, that the governor of Wallingford should 
permit the lords to prosecute their journey to Oxford. 
" When here," observed the king, " all of you may 
visit them, or not, as you please. For myself and the 
queen, we intend to regulate our behaviour to them by 
their own conduct." 

From this chilling half-measure nothing but evil 
followed. Though the royal fiat was wholly unaccom- 
panied by any sign of favour, it cast a cloud over the 
hostile council-table. As little satisfactory was it to 
the converts. The necessity of withdrawing from a 
party with whom we have been engaged, is in itself 
humiliating it reflects self-condemnation on the past: 


a cold and repulsive welcome among those, from re- 
gard to whom, or whose cause, we either do, or flatter 
ourselves we do, go over to them, at once wounds us 
with the tooth of ingratitude, opens all the springs of 
self-reproach, and revives regretful memories of the 
path we have deserted. The two earls remained some 
months at the court; but though they accompanied 
the king, and fought by his side, in the ensuing cam- 
paign, the contemptuous treatment they met with from 
the courtiers became insupportable : they therefore 
seized the first opportunity to return secretly to the 
parliament The Earl of Clare, a nobleman of a 
higher spirit, asked, and obtained permission to re- 
tire into the country for his private affairs : while 
Northumberland, judging from the bad success of his 
friends what he might expect at Oxford, again threw 
the weight of his great fortune and respectable cha- 
racter into the opposite scale. 

Jealousy and discontent began to pervade the whole 
army, and rapidly increased with that decline in the 
king's affairs, which gave the factious and discontented, 
on all hands, an opportunity for mutual charges and 
recriminations. Thus was the right hand of the 
king's power becoming palsied, and his ruin prepared. 
The army was also exceedingly unpopular. The con- 
dition of the country was indeed lamentable. Alter- 
nately exposed, in many places, to the aggressions of 
the royalist and parliamentarian troops, the harassed 
people often did not know which masters to obey: only 
they were sure that whichever party went, or came, 
those who quitted them would carry away the plun- 
p 2 


dered wealth of their fields, their stalls, and home- 
steads ; and that those who succeeded would wring 
from them what remained, perhaps accompanying 
their acts of rapine with blows and execrations, on 
account of having been forestalled. These oppressions 
were incident to the movements of the armies on both 
sides, great and small alike. But Rupert's troops were 
distinguished for license and rapacity ; and, by de- 
grees, as the authority of Hertford and Hopton gave 
way before the influence of the two princes, Rupert 
and Maurice, the evil report which followed them 
began to attach equally to all the forces of the 

Nor was the army the only scene of those factions 
and disorders, which were among the main causes of 
Charles's overthrow. They divided the council, and 
shook the mutual confidence of the sovereign and his 
consort. Even in the cabinet, the intemperate sugges- 
tions of the royal brothers were too often preferred to 
the advice of Colepepper, of Falkland, and of Hyde ; 
and Charles had actually to make a journey from the 
West to allay the jealous apprehensions of Henrietta, 
that either or both , parties would trench upon the 
right to interfere in public affairs, which she claimed, 
and which the king was but too much disposed to 
yield, as legitimately her own. A third party, the mere 
creatures of the court, every day added to the vexa- 
tions of the royal pair, by demands of place, honours, 
and emolument ; which the manifest inability of the 
king and queen, in the present circumstances, to satis- 
fy, had in no degree the effect of relaxing. The 


vices and the meanness of the mean and vicious fol- 
lowers of a court, are never more apparent than in 
exile, or amid the tumultuous vicissitudes of a war of 

Two methods of prosecuting the war, with an appa- 
rent prospect of success, lay open to the king, at the 
time when he left Bristol with his victorious army. 
The first was to march directly to London, and fall 
upon his enemies in their state of dissension and un- 
preparedness. To lay siege to Gloucester, the only 
considerable place in the west of England, still held 
by the forces of the parliament, was the second. 
Charles would gladly have followed the first, had he 
found his strength sufficient. On the fall of Bristol, 
he had written to the victorious Earl of Newcastle, 
who was then preparing to invest Hull, to leave a 
sufficient force before that place to block it up, and, 
with the bulk of his forces, to march through the asso- 
ciated eastern counties, where no serious obstruction to 
his progress was to be expected ; and, joining the royal 
army in its advance from the West, enable the king to 
follow up that design. Newcastle excused himself, on 
the plea that many of his officers, being gentlemen 
whose estates lay in the north, refused to march from 
their homes with the troops of the enemy in their 
rear. This pretence was not groundless : the volun- 
tary nature of the service on either ride, often, by 
desertion or refusal to march, deprived the commanders 
of both troops and officers, in moments of the most 
pressing exigency. But the truth was, that this high- 
spirited and independent nobleman, having the example 


of the Marquess of Hertford before his eyes, was re- 
solved " to avoid the mortification of receiving orders 
and perhaps insolence from Rupert," The king pre- 
sented himself before Gloucester. 

Arriving, on the tenth of August, he sent two 
heralds to the town with a summons, requiring it to 
receive a governor and garrison of his appointing. 
Charles demanded a positive answer before the expir- 
ation of two hours. Within that space, two citizens, 
Pudsey, a serjeant-major in the garrison, and another, 
returned with the king's heralds, bringing the answer 
of Massey, its determined governor. The noble histo- 
rian makes himself merry with the figures of this 
worthy pair of presbyterian burghers, and the effect 
which their appearance produced upon the excitable 
cavaliers. Expressing defiance in every angle of their 
harsh, lean visages, their gestures, and even their garb, 
they " at once," he says, " made the most severe coun- 
tenances merry, and the most cheerful hearts sad. 
The men, without any circumstance of duty or good 
manners, in a pert, shrill, undismayed accent, said, 
'We have brought an answer from the godly city of 
Gloucester to the king : '" in short, they conducted 
themselves with a kind of insolence so peculiar, that 
they seemed as if their orders had been chiefly to pro- 
voke him to violate his own safe conduct. The an- 
swer they brought was in writing, and in these words : 
"We the inhabitants, magistrates, officers, and sol- 
diers, within this garrison of Gloucester, unto his ma- 
jesty's gracious message return this humble answer : 
That we do keep this city, according to our oaths and 


allegiance, to and for the use of his majesty and his 
royal posterity; and do accordingly conceive ourselves 
wholly bound to obey the commands of his majesty, 
signified by both houses of parliament : and are re- 
solved, by God's help, to keep this city accordingly ;" 
an answer, which, though like all such documents on 
the side of the parliament, couched in odiously hypo- 
critical terms, wronging and insulting the king to his 
face, under a show of duty, was yet a brave defiance, 
from a garrison of 1400 men, a great proportion of 
them raw militia, almost destitute of ordnance and 
ammunition, and occupying a vast compass of ill- 
constructed lines, to send to the commander of a 
powerful army, flushed with the insolence of recent 
victory. Charles received it without any expression of 
displeasure, yet with manifest wonder. " Gentlemen," 
he asked, " on what hope of relief does your confidence 
rest? Waller is extinct, and Essex cannot come." 
He at once dismissed them ; and had hardly seen the 
gates close on those uncouth visitors of a king, when 
the large and well-built suburbs of the city were ob- 
served to be on fire ; and some cannon placed over the 
west gate, being discharged upon a body of horse, which 
had been drawn up on that side, within range of shot, 
forced them to retire. The king's army immediately 
set about their entrenchments. Thus, a respite from 
immediate attack was granted to the parties in London ; 
which was all they were now in need of ; for there, 
whatever had caused the change, all slackness, if not 
all dissension, was at an end ; and, starting from a 
state of inactivity and despondence, they at once rose to 


a point of energetic unanimity which they never after- 
wards abandoned. 

Essex undertook to raise the siege of Gloucester. 
On the 24th of August, to the astonishment of the par- 
ties themselves, he was able, in the presence of many 
members of both houses of parliament, to muster an 
army of 10,000 men, at Hounslow ; and being joined, at 
Aylesbury, by several regiments of trained bands from 
the City, some troops of horse, and a train of artillery, 
he, finally, marched for Gloucester on the 29th. The 
king's horse amounted to no less than 8000 men ; but 
as no person in his camp would believe that the 
expresses, forwarded to London by Massey, could really 
put an army in motion for his relief, the enemy was 
allowed to march a distance of thirty miles, through 
an open country, admirably suited to the evolutions of 
cavalry, without any other annoyance than some skir- 
mishing with a few light troops. On the 5th day of 
September, when the siege had lasted just twenty-six 
days, the thunder of the parliamentarian cannon, from 
Presbury hills, put an end to all doubt by announcing 
Essex's arrival. Scarcely could the besieged have held 
out a few hours longer. When, therefore, Charles 
had received certain information of the lord-general's 
approach, he attempted, by sending a herald with pro- 
positions of peace, to delay his march, at least for 
that space. The earl replied, that he had no com- 
mission to treat, but to relieve the beleaguered city : 
and relieve it, he added, he would, or perish in the 
attempt. The purport of the herald's visit being known 
through the ranks, the soldiers saluted him, as he passed 


along, on his return, with cries of "No propositions! 
No propositions ! " Essex presently after discovered the 
huts on fire in the king's camp. Charles had retired 
in haste and some confusion, intending to dispute his 
enemy's return. That day, the besieged had set apart 
for a public fast ; but on Essex's entering the city, 
it was turned to a day of ardent rejoicing. The most 
passionate expressions of gratitude to their deliverer 
were mingled with solemn thanksgiving to God, by 
whose special providence they believed that relief to 
have been sent. The earl, in return, acknowledged 
the signal service rendered to the cause of the par- 
liament by the heroic defence of Gloucester. During 
the twenty-eight days, that the siege lasted, several 
brave sallies had been made, in which the garrison 
took a great number of prisoners, and slew many of 
their assailants. They were reduced at last to two or 
three barrels of powder, and had no provisions of any 
kind remaining. Essex brought supplies into the town, 
remained two days to refresh his troops, and then 
marched out, intending to manoeuvre his way back 
to London, without risking a battle. 

With the view of dividing the king's forces, he 
made demonstrations as if he had intended to proceed 
northward to Worcester ; but, changing his route on 
a sudden, marched to Tewkesbury ; from whence, with 
the advantage of a dark night, he reached Cirencester. 
Arriving there before daybreak, he surprised a convoy 
of provisions, intended for the royalist army before 
Gloucester, and made prisoners about 400 of the king's 
troops, raw levies, who had the charge of it; most of 


whom were taken in their beds, and their horses feed- 
ing in the stables. At the foot of the Auburn Hills, 
as the army was passing through that deep, enclosed 
country towards Newbury, Rupert came suddenly upon 
the rear-guard, and routed them, forcing them to retire 
in great disorder to the main army. Here they formed 
again ; but were a second time attacked : and now the 
skirmish became fierce and general, continuing with 
great slaughter till the parliamentarians took shelter 
in Hungerford. 

At length, the next day, the earl came within sight 
of Newbury ; but found, to his surprise, that the king 
had already been there two hours, and was prepared 
to dispute his farther passage. The royalist army was 
advantageously posted ; it had possession of the town, 
and the adjoining hill called Bigg's Hill ; Wallingford 
was at hand, and Oxford itself within a convenient 
distance for the supply of whatever reinforcements 
should be wanting. Charles sent a formal challenge 
to his adversary, which Essex had no alternative but 
to accept. Robert Codrington, a parliamentary officer, 
has left a narrative of this memorable fight; which, 
though greatly superior in clearness and force to the 
usual flat and confused accounts, and though printed 
in so common a book as the 'Harleian Miscellany, 
seems to have escaped the notice of historians, until 
recently quoted by Mr. Forster, in his Life of Crom- 
well, from the original tract. The partiality of this 
narrative we may readily excuse, for the sake of its 
beauty and general faithfulness. 

"All that night," says Codrington, who was evi- 


dently an eye-witness, " our army lay in the fields, 
impatient of the sloth of darkness, and wishing for 
the morning's light, to exercise their valour ; and the 
rather, because the king had sent a challenge over- 
night to the lord-general, to give him battle the next 
morning. A great part of the enemy's army con- 
tinued also in the field, incapable of sleep, their enemy 
being so nigh ; and, sometimes looking on the ground, 
they thought of the melancholy element of which 
they were composed, and to which they must return ; 
and sometimes looking up, they observed the silent 
marches of the stars and the moving scene of heaven. 
The day no sooner appeared but they were marshalled 
into order, and advanced to the brow of the hill ; 
and not long after, the ordnance was planted, and the 
whole body of their horse and foot stood in battalia. 
The officers and commanders of their foot, many of 
them, left off their doublets, and, with daring reso- 
lution, brought on their men; and, as if they came 
rather to triumph than to fight, they, in their shirts, 
did lead them up to the battle. The first that gave 
the charge was the most noble Lord Roberts, whose 
actions speak him higher than our epithets. He per- 
formed it with great resolution ; and by his own ex- 
ample, shewed excellent demonstrations of valour to 
his regiment. The cavalry of the enemy performed 
also their charge most bravely, and gave in with a 
mighty impression upon him. A prepared body of our 
army made haste to relieve him. Upon this, two 
regiments of the king's horse, with a fierce charge, 
saluted the blue regiment of the London trained bands, 


who gallantly discharged upon them, and did beat 
them back ; but they, being no whit daunted at it, 
wheeled about, and on a sudden charged them : our 
musketeers did again discharge, and that with so much 
violence and success, that they sent them now, not 
wheeling, but reeling from them ; and yet, for all 
that, they made a third assault, and coming in full 
squadrons, they did the utmost of their endeavours 
to break through their ranks ; but a cloud of bullets 
came at once so thick from our muskets, and made 
such havoc amongst them, both of men and horse, 
that, in a fear, full of confused speed, they did fly 
before us, and did no more adventure upon so warm 
a service. 

"In the meantime, Sir Philip Stapleton performed 
excellent service with the lord-general's regiment of 
horse, and five times together did charge the enemy: 
but, above all, the renown and glory of this day is 
most justly due unto the resolution and conduct of our 
general ; for, before the battle was begun, he did ride 
from one regiment to another, and did inflame them 
with courage, and perceiving in them all an eager 
desire to battle with their enemies, he collected to 
himself a sure presage of victory to come. I have 
heard, that when, in the heat and tempest of the fight, 
some friends of his did advise him to leave off" his white 
hat, because it rendered him an object too remarkable 
to the enemy, ' No, ' replied the earl, ' it is not the hat 
but the heart ; the hat is not capable either of fear 
or honour." He, himself, being foremost in person, did 
lead up the city regiment, and when a vast body of the 


enemy's horse had given so violent a charge, that they 
had broken quite through it, he quickly rallied his 
men together, and, with undaunted courage, did lead 
them up the hill. In his way he did beat the infantry 
of the king from hedge to hedge, and did so scatter 
them, that hardly any of the foot appeared to keep to- 
gether in a body. After six hours' long fight, with 
the assistance of his horse, he gained those advantages 
which the enemy possessed in the morning, which were 
the hill, the hedges, and the river. In the meantime, 
a party of the enemy's horse, in a great body, wheeled 
about, and about three-quarters of a mile below the 
hill, they did fall upon the rear of our army, where our 
carriages were placed. To relieve which, his excel- 
lency sent a selected party from the hill to assist their 
friends, who were deeply engaged in the fight. These 
forces, marching down the hill, did meet a regiment 
of horse of the enemy's, who in their hats had 
branches of furze and broom, which our army did that 
day wear, for distinction sake, to be known by one 
another from their adversaries, and they cried out to 
our men, ' Friends, friends ;' but, they being dis- 
covered to be enemies, our men gave fire upon them, 
and having some horse to second the execution, they 
did force them farther from them : our men being now 
marched to the bottom of the hill, they increased the 
courage of their friends, and, after a sharp conflict, 
they forced the king's horse to fly with remarkable 
loss, having left the ground strewed with the carcasses 
of their horses and riders. 

" His excellency, having now planted his ordnance 


on the top of the hill, did thunder against the enemy ; 
where he found their numbers to be thickest ; and the 
king's ordnance, being yet on the same hill, did play 
with the like fury against the forces of his excellency : 
the cannon on each side did dispute with one another, 
as if the battle was but new begun. The trained bands 
of the City of London endured the chiefest heat of the 
day, and had the honour to win it; for being now upon 
the brow of the hill, they lay not only open to the 
horse, but the cannon of the enemy ; yet they stood 
undaunted, and conquerors, against all ; and like a 
grove of pines in a day of wind and tempest, they only 
moved their heads or arms, but kept their foot sure, 
unless, by an improvement of honour, they advanced 
forward to pursue their advantage on their enemies. 

"Although the night did now draw on, yet neither 
of the armies did draw off: the enemy's horse, in a 
great body, did stand on the farthest side of the hill, 
and the broken remainders of their foot behind them, 
and having made some pillage about the middle of 
the night, they drew off their ordnance, and retreated 
unto Newbury : on the next morning, his excellency, 
being absolute master of the field, did marshal again 
his soldiers into order to receive the enemy, if he had 
any stomach in the field, and to that purpose dis- 
charged a piece of ordnance, but, no enemy appearing, 
he marched towards Reading." 

The battle of Newbury, like that of Edge-hill, was 
followed by no decided results. It was fought, says 
Clarendon, all day, without any such notable turn, 
as that either party could think they had much the 


better : the night parted them, when nothing else 
could. The parliamentarians, indeed, loudly claimed 
the victory; and not without reason; since the king's 
army suffered them, with the morning light, to take 
quiet possession of the town, and to march forward, 
unmolested, towards London. Technically considered, 
it appears, there were errors and oversights on both 
sides in the conduct of this great encounter ; but it 
was marked throughout by those nobler characteristics 
than mere calculating skill, which distinguished the 
whole course of this fatal war undaunted bravery 
and inflexible resolution. Rupert's charges were never 
more fierce or frequent, never had they been so 
admirably sustained. Upon the immovable rampart 
presented by the pikes of the London trained bands, 
again and again the stormy valour of his choicest 
cavaliers broke in vain. Those regiments, " of whose 
inexperience of danger, or any kind of service be- 
yond the easy practice of their postures in the Artil- 
lery Garden, men had till then too cheap an esti- 
mation, behaved themselves to wonder ; and were, in 
truth, the preservation of the army of the parliament 
that day." 

In this sanguinary field, "according to the unequal 
fate that attended all conflicts with such an adversary," 
the loss of known and distinguished individuals was 
chiefly on the king's side; "for whilst some obscure, 
unheard-of colonel or officer was missing from the 
ranks of the parliament, and some citizen's wife be- 
wailed the death of her husband, there were, on the 
king's side, above twenty field-officers, and persons of 


rank and public name, slain upon the spot, and more 
of the same quality wounded." 

Three noblemen of high rank and estimable cha- 
racter were of the number. The young Earl of Sun- 
derland was struck down by a cannon bullet. The 
brave and enlightened Earl of Carnarvon, on his return 
from a victorious charge of a body of the enemy's 
horse, passing carelessly among some of the scattered 
troopers, was, by one of them, who recognised him, 
run through the body. But the loss most deeply and 
generally deplored was that of Lord Falkland, " a loss 
which no time will suffer to be forgotton, and no suc- 
cess of good fortune could repair." So wrote the affec- 
tionate and eloquent Clarendon, in the commencement 
of that eulogium, which will be read with delight as 
long as friendship exists, and excellence excites admi- 
ration. He was "a person," continues the noble his- 
torian, " of such prodigious parts of learning and 
knowledge, of that inimitable sweetness and delight in 
conversation, of so flowing and obliging a humanity 
and goodness to mankind, and of that primitive sim- 
plicity and integrity of life, that if there were no other 
brand upon this odious and accursed civil war than 
that single loss, it must be most infamous and exe- 
crable to all posterity. He was a great cherisher of 
wit, and fancy, and good parts, in any man ; and, if 
he found them clouded with poverty or want, a most 
liberal and bountiful patron towards them, even above 
his fortune. . . His house being within little more 
than ten miles of Oxford, he contracted familiarity and 
friendship with the most polite and accurate men of 


that University; who found such an immenseness of 
wit, and such a solidity of judgment, in him ; so infinite 
a fancy bound in by a most logical ratiocination : such a 
vast knowledge, that he was not ignorant of any thing, 
yet such an excessive humility, as if he had known 
nothing ; that they frequently resorted and dwelt with 
him, in a college situated in a purer air: so that his 
house was a university in a less volume, whither they 
came not so much to repose as study, and to examine 
and refine those grosser propositions which laziness 
and content made current in vulgar conversation . . . 
He was guilty of no other ambition than of knowledge, 
and to be reputed a lover of all good men. He was so 
jealous of the least imagination that he should incline 
to preferment, that he affected even a moroseness to 
the court and to the courtiers. And if any thing but 
not doing his duty could have kept him from receiving 
a testimony of the king's grace, he had not been called 
to his council. Not that he was, in truth, averse from 
public employment ; for he had a great devotion to the 
king's person ; but he abhorred that an imagination or 
doubt should sink into the thoughts of any man, that 
in the discharge of his trust and duty in parliament 
he had any bias to the court, or that the king himself 
should apprehend that be looked for a reward for 
being honest . . . For as he had a full appetite of fame 
by just and generous actions, so he had an equal con- 
tempt of it by any servile expedients . . . For these 
reasons he submitted to the king's command, and be- 
came his secretary, with as humble and devoted an 
acknowledgment of the greatness of the obligation, as 



could be expressed, and as true a sense of it in his 
heart ... He had a courage of the most clear and 
keen temper; and therefore upon any occasion of 
action, he always engaged his person in those troops 
which he thought, by the forwardness of the com- 
manders, to be most likely to be farthest engaged ; 
and in all such encounters he had about him an extra- 
ordinary cheerfulness, without at all affecting the exe- 
cution that usually attended them, in which he took 
no delight, but took pains to prevent it, where it was 
not, by resistance, made necessary : insomuch that at 
Edge-hill, when the enemy was routed, he was like to 
have incurred great peril, by interposing to save those 
who had thrown away their arms ; so that a man might 
think he came into the field chiefly out of curiosity to 
see the face of danger, and charity to prevent the shed- 
ding of blood. Yet in his natural inclination he was 
addicted to the profession of a soldier. 

"From the first entrance into this unnatural war, 
his natural cheerfulness and vivacity grew clouded, and 
a kind of sadness and dejection of spirit stole upon him, 
which he had never been used to; yet being one of 
those who believed that one battle would end all differ- 
ences, and that there would be so great a victory on 
one side, that the other would be compelled to submit 
to any conditions from the victor, he resisted those 
indispositions. But after the king's return from Brent- 
ford, and the furious resolution of the two houses, 
not to admit any treaty for peace, those indispositions, 
which had before touched him, grew into a perfect 
habit of uncheerfulness ; and he, who had been so 


exactly easy and affable to all men, and held any 
cloudiness and less pleasantness of visage a kind of 
rudeness and incivility, became on a sudden less com- 
municable ; and thence very sad, pale, and exceed- 
ingly affected with spleen. When there was any over- 
ture or hope of peace, he would be more erect and 
vigorous, and exceedingly solicitous to press any thing 
which he thought might promote it; and sitting among 
his friends, often, after a deep silence and frequent 
sighs, would, with a shrill and sad accent, ingeminate 
the word ' Peace ! Peace !' and would passionately 
profess, that the view of the calamities and desolation 
the kingdom did and must endure, took his sleep from 
him, and would shortly break his heart. This made 
some think, or pretend to think, that he was so much 
enamoured of peace, that he would have been glad the 
king should have bought it at any price ; which was 
a most unreasonable calumny: as if a man that was 
himself the most punctual and precise in every cir- 
cumstance that might reflect upon conscience or honour, 
could have wished the king to have committed a tres- 
pass against either. And yet this scandal made some 
impression upon him, or at least he used it for an 
excuse of the daringness of his spirit. For, at the 
leaguer before Gloucester, when his friends passion- 
ately reprehended him for exposing his person un- 
necessarily to danger (for he delighted to visit the 
trenches and nearest .approaches, to discover what the 
enemy did), as being so much beside the duty of 
his place, that it might be understood rather to be 
against it, he would say merrily, that his office could 


not take away the privilege of his age; and that a 
secretary in war might be present at the greatest secret 
of danger; but withal alleged seriously, that it con- 
cerned him to be more active in enterprises of hazard 
than other men ; that all might see that his impatience 
for peace proceeded not from pusillanimity, or fear to 
adventure his own person." 

The noble historian pours out " his love and grief," 
at still greater length, on the death of his admired 
friend, both in his great work, and in the memoirs of 
his own life ; but we can afford room only for one 
characteristic anecdote. " He was so ill a dissembler 
of his dislike and disinclination to all men," relates 
Clarendon, " that it was not possible for such not 
to discern it. There was once, in the house of Com- 
mons, such a declared acceptation of the good service 
an eminent member had done to them, and, as 
they said, to the whole kingdom, that it was moved, 
he being present, 'that the speaker might, in the 
name of the whole house, give him thanks ; and 
then, that every member might, as a testimony of 
his particular acknowledgment, stir or move his hat 
towards him ;' the which (though not ordered), when 
very many did, the Lord Falkland (who believed 
the service itself not to be of that moment, and 
that an honourable and generous person could not 
have stooped to it for any recompence), instead of 
moving his hat, stretched both his arms out, and 
clasped his hands together upon the crown of his 
hat, and held it close down to his head ; that all men 
might see, how odious that flattery was to him, and 


the very approbation of the person, though at that 
time most popular." 

Other contemporary writers concur, though in more 
condensed language, in the eulogium of Falkland, and 
confirm Clarendon's account of the circumstances which 
attended his death. On the morning of the fight, we 
are told, by Whitelocke and Rushworth, he dressed 
himself with a degree of nicety, which, though for- 
merly habitual to him, had, since his period of gloom, 
given way to negligence; telling his friends, with an 
air of gaiety, that if he were slain in battle they should 
not find his body in foul linen. In answer to their 
earnest and affectionate entreaties to take no part in 
the fight, as not being a military man, he replied, 
while returning sadness again overspread his expres- 
sive countenance, that he was weary of looking upon 
his country's misery, "and did believe he should be 
out of it ere night." He then put himself into the first 
rank of the Lord Byron's regiment; and, advancing 
upon the enemy, who had lined the hedges on both 
sides with musketeers, presently received a shot from 
a musket, and fell from his horse to the ground, 
where his body lay undiscovered till the next morning. 
"Thus," concludes Clarendon, "fell that incomparable 
young man, in the four-and-thirtieth year of his age; 
having so much despatched the true business of life, 
that the eldest rarely attain to that immense know- 
ledge, and the youngest enter not into the world with 
more innocency : whosoever leads such a life, needs 
be the less anxious upon how short warning it is 
taken from him." 


The Earl of Essex pursued his march towards 
Reading, unmolested by the king's army, until he 
entered an enclosed country, within a few miles of 
that place ; when Rupert, with a strong party of horse 
and musketeers, fell upon his rear, and threw them 
into great disorder, killing many, and taking many 
prisoners. At Reading, a committee of the Lords and 
Commons met their victorious general, to congratulate 
him on the great service he had done the parliament, 
and to learn the wants of his army, with an assurance 
that they should be all forthwith supplied. He then 
moved forward towards the capital, leaving Reading to 
be occupied by a garrison of royalists. In London, a 
form of solemn thanksgiving was appointed; the day 
after his arrival, the earl received a visit of thanks 
from the speaker and the whole house of Commons; 
the City rang with notes of triumph ; all thoughts of 
peace were banished ; and the mutual jealousies which 
had long existed between his excellency and Waller 
were reconciled, by the politic submission of Sir 
William to his placable and triumphant rival. King 
Charles, meantime, and his nephew, retired with their 
army to Oxford, more dispirited than, in reality, the 
events of the campaign of 1643 appeared to warrant. 



THOUGH the most prominent actors in that great 
national tragedy, the eventful progress of which we 
have so far sketched, were, with one exception, only 
statesmen and soldiers; yet the conflict which engaged 
their energies, was, in reality, a religious conflict. " The 
quarrel," observed a contemporary writer, " dependeth 
only and absolutely between the Papists and the Protes- 
tants (he meant, between the Church and the Puritans) 
for either must the gospel prevail with us, or else 
their idolatry will overtrample all." Hence, those mea- 
sures which tended to the entire destruction of the 
Church of England kept pace with the growth of the 
parliamentary power, in the houses of Lords and Com- 
mons, and in the field. 

It was no more than common gratitude, on the 
part of the parliament, to compliment Prynne and his 
compeers with an oration, and to reward them with a 
share of the fines imposed on the Star Chamber judges; 
since (if we except the indiscretions of the bishops them- 
selves) the first serious mischief to the church came from 
the hands of that indefatigable libeller. Assaults, in- 


deed, more formidable followed, from the press and the 
pulpit, before the loosened fabric was ready for the 
finishing stroke of the parliamentary levellers. "The 
Histrio-Mastix, " and "Sion's Plea against Prelacy," 
were succeeded by the famous " Smectymnuus, " which 
Calamy, one of its writers, asserted to have been the 
first deadly blow to episcopacy; and again, the con- 
troversy opened by " Smectymnuus " drew forth Mil- 
ton, in his least admirable character, as a religious 
partisan, with such terrible effect, that a writer, well 
acquainted with the controversies of that age, avers his 
belief, that the "great talents, the learning, the blame- 
less lives, the powerful arguments, of Usher and Hall, 
would have preserved the church, if Milton had not 
descended, with all his overwhelming might of learn- 
ing, eloquence, and scorn, into the contest." Pre- 
sently, the prelates' benches were exposed, naked, to 
the mockery of the people ; the bishops themselves, 
fined and imprisoned for an act of fatuity, by party 
exaggeration absurdly called treason, were dismissed 
unheeded to obscurity and want. By this time, seques- 
tration, fine, and imprisonment, had, in like manner, 
cleared the pulpits of London and the other large 
towns, of " malignant ministers ; " and had made way 
for preachers of a different temper, who, not alone 
silently submissive to the will of their patrons, were pre- 
pared on all occasions to sound, on their behalf, in the 
the popular ear, the trumpet of alarm and agitation. 

From removing those persons out of sacred offices 
who had obstructed the march of the new reformation, 
it was a natural step to proceed to sweep away also such 


holy things, likewise, as had been discovered to be offen- 
sive. In the month of August, 1643, the Lords at length 
concurred in the Commons' ordinance " for demolishing 
and taking away all monuments of idolatry and super- 
stition." The beautiful crosses at Cheapside and Char- 
ing Cross were among the earliest objects which fell 
a prey to this Gothic enactment. The cross at Cheap, 
commonly known, on account of its magnificence, by 
the name of " the Golden Cross," was the first to 
perish. First of all, the images were broken down ; 
" the sequel day," we are told, the whole was rased 
to the ground. " It was a monumental ornament," 
writes an eye-witness, a Scotch Covenanter one not 
likely, therefore, to own excessive sympathy in such a 
case, "worthy of a royal city, and the beautiful ob- 
ject of admiration to all beholders and strangers. The 
third day thereafter," he continues, "they caused to 
take down all the new and old crosses on churches and 
steeple-tops." The next step began that war upon 
the cathedrals, which was revived, from time to time, 
through succeeding years ; until, at length, in a mo- 
ment of panic terror, lest extinct episcopacy should 
once more lift its head, the entire demolition of those 
sublime monuments of the nation's ancient piety was 
gravely recommended, in a committee, upon the pru- 
dential maxim, that " if you tear down the nests, the 
birds will be sure not to return." The noblest eccle- 
siastical structures were plundered and defaced. Aided 
by the rabble, who always regard with a feeling of hos- 
tile superstition those prodigious edifices, whose magni- 
ficence amazes, and whose grandeur awes, them ; and 


by the soldiery, whose habits of indiscriminate ravage 
were exasperated by puritan animosity ; the coarse zea- 
lots, to whom the work of destruction was intrusted, 
set about their task in delighted earnest. Cromwell, 
at Peterborough, "in pursuance of the thorough 
reformation, " set the example of desecrating the 
cathedrals. At Canterbury, the soldiers and people 
overthrew the communion-table, tore the velvet cover- 
ing, violated the monuments of the dead, broke down 
" the rarest windows in Christendom," destroyed the 
organ, the ancient wood-work, and the brazen eagle 
which supported the bible ; tore up, or took away, the 
service-books and vestments, and strewed the pave- 
ment with fragments. Observing, in the arras hang- 
ings of the choir, some figures of the Saviour, they 
drew, their daggers, and, with many oaths and execra- 
tions, pierced them through and through. A statue of 
the same Divine Person, in a niche of the exterior, was 
exposed to similar outrage. They discharged their 
muskets at it, " triumphing much " when the shots 
took effect upon the head and face of the figure. Still 
worse enormities are reported to have occurred, during 
the occupation of Lichfield by the profligate followers 
of Sir John Gell. The carvings, the rich windows, the 
curious pavement, the costly tombs, the records belong- 
ing to the Close and city, were all destroyed or muti- 
lated. The governor set the example of spoliation 
by appropriating to himself the communion-plate and 
linen. The soldiers kept courts of guard in the aisles, 
and made the lofty roofs echo to their lewd revelry. 
The pulpit was occupied from time to time by various 


fanatical preachers, who encouraged these acts of pro- 
fanation. Here, as well as, among other places, at 
Sudley, they established a slaughter-house within the 
consecrated building, and cut up the carcasses upon 
the altar. At Sudley, they threw the offal into the 
burial vault of the noble family of Chandos. St. 
Paul's was converted into a stable for the cavalry 
horses. In several churches, they brought calves, 
swine, and other animals to the fonts ; where they 
sprinkled them with water, and named them, in 
derision of the holy sacrament of baptism. At West- 
minster, under the very eyes of the parliament, the 
soldiers sat drinking and smoking at the altar, lived 
in the abbey, and converted its sacred precincts to the 
vilest uses. In the chapel at Lambeth, Parker's monu- 
ment was thrown down, the remains of the prelate 
buried in a dunghill, and the leaden coffin which 
enclosed them sold. 

Though it be true that of these, and the num- 
berless other enormities of the same kind recorded, 
some were merely the natural outbursts of vulgar 
wantonness, in a period of reaction and excitement, 
for which the governing powers ought not to be 
held responsible ; yet the same excuse cannot be 
alleged in regard to others. Can the warmest friends 
of freedom, political or religious, defend that course 
of cruel "statesmanship," to which all nobler princi- 
ples were sacrificed, in the case of the unhappy but 
courageous Laud ? Besides the fines imposed upon 
the archbishop, as one of the judges of Prynne and 
his fellows, he was fined 20,000/. for his share in 


the proceedings of the convocation of 1640. If we are 
without proof that this enormous mulct was ever paid, 
the reason is, because before it could be levied other 
means were found to deprive the imprisoned primate 
of all he had. Some months after his palace had 
been converted into a prison for delinquents, over 
whom, to render the insult more galling, Leighton, 
one of the victims of Star Chamber severity, was ap- 
pointed keeper, there was presented to the house of 
Lords the following " humble petition of William, Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, shewing : That he hath neither 
lands, lease, nor money ; that the small store of plate 
he had is long since melted down for his necessary 
support and expenses, caused by his present troubles ; 
that his rents and profits are sequestered, and now all 
his goods taken from him, and no maintenance at all 
allowed him ; insomuch that if some friends of his 
had not had compassion on his wants, and sent him 
some little supply, he had not been able to subsist till 
this present; and now this supply is at the last. He 
humbly prays that your lordships would take his sad 
condition into your considerations, that somewhat may 
be allowed him out of his estate to supply the ne- 
cessities of life ; assuring himself that your lordships 
will not, in honour and justice, suffer him either to 
beg or starve." At the reading of this affecting ap- 
peal, the Lords appear to have been touched with 
some feelings of compassion. They resolved to allow 
their venerable prisoner and former compeer some- 
thing, for charity, to supply his wants; they even 
recommended his petition to the consideration of the 


other house. The Commons replied, that they would 
send an answer by messengers of their own ; " but," 
remarks the parliamentary historian, " we hear no 
more of it from that quarter." We hear, some time 
after, of very different measures. Two members of 
the Commons' house went over to Lambeth, with a 
file of musketeers to search for treasure. A sum 
amounting to 78/. was discovered, and taken away 
"for the maintenance of the king's children;" "God, 
in his mercy, " said the primate, " look favourably 
upon the king, and bless his children from needing 
any such poor maintenance ! " A previous search had 
been made for arms ; it having been reported, that 
the archbishop had provided himself with arms suffi- 
cient for 2000 men. The messengers remained long 
in the palace : examined every room ; and when at 
length they withdrew, paraded through the streets, 
amid shouts of popular execration, a quantity suffi- 
cient for about 200 ; the whole of which had passed 
into Laud's possession by purchase from his puritanical 
predecessor, Abbot. 

Nor did the walls of the Tower protect the grey- 
haired primate from personal insult. The preachers 
appointed to officiate before him, of whom one was 
captain of a troop of horse, as well as the incumbent 
of a parish, and who appeared in the pulpit in his 
buff coat and scarf, under his gown, made their 
sermons the vehicles of such unseemly invective against 
him, that the congregation would rise up in their seats 
to observe whether he could endure their taunts with 
patience. His imprisonment had already continued 


between two and three years, when the house of 
Commons at length resolved to proceed with the im- 
peachment. In order to strengthen as much as pos- 
sible the evidence against him, it was determined to 
seize his private papers and memorandums. The 
person employed for this purpose was his implacable 
enemy, Prynne. It was unfortunate for his own repu- 
tation, as well as for the poor, defenceless archbishop, 
when the natural sense of injury in the bosom of that 
individual was put to so severe a test. Prynne burst 
upon his present victim and former prosecutor, before 
the infirm prelate had left his bed ; and proceeded, with 
ruffian insolence, to search the pockets of his apparel. 
He carried off all the papers which Laud had prepared 
for his defence, including his diary, and his book of 
private devotions ; although the archbishop pleaded 
hard for the sacredness, at all events, of the last. 
Terrible things, the Presbyterian pulpit announced, 
had been brought to light in this search. An ordi- 
nance was now passed for the perpetual sequestration 
of all the temporalities of the see of Canterbury, and 
for transferring the patronage to the parliament. It 
is worthy of remark, that the final determination to 
proceed with this " interrupted sacrifice," coincided 
with the vote for the embassy to Scotland : it had 
become necessary, observes a republican writer, to 
do something effectual for the encouragement of the 

That nation was, from the beginning of the unhappy 
disputes in the south, sufficiently alive to the important 
influence upon the fate of England which circumstances, 


or treachery, had thrown into their hands. Far were 
they from being really indifferent, though they might 
affect to be so, to the applications which had been 
made to them by the parliament, for sympathy and 
aid. Hitherto the messages of their English friends had 
contained none of those explicit propositions in favour 
of the ecclesiastical polity of Scotland, which they had 
expected. When, however, the committee of parlia- 
ment arrived, with full power to satisfy them on this 
as well as on all other points, that coyness, by which 
the leaders in England had been so much disconcerted, 
vanished at once. The convention of estates, and the 
assembly of the kirk, to either or both of whom Vane 
and his colleagues were instructed to address them- 
selves, had been long ready to receive their proposals. 
The arrival of the committee was celebrated as a 
triumph ; and their credentials, in separate letters, 
to the convention and the assembly, were read with 

Vane's subtility was not confined to his mystic 
theological treatises. The agent of an independent 
faction, and himself more extravagant and inflexible 
in his religious views than his associates, yet aware 
that the Scots, on the other hand, though eager to do 
all that could be required of them, on condition of 
being allowed to impose their system of church dis- 
cipline on England, would on no other condition be 
induced to move this statesman, so much vaunted 
for his purity and loftiness of mind, determined by 
bare finesse to surmount all difficulties. He insisted 
that the engagement, which was to cement the two 


nations in bonds of brotherhood and religion, should 
not, like the previous national vows of the Scots, 
among themselves, be termed a covenant merely, 
but a " solemn league and covenant ; " for the ulte- 
rior objects of the party required that it might be 
broken, whenever its violation should be found con- 
venient: which a league might be, but not a mere 
covenant. Again, in the famous article which pro- 
vided for the security of the Kirk of Scotland, 
and for the reformation of the Church of England 
on the same model, after the following words, as 
originally proposed by the Scots, " according to the 
example of the best reformed churches " (by which 
they intended their own), he procured the insertion 
of the clause, "and according to the word of God," 
thereby opening a retreat for the Independents. With 
these,* and some other amendments of the same kind, 
this memorable instrument was finally brought before 
the synod. Some of the leading speakers, whom Vane 
had gained over, commended it in terms of lavish 
eulogium ; the assembly failed to detect the juggle ; 
and immediately, with one voice, voted for all its 

A desirable bait was, indeed, held before the eyes 
of the Scots, in a treaty founded, upon the " solemn 
league and covenant," and negotiated at the same time. 
Among the stipulations of this treaty it was agreed 
that the Scotch forces, to be supplied for the more 
effectual prosecution of the war, should be paid by 
England 30,000/. per month ; and should receive for 
their outfit an advance of 100,000/., with satisfaction 


for all arrears due to the Scots for their exertions in 
1640 and 1641, besides a reasonable recompense on 
the conclusion of peace ; that, meantime, they should 
have assigned to them, as security, the lands and 
estates of papists, prelates, malignants, and their 
adherents ; lastly, that no pacification should be en- 
tered into without the advice of the Scots, who should 
have an equal power in conducting the negotiations. 
This last important stipulation was effectually followed 
out, when, in the ensuing February, the Scotch com- 
missioners in London sat down, with joint authority, 
by the side of the most conspicuous members of the 
two houses, in the great committee for administering 
public affairs. The draught of the covenant was quickly 
brought to Westminster ; was referred, as a case of 
conscience, to the consideration of the assembly of 
divines ; being by them approved, was adopted by 
both houses of parliament ; and the 21st of September 
was fixed for the memorable solemnity of its public 

Never had the cause been in so promising a condi- 
tion. Never had sectarian freedom enjoyed so glorious 
a field day. The scene was St. Margaret's Church, 
where both houses, with the assembly of divines and 
the Scotch commissioners, assembled at an early hour. 
First of all, Mr. White, one of the Assembly, "prayed 
an hour to prepare the audience." Nye then mounted 
the pulpit, and made an oration in praise of the 
covenant, " shewing the warrant of it from Scripture, 
the examples of it since the creation, and the benefit 
of it to the church. The oath," he said, " was such, 


and in the matter and consequence of such concern- 
ment, as it was truly worthy of them, yea, of those 
kingdoms, yea, of all the kingdoms of the world. It 
could be no other but the result and answer of such 
prayers and tears, of such sincerity and sufferings, as 
theirs, that three kingdoms should be thus new- 
born in a day. They were entering upon a work of 
the greatest moment and concernment to themselves, 
and to their posterities after them, that ever was 
undertaken by any of them, or any of their fathers 
before them. It was a duty of the first command- 
ment, and therefore of the highest and noblest order 
and rank of duties ; it therefore must come forth 
attended with choicest graces, as fear and humility, 
and in the greatest simplicity and plainness of spirit, 
and respect of those with whom they covenanted : it 
was to advance the kingdom of Christ here upon 
earth, and make Jerusalem once more the praise of 
the whole earth." Dr. Gouge then took his turn, in 
prayer. Next Nye read the covenant from the pulpit, 
and gave notice that every person present should im- 
mediately, by swearing thereto, worship the great name 
of God, and testify his doing so by lifting up his hands. 
Immediately a forest of hands rose up. The whole 
assembly then, by turn, advanced to the chancel, 
where a transcript of the covenant had been prepared, 
and subscribed it into the following order, first, the 
assembly of divines, then the Scotch commissioners, 
afterwards the Lords and Commons of England. The 
ceremony was concluded by an address from Hender- 
son, the moderator of the synod of Scotland, and one 


of the commissioners for that country for this occa- 
sion. He took up the strain in which Nye had pre- 
ceded; and foretold, from the experience of Scotland, 
what prodigious benefits would follow that day's solem- 
nity: his nation had found nothing hard, to which 
they had bound themselves by their covenants ; they 
would, no doubt, by their assistance, enable the par- 
liament of England to destroy the popish authors of 
her miseries. " Were that covenant," exclaimed the 
orator, " now painted upon the walls of the pope's 
palace, it would, without doubt, put him into the 
quaking condition of Belshazzar, when he beheld the 
sentence which foretold his downfal." 

The nature of a covenant implies a voluntary ad- 
hesion, or none ; and the noblemen, barons, knights, 
burgesses, and others, who held up their hands in 
St. Margaret's Church, may be considered as having 
freely engaged themselves. But on other persons, 
on all officers, civil and military, on the ministers of 
the church, and the people in general, it was imposed 
by the authority of parliament. Previously, however, 
an exhortation was published, for the information 
and encouragement of the people; it not being thought 
safe to leave that business wholly to the clergy, on 
whom notwithstanding it was enjoined. This docu- 
ment was chiefly designed to prove the consistency of 
the covenant with the oaths of supremacy and alle- 
giance, and with the peculiar engagements of the 
clergy. Safely, nevertheless, may we assert, though 
some good and wise men led the way in adhesion to 
this monstrous oath, that sophistry more insulting 
R 2 


was never offered to the intellect of a community. 
In fact, the " exhortation" openly recommends perjury, 
as a duty; and so grossly had the habitual hypocrisy, 
which the course of events had imposed on the 
nation, now clouded men's minds, that the Earl of 
Lincoln, who openly in the house of Lords protested 
against the covenant, three or four more of the peers, 
and a few commoners, who did not make their appear- 
ance in the assembly at St. Margaret's Church, are 
the only persons, except the clergy, known to have 
demurred. A grand stroke of statesmanship, it might 
be, on the part of Pym and Vane, of Say and St. John, 
who now neither would nor could roll back the mighty 
current on which they had ridden so far ; but, had no 
other mischiefs followed, it was not a light one, that a 
festering wound was thereby fixed in the moral sense of 
the nation. This peculiar mischief of the covenant is 
pointed out by a pamphlet of the time, in which one of 
the subscribing peers is thus addressed : " Have your 
consciences, my lord, grown so dead to Scripture, and 
your understandings so dull to rules of law, that in 
plain English you promise God Almighty to assist any 
body to kill the king, and set up new covenants of your 
own, point blank against your oaths of allegiance and 
supremacy, and publish all this to the people, as the 
articles of your new creed ; and yet, that your lordship 
should tell me that your affection and duty to the king 
continues still the same, that you have still not only 
the same desire, but the same hope of peace ? You tell 
me of a trick your lordships have found out to save 
you harmless from any obligation by this oath a 


salvo to all your other oaths lawfully taken, and those 
being diametrically contrary to this, you have upon 
the matter engaged yourselves to nothing by this new 
covenant, and so have cunningly evaded the design of 
the contrivers. Oh, my lord, can you please your- 
selves with these shifts? Is this the wisdom, vigilance, 
integrity, and courage of the highest court of judica- 
ture, to lead the people by their example to so solemn 
an act as a covenant with God Almighty, which, at the 
instant you took it, you intended should signify no- 
thing? Will the poor people of England, whereof, it 
may be, many have looked up to your example with 
reverence, and thought many things fit or lawful only 
because you did them, when they shall find that you 
have 'vowed in the presence of Almighty God, the 
Searcher of all hearts, as you shall answer at the great 
day when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed, 
that you will, according to your power, assist the forces 
raised and continued by the parliament, against the 
forces raised by the king' will they, I say, think 
that your lordship intended nothing by this vow, but 
what you were obliged to by your oaths of allegiance 
and supremacy ; that is, ' to defend the king to the 
utmost of your power, against all conspiracies and 
attempts whatsoever, which shall be made against his 
person, his crown, and dignity, and to do your best 
endeavour to disclose and make known to him all 
treasons and conspiracies which shall be against him, 
to assist all jurisdictions, privileges, pre-eminences, and 
authority, belonging to him, or united to the imperial 
crown of this realm,' and, indeed, to do all things 


which by this your new sacred vow you have forsworn 
to do? Will this salvo reconcile all these contradic- 
tions ? And is this subtility the first-fruits of your 
' humility, and reverence of the Divine Majesty, your 
hearty sorrow for your own sins and the sins of the 
nation, and your true intention to endeavour the 
amendment of your own ways ?' For God's sake, my 
lord, talk not of preserving the true reformed pro- 
testant religion, and opposing papists and popery, 
when your actions destroy the elements of Chris- 
tianity !" 

The class on whom the imposition of the covenant 
pressed, as it was designed to press, more heavily than 
on any other, was the clergy. The second article 
runs thus : " We shall, without respect of persons, en- 
deavour the extirpation of popery and prelacy, (that is, 
church-government, by archbishops, bishops, their 
chancellors and commissaries, deans, deans and chap- 
ters, archdeacons, and all other ecclesiastical officers 
depending on that hierarchy.)" " It grieved them/' 
observed Fuller, " to see prelacy so unequally yoked ; 
superstition, heresy, schism, profaneness" (such is, in 
fact, the order of enumeration), " following after." But 
a worse evil than insult was inflicted, when all who re- 
fused by this appeal of lawful solemnity to engage for 
the destruction of that form of church government, 
which they believed to be of Divine institution, and 
had already bound themselves by oaths and subscrip- 
tions to maintain, were thrust out, with their families, 
to beggary, or shut up in dungeons. Such was 
already the fate of numbers of their brethren. The 


parliamentary committee for the removal of scandal- 
ous ministers, and the subordinate committees in corre- 
spondence with them, had been all this time prosecuting 
their objects with earnest zeal. Some of the deprived 
clergymen were ejected on charges of immorality and 
incompetence ; but the greater part, for superstition or 
malignancy ; that is, for attachment to the ordinances 
of the church, or for loyalty to the king. It is sur- 
prising that, with so many facilities and inducements, 
the work proceeded no faster; since the doors of the 
committees were never closed against the represent- 
ations of faction or mistake ; and since the desire of 
providing " godly " ministers with livings, and neglected 
congregations with such approved pastors from their 
own party, must be supposed to have naturally stimu- 
lated their zeal. But the covenant supplied a test 
which it was impossible for the clergy to evade: even 
the puritans among them those individuals who 
were dissatisfied only with the rites and doctrines, but 
not disposed to quarrel with the constitution, of the 
church, and Vhose vehement outcries against the 
popish tendency of the former had so largely assisted 
in its destruction were now, in many cases, involved 
in the same ruin with their brethren, and vainly re- 
gretted the course they had pursued. In fact, the 
more strict and conscientious of puritan churchmen 
must have largely shared in the general amount of 
suffering ; for as almost every enormity, on which part 
soever begun, was quickly answered by some corre- 
sponding abuse on the other, we have no reason to 
question the truth of those statements that remain, 


of the oppressions to which the stricter ministers were 
exposed when they chanced to be found within the 
king's quarters. The clergy were, indeed, on all sides, 
in a condition so deplorable, being, as Mr. Hallam 
allows, " utterly ruined," that the phrase " persecutio 
undecima" the eleventh persecution applied to that 
melancholy period, seems to imply no exaggeration. 

It is creditable to themselves, though matter of 
regret to us, that so few contemporary records of the 
sufferings of the clergy, in that period, exist: for the 
most part, they endured in dignified silence. Bishop 
Hall's relation of his own " Hard Measure," as one of 
the imprisoned and deprived bishops, is nearly unique, 
as an autobiographical memoir of an ejected church- 
man. Yet not a few of the sufferers were too illus- 
trious to escape the notice of history. Among such } 
Hammond and Jeremy Taylor, it is true, found shelter 
with friends ; but Lydiat was dismissed to penury ; 
and Walton completed, in indigence, his prodigious 
labours, designed for a generation who had deprived 
him of bread, and who decried all human learning as 
savouring of ungodliness. Persecution and want short- 
ened the life of the "ever-memorable Hales." The 
melancholy story of the great Chillingworth is related 
by Cheynell, his persecutor in life and death, to en- 
hance his credit with his presbyterian brethren. That 
scholar, so eminent, to use the words of Cheynell him- 
self, for " the excellency of his gifts and the depth of 
his learning," had fallen into the hands of Waller at 
the surrender of Arundel Castle ; and being unable, 
from the infirm state of his health, to bear a journey 


to London with his fellow-prisoners, was removed to 
Chichester. There this man Cheynell (who gravely 
charges himself with " foolish pity" towards his victim), 
and other violent presbyterians, so harassed him with 
the insolence of unseasonable controversy, that within 
a fortnight he expired ; although, with tender treat- 
ment, as the inflated zealot himself acknowledges, he 
might have recovered. But here the inhumanity of 
his gaolers did not cease. Chillingworth s friends, says 
Cheynell, were, " out of mere charity," permitted to 
afford him " the civility of a funeral," though " nothing 
which belongs to the superstition of a funeral ;" i. e. 
the use of the burial-service was prohibited. " It was 
favour enough," continues this stern adherent of the 
presbytery, " to permit Master Chillingworth 's disciples 
or followers, the malignants of the city, to attend 
the hearse and inter his body.' "The malignants" 
attended accordingly ; and were met, at the grave pre- 
pared for the illustrious dead, by Cheynell, with Chil- 
lingworth's immortal work in his hand ; which, after 
having pronounced a speech full of rancorous abuse, he 
flung into the grave, apostrophising it thus : " Get thee 
gone, thou cursed book, which hast seduced so many 
precious souls ! Get thee gone, thou corrupt, rotten 
book, earth to earth, and dust to dust ; get thee gone 
into the place of rottenness, that thou mayest rot with 
thy author, and see corruption." The lively picture of 
sectarian spite here set before us admitted of one touch 
more: "So much," concluded the iron-hearted bigot, 
"so much for the burial of his errors! Touching 


the burial of his corpse, I need say no more than this ; 
it will be most proper for the men of his persuasion to 
commit the body of their deceased friend brother 
master to the dust; and it will be most proper for me 
to hearken to that counsel of my Saviour, 'Let the 
dead bury their dead, but go thou and preach the 
kingdom of God!' And so," says he, finishing, with 
great self-applause, this hateful portrait of himself, "I 
went from the grave to the pulpit, and preached on 
that text to the congregation." 

The case of Dr. Featly was peculiar, but charac- 
teristic. The Doctor was a man of moderation and 
learning ; a doctrinal puritan, and one of the few epis- 
copalian clergymen nominated to seats in the assembly 
of divines, who consented to sit : he was, indeed, the 
only one of his class who continued long to attend the 
meetings of that body. In consequence, however, of 
opposing himself to such measures as the abolition of 
bishoprics and the sale of church lands, he was brought 
before one of the committees of the house of Commons, 
who proposed to dispossess him of his preferment. But 
Featly's abilities and integrity reflecting some credit 
on the synod, the house refused to confirm this vote of 
the committee. Shortly afterwards, however, a corre- 
spondence of his with the great Archbishop Usher, at 
that time in Oxford, was betrayed to the parliament. 
Upon this, the house again took up the inquiry. Featly 
was charged with "adhering to the enemy." Lam- 
beth, and another living which he had in the coun- 
try, were both sequestered, his estate and library seized, 


and himself committed to a common gaol, where he 
remained till want and misery sank him to the 

But the most lamentable effect of the temper which 
governed those persons who imposed the covenant on 
the people of England perhaps, the most disgraceful 
blot on the history of the Long Parliament was the 
destruction of Laud. It is a woful story, justly ap- 
preciated by posterity ; and one which the warmest 
foes of episcopacy and monarchy, in our times are 
willing to pass over in silence. But the salutary lesson 
it affords, history will not dispense with ; and here 
(for to this place they naturally belong) we will insert 
on our busy canvass the few touches, which cannot be 
refused to so grand and affecting an exhibition of bravely- 
endured oppression. 

To the articles formerly exhibited against the arch- 
bishop, ten others were added on the 24th of October 
1643 ; when he also received an order to put in his 
answer to the whole, in writing, on the 30th of that 
month. They relate chiefly to two heads of charges 
to popish innovations in the church, and endeavouring to 
establish an arbitrary and tyrannical government. An 
extension of time, for a fortnight, was, on his petition, 
granted to the primate. He farther applied for the re- 
storation of his papers : the answer was, that he might 
have copies of them at his own charge, when his judges 
had already reduced him to a state of absolute penury ! 
Left, thus, at the mercy of his revengeful and unprin- 
cipled prosecutor Prynne, he requested funds suffi- 
cient for employing counsel : this, too, was refused. 


Counsel were, however, assigned him, of whom Hale 

was one. 

The trial was again adjourned; but on the 12th of 
March 1644, the archbishop was brought by the lieu- 
tenant of the Tower, and the usher of the black-rod, 
to the bar of the Lords. The process commenced by 
a speech from Sergeant Wilde, who, with Maynard, 
and others, had been appointed to conduct the prose- 
cution. He began with a Latin quotation : Repertum 
est hodierno die facinus, quod nee poeta fingere, nee 
histrio sonare, nee mimus imitari, potuerit "this day 
is an atrocity brought to light, such as no poet could 
feign, no actor represent, no mimic imitate!" Aware 
what usage he might expect, Laud had at one time 
thought of declining to defend himself; but he con- 
quered this weakness, and " resolved to undergo all 
scorn and whatsoever else might happen to him, rather 
than betray his own innocency." To the charge of 
attempting to introduce an arbitrary and tyrannical 
government, he replied by alleging, that in his judg- 
ments, and his advice, as a privy councillor, he had, 
to the best of his knowledge, regulated his course 
according to the laws, and had done nothing without 
the concurrence of his colleagues. The charge of 
popery he met by adducing a list of two-and-twenty 
persons, whom he had converted from the Romish re- 
ligion to protestantism. 

The method of conducting this cause tried equally 
the courage and the health of the aged and infirm 
churchman. Each day, at about two o'clock, the 
charge against the prisoner was concluded. From 


that time till four, he was allowed to prepare his 
answer ; but was not permitted to converse with his 
counsel until after it had been made. One or more 
of the committee then replied ; and it was evening 
before the wearied archbishop was dismissed from the 
presence of his unfeeling peers, to return, by water, 
for the night, to his gloomy residence in the Tower. 
Several of the miserable band of ten or twelve mem- 
bers, to which that noble house was now reduced, 
would retire even before the completion of the charge. 
" I never had," writes Laud, " any one day, the same 
lords all the morning. And no one lord was present 
at my whole trial, but the Lord Grey of Werke, 
the speaker." He was exposed to insult from his 
enemies, both within the house, and without. On one 
occasion, Hugh Peters followed, and pestered him with 
abuse, until the Earl of Essex coming up freed him 
from his merciless tormentor : at another time, Nicholas, 
one of the committee of managers, applied to him 
language of intolerable brutality. Then, only, Laud 
gave way to feelings of indignation. " If," he ex- 
claimed, " my crimes are such that I may not be used 
like an archbishop, yet let me be used like a Christian !" 
The lords felt shame, and reproved the ruffian pleader. 
Yet in the teeth of these discouraging circumstances, 
the prisoner defended himself with such consummate 
ability and unaffected courage, as extorted admiration 
and bitter praise even from Prynne. 

At the conclusion of the trial, the archbishop was 
allowed to make his general defence to the whole 
charge. On arriving at the bar of the lords, he im- 


mediately perceived that each of his judges was busied 
with the examination of a book laid before him : these 
were so many copies of his diary ; which Prynne had 
printed, in an imperfect and interpolated form, and pro- 
duced in this unexpected manner, if possible to silence 
and confound him. The scheme failed ; undauntedly 
he proceeded with his defence. His counsel replied to 
the matter of law ; the judges, when referred to, pro- 
nounced, " in their timid way," that no proofs of legal 
treason had been adduced. All was useless. Laud's 
doom, like Stafford's, had been fixed. The machi- 
nery of petitions for "justice" was once more put in 
motion. The primate of England was now dragged 
before the house of Commons. An ordinance for his 
attainder was sent up thence to the Lords ; where, 
to the eternal disgrace of that house, as far as any 
act of the cowardly creatures who then represented 
the peers, could disgrace the greatest English court 
of justice, it found advocates and compliance. Why 
harrow up the depths of honest indignation, by pur- 
suing farther this hideous, this unholy farce? We 
hasten to the conclusion ! On the 10th of January 
1645, after a hard struggle for the privileges of the 
axe, to be substituted for the gallows, this being 
the death insisted upon by the house of Commons, 
those deliverers of England from the yoke of her 
ancient monarchy, those vindicators of conscience 
against the terrible persecutors of the order of Taylor, 
Hall, and Morley, were gratified with the sight of 
Laud of Laud, the grateful founder of the almshouses 
at Reading the munificent benefactor of St. John's 


College, and the Bodleian Library the converter of 
Buckingham and Chillingworth ascending, with the 
" tottering step of eld," but with a countenance ruddy 
and serene, to the same platform which, four years 
before, had streamed with the noble blood of his 
friend Strafford ! 

His " sermon-speech, " as Fuller terms it for he 
began with the encouraging and sublime text, Hebrews 
xii. 2, with its tone of deep, quiet pathos, is well 
known. So composedly did he speak, that, observes 
Sir Philip Warwick, " he appeared to make his own 
funeral sermon with less passion than he had in former 
times made the like for a friend." Like Strafford, he, in 
concluding, utterly denied the charge of his enmity 
to that part of the constitution, under whose ven- 
geance he suffered. " I know the uses of parliaments," 
he said, " too well to be their enemy. But I likewise 
know that parliaments have sometimes been guilty of 
misgovernment and abuse ; and that no corruption is 
so bad, as the corruption of that, which, in itself, is 
excellent. But I have done," he concluded ; " I 
forgive all the world ; all and every of those bitter 
enemies which have persecuted me. And I humbly 
desire to be forgiven of God first, and then of every 
man, whether I have offended him or not, if he do 
but conceive that I have ; Lord do Thou forgive me, 
and I beg forgiveness of him. And so I heartily 
desire you to join in prayer with me." The dying 
archbishop then knelt down, and with awful impres- 
siveness repeated that memorable prayer, so often 


printed, but with which, nevertheless, we cannot refuse 
to recommend these pages : 

" O eternal God and merciful Father ! look down 
upon me in mercy; in the riches and fulness of all thy 
mercies, look down upon me ; but not till thou hast 
nailed my sins to the cross of Christ, not till thou hast 
bathed me in the blood of Christ, not till I have hid 
myself in the wounds of Christ, that so the punishment 
due unto my sins may pass over me. And since Thou 
art pleased to try me to the utmost, I humbly beseech 
Thee, give me now in this great instant, full patience, 
proportionable comfort, and a heart ready to die for 
thine honour, the king's happiness, and the Church's 
preservation. And my zeal to this (far from arro- 
gancy be it spoken ! ) is all the sin (human frailty 
excepted, and all the incidents thereunto) which is yet 
known to me in this particular, for which I now come 
to suffer ; I say, in this particular of treason. But 
otherwise my sins are many and great: Lord, pardon 
them all ; and those especially (whatever they are) 
which have drawn down this present judgment upon 
me ! And when Thou hast given me strength to bear 
it, do with me as seems best in thine own eyes ; and 
carry me through death, that I may look upon it in 
what visage soever it shall appear to me. Amen ! And 
that there may be a stop of this issue of blood in this 
more than miserable kingdom (I shall desire that I 
may pray for the people too as well as for myself) ; 
O Lord, I beseech thee, give grace of repentance to all 
blood-thirsty people. But if they will not repent, O 


Lord, confound all their devices, defeat and frustrate 
their designs and endeavours upon them, which are 
or shall be contrary to the glory of thy great name, 
the truth and sincerity of religion, the establishment of 
the king, and his posterity after him in their just rights 
and privileges, the honour and conservation of parlia- 
ments in their just power, the preservation of this poor 
church in her truth, peace, and patrimony, and the settle- 
ment of this distracted and distressed people under their 
ancient laws, and in their native liberty. And when 
Thou hast done all this, in mere mercy to them, O Lord, 
fill their hearts with thankfulness, and with religious, 
dutiful obedience to thee, and thy commandments, all 
their days. Amen, Lord Jesus ; Amen. And receive my 
soul into thy bosom ! Amen." 

The archbishop had petitioned that three of his 
chaplains might be with him before and at his death : 
he was allowed only one it was Dr. Sterne; with 
whom the parliament sent Sir John Clotworthy and 
another of their presbyterian friends. To Dr. Sterne, 
having concluded his prayer, he delivered the paper ; 
and begged of him to communicate it to his brother 
chaplains, that they might see in what manner he had 
left this world; and he prayed to God to bless them. 
Observing a person employed in taking down his 
speech and prayer, he besought him not to misreport 
what he had uttered ; " a phrase," he remarked, 
" might do wrong to one who was going from the 
world, and would have no means to set himself right." 
Then he advanced towards the block ; but finding that 
part of the scaffold crowded with spectators, he desired 


that they would give him room to die. " Let me," 
said he, " escape from these miseries which I have 
endured so long. God's will be done ! I am willing to 
leave the world; no man can be more willing to dis- 
miss me, than I am to be gone." And perceiving 
through the crevices of the platform, that some per- 
sons were standing beneath, immediately under the 
block, he requested that they might be removed, or 
that dust might be spread over the crevices : it was no 
part of his desire that his blood should fall upon the 
heads of the people. All this he did as collectedly "as 
if he rather had been taking order for some nobleman's 
funeral, than preparing for his own." The zeal of 
Clotworthy could no longer respect this awful moment, 
or the sublime propriety with which the archbishop 
performed his great part. He demanded of the dying 
prelate, what was the most comfortable saying for a man 
at the point of death ? Laud replied : " Cupio dissolvi, 
et esse cum Christo, I desire to depart and to be 
with Christ." " A good desire," admitted the inquisi- 
tor ; " but then, how shall a dying man find assur- 
ance ? " The primate answered, that such assurance 
was to be found within, but that it could not fitly 
be expressed in words. The assurance, however. Clot- 
worthy still insisted, " was founded upon a word ; and 
that word should be known." " It is founded on the 
knowledge of Jesus Christ," was the reply, " and on 
that alone." Laud now turned to the executioner, 
"as the gentler and discreeter person of the two;" and 
putting some money into his hands, with the same un- 
affected composure which he had preserved throughout, 


said, "Here, honest friend; God forgive thee, as I do. 
Do thine office upon me with mercy." He then fell 
again upon his knees, and, having pronounced a 
brief but expressive prayer, laid his head upon the 
block. A moment's pause he gave the signal 
" Lord Jesus receive my spirit ! " At one blow the 
axe did its fearful office; and instantly the sufferer's 
countenance, which, up to that moment, had retained 
the animated flush, that, through life, was peculiar to 
it, became pale as ashes; to the confusion of some 
present, who affirmed that he had painted his cheeks, 
in order that, by his complexion at least, he might 
obtain the credit of fortitude. 

