« 上一頁繼續 »
good or bad; but if the parson had been episcopally ordained, and in possession, he must be restored, though he had been ejected upon the strongest evidence of immorality or scandal.
The act for confirmation of marriages was very expedient for the peace of the kingdom, and the order and harmony of families. It enacts, "that all marriages since May 1, 1642, solemnized before a justice of peace, or reputed justice; and all marriages since the said time, had or solemnized according to the direction of any ordinance, or reputed act or ordinance of one or both houses of parliament, shall be adjudged and esteemed to be of the same force and effect, as if they had been solemnized according to the rites and ceremonies of the church of England.”
An act for the attainder of several persons guilty of the horrid murder of his late sacred majesty king Charles I. and for the perpetual observation of the 30th of January*. This was the subject of many conferences between the two houses, in one of which chancellor Hyde declared, that the king having sent him in embassy to the king of Spain, charged him to tell that monarch expressly, "that the horrible murder of his father ought not to be deemed as the act of the parliament, or people of England, but of a small crew of wretches and miscreants who had usurped the sovereign power, and rendered themselves masters of the kingdom+;" for which the commons sent a deputation with thanks to the king. After the preamble, the act goes on to attaint the king's judges, dead or alive, except colonel Ingoldsby and Thompson, who for their late good services were pardoned, but in their room were included colonel Lambert, sir Harry Vane, and Hugh Peters, who were not of the judges. On the 30th of January this year, the bodies of O. Cromwell, Bradshaw, and Ireton, were taken out of their hurdles to and drawn upon graves, Tyburn, where they were hung up from ten in the morning till
* The service for this day, it has been remarked, was framed on the jure divino plan, consequently on principles inconsistent with those of the Revolution. It was drawn up by archbishop Sancroft, whose influence procured it to be adopted and published by the king's authority, though another of a more moderate strain was at first preferred to it. When Sancroft himself was laid aside for adopting or adhering to principles suitable to his style, what had we to do any longer with Sancroft's office? Letters and Essays in Favour of Public Liberty, vol. 1. p. 32. -ED.
This plea, it has been observed by a late writer, would have been precluded, had the parliament of 1641 proceeded against the king by way of attainder, about the time that Strafford and Laud were impeached. For then they were constitutionally invested with the legislative and judicial powers of a national representative and they had sufficient overt-acts before them to convict him of the blackest treason against the majesty of the people of England. Memoirs of Hollis, vol. 2. p. 591.-ED.
Dr. Grey observes, on the authority of lord Clarendon, that the case of colonel Ingoldsby was singular. He was drawn into the army about the time when he came first of age by Cromwell, to whom he was nearly allied. Though appointed to it, he never sat with the judges of the king: and his signature to the warrant for the king's death was obtained by violence; Cromwell seized his hand, put the pen between his fingers, and with his own hand wrote Richard Ingoldsby, he making all the resistance he could. Clarendon's History, vol. 3. p. 763.
sunset of the next day, after which their heads were cut off, and their trunks buried altogether in one hole under the gallows*. Colonel Lambert was sent to the isle of Jersey, where he continued shut up a patient prisoner almost thirty years; nineteen made their escape beyond sea; seven were made objects of the king's clemency; nineteen others, who surrendered on the king's proclamation of June 6, had their lives saved after trial; but underwent other penalties, as imprisonment, banishment, and forfeiture of estates; so that ten only were executed in the month of October, after the new sheriffs were entered upon their office, viz. Col. Harrison, Mr. Carew, Cook, Hugh Peters, Mr. Scot, Clement, Scroop, Jones, Hacker, and Axtel+.
Bishop Burnet says, "The trials and executions of the first that suffered, were attended by vast crowds of people. All men seemed pleased with the sight; but the firmness and show of piety of the sufferers, who went out of the world with a sort of triumph in the cause for which they suffered, turned the minds of the populace, insomuch that the king was advised to proceed no farther." The prisoners were rudely treated in court; the spectators with their noise and clamour endeavouring to put them out of countenance. None of them denied the fact, but all pleaded "Not guilty to the treason," because as they said they acted by authority of parliament; not considering, that the house of commons is no court of judicature; or if it was, that it was packed and purged before the king was brought to his trial. Those who guarded the scaffold pleaded, that they acted by command of their superior officers, who would have cashiered or put them to death, if they had not obeyed. They were not permitted to enter into the merits of the cause between the king and parliament, but were condemned upon the statute of the 25th Edward III. for compassing and imagining the king's death.
