« EdellinenJatka »
was brought before the privy council, and interrogated by the king, but had too much elevation of mind to save himself by informing against others. A story was current among the Whigs that the king said, “You had better be frank with me, Mr. Ayloffe. You know that it is in my power to pardon you.” Then, it was rumored, the captive broke his sullen silence, and answered, “It may be in your power; but it is not in your nature.” He was executed under his old outlawry before the gate of the Temple, and died with stoical composure.”
In the mean time the vengeance of the conquerors was mercilessly wreaked on the people of Argyleshire. Many of the Campbells were hanged without a trial by Athol; and he was with difficulty restrained by the privy council from taking more lives. The country to the extent of thirty miles round Inverary was wasted. Houses were burned, the stones of mills broken to pieces, fruit trees cut down, and the very roots seared with fire. The nets and fishing boats, the sole means by which many inhabitants of the coast subsisted, were destroyed. More than three hundred rebels and malcontents were transported to the colonies. Many of them were also sentenced to mutilation. On a single day the hangman of Edinburgh cut off the ears of thirty-five prisoners. Several women were sent across the Atlantic after being first branded in the cheek with a hot iron. It was even in contemplation to obtain an act of parliament proscribing the name of Campbell, as the name of Mac Gregor had been proscribed eighty years before..t
Argyle's expedition appears to have produced little sensation in the south of the island. The tidings of his landing reached London just before the English parliament met. The king mentioned the news from the throne ; and the Houses assured him that they would stand by him against every enemy. Nothing more was required of them. Over Scotland they had no authority; and a war of which the theatre was so distant, and of which the event might, almost from the first, be easily foreseen, excited only a languid interest in London.
* Wade's Narretive, Harl. MS. 6845; Burnet, i. 634; Citters's
Despatch of . #, 1685; Luttrell's Diary of the same date.
t Wodrow, iii. ix. 4, and III. ix. 10. Wodrow gives from the Acts of Council the names of all the prisoners who were transported, tnutilated, or branded.
But, a week before the final dispersion of Argyle's army England was agitated by the news that a more formidable invader had landed on her own shores. It had been agreed among the refugees that Monmouth should sail from Holland six days after the departure of the Scots. He had deferre 1 his expedition a short time, probably in the hope that most of the troops in the south of the island would be moved to the north as soon as war broke out in the Highlands, and that he should find no force ready to oppose him. When at length he was desirous to proceed, the wind had become adverse and violent.
While his small fleet lay tossing in the Texel, a contest was going on among the Dutch authorities. The States General and the Prince of Orange were on one side, the magistracy and admiralty of Amsterdam on the other.
Skelton had delivered to the States General a list of the refugees whose residence in the United Provinces caused uneasinesse to his master. The States General, anxious to grant every reasonable request which James could make, sent copies of the list to the provincial authorities. The provincial authorities sent copies to the municipal authorities. The magistrates of all the towns were directed to take such measures as might prevent the proscribed Whigs from molesting the English government. In general those directions were obeyed. At Rotterdam in particular, where the influence of William was all powerful, such activity was shown as called forth warm acknowledgments from James. But Amsterdam was the chief seat of the emigrants; and the governing body of Amsterdam would see nothing, hear nothing, know of nothing. The high bailiff of the city, who was himself in daily communication with Ferguson, reported to the Hague that he did not know where to find a single one of the refugees; and with this excuse the federal government was forced to be content. The truth was, that the English exiles were as well known at Amsterdam and as much stared at in the streets as if they had been Chinese.*
* Skelton's letter is dated the Horth of May, 1686. It will be found, together with a letter of the Schout or High Bailiff of Amsterdam, in a little volume published a few months later, and entitled “Histoire des Evênemens Tragiques d’Angleterre.” The documents inserted in that work are, as far as I have examined them, given exactly from the Dutch archives, except that Skelton's French, which was not the purest, is slightly corrected. See also Grey's Narrative.
Goodenough, on his examination after the battle of Sedgemoor, said,
A few days later, Skelton received orders from his court to request that, in consequence of the dangers which threatened his master's throne, the three Scotch regiments in the service of the United Provinces might be sent to Great Britain without delay. He applied to the Prince of Orange; and the prince undertook to manage the matter, but predicted that Amsterdam would raise some difficulty. The prediction proved correct. The deputies of Amsterdam refused to consent, and succeeded in causing some delay. But the question was not one of those on which, by the constitution of the republic, a single city could prevent the wish of the majority from being carried into effect. The influence of William prevailed; and the troops were embarked with great expedition.”