Thus fell Laud ; and with him fell the Church 
of England ; for the same day that the house of 
Lords passed the ordinance for his destruction, they 
likewise passed an act for the suppression of the 
Liturgy, and for setting up the Directory for public 
Worship a meagre formulary, prepared by the as- 
sembly of divines, in which no place is found for the 
creed, the Lord's prayer, or the commandments. The 
body of the primate was interred, in the church of 
All-hallows, Barking, near the Tower. The Direc- 
toi-y, in which burials are ordered to be without any 
religious observance was already in use ; yet the sor- 
rowing friends of Laud enjoyed the mournful consola- 
tion of depositing his remains in the grave, according 
to the majestic rites of that church for which he lived 
and died, and whose funeral they might be said to have 
solemnized at the same time with the primate's. 


This is not the place to speak of the schisms and reli- 
gious confusion which followed; yet the noisome weeds did 
not wait to spring up till the tree that supplied life to the 
national morals was laid low : every stroke that before 
thinned its branches, had opened a fresh space for 
them to overspread. Already the assembly of divines 
had applied to the Lords and Commons in parliament for 
powers to correct the " brutish ignorance," and root out 
the gross vices, which contempt of the church and per- 
secution of the clergy, had let in upon the people. We 
will once more have recourse here to the very words of 
those who saw, with their own eyes, the evils they 
describe. From the numerous contemporary tracts, we 
select, for quotation, one which, though occasionally 
defective in taste, seems free from the exaggerations 
of party. The writer imagines himself to hear England 
deploring her condition in regard to morality and re- 
ligion : 

" I should traduce and much wrong religion, " 
he says, " if T should cast this war upon her : yet me- 
thinks I hear her lament that she is not also without 
her grievances. Some of her chiefest governors, for 
want of moderation, could not be content to walk 
upon the battlements of the church, but they must 
mount also to the turrets of civil policy ; some of her 
preachers grew to be mere parasites some to the 
court, some to the country ; some would have nothing 
in their mouths but prerogative, others nothing but 
privilege : some would give the crown all, some no- 
thing ; some, to feed zeal would famish the under- 


standing ; others to feast the understanding, and tickle 
the outward ear with essays and flourishes of rhetoric, 
would quite starve the soul of her true food. 

" But the principal thing that I hear that reverend 
lady, that queen of souls, complain of, is, that that 
seamless garment of unity and love, which our Saviour 
left her for a legacy, should be torn and rent into so 
many scissures and sects. I hear her cry out at the 
monstrous exorbitant liberty, that almost every capri- 
cious mechanic takes to himself to shape and form 
what religion he lists. For the world is come to that 
pass, that the tailor and shoemaker may cut out what 
religion they please ; the vintner and tapster may 
broach what religion they please ; the dyer may put 
what" colour, the painter may put what face upon her 
he pleases ; the blacksmith may forge what religion he 
pleases, and so every artisan, according to his profes- 
sion and fancy, may form her as he pleases. Methinks 
I hear that venerable matron complain, how her pul- 
pits are become beacons ; how, for lights, her churches 
are full of firebands ; how every caprice of the brain 
is termed tenderness of conscience, every frantic fancy, 
or rather frenzy, of some shallow-brained sciolist ; 
and whereas others have been used to go mad from 
excess of knowledge, men grow mad now-a-days from 
excess of ignorance. It stands upon record in my story, 
that when the Norman had got firm footing within 
my realm, he did demolish many churches and cha- 
pels in the New Forest, to make fitter for his plea- 
sure ; but amongst other judgments which fell upon 
this sacrilege, one was, that tame fowl grew wild : I 


fear God Almighty is more angry with me now than 
then, and that I am guilty of worse crimes; for not 
my fowl but my folk and people are grown, in many 
places half wild ; they would not worry one another so 
in that wolfish belluine manner, else. They would not 
precipitate themselves else into such a mixed mongrel 
war; a war which makes strangers cry out, that I am 
turned into a kind of great bedlam, that Barbary is 
come into the midst of me, that my children are 
grown so savage, so fleshed in slaughter, and become 
so inhuman and obdurate, that with the same tender- 
ness of sense they can see a man fall, as a horse, or 
some other brute animal; they have so lost all reve- 
rence to the image of their Creator, which was used to 
be more valued in me than among other nations." 



THE return of the Earl of Essex to London, and the 
king's retirement to Oxford, after the fight at New- 
bury, though those movements terminated the cam- 
paign of 1643, as it regarded the two main armies, did 
not put an end to the military operations of the year. 
The greater part of England was alive with a ceaseless 
war of skirmishes and sieges. Prince Rupert, in the 
midland counties, maintained his reputation for cour- 
age and activity, for severity and rapine. In the west, 
his brother Maurice, after receiving the submission of 
several garrisons, which the brilliant successes of the 
royal arms at Round way Down and Bristol had fright- 
ened into ready submission, besieged Plymouth, with- 
out taking it; and then sat down with a large force 
before the paltry ditches of the little town of Lyme. 
The war in the north presented features of more 

The Earl of Manchester, having reduced Lynn, 
drew his forces into Lincolnshire, and on the llth of 
October, was joined by Cromwell, now his lieutenant- 
general, and by Sir Thomas Fairfax. The following 


day, they were attacked by a strong body of cavalry, 
from the royalists garrisons of Lincoln, Newark, and 
Gainsborough, at Waisby field, near Horncastle. That 
spirit of religious enthusiasm, which was the secret of 
Cromwell's extraordinary influence over his own un- 
conquered regiments of troopers, had by this time 
widely diffused its electric sympathy through the ranks 
of the army in which he commanded. On the ap- 
pearance of the enemy, he gave the word of onset 
" Truth and Peace ;" called on his soldiers to charge, 
in the name of the Highest; uplifted his loud harsh 
voice in a psalm, which officers and men, column after 
column, took up with hearty zeal; and, while it was 
yet sounding through their ranks, bore fiercely down 
upon the startled enemy. Midway, a volley met them 
from the royalist dragoons: they answered it by a 
louder note of that solemn defiance. A second dis- 
charge saluted them, when within a few paces of the 
hostile column. Cromwell's horse was shot dead, and 
fell upon him ; and when, after a moment's struggle, 
he rose from the ground, he was again struck down, 
by an officer who had, at first, singled him out for 
the charge. Stunned for a moment, he presently 
rose a second time from among the slain, mounted 
the horse of a common soldier, which chanced to be 
at hand, and plunged forward into the fight. But 
by this time a regiment, commanded by Sir William 
Savile, which had received the first overwhelming 
shock of the parliamentarians, giving ground, disor- 
dered and put to flight the whole van of the royalists. 
The rout quickly became general. Manchester, has- 


tening up with the infantry, found Waisby Field, and 
the road towards Lincoln, strewed with the royalist 
dead and dying ; the survivors were utterly dispersed. 
A thousand of the king's troops are said to have 
perished in this short but terrible action. The next 
day the Marquess of Newcastle raised the siege of 

Now began the splendid and more decisive cam- 
paign of 1644. Vainly had Charles sought to pre- 
vent, what he had long foreseen, the irruption of the 
Scots. In his name, though contrary to his proclam- 
ation, those levies were raised, whose entrance on 
the field was to turn against him the balanced scale 
of fortune; and on the 19th of January, 21,000 men 
of that nation, led by Lesley, Earl of Leven, marched, 
knee-deep in snow, upon the soil of England; the same 
Lesley, who, on receiving that title (such was the faith 
of those who were never weary of charging the king 
with faithlessness !) had solemnly promised his sove- 
reign never more to bear arms against him. Passing 
Alnwick, after a summons to the brave Sir Thomas 
Glemham, who, with many of the gentry of Northum- 
berland, was shut up in that fortress, they came before 
Newcastle, into which place the marquess had thrown 
himself the day before. Disappointed in their hope of 
surprising the town, they continued their march south- 
ward, skirmishing, now and then, with small parties of 
the royalists ; and, some days later, were discovered by 
the marquess, who had gone in pursuit of them, occu- 
pying a strong position by the sea, near Sunderland. 
For weeks, the two armies kept each other at bay ; till 


at length the marquess, " seeing no possibility" of 
forcing the Scots to an engagement, drew off towards 
Durham. Had he resolved on creating such a possi- 
bility and vigorously followed it up, Newcastle might 
now have risen from the dubious reputation of a gallant 
amateur commander, to the fame of a great general ; 
and if he had not arrested the final triumph of the 
parliament, might at least have forced it into a more 
honourable path to victory, than one carved out by 
the swords of hypocritical mercenaries. 

Unable, in the distracted state of affairs in Eng- 
land, to reduce the Irish rebels to obedience, Charles 
had consented to a truce, and had invited the veteran 
soldiers of that country to join his forces in England. 
Numbers flocked over; but nothing was accomplished 
by those auxiliaries, to compensate for the odium of 
employing men practised in such barbarities as had 
disgraced the savage contest in Ireland, and many of 
them suspected, at the least, of Popery. So generally 
hateful was the name of Irishmen, that many of the 
king's adherents, in Newcastle's army and elsewhere, 
laid down their arms, as soon as it became known that 
the king had proposed to accept the services of that 
people ; and the parliament passed an ordinance for the 
massacre of Irish prisoners of war, without any appa- 
rent shock to the public feeling. Some parties of these 
veterans having made their appearance in the county 
of Chester, the gallant Lord Byron, who commanded 
there for the king, united them with the forces already 
under his command, and laid siege to Nantwich, the 
only garrison in those parts which still held out for 


the parliament. This incident gave occasion to one of 
those brilliant actions, which marked the dawn of Sir 
Thomas Fairfax's military fame. In the depth of that 
inclement winter he marched across from Lincolnshire, 
joined the forces of Sir William Brereton, from the 
county of Leicester, and, appearing unexpectedly be- 
fore Nantwich, forced the besiegers to draw off, and 
routed them with a severe loss. Of 3000 foot, com- 
manded by Byron, more than half were slain or cap- 
tured. This defeat was a severe blow to the king's 
cause. His Irish auxiliaries, on whom he had mainly 
depended to enable him to take the field early in the 
spring, never came together again, but were all cut 
off in detail. Fairfax's despatch, written after the 
battle, mentions, as having been captured in the 
camp, 120 Irish women, of whom a great proportion 
were armed with long knives. Among the prisoners 
taken, was also the famous Colonel George Monk, after- 
wards the instrument of restoring the Stuart family to 
the throne. He was sent up to London, and impri- 
soned in the Tower ; but consented to transfer his 
services to the parliament, and by his courage and 
activity soon took a distinguished part in the military 
affairs of the period. 

Fairfax, in obedience to the orders of the parlia- 
ment, marched back again into Yorkshire, and joined 
his father, Lord Fairfax, at Selby, to co-operate with 
the Scots. Falling in, near that town, with a party 
commanded by Colonel Bellasis, the governor of York, 
who had marched out to prevent the junction, he 
totally defeated them, and captured their officers and 


cannon, including Bellasis himself. York was now 
seriously endangered ; the Marquess of Newcastle, 
therefore, yielding to the solicitations of the alarmed - 
inhabitants, broke up his position at Durham, and en- 
tered that city on the 19th of April. The next day, the 
Scots came to Wetherby. There, the day following, they 
were joined by the Fairfaxes, and proceeded at once to 
besiege the marquess. The wide extent of the walls of 
York, and the facilities of annoying the besiegers, which 
the river afforded to so strong a garrison as was now 
enclosed within their circuit, for Newcastle's horse 
was between 4000 and 5000 strong, rendered the 
investment merely an irregular blockade, and exposed 
the besiegers to continual sorties. But these incon- 
veniences were presently remedied by the advance of 
the Earl of Manchester's forces, out of Lincolnshire, 
to the support of his friends. That commander 
was now at the head of the completest army yet 
brought into the field by either party. Tt consisted 
of 14,000 men, chiefly disciplined on Cromwell's plan, 
splendidly armed, and liberally furnished with all 
necessary supplies. Their general was likewise stimu- 
lated by the daring genius of his lieutenant, and by 
the presence of a parliamentary committee, at the 
head of whom was the subtle Vane since Pym's 
death, acknowledged leader of the house of Commons. 
On his march, Manchester possessed himself, by storm, 
of Lincoln; and with the help of Cromwell's " Invin- 
cibles," drove back Goring, whom the Marquess of New- 
castle had despatched with the greater part of his 
cavalry, to attempt the relief of that place. The 


arrival of a third army before York was the signal for 
breaking off negotiations for an armistice, then pending 
between the marquess and Fairfax ; and it immediately 
enabled the besiegers, by means of a large additional 
force, to press the siege with a degree of vigour which 
seriously distressed the marquess, and obliged him to 
send and acquaint the king with his perilous condition. 
The parliamentarians now drew their lines close up to 
the walls ; erected batteries, which overlooked the town : 
took possession of the suburbs, in the midst of the 
flames which the garrison had set to them ; and repulsed 
with equal valour, the frequent sallies of the fearless 
enemy within. 

The king, to return to the occurrences of the 
winter, while waiting for the season when he must 
resume, in the field, a contest, every day growing 
more unequal, adopted two expedients, I'rom which 
he hoped either to derive some advantages in car- 
rying on the war, or at least to prepare the way 
for peace upon endurable terms. He had long felt, 
that the strongest ally of his enemies was in the 
witchery that accompanied the very sound of the 
word parliament, to the ears of Englishmen. Of this 
spell he now tried to get possession. The anti-parlia- 
ment, composed of those peers and commoners who 
had deserted, or had been expelled, from the houses 
at Westminster, was assembled at Oxford, about 
the time that the Scots passed the Tweed. The 
numbers which met in this convention, were respect- 
able more than half as many in the lower, and full 
three times as many in the upper house, as appeared 


at the rival assembly, which still laid exclusive claim 
to the name and rights of the parliament of England. 
Their proceedings evinced that moderation which 
became the friends of their bleeding country, in the 
distracted circumstances of the time. Without dis- 
playing any extreme warmth of loyalty, or indulging 
in a tone of exasperation towards their brethren at 
Westminster, they earnestly sought peace, and would 
have purchased it by large concessions ; but the other 
side now repelled all advances, in the sovereign style 
of conquerors. They forwarded the covenant to Ox- 
ford, declaring that engagement to be the immediate 
work of God, for the furtherance, by their means, of 
" his own truth and cause against the heresy, super- 
stition, and tyranny of antichrist;" proclaimed their 
solemn determination never to lay down their arms, 
till they had made peace on their own terms ; gave 
warning that they would henceforth endure no luke- 
warmness, in their cause ; and finally, offered a pardon 
to all who should, before a certain day, desert the king, 
give in their adherence to the parliament, and take the 
covenant. The existence of the parliament at Oxford 
they did not acknowledge. Frustrated in its object of 
a pacification, that assembly now turned its attention 
to the means of prosecuting the war. Those means, 
notwithstanding the generous loyalty of multitudes, who 
impoverished their families to their last acre, to lay the 
produce at the king's feet, were by this time miserably 
exhausted. The principal measure proposed by the 
Oxford parliament, with this view, was, in imitation of 
their opponents, to levy an excise. When the mem- 


bers separated, they had scarcely to reckon among 
their acts any greater benefit to the royal cause, than 
the absorption, though but for a season, of the mean 
passions and paltry discontents of a contemptible court, 
in the interest excited by the nobler endeavours even 
of that which the king himself termed his "mongrel 

Charles's second expedient proved no less abortive. 
Cardinal Richelieu, who, from the beginning of the 
troubles, had encouraged the enemies of the crown, 
both in England and Scotland, was now dead; his 
master, Louis XIII., had followed ; and Cardinal Maza- 
rine, the new prime minister of France, was thought 
willing to second the friendly disposition of the regent 
towards the English court. Great hopes were there- 
fore entertained by Charles of successful consequences 
from the mediation of the new French envoy, who 
now made his appearance, in the person of the Count 
of Harcourt. But the suspicions of the parliament 
were excited. The count had scarcely set foot on 
English ground, when his retinue was searched by 
a messenger from the Commons, who arrested Mon- 
tague, an accredited agent of the king and queen 
of England at Paris, disguised among his attendants, 
and committed him to the tower. In London, the 
ambassador was received with apparent respect, and 
allowed to proceed to Oxford. Charles was soon un- 
deceived, with regard to the authority of this person 
to negotiate for aid from France. On the other hand, 
the parliament, to whom Harcourt now returned, de- 
clined his offered mediation, on the ground of his 


bringing no credentials to either house. They even 
intercepted his despatches ; among which, a letter from 
Goring to the queen disclosed that the embassy was 
planned and arranged by her majesty. On the part of 
the French government, it was, in fact, a diplomatic man- 
oeuvre, designed to amuse both parties ; it ended without 
any other result, than to confirm the confidence of the 
parliament, and to leave the king, as it found him, to his 
own precarious resources. 

As the season of warlike activity approached, Charles 
looked on with anxious uncertainty, while his enemies 
employed their utmost efforts to send into the field a 
force sufficient to realise their professed intention of over- 
whelming him at one blow. 

While their levies were proceeding in London, 
the usual speeches were made to the citizens, to per- 
suade them freely to part with their contributions ; 
and after the preparations were completed, the cus- 
tomary fast was appointed to pray for success. Such 
was the effect of the eloquence of Essex and War- 
wick, of Vane, Hollis, and Glyn, upon the citizens 
assembled in Guildhall, that even the loss of Pym 
threw no observable damp over the public zeal. 
How the more solemn business of the fast-day was 
conducted in the assembly of divines, we are in- 
formed, in a passage of inimitably rich na'ivete, by 
Baillie. " We spent from nine to five graciously," 
writes the complacent commissioner. " After Doctor 
Twiss had begun with a brief prayer, Mr. Marshall 
prayed large for two hours, most divinely confessing the 
sins of the assembly, in a wonderful pathetic and pru- 


dent way. After, Mr. Arrowsraith preached an hour, 
then a psalm ; thereafter Mr. Vines prayed near two 
hours, and Mr. Palmer preached an hour, and Mr. 
Seaman prayed near two hours, then a psalm ; after, 
Mr. Henderson brought them to a sweet conference of 
the heat confessed in the assembly, and other seen 
faults to be remedied, and the conveniency to preach, 
against all sects, especially anabaptists and antinomians. 
Dr. Twiss closed with a short prayer and blessing. 
God was so evidently in all this exercise, that we ex- 
pect certainly a blessing." 

The Earl of Manchester's army has been men- 
tioned already : in the middle of May, Essex and Waller 
likewise marched from London, each at the head of 
10,000 men. As soon as the former had reached 
Windsor, and the latter had encamped at Basing, the 
king advanced from Newbury, where his army had 
mustered, to Reading ; raised the fortifications of that 
town, in order to augment his forces with the troops 
of the garrison ; and again retired to Oxford, to ob- 
serve the movements of his enemies. 

The parliamentarian armies now pushed on, and oc- 
cupied Reading; Abingdon, which the royalists had 
likewise abandoned ; and, in effect, the whole of Berk- 
shire. The situation of Charles was, indeed, become 
critical. Waller forced a passage across the Isis; the 
Thames was crossed by Essex ; and thus Charles found 
himself and his troops shut up in a narrow isthmus 
between two powerful armies. In London, a report 
prevailed, that Oxford was already taken, and the 
king a prisoner. The court was in consternation, 



apprehending all the dismal horrors of a siege. Essex, 
on his march to Islip, at which town he designed to 
fix his quarters, drew up his army upon an open 
space, where those in the city had a full view of it; 
while, with his train of officers, he rode round, and 
surveyed, without molestation, nearly the whole circuit 
of its defences. The only means left to Charles of 
saving that venerable seat of learning from the destruc- 
tive miseries of war, was to withdraw himself, if possible, 
to a distance ; for he was aware that the object now 
chiefly aimed at by his enemies, was the possession of 
his person. Accordingly, on the 3rd of June, he 
visited his quarters at Woodstock ; brought his army 
close under the walls of Oxford, there to wait his 
farther pleasure ; ordered out a body of foot with can- 
non, on the road towards Abingdon, in order to divert 
the attention of his pursuers from his real purpose ; and 
prepared every thing for his escape. As soon as night 
fell, he summoned the prince and their attendants, 
and, escorted by his own regiment of cavalry, passed, 
in silence, the north gate, accompanied by many lords 
and gentlemen of the court, and followed by a long 
train of equipages crowded with ladies. The Duke of 
York, with most of the lords of the privy council, re- 
mained behind; some troops of horse, a regiment of 
foot, and all the heavy ordnance, under the command 
of the Earl of Peterborough, being left for their defence. 
Charles gave orders, that the services in his chapel 
at Christ Church should be continued on Sundays 
and Tuesdays, as if he still were present. Already, 
several weeks before, the queen had fled from Oxford, 


to seek, in the loyal capital of Devonshire, a re- 
treat where the cradle of her expected royal infant 
might be secure from the ungenial clangour of rebel 

Marching between the two armies of the enemy, 
the king arrived, by daybreak on the 4th of June, at 
Hanborough ; and, in the afternoon, at Burford, where 
he halted. By this time, Waller had knowledge of 
his flight, and had pushed on in pursuit as far as 
Witney ; when, presently, the scouts of the royal army 
came galloping in with the intelligence ; a general cry 
of " to horse ! to horse ! " was heard through the 
town ; and Charles, with his sword drawn, was seen 
riding about to hasten away his followers. At Eve- 
sham he designed to rest; but hearing that both ar- 
mies were pursuing by forced marches, he advanced 
to Worcester. 

Such, however, was not the fact ; for, on arriving 
at Burford, Essex resolved that Waller should pursue 
the king, while he himself penetrated into the west, to 
relieve Lyme, and reduce those loyal regions to the 
power of the parliament. 

To this arrangement Waller submitted with reluc- 
tance, alleging against it a previous command of their 
common masters, that if the two armies separated, the 
west was to be assigned to himself; but finding it 
necessary to yield, he executed the order with charac- 
teristic dispatch. By the way, he took possession of 
Sudley, the seat of the Lord Chandos ; and finding, on 
his arrival at Worcester, that the king had marched 
out to Bewdley, he concluded that Charles' object was 
T 2 


to entrench himself within the walls of Shrewsbury, 
and therefore advanced northward without resting, till 
he had passed the royal army. In truth, Charles, as 
his famous letter, written about this time to Prince 
Rupert, evinces, was in the greatest perplexity, without 
any fixed plan, having no other design in his marches 
than merely to avoid his pursuer, " with whom he 
could not, with such a handful of foot, and without 
cannon, reasonably propose to fight." It is to the un- 
fortunate monarch's condition at this time, that Claren- 
don pathetically applies the complaint of King David^ 
when pursued by Saul, that he was hunted like " a 
partridge on the mountains and knew not whither to 
resort, or to what place to repair to rest." Some of 
those affecting incidents in the military life of the king 
which are preserved in the royal itinerary, quoted by 
D'Israeli, apply to this period. The following appear 
among the entries in that " brief chronicle." The king 
and his party sometimes lodged in a bishop's palace, or 
at the seat of a lord, at a country gentleman's, clergy- 
man's, or merchant's abode; but not unusually at a 
yeoman's house; and on one occasion, the record says, 
at "a very poor man's house." "Dinner in the field," 
observes the pleasant commentator, is an usual entry, 
but the melancholy one of ' no dinner this day,' is re- 
peated for successive days. ' Sunday no dinner, supper 
at Worcester a cruel day.' ' This march lasted from 
six in the morning till midnight.' 'His majesty lay 
in ' the field all night, in his coach.' ' The king had 
his meat and drink dressed at a poor widow's/ Such 
was the life of Charles the First, during several years." 


Finding that he had deceived Waller, the king now 
marched back with all expedition to Worcester, thence 
again to Evesham, and the same night to Broadway, 
where he quartered his army. " From thence," says 
Clarendon, in his picturesque narrative of this inter- 
esting expedition, " they mounted the hills near Cam- 
den ; and there they had time to breathe, and to look 
down with pleasure on the places they had passed 
through ; having now left Waller, and the ill ways he 
must pass through, far behind ; for even in that season 
of the year, the ways in that vale were very deep.'' 
Charles now sent messengers to Oxford, with orders 
to the troops left there to join him, with his cannon, 
at Burford. The alacrity and joy evinced in obe}ing 
this order, enhanced the satisfaction with which he 
once more found himself in his old quarters, sur- 
rounded by his loyal cavaliers, after a harassing and 
wearisome march of seventeen days ; during which his 
fortitude had been tried by "accidents and perplexi- 
ties to which majesty has been seldom exposed," and 
his abilities in the field put to a test which entitles 
them to respect. 

The king had no intention to remain idle. Having 
shortly rested and recruited his army, he marched to 
meet Waller, now on his return to seek him ; and, 
upon the 28th of June, discovered that general's army, 
which had by this time been strengthened by a rein- 
forcement of about 1000 horse and foot from Warwick 
and Coventry, drawn up, in order of battle, at the 
foot of a hill on the west of Banbury. Both parties 
spent the night in the field, separated from each other 


by the river Charwell. The following day occurred 
the series of spirited skirmishes, known as the fight 
at Copredy Bridge. The brunt of that irregular action 
lay chiefly between the Earl of Cleveland, and Mid- 
dleton, Waller's lieutenant-general. The ultimate ad- 
vantage was evidently on the royalist side; for Waller 
lost all his ordnance, and was so weakened by the 
capture and dispersion of his forces, that he presently 
returned, without making any further attempt, to London. 
The king, meantime, marched westward, in pursuit of 

The celebrated letter, already alluded to, in which 
Charles, in great alarm at the intelligence from York, 
" commanded and conjured" his nephew to march to 
the relief of that city, found Rupert surrounded by a 
fresh halo of military glory. A short time before, he 
had relieved Newark, besieged by Sir John Meldrum 
one of the most brilliant exploits, of that kind, per- 
formed in the whole war ; had taken Stockport, Bolton, 
and Liverpool ; and had raised the siege of Lathom 
House, the mansion of the Earl of Derby, so gal- 
lantly defended against the parliament's forces, by the 
countess. It is impossible, even in the midst of the 
attraction and hurry of more important actions, to 
omit the particulars of this heroic defence. 

The earl had gone over to protect his hereditary 
dominions in the Isle of Man, from the threatened 
invasion of the parliamentarians. Scarcely had he 
reached the isle, when the countess, whom he had left 
in charge of Lathom, received secret intelligence that 
her house would shortly be attacked. She instantly 


called in the aid of the gentlemen of the county, and 
made all provisions requisite for a defence, with so 
much secresy and dispatch, that when, shortly after- 
wards, Fairfax appeared before the place, he was 
surprised to find that resistance was contemplated. 
He sent a trumpet to require a conference with the 
countess ; to this she agreed, but detained the mes- 
senger, while, " to make the best show she could, she 
placed her inefficient and unarmed men on the walls 
and tops of the towers, and marshalled all her soldiers 
in good order, with their respective officers, from the 
main guard in the first court to the great hall," 
where she calmly awaited the visit of her enemy. 
The meeting was conducted, on both sides, with 
much courtesy and apparent respect. Fairfax pro- 
posed to her an honourable and secure removal, with 
her family and retinue, to Knowsley Hall ; an engage- 
ment that she should remain there free from molesta- 
tion; and half the earl's revenues for her support. 
She replied, "I am here under a double trust of 
faith to my lord, and of allegiance to my king: give 
me a month to consider my answer." Fairfax refused. 
" Then I hope, sir, that you will excuse me," rejoined 
the countess, " if I preserve my honour and obedience, 
though it be to my ruin." A fortnight passed, before 
the general had decided on his method of attack. He 
then sent in military form to demand an immediate 
surrender. The countess answered, that " she had not 
yet forgotten what she owed to the church of England, 
to her prince, and to her lord; and that till she had 
lost her honour, or her life, she would defend that 


place. Scarcely had the besiegers began their trenches, 
when the noble lady ordered a body of 200 men to 
sally out upon them, who slew sixty, and returned 
with a loss of only two of their own party. The 
assailants now proceeded more warily, but were so 
often interrupted by the defenders, in the formation of 
their lines, that little progress was made. At length, 
after having spent three months before the place, they 
-approached the moat, and planted a powerful battery. 
Among the guns on this battery was a mortar of un- 
usual dimensions. A shot thrown from this piece fell 
into an apartment where the countess and her children 
were at dinner. The heroine rose from the table, 
ascertained that no one was hurt, and instantly ordered 
another sally; in which all the guns of the enemy were 
spiked or flung into the moat, except the huge mortar, 
which the brave garrison dragged in triumph into the 
fortress. In the midst of incessant annoyance from 
the enemy, the besiegers contrived to repair their 
battery: the work was no sooner completed than they 
were once more dispersed, their cannon spiked, and 
the intrepid party of royalists again retired, almost 
unhurt, within their walls, leaving a hundred parlia- 
mentarians dead upon the spot. In all these actions 
the admirable countess encouraged the soldiers by her 
presence, and frequently exposed herself to personal 
danger. Nor did the inspiring example of her piety 
less contribute to maintain their valour : no action was 
attempted without previous prayer for success ; no 
success was received without solemn thanksgiving. At 
length Fairfax, accustomed to victory, lost all patience. 


He now appointed Colonel Rigby to conduct the siege, 
whom his private enmity to the Earl of Derby recom- 
mended to that office. The colonel made known his 
arrival by a fresh summons to Lathom House to sur- 
render. It was conveyed in insulting terms : " Trum- 
peter," answered the countess to the messenger, "tell 
that insolvent rebel Rigby, that if he presume to send 
another summons within these walls, I will have his 
messenger hanged up at the gates." The garrison, 
however, was by this time reduced to extremity ; when 
they had the happiness to descry from the towers the 
banners of Prince Rupert, who, on the earnest repre- 
sentations of the Earl of Derby, had turned aside for 
their relief in his march towards York. Rigby instantly 
raised the siege, and retreated, with his forces to 

Prince Rupert had taken in so many reinforcements 
in his way, that when, on the 1st of July, he came in 
sight of York, his army numbered about 20,000 men. 
The combined forces before that city broke up at his 
approach, and after an attempt to intercept him, which 
he avoided by a skilful disposition of his army, they 
withdrew their forces to Hessey Moor, near the village 
of Marston, where they met in a council of war to 
deliberate what course should be pursued. Irrecon- 
cilable jealousies and dissensions already distracted 
the confederacy ; and the question, whether they should 
fight with the prince, which the English generals de- 
sired, or draw off their armies from the neighbourhood 
of the city, which the Scots were inclined to, seems 
to have been practically decided by the advance of 


the Scotch army some miles on the road towards Tad- 
caster. The deliberations on the great crisis that had 
arrived, in the council of the Marquess of Newcastle, 
within the walls of York, were marked by equal, and, 
in their results, more fatal dissensions. The marquess, 
in accordance with his higher views, and better know- 
ledge of the state of the enemy's camp, delivered 
his opinion, after his courteous and ceremonious man- 
ner, for delay. Why renew, by instantly forcing on 
a battle, that union already dissolving ? The mere 
arrival of the prince was already doing the work of 
the royalists, without risk ; the ripening of the enemy's 
dissensions, by time, would soon accomplish the rest. 
At least, let them avoid a battle till the arrival of rein- 
forcements from the north, which he daily expected. 
The haughty Rupert chafed equally at the calm, refined 
tone, and the cold considerate advice; he would not 
argue the point. He had a letter from the king, abso- 
lutely commanding him to give the enemy battle. That 
order superseded deliberation : he had only to obey. 
The marquess replied, that if that was his highness' 
resolve, he, for his part, was ready to submit to his orders 
as strictly as if they were the king's in person. After 
the prince had retired, some of Newcastle's friends be- 
sought him not to take part in the battle, since, it 
appeared the command was taken from him. His 
reply was, that happen what might, he would not shun 
an engagement; his sole ambition having ever been to 
live and die a loyal subject of the king. 

Accordingly, early in the morning of the 2nd, when 
the foot and artillery of the parliament were already in 


motion to follow the Scots on the roads towards Tad- 
caster, Rupert, with a powerful body of horse, ap- 
pearing on the edge of Marston Moor, threatened their 
rear, while the columns of his foot were seen in the 
distance, steadily advancing as if to choose their 
ground for battle. At once the march of the parlia- 
mentarians was countermanded, their advanced divi- 
sions recalled, and a position taken as rapidly as 
the nature of the ground permitted, fronting that 
already occupied by the prince. The royalists being 
in possession of the moor, the enemy drew up, among 
cornfields, upon a rising ground, which skirted its 
northern boundary; a ditch and slight embankment 
running along between the opposed fronts of the two 

While Rupert waited the arrival of his infantry, 
the parliamentarians formed in view. In the centre 
rose the dense masses of their foot, commanded by 
Lord Fairfax and the Earl of Leven. Sir Thomas 
Fairfax with his cavalry, formed the right wing, Man- 
chester and Cromwell the left. The prince opposed 
the great strength of his army to the columns of the 
younger Fairfax, and there, at the head of his cavaliers, 
selected his own position ; Goring and Sir Charles 
Lucas he placed in the centre ; on the left, Newcastle 
fought valiantly at the head of his devoted "white 
coats," but what share he took in the command is 

For the narrative of the fatal fight of Marston 
Moor, we recur to Mr. Forster's Life of Cromwell, 
already quoted. Whether in regard to careful research 


among authorities, or to the vivid colouring which the 
author has given to his vigorous conception, it is a pas- 
sage that discourages rivalry. 

"Gazing with silent and inveterate determination 
at each other, these 46,000 subjects of one king, stood 
upon Marston Moor, eight miles from a city wherein 
every boom of the distant cannon would strike upon 
the inhabitants as the death-knell of a friend or bro- 
ther. The lines of the parliamentarians had begun to 
from as early as ten in the morning the royalists' 
preparations were complete at five o'clock in the after- 
noon it was now within a quarter to seven. Yet 
there still stood these formidable armies, each awaiting 
from the other, with a silent and awful suspense, the 
signal of battle. 

" A stir was seen at last in a dark quarter of 
Manchester's and Cromwell's Independents, and a 
part of their infantry moved forwards. Secure from 
behind the ditch, Rupert's musketeers at once poured 
out upon the advancing column a heavy and mur- 
derous fire, and it was in vain the parliamentarians at- 
tempted to form under the plunging batteries directed 
against them simultaneously from the rear. At that 
moment was seen the genius of Cromwell. With a 
passionate exclamation to his Ironsides, he ordered 
them to sweep round the ditch to their right, clear 
the broken ground, and fall in with himself upon the 
cavalry of the dissolute Goring. The movement occu- 
pied some time, and a fearful slaughter was meanwhile 
suffered by Manchester's infantry ; but, having once 
emerged, these inveterate republicans stood, for an 


instant, to receive, like a rock, the onset of Goring's 
horse, and then, ' like a rock tumbled from its basis 
by an earthquake,' rolled back upon them. Nothing 
could withstand the astonishing charge. The cavaliers 
who survived, offered no further resistance, but wheeled 
off to join the horse of Rupert. Cromwell and his men 
next struck the guns and sabred the artillerymen beside 
them, and then, with as much leisurely order as at 
parade, rode towards the drain. Every place was de- 
serted as they advanced. One spot of ground only 
still held upon it, for an instant, the Marquess of New- 
castle's unflinching regiment of old tenants and re- 
tainers, and was covered the instant after with an 
" unbroken line " of honourable dead. Their victory 
was complete, and the right wing of the royalists 
irrevocably broken. 

" Rupert and his cavalry had meanwhile obtained as 
great a victory on the left. The encumbered ground 
on which Fairfax stood was most unfavourable to an 
advancing movement. Rupert accordingly stood keenly 
by till he saw the parliamentary forces stagger under 
the heavy charges poured upon them as they emerged 
in narrow columns through ditches and lanes, and 
then, with his characteristic impetuosity, charged, over- 
threw, routed, and dispersed both foot and cavalry, with 
tremendous slaughter. 

" The after meeting of the two victors decided the 
day. While the centres were unsteadily engaged, 
Cromwell, who had held his triumphant Ironsides 
steadily in hand, and checked their pursuit, in the 
very nick of time ordered them suddenly to face 


round and wheel upon their centre to the left. Rupert 
had given a similar order to his conquering cavalry 
to wheel round on their centre to the right; and now 
with a shock more terrible than any of this terrible 
day, these desperate leaders, each supposing himself 
the victor, dashed each in front of a victorious foe ! 
Cromwell received a wound in the neck, and the 
alarm for his safety gave a slight appearance of moment- 
ary unsteadiness even to his gallant Ironsides, but they 
rallied with redoubled fury, and, in conjunction with 
Lesley, an accomplished Scotch officer, who led up at 
the moment a brilliant attack, fairly swept Rupert off the 

" It was now ten o'clock, and by the melancholy 
dusk which enveloped the moor, might be seen a fear- 
ful sight. Five thousand dead bodies of Englishmen 
lay heaped upon that fatal ground. The distinctions 
which separated in life these sons of a common country 
seemed trifling now ! The plumed helmet embraced the 
strong steel cap as they rolled on the heath together, 
and the loose love-lock of the careless cavalier lay 
drenched in the dark blood of the enthusiastic republican. 

" But it is not with such thoughts the victors trouble 
themselves now. They have achieved the greatest con- 
quest of the war, and the whole of the northern counties 
are open to the parliament's sway. The headstrong Ru- 
pert has received a memorable lesson, and retreats in 
calamity and disgrace towards Chester. The Marquess 
of Newcastle, weary of a strife never suited to his taste, 
but hateful to him now, crosses the sea an exile. Fifteen 
hundred prisoners remain with Manchester, Fairfax, Le- 


ven, and Cromwell; the valuable ordnance of the van- 
quished artillery, small arms, tents, baggage, and mili- 
tary chest all have been left in their victorious hands ! " 
Nearly a hundred colours are said to have been 
captured, including the prince's own standard, bearing 
a red cross, with the arms of the palatinate. Of some 
others, the quaint devices displayed little taste or human- 
ity. Many of them the soldiers tore up, and stuck the 
fragments for trophies in their caps. Others were recovered 
and forwarded to Westminster ; where, at the reception 
of ambassadors from Holland, a ceremony at which the 
houses affected unusual pomp, forty-eight of these blood- 
stained ensigns of defeated royalty were displayed upon 
the table to regale, perchance to awe, those representa- 
tives of the maritime republic. 

With the relation of the great battle of Marston 
Moor, the first volume of these sketches naturally con- 
cludes. From this fatal point, the great contest no 
more the struggle of freedom with arbitrary power, 
but of republican ambition, battling in the youthful 
grandeur of its lawless strength against the throne and 
the laws bears another aspect. Into the second divi- 
sion of the work, in which King Charles will be ex- 
hibited rather as suffering than contending, will, 
nevertheless, properly fall, the departure of Montrose 
on his romantic, but sanguinary enterprise ; the expe- 
dition of Essex into the west pursued by the king ; the 


passage of Essex's cavalry through the quarters of the 
careless, convivial Goring ; the general's flight, and 
the surrender of his infantry ; with all the thronging 
incidents that diversify the later scenes of that great 













fwteen f)tgf)lB=fimsf)rt)i lEngrabmgs, from Brafotngs 



f * aiH (late (EtaimtiiH ate 










THE first volume of the HISTORICAL ANNUAL 
appeared in the spring of 1841, and was prefaced 
by the following advertisement : 

" This volume, the first of a proposed series on 
the same and like subjects, is the result of consi- 
derable reflection on the possible means of raising 
a very attractive class of publications into a 
higher field of literary design, without depriving 
them of those charms of novelty and grace which 
have so long secured to them the public favour. 

" The author wishes to add, that though it did 
not come within his purpose to encumber his 
page with authorities, yet strict and conscientious 
historical accuracy was the first object at which 
he aimed. In endeavouring to set before the 
reader History in action in avoiding, as much as 


possible, all formal or dry detail, and giving pro- 
minence and amplitude only to those heroic 
deeds, those eloquent discussions, and those noble 
traits of personal character which distinguish all 
great events or eras in the world, he has sought 
to avoid those extreme differences of opinion, 
and partisan views, that have unhappily entered 
so largely into most works respecting the Great 
Civil War of the seventeenth century. For he 
cannot acknowledge indifference to any cause 
which has inspired high achievements among 
mankind. He looks upon the great drama of 
human events as, in all its provinces, the work of 
One who assigns no prominent part whatever 
to minds undeserving of earnest regard. Great 
qualities still find a sanctuary in the heart, even 
though the ends to which they were devoted may 
be disapproved by the principles and judgment ; 
and history, in common with all true knowledge, 
promotes the noblest charities of our nature." 

That the work has been so long suspended, 
is owing, not to a want of encouragement on the 
part of the public; since a degree of success, 
adequate to the expectations of its projectors, 
attended the publication of the volume which 
originally bore the above notice ; but to circum- 
stances of a private nature. To enter into detail 


on this point would now be wholly useless and 
impertinent. Suffice it that the parties whom, 
primarily, it interests, have been enabled to re- 
sume their pleasant and (they trust) not unprofit- 
able task, with every prospect of realising in 
future their promise of regularly continuing the 
series as an annual. Those readers who are 
acquainted and who is riot in some degree 
acquainted ? with the events of the Great Civil 
War, will not be surprised to find the present 
volume marked by a more rapid variety of 
incident and vicissitude ' than its predecessor. 
Should it fail to satisfy, in this respect, the most 
fastidious admirers of the stirring and eventful 
in story, the author is aware that the blame must 
attach exclusively to his want of power to do 
justice to his theme; he, at the same time, feels 
it due to himself to request the reader, who 
may discover any want of relative proportion 
between the earlier and later chapters, to impute 
it to the exigencies of his mode of publication, 
rather than to his own defective foresight and 

















Erratum. Page 38, line 9, dele of. 




IT has already been told, that the king, finding him- 
self freed, by the result of the action at Cropredy 
Bridge, on the 29th of June, from all likelihood of 
being further molested by Waller, directed his march 
westward in pursuit of the Earl of Essex. To this 
course he was determined by various considerations ; 
but particularly by his anxiety for the queen, now, with 
the infant princess Henrietta, exposed to the annoy- 
ances of a siege in Exeter, and by the apparent 
strength of his cause in the western counties, not 
only in the amount of organised forces, but also in 
the general loyalty of the people. Essex's advance 
to Weymouth had already left Prince Maurice at 
liberty to unite the most considerable royalist force 
in the west with the main army under the king, by 
compelling that youthful and indiscreet commander 
to raise the siege of Lyme, The spirited resistance 


made by the garrison and inhabitants of this little 
town, during the two months wasted in its blockade, 
was the subject of repeated votes of thanks in the 
parliament, and of lively interest in the capital; and 
is not unworthy of special mention, even at the dis- 
tance of two centuries, in a narrative which professes 
to rest its peculiar claim to attention on an earnest 
sympathy with whatever, in this protracted and extra- 
ordinary struggle, is eminently calculated to engage 
the sympathy of Englishmen. 

Charles had entered Gloucestershire, when the first 
true account reached him of the issue of the fatal battle 
of Marston Moor, of the retirement of the Marquess 
of Newcastle and his friends to the continent, and the 
dispersion of Rupert's fine army. This grievous news 
must have been felt the more poignantly, because it 
followed a succession of rumours which ascribed to 
the prince a brilliant victory; it nevertheless appears 
to have produced no other effect upon the spirits and 
designs of the king, than that of adding firmness and 
alacrity to his present purpose. It demonstrated, in 
fact, that the prosecution of the campaign in the 
west was the only important military undertaking now 
open to him. He hastened on to Bath ; and, receiving 
some accession of strength in his passage through 
Somersetshire, reached Exeter on the 26th of July. 

His royal consort, however, was no longer there. 
On the first rumour of Essex's approach, Henrietta, 
alarmed by the rancorous personal hostility with which 
the parliamentarians regarded her, had quitted the 
town, leaving behind her the royal infant, scarcely a 


fortnight old ; had withdrawn, under Prince Maurice's 
protection, into Cornwall, and embarked in a Dutch 
vessel of war for France, " not without some barbarous 
but vain interruption of the rebels." Hastily embracing 
the new pledge of an affection more faithful and devoted, 
in the opinion of some writers, than became a king, 
Charles reviewed the troops of his nephew assembled 
in the vicinity, and immediately resumed his march. 

In the meantime the object of his pursuit was 
already far in advance. After lying for some days 
near the army of Prince Maurice, the lord general had 
driven from before Plymouth an insufficient force, left 
there by the prince under the command of Sir Richard 
Grenvil (brother of Sir Bevil Grenvil, who fell in the 
previous year at Lansdown fight), and had marched 
forward into Cornwall ; a step forced upon him by his 
officers, contrary to his own better judgment. For the 
leaven of republicanism was already working in the 
councils of the main army of the parliament ; though 
not to the same extent as in that under Manchester, in 
which the dark machinations and daring soldiership of 
Cromwell had by this time made him absolute. That 
movement, with its dishonourable consequences, is at- 
tributed chiefly to the counsel of Lord Roberts (a 
person of weight in the army by his intimate alliance 
with Vane and his party, as well as by his own activity 
and zeal), who possessed estates, and pretended to vast 
influence, in Cornwall. 

The discontents which distracted the parliamentarians 
were more than equalled among the royalists. The 
liveliest jealousy prevailed between the king's council 
B 2 


and his military officers. Among the cavaliers, wit 
and conviviality could not fail to be popular : to the 
influence which Lord Wilmot, who was in command 
of the horse, had acquired by his excellence in these 
qualities, he added an ambitious temper and a strong 
disposition to overrate his own claims to distinction. 
Charles had other grounds also of dislike to Wilmot ; 
for, though blinded to the fact in the case of his 
nephews by family affection, he could not be ignorant 
that by entrusting offices of the highest moment to 
men of reckless dispositions and irregular lives, he 
both discredited his cause and weakened his resources. 
He had consequently resolved to rid himself of his 
troublesome lieutenant-general of the cavalry. Of this 
design Wilmot had probably gained some intimation, 
which so exasperated his usual arrogance and indis- 
cretion, that the king was provoked to carry his plan 
into effect in a rougher and more hasty manner than 
he at first intended. It was now the month of August. 
Essex, unable either to advance farther, or to retreat, 
had seized the little port of Fowey, to prevent his 
being blocked up by sea as well as by land, and fixed 
his head quarters at Lostwithiel, where they were over- 
looked by the king's at Boconnock. 

Here Wilmot, while in the act of delivering one of 
his turbulent harangues, was arrested on a charge of 
high treason, dismounted at the head of his troops, 
and sent under guard to Exeter. The next morning 
Charles ordered the cavalry to be drawn out ; and, 
visiting in person each division, acquainted them, that 
at the request of his nephew, Prince Rupert, and upon 


his resignation, he appointed Colonel Goring their 
general, whom he had accordingly sent for to the 
army, and commanded them all to obey him. " With 
respect to Lord Wilmot," he continued, " I have for 
very good reasons put him under present restraint." 
The following day a petition was presented by the 
officers, requesting to be made acquainted with the 
particulars of the charge against their general. The 
request was granted. A copy was at the same time 
forwarded to Wilmot himself, who returned an answer 
sufficient to clear him in the opinion of his admirers ; 
but on learning that his old enemy and superior officer 
Goring, was already in possession of the command, he 
obtained leave to retire into France. Wilmot's dis- 
missal involved also that of Lord Percy, the partner of 
his irregularities, and now the partaker of his voluntary 
exile. To him succeeded the tried and gallant Lord 
Hopton. Another and a more important change, which 
was made about the same time, proved of more doubt- 
ful character and result. This was the substitution of 
Prince Rupert for the Earl of Brentford, as com- 
mander-in-chief. The earl was incompetent indeed 
from age and infirmity, but so was his highness from 
passion, impetuosity, and high-born insolence. Rupert 
was brave the bravest of the brave j but little can be 
hoped from an army in which the hot courage of a 
life-guardsman, with the abused privileges of birth, 
forms the general's only qualification for command. 

Always the foremost of the great contending parties 
to desire peace, twice within the last two months had 
the king attempted to open negociations for obtaining 


it. His first message was addressed to Waller, after 
the fight at Cropredy; whose answer ran, that "he 
had no power to receive any proposal on that sub- 
ject, without the consent of the two houses of 
parliament at Westminster, to whom he accordingly 
referred his majesty." Presently afterwards Charles 
renewed the attempt, in a letter to the parliament, 
which was delivered by Sabran the diplomatic agent of 
France ; no notice, however, was taken of it. He now 
addressed himself to Essex, in a letter written with his 
own hand, and in terms of much frankness and esteem. 
But, though delivered by the earl's nephew, Lord 
Beauchamp, then on his way through the enemy's 
quarters to France, and containing warm appeals to 
Essex's honour and patriotism, with earnest assurances 
that by engaging in "that blessed work," the restoration 
of peace to the distracted and bleeding country, he 
would secure for himself and his army the highest marks 
of the writer's personal regard, the royal autograph 
failed of its object. The general bluntly reminded his 
nephew that he was employed by the parliament to 
fight, not to treat; declared that he would enter into 
no negotiations without their consent; and immediately 
dispatched the king's letter to Westminster, enclosed 
in one from himself, representing the extremity to 
which he was reduced, and urgently entreating succour. 
A part of the duty undertaken, and punctually dis- 
charged by Lord Beauchamp, was to acquaint Essex 
with the unanimous concurrence of the officers, and 
the army in general, in the wish expressed by the king. 
But as no answer was returned to the royal message, a 


resolution was adopted by the majority of the officers 
to second it by one in their own names. To this step, 
though indicating a want of respect for the sovereign, 
while his own letter remained still unnoticed, Charles 
nevertheless gave his consent. The manifesto received 
from Essex what Clarendon calls a "surly answer; 
which," continues the historian, "produced the effect 
the king wished and expected : they who had been 
most active in preparing the address, were now the 
most ashamed of their folly; and the whole army 
seemed well composed to obtain that by their swords, 
which they could not by their pen." That Charles 
should have employed, or concurred in these repeated 
urgent appeals to the patriotism and humanity of his 
enemies, at a moment when he already had their main 
army at such manifest disadvantage, when he was 
daily expecting a large reinforcement, and had no 
reason to apprehend the probability of relief arriving in 
the enemy's quarters seems to denote a sincere anxiety 
on his part to put a stop to the public calamities. 

By the arrival of the expected reinforcement, con- 
sisting of about 2000 horse and foot commanded by 
Grenvil, the king was enabled more effectually to dis- 
tress the parliamentarians. One after another their 
posts were occupied by his troops. At length Beacon 
Hill, a rising ground adjoining the town on the land- 
side, and Pernon Castle, a fort at the harbour's mouth, 
which commanded the sea and the line of coast, were 
seized by his advanced parties. The game was mani- 
festly now in the king's hands ; and so cool a tactician 
was not likely at the critical moment to dismiss that 


patient wisdom, which, in all that depended im- 
mediately on himself, marked the conduct of the 

For more than a week both armies remained in a 
state of inactivity, each in expectation of the other's 
movements. "All the action, or rather recreation we 
had," writes Sir Edward Walker, the king's historio- 
grapher, "being every day to see ours and their 
parties relieve their advanced guards ; and sometimes 
a man or horse was slain." Intelligence at length 
reaching the king, that Middleton, whom Waller had 
left in command of his shattered army, was marching 
into the west, at the head of a force which the small 
parties of royalists left in his rear were unable to 
check ; he resolved without farther loss of time to 
resume active operations. Orders had already been 
issued for a general attack, when the king directed its 
suspension, while Goring, with the greater part of the 
cavalry and a body of fifteen hundred foot, making 
a circuit to the west, occupied St. Blase, a little town 
at the head of the nearest creek in that direction; a 
movement which cut Essex off from the only remaining 
point of coast, on which supplies for his army could 
be landed. The space where he was now confined 
measuring only about three miles by two, and all 
prospect of relief from Middleton being precluded by 
the advance of a royalist corps against him, from the 
north of Devon, the earl became painfully sensible of 
the hopelessness of farther maintaining himself in his 

A council of war, assembled in this emergency, re- 


solved that the cavalry should endeavour to save them- 
selves by cutting their way through the quarters of 
the royalists ; and that the general himself should 
at the same time escape with the infantry on board 
such vessels of war as were then lying in Fowey 
harbour. Information of this design was immediately 
brought to the king, who sent orders to Goring to 
move in the direction of the intended flight by land, 
and kept his whole remaining forces under arms all 
night to prevent it. From these precautions, however, 
nothing followed. The night proved hazy and dark : 
an hour before dawn the entire body of Essex's horse, 
led by Sir William Balfour, stealthily marched out; 
passed between the king's and Prince Maurice's quar- 
ters ; and were permitted to gain the open country, 
without any further annoyance than a few straggling 
shots which did no execution. When day broke, and 
distinctly showed the fugitives, a party of royalist horse 
mustered in pursuit ; but as the retreating squadrons 
amounted to four times the number of their pursuers, 
they were able to repulse every assault by turning 
upon them in overwhelming force. In the end, only 
a score or two of wounded remained with the king's 
troops, who, on their part, lost several men, and some 

This disgraceful failure was chiefly owing to the 
misconduct of Goring. That jovial and reckless officer 
being engaged in a drinking-party when he received 
the announcement of Balfour's design, with the king's 
order to intercept him, treated the whole matter 
as a groundless alarm, and prolonged the festivities 


of the night till the fugitives had fairly got beyond the 
reach of effectual pursuit. 

A different fate awaited the foot. In the morning 
Essex quitted his position at Lostwithiel, and drew all 
his remaining forces into Fowey. Lostwithiel was im- 
mediately occupied by the royalists : all this day (August 
31st) partial skirmishes took place. The next morning 
an officer came from the earl and demanded a parley ; 
but before he could carry back the king's answer, 
Essex, with Lord Roberts, Sir John Merrick, and 
other officers, was on his way to Plymouth by sea, 
leaving the veteran Skippon, to procure such terms as 
he could. The king, as usual, manifested the clemency 
of his disposition, and his regard for the lives of his 
people, by granting conditions which even the writers 
on the side of the parliament, acknowledge to have 
been " very honourable " to their side. All their 
artillery and ammunition, consisting of forty pieces 
of ordnance, about one thousand stand of arms, and 
two hundred barrels of gunpowder, were delivered 
up; but the men were allowed to march out with 
their colours, the officers to wear their swords and 
to be accompanied by their servants, horses, and bag- 
gage. A guard was likewise granted to protect the 
disarmed soldiers on their way towards Southampton; 
it proved, however, either insufficient for that duty, or 
unwilling to discharge it. At Lostwithiel, and other 
towns, where the unfortunate men had shortly before 
committed various acts of oppression and rapine, a 
severe retaliation was now practised. The inhabitants, 
pretending to discover their own apparel and other 


property upon their persons, stripped and otherwise 
ill-treated many of them. In these barbarities the 
royalist troops also took part. A contemporary writer 
has preserved a remarkable anecdote relating to this 
subject, which he says he had often heard. He 
asserts, "that Skippon being despoiled of his scarlet 
coat, his case of pistols, and rapier, did ride up unto 
the king, and very roundly told him of the violation 
of the articles by his soldiers. The king, not well 
remembering him, did ask him who he was ; he 
replied, that his name was Skippon. The king 
demanded, who were those soldiers who had thus 
injured him? He showed them to his majesty, for as 
yet they continued within the reach of his eye ; they 
were about nine in number. Immediately the marshal 
was called, and these soldiers were apprehended ; seven 
of the nine were condemned to the tree, and suffered 
according to their sentence." This story, though de- 
riving some apparent probability from Charles's well- 
known compassion and sense of justice, is inconsistent 
with other and more authentic statements. Sir Henry 
Slingsby, a competent authority, tells us, that he " never 
observed any great severity in the king, used either 
towards the enemy when he had him in his power, 
or to the soldiers in his own army, except only at 
Wing, a house of my Lord Caernarvon's" (near Up- 
pingham), "where he commanded a soldier to be hanged 
upon a sign-post for stealing a chalice out of the church." 
The true relation is, most likely, that given by Sir 
Edward Walker, who simply records that, " after the 
soldiers of Essex's army had passed by the place where 


his majesty stood, some of the king's soldiers rudely 
fell on and stripped many of them ; which his majesty 
hearing, he sent presently his own guards and chief 
officers to prevent it. And when," continues Sir Edward, 
"in my manuscript I used this light phrase, 'our sol- 
diers freed them from the burden of their clothes,' on 
reading it to his majesty, he suddenly interrupted me, 
saying, * Fie, that is ill said, and it was worse done,' 
and gave me order to alter that expression." 

In truth, the king's compassion blinded his judgment, 
in this instance, to the evil of too much consideration 
for his rebellious subjects. He by no means reaped 
those advantages which he had a right to reap, from 
so signal a discomfiture of the enemy "a great and 
glorious victory, gotten without blood." He obtained 
indeed a useful supply of military stores, but few 
men ; not above a hundred of the disbanded soldiers 
offering themselves for the royal service; while his an- 
tagonists at Westminster lost only, of both, what they 
had so little difficulty in supplying, that six weeks had 
not elapsed before they were again in a condition to 
give battle to their sovereign, with a force superior 
to his own. 

So contemptible a close to the military career of 
Essex (for he scarcely appeared in the field any more), 
though the subject of popular censure and complaint, 
does not seem to have sunk him much below his 
previous level in the opinion of his employers. At 
all events, in dealing with one of the few men of 
high rank who actively promoted the rebellion, the 
parliament felt it, the best policy to conceal their dis- 


pleasure; and the fugitive general was, to all appear- 
ance, as well received at Westminster as if he had 
entered the city covered with laurels. The commons 
assured him that their opinion of his fidelity remained 
unshaken, and immediately took measures for repairing 
his losses. But at the same time they sent orders to 
both Manchester and Waller to join him as soon as the 
army should be reconstructed; and, according to their 
wont, " appointed a day of public humiliation." 

Charles, in the meantime, yielding to his usual san- 
guine temper, greatly overrated the effect of Essex's 
surrender. Expecting that event to produce con- 
sternation in the metropolis, he renewed, in more 
confident language, his message to the parliament for 
peace. He flattered himself that the people, no longer 
beguiled by the prestige of success on the side of his 
enemies, would flock to the royal standard in its pro- 
gress to London, whither, as he informed the houses, 
it was now his intention to proceed. No farther in- 
dication appeared, however, of the fulfilment of these 
expectations, than a petition from the inhabitants of 
Somersetshire, echoing his own desire for peace, and 
promising, if it should be refused by the parliament, 
" to spend their lives and fortunes in assisting him to 
compass by the sword what by fair means could not be 
effected." But this prospective assurance was accom- 
panied neither by reinforcements of men, nor by supplies 
of necessaries for the army, whose wants were by this 
time grown urgent. The infantry were " naked and 
unshod ;" the cavalry murmuring both at the dismissal 
of their late commander, and at their long arrears of 


pay; the whole army, now for many months on con- 
stant duty, was worn by fatigue and reduced in 
numbers. Charles's march towards London was made 
tedious and irksome by these hindrances. He re- 
covered indeed most of the towns which Essex had 
taken, except Plymouth, where the earl, landing on 
his way to Southampton, had placed Lord Roberts in 
command. The king drew up before the walls, and 
summoned the garrison to surrender; but, on receiving 
a determined refusal, withdrew, leaving Grenvil with 
some troops to invest the place. Goring, who, when 
too late, had pursued the cavalry of Essex as far as 
Tiverton, afterwards, in some degree to compensate his 
negligence, dashed on northward and made himself 
master of the rebel town of Barnstaple. Blandford 
likewise was captured, with the expulsion of Waller, 
again at this time in arms at the head of a considerable 
force, which hovered about the king, rather to observe 
than to interrupt his movements, and constantly dis- 
lodging at the approach of such parties as were sent 
against them. The relief of the brave garrisons at Don- 
nington, Banbury, and Basing, which now anxiously 
engaged the king's thoughts, was an object of greater 

The first of these places obtains frequent mention 
in the records of the present campaign. Though known 
by the name of Donnington "Castle," it was in fact 
one of those numerous private residences,which in the 
course of the civil wars were fortified, and became the 
scenes of deeds of bravery and devotedness, worthy of 
a larger sphere and more extensive celebrity. Waller's 


orders to Middleton were, to watch the king's move- 
ments ; but first to take Donnington, then occupied 
by Sir John Boys, with only a company or two of 
foot ; a design which, it was supposed, would not 
detain him long. The event, however, proved otherwise. 
Boys, a brave and determined loyalist, was so well sup- 
ported by his little band, that Middleton, after losing 
three hundred officers and men, devolved the enterprise 
on Colonel Horton, who commanded at Abingdon, and 
marched forward to the support of Essex. Towards 
the end of September, Horton advanced with a large 
force. No notice being taken of his summons he 
raised batteries, and opened a fire, which, at the end of 
twelve days, had levelled a great part of the structure 
with the ground. He was now joined by a part of 
Manchester's troops, and immediately sent a second 
and more peremptory message. To show the temper 
of the war ; the insolence displayed on the one side, 
and the firmness on the other; this document is here 
inserted, with the governor's answer : 

" SIR, 

" We have formerly testified our clemency in 
tendering you quarter, upon your surrender of the 
castle for the service of the king (!) and parliament ; 
and now again we being desirous (notwithstanding our 
increase of powers) to manifest our mercy, do hereby 
once for all freely offer yourself and men fair quarter, 
in case you yield the castle for the use above-said, 
before Wednesday next at ten o'clock in the forenoon : 
and farther, we here testify, in the presence of God, 


that if this our favour be not accepted, and the castle 
surrendered, there shall no active man among you have 
his life, if God shall ever please to yield them to our 

" Yours, 


" SIR, 

" Neither your new addition of forces, nor 
your high threatening language shall deter me, nor the 
rest of these honest men with me, from our loyalty to 
our sovereign ; but we do resolve to maintain this place 
to the uttermost of our powers ; and for the matter of 
quarter, yours may expect the like on Wednesday, or 
sooner if you please. This is the answer of, 

" Sir, your servant, 

" Jo. BOYS." 

Manchester himself soon after appeared before Don- 
nington, and meeting with a smilar reception, fixed the 
following day for storming the castle. His troops, 
aware of the spirit which animated the garrison, shrank 
from the dangerous service. A fresh battery was then 
constructed, the cannonade recommenced with great 
vigour, and an attempt was made to approach the 
walls by mining. The besiegers, however, were pre- 
sently driven from their works, with the loss of many 
of their number, including the officer in command of 
the battery, and a large quantity of arms and ammu- 
nition. On the king's approach, the earl drew off his 
baffled forces. During the last nineteen days of the 


siege, one thousand great shots were expended upon 
the walls of Donnington. 

The history of Basing House is not less remarkable. 
In the family of the loyal and gallant Marquess of 
Winchester, who defended it for the king, was found a 
traitor that nobleman's brother, Lord Edward Paulet. 
With him Grenvil entered into a correspondence, the 
object of which was to deliver up Basing to Waller. 
Thither Grenvil, then in the service of the parliament, was 
to proceed with a troop of horse, in advance of Waller, in 
order to make everything ready for the enterprise. On the 
day appointed Grenvil left London, joined his troop at 
Bagshot, and, conducting them to Oxford, acquainted 
his majesty with the plot. Charles instantly despatched 
an express to the marquess. Paulet and his confederates 
being seized, confessed every thing ; while Grenvil, 
though not immediately entrusted with a command by 
the royalists, joined Lord Digby in the west, and was 
afterwards employed in the blockade of Plymouth. 

In the mean time a strong parliamentarian force 
appeared before Basing House, and commenced opera- 
tions, early in May. The siege was sustained with 
much gallantry and the endurance of many hardships, 
by the marquess and his followers, till September; on 
the llth of which month the assailants were repulsed, 
and the garrison relieved, by Colonel Gage and a party 
of royalists from Oxford. 

At Banbury Castle, the commander on the parlia- 
ment's side was Colonel John Fiennes, son of Lord 
Say: it was defended by Sir William Compton, brother 
to the loyal Earl of Northampton. The siege, which 


began in August, is memorable for numerous fierce 
assaults gallantly repelled by the garrison, and for 
many vigorous sallies resolutely sustained by the be- 
siegers. During the latter part of it, Cromwell was 
present. The king, affected by the accounts succes- 
sively brought him, of the extremity to which Compton 
and his brave associates were reduced, and, at the 
same time, not sufficiently considering all the dif- 
ficulties of his own position, in the midst of hostile 
armies, readily agreed to the proposal of Northamp- 
ton, to proceed, with some regiments of horse, to his 
brother's aid. The expedition proved completely 
successful, the besiegers being routed and dispersed 
with great loss; but in the mean time events occurred 
which occasioned the earl's absence, with his numerous 
followers, to be felt as a serious detriment to the 
king's affairs. 

