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A.D. 1675.]

RENEWAL OF THE CONTEST.

69

was continued by adjournment for several days, that nobleman displayed extraordinary eloquence and warmth, and obtained, in defiance of the ministers and the prelates, the appointment of a day for the hearing of the appeal. It might be that, as he pretended, he sought to

Nov.

4. establish beyond dispute the claim of the peerage ; but he had moreover a private and more interested motive. He was the author of a pamphlet recently published under the title of " A Letter from a Person of Quality "to a Friend in the Country,” purporting to detail the debate in the last session on the question of the non-resisting test. This tract the house voted a lying, scan- 9. “ dalous, and seditious libel:" it was ordered to be burnt by the hand of the common hangman, and a committee was appointed to discover the author, printer, and publisher. Under such circumstances, the renewal of the quarrel between the houses offered him the best shelter from prosecution. In the commons, attempts were made to revive the violent votes of the last session against the claim of the peers; but they were constantly defeated by the court party, who on this subject commanded a large majority, and procured a vote for a conference, " to pre- 19.

serve a good understanding between the two houses.” In that meeting they suggested that, according to the royal advice, all subjects of national interest should take precedence of the question of judicature; but Shaftesbury opposed the expedient under different pretexts, and a resolution was carried to hear the appeal on the following morning. The resentment of the commons could no longer be restrained; in one house the obnoxious votes were revived * ; in the other, lord Mohun inoved an 20. address for the dissolution of the parliament. Thus a new subject of contention was raised, which called forth the whole strength of the two parties. The popular leaders supported the motion, on the ground that frequent parliaments were required by the ancient constitution of

Marvell, i. 270, 1. Com. Journ. Nov. 18, 19. L. Journals, xiii. 29. Somers' Tracts, viii. 43.

46

the kingdom ; that the existing house of commons, chosen
in 1661, did not in fact represent the sense of the nation
in 1675; and that the pretensions which it set forth, the
violence which it displayed, the superiority which it as-
sumed, had led to a state of things, in which the parlia-
ment, instead of proving a national benefit, had become
a useless incumbrance; but that with a new house, the
real representatives of the people, no cause of dissension
would exist; the restoration of harmony would enable
parliament to provide for every interest, to grant supplies
to the crown, to establish securities for the church, to
extend indulgence to dissenters, and to secure to the
catholics the possession of their property and hereditary
honours. On the other hand, the minister and his ad-
berents contended, that a dissolution was both unneces-
sary and dangerous. As former dissensions between
the houses had been healed, so the present was not
without its remedy. Whatever might be the faults of
the house of commons, the civil and religious principles
of its members had been proved. A new election might
introduce new men, hostile both to the church and the
throne ; antimonarchical doctrines might regain the as.
cendency; and the miseries of the year forty-one might
be renewed. Hitherto the duke of York, however he
might disapprove, had deemed it his duty to abstain from
all open opposition to the measures of government: on
this occasion he gave his powerful aid to lord
and his example drew after it the support of his adhe-
rents, and of the catholic peers. The minister was
alarmed ; his adversaries out-numbered his followers in
the house ; and it was only through the aid of proxies

that he was able to obtain the small majority of two Nov. votes. The consequence was an immediate prorogation ;

not for a short space, after the usual manner, but for the unprecedented duration of fifteen months *.

* L. Journ. xiii. 33. According to the list preserved in Oldmixon, the contents were forty-one temporal peers and seven proxies; the non-contents, twenty-one temporal peers, thirteen bishops, and sixtren proxies. Oldmix. 594.

hun;

22.

A.D. 1675.] ACCOUNT OF LUZANCY.

71 During this session an adventurer made his appearance on the public stage, the prototype of the celebrated Titus Oates. He was a foreigner, the son of Beauchat eau, an actress in Paris, and had passed, with little credit for truth or integrity, through the several situations of usher in a school, servant to a bishop, inmate in a monastery, and companion to an itinerant missionary. A forgery, which he committed at Montdidier, in Picardy, compelled him to flee from the pursuit of justice; and he arrived in London, under a feigned name, without money and without friends. But his ingenuity did not desert him. He called himself Hyppolite du Chastelet de Luzancy; he professed an anxious desire to conform