The behaviour of the regicides at their execution was bold and resolute; colonel Harrison declared at. the gibbet, that he was fully persuaded that what he had done was the cause and work of God, which he was confident God would own and raise up again, how much soever it suffered at that time. He went through all the indignities and severities of his sufferings, with a calmness or rather cheerfulness, that astonished the spectators; he was turned off, and cut down alive; for after his body was opened, he raised himself up, and gave the executioner a box on the ears. When Mr. solicitor Cook and Hugh Peters went into the sledge, the head of major-general Harrison was put upon it, with the face bare towards them; but notwithstanding this, Mr. Cook went out of the world with surprising resolution, blessing God that he had a clear conscience. Hugh Peters was more timid; but after he had seen the execution and quartering
This was done, says Dr. Grey, upon a 30th of January; a circumstance which Mr. Neal might probably think below his notice.-ED. + Kennet's Chron. p. 367.
Vol. 1. p. 234. § State Trials, p. 404.
of Mr. Cook, he resumed his courage at length (which some said was artificial,) and said to the sheriff, "Sir, you have here slain one of the servants of the Lord, and made me behold it, on purpose to terrify and discourage me; but God has made it an ordinance for my strengthening and encouragement*." Mr. Scot was not allowed to speak to the people, but said in his prayer, "that he had been engaged in a cause not to be repented of; I say, in a cause not to be repented of." Carew appeared very cheerful as he went to the gibbet, but said little of the cause for which he suffered. Clements also said nothing. Colonel Jones justified the king and court in their proceedings; but added, that they did not satisfy him in so great and deep a point. Colonel Scroop was drawn in the same sledge, whose grave and venerable countenance, accompanied with courage and cheerfulness, raised great compassion in some of the spectators, though the insults and rudeness of others were cruel and barbarous: he said he was born and bred a gentleman; and appealed to those who had known him for his behaviour; he forgave the instruments of his sufferings, and died for that which he judged to be the cause of Christ. Colonel Axtel and Hacker suffered last; the former behaved with great resolution, and holding the Bible in his hand said, "The very cause in which I was engaged is contained in this book of God; and having been fully convinced in my conscience of the justness of the war, I freely engaged in the parliament's service, which, as I do believe was the cause of the Lord, I ventured my life freely for it, and now die for it." Hacker read a paper to the same purpose; and after having expressed his charity towards his judges, jury, and witnesses, he said, "I have nothing lies upon my conscience as guilt whereof I am now condemned, and do not doubt but to have the sentence reversed."
Few, if any of these criminals, were friends of the protector Cromwell, but gave him all possible disturbance in favour of a commonwealth. Mr. H. Cromwell, in one of his letters from Ireland, 1657-8, says, "It is a sad case, when men, knowing the difficulties we labour under, seek occasions to quarrel and unsettle every thing again; I hear Harrison, Carew, and Okey, have done new feats. I hope God will infatuate them in their endeavours to disturb the peace of the nation; their folly shews them to be no better than abusers of religion, and such whose hypocrisy the Lord will avenge in due time."
The regicides certainly confounded the cause of the parliament, or the necessity of entering into a war to bring delinquents to justice, with the king's execution; whereas they fall under a very
"It appears from this instance, and many others (observes Mr. Granger) that the presumption of an enthusiast is much greater than that of a saint. The one is always humble, and works out his own salvation with fear and trembling ; the other is arrogant and assuming, and seems to demand it as his right." History of England, vol. 3. p. 339.-ED.
distinct consideration; the former might be necessary, when the latter had neither law nor equity to support it*: for admitting, with them, that the king is accountable to his parliament; the house of commons alone is not the parliament; and if it was, it could not be so, after it was under restraint, and one half of the members forcibly kept from their places by the military power. They had no precedent for their conduct, nor any measure of law to try and condemn their sovereign; though the Scripture says, "He that sheds man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed;" yet this is not a rule of duty for private persons, when there is a government subsisting. If the king had fallen in battle it had been a different case; but how criminal soever his majesty might be in their apprehensions, they had no warrant to sit as his judges, and therefore could have no right by their verdict or sentence to put him to death.
