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THE SECOND INDULGENCE.
The religious dissensions continued, and the ministers 1672. and their hearers were occasionally imprisoned and fined Apr. for their violations of the law. In 1672, Lauderdale returned to Scotland with the title of duke, and accompanied by the countess of Dysart, whom he had recently married. She had long been reputed his mistress *, and has been described as a proud, rapacious, and despotic woman,' possessing unlimited dominion over the mind of her husband, and making him the obsequious minister of her passions. It was intended that a second indulgence should be granted in Scotland, to correspond with the celebrated declaration which had been issued in England. But Lauderdale previously held a short session of parliament, in which, to prevent the succession of ministers in the kirk, severe punishments were enacted against the ordainers and the ordained, and the duration of the act against field conventicles was prolonged for three additional years. At last he determined to publish the instrument which for months had been expected, by many with hope, by more with distrust. It named about eighty ejected ministers, ordered them to repair to certain churches, and gave
them liberty to exercise all the duties of their office within the limits of their respective parishes, but with a severe injunction to abstain from all religious exercises in any other district.
The consequence was a schism in the body, 1673. which was not easily closed. About one-fourth of the ministers named in the indulgence refused to obey, and were confined by order of council in particular places; the rest accepted the churches which had been allotted to them, having previously given their testimony against the Erastianism of the measure. Its framers had reason to be satisfied. The more opulent of the covenanters
• In a suppressed passage in Burnet, that writer says: " I was in great “ doubt whether it was fit for me to see lauderdale's mistress. Sir Robert Murray put an end to that; for he assured me there was nothing in that commerce between them besides a vast fondness." i. 518.
attended the service of the indulged ministers, and the number of conventicles was diminished *.
During this protracted struggle between the government and its religious opponents, scarcely a murmur of disapprobation had been heard in the Scottish parlia. ment. It seemed as if Charles, at the Restoration, had ascended a despotic throne, and the supreme council was of no other use than to record the edicts of the sovereign. The consequence was, that the officers of government extended and abused their authority ; every department was filled with the relatives and dependents of the commissioner; and these made it their chief object to enrich themselves at the expense of the country. But that spirit of resistance, which had so obstinately and successfully warred with the advocates of the court in the parliament of England, aroused, at length, a similar spirit in that of Scotland, and a plan of opposition, un
known to Landerdale, was carefully arranged, among the 1673.old cavaliers and his political enemies. When he opened Nov.
the next session, he demanded with his usual confidence 12.
a plentifiil grant of money to aid the king in his war against the States. The young duke of Hamilton rose; but, instead of expressing an obsequious assent, he called the attention of the house to the grievances of the na
the coin had been adulterated under Hatton, the master of the mint, and Lauderdale's brother; by new regulations in the customs, the price of salt, of brandy, and of tobacco, had been raised; monopolies in all these articles were enjoyed by the friends of the minister, and the administration of justice was polluted by personal interests and animosities, Other speakers followed, and all were careful to echo the sentiments of Hamilton.
Wodrow, 351. Kirkton, 315. 326. 334. Burnet gives himself out as the deviser of this plan, i. 520. Lauderdale had 16,0001, allowed him for his outfit, as chief governor, with a salary of 501. per day, while the parliament sate; and 101. or 15l. per day during the rest of the year. Wódrow, App. p. 148.
INCREASE OF CONVENTICLES.
The commissioner was amazed and alarmed. He endeavoured to intimidate; he adjourned the session for a week; he abolished the monopolies ; but he could not dissolve the combination, or satisfy the demands of his adversaries. Hamilton and Tweedale repaired to London to lay their grievances before the monarch; Kincardine was despatched to oppose them; and Charles, while he laboured to appease the discontent of one party, religiously observed his promise not to desert the other. But all his efforts to conciliate were fruitless: another May prorogation took place; and, before it expired, the par- 12. liament was dissolved *.