Had Charles still retained his purpose of marching 
upon the metropolis, it would have been the height of 
imprudence to waste time and strength in enterprises 
of such trivial moment, however interesting to his feel- 
ings, as the recovery or relief of a few inconsiderable 
fortresses. But, in fact, this design, at no time enter- 
tained on sufficient grounds, he had found it necessary 
to abandon. For the space of six weeks after Skippon's 
surrender, Charles was detained by the necessities and 
discontents of his army in the counties of Devon, 
Somerset, and Wilts. The middle of October found 
him advanced no farther than Salisbury. There he 
learned from Rupert, to whom he had sent orders to 
join Sir Marmaduke Langdale and Colonel Gerrard 


with the forces out of Wales, and hasten to his support, 
that they would not at present be in a condition to 
move forward. He therefore determined to close the 
campaign, and return without delay to winter quarters 
at Oxford. Even this, however, the enemy purposed 
not to let him effect without interruption. Essex's 
army had by this time been reorganized, and reinforced 
by the addition of the city regiments, five thousand 
strong, besides numerous recruits. Waller continued 
to attend the motions of the royal army, while the vic- 
torious forces of Manchester and Cromwell, no longer 
needed in the north, where York had surrendered to the 
parliament, and the Scots remained in force sufficient to 
keep down the royalists, were at hand, ready to form a 
junction. Such, in effect, were the orders of the par- 
liament to the commanders of the three armies; and 
then to bring the king to an engagement. The united 
forces of the parliamentarians mustered near Basing- 
stoke, amounting to eight thousand infantry, and nearly 
an equal number of horse : the king's were much less 
numerous, even before the Earl of Northampton had 
been detached to the relief of Banbury Castle. With 
this circumstance the enemy was made acquainted by 
Hurry, the Scot, formerly mentioned as a renegade from 
the republican party, at Chalgrave Field. This man 
seized the present moment to consummate a double 
treason; under pretence of retiring to the continent, he 
obtained leave to withdraw from the royal army, in 
which it is probable he considered his services not 
sufficiently valued; availed himself of his pass to 
hasten to London ; and there sought to make his peace 
c 2 


by betraying the unprovided condition and diminished 
numbers of the king. The immediate consequence was 
the battle of Newbury. 

Charles had posted his army advantageously, near 
that town, his skill in the disposition of troops being 
seconded, in this instance, by his intimate knowledge 
of the ground ; on which, a year before, he had met his 
foes in a sanguinary conflict. Through the town 
of Newbury, in an eastern direction, runs the river 
Kennet, and is joined just below it by another stream 
(the Lambourne), which, in its course from the north- 
west, washes, at half mile's distance, the walls of 
Donnington Castle. A little farther west than Don- 
nington, lies the village of Speen ; it was occupied by 
the army of Prince Maurice, and was protected by the 
guns of the castle, and by works at the entrance of 
a heath lying still farther to the west. The chief 
strength of the royal forces was disposed in the op- 
posite direction, north and north-east of the town, 
fronting the London road ; on which, at the distance of 
a mile or two, the enemy made their appearance, about 
noon on the 25th, and immediately attempted to get 
possession of an advantageous post on an adjacent hill. 
In this attempt, though repulsed in the first instance, 
they on the following morning succeeded. The king's 
front was strengthened by a breast-work, and by oc- 
cupying with musketeers several detached country- 
houses, in and near the village of Shaw. One dwelling 
in particular, "a strong stone house," obtained ce- 
lebrity as the scene of the deadliest struggle in the 
ensuing fight; it was filled by a determined party of 


riflemen, while others were distributed in considerable 
force among the surrounding gardens. 

The engagement began on the 26th with a smart 
exchange of shot between the artillery of the town, and 
a party of the enemy; who were now in possession 
of the hill before-mentioned, on which they had planted 
a battery. It was not, however, till the afternoon of 
that day, that any serious effort was made on either 
side; then the royalists, having brought two of their 
guns round to the south of the river, opposite the hill, 
the slopes of which were at that time covered by the 
regiment of Ludlow, the republican memorialist, swept 
the eminence with * fatal effect. Ludlow has de- 
scribed, among his losses on this occasion, the affecting 
death of a young officer of the regiment, his cousin. 

The plan of the parliamentarians was, at once to 
attempt both of the principal royalist positions, and 
thereby nearly to surround the king. It was late in 
the afternoon ere any movement indicated their pur- 
pose. Suddenly, under cover of an active cannonade 
along their whole line, the army was seen emerging, in 
two columns, from behind the protecting eminence. 
The right column, consisting of the forces under Essex 
and Waller, (the former crying out, that the time was 
now come "to revenge the business of Cornwall") with 
a large body of horse commanded by Cromwell, passed 
along the king's left, crossed the stream near Don- 
nington Castle, got possession of a wood at the head 
of the heath, instantly drove in and dispersed the force 
of Prince Maurice, and made themselves masters of 
the artillery and village. Of the defeated royalists, 


part took refuge within the works at Donnington; 
others fled in confusion towards the town, followed 
down the hill, at Speen, by Cromwell's victorious 
horse. In the open space, which intervened between 
Speen and Newbury (now, and perhaps then, known as 
Speenhamland), stood the king, with the young Prince 
Charles, surrounded by the royal guards. Here the 
tide of republican victory was checked. Charles, by 
the interposition of his personal authority, arrested the 
precipitate flight of the soldiers. At the same moment 
the two regiments of the king's and queen's guards 
gallantly charging the pursuers, the latter fell back to 
the hill at Speen, the possession of which they quietly 

Meantime the second column, which comprised 
Manchester's battalions, after pausing on the slope 
of the eminence to observe the effect of the move- 
ment on Speen, animated by the proofs of its suc- 
cessful result, descended to the more difficult work 
of forcing the strong position at the villa, already 
described, called Doleman's house. The music of 
the republican warriors as they marched down the 
hill, was a solemn psalm, resounding along the steady 
lines. At the first they were met by prince Charles's 
regiment of horse, who, having received and returned 
the fire of the advancing column, withdrew to the 
entrenchments in the neighbouring gardens. It was 
among these pleasant retreats of the modest luxury 
of a country town in the 17th century, that the severest 
conflict and most terrible slaughter took place. File 
after file of the republicans strove to force their way 


into this suburban fortress ; but instantly fell, leaving 
the lawns and hedge rows covered with dead and 
wounded. Three hours had elapsed while the infantry of 
the parliament were thus engaged, the cavalry standing 
all the time drawn up for their support, exposed to 
a galling fire, from which Ludlow's regiment again 
suffered most severely. At length a reserve of the enemy 
coming up, they retreated towards the hill ; to the 
top of which the royalists pursued them with great 
execution, and bringing off two pieces of ordnance, 
retired with them to their entrenchments. One more 
attempt was made, by an overwhelming mass of ca- 
valry, to force the position : it failed ; and the silence 
and solemnity of an autumnal moonlight reigned over 
the second field of Newbury. 

The king had been a personal witness to that part of 
the conflict from which his army had suffered most. He 
resolved not to expose it to a second encounter with 
a force so superior, till he had reinforced his ranks. 
An hour, therefore, before midnight, the artillery and 
military stores were, by his order, secured beneath the 
walls of Donnington Castle; the several divisions at 
the same time quitted their ground, and mustered in 
silence on the heath. These movements did not pass 
unobserved by the enemy; who, however, offered no 
interruption. Dawn discovered the main force of the 
royalists far advanced on their march to Oxford. 
Charles himself, with his immediate attendants, and 
a squadron of lifeguards, had taken the western road, 
with a design to hasten the Welsh and northern re- 
inforcements, whose expected junction under Rupert 


had so long detained the prince in the west. The 
uncle and nephew met at Bath. 

In the meantime the parliament's forces entered 
Newbury. They summoned Donnington Castle to sur- 
render, threatening Colonel Boys that if he did not 
instantly comply, they would not leave one stone upon 
another. "If so, I am not bound to repair it," was the 
governor's scornful reply. Being urged, a second and 
a third time, with the offer that he should be permitted 
to march out with all the arms, ammunition, and stores 
deposited in the castle "Carry away," he said, "the 
castle walls themselves, if you can; but, with God's 
help, I am resolved to defend the ground they stand on, 
till I have orders from the king, my master, to quit it, 
or will die upon the spot." An assault was con- 
sequently determined, but the officer who led the 
storming party having fallen at their head, and great 
differences prevailing among the generals, nothing 
farther was done. 

From Bath the king returned without delay to 
Oxford, attended by Rupert, and his reinforcements. 
On the 6th of November, the whole army mustered 
near that city; and on the 8th Charles surprised his 
enemies by appearing once more in sight of Newbury, 
at the head of full six thousand foot and five thousand 
horse. The day following he took possession of the 
heath behind Donnington Castle; and, resuming his 
former position between Speen and Newbury, offered 
the enemy battle. A sufficient space of time was 
allowed them to quit the town, without any indication 
appearing that the challenge was accepted. A herald 


was then sent forward to announce, that the king's 
design was now to retire. Another pause ensued, when 
the army, with drums beating, and trumpets sounding, 
repassed the river unmolested, and took up their quarters 
for the night under Donnington Castle : the king slept 
within the fortress. The next morning he marched out, 
followed by the train of artillery and equipages, which 
he had deposited there at the close of the battle of 
Newbury ; proceeded leisurely towards Oxford ; and on 
the 23rd, reached once more the deanery at Christ 
Church, then the only palace of the sovereign of three 



THREE several times, during the western campaign of 
1644, we have seen the king offering to open ne- 
gociations for a peace. That he was now sincerely 
desirous of peace, if that "blessing," as he emphatically 
termed it, could have been obtained on terms com- 
patible with his conscientious views of duty and 
honour, no unprejudiced reader of the history of the 
time can doubt ; that he continued to press the subject 
upon the attention of the parliament from any serious 
expectation of being able, by such means, to put a 
close to the devastating contest, is a point more ques- 
tionable. The parliament had gone too far to be safe, 
as individuals, from the vengeance of the violated laws, 
unless they could find means to restrain the sovereign 
executive within limits, to which neither the king's con- 
science nor his just pride would allow him to submit. 
Nevertheless, though he had little reason to hope for 
any good from a negociation, it became not the father 
of his people to turn a deaf ear to the cry which now 
rose on all sides from hut and castle, from the lord 
and the peasant alike for a termination to be put 
to the useless calamities of that protracted, bloody, and 
unnatural war. 


Sensible of the same pressure from public feeling, 
the weight of which, on this point, now began to lie 
chiefly upon their side; hoping, moreover, to be able 
more readily afterwards to throw the blame upon the 
king, in the estimation of the multitude, who were less 
capable of judging what either party might or might 
not concede, than of their apparent willingness to enter 
on a treaty the parliament also at length yielded. 
From time to time, ever since the transmission of the 
king's message after the discomfiture of Essex, we 
meet, in the records of their proceedings, with motions 
made and votes passed to consider of propositions for 
a treaty. Propositions on their part were at length 
framed, and commissioners (two from the Lords, four 
from the Commons, and three for Scotland), were 
named to carry them to the King. They left London 
on the 20th of November. Whitelocke, who was one of 
them, has left an amusing account of their journey. 
At Wallingford, where they at first expected to find the 
king, they apprehended some risk from the rude 
loyalty of the governor, with whom they dined ; again, 
on their arrival at Oxford, the insolence of some of 
Charles's officers moved the commissioners' indignation. 
By the populace they seem to have been regarded with 
as little favour : " As we passed along the streets," says 
the memorialist, " the rude multitude, the people part 
of that people of England for whom we underwent so 
many hazards of our lives, and fortunes, to preserve 
them in their rights and liberties, and from slavery and 
popery, reviled us with the names of traitors, rogues, 
and rebels, and the like, and threw stones and dirt into 


our coaches : a great encouragement and reward for 
our service for them !" 

The reception of the commissioners by the king him- 
self seems to have been tolerably satisfactory, except to 
the three who appeared for Scotland. That to them he 
" was less civil than to their brethren," cannot ex- 
cite surprise; for not only had the rebellion, which 
now wasted the realm, first broken out among the 
Scots, but that people had, likewise, by means of the 
covenant, and the intrigues of their commissioners in 
London, gained a degree of influence which they unre- 
lentingly employed for his destruction. The very pro- 
positions now submitted to him, had derived no small 
part of their harshness from suggestions made north of 
the Tweed, to which the authorities at Westminster 
yielded a slavish consent. 

It was Sunday, when the commissioners were admitted 
to the royal presence, and presented the propositions. 
They were read by the Earl of Denbigh. At the reading 
of the names of those persons whom the parliament 
proposed to be excepted from pardon which the earl 
pronounced "with great courage and temper," the 
Princes Rupert and Maurice, hearing their names 
among the number, "fell into a laughter;" at which 
the king seemed displeased, and desired them to be 
quiet. "Have you power," said he, addressing the com- 
missioners, " to treat ?" " No, " they replied ; " our 
commission is merely to receive your majesty's answer 
in writing." "Then," rejoined the king, "a letter-carrier 
would have done as well." " I suppose your majesty," 
retorted Lord Denbigh, " looks upon us as persons of 


another condition than letter-carriers?" "I know your 
condition," was the reply; "but I mean, that your 
commission gives you power to do no more than a 
letter-carrier might have done." This hasty remark 
appears afterwards to have been regretted on all 

While the commissioners were waiting in the town 
for the royal answer, Lord Lindsey, who was confined 
by his wounds, invited Whitelocke, and Hollis, two 
of their number, to visit him. Presently after their 
arrival, the King, Prince Rupert, and several other 
persons of high rank entered ; when his majesty 
began an earnest conversation with Whitelocke and 
Hollis, on the business of their mission. In reply to his 
repeated request, that they would advise him what 
answer it were best to return to the parliament's mes- 
sage, they expressed their conviction that his appearance 
in person at Westminster, would, more than anything 
else, promote the attainment of peace. By Charles's 
desire they then withdrew into a private room, where 
Whitelocke wrote down what both agreed to recommend 
to the king as the substance of his answer. The paper, 
written in a disguised hand, and without a signature, 
was left on the table; " and the king went in, and took 
it, and then with much favour and civility bid us fare- 
well." This singular transaction was kept secret by the 
two commissioners, from their colleagues, and can only 
be excused as springing from an earnest desire for the 
success of their negotiation. A charge of high treason, 
founded upon it, was some months afterwards brought 
against them in the parliament by Lord Savile, one of 


the lords then at Oxford with the king, who, on the 
failure of the treaty, went over to the rebels. 

The king's letter by the commissioners contained 
merely a request, that a safe conduct might be for- 
warded for the Duke of Lenox and the Earl of South- 
ampton, by whom he would send his reply; and 
it bore no superscription. The safe conduct was re- 
fused, until it should be formally applied for to " the 
parliament of England and Scotland assembled at 
Westminster." This demand the king conceded, though 
with reluctance; and the result of the visit of those 
noblemen to London was an agreement to appoint com- 
missioners on both sides for a treaty, to be held at 
Uxbridge, the place selected by the parliament. 

The commissioners nominated by the parliament con- 
sisted of four for the Lords, viz. the Earls of North- 
umberland, Pembroke, Salisbury, and Denbigh; eight for 
the Commons, viz. Pierrepoint, Hollis, Lord Wenman, 
Sir Harry Vane, St. John, Whitelocke, Crew, Prideaux ; 
four Scotch lords, and three divines, Marshall, Vines, 
Cheynell, and the famous Alexander Henderson ; with 
eighty attendants. The king's commissioners, at the 
head of whom were the Duke of Richmond and the 
Marquis of Hertford, amounted, with their retinue, to 
one hundred and eight persons. In this number were 
included, with a view to the affairs of the church, 
Drs. Stewart, Sheldon, Feme, Hammond, Potter, Lany, 
and other learned divines. Such of the royal com- 
missioners as had received any honours from the 
king, " since the great seal was carried away from the 
parliament," the Commons refused to acknowledge 


by their new titles. This they did, not so much from 
personal dislike to the individuals, as in defence 
of one of their own most remarkable acts. When, 
by the persuasion of Hyde, Lord Keeper Littleton 
had forwarded the great seal to his master at York, 
the houses passed a declaration, that "whatever should, 
from that time, pass under the great seal, should be 
null and void ;" and shortly afterwards ordered a copy 
of it to be made, which they applied, in such matters 
transacted on their sole authority as by law required 
the attestation of the great seal. To this impediment, 
however, Charles quickly put an end by declaring, that 
" he waved the matter of honour, and was content that 
his commissioners should treat under those titles that 
were admitted by the parliament." The king's com- 
missioners were, probably without exception, most 
anxious for the success of the treaty. Such unanimity 
the opposite party were far from entertaining. A small 
number, principally Hollis and Whitelocke, sincerely 
wished for an accommodation; the majority, however, 
neither sought nor desired the establishment of peace; 
while some, in particular Vane, St. John, and Prideaux, 
were there expressly to prevent it, and to act as spies 
upon the conduct of those who might be willing to 
obtain it at the cost of the slightest secession from the 
unreasonable demands of the parliament. 

We adopt, in regard to the further preparatory steps, 
Whitelocke's lively narrative, as the account of an eye- 
witness. "January 29th," writes the memorialist, "the 
commissioners for the treaty on both parts met at 
Uxbridge, and had their several quarters ; those for the 


parliament and all their retinue on the north side of the 
town, and those for the king on the south side: the 
best inn of the one side was the rendezvous of the 
parliament's commissioners, and the best inn of the 
other side of the street was for the king's commis- 

"The evening that we came to town several visits 
passed between particular commissioners of either party, 
who had long discourses together to the furtherance of 
the business of the treaty. 

"The place being within the parliament's quarters, 
they appointed Sir John Bennet's house, at the farther 
end of the town, to be fitted for the place of meeting 
for the treaty. The foreway into the house was ap- 
pointed for the king's commissioners to come in at, and 
the back way for the parliament's commissioners; in 
the middle of the house was a fair great chamber, where 
they (the parliament's commissioners) caused a large 
table to be made, like that heretofore in the Star- 
chamber, almost square. The king's commissioners 
had one end and one side of the table for them ; the 
other end and side were for the parliament's com- 
missioners, and for the Scot's commissioners, to sit 
by themselves. Behind the chairs of the commissioners, 
on both sides, sat the divines and secretaries. At each 
end of the great chamber was a fair withdrawing room, 
and inner chamber; one for the king's, the other for 
the parliament's commissioners, to retire to and consult 
when they pleased." 

After the settlement of some disputes about pre- 
cedence, raised by the Scottish commissioners, (whom 


the parliament had by this time discovered to be 
very arrogant and troublesome coadjutors), the powers 
and instructions to negotiate were, on each side, de- 
livered up to the opposite party; and on the 1st of 
February the business of the treaty began by the ne- 
gotiators for the parliament producing the propositions 
with which they were entrusted. Up to this point affairs 
had been conducted with something like a mutual 
acknowledgment of equality; as soon however as 
essentials, not forms, came to be mooted, it was found 
that the parliament, "though they had not yet con- 
quered, were determined to treat only as conquerors." 
The momentous subjects to be settled were all 
ranged under three striking and popular heads Re- 
ligion, the command of the military, the truce in 
Ireland. Referrible to each of these were several 
propositions, amounting together to twenty -eight; 
neither from the substance nor the form of which, 
as already fixed by the votes of the houses, were their 
agents permitted in any degree to deviate. Thus all 
discussion of the reasonableness of the parliament's 
demands was precluded ; nothing farther being yielded 
in this respect than an intimation from the com- 
missioners, that they were ready to explain, in private, 
the grounds on which they held them to be reasonable 
and just. To crown the absurdity, they were com- 
manded to insist that each of the three great questions 
was to occupy successively the term of three days, and 
again in rotation to be resumed, till the twenty days, 
already fixed for the continuance of the treaty, had 


expired; when, unless all the propositions had been 
agreed upon, the treaty was to close. 

Not less magisterial was the substance of the pro- 
positions. It comprised, under the first head, the 
following particulars, the abolition of the episcopal 
and the establishment of the presbyterian form of 
church government ; that the Directory should be 
substituted for the Book of Common Prayer; that 
the assembly of divines should be confirmed, and 
that the king himself should take the covenant : 
under the second, that the command of the army 
and navy should be vested absolutely in the par- 
liament ; under the third, that the cessation in 
Ireland should be declared void, and hostilities be 
immediately renewed. On the king's part it was re- 
plied, that he could not consent to the abolition of 
episcopacy, which he conscientiously believed to be 
essential to the existence of a church, but that he was 
willing to have the episcopal authority confined within 
the narrow limits prescribed to it in the scheme of 
Archbishop Usher. Some other particulars he was 
likewise prepared to yield ; such as, freedom of worship 
to nonconformists, and the payment of a sum of 
100,000 by the church into the public treasury. The 
power of the sword, the next point in discussion, 
the king was persuaded to say he would resign, for the 
space of three years, into the hands of commissioners, 
half of whom should be nominated by himself, the 
other half by the parliament : subsequently, with strong 
reluctance, he enlarged the period to seven years. On 
the third head he was inflexible. One of the charges 


most frequently brought against Charles by his ad- 
versaries, and most extensively believed by the people, 
was that, for the purpose of attaching the Roman 
Catholics to his cause, he had instigated and en- 
couraged the rebellion in Ireland ; and that the 
armistice agreed upon in that country was not the 
result of necessity on his part, but a contrivance to 
enable him to avail himself of the services of the rebels 
in England. On this argument, Clarendon represents 
himself as speaking to the following effect before the 
commissioners : " He put them in mind of their (the 
parliament's) bringing those very troops which were 
levied by the royal authority for the suppression of the 
rebellion in Ireland, to fight against the king at 
Edgehill; of their having given over the prosecution 
of that war, or sending any supply of arms, money, 
or ammunition thither ; and having, on the contrary, 
employed those magazines which were provided for 
that service against his majesty; in consequence of 
which the privy-council of Ireland had written home, 
that unless other means were provided for the pre- 
servation of that kingdom, they would not be able any 
longer to carry on the war against the rebels. That 
notwithstanding, it was not till the sum of 100,000, 
raised for that express purpose, had been sent in one 
entire sum into Scotland, to dispose and enable the 
Scots to raise an army to invade England, that the 
king had swerved in the least degree from the ob- 
servation of the act of parliament which had been 
passed for reducing the insurgents. But when he saw 
that the parliament themselves, instead of prosecuting 
D 2 


the end and intention of that statute, only took ad- 
vantage of it for the purpose of carrying on the war 
against himself, he thought himself absolved before 
God and man if he did all he could to rescue and 
defend himself against their violence, by making a 
cessation with the rebels in Ireland, and by drawing 
over some regiments of his own army from thence to 
assist him in England ; to which measure was owing 
the preservation of the defenceless protestants of that 
kingdom. Those unjustifiable proceedings of the par- 
liament, though they had compelled the king to 
yield to a cessation, yet could not prevail with him 
to make peace with the rebels. His majesty did 
indeed," he continued, " admit commissioners from 
them to attend him with propositions for that purpose. 
But when he found those propositions so unreasonable 
that he could not in conscience consent to them, and 
that they were inconsistent with the security of his 
Protestant subjects there, he totally rejected them, and 
dismissed the commissioners with severe animadversions. 
He nevertheless gave authority to the Lord Lieutenant 
and council to prolong the cessation, in the hope that 
the rebels might be brought to a better temper. Should 
it turn out otherwise, his majesty trusts to be enabled 
through the establishment of a happy peace here, by 
means of the present treaty, to chastise their odious 
and obstinate rebellion ; and if now the parliament will 
give his majesty sufficient security, that the war in 
Ireland shall be prosecuted with vigour, by sending 
over the requisite supplies of men and money, he will 
put an end to the truce." 


Thus those propositions which came into discussion 
under the three general heads of the church, the army, 
and Ireland, admitting as they did, in the instructions 
given by the parliament to their commissioners, of no 
modification, offered (for so they were designed to 
do) insuperable obstacles to the procuring of peace. 
Had the possible result, however, been different, had 
the difficulties presented in them been found surmount- 
able, the enemies of peace, viz. the independents and 
the entire party of the movement, were provided with 
others equally unpalatable though less prominent, on 
which they were, in that case, to fall back. Such, for 
example, was the exception from pardon of the king's 
best friends and most loyal subjects, including among 
them some of the most eminent individuals in the realm, 
his two nephews, the princes Rupert and Maurice, being 
placed at the head of the list ; such also was the con- 
fiscation of the estates of all persons, in any degree 
obnoxious to the parliament, under the title of de- 
linquents, for the purpose of defraying the expenses 
of the war. An accommodation, in such circumstances, 
was clearly hopeless. Nevertheless the commissioners, 
on Charles's part, desirous that their fellow-subjects 
should understand that no unreasonable impediment to 
their just desire of peace arose from the king, applied 
for an extension of the period allowed for the treaty 
it was refused, notwithstanding the interposition, by 
letter, of the agent of the French government, and 
of the ambassadors of the United States in a per- 
sonal appeal to both the houses. So resolved, in 
fact, were the parliament to make no concession in 


this particular, that the royal commissioners judged it 
necessary to observe the letter of their safe conduct, 
and precipitately returned to Oxford on the last day 
for which their safety was guaranteed, wearied with 
the fruitless labour of twenty anxious days and broken 

A formal seal was thus put to that hopelessness of a 
peaceful arrangement of the quarrel between Charles 
the First and his rebel parliament, of which, previously 
to the negotiation, the one party had fixed, and the other 
too truly apprehended : the certainty of victory in the 
field, with the consequent power to dictate, to crush, or 
extinguish, was henceforth to be the only peacemaker. 
The king had foreseen this result, and sanguinely be- 
lieved himself prepared for the consequences; the late 
campaign had added no presage of final success to 
the prospects of his adversaries ; he had received pro- 
mises of continental aid ; while a diversion in his favour, 
of most flattering brilliancy, had lately been made by 
means of the rapid exploits of Montrose in Scotland. At 
Westminster, in justification, politically speaking, of the 
course pursued in the treaty, a more subtle design 
was in agitation a design carried on by the boldest 
and ablest men, based on solid expectations, and sup- 
ported by the command of the chief resources of the 
empire. The third great party, the suffering and 
deluded people, who had had no voice in the late 
momentous but undeliberative assembly, were, as they 
always are, the last to comprehend the true nature 
of their own position; they were in consternation at 
learning the abortive close of the negotiations, and that 


the sword was not to be returned to the scabbard 
till blood of theirs had dyed it yet more deeply; but 
they were as little disposed as ever to distrust those 
who had so long led them to the sacrifice, encouraging 
their self-immolation with the cry, abused in every age, 
but in none so grossly as in this, of religion and 
liberty ! 




THE civil wars of the seventeenth century, though in 
effect political, had their origin in the deeper sources 
of religious discontent. Puritanism had long been pre- 
paring the people for resistance, when that injudicious 
attempt, already described, to force upon the rude 
and fearless sects an ecclesiastical polity which they 
abhorred, recoiled upon its authors, and English dissent 
acquired consistency, and ripened into rebellion, be- 
neath the cold but vigorous influences of Scotch 
presbyterianism. Political disaffection and personal 
ambition eagerly availed themselves of the alliance, 
at once to cover and effectually to promote their 
darker purposes. For a time common hatred of a church 
become, in self-defence, somewhat intolerant, and a 
monarchy constitutional in its nature, but despotically 
administered, bound together as harmoniously as could 
be expected of such a principle, the distinct though not 
heterogeneous elements of the great movement; long, 
indeed, after their mutual hostility had grown deadly, 
either side continued to wear the semblance of unani- 
mity, the more effectually to secure the ruin of that 
ancient authority, ecclesiastical and monarchical, which 


both had made, by many insults and wrongs, a more 
intolerable if not more dangerous foe. Yet the grave 
nonconformist, who had no objection to a servile 
monarch, and the unflinching republican leveller who 
sought to be sole monarch, at least of himself; the in- 
dependent who insisted on constructing his own church, 
or, rather, on having none; and the presbyterian who in- 
sisted on intolerantly forcing on all other men a church 
which he found divinely framed in his interpretation of 
scripture, began early to feel alike the uneasiness of 
that copartnership into which prejudice, passion, worldly 
interest, and some sense of common wrong, had com- 
bined to hurry them. 

We have already hinted at the existence of in- 
subordination in the parliamentarian army. Before the 
point of time at which we have now arrived, similar 
jealousies and discontents had begun to explode in the 
more central arena of the parliament. The critical 
moment was now near when the younger-born of those 
confederates was to seize, with youthful but giant 
grasp, that power which the elder deemed his birth- 
right. Yet the seizure was to be made, in the first 
instance, furtively, and under the purest pretences. 
The decent veil of unquestionable patriotism, the 
affectation of a personal sacrifice for the sake of 
the public good, was to shroud the step which in- 
cluded disloyalty to the covenanted partnership of 
the rebel allies, and the final throwing away of the 
scabbard, into which it was hitherto pretended the 
sword of rebellion was ever ready to be returned. In 
seasons of commotion no act is to be done which has 


long to wait its agent. To make the first great step 
towards republican domination, only one man in 
England was fit; but that one man was so in the 
most consummate sense. For this work both courage 
and dissimulation were needed, and in Cromwell daring 
without parallel was united to a depth of hypocrisy 
not to be fathomed even by himself. In order to 
understand the subsequent history of the civil wars 
of the seventeenth century, we must keep our attention 
fixed on Cromwell and his knot of friends at first the 
associates, then the submissive creatures but, from 
first to last, able and variously gifted as they were, the 
dupes, or the tools, of that inscrutable person. 

With this faction, but in particular with the bold 
republican theorist, young Vane, Cromwell had by this 
time come to the conclusion that the epoch was arrived 
when the first commanders of the parliamentarian 
armies must be set aside for men more suited to ex- 
isting circumstances. Of those qualifications, on the 
ground of which they had originally been appointed, 
some were now discovered to have no existence, while 
others actually unfitted their possessors for present 
command. The military talents of Essex had been 
overrated, and even his courage now appeared dubious ; 
the successes of Manchester's army were chiefly to 
be ascribed to the ability and vigilance of his officers ; 
the high civil rank of Warwick and Denbigh did not 
prevent their insignificance as generals; in fine, the 
interest such men had in the security of the throne, 
and their personal sympathy, as peers, with the 
sovereign, had rendered them heartless and inactive 


in a cause, the success of which must involve the com- 
plete humiliation if not the destruction of the monarchy. 
The Scotch and presbyterian party had attempted, by 
means of a charge of cowardice, deposed to by Craw- 
ford, a Scot, and major-general under Manchester, to 
wither the laurels won by Cromwell at Marston Moor : 
the recent occurrences before Donnington Castle pre- 
sented a favourable occasion for re-opening the quarrel, 
with a prospect at once of effectual advantage to the 
cause of independency, and of satisfactory vengeance 
for the lieutenant-general. Having procured himself to 
be called upon in the House of Commons to explain 
why the king's challenge to a second battle had been 
disregarded by the conjoined army, and his sub- 
sequent march to Oxford permitted without any 
attempt at interruption, Cromwell threw the blame 
on Manchester's unwillingness to obtain such a victory 
in the field as must have proved an obstacle to the 
establishment of peace. " I showed him evidently," he 
said, " how this success might be obtained ; and only 
desired leave with my own brigade of horse, to charge 
the king's army in their retreat, leaving it in the earl's 
choice, if he thought proper, to remain neutral with the 
rest of his forces. But, notwithstanding my impor- 
tunity, he positively refused his consent, and gave no 
other reason, but, that if we met with a defeat, there 
was an end of our pretensions we should all be rebels 
and traitors, and be executed and forfeited by law." 
These charges were immediately met by Manchester in 
the House of Lords. Having vindicated his own con- 
duct in the war, he retorted upon Cromwell himself the 


accusation of inefficiency at the battle of Newbury. 
He proceeded to advance proofs of the lieutenant- 
general's republican schemes and disaffection to the 
covenant ; in one of his few unguarded moments, 
Cromwell had told his superior officer that "it would 
never be well with England till he were made plain 
Mr. Montague meaning, till the privileges of peers 
were abolished ; that the Scots had crossed the Tweed 
for no other purpose than to establish a religious 
despotism, and that in that cause he would as soon 
draw his sword against them as against the king; 
and lastly, that it was his purpose to form an army 
of independents, which should compel both king and 
parliament to submit to such conditions as he should 
dictate." To this proceeding of Manchester's Essex 
was a party, and a consultation was held in the lord 
general's house, between the Scotch commissioners and 
the English leaders of the presbyterian faction, of which 
the result would have been the public denunciation of 
Cromwell in parliament as an incendiary, and an enemy 
of both nations, had not Whitelocke and Maynard, who 
attended the conference in the capacity of legal ad- 
visers, declared their opinion that the proofs were not 
sufficient to sustain such a charge against " a gentleman 
of his subtle parts and great interest in the two 

But a scheme was now ready for the light a master- 
contrivance of republican policy which, if it could not 
silence the voice of parliamentary censure, would at 
least place the army in a great degree beyond its reach. 
Under the conduct of the managers of this scheme, 


on the 9th of November, the House of Commons re- 
solved itself into a committee to consider of the sad 
condition of the kingdom, in reference to the intolerable 
burden of the war, and the little prospect there was of 
its being brought to a conclusion without some altera- 
tion in the state of the army. In the committee a 
general silence was observed for a space, each member 
looking upon others as if not knowing who was to 
begin the debate. Cromwell at length rose. " The 
occasion of his rising," he said, " was of no less im- 
portance than to save the nation out of its present 
bleeding, nay almost dying condition. Without a more 
speedy, vigorous, and effectual prosecution of the war, 
casting off all lingering proceedings like soldiers of 
fortune beyond the sea to spin out the contest, we 
shall make the kingdom weary of us, and hate the 
name of a parliament. For, what do the enemy say ? 
nay, what do many say, that at the beginning of the 
war were friends ? Even this : that the members of 
both houses have got great places and commands, and 
the sword into their hands ; and what by interest in the 
parliament, and what by power in the army, will per- 
petually continue themselves in grandeur, and not 
permit the war speedily to end, lest their own power 
should determine with it. This I speak here to our 
own faces, is but what others do utter abroad behind 
our backs. I am far from reflecting on any; I know 
the worth of those commanders, members of both 
houses, who are yet in power." "And especially," he 
proceeded, " I recommend it to your prudence, not to 
insist upon a complaint of oversight on the part of any 


commander-in-chief upon any occasion whatsoever. 
For as I must acknowledge myself guilty of oversights, 
so I know they can rarely be avoided in military affairs. 
Therefore, waving a strict inquiry into the causes of 
the present state of things, let us apply ourselves to 
the remedy which is most necessary; for I am per- 
suaded, that if the army be not put into a better 
method, and the war more vigorously prosecuted, the 
people will enforce you to a dishonourable peace." He 
expressed a confident belief, that the parliament was 
composed of such true English hearts men of such 
zealous affections towards the general weal, that no 
member of either house would scruple to perform a 
great act of self-denial for the public good; and he 
concluded by proposing the following resolution: "That 
no member of either house of parliament shall, during 
the war, enjoy or execute any office or command, 
military or civil, and that an ordinance be brought 
in to that purpose." On the important point of supply- 
ing, and in a more efficient manner, the places of those 
whom this resolution was designed to dismiss, the same 
speaker, in a subsequent debate, thus significantly ex- 
pressed himself: "God," he reminded the house, "had 
so blessed their army, that there had grown up with it, 
and under it, very many excellent officers who were fit 
for much greater charges than they were now possessed 
of; and he desired them not to be terrified with an 
imagination, that if the highest offices were vacant, 
they would not be able to put as fit men into them ; 
for, besides that it was not good to put so much trust 
in any arm of flesh, as to think such a cause as this 


depended upon any one man, he took upon him to 
assure them, that they had officers in their army 
who were fit to be generals in any enterprise in 

Vane, in whose mind this resolution was probably 
first framed, spoke in support of it with all the force of 
his peculiar eloquence. Whitelocke, though generally 
siding with the movement, aware of the real object 
in view, acted with Hollis as its chief opponent, and 
was followed by the whole body of the presbyterians. 
On its reaching the House of Lords, where the great ma- 
jority were of that party, and where every member plainly 
perceived that the ordinance was designed to operate as 
a disqualification of the entire hereditary nobility of the 
country for exercising the privileges immemorially 
attached to their order, a stand was made, in ap- 
pearance more successful. Three several messages 
were successively sent up from the lower house, de- 
siring expedition, and setting forth the danger of delay 
in passing the ordinance, yet with so little disposition 
to recommend the measure by any concession, that 
a proposal to exempt from its operation the lord 
general, was lost on a division. The Lords persevered, 
however; but in throwing out the bill intimated in 
a conference that they would be willing to enter- 
tain one of similar, but less extensive import, on being 
made acquainted with the particulars of the second 
great measure then in preparation, namely, the re- 
construction of the army. 

The managers in the Commons allowed them not 
long to wait : the very day after the delivery of the 


reasons for rejecting the bill in the Lords' house, the 
committee of both kingdoms reported to the Commons 
the scheme for " new model." The concurrence of 
this committee, which included that of the four Scotch 
commissioners, is said to have been obtained by means 
of Vane's influence over the great head of the cove- 
nanters, the Marquess of Argyle ; that influence being 
probably fortified by the prospect of getting rid of 
Cromwell, whom, with the instinctive sagacity of the 
bird watching the eye of the serpent destined to swallow 
it, they had long regarded as their worst enemy. They 
would naturally also be farther conciliated by finding 
that, in the room of Essex and Manchester, whose 
method of carrying out their purposes was not cal- 
culated to satisfy any party, it was proposed to place in 
the chief command Sir Thomas Fairfax, a pres- 
byterian, and a popular officer among the Scots who 
had served in England. 

By the proposed "new model," the three armies of 
the parliament, nominally of 10,000 men each, were 
re-constructed into one army of 22,000, viz. 7,600 
cavalry, and 14,400 infantry. Under Fairfax, selected 
for the chief command, the next officer appointed 
was Skippon, the new major-general. A list of twenty 
colonels, in charge of as many regiments, followed; 
in which occur the names of Algernon Sidney, Fleet- 
wood, Middleton, Ingoldsby, Rainsborough, and 
others of historical note. Among the inferior of- 
ficers were the names, not less known, of Ireton, 
Desborough, Harrison. But the general roll of of- 
ficers, as finally voted by the parliament, presented 


a remarkable omission ; the second place in command, 
that of lieutenant-general, was left blank, for the in- 
sertion, at a more convenient opportunity, of a name 
which the contrivers of this whole admirably pre- 
pared stroke of political intrigue, had no intention to 
dispense with; to secure whose almost unlimited power 
and influence, the whole scheme had indeed been 
concocted. On the subject of the list, the filling up 
of which was left entirely to Fairfax, the doomed 
upper house made a stand against the demands of 
the Commons, as well as on that of additional powers 
granted to the general. Finding, however, that they 
were likely to gain nothing in the end by resistance 
but popular odium, and soothed by a vague com- 
pliment to the rights and privileges of Peers, and as 
vague a promise from the Commons to maintain them, 
they yielded to a force which they were in no con- 
dition to control ; the self-denying ordinance, limited 
in its enactments to the present time, instead of being, 
as in the former instance, prospective to the close of 
the war, was quickly passed, in conjunction with the 
ordinance for the new model. By that enactment, 
every member of either house was discharged from all 
civil and military offices after the expiration of forty 
days. Essex, Manchester, Denbigh, and Warwick 
had already appeared in the House of Lords, and 
reluctantly laid down their commissions. Fairfax, 
conducted into the Commons' house by four mem- 
bers, received the congratulations of the speaker. 
The independents were already triumphant. Sup- 
ported by a majority in the parliament, and cheered 


on their reckless march of destruction, this small 
band of hot republicans, with religion and freedom in 
their mouths, and, some few enthusiasts excepted, 
fanatic selfishness and hatred in their hearts, were 
thus enabled to launch, at will, their " thunderbolt of 
war" an army 22,000 strong; the men drafted as the 
ablest and fittest for their purpose from the old, well- 
trained regiments; the officers nominated by a com- 
mander-in-chief, himself of good military talents but 
moderate intellect and unsuspicious temper, whom it 
was designed to hoodwink and overrule by means 
of the blushless hypocrisy and unhesitating soldier- 
ship of Cromwell. To crown the efficiency of the 
scheme, Fairfax's commission studiously avoids all 
mention of the existence of regal authority in the 
realm ; it contains no clause providing for the safety 
of the king's person ; but he is directed to " lead his 
armies against all and singular enemies, rebels, traitors, 
and other like offenders, and every of their adherents ; 
with them to fight, and them to invade, resist, repress, 
subdue, pursue, slay, kill, and put in execution of 
death, by all ways and means." 

But, before we pursue farther the main course of our 
"great argument," it will be necessary to glance at 
that brilliant episode which diversified it, while the 
events lately narrated were passing. Allusion was 
made, in a former page, to a proposal from the Earl 
of Montrose, through queen Henrietta, to raise a di- 
version in favour of the royal cause in Scotland ; where, 
in spite of the known loyalty of a great proportion 
of the people, the despotism of the covenant prevailed 


almost without opposition. The offer met with no 
encouragement; and the valour and genius of the earl 
found, for a season, no wider sphere than some de- 
sultory command, on the Scottish borders, under the 
Marquess of Newcastle. But the influence of Hamilton, 
by whom that proposal had been defeated, rapidly de- 
clined, till Charles at length became so convinced 
of his late favourite's perfidy, as, towards the close 
of the year (1643), to cause him to be arrested at 
Oxford, with his brother Laneric, and confined in 
Pendennis Castle. This step was the result of in- 
formation laid before the king by Montrose, who in the 
beginning of the troubles had served with the cove- 
nantersin Scotland ; who since his return to loyalty had 
followed all their movements with keen and hostile 
observation ; and hence was thoroughly acquainted with 
the secret springs, both of danger and of hope, at work 
in that calculating and intriguing faction. The plan 
of this adventurous nobleman for reviving the ancient 
Scottish loyalty from its ashes, was now favourably re- 
ceived by his sovereign. He was appointed lieutenant- 
general, under Prince Maurice, of all the royal forces 
north of the Tweed ; the Earl of Antrim, an Irish noble- 
man of Scotch descent, who had married the widow of 
the famous Duke of Buckingham, being associated with 
him in the enterprise. Antrim, a weak vainglorious 
person, had no other requisite for the undertaking, 
besides a double share of Montrose's hatred to Argyle, 
which in him was hereditary; with the possession of 
estates in that savage part of the province of Ulster, 
whence a descent could most conveniently be made 


upon the opposite coast. He, nevertheless, promised 
to raise there, in a short time, a force of 10,000 men, and 
carry them across, to form the basis of a royalist army. 

Montrose received his commission, and was created a 
marquess, in the spring of 1644. This was all that the 
impoverished king was able to do towards the further- 
ance of the project. The marquess left the court accom- 
panied only by a few gentlemen, his attendants, and 
attempted to raise, in the northern counties, a force 
sufficient to penetrate into Scotland, and join the pro- 
mised succours from the Earl of Antrim. He surprised 
Dumfries, but was repulsed, and forced to retreat upon 
Carlisle. The disastrous battle of Marston Moor fol- 
lowed, and extinguished all hope of his obtaining 
means in England to renew the attempt. The whole 
of Scotland was now in the hands of the rebels, nor 
was any thing heard of the Irish auxiliaries. Montrose 
held a consultation with his friends, the issue of which 
was, that, considering further efforts to be useless, the 
party marched out of Carlisle, purposing to return 
to the king at Oxford. At the end, however, of the 
second day's march, the undaunted leader, attended by 
two faithful followers, Sir William Rollock and another 
officer, privately quitted the cavalcade, determining, in 
pursuance of his original plan, to endeavour to pass the 
border in secret. 

"There is not in the annals of fiction," writes Mr. 
Napier, the recent biographer of the heroic marquess, 
" a more interesting and romantic incident than this 
undoubted historical fact, that Montrose, disguised as 
the groom of two covenanting troopers, whom Rollock 


and Sibbald personated, mounted on a sorry nag, and 
leading another in his hand, rode in the rear of his two 
companions, to the borders, where he narrowly escaped 
a detection that would have brought him instantly to 
the scaffold. Their first peril was a conversation with 
a servant of Sir Richard Graham's, who, mistaking the 
trio for soldiers of Lesly's army, entertained them with 
the information that his master, Sir Richard, had un- 
dertaken to act as a spy upon the borders for the very 
purpose of conveying to the covenanters intelligence 
of the motions of the royalists, and of making prisoners 
any of Montrose's adherents who might be returning to 
Scotland. This troublesome companion at length se- 
parated from our adventurers, without having observed 
any thing to excite his suspicions, far less to inform 
him that it was Montrose himself with whom he had 
been conversing. No sooner, however, was this peril 
past than a greater occurred. They were suddenly 
accosted by a Scotch soldier, who had formerly served 
under the Marquess of Newcastle, and who was well 
acquainted with the person of Montrose. Against the 
scrutiny of this old campaigner no masquerade was 
availing. Montrose's 'quick and piercing eye,' and 
' singular grace in riding,' were not to be disguised ; and, 
accordingly, this soldier, passing the seeming officers, 
at once addressed himself to their servant, and respect- 
fully saluted him as my Lord of Montrose. In vain the 
latter endeavoured to evade the compliment and sustain 
his part. 'What,' exclaimed the soldier, still preserving 
the utmost respect in his countenance and manner, 'do 
I not know my Lord Marquess of Montrose ? Go your 


way, and God be with you wheresoever you go.' Mon- 
trose bestowed a few crowns upon his unwelcome 
admirer, who left them to their journey, and never 
betrayed the secret, though he might have made his 
own fortune by the discovery." 

These incidents materially quickened the pace of the 
travellers, who pushed on almost without resting their 
horses, till Montrose found himself at the house of 
Tillibelton, the residence of his cousin Patrick Graham, 
of Inchbrakie. In this vicinity he passed some days, 
endeavouring to ascertain the state of parties in Scot- 
land ; concealing himself by day in an obscure cottage 
near the mansion, and passing the night with the 
shepherds among the mountains haunts well known 
to him from his youth during the night. From these 
rude companions of his concealment he learned some 
vague reports respecting a party of Irish, lately landed 
upon the isles and western coast of Scotland ; and his 
conjecture that these might be a portion of the pro- 
mised army from the Marquess of Antrim, was confirmed 
by the contents of a letter, secretly put into his cousin's 
hands to be forwarded to him at Carlisle, where he was 
still believed in Scotland to be staying. 

This epistle was from Alaster Macdonald, a cousin of 
Antrim's, known in the history of Montrose's wars as 
Kolkitto (i.e. Coll Keitache, or the left-handed). It 
acquainted Montrose that the writer had landed, by 
Antrim's orders, in Argyleshire, with about 1200 of the 
Ulster Caterans, or wild Irish of Scotch descent ; that 
his transports had been burnt by a fleet dispatched for 
that purpose by Argyle ; that he had taken the castle 


of Mingary, and burnt and plundered an extensive line 
of coast. The letter was written from Badenoch, and 
concluded with the farther information that Argyle, 
with a well-appointed army, was then following in his 
rear, and that, though letters and commissions brought 
over by him had been forwarded to several of the 
king's friends, not a man had hitherto joined the expe- 
dition. This news, as the total issue of Antrim's pro- 
mises, and of many concurrent assurances that the 
loyal clans would appear in arms, the instant the cry of 
"The King and the Graham" should be raised in the 
highlands, was sufficiently discouraging. Nevertheless, 
Montrose returned an instant answer, as if from Car- 
lisle, appointing a rendezvous with Macdonald. Ac- 
cordingly, two days later, the chieftain met his wild 
allies at Blair-Athol, not with the imposing insignia 
and attendance befitting his title of lieutenant-general 
of the kingdom, but furnished with his bare commission, 
and accompanied only by his cousin Patrick Graham, 
with whom he had travelled on foot over the mountains. 
Yet, his martial figure and noble bearing were studiously 
recommended to the band of Scoto-Irish by the garb of 
the Gael, the plaid, the trouse, the bonnet ; the 
broadsword by his side, the pike and target in hand. 
The next day he was joined by eight hundred of the 
Athol highlanders, numbering, with their brethren of 
the sister isle, about 2,000 men, armed with battle-axes, 
broad-swords, pikes, bows and arrows ; many, with no 
better weapons than clubs or stones, and the few 
muskets they possessed being nearly useless for want 
of ammunition. It was in the presence of such an 


army if so it may be called that, in the month of 
August, 1644, the Marquess of Montrose fearlessly 
unfurled the royal standard among the crags and 
torrents of Athol, in the heart of a land held in thraldom 
by a powerful rebel faction, and on a spot lacerated by 
the despotic severity of Argyle, his own, and, as he 
deemed him, his country's foe. 

No time was lost by the committee of Estates in 
raising levies to oppose, and, if possible, at once to 
crush, the attempt of Montrose. Lord Elcho, and the 
Earl of Tullibardine, assembled the armed covenanters 
of Perthshire, Fife, and Angus ; the young Lord Kilpont 
was directed to join them with levies from Monteith. 
But Kilpont, falling in with the Marquess's advanced 
guard, and ascertaining that he bore a commission from 
the king, at once transferred his division, amounting to 
about four hundred men, to the royalist ranks. The 
army of the covenanters was discovered by Montrose 
drawn up in order of battle on Tippermuir, a wide plain, 
a few miles from Perth. It consisted of between 6000 
and 7000 foot, supported by 700 or 800 horse, and 
covered by nine pieces of cannon. Upon this vastly 
superior force his half-naked band, the men of Athol in 
the van, rushed impetuously down. The cavalry of 
the covenanters instantly fled in the direction of Perth; 
their example was followed by the terrified infantry; and 
the motley adherents of the royal standard "fleshed" 
their mingled weapons upon the less active lowlanders, 
and the heavy burgesses of " St. John's town," from 
morning to nightfall, when the capture of the whole 
of the enemy's guns, ammunition, baggage, and colours, 


with the undisputed possession of the town, rewarded 
their tumultuary valour. In Perth the victors found 
provisions, clothing, and military stores in abundance. 
But these fruits of conquest proved by no means an 
unmixed advantage to Montrose ; a great proportion of 
the Athol men, according to the usual practice of the 
clans, deeming the expedition at an end, and retiring to 
the mountains with their share of spoil. 

After a repose of three days in Perth, the lieutenant- 
general, rinding that but few of those friends came in 
who were expected to gather round the royal standard, 
crossed the Tay and marched eastward. His encamp- 
ment at Collace, near Cupar, was signalized by an 
event which deeply affected him, and marks the bar- 
barity of the age. Among those adherents who had 
been brought over (unwillingly, as it afterwards ap- 
peared,) by Kilpont, was his clansman, Stewart of 
Ardvoirlich, a man of fierce passions and gigantic 
strength, whom he imprudently treated with the fa- 
miliarity of an equal friend. This man, intending to 
rejoin the covenanters, either bribed by them, or at least 
willing to make himself acceptable to their party, 
resolved to assassinate Montrose, or some one of his 
principal officers. Imagining that he had sufficient 
influence over Kilpont to extort his concurrence, he 
conducted him to a solitary quarter of the camp, and 
there acquainted him with his detestable purpose. 
Kilpont indignantly rejected the proposal, when the 
other with his dirk suddenly struck him dead. The 
murderer fled cut down two sentinels, who threw 
themselves across his path to arrest him and event- 


ually escaped through the thick haze of an autumnal 
morning. But the base treachery which marked these 
assassinations did not prevent the attainment of their 
object. The Scottish parliament justified and rewarded 
them by a vote of pardon and thanks to the perpetrator, 
for "his good service to the kingdom;" and Argyle, 
without a blush, made the assassin an officer in his own 
regiment. After this tragedy, Stewart's friends, with the 
other followers of Kilpont, deserted the royal standard. 
With numbers diminished to less than 3,000 men 
though now, it is true, possessing a small party of 
horse, an arm which at Tippermuir he was absolutely 
without the noble adventurer pursued his march 
through Angus to Aberdeen. There a force far su- 
perior to his own, under the command of Lord Burleigh, 
was assembled to oppose him. Montrose, in an en- 
gagement which took place on the 13th, routed them 
nevertheless, with little loss, and took forcible pos- 
session of the town, where his soldiers committed many 
acts of cruelty and pillage which he vainly exerted 
himself to prevent. Spoil was, in fact, their only pay, 
and bloodshed familiar to their habits. In the mean time 
Argyle, with overwhelming numbers, continued to track 
his course : Perth and Aberdeen had beeu in succession 
no sooner evacuated by the royalists, than they were 
occupied by the enemy. At Aberdeen a proclamation 
was issued by the general of the Estates, denouncing 
the king's lieutenant, and all his followers, as traitors 
to religion, their country, and their sovereign, and offer- 
ing a reward of twenty thousand pounds for Montrose's 
person, alive or dead. 


And now it was, that, to adopt the language of 
the modern admirer and vindicator of Montrose, "he 
entered upon that almost incredible round of forced 
marches, sudden onfalls, and rapid and masterly re- 
treats ; again and again retracing his steps, even as the 
winter was setting in, through the wildest and most 
untrodden districts, and over the most inaccessible 
mountains of Scotland, rarely in a beaten track, and 
continually struggling through snow-wreaths, rocks, 
and mists, and inland seas ; which, even in the opinion 
of those who question both the principle and the pru- 
dence of his undertaking, must stamp the first campaign 
of Montrose in Scotland, as among the most striking 
recorded efforts of military genius and enterprise." 
"Thrice," says Baillie in astonishment, "he wound 
about from Spey to Athol." Throughout the greater 
part of these " coursings," Argyle followed, but at a 
cautious distance ; fearing, though the pursuer, that con- 
flict, which he who seemed the fugitive did not desire 
to shun. For the tie that bound together the desultory 
parties of which Montrose's army consisted, was not 
discipline, nor, perhaps, loyalty, but rather that constant 
spirit of enterprise, which even victory would have re- 
laxed ; his object was, not immediate partial conflict, 
but, by rousing the loyal districts of Scotland with a 
sight of the king's standard, and the war-cry of a known 
leader, to prepare the way for shaking off from his 
country the whole incubus of rebellion. Once, but once 
only, he avoided battle. Macdonald had been detached, 
with a division of his Kerns, on a separate expedition 
to the western highlands, when Montrose fell in with 


the army of the Estates, augmented, by the recent 
junction of the northern covenanters, to 15,000 foot 
and above 1 ,000 horse. To engage, in a general attack, 
an army whose strength in cavalry alone nearly equalled 
that of his own entire force, was impossible. He there- 
fore availed himself of the shelter of a wood, on the 
skirts of which some skirmishing took place, for several 
successive days, with no advantage to the more nu- 
merous party. At length Argyle adopted a mode of 
warfare more suited to his genius; he succeeded, by 
means of bribes and persuasions, in detaching the 
majority of his enemy's lowland followers, who were 
mostly, indeed, unequal to the tremendous hardships of 
a winter campaign in those inhospitable regions. But 
the defection made no change in the purposes of 
Graham. He now, in turn, at the end of November, 
became the pursuer. Learning that Argyle had dis- 
missed his horse to winter-quarters, and was marching 
southward with his infantry, he again traversed the 
mountains, now clothed in all their wintry horrors, 
with the purpose of forcing him to fight ; but the wary 
covenanter, getting timely notice, left his army to shift 
for itself, hastened to Perth, and thence to Edinburgh ; 
where, moved by his own shame, or by the dis- 
satisfaction of his employers, he resigned his com- 

At Blair-Athol, their original place of rendezvous, 
Alaster Macdonald rejoined the expedition with a re- 
inforcement of 500 royalists. Montrose now resolved to 
retaliate upon his foe the severities which Argyle had in- 
flicted on those districts called "malignant," by carrying 


the war into the heart of that chieftain's country. 
Advancing through Breadalbane, and along the borders 
of Loch Tay, he marched right upon the Campbell's 
strong hold of Inverary, deemed by himself inac- 
cessible to an enemy. The great Mac Cailinmore, who 
stretched the despotism of rebellion over all Scotland, 
fled affrighted before the leader of a little tumultuary 
band, on whose head he had so lately set a price. 
Throwing himself into a fishing-boat, he made his escape 
to Dumbarton, leaving his broad inheritance to be 
wasted by fire and rapine. Nor was the work of 
destruction negligently done. " From Inverary to 
Lorn and Glenco, and thence through Lochaber to 
Glengarry and Loch Ness," the flocks and herds were 
all swept away, every thing combustible committed 
to the flames, and the whole country reduced to " a 
howling wilderness." No blood, however, flowed in 
this fierce fray; "in regard," drily remarks the con- 
temporary historian, " that all the people also, following 
their lord's example, had delivered themselves by 

Argyle's staff was given to General Baillie, under 
whom the renegade Hurry was appointed second in 
command. Marching westward from Perth, Baillie 
found Argyle at Dumbarton, and proceeded under 
his guidance to encounter Montrose, who was now 
pursuing the work of devastation in Lochaber. " And 
the marquess, knowing well that the enemy was gone, 
went home with pomp and convened all his friends 
from their lurking-places to follow upon Montrose's 
rear. And, to make his power the more formidable, 



he called over from Ireland Sir Duncan Campbell of 
Auchinbrech, a colonel in the Scotch army there, and 
divers other commanders of his name. The project 
was, that when Baillie's army did charge Montrose in 
the front, Argyle and his men (who were till then to 
march slowly, and keep at a distance) should come 
up and fall upon his rear, whereby he might inevitably 
be swallowed up." 

It was Montrose's first intention, with a view to 
avoid the obvious danger of being enclosed between 
two armies, to advance eastward, and at once give 
battle to the general. Suddenly, however, he learned 
that Argyle, pursuing his accustomed caution, had 
posted his army securely under the walls of Inverlochy, 
there to wait the issue of the expected conflict. By 
a rapid and secret march across the mountains of 
Lochaber, exceeding in difficulty all that had gone 
before, he brought his little army, at sunset on the 
second day, within sight of the frowning towers of that 
ancient castle. On the first alarm, that a division 
of the royalists had appeared in the vicinity of In- 
verlochy, the chief of the Campbells, taking with him 
his most intimate friends (and among them, says bishop 
Guthry, " Mr. Mungo Law, minister of Edinburgh, 
whom he had invited to go along with him to bear 
witness to the wonders he meant to perform,") em- 
barked in his galley on the loch. The sun had just 
risen, when, springing from the foot of Ben Nevis, where, 
" wet and weary, in frost and snow," they had passed 
the night in arms, Montrose's rude battalions poured 
down upon Inverlochy. His right consisted of an Irish 


regiment led by Alaster Macdonald ; his left, of a 
similar corps commanded by a gallant Hibernian gen- 
tleman, named O'Kyan ; in the centre advanced the 
noble Graham himself, accompanied by a few horse, 
and supported by the highlanders of Athol and Glenco. 
From the boat, whence he issued his orders, Argyle 
beheld, in the very first charge, his standard captured, 
and his whole army thrown into irretrievable confusion. 
Numbers of the Campbells, though deserted by their 
chief, fell bravely fighting, claymore in hand, where they 
stood ; but the greater part, cut down in the pursuit, 
strewed the banks or stained the waters of the loch, 
for the space of many miles. It would appear hardly 
credible, did not the records of that decisive day agree 
in the statement, that while the slain on the Campbell's 
side amounted to full fifteen hundred, on the part 
of the loyalists no more than four individuals perished ; 
of whom, however, one was Sir Thomas Ogilvy, the 
dearest friend of Montrose, whose prowess had greatly 
contributed to the result. 

The battle of Inverlochy was fought on the 2nd 
day of February. On the 12th Argyle appeared before 
the parliament at Edinburgh, " having," writes Guthry, 
" his left arm tied up in a scarf, as if he had been at a 
bones-breaking ;" and there, with a degree of veracity 
proportioned to his courage, narrated the disastrous 
close of his expedition. Meanwhile the victor trans- 
mitted to Oxford a manly and soldier-like despatch, 
in which, after giving an account of his successes, he 
encouraged Charles's hopes of a triumphant issue to 
the great contest in which he was engaged, and implored 


him not to make peace with the rebel parliament till 
they had laid down their arms. This letter reached the 
king just before the expiration of the treaty at Ux- 
bridge, and may have helped to encourage him in that 
stedfast adherence to the great principles he had laid 
down for his guidance, which some writers have 
branded as "infatuated obstinacy;" but it can scarcely 
have had any thing to do with the breaking up of 
the negotiations. That Charles had become a thorough 
convert to Montrose's views with regard to Scotland, 
and expected his lieutenant's brilliant exploits to have 
the effect of ultimately turning the scale of fortune in his 
favour, is evident from his letters written about, this 
time. We may blame the sanguine temper and ready 
confidence which betrayed the king; for in the main 
object of rousing Scotland to a sense of loyal duty 
to her sovereign, little or no progress had been made; 
while all that had been achieved besides was likely 
to prove worthless, if not injurious to the royal cause. 
The motives of Montrose himself were not believed free 
from the stimulus of private hatred ; the names of 
Antrim and his popish Caterans excited the most 
virulent abhorrence throughout the whole covenanting 
community ; the mode of carrying on the war was both 
barbarous in itself and futile in its results. Flaming 
villages, and devastated fields, and towns plundered, 
or choked with the carcases of helpless burghers; but 
neither affections conciliated, nor military positions 
established : these were trophies worse than useless 
to a monarch engaged in a contest with his subjects. 
In short, the wars of Montrose, even while victory 


followed without a check the standard he so bravely 
bore, could afford no solid benefits to compensate the 
facilities presented by them, for the malicious com- 
ments of the king's enemies, or the regrets they 
occasioned to the judicious among his friends. It is 
for this reason that we have passed so hastily over 
a history, the romantic details of which might have 
been expected to be found in a work which professes to 
bring into prominence the heroic features of the history 
of the civil wars. Montrose's ardour did not, however, 
in the least betray his judgment, when, in the dispatch 
referred to, he thus spoke of the parliament. "The 
more your majesty grants, the more will be asked, and 
I have too much reason to know that they will not rest 
satisfied with less than making your majesty a king of 



CHARLES had quickly occasion to perceive, notwith- 
standing the comparatively favourable issue of the late 
campaign, the fitful lustre thrown upon his arms by 
the actions of Montrose, and the divided state of the 
enemy, that the cause of monarchy, in his view so 
sacred, (and, because sacred, therefore ultimately sure), 
had, since the failure of the Uxbridge treaty, grievously 
sunk in the estimation even of his own court. The 
anti-parliament, which, on the occasion of their first 
sitting at Oxford, in the winter of 1643-4, advocated 
peace, but in a tone of respect and moderation, was 
now, at its re-assembling, disturbed by a faction re- 
solved to force the king to continue his attempts to 
procure an accommodation on any terms. " Base and 
mutinous motions," as Charles himself characterized 
them, were brought forward by this party to effect their 
object : among others, one for the impeachment of 
Digby, the strenuous opponent of dishonourable com- 
promise, on whose advice the king, at this time, 
placed much dependence. He therefore prorogued the 
untractable assembly, and deprived the leaders of the 
faction of their power to obstruct his measures, by 
sending them into honourable exile in attendance on 
the queen. It was with reference to these occurrences 


that, in a letter to Henrietta, he let fall the expression 
"mongrel parliament," so frequently harped upon by 
those who themselves vehemently denied the right of 
that "junto," as they styled it, to be regarded as 
legitimate. His use of that contemptuous epithet is 
reasonably enough explained by the king. " The truth 
is," he writes to secretary Nicholas, in August, 1645, 
" that Sussex's factiousness at that time put me some- 
what out of patience, which made me freely vent my 
displeasure against those of his party, to my wife ; and 
the intention of that phrase was, that his faction did 
what they could to make it come to that, by their 
raising and fomenting of base propositions." 

The clamour for peace, to be purchased by whatever 
sacrifice, nevertheless continued loud in Oxford. In 
the pleasant, but somewhat anomalous head quarters 
of the belligerent monarch, were assembled nearly all 
those who, from motives of fear or self-interest, most 
dreaded a disastrous termination, or even a longer con- 
tinuance, of the war. Courtiers, whose large hereditary 
rentals were now unequal to supply the demands of 
fashionable luxury, or even of modest need, while their 
princely mansions and "immemorial woods," yielding 
their ancient honours to the destroying hand of seques- 
tration, swelled the rebel treasury at Goldsmith's Hall, 
and strung the sinews of that war which consumed 
themselves : ladies, who looked forward with terror to 
another campaign, when the necessities of the king 
would oblige him at once to reduce the garrison, and 
to leave Oxford exposed to inroads from the advanced 
posts of the enemy, or even from fresh armies which 
F 2 


they might pour westward out of the capital : the un- 
warlike tribe of university doctors and professors, at 
this time numerously reinforced by loyal country clergy- 
men, who had sought security from military violence 
and agrarian insult beneath the segis of the Christian 
Athena : such, mingled with the men of diplomacy, 
the gallant cavaliers, and the coarser soldiery, con- 
stituted the multifarious and thronging population of 
those fanes consecrated to learning, those "awful cells," 
the dim retreats raised for piety and meditation. Of 
necessity, the ordinary calm pursuits of the university 
were interrupted, or wholly suspended. The progress of 
the great contest the news of every hour presented 
a subject too exciting, not to take precedence of, or 
to exclude, every ordinary topic. The unwonted and 
incongruous multitude required extraordinary supplies 
of provision, which had often to be brought from a 
distance; and, many times, waggons laden with flour and 
country produce were intercepted, herds of cattle, col- 
lected with no gentle hand by the royalists, were swept 
off by bolder or more numerous bands, within the 
parliamentarian lines, to fatten the London citizens, or 
to supply Fairfax's sturdy troopers with that vigour 
which they displayed equally in devotion and in fight- 
ing. No marvel, that in the university and city, as 
thus circumstanced, were found those who anxiously 
joined the common cry for peace. In their united 
petition for it, in 1644, they represent to the king " the 
study of good literature, for so many ages famously 
extant in this ancient university, neglected our city 
reduced to great distresses ;" and crave a termination 


to the cruel contest between himself and his parlia- 
ment, " that the schools of good learning in the king- 
dom, especially this famous university, may again 
flourish, and bring forth painful labourers and pious 
instructors into the Lord's vineyard." The terrors and 
uneasiness of the more numerous, and less informed, 
were at the same time encouraged by the desertion to the 
parliament of several peers and other eminent persons, 
whose selfishness took alarm at the growing difficulties 
of the king. Dering led the way ; Savile, Andover, 
Mowbray, followed. "What a running disease," sneered 
the scurrilous London mercuries, " possesses these 
Oxford lords ! It is a sign the building is ready to 
fall, when the pillars slip away." 

