Introduction of the Highlanders, and their severities "

in the West.-Murder of Sharp.Insurrection of
Bothwell Bridge - Suppressed by Monmouth ,
Duke of York's administration-- Act of succession,
and the test-Argyle's trial and escape.-Ryehouse
plot-Prostitution of Justice, Executions, Extortions,
Murders in the fields-Death and character of
Charles II.

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N N the marriage of the prince of Orange with BOOK

V the princess Mary, eldest daughter of the son duke of York, an alliance was hastily concluded pretext for

with Holland, in consequence of a transient dis-a-standing - gust at the French court. A large army was ap

pointed to be raised, and the king, if supported by the English parliament, was apparently determined

Vol. IV.


. 1678.

BOOK to consult for once the inclination of the people,

and the interest of the rest of Europe, by a war;
with France. But the popular party were alarmed
at an army of twenty thousand men, suddenly
raised within six weeks: they apprehended that
the military force with which they had intrusted
the court, was intended, not to prosecute the war
abroad, but to subvert their religion and their li-
berties at home. From late discoveries, it appears
indisputable that their apprehensions were just.
The duke of York, who considered his religion as
otherwise lost, had resumed the design of procur-
ing a large army, which he expected to command
in person, and by reducing the kingdom to sub-
jection, proposed to render his brother absolute,
and to secure his own precarious succession to the
throne.' The execution of this desperate design
was prevented by the combination of the popular
leaders with the court of France; and the army,
which was equally formidable to both, was dissolv-
ed by a secret treaty, or money transaction, be-
tween the latter and Charles.

..Sir John Dalrymple’s Memoirs, vol. i. p. 165—63-9.

oct. edit. “ The duke of York (says Barillon) believes himself “ lost as to his religion, if the present opportunity does not “ serve to bring England into subjection; it is a very bold enof terprise, and the success very doubtful. The king still wa“ vers upon carrying things to extremity; his humour is very “ repugnant to the design of changing the government. He “ is, nevertheless, drawn along by the duke of York and the “ high treasurer.” Td. 194.

From the coincidence of events, there is every BOOK

VIII. reason to believe, that the pretext which the league, with Holland afforded, to procure an army, had

had 1678. been sought in the measures purposely employed Scotland. in Scotland, to excite a revolt.2 Throughout the western counties, the landlords were required to enter into bonds, under the same penalties which the delinquents incurred, that neither their fami: lies, domestics, tenants, nor their servants, or others residing on their property, should withdraw from public worship; or adhere to conventicles; or succour field preachers and persons intercommun. ed. Their wives and children had frequented conventicles, from which they had themselves abstained; but they declined the bonds as illegal, and refused to become responsible for their tenants or servants, whom it was impossible to restrain. At the same time, they acknowledged the increase of conventicles to a scandalous excess, and offered to assist and protect the officers of justice in the exe

* Wodrow's information coincides with Barillon's; that he was informed by a person in whom he placed entire credit, and who was then (1679) at court, that it was concerted in the cabinet council, that all measures should be taken to exasperate the Scottish fanatics to some broil or other, that there might be a pretençe to keep up the standing forces; that Lauderdale was written to, and made acquainted with the design, and when he came to court, towards the end of October, the project of bringing down the highlanders was brought to a bearing; i. 454. Add to this, that the introduction of the highland host, as it was térmed, was by the express orders of the king. Id. 458,




BOOK cution of the laws. ' As the people dispersed, how

e ver, when the sermon was finished, without disa. turbance to the public peace, they recommended an unlimited indulgence, as the most efficacious method to reclaim them, and the only expedient to dissolve their conventicles; a proof that the proper remedy for the disorders of the times, though rejected by an outrageous government,

was sufficiently understood.3. Highland No sooner were the bonds of peace refused, than duced into the design to obtain a pretext for a standing army Jan. 25. was nianifest, and the western counties were re

host intro

the west.

presented and treated by Lauderdale, as in a state
of actual revolt. English troops were appointed
by Charles to march to the borders, and the Irish
forces to the opposite coasts. Six thousand law-
less highlanders were invited from their moun-
tains; and a previous indemnity was granted to
encourage every excess. The guards and militia
were dispatched with a train of artillery, and by
the express injunctions of Charles, an hostile army
of ten thousand men was introduced to suppress-
the insurrection of a country in profound repose.
As there was plunder every where, but no enemy
to be found, the highlanders overspread the de.
voted country; and their depredations, instead of
being restrained, were abetted and shared by their
'rapacious chiefs. The western counties were the
most industrious and populous; the people the

3 Wodrow, 451-7. Burnet, ii. 183.

most religious, if not the most civilized, were BOOK

VIII. abandoned to a part of the nation the most indi: gent and barbarous; of an unknown language, and 16 ferocious manners; instigated by hereditary prejudices, and addicted to habitual rapine and revenge. The country, oppressed and ravaged like a conquered province, was filled with extortions, deprédations, robberies, and more atrocious crimes. Neither age nor sex was exempt from outrage, and torture was freely employed to extort a confession of hidden wealth. The people were stripped and robbed even of their cloaths and furniture, which appeared invaluable to a rude banditti ; and the labours of the plough were suspended, and the horses seized, to transport the spoil to their hills.t

A committee of council attended the army, to General enforce the bonds. But the gentlemen, who ob-issued. served that the subscribers suffered indiscrimi. nately with themselves, persisted in their refusal, and were ignominiously disarmed, deprived of their saddle horses and swords, and subjected to a new species of legal persecution, An individual, by an application upon oath, might obtain a writ of lawburrows from a magistrate, to oblige another, of whose violence he was apprehensive, to furnish security for his good behaviour ; and thus a precaution used only against personal danger, was converted, by the most oppressive chicane, into 1.4 Id. Wodrow, i. 467-96. Law's Diary, MS. Air alone lost 16,000l. sterling.


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