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the dissolved bishoprics among the leading noblemen ; he even surrendered his prerogative of appointing the chief officers of state. But “the king's great object in making these concessions was to obtain security for his friends, whom, under the name of incendiaries, he had been compelled to abandon to the mercy of the estates, and who were threaten. ed by their countrymen with the fate of the earl of Strafford.” And the discovery of the incident,' as it was called, being a plot to seize if not assassinate the most distinguished of the popular leaders in Scotland, stamps the whole of Charles's transactions in Scotland with the characters of falsehood and treachery.
Charles was now hastening with the precipitation of a maniac to his own destruction. He had no sooner got back to his English capital than he issued a proclamation requiring conformity to the established church, and surrounded himself with a number of discharged officers and soldiers, as a kind of body-guard, under the command of one Lunsford who was actually under outlawry for an attempt at assassination. The protestation of the bishops, and the impeachment of Kimbolton and the five members, were acts still more fatal to the infatuated monarch.
Even after the decisive defeat of Naseby, Charles might yet have retraced his steps, and saved both his crown and his life. But he intrigued with Ormonde, lord-lieutenant of Ireland, and concluded a secret treaty by which the Irish agreed to pour an army of 20,000 men into Scotland ; he intrigued with the Scottish commissioners, Laneric and Lauderdale, promising to establish presbytery for three years and to extirpate the independents ; and in the height of his infatuation, he rejected with circuinstances of insult, the overtures of the independent leaders. At last his double dealings were discovered, and nothing remained for him but flight. His scheme for this purpose was ill-devised ; in a few days he was lodged a prisoner in Carisbrook castle in the isle of Wight. Even here he recommenced his former intrigues, and held secret interviews with the Scots commissioners while he endeavoured to effect a personal treaty with the parliament. The houses demanded the royal assent to four bills which they had prepared, as the only condition on which they would consent to a personal treaty. The first of these bills, after vesting the command of the army in the parliament for twenty years, enacted, that after that period, whenever the lords and commons should declare the safety of the kingdom to be concerned, all bills passed by them respecting the forces, by sea or land, should be deemed acts of parliament, even though the king for the time should refuse his assent. The second declared all oaths, proclamations, and proceedings against the parliament during the war, void and of no effect. The third annulled all titles of honour granted since the 20th of May, 1642, and deprived all peers to be created thereafter of the right of sitting in parliament, without the consent of the two houses ; and the fourth gave to the houses the power of adjourning from place to place at their discretion.? Charles, it is probable, would have assented to these bills, had not the Scots commissioners encouraged him to hold out. The answer wbich he returned was, that nothing would induce him to assent to any bills as a part of the agreement before the whole was concluded. On the
evening of the same day in which he transmitted this message to Lon. don, Charles made an abortive attempt to escape from Carisbrook. The vigilance of Hammond, the governor, frustrated the attempt.
The Scottish clergy had expected Charles to subscribe the covenant when secretly presented to him at Carisbrook; the report of their com. missioners undeceived them, and the nation no longer regarded the invasion of England with the same feelings with which they had at first entertained the proposal to take up arms for a covenanting king. It had been agreed that the entrance of the Scots into England should be the signal for a simultaneous rising of the royalists in every quarter o! the kingdon. The impatience of the latter would not allow them ti wait for the arrival of the Scots. The king's standard was raised ai Pembroke, and partial risings took place at Chepstow, Norwich, Canterbury, Maidstone and Exeter; but the vigilance of Fairfax soon suppressed these movements; and the defeat of the Scottish army under Hamilton, at Preston, crushed the last hopes of Charles.
