Page images

the season. Schomberg, attributing both the violence of the prince with respect to the flag, and his refusal to land the army in Holland, to personal dislike, sent him a challenge; but Charles interfered to prevent the meeting, and the general quitted the English service*.

A congress had been held at Cologne, under the mediation of the king of Sweden. But the States had now a brighter prospect before them, and scornfully refused conditions which they would have gladly accepted in the preceding summer. The assassination of the two De Witts by the populace had destroyed the influence of the Lourestein party; the Orange interest obtained the predominance in every province; and the young prince

already displayed that decision of mind, that inflexibility Aug. of purpose, which marked his character through life. 20. The other powers of Europe did not remain indifferent

spectators of the contest. Leopold of Austria and Charles of Spain offered their assistance; and a defensive alliance bound them to unite their arms against the enemies of the republict. This was not the least singular of the revolutions which the seventeenth century exhibited The remembrance of past injuries was suppressed; the objections of religion were silenced; and the emperor and king of Spain, the representatives of

P. 158.

• Buckingham, (Sheffield) ii, 25. 9. See also a letter from the king to Rupert, in which he calls the raising of the flag, “a casual and inoffen. “sive error, laments the mortification of Schomberg, and is not willing " that the quarrei should be carried any farther." Lansdowne MSS. 1206,

+ Dumont, vii. 240, 243. Soon afterwards Louis, to keep Charles firin to his engagements, granted him a very singular favour. By the death of the last duke of Richmond, Aubigni, in the province of Berry, which had been granted to one of his ancestors, reverted to the French crown. On the 25th of July, 1672, Louise de Querouaille bore a son to Charles; the next year he created her duchess of Portsmouth; and Louis, at the desire of the king, conferred on her the domain of Aubigni, to be enjoyed by her during her life, and at her death to go to any one of the natnral sons of Charles, whom that monarch might please to name, and to the male de. scendants of that son, “ to the end that the land of Aubigni might con"tinue in possession of the illustrious house of Stuart." Charles of course named his son by Querouaille, and created him duke of Richmond Aug. 19, 1675. See the letters Patent of Louis XIV. (note A), who naturalized the duke on the 12th of Jan. 1683, three weeks before the death of his father.

A.D. 1673.]



that family from whose iron yoke the united provinces had been lately freed, now hastened to their support in opposition to England and France, the two powers which had originally watched and protected the cradle of Dutch independence.

But the States not only obtained foreign aid, they indulged a well-founded hope of separating Charles from his alliance with France, and with that view kept up a close correspondence with the discontented party in England. If the religious antipathies of the people had been excited by the conversion of James to the catholic faith, they were now blown into a flame by the intelligence that he had recently married by proxy the sister Sept. to the reigning duke of Modena, Maria d'Este, a catho. 30. lic princess of the age of fifteen*. The danger to the protestant religion from this inauspicious union became the subject of every discourse; and Charles, that the popular excitation might have time to subside, and the real intention of the States be satisfactorily ascertained, resolved to postpone the meeting of parliament to the termination of the Christmas holidays. From this counsel he was seduced by the artful and treacherous suggestion of the Chancellor, who had secretly been reconciled, and had made the promise of his services, to the country party. On the appointed day, the 20th of Oct. October, the two houses assembled: but Shaftesbury, in 20. defiance of the order which he had received, neglected to adjourn them till the commons had voted an address to the king, praying that he would not permit “the marriage between the duke and the princess of Modena to be consummated." They met again on the 27th, and 27. were informed that his majesty could not in honour break a contract of marriage which had been solemnly executed. But his opponents in the lower house were not to be deterred: their plan of operations had been

James, i. 484. He had first solicited the hand of the archduchess of Inspruck, but that princess preferred the emperor Leopold. See the negotiation in Miscel. Aul. 65. 107.

previously arranged, and they proceeded to resolve, that a second petition, of the same import with the first, should be presented; that no supply should be granted, unless the obstinacy of the Dutch made it necessary, till the country was secured from the danger of popery and popish counsellors, and the existing grievances were redressed; that a test should be imposed to distinguish between protestant and papist, and render the latter incapable, not only of office, but of sitting in either house of parliament; that the standing army was a grievance which ought to be redressed ; and that (as had been done by the long parliament in the time of Charles I.) the king should be petitioned to appoint a day of general

fasting, that God might avert the dangers with which the Nov nation was threatened. These votes created alarm in 4. the court; and Charles, hastening to the house of lords, prorogued the parliament*.