Oxford, however, notwithstanding its inconveniences 
and its fears, both of which were immeasurably aug- 
mented when the dreaded departure of the king became 
the signal for the approach of a parliamentarian army 
to within musketshot of its walls, was among the few 
places in the kingdom that enjoyed an exemption from 
the more formidable evils attendant on a state of civil 
warfare. Every county, and a large proportion of the 
towns, of England, had been the scene of bloodshed 
and rapine. The occasional barbarities, and habitual 
license and oppression, of which the troops and even 
the officers, of the royalist army, were guilty, are con- 
fessed and deplored on many occasions by the noble 
historian : on the other hand, the entries in the ruder 
but not less honest record of Whitelocke, frequently 
relate, about this time in particular, to the criminal 
atrocities of the parliamentarian soldiers. On this 


painful subject a distinction has been drawn. It is 
alleged, that the disorders in the rebel armies were at- 
tributable only to the coarse passions of the common 
soldiers, and were perpetrated in spite of the exertions 
of their officers to preserve strict discipline ; that in 
the king's armies, on the contrary, the brutal excesses 
of the men were countenanced by the laxity, insolence, 
and irreligion of the chiefs. In this remark there 
appears to be, unhappily, some truth ; but any degree 
of odium which it may seem to withdraw from those 
in authority on the parliamentarian side, returns with 
double force when we contemplate the parliament itself, 
the pretended fountain of authority, sanctioning and 
commanding atrocities, which, without prompting, the 
army would scarcely have hazarded. By an ordinance 
of Oct. 24, 1644, all Irishmen taken in arms were to 
be put to death ; a decree which the subordinate ge- 
nerals of the parliament lost no time in rigorously 
executing : only the humane mind of Fairfax revolted 
from this barbarity. It was the custom on board their 
fleet to bind back to back and throw into the sea, 
without distinction, seamen or soldiers found in captured 
vessels belonging to Ireland ; and an instance will pre- 
sently be related, in which, on pretence of obedience to 
this barbarous law, a multitude of defenceless women 
were cut to pieces by Cromwell's troopers. 

In connexion with crimes so atrocious and disgrace- 
ful, the destruction of property, the suspension of trade 
and social intercourse, the dreary blank and the un- 
christian bitterness, thrown over the surface, or diffused 
through the familiar channels of daily life, may appear 


less worthy of notice. Yet these too were grievous 
evils ; and, like the others, the more formidable, as 
both springing from, and reproducing, a demoralization 
of the national mind. The country houses of the no- 
bility and gentry, often curious examples of ancient 
magnificence, or splendid proofs of more recent taste, 
were mostly converted into fortresses ; and, in that 
capacity, were subject to every form of destruction 
incident to a state of war to plunder, defacement, 
burning, demolition. And these were sometimes per- 
petrated in mere wantonness. Both Clarendon and 
Walker record, with indignant regret, the unnecessary 
burning of Cambden House, between Stow and Eve- 
sham, by order of Prince Rupert ; an edifice which, 
not many years before, had cost above thirty thousand 
pounds. The destruction of the woods on delinquents' 
estates was a practice to which the parliament had 
recourse continually, and on any pretext : for the use 
of the navy, to raise funds for pensioning officers' 
widows, for provisioning the garrison of one place, or 
undertaking the siege of another. The plundering and 
desecration of churches was another practice, which 
continued throughout the war : the entrance of the 
parliament's forces into a cathedral town was usually 
followed by the despatching of a waggon-load of sur- 
plices, hoods, communion-plate, &c., to Westminster, or 
by a distribution of clerical plunder among the soldiers. 
For these spoils a market was found on the continent : 
the curiosity shops of Holland were glutted with the 
pillage of our English temples and palaces. Referring 
to the interruption of the ordinary affairs of life by 


this protracted contest, the pamphlet before cited, en- 
titled, " England's Fears," presents us with the follow- 
ing animated lamentation : " Behold " (it is England 
who is personified as speaking) " how my plundered 
yeoman wants hinds and horses to plough up my fer- 
tile soil ; the poor labourer, who used to mingle the 
morning dew with his annealed sweat, shakes at his 
work for fear of pressing ; the tradesman shuts up 
his shop, and keeps more holidays than willingly he 
would; the merchant walks to the exchange only to 
learn news, not to negotiate. Sweet Peace! thou which 
wast used to make princes' courts triumph with tilt and 
tournaments, and other gallantries ; to make them re- 
ceive lustre by foreign ambassadors ; to make the arts 
and sciences flourish ; to make cities and suburbs shine 
with goodly structures ; to make the country ring with 
the huntsman's horn, and the shepherd's pipe : how 
comes it to pass that blood-thirsty discord now usurps 
thy place, and flings about her snakes in every corner?" 
In such a deplorable state of things, notwithstanding- 
all the parade which one side, at least, made of reli- 
gion, neither unaffected piety nor true morality could 
flourish. Far from repenting of those sins on account 
of which divine Providence had permitted the scourge 
of rebellion and war to ravage the nation, new crimes 
were introduced. In the midst of prolix details of 
trivial political occurrences, we meet with this naked, 
unnoted record, " twenty witches executed in Norfolk." 
The kidnapping of children, probably for sale in the 
plantations, grew so frequent a practice, that at length 
the parliament passed an ordinance for its suppression, 


under the name of " spiriting." Ministers of the gospel 
habitually perverted the pulpit (to the use of which the 
public service of God was now wholly restricted) to the 
purposes of strife and bloodshed : the famous sermon 
delivered at Uxbridge by Robert Love, on the assem- 
bling of the commissioners there to treat of peace, in 
which he encouraged the rebels to the slaughter of 
their opponents as " the Lord's work," was singular, 
not for its anti-christian spirit, but merely for the 
audacity implied in the occasion. Respecting the de- 
moralization introduced into families, we have abun- 
dance of contemporary testimony. "Alas," exclaims 
a writer of the time, " in this intestine war of ours we 
are so desperately wicked and void of all natural affec- 
tion, that divers gentlemen, of both parties, have looked 
upon their nearest kinsmen that were wallowing in 
their own blood, without offering them their aid, or 
casting a sigh of compassion for them. Nay, some have 
been so cruel, and deprived of all natural affection, 
that they and their abettors have ridden twenty miles 
in a dark night to surprise their father, uncle, or bro- 
ther, to carry them away to their own garrison, to 
wring out of their hands some considerable ransom; 
which being refused, they have deprived them in an- 
other night of all their cattle and means, and reduced 
them (that were knights' fellows) to Job's case, without 
any compassion or reluctation." 

The neglect and ill-treatment to which ordinary 
prisoners of war were exposed, is another frightful 
feature of the times. The story of the soldiers and 
others taken at Cirencester, early in the war, which 


deeply implicates the king himself in a charge of in- 
humanity, is, no doubt, a gross exaggeration. But it is 
too certain, that in the crowded fortresses and other 
depots belonging to both parties, humanity was not 
unfrequently outraged. Yet these deep shadows in the 
great picture of calamity, are relieved by some touches 
of light : the struggles and sacrifices made by the 
friends of captives, in negociating exchanges, and in 
other methods for their deliverance, present incidents 
consolatory to the lover of mankind. Nor was benefi- 
cence of a more public sort wholly wanting; an in- 
stance of which was witnessed in the congregation at 
Carfax Church, Oxford, where a collection was made, 
every Sunday, for the support of the numerous un- 
happy victims of the war confined in that city. 

A remarkable and ominous circumstance was the 
number of executions which marked the period of the 
decline of the Presbyterian, and the sudden growth of 
the Independent influence. Sir Alexander Carew, who 
in the beginning of the war had distinguished himself 
by his enmity to the king, but who afterwards became 
a sincere convert to loyalty, and was detected in an 
attempt to surrender the fort at Plymouth to the 
royalists, was beheaded December the 23rd on Tower 
Hill. The Hothams, father and son, whose crime was 
similar to Carew's, and the elder of whom, by closing 
the gates of Hull against his sovereign, may be said 
to have been the immediate cause of commencing the 
war, suffered upon the same fatal spot, the one on the 
1st, the other on the 2nd of January. Clarendon 
strikingly describes the unpitied fall of these persons 


as " an act of divine justice, executed by those at 
Westminster." The next victim flung to the devouring 
Moloch of civil and religious strife, was the brave, 
the venerable, and learned Laud. More than four 
years of his advanced age had " shed their snows " 
upon the prelate's head, since the agonizing day when 
Straftbrd, then on his passage to eternity, knelt be- 
neath the grating of that honoured cell, to receive a 
last blessing from his deeply conscientious, but too 
zealous, spiritual and political father; a long, and, to 
the sufferer, harassing suspension of the blow, but 
arguing no forgetfulness on the part of his execution- 
ers, who, in patient confidence of the end, stood all the 
while uplifting " that two-handed engine at the door." 
Laud's execution took place January 10th. On the 
20th of the month following, occurred that of Macguire, 
an Irishman of rank, sentenced for his share in his 
country's rebellion. In the case of this man, there was 
little to engage sympathy, if we except the persecution 
which, in common with the archbishop, he encountered 
on the scaffold. The part acted in Laud's case by the 
zealous puritan Sir John Clotworthy, was performed 
in the instance of the Irish baron by Gibbs, sheriff of 
London, and the Presbyterian minister Sibbald. He 
persisted in denying that he had acted as an agent in 
the rebellion, either under a commission from the king, 
or in reliance on any promise of absolution from the 
pope ; and he declined the attendance of Dr. Sibbald, 
on the ground of his own religion being the Roman 
Catholic. The poor fellow sought earnestly to prepare 
himself for death his own way. " Since I am here to 


die," he said, " I desire to depart with a quiet mind, 
and with the marks of a good Christian ; that is, 
asking forgiveness first of God, and next of the world. 
And I do, from the bottom of my heart, forgive all my 
enemies, even those that have a hand in my death." 
He concluded with a request, which he had before 
urged, " I beseech you, gentlemen, let me have a little 
time to say my prayers." The zeal of his tormentors 
was, however, inexorable. His beads and crucifix, with 
some papers containing his confessor's directions for 
his behaviour on the scaffold, were rudely taken from 
him, by the hands of those champions of law, liberty, 
and toleration ; and nearly the last words of the 
wretched man were still the petition, in vain repeated, 
" For Jesus Christ's sake, I beseech you to give me a 
little time to prepare myself for death !" 

The growing vigour of the Independent party was 
evinced in many other ways. The Assembly of Divines, 
a copy of the national assembly of the Scottish kirk, 
though, in the first instance, composed almost exclu- 
sively of Presbyterians, rapidly yielded to the lawless 
impulses which swayed without, and was filled with 
antinomians, anabaptists, millenarians, with adherents, 
in short, of almost all those multifarious sects, whom 
the fanatical temper of the period, and the nature of 
the contest in which the country was engaged, had 
called into existence. These anomalous factions, united 
however by the common aim of freedom for conscience, 
readily lent their aid in the work of ecclesiastical ruin ; 
in stripping away copes and surplices, in demolishing 
and mutilating ancient monuments, in pulling down 


organs ; but to the business of reconstruction, in any 
shape, they were utterly opposed, and set themselves 
as earnestly against the proposed government by pres- 
byters, classes, and synods, as both the Presbyterians 
and their discordant colleagues had before done against 
the existing authority of archbishops, bishops, and 
deans. " The opposition between them," writes a 
modern historian, " grew fierce and obstinate : day 
after day, week after week, was consumed in unavail- 
ing debates. The lords Say and Wharton, Sir Henry 
Vane, and Mr. St. John, contended warmly in favour 
of toleration : they were as warmly opposed by ' the 
divine eloquence of the chancellor ' of Scotland, the 
commissioners from the kirk, and several eminent 
members of the English parliament. Eighteen months 
had elapsed since the assembly was first convened, and 
yet it had accomplished nothing of importance, except 
the composition of a Directory for the public worship." 
The once flourishing church of England had indeed 
been levelled with the ground, but its root still sur- 
vived in the affections and habits of the people; 
spurned, trampled, drained of all but its divine vitality, 
it was yet ready, when the allotted period of its judicial 
ruin, and the ripened purposes of Providence, should be 
complete, to raise its stately head and extend its shel- 
tering branches ; while the discipline of the Directory 
was from the first a thing void of every element of life. 
At no time more than very partially observed, its au- 
thors quickly saw it wholly neglected a naked and 
uncouth monument of their presumption. 



THE prosecution of the war, as far as the nature of the 
season allowed, had not been in any degree intermitted 
during the conference at Uxbridge. In the middle 
of the treaty the town of Weymouth was surprised, 
and partly occupied by the king's troops; on the 
other side, Shrewsbury, one of Charles's most important 
garrisons, was betrayed to the parliament on the very 
day of its expiration. Great exertions were made by 
the parliament to give effect to their new model, by 
voting abundant military supplies for the approaching 
campaign. Nor was the king less anxiously engaged 
in preparations for the decisive struggle which he fore- 
saw. But the total want of pecuniary resources, to 
which he was by this time reduced, presented a most 
embarrassing difficulty. He endeavoured, by means of 
negotiations conducted through the queen's agency at 
Paris, to obtain aid from the French king and the Duke 
of Lorraine ; the latter of whom appears to have pro- 
mised to bring over 10,000 men to his assistance. He 
also directed the Duke of Ormond to settle, on any 
terms he chose, the differences in Ireland, that he 
might be enabled to avail himself of the support of 
his Roman catholic subjects in that country. 

Apprehensive, in the mean time, that Oxford, towards 


which the enemy had of late made threatening ad- 
vances, must, sooner or later, undergo the dangers of a 
siege, he determined to provide for the security of 
the prince of Wales, by sending him into the west, 
where the royal authority was still paramount. The 
place chosen for his royal highness's residence, as pro- 
mising both safety and convenience, was Bristol. 
Thither accordingly the young prince proceeded, early 
in the month of March, with two regiments of guards, 
under the command of Lord Capel and the Marquess 
of Hertford, attended by Lord Colepepper, Hyde, and 
others of the king's council. 

The establishment of a court for the prince, separate 
from that of his royal parent, tended to the increase of 
those feuds among the royalists, which have been, in 
some degree, described. His majesty's authority at 
Oxford, already extremely weak, was farther lessened 
by it, without the least prospect of vigour being com- 
municated to that of his youthful representative. It 
was Charles's original intention not to invest the prince 
with a military command, because he foresaw that the 
necessary delegation of the duties of the office to others, 
in consequence of his youth, would not fail to aggravate 
the existing jealousies and disputes. But Rupert, 
when, in an evil hour, he was offered the chief com- 
mand of the army, had touched a string in the king's 
heart which never vibrated without pleasure, by refusing 
to accept it unless in quality of lieutenant to his cousin. 
Accordingly, Prince Charles was appointed generalissimo 
of all the king's armies; and a deputation of noblemen 
and gentlemen coming at this time to solicit the king's 


approval of an association of the four western counties, 
which they desired to place under the prince's imme- 
diate direction; at the same time offering to provide 
for his dignity, and to raise troops for the defence of 
his person; the king consented farther to nominate 
him its general. In the end, this double command, 
conferred on a youth of eighteen, became either wholly 
insignificant, or absolutely injurious to the royal cause. 
A wiser policy, both projected and executed by one 
master-intellect, directed the affairs of the parliament. 
From this time, during a long succession of years, 
the destinies of England, as far as they were com- 
mitted to the operation of second causes, are mainly 
beheld in the career of Cromwell. Under the direction, 
secret or acknowledged, of that extraordinary person, 
the reconstruction of the army was completed, without 
mutinies, and almost without discontents among the 
soldiery : wherever any such occurred, his activity and 
decision were effectual to repress them. The stern 
sobriety, or solemn religious fervour of that officer's 
own regiments; their familiar association of the bible 
and the sword; their steady use of the one, and their 
licentious handling of the other, became the common 
pattern for the regenerated forces of the parliament. 
Each man could contend, in discourse, for his own views 
in religion ; every one was ready to conquer or die, in 
battle, for the common cause. Still, the utmost skill and 
vigilance could not altogether prevent the weakness and 
uncertainty incident to such a military revolution as the 
New Model. But the king was himself in no condition to 
take advantage of the unprepared state of his adversaries. 


The significant omission which has been noticed, in 
the list of officers, was well understood by the parties. 
Fairfax, the parliament above all, Cromwell himself, 
knew perfectly, that he who was the originator and 
life of this great plan, was not to be excluded from the 
advantages of its practical operation. Or, if from any 
one of them the real object was concealed, it was as- 
suredly not from the astute Cromwell, but the confiding 
Fairfax. From the day when the ordinance for the 
New Model passed the House of Commons, Cromwell 
was no longer to be seen within its walls. The ter- 
mination of the prescribed period of forty days ap- 
proached, but the lieutenant-general appeared not, with 
the other officers who sat in the parliament, to deliver 
up his commission. The public service, it was hinted, 
demanded his absence ; it was allowed for a second 
period of forty days. Orders were then issued by the 
parliament (but never designed to be obeyed) that he 
should attend in his place, and that the new general 
should appoint some other officer to his command. 
Fairfax replied by a humble request, " that they would 
give lieutenant-general Cromwell leave to stay with him 
some few days longer, for his better information, with- 
out which he should not be able to perform what they 
expected from him." The petition was too reasonable 
to be denied. At length, when nearly another month 
had elapsed, the following letter was read in the 
Commons from Sir Thomas Fairfax, and divers of the 
chief officers of his army: "Upon serious consideration 
how the horse of this army may be managed to the 
best advantage of the public, which are at present 


without any general officer to command them, though 
as considerable a body as any you have had since the 
beginning of these unhappy troubles; we have taken 
the boldness, humbly to desire that this house would be 
pleased to appoint lieutenant-general Cromwell to this 
service, while this honourable house shall think fit to 
spare him from his attendance in parliament. The ge- 
neral esteem and affection which he hath both with the 
officers and soldiers of this whole army ; his own per- 
sonal worth and ability for the employment; his great 
care, diligence, courage, and faithfulness in the service 
you have already employed him [in], with the constant 
presence and blessing of God that have accompanied 
him, make us look upon it as the duty we owe to you 
and the public, to make it our humble and earnest suit 
(if it may seem good to you), to appoint him unto this 
employment, which shall be received by us with that 
thankfulness and acknowledgment of your favour, 
which may best express how sensible we are of so great 
an obligation, and how much devoted to your and the 
kingdom's service." On this it was resolved, that Sir 
Thomas Fairfax be desired, if he thinks fit, " to appoint 
lieutenant-general Cromwell to command the horse, as 
lieutenant-general, during such time as this house shall 
please to dispense with his attendance." Of course, 
notwithstanding some subsequent renewals of the dis- 
pensation, by way of blind, there was an end of the 
matter : and, as Clarendon remarks, " from this time 
Cromwell absolutely governed the whole martial affairs" 
of the parliament. 

His first exploit after the passing of the celebrated 


ordinance, was performed at Islip-bridge, near Oxford. 
Having received orders to intercept a party of horse, 
(consisting of the queen's and two other regiments, 
under the command of the Earl of* Northampton,) 
marching to join the king at Oxford, he put himself 
at the head of some of his choice troops ; attacked 
and routed them ; took two hundred prisoners, and got 
possession of her majesty's standard. From Islip he 
marched to Blechingdon Place, then a fortified post 
under the command of Colonel Windebank. The house 
happened to contain a party of ladies, on a visit to 
the colonel's wife, at the moment when the dreaded 
" Invincibles" made their appearance ; and Windebank, 
softened by the sight of female terrors, agreed, at 
Cromwell's summons, to a surrender. His weakness 
cost him his life. The indignant king ordered him to 
be tried at Oxford by a court-martial, in pursuance of 
whose sentence he was shot in the Castle-yard. In a 
subsequent encounter, however, with Goring, an officer 
of bravery equal to his own, though in conduct griev- 
ously inferior, Cromwell received a severe reverse the 
only one which befell him during the war. The occasion 
was this : 

By the surrender of Essex's army, and Charles's 
unobstructed march back to Newbury, the interest of 
the parliament in the western counties suffered greatly. 
Cornwall became wholly the king's. In Devonshire 
they held only Plymouth itself in a state of siege. 
In Dorsetshire, Poole was theirs, and Lyme. Of Wey- 
mouth, a place of more importance, one moiety, as was 
before intimated, comprising the forts and the upper 
G 2 



town, had been taken possession of by the king's 
troops, under the command of Sir Walter Hastings, 
governor of Portland ; but it was lost again by Goring. 
That brave, but desultory and dissatisfied officer, was 
engaged in an intrigue, with the double object of 
being removed as far as possible from Rupert, with 
whom he was in continual strife, and of obtaining 
the general command of the west, under the Prince 
of Wales. With this design, he procured the king's 
order to proceed with a strong force to complete the 
occupation of Weymouth, and then to prevent the 
relief of Taunton, the only vestige of the parliament's 
power in Somersetshire, which the royalists were vigor- 
ously besieging, while the enemy were as anxiously 
exerting themselves for its relief. Goring failed on 
both points ; the siege of Taunton having been raised 
while he lingered idly in Wiltshire, and Weymouth, 
through his treachery, or negligence, being " retaken 
by that contemptible number of the rebels, who had 
been beaten at the lower town, and who were looked 
upon as prisoners at mercy." These failures the king's 
general of cavalry in some degree balanced by two 
brilliant and successful attacks, both in one week, on 
the quarters of Waller, whose period of service had not 
yet expired. But the king, having by this time com- 
pleted such other preparations as he was able to make 
for the field, sent orders to Rupert, then at Worcester, 
to rejoin him with his forces, and, at the same time, 
recalled Goring also with the cavalry to Oxford. Goring 
obeyed; with no good will, but with his accustomed 
celerity of movement. In this march it was that he 


fell unexpectedly upon a party of Cromwell's horse, as, 
late in the evening, they were in the act of passing the 
Isis at Woodstock. The attack was instant, and ad- 
mirably executed. Cromwell's powerful squadrons were 
thrown into confusion, and defeated with great slaugh- 
ter; and, on the following day, May 7th, the king and 
Rupert marched out of Oxford, cheered by presages of 
victory, destined to signal disappointment. 

At the place of rendezvous appointed for the royalist 
forces, on the borders of Gloucestershire, the king's 
army mustered 5UOO foot and 6000 horse. The general 
opinion of Charles's officers was, that with this force 
he ought to follow Fairfax, who had previously marched 
westward for the purpose of raising the siege of Taun- 
ton ; and prevent the accomplishment of that object by 
forcing him to fight, before Cromwell, whom he had 
left to follow, could come up to his support. But 
Rupert, who had a plan of his own, overruled this 
advice. Still smarting from his defeat at Marston 
Moor, the prince no sooner found himself in a con- 
dition to be revenged on the Scots, to whom chiefly he 
ascribed the loss of that famous battle, than his hot 
impetuous temper scorned to brook delay. Goring, 
therefore, was ordered back to Taunton, with 3000 
of his horse, the most efficient corps in the king's 
service, to join with Sir Richard Grenvil and renew 
the siege ; while the main army, thus formidably re- 
duced in strength, proceeded in a northerly direction. 
At Tutbury Castle, intelligence was brought to the 
king, that, on his majesty's departure being known, 
Fairfax had detached a party to the relief of Taunton, 


and had himself marched back and sat down before 
Oxford. Charles now returned also, intending to 
dispose his army in such a manner, that, if there 
should be occasion, he might advance to the immediate 
relief of that city ; in the interval, he resolved to at- 
tempt the recovery of Leicester, then held by a strong 
rebel garrison. It was the evening of May 30th when 
the royalists drew up before the town : the next morn- 
ing a battery was constructed, a breach opened, and 
within a few hours the place stormed, and taken at the 
sword's point. The garrison made a gallant defence, 
covering the breach with the bodies of their assailants, 
of whom above two hundred officers and men perished ; 
but in the end were all made prisoners, and the place 
given up to those atrocities which commonly attend 
the sudden storm and capture of a town. No distinc- 
tion was made of royalist from republican, though the 
king had many loyal subjects within the walls ; nor 
were even the churches or hospitals exempted from 
the general pillage. The perpetration of these acts 
of violence is attributed, chiefly, to the northern 
regiments brought down by Sir Marmaduke Langdale. 
Leicester, however, presents but one among many 
instances which show that the cavaliers, and the royal- 
ist soldiers generally, assumed, after the adoption of the 
New Model, a greater height of licentiousness; as if 
in scornful contrast with their enemies, who affected to 
regard themselves as the soldiers of God, and to ob- 
serve a severity of discipline, as well as a gravity of 
demeanour, consistent with that lofty claim. 

But all the advantages of this victory were fatally 


thrown away. The king quickly repaired the fortifi- 
cations of Leicester ; but, instead of remaining in this 
post till he had been reinforced, either by General 
Gerrard, who had orders to advance for that purpose, 
from Worcester, with his corps of 3000 men; by 
Goring's return from his western expedition ; or, at the 
least, till he had supplied by some more immediate 
means the loss sustained in the late assault, and 
replaced the troops required for garrisoning the works, 
he was persuaded, after a repose of only five days, 
to resume his march towards Oxford, at the head of 
an army wholly " insufficient to fight a battle for the 
crown." On the evening of the first day, he learned 
that Fairfax had already retired. The general of 
the parliament had been reminded by his masters, that 
" the policy resolved on at the constitution of the new 
model, and openly declared by Cromwell, was, to strike 
at the king, and keep him constantly in pursuit." And 
now it was, that he solicited from the House of Com- 
mons the appointment of that indispensable officer to 
the post of lieutenant-general. On receiving their 
favourable reply, he forwarded the commission to 
Cromwell, then in the associated eastern counties, 
with an earnest request that he would join him without 
delay. The summons was by no means unexpected ; 
within two days, that faithful colleague and stimulating- 
adviser was at his side. At nightfall of the same even- 
ing an alarm ran through the royal camp, that an out- 
post had been forced, and the sentinels slain or carried 
off, by a party of the enemy's horse. This was the 
exploit of Ireton, whom Fairfax had sent out to recon- 


noitre the king's position : he himself, with Cromwell, 
was quartered six miles off, at Northampton. At this 
unlooked-for announcement, the king instantly assem- 
bled a council of war. In the morning he had yielded 
to the forcible suggestions of prudence, and had marched 
northward in order to strengthen himself by reinforce- 
ments before risking an engagement : it was now 
resolved, on the instant, with that rash, impetuous 
gallantry which characterized the royalist officers 
whenever the enemy was at hand, not only to risk, 
but to advance and offer battle. 

Accordingly, at break of day (the fatal 14th of June, 
1645) the royal army was drawn up on a rising ground 
about a mile south from. Harborough; a position afford- 
ing every requisite advantage. The main body of the 
infantry, numbering about 2500 men, was led by the 
king in person, and under him by the lord Ashley ; the 
right wing, of horse, amounting to 2000, was led by 
Prince Rupert ; the left wing, consisting of cavalry from 
the northern counties, with some detachments from 
Newark, in all not exceeding 1600, was entrusted to Sir 
Marmaduke Langdale. In the reserve, which altogether 
might be about 1300 strong, were the king's life-guards 
commanded by the Earl of Lindsey, Prince Rupert's 
regiment of foot, and the royal horse-guards under 
Lord Bernard Stuart, lately created Earl of Lichfield. 
In this order the army had already been standing for 
some time, in expectation of the enemy, when, no sign 
appearing of their approach, the king began to doubt 
the correctness of the last night's intelligence. Reports 
brought in by the scouts threw no certain light on 


Fairfax's designs. "They are retreating before us," was 
now whispered along the ranks. Urged by his cus- 
tomary impatience, Prince Rupert galloped forward a 
distance of about two miles, to ascertain the truth, and 
then sent word that it was true the enemy seemed about 
to turn their backs, and that a rapid movement of the 
royalists onward to the attack would have the effect of 
at once dispersing them. The word was given to ad- 
vance ; the king put his army in motion; and, relin- 
quishing the favourable ground they had occupied, led 
forward his columns into the plain, a fallow field about 
a mile in breadth, which lay between Harborough 
and the village of Naseby. Along the crest of a 
gentle eminence, terminating this open space towards 
JVaseby, lay the army of the parliament. Here the 
infantry had sat down, with their arms in their hands, 
composedly waiting the conflict ; while Cromwell, 
availing himself of the leisure and opportunity afforded 
him by the march of the royal forces in the plain 
below, was ordering some movements of cavalry on the 
wings. It was the indistinct and broken view he ob- 
tained of these movements, which deceived the prince 
into the opinion that Fairfax was retiring. In the 
centre of this enthusiastic host, Fairfax and Skippon 
commanded; on the right wing, Cromwell; the left 
was given in charge to Ireton, on whom the general 
had, upon the field, conferred the rank of commissary- 
general. The word was, on either side, characteristic; 
that of the cavaliers being "Queen Mary" (Henrietta 
Maria); that of the parliamentarians, "God our 
strength." Such had been the arrangements, deliberate 


and complete on the republican side, but disordered 
and imperfect on the king's, for " the army was 
engaged before the cannon was turned, or the ground 
chosen by the royalists," when, at ten o'clock, that 
decisive and disastrous fight began. 

It began with shouts of alacrity and delight from 
the combatants on both sides; for, on both, an im- 
pression prevailed among them, that they were on 
" the edge" of a battle which was at length to decide 
the destinies of their common country. The first charge 
was, as usual, given by Rupert. The movement was 
performed with a force and impetuosity, against which 
Ireton, with all his bravery and steadiness, found him- 
self utterly unable to stand. His division was broken 
by the shock, and the commander himself, transfixed 
with two severe wounds, and having his horse killed 
under him, was taken prisoner; but, in the confusion 
of the melee, afterwards escaped to his party. The 
prince, regardless, according to his custom, of the fate 
of the main body of the army in which he commanded, 
pursued the scattered fugitives, drove them through 
their astonished reserves, made himself master, for a 
time, of some of their guns, and never thought of re- 
calling his jaded horsemen until they had themselves 
fallen into irrecoverable disorder. 

While this was going on, the royal centre advanced, 
at a quick pace, up the hill, where the van of the 
parliamentarians gave way before their onset, and fell 
back upon the rear. Old Skippon, to whom, in the 
scarcity of experienced officers, fell a disproportionate 
share of the danger and exertion of the day, was, at 


the beginning of the conflict, sharply wounded in the 
side ; " the brave old man " refused however, when 
entreated, to quit the field, exclaiming " that he would 
not stir so long as a man would stand " by him. Fair- 
fax now advanced to his support; and, animated by 
the personal activity and daring of the general, the 
fight in the centre was more equally maintained. At 
every point of the field he was to be seen, rallying his 
broken ranks, cheering on the discouraged, and, by his 
dauntless example, inflaming to a higher pitch the 
valour of the boldest. As he thus hurried through the 
thickest of the fray, his helmet was struck off ; but he 
continued to ride about bareheaded ; and in this state 
coming up with his body-guard, their commander, 
Colonel Charles D'Oyley, remonstrated with him on 
exposing a life so valuable to such hazard, at the same 
time respectfully offering him his own helmet. " It is 
well enough, Charles," said Fairfax, refusing it, and 
again galloped on. 

But now Cromwell, with equal execution, but far 
different result, was performing, on the parliamentarians' 
right wing, an exploit similar to that which Rupert had 
fruitlessly accomplished on the right of the royalists. 
On the royal left, Langdale, at the head of his northern 
and Newark horse, charged after the example of Prince 
Rupert, encountering the whole strength of Cromwell's 
regiments, now augmented by some troops of Ireton's 
corps, whom their officers had succeeded in rallying, 
and bringing up a second time. The attack, less 
energetically conducted than was the wont of those 
hardy northerns, on account of the disadvantage of 


the ground, which obliged them to advance up hill, 
was endured without flinching by Cromwell's massy 
and more numerous bands of Ironsides. The re- 
publican hero now in turn became the assailant. 
Charging them at once in front and flank, first with a 
heavy fire of carbines, then at the sword's point, he 
routed the whole body, and drove them down the hill. 
Seven squadrons were under his command, and never 
soldiers more steadily and cheerfully obeyed their 
leader. Four he ordered to continue the pursuit, and 
prevent the broken royalists rallying ; with the other 
three he wheeled rapidly round to the centre, where 
the infantry had been long fiercely engaged, on both 
sides alternately retreating and rallying, but with a 
preponderating disadvantage on the side of the par- 
liamentarians, which did not escape the anxious ob- 
servation of Cromwell. By this movement was the 
victory secured. The king's battalions, already harassed 
with the doubtful struggle, wavered, gave way, and 
finding themselves surrounded by the enemy, and de- 
serted by their own cavalry, successively threw down 
their arms, and fled, or yielded themselves prisoners. 
One regiment only stood its ground, unmoved as a 
rock, amid the broken surges of the battle. Fairfax, 
again addressing his colonel of the guard, demanded, 
whether that regiment had been charged ? " Twice," 
D'Oyley replied ; " but they moved not an inch." 
Fairfax then, directing the officer to make a third 
charge in front, himself attacked them simultaneously 
in the rear; and the devoted band being cut through in 
all directions, the two met in the centre of the ground 


they had just before occupied ; Fairfax bearing in his 
hand the colours which he had seized, after slaying the 
ensign, and now gave to a trooper to hold. By and 
by the soldier began to boast that it was he who had 
seized those colours ; and when the circumstance was 
reported to Fairfax, he forbade the public exposure of 
the vainglorious falsehood, saying, " Let him have the 
honour : I have enough beside." 

Ever among the most intrepid in battle, the king 
excelled himself by his admirable conduct on this fatal 
day. Again and again he rallied his broken columns, 
riding from regiment to regiment, and encouraging the 
men with voice and gesture. In the midst of these efforts, 
perceiving the defeat of his left wing, he had already 
given the word, and was on the point of charging with 
his guards into the midst of Cromwell's triumphant 
squadrons, " when the Earl of Carneworth, a Scottish 
nobleman, who chanced to ride next to him, cried out, 
with two or three full-mouthed Scottish oaths: 'What, 
Sir, would you rush upon instant death ?' and, at the 
same moment, seizing the bridle of Charles's horse, 
turned him round," before the king understood what it 
was he meant. By this unhappy interference of well- 
intentioned loyalty, all was lost. Imagining that the 
command had been given to retreat, the whole re- 
giment turned, and rode upon the spur the distance of 
a quarter of a mile. The mistake was then discovered, 
and the word to "stand," arrested them, but too late 
to restore order in their ranks. Some few galloped 
back to the king, whom they found with his staff still 
in the midst of the field, where Rupert had now joined 


him, with large numbers of the victorious but disordered 
right wing. Vain however was every effort to induce 
them again to form and renew the contest. They had 
done their part : the victory they had won, others had 
thrown away. "One charge more, friends," exclaimed 
the king, "and we recover the day!" It availed not; 
and Charles and Rupert, with the brave cavaliers that 
surrounded him, fought their way out of that fatal field, 
where, as Clarendon mournfully says, " the king and 
the kingdom were both lost." The defeated sovereign 
left in the hands of the victor 5,000 prisoners; all his 
artillery; 9,000 stand of arms; the royal standard, with 
a hundred stand of colours besides; his private carriages 
and baggage, with the cabinet containing his cor- 
respondence with the queen; jewels, gold, in short, 
every thing that could enrich the conquerors, glut their 
desire of vengeance, and stamp the victory as complete. 
That night the fugitives passed through Leicester, fol- 
lowed to the walls by the horse of the parliamentarians, 
and next day by their infantry. 

Respecting the numbers slain in this decisive battle, 
the accounts differ, but all make them under 2,000 ; a 
result less sanguinary than might have been expected 
from the numbers engaged, and the determined cha- 
racter of the contest. As usual in the king's battles, 
the proportion of officers killed was excessive ; those 
gallant and loyal cavaliers choosing rather to fall where 
they stood, than to submit or fly, and the common 
soldiers being frequently raw recruits, little hearty 
in the cause. While not more than ten officers or 
gentlemen of quality surrendered, above one hundred 


and fifty lay dead upon the spot, whose memories, says 
Clarendon, ought to be preserved. On the parliament's 
side an unpardonable enormity was committed in the 
pursuit. A hundred women, some of them the wives 
of officers of distinction, were cut to pieces, or mi- 
serably wounded, under pretence that they were Irish. 
Whether the benefit of this excuse, such as it is, really 
belongs to the fanatical soldiers who perpetrated that 
deed of cruelty, or not, cannot be ascertained; but 
we have already seen, with what savage ferocity the 
natives of Ireland were treated by the parliament and 
their military commanders. 

A more serious blow to the king's cause, than even 
the loss of so many of his devoted subjects, was the use 
made by his enemies of the mass of secret papers which 
came into their possession with the spoil of Naseby ; 
a " barbarous use," it is not unnaturally styled by Cla- 
rendon. On the other hand, "to conceal those evidences" 
would, they themselves asserted, have been " a great 
sin against the mercies of God." But the calmer, though 
not unbiassed historian of our own times, has justly 
said, that " if their contents were of a nature to justify 
the conduct of the parliament, one sees not on what 
ground it could be expected that they should be sup- 
pressed." Respecting the publication, Charles himself 
never complained ; the charge of forgery, advanced by 
some over zealous loyalists, he himself silenced by 
a candid admission of the genuineness of those portions 
of the papers which were produced ; but he also main- 
tained that others, which would have served to explain 
ambiguous points, were designedly kept back. Twenty- 


two additional papers were actually added by the Lords 
to the selection which the Commons sent up to them in 
the first instance, after the whole mass, with the other 
contents of the king's cabinet, had already been 
many days in their hands, and in those of their officers. 
As to the unfair, and even false light, in which the 
whole were exhibited in print to the coarse and pre- 
judiced eyes of the multitude, it would have been idle 
to complain. 

The charges against the king, that have been founded 
on these celebrated documents, are of two classes : such 
as affect his general character for veracity ; those which 
refer to the nature of the facts disclosed. The former, 
for obvious reasons, have, in modern times, been chiefly 
insisted on by the king's enemies. That they should 
have been so insisted on, without the smallest allow- 
ance, nay, with vehement invective arid rancorous 
abuse, proves, at least, the deathless interest taken 
by passion and prejudice, as well as reason, in those 
portions of our country's history, which, beyond others, 
involve great moral questions. As Englishmen of the 
nineteenth century, we need not blush to range our- 
selves on either side in that majestic controversy of 
opinion, by which the realm was torn and desolated in 
the seventeenth century ; but, assuredly, powers of 
countenance quite marvellous must have been at the 
command of men, who could come forward with a 
solemn charge of falsehood against their sovereign for 
having occasional recourse to the arts of policy and 
subterfuge, in order to maintain himself in a position of 
unexampled difficulty and hardship, while the entire 


system of their own policy was mendacious; while 
they slew the king's loyal subjects in his name ; struck 
at his own life, and had raised up, for their glory, 
though ultimately for their scourge, the most renowned 
of hypocrites. Among the particular facts alleged, a 
favourite ground of contemptuous accusation is Charles's 
imputed subserviency to the counsels of his queen. 
Had this existed, even to the degree of an unbecoming 
uxoriousness, one might have looked for more toleration 
of such a foible on the part of those very strict asserters 
of Christian purity; and the singular spectacle of a king 
who could affirm (not on his death-bed, for a death-bed 
he was not allowed, but in the immediate view of 
death), that he had never been unfaithful, in deed 
or thought, to his marriage vows, might have expected 
to conciliate respect. But the charge is, in a great 
degree, unfounded. The king had few sincere or judi- 
cious advisers; and when he endeavoured to supply the 
want by accepting the suggestions of Henrietta, it was 
generally on subjects, respecting which it seems natural 
that a wife, in such circumstances, should be allowed to 
be heard : such were the appointments in the prince's 
household ; the care of the king's personal safety ; 
sufficient stipulations, in treating for peace, " in favour 
of those who have served you, as well the bishops as 
the poor catholics." In a country, the constitution and 
laws of which admit, while the people warmly welcome, 
the accession of a woman to the entire responsibility of 
the regal office, this loud outcry against interference 
so moderate as that of the queen of Charles I. in the 
affairs of government, sounds more like the clamour of 



faction than the voice of reason. Advice like the follow- 
ing, from whatever quarter it might come, could hardly 
be unworthy of the king's attention : "I have nothing to 
say, but that you have a care of your honour ; and that 
if you have a peace, it may be such as may hold ; and 
if it fall out otherwise, that you do not abandon those 
who have served you, for fear they do forsake you in 
your need. Also, I do not see how you can be in 
safety, without a regiment of guards. In my opi- 
nion, religion should be the last thing upon which 
you should treat [viz. at Uxbridge]. For if you do 
agree upon strictness against the catholics, it would 
discourage them to serve you ; and, if afterwards there 
should be no peace, you could never expect succours, 
either from Ireland or any other catholic prince; for 
they would believe you would abandon them, after you 
had served yourself." The employment of papists in 
his army, a grievance much dwelt upon by his ad- 
versaries, has been pronounced, even by an unfriendly 
judgment, to be among those "things for which no one 
can rationally blame Charles;" an exculpation, which 
might as properly have been extended to the in- 
troduction of his Irish subjects, or even of foreign 
mercenaries, into the royal service. The only point, in 
all this published correspondence, which Charles ap- 
pears to have been himself solicitous to clear up, and 
one which, strange to say, the friends of the rebel party 
still continue to allege, is that regarding the use of 
disrespectful terms in characterizing his parliament 
assembled at Oxford : on this point the king's defence 
has been already quoted. 


Cromwell, who had returned to Harborough after 
pursuing the king, wrote thence the same night to 
the Speaker of the House of Commons an account 
of the victory. In the despatching of his letter, as 
in all things else, he took care to have the pre- 
cedence of the general. It is blunt and brief, and 
evidently designed to inspire his party in the parliament 
with that exultation, and that contempt of their po- 
litical enemies, which he himself so strongly felt. 
" Honest men served you faithfully in this action, Sir ; 
they are trusty : I beseech you, in the name of God, 

not to discourage them He that ventures life 

for the liberty of his country, I wish to trust God for 
the liberty of his conscience, and you for the liberty he 
fights for." On the 17th, the day following the receipt 
of Fairfax's despatches, containing the official news 
of the victory, both houses were sumptuously feasted 
by the City of London at Grocer's-hall ; and before 
taking leave in the evening, sang the forty-sixth psalm; 
in the version, probably, of the Kirk of Scotland. The 
convoy of the prisoners, standards, guns, carriages, and 
such other portions of the rich booty as had escaped 
the hands of the soldiers, was entrusted to Colonel John 
Fiennes, who was ordered to march with them through 
the city to Westminster. Arrived at the door of the 
Commons' house, he was called in, and there, in the 
midst of the triumph of the promoters of the new 
model, and the astonishment of the disconcerted pres- 
byterians, delivered " a particular narration of the 
fight." The standards were ordered to be hung up in 
Westminster Hall ; and the prisoners being mustered 
H 2 


in the Artillery-ground, near Tothill-fields, such of them 
as gave satisfactory pledges to the committee appointed 
to examine them, that they would henceforth be the 
faithful slaves of the parliament, were set at large ; but 
much the greater number " were shipped off to serve 
in foreign parts upon conditions ;" a mode of disposing 
of "malignants" well understood and largely practised 
by the patrons of the new " liberty of the subject." 



WHAT supported the king under the calamitous con- 
sequences of the defeat at Naseby, will be best under- 
stood from the insertion in this place of an extract 
from that eloquent letter to Prince Rupert, which 
Clarendon has described as " containing so lively an 
expression of his very soul, that no pen else could 
have written it." The date of this emphatic production 
is indeed several weeks later than the point of time 
which we have now reached, namely, the beginning 
of August, 1645, when Charles's position had be- 
come considerably worse ; it nevertheless presents a 
correct transcript of his sentiments and resolves 
while under the immediate effect of that great blow, 
and may indeed be regarded as the key to his future 
public acts. " As for the opinion of my business, and 
your council thereupon, if I had any other quarrel but 
the defence of my religion, crown, and friends, you had 
full reason for your advice. For I confess, that speak- 
ing either as a mere soldier or statesman, I must say, 
there is no probability but of my ruin ; but as a Chris- 
tian, I must tell you, that God will not suffer rebels to 
prosper, or his cause to be overthrown ; and whatsoever 
personal punishment it shall please him to inflict upon 


me must not make me repine, much less to give over 
this quarrel, which, by the grace of God, I am resolved 
against, whatsoever it cost me : for I know my obliga- 
tions to be, both in conscience and honour, neither to 
abandon God's cause, injure my successors, nor forsake 
my friends. Indeed, I cannot flatter myself with ex- 
pectation of good success, more than this, to end my 
days with honour and a good conscience; which obliges 
me to continue my endeavour, as not despairing that 
God may in due time avenge his own cause. Though 
I must avow to all my friends, that he that will stay 
with me at this time must expect, and resolve, either to 
die for a good cause, or, which is worse, to live as 
miserable in the maintaining it, as the violence of in- 
sulting rebels can make him. Having thus truly and 
impartially stated my case unto you, and plainly told 
you my positive resolutions, which, by the grace of 
God, I will not alter, they being neither lightly nor 
suddenly grounded, I earnestly desire you not in any 
ways to hearken after treaties ; assuring you, as low as 
I am, I will not go less than what was offered in my 
name at Uxbridge ; confessing that it were as great a 
miracle that they should agree to so much reason, as 
that I should be, within a month, in the same condition 
that I was immediately before the battle of Naseby. 
Therefore, for God's sake, let us not flatter ourselves 
with these conceits." 

The reader will have collected, from the tenor of this 
noble letter, that Rupert was infected with that eager 
desire of peace, which, after the loss of Naseby, per- 
vaded the minds of the king's friends generally, and 


gave rise to combinations and cabals among the mili- 
tary officers, local commissioners, and others, to 
obtain it at whatever cost. In fact, the prince was 
weary of the duties of field, and still more so of that 
increasing want of success to which no one had con- 
tributed so largely as himself. Incapable of self- 
control, the outward restraints of discipline were in- 
tolerable to him, and the nobler restraints of a mag- 
nanimous sense of duty he was unable to appreciate. 
This reckless and insubordinate temper of their chief 
prevailed extensively among the cavaliers. Sir Richard 
Grenvil, who was still possessed of a powerful com- 
mand in Cornwall and Devonshire, had rendered his own 
name odious, and discredited the cause of which he was 
in some respects an able supporter, by an oppressive 
and presumptuous use of his authority. The conduct 
of Goring, who affected a kind of military dictatorship 
in the west, was still more injurious to the king, in 
consequence of that officer's superior abilities, more po- 
pular manners, and more considerable charge. By his in- 
solence, violence, and rapacity, it was he who first gave 
occasion to extensive associations of clubmen ; and 
afterwards, through his supine negligence, connived at 
their excesses. To those faults, which were calculated 
to occasion general disgust, was added a degree of 
moral profligacy and profaneness in conversation which 
justly offended pious persons. It was, in short, the 
state of lawlessness and disaffection to which, from 
being originally the most loyal division of England, 
the western counties had been brought by the license 
indulged in by Rupert and Maurice, Grenvil and 


Goring, which seems to have determined the king, 
when flying before Cromwell's victorious squadrons, 
instead of adopting the more obvious plan of uniting 
the scattered remains of his late army with the corps 
under the command of the two latter, to march at 
once into Wales, with the unpromising design of at- 
tempting to raise fresh forces beyond the Severn. 

At Hereford, Prince Rupert separated from the king, 
to attend to the security of his garrison at Bristol, 
while Charles proceeded through Abergavenny to Rag- 
land Castle, then a splendid baronial residence, which 
its owner, the Marquis of Worcester, had strongly for- 
tified and garrisoned. Here while waiting the issue of 
such directions as he had given to the local authorities 
for levying troops, the king passed three weeks with 
his learned and loyal host, in pursuits apparently so 
little suited to the exigencies of the time, as to draw 
forth bitter animadversion from his military historian : 
" As if," exclaims the secretary at war, " the genius of 
that place had conspired with our fates, we were there 
all lulled asleep with sports and entertainments ; as 
though no crown had been at stake, or in danger to be 
lost." The king, however, was constantly engaged in 
negotiating with those parties who were, or pretended 
to be, at work to raise levies for a new army ; he like- 
wise inspected all the neighbouring garrisons, including 
Cardiff, where Colonel Tyrrel, son-in-law of Archbishop 
Usher, had the command, and whither the venerable 
primate had retired for security. 

In the midst of these occupations, the king was 
startled by calamitous intelligence from the seat of 


active warfare. Fairfax and Cromwell had retaken Lei- 
cester, two days after Charles's march through it ; had 
encountered and defeated Goring at Langport, whither 
he had retired before the parliamentarians from the 
siege of Taunton ; and had subsequently advanced 
against Bridgwater. At the same time, the Scots, 
having after a tedious siege reduced Carlisle, advanced 
to Worcester, and, presently after, as far as Hereford, to 
which they laid siege. To add to the king's embarrass- 
ment, the disaffection of the Welsh was now found to 
be so complete, as not only to put an end to all hope 
of raising levies in Wales, but even to countenance 
the current rumours that a plot was in agitation among 
them to seize the king's person, and deliver him up to 
the parliament. To join Goring and Rupert beyond 
the Severn, in the face of two armies, was not prac- 
ticable : the only other direction which offered safety 
was towards the north. Charles consequently resolved 
to attempt the accomplishment of a purpose which, for 
some time, had dwelt in glowing colours on his fancy. 
He proposed by a rapid march to penetrate into Scot- 
land, and effect a junction with Montrose, whose ro- 
mantic career of victory was still proceeding unchecked. 
Having been joined by the Gordons, and other clans, 
that brilliant adventurer had added to the list of his 
achievements, in May, the defeat of Hurry, and on the 
2nd of July, that of Bayley; who had been sent out, 
each at the head of a separate army, to suppress him. 

The king's march northward was over the mountains, 
by Brecknock and Radnor, to Ludlow. At Welbeck, 
a garrisoned house belonging to the Marquis of New- 


castle, he was met by the cavaliers of Lincoln and 
Nottingham, by Sir Richard Willis, governor of Newark, 
and by many gentlemen from Pomfret Castle, which had 
lately surrendered to the rebels ; in pursuance of whose 
advice, measures were taken to raise in that vicinity some 
regiments of infantry for the royal service. A second 
and enlarged commission was at the same time forwarded 
to Montrose, with orders to conduct his forces to the 
border to co-operate with Charles's army. But this 
plan likewise was doomed to frustration. The Scottish 
Committee of Estates, alarmed at the successes of 
Montrose, had sent for assistance from the Earl of 
Leven's army before Hereford. That commander in- 
stantly despatched Lesley to their aid, with the greater 
part of his cavalry. Charles was lying at Doncaster 
when intelligence reached him of this unexpected move- 
ment. After a long day's march, Lesley had halted his 
tired soldiers for the night at Rotheram, about ten 
miles distant, in ignorance of the king's proximity, and 
by no means in a condition to resist an attack. Mean- 
while the intelligence brought to the king imported, 
that the purpose of the Scots was to intercept the 
royal party, and that their own comprised the whole 
strength of the Scottish horse. Charles had before 
learned, that Pointz and Rossiter, two of the par- 
liament's colonels, each in command of a numerous 
corps of cavalry, were drawing towards him with the 
same view. Persuaded that these combined impediments 
to his advance were insuperable, he relinquished his 
favourite design ; fell back to Newark; and thence 
traversing the associated counties, where he had some 


smart and successful skirmishing with parties of the 
enemy, re-entered Oxford on the 29th of August, his 
steps having been tracked all the way, at a distance, 
by Pointz. 

Bridgwater, though one of the strongest fortifications 
in England, did not impede the victorious progress of 
Fairfax's army. It was carried by storm in two days. 
A fortnight later Sherborne Castle was won in the 
same manner. Cromwell next marched against the 
club-men, who had assembled, to the number of several 
thousands, near Shaftesbury : they were obstinate in 
their resistance, but, after two or three hundred of 
their number had fallen beneath the swords of the 
" Invincibles," the rest quickly dispersed. The siege 
of Bristol followed. Rupert occupied that city with 
scarcely less than 5000 horse and foot; it was well 
stored with provisions ; and he had promised the king 
to hold it against all attempts, for four months at least. 
Nor could less have been expected from his courage 
and loyalty, on an occasion so important. Hardly had 
the army approached the lines, when Cromwell, impatient 
of delay, advised the general-in-chief to attempt Bristol 
also by storm. At midnight, on the 9th, the assault 
was made with great fury ; when the assailants, having 
succeeded in getting possession of some of the principal 
works, and the town being set on fire in several places, 
the prince, impetuous in onset, but wholly deficient in 
the patient fortitude necessary for defensive warfare, 
presently agreed to a surrender. Charles's astonish- 
ment and indignation were extreme, on learning the 
fall of this important fortress, which included the loss of 


a large proportion of his magazines and warlike stores. 
He instantly wrote his nephew a letter, full of cutting but 
dignified reproaches ; he revoked all the prince's com- 
missions; commanded him to quit the country, for which 
purpose he supplied him with a pass ; and, to prevent 
any intrigue in his favour at Oxford, whither he 
had withdrawn, ordered Legge, the governor of that 
city, a warm partisan of Rupert's, to be put under 
arrest and deprived of his command. " Tell my son," 
said the king, in the postscript to his letter on this 
painful subject to Secretary Nicholas, " that I shall 
less grieve to hear that he is knocked on the head, 
than that he should do so mean an action as is the 
rendering of Bristol Castle and Fort, upon the terms 
it was." A few days, however, only elapsed ere the 
gentler affections, more natural to Charles's bosom, 
resumed their ascendency; and in pity to both his 
nephews (for, powerless as he now was, the dependence 
of both was wholly on himself), he wrote as follows 
to the younger. 

"Newtowne, 20th Sept. 1645. 

" NEPHEW, What through want of time or unwilling- 
ness to speak to you of so unpleasant a subject, I have 
not yet (which now I must supply) spoken to you freely 
of your brother Rupert's present condition. The truth 
is, that his unhandsome quitting the castle and fort of 
Bristol hath enforced me to put him off those com- 
mands which he had in my army, and I have sent him a 
pass to go beyond the sea. Now, though I could do no 


less than this ; for which, believe me, I have too much 
reason upon strict examination; yet I assure you that I 
am most confident that this great error of his, which 
indeed hath given me more grief than any misfortune 
since this damnable rebellion, hath no way proceeded 
from his change of affection to me or my cause, but 
merely by having his judgment seduced; and I am 
resolved so little to forget his former services, that 
whenever it shall please God to enable me to look upon 
my friends like a king, he shall thank God for the pains 
he hath spent in my armies. So much for him, now for 
yourself. I know you to be so free from his present 
misfortune, that it no way staggers me in that good 
opinion which I have ever had of you ; and so long 
as you shall not be weary of your employments under 
me, I will give you all the encouragement and content- 
ment that lies in my power. However, you shall always 
find me 

" Your loving uncle, and most assured friend, 


For the purpose of more completely securing the 
submission of the western counties, which would, in 
effect, comprize that of the whole kingdom, Cromwell 
now separated from the main army, and marched back 
to reduce those loyal garrisons in the south, which 
blocked up the communication with London. Devizes 
was the first place he summoned : "Win it and wear it," 
was the answer of the governor, Sir Charles Lloyd ; but 
the gallantry of Sir Charles's language did not extend 
to his soldiership, for in less than two days he sur- 


rendered. Berkeley and Winchester Castles were the 
next gems added to Cromwell's wreath of conquest. 
From Winchester the conqueror marched to Basing. 
So many sieges had been sustained, so many assaults 
repelled, by this stronghold of determined loyalty, that 
it had acquired, through all the land, the reputation of 
being impregnable. Cromwell carried it by storm, and 
sent its owner, the Marquis of Winchester, with two 
hundred inferior officers and soldiers taken in it, pri- 
soners to the metropolis. "Cursed be he that doeth 
the work of the Lord negligently!" the frequent war- 
cry of the fanatics, both in the pulpit and in the field of 
battle, was conspicuously heard amid the slaughter 
of those devoted royalists who fell at Basing. Of the 
like tenor was Cromwell's letter to the speaker, an- 
nouncing the event. "God," he wrote, "exceedingly 
abounds in his goodness to us, and will not be weary 
until righteousness and peace meet, and that he hath 
brought forth a glorious work for the happiness of this 
poor kingdom." Turning then once more towards the 
west, Langford House, a post of the same description, 
near Salisbury, was surrendered to him. Near Exeter, he 
came up with Fairfax; who, having left a division 
of his army to invest that city, was advancing to en- 
counter the royalists, then mustering their scattered 
strength in the heart of the county. Impatient of the 
general's slow progress, Cromwell dashed forward be- 
yond the main army, attacked a royalist post near 
Ashburton, commanded by Lord Wentworth, and took 
four hundred horse, with several standards, one of 
which was the king's. 


While victory every where attended the movements 
of the king's opponents, scarcely any efforts were made 
by those who called themselves his friends, to which 
rational judgments could attach the prospect of success. 
Devonshire and Cornwall still contained royalist troops 
in number sufficient to form an effective army ; but 
many of them were discouraged by successive defeats, 
some in a state of mutiny, and all ill provided, and 
objects of hatred to the inhabitants, whose loyalty they 
had exhausted by oppression and insolent licence. Of the 
generals who surrounded Prince Charles, Hopton and 
Capel alone had virtue and conduct; the others, Goring, 
Grenvil, Wentworth, either appropriated or despised his 
authority ; and, in proportion as misfortune crowded 
upon misfortune, became more deeply and inextricably 
involved in mutual jealousies and a common ambition. 
At length these selfish and pernicious dissensions being 
in some degree appeased by the sudden retirement 
of Goring into France, a force was drawn together 
under Lord Hopton deemed adequate to relieve Exeter, 
and check the victorious progress of Fairfax and Crom- 
well. The surrender of Dartmouth to the parliament- 
arian generals, proclaimed the futility of this opinion. 
Marching from thence with all their strength, they 
surprised Hopton at Torrington. The slight entrench- 
ments of the royalists were easily forced; and the 
army, heartless, disaffected, and ill-officered, was utterly 
routed and dispersed at the first onset, leaving about 
five hundred of their number dead on the field. Hopton 
fought with all his accustomed gallantry, but having 
received a wound in the face, having had his horse 


killed under him, and being deserted by nearly all his 
troops, he threw himself upon a fresh horse, and, fol- 
lowed by some broken squadrons of cavaliers, crossed 
the Tamar, and took refuge in Cornwall, into which 
remote county Prince Charles had previously re- 

The king had no sooner foreseen to what fatal period 
his affairs were tending, than he provided for the re- 
moval of the prince to the continent, the instant his 
longer stay in England should become inconsistent 
with safety. The defeat of Hopton brought on this 
crisis. At Truro, whither that brave and virtuous 
nobleman retreated, he found himself reduced to the 
last extremity ; hemmed in by a powerful and victorious 
enemy, surrounded by disaffection in the people, and 
confronted by open mutiny among his few remaining 
troops. His officers attempted to force him to sur- 
render; one only supporting him in a resolution to 
accept no terms from Fairfax, at least until he had the 
express command of the Prince of Wales, " from whom 
his forlorn charge had been delegated." They then 
resolved unanimously, if the general persisted in his 
refusal, to negotiate terms for themselves. From this 
time all show of discipline was abandoned ; not a man 
mounted guard, or performed any military duty, but 
officers and privates alike mixed indiscriminately with 
those of Fairfax's army. The general, by great exertion, 
secured his military stores within the forts of Pendennis 
and St. Michael's Mount ; and, once more protesting, 
that neither for himself, nor any of the garrisons, would 
he solicit or accept terms from the rebels, he followed 


the prince to Scilly, where his royal highness had 
taken refuge on the entrance of Cromwell and Fairfax 
into Cornwall. The disorganized troops, left to them- 
selves, submitted and were disbanded. 

We left the king at Oxford. Two days had not 
elapsed before he was again at the head qf his troops, 
leaving behind the Duke of Richmond, with many other 
noblemen and gentlemen, whom the late unfortunate 
campaign had wearied of an irksome service and a 
sinking cause. His present design was to avert from 
Oxford the miseries of a siege, and at the same time to 
avail himself of the efforts of his friends in the more 
loyal, counties. He directed his march, through Wor- 
cester, once more to Ragland, a spot endeared to him, 
not only by the security it afforded in his misfortunes, 
but as the abode of learning, of piety, and honour, 
which he so well knew how to prize. 

This second visit of the king to the castle of Ragland, 
was signalized by a discussion between himself and his 
noble entertainer, the Marquess of Worcester, on the 
Romish controversy. The venerable marquess was a 
papist, ardent alike in attachment to his church, and 
in loyalty to his sovereign; and he devoutly believed 
that his royal master's misfortunes might have been 
averted by a timely return to the ancestral faith 
of the Stuarts. The conference was conducted, on 
both sides, with a degree of ability, erudition, and 
temper, seldom united; but with more of warmth and 
eloquence on the marquess's part, and more of cool- 
ness and judgment on the king's. Charles's share in 
it proves both his perfect mastery of the subject, and 


(what is otherwise clear from accumulated proofs) his 
firm adherence to the reformed church of England; the 
marquess's well-ordered array of arguments making no 
impression, though urged with pathetic sincerity, and 
at a moment when his favourite opinion, that the king's 
ruin was oijly to be prevented by his relinquishment 
of protestantism, seemed shrewdly seconded by events. 
" My lord," observed Charles, "I cannot so much blame 
as pity your zeal ; the soundness of religion is not to be 
tried by dint of sword, nor must we judge of her truths 
by the prosperity of events, for then of all men Christians 
would be the most miserable ; we are not to be thought 
followers of Christ, or not, by observations drawn from 
what is prosperous, or otherwise, but by taking up our 
cross and following Christ." 

The umpire in this interesting dispute was Dr. Bayley, 
subdean of Wales. The doctor himself published a 
report of the conference; and it would be difficult 
to name another publication, in which the questions in 
dispute are handled at once with so much discernment 
and liberality, so mildly but so convincingly. The fol- 
lowing is Dr. Bayley's account of the conclusion of this 
remarkable incident in the king's life : 

"'I have one request more unto your majesty,' said the 
marquess ; ' that you would make one prayer to God, 
to direct you in the right way, and that you would lay 
aside all prejudice and self-interest, and that you will 
not so much fear the subject, as the superior, who 
is over all ; and then you cannot do amiss.' ' My lord,' 
replied the king, ' all this shall be done, by the grace of 


"Whereupon," continues the doctor, "the marquess 
called upon us to help him, so that he might kneel; 
and being upon his knees, he desired to kiss his 
majesty's hand, which he did ; saying, ' Sir, I have not 
a thought in my heart that tends not to the service of 
my God and you; and if I could have resisted the 
motion of his Spirit, I had desisted long ago; but I 
could not. Wherefore, on both my knees, I pray to his 
divine Majesty, that he will not be wanting to his own 
ordinance, but will direct your understanding to those 
things which may make you a happy king upon earth, 
and a saint in heaven.' And thereupon he fell a weep- 
ing, bidding to light his majesty to his chamber. As 
the king was going, he said to the marquess, 'My lord, 
it is great pity that you should be in the wrong.' 
Whereat the marquess replied, ' It is greater pity that 
you should not be in the right.' The king said, ' God 
direct us both.' The marquess answered, 'Amen, amen, 
I pray God.' Thus they both parted ; ' and as I was 
lighting his majesty to his chamber, his majesty told 
me, that he did not think to have found the old man 
so ready at it; and that he believed he was a long 
time putting on his armour, yet it was hardly proof.' 
To which," concludes Bayley, "I made answer, that 
I believed his lordship had more reason to wonder how 
his majesty, so unprepared, could withstand the onset." 

It was at this time that the king received the astound- 
ing intelligence of the loss of Bristol. He had been 
arranging his plans, during the late march from Oxford, 
in full confidence of success, for the relief of that loyal 
and important city: he now determined to attempt 



raising the siege of Hereford. At Worcester he learned 
that Leven had already abandoned the works be- 
fore Hereford, and begun his retreat ; weary of a pro- 
tracted and hopeless siege, and deprived of the greater 
part of his cavalry by Lesly's return to Scotland, he 
judged it prudent not to wait the king's approach. 
The next day Charles entered the city, welcomed by 
its inhabitants with acclamations, but a prey, under 
this gleam of success, to the most serious perplexities. 
The reports which he continued to receive from Scot- 
land, turned his thoughts once more towards that 
division of his distracted realms. At Kilsyth, another 
victory had been obtained by Montrose over the Duke 
of Argyle; not more decisive than the victory of In- 
verlochy that was impossible but on a larger scale, 
and with more important results ; the combined armies 
of the covenant having been completely defeated and 
destroyed in this engagement, and all Scotland re- 
covered for the king. To attempt to join the victorious 
marquess would, however, be an undertaking full of 
difficulty and hazard. The north of England had every 
where submitted to the parliament their infantry held 
its garrisons, their parties of cavalry swept the open 
country. Beyond the Tweed, Lesley, with his horse, 
was interposed. 