July to the church of England; and in the pulpit at the

). Savoy be read his abjuration, and delivered a discourse, stating the grounds of his conversion. Instantly the French jesuit (so he was now styled) became an object of interest to the zealous and the charitable : contributions flowed to him from numerous quarters; and his only anxiety was to secure the means of support after the first excitement, which he had caused, should have died away. Three months after his conversion, he gave Oct. information to some of the popular leaders that, about a 4. month before, Father St. Germain, who, for greater effect, was described as confessor to the duchess of York, had surprised him in his lodgings, and, holding a poniard to his breast, had compelled him, with the threat of instant death, to sign a recantation and a promise to return to his native country. Neither the improbability of the tale, nor the time that had been suffered to elapse, seems to have awakened suspicion. Lord Holles communicated Nov. the important intelligence to the king in the house of 8. lords ; lord Russell introduced it to the notice of the house of commons; and the parliament, the court, the city, the country, resounded with cries of astonishment at the insolence of the papists. The king published a 10. proclamation for the arrest of St. Germain, wherever he might be found ; the lords brought in a bill for the en

Nov. couragement of monks and friars in foreign parts to leave 12. their convents, and embrace the reformed faith; and the

commons ordered the lord chief justice to issue his war

rant for the apprehension of all catholic priests, recom15. mended Luzancy to the protection and bounty of the

king, and passed a bill for the exclusion of papists from the two houses of parliament, and from the court. The convert was examined before the privy council and a committee of the house. He persisted in his former tale; he added, that he had learned from some French merchants, that in a short time protestant blood would flow through the streets of London, and from St. Germain that the king was at heart a catholic, that the de. claration of indulgence had been framed for the purpose of introducing popery, and that there was an infinito number of priests and jesuits in London, who did great service to God. But the minds of men began to cool. His additional information, which was merely a repetition of the idle reports circulated in the coffee-houses, did not serve to raise his credit for veracity ; and, when he was told to produce his witnesses, the absence of some, and the utter worthlessness of the others, shook the faith of his supporters. About the same time, Du Maresque, a French clergyman of the reformed church, published a history of his adventures in France; and soon afterwards a pamphlet appeared, detailing the particulars of his life in the metropolis, and refuting his charge against St. Germain ; and, though Du Maresque was severely censured by the bishop of London, and the distributor of the pamphlet threatened by the privy council, the prosecution of the inquiry was at first suspended, and, for obvious reasons, never afterwards resumed *.

• Com. Journ. Nov. 8. L. Journ. xiii. 21. Parl. Hist. iv. 780. Marveil, i. 265, 6. Reresby, 29-31. Wood, Ath. Oxon. iv. par. ii. col. 330, I. Compton, the new bishop of London, and the “great patron of converts “ from popery,” (Burnet, ii. 88.) ordained Lizancy about Christmas, and sent him to Oxford, where, on January 27th, he was admitted master of arts, at the recommendation of Ormond, the chancellor. While ne re. maineil in Oxford, a transaction of a swindling description bronght his bame before a court of justice: soon afterwards the nation was thrown into

CHAP. 1.]

TRANSACTIONS IN SCOTLAND,

73

I shall conclude this chapter with a few notices respecting the transactions in the two kingdoms of Scotland and Ireland.-1. In Scotland the chief attention of the government was devoted to the difficult task of maintaining the episcopal authority, in opposition to the religious feelings of the people. That Charles disapproved of the severities, which had driven the western covemanters into rebellion, cannot be doubted; and it was observed that, in proportion as the influence of Clarendon declined, more lenient measures were recommended to 1667

Mar, the Scottish council. The punishment for the refusal

12. of the declaration was restricted to the imprisonment of the offender; the regular troops, which had been so actively employed in the execution of the penal laws, were disbanded ; archbishop Sharp received an order to Aug. attend to the spiritual concerns of his diocese ; and 10. Rothes was deprived of his high office of royal commissioner, though, to console his wounded feelings, he obtained in return the chancellorship for life. The earl of Oct. Tweedale succeeded him as head of the government; 10. but Lauderdale, by his office of secretary of state, possessed superior influence with the sovereign. Both of these noblemen were presbyterians by principle ; but they disregarded the nice distinctions of the theologians, and persuaded themselves that by mutual concession the two parties might be brought to coalesce.

Their object, therefore, was to maintain the episcopal establishment, but at the same time to offer to its adversaries such terms as might induce them to desist from all active opposition. To the covenanters in the west it was proposed, that the government should abstain from prosecution for past offences, provided they would bind themselves to keep the

peace, under the penalty of forfeiting one year's rent of their respective estates. But here a theological question arose. What, it was asked, did the council understand by keeping the peace ? To perform the duties a ferment by the pretended discoveries of Titus Oates; and Luzancy," by "favour of ihe bishop of London," was admitted," ad pres regis," vicar of Dover-court, in Essex, 18th Dec. 1678. Wood, Ibid.

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