Skelton was at the same time exerting himself, not indeed very judiciously or temperately, to stop the ships which the English refugees had fitted out. He expostulated in warm terms with the admiralty of Amsterdam. The negligence of that board, he said, had already enabled one band of rebels to invade Britain. For a second error of the same kind there could be no excuse. He peremptorily demanded that a large vessel, named the Helderenbergh, might be detained. It was pretended that this vessel was bound for the Canaries. But, in truth, she had been freighted by Monmouth, carried twentysix guns, and was loaded with arms and ammunition. The admiralty of Amsterdam replied that the liberty of trade and navigation was not to be restrained for light reasons, and that the Helderenbergh could not be stopped without an order from the States General. Skelton, whose uniform practice seems to have been to begin at the wrong end, now had recourse to the States General. The States General gave the necessary orders. Then the admiralty of Amsterdam pretended that
“The Schout of Amsterdam was a particular friend to his last design.” Lansdowne MS. 1152. It is not worth while to refute those writers who represent the Prince of Orange as an accomplice in Monmouth's enterprise. The circumstance on which they chiefly rely is, that the authorities of Amsterdam took no effectual steps for preventing the expedition from sailing. This circumstance is in truth the strongest proof that the expedition was not favored by William. No person, not profoundly ignoraroof the institutions and politics of Holland, would hold the Stadtholder answerable for the proceedings of the heads of the Loevestein party. * Avaux Neg. June "r, s, ##, 1685; Letter of the Prince of Orango to Lord Rochester, June 9, 1685.
there was not a sufficient naval force in the Texel to seize so large a ship as the Helderenbergh, and suffered Monmouth to . sail unmolested.* The weather was bad; the voyage was long; and several English men of war were cruising in the Channel. But Monmouth escaped both the sea and the enemy. As he passed by the cliffs of Dorsetshire, it was thought desirable to send a boat to the beach with one of the refugees named Thomas Dare. This man, though of low mind and manners, had great influence at Taunton. He was directed to hasten thither across the country, and to apprize his friends that Monmouth would soon be on English ground.t On the morning of the eleventh of June, the Helderenbergh, accompanied by two smaller vessels, appeared off the port of Lyme. That town is a small knot of steep and narrow alleys, lying on a coast wild, rocky, and beaten by a stormy sea. The place was then chiefly remarkable for a pier which, in the days of the Plantagenets, had been constructed of stones, unhewn and uncemented. This ancient work, known by the name of the Cob, enclosed the only haven where, in a space of many miles, the fisherman could take refuge from the tempests of the Channel. The appearance of the three ships, foreign built and without colors, perplexed the inhabitants of Lyme : and the uneasiness increased when it was found that the custom-house - o officers, who had gone on board according to usage, did not return. The town's people repaired to the cliffs and gazed long and anxiously, but could find no solution of the mystery. At length seven boats put off from the largest of the strange vessels, and rowed to the shore. From these boats landed about eighty men, well armed and appointed. Among them were Monmouth, Grey, Fletcher, Ferguson, Wade, and Anthony Buyse, an officer who had been in the service of the elector of Brandenburg.j . Monmouth commanded silence, kneeled down on the shore, thanked God for having preserved the friends of liberty and
* Citters, June #3; June #3, 1685. The correspondence of Skelton with the States General and with the Admiralty of Armsterdam is in the archives at the Hague. Some pieces will be found in the Evêmemens Tragiques d'Angleterre. See also Burnet, i. 640.
t Wade's Confession in the Hardwicke Papers; Harl. MS. 6845.
† See Buyse's evidence against Monmouth and Fletcher in the Collection of State Trials.
pure religion from the perils of the sea, and implored the divine blessing on what was yet to be done by land. He then drew his sword, and led his men over the cliffs into the town. As soon as it was known under what leader and for what purpose the expedition came, the enthusiasm of the populace burst through all restraints. The little town was in an uproar with men running to and fro, and shouting, “A Monmouth ! a Monmouth ! the Protestant religion 1’’ Meanwhile the ensign of the adventurers, a blue flag, was set up in the market place. The military stores were deposited in the town hall; and a declaration setting forth the objects of the expedition was read from the Cross.” This declaration, the masterpiece of Ferguson's genius, was not a grave manifesto such as ought to be put forth by a leader drawing the sword for a great public cause, but a libel of the lowest class, both in sentiment and language.f. It contained, undoubtedly, many just charges against the government. But these charges were set forth in the prolix and inflated style of a bad pamphlet; and mingled with them were other charges of which the whole disgrace falls on those who made them. The Duke of York, it was positively affirmed, had burned down London, had strangled Godfrey, had cut the throat of Essex, and had poisoned the late king. On account of those villanous, and innatural crimes, but chiefly of that execrable fact, the late horrible and barbarous particide, – such was the copiousness and such the felicity of Ferguson's diction, — James was declared a mortal and bloody enemy, a tyrant, a murderer, and a usurper. No treaty should be made with him. The sword should not be sheathed till he had been brought to condign punishment as a traitor. The government should be settled on principles favorable to liberty. All Protestant sects should be tolerated. The forfeited charters should be restored. Parliaments should be held annually, and should no longer be prorogued or dissolved by royal caprice. The only standing force should be the militia. The militia should be commanded by the sheriffs; and the sheriffs should be chosen by the freeholders. Finally Monmouth declared that
* Journals of the House of Commons, June 13, 1685; Harl. MS. 6845; Lansdowne MS. 1152.
it Burnet, i. 641; Goodenough's confession in Lansdowne MS. 1152. Copies of the declaration, as originally printed, are very rare; but there is one at the British Museum.