While deliberating on these and other obstacles, 
Charles heard that Pointz, with the whole strength 
of the enemy's cavalry in the north, amounting to above 
3,000 men, had posted himself in the way to Wor- 
cester, whither it would be his object, in the first in- 
stance, to proceed. To avoid the manifest hazard of 


an engagement, the royalists manoeuvred with the 
design of misleading their pursuers. But Pointz was 
faithful to his orders, constantly to keep near the king ; 
and when, on the evening of the second day, the 
cavaliers expected to enter the town without inter- 
ruption, they again beheld with surprise the vigilant foe 
planted in their path. They now transferred their de- 
sign to Chester, which they hoped to reach by a 
circuitous route over the Welsh mountains ; intending, 
thence, to make their way northward by Lancashire 
and Cumberland. The ensuing march of five days, 
through those rough, inhospitable regions, exposed 
the party to hardships and privations which the king, 
burdened as he was with the peculiar cares of his 
station, cheerfully shared with his harassed followers. 
The city of Chester had been regarded as beyond the 
probability of hostile attack; they found it in a state 
of alarm and consternation. A powerful body of troops, 
collected from the nearest rebel garrisons, had, just 
before, surprised and in part occupied the suburbs. 
Receiving this intelligence as he approached the town, 
Charles ordered Sir Marmaduke Langdale to cross the 
Dee eastward above Chester, while himself with the 
remainder of his force entered the town on the west ; 
intending to dislodge the enemy by a simultaneous 
attack in front and rear. But before these movements 
could be executed, the indefatigable Pointz again made 
his appearance. He was immediately attacked by 
Langdale, and repulsed with loss. While this was 
passing, the besiegers issued from the works, joined 
the defeated corps, and thus enabled Pointz to rally 


and renew the fight. Langdale's horse were now in 
turn overpowered, and sought shelter under the walls ; 
where the royal guards, commanded by the Earl of 
Lichfield, stood drawn up to support them. Here the 
contest became fierce and general. Again the cavaliers 
drove back the republican leader, but Langdale's flying 
troopers, mingling with their ranks, began a degree 
of confusion, which the steady volleys of the rebel foot, 
who lined the surrounding lanes and hedges, com- 
pleted. The king, who, from the walls of Chester, had 
witnessed the fluctuating progress of this last effort 
for the maintenance of the royal power, saw his gallant 
kinsman, the Earl of Lichfield, with many gentlemen 
besides, fall dead at his feet, and all that had hitherto 
survived of his broken remnant of a host, either taken 
prisoners, or driven in headlong rout and ruin from the 
field. Thenceforth the king's sword was a useless 
bauble, less significant than the george upon his breast. 
The preservation of Chester was an object of great 
moment, no other port remaining open at which the 
expected reinforcements from Ireland could land. To 
allow himself, however, to be shut up in that remote 
spot, would have been to Charles a worse evil than its 
loss. He chose rather to retreat to Denbigh Castle, 
" one of the strongest and noblest places," writes his 
historiographer and companion, " I ever saw. The 
governor," the same authority continues, "was Mr. 
Salisbury, a gentleman of that county, who, under the 
cover of a countryman, had more experience, courage, 
and loyalty, than many that made far greater show." 
At Denbigh, after waiting some days for stragglers to 


collect, the king was enabled to muster about 2400 
cavaliers. Again, and with an intenser and more painful 
interest than ever, the question was to be agitated, 
whither the betrayed and discomfited sovereign should 
betake himself. To pursue the intended march north- 
ward, even had his present force sufficed for the under- 
taking, it were now too late. 

It was impossible that Montrose, with such ma- 
terials only as were in his power, could keep on 
foot a regular and efficient army. In a state so 
profoundly torn with factions, political and religious, 
it was almost equally difficult to renew the semblance 
of royal authority. He had, indeed, got possession 
of the capital, overrun the country in all directions, 
and was preparing, as the king's captain-general and 
deputy in Scotland, to assemble a parliament in 
Glasgow. At this crisis, the weapon with which he 
had obtained these astonishing successes, crumbled 
in his grasp. Of his highland followers, many had, 
as usual, retired to the mountains after the battle 
of Kilsyth ; on the first hint of an advance to the 
border, the remainder followed their example ; the 
Gordons likewise deserted the king's standard to 
follow petty feuds at home. Lesley was now at Berwick 
with 5000 or 6000 men, the flower of Scotland's 
cavalry, trained in the English war. While Montrose 
was yet undecided whether to obey the king's orders 
without delay, or to retreat northward till joined by 
reinforcements, Lesley, favoured by a dense fog, and 
by the negligence of Montrose's officers, succeeded in 
surprising the unprepared royalists. The action took 


place at Philiphaugh, near Selkirk, on the 18th day of 
September. The greater part of Montrose's infantry, 
consisting of raw lowland levies, fled at the first onset 
of Lesley's steel-clad troopers ; the rest, after a brief but 
gallant resistance, laid down their arms on receiving 
a promise of quarter. Montrose himself, yielding to 
the persuasions of his officers, cut his way through the 
enemy, at the head of about one hundred and fifty noble- 
men and gentlemen, the whole of his cavalry. Some of 
the retreating party lost their way, and were seized by 
the country people, and given up to the victor ; but the 
greater number, with the general, reached the highlands 
in safety, and there continued the war. Such of the 
unfortunate captives as were of eminent rank, were 
reserved to glut the vengeance of the covenanters on 
the scaffold. The common soldiers, being chiefly 
Irish, notwithstanding their conditional surrender, were 
penned up in a field, and there massacred in cold 
blood ; the fanatical clergy who accompanied the army 
of the covenanters, proclaiming it an act of enormous 
impiety to spare those sanguinary foes, whom the God 
of battles had put in their power. 

In England, therefore, it was necessary to seek an 
asylum; and Newark, one of the few strong places 
still held for the king, was finally selected. The 
vigilance of Pointz being for a moment diverted by his 
desire to get possession of Chester, the fugitive party 
were enabled to secure a day's advance. At Chirk, the 
king was joined by a party of Prince Rupert's cavalry 
from Bristol. At Bridgenorth, and again at Lichfield, 
he indulged a day's halt ; but much of this melancholy 


expedition is described, by one of his attendants, as 
leading them "through unknown ways and passages, 
with many dark and late marches." A more formidable 
evil to the king, than darkness, cold, or hunger, was the 
mortification of hearing, wherever he came, of some fresh 
disaster by the seizure of his remaining garrisons and 
military posts. Charles bore all, however, with a mix- 
ture of magnanimity and good humour which recalls to 
mind his illustrious predecessor, the Fifth Harry, when 
environed with nearly the like circumstances : 

" Upon his royal face there is no note 
How dread a peril hath enrounded him ; 
Nor doth he dedicate one jot of colour 
Unto the weary and all- watched night : 
But freshly looks, and overbears attaint, 
With cheerful semblance and sweet majesty." 

Some of the king's most serious perplexities were 
aggravated, if not caused, by a too modest preference 
of other men's views to the dictates of his own quick 
perception and clear judgment. The fact is alluded to 
by his noble historian, while referring to the preference 
given, on this occasion, to Newark over Worcester, which 
had been first chosen for the king's retirement. This 
was attributed to the influence of Lord Digby, by 
whose advice Charles was at this time chiefly guided. 
For it was Digby who had suggested the king's severity 
towards Prince Rupert, after the fall of Bristol,- and 
Worcester was not only easy of access from Oxford, 
whence the prince was expected to come and ex- 
postulate with his uncle, before retiring to the continent, 


but that garrison was under the command of Prince 
Maurice, who was said keenly to resent his brother's 
treatment. Hardly was Charles beginning to enjoy some 
degree of repose at Newark, when intelligence arrived that 
Rupert was already on his way, and had been joined by 
Maurice. Digby now sought to place himself beyond 
the reach of the storm, by persuading the king to move 
farther north, and even to renew his cherished design of 
penetrating into Scotland. In this last object he failed, 
in consequence of the arrival of a messenger with in- 
telligence that Montrose had been forced to retreat into 
the highlands ; but he obtained the same end, by getting 
himself placed at the head of a separate expedition. The 
design was suddenly broken to his officers by the king, at 
a rendezvous of the troops in Worksop Park. Although, 
he said, it was now too late for himself to march into 
Scotland, he nevertheless proposed that Sir Marmaduke 
Langdale, with the northern horse, should proceed thither 
to aid the struggling marquess. " Willingly, your majesty," 
interposed Langdale, prepared with his reply; "but on 
one condition. It is, that Lord Digby may command in 
chief, and myself under him." To the surprise of those 
not in the secret, Digby. a nobleman hitherto employed 
in none but civil affairs, frankly assented. A commission 
was drawn up on the spot, appointing the noble secretary 
general of all the forces already raised, or to be raised, 
for the king, north of Trent ; and he immediately began 
his march, at the head of 1500 cavalry, and accompanied, 
besides Langdale, by the earls of Carneworth and Nid- 
desdale, and other noblemen and gentlemen from Scotland 
and the north of England. The issue of this expedition, 


the last sent out by Charles, will presently be told: we 
follow, for the moment, the personal fortunes of the 

The next few days were among the most mortifying, 
though not the most calamitous, in the life of King 
Charles the First. They constituted part of that am- 
biguous, that tormenting period, at which those who are 
born to greatness, but doomed to misfortune, experience 
some of the worst evils of both, without enjoying the 
beneficial compensations of either. Already, the loss of 
power had marred his regal character in the view of the 
selfish and the base; but not yet had suffering hung 
its consecrating halo round that " discrowned head," 
nor had the contemplation of his kingly and Christian 
patience yet forced the world to pity those unexampled 
misfortunes, which 

"Lent his life the dignity of woe." 

At Belvoir Castle, Rupert received a command from 
the king to proceed no farther without his majesty's 
orders. Next day, however, the contumacious prince 
came to Newark, and was met, beyond the gates, by Sir 
Richard Willis the governor, by Lord Gerrard, and other 
officers and troops ; an attention which the factious 
governor had never shown to the king himself. Ac- 
companied by this escort, and by a numerous party of 
his own officers who had attended him from Oxford, 
he made his way into the presence, without any of the 
usual ceremonies, which hitherto had been punctually 
observed in that fugitive court, and roughly told the king 


that he was come to justify his conduct Charles re- 
plied coldly and evasively, conversed for a time with 
Prince Maurice, and, to avoid further discourse, re- 
tired for the night. The next day he invited the prince 
to make his defence, when the king declared himself 
satisfied that his nephew had not been guilty of treason, 
or disloyalty ; but added, that he could not acquit him 
of indiscretion. Their mutual confidence was not, how- 
ever, restored. 

The king had resolved on an immediate return to 
Oxford. But, previously to his departure, he judged it 
essential to the security of Newark to remove from the 
office of governor, Sir Richard Willis, who was involved 
in continual disputes with the royal commissioners, and to 
appoint Lord Bellasis in his room. This design Charles 
privately intimated to Willis, in terms of earnest and 
affectionate regard ; but, though coupled with the offer 
of the command of the life-guards, vacant by the death of 
the gallant Earl of Lichfield, an office, says Clarendon, 
fit for any nobleman the communication was received 
by Willis with undissembled displeasure. Rupert took 
up his friend's cause. As if the former intrusion had 
not sufficiently demonstrated into how great contempt 
the king's authority was fallen, the same parties, a second 
time, burst suddenly into the royal presence. Willis first 
spoke : The king, he said, had, by what he had before 
imparted to him, dishonoured him in the eyes of the 
whole garrison. Rupert followed, asserting, that the 
king had resolved to deprive Willis of his office, not for 
any fault, but because he was his friend ; to which Lord 
Gerrard added, that it was all a plot of Digby's, whom he 


would prove a traitor. Charles now rose in anger, and 
would have had Willis withdraw with him for more 
privacy, but he insolently replied "No: I have received 
a public injury, and expect a public satisfaction." With 
one voice they then exclaimed, that, finding themselves 
no longer trusted, they desired to have passes to go 
beyond the seas. "Your passes," retorted the king, 
with concentrated indignation, " shall be granted you ; 
with orders not only to leave my service, but never again 
to make use of the swords you wear." Intimidated by 
the unusual tones, gesture, and language of their sove- 
reign, the intruders withdrew. Charles was presently 
surrounded by the loyal cavaliers and officers in the 
town, who called on him to punish this outbreak of 
insolent disaffection, as the only way to prevent a mutiny 
in the town ; the prince's troops being already drawn up 
in the market-place, whither he and his party had like- 
wise returned. The king then armed himself, mounted 
his horse, and, issuing orders to the guards to charge his 
nephew and his adherents, if necessary, repaired to the 
spot. Finding the party there drawn up, as had been 
reported to him, he advanced, sword in hand, before his 
officers, and addressing the prince, said : "Nephew! for 
what purpose are you thus in arms?" "To defend our- 
selves against our enemies," replied Rupert "I command 
you," continued the king, " to march out immediately to 
Belvoir Castle, and there stay till your passes are sent 
you." The prince obeyed, and presently marched off 
his followers. Becoming afterwards more sensible of the 
impropriety of their behaviour, and finding that their 
commissions were really taken from them, these factious 


cavaliers sent in a petition to the king, desiring, in terms 
indicative of some contrition, to be tried by a court- 
martial. " Having met," they observe, " to make our 
several grievances known, we find we have drawn upon 
us some misconstruction by the manner, by reason your 
majesty thought that appeared as a mutiny." The king 
remarked, that "he would not christen it, but it looked 
very like one." As to the demand of a court-martial, 
he could not, he said, submit his decisions to the judg- 
ment of any court. The prince, soon afterwards, made 
his submission, "acknowledging his errors;" and, though 
he had actually obtained passes also from the par- 
liament to go beyond sea, he made no immediate use 
of them, but, in a little time, returned to the court and 
was entirely reconciled to the king. Charles, however, 
would not again permit Willis to come into his pre- 

The king left Newark on the 3rd of November. At ten 
o'clock at night all the cavalry, comprising the remains 
of the life-guards, mixed with some broken squadrons of 
other regiments, in all about 500 men, mustered in the 
market-place. At eleven the king mounted, put himself 
at the head of his guards, in the centre of the cavalcade, 
and issued from the gates. As the royal party passed 
Belvoir Castle, the commandant, Sir Gervas Lucas, came 
noiselessly forth with his cavaliers, and attended the king 
till break of day. The line of march was beset with 
hostile garrisons ; and from Burleigh, and from Rocking- 
ham, the enemy's horse hurried out in pursuit. In the 
evening, the tired fugitives indulged themselves with a 
few hours' rest, in an obscure village. Once more, by 


ten o'clock, Charles was in the saddle ; he passed through 
Daventry as the day broke; and, arriving before noon 
at Banbury, was met by his cavalry from Oxford, whom 
he had ordered there to attend him, and, under their 
escort, safely entered that city in the evening. "And 
so," writes his affectionate historian, "he finished the 
most tedious and grievous march that ever king was 
exercised in, having been almost in perpetual motion 
from the loss of the battle of Naseby to this hour, with 
such a variety of dismal accidents as must have broken 
the spirits of any man who had not been the most mag- 
nanimous person in the world." 



EVERYTHING which the king or his friends now at- 
tempted, was sure to bear upon it the fatal marks of 
a failing, or utterly fallen, cause. What indiscretion 
planned, rashness undertook; and both seemed to la- 
bour for no other end than to supply imbecility, or 
ill fortune, with occasions to complete the work of ruin. 

At Doncaster, Lord Digby surprised and routed a 
party of about 1000 foot, lately raised in that neighbour- 
hood for the parliament ; but being himself attacked at 
Sherborne by Colonel Copley, who commanded a power- 
ful detachment of the enemy's horse, he was, in turn, 
defeated, with the loss of a considerable number of his 
troops. A circumstance which greatly aggravated the 
calamitous result of this action, was the capture of 
Digby's cabinet of official correspondence ; of which, as 
in the similar misfortune of the king at Naseby, the 
parliament hesitated not to take the most ungenerous 
advantage. Some of the papers taken related to Charles's 
negotiations with the Irish, and were peculiarly open to 
interpretations injurious to the royal character and in- 
terests. In no less than two subsequent instances, both 
in like manner connected with the affairs of Ireland, the 


same indiscretion in exposing state documents to all the 
chances of war, was productive of similar prejudice to 
the king. About the middle of October, the titular 
archbishop of Tuam was killed near Sligo ; when du- 
plicates of the important negotiation then in progress 
were found on his person ; and again, at the commence- 
ment of the following year, many letters and papers of 
moment, relating to the same transactions, came into the 
possession of the parliament, by means of the capture, 
at Padstow, of a vessel from Ireland. Digby rallied his 
dispersed followers at Skipton, and continued his march 
through Westmoreland and Cumberland, as far as Dum- 
fries. Unable there to obtain intelligence of Montrose, and 
equally unable, if he returned, to elude the vigilance of 
the Scottish army, he disbanded his troops near Carlisle, 
and transported himself and his officers to the Isle of 
Man : there, the fugitives were hospitably entertained by 
the loyal Earl and heroic Countess of Derby, till they 
could cross over to Dublin. In Ireland a new and 
curious scene of this eventful drama was opened, in 
which Digby performed a conspicuous part. 

That the king should be willing to receive aid from 
any quarter of his dominions, or from any class of his 
subjects, in the obstinate and unequal contest in which 
he was engaged, can surely be matter neither of surprise 
nor blame. The truce with the Roman catholic insur- 
gents in Ireland, though the reason alleged for it, on the 
king's part, was want of means to continue the war, was 
in reality designed to enable him to recall the loyal part 
of his own troops, and to avail himself besides of the 
services of such of the rebel party as might be willing 


to postpone their more immediate objects, and follow the 
royal standard in the English war. Very little, however, 
was gained to compensate for the odium which attached 
to that moderate and plausible measure. As the truce 
itself never took effect universally, the king dared not 
call home the bulk of his army; and the few troops 
belonging to either party who passed over into England 
were quickly scattered and destroyed. In the meantime 
the Irish demanded, as the conditions of peace and the 
price of their support, such concessions on the score of 
religion as neither the prejudices of his English subjects, 
nor his own conscience, would allow him to grant. Vague 
promises were abundantly at the king's command ; but 
the insurgents knew their own strength and their sove- 
reign's weakness ; they had before them the example of 
the successful rebellion of the Scots for religious free- 
dom ; and they determined to accept nothing less than 
the legal establishment of equal privileges for them- 
selves. Hitherto these negotiations had been carried on 
at Oxford, by means of deputies from Ireland: they 
were now transferred to the management of the Marquess 
of Ormond, at Dublin. For a time, the king's lieutenant 
was left to his own discretion, regarding the stipulations 
to be granted. He was unwearied in his labours to 
effect the object entrusted to him, and even endangered 
his personal safety by appearing in a conference at 
Kilkenny with the self-constituted supreme council of 
Ireland. Finding, however, that the obstinacy of the 
Irish, on the point of religion, was not to be overcome, 
and urged at the same time by his daily increasing 
difficulties, Charles expressly enlarged the powers of his 


lieutenant. Ormond was authorised to stipulate for the 
present suspension of the penal laws against the Roman 
catholics, and for their abolition on the establishment of 
peace ; or, if nothing less would suffice, to agree to their 
immediate repeal. 

But the negotiation, even on these terms, not keeping 
pace with the necessities or the impatience of the king, 
another minister was to be chosen, of less prudence, 
or more unhesitating zeal. Such a negotiator was 
found in Lord Herbert of Ragland, son of the good 
old Marquess of Worcester, and himself afterwards 
possessor of that title ; but better known in history as 
Earl of Glamorgan, a dignity conferred upon him with 
a view to his services in this negotiation. " Herbert 
felt the most devoted attachment to his sovereign. 
He had lived with him for twenty years in habits of 
intimacy; in conjunction with his father he had spent 
above 200,000 in support of the royal cause ; and both 
had repeatedly and publicly avowed their determination 
to stand or fall with the throne." To his tried and san- 
guine devotion to his master's service, Glamorgan like- 
wise added the valuable qualification of fitness on the 
score of religion; as himself a papist, he was likely to 
conciliate the goodwill of those with whom it would be 
his business to treat. Thus prepared, the earl cheerfully 
undertook to crown the services by which his family had 
already evinced their zeal in the cause of the crown, by 
proceeding to Ireland on a secret mission to the con- 
federates. He was to demand an immediate aid of 10,000 
men ; in return for which he was to agree to such con- 
cessions, on the grand point of religious toleration, as 
K 2 


the king dared not through any public channel propose ; 
and, in case of a disclosure before the success of the 
undertaking should have enabled Charles to disregard 
opinion, the chivalrous agent was willing to submit to all 
the consequences of a public disavowal of his acts, as 
far as might be necessary for the royal interests. The 
chief warrant with which Glamorgan was furnished, bears 
date Oxford, March 12th, 1645 ; and is of such an am- 
plitude as strikingly demonstrates the king's confidence 
in the loyalty of his agent, his strong conviction of the 
desperate state of his affairs, after the failure of the 
Uxbridge treaty, and the discovery of his enemies' in- 
tentions which then came to light, and the excess of 
that sanguine temper, or that fondness for the perilous 
intricacies of political intrigue, which could induce him 
to build expectancies so large on so narrow and insecure 
a foundation. 

Glamorgan, after some stay in Wales, to raise money 
for his enterprise, and to receive his final instructions 
and credentials, with difficulty reached Ireland. A short 
time he passed at Dublin, freely communicating with 
Ormond, and joining in the negotiations still publicly 
carried on with the popish deputies. He then proceeded 
to Kilkenny; and having satisfied the supreme council 
respecting his authority, by the production of several 
warrants and commissions, bearing the king's private 
seal, besides letters accrediting him to the pope, to 
Cardinal Spada, and to the papal nuncio expected in 
the island, he concluded a treaty, by which it was stipu- 
lated, that the Roman catholics should not only enjoy 
the free exercise of their religion, but should retain 


possession of all those churches, with their privileges 
and revenues, which had been seized by them since the 
outbreak of the rebellion in 1641 : in effect, that popery 
should become the established religion throughout the 
greater part of the kingdom. In return for so liberal a 
concession, it was agreed that they should, by a day 
named, furnish the ten thousand troops required for the 
king, and should assign to his use, for three years, a 
large proportion of the ecclesiastical revenue. 

The discovery of this transaction, which both Charles 
and his agent had apprehended as probable, actually 
took place, in consequence of the fate that, as has been 
already intimated, befell the popish archbishop of Tuam 
before Sligo. For a time it was suppressed ; but a 
second copy of the documents being transmitted to the 
government at Dublin, with an intimation that the English 
parliament were already in possession of the originals, it 
became requisite to take some decisive step for the pur- 
pose of vindicating the king to his protestant subjects ; 
who, by the bare rumour of what had been going on, 
were, in both countries, thrown into a state of extra- 
ordinary excitement. Many asserted it to be impossible 
that his majesty could have consented to a step seemingly 
so irreconcileable both with their sense of what was 
right, and with his own repeated declarations ; by others, 
royalists as well as republicans, the report was received 
with unmixed indignation at what they termed Charles's 
perfidy. Digby, who was now in Dublin, and who 
perhaps had been no party to the secret instructions of 
Glamorgan, inveighed loudly against the earl's presump- 
tion in concluding such a treaty; and Ormond, in a 


council called on this emergency, yielding to that noble- 
man's demand, ordered him into custody on a charge of 
treason. A check was thus put to the scandal ; but, in 
order to its effectual suppression, it was necessary to 
follow up the decisive act of the council by some 
demonstration from the king. Accordingly, in a mes- 
sage to the two houses, the king denied that he had 
authorised Glamorgan to enter into any treaty what- 
ever, or furnished him with credentials beyond a com- 
mission to raise troops for his service. To Ormond, who 
was more perfectly acquainted with the facts, he adopted 
an evasive style ; and Glamorgan himself, after the lapse 
of a few weeks, he encouraged, not only with assurances 
of his continued favour and esteem, but with hints of 
"revenge and reparation" for the indignity that had been 
put upon him. In truth, the earl was at no time appre- 
hensive for his safety; and long before the king's dis- 
avowal had been laid before the parliament, he was 
liberated, and had returned to Kilkenny, with the ap- 
probation of the lord lieutenant, to continue the public 
negotiations for peace. 

This ravelled story of unkingly intrigue it is impos- 
sible to contemplate without sentiments of melancholy 
and humiliation. And its entanglements are rendered 
more complicated, though more intelligible, by the con- 
sideration, that the Irish papists, for the sake of securing 
whose unavailing assistance the integrity of truth was 
thus violated, and the protestant zeal of the three king- 
doms insulted, were themselves the party ultimately 
meant to be deceived. Charles I., if a martyr, was a 
martyr for the principles of the church of England, as 


contradistinguished equally from popery on the one 
hand, and from sectarianism on the other. Had Gla- 
morgan fully succeeded, the king would have availed 
himself of the services of the Roman catholics of Ire- 
land ; but he must of necessity have yielded to the stern 
and universal demands of that vast protestant majority 
by which alone he could reign, and have refused the 
stipulated reward of those services. The only point, in 
these transactions, on which the mind can rest with 
satisfaction, is the romantic loyalty of Glamorgan ; and 
even this virtue is divested of the character of heroism 
by the debasing admixture of duplicity and contrivance. 
Glamorgan at length succeeded in concluding a treaty, 
and received an immediate aid of 6000 men, with a 
promise that the remaining 4000 should be presently 
furnished. He assembled his troops at Waterford, in- 
tending from thence to attempt the relief of Chester ; but 
while waiting for transports, he received intelligence that 
Chester, after suffering great extremities, had surren- 
dered. No port on all that coast now remained, at which 
the Irish forces could be landed with any hope of suc- 
cess. Few indeed of the royal garrisons still held out. 
Peters, Cromwell's favourite preacher, whom the hero 
of the deluded republicans usually employed, after every 
victory, to adorn it with those peculiar flowers of rhetoric 
which were most grateful to his patron, now found in 
this function continual employment for his activity and 
zeal. The fall of Tiverton, of Exeter, and other places in 
the west, followed the dissolution of Lord Hopton's 
army. The principality in general had by this time 
declared for the parliament : only Ragland and Harlech 


for some months longer defied the conqueror. Glamor- 
gan's now useless forces were dispersed. Two or three 
hundred men accompanied Lord Digby to the coast of 
Cornwall, and thence to Jersey, to form a guard for the 
Prince of Wales ; a more considerable body proceeded 
to Scotland, to aid Montrose; the remainder he sent 
back to their cantonments in the interior. Still, in the 
midst of his distresses, the king continued, as if under a 
spell, to look hopefully towards Ireland. Expectation 
in that quarter failed him, as it had ever done. The 
peace concluded, through Glamorgan's agency, with the 
council of the nation, was opposed by the clergy, fol- 
lowing the instigation of the pope's nuncio, Rinuccini. 
War was renewed ; and Ormond, helplessly shut up in 
Dublin, found himself, in the end, forced to make terms 
either with the popish or with the parliamentarian party. 
He preferred the latter, and returned to England. 

Before the king left Newark, the garrison was already 
threatened by Pointz and Rossiter, each with a force 
superior to that within the walls ; scarcely was he gone, 
when Leven also, in obedience to the mandate of the 
parliament, once more marched southward, and the united 
Scotch and English armies sat down before that loyal 
fortress. The only other place of strength remaining to 
the king, north of Oxford, was Worcester. Here, in the 
month of March, the brave old Lord Ashley, on whom 
had now fallen the chief command for the crown in the 
northern counties, got together a body of about 2000 
horse and foot, with whom he proceeded to join the king 
at Oxford. The enemy, however, getting notice of his 
purpose, he was attacked at the end of the first day's 


march, on the borders of Gloucestershire, defeated, and, 
with the majority of his troops, taken prisoner. The 
few that escaped were utterly dispersed. And now not 
an enemy to the parliament remained any where in the 
field. " You have done your work," said the captive 
nobleman to his conquerors, " and may now go play ; 
unless" (a sagacious reservation!) "you fall out among 
yourselves." All, indeed, was over for the king. For, 
what could have availed now a few thousands of mer- 
cenary auxiliaries Dutch, Lorrainers, Danes, or French 
with whom, even for their sovereign, and under more 
hopeful auspices, hardly would the most devoted English 
loyalists have fought side by side. The sanguine and 
courageous Henrietta Maria herself, after having ex- 
hausted her interest and invention in diplomatic schemes 
and correspondence, after crossing and recrossing the 
sea, to rouse the tardy loyalist or to urge the reluctant 
ally, to become the messenger of intelligence or the 
angel of an ever-deceiving hope, forgetting, for a time, 
in the mother, the consort and the queen, now confined 
her chief anxieties to her children; and sought no greater 
happiness, than to be assured of Prince Charles's safety 
in the islets of the channel, or to provide for his be- 
coming reception among his indifferent kindred in the 
French court. 

On the other side all was commensurate triumph. 
The sentiments of the parliamentarians on the fortunate 
termination of the war, are well conveyed in the follow- 
ing paragraphs, which describe the reception of Fairfax 
and Cromwell in London. 

" The war being now quite finished," writes the contem- 


porary historian May, " Fairfax, the victorious preserver 
of the English parliament, returned to London about the 
middle of November. All good men longed to see that 
great soldier, whom they could not but admire, by whose 
valour they were delivered from the worst of evils, and 
were now in expectation of a happy peace. The next day 
after he came to London, that he might see the gratitude 
of the parliament, the House of Peers sent their speaker, 
Manchester, whom the earls of Northumberland, Pem- 
broke, and many other nobles accompanied; who con- 
gratulated his return, and gave him great thanks for his 
most faithful and happy service to the commonwealth. 
When the Lords were gone, Lenthall, the speaker of 
the House of Commons, with almost three hundred 
members of that house, came to congratulate the general ; 
to whom Lenthall made a speech, wherein he discoursed 
of the greatness of his actions, extolling them by ex- 
amples of the most great and famous heroes of ancient 
times. ' You,' said he, 'noble general, shall all posterity 
admire and honour ; and the people of England, since 
they can give you no thanks equal to your merits, do 
freely confess themselves for ever indebted to you, as the 
happy instrument of God, and finisher of our wars with 
incredible success.' To which the modest Fairfax made 
a short reply, acknowledging himself unworthy of so 
great an honour, and giving most humble thanks to the 
parliament ; accounting it his greatest happiness in this 
world to be made by God instrumental for the good of 
his country." 

Respecting Cromwell we are told, in Mr. Forster's 
life of that remarkable man, the motley hero of the 


Civil Wars, that he also was "received in London with 
very extraordinary honours. The instant he entered the 
house the members rose and welcomed him, and the 
speaker in their name, after an elaborate eulogium, de- 
livered the hearty thanks of the house for his many and 
great services." 

But the gratitude of parliament, it is added, was not 
confined to such demonstrations of their confidence and 
esteem. They voted that Sir Thomas Fairfax should be 
created a baron, and an annuity of 5000 per annum 
settled on him, and that the elder Fairfax should be made 
an earl. An annual grant of half that amount was like- 
wise conferred on Cromwell; and in the beginning of the 
year 1646, an ordinance passed the Commons, "that all 
the lands of the Earl of Worcester, Lord Herbert, and 
Sir John Somerset, his sons, in the county of Southamp- 
ton, should be settled upon lieutenant-general Cromwell, 
and his heirs, to be accounted as part of the 2500 per 
annum formerly appointed him by this house." With 
such facility did that revolutionary senate apportion out 
among those who were at once their creatures and their 
masters, the inheritance of ancient and honourable fami- 
lies, whose only crime was to recognise, and fearlessly to 
discharge, the duty of subjects to their sovereign ! 

" So ended," observes one of Cromwell's early bio- 
graphers, " the first war ; with the praises and triumphs 
of this man of war, adored and worshipped by his party, 
who stuck not to blaspheme God and his scriptures, 
attributing all those hosannas, and psalms, and songs of 
deliverance and victory to this their champion in effect, 
making a mere idol of him; which fanatic religious 


veneration he missed not to improve, though, for the 
present, he covered his ambition with modesty and hu- 
mility, ascribing all things, in a canting way of expres- 
sion, to the goodness and omnipotence of God, which he 
frequently and impiously abused, intituling it to all his 
wicked and villanous designs and actions." 



CHARLES I., unhappy in war, was still more unhappy 
in the business of diplomacy. Passion, singleness of 
purpose, and recklessness of means, impart, even to men 
of moderate intellect, both vigour in action and the ap- 
pearance of great mental power. No one, acquainted 
with the history of the domestic troubles in England in 
the seventeenth century, will be disposed to underrate the 
capacity of several among those who raised the storm, 
and directed its terrors. But they had the advantages 
of launching upon an impulse already in action, and of 
standing, with respect to the king, in the relation of the 
assailant to the defendant, of the revolutionist to the 
conservative. Cromwell derived energy from his restless 
ambition ; Vane, from passionate admiration of his own 
political theories ; the commonwealth men and indepen- 
dents in general, from that scorn of restraint and hatred 
of authority, which is a passion native to every heart ; 
the presbyterians, from bigotted idolatry of their self- 
devised form of church government. To withstand these 
fierce conjoined motives, Charles had little besides a 
calm sense of duty to God, to his kingly state, and to 
posterity a sustaining principle indeed; and hence he 
rises in our estimation, in exact proportion as the gloom 


of adversity gathers round him ; but little fitted to impart 
practical energy to the character. Defeated, betrayed, 
powerless, almost friendless can we wonder that he 
should be baffled in those conflicts of cunning statesman- 
ship, into which, by the unfortunate exigencies of his 
position, he was now forced ? 

Charles was assured, that by this time the hearts of 
his subjects, beginning to awake from their delusions, 
had, even within the rebel camp and the republican 
capital, turned again, in multitudes, to their king. He 
at no time abandoned his faith in the settled attachment 
of the people to the monarchy, the religion, and the laws, 
of their country. He believed that his presence, even 
among such of them as were most subservient to an 
affectedly popular, but really arbitrary government, and 
most completely beguiled by faction, would stimulate the 
renascent warmth of loyalty : he felt secure, that there 
were many friends whom the sight of him would encou- 
rage, and some among his worst enemies whom it would 
abash. Peace, moreover, peace on any terms compatible 
with the existence of the monarchy and the church, had 
now become absolutely indispensable. No sooner, then, 
had he found himself once more in Oxford, than he 
directed all his endeavours to open negotiations for this 
great object. Three successive messages, penned with 
" the most powerful persuasions imaginable," had been 
despatched, before his haughty victors at Westminster 
deigned to reply : their answer, when at length they con- 
descended to answer, was, a refusal to receive the king's 
commissioners, with an intimation that they were them- 
selves engaged in drawing up propositions for his majesty 


to sign. Again the parliament relapsed into silence, not- 
withstanding the frequent renewal of the correspondence, 
on the king's part, " with many gracious expressions 
of his desire of peace, and many novel concessions." 
Meantime Fairfax, having reduced the western counties, 
was advancing to invest Oxford, and Charles was now in 
imminent danger of being enclosed by a hostile army, 
flushed with numerous victories, and too powerful to 
leave him any chance of successful resistance. At length, 
late in the month of March, he sent a message which 
suddenly roused the parliament from their insolent affec- 
tation of disregard. Charles desired, if he might have the 
engagement of the two Houses, the Scottish commis- 
sioners, and the chief officers of the English and Scottish 
armies, for his safety, to proceed to London, and there 
conduct a personal treaty. To this proposal, which he 
fortified by promising to concede, either absolutely or for 
a term of years, every thing required on the other side, 
except the sacrifice of his friends and the church, an 
answer was quickly vouchsafed. They reproached the 
king as the cause of all the bloodshed that had taken 
place, and reproved him for coupling with them in his 
message the military commanders, who were " subject 
and subordinate to their authority ;" they absolutely re- 
fused his request, on the ground that the king's presence 
in London would neither be safe for him nor convenient 
to themselves ; and concluded by again referring to those 
propositions which they were preparing, as the only con- 
ditions on which they would treat of peace. 

Among the numerous letters written by the king in 
the course of these transactions, the following, to Lord 


Digby, is strongly indicative of his pressing danger and 
delusive hopes ; of the profound trouble of his royal 
mind, yet of its control by the enlarging magnanimity of 
his character. 

" Since my last to you," writes the afflicted monarch, 
"misfortunes have so multiplied upon me, that I have 
been forced to send this (to say no more) but strange 
message to London ; yet whatever becomes of me, I 
must not forget my friends, wherever they are. 

"I am endeavouring to get to London, so that the 
conditions may be such as a gentleman may own, and 
that the rebels may acknowledge me king; being not 
without hope that I shall be able so to draw either the 
presbyterians or independents to side with me for extir- 
pating one or the other, that I shall be really king again. 

" Howsoever, I desire you to assure all my friends, 
that if I cannot live as a king I shall die like a gentle- 
man, without doing that which may make honest men 
blush for me." 

In the parliament's stern refusal of a personal con- 
ference, there was more of policy and fear, than of 
hatred. A yawning gulf already divided the two great 
rebel parties; which both saw but too clearly, though 
each eagerly strove to hide the prospect. As yet neither 
of them could dispense with the other. In the com- 
mon cause against the " malignants," the republicans 
were still willing to tolerate the presbyterians ; the 
presbyterians, confident in the final elevation of their 
idol " platform," stolidly consented to march beneath 
the banners of their perilous confederates. But the 
reign of independency, though yet in its infant and un- 


assured state, was continually receiving new accessions 
of support. By various circumstances, such as voluntary 
absence of members, votes of incapacity, &c. the House 
of Commons had become greatly reduced in numbers ; 
no new members having been elected to supply the 
vacancies thus occasioned. An obvious method which 
this circumstance suggested to the republicans for re- 
cruiting their strength, was, by a vote of the house at 
once to overleap the legal difficulties which had hitherto 
been opposed to fresh elections. Accordingly, in the 
autumn of 1645, one hundred and forty-six new members 
were elected, and eighty-nine in the year following; of 
whom it was the business of the heads of the rising 
party to take care that a large proportion should be fully 
prepared either to lead or to follow in any course which 
their interests required. Among those introduced into 
the Commons in 1645, were Sidney, Ludlow, Skippon, 
Hutchinson, and others of similar character and views, 
no regard being now had to the self-denying ordinance ; 
of those admitted in the early part of 1646, one was the 
notorious Harry Marten, who had been previously ex- 
pelled the House for his profligate revolutionary senti- 
ments, but was now recalled through the growing in- 
fluence of the independent party. Nor indeed were all 
the exertions of Cromwell and Vane, of Ireton and 
St. John, more than sufficient, at this time, to maintain 
their progressive ascendency. 

While Charles was thus being pushed towards the edge 
of the precipice, a friendly hand was at last stretched 
out to him by a foreign power; this once only, during 
his protracted struggles, and now impotently, if not in- 


sidiously. In the lifetime of Richelieu, and down to 
the fatal overthrow at Naseby, France, the only con- 
tinental power from which Charles I. could reasonably 
expect effectual aid, was, on the contrary, secretly leagued 
against him. From the first outbreak of the tumults 
in Scotland, they were insidiously fomented by that 
wily and implacable politician; and those agents whom 
he sent over to England, on pretence of promoting 
an accommodation, were in reality employed to lend 
encouragement to the rebels, or, at best, while apparently 
favouring the royal cause, to perform a part wholly in- 
significant. But that tremendous blow startled France 
from her course of policy. To Mazarine, the new abso- 
lute minister, it appeared that matters were proceeding 
too far. It might carry some danger to the continental 
despotisms of Europe, farther to aid, or even idly to look 
on, while a huge democracy reared its head on the ruins 
of one of her ancient monarchies. From such misgivings 
proceeded the famous mission of Montreuil. The in- 
structions which this envoy brought over from the queen 
regent of France (or the cardinal, in her name), and from 
Charles's consort, Henrietta, as the basis of his negotia- 
tions, were, by every argument in his power to persuade 
the king to yield to the demands of the presbyterians, as 
the less hostile of the two parties into the arms of one of 
which he must inevitably throw himself. A pledge, that 
the unhappy king would no longer refuse his consent, 
appears already to have been conveyed to the Scots, on 
the authority of the Queen of England and her two 
advisers, Jermyn and Culpeper. It is perhaps not greatly 
surprising, that a bigoted Roman catholic (to whom all 


forms of Christianity but her own were alike indifferent), 
the mere butterfly of a court, and a moderately-informed 
soldier and statesman, should jointly misapprehend the 
degree of Charles's constancy on such a point as the 
primitive and inalienable authority of English bishops. 
Temperately, but firmly, he signified to Montreuil his 
absolute refusal ; an unexpected decision, the king's per- 
severing in which, ultimately occasioned the recall and 
disgrace of the too sanguine envoy ; and when Sir Wil- 
liam Davenant brought over from the queen and her 
council a distinct proposal to the same effect, attempting 
to recommend it by arguments more suitable for a court 
poet to urge than for a religious monarch to hear, the 
offended king forbade him his presence. 

In the meantime, the danger of being shut up in 
Oxford grew imminent ; Fairfax's officers having already 
blockaded the neighbouring garrisons of Wallingford 
and Woodstock, and the investing of Oxford itself being 
suspended only till the general, now released from the 
siege of Exeter, had completed his survey of the ground, 
and issued orders for its circumvallation. Of the selfish- 
ness and intolerance of the presbyterians, Charles had 
had ample experience ; with respect to the independents, 
as a body, no such painful advantage had, as yet, fallen 
to his lot. A personal knowledge of some eminent in- 
dividuals, of apparently enlarged and generous sentiments, 
had impressed him with a too favourable opinion of that 
party. Such a mistake would be more discreditable to 
the royal sagacity, could the king have read the page of 
futurity as we now read the records of history; but Charles 
had to collect the opinions of the independents as he 


could, from the specious professions of Cromwell, and 
through the cloudy metaphysics of the younger Vane. In 
his present extreme need he made trial of their loyalty, 
or generosity. Two letters exist, written to Vane by the 
hands of Ashburnham, one of the grooms of the king's bed- 
chamber, in one of which Charles solicits the good office 
of that influential statesman in the following earnest terms: 

" Be very confident that all things shall be performed 
according to my promise. By all that is good I conjure 
you to despatch that courtesy for me with all speed, or it 
will be too late ; I shall perish before I receive the fruits 
of it. I may not tell you my necessities, but if it were 
necessary so to do, I am sure you would lay all other 
considerations aside, and fulfil my desires. This is all ; 
trust me, I will repay the favour to the full. I have 
done. If I have not an answer within four days, I shall 
be necessitated to find some other expedient. God direct 
you ! I have discharged my duty." 

The favour thus pathetically implored, was that of 
permission to repair to London. He had renewed his 
application for a personal conference, in a letter which, 
being unfortunately produced when the house were " not 
in the vein," was thrown by, and neglected. For aught 
that appears, the parliamentary leader of the independents 
treated the fallen monarch's private correspondence with 
the like contemptuous silence. 

Montreuil's earliest reports from the Scottish camp 
before Newark, sounded favourably. Charles's perti- 
nacious refusal to countenance their idolized form of 
church government, gave offence, but the possession of 
the king's person, which the envoy was instructed to hold 


out to the commissioners, seemed a prospective advantage 
over their enemies in the English parliament, which was 
not to be neglected. After some time spent in communi- 
cating with their brethren at Westminster, they offered 
the king an asylum, on condition that he made his ap- 
pearance attended only by two individuals, and let 
himself fall, as it were by accident, into the hands of a 
party of cavalry, to be stationed in the way for this 
purpose. Charles, however, did not emit the needful 
precaution of previously sending a trusty person to ascer- 
tain that all had been arranged according to agreement. 
The messenger selected for this purpose was Hudson, 
his " plain-spoken " chaplain, as the king familiarly styled 
him one of those ecclesiastics whom the rude iniquity 
of the times had thrust into employments alien to their 
education and former habits. Hudson had filled the 
office of the king's scoutmaster-general in the north, 
and was well acquainted with every road and bypath 
of those regions. He found Montreuil in an altered 
mood. The Scottish commissioners in London differed 
in their view of the project in hand from the officers and 
the commissioners of the Estates before Newark. Mon- 
treuil had now lost all confidence in the parties, and 
presaged ill for the design. But the king's situation was 
become desperate. Oxford, strong by natural position, 
had been made, by the skill and cost bestowed on its 
fortifications, almost impregnable; it was besides well 
garrisoned and provisioned, and might therefore be suc- 
cessfully defended for several months. One, nevertheless, 
of two alternatives, could alone save the king, from the 
certain captivity, to which, at the termination of that 


period, famine would compel him to submit, if he lingered 
there. The first was, to procure more favourable terms 
by an immediate surrender. He attempted it, and failed. 
Neither Ireton nor Rainsborough, who both lay with 
their divisions in the neighbourhood, would engage to 
protect their sovereign, and conduct him in safety to the 
parliament. The king was therefore forced to fall back on 
the Scots as his only resource. At this moment a mes- 
senger came in from Newark, with the intelligence that 
the commissioners had settled their differences on the 
proposed arrangement, and that Lesley's promised escort 
was actually ordered out. Charles hastily acquainted his 
council that it was his intention, without delay, to quit 
Oxford, but not on what design ; leaving them to surmise 
that he meant to put in practice a romantic scheme which 
had sometimes been the subject of his discourse, viz. to 
throw himself naked into the midst of friends and foes in 
London, and leave the rest to Providence, and the re- 
mains of the ancient English loyalty. At dead of night, 
April 27, 1645, he took a final farewell of that spot so 
dear to his heart ; the solemn groves, the antique towers, 
the noiseless streets of Oxford fit capital for the empire 
of a learned and sorrow-stricken king I 

The stroke of three was quivering through the keen 
atmosphere of the early spring morning, when the same 
number of horsemen, crossing Magdalene bridge, reached 
the gateway that opened upon the London road. Here 
the party halted, and one of them spoke, in low tones, to 
a military personage, apparently in charge of the portal. 
" Let not a post," he said, " be opened, until five days 
be past." The other returned an earnest assent; it was 


the king, giving his last order to Sir Thomas Glemham, 
governor of Oxford. The three cavaliers passed on. 
" Farewell, Harry !" exclaimed the governor. Nor could 
any thing be observed in the king's appearance which 
betrayed inconsistency in this familiar adieu. For Charles, 
habited as a serving man, with clipped beard and shorn 
locks, wearing a Spanish cap of the period, and having 
in charge a cloak-bag, followed his favourite attendant, 
Ashburnham ; while Hudson, covered with a military 
mantle, personated a captain going to London about his 
composition in those times a traveller's frequent errand. 
Only Hudson and Ashburnham were armed. 

Notwithstanding this dangerously decisive step, Charles 
was still unresolved in what direction to proceed ; whether, 
in pursuance of the plan lately in agitation, to cast him- 
self upon the protection of the Scots ; to revive the 
favourite project of attempting to join Montrose ; or to 
dare the greater hazard of making his appearance in the 
metropolis. The choice among these fearful projects, he 
left to be decided by such information as he might 
casually pick up on the road. To what dangers the 
king's unprotected flight exposed his person, soon began 
to be apparent. The travellers encountered a party of 
the parliamentarian troopers, who inquired to whom they 
belonged? "To the honourable House of Commons," 
was the satisfactory reply. Another soldier coming up 
with them, and observing Ashburnham unusually free in 
the distribution of money "Is your master," he de- 
manded of the king, " one of the lords of parliament ?" 
" No," answered the counterfeit groom, " my master is of 
the lower house." 


While stopping to bait at the village inn of Hillingdon, 
near Uxbridge, the question of their destination was 
anxiously debated among the fugitives. They looked 
over the "Mercuries" and "news-books;" from these 
they learned, that the parliament had already notice from 
before Oxford of the king's escape : in what temper the 
intelligence was received, may be gathered from two 
ordinances, published presently afterwards. The first of 
these insolent proclamations decreed, that, if the sovereign 
should appear in his capital without the parliament's 
consent, his person should be apprehended, and his 
followers imprisoned; that all who "harboured or con- 
cealed" the king, or knew of his being harboured or 
concealed, and did not instantly reveal it to the speakers 
of the two houses, should be capitally proceeded against. 
By the second ordinance it was commanded, that every 
person who had borne arms for the king should depart 
beyond the lines of communication, on pain of forfeiting 
his life as a spy. 

The intelligence now collected was decisive against 
entering the metropolis. The party turned out of the 
high road, northward, through Harrow and St. Alban's ; 
frequently meeting with soldiers, whose inquiries they 
were enabled to satisfy with a ready answer, and a 
moderate donation. At Harborough, the place appointed, 
they sought the promised troop of Scottish horse, but 
could learn nothing of them. The brave divine, who 
now saw his worst suspicions of the Scots realized, 
offered to proceed alone to London, and negotiate with 
the heads of the parties for the king's honourable re- 
ception. This proposal was overruled, and the king 


resolved to persevere in proceeding northward, but by 
a circuitous route. Charles's disguise being now known, 
it became necessary to change it, and he assumed the 
character of a clergyman. The aid of a barber was 
required ; when the man's persevering inquiries about 
the unworthy brother craftsman who had last operated 
upon the tresses of the king, were likely to prove dan- 
gerous. It was the unpractised hand of Ashburnham 
which had hastily performed that office, on the night 
of the flight from Oxford. At Downham, in Norfolk, the 
king and Ashburnham passed four days, while Dr. Hud- 
son was dispatched to Montreuil for information and 
advice. The Frenchman, whose whole conduct in his 
difficult and unfortunate embassy, denoted an honest pur- 
pose to serve the king, advised that, although the cautious 
determination of the Scots not to appear implicated in 
his escape, made them still evade subscription to any 
engagement, and had prevented their dispatching the 
escort promised, the king should nevertheless deliver 
himself up to them as the most eligible choice now 
remaining. Accordingly, as Hudson farther brought 
back with him a solemn confirmation, by their com- 
missioners, of the verbal agreement previously made, the 
king no longer hesitated. Charles had left Oxford on 
the 26th of April; and, late on the 5th of May, he 
arrived at Southwell, where Montreuil resided. Thus, 
records Ashburnham (who assumes the responsibility of 
this transaction) "in obedience to his majesty's pleasure, 
I performed my duty ; and with humble acknowledgments 
to God's protection (after nine days' travel upon the way, 
and in that time having passed through fourteen guards 


and garrisons of the enemy) we arrived safe at the Scots' 
army before Newark." From Montreuil's residence, the 
king proceeded to the head-quarters of General Leven, 
by whom he was conducted to Kelham House, where a 
guard was assigned him by the commissioners. That 
this ceremony was intended rather for his security as 
a captive, and to prevent all communication with the 
officers, than to do him honour as their prince, the king 
at once satisfied himself by attempting to give the word. 
He was immediately interrupted by Leven : " I am the 
older soldier, Sir," said the Scot : " your majesty had 
better leave that office to me." 

Thus, from the first moment, it was sufficiently ap- 
parent, that not loyalty but self-interest directed the 
conduct of the Scots. Having the king safe among them, 
their policy was to exhibit the strongest marks of sur- 
prise as well as of joy, " that he had so far honoured 
their army, as to think it worthy his presence after so 
much opposition." The general raised his hands in 
amazement on Charles's making his appearance in his 
quarters, and the Earl of Lothian exhibited equal sur- 
prise when the deluded prince referred to the conditions 
on which he had come among them. "For himself, he 
had been privy to nothing of the kind, and he believed 
the same of the other commissioners residing with the 
army." It was now the king's turn to be astonished. 
" How came I then," he asked, " to be invited hither, 
with an assurance that all differences we re reconciled, 
and with a promise that David Lesley was to meet and 
bring me here with a troop of cavalry ?" He confronted 
them with Montreuil. The negotiations they could no 


longer deny, but affected to assign no other meaning 
to all that had passed, than an indication that " they 
approved of his majesty's confidence in them, and ho- 
nouring their army with his residence, while he settled a 
peace with his two kingdoms." What the peace meant, 
Lothian took care to explain by limiting all his discourse 
upon the subject to the taking of the covenant, and sub- 
scribing the propositions magisterially to be laid before 
him by the parliament. They crowned their duplicity by 
a letter addressed to the committee of both kingdoms, 
at Westminster, in which the general and committee of 
estates, gave the parliament the following account of "that 
strange providence" that had befallen them. "The king," 
asserts this veracious document, " came into our army 
yesterday in so private a way, that, after we had made 
search for him upon the surmises of some persons who 
pretended to know his face, yet we could not find him 
out in sundry houses. And we believe your lordships will 
think it was matter of much astonishment to us, seeing we 
did not expect he would have come in any place under 
our power. We conceived it not fit," they dutifully and 
piously continue, " to inquire into the causes that per- 
suaded him to come hither, but to endeavour that his 
being here might be improved to the best advantage, for 
promoting the work of uniformity, and for settling of 
religion and righteousness, and attaining of peace ac- 
cording to the league and covenant." 

On the 6th of May the parliament was startled by the 
news of the king's arrival in the Scotch camp. The 
commonwealth-men instantly perceived that this important 
circumstance, though the completion of their triumph 


over the royalists was likely to retard the growing 
superiority of their party in the struggle with the more 
powerful presbyterians. After a protracted debate, they 
carried a vote in the Commons, that the Scots should 
order their general to conduct the king to Warwick 
Castle; and that Ashburnham and Hudson should be 
delivered up to the parliament as delinquents. 

The Scots, drawing confidence from the serious in- 
terest at stake, contested both parts of this vote. To the 
parliament's argument, that, as mercenaries in English 
pay, they could claim no share in the disposal of the 
king, they opposed their national right in him as sove- 
reign of Scotland no less than of England. They 
farther alleged the claim he had established to their 
protection, by having come voluntarily into the Scottish 
camp. The latter plea they likewise extended to the 
persons who had accompanied the king. Charles, how- 
ever, foreseeing that they would probably soon yield this 
point, commanded Ashburnham to make his escape, and 
go over to the queen ; but Hudson was given up, inter- 
rogated at Westminster, and imprisoned. At the same 
time, as all motive for prolonging the struggle was now at 
an end, the king attested the sincerity of his pacific in- 
tentions, by ordering Lord Bellasis to deliver Newark to 
the parliament, and disband his troops. The like orders 
he sent respectively to the governors of Oxford, Lich- 
field, Worcester, and all other fortresses which yet held 
out for him in England. The Irish garrisons, in like 
manner, were soon afterwards given up. Finally, Mon- 
trose, who had hitherto continued to display the royal 
banner among his native mountains, submitted to the 


king's orders, sheathed the last and bravest sword drawn 
in the royal cause, and sought shelter on a foreign soil. 
The Scots were most anxious to avoid a rupture with 
the parliament, but were resolved, nevertheless, to hold 
their prize. The day following the surrender of Newark 
beheld the king riding with Lesley, in the van of the 
Scottish army, on its march towards Newcastle. In this 
order, within little more than a week from his first ap- 
pearance in the camp before Newark, Charles was con- 
ducted, along a street lined with troops, to the general's 
quarters in that garrison ; his residence to speak more 
correctly, his prison through a dreary space of nine 

Great was now the ire of the parliament. They 
directed Pointz, with a brigade of 5000 horse, to observe 
the motions of those contumacious auxiliaries ; at the 
same time, Fairfax likewise received orders to move 
towards the north. No longer courted as dear brethren 
in the bonds of the covenant, the Scots, long since 
declining in favour, became at once the objects of mea- 
sures and invectives alike severe. Their free quarters, 
pillaging, and various other forms of oppression, had 
become intolerable. The old grievance, their placing 
garrisons in Newcastle, Berwick, and Carlisle, in viola- 
tion of their engagements, was urged with fresh asperity. 
Their dismissal out of the kingdom was voted, together 
with a grant of 100,000 for unsettled claims, provided 
they immediately surrendered those posts and departed. 
But those allies of the parliament were no longer in haste. 
In "a declaration of the lord general, the officers, and 
soldiers of their army," they mildly answered, that they 


had come into the kingdom at the earnest desire of their 
brethren, not for any mercenary ends; that they were 
most willing to return home in peace, nor should the 
matter of money, or want of just recompence for the 
services performed, be an argument of delay. This 
declaration is dated June 29th. On the 6th of July, 
the vote of dismission was nevertheless repeated in 
sharper terms. The parliament declared "that the king- 
dom had no farther need of the Scotch army, and was 
unable to pay them longer." Ceasing now to profess that 
they were no mercenaries, and that, having discharged 
a friendly office, they desired nothing so much as to 
retire from the kingdom, the Scots suddenly remembered, 
that, " according to the large treaty," certain arrears were 
due to them "for their pains, hazards, charges, and suf- 
ferings ; whereof " they desire " a competent proportion 
to be presently paid, and security to be given for the 
remainder." Their first estimate raises this demand to 
two millions, of which, however, they acknowledged, 
700,000 had already been received, "in monies, pro- 
visions, assessments, quarters, and otherwise." The 
settlement of the enormous balance they were not indeed 
in a condition to enforce at the sword's point, against the 
numerous, brave, and victorious army of their English 
brethren; but, in the possession of the king's person, 
they had a pledge, that at least some reasonable com- 
promise would be allowed. They lowered their claim to 
500,000 ; and the House of Commons finally agreed 
to the immediate payment of 200,000, to be raised 
from the sale of lands taken from the bishops and other 
delinquents, and that a second sum of 200,000 should 


also be paid within two years, to be secured, in the mean- 
time, not, as the Scots desired, in the same manner as the 
first, but " on the public faith of the nation." This large 
grant of money it may not be just to describe as the 
price of the king, though loyal men called it so, and 
though Charles himself declared, when he heard of it, 
that he " was bought and sold ;" but the negotiations for 
its liquidation certainly kept exact pace with those for 
the transfer of that anointed head from the one party to 
the other ; and granting it to have been due, as affirmed, 
to the Scots, that people (" who would not," they had 
declared, "suffer any private respect of this kind to 
retard the advancement of the cause ") did nevertheless 
use their advantage in the possession of the royal person, 
as the means of enforcing payment. The whole trans- 
action is one which charity and patriotism would gladly 
unite to blot from our history, did not severe truth keep 
watch over the record ! 

Other, and, to the king, not less painful negotiations, 
were at the same time in progress. The presbyterian 
party in England, and with them the Scots, were willing 
that Charles should retain the name of king, and the 
shadow of royal authority. The condition on which 
they were disposed to grant these the act whereby he 
was required to declare his acceptance of so much, and 
nothing more was his signing the solemn League and 
Covenant. From the hope that they would be able to 
force this step upon him, proceeded all the satisfaction 
with which his proposal to come among them was at first 
received by his northern subjects ; and, notwithstanding 
the positive declarations of the king, on this point, to 


Montreuil, they still cherished the belief that the loss of 
three kingdoms, the absence of all he loved and trusted, 
and the infinite uneasir. esses and regrets attached to his 
present situation, would yet bend the stubborn conscience 
in their view, the kingly wilfulness of Charles, to 
yield all that Mazarine and Henrietta had promised. 
With this impression they began, from the day of their 
unfortunate sovereign's arrival at Newark, to attempt his 
conversion to the presbyterian creed ; the great indis- 
pensable preliminary to his taking the covenant, as this 
latter was the farther needful step to his acceptance of the 
parliament's proposals, so long in preparation. Charles 
had pledged his word, before leaving Oxford, that if he 
came among them he would hear their ministers, and 
make all such concessions on the score of religion as his 
conscience would allow. Nor did considerations of deli- 
cacy, or respect, prevent the Scots from taking the full 
advantage both of his promise and his helplessness. The 
same fervid bigotry raged among men of all orders and 
professions in Scotland. Whether the persons with 
whom, from choice or necessity, he conversed, were 
divines, or statesmen, or soldiers, still the covenant and 
the kirk formed the theme of discourse ; and of the only 
instance related, in which any party interposed between 
the persecuted king and vulgar urgency, or even insult, 
on this topic, the credit is due to the multitude. " A 
Scotch minister," says Whitelocke, " preached boldly 
before the king at Newcastle, and after his sermon, called 
for the fifty-second Psalm, ' Why dost thou, tyrant, boast 
thyself, thy wicked works to praise ?' His majesty there- 
upon stood up, and called for the fifty-sixth Psalm, which 


begins, " Have mercy, Lord, on me I pray, for men 
would me devour. 1 The people waved [refused] the 
minister's psalm, and sang that which the king called 
for." At length, the great champion of the presbyterian 
form of church government, Henderson, who had attended 
the Uxbridge conference for the purpose of arguing for 
the divine authority of that scheme, made his appearance 
at Newcastle. Charles readily consented to listen to 
a man so celebrated ; and a controversy, in writing, 
ensued, which exhausts the subject, and remains a mo- 
nument of polemic skill honourable to the combatants. 
Those modern writers who take the unfriendly view of 
Charles I.'s character endeavour to discredit the state- 
ment, that the king was the unaided author of the papers 
produced by him on this occasion. A higher degree of 
confidence, however, appears justly due to the judgment 
of a hostile, but not uncandid contemporary, Rushworth, 
who tells us that " these papers show his majesty's great 
ability in those controversies, being [drawn up] at a time 
when he could not have the assistance of his chaplains." 
The general views by which Charles's conduct was 
governed, with relation to the subject of episcopal au- 
thority, are laid down in the following paragraph, with 
which he introduces the subject: 

" No one thing made me more reverence the Reforma- 
tion of my mother, the church of England, than that it 
was done (according to the apostle's defence, Acts xxiv. 
18), 'neither with multitude nor with tumult,' but legally 
and orderly, and by those whom I conceive to have the 
reforming power ; which, with many other inducements, 
made me always confident that the work was very perfect 



as to essentials ; of which number church government 
being undoubtedly one, I put no question but that would 
have been likewise altered if there had been cause. 
Which opinion of mine was soon turned into more than 
confidence, when I perceived that in this particular (as I 
must say of all the rest) we retained nothing, but ac- 
cording as it was deduced from the apostles to be the 
constant universal custom of the primitive church ; and 
that it was of such consequence, as by the alteration of 
it we should deprive ourselves of a lawful priesthood ; 
and then, how the sacraments can be duly administered, 
is easy to judge. These are the principal reasons which 
make me believe that bishops are necessary for a church, 
and, I think, sufficient for me (if I had no more) not to 
give my consent for their expulsion out of England. 
But I have another obligation, that to my particular is a 
no less tie of conscience, which is, my coronation oath. 
Now if (as St. Paul saith, Rom. xiv. 23) he that doubt- 
eth is damned if he eat,' what can I expect, if I should 
not only give way knowingly to my people's sinning, but 
likewise be perjured myself?" 

The controversy opened at the close of May, and, in 
the middle of July, was terminated by the illness of the 
Scottish divine, who retired to Edinburgh, and died 
there in August. " Some said," records Whitelocke, " he 
died of grief, because he could not persuade the king to 
sign the propositions." 

This famous document was presented to the king, 
towards the close of July. It was the same, with some 
aggravations, as the list of propositions brought forward, 
the year before, at Uxbridge : by it Charles was required 


to take the covenant, and consent to the abolition of epis- 
copal government ; absolutely to resign the command of 
the military force of the empire into the hands of the par- 
liament; to agree to the proscription of all the most 
distinguished loyalists ; and to acknowledge the legality 
of every thing that had been done by his enemies. The 
commissioners, who presented these articles, had no power 
to debate allowed them : they were simply to take back 
the king's answer, at the end of ten days : " A trum- 
peter," he is said to have again remarked, " had done as 
well." They, however, earnestly pressed him to sign, 
as the only means that now remained of settling the 
kingdom. The Scottish leaders were more urgent 
probably, on this point, more sincere. " The people,'' 
said the Earl of Loudon, " weary of war, and groaning 
under taxes, though they desire peace, yet are so much 
against the pulling down of monarchy, under which they 
have long flourished, that they which are weary of your 
government, dare not go about to throw it off, until they 
have, once at least, offered propositions of peace to your 
majesty; lest the vulgar, without whose concurrence they 
cannot perfect the work, should fall upon them." These 
were the honest sentiments both of the Scotch nation 
and the English presbyterians. Having extinguished the 
fire of loyalty in their bosoms, and cast off all decent 
respect for the person of the sovereign, they nevertheless 
perceived the convenience of retaining him as an instru- 
ment in their power, and indulged a secret pride in the 
prospect of treating their monarch as their slave. They 
incessantly harassed the king with menaces of the ruin 
that must follow the rejection of their stern advice. " The 


parliament," continued London, "is in possession of your 
navy, of all the towns, castles, and forts of England. 
They enjoy (besides sequestration) your revenue. Sol- 
diers and monies are raised by their authority ; and after 
so many victories and successes, they have a standing 
army, so strong as to be able to act any thing in church 
or state at their pleasure." The alternative of restoration 
to a constitutional, though not an absolute throne, de- 
pended on the king's present decision. The parliament, 
who had the power, might by refusal, or even by delay, 
be provoked to adopt the determination of excluding him 
from the throne. For themselves, they had given him 
abundant warning; to him alone would be attributable 
the consequences of his choice. 

Charles had strong reasons of a political nature for 
rejecting this advice. His distrust of the presbyterians 
was hereditary and profound ; and could he fail to bear 
in mind the sad confirmation, afforded in his own career, 
of his father's maxim, " no bishop, no king ?" He still 
clung to the belief, that, notwithstanding the seeming 
unanimity of the two great factions, they would presently 
be divided, even on the one question that most nearly 
concerned himself. In believing that the royal authority 
was still sufficient, at the least, to adjust the balance 
between the presbyterian and commonwealth factions, he 
was, doubtless, mistaken; for with them, bare political 
power, not attachment or the sense of duty, was allowed 
any weight; and power he had none. He never ceased also 
to place some degree of reliance on the returning loyalty 
of the multitudes. It was, nevertheless, sincere regard 
for the religious polity of England, blended with a solemn 


conviction that his duty was, to risk all things for its 
maintenance, which chiefly dictated his answer to the 
propositions. "He was ready cheerfully to grant and 
give his assent to all such measures as should be really 
for the good and peace of his people, without respect to 
his own particular interests ; but never could he consent 
to what was absolutely destructive to that just power, 
which, by the laws of God and the land, he was born 
to." He added, that many of the propositions were 
such, that their exact meaning and extent could not be 
ascertained otherwise than in a personal conference ; for 
which purpose he desired to repair to his capital, as soon 
as he had the assurance of the two Houses and the 
Scotch commissioners, that he might appear there with 
freedom, honour, and safety. 

