"Their majesties, attended by their royal highnesses, and a numerous train of nobility and gentry, went first to a balcony prepared for them at the Angel in Cheapside, to see the show; which, for the great number of liverymen, the full appearance of the militia and artillery company, the rich adornments of the pageants, and the splendour and good order of the whole proceeding, out-did all that had been seen before upon that occasion: and, what deserved to be particularly mentioned, says a reverend historian, was a royal regiment of volunteer-horse, made up of the chief citizens, who, being gallantly mounted, and richly accoutred, were led by the Earl of Monmouth, now Earl of Peterborough, and attended their majesties from Whitehall. Among these troopers, who were for the most part Dissenters, was Daniel Foe, at that time a hosier in Freeman's Yard, Cornhill; the same who afterwards was pilloryed for writing an ironical invective against the church, and did after that list in the service of Mr. Robert Harley, and those brethren of his who passed the Schism and Occasional bills, broke the confederacy, and made a shameful and ruinous peace with France."* Oldmixon, who always dips his pen in gall, when speaking of De Foe, might have told his readers, that, although he was the private friend of Harley, from whom he had received personal favors, yet he wrote against all the measures which he here reprehends: but so much justice was not to be expected from so consistent a party-writer.

* Oldmixon's Hist. of Eng. iii. 36.

[ocr errors]


Revival of Party Animosities.-Discordant Materials of the Ministry-Imprudence of the Whigs-Dissolution of Parliament.-Change in the Ministry. Tory Parliament.-Bribery revived.-King James invades Ireland. -Battle of the Boyne.-De Foe satirizes the Jacobites.-Treasonable Designs of the Jacobites laid open in a Pamphlet.-Bishop Turner detected in a Plot.-Non-juring Clergy deprived-Tillotson's wise conduct-Temporizing Behaviour of the Swearing Clergy.-Case of Dr. Sherlock.—Account of Bishop Overall's Convocation Book.-De Foe's Remarks upon Sherlock's Casuistry.-Principles and Character of the Non-jurors—Enumeration of their Principal Writers-Character of Sancroft.—Infatuation of Churchmen.-Venality of public Men-Disaffection to the Government. -Character of Bishop Crewe.-Preparations for an Invasion.—Battle of La Hogue.


NOTWITHSTANDING the lenity of his government, and his unwearied endeavours to compose the differences of his people, William soon discovered that the possession of a crown was far from yielding him satisfaction. Before the objects of the revolution were completed, they were sunk in the private interests of party; the charm which had united men of discordant passions was broken, and they began to assume their natural tone. Unrestrained any longer by fear, the ambitious and the venal threw aside the mask of patriotism, and raising the voice of faction, convulsed the nation in their inglorious strife. Whigs and Tories, who had made common cause in behalf of their country, now resumed their former animosity, holding out their colours to the people, who enlisted themselves upon either side, as



their inclinations and prejudices, or other motives directed. From each of these parties there arose other bodies of men, who assumed new political distinctions, and combined together for the purpose of distressing the government, and accomplishing their own accession to power. Under the influence of these different factions, the nation was torn by divisions, and each party when in power, contributed its services towards the plunder of the public. This untoward character of his new subjects gave so much uneasiness to the king, as greatly to moderate his attachment to them, and to embitter the remaining years of his reign.

The first ministry of William, although composed of men of undoubted talents, was not built for durability. Some of the leading members were of high and arbitrary principles, and went into the revolution more from necessity than choice; therefore, were not likely to promote a liberal settlement. If the motive for their appointment was to conciliate persons of their own principles to the new government, it had the effect of alienating others; and they formed a rallying point for the intrigues of the Tories, which were greatly promoted by their official influence. Whilst these endeavoured to recommend themselves to the king by exalting his prerogative higher than is fitting in a free state, they acquired popularity with others by magnifying their zeal for the rites and ceremonies of the English church. The Whigs, on the other hand, lost ground by their attempts to circumscribe the royal authority, particularly in relation to the militia and the civil list; nor did they raise themselves in the estimation of churchmen, by their liberal concessions to other Protestants. Disappointed at the admission of Tories into the councils of a prince, whose favour, from their previous services, they thought themselves entitled to engross, they resorted to expedients for the confirmation of their own power, which eventually promoted that of their rivals.



In this conflict of parties, some of the leading ministers were attacked in parliament, as the instruments of obnoxious measures in the late reigns, and therefore unworthy of a place in the revolution-government. The persons pointed at were the Marquis of Halifax, the Earl of Nottingham, and the Marquis of Carmarthen; and addresses were moved for their dismission. In order to secure the administration in their own hands, the Whigs resorted to a measure which recoiled upon themselves. Having prepared a bill "For restoring Corporations to their ancient rights and privileges, and for excluding from places of trust in such corporations, all persons who were any way accessory to their surrender;" it passed the Commons by a great majority, and obtained the consent of the Lords. The Tories were now alarmed for their influence, and persuading the king that it was an attack upon his prerogative, they advised him to put an end to the parliament, which was prorogued the 27th of January, 1690; and a few days afterwards dissolved by proclamation.

A change in the ministry speedily followed; and the royal favour being now transferred to the Tories, they made the most of their victory, by having recourse to measures that were personally gratifying to the sovereign. But whatever disgust the king might have conceived at the Whigs, they were at the bottom the truest friends to the Revolution, and the fittest instruments to support a cause which they had the principal hand in establishing.

In the new parliament, which met the 30th of March, 1690, the Tories found themselves in a great majority. This was clearly seen in the choice of the speaker, Sir John Trevor, who had held a distinguished situation under King James, and now obtained the seals. Being a leading Tory, he undertook the management of that party in the Commons, for which purpose he procured considerable sums of money, and revived the odious practice of bribery. As the Tories professed to be a church-party, they removed all Dissenters


193 from their commissions in the militia, and used all their influence to exclude them from corporations. In supplanting the Whigs, they flattered the king with a promise of greater pliability, which they now proceeded to make good, by voting him a revenue for life. They also procured liberal supplies for the service of the government, a considerable part of which was diverted into private channels; and to secure themselves from future attacks, they passed a bill of indemnity, which the Whigs had rejected in the former parliament.

From the commencement of James's misfortunes, the French King, Louis the 14th, had determined to espouse his quarrel, and promised to assist him with all his forces in the recovery of his dominions. Although his conduct was such as to inspire but little respect in the French court, yet, a community of interests, masked by a zeal for religion, procured for him a degree of notice that he would not have obtained by his personal character. (u) It was more, therefore, from a hatred to William, than from any regard for his rival, that the latter so soon obtained the means for the invasion of Ireland. At the head of a small army of Frenchmen, James landed at Kinsale, in March, 1689, less than three months after he had quitted England.

As the population of Ireland was composed chiefly of Catholics, he found a number of partizans in that kingdom; and collecting together a considerable force, he soon marched to Dublin. It was some months before an English army could be transported to that kingdom, so that James traversed the country with feeble resistance; but to support his former character for cruelty, his troops committed many excesses, butchering the Protestants without mercy. Upon the arrival of the Duke of Schomberg, the war soon took a

(u) The Archbishop of Rheims, seeing him come one day from mass, said in an ironical tone," Here comes a very honest gentleman, who has abandoned three kingdoms for a mass." Tindal, i. 78.

[merged small][ocr errors]
« VorigeDoorgaan »