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REMOVAL OF MINISTERS.
A.D. 1674.] nation might implore the protection of the Almighty for the preservation “ of church and state against “the undermining practices of popish recusants ;" to command all papists not householders to remove to the distance of ten miles from the capital during the session of parliament; to order that the names of all popish householders within the distance of five miles should be enrolled at the sessions, and to direct the militia of London, Westminster, and Middlesex to be ready at an hour's notice, and the militia of the country at a day's notice, to suppress any tumultuous meetings of papists or other discontented persons. It cannot be pretended that there existed any real ground for these precautions and insinuations; but the experience of the civil war had shown how efficacious such addresses were in exciting vague and alarming jealousies in the minds of the people, and in directing their attention to the parliament as the faithful guardian of religion and liberty; and similar proceedings were at present adopted in furtherance of the projects of the party whose great aim was believed to be the exclusion of the duke of York from the throne. To each address Charles returned a gracious and satisfactory answer *.
2°. They proceeded next to vote the removal from office of all counsellors“ popishly affected, or otherwise “obnoxious or dangerous.” Who, it was asked, advised the alliance with France and the rupture with Holland, the declaration of indulgence, and the suspension of payment to the public creditor, the levy of an army without the advice of parliament, and the placing of a foreigner at the head of that army, the marriage of the duke of York, and the prorogation of last November ? Let inquiry be made; let a mark be placed on the authors of such evil counsels ; let them be incapacitated from repeating their pernicious advice, and from inflicting new injuries on the nation f.
• L. Journ. xii. 594. 8. C. Journ. Jan. 7. 12. On the 1st of August,
73, the duke of York told the French envoy that he was afraid of being excluded from the succession. Dalrymple, ii. App. 98.
+ C, Jourp. Jan. 12, 13, 14.
It was a maxim with the court, introduced by Clarendon and followed by his successors, to leave the parliament, in show at least, to the unbiassed exercise of its own judgment. Though every species of influence and corruption was employed to secure votes, the appearance of a court party was carefully avoided. The most devoted adherents of the ministers received directions to conceal their real sentiments, to seek popularity, to speak and vote frequently with the opposition, to join in the cry against popery, and in the most violent measures against its professors, that on more important occasions their opinions might appear disinterested, and consequently have greater weight with their colleagues. Hence it generally happened that the motions which the court wished to carry came first from the ranks of the opposition; and that the resistance to the measures of the country party was feeble, fluctuating, and cautious. The question was never met fairly and manfully; but the debate was protracted, difficulties were raised, amendments were suggested, and as a last resource, some unintelligible and irreconcilable quarrel about privilege was provoked between the two houses.
On the present occasion the court pursued its usual policy. The friends of the ministers did not deny that evil counsels might have been given, but contended that no man could justly be punished before he had been put on his defence. They admitted that grievances existed, but represented the grant of a supply as not less necessary to the welfare of the nation than the redress of grievances. Why might not the two subjects accompany each other, and one day be devoted to the consideration of grievances, the next to the consideration of the supply? Why should not the clamours against evil counsellors be reduced to specific charges, and the accused be permitted to justify themselves * ?"
3o. But their opponents adhered steadily to their own Jan plan, and proceeded to consider, in the first place, the
case of the duke of Lauderdale. It was alleged against
• Parl. Hist. iv. 620.
PROCEEDINGS AGAINST THEM.
him, that, as chief of the administration in Scotland, he had raised an army for the purpose of employing it to establish arbitrary power in England; and that at the council in England, when a magistrate was charged before it with disobedience to the royal declaration, he had said, “ Your majesty's edicts are equal with the laws,
and ought to be observed in the first place.” It was resolved that an address should be presented to the king “ to remove Lauderdale from all his employments, " and from the royal presence and councils for ever *.''