Alushed with victory, now listened with a ready ear to the hints which were thrown out by several of the leaders of bringing the king to trial. Among these last, Ludlow ard Ireton were conspicuous. On the 29th of November, the king's person was seized by a military detachment under Rolfe, a major in the army, and he was removed to Hurst castle. A violent and long-protracted debate ensued in the house of commons, which issued in a resolution being carried by a majority of 46, that Charles had made such concessions as furnished sufficient ground for the future settlement of the kingdom The army again interfered, and in the most unjustifiable manner seized on the persons of the most distinguished presbyterian leaders and committed them to different places of confinement. The day after the exclusion of the presbyterian members, Cromwell arrived from Scotland, and expressed his full concurrence in the measures which were now pursuing by the
On the 23d of December, a resolution was passed in the commons to proceed against the king, and on the Isi of January 1649, a high court of justice was appointed to try the question whether Charles Stuart, king of England, had or had not been guilty of treason in levying war against the parliament and kingdom of England. On the 20th of the same month the commissioners pro. cceded with the trial in Westminster liall. They were sixty-six in number, and John Bradshaw, sergeant-at-law, sat as president. Charles conducted himself during the trial with great composure and dignity. On the third day the court pronounced judgment of death against him. He heard the sentence unmoved, and made an attempt to address the court after it was pronounced, but Bradshaw ordered liim to be removed, and he was hurried out of the hall by the guards. On the 30th of January, the sentence was carried into execution. We shall avail ourselves of Dr Lingard's account of the closing scene of the unfortunate monarch's life:
“ In the meanwhile Charles enjoyed the consolation of learning that his son had not forgotten him in his distress. By the indulgence of Colonel Tomlinson, Seymour was admitted, delivered the letter, and received the royal instructions for the prince. He was hardly gone, when Hacker arrived with the fatal summons. The king proceeded through the long gallery, lined on each side with soldiers, who, far from
insulting the fallen monarch, appeared by their sorrowful looks to sym. pathize with his fate. At the end an aperture had been made in the wall, through which he stepped at once upon the scaffold. It was hung with black: at the further end were seen the two executioners, the block and the axe: below appeared in arms several regiments of horse and foot: and beyond, as far as the eye was permitted to reach, waved a dense and countless crowd of spectators. The king stood collecterl and undismayed amidst the apparatus of death. There was in his countenance that cheerful intrepidity, in his demeanour that dignified calmness, which had characterized, in the hall of Fotheringay, his royal grandmother, Mary Stuart. It was his wish to address the people, but they were kept beyond the reach of his voice by the swords of the military; and therefore confining his discourse to a few persons standing with him on the scaffold, he took, he said, the opportunity of denying in the presence of God, the crimes of which he had been accused. It was not to him, but to the houses of parliament, that the war and all its evils should be charged. The parliament had first invaded the rights of the crown by claiming the command of the army, it had provoked hostilities by issuing commissions for the levy of forces, before he had raised a single man. But he had forgiven all, even those, whoever they were, (for he did not desire to know their names,) who had brought him to his death. He did more than forgive them, he prayed that they might repent. But for that purpose they must do three things: they must render to God his due, by settling the church according to the :cripture; they must restore to the crown those rights which belong to it by law; and they must teach the people the distinction betwixt the sovereign and the subject; those persons could not be governors who were to be governed, they could not rule, whose duty it was to obey. Then, in allusion to the offers formerly made to him by the army; lie concluded with these words; “ Sirs, it was for the liberties of the people that I am come here. If I would have assented to any arbitrary sway, to have all things changed according to the power of the sword, I needed not to have come hither; and therefore I tell you, (and I pray God it be not laid to your charge,) that I am the martyr of the people.”
Having added, at the suggestion of Dr Juxon, “I die a Christian according to the profession of the Church of England, as I found it left by my father,” he said, addressing himself to the prelate, “ I have on my side a good cause, and a gracious God.”
Bishop.—There is but one stage more; it is a turbulent and troublesome, but a short one. It will carry you from earth to heaven, and there you will find joy and comfort.
King.--I go from a corruptible to an incorruptible crown.
Bishop.—You exchange an earthly for an eternal crown,-a good exchange.
Being ready, he bent his neck on the block, and after a short pause stretched out his hand as a signal. At that instant the axe descended; the head rolled from the body; a deep groan burst from the multitude of the spectators. But they had no leisure to testify their feeling: two troops of horse dispersed them in different directions."
We have already had an opportunity of expressing our sentiments with regard to the execution of Charles. The following are Mr Fox's nbservations on this transaction :
“ The execution of the king, though a far less violent measure than that of Lord Strafford, is an event of so singular a nature, that we cannot wonder that it should have excited more sensation than any other in the annals of England. This exemplary act of substantial justice, as it has been called by some, of enormous wickedness by others, must be considered in two points of view. First, was it not in itself just and necessary? Secondly, was the example of it likely to be salutary or pernicious ? In regard to the first of these questions, Mr Hume, not perhaps intentionally, makes the best justification of it, by saying, that while Charles lived, the projected republic could never be secure. But to justify taking away the life of an individual, upon the principle of self-defence, the danger must be not problematical and remote, but evident and immediate. The danger in this instance was not of such a nature; and the imprisonment, or even banishment, of Charles, might have given to the republic such a degree of security as any government ought to be content with. It must be confessed, however, on the other side, that if the republican government had suffered the king to escape, it would have been an act of justice and generosity wbolly unexampled; and to have granted him even his life, would have been one among the more rare efforts of virtue. The short interval between the deposal and death of princes is become proverbial; and though there may be some few examples on the other side, as far as life is concerned, I doubt whether a single instance can be found, where liberty has been granted to a deposed monarcı. Among the modes of destroying persons in such a situation, there can be little doubt but that adopted by Cromwell and his adherents is the least dishonourable. Edward the Second, Richard the Second, Henry the Sixth, Edward the Fifth, had none of them long survived their deposal; but this was the first instance, in our history at least, where, of such an act, it could be truly said, that it was not done in a corner.
