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who believed that their former sufferings could BOOK never be avenged. From each example they per. ceived that the opinions were propagated which they attempted to suppress, and that the veneration for the covenant was cherished and encreased by the dying breath, and by the blood of numerous martyrs with which it was attested and sealed. But instead of remitting an unavaļling punishment, they transferred the execution to an early hour, at a distance from the city, to avoid the multitudes, whom the sufferers never failed to convert by their death. It is said that the persecution was stopt by the duke, who committed the fanatics to hard labour in a house of correction. No example of the fact exists; on the contrary, executions for private opinion continued to mul. tiply during his whole administration and reign. It is asserted, by the same author, that he indulged, without emotion, in contemplating the torture of state prisoners, as a curious experiment, while other counsellors recoiled from the scene; and on one occasion it is certain that he assisted from choice, when Spreul was twice exposed to the question almost without intermission28.

His disposition was haughty, severe, and in- His cha flexible: and his natural severity, heightened by bigotry, was never mitigated by experience; for his character was better adapted to sustain adversity with patience, than prosperity with modera.

28 Burnet, ii. 324. 424. Wodrow, ii. 164. See Note IV.

racter.

VIJI.

1681.

BOOK tion. The mediocrity of his genius was compen

sated, imperfectly, by application to business. He introduced a strict æconomy into the revenues of Scotland, but was never able to comprehend the extensive, and reciprocal interests of the people and the throne. His sincerity appears the more estimable when compared with his brother's; but he contemned, and without scruple perverted' the impartial administration of justice; and his promises were sometimes infringed from the suggestions of his bigotry, sometimes from the pernicious maxim of state necessity. On his return, he forgot the moderation which he had observed in his former visit; and if he continued affable to the tories, as the royalists were now denominated, his mind, exasperated perhaps by a ludicrous inci, dent which I shall proceed to relate, appeared in. exorable towards the fanatics, of whose support he despaired. Having engrossed the administration to himself, he formed a motley party, composed of Lauderdale's opponents and friends; and impatient of an honourable exile, dispatched his favourite Churchill to solicit his recall, which was still inexpedient, or permission to hold a parliament in Scotland, which it was impossible to re

fuse-9. Iniversity The students at the university of Edinburgh, shut up.

had engaged by an oath to burn the pope in effigy at Christmas. Notwithstanding the vigilance of

29 Fountainhalls' Memoirs, MS. .

BOOK
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the magistrates and the military, to prevent this BOOK juvenile insult to the duke's religion, they accom. plished their purpose with much fortitude and ada dress. The imprisonment of these youthful patriots was resented by the populace. The blue ribbon of the covenant 30 was revived by boys and apprentices, with an inscription against the pope ; and the court party retorted by wearing red ribo bons, with a device expressive of their abhorrence of fanaticism. Amidst these absurd disputes, the provost's house was burnt to the ground. The accident was ascribed to revenge, and although no discovery was made, the university was shut up, and the students were expelled for a time from the town. These incidents convinced the discerning Churchill that the duke was unable, without his brother's support, to maintain himself in Scotland, much less to assert his right of succession by arms 31.

The parliament, which was intended in the one A parliakingdom to strengthen, and in the other to secure Aug. 13. his right of succession, was opened with magnificence: the crown was borne by Argyle, à distinca tion regarded as ominous to his family; and on the death of Rothes, the office of chancellor be. coming vacant, retained the chief nobility in de

ment.

30 Hence a true blue whig, from the favourite colours of the covenant, adopted, it is said, from an injunction to the Jews. (Numbers, xv. 38.) Fountainhall's Mem. MS. 31 Dalrymple's Mem. 1. 365.

Vol. IV.

VIII.

1681.

BOOK pendence and suspense. An objection to the comTOST

mission of the duke, as a papist incapacitated to represent his brother, was privately agitated; but Hamilton refused to embark in a dangerous opposition, unless a majority were previously secured 32.

On assurance of additional security for the pro. Act of suc- testant religion, an act was passed to assert the ression.

unalterable right of succession to the crown. From
a fruitful principle, that the regal power was of
divine origin, the parliament declared that no
difference of religion could alter, that no statute
or law could suspend, the lineal order of succession
to the crown; and that it was treason either to
attempt an innovation, or to propose limitations
on the future administration of the presumptive
heir. When we peruse the act, and consider how
soon the crown was afterwards forfeited; when
we contemplate how frequently and happily the
lineal succession has been since inverted, we must
smile with contempt at the extreme fragility of
political laws, and at the anxious precaution with
which the most violent of them are framed only

to be disregarded and ultimately broken. Complaints The decline of Lauderdale's credit exposed lord

Hatton his brother to detection and disgrace. He was accused of perjury on Mitchell's trial; his letters were produced; and the infamy of the fact was proclaimed in parliament, but the inquiry was suppressed. Lord Bargeny, the duke of Hamil

32 Burnet, ii, 325. Fountainhall's Mem. MS.

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ton's kinsman, imprisoned as accessary to the in- BOOK surrection at Bothwell, had been twice produced to at the bar, and accused of treason ; but although the day was frequently prefixed, his trial was deferred. When restored to liberty, he discovered by diligent investigation, that two prisoners, taken at Bothwell, were suborned by Hatton, by the earl of Murray, and sir John Dalrymple, to give . false evidence against his life. Their depositions,,, in which duke Hamilton was also implicated, were prepared beforehand: they were promised a share of the confiscated estates, but whenever the trial approached, their conscience revolted against the crime?3. Bargeny's evidence was ready to be produced. Perjury and subornation; charged in open parliament against a supreme judge and an officer of state, demanded public investigation, a condign punishment, or the most ample retribution; but the duke of York interposed, to prevent enquiry; though not displeased that Lauderdale and his brother were exposed to public infamy, he was satisfied that they should both remain at the mercy of the crown 35.

33 Burnet, ii. 325. Wodrow, ii. 125. Cuningham of Mona grennan's Declaration (subjoined to the Original Papers on the Scotch Plot, 1701); a curious picture of the corruption of the times. He was suborned with his servant; but as he failed to deserve a pardon by perjury, he was convicted two years afterwards of the insurrection at Bothwell. Wodrow, il. 292. 34 Fountainhall's Dec. i. 150.

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