The death of his theological opponent afforded the king 
no respite from controversy on the proposed surrender of 
the church. A correspondence with Jermyn, Colepepper, 
and Ashburnham, now in attendance on the queen at 
St. Germain's, furnished painful occupation for several 
successive weeks. It was an easy task for the pen of 
Charles a pen which had foiled the learned Scotch 
divine to sport at pleasure with the arguments of such 
polemics ; but the pertinacity of the courtiers, in return- 
ing incessantly to the point, was proportioned to the 
sense they entertained of the difficulty and danger of the 
king's position, to their incapacity to appreciate his 
motives, and to the strength of their less generous 
reasons for desiring peace at whatever sacrifice on his 
part. Again and again, Charles condescended to repeat 
the grounds of his inflexibility. He was no less firmly 


convinced that episcopacy is of divine institution, than the 
Scots that their synodical government was so ; he could 
not dispense with his coronation-oath, which obliged him 
to maintain the Church of England ; he farther believed, 
from the experience of his father's and his own reigns, 
that, through the church, the presbyterians really struck 
at the monarchy, and that their cherished polity is 
essentially hostile to kingly government. "Believe it," 
he writes, "religion is the only firm foundation of all 
power. That cast loose, or depraved, no government 
can be stable." And, in a letter to the prince, written 
about this time, he lays it down as " the chief particular 
duty of a king to maintain the true religion." The three 
courtiers, however, still persevered. And, although 
Charles was so little moved by their arguments, that 
he declared " they were not only against his conscience, 
but absolutely destructive to the end" of those who 
adduced them, " viz. the maintenance of monarchy ;" 
although he "conjures them, as they are Christians, no 
more thus to torture him," assuring them, that " the 
more (hey pressed him on this subject, the more they 
would contribute to his ruin ;" yet, urged on every side, 
with entreaty, argument, and menace, Charles's resolution 
at length staggered. He consulted Juxon and Duppa, 
bishops of London and Salisbury, whether Tie might 
lawfully "yield a compliance with the iniquity of the 
times," on the subject of church government. The re- 
sult was a proposition, authorised to be made privately 
by an agent in London, to the leaders of the presbyterian 
party, to allow of their church discipline for five years, 
and to resign the command of the militia for ten years, 


or even for the term of his reign, on their agreeing to the 
re-establishment of episcopacy, on a moderated scale, at 
the close of the former period. But the parties with 
whom he had to deal, were resolved to enforce their 
"bond." The Scots refused to yield any tittle of the 
covenant; nor would either parliament or Scots abate one 
iota of the propositions. Like the rest of the king's 
concessions, therefore, this also was regarded merely as 
a further indication of weakness, and set aside as un- 
worthy of consideration. 

Many months had now been consumed at Newcastle in 
endless discussions on the covenant and propositions ; 
at London, in debates in parliament, and disputes between 
that assembly and the Scots, respecting the disposal of 
the refractory king, and the tacit, if not avowed, condition 
of his surrender. At length, towards the middle of 
December, the Scots' commissioners intimated to their 
captive what course they had determined to pursue, by 
laying before him a resolution of the parliament at Edin- 
burgh, not to allow the king to enter Scotland. Charles 
perceived the crisis to be near, and once more vainly 
renewed his petition to be heard in the metropolis a 
petition, he said, "which, if refused to a subject by a 
king, he would be thought a tyrant for it." The same 
day on which the vote against admitting the king into 
Scotland passed in the parliament at Edinburgh, also 
witnessed the departure from London of a numerous train 
of military carriages, laden with coin to the value of 
200,000, the first instalment of the sum to be paid 
to the Scots. On Christmas-day (a sacred festival, not 
now for the first time devoted by them to public busi- 


ness), the Commons passed a resolution in which the 
Lords also concurred, that the king's house at Holdenby, 
in Northamptonshire, should be the place of his con- 
finement. In the meantime, that serviceable officer, 
Skippon, who, with a strong force under his com- 
mand, had been ordered to convey the money to the 
Scots, arrived at Northallerton with his valuable 
charge, transferred it to the care of their commis- 
sioners, and "received their acquittance." In addition 
to this form of acknowledgment, the commissioners pre- 
sented a request, voted by the parliament at Edinburgh, 
that no violence should be offered to the person of the 
royal captive, and that no obstacle should be opposed to 
the legal succession in his family. The Scotch army then 
marched out of Newcastle, and Skippon immediately took 
possession of it with his troops. 

On the 23rd day of January, the lords Pembroke, 
Denbigh, and Montague, with Sir William Armyn, and 
five other members of the Commons, attended by a 
strong escort of horse, entered Newcastle from London, 
to take charge of the king. Their arrival was com- 
municated to him by the commissioners of Scotland. 
" I came among you," said Charles, " for protection, 
which you had already guaranteed: what is the reason 
that you now deny it me, by preventing my accompanying 
your army into Scotland." " It is because your majesty 
refuses to sign the covenant and the propositions. 
We are therefore to deliver you to the commissioners 
of the parliament of England, who will conduct you 
to your manor of Holdenby." Charles received the 
English commissioners with great cheerfulness and 


affability, distinguishing, with special kindness, the old 
Earl of Pembroke, who had formerly been high in office 
at court, and was believed to retain still some affection 
for his master. The king was glad, he said, to see that 
the earl's advanced years had not prevented his under- 
taking that long and winterly journey. But the com- 
missioners were not to be moved by courtesies from what 
they regarded as points of duty. Charles requested that 
he might now be allowed the attendance of two of his 
chaplains, a comfort of which he had so long been de- 
prived: he was answered, that they had brought down 
with them two learned ministers, and that " the attend- 
ance of any other chaplains would not be for his majesty's 

In the way to Holdenby, the people flocked about 
the king, with acclamations, tears, and prayers ; and 
many diseased persons solicited and received the royal 
touch. In these indications of unextinguished or re- 
viving loyalty, they received no disturbance from the 
troops. The army, at this time, lay at Nottingham ; and 
as the king's cavalcade approached the gates, Fairfax 
came out to meet it, alighted, kissed the king's hand, 
and, remounting, accompanied and conversed with him 
through the town. "Dethronement," "commonwealth," 
and other such portentous words, had already been 
heard, like the mut.ering of distant thunder, in the rebel 
horizon. But they found no echo in the hearts of the 
people ; no recognition in the ear of Fairfax. Whatever 
dark purposes might already be engendered in bosoms 
subsequently stained with regicidal guilt, it could not be 
difficult to impose on that undiscerning frankness, which 


Cromwell's hypocrisy sported with, even while the head 
of the royal victim was extended on the block. As the 
procession drew near the place of its destination, it was 
met by the noblemen and gentlemen of the county, who, 
with a multitude of the inferior classes, had assembled to 
express their duty to their sovereign, and to welcome his 
entrance once more beneath a royal roof. It was on the 
16th of February, 1646-7, that King Charles alighted 
at the door of his magnificent mansion of Holdenby. 



IT were vain to speculate, what might have been the 
effect on the fortunes of the king himself, and on the 
future settlement of the nation, had Charles, instead of 
repairing to the Scots, chosen one of those other courses, 
which, at an earlier period, were open to him : had he, 
for example, sought in person to rouse the sympathy of 
France or Holland, or thrown himself upon the ge- 
nerosity of his enemies at Westminster. One other 
resource there was besides, which his highminded 
Chancellor of the Exchequer, had he been then present 
with his master, would have recommended. " I would 
rather," said Hyde, "he should have stayed in Oxford, 
and after defending it to the last biscuit, been taken 
prisoner with his honest retinue about him, and then 
relied upon his own virtue in imprisonment, than to have 
thrown himself into the arms of the Scots. Not that 
I imagined they could have done what every body con- 
cludes they have or will do; but that I thought it an 
unkingly thing to ask relief of those who had done all the 
mischief." Nor was this method of putting a close to 
the contest, strange to the king's contemplations, or un- 
suited to his temper. He shrank, however, from the 


view of the extensive misery it must occasion, and pro- 
bably dreaded the disgrace of being made a spectacle 
of captive royalty to his rebel subjects. 

Fortunate for Oxford, at least, was the king's choice. 
The walls of that city enclosed many of those persons 
who were dearest to him, and who were at the same time 
the least fitted to endure the miseries of a protracted 
siege, or to contribute towards effectual resistance. The 
Duke of York, the ladies and families of many of the 
nobility and gentry, numerous clergymen and learned 
residents in the university, were there; whose presence 
must have aggravated the evils, while it accelerated the 
advance, of the inevitable result, viz. ultimate surrender. 
For, though the number, experience, and bravery of the 
garrison, enabled them to defy assault, they were never- 
theless wholly unequal to act on the offensive against 
Fairfax's host, and relief in any shape from without 
was hopeless. The terms of the capitulation were ho- 
nourable to both parties. The Duke of York was to be 
conducted to London, there to have fitting provision 
made for him by the parliament. To the princes Rupert 
and Maurice, liberty was given to reside six months 
longer in England, and then to go beyond sea. The 
garrison to march out with every military honour. The 
inhabitants to remain, if they chose, three months longer 
in the city, and to go where they pleased. Those whose 
estates were under sequestration to be admitted to com- 
pound at the rate of two years' income, and no farther 
restraint to be placed upon them, except in London, 
where all persons coming from Oxford, or from any other 
of the king's garrisons, were forbidden to wear or possess 


arms, or to be out of their lodgings after nine o'clock at 
night. The university, and city, to be continued in 
the undisturbed enjoyment of their respective privileges 
under the parliament. His majesty's servants to have 
liberty either to repair to him within one month, or to 
retire to his palace at Hampton Court. Some of these 
conditions the parliament endeavoured to recall, after they 
had already been agreed to by the army. But in the 
meantime the two princes, maintaining the accustomed 
impatience of their character, marched out with their 
retinue of cavaliers and attendants, some days before the 
formal surrender of the place. Having, in their passage 
towards Dover, diverged to Oatlands, though allowed by 
the articles of surrender to approach no nearer to the 
metropolis than a distance of twenty miles, the houses 
testified their displeasure in an expostulatory letter 
hastening their departure. After visiting their brother, 
the prince Elector, then residing in England in the cha- 
racter of a pensioner on the parliament, they joined the 
queen and the Prince of Wales at St. Germain's, where 
Rupert accepted from the king of France an appointment 
to the command of all the English that were, or might be, 
embodied in that country. 

The terms granted to such of the remaining garrisons, 
as unhesitatingly obeyed the king's order to submit, were 
little less favourable. Only Ragland was yielded without 
conditions. This gallant little fortress had been sum- 
moned on the 8th of June by Colonel Morgan, at the 
head of a force from Worcester. For some time the 
brave old marquess wholly disregarded the message, re- 
fusing to believe that Charles could have tacitly included 


Ragland in a general warrant of surrender. "Wherefore," 
was his answer, "I make choice (if it so please God) 
rather to die nobly than to live with infamy." Presently 
afterwards, Fairfax himself appeared before Ragland, and 
repeated the summons. A correspondence ensued, in 
which the marquess refers, in affecting terms, to the in- 
timacy which had subsisted between himself and the 
family of the lord-general ; and, on the 19th day of 
August, the venerable old nobleman was persuaded to 
pull down the royal standard, but not till it had pre- 
viously ceased to float over any other fortress in the 
island. The large possessions of the marquess had al- 
ready been confiscated by the parliament. He was 
consequently prevented from becoming, at the age of 
fourscore, a houseless dependant on the bounty of his 
enemies, only by his death, which followed immediately 
after his arriving in London, when the lords ordered a 
sum to be advanced for the expenses of his funeral. 

A person not less admirable for his firm and dis- 
interested support of the cause of legal government, fell 
into the parliament's hands at the surrender of Worcester. 
This was the famous Welsh judge, David Jenkins; round 
whose name radiates a renown very different from that 
which encircles most of the legal reputations of that 
age, famous for distinguished lawyers. Judge Jenkins 
had already been looked up to, during an entire genera- 
tion, by his fellow jurists as an oracle of constitutional 
wisdom, and by the court and people as an upright and 
able administrator of the laws, when the civil war broke 
out. It was from no courtly temper (for he had uniformly 
opposed all encroachments on the liberties of English- 


men), from no sentimental loyalty (for he was a stern 
man), but purely to vindicate the law, that he declared 
himself a foe to rebellion, by imprisoning on his circuit 
parties who appeared in arms against the king, and 
by himself drawing his sword in the royal cause. Several 
attempts had been made to crush this dangerous and in- 
defatigable adversary, by means of fine and imprisonment, 
inflicted under a show of law, previously to his being 
brought, in February, 1647, before the House of Com- 
mons, in company with one Sir Francis Butler. When 
the two delinquents appeared at the bar, Butler knelt 
as he was directed, but Judge Jenkins refused. In the 
reprimand which followed, Lenthall, the speaker, address- 
ing both as notorious delinquents, particularly referred to 
the elder prisoner's omission of the usual mark of respect 
to the house, "which," he said, "was the greater fault 
in him, seeing he pretended to be knowing in the laws of 
the land." During these animadversions, the judge, in a 
low voice, desired his companion not to say much. " Let 
all their malice," he said, "light upon me: I am an old 
man, and you comparatively young." The speaker having 
concluded, Judge Jenkins asked if he might now have 
liberty to speak ? " Yes," answered Lenthall, " so you be 
not very long." "No," continued the judge, "I will not 
trouble either myself or you with many words. In your 
speech, Mr. Speaker, you said the house was offended at 
my behaviour in not making any obeisance to you at my 
coming here; and that this was the more wondered at, 
because I pretended to be knowing in the laws of the 
land. I answer, that, I thank God, I not only pretend to 
be, but am, knowing in the laws of the land (having made 


it my study for these five-and-forty years ;) and that I am 
so, is the cause of my behaviour. For as long as you had 
the king's arms engraven on your mace, and that, your 
great seal was not counterfeit, had I come here I would 
have bowed in obedience to his writ and authority, by 
whom you were first called. But, Mr. Speaker, since 
you and this house have renounced your duty and al- 
legiance to your sovereign leige lord, and are become 
a den of thieves, should I bow myself in this house of 
Rimmon, the Lord would not pardon me in this thing." 

This dauntless outburst of honest indignation instantly 
threw the whole assembly into an uproar. It was half an 
hour before any order could be restored ; during all 
which time ten or even twenty members would be ha- 
ranguing confusedly together, with furious looks and 
gestures. At length the tumult a little abated. The house 
voted the prisoners guilty of high treason, without any 
form of trial ; and calling for the keeper of Newgate, in- 
quired what were the usual days of execution for treason. 
"Wednesdays and Fridays," was the answer of that 
functionary. And it was only in consequence of a remark 
of Marten, on the question whether the execution should 
take place on the following Wednesday or Friday, that 
this monstrous purpose was suspended. That re- 
publican suggesting, in terms ludicrously contemptuous, 
that the old man courted death as a martyr for the laws, 
in the hope that his execution would produce a great 
effect on the people, the house, tranquillized by this 
wholesome fear, and by the humour of its buffoon, 
agreed to remand the prisoners. On their return to prison, 
Butler asked his intrepid companion if he had not been 


too hardy in his language to the house? " Not at all," 
replied the judge. " Rebellion has been so successful in 
this kingdom, and has gotten such a head, that weak 
loyal persons will be allured to comply with it, if some 
vigorous and brave resistance be not made against these 
men, even to their faces. This was the cause why I said 
such home things to them. And whenever the day of my 
execution come, I shall be like Samson, and destroy 
more Philistines than I have ever hitherto done in all my 
life. And in this thought of mine I am so wrapped up, 
that I hope they will not long defer my execution." 

Perceiving Butler's wonder to be excited by this ex- 
traordinary declaration, the judge proceeded. " I will 
tell you all that I intend to do and say at that time. 
First, I will eat much liquorice and gingerbread to 
strengthen my lungs, that I my extend my voice far 
and near; for no doubt great multitudes will come to 
witness the old Welsh judge's death. Then will I come 
with venerable Bracton's book hung on my left shoulder, 
the Statutes at large on my right shoulder, and the Bible 
with a ribbon put round my neck, hanging on my breast. 
I will then tell the people that I am brought there to die 
for being a traitor, and in the words of a dying man I 
will tell them that I wish all the traitors in the kingdom 
might come to my fate. But indeed I am no traitor ; 
and the better to inform you that I am none, the House 
of Commons never thought me a traitor ; for had they 
believed me such, they would have had me tried in a 
legal manner, according to the customs of this kingdom 
for a thousand years. For this cause they debarred me 
of my birthright a trial by my peers, that is, by a jury; 


because they well knew no honest jury would ever have 
found me guilty of treason for only being loyal and true 
to our lawful and rightful sovereign. But since they will 
have me a traitor, right or wrong, I thought it was but 
just to bring my counsellors with me, who have all along 
advised me in what I have done. Then shall I open 
Bracton to show them that the supreme power is in the 
king the statute-book to read the oath of allegiance 
the Bible to show them their duties to the lawful au- 
thority." (The judge, as he proceeded, read at full 
length the passages he referred to, and then continued 
his imaginary address.) " This book, these statutes, this 
holy and sacred volume, have all been my evil coun- 
sellors, and therefore shall be hanged with me ! So 
when they shall see me die affirming such things, thou- 
sands will he incited to inquire farther into this matter ; 
and having found all I told them to be true, they will 
learn to loathe and detest the present tyranny." 

But, for the execution of this scheme the most 
romantic, surely, that was ever conceived in a lawyer's 
brain no opportunity was given. The House, in fact, 
comprised not a few men who understood the weight 
which the decisions of such a venerable expounder of 
the law would attach to their proceedings. A committee 
of members visited Judge Jenkins in Newgate, and 
offered, that if he would own the power of the par- 
liament to be lawful, they would not only take off the 
sequestration from his estate, which was about 500 per 
annum, but would besides settle on him a life annuity of 
1000. " Far be it from me," he answered, " to own 
rebellion, however successful, to be lawful ; leave me." 


The leader of the party persisted: he should enjoy the 
same, if he would only suffer them to print that he 
acknowledged their power to be lawful. " Not for all 
the money you have robbed the kingdom of," was the 
judge's indignant reply, "would I connive at your so 
doing. And should you impudently put any such matter 
in print, I would sell my doublet and coat, to buy pens, 
ink, and paper, to set forth the House of Commons in 
their proper colours." One argument yet remained to 
the tempters. " You have a wife and nine children, who 
will all starve, if you refuse this offer." "What! did 
they desire you to press me in this matter ?" " I will 
not say they did ; but I think they press you to it with- 
out speaking at all." The old man's anger was now 
raised to the highest pitch ; and with an answer too vehe- 
ment for these pages, but glowing with the incorruptible 
integrity of his soul, he rid himself of his tormentors. In 
various gaols, the Welsh judge continued, during eleven 
years, to suffer captivity, with the same constancy with 
which he expounded the violated laws of his country. 

The surrender of so many garrisons brought large 
sums into Goldsmith's Hall, for compositions ; a source 
of revenue which the needs of the victorious party in- 
duced them to encourage, though at the risk of sur- 
rounding themselves with royalists. The entire property 
of such among the king's friends as were expressly ex- 
ceptedfrom pardon, with that of other delinquents deemed 
incorrigible, was mercilessly confiscated. With reference to 
the practice of compounding for delinquency, so generally 
adopted, we find on record the following manly sentiments 
of Hyde : the passage occurs in a letter to Secretary 
N 2 


Nicholas. " I am very glad your patrons at London are 
constant in their unmercifulness to the excepted, among 
whom I will not leave my place to be listed amongst the 
compounders. For my part, let him want mercy that will 
ask or take it from them. I remember my old acquaint- 
ance Cato, when he was told that Caesar had a desire to 
have friendship with him, and was willing to give him a 
pardon, grew into a passion, and said, he was a tyrant to 
offer him a pardon, for by it assumed to himself a power 
over the lives of the citizens of Rome. I assure you, 
Mr. Secretary, I will not receive a pardon from the king 
and parliament when I am not guilty ; and when I am, 
I will receive it only from him who can grant it." 

Besides the two great military commanders, whose 
rewards have been noticed, a long list of claims by the 
presbyterian leaders, upon the financial resources of the 
parliament, was at this time allowed. Waller was com- 
plimented with the title of a baron, with 2500 per 
annum. To Haslerigg and Stapleton was assigned, with 
the like rank, an income of 2000 per annum each. Sir 
William Brereton had an annuity of 1500 voted to 
him, and Skippon one of 1000; with many more. 

Charles himself also was now numbered with the 
parliament's pensioners. The vote that consigned the 
sovereign to Holdenby, was accompanied with a grant 
of 50 per diem for the maintenance of his court. The 
Duke of York, on the invitation of the Houses, was 
brought to London, and consigned to the care of Nor- 
thumberland (who had already two of the king's children 
in his charge), with an annuity, for his support, of 7000. 
But the same liberality does not appear to have been 


extended to all the members of this unhappy family, now 
in their power. About the same day on which the duke 
was conducted to St. James's, the Lady Dalkeith, with 
whom the queen, when obliged to fly from Exeter, had 
left her infant daughter, secretly conveyed the princess 
from Oatlands (to which residence she had been taken on 
the surrender of that city, in April), leaving behind a 
statement of the causes of her flight : " After patiently 
expecting the pleasure of the parliament," she said, "she 
had found it impossible to obtain any justice to the prin- 
cess, or favour to her highness, or her attendants." This 
lady was a person of spirit and magnanimity, and suc- 
ceeded in safely transporting the little object of her loyal 
and affectionate anxiety to St. Germain's. 

There, the pensioner of a government which had 
assisted in precipitating her husband's ruin, surrounded 
by relations who had small ability, and less will, to afford 
her effectual assistance, Henrietta kept up the flutter 
and intrigue of a court, without its dignity or magnifi- 
cence. The disloyal assiduities of some of the nobles in 
her train, or her own anger and disappointment at the 
tremendous reverse in her fortunes, appear to have chilled 
the queen's affection towards her lord, and obliterated 
from her mind all regard for the country whose throne 
she had shared. Too indulgent to the lighter partners 
of her exile, she, at the same time, severely judged 
those measures which unexampled misfortune, or inces- 
sant importunity, had wrung from her afflicted husband. 
Davenant, to whose ill-judged embassy the king wanted 
patience to listen, hinted that the queen had thoughts of 
retiring into a monastery. The nerve of conjugal tender- 


ness instantly quivered. To the envoy he made, on this 
point, no reply ; but in his next letter to his correspond- 
ents at St. Germain's, he thus distressingly alludes to 
the suggestion : "This, if it fall out, (which God forbid!) 
is so destructive to all my affairs I say no more of it 
my heart is too big ; the rest being fitter for your thoughts 
than my expression. In another way I have mentioned 
this to the queen (my grief being the only thing I desire 
to conceal from her, with which I am as full now as I 
can be without bursting), commanding you to remember 
her to answer me, and help to conceal my sorrow from 
her as much as may be." The little court of Henrietta 
received, at this time, an important addition by the 
arrival of the Prince of Wales. In the orders issued by 
Charles, providing for the prince's safety, he had directed, 
that in case expatriation were found inevitable, the heir 
to the British throne should be placed under the care of 
his royal mother, " in all things except religion." But 
the council whom he had placed about the prince, in the 
exercise of that discretion with which they were invested, 
wished rather to retain him in Jersey. Their authority, 
however, was overruled by the positive command of the 
queen ; and, against the strenuous protest of Capel and 
Hyde, the royal youth was transferred, under the care of 
Digby, Jermyn, and Wentworth, to a court from which 
his cause received no political benefits, to countervail the 
moral mischief of implanting in an apt disposition those 
seeds of libertinism and irreligion, by the growth of which 
England was afterwards corrupted and degraded. 



THE authors of this great revolution were far from enjoy- 
ing quiet satisfaction in their successes. The continuance 
of an rnmitigated burden of taxation upon the people, 
while the individuals in power had grown rich at the 
public cost; the intolerant yet inadequate character of 
the new church establishment; the delay of an agreement 
with the king ; the maintenance of a large military force 
in the heart of the kingdom, preying upon its resources, 
and diffusing around its own lawless and fanatical spirit, 
while not an enemy was to be seen or feared : these, and 
similar grievances, were beginning to cloud the popularity 
of the parliament. The citizens of London, once wholly 
subservient to their wishes, now ruffled the sittings of the 
houses with petition upon petition, for the disbanding 
of the army, and the settlement of the kingdom. Re- 
jected, as interfering with the privileges of the supreme 
authority in the nation, these remonstrances were re- 
peated in stronger terms, and presented at the doors with 
insolence and menace. Ordered to be publicly burnt in 
Westminster and at the Exchange, they were succeeded 
by others more formidable, from the counties of Norfolk, 
Suffolk, and Essex, and by disturbance and violence 


in the metropolis. In the midst of these marks of dis- 
affection without, the discords in the parliament itself, 
between the independent and presbyterian factions, though 
prudently permitted, on both sides, to slumber till the 
retirement of the Scottish army, were in reality becoming 
more than ever profound and unappeasable. The chase 
was over ; the rich quarry lay bleeding at the feet of the 
hunters : but no principle, besides the robber law of 
the strongest, presided over the distribution of the spoil. 
To which side, on that principle, appertained the lion's 
share, was the grand question now waiting to be de- 

At present, the superiority appeared wholly on the side 
of the presbyterians. In numerical strength, that party 
had at no time ceased to have greatly the advantage, not- 
withstanding the open evasion, in recent elections, of the 
self-denying ordinance. Late events had likewise con- 
spired to restore their pristine courage and enthusiasm. 
The sovereign, by putting himself in the power of the 
Scots, had, in effect, thrown the weight of his personal 
importance into the presbyterian scale. His misfortunes, 
and the magnanimity with which he bore them, were, 
however, beginning to soften many bosoms that had been 
steeled against him in the days of his prosperity. The 
war was at an end ; but its professed objects appeared to 
be as remote as ever. To what purpose had the people 
suffered and bled? If for nothing, or worse than nothing, 
then better were it the nation retraced its steps ; better to 
endure the blows of the less ignoble arm, and to be 
at least able to claim the grace of submission to authority 
based on law, and venerable from prescription, than to be 


dragged at the fierce heels of power sprung from re- 
bellion. Such thoughts tended to strengthen that party 
which was known to be the more placable towards the 
king; and, though obstinately bent on maintaining the 
supremacy of their discipline in the church, willing, 
in other respects, to retain the forms, with a portion 
of the efficiency, of the ancient national institutions. In 
deepening and diffusing these impressions, the disbanded 
royalists, now everywhere mingled with the people, na- 
turally aided ; but in their origin they were the genuine 
growth of the popular mind. The indications of their 
existence were too plain to be either overlooked or mis- 
taken by the independents. Contrary to the natural 
temper of that party, they seem, for a space, to have been 
daunted. Unusual wariness and reserve clouded the 
countenance and darkened the language of Vane: Crom- 
well, perhaps doubtful for a moment of his course, 
appeared more than ever inscrutable. The death of 
Essex, which happened in this conjuncture, was fortunate 
for the independent faction, but the joy occasioned by 
this event was carefully dissembled. All the members of 
both houses, with the whole of the officers, civil and 
military, then in London, attended the magnificent funeral 
with which the parliament honoured the remains of their 
late general. On some minor occasions, an uncontrollable 
burst of the republican spirit escaped ; as when the 
arguments of the Scots, in support of their right to 
dispose of the king's person, were seized in the printer's 
hands, and ordered to be publicly burnt; but, with a few 
such exceptions, it was by presbyterian influence that the 
houses, and, consequently, the nation, were governed, 


during Charles's detention at Newcastle and at Hol- 

The army was therefore to be employed for securing 
a farther succession of victories. Its exploits in war 
were now to be paralleled by its achievements in policy ; 
the foe, the weapons, and the warfare, all changed, only 
the leaders the same. But the discipline required to this 
end was not now to be begun. The army may be said to 
have been, at this time, completely the creature and the 
tool of that great military and political genius, Cromwell. 
Ever since the institution of the New Model, its whole 
structure had presented merely an amplification of the 
regiment originally raised, disciplined, and commanded 
by the strenuous member for Cambridge. Those veterans 
from the various corps then disbanded, whose habits of 
discipline, daring temper, and free religious opinions, 
assimilated them to the lieutenant-general's own cha- 
racter, and fitted them for his purposes, were selected 
to fill the ranks of the new army. With these were in- 
corporated, from time to time, such prisoners, taken from 
the king's armies and garrisons, and recommended by si- 
milar qualifications, as either were indifferent whether they 
acknowledged for master the king or the parliament, or 
judged the service of the latter a more free and promising 
field for the display of their experience and valour. Re- 
ligious, the parent of political republicanism, had from 
the first been the Cromwellian creed. The army under 
Essex had been attended by a regular and competent 
band of chaplains, puritan or presbyterian ; but of these 
divines, few joined that under Fairfax, and those who 
did, were soon driven away by the insolence of the 


soldiery, and the manifest inutility of their own labours. 
In the new reign of religious freedom, there was no lack 
of those gifts which were regarded as superseding, not 
ordination merely, but education. All could dispute; and 
their disputing, writes Baxter, was with as much fierce- 
ness as if they had been ready to second every argument 
with the sword; most could pray in public, some with 
surprising fluency and unction ; many could preach, and 
exercised their talents in this way in a style highly 
popular and attractive. The officers, of whom the greater 
part had been raised from the ranks, were selected by 
Cromwell for promotion, from regard to these, no less 
than to their military qualifications ; and the leader him- 
self, as became his station, excelled in all such accom- 
plishments of the theological profession. It is not 
surprising, that an army so constituted should affect to 
repudiate the term "common soldiers." From the time, 
when, in consequence of the extinction of the king's 
forces, such habits had, through leisure and encourage- 
ment, become universal, they no longer regarded them- 
selves individually as subject to the ordinary rules of 
military subjection, nor collectively as the servants of the 
parliament. As " privates " (such was the term then in- 
troduced into our language) they were entitled to the 
consideration of gentlemen, as well as to the rights of 
citizens ; as an army, they began to consider themselves 
in the light of an independent estate in the realm. This 
army, so fiercely energetic in itself, so powerful as an in- 
strument, Cromwell, its creator, governed with absolute 
mastery ; all below him were his tools : the one man 
nominally above him, was, by his own confession, not 


less so than others. Policy at present demanded that 
the hand which moved the wires should be concealed, 
and Cromwell, in hourly communication with the camp, 
devoted his time to assiduous attendance in his place at 
Westminster ; covering all his schemes with the general's 
authority, and putting forward, in public acts and docu- 
ments emanating from himself and his subordinates, the 
popular name of Fairfax. 

It had become evident to the presbyterian leaders that 
their own existence as a party* no less than the public 
safety and convenience, demanded the disbanding of the 
now useless army. They resolved to reduce it to a peace 
establishment of five thousand horse, with a sufficient 
force of infantry to occupy a few reserved garrisons, after 
the greater part of those in existence should be dis- 
mantled; and, at the same time, with a view to destroy 
the dangerous authority of Cromwell and Ireton, it was 
voted that, with the exception of Fairfax, no officer 
should be retained of higher rank than that of colonel, 
and that no member of the Commons should hold a com- 
mission. Hardly was it to be thought, however, that 
a force so framed, conscious of its own power and the 
weakness of its nominal masters, would at once bow sub- 
missively to their vote for its annihilation ; that the 
ambitious soldier, whom the service had raised to dis- 
tinction, would willingly return to his obscure and 
laborious employment in civil life ; or that, holding him- 
self entitled to public gratitude and reward, he would 
endure to be dismissed in silence, and even in arrear 
of his ordinary wages. As an inducement to compliance, 
the discharged officers and men were invited to join the 


force destined to carry on the war in Ireland; but very 
few offered for that service, although the popular Skippon 
was prevailed upon to accept the command. The in- 
dependents now saw that the season had arrived for 
acting with energy and decision. By their instigation, 
the army began to draw towards London, and fixed its 
quarters in the county of Essex. A remonstrance, in the 
form of a petition to the general, to be presented by him 
to the House of Commons, was adopted by unanimous 
consent; in which it was required that the parliament 
should pass an ordinance providing legal indemnity to 
the soldiers for their conduct during the war, the pay- 
ment of their arrears, exemption from impressment for 
foreign service, compensation for the maimed, pensions 
for the widows and families of those who had perished, 
and weekly pay as long as they should remain embodied. 
The parliament immediately instructed the general to put 
a stop to the petition, and to suppress those conferences 
in the army from which it had emanated ; and issued a 
declaration, admonishing the subscribers to desist, on 
pain of receiving punishment as enemies to the state, 
and disturbers of the public peace. This magisterial tone 
was exactly what the promoters of the movement most 
desired to call forth. Loud murmurs followed from the 
army. The general, willing to obey his masters, but 
sympathizing with his companions in arms, and deceived 
by their leaders, acted with easy vacillation. A com- 
mission from the two houses, in support of his authority, 
proceeded to the head-quarters of the army at Walden ; 
but, so far from effecting their object, they were witnesses 
to the preparation of a second remonstrance, in defence of 


the former, and signed by the officers, who now openly 
took part with the men in these seditious demonstrations. 
In fact, the whole army had by this time been completely 
organized for political purposes ; and had with this view 
constituted within itself two deliberative bodies, to con- 
sider and conduct its affairs ; a council of officers, in 
imitation of the House of Peers, and a popular assembly, 
consisting of deputies from each regiment, chosen chiefly 
from the non-commissioned officers. The members of 
this mimic House of Commons it was, to whom was given 
the name of adjutators (afterwards, by an expressive 
corruption, changed to agitators), a word, in our times, 
well known. In this second remonstrance, the officers 
denied the justice of the term "seditious" applied to the 
former ; maintained, that by bearing arms as soldiers for 
the common liberties, they had not, as citizens, forfeited 
their own; and vindicated, in lofty terms, the right of 
petitioning, as emphatically claimed for the subject in 
the declarations of the houses themselves. With the 
remonstrance was likewise presented a letter addressed 
to Fairfax by the agitators, similar in purport, but couched 
in bolder language, declaring their intention to enforce 
that redress for which the officers petitioned. It was 
brought by three subaltern officers or troopers, Sexby, 
Allen, and Sheppard ; who, through the intervention of 
Skippon, made their way to the bar of the Commons, and 
performed their errand " with wonderful confidence." 

The parliament, by what Whitelocke acknowledges to 
have been a course of retributive justice, began now to 
experience the evils of that tumultuous and irregular 
mode of petitioning, which they themselves formerly had 


encouraged against the king. Though not free from 
alarm, they had not yet their eyes open to the extent 
of their danger, or to discern the hand which was to hurl 
them from that sphere, where, in the language of the 
agitators, they had " sought to become masters, and 
to degenerate into tyrants." Resolving not to depart 
from their purpose to disband the army, they now en- 
deavoured to carry it by concession. First, two months' 
pay was to be advanced to the disbanded soldiers ; then, 
security was added for the remainder, with a promise 
of an ordinance of indemnity against pressing, and to 
provide for the maimed and widows. Deceived by the 
marvellous dissimulation of Cromwell, who asserted in 
his place, that, notwithstanding appearances, the army 
was ready to conform to every thing parliament should 
ordain, and that he would undertake for its entire sub- 
mission and obedience ; the houses directed the wily 
lieutenant-general, and the other general officers in Lon- 
don, to undertake the business of mediation. Thus was 
fuel doubly added to the flame. The demands of men, 
united in powerful combinations, always are found to rise 
in the proportion of those concessions, which, by in- 
spiring terror, they are enabled to extort. Moreover, 
Cromwell, Ireton, and Fleetwood, the officers whom the 
house had the infatuation to send down, were supplied by 
this circumstance with an opportunity, clear from all sus- 
picion, of fostering the mutiny which their machinations 
had begun. In compliance, however, with the order of 
the houses, they announced to the assembled military 
legislature the votes passed in favour of the army, and 
acquainted them that they were come to settle "the 


distempers in the army." "We know of no distempers," 
exclaimed the representative tribunes ; " but we do know 
of many grievances, and of these we demand immediate 
redress." In the end, Fairfax, who, on pretence of ill 
health, had likewise absented himself, was desired to 
repair to his post. He carried with him the promised 
ordinance of indemnity, and an ordinance for the payment 
of arrears for eight weeks ; accompanied, however, with 
a confirmation of the previous orders of the parliament to 
proceed, without delay, in the business of disbanding. 
Instead of yielding obedience to his instructions, he, on 
arriving at Bury St. Edmund's, to which place his head- 
quarters had been removed, communicated them to the 
council of officers ; who resolved, that they were wholly 
insufficient to satisfy the soldiers, and immediately began 
to draw the divisions together to consult what was next 
to be done for the common interest and safety. 

Meantime, the king was surrounded with every mark of 
deference and respect, consistent with a state of strict 
captivity. All approach of strangers to the royal presence 
was forbidden, except to those who bore the parliament's 
order. No attendants were allowed, but such as the 
commissioners appointed or approved ; no correspondence 
was permitted, unless through, their hands. A portion 
of his time the king spent in "study and devotion the 
solitary devotion of his chamber ; for the houses, in 
answer to an earnest appeal to them to permit Sheldon 
and another royal chaplain to come to him, confirmed 
the refusal of the commissioners, and Charles refused, 
in turn, the services of Marshall and Caryl, the two 
presbyterian divines. He even precluded grace from 


being said in his presence, after the puritan iashion, by 
himself dexterously anticipating the commissioner's chap- 
lains when rising for that purpose. But this discounte- 
nance he softened, by treating them with marked, 
general courtesy. He had, indeed, acquired an affability 
of deportment which, in his happier years, was wanting ; 
and which, combined with his cheerful patience in mis- 
fortune, effected a thorough revolution in the breasts 
of many of his enemies. In his walks in the gardens of 
the fine old mansion at Holdenby, he had always one of 
the commissioners by his side; and when the choice fell 
on Lord Pembroke, Charles patiently accommodated his 
naturally quick movements to the feeble steps of his 
companion. His attentions to the old earl, when the latter 
was confined by illness, were almost filial. General 
Brown, another of the commissioners, allowed his re- 
publican antipathies to be wholly subdued by the king's 
civilities ; a dereliction of principle for which " the 
woodmonger," as Brown was called, incurs the bitter 
reproach of Ludlow. 

Charles's habitual temperance and self-government 
being now seconded by regularity in exercise and re- 
creations, he enjoyed in his seclusion uninterrupted good 
health. He rode frequently, and played at his favourite 
game of bowls, commonly on the neighbouring green 
at Althorp. An office of some difficulty to the guards 
in attendance on the king, was, to keep off the people, 
who thronged about him for the purpose of receiving the 
royal touch. The House of Commons, to put an end to 
this inconvenience, " ordered a declaration to be drawn 
up, to inform the people of the superstition of being 


touched by the king for the evil." The king's gaolers 
were not always successful in intercepting his corre- 
spondence. One day, in passing a narrow bridge on the 
way to Althorp, a packet of letters from France was put 
into Charles's hand by a person in the dress of a country- 
man. The man was seized ; and acknowledging himself 
to be Colonel Bosville, formerly an officer in the royal 
service, he was sent up to be examined before the Com- 
mons, and was by them committed to Newgate. On another 
occasion, a lady was apprehended in a similar attempt. 
By such incidents only trivial in the view of the his- 
torian, but important in the estimation of a captive, though 
a king was Charles's residence at Holdenby externally 
varied. What a contrast to these trifles, must, in spite 
of his " unparalleled patience," have been presented, 
could the observer have looked upon the mind within ! 
What stirring remembrances of the past had stood then 
revealed; what anxious thoughts, alternating between hope 
and fear, regarding the future ! Upon the king's writing- 
table still lay the Newcastle propositions. On the requi- 
sitions of that appalling document, not a word had since 
reached him from the parliament. At length, as he had 
promised, he wrote a more detailed answer ; and his letter, 
on this occasion, as being exclusively his own composition, 
transcribed with his own hand, enforces respect for its 
ability, and excites emotion by its pathos. It contains con- 
cessions which must have cost him, in his solitude, many 
sighs. He would confirm (he said) the presbyterian 
church government for three years ; for ten years would 
surrender the power of the sword ; would agree to legalize 
the parliament's great seal, and all the acts to which it 


bad been applied ; and would give satisfaction with re- 
spect to Ireland. 

In this manner more than three months had passed, 
when, one day, Charles, attended by the commissioners, 
and by Colonel Graves, the officer in command of the 
guard, being on the bowling-green at Althorp, a strange 
soldier was observed to mingle with the spectators. 
Graves, struck by the man's scrutinizing manner, as 
well as by his uniform, questioned him. The soldier 
answered in a tone of confidence and freedom. He in- 
veighed, in the religious phraseology of Fairfax's camp, 
against the parliament, and confirmed a report already 
current at Holdenby, that a body of cavalry was in the 
neighbourhood. The colonel was startled. He com- 
municated his apprehensions to the king, and Charles 
quitted the ground in the midst of vague but general 
alarm. In his way back to Holdenby, he called to mind, 
that, some weeks before, in April, an officer had found 
means secretly to deliver a proposal to him, in the name 
of the army, that he would suffer himself to be conducted 
to the general's quarters, when they would restore him 
to his honour, crown, and dignity. He answered, that 
he should always retain a lively sense of the army's pro- 
posal, but that he would not take a step, the effect 
of which must be again to light up the flames of civil 

That night the guard was doubled at Holdenby House. 
An hour before midnight, was heard the clash and clatter 
of armed horsemen. A party of troopers drew up before 
the gates. Graves and Brown, going out to them, 
inquired who commanded. "We all command," was 
o 2 


the reply. At the same moment a soldier advanced : it 
was the same individual who had caused the alarm at 
Althorp. " Your name, and business here ?" demanded 
the officers. " Joyce, a cornet in Whalley's regiment, 
and my business is to speak with the king." " From 
whom ?" " From myself." The officers laughed. " It 
is no laughing matter," continued Joyce ; I demand to 
speak with the king." " Stand to your arms within 
there ! " cried Graves. But the guard, perceiving that 
party outside were their comrades and friends, unbarred 
the gates and doors, and they all shook hands together. 
While this was doing, the colonel silently disappeared. 
Some others of the commissioners, who now advanced, 
held the cornet in discourse until they were enabled to 
allege that it was too late an hour the king had retired 
to rest. But Joyce was not to be denied : he would 
deliver his errand with all possible gentleness and respect, 
but speak with the king he must, and presently. He 
then placed sentinels, and, proceeding upstairs, knocked 
loudly at the back entrance to the king's chamber. The 
grooms of the bedchamber, who answered this strange 
summons, started at seeing before them the burly figure 
of the trooper, a perfect model of his class, well armed, 
and presenting a cocked pistol, with a bold but not in- 
solent air of authority, sufficiently characteristic of his 
present business, but by no means suggesting his original 
occupation of a tailor. They asked if the commissioners 
approved of his intrusion. Joyce bluntly answered, "No! 
I have set a guard at their chamber doors, and have my 
orders from those that fear them not." This altercation 
woke the king, who rang his silver bell, and, after some 


consideration, commanded his singular visitor to be ad- 
mitted. The cornet, on entering, apologized with more 
courtesy than his exterior promised, for having disturbed 
the king out of his sleep. "No matter," replied Charles, 
" if you mean me no hurt : you may take away my life if 
you will, having the sword in your hands." Joyce solemnly 
protested that he was come, in the name of the army, 
to protect his majesty's person. "Mr. Joyce," continued 
the king, " will you, if I consent, engage for two things 
that I shall not be forced against my conscience, and 
that I shall be treated as my condition requires, and be 
free to see my friends ?" To these demands the cornet 
replied with an explicit frankness so satisfactory to the 
king, that, by this time, Charles had dismissed all appre- 
hension, and appeared pleased with this extraordinary 
adventure. " I will willingly go along with you," he 
concluded, "if your fellow soldiers will confirm what you 
have promised;" and the arch-agitator took his departure, 
with the king's assurance that he would be ready at six 
o'clock the next morning to hear their determination. 

When morning came, the king, surrounded by the 
astonished commissioners, appeared at the door of the 
mansion, where Joyce, with his detachment of fifty 
mounted troopers, stood drawn up in the court, ready 
to receive him. The cornet advanced with the mien of 
a great general. Charles demanded, what authority he 
had to secure his person ? " The soldiery of the army," 
replied Joyce. " That," objected Charles, " is no lawful 
authority : have you nothing in writing from Sir Thomas 
Fairfax ? Deal with me ingenuously, Mr. Joyce. What 
commission have you ?" " Here is my commission," 


answered Joyce ; " here, behind me," pointing to his 
fifty troopers. The king glanced steadily along the line, 
and with a smile, said, " I never before read such a com- 
mission. But it is written in characters fair and legible 
enough a company of as handsome proper gentlemen 
as I have seen a long while. But what if, nevertheless, 
I refuse to go with you ? I am your king ; I hope you 
would not force me. Give me, however, satisfaction on 
these reasonable points that I may be used with due 
respect, and that I may not be forced in any thing against 
my conscience and honour ; though I hope that my reso- 
lution is so fixed that no force can cause me to do a base 
thing. You are masters of my body, my soul is above 
your reach." The troopers signified their assent with 
acclamations, and Joyce added, that it was not their 
principle to force any man's conscience, least of all their 
king's : it was their enemies who used that practice. 

The commissioners now stepping forward, one of them, 
Lord Montague, addressed the soldiers, holding up be- 
fore them a paper. " Here," said he, " are our instruc- 
tions from the parliament, to keep the king at Holdenby. 
We protest against his Majesty's removal, and desire to 
know whether you agree to what Mr. Joyce has said and 
done ?" With one voice they cried, " All, all ! " Major 
Brown observed, that it was not the first time that he 
had been at the head of a party, and that he durst 
affirm, though they cried "All, all!" that scarce two in 
the company knew what had passed. " Let all," he 
continued, raising his voice, " who are willing the king 
should stay with the commissioners of parliament, now 
speak." The men unanimously exclaimed, " None ! 


None !" " Then," said the major, " I have done." The 
soldiers answered, "' We understand well enough what 
we do." Joyce now inquired to what place the king 
desired to go ? " To Newmarket." What distance would 
he choose to ride that day? "Oh," replied Charles, 
smiling, "I can ride as far as you, or any man here." 
And the party, including the commissioners, set forward, 
under the direction of the adventurous cornet. 

The news of this astonishing exploit, with the menacing 
attitude and unanimous spirit of the army, struck terror 
into the presbyterians. They perceived the unsubstantial 
nature of their parliamentary majority, and the imminent 
peril which threatened them. Convinced that they were 
no match for those intrepid disciples of the school of 
Machiavel, whose work they had been doing, they or- 
dered, in abject alarm, the immediate payment of all 
arrears due to the army, and expunged the obnoxious 
vote against its petition from their journals. 



THE army's head quarters had been removed to New- 
market. Fairfax was with some of his officers, in the 
neighbourhood of that place, when a private soldier, 
riding suddenly up, acquainted him with the seizure of 
the king ; at which the general testified such unaffected 
surprise, as, when confirmed by his subsequent asser- 
tions, must remove all suspicion of his privity to the 
design of Joyce. Returning instantly into the town, he 
met Cromwell. The lieutenant-general had just alighted 
from his horse, having ridden all night, after attending a 
late sitting of the Commons, in which, by force of tears 
and protestations, he had so thoroughly convinced the 
House of the sincerity, and the success, of his efforts to 
reduce the mutinous troops to obedience, that some of 
the members exclaimed, " He deserved a statue of gold 
for his great services." Fairfax immediately despatched 
Whalley, with his regiment, to take charge of the king, 
to prevent his advance to Newmarket, and, if possible, 
to induce him to return to Holdenby. The commis- 
sioners, whom Whalley besought to second this request, 
declined to interfere, on the plea that the king had been 
forcibly taken out of their hands ; and Charles himself, 


when appealed to, absolutely refused. It was at Chil- 
derley, in Cambridgeshire, near the house of Sir John 
Cutts, that the parties had encountered ; and in that 
hospitable mansion it was finally agreed that the sovereign 
should take up his temporary abode. 

On the following day, Fairfax, attended by Cromwell, 
Ireton, and the other general officers, waited on the king. 
They were received by him in the garden ; where this 
band of victor-courtiers (all kneeling down, except 
Cromwell and the general) kissed the hand from which 
they had successively wrung the sceptre and the sword. 
Charles inquired, whether it was by the general's orders 
that he had been brought from Holdenby ? Fairfax 
solemnly denied his concurrence in the design. Cromwell 
also vehemently protested, that the scheme had been 
executed without his knowledge : yet we are assured, 
that at the house of that arch-deceiver the plot had been 
contrived, and that the individuals chosen for its execu- 
tion were exclusively at his command. " Unless you 
hang up Joyce," said the king, " I cannot believe you." 
The cornet was sent for, to answer for himself. He 
repeated, in substance, what he had told the king at 
Holdenby, respecting his authority, and offered to appeal 
to the army in a general rendezvous. " If three, or even 
four parts of the army," said the spirited agitator, " do 
not approve of what I have done, I am content to be 
hanged at the head of my regiment." Charles reiterated 
his conviction, that Joyce would not have ventured on so 
audacious a measure, " without the countenance of great 
persons ;" and Fairfax, who expressed his determination 
to bring the offender before a court-martial, found himself 


baffled by an influence stronger than the general's 

The king had flattered himself, that the stroke of 
policy by which he had been transferred from the custody 
of the parliament to that of the now rival power, had 
received the general's sanction ; for he reposed on the 
personal honour of Fairfax. He had now the means 
of being undeceived ; but the buoyant faith of Charles 
clung to its object, and he appears still to have regarded 
the general as, at the least, looking on with tacit con- 
nivance ; while the dexterous manoeuvre itself he con- 
sidered as only the first step of the army towards realizing 
its friendly intentions. When Fairfax came to take his 
leave, he intimated privately to his sovereign his sincere 
desire to serve him. The king replied, " Sir, I have as 
good interest in the army as yourself." The general was 
astonished, and distressed. "By this," he says, "I plainly 
saw what broken reed he leaned on." Towards Joyce the 
king testified no displeasure ; on the contrary, he seems 
to have taken rather a liking to the cornet's conversation. 

But the king's spirits must naturally have been raised, 
and his expectations excited, by the mere change in his 
immediate circumstances. He had suddenly emerged 
from the gloom of a total, cheerless seclusion from his 
people, as well as from his personal friends. At New- 
market, whither his desire to proceed was gratified, he 
found himself surrounded, not merely with formal respect, 
but with looks of intense though mingled interest, with 
shouts of gratulation, and with the long-unheard lan- 
guage of attachment. His friends and domestics, " the 
old familiar faces," were now freely admitted to his 


presence. In spite of remonstrance from the parliament 
(who, even in the peril and degradation to which they 
were reduced, would not bate one jot of their intolerance), 
the voice of piety, heard in the solemn tones of his re- 
vered parent the Church of England, from the lips of 
Sheldon and Hammond, once more hallowed his dwelling. 
Cambridge sent forth her masters, her fellows, and re- 
joicing students, with shouts of " Vivat Rex" to con- 
gratulate him. The neighbouring counties poured their 
gentry and people through the thronged presence- 
chamber, when the king dined or supped. In the enjoy- 
ment of his favourite exercises, tennis or riding, he forgot 
that he was a captive. His public progress with the 
army was preceded by an officer of rank, who rode 
bareheaded before him, as if in a festival procession ; 
the streets, as he passed, were fragrant with garlands, 
strewn in his path ; to the prayers and acclamations of 
the people, and the troops, he was permitted to reply, in 
terms of familiar condescension, without the interference 
even of a suspicious and disapproving look. 

But the present elation of the royal mind had a 
farther excuse. Charles's presbyterian gaolers, even more 
unfeeling than disloyal, treated the sovereign with some 
degree of cold respect, but were wholly regardless of the 
father. When formerly he had besought the parliament to 
restore to him his children, the heartless answer was, that 
" they could take as much care at London, both of their 
bodies and souls, as could be done at Oxford!" The 
same request, urged by an approving letter from Fair- 
fax, now met with a different reception. Northumberland 
was ordered to take his interesting charge, the Dukes of 


York and Gloucester, and their gentle sister, the princess 
Elizabeth, to pass two days with their royal father. This 
meeting between the king and his children, after an 
eventful separation, took place at Caversham, while the 
army was advancing towards London ; and the indul- 
gence, so grateful to Charles, was frequently repeated 
after his arrival at Hampton Court. On this occasion, a 
yet louder burst of public interest demonstrated that the 
people were still the English people, and still felt as the 
king's subjects. Even the ambiguous Cromwell appears 
to have been subdued by the view of family endearment, 
presented in this reunion, to some sense of awakening 
loyalty, unless we admit human nature to be indeed 
capable of a degree of dissimulation so intense, as, on 
any other hypothesis, would be requisite to explain his 
behaviour. Meeting at Caversham with Sir John Berkley, 
he told that honest loyalist, that he had lately seen the 
tenderest sight that ever his eyes beheld ; which was the 
interview between the king and his children. "And then," 
says Berkley, "he wept plentifully at the remembrance of 
it, saying, that never man was so abused as he had been in 
his sinister opinion of the king, who he now thought was 
the most conscientious and upright man in the kingdom ; 
concluding with this wish, that God would be pleased to 
look upon him according to the sincerity of his heart 
toward the king." 

Charles himself, sensible of the dangers which still 
surrounded him, and acutely alive, both as a sovereign 
and as a parent, to the honour and welfare of his family, 
availed himself of the more private opportunities which 
the visits of his children supplied, earnestly to address 


them on the subject of their duties and probable destinies. 
The Duke of York was at this time about fourteen years 
of age ; the princess a year or two younger ; the Duke of 
Gloucester an intelligent child of seven years. On these 
objects of his tenderness, doubly endeared by the sad pe- 
culiarity of their circumstances, he impressed his solemn 
counsel and injunctions. His own fate, he told them, 
he looked upon as full of peril and uncertainty. He 
was at present wholly in the power of the army, from 
whose custody his enemies in the parliament were quite 
unable to withdraw him. But what the real designs 
of his new masters were, he could not discern. He hoped 
well, yet with much fear and doubt. He therefore re- 
minded them all of the affection and duty they owed 
to the prince, their brother ; and recommended them to 
prepare for the probability of a darker turn of his affairs 
to succeed the present gleam of prosperity. To the 
Duke of York he spoke with peculiar earnestness, not 
only as he was the eldest, but because his name had 
already been whispered as the watch-word of a treason- 
able project, by some of the independents, who, uniting 
with the king's most violent enemies in the wish to put 
him aside, were yet unprepared for the doubtful experi- 
ment of a commonwealth. He put the youth solemnly 
in mind of his allegiance to the Prince of Wales, in case 
of his own death ; and commanded him, that if a change 
should occur in the behaviour of the army, and his 
children and friends should be again debarred from ap- 
proaching him, he should endeavour to make his escape, 
and place himself under the protection of his brother-in- 
law, the Prince of Orange. The like injunction, never to 


allow himself to be made king, unless he should arrive at 
the throne by the previous removal of his father and his 
brothers, Charles likewise laid upon the little Gloucester. 
With the Princess Elizabeth, a child of uncommon sensi- 
bility and quickness of understanding, the king took 
great delight in conversing. On the one point in which 
he relieved her from submission and obedience to her 
royal mother, viz. in religion, he had the gratification 
to discover in her a degree both of knowledge and of 
firmness, unusual at her years. The subject of religion 
was that with which, on each repetition of his counsels, 
the king concluded. He enjoined them all alike to 
persevere, against all entreaty and opposition, in the pro- 
fession of that form of Christianity in which they had 
been educated, "what discountenance and ruin soever 
might befall the poor church." That these admonitory 
discourses were heard by his little group of serious and 
wondering listeners with a devout purpose to obey, the 
king felt a natural but just assurance. Nor was it long 
before their obedience began to be put to a practical test: 
a few months afterwards, the Duke of York, under the 
care of Colonel Bamfield, a gentleman employed for 
that purpose by the king, made his escape from St. 
James's, and, in female attire, crossed safely into Hol- 

The brightness, which, at that moment, shone on 
Charles's prospects, proved, as he foresaw, transient and 
deceptive. Under the management of Cromwell and Ire- 
ton, the army had grown to be a republic. "The agitators 
had become masters of their masters." In the military le- 
gislature, the upper house, or council of officers, continued 


indeed to be governed absolutely by the lieutenant-general 
and his adroit son-in-law; but the council of agitators had 
views of their own, and, aware of their strength and im- 
portance, were resolved to pursue them. These views 
appear to have been at that time consistent with their 
notions of loyalty. They had foiled the presbyterians ; 
they were charmed with the honour and influence con- 
ferred on the army by the king's residence among them ; 
and, as far as their rude habits and independent mode of 
thinking allowed, were willing to return to the obedience 
of subjects. It had been always the policy of Cromwell, 
to throw himself headlong into each current of faction, 
as it successively rose to supreme influence ; to appear 
at the head of every movement ; to outstrip the foremost 
partizans. Ever keeping in view his own ambitious ends, 
he employed indifferently all men, and all methods, to 
promote them. "When," observes Berkley, "bethought 
the parliament would make his fortune, he resigned him- 
self totally to them ; when the presbyterians prevailed, 
he took the covenant ; when he quitted the parliament, 
his chief dependence was on the army, which he endea- 
voured by all means to keep in unity ; and if he could 
not bring it to his sense, he, rather than suffer any 
division in it, went over himself, and carried his friends 
with him into that way which the army chose." The 
idol of the army was, for the moment, the king. To 
affect an earnest loyalty, therefore, was now his business ; 
and such was the energy, and, at the same time, the 
flexibility of this wonderful man's nature, that by con- 
forming, not his words and demeanour only, but his 
thoughts and will, to this pretence, he, for the time, 


really became so ; could drop tears (not altogether 
" crocodile's tears ") profusely, on the sovereign's hand, 
while he kissed it in token of dutiful affection; and could 
blame the business-like delays of Ireton, in drawing up 
those proposals of the army, which were to be the 
means of restoring the king to his power and dignities. 
On his first experience of the feeling which prevailed 
among the military, Charles himself may have been 
deluded may have forgotten the transitory and variable 
nature of those impressions which sway the multitude, 
or may have mistaken, for genuine dispositions to serve 
him, the feigned loyalty and calculated respect of Crom- 
well and his friends. But the tact of the sovereign, long 
habituated to judge of professions the diffident temper, 
rendered suspicious by having been often betrayed 
quickly resumed their empire : coldness, reserve, aversion, 
succeeded. He began to regard the advances made to 
him, the deference with which he was approached, and 
those more liberal terms on which the army was disposed 
to close with him, than had been offered by the presby- 
terians, as only so many results of their conviction of his 
importance to their own interests. While moving* in 
accordance with the movements of the army, he shunned 
the sight of those republican cohorts who had annihilated 
the splendid ranks of his cavaliers. He listened to the 
emissaries of the Scots and the presbyterians ; and, in 
fine, by his coldness towards the officers, and his manifest 
confidence in his own ability, in that trembling equipoise 
of the two great parties, to adjust the balance as he 
pleased, he drew from the acute and fearless Ireton that 
plain remark, the best summary extant of the actual 


state of parties at the time " Sir, you have an intention 
to be the arbitrator between the parliament and us, and 
we mean to be arbitrators between your majesty and the 
parliament." It is requisite, however, to return, and 
slightly trace those steps by which the military leaders 
placed themselves in a position amply to realize the 
purpose thus avowed. 

At a general rendezvous in the vicinity of Newmarket, 
the army declared, in a solemn engagement, subscribed 
by all the officers and soldiers, that the late votes of the 
parliament were insufficient, and that they would not dis- 
band till they were satisfied : they then immediately began 
their march towards London. In fact, it was not their in- 
tention to be satisfied. It was said, not long afterwards, 
by Cromwell, " that he knew nothing to the contrary, but 
that he was as well able to govern the country as Staple- 
ton and Hollis," the heads of the presbyterian faction ; 
and already the army, inspired by the spirit of Cromwell, 
despised those concessions which merely tended to re- 
dress actual grievances, and remove just grounds of 
complaint. They looked much farther : they had schemes 
for the settlement of the kingdom, which they intended 
should supplant those of the imbecile presbyterians. At 
every step in their advance towards the capital, some 
fresh petition or remonstrance was issued. Superintended 
by Cromwell, and shaped by the acute legal pens of 
Ireton and Lambert, these successive proclamations re- 
vealed, by degrees, the ulterior designs of their authors. 
The contest was the more alarming for the parliament, 
because, not only was that assembly divided into two 
parties (of which one, and a very powerful one, though 


a minority, supported the demands of the army), but the 
nation itself was also, in like manner, divided. In reply 
to petitions against the army, sent up to the parliament 
by several counties, a greater number of counties, by 
their petitions and addresses, threw themselves directly 
upon the army for protection. In the metropolis, like- 
wise, petition and counter-petition succeeded to each 
other. While one party called upon the houses to 
appease the soldiery by fresh concessions, another was 
plotting to compel them to resist all farther de- 
mands. In the meantime, the army advanced, succes- 
sively, to St. Alban's, to Watford, to Uxbridge ; the 
soldiers crying out as they marched: "Justice ! justice!" 
The affrighted parliament ordered out the city militia for 
their defence, with Skippon, in his ancient office of major- 
general, as commander. At the same time they acquainted 
Fairfax with such farther votes in favour of his legions, 
as the contending factions at Westminster could agree to 
adopt. But the army had, by this time, resolved on 
means more direct and characteristic for harmonizing 
their designs with the votes of a parliamentary majority. 
In a declaration, addressed to both houses, they required 
that steps might be taken to disqualify all persons who 
had acted in opposition to the military ; that the House 
of Commons should (according to a well-known and ex- 
pressive term) be " purged " of individuals disqualified to 
sit; and, in particular, that eleven members, whom the 
declaration denounced by name, should be excluded, 
until, by due course of law, they had been cleared from 
certain charges which the army was preparing to prove 
against them. The members impeached were, Hollis, 


Glyn, Stapleton, Maynard, and the other chief leaders of 
the presbyterian side; the charge imported that these 
persons had interfered with the rights and liberties of the 
nation, and, in particular, had endeavoured to embroil 
the army and the parliament. That fallen assembly, in 
which the spirit of Elliot, of Pym, and of Hampden, 
had once presided, instantly complied. The eleven ac- 
cused members were encouraged by a vote for leave of 
absence, to withdraw ; not one of all those voices being 
now heard in remonstrance, which had so clamorously 
sounded forth, when, not twenty thousand men in arms, 
but the king alone in person, claimed a less number 
of victims. The recent ordinance for providing for 
the defence of the capital, was annulled; a month's pay 
was granted to the soldiers in reward of their services, 
and an ordinance passed for raising 60,000 per month 
for the regular payment of the army, and for Ireland. 
So tamely was England transferred from a legislative, 
though illegal, government, to a military despotism ! The 
presbyterian majority in the Commons, which had com- 
monly numbered forty, was instantly exchanged for a 
majority, on the independent side, of nearly an equal 
amount. Yet, the defeated houses retained one mark at 
least of equality their commissioners were permitted to 
meet those of the army, as on equal terms, to treat of an 
accommodation; they likewise obtained one concession 
the retirement of the army, for some short space of time, 
to a greater distance from the capital. 

An important point in this struggle, regarded the place 
of the king's residence. The parliament had passed a 
vote that he should be conducted to Richmond ; and, with 


this vote, Charles's own wishes concurred, as well from 
increasing distrust of the army, and a belief that his 
friends were strong in the capital, as from weariness 
at being dragged from place to place in compliance 
with the movements of a force, of which he ought 
to have been, but was not, the master. On this point, 
however, as on others, the parliament was obliged to 
yield ; and on the removal of the army northward, 
he took possession of the Duke of Bedford's house at 

Among those royalists who came over to visit the king, 
on his falling into the hands of the army, was Sir John 
Berkley, a man of capacity, and distinguished as a soldier 
by his exertions in the royal cause at Exeter. Berkley was 
despatched by the queen, with the connivance of Crom- 
well and the other leaders, to aid the sovereign in his 
negotiations with the army. A treaty was immediately 
opened, the success of which was eagerly desired and pro- 
moted by the agitators and their clients ; and, whether 
from temporizing compliance with the army, or with a real 
desire to restore the king, on their own conditions, to the 
throne, was no less zealously urged forward by Cromwell 
and Ireton, who, on their side, undertook its manage- 
ment. In the absence of all probability, that even the 
ambitious and far-reaching thoughts of the victor of 
Marston and Naseby had yet contemplated a military 
dictatorship as endurable in England; and with the 
knowledge that titles, honours, and emoluments were, in 
the event of an accommodation, to be showered on him- 
self and his friends, we can hardly refuse to prefer the 
second hypothesis. At length Berkley was allowed to 


peruse the rough draft of proposals "for the settlement 
of the nation," to be submitted to the king. To his 
practical, unfastidious mind, the demands of the army 
appeared moderate, in a degree beyond expectation. It 
seemed a great step towards the desired issue, that both 
parties, royalists and independents, were animated by 
a common hatred of the presbyterians. The plan pro- 
posed put the covenant and the liturgy on the same 
footing, abolishing all penalties for the neglect of either ; 
but, while providing for liberty of conscience, it im- 
plicitly protected the church in all its legal rights. It 
modified in favour of the crown the article relating to 
the militia, as formerly proposed by the parliament, and 
it confined within the small number of seven those ad- 
herents of Charles who were not to be admitted to pardon. 
With these provisions, however, were inserted some 
others that savoured of their democratic origin; such 
as the reform of the House of Commons, by abolishing 
small boroughs, and augmenting the number of county 
members ; by limiting the sittings of parliament within 
not less than one hundred and twenty, nor more than two 
hundred and forty days, and the duration of each parti- 
cular parliament to two years. It was farther stipulated, 
that none of the king's friends should be allowed to sit in 
the next parliament. One entire night Berkley passed 
with Ireton in discussions on this momentous document. 
At the suggestion of the cavalier, the stern commissary- 
general consented to its modification in more than one 
point. And when, encouraged by Ireton's facility, Berkley 
proceeded to urge the omission of the article which 
excepted seven unnamed royalists from pardon, and that 


which excluded the king's friends from the next parliament, 
Ireton offered such reasons for retaining them as candour 
could not easily refute. With respect to the first, he 
alleged, that, if after having proved victors in the war, 
the independents made no difference between their friends 
and their enemies, they would manifestly lie open to the 
charge of betraying their party, and to the suspicion 
of having sought their own private ends. On the second, 
he replied, " I confess that I should myself be afraid of a 
parliament in which the king's friends should have a 
majority. Let, however, the agreement be carried into 
effect ; and if then it be found that your party and ours 
work cordially together, nothing can be easier than to ob- 
tain a farther modification in these particulars." He 
concluded by conjuring Berkley, as he tendered his 
royal master's welfare, to endeavour to prevail with him 
to accede to the proposals. Nor was Cromwell, seemingly, 
less favourably disposed. "In all my conferences with 
him," records Berkley, " I found no man, in appearance, 
so zealous for a speedy settlement as Cromwell ; some- 
times wishing that the king was more frank, and would 
not tie himself so strictly to narrow maxims ; sometimes 
complaining of his son Ireton's slowness in perfecting the 
proposals, and his not accommodating them more to his 
majesty's sense." 