Buckingham, aware that he was destined to be the next victim, solicited and obtained permission to address the house. His first speech was confused and unsatisfactory; nor did his second, on the following day, sup. Jan. ply the deficiencies of the former. He represented him. 14. self as a man who had spent a princely fortune in the service of his country; and reminded his hearers of the patriotism with which he had once braved the resentment of the court. He offered nothing in defence of the conduct of the ministry; but sought by evasion and falsehood to shift the responsibility from himself. Some of their measures he pretended that he had opposed, in conjunction with the earl of Shaftesbury; some he imputed to lord Clifford, who was no longer alive to rebut the charger; some he openly attributed to his known enemy, the earl of Arlington; and of others he darkly insinuated that the blame lay with the royal brothers, by the enigmatical remark, that a man might hunt the hare with a pack of beagles, but not with a brace of lobsters. His submission obtained for him some indulgence from the house. It was voted, indeed, that, like Lauderdale, he should be removed from the royal presence and councils; but, with respect to office, only from those employments which he held during pleasure: words that left him at liberty to dispose by sale of such as he held
. C. Journ. Jan. 13. Parl. Hist. iv. 625. 30.
by patent*. To the address against him, as well as that against Lauderdale, Charles briefly replied, that he would take it into consideration.
Against Arlington was exhibited an impeachment of
treason, and of crimes of high misdemeanor, in a great Jan. number of articles, arranged under the three heads of 15. promoting popery, embezzling and wasting the royal
treasure, and betraying the trust reposed in him as privy councillor. Of these articles three parts in four had evidently no other foundation than suspicion and report; and the ease with which they were refuted served to throw ridicule on the whole charge. Arlington addressed the house with more firmness than had been expected. To the assertions of Buckingham he gave the most pointed contradiction; and reprobated the injustice of imputing to one councillor the blame or merit of measures which had been adopted in consequence of the judgment and advice of the whole board. Arlington had secret friends among those who appeared openly as his enemies : they acknowledged that there was much force in his arguments; and the motion to inflict on him the same punishment as on Lauderdale was rejected by a majority of forty voices. All that his enemies
could obtain, after a debate of five days, was the ap20. pointment of a committee to inquire, what part of the
articles could be so far established as to furnish ground Feb for impeachment; and this committee, whether it was 7.
through the difficulty of procuring satisfactory proof, or the intrigues of the leaders in favour of the accused, never presented any report •.
• C. Journ. Jan. 13, 14. Parl. Hist. iv. 630. 49. Burnet, ii. 38. Reresby, 24. At the same time the house of lords was employed in an inquiry arising out of the complaint of the trustees of the young earl of Shrewsbury, against the duke of Buckingham and the countess dowager of Shrewsbury; and an award was made that “the duke should not cou" verse or cohabit wih the countess for the future, and that each should “ enter into security to the king's majesty in the sum of ten thousand pounds a-piecu for that purpose." L. Journ. xii. 628. * C:Journ. Jan. 15. 20, 21. Feb. 18. Parl. Hist. iv. 649. 57. Burnet,
A.D. 1674.] PROPOSALS OF PEACE FROM THE STATES. 43
By the lords the conduct of Buckingham and Arling. Jan. ton, who had condescended to plead their own cause
20. before the house of commons, was considered derogatory from the dignity of the peerage; and a standing order was made, that no peer should answer any accusation before the commons in person, or by counsel, or by letter, under the penalty of being committed to the custody of the black rod, or to the Tower, during the pleasure of the house. In obedience to another order, all the peers 13. in attendance, whether protestants or catholics, took the oath of allegiance, which had been framed in the third year of James I., as a renunciation of the temporal claims ascribed to the pope, and of the anti-social doctrines imputed to the catholics. The duke of York hesitated at first. It had never been proposed to prinees standing in the same relation with himself to the throne, and he was unwilling to establish a precedent to bind those who might succeed him. But, some of the lords, making a distinction between heirpresumptive and heir-apparent, he waived the objection, 14. and took the oath in the same manner as all the other members of the house *.
In the meanwhile the commons betrayed no disposition to grant a supply, and Charles, weary of the war, sought some expedient to disengage himself without disgrace from his connexion with France. The allied sovereigns no longer retained that proud superiority which they had won in the first year of hostilities. By sea the English had gained no considerable advantage; by land the tide of success had turned in favour of the States. Spain and Austria had come forward to their aid: Montecuculli, the imperial general, had deceived the vigilance of Turenne, and laid siege to Bonn; the prince of Orange, having reduced Naerden, by a bold and skilful march joined Montecuculli; Bonn surrendered ; and the army, which maintained the French