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throne, and stood by the fire; which drew a croud about him, that broke all the decency of that house: for before that tiine every lord sat regularly in his place: but the kings coming broke the order of their sitting as became senators. The kings going thither had a much worse effect: for he became a common sollicitor, not only in public affairs, but even in private matters of justice. He would, in a very little time, have gone round the house, and spoke to every man he thought worth speaking to. And he was apt to do that upon the solicitation of any of the ladies in favour, or of any that had credit with thein. He knew well on whom he could prevail : so being once, in a matter of justice, desired to speak to the earl of Essex and the lord Hollis; he said, they were stiff and sullen men: but when he was next desired to solicit two others, he undertook to do it; and said, They are men of no conscience, so I will take the government of their conscience into iny own hands. Yet when any of the lords told him, plainly, that they could not vote as he desired; he seemed to take it well from them. When the act against conventicles was debated in that house, Wilkins argued long against it. The king was much for having it pass; not that he intended to execute it, but he was glad to have that body of men at mercy, and to force them to concur in the design for a general toleration. He spoke to Wilkins not to oppose. He answered, He thought it an ill thing both in conscience and policy; therefore, both as he was an Englishman and a bishop, he was bound to oppose it. *The king then desired him not to come to the house while it depended. He said, By the law and constitu tion of England, and by his majesty's favour, he had a right to debate and vote: and he was neither afraid nor ashamed to own his opinion in that matter, and to

severe and cruel prosecutions. Charters :,

act pursuant to it. So he went on : and the king was not offended with his freedom. Bụt though he bore with such a frank refusing to comply with his desire; yet, if any had made him such general answers as led him to believe they intended to be compliant, and had not in all things done as he expected, he called that a juggling with him; and he was apt to speak hardly of them on that accounta.”

30 Charters were given up-ror declared forfeited.] It appears, from his majesty's declaration, mentioned in the preceding note, that he was extremely angry with the transactions of the members of the house of commons: and it may well be supposed, thạt he was not destitute of thoughts of revenge. But as the city of London was averse to his ineasures ; it was neces.com sary, by some means or other, to deprive them of the power of thwarting his designs. What gave him courage to execute his intentions, wąs, the turn of affairs in the nation, evidenced by addresses full of compliments to the king and his brother: with assurances of standing by the succession : and, at the same time, reviling and blaming those who had acted contrary thereunto. So that his majesty became, on a sudden, popular , and the great leaders of opposition in disgrace. The most considerable part of the nobility, justices, gentry, and clergy of the county of Essex, at the assizes, held July 12, 1681, addressed the king in the following terms : “ In a time when, by wicked plots and conspiracies, anti-monarchical principles and doctrines, taught by the papists, and others infuenced by them, in conventieles and private meet

Burnet, vol. I.

p. 271.

were given up to pleasure the court, or else

ings : when, by libels and seditious pamphlets, endeavours are made to poison your subjects, defame your government, to the endangering your '

majesty's person, with the disturbance of the peace of the kingdom : when, under pretence of liberty of conscience, the Church of England, our mother (in doctrine, discipline, and worship, the best and nearest to the primitive institution), is set at naught, slighted, and reviled : when busy men will stretch beyond their last, impose their crude results of their common councils on your majesty, and forget your most gracious act of oblivion : we cannot but be very apprehensive, and fear (for how can we doubt the design, when men tread the same paths, and offend again on the same wicked principles?) a revolution of those extream miseries which Almighty God, in his mercy to the nation, by his own immediate hand, in the happy miraculous restoration of your majesty, delivered us from. That, therefore, your majesty may be the better enabled to protect and defend our religion by law established; the mischiefs we justly fear may (as much as in us lies) be prevented; your majesty's sacred person, your just rights and prerogatives, the succession of your imperial crown to your lawful heirs, according to the known laws of this kingdom, preserved ; and the persons, estates, liberties, and lives of your good subjects, be safe from arbitrary government, which your majesty resolves against; we present your majesty, and beseech you to accept, the tender of our hearts and hands, lives and fortunes a.”

In this strain was his majesty complimented, almost by the whole kingdom, on his declaration : and

a Gazette, No. 1636.

declared forfeited, for very idle, insufficient,

the same things were repeated, even in higher strains, on the association, found among Shaftesbury's papers ; as the curious reader may find by turning to the Gazettes of the years 1681 and 1682.–These addresses gave spirit to the court, and determined it to humble a city that had dared so boldly to act counter to its designs. The bills against Shaftesbury (who, from an infamous minister, had turned a violent anti-courtier; and took on him to guide men much honester, though weaker, than himself), Colledge, and Rouse, being returned ignoramus, and perhaps very justly, by grand juries, impannelled by the sheriffs of London and Middlesex, provoked the court; who, from that moment, saw that nothing favourable was to be expected : and therefore, having a lord mayor, Moore, at their beck, they contrived a method of getting one sheriff, at least, to their mind, by his lordship’s assistance. Accordingly, his lordship pretended a right (for many years disused, whatever the old practice may have been) to nominate one of the sheriffs by drinking to him. The citizens were alarmed at the claim, and refused to submit to it. But the court being bent on the matter, it was carried, though with much opposition. This did not satisfy however. The magistrates of London, by charter, were, notwithstanding, in the choice of the city. This was a power hated by the administration, and therefore to be struck at. Accordingly, a quo warranto was brought against the charter; which, after much time, was condemned, and the city deprived of its privileges: so that the court had now the whole government of the metropolis in its hands, and none could make the least opposition. Thus were its views accomplished. Sprat, speaking of the ignoramus juries,

or unjustifiable reasons, in spite of all the

says, “ His majesty foreseeing how destructive, in time, the effects of so great and growing a mischief would be; resolved at length, after many intolerable provocations, {to strike at that which he had now found to be the very root of the faction. This his majesty, and all wise and good men, perceived could be no otherways done, than, first, by reducing the elections of the sheriffs of London to their antient order ånd rules, that of late were become only a business of clamour and violence : and then to make enquiry into the validity of the city charter itself; which an ill party of men had abused to the danger, and would have done it to the destruction of the government, had they been suffered to go on never so little further uncontrouled. In both these most just and nécessary undertakings, the righteousness of his majesty's cause met with an answerable success. First, notwithstanding all the tumultuous riots the factious party committed, to disturb the peaceable issue of that affair; yet the undoubted right of the lord mayor's nominating the eldest sheriff, was restored and established : and so the administration of justice once more put in a way of being cleared from partiality and corruption. And then a due judgment was obtained, by an equal process of law, against the charter itself, and its franchises declared forfeited to his majesty a.”--If the reader asks the grounds of so extraordinary a judgment; he may know, that they were, exacting tolls in their markets illegally; and, particularly, raising money for rebuilding Cheapside conduit ; -- and framing and printing a scandalous

History of the Horrid Conspiracy, p. $. fol. Lond. 1685.

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