Charles, however, on the contrary, was disappointed 
and displeased. In vain was it intimated by Berkley, that 
better terms could scarcely be expected from men " who 
had, through so great dangers and difficulties, acquired so 
great advantages ;" that a crown so nearly lost must be 
thought cheaply retrieved on such conditions. The king 


had other thoughts : the army, he said, could not stand 
without him; and he doubted not very shortly to see 
them glad to make larger concessions. In the midst of 
these conferences arrived Ashburnham, to share with 
Berkley in the labours and responsibilities of his mission 
a man of another temper, courtly and fastidious, whose 
soft manners, and whose delicate and devoted, rather 
than judicious loyalty, had obtained for him an unusual 
share of the king's regard. The influence of this new 
counsellor, and, still more, the intercourse which Charles 
was now carrying on with the metropolis, confirmed 
him in his unfavourable view of the army's overture. 
Such was the disposition in which Ireton, and the 
other officers, found him on the day when the proposals 
were formally submitted for his concurrence. It was 
refused ; and refused with the imprudent addition of un- 
gracious and even scornful remarks. The military 
tribunes looked alternately on each other, and on the 
king's advisers, with mingled astonishment and regret. 
Referring to the first of the clauses already objected to 
by Berkley, the king declared, with repeated allusions 
to the case of StrafFord, that no man should suffer for his 
sake ; on the subject of religion, he said, that he would 
have the church established according to law. On the 
other side, it was alleged, that to obtain the re-establish- 
ment of the church was not the army's province ; they 
deemed it sufficient for them to wave the point. "You can- 
not do without me," reiterated Charles. "Unless I sustain 
you, you must fall to ruin; and I will not afford you my sup- 
port at so mean a price." Berkley, who knew the men he 
had to deal with, and regarded the crisis as decisive of his 


sovereign's fate, here whispered Charles apart: "Sir, 
you speak as if you had some secret strength and power 
that I do not know of; and, since your majesty has con- 
cealed it from me, I wish you had concealed it from these 
men also." The king seemed now to awake to self- 
recollection, as if from a dream. He strove to soften 
what had been said; but it was too late to recall the 
impression. Colonel Rainsborough, who, from the first, 
had shown himself averse to the treaty, was observed 
to have by this time withdrawn. Returning at speed 
to the army, he rushed into the council of agitators, then 
assembled in eager expectation of news from the con- 
ference, and delivered a report of what had passed, in 
terms, which, instantly transmitted from man to man, 
raised a general flame of indignation against the king. 

The army was at the same time engaged in other 
important negotiations. A treaty with the parliament 
was now in the hands of the commissioners of the 
respective parties; with, however, on the side of the 
military, no purpose to bring it to a close, before 
the success of a farther contemplated stroke of policy 
should have enabled them to dictate their own terms. 
This was, to wrest from the presbyterians the City of 
London ; a weapon in their hands (with its slavish muni- 
cipality, its turbulent citizens, and its swarms of disbanded 
soldiers) so formidable, that the more violent of that 
party were preparing, with its aid, seconded by the in- 
trigues of their Scottish brethren, to set both parliament 
and army at defiance. When the army consented to remove 
farther from London, it did so, not in ignorance of this 
design, but rather because the leaders foresaw, that, 


in the ac'ual temper of the defeated presbyterians, a pre- 
text would thereby sooner be supplied for the occupation 
of the capital. As a preparatory step they now required 
that the militia should be re-transferred to the friends of 
the independents. The parliament complied, and passed 
an ordinance to that effect ; but presently found their 
doors beset by tumultuous crowds of petitioners, who de- 
manded its instant repeal, together with the restoration 
of the eleven impeached members. A new " solemn 
league and covenant" was, at the same time, exposed for 
subscription, containing an oath of allegiance to the 
sovereign, with a solemn engagement to restore him 
to his parliament against all opposition. It was, pro- 
bably, from confidence in the success of this scheme, 
that Charles, t<n ready to be beguiled by every flattering 
prospect, had so peremptorily rejected the proposals of 
the army. The Earl of Lauderdale, the chief of the 
Scottish commissioners in London, had arrived at the 
general's head-quarters, to solicit the royal concur- 
rence. Believing the rejection of their proposals to 
have been chiefly the effect of Scottish intrigue, the 
soldiers broke into the earl's bedchamber, ordered 
him to rise without delay, and, regardless of his plea as 
a commissioner from the Estates, compelled him to return 
to London without seeing the king. Meantime, informa- 
tion was brought of other and more violent proceedings 
in the capital. Subscription to the new engagement had 
been voted, by both houses, an act of treason against the 
nation. But this vote had served no other purpose than 
to inflame the popular disposition to violence and dis- 
order. Troops had begun to be levied, and the cashiered 


presbyterian officers, Waller, Massey, Pointz, and others, 
engaged for the defence of the city. A second petition 
was prepared, and attended on its presentation by a crowd 
of apprentices and citizens of the inferior class, supported 
by the discarded soldiery. The Commons delayed an 
answer, purposely protracting their debates, in hope to 
weary out the patience of the clamorous petitioners, who 
thronged the doors and windows, demanding, with loud 
and insolent menaces, that the house should proceed to 
vote. The imprisoned legislators, worn out by fatigue and 
alarm, consented to repeal the ordinance respecting the 
militia, and the vote condemning the engagement for the 
king. Taking advantage of a momentary subsidence of the 
tumult, caused by this compliance, the speaker, with a few 
of the more resolute members, now attempted to retire, 
but were thrust back with violence. The speaker was 
forcibly replaced in the chair by the rabble, and com- 
manded to put the following resolution : '* That the king 
be invited to come forthwith to London, with an assurance 
of honour, freedom, and safety." It was instantly passed, 
with a loud affirmative, avers Ludlow, from the more 
prudent time-servers in the assembly, but with his own 
no less emphatic negative. The members were then 
permitted to quit the house. On the following morn- 
ing both houses met, and adjourned for three days ; 
but in the interval, Manchester and Lenthall, the speak- 
ers, with the principal members of the independent party, 
and such others from the ranks of their opponents as 
declined irrevocably to compromise themselves with the 
stronger faction, withdrew to seek the protection of the 


Fairfax had, by this time, reached Hounslow on his 
second approach towards the capital ; and as the fugitive 
senators passed along the lines upon the heath, they were 
welcomed by the troops with loud gratulations. In 
the evening the whole number, consisting of eight peers 
and fifty-eight commoners, besides the two speakers, 
assembled in council at Sion House, and being joined by 
Fairfax, Cromwell, and the other general officers, entered 
into a solemn obligation " to live and die with the army." 
Here they were also joined by the serjeant-at-arms, and 
by others of the independent side ; who reported that the 
two houses, finding themselves deserted by their speak- 
ers, had elected others in their room, and openly adopted 
the views of the presbyterians and the city ; that the ex- 
torted vote, inviting the king to Westminster, had been 
confirmed; that every effort was made by raising and 
disciplining troops, and otherwise, to provide for the 
defence of the city; and that many royalists, making 
use of the king's name, were openly associated with the 
presbyterians. The importance of this last particular, in 
that doubtful conjuncture, could not escape the dis- 
cerning mind of Cromwell. In whatever degree the 
king might have entitled himself to the lieutenant-general's 
indignation by his late behaviour, it was now no season 
to change his own policy or bearing. At this crisis 
he might be more than ever necessary. Cromwell, there- 
fore, instantly despatched an express to the royal captive, 
entreating him that he would at least soften his rejection 
of the army's desires, by addressing a conciliatory 
letter to the general, in which he should disavow any 
connexion with the proceedings in the city, and should 


farther throw out some general expressions of satisfaction 
at the treatment he had met with in the army, and of 
regret that he could not directly sanction their pro- 

A letter was accordingly drawn up ; but Charles hesi- 
tated, and refused his signature until it had been three 
or four times debated. A whole day had been thus lost, 
when at length Berkley and Ashburnham were dismissed 
with it in charge. On the road they were met by 
messengers from Cromwell, urging dispatch. They 
hastened ; but it was too late. The city, by turns 
assuming an attitude of defiance, and again crouching in 
the most abject terror, had finally sent a deputation with 
offers of submission, whose arrival at Sion House pre- 
ceded the appearance of the royal letter. The gates of 
London were already thrown open, the forts on the 
line of communication were given up, Southwark occu- 
pied by a division under Rainsborough. Charles's useless 
messengers found neither Cromwell nor Ireton at hand 
to read the letter ; all the grace, and therefore the utility, 
of which, had been lost by its unhappy delay. Those 
great officers ("grandees of the army," as they presently 
began to be styled) were, at that moment, occupied 
with greater affairs than the king's. The following 
day witnessed the triumphant entry of the independents 
into the capital. Fairfax on his charger, preceded by 
Hammond* s regiment of foot, and Rich's and Cromwell's 
regiments of cavalry, and surrounded by his body- 
guards and a crowd of gentlemen, headed the procession. 
A train of carriages succeeded, in which were the speakers 
and the seceding members, now regarded as constituting 


exclusively the parliament. The long line was closed 
by Tomlinson's regiment of horse. In this order, the 
victorious march was continued to Westminster, the 
conquerors, as they passed through Hyde Park, receiving 
the forced congratulations of the lord mayor and aldermen, 
and at Charing Cross the deprecatory submission of the 
common council. In Palace Yard the general alighted, 
and retired into a private house, while the Lords and Com- 
mons proceeded to their respective places of assembly. 

The Houses being assembled, Fairfax was invited to 
attend. Seated within the bar, first of the peers, then of 
the Commons, he received the formal submission of the 
parliament, in two resolutions assented to with breathless 
haste. By the first, the Houses passed an ordinance 
appointing Fairfax governor of the Tower of London ; 
the second conveyed to him the thanks of the parliament 
for "restoring them to their privileges." After the general 
had retired, the presbyterians gathered courage to make 
some use of the numerical majority which they could still 
command in the Commons. They, indeed, allowed the 
lord mayor, one of the sheriffs, and four aldermen, with 
some officers of the militia, to be sent prisoners to the 
Tower, and suffered seven out of eight peers who had 
continued to sit during the absence of the speakers, to be 
impeached; but a resolution to annul all the votes passed 
in that interval, viz. from July 26th to August 7th, was 
through their exertions rejected ; and a vote only to 
repeal them substituted in its place. The eleven members, 
who had reappeared during the tumults, now fled into 
voluntary exile. On the following day, the whole army 
marched through London, and was distributed about the 


neighbouring villages, in Surrey and Kent. As it had 
now no intention either to disband or to remove from the 
vicinity of the metropolis, the king's palace at Hampton 
Court was chosen for his residence ; and on the 24th day 
of August he was conducted thither from Oatlands (then, 
likewise, a magnificent royal mansion), where he had 
passed those last ten days, in which, with just so much 
regard to the monarch's rights as comported with their 
own interests, prejudices, and passions, the two parties 
had brought to an issue their quarrel for the possession 
of his person and his authority. 



THE reception of the army at London was to decide its 
treatment of the king and his cause. Had Cromwell met 
with determined opposition from the parliament and the 
citizens, it is probable that by affecting a frank agree- 
ment with Charles, on his own terms, he would have 
withdrawn the royalists from the presbyterian ranks, and, 
at the same time, enlisted the loyal sympathies of the 
people on his side. But a measure so discouraging to 
the secret yearnings of his ambition, was rendered su- 
perfluous by the cowardice and disunion of his opponents. 
He was relieved from the necessity of shutting up those 
vast undefined personal prospects which had dawned 
upon his thoughts, within that " tower of strength " (for 
such it was still) " the king's name." Yet the time was 
not come, when it would be safe to discard the pre- 
text of a contemplated or desired reconcilement; the 
mask, which, though adorned with a coronet and 
ribbon, would, if permanently fixed, have pressed heavily 
upon the brow of the aspiring military magnate, policy 
could easily persuade him to wear for a season longer. 
The council of officers passed a resolution, not to recede 
from their proposals ; and, on the king's removal to 


Hampton Court, its members appeared to vie with each 
other in attentions to the royal captive. 

The period of three months passed by Charles at 
Hampton Court, is not unaptly said by his affectionate and 
lettered attendant Herbert, to have consisted of " halcyon 
days." It was, at least in its commencement, a gleam the 
last allowed him of prosperity and peace. He once more 
found himself surrounded by the splendour, the vivacity, 
and the dignified observances of a court He was waited 
on, without restraint, by his own servants ; his chaplains 
publicly celebrated divine service in his chapel ; the 
presence-chamber was thronged by nobility of the high- 
est rank. Mingled with these were the general officers of 
the army, the great leaders in parliament, and the principal 
citizens. It seemed as if an act of amnesty and oblivion had 
tacitly passed, and as if the king's residence near his capital, 
and beneath his own royal roof, had soothed the jarring 
heats of party, and charmed into peace the strifes of 
passion and self-interest. The loyalty which really sur- 
vived in the bosoms of the people, was outwardly assumed, 
from curiosity, fashion, or policy, by those whose 
bosoms were unacquainted with its power. Not only 
were Cromwell, Ireton, and other general officers, found 
mixing at Charles's levees with the legitimate denizens of 
the court the Richmonds, the Ormonds, the Dorsets, 
the Southamptons, but their families were emulous to 
keep up the appearance of respect. " This last week," 
observes the writer of a letter dated late in October, 
" Cromwell's, Ireton's, and Whalley's wives went to 
court; where Mr. Ashburnham, taking Mrs. Cromwell 
by the hand, and all the rest having their peculiar ser- 


vants [i.e. obsequious cavaliers] were led into the court, and 
feasted by them." Besides this unrestrained intercourse 
with all parties, the king enjoyed other liberties of greater 
importance to his happiness. He had frequent visits from 
his children ; he was allowed an unrestricted corre- 
spondence with the queen and the Prince of Wales ; 
while, in the pleasures of the chase, and other eques- 
trian recreations, the only restraint upon his freedom 
was his own pledged word not furtively to quit his 
present place of residence. The general expectation, 
which these circumstances encouraged, that Charles was 
presently to return to his capital, and publicly reassume 
the functions of sovereignty, was confirmed by his fre- 
quent intercourse with Cromwell, already master 
of the political as well as the military power of his 
country. Wolsey's terrace-walks and stately galleries 
bore witness to frequent conferences between the descend- 
ant of the ancient but unhappy Stuart line, and that 
coarse though gifted being, who now, with alternations of 
supple hypocrisy and most earnest purpose, strove to im- 
part acceptability to his assiduous visits. That negotiations 
were for some weeks carried on between these two great 
and interesting personages, the issue of which the whole 
country believed would be Charles's reinstatement on the 
throne, is beyond dispute. On what conditions this event 
was to be accomplished, seems no less ambiguous than 
the sincerity of the negotiating parties. It is probable 
that the hero of independency urged the king to yield 
those points which were required in the proposals of the 
army the surrender of his chief prerogatives and princi- 
pal friends ; the concession of unlimited popular demands; 


universal toleration in matters of conscience. Respecting 
the rewards stipulated on the other side, though matter 
of confident rumour, we have no better authority 
than the gossip of female politicians, or the jealous in- 
vectives of the conclave of agitators at Putney. If these 
may be trusted, Cromwell professed that he would, at this 
time, have been content with the earldom of Essex, the 
garter, and the government of Ireland, for himself, and 
honours and emoluments in proportion for his son-in-law 
and eldest son. 

But the part Cromwell had now to play, required the 
exercise of all his wonderful foresight, skill, boldness, 
and unmatchable dissimulation. While engaged in gain- 
ing the king, he was losing his friends, and farther 
exasperating his enemies in the parliament: in the army, 
the focus of his influence, his popularity was rapidly 
declining. The agitators murmuringly insinuated that 
the whole army was to be compromised in a private 
bargain with the king ; the officers complained that the 
doors of the lieutenant and commissary-generals were 
open to Ashburnham and Berkley, when they were 
closed against themselves. Charles, himself too often 
driven to ambiguity and indirectness, was profoundly sus- 
picious of Cromwell's good faith, notwithstanding the 
most solemn asseverations both of himself and Ireton, 
that they were ready to peril their lives in support of the 
objects of the treaty. It was with a view to satisfaction on 
this head, that Berkley and the gentlemen of the king's 
bedchamber were so often to be seen at head-quarters. 
Cromwell entreated the king to use greater privacy in 
his messages. " If I am an honest man," he said, " I have 


spoken enough as to the sincerity of my intentions ; 
if not, nothing is enough." 

In the meantime, with the exception of an occasional 
murmur that the enemies of the parliament were 
allowed free access to the king, and were taking advan- 
tage of it to their injury, that assembly seemed willing, 
in the prosecution of those disputes which their pres- 
byterian strength enabled them still to maintain with 
the army, to forget his existence. At length the 
army's proposals were brought before the houses 
for their approbation, previously to their being again 
submitted to the king. By the exertions chiefly of 
the Scottish party they were set aside, and, in their 
stead, the Newcastle propositions, modified by some in- 
considerable changes, were presented at Hampton Court 
The necessity of a final decision painfully revived, in 
Charles's mind, the question of Cromwell's sincerity. 
He resolved to put him to a fresh test A frequent 
messenger between Cromwell and the king was Major 
Huntingdon, an officer of the lieutenant-general's own 
regiment, who, in the course of this employment, had 
conceived a strong attachment for his majesty, and had 
in return obtained the royal confidence. The king, 
sending for Huntingdon, earnestly inquired, " Whether 
he, who knew Cromwell intimately, considered that he 
was in heart the same, as he had by his tongue so freely 
and frequently expressed himself to be ?" This grave 
question staggered the major, and he besought the king 
to wait for his answer till the next day. That night he 
hastened to Putney, and at dawn the next morning 
applied at Cromwell's quarters for an audience. Crom- 
Q 2 


well rose from bed to receive him. He communicated his 
business. Cromwell then asseverated with all imaginable 
solemnity, that he from his heart meant to do every thing 
in his power, as he had promised, to restore the king; 
imprecating maledictions on himself, his wife, and chil- 
dren, if he failed in his word, and protesting, that though 
deserted by the army, if but ten men stood by him he 
would be true to the king and his cause. Huntingdon, 
aware of the violent measures against the king then 
agitated in the army, and too well acquainted with 
Cromwell to be easily convinced, was still so cautious 
as to stipulate, that should any thing happen to hinder 
the lieutenant-general's intentions, he would give the 
king warning, in time to provide against the danger. 
Relying on these assurances, Charles no longer hesitated 
once more to refuse the parliament's propositions. He in- 
timated his confidence in Cromwell and his inseparable 
counsellor Ireton, by sub nitting his answer to be al- 
tered by them as they pleased. It repeated the former 
statements of his inability to consent to the propositions, 
without violence to his conscience and his honour. It 
then passed, with some respectful allusions to the ser- 
vices and just expectations of the army, to the proposals 
submitted to him from that quarter, to which, he pre- 
sumed, the houses of parliament were no strangers ; and 
concluded by declaring his belief, that they " would 
think with him, that those proposals were much more 
calculated to conduce to the satisfaction of all interests, 
and to be the basis of a lasting peace, than the pro- 
positions now tendered." This answer was presented to 
the Commons on the 13th of September. It raised a 


violent flame in the house. The king was called an 
obstruction in the way of all good resolutions : he was 
an Ahab, and coloquintida ; and they ought to think no 
more of him, but proceed as if no such person existed. 
In levelling these acrimonious speeches against the royal 
person and authority, none were more vehement than 
" the two grand impostors," as Huntingdon, on this 
occasion, terms Cromwell and Ireton. When this mon- 
strous fact was reported to Charles, it naturally excited 
his amazement. Again he sent Huntingdon not now 
to inquire, but to expostulate. The major brought back 
no other satisfaction, but this characteristic and ingenious 
remark of Cromwell's, that " what he had said in the 
House of Commons was only to sound the depths of 
those virulent humours, wherewith the presbyterians 
(whom he knew to be no friends to the king) were 
possessed." But the perfidy was too rank to be salved ; 
and Cromwell was seen no more at Hampton Court. 

For so remarkable a change many different reasons 
were assigned, all of them intended to conceal the true 
one, namely, that no motive now remained for keeping 
up a wearisome deception ; and some of them contrived 
to throw the whole odium upon the king. That the 
conduct of Cromwell had engendered angry suspicions 
among the violent spirits of the army, was undoubtedly 
the fact; hence he affirmed that considerations of per- 
sonal safety obliged him to break off his intercourse with 
the court. Another pretence was the alleged " incurable 
duplicity" of Charles, as manifested in his correspond- 
ence with the Scots. At the instigation of the Duke of 
Hamilton, that people were commencing warlike pre- 


parations ; and when Cromwell, himself already well 
informed, questioned the king as to his knowledge of 
the fact, the latter, though actually in treaty with the 
duke, resorted to concealment. Charles was, doubtless, 
in this as in other instances, open to the charge of 
dissimulation. But, as we are unable to define the exact 
point to which the royal artifice extended, so likewise 
we are in no condition to declare that this was not one 
of those occasions when the tortuous maxims of poten- 
tates and statesmen may allowably interpose their veil, 
before that sacred majesty of truth which the Christian 
and the gentleman display, in all private matters, with- 
out disguise. The king's scrupulous regard to his word 
was evinced, about this time, on two remarkable occa- 
sions ; of which one will be more particularly mentioned 
farther on ; the other is in immediate connexion with 
the present subject. It is related by Burnet, that on 
an occasion when the king, attended by a very small 
guard, was engaged in hunting, the lords Lanerick and 
Lauderdale suddenly made their appearance with a body 
of fifty horsemen, and entreated him to make his escape, 
assuring him that themselves and their party were willing 
to sacrifice their lives for his deliverance. But Charles 
refused, on the sole ground, that he had engaged his 
honour -not to leave the custody of the army without 
giving them notice, and he would rather die than break 
his faith. 

As to the well-known stories of the reported conver- 
sation between Cromwell and Ireton and Lord Broghill, 
and of a letter, ripped by the hands of the great republican 
generals from the saddle of a traveller's horse at the 


Blue Bo?" in Holborn; which are said to have proved, not 
only tht double-dealing of the king while listening both to 
the presbyterians and the army, but likewise his perfidious 
design to destroy Cromwell and his friends as soon as he 
should be restored; these apocryphal relations plainly 
originated in the invention of his enemies, and the 
childish improbability of them is apparent to all except 
those historians whose wishes, or whose prejudices, 
incline them to the belief of their authenticity. 

The custody of the king had now become worthless 
to the army. His longer residence, and especially his 
holding a crowded court, so near to the metropolis, now 
enthusiastically disposed in his favour, could not fail 
to impede their "good resolutions." How to dis- 
pose of him was the next question. To let him fall 
into the hands of the presbyterian party, would be to 
relinquish the advantage they had gained. A private 
assassination had been unsafe ; Cromwell, moreover, 
was not a man of blood. The inventive mind of the 
lieutenant-general lighted on a scheme both facile and 
unobjectionable ; for effecting which he found a con- 
venient instrument in the king's trusted attendant, 
Ashburnham, the weakness of whose character he had 
had abundant opportunities of studying ; while the law- 
less proceedings of the army offered a plausible ground- 
work. Charles's contemptuous rejection of the proposals, 
supervening upon the republican and fanatic notions, 
already become general among the soldiers, had wrought 
them into a perfect abhorrence of the king and all kingly 
government. To this disposition they were further stimu- 
lated by confidence in their own power, and resentment 


of their treatment by the legislature. For the parliament, 
as if determined to exert against the military the last rem- 
nant of its feeble authority, with the view, as it seemed, to 
provoke them to some desperate step that might wholly 
alienate the people's affections from them, continued 
obstinately to withhold both the promised gratuity and 
regular arrears of pay. Among all those ingredients, 
however, of the witch's cauldron of successful rebellion, 
from the ferment of which now sprung what has been 
called a third party, namely, the faction of the levellers, 
religious fanaticism was the most powerful. This was 
the principle which, in the outbreak of the war, united 
Cromwell's troopers to each other, and to him; it was 
by means of this (the solitary spirit having now become 
"legion,") that a combination was being formed, which 
afterwards demanded all the power, dexterity, and courage 
of that gifted adventurer to break. At Putney, be- 
fore Berry as president of the agitators took the chair, 
or before Rainsborough, the fiercest of the republican 
demagogues, launched his invectives against the king, 
Peters and Dell, Cromwell's inspired chaplains, mounted 
the pulpit to prepare the minds of the military legis- 
lators, by evincing, from the perverted words of scripture, 
his famous maxim, that "there was no law in England 
but the law of the sword, and what it gives," and, as a 
consequence, that the rightful legislator is the wearer of 
the sword. The tenets of the levellers were the proper 
issue of the tenets of the independents ; as the latter 
had been of those of the puritans. It is a very natural 
progress downwards ; for the successive steps of it are 
marked, from the birth, in every human bosom. 


It is the same inborn principle of proud self-will, 
which begins by questioning the foundations of authority, 
and casting aside the veneration due to ancient, heaven- 
taught wisdom, and which ends by making men's pas- 
sions and self-interest the law to themselves, and the rule 
whereby they would coerce and compel all others. And 
this the levellers admitted, indirectly, by assuming, in the 
first instance, the title of " rationalists." They acknow- 
ledged no duty but such as God had made plain to their 
reason ; and what their reason approved, in church and 
state, in the making or the executing of laws, was alone 
binding ; and this only till farther light was afforded. 
This new supreme power, the sovereignty of the people 
(of the people considered, not as one body but as 
distinct individuals), was of course hostile to all other 
authority whatever : to the parliament as well as to 
the king; to graduated rank in the army, as well as to 
a hierarchy in the church. But the first great obstacle 
in the way of its exercise was the king. The king had 
rejected their proposals ; they were no longer to regard 
either them or the king himself; but to consult their 
own good, and the safety of the kingdom which, 
indeed, was theirs by conquest ; " and to use such 
means towards both, as they should find rational." 
The levellers held meetings of a character peculi- 
arly secret and solemn, at which (in the phrase 
taught them by Cromwell) " they sought the Lord " 
to reveal his will to his saints, that is, to the most 
excited of the fanatics ; those who were forwardest 
to execute whatever should be resolved as fittest to be 
done. As a logical consequence, the regicidal principle 


was at length broached, in those dark conclaves. The 
king was an impediment in the way of the general 
good of the people : the people were greater than 
the king, possessed of a higher sovereignty : there- 
fore the people might judge, and, if need were, destroy 
the king. The notion of bringing the sovereign to a 
formal trial was early familiar in the debates of the 
agitators ; though the terrific consequences might not so 
soon be distinctly, or at any time by all, held up to 
contemplation. " Not," said Joyce, " that I would have 
a hair of his head to suffer, but that the people might 
not bear the blame of the war." But Joyce was both 
less logical, and less bloody, than some of his associates ; 
for trial, as it presupposes criminality, so it supposes 
condemnation, and condemnation implies punishment. 
In accordance with, and as the gradual growth of these 
deliberations if so they may be styled two papers, the 
one a statement of grievances, entitled, " the case of 
the army," the other, "the agreement of the people," 
were presented by the agitators to their general. The 
" agreement," a daring and powerful manifesto, said to 
have been originally framed by the famous republican 
Lilburne, proposed a new constitution for the empire. It 
asserted, of course, the right of sovereignty to be in the 
people, and it proposed to secure to them the three great 
privileges, of which the nation ought never to consent to 
divest itself equality of law, freedom of conscience, and 
exemption from forced military service. The exercise 
of the people's sovereign power was to reside with their 
representatives in parliament ; but no mention occurs of 
either king or lords. 


That these precursors of regicide were felt by Crom- 
well and Ireton to be only " marshalling them the 
way that they must go," is indubitable; since, though 
regularly made acquainted by their spies with every 
thing that passed in the most secret meetings, they 
not merely connived at, but encouraged those licentious 
schemes which were there brought forward. The most 
active heads of the movement were, in fact, soldiers and 
subalterns in their own regiments, and that of the 
general. Yet the fears of these officers were by no 
means wholly feigned, on observing, at how fiercely pre- 
cipitated a pace those apt learners were now running in 
the path which they had opened for them. The time 
arrived when a pause was to be made ; when, at all 
events, leaders of a higher strain, men who knew how 
to divest progress of undue precipitancy, and who could 
unite security with daring, were to step forward into 
those places in the van, which hitherto they had found 
it convenient to occupy only in the persons of sub- 
ordinates. Up to this mature point of the great design, 
Cromwell, though he had ceased in person to visit the 
king, continued to receive the royal messengers at his 
quarters, with an appearance of anxious desire for the 
success of their negotiations. At length, the lieutenant- 
general had grown so cold in his demeanour, and so 
nearly inaccessible, that even the unsuspicious Ashburn- 
ham saw plainly, that nothing farther was to be hoped 
from pursuing the correspondence. His more sagacious 
master had all along been haunted by suspicions of 
the fact. " He was not surprised," he said ; " for he 
had always had some secret misgivings, that Cromwell 


and Ireton never designed any real service to himself, 
but made use of his interest to advance their own ; 
which lay some other way than by his restoration." 
Suddenly, Charles perceived that the guards were dou- 
bled about the palace. An excuse for this change was 
pretended, by Cromwell, in a letter alleging the danger 
of violence to the royal person. But it was farther 
observable, that the temper and behaviour of the men 
seemed likewise to have changed with the change in 
their officers. The sentinels disturbed the king's repose 
with loud and unmannerly noises, and filled the corridors 
of the palace with the coarsest fumes of that Indian weed 
which was known peculiarly to offend the delicate organ 
of the monarch. Charles remonstrated against the 
doubling of the guard, as injurious to his honour ; and, 
in a letter to the general, withdrew his parole. " He 
would be no longer bound," he said, " by his word to 
continue with the army, for where his word was given 
there ought to be no guards : his word was his guard. 
They must henceforth look to him as well as they 
could." At the same time, Berkley and Ashburnharn 
were forbidden any more to attend upon their master, 
and the gates of the palace were equally closed against 
his other friends and visitors. 

Charles appears to have put little faith in those perils 
of assassination which he was told beset him. He 
sometimes looked upon the frequent intimations given 
him to that effect, as artifices probably designed to 
inveigle him to some dangerous step perhaps, into 
the very perils pretended to be pointed out. They 
added, nevertheless, to those perplexities which now 


tormented, and determined him to attempt his deliver- 
ance by one more romantic effort. Colonel Legge 
alone, of all his trusted servants, was allowed access 
to the king's person. By his agency Charles made 
Berkley and Ashburnham acquainted with his resolution 
to escape, leaving it in particular to Ashburnham to find 
the means and to fix the direction of his flight. To 
conceal himself in London to deliver himself, a second 
time, to the Scots to cross the sea to Jersey, an island 
which still acknowledged his authority, and where Hyde 
and other illustrious loyalists had found refuge, were 
plans successively discussed, and finally abandoned for 
one worse than all. 

On the afternoon of November llth, the king com- 
manded, that, having letters to write, he might be 
exposed to no interruption ; and this order was sus- 
pended only when, at dusk, lights were brought into his 
chamber. Supper-time arrived, and the commissioners, 
with Whalley, who had still the command of the king's 
guard, were assembled as usual ; but Charles appeared 
not. Wondering, for a space, at this unwonted delay, 
they knocked, and, receiving no answer from within, 
entered the royal apartment. On the floor lay the king's 
cloak, suggesting to the imaginations of the party, already 
filled with the current rumours of a projected assassina- 
tion, that violence had been attempted upon his person. 
Some letters, left by him on his writing-table, quickly 
relieved their apprehensions. Of these papers, one 
was addressed to Lord Montague, who, on opening it, 
found a request that a certain picture in the king's 
chamber might be restored to the Duke of Richmond, its 


owner ; and, in a postscript, he earnestly recommended 
to the care of the commissioner his favourite greyhound, 
whose disconsolate whine had alone greeted the intruders 
at their entrance. In a second letter, he thanked 
Whalley for the attentions paid to his comfort, while in 
that officer's custody. The third threw light upon the 
motives which had driven him to the step implied 
in the others. It bore the signature, " E. R.," and 
gave an account of the resolution adopted at the meet- 
ings of the agitators, to take away the king's life. This 
letter was recognised by Whalley, as one which, in 
the discharge of his duty, he had shown, he said, to 
his majesty ; but had accompanied it with an assurance, 
that he might be confident no such thing would be 
attempted : " though menacing speeches," he admitted, 
"came frequently to his ear, the general officers abhorred 
so bloody and villanous an act. For himself, in par- 
ticular, he had assured the king, he was sent to safe- 
guard, not to murder him ; and would rather die at his 
feet in his defence." The last letter was one addressed 
by Charles to the parliament, and contained an explicit 
statement of the impressions and views under which the 
royal prisoner had withdrawn. It commenced with the 
king's assertion of his natural right to the common 
liberty ; and thus he proceeds : " I call God to witness 
with what patience I have endured a tedious restraint ; 
which, so long as I had any hopes that this sort of my 
suffering might conduce to the peace of my kingdoms, I 
did willingly undergo. But now finding by too certain 
proofs that this my continued patience would not only 
turn to my personal ruin, but likewise be of much more 


prejudice to the public good, I thought I was bound, as 
well by natural as political obligation to seek my safety, 
by retiring myself for some time from the public view 
both of my friends and enemies. I shall earnestly and 
incessantly endeavour," he continues, "the settlement of a 
safe and well-grounded peace, wherever I am . . ." for ... 
" as I cannot deny but that my personal security is the 
urgent cause of this my retirement, so I take God to 
witness that the public peace is no less before my eyes ; 
and I can find no better way to express this my pro- 
fession, than by desiring and urging, that, besides what 
concerns myself, all chief interests, the presbyterians, 
the independents, the army, those who have adhered to 
me, and even the Scots, may have not only a hearing, 
but likewise just satisfaction given unto them. Let me 
be heard," he with dignity concludes, " with freedom, 
honour, and safety, and I shall instantly break through 
this cloud of retirement, and show myself to be PATER 

While all parties were in consternation at the king's 
flight ; and while the parliament, first dispatching mes- 
sengers to the seaports and other outlets of the kingdom, 
passed an ordinance making it high treason to conceal 
his person, or the place of his retreat, and (in terror 
lest he should have hid himself in London) issued a 
proclamation for the banishment of all persons who had 
ever borne arms for him, to a distance of twenty miles 
from the metropolis ; Cromwell took instant advantage of 
the relief afforded him by the success of this grand 
manoeuvre, to bend all his energies to the suppression of 
the mutinous temper in the army. It was an exigency 


which fully demanded that amazing union of cunning, 
dexterity, and courage, which enabled him so often to 
baffle his enemies, and to crush a danger at that par- 
ticular instant, when its extinction must prove as com- 
plete, as its farther progress would have been fatal. 
The king's disappearance had increased the angry ex- 
citement which possessed the soldiery. It was now no 
fiction, that the levellers menaced the lives, not alone 
of Cromwell and Ireton, but of their superior officers 
generally; who perceived that the success of their objects, 
and the very existence of the army, depended upon their 
success in restoring subordination and discipline. With 
this view, Fairfax directed a general rendezvous to be 
held at Ware. 

A great part of the troops came upon the ground 
reluctantly and in disorder ; but as the general officers 
rode round the field, the soothing language of the 
popular Fairfax, and the stern determination which had 
settled upon the brow of Cromwell, quickly thinned the 
masses of the disaffected. At length, all but three or 
four regiments signified their readiness to subscribe an 
engagement to submit to their general, which had been 
prepared for the occasion. Still Lilburne's, Harrison's, 
and Rainsborough's kept aloof. The men, collected 
into groups, listened eagerly to the harangues of their 
agitators, who distributed among them copies of the 
" agreement of the people," and placards bearing se- 
ditious mottoes, which they placed in their hats. Crom- 
well, Ireton, and the most resolute of their friends, 
riding up to the mutineers, the lieutenant-general 
ordered them to remove the offensive paper. They 


hesitated ; when, drawing his sword, he charged through 
the astonished groups, seized a dozen of the ringleaders, 
of whom one, being chosen by lot, was instantly shot 
dead upon the place, and his companions handed over to 
an officer to be tried by a court-martial. The others 
then gloomily submitted. Cromwell assuming that 
tone of blandishment, and pious lachrymation, which he 
had always found irresistible in camp or senate, in that 
strange age of religious imposture, promised a speedy 
settlement of all their reasonable demands, and dismissed 
them to their several quarters. Hastening to West- 
minster, he made his report of the day's events to the 
houses. Without the grosser colouring of vanity (for 
he attributed its successful close to " God's mercy and 
the endeavours of his excellency and his officers,") the 
narrator, nevertheless, shone as the hero of his tale, and 
received the thanks of the parliament accordingly. It 
is remarkable, therefore, that in the long despatch from 
Fairfax, in which the same facts are detailed, no mention 
is found of the name of Cromwell. 

The lieutenant-general was likewise the first to calm 
the anxiety of the Commons, respecting the king's disap- 
pearance, by acquainting them, on the day following that 
which revealed his departure, that the royal fugitive had 
taken refuge in the Isle of Wight. Notwithstanding the 
ostentatious care pretended in placing the guard at 
Hampton Court, a private door, which opened from the 
king's apartments into the park, was left without a sen- 
tinel. By this entrance, Berkley and Ashburnham obtained 
access to him, after their appearance at the palace had 



been prohibited, to arrange the manner and means of his 
escape. It was by this door that Charles also himself, 
accompanied only by his faithful attendant Legge, had 
issued from his palace-prison. The night was exces- 
sively dark and stormy. Crossing the river at Ditton, 
they found the two faithful, but ill-assorted counsellors 
waiting with horses. They went towards Oatlands, 
the king, who was more familiarly acquainted with the 
forest than his companions, undertaking the office of 
guide ; but his skill was unavailing, in the darkness, 
to prevent their wandering from the track, and day had 
broke before the party reached Sutton, where Berkley 
had provided a relay of horses. 

Among the places which had occurred or been 
suggested to the king, as safe if not advantageous 
retreats, it does not appear that he had definitively 
selected any one before adventuring on his sudden 
and ill-considered flight. While descending a hill, he 
proposed that the party should lead their horses, and 
confer as they walked on this important point. Jersey 
had originally been thought of as perhaps the most 
desirable destination, and Berkley now asked if a vessel 
had been provided ; but the king's resolve had been too 
hastily put in execution. Meantime the travellers were 
directing their course towards Southampton. Berkley 
proposed that they should strike out farther westward, 
but his advice was overruled, on the ground that 
they ought not to quit the neighbourhood of the army 
till the result of the expected rendezvous was known, 
and the king's treaty completed with the Scots. In this 


perplexity he suddenly resolved to go to the Isle of 
Wight "for the first time," observes Berkley, "for 
aught I could then discover." But Charles was deter- 
mined by motives with which, unfortunate as they proved, 
Berkley was unacquainted. Ashburnham, a few days pre- 
viously, had recommended to the king Sir John Oglander's 
house in the Isle of Wight, as a secure asylum. It was 
farther eligible, he said, on account of the convenient 
distance of the island from the metropolis ; of the facilities 
it offered for escape, or communication with the king's 
friends by sea; and of its having few or no soldiers. 
But its chief recommendation rested on an opinion he 
entertained that the governor, Colonel Hammond, might 
be gained over. He had lately met Hammond, who, 
renewing a slight acquaintance formerly existing between 
them, had told him, that since he found the army was re- 
solved to break all promises with the king, he had 
determined to get out of the way by returning to his 
government, for he would have no share in such per- 
fidious actions. 

The party had arrived within twenty miles of the 
island, when some natural misgivings arose in Charles's 
mind. Hammond was, in some degree, known to him as 
the nephew of his favourite and justly famous chaplain, 
the author of the "Practical Catechism" and he had 
reason to believe him a man of honour, and one who 
bore no animosity to his person. But he had long served 
as a colonel in the parliamentarian army, and now held 
the highly responsible office of military governor, by 
the appointment of his enemies. The king therefore 
R 2 


prudently dispatched Berkley and Ashburnham to sound 
Hammond, while, attended only by Legge, he himself 
proceeded to Tichfield, the seat of the Earl of South- 
ampton, intending to await, in the bosom of that loyal 
family, the issue of their negotiation. They were to show 
the governor copies of the two letters which warned 
the king of the danger of assassination, with Charles's 
letter to the parliament ; and to tell him, that in yielding 
to the necessity of flight, not from the army, but from the 
daggers of assassins, the king had made choice of him to 
confide in, as a person of honourable extraction, and one 
who, though engaged against him in the war, he had 
reason to believe, had been actuated by no feeling of 
personal hostility. They were to ask for protection for 
the king and his servants ; or, if he could not grant this, 
that he would leave them to themselves. The two had 
already taken leave, when Berkley, foreseeing the possi- 
bility of their forcible detention, came back and advised 
the king, that if their return should be delayed beyond 
the next day, he should think no more of them, but 
secure his own escape. Charles thanked him for the 
caution, and they parted. 

A violent storm detained the king's envoys that 
night at Lymington; but in the morning they crossed 
over, and met with the governor in the way between 
Carisbrooke Castle and Newport. It is among the 
extraordinary circumstances in this negotiation, that 
Ashburnham, notwithstanding his personal knowledge of 
Hammond, instead of himself addressing him, should 
have deputed his companion, who had no such advantage. 
Berkley, saluting the governor, abruptly opened his 


message by asking him, "Who he thought was near 
him?" and continued, "even good King Charles, who 
has come from Hampton Court for fear of being murdered 
privately." "This," observes Ashburnham in his nar- 
rative, " was a very unskilful entrance into our business." 
While Sir John delivered the king's message, the go- 
vernor, who saw instantly into what a difficult position 
he was thrown by this unexpected communication, turned 
pale, trembled, and had nearly fallen from his horse. 
" O gentlemen," he exclaimed, " you have undone me by 
bringing the king into the island ; if you have brought 
him ; and if not, pray let him not come ; for, what be- 
tween my duty to his majesty, and my gratitude for this 
fresh obligation of his confidence on the one hand, and the 
observance of my trust to the army on the other, I shall 
be confounded!" By degrees Hammond recovered his 
self-possession, expressed at length his willingness to 
serve the king, and invited the two negotiators to dine 
with him, when they might confer farther. They failed 
to draw from him any definite promise ; but he proposed 
that one of them should remain with him in the castle, 
while the other should take horse and go to the king, 
who, he' was confident, would be satisfied with such a 
general assurance as he could give. Berkley avers that 
he gladly embraced the proposal to remain ; " though," 
adds he, " I had the image of the gallows very perfectly 
before me." Hammond, however, presently reopened the 
conference, and, after a long debate, pledged himself " to 
perform whatever could be expected from a person of 
honour and honesty." Before Berkley could speak, 
Ashburnham, who now seemed as much in haste to close 


the interview as he had been slow to begin it, replied : "I 
will ask no more." "Now then," added Hammond, "let 
us all go together to the king." Ashburnham consented. 
Berkley, in astonishment, stepped aside from the governor, 
and addressing Ashburnham, asked, " What, do you mean 
to carry this man to the king, before you know whether 
he will approve of this undertaking or no ? You will 
indeed surprise him." "I'll warrant you," was all the 
other's reply. "And so you shall," observed the more 
prudent negotiator : " for you know the king much better 
than I do, and therefore when we shall come where he is, 
I assure you I will not see him before you have satisfied 
his majesty concerning your proceedings." "Well," re- 
turned Ashburnham, "I will take it upon me." That 
Ashburnham so readily consented to Hammond's pro- 
posal to accompany them, proceeded, he says, first, 
from his wish that the king should have the oppor- 
tunity to make his own conditions ; and, secondly, from 
considering that it was useless to refuse, as Hammond 
would have sent his spies, and so discovered the 
king's place of concealment. At Cowes, the governor 
proposed to take the captain of the castle with him. 
Berkley again objected, but Ashburnham silenced him 
by observing -"No matter, they are but two, whom we 
could easily manage." 

When the four arrived at Tichfield, Berkley re- 
mained below with Hammond and the captain, while 
Ashburnham, according to his promise, went up to the 
king, and told him what had passed. The scene that 
ensued more than realised all Berkley's apprehensions, 
and awakened the faithful but incompetent envoy to 


a fearful sense of his imprudence. Charles started in 
agony, struck his breast, and casting a look of bitter 
reproach on Ashburnham, exclaimed, " What, have 
you brought Hammond with you ? Oh Jack ! you have 
undone me, for I am by this means made fast from 
stirring; he will imprison me!" Ashburnham now, in 
his despair, proposed what he calls an expedient. If the 
king mistrusted Hammond, he would, with his majesty's 
permission, undertake to secure him. " I understand you 
well enough," answered Charles; "but how would the 
murder of this man be viewed ? If I should follow 
your counsel, it would be said, and believed, that he 
had ventured his life for me, and that I had unworthily 
taken it from him. I have sent to Hampton for a 
vessel, and was expecting news of it every moment, 
But it is now too late to think of any thing, except 
going through the way you have forced upon me, and 
leaving the issue to God." 

While this discourse was passing, Hammond and the 
captain grew so impatient at the long delay, that Berkley 
was forced to send and request that his majesty and 
Mr. Ashburnham would remember they were below. 
On their admission, they found Ashburnham weeping 
bitterly. " Sir John Berkley," said the king, "I hope 
you are not so passionate as Jack Ashburnham : do 
you think you have followed my directions?" Berkley 
answered, "No, indeed, Sir," and briefly entered into a 
vindication of himself, as having desired to conduct the 
negotiation otherwise. Charles now turning to Hammond, 
received him cheerfully ; and the governor repeated his 
protestations, with more earnestness and warmth than he 


had shown at Carisbrooke, that the king might depend 
upon his doing all that honour and honesty could de- 
mand. " But remember, Colonel Hammond," said Charles, 
"that I am to judge in this case what is meant by honesty 
and honour." The party then mounted, and set forward 
towards the island. 



CHARLES appeared to resume his habitual cheerfulness. 
The events of the first six weeks after his arrival in the 
Isle of Wight, were calculated to lessen the annoyance 
which he had felt on finding himself absolutely in the 
power of Hammond, and to flatter his friends with the hope 
that he had gained, by his last adventure, not ease and 
security alone, but freedom and the probable means of 
restoration. The inhabitants of the island were, without 
exception, loyal; and, in that secluded spot, where the 
despotism of 'the army had scarcely yet been felt, were 
not afraid to display the attachment they felt to their 
unfortunate sovereign. With expressions of unrestrained 
delight, they attended him to the stately portal of 
Carisbrooke, presenting him with flowers, even at that 
advanced season the produce of their mild climate, and 
still employed by the simpler English of the seventeenth 
century to express sentiments which, in our days, are 
ascribed to them only by the artist and the poet. His 
chaplains and servants, as soon as the place of his 
retreat became known, hastened to him, and were ad- 
mitted. Entrance was denied to none who claimed it 


on the plea of duty. Hammond appeared willing to 
forget that he had any other masters but the king. On 
writing to the parliament a statement of the remarkable 
incidents by which his illustrious inmate had come 
into his custody, he professed, with perfect sincerity, a 
determination to use his utmost endeavours to preserve 
the royal person, even at the risk of his own life, from 
any such horrid attempt as had been threatened at 
Hampton Court ; and, acquainting the houses that the 
accommodations afforded by Carisbrooke Castle were "no 
ways suitable to his quality," he solicited a vote for the 
continuance of the king's allowance, on the consideration 
of which they immediately entered. Hammond carried 
still farther the frankness and good-will with which 
the king had inspired him. At his request, Charles 
sent a message to the parliament, once more repeat- 
ing the assurance of his anxious desire to settle a 
peace by a personal treaty ; and, for the first time, pro- 
posed such terms as involved the surrender of both 
church and crown. He suggested the policy of a like 
communication to the army, through one of the king's 
personal friends, who, besides a letter to the general, 
should be furnished with others more confidential to 
Cromwell and I re ton, urging them to close with the 
king's offers. 

To execute this .mission, Charles chose Sir John 
Berkley; who readily undertook it, though, as he tells 
us, not without apprehensions of the event. Berkley 
found Fairfax engaged in a meeting of officers ; he sent 
in the general's letters, and, after long waiting, was 
himself admitted. His welcome corresponded to the 


inattention implied in that delay. Fairfax received him 
with a severe countenance, and, in the cold manner 
natural to him, merely said, that "they were the par- 
liament's army,, to whom they would send the king's 
letters." Berkley looked round upon Cromwell, Ireton, 
and the other officers with whom he was acquainted : 
they saluted him with an ominous coldness and distance, 
unlike any thing he had ever experienced from them 
before, and, with a smile of bitter disdain, showed him 
Hammond's letter. The envoy saw that was no place 
for him, and hurried to his inn. There he waited, but 
no one sought him. At length he sent his servant out 
to see if he could light on some of his acquaintance. A 
general officer whispered in the man's ear, that he would 
meet his master at twelve o'clock, in a retired spot which 
he named. The information obtained at this midnight 
interview was answerable to its secrecy and solemnity. 
" You remember," said Berkley's mysterious interlocutor, 
" that we, who werfe zealous for an engagement with 
the king, resolved to discover if we were cozened. 
We mistrusted Cromwell and Ireton, as I informed you. 
I come now to tell you that we mistrust neither ; but 
know them, and all of us, to be the archest villains in 
the world. For we are resolved, notwithstanding our 
engagements, to destroy the king and his posterity. 
This afternoon Ireton proposed that you should be sent 
prisoner to London, and that none should speak to you 
upon pain of death, and I hazard my life now by doing 
so. It is intended to send eight hundred of the most dis- 
affected of the army to secure the king's person, which 
we believe not to be secure where he is, and then to 


bring him to trial. I dare think no farther ! This will 
be done in ten days. If the king can escape, let him 
do it ! " Berkley, in astonishment, demanded the reason 
of this change in the officers : " what had the king done 
to deserve it?" The other knew of nothing. Had they 
been able to take any advantage of his conduct, they 
would have been but too happy to make it public. 
"This, however," continued the informant, "I conceive 
to be the case. Though, at the late rendezvous, one of 
the mutineers was shot, and eleven made prisoners, and 
the rest in appearance subdued, yet they were not so 
in fact. Two-thirds of the army have since come to 
Cromwell and Ireton, and plainly told them, that ' they 
were determined, be the danger what it might, still to 
persevere ; and if the officers refused to unite with them, 
they would divide from them.' The inference which 
Cromwell drew was equally consistent with his genius 
and his ambition. ' If we cannot bring the army to our 
sense, we must go to theirs : division would ruin all.' 
He employed Peters as his negotiator. ' I acknow- 
ledge/ observed the dexterous lieutenant-general to his 
warlike chaplain, 'that in this thing I have been led 
astray. The glories of the world so dazzled my eyes 
(alluding to the wealth and honours, which it is said he 
had agreed to accept, as the price of promoting the 
restoration of the king), that I could not discern clearly 
the great work the Lord was doing. But now I am 
resolved to humble myself, and desire the prayers of the 
saints, that God may be pleased to forgive me my self- 
seeking.' To this language he added soothing messages 
to the prisoners, with assurances that no farther harm 


should be allowed to happen to them." Thus was effected 
that reconciliation, which we shall presently find publicly 
and solemnly recognized. 

Berkley immediately sent off despatches by his cousin, 
who had accompanied him from the Isle of Wight. In 
a letter intended for the governor's eye, he gave a 
general account of the state of things in the army ; in 
a second, written in cypher, he communicated to the 
king the particulars of his secret conference, " naming 
the person, and concluding with a most passionate sup- 
plication to his majesty to think of nothing but his 
immediate escape." In the morning he sent an officer 
to Cromwell, to let him know that he had letters and 
instructions for him from the king. Cromwell sent word 
back by the same messenger, that he durst not see him, 
it being very dangerous for both. However, he assured 
him, that he would serve his majesty as long as he could 
do it without his own ruin ; but desired Berkley not to 
expect that he should perish for his sake. The dis- 
comfited negotiator immediately took horse for London. 

Before he left Carisbrooke, Berkley had desired to 
be furnished with authority to treat with the Scottish 
commissioners, in case, as he feared might happen, he 
failed with the army. As this request was refused, he 
imagined that now no farther impediment would delay 
the king's escape, which at that time seemed easy to be 
effected. He daily rode in any direction he pleased 
about the island. It was doubtful whether Hammond 
would attempt to hinder his going ; but should he do 
so, the faithful adherents of the king within the castle 
were fully sufficient to overpower the guard, which 


consisted only of a few feeble old men, not well affected 
to the parliament. A frigate, provided by the queen, was 
lying at Southampton, ready to receive him. But the 
king's disposition to intrigue in other words, his exces- 
sive, and, assuredly, groundless confidence in the skill 
of himself and his friends in the profounder arts of 
diplomacy, once more betrayed him. In an interview, 
in London, with Lauderdale and Laneric, Berkley was 
surprised to find that the king was still engaged in carry- 
ing on the treaty with the Scots, employing at this time 
the agency of a certain Dr. Gough. This person, an 
intriguing popish priest sent over by the queen and 
Jermyn, obtaining an insight into those proceedings 
of the army which had alarmed Sir John, had like- 
wise conjured the king to make his speedy escape, and 
besought him not to insist too nicely upon terms in 
so frightful an exigency of his affairs. The Scottish 
commissioners themselves employed the like urgency, in- 
forming him that they had certain intelligence of a design 
to subject him to close confinement, preparatory to some 
attempt upon his life. On the other hand, Ashburnham, 
who at this moment absolutely guided the king's mea- 
sures, held Charles from day to day in the meshes of 
that hesitation which was too natural to his diffident and 
conscientious temper ; and at last it was determined 
between them, not to close with the Scots until he 
should have conferred personally with the commissioners. 
They came ; and were preceded, the space of a day, by 
commissioners from the parliament. 

The parliamentary commissioners brought down with 
them the four propositions (or bills, as they are commonly 


styled), famous in the history of this time, which Charles 
was to consider as all the answer that would be vouchsafed 
to the large offers contained in his last message, and 
to which he was required to give his assent as the pre- 
vious condition of a personal treaty. It was on occasion 
of the voting of these propositions by the parliament, 
that the final and irreparable breach took place between 
them and the commissioners of Scotland. By the first 
proposition, the command of the army was to be vested 
in the parliament for twenty years, with a provision 
which, in effect, rendered this enactment perpetual ; the 
second recalled all oaths, proclamations, and declarations, 
issued against the parliament during the war, and de- 
clared that assembly to have taken up .arms in their own 
just and necessary defence ; the third annulled all titles 
of honour, granted under the great seal, since it had been 
carried off by Lord Littleton in 1642, and deprived all 
peers, to be afterwards created, of the right of sitting in 
parliament, except with the consent of the two houses ; 
the fourth, with the view of ensuring the perpetual sub- 
mission of the parliament to the army, conferred on the 
houses the power of adjourning from place to place at 
their discretion. Their absolute enslavement, at this 
time, to the despotism of the army, notwithstanding the 
numerical strength of the presbyterians, is sufficiently 
apparent in the tenor of all four. That the king 
would give the required assent, was expected by no 
party ; by none but determined enemies, acting in the 
spirit of conquerors, could such a series of propositions 
have been submitted to him. He would naturally object 
on two grounds. 1. The oppressive tenor of the propo- 


sitions themselves, which was such as would have left him 
absolutely at the mercy of his inveterate enemies. " If," 
wrote a contemporary, " he pass these bills, he will dis- 
hearten his friends, unking himself and his posterity for 
ever, be carried up and down like a stalking-horse to 
their designs, and be crowned ludibrio coronce, with straw 
or thorns. For who can think that, at the end of twenty 
years, these usurpers will lay down what they have so 
unjustly extorted, contrary to all laws divine and human, 
and contrary to their own declarations, oaths, and cove- 
nants ? And who can, or dare, wrest those powers out of 
their hands, being once settled and grown customary in 
them ; the people's spirits broken with habitual servitude, 
a numerous army and garrisons hovering over them, and 
all places of judicature filled with corrupt judges, who 
shall, by constrained interpretations of the law, force 
bloody precedents out of them against whomsoever shall 
dare to be so good a patriot as to oppose their tyranny?" 
2. The monstrous demand of an assent, as preliminary to 
a treaty, to concessions which involved the whole sub- 
stance of the hardest possible terms that could be proposed 
in the treaty itself, and these unaccompanied by the shadow 
of a concession on the other side. But the Scottish com- 
missioners had, besides, objections peculiar to themselves. 
The interests of their nation, and of the presbyterians 
generally, were, by this vote, wholly set aside ; they were 
themselves on the point of closing with the king on their 
own terms ; they burned with long-cherished resentment 
against their imperious allies, and they were unwilling by 
any further oppression of the king to add to the op- 
probrium they had formerly brought upon themselves by 


the base transfer of his person, agreed to at Newcastle. 
They asked for a copy of the bills, which they complained 
had not been communicated to them; and remonstrated, 
in high and uncompromising terms, against the whole 
proceeding, as unjust in itself, and as being, for want 
of their concurrence, a violation of the covenant. 

The parliament, or the independents and republicans 
who ruled it, rejected with scorn this attempt to control 
their actions, and voted the interference of any foreign 
nation in their proceedings, an invasion of the indepen- 
dence of the kingdom. An elaborate answer to the Scots' 
remonstrance was composed by Marten. This man, even 
as early as the spring of the year 1646, when there was a 
debate in the Commons about sending propositions to the 
king, had not scrupled to say that " the man to whom 
the propositions should be sent, ought rather to come to 
the bar himself, than be sent to any more." On the pre- 
sent occasion he took part in the affairs of his faction 
"with an infinite zeal," as it has been called, which must 
have delighted the agitators. His cold and biting sar- 
casms, made more effective by the reputed levity of his 
character, as "the buffoon of the house," must have been 
felt by the Scots. An extract from this savage, yet states- 
man-like invective, will throw light, not only on the 
temper of the independents at this time, but on the senti- 
ments really entertained by them towards the Scots, from 
the beginning of the war. With respect to the alleged 
infringement of the covenant, "1 do not conceive," he 
says, "the parties to that league intended thereby to be 
everlastingly bound to each other ; the grounds of striking 
it being merely occasional, for the joining in a war to 


suppress a common enemy. Accordingly we did join ; 
the enemy is, if we be wise, suppressed, and the war, as 
you say, ended ; what should the covenant do, but, like an 
almanac of the last year, show us rather what we have 
already done, than what we be now to do?" Again: 
"Your entitling yourselves to a cognizance in the condi- 
tions of our peace, and consequently in the matter of our 
laws, when they relate to an agreement, as I confess the 
four bills do which were sent, is grounded upon a very 
great mistake of the eighth article in the treaty; the 
words whereof are, indeed, very rightly recited by you, 
and the article itself so rational, so ordinary, so necessary, 
in all wars joined in by two states, that I do almost 
wonder as much what need there was to have inserted it, 
as I do how it is possible for you to mistake it. It stands 
briefly thus : one of you (for the purpose) and I (pardon, 
if you please, the familiarity of the instance), have solemnly 
engaged ourselves each to other for our mutual aid against 
a third person, because we conceived him too strong for 
either of us single, or because one of us doubted he 
might have drawn the other of us to his party, if not 
pre-engaged against him ; but whichsoever of us was first 
in the quarrel, or whatever was the reason of the other's 
coming in, we are engaged ; and, though there were no 
writings drawn betwixt us, no terms expressed, were not 
I the veriest skellum that ever looked man in the face, if 
I should shake hands with the common Adversary, and 
leave you fighting ? Against such a piece of business, 
supposing it be like to be in nature, this article provides, 
and says, that since these two kingdoms were content 
to join in a war, which, without God's great mercy, might 


have proved fatal to them both, neither of them shall 
be suffered to make its peace apart; so as, if the par- 
liament of Scotland, upon consideration of reasons occur- 
ring to themselves, should offer to readmit the king into 
that kingdom, I say, not with honour, freedom, and 
safety, but in peace, the parliament of England might step 
in and forbid the banns ; telling them we are not satisfied 
that an agreement should yet be made ; similiter, if this 
parliament would come to any peace with him by bills or 
propositions, or by what other name soever they call their 
plasters, you may, being so authorised, in name of that 
kingdom, or the parliament thereof, intervene and oppose; 
telling us that you, who are our fellow-surgeons merely 
in lancing of the sore ; are not satisfied in the time for 
healing of it up; but for you to read a lecture to us upon 
our medicaments and their ingredients, to take measure 
of wounds, and to prefer your measure before that of our 
own taking, was never dreamt on by the framers of this 

A few pages after the above powerful paragraph, he 
becomes still more explicit : " When," says he, " you 
ask, why we do not observe the same forwardness in 
communicating our matters to you, the same patience in 
expecting your concurrence with us, and the same easiness 
of admitting your harangues and disputations among us, 
which you have heretofore tasted at our hands, and how 
we are become less friendly than we were ? I have this 
to say, there is some alteration in the condition of affairs : 
so long as we needed the assistance of your countrymen 
in the field, we might have occasion to give you meetings 
at Derby House, and now and then in the painted 


chamber, it being likely that the kingdom of Scotland 
might then have a fellow-feeling with us for the whole- 
someness or perniciousness of your counsels; whereas, 
now since we are able, by God's blessing, to protect our- 
selves, we may surely, with his holy direction, be sufficient 
to teach ourselves how to go about our own business, at 
least without your tutoring, who have nothing in your 
consideration to look upon, but either your parti- 
cular advantage, or that of the kingdom whence you are." 

The parliament's commissioners were ordered to stay 
but four days in the Isle of Wight. In the meantime the 
commissioners of Scotland presented their protest against 
the four propositions, and obtained the more important 
object of the king's signature to the private treaty with 
themselves. The king, on his part, consented in this 
treaty to the establishment of presbyterianism in England 
for three years, with every other concession, in matters 
relating to religion, which his conscience would allow, and 
agreed to confirm the covenant in Scotland; the com- 
missioners stipulating, on the other side, that the kingdom 
of Scotland, failing all peaceful endeavours to that end, 
should send an army into England for his restoration 
to the full enjoyment of his rights and revenues. That 
no accident might break that seal of secresy with which 
this transaction had hitherto been conducted, the writing 
itself was enclosed in lead, and buried in a garden, till 
some more safe opportunity occurred for conveying it 

To the two houses, Charles replied: that "neither the 
desire of being freed from his tedious and irksome condi- 
tion of life, nor the apprehension of worse treatment, 


should ever prevail with him to give his assent to any 
bills as part of the agreement, until the whole had been 
concluded in a personal treaty." The king returned his 
answer to the commissioners sealed, but they insisted that 
it should be delivered to them open. Dreading the worst 
consequences, should they return without any answer, he 
consented, on their solemnly engaging, that after they 
had read the letter, no difference should be made in 
his present treatment. In this promise, Hammond, who 
appeared with the commissioners, was held by Charles to 
be included. No sooner, however, had the commissioners 
withdrawn, than Hammond, in an angry mood locked the 
gates, doubled the guards, and ordered the king's chaplains 
and attendants to quit the castle. Charles summoned the 
governor to his presence. He came, with a sullen, 
louring demeanour. A dialogue then ensued, marked, it 
must be confessed, hardly less by bitterness on the king's 
part, a bitterness which returned no more, after (in his 
own language) "worse" had befallen him, than by a 
brutal contrast, on the governor's, to that courtesy which 
hitherto he had shown towards his royal charge. 

The King. "Why do you use me thus? Where are 
your orders for it ? Was it the Spirit that moved you ?" 
(Hammond was in the habit of using the affected "godly" 
language of his party.) For a time the governor re- 
mained silent ; he then alleged the king's answer to the 

The King. "Did you not engage your honour you 
would take no advantage from thence against me ?" 

Hammond. "I said nothing." 

The King. "You are an equivocating gentleman; will 


you allow me any chaplain ? You pretend for liberty of 
conscience; shall I have none?" 

Hammond. "I cannot allow you any chaplain." 

The King. "You are now neither like a gentleman 
nor a Christian." 

Hammond. "I'll speak with you when you are in 
better temper." 

The King." I have slept well to-night." 

Hammond. " I have used you very civilly." 

The King. "Why do you not so now, then?" 

Hammond. "Sir, you are too high." 

The King. " My shoemaker is in fault, then. My shoes 
are of the same last, &c. (twice or thrice repeated) ; shall 
I have liberty to go about to take the air?" 

Hammond. "No, I cannot grant it." 

The king then charged him with his allegiance, and 
told him that he " must answer this." Hammond wept. 
The poor man was, in fact, piteously perplexed ; not with 
"a divided duty" merely, but with peril to his life. He 
probably knew that the king was at that moment medi- 
tating an escape, and had, no doubt, his orders from 
Cromwell what to do, in case of that rejection of the bills 
which the lieutenant-general expected and desired. 