19. In the enumeration of grievances, the principal, the persecution of the covenanters, had never been mentioned. Since the last act of supremacy, religious subjects were avoided, as forbidden ground on which it was dangerous to tread. Lauderdale, however, took it into consideration, and published an act of grace, pardoning every offence against any of the conventicle acts committed before the fourth of March, 1674. If by this concession he sought to conciliate the minds of the covenanters, he was disappointed ; for they attributed his lenity to weakness, and looked on pardon for the past as an encouragement to new transgressions. From that day, the cause of these religionists made constant progress. In the north, indeed, they were but few, and in the west they might attend without impediment the service of the indulged ministers; but from the English borders to the river Tay the conventicles continued to multiply. They were held in the vacant churches, in private houses, in the open air ; on every sabbath, crowds assembled, for the purpose of worship, around a lofty pole, fixed in a glen, on a mountain, or in the midst of
Burnet, ii. 19-33. 36. Wodrow, 364. 369. Kirkton, 339–342. If the reader compare the character of Lauderdale, drawn by Burnet in the dedication of his four conferences, published at this time, with the character of the same nobleman, drawn by him in the History of his Own Times, will form no very favourable opinion of the veracity of that writer. VOL. XII.
a morass; and the minds of the people were occupied during the week with conversation respecting the gifts and doctrine of the preachers, the dangers which they
the persecutions which they had suffered, and the place and time appointed for the next conventicle. A spirit of the most ardent and obstinate fanaticism animated the great mass of the population ; and hostility to episcopacy was coupled with hostility to that government by which episcopacy was maintained *.
II. The history of Ireland during the same period furnishes but little that can interest the general reader. The English act of parliament, prohibiting the importation of Irish cattle, had reduced the agricultural classes
in Ireland to the lowest distress ; and Ormond, the lord1667. lieutenant, who was himself a principal sufferer, employed
all his power and ingenuity to discover and open new sources of industry and new channels of commerce. A free trade was permitted between Ireland and all foreign countries, whether at peace or war with the king of Great Britain; the introduction of Scottish woollens was prohibited, as a measure of retaliation against the Scots, who, after the example of the English parliament, had forbidden the importation of Irish cattle into Scotland; and, to encourage the manufacture of woollen and linen cloths, five hundred Walloon families, from the neighbourhood of Canterbury, and an equal number from Flanders, were induced to settle in Ireland t. But after the fall of Clarendon, it was not the intention of those who succeeded in the administration to leave his friend
Ormond at the head of the Irish government. His con1668. duct was scrutinised and censured; charges of oppresApr. sion of individuals, and mismanagement of the revenue, 24.
were brought against him ; and the duke hastened to
• Wodrow, 366. Kirkton, 343. “ At these great meetings many a soul “ was converted to Jesus Christ; but far more turned from the bishops to
profess themselves presbyterians. The paroch churches of the curates
OCCURRENCES IN IRELAND.
London to defend his character against the intrigues of his enemies. For almost a year his fate hung in suspense. The good-nature of Charles shrunk from the idea of unkindness towards an old and faithful servant; his love of ease could not resist the obstinate and repeated importunities of Buckingham and his colleagues At length a promise was wrung from the reluctant 1469. monarch ; and, after a protracted struggle, he announced Feb. to Ormond his removal, but in language the most flat. 14. tering and affectionate which he could devise. Lord Sept. Robartes, a man of rigid notions, and repulsive manners, was appointed to the vacant office, which he only held long enough to earn the dislike of the Irish, and to disappoint the expectations of the cabinet. After seven months, he was recalled, to make place for lord Berkeley 1670. of Stratton, who had distinguished himself by his hos- May tility to Clarendon, and would not, it was supposed, be unwilling to discover grounds of complaint or impeachment against Ormond *.
Eight years had now elapsed since the act of settlement, five since the act of explanation was passed; still these measures had been but imperfectly executed, on account of the conflicting nature of the claims, and the deficiency of the fund for reprisals. Not only the thousands whom the law debarred from all relief, but many of those whom it took under protection, loudly complained of injustice; and, after the arrival of the new
Nov, chief governor, six peers, and forty-five gentlemen, ven
28. tured to subscribe a petition to the king, explaining their wrongs, and earnestly imploring redress. Charles compassionated the sufferings of men, most of whom had devoted themselves to his service during the time of his exile; and the ministers were ready to accede to
• Carte, ii. 375. 9. 413. Pepys, iv. 101. 191. 246. “ Ormond had none " that took his part but his R. H., (the duke of York,) who thought it very "scandalous that one, who had always been so loyal, should be prosecuted "and run down by men, who had been most of them downright rebels, or James, i. 435.
" little better."