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CHA P. in a state of actual war and rebellion. They made LXVI. therefore an agreement with some highland chief
tains to call out their clans, to the number of 8000 1678.
men: To these they joined the guards, and the militia of Angus : And they sent the whole to live at free quarters upon the lands of such as had refused the bonds illegally required of them. The obnoxious counties were the most populous and most industrious in Scotland. The highlanders were the people most disorderly and the least civilized. It is easy to imagine the havoc and destruction which ensued. A multitude, not accustomed to discipline, averse to the restraint of laws, trained up in rapine and violence, were let loose amidst those whom they were taught to regard as enemies to their Prince and 'to their religion. Nothing escaped their ravenous hands: By menaces, by violence, and sometimes by tortures, men were obliged to discover their concealed wealth. Neither age, nor sex, nor innocence, afforded protection: And the gentry, find. ing that even those who had been most compliant, and who had subscribed the bonds, were equally exposed to the rapacity of those barbarians, confirmed themselves still more in the resolution of refusing them. The voice of the nation was raised against this enormous outrage; and after two months free quarter, the highlanders were sent back to their hills, loaded with the spoils and execrations of the west.
THOSE who had been engaged to subscribe the bonds, could find no security, but by turning out such tenants as they suspected of an inclination to conventicles, and thereby depopulating their estates. To increase the misery of these unhappy farmers, the council enacted, that none should be received any where, or allowed a habitation, who brought not a certificate of his conformity from the parishminister. That the obstinate and refractory might not escape farther persecution, a new device was
fallen upon. By the law of Scotland, any man, who CHAP. should go before a magistrate, and swear that he LXVI. thought himself in danger from another, might obtain a writ of law-burrows, as it is called ; by which " the latter was bound, under the penalty of imprisonment and outlawry, to find security for his good behaviour. Lauderdale entertained the absurd no. tion of making the King sue out writs of law-burrows against his subjects. On this pretence, the refusers of the bonds were summoned to appear before the council, and were required to bind themselves, under the penalty of two years' rent, neither to frequent conventicles themselves, nor allow their family and tenants to be present at those unlawful assemblies. Thus chicanery was joined to tyranny; and the majesty of the King, instead of being exalted, was in reality prostituted; as if he were obliged to seek the same security, which one neighbour might require of another.
It was an old law, but seldom executed, that a man who was accused of any crime, and did not appear, in order to stand his trial, might be intercommuned, that is, he might be publicly outlawed ; and whoever afterwards, either on account of business, relation, nay charity, had the least intercourse with him, was subjected to the same penalties as could by law be inflicted on the criminal himself. Several writs of in. tercommuning were now issued against the hearers and preachers in conventicles; and, by this severe and even absurd law, crimes and guilt went on multiplying in a geometrical proportion. Where laws themselves are so violent, it is no wonder that an administration should be tyrannical.
Lest the cry of an oppressed people should reach the throne, the council forbad, under severe penal. ties, all noblemen or gentlemen of landed property to leave the kingdom: A severe edict, especially where the sovereign himself resided in a foreign
harity, hane same poi himselten agair
CHAP. country. Notwithstanding this act of council, CasLXVI. silis first, afterwards Hamilton and Tweddale went
to London, and laid their complaints before the 1678.
King. These violent proceedings of Lauderdale were opposite to the natural temper of Charles ; and he immediately issued orders for discontinuing the bonds and the writs of law-burrows. But as he was com. monly little touched with what lay at a distance, he entertained not the proper indignation against those who had abused his authority: Even while he retracted these oppressive measures, he was prevailed with to avow and praise them, in a letter which he wrote to the privy council. This proof of confi. dence might fortify the hands of the ministry; but the King ran a manifest risk of losing the affections of his subjects, by not permitting even those who were desirous of it, to distinguish between him and their oppressors.
It is reported', that Charles, after a full hearing of the debates concerning Scottish affairs, said, “ I 6 perceive, that Lauderdale has been guilty of many “ bad things against the people of Scotland; but Í o cannot find that he has acted any thing contrary u to my interest :” A sentiment unworthy of a sovereign!
DURING the absence of Hamilton and the other discontented lords, the King allowed Lauderdale to summon a convention of estates at Edinburgh. This assembly, besides granting some money, bestowed applause on all Lauderdale's administration, and in their addresses to the King expressed the highest contentment and satisfaction. But these instances of complaisance had the contrary effect in England from what was expected by the contrivers of them. All men there concluded, that in Scotland the very voice of liberty was totally suppressed; and that, by the prevalence of tyranny, grievances were so | Burnet.
riveted, that it was become dangerous even to men- CHAP. tion them, or complain to the Prince, who alone LXVI. was able to redress them. From the slavery of the
1678. . neighbouring kingdom, they inferred the arbitrary disposition of the King; and from the violence with which sovereign power was there exercised, they apprehended the miseries which might ensue to themselves upon their loss of liberty. If persecu. tion, it was asked, by a protestant church could be carried to such extremes, what might be dreaded from the prevalence of popery, which had ever, in all ages, made open profession of exterminating by fire and sword every opposite sect or communion ? And if the first approaches towards unlimited au. thority were so tyrannical, how dismal its final establishment; when all dread of opposition should at last be removed by mercenary armies, and all sense of shame by long and inveterate habit ?
tyrannicahes towards communions
C H A P. LXVII.
The Popish Plot. — Oates's Narrative — and Charac
ter. — Coleman's Letters. — Godfrey's Murder. General Consternation. — The Parliament. — Zeal of the Parliament. — Bedloe's Narrative. Accusation of Danby. — His Impeachment. — Dissolution of the Long Parliament. — Its Character. — Trial of Coleman — of Ireland. — New Elections. — Duke of Monmouth. — Duke of York retires to Brussels. New Parliament. — Danby's Impeachment. — Popish Plot. — New Council. — Limitations on a Popish Successor. — Bill of Exclusion. — Habeas Corpus Bill. Prorogation and Dissolution of the Parliament. — Trial and Execution of the five Jesuits, and of Langhorne. “Wakeman acquitted. — State of Af. fairs in Scotland. - Battle of Bothwel-bridge."
CHAP. THE English nation, ever since the fatal league LXVII.
T with France, had entertained violent jealousies against the court; and the subsequent measures adopted by the King had tended more to increase than cure the general prejudices. Some mysterious design was still suspected in every. enterprise and profession: Arbitrary power and popery were appre. hended as the scope of all projects : Each breath or rumour made the people start with anxiety : Their enemies, they thought, were in their very bosom, and had gotten possession of their sovereign's con. fidence. While in this timorous, jealous disposition, the cry of a plot all on a sudden struck their