There was another act passed this session, for a perpetual anniversary-thanksgiving on the 29th of May, for his majesty's happy restoration; upon which occasion the bishops were commanded to draw up a suitable form of prayer; and Mr. Robinson, in the preface to his Review of the Case of Liturgies, says, that in their first form, which is since altered, there are these unwarrantable expressions, which I mention only to shew the spirit of the times. "We beseech thee to give us grace, to remember, and provide for our latter end, by a careful and studious imitation of this thy blessed saint and martyr, and all other thy saints and martyrs that have gone before us; that we may be made worthy to receive the benefit by their prayers, which they, in communion with thy church catholic, offer up unto thee for that part of it here militant, and yet in sight with and danger from the flesht."
The books of the great Milton, and Mr. John Goodwin, published in defence of the sentence of death passed upon his late majesty, were called in by proclamation. And upon the 27th of August Milton's Defensio pro Populo Anglicano contra Salmasium; and his answer to a book entitled, The Portraiture of his
* A distinguished writer, who now ranks a peer, delivers a different opinion from our author. "If a king deserves (says he) to be opposed by force of arms, he deserves death: if he reduces his subjects to that extremity, the blood spilled in the quarrel lies on him :-the executing him afterward is a mere formality." Walpole's Royal and Noble Authors, vol. 2. p. 69, as quoted by Dr. Harris, Life of Charles II. vol. 1. p. 262. A sentiment of this last writer, which carries truth and force in it, may be properly brought forward in this connexion. "The depriving of the people of their rights and liberties, or the arguing for the expediency and justice of so doing, is a crime of a higher nature than the murdering, or magnifying the murder, of the wisest and best prince under heaven. The loss of a good prince is greatly to be lamented; but it is a loss which may be repaired: whereas the loss of a people's liberties is seldom or ever to be recovered: consequently the foe to the latter is much more detestable than the foe to the former." Historical and Critical Account of Hugh Peters, p. 49, 50.-ED.
+ Dr. Grey asks, "What is there blameable in all this? Here is no praying to saints; and nothing but what was thought warrantable by the fathers, long before Popery had a being."-ED.
sacred Majesty in his Solitude and Sufferings; were burnt by the hands of the common hangman; together with Mr. John Goodwin's book, entitled, The Obstructers of Justice; but the authors absconded till the storm was over. It was a surprise to all, that they had escaped prosecution. None but Goodwin and Peters had magnified the king's execution in their sermons; but Goodwin's being a strenuous Arminian procured him friends *. Milton had appeared so boldly, though with much wit, and so great purity and elegance of style, upon the argument of the king's death, that it was thought a strange omission not to except him out of the act of indemnity +; but he lived many years after, though blind, to acquire immortal renown by his celebrated poem of Paradise Lost.
The tide of joy which overflowed the nation at the king's restoration, brought with it the return of Popery, which had been at a very low ebb during the late commotions: great numbers of that religion came over with his majesty, and crowded about the court, magnifying their sufferings for the late king. A list of the lords, gentlemen, and other officers, who were killed in his service, was printed in red letters, by which it appeared that several noblemen, ten knights and baronets, fourteen colonels, seven lieutenant-colonels, fourteen majors, sixty-six captains, eighteen lieutenants and cornets, and thirty-eight gentlemen, lost their lives in the civil war, besides great numbers who were wounded, and whose estates were sequestered. The queen-mother came from France, and resided at Somerset-house with her Catholic attendants, both religious and secular. Several Romish priests who had been confined in Newgate, Lancaster, and other jails, were by order of council set at liberty. Many Popish priests were sent over from Douay into England, as missionaries for propagating that religion; and their clergy appeared openly in defiance of the laws; they were busy about the court and city in dispersing Popish books of devotion; and the king gave open countenance and protection to such as had been serviceable to him abroad, and came over with him, or soon followed him, which, bishop Kennet says, his majesty could not avoid. Upon the whole, more Roman Catholics appeared openly this year than in all the twelve years of the interregnum.
In Ireland the Papists took possession of their estates, which had been forfeited by the rebellion and massacre, and turned out the purchaseas; which occasioned such commotions in that king
Burnet, vol. 1. p. 236, 237, 12mo edit.
+ "And so indeed it was (says Dr. Grey), he being the most pestilent writer that appeared at that time in defence of the regicides, Peyton and John Goodwin excepted." Milton's safety, it is said, was owing to the powerful intercession and interest of secretary Morrice, sir Thomas Clarges, and Andrew Marvel: but principally to the influence and gratitude of Sir William Davenant, whose release Milton had procured when he was taken prisoner in 1650. Nor was Charles II. says Toland, such an enemy to the muses as to require his destruction. British Biography, vol. 5. p. 313, 314; and Dr. Grey's Examination, vol. 3. p. 298.-Ed.