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BOOK profane and inhuman jest.72 Doubtless the fana ticism of Mitchel was of the most daring and atrocious nature; but the guilt of that fanatick is lost in the complicated perfidy, cruelty, perjury and revenge which accomplished his death. It was the ardent desire of ministers to involve the whole body of presbyterians in his guilt; but in the prosecution of this object they incurred the just imputation of more detestable crimes. Horror and universal execration were excited by the treachery and almost unexampled perjuries of the first ministers in the church and in the state; and the precautions employed by Sharp for his safety and revenge, contributed two years afterwards to his disastrous fate.


72 Nay, then, let him glorify God in the Grass-market," the place of execution, Burnet, ii. 80. Wodrow, i. 375.514.






Introduction of the Highlanders, and their severities in the West.-Murder of Sharp.-Insurrection of Bothwell Bridge-Suppressed by MonmouthDuke of York's administration-Act of succession, and the test-Argyle's trial and escape.-Ryehouse plot-Prostitution of Justice, Executions, Extortions, Murders in the fields-Death and character of Charles II.



1678. Pretext for

the marriage of the prince of Orange with BOOK the princess Mary, eldest daughter of the duke of York, an alliance was hastily concluded with Holland, in consequence of a transient dis- a standing gust at the French court. A large army was appointed to be raised, and the king, if supported by the English parliament, was apparently determined VOL. IV.





BOOK to consult for once the inclination of the people, and the interest of the rest of Europe, by a war with France. But the popular party were alarmed at an army of twenty thousand men, suddenly raised within six weeks: they apprehended that the military force with which they had intrusted the court, was intended, not to prosecute the war abroad, but to subvert their religion and their liberties at home. From late discoveries, it appears indisputable that their apprehensions were just. The duke of York, who considered his religion as otherwise lost, had resumed the design of procuring a large army, which he expected to command in person, and by reducing the kingdom to subjection, proposed to render his brother absolute, and to secure his own precarious succession to the throne. The exccution of this desperate design was prevented by the combination of the popular leaders with the court of France; and the army, which was equally formidable to both, was dissolved by a secret treaty, or money transaction, between the latter and Charles.


Sir John Dalrymple's Memoirs, vol. i. p. 165—83—9. oct. edit. "The duke of York (says Barillon) believes himself "lost as to his religion, if the present opportunity does not "serve to bring England into subjection; it is a very bold en"terprise, and the success very doubtful. The king still wa"vers upon carrying things to extremity; his humour is very "repugnant to the design of changing the government. He "is, nevertheless, drawn along by the duke of York and the


'high treasurer." Id. 194.

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Sought in

From the coincidence of events, there is every BOOK reason to believe, that the pretext which the league with Holland afforded, to procure an army, had been sought in the measures purposely employed Scotland. in Scotland, to excite a revolt. Throughout the western counties, the landlords were required to enter into bonds, under the same penalties which the delinquents incurred, that neither their fami lies, domestics, tenants, nor their servants, or others residing on their property, should withdraw from public worship; or adhere to conventicles; or succour field preachers and persons intercommuned. Their wives and children had frequented conventicles, from which they had themselves abstained; but they declined the bonds as illegal, and refused to become responsible for their tenants or servants, whom it was impossible to restrain. At the same time, they acknowledged the increase of conventicles to a scandalous excess, and offered to assist and protect the officers of justice in the exe

Wodrow's information coincides with Barillon's; that he was informed by a person in whom he placed entire credit, and who was then (1679) at court, that it was concerted in the cabinet council, that all measures should be taken to exasperate the Scottish fanatics to some broil or other, that there might be a pretence to keep up the standing forces; that Lauderdale was written to, and made acquainted with the design, and when he came to court, towards the end of October, the project of bringing down the highlanders was brought to a bearing; i. 454. Add to this, that the introduction of the highland host, as it was termed, was by the express orders of the king. Id. 458.

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cution of the laws. As the people dispersed, however, when the sermon was finished, without disturbance to the public peace, they recommended an unlimited indulgence, as the most efficacious method to reclaim them, and the only expedient to dissolve their conventicles; a proof that the proper remedy for the disorders of the times, though rejected by an outrageous government, was sufficiently understood.3

No sooner were the bonds of peace refused, than the design to obtain a pretext for a standing army was manifest, and the western counties were represented and treated by Lauderdale, as in a state of actual revolt. English troops were appointed by Charles to march to the borders, and the Irish forces to the opposite coasts. Six thousand lawless highlanders were invited from their mountains; and a previous indemnity was granted to encourage every excess. The guards and militia were dispatched with a train of artillery, and by the express injunctions of Charles, an hostile army of ten thousand men was introduced to suppress the insurrection of a country in profound repose. As there was plunder every where, but no enemy to be found, the highlanders overspread the devoted country; and their depredations, instead of being restrained, were abetted and shared by their rapacious chiefs. The western counties were the most industrious and populous; the people the

3 Wodrow 451-7. Burnet, ii. 183.

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