By this decisive measure, the hopes of the opposition were disappointed, and Shaftesbury became the victim of his own policy. Calculating on the easy, irresolute disposition of the king, he had anticipated victory instead of defeat, and probably expected to retain his high of

fice, while his colleagues should be excluded from the 9. royal counsels. Charles, having granted him a full par

don for all offences against the crown, demanded the great seal, which he gave to sir Heneage Finch, with the office of lord keepert; and the disgraced minister, hitherto the adviser of the most arbitrary measures; openly proclaimed himself the adversary of the court, and the champion of the liberties of the people. He

* Com. Journals, Oct. 20. 27. 30, 31. Nov. 3, 4. James, i. 485. Bur. uet, ii. 31.

+ The reader will recollect, that in 1614 it was resolved, that for the future no attorney-general should sit in the house of commons, because by his office he is an assistant of the house of lords. In consequence, in the years 1620, 1625, 1640, when members of the house of commons were ap pointed to the office, new writs were issued by the speaker. Ou the ele. vation of Finch to the chancery, North succeeded as attorney-general, but did not, as others before him, vacate his seat. Though some members complained, be was permitted to remain in the house. All his successors have continued to sit without molestation.



walked daily in the Exchange, accompanied by some of the young nobility, entered into familiar conversation with the merchants, and feelingly deplored to them the miseries of the nation, the depression of trade, and the danger which threatened religion. In the estimation of his new associates, his political conversion had obliterated the guilt of his former transgressions; he was applauded as a persecuted patriot, a martyr to the liberties of his country; and, doubtful as it was whether he believed or not in revelation, theologians were found to describe him from the pulpit as the saviour of religion, and to foretell that his fame, like that of the woman mentioned in the gospel, should live throughout future generations. He failed, however, in his attempt to procure an address to the king from the common council. Charles had many friends in the capital; and the leading citizens, on the signification of the royal disapprobation, refused their concurrence*.

The votes of the house of commons had spread consternation among the courtiers, and Arlington conjured the king either to prevent the departure of the Italian princess from Paris, or to insist that James after his marriage should withdraw from public notice, and lead the life of a country gentleman. But Charles replied, that the first was incompatible with his honour, and the second would be an indignity to his brother. The duchess left Paris, James with a small retinue met her at Dover, and Crew, bishop of Oxford, declared the mar- Nov. riage lawful and valid. Here, however, the earl of 21. Berkshire, a catholic, probably at the request of the king, advised the duke to solicit permission, that he might retire to Audley-end, both for his own quiet, and the royal convenience. James indignantly refused: his interest,

• James, i. 488. Parker, 266, 7, 271. Macph. Pap. i. 69. + James, i. 486. Temple, ii. 288. The ceremony was merely the fol

:-"The bishop asked the duchess and the earl of Peterborow, "whether the said earl had married the duchess of York as proxy of the "duke, which they both affirming, the bishop then declared it was a law. "ful marriage." Ibid.


he said, required that he should be on the spot to oppose his enemies; his duty forbade him to desert his brother

without the royal command. From Dover he returned Nov. to the palace of St. James's, where the duchess, by her 26. youth, and beauty, and innocence, disarmed the malevo

lence of party, and became a general favourite with the court. Charles, however, partook of the common alarm. He refused her the use of a public chapel, which had previously been stipulated; he ordered the officers of the

household to prevent all catholics, or reputed catholics, Dec. from entering the palace, or coming into the royal pre10. sence; he forbad, by an order of council, any popish re

cusant to walk in the park, or visit at St. James's, and he instructed the judges to enforce with rigour the execution of the penal laws against the catholics*.

By these regulations the king hopeil to satisfy the

more moderate of his opponents. When the houses 1674. met after the prorogation, he addressed them with that Jan. air of candour, affability, and cheerfulness, which was so 7. natural to him; and was followed by the lord-keeper in

a long and eloquent speech, describing the object of the measures lately adopted, imputing to the States insincerity in the negotiation, extolling the king's attachment to the doctrines and worship of the established church, and demanding a supply, as equally necessary for the attainment of peace, and the prosecution of the war. But neither the affability of the prince, nor the eloquence of the minister could make any impression on the leaders of the party, who were now supposed to act under the guidance of Shaftesbury. 1°. It was too late to resume the question of the duke's marriage: they,

therefore, began with the presentation of three addresses, 12. praying the king to enjoin a public fast, that the whole

• James, i. 487. Kennet, 296. L. Journ. 595. James i. 499. Burnet, ii. 30, 37. These orders were executed with such severity, that within the course of two months seven catholic peers were compelled to appeal to the house of lords for protection; namely, the marquess of Winchester for himself and his servant; the earl of Norwich for himself and his two sons; and the earl of Cardigan, the viscount Montague, and the lords Petre, Arundell, and Belassye, for themselves. L. Journ. xii. 613. 21. 22. 35. 42

« PreviousContinue »