Charles was left in the solitude of his guarded chamber, 
and his banished attendants pursued their melancholy 
way to Newport. While conferring together there, on 
this new and menacing crisis of the king's affairs, a drum 
was heard to "beat confusedly" in the streets. It an- 
nounced the rash attempt of Burley, an old royalist 
officer resident in the island, to raise a party for the king's 
rescue. The inhabitants flocked together, with shouts of 


"God and King Charles." It was manifest, however, to 
Ashburnham, Berkley, and their companions, that so 
crude and feeble an enterprise must fail, and they exerted 
themselves successfully " to persuade those poor, well- 
affected people to desist." Burley, notwithstanding, was 
seized by Hammond's order, tried before one of Crom- 
well's judges, found guilty of levying war against the 
Icing, and executed with savage conformity to all the 
cruelties prescribed by the statute-book in cases of high 

The parliament had, in effect, constantly refused to 
treat with the king, by refusing to do so except upon 
the basis of their own inadmissible propositions. They 
were now, to the great joy of the independents, relieved 
by their victim himself from the irksome necessity of 
maintaining even the forms of decent respect. Immedi- 
ately on the return of the commissioners to Westminster, 
a resolution to the following purport, drawn up by Marten, 
was proposed in the Commons : " That no farther ad- 
dresses should be made to the king, nor any message be 
received from him, by the houses ; and that if any person, 
without their leave, contravened this order, he should 
be liable to the penalties of treason." Sir Thomas Wroth 
was the first to speak in support of this proposition. 
Next rose Ireton, and, in a speech, the affected mode- 
ration of which presented a contrast with the coarse 
violence of the previous orator, said, " the king had de- 
nied that protection to the people which was the condition 
of obedience to him ; that after long patience they should 
now at last show themselves resolute ; that they should 
not desert the brave men the many thousand godly 


men who had fought for them beyond the possibility 
of retreat or forgiveness, and who would never forsake 
the parliament unless the parliament first forsook them." 
After some further debate, says the writer who has re- 
corded these speeches, Cromwell brought up the rear. 
It was time, he said, to answer the public expectation, 
that they were able and resolved to govern and defend 
the kingdom by their own power, and teach the people 
that they had nothing to hope from a man whose heart 
God hardened in obstinacy. " Do not," he concluded 
(after extolling in the highest terms the valour and godli- 
ness of the soldiers), " let the army think themselves 
betrayed to the rage and malice of an irreconcileable 
enemy, whom they have subdued for your sake, from 
whom they should meet revenge and justice ; do not 
drive them to despair, lest they seek safety by other 
means than adhering to you, who will not stick to your- 
selves ; and (laying his hand on his sword) how destructive 
such a resolution in them will be to you all, I tremble to 
think, and leave you to judge." The resolution passed 
by a majority of 141 to 92. The concurrence of the par- 
liament, in the extremest views of the army being thus 
far secured, Cromwell resolved to mark this unity of 
object as absolute and irrevocable, by a solemn public 
act. A meeting of the general officers and chief agitators 
(now entirely reconciled, upon the principles of the 
levellers), was held at Windsor in the presence of the 
parliament's commissioners. The preliminaries of this 
conference were fasting and prayer. In this last exercise 
Cromwell and Ireton distinguished themselves in a man- 
ner worthy of the signal occasion; the "godly" were 


enraptured, and described the "outpourings of the spirit" 
(whatever spirit it was) " which on that occasion breathed 
from the lips of those great men, as such sweet music as 
the heavens never before knew." This scene of awful 
profanity was acted in the royal halls of Windsor Castle ! 
And there also, as if to fill up the hateful climax in a 
manner the most grotesquely incongruous, was formally 
adopted the resolution, long before conceived in their 
obscurer conclaves, that the king should be brought to 
trial by the nation, as a shedder of his people's blood. 
" We declare," say the army, in their public resolutions at 
this meeting, in language as explicit as it was yet prudent 
publicly to employ, " that we are resolved firmly to 
adhere to and stand by the parliament in their vote not 
to make any farther addresses, &c. and in what shall be 
farther necessary for prosecution thereof, and for the 
settling and securing of the parliament and kingdom, 
WITHOUT THE KING and AGAINST HIM, or any other that 
shall hereafter partake with him." Hitherto the Lords 
had hesitated to adopt the recent vote of the Commons : 
the army's "agreement" decided them. To make all sure, 
the houses were farther obliged to agree in a request 
to Fairfax to quarter a regiment of infantry at Whitehall, 
and one of cavalry at the Mews, for their protection. 
The general complied ; and presently afterwards laid 
aside, for a time, even the appearance which he had hitherto 
maintained, of executing, in his own person, the functions 
of his dictatorial office. Alleging exhaustion by "the 
multiplicity of business," he transferred to a committee 
of officers, at the head of whom were Cromwell, Ireton, 
and Fleetwood, the settlement of all affairs relating to the 


army i. e., for so it really was, to the entire interests and 
welfare of the nation. By such means was the imprisoned 
king already set aside, and a republic, or rather a military 
despotism, imposed upon the nation. 

But loyalty, if it can be said ever to have been extinct 
among the people, was now rapidly rekindling in their 
bosoms; even the sternest of the presbyterians, except 
such as were silenced by the immediate dread of mi- 
litary violence, asserting the equity of the king's claim to 
be heard in a personal conference. It became necessary 
therefore to invest the late proceedings with some appear- 
ance of reason. A " Declaration " was consequently 
prepared to vindicate their necessity and justice. In this 
famous document was brought together the whole mass 
of errors and crimes, real and imaginary, with which the 
government was chargeable, from, and even before, the 
king's accession. The failures, the exactions, the illegal 
punishments, the bloodshed, in short, all the grievances 
embodied in their first remonstrance on the state of 
the kingdom, and every calumny added in subsequent 
declarations, were raked together, and, with other charges, 
hitherto unheard of, or suffered to sleep in the obscure 
recesses of slander, were exhibited in the darkest colours 
which malevolence could command. It was more than 
insinuated that the death of King James had been caused 
by poison, administered to him through the contrivance 
of Charles and the Duke of Buckingham. On this point 
even Selden rose to vindicate the king. He had been, he 
said, one of the committee nominated to investigate the 
causes of King James's death, and he remembered nothing 
in the evidence which reflected on his majesty. He there- 


fore moved the omission of that clause, but was put down 
by the republicans, who threatened him with instant ex- 

Yet the parliament's "Declaration" was thought less 
forcible than might have been expected from the talents 
and malignity of its authors, employed on a field of 
mistake and misfortune so extensive, calamitous, and 
obnoxious to prejudice and misrepresentation. It was 
not left, however, to work its effects unanswered. Charles 
published a counter-declaration from his own hand ; and 
a more regular and minute defence appeared from 
the pen of the faithful Hyde. In the king's appeal to 
his people, having vindicated his desire, and his fre- 
quent endeavours to settle a peace, and pointed out the 
grounds on which his rejection of the four bills was both 
reasonable and inevitable, he proceeds, as follows, with 
a statement, certainly not too highly coloured, of his 
patience under the severe treatment he was then suffer- 
ing: "That by the permission of Almighty God, I am 
reduced to this sad condition, as I no way repine, so I am 
not without hope but that the same God will, in due time, 
convert these afflictions unto my advantage. In the 
meantime, I am content to bear these crosses with patience 
and a great equality of mind ; but by what means or 
occasion I am come to this relapse in my affairs, I am 
utterly to seek, especially when I consider that I have 
sacrificed to my two houses of parliament, for the peace 
of the kingdom, all but what is more dear to me than my 
life, my conscience and honour; desiring nothing more 
than to perform it in the most proper and natural way, a 
personal treaty .... 


"And now I would know," he eloquently concludes, 
" what it is that is desired : is it peace ? I have showed 
the way, being both willing and desirous to perform my 
part in it, which is a just compliance with all chief 
interests. Is it plenty and happiness ? They are the 
inseparable effects of peace. Is it security ? I, who 
wish that all men would forgive and forget, like me, 
have offered the militia for my time. Is it liberty of 
conscience ? He who wants it is most ready to give it. 
But if I may not be heard, let every one judge who 
it is that obstructs the good I would or might do. 
What is it that men are afraid to hear from me ? It 
cannot be reason (at least, none will declare themselves 
so unreasonable as to confess it), and it can less be 
impertinent or unreasonable discourses ; for thereby, 
peradventure, I might more justify this my restraint than 
the causes themselves can do: so that, of all wonders 
yet, this is the greatest to me. But it may easily be 
gathered, how those men intend to govern who have 
used me thus : and if it be my hard fate to fall, together 
with the liberty of this kingdom, I shall not blush for 
myself, but much lament the future miseries of my 
people ; the which I shall still pray to God to avert, 
whatever becomes of me." 

Cromwell, in the meantime, not fully assured of 
Hammond, was prosecuting an anxious and subtile cor- 
respondence, designed to confirm that functionary in 
obedience to the directions and the views of his masters. 
The following letter is highly characteristic, both of the 
writer and his correspondent : " DEAREST ROBIN, 
Now (blessed be God) I can write, and thou receive, 


freely. I never in my life saw more deep sense, and 
less will to show it unchristianly, than in that which 
thou didst write to us at Windsor ; and though in 
the midst of thy temptation, which indeed (by what 
we understood of it) was a great one, and occa- 
sioned the greater by the letter the general sent thee, 
of which thou wast not mistaken when thou didst 
challenge me to be the penner. How good has God 
been to dispose all to mercy ! And although it was 
trouble for the present, yet glory is come out of it, for 
which we praise the Lord with thee, and for thee ; and 
truly thy carriage has been such as occasions much 
honour to the name of God and religion. Go on in 
the strength of the Lord, and the Lord be still with 
thee ! But, dear Robin, this business hath been (I trust) 
a mighty providence to this poor kingdom, and to us all. 
The House of Commons is very sensible of the king's 
dealings, and of our brethren's, in this late transaction. 
You should do well, if you have any thing that may 
discover juggling, to search it out, and let us know it ; 
it may be of admirable use at this time ; because we 
shall (I hope) instantly go upon businesses in relation 

to them tending to prevent danger Let us know 

how it is with you in point of strength, and what you 
need from us ; some of us think the king well with you, 
and that it concerns us to keep that island in great 
security, because of the French, &c. ; and if so, where 
can the king be better? If you have more force, you 
will [be] sure of full provision for them. The Lord 
bless thee : pray for thy dear friend and servant, 



The measures, regarding the secure possession of the 
king, which were taken by the parliament after the vote 
of non-addresses, were such as are indicated in this 
curious epistle. The houses confirmed the precautions 
of Hammond by an order for the dissolution of the royal 
household, authorising the general to appoint attendants 
on the king, in any number not exceeding thirty ; a vote, 
presently afterwards superseded by one which referred it 
to Hammond "to appoint eight such persons as he should 
think fit," with full liberty to "place and displace" at 
pleasure. Troops were, at the same time, marched into 
the island ; and Rainsborough (originally a seaman, though 
latterly colonel of a regiment under Fairfax), being 
appointed to the command of the fleet, with the view 
at once of satisfying the fiercest among the republicans 
as to the sincerity with which the "grandees" had em- 
braced the regicidal cause, and of setting aside Warwick, 
the presbyterian, was ordered round with his ships to 
blockade the island. In carrying this last precautionary 
measure into effect, an important difficulty occurred. 



THE late republican vote had opened the eyes of the 
people. Blood of theirs had been lavishly shed treasure 
to an enormous amount, wrung from the sinews of the 
commonalty, or obtained by casting out to confiscation 
and beggary the ancient nobility of the land, had been 
squandered its most venerable institutions subverted 
on pretence of restoring the nation to a state of freedom 
and happiness. And what was the result, as now seen 
and felt by all ? Three great parties, each irreconcileably 
hostile to both the others, poured over every district, 
town, hamlet, hearth, and bosom, the bitterness of social 
hatred and division. One estate of the legislature, 
having first usurped the proper functions of the whole, 
had then seized those of the executive, and was now 
itself being swallowed up in the despotism of its mer- 
cenary instruments. More than a year had elapsed since 
the army of the parliament had been left victorious, and 
without an enemy ; but the exactions necessary for its 
maintenance, instead of being abolished, had increased ; 
and still it continued clamorous for more pay, as well as 
larger power, though every post of authority and emolu- 
ment in the realm was already occupied either by its officers. 


mostly low-born and insolent men, or by its obsequious 
creatures in that degraded assembly which still bore the 
name of an English parliament. The sovereign (to 
surround whose throne with constitutional landmarks, 
which a dutiful and affectionate people were never, on 
their side, to overpass, had been held forth as the 
sufficient object of seven years of strife), was now a 
captive in a remote fortress, denied the privilege of 
negotiating with his rebellious subjects, and denied in 
terms which intimated a purpose to supersede his office 
by the introduction of an arbitrary form of government, 
unknown to the constitution, and alien to the habits and 
wishes of the people, and even obscurely to countenance 
the rumours current that he was destined to perish on 
the scaffold or in the dungeon. Such were those cir- 
cumstances that engaged the thoughts, and supplied the 
conversation, of the people; of whom three-fourths had 
either retained the old loyalty of Englishmen, through 
those struggles which they had been taught to regard as 
no less needful for the king's welfare than their own, or, 
if extinguished for a season, felt it now rekindle from 
indignation against their betrayers. The press, never 
more energetic than throughout this period, lent its aid 
in spite of penalties ; the king's immediate friends, 
though uncertain and disunited, were variously active ; 
in short, the whole country appeared to heave with 
throes of indignant agitation, and the renewal of that 
unnatural and disastrous war began, on all sides, to be 

The general discontent, as usual, first found a voice in 
petitions, which were poured into the parliament from 


many quarters, but all concurring in the same prayer for 
the return of the king. The petition from the county oi 
Surrey, though distinguished by its bold and con- 
stitutional language, marks, with a little allowance, the 
general style of these addresses. On its presentation, 
which was attended by a large body of the petition- 
ers, a quarrel took place between the populace and the 
military, at the doors of the House of Commons, in 
which blood was shed. Similar disturbances broke 
out at the principal towns in Norfolk, Suffolk, Kent, 
Cornwall, and other counties. But the most serious 
tumults arose in the city of London. Either as service- 
able adherents, or as thorns in their sides, the parliament 
had, from the beginning, found the apprentices of London 
taking an eager interest in all their proceedings. That 
this interest had long ceased to be favourable, was pro- 
bably owing, at first, less to the encroachments of the 
House of Commons upon the more important liberties of 
the subject, than to restrictions imposed upon the enjoy- 
ments of the youthful and laborious portions of the com- 
munity by the sour spirit of puritanism. The ancient 
sports and pastimes of the people were forbidden as 
utterly unsanctified ; holidays were exchanged for fasts ; 
the Sunday itself was invested with an air of Levi- 
tical severity, offensive to the national feeling, perhaps 
inconsistent with the gracious temper of Christianity. 
Not long previously to the date now before us, the ap- 
prentices had obtained by petition from the legislature the 
boon of a play-day once a month. It was, apparently, 
while not strictly confining themselves within the 
limits of this notable remnant of English liberty, that 


eager on their part for an outbreak, they began to dis- 
pute with the guard, who were placed to enforce the 
prohibitory ordinance. Partisans collected, weapons 
were drawn, the guard was overpowered; the militia, 
assembling to suppress the riot, shared in the dis- 
comfiture of their brethren, and took refuge in houses 
from the popular fury, but not till several persons had 
been killed or wounded. The cry of "God and king 
Charles" was now raised on all sides, and some dis- 
banded officers and soldiers joining with the citizens, they 
got possession of Ludgate and other defensible posts, 
drove the Lord Mayor within the ramparts of the Tower, 
and boldly advanced against the troops at Westminster. 
Cromwell, eager to seize any tolerable pretext for crush- 
ing the power of his enemies in the metropolis, charged, 
and, after an obstinate resistance, dispersed the tumul- 
tuous masses. The like ill-success attended other de- 
sultory risings. But these uncertain flashes were quickly 
followed by steadier fires of loyal insurrection. It be- 
coming manifest that the army must be withdrawn from 
the neighbourhood of London, and that its best officers 
must again buckle on their harness, the independent 
leaders sought an appearance of reconciliation with the 
city. By their direction, the parliament voted that no 
change should be made in the fundamental government 
of the realm by king, lords, and commons : the citizens, 
in return, engaging "to live and die with the parliament," 
the city was once more allowed to take charge of its 
militia, under their old commander Skippon, and White- 
hall and the Mews were relieved from the presence of Fair- 
fax's troops. 


Wholly unprepared for systematic action themselves, 
the king's friends were every where looking anxiously 
towards the north, in expectation of those warlike pre- 
parations among the Scots which were to be the signal 
of a general rising. Rage against the independents, 
coupled with a report that Charles had secretly signed 
the covenant and engaged to enforce it in both kingdoms, 
excited a degree of enthusiasm, for a time, throughout 
Scotland. But the publication of the actual terms of the 
engagement with the king again stifled every loyal feeling 
in that factious country. The English loyalists grew 
impatient at waiting for their ambiguous and dilatory 
allies. It was nevertheless a casual accident that drew 
out the first open declaration for the king. Foyer, 
who held a colonel's commission under the parliament, 
and was intrusted with the governorship of Pembroke 
Castle, was among those who had agreed to declare 
themselves as soon as the Scots appeared upon the border. 
His movements had however excited suspicion, and 
Colonel Fleming suddenly appeared before the walls of 
Pembroke, bearing Fairfax's orders to take the command. 
Poyer refused to give up his commission, raised the royal 
standard, and repulsed Fleming on his attempting to take 
forcible possession of the castle. The Welsh cavaliers, led 
by Colonel Langhorne, flew to arms, surprised Chepstow, 
and laid siege to Caernarvon. Horton was sent against the 
insurgents, but with so little success, that Cromwell 
deemed it expedient once more to take the field in per- 
son. His appearance in the principality, at the head 
of his veterans, was, as every where else, the signal of 
disaster to the royal cause. Langhorne was defeated; 
T 2 


Chepstow recovered ; Caernarvon relieved, with the 
destruction of the besiegers. Still Poyer proclaimed 
defiance from Pembroke. Cromwell resolving to carry 
the fortress in his usual sudden manner, prepared 
the troops, by exciting harangues from himself and his 
fierce chaplains, for an overpowering assault at midnight. 
Heated with fanatical enthusiasm, and eager to follow 
their great captain to a fresh series of victories, they 
dashed across the ditch, scaled the ramparts, and were 
about to throw themselves upon the garrison, whom they 
thought unprepared, when on a sudden they found them- 
selves attacked with the utmost fury ; and, after a short but 
sanguinary conflict, were compelled to return to their 
camp. For more than six weeks the bravery of Poyer 
detained the impatient lieutenant-general before this petty 

The men of Kent had, in the meantime, remembered 
their ancient loyalty. Commotions, demonstrative of the 
popular temper, had occurred at Canterbury as early 
as Christmas-day, when the mayor and aldermen were 
roughly handled by the citizens for insisting that the 
usual business of the market should be transacted on that 
holy festival. The deputy-lieutenants, creatures of the in- 
dependent party, were proceeding summarily to inflict the 
punishment of traitors on the persons apprehended in this 
tumult, when their design was arrested by a more formi- 
dable insurrection, in which the people seized the military 
posts, and filled the air with cries of " God, King Charles, 
and Kent !" In the absence of superior leaders (for the 
men of influence in the county kept themselves aloof till 
the appearance of the Scots), a gentleman named Hales 


aspired to impart consistency and purpose to the loyal 
emotions which agitated his county. Though known only 
as the youthful heir to a baronetcy, his summons to the 
loyalists of Kent was eagerly obeyed ; associations were 
formed, arms collected, troops disciplined, in his name. 
The spirit which prevailed on land had early communi- 
cated itself to the neighbouring fleet in the Downs. The 
parliament hoped that the authority of Rainsborough 
would smother every disposition to mutiny. While tra- 
versing Kent, however, the admiral was by no means con- 
firmed in this expectation ; and on arriving at Deal, he 
hastened to go on board. As he approached his vessel, 
observing probably some marks of disorder on board, he 
began, in the rough imperious tone habitual to him, 
to issue his commands. The seamen, assembled on 
the deck, answered by refusing to admit him on board, 
and tauntingly desiring him to return to the parliament 
and acquaint them that they were the king's fleet, and 
had resolved to serve his majesty. Then dismissing, in 
a similar manner, all other officers whom they suspected 
of unwillingness to concur with them, they weighed 
anchor, and stood over for Holland, to take on board the 
Duke of York, whom they chose for their admiral-in-chief. 
A body of the Kentish cavaliers appeared on Blackheath, 
expecting to be joined by the inhabitants of London, but 
finding themselves confronted instead by Fairfax, who 
marched through the metropolis to give them battle, they 
fell back upon Rochester and Maidstone. In Maidstone, 
the insurgents made a vigorous stand, maintaining, for 
six hours, an obstinate contest for the possession of the 
town ; but their loss was proportionate to their valour. 


Two hundred fell in the streets ; twice that number were 
taken prisoners : discouraged by this defeat, many of 
those who escaped returned to their homes. The party 
who had taken refuge in Rochester, now led by Goring, 
to whom Hales had yielded the post of honour, once 
more advanced to Blackheath and sought the co-opera- 
tion of the city. For a time the parliament was exposed 
to imminent danger. No armed force was now at hand 
to support their authority ; the city swarmed with royal- 
ists ; the news of Hamilton's advance, which was expected 
hourly; would probably at once decide the common 
council to declare for the king. Fortunately for them, 
the adoption of still more conciliatory measures was 
facilitated by the absence of the officers with the army. 
The imprisoned aldermen were set at liberty ; the im- 
peachment of the six peers was abandoned ; the eleven 
excluded members were allowed to return to their seats. 
These concessions, with the immediate prospect of others, 
all denoting the returning ascendency of the presbyterians, 
decided the city; and Goring, in no condition to cope 
with Fairfax, now advancing in his rear, crossed the 
Thames into Essex, where he was welcomed by Lord 
Capel, Sir Charles Lucas, Sir George Lisle, and other 
gentlemen and officers of name, who with a considerable 
levy were in arms to support the men of Kent. The 
royalists now formed a body of about 3000 horse and 
foot, "with officers," says Clarendon, "enough to have 
commanded a very good army." Wholly incompetent 
as this force must have proved to encounter Fairfax in 
the field, it appeared to Goring sufficient to maintain 
itself in a position of strength until the result of the other 


movements for the king could be ascertained. With this 
purpose he threw himself into Colchester : the town was 
without any regular defence ; but Goring, relying on 
his own resources and the constancy of his gallant ca- 
valiers, hastily erected works before the avenues, and 
bade defiance to the parliamentarians, who presently made 
their appearance. 

Forty thousand troops was the number for which Ha- 
milton succeeded in extorting a vote from the Scottish 
parliament, in the midst of the fiercest opposition from 
Argyle and the faction of the Kirk; but when, in July, 
the army mustered on the southern frontier, it did not 
exceed one-third of that amount, and many even of these 
had been brought to their standards by force, in some 
instances not without bloodshed; they were besides ill 
provided with arms and ammunition. At length Hamilton 
announced to Sir Marmaduke Langdale and Sir Philip 
Musgrave, who had agreed to co-operate with him in the 
north of England, that his preparations were nearly com- 
pleted, and desired them to fulfil their engagements. His 
orders were promptly and successfully obeyed. At dawn, 
on a market-day in Berwick, a hundred cavaliers, with 
Langdale at their head, deployed from the bridge-foot on 
the English side, and being joined by a party simulta- 
neously collected in the town, took such quiet possession 
of the place, that ere an hour had elapsed the drawbridge 
was again lowered, the ports opened, and the market 
proceeded without farther interruption. At the same time, 
and with equal facility, Carlisle was seized by Musgrave. 
The loyal inhabitants of Northumberland, and the adjoin- 
ing counties, instantly appeared in arms ; and Langdale 


was preparing to lead them against Lambert, the par- 
liament's general in the north, when he was interrupted 
by directions and entreaties from Hamilton, that nothing 
more might be done till the Scottish army had come 
up, for fear of farther exasperating the jealousy of the 

It was on the 8th that the Scots, preceded by rumours 
which at least tripled their numbers, crossed the border. 
Monroe, however, the Scottish general in Ireland, having 
wafted home his veterans, 3,000 strong, followed in the 
rear, whilst Langdale, with 4,000 gallant English, who 
had staked their all on the issue, led the van by the 
appointment of the duke, who himself assumed the chief 
command. A determined movement on London might 
have crushed the independents, and saved the king ; for 
Cromwell yet lay before the walls of Pembroke, Fairfax 
and Ireton were busy at the siege of Colchester, and 
Lambert, after skirmishing with Langdale, had retreated 
before him, soliciting aid from Cromwell. But if Hamil- 
ton's courage and ability were equal to the enterprise he 
had undertaken, he was restrained by party policy, and the 
jealousies and disputes of the camp. Forty days had 
elapsed before this luckless armament had completed a 
march of eighty miles. The main body then attained the 
banks of the Ribble, near Preston in Lancashire ; Lang- 
dale being still far in advance, while Monroe, with the 
rearguard, lay thirty miles off at Kirby, in Westmore- 

Cromwell, seldom so long held in check, had at length 
succeeded in reducing Pembroke, and had taken Poyer 
and his brave associates Langhorne and Powell. He 


instantly marched northward, and, forming a junction 
with Lambert at Knaresborough, determined to attack 
the invaders with the advantage afforded him by their 
straggling march. Sir Marmaduke, on whom the whole 
strength of the roundheads fell at once, was forced, after 
a stout resistance, to give way before their numbers and 
impetuosity. Retiring to the entrance of a narrow road 
which led to Preston, the cavaliers obstinately disputed the 
ground for six hours, against overpowering odds, without 
the smallest support from their allies. At the entrance to 
the town they were joined by Hamilton, with his guard of 
horse and a few officers, but in such disorder as merely to 
add to the confusion of the retreat. In the streets the fight 
was resumed, and continued to the bridge, over which 
Bayley, with the Scottish foot, had just marched. At 
this point the contest was again hotly renewed, Crom- 
well's infantry and " the Lancashire regiments being" (in 
the words of the lieutenant-general's animated despatch) 
"long engaged at push of pike. At length," he con- 
tinues, "they were beaten from .the bridge, and our 
horse and foot following them, killed many, and took 
divers prisoners, and we possessed the bridge and a few 
houses there, where we lay that night, the enemy being 
drawn up within musket-shot of us." This refers to such 
of the wearied and overmatched English as still kept 
together, for the Scots were by this time in rapid retreat. 
Nothing could exceed the dismay and disorder of this 
night-march, the roads being bad, the weather rainy, 
and the whole army distracted with terror of the victorious 
foe. With the morning the pursuit was again re- 
newed, and continued to Warrington, where Bayley, 


though strongly posted upon a bridge, in command of 
6,000 men, surrendered to Cromwell without a blow. The 
duke, in the meantime, accompanied by his principal 
officers and a few troops of cavalry, had wandered to 
Uttoxeter, where falling in with a party of the Lord 
Grey of Groby's men 5 whom Cromwell's vigilance had 
roused to the pursuit, he yielded himself to their mercy, 
with his own hand stripping off his scarf, george, and 
sword, and resigning them to the officer in command. 
Langdale shared the fate of his unfortunate commander. 
Having disbanded his remaining followers, he was taken 
in a village inn near Nottingham, where, in disguise, 
he had sought shelter. Never was victory so complete 
obtained at smaller cost ; for after the dispersion of the 
English under Langdale, not fifty men fell on the side of 
the victors ; whilst of the Scots, except the division under 
Monroe, and the stragglers who succeeded in joining 
him, none recrossed the border. Such was the dis- 
graceful issue of an expedition, in the van of which, on 
its setting forth, its vain leader is described as marching 
"with his life-guard and trumpeters before him, all in 
scarlet cloaks full of silver lace, in great state, with 
standards and equipage like a prince !" While the par- 
liament were suspending those dishonoured standards in 
Westminster Hall, and offering public thanksgiving for 
their victory, Cromwell followed up the disastrous blow 
by a march upon Edinburgh, to extinguish the remaining 
power of the Hamiltonians. 

Not less disgraceful, in its degree, proved an enterprise 
undertaken at the same time by the Earl of Holland,, who, 
though implicated in all the measures of the presby- 


terians, had sufficient interest to procure a commission 
from Paris to raise an army for the king. Affecting 
scorn of all precaution against the independents, he 
openly made his house in London the general rendezvous 
of the royalists ; and, on the same day on which the 
Scots moved towards England, he also, at the head of a 
party of 500 cavaliers in warlike array, several of them 
noblemen and gentlemen of the highest quality, marched 
out of the city, and fixed his quarters at Kingston in 
Surrey. On the second day, through the negligence of 
his chief military officer, Dalbier, the earl's party was 
surprised, and dispersed by Colonel Rich's horse. At 
St. Neot's, whither he fled with about a hundred fol- 
lowers, he was a second time attacked, and taken. 
Dalbier was slain, and with him the son of Sir Ke- 
nelm Digby; but the most lamented loss in this con- 
temptible insurrection was that of Lord Francis Villiers, 
the Duke of Buckingham's brother, who fell, refusing 
quarter, in the affray at Kingston. The duke himself 
escaped into the Netherlands, and the earl had leisure, 
during a long imprisonment in Warwick Castle, to brood 
over the rashness of this attempt to retrieve what 
nothing could have retrieved his reputation as a loyal 
subject of the king. 

During these disastrous transactions, Fairfax, with 
Ireton as nominally second in command, but in reality 
supreme, was prosecuting the siege of Colchester. The 
particulars of this siege still survive in the popular re- 
membrance ; in the journal printed by Rushworth, and in 
other authentic accounts, it abounds in painful and 
stirring incident. Indefatigable in exertion, of heroic 


bravery, patient of the extremest privation, the devoted 
band who there rallied round Goring, have consecrated 
with the odour of loyalty that otherwise homely town. 
For many weeks, abjuring all thoughts of a surrender, 
they fought cheerfully, surrounded by famine and con- 
flagration ; because they could not be persuaded, that 
while the heart of the nation was yearning for the king's 
return, while the royal standard was actually floating, 
or ready to be raised, over half England, while an 
army, which they fondly believed both brave and devoted 
to the cause, was advancing towards the capital, they would 
be ultimately left unsuccoured within the walls they had so 
well defended in his name. One after another, however, 
these hopes were extinguished by the successes of the 
republican army, or by the deplorable incapacity and 
mismanagement of the king's friends. The discomfiture 
of the Scots closed the door against hope from arms. 
Another prospect of relief might indeed remain: the 
presbyterian party had for a time recovered its influence 
and courage ; and the parliament, once more under their 
management, had repealed the vote of no more addresses, 
and resolved to open a treaty with the king in the Isle 
of Wight. But men who were reduced to live on the 
putrid flesh of horses, and on more disgusting substances, 
and could not calculate upon a scanty supply even of 
such food for to-morrow, were unable to wait the issue 
of a tedious negotiation. They offered Fairfax to capi- 
tulate; who answered, that the common soldiers might 
expect quarter, but that the officers must surrender at 
discretion. No alternative remained but to agree to these 
terms, or perish. They accepted them ; and while Fair- 



fax's council deliberated on their fate, were required to 
assist its deliberations by furnishing a list of all the 
names of the captives. Presently afterwards a guard 
was sent to conduct to execution Sir George Lisle, 
Sir Charles Lucas, and a Florentine gentleman, called 
in the histories Sir Bernard Gascoigne, but whose true 
name was Guasconi, whom the council had selected 
to die, "for the example of others, and that the peace 
of the kingdom might no more be disturbed in that 
manner." Lucas, the first to suffer, tearing open his 
doublet, exclaimed to the musketeers who were drawn up 
in readiness, " Fire, rebels !" and instantly fell. Lisle ran to 
him, kissed his dead body, and turning to the soldiers, 
desired them to advance nearer. One of them replied : 
"Fear not, sir, we shall hit you." "Friends," he an- 
swered, smiling, "I have been nearer when you have 
missed me." Guasconi, as a foreigner, was pardoned. 
Lord Capel, and the remaining prisoners of note, sent to 
Fairfax while this tragedy was in progress, entreating 
that either it might be forborne, or that as they had all 
alike been guilty, if guilt there were, they might all die 
together ; a request which Capel afterwards addressed in 
person, for himself, to Ireton ; but the council choosing 
to reserve him and Goring for a different fate, they were 
sent to Windsor Castle, and afterwards committed to the 

To the history of the miserable series of disasters by 
which the second civil war was precipitated to a close, 
it would be merely adding a congenial page, were we to 
trace the movements of that portion of the fleet whose 
revolt was hailed as a bright omen by the royalists. The 


intrigues of courtiers without a court, the absence of 
command, where all sought to be commanders, above 
all, the want of money to procure stores and pro- 
visions, quenched, ere it had blazed to any purpose, 
the enthusiasm of the seamen. Six weeks the Prince of 
Wales, who had nominally taken the command, lay idly 
upon the English coast, without even attempting the 
release of his royal father, from a captivity become 
every day more fearful both in its sufferings and its 
prospects. The commerce of London was intercepted 
by the royalists, and the captured vessels again given 
up in return for petty sums or dubious promises of 
adherence; but Warwick, now reinstated in his com- 
mand, was at sea with a force little inferior to the prince's, 
and the prudent citizens determined to abide the result 
of a collision between the hostile fleets. During two 
days the royalists offered battle, which, however, the 
presbyterian admiral avoided: on the next, Charles's 
factious council persuaded him to return to the coast 
of Holland. Thither he was afterwards followed by 
Warwick, but at a distance which intimated still an un- 
willingness to engage. 



CROMWELL'S " dearest Robin " was entirely won over, 
and performed his part with admirable fidelity to his 
employers. Except confinement to a single apartment, 
nothing was wanting to constitute the king's condition 
one of strict captivity. Four soldiers selected for their 
devotedness to the army, were intrusted with the imme- 
diate charge of his person ; of whom two, succeeding to 
the task by rotation, were constantly present with him. 
Djiring his meals, at his public devotions, and in such 
recreations as could be had within the narrow limits of 
his prison a game at bowls, or a walk upon the 
walls of Carisbrooke, Charles was still accompanied 
by his keepers ; when he retired to the seclusion of 
his private chamber, one of them took his post as sen- 
tinel at either door. These irksome restraints, however, he 
was enabled to bear with more than his habitual patience; 
for adversity had supplied him with the considerateness of 
self-knowledge, and opened in his heart sources of latent 
sympathy with his fellow-men ; and in return he had the 
consolation of meeting, in this extremity of his fortunes, 
with instances of devotedness, more generous, if not more 
sincere, than he had known in his days of prosperity. 


Firebrace, a discarded page, contrived to get himself 
occasionally employed by one of the warders to keep 
watch at the door of the king's bed-chamber, and at 
such times, by conversing with him and by passing and 
receiving papers through a crevice in the wainscot, 
supplied the royal captive with information respecting 
the progress of affairs without, and assisted him to 
maintain a constant correspondence with the queen, 
the princes, and the leading royalists in England 
and Scotland. Osborne, who officiated as gentleman 
usher, and in that capacity held the king's gloves at 
meal-time, likewise kept up a secret intelligence with 
him by means of letters concealed within the fingers. It 
was this person who denounced the attempt of Rolfe, 
captain of the guard at the castle, to carry off and 
destroy the king. Pretending to be persuaded by Rolfe, 
who sought to engage him as an accomplice, he purposed 
to enable Charles to avail himself of this opportunity to 
escape ; but the design failed, in consequence of Rolfe's 
suspicions being roused; and Hammond, presenting him- 
self in the king's chamber, found the royal prisoner in bed, 
but the iron bar of the window by which he had intend- 
ed to escape sawn through, and removed from its place. 

The measures of the constitutional or presbyterian 
party in the parliament towards an accommodation with 
the king, proceeded with a degree of dilatoriness strangely 
at variance with the urgency of the case, and the rapidity 
of events without. At length Cromwell's victory over 
the Scots stimulated them to greater activity, and on the 
15th of September, fifteen commissioners, five lords and 
ten commoners, appointed to conduct the negotiations, on 


their part, met Charles at Newport. A numerous body 
of the king's friends, including several bishops, his 
chaplains, lawyers, and such privy counsellors as had 
taken no part in the war against the parliament, were 
permitted to attend and in private assist him with their 
advice; but not to take any part in the debates, which 
were sustained by the king alone in person. From the 
18th of September to the 27th of November, 1648, the 
discussions were lengthened out. Daily throughout that 
long period, a contest of arguments on the most im- 
portant political and religious subjects was carried on by 
Charles ; in the course of which the eminent and prac- 
tised statesmen opposed to him were struck, not more 
by the clearness of his intellect, his readiness in debate, 
and the extent of his information, than by the mild- 
ness and dignity of his deportment. Sir Harry Vane, 
who represented the independent or republican party at 
the conferences, and had been foremost among those 
who affected to regard the king as a weak-minded person, 
now acknowledged that he had been deceived ; for that 
he found him " a man of great parts and abilities." 
" The king is much changed," observed the Earl of 
Salisbury, another of the commissioners, to Sir Philip 
Warwick ; " he is extremely improved of late." " No," 
replied Sir Philip, " he was always so, but you are now at 
last sensible of it." Changed he was indeed, outwardly; for 
the loyal hearts gathered round him on that occasion 
were deeply grieved by the traces of suffering and anxiety 
manifest in his appearance. 

The pertinacious obstinacy of the presbyterians 
(if not in part assumed, in order to convince their 


opponents of their courage and consistency), appears, 
when politically viewed, scarcely less astonishing than 
any other particular in the extraordinary series of incidents 
which our subject has brought under consideration. Of 
the rigour of their former propositions, as presented at 
Newcastle and Hampton Court, nothing whatever was 
abated; as before at Uxbridge, the commissioners were 
not empowered to concede, or to modify any article, but 
were obliged to submit every proposition of the king's, 
which they judged worthy of consideration, to be debated 
at Westminster. Thus, before any thing had been con- 
cluded, Fairfax's army, augmented by several regiments 
sent home by Cromwell, flushed with victory and de- 
manding revenge and empire, had already returned to 
the vicinity of the metropolis : Hammond received, 
but disregarded, an order to confine the king again 
in Carisbrooke Castle ; while the republicans were every 
where stimulating the people to oppose any settlement 
not sealed with the blood of their king. The result 
of the treaty, wrung from the unfortunate prince by 
the dire necessity of his position, rather than by 
the argument and persuasions of the other side, 
was the surrender of the militia with every other es- 
sential power and prerogative of royalty ; but on two 
points he remained immoveable. Required to con- 
sent to the abolition of episcopacy, without the tole- 
ration even of his own or his consort's private worship, 
and to abandon his friends and adherents to the ven- 
geance of his victors, he refused. In vain Hollis and the 
other presbyterians implored him, with tears in their 
eyes, to concede every thing. Charles took leave of the 


commissioners with unshaken firmness of purpose, though 
with unwonted sadness. " My lords," he addressed them, 
in a tone of voice which drew tears from his attendants, 
"I believe we shall scarce ever see each other again; 
but God's will be done ! I have made my peace with 
him, and shall undergo without fear whatever he may 
suffer men to do to me. My lords, you cannot but know 
that in my fall and ruin you see your own, and that also 
near you. I pray God send you better friends than I have 
found. I am fully informed of the carriage of them who 
plot against me and mine ; but nothing affects me so 
much as the feeling I have of the sufferings of my 
subjects, and the mischief that hangs over my three 
kingdoms, drawn upon them by those who, upon pre- 
tences of good, violently pursue their own interests 
and ends." In a similar strain he concluded an ad- 
mirable letter addressed to Prince Charles, detailing the 
progress and close of the negotiations, and conveying 
his last counsels to the prince : " We know not but this 
may be the last time we may speak to you, or the world, 
publicly : we are sensible into what hands we are fallen ; 
and yet we bless God we have those inward refreshments 
the malice of our enemies cannot perturb. We have 
learned to busy ourself by retiring into ourself; and 
therefore can the better digest what befalls us ; not 
doubting but God's providence will restrain the power of 
our enemies, and turn their fierceness to his praise. . . . 
If God gives you success, use it humbly and far from re- 
venge. If he restore you to your right upon hard condi- 
tions, whatever you promise, keep. These men who 
have forced laws which they were bound to preserve, will 
u 2 


find their triumphs full of troubles. Do not you think 
any thing in this world worth the obtaining by foul and 

unjust means As we direct you to weigh what 

we here recommend to you, so we assure you we do not 
more affectionately pray for you, to whom we are a 
natural parent, than we do that the ancient glory and 
renown of this nation be not buried in irreligion and 
fanatic humour ; that all our subjects, to whom we are a 
politic parent, may have such sober thoughts as to seek 
their peace in the orthodox profession of the Christian 
religion, as it was established since the reformation in 
this kingdom, and not in new revelations ; and that the 
ancient laws, with the interpretation according to the 
known practice, may once again be a hedge about them." 
In obedience to an order which he had received from 
Fairfax to resign the charge of the king, and repair to 
him at Windsor, Hammond departed with the com- 
missioners, leaving Charles in the custody of two officers, 
of whom one was Rolfe. The next day secret intelli- 
gence was conveyed to the king that a military force 
was on its way to seize and once more place him in the 
immediate custody of the army. His attendants conjured 
him to save his life by instant flight, for which every 
thing was arranged, and the night which succeeded 
favourable; but Charles, previously to the treaty, had 
given his parole not to quit the island within twenty days 
after its termination, nor would he listen to any ar- 
guments tending to excuse the violation of his word. 
Early the following morning (the 30th of November), he 
was roused from sleep by a summons to depart. A troop 
of horse and a company of foot, conducted him from the 


island, and at noon he found himself a close prisoner in 
Hurst Castle, a comfortless block-house on a narrow un- 
wholesome line of beach, projecting two or three miles 
from the coast of Hampshire. 

The last deadly struggle between the army and the 
parliament, begun by this final seizure of the king, was 
maintained by the latter with a courage, the issue indeed 
of despair, which recalls the better times of that assembly. 
Ten days before the conclusion of the treaty, a remon- 
strance against it was presented by the army to the House 
of Commons. Signed by Fairfax and all his officers, this 
terrible paper, the production, it is said, of Ireton, em- 
bodied, in explicit language, all those menaces and 
suggestions which, a few months earlier, were por- 
tentously whispered in the dark conclaves of the agi- 
tators, and for the untimely utterance of which blood 
was shed at Ware by those who now proclaimed the same 
views to the world as their determined objects. It called 
for justice on the king as the capital source of all the 
public grievances, and prescribed a democratic constitu- 
tion for the kingdom. The presbyterians parried by 
successive large majorities this attempt to overwhelm 
them. A second more violent declaration was sent 
in, denouncing the majority of the house as apostates 
from their former principles, and threatening its purgation 
as the only means, should they persist, of putting an end 
to the treaty. The house calmly proceeded in hearing 
the commissioners from the Isle of Wight, who were then 
making their report, and at its close resolved to take into 
consideration the concessions made by the king. The 
debate, unparalleled hitherto, in the House of Commons, 


for its length and vehemence, terminated, in spite 
of the efforts of Vane and the independents, by a 
vote, carried on a division by a majority of 140 to 104, 
that those concessions furnished a sufficient ground for 
the future settlement of the kingdom. Meanwhile the 
army, in anticipation of this result, and in perfect con- 
tempt of a vote of the houses ordering that the troops 
should not approach the metropolis, had marched upon 
the city, and were distributed at Whitehall, the Mews, 
St. James's, and in the adjacent suburbs. Early 
the next morning, the city guard was withdrawn from 
the houses of parliament, and the posts were occupied 
by a regiment of horse and another of foot, under the 
command of Sir Hardress Waller and Colonel Pride, 
"the drayman" as he was called. This officer stationed 
himself at the door of the House of Commons, with 
a list in his hands, containing the names of members 
whom a committee of republicans had previously marked 
as hostile, or doubtful ; by his side stood Lord Grey 
of Groby, to assist in identifying these persons as they 
made their appearance. About one-third of the presby- 
terian majority of 150 were by this process arrested, and 
placed in confinement ; and the same course being pur- 
sued, on the two following days, for the exclusion of the 
remainder, the number of members was reduced to about 
fifty, all known friends to "the cause." This extraor- 
dinary outrage, perpetrated in the name of freedom 
and justice, was long familiarly known as " Pride's 
Purge:" in the same quaint dialect of a rude age, the 
contemptible residue that usurped the name of parlia- 
ment, bore the equally well-remembered appellation of 


"the Rump." Cromwell, all whose movements were timed 
with consummate judgment, did not arrive in London till 
the second day after the purification of the Commons. 
It was sufficient that his spirit, imbibed, in some cases un- 
consciously, by others, shaped the proceedings of the army, 
and ruled events in subservience to his ends ; his personal 
interference he reserved for seasons when the energy or 
the acuteness of his subordinates should be at fault. 
Enough, for the present, that the sword waved openly 
over the legislative benches. He cared not, that men 
should remember how he had long before predicted the 
future necessity of such an act of violence to be performed 
by the army ; yet he had not hesitated to ascribe it, now that 
it had taken place, to the direct inspiration of the Almighty ! 
He was conducted by the soldiery with acclamations of 
joy to the royal apartments in Whitehall, and on the same 
day he received the thanks of the parliament for his 
eminent services : the houses then resolved on an ad- 
journment of some days, to afford time for the council of 
the army, now in effect the government, to debate the 
more momentous question concerning the mode of pro- 
ceeding against the king. 

That Charles's life was to be made a sacrifice, had 
already been determined. Several motives, springing from 
the respective tempers and views of the men, had con- 
spired to unite this band of daring and enthusiastic spirits, 
acting in the name of a nation which viewed their deeds 
with astonishment and abhorrence, in the terrible reso- 
lution to offer to the world the spectacle, then unexampled 
in its annals, of a sovereign prince arraigned before a 
tribunal of his subjects, and led forth to public execution. 


Some few fell into the design from policy ; they had 
offended beyond the rational hope of forgiveness, and 
now covered their just dread of retribution under an 
exaggerated alarm at the king's want of good faith in his 
engagements, should he ever be restored to power; or 
sought to avert the eyes of justice and the world 
from the guilt themselves had hitherto incurred, by 
rendering the whole nation accessary to a deed which 
might paralyze vengeance itself with horror. Others 
were actuated by malignant thirst of revenge on one whom 
they had so long regarded as an enemy; again, others 
were impelled by a burning desire to carry out some 
generous, perhaps, but visionary scheme of govern- 
ment : and both these classes justified their ends, wholly 
or in part, on religious grounds ; which, in wild variety, 
constituted, in those times, the real or pretended basis of 
almost all men's more serious public actions. It was 
held by many that historical incidents in the Old 
Testament, or the oracles of the Hebrew prophets, dis- 
torted by ignorance and misapplied by passion, furnished, 
not hints and examples alone, but authoritative rules and 
precepts, for the political conduct of Englishmen ; and 
that, to shrink from any act necessary to the establish- 
ment of the kingdom of Christ and his saints upon the 
ruins of temporal authorities, was to incur the terrible 
execrations denounced against the enemies of God. Of 
such enthusiasts, Harrison was among the fiercest ; Hut- 
chinson and Ludlow among the most honest and sober- 
minded. "I did it all," declared the first, "according to 
the best of my understanding, desiring to make the re- 
vealed will of God in his holy scriptures my guide." 


Ludlow has left on record, as his ample justification, 
that he was fully "persuaded that an accommodation 
with the king was unsafe for the people of England, 
and unjust and wicked in the nature of it. The former, 
besides that it was obvious to all men, the king him- 
self had proved, by the duplicity of his dealing \vith 
the parliament, which manifestly appeared in his own 
papers, taken at Naseby and elsewhere. Of the latter 
I was convinced by the express words of God's law; 
'that blood defileth the land, and the land cannot be 
cleansed of the blood that is shed therein, but by 
the blood of him that shed it.' (Numb. xxxv. 33.) 
And therefore I could not consent to the counsels of 
those who contented to leave the guilt of so much blood 
upon the nation, and thereby to draw down the just 
vengeance of God upon us all, when it was most evident 
that the war had been occasioned by the invasion of our 
rights, and open breach of our constitution, on the 
king's part." Similar is the vindication offered by Mrs. 
Hutchinson of her husband's conduct as a regicide: 
" Although he did not then believe but it might one day 
come to be again disputed among men, yet both he and 
others thought they could not refuse it without giving up 
the people of God, whom they had led forth and engaged 
themselves unto by the oath of God, into the hands of 
God's and their enemies ; and therefore he cast himself 
upon God's protection, acting according to the dictates 
of a conscience which he had sought the Lord to guide." 
As to Cromwell, there can be no reasonable doubt, that 
the deep under-current of his mind took the same course 
as early, and maintained it as steadily, as that of his 


most zealous confederates, however he might find it 
expedient to conceal his settled purpose under affected 
indifference, or a hypocritical show of sympathy for the 
king. Before he set out on his campaign in the second 
Avar, he arranged several meetings of the leading repub- 
licans, both in the parliament and army, expressly to 
ascertain their sentiments regarding the disposal of 
Charles. He listened to the arguments on either side, 
but was too wily to make the same confession of his own 
views which he had succeeded in extracting from others. 
His object being attained, he broke off the conference 
with one of those coarse practical jests, by means of 
which, as on other occasions by his ready command of 
tears, he was accustomed at once to stifle the intensity 
of his own feelings and resolves, and to baffle and 
mislead those who might seek to fathom them. "He 
professed himself," says Ludlow, " unresolved ; and 
having learned what he could of the principles and in- 
tentions of those present, he took up a cushion and flung 
it at my head, and then ran down the stairs. The next 
day, passing me in the house, he told me he was convinced 
of the desirableness of what was proposed, but not of 
the feasibleness of it." Even after the king had been 
sent for to Westminster to undergo a public trial, this 
farce of hesitation and perplexity was still kept up. A 
private conference took place at this time between Crom- 
well and the keepers -of the great seal, Whitelocke and 
Widdrington, whom he had summoned to Whitehall to 
deliberate on some plan for the settlement of the nation. 
At these interviews with his lawyers, Cromwell was lying 
in one of the king's sumptuous beds; and in this posture 


he likewise gave audience to other persons, of the highest 

Subsequently, in an interview with the commissioners 
sent from Scotland to protest against putting the king to 
death, though still pretending to be haunted with doubts, 
and assuming still the language of moderation, he spoke 
more explicitly ; not surprised, however, into plainness 
by the complexure of the argument, but considering 
that now was the time for the great leader to declare 
himself: "Cromwell entered into a long discourse on 
the nature of the regal power, according to the principles 
of Mariana and Buchanan ; he thought a breach of trust 
in a king ought to be punished more than any other 
crime whatsoever. As to their covenant, they swore to 
the preservation of the king's person in defence of the 
true religion ; if then it appeared that the settlement of 
the true religion was obstructed by the king, so that 
they could not come at it but by putting him out of the 
way, then their oath could not bind them to the pre* 
serving him any longer, Their covenant bound them to 
bring all malignants, incendiaries, and enemies to the 
cause to condign punishment: and was not this to be 
executed impartially ? What were all those on whom 
public justice had been done, especially those who suffered 
for joining with Montrose, but small offenders, acting by 
commission from the king, who was therefore the prin- 
cipal, and so the most guilty ?" 

It appears to have been " the learned and witty " 
Marten, who, at the meetings which were held in this 
interval, first uttered in plain terms the advice, that 
"they should serve the king as the English did his 


Scotch grandmother cut off his head." It was adopted. 
The purification of the Commons had secured the cer- 
tainty of concurrence on their part. On the 23rd of 
December, a committee of thirty-eight persons was ap- 
pointed to prepare charges for the impeachment. In 
order to give their design some resemblance to the 
forms and principle of law, the house voted, "that by 
the fundamental law of the land it is treason for the 
king of England to levy war against the parliament and 
kingdom." To the surprise of the independents, when 
the vote was sent up to the Lords for their concurrence, 
that house, which had so long been sunk into the tamest 
subserviency, rejected it without a dissentient voice, 
though twice the usual number of members voted. Such 
a revival of courage was the more creditable, as this vote 
was carried, not only amidst the clamours of a furious 
and triumphant soldiery, but under a shower of petitions 
for the king's destruction, which the republicans had 
procured to be sent in from the common council of 
London, several other towns, and some counties in 
England. This, however, was the last effort of* that 
expiring assembly. From four to six members met occa- 
sionally for a few weeks longer, when the Commons 
resolved that the House of Peers was useless and dan- 
gerous, and ought to be abolished. In fact, its existence, 
as well as that of the crown, was incompatible with the 
next vote of the other house, " that the people are, under 
God, the origin of all just power," and with the declara- 
tions which they grounded upon it, " that the House of 
Commons of England, being chosen by and representing 
the people, have the supreme authority," and thence, 


" that whatsoever is enacted and declared for law by the 
Commons in parliament, hath the force of a law, and the 
people are concluded thereby, though the consent of the 
king and the peers be not had thereto." The same day 
an ordinance passed the Commons for constituting a high 
court of justice for the trial of the king. The number of 
commissioners named in it was a hundred and thirty-five, 
including all the great officers of the army, four peers, 
the speaker and the other principal members of the ex- 
purgated House of Commons. Only one great name 
among the king's enemies was absent, that of Vane, 
who disapproved of this mode of disposing of his person, 
and withdrew from London till after the execution. 
The twelve judges, ten of whom had received their 
appointments from the parliament, unanimously refused 
to be of the commission, declaring its whole purpose 
and constitution to be contrary to every principle of 
English law. Whitelocke and his colleague Widdrington, 
the most eminent lawyers of the time, also refused to 
sit on so unhallowed a tribunal. 

While these events were in progress, Charles had 
been conducted, under the escort of Harrison and a body 
of horse, to Windsor. There he enjoyed the melancholy 
consolation of an interview with the Duke of Hamilton, 
now a state prisoner : there also, in that abode of illus- 
trious kings, he was made to drink the bitterest cup of 
humiliation, which, as a king, could be offered to his lips, 
when an order from the council of war forbad all farther 
observance towards him of humble deference and regal 
state : he was now only Charles Stuart, the traitor to 
the sovereign people. He felt this insult, less, probably, 


for itself than for its ominous significance: the end 
of all was now clearly in view, and with heroic patience 
he prepared himself to meet it. He too, except in 
the immediate presence of his self-elected judges, was 
willing to forget that he was born to wield a monarch's 
sceptre, and threw himself for support upon the com- 
mon stay of good men in adversity, practical religious 

Into the particulars of the king's trial we design 
not to enter : they are too numerous and great for the 
exhausted space marked out for this narrative ; and such 
of them as have not come down, embalmed by tradition 
in the hearts and memories of the people, have been 
made familiar as household words by many recent popular 
publications. The unaffected, imperturbable demeanour of 
the king, except when he smiled contemptuously at that 
passage in the arraignment, in which he was charged as 
" a tyrant, traitor, and murderer," the fearless loyalty 
of that noble lady, who, on the first day of the trial, 
twice startled the regicidal court, the insolent verbosity 
of " lord president " Bradshaw, the rational, consistent, 
and patriotic refusal of Charles to acknowledge the juris- 
diction of his illegal judges the mockery of proof the 
refusal of the king's entreaty, both previous to and after 
the delivery of the sentence, to be heard, the tears of 
the people, and the punishment of the poor soldier, who, 
amidst enforced cries of "justice !" from his companions, 
uttered a blessing on his king, and was silenced by a 
blow ; these incidents the children round every English 
cottage hearth repeat, while their fathers indignantly 
spurn the falsehood, that either the trial, or the awful 


act of blood which followed, was demanded by the people 
of England. 

The English loyalists were, as a party, wholly in- 
capable of arresting the tragical catastrophe. The great 
body of the people looked on and expected the terrible 
issue in mental prostration and bewilderment. The con- 
tinental kingdoms were not merely indifferent to the fall 
of monarchy in England, but had long since been paying 
their court to the anomalous authority rising on its ruins. 
Only the united provinces of Holland sent over am- 
bassadors to intercede for the life of their ally ; but they 
were not allowed to see the king, nor could they ob- 
tain an audience of the parliament until the axe of the 
executioner had first done its office. Reasons too pro- 
bable have been suggested, why even Charles's consort, 
Henrietta Maria, whose abhorred religion and impolitic 
advice had largely contributed to her husband's mis- 
fortunes, may have felt more coldly than became a wife, 
or even a good subject, at such a crisis. She wrote 
however to the parliament "a very passionate lamentation 
of the sad condition the king her husband was in, desiring 
that they would grant her a pass to come over to him ; 
offering to use all the credit she had with him that he 
might give them satisfaction. However, if they would 
not give her leave to perform any of those offices towards 
the public, she prayed that she might be permitted to 
perform the duty she owed him, and to be near him 
in the uttermost extremity." This letter, delivered by 
the ambassador of France, was laid aside unread. Nor 
was Prince Charles unmindful of his filial duty. It is said 
that Colonel John Cromwell, a cousin of the lieutenant- 


general, employed in the service of Holland, was 
commissioned by the prince to grant any conditions 
which his powerful kinsman might demand, if he would 
consent to preserve the king's life. He was encouraged 
to undertake this mission by the recollection of an as- 
surance given to him some time before by Oliver, that he 
would rather draw his sword in favour of the king than 
allow the republicans to make any attempt upon his 
person. How little reliance was to be placed on such 
assurances, had been seen in one of the debates con- 
nected with the disposal of the king's person, as late as 
January 9th, when Cromwell is affirmed to have uttered 
the following extraordinary speech: "Sir," said he, 
addressing the speaker, "if any man whatsoever have 
carried on this design of deposing the king, and disin- 
heriting his posterity, or if any man have still such a 
design, he must be the greatest traitor and rebel in the 
THIS UPON us, I cannot but submit to Providence, 
though I am not yet prepared to give you my advice." 
The envoy, having with difficulty made his way to his great 
cousin's presence, delivered his message with so much zeal 
and earnestness, and urged so forcibly the advantage 
which would accrue to Cromwell himself, his family, and 
posterity, from compliance at the same time showing 
his credentials, and a carte-blanche with which he had 
been supplied, that Oliver is said to have hesitated; 
but finally he put him off with a message, that both 
himself and the council of officers had been seeking God, 
and it was resolved by them all that the king must die. 
Such a paper was certainly enclosed in a letter addressed 


by the prince to Fairfax, intimating the price at which 
he desired to purchase his father's life from the grandees 
of the army. They might themselves fill up the blank 
paper with the conditions : be they what they might, 
they were already granted ; the seal and signature of the 
prince were already affixed. It may be, that Fairfax's 
refusal to pass the terrific gulf, on the edge of which he 
now stood, was grounded as much on this offer as on 
any new-born moral firmness in his own nature. He 
seems to have induced those associates also, whom he 
had hitherto suffered to bear him on without resistance, 
to pause : it was, however, but for a moment ; this letter 
also, when read, was laid aside. All the boon that 
Seymour, the messenger who brought it, could obtain, 
was permission, at the last moment, to deliver a second 
letter from the prince into the king's hands, and to receive 
his farewell instructions for his son. 

It was on the 27th that sentence was pronounced upon 
the king. The same evening he sent a message to the 
commissioners, requesting that his children might be 
brought to him, and that he might also be attended 
by the bishop of London, Dr. Juxon. The next day, 
Sunday, he spent at St. James's, where he heard a 
sermon and received the holy sacrament from the bishop ; 
and in conference with him, or in private devotion, 
passed that evening and the greater part of the following 
day. His nephew the Prince Elector, the Duke of 
Richmond, the Marquess of Hertford, and some others 
of the nobility, came to pay their last duty to their 
sovereign. " Excuse me,'' he said, " to them, and to any 
others that may express the same desire. My time is 


short and precious ; I hope they will not take it ill that 
none have access to me but my children. The best 
office they can do me now is to pray for me." Charles 
was now wholly subdued to his condition: he had 
sought the strength he needed, in the spirit of Christian 
submission and forgiveness ; and he found it, in a degree 
fully proportionate to the greatness of his need. One 
pang alone remained, the taking leave of his children, 
the Princess Elizabeth, and the Duke of Gloucester. 
The princess being just old enough to be sensible of her 
father's condition, wept excessively ; the duke, too young 
fully to apprehend the cause, wept with her. Charles 
raised them from where they knelt, and, placing them on 
his knees, gave them such advice as was suitable to their 
years, and the solemnity of the occasion. He bade the 
lady Elizabeth tell her mother that his thoughts had 
never strayed from her, and that his love should be the 
same to the last ; and begged her to remember to tell 
her brother James, whenever she should see him, that it 
was his father's last desire that he should no longer look 
on Prince Charles as his elder brother only, but should 
be obedient to him as his sovereign, and that they should 
both love one another, and forgive their father's enemies. 
" But," said the king, " sweet-heart, you will forget 
this ?" "No," she replied, "I will never forget it whilst 
I live." He prayed her not to grieve for him, for he 
should die a glorious death ; it being for the laws and 
liberties of the land, and for maintaining the true pro- 
testant religion. " Forgive those people, therefore," he 
said, " as I forgive them, but never trust them ; for they 
have been false to me, and to those that gave them 


Ipower, and I fear also to their own souls." He then 
desired her to read Bishop Andrewes's Sermons, Hooker's 
Ecclesiastical Polity, and Archbishop Laud's book against 
Fisher, which would confirm her in a pious attachment 
to the church of England, and secure her against popery. 
Then addressing the little Gloucester, he said, " Sweet- 
heart, now they will cut off thy father's head'" Upon 
which words the child looking very stedfastly at him, 
" Mark, child," he continued, " what I say ; they will 
cut off my head, and perhaps make thee a king : but 
mark what I say you must not be a king so long as 
your brothers, Charles and James, live ; for they will cut 
off your brothers' heads when they can catch them, and 
cut off thy head, too, at last ; and therefore I charge you 
do not be made a king by them ;" at which the child said 
earnestly, " I will be torn in pieces first ! " This ready 
reply from one so young filled the king's eyes with tears 
of joy. In conclusion, he commanded them both to be 
obedient to their mother ; prayed God Almighty to bless 
them, and desired the princess to convey his blessing to 
the rest of her brothers and sisters, with commendations 
to all his friends; and dividing a few jewels among them, 
he kissed and again blessed them, and hastily, with an 
overflowing heart retired to his devotions. 

The commissioners likewise strictly employed Sunday 
in their devotions : they fasted, and prayed for a blessing 
on the commonwealth ; while Hugh Peters regaled the 
ears of the republicans with a sermon, on Psalm cxlix. 
6 8, &c. : " Let the high praises of God be in their 
mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hands, to 
execute vengeance on the heathen, and punishments 


upon the people ; to bind their kings with chains, and 
their nobles with fetters of iron ; to execute upon them 
the judgment written. Such honour have all his saints. 
Praise the Lord." The business of Monday was the 
drawing up and engrossing of the warrant for the king's 
execution "upon the morrow." Of the hundred and 
thirty-five commissioners, seventy-one was the largest 
number ever present at the trial. Forty-eight only 
appeared on the day when the king's execution was 
pronounced: fifty-nine have made their names "for ever 
memorable" by signing the warrant for his decapitation. 
We will not undertake, within the narrow space which 
circumstances have fixed for the conclusion of this 
narrative, to describe " the last scene of all " in the 
history of the most unfortunate Prince of a race marked 
for misfortune ; preferring, lest the current of the pre- 
sent writer's sympathies should have unwittingly run 
more often than he designed in favour of the royal 
victim, to close it in the words of authors more disposed, 
though in different degrees, to admire the gifted hero of 
the vast but fruitless revolution completed on the scaffold 
at Whitehall. 

" The mournful and tragic scene," writes Mr. Forster, 
"that was enacted on the 30th of January, 1649, in the 
open street fronting Whitehall, is familiar to every reader 
of history. Through the whole of that scene Charles 
bore himself with a dignified composure, and was to the 
last undisturbed, self-possessed, and serene. He addressed 
the crowd from the scaffold, forgave all his enemies, pro- 
tested that the war was not begun by him, declared that 
the people's right was only to have their life and goods 


their own, 'a share in the government being nothing 
pertaining to them,' and concluded with words which, 
perhaps, expressed a sincere delusion, that he * died the 
martyr of the people.' When his head fell, severed by 
the executioner at one blow, ' a dismal groan issued from 
the crowd :' 

' He nothing common did, or mean, 
Upon that memorable scene ; 

But with his keener eye 

The axe's edge did try : 
Nor called the gods, with vulgar spite, 
To vindicate his helpless right ; 

But bowed his comely head 

Down as upon a bed.' 

So, in a few years after, wrote a most generous ad- 
versary, Andrew Marvel, and in an ode to Oliver Cromwell 
himself. The lapse of two centuries has confirmed the 
poet's praise." 

Concerning Cromwell's share in the transactions of this 
extraordinary crisis, Mr. Noble, his admirer, but not his 
blind apologist, thus records his testimony : " His hypo- 
crisy to the public, and jocularity throughout the dreadful 
tragedy of the king's trial and execution (though great part 
of it was forced, and only a cover to hide the perturbation of 
his mind within), gave greater pain than the action itself. 
There might be the primary principle of nature, self- 
defence, to plead in his justification, at least extenuation, 
in putting the king to death, but none to indulge a vein 
of mirth and pleasantry in the misfortunes of any one, 
particularly a person of so high a degree, and who stood 
in so sacred a relation to him as his sovereign; yet, 


during the last scenes of the king's life, he talked jest- 
ingly, and acted buffoonery ; and this, too, when he was 
professing himself only guided by Providence, and la- 
menting the condition of his sovereign, whose lamentable 
fate he was fixing. It is certain that he went to feast 
his eyes upon the murdered king, and some say, put his 
finger to the neck, to feel whether it were entirely 
severed; and viewing the inside of the body, observed 
liow sound it was, and how well made for longevity. 
Bowtell, a private soldier, said, ' that Cromwell could not 
open the coffin with his staff, but taking the other's 
sword, effected it with the hilt of it;' while he was in- 
specting the body, Bowtell asking him what government 
they should have now, he said, ' the same that then was.' 
There was no excuse for this ; yet did he before, during 
the trial and execution, mock his Maker by hypocritical 
prayers ; and at those times and after, would shed tears 
for his master's unhappy situation and death." 

The author of a modern life of Cromwell, after citing 
the above passage from his predecessor, adds these just 
and temperate remarks : " The death of the king alienated 
for ever from Cromwell all the more moderate of the 
English people, who had continued to believe that a 
treaty with his majesty was not altogether impracticable. 
No one was any longer permitted to doubt that personal 
motives weighed more with the ambitious soldier than the 
love of country ; and that, in hastening the execution of 
his sovereign, he had yielded to the impulse of a selfish 
apprehension, rather than to the desire which he pro- 
fessed to entertain of vindicating the injured rights of his 
fellow-subjects. At the same time he brought dishonour 


upon the cause for which he had appeared in the field 
with so much advantage. He threw a stain upon the pa- 
triotism of others, who sincerely laboured to renew the 
constitution, and thereby to place on a firmer basis the 
privileges of the people and the just authority of the 
sovereign : and, by disgusting the nation with a tyranny 
more intolerable than any that had ever been inflicted by 
a legitimate prince, he paved the way for the restoration 
of the monarchy, in the same undefined and arbitrary 
form in which it originally descended to the House of 



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