“ As to the second question, whether the advantage to be derived from the example was such as to justify an act of such violence, it appears to me to be a complete solution of to observe, that with respect to England, (and I know not upon what ground we are to set examples for other nations, or, in other words, to take the criminal justice of the world into our hands,) it was wholly needless, and therefore unjustifiable, to set one for kings, at a time when it was intended the office of king should be abolished, and consequently, that no person should be in the situation to make it the rule of his conduct. Besides, the miseries attendant upon a deposed monarch, seem to be sufficient to deter any prince, who thinks of consequences, from running the risk of being placed in such a situation ; or, if death be the only evil that can deter him, the fate of former tyrants deposed by their subjects, would by no means encourage him to hope he could avoid even that catastrophe. As far as we can judge from the event, the example was certainly not very effectual, since both the sons of Charles, though having their father's fate before their eyes, yet feared not to violate the liberties of the people even more than he had attempted to do.
“ If we consider this question of example in a more extended view, and look to the general effect produced upon the minds of men, it cannot be doubted but the opportunity thus given to Charles, to display his firmness and piety, has created more respect for his memory than it could otherwise have obtained. Respect and pity for the suf. ferer, on one hand, and hatred to his enemies, on the other, soon produce favour and aversion to their respective causes; and thus, even though it should be admitted, (which is doubtful), that some advantage inay have been gained to the cause of liberty, by the terror of the example operating upon the minds of princes, such advantage is far outweighed by the zeal which admiration for virtue, and pity for sufferings, the best passions of the human heart, have excited in favour of the royal cause. It has been thought dangerous to the morals of mankind, even in fiction and romance, to make us sympathize with characters whose general conduct is blameable ; but how much greater must the effect be, when in real history our feelings are interested in favour of a monarch with whom, to say the least, his subjects were obliged to contend in arms for their liberty ? After all, bowever, notwithstanding what the more reasonable part of mankind may think upon this question, it is much to be doubted whether this singular proceeding has not, as much as any other circumstance, served to raise the character of the English nation in the opinion of Europe in general. He who has read, and still inore he who has heard in conversation, discussions upon this subject, by foreigners, must have perceived, that, even in the minds of those who condemn the act, the impression made by it has been far more that of respect and admiration, than that of disgust and horror. The truth is, that the guilt of the action, that is to say, the taking away the life of the king, is what most men in the place of Cromwell and his associates would have incurred; what there is of splendour and of magnanimity in it, I mean the publicity and solemnity of the act, is what few would be capable of displaying. It is a degrading fact to human nature, that even the sending away of the duke of Gloucester was an instance of generosity almost unexampled in the history of transactions of this nature.”
Sir Dudley Carleton.
BORN A. D. 1573.—DIED A. D. 1631.
Dudley Carleton, Lord Dorchester, was the eldest son of Anthony Carleton, of Baldwin-Brightwell, in the county of Oxford. He was born at his father's seat on the 10th of March, 1573. He received his education at Westminster school, and at Oxford.
In the year 1600, we find him appointed secretary to Sir Thomas Parry, our ambassador in France. In James's first parliament, he represented the borough of St Mawes, in Cornwall, and was considered an active member and good speaker. In 1605, he accompanied Norris into Spain, but in the latter end of that year he was recalled to Eng. land, and underwent a severe examination on suspicion of being concerned in the gun-powder plot. He succeeded in clearing himself of the charge, but seems to have remained a considerable time without further official employment. In 1610, he was nominated to the embassy at Venice, and before setting out received the honour of knighthoorl. In 1616, he was sent to the States-general of Holland, and was the last English minister who sat in the council of state of the United