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became necessary to levy a tax of no less than twenty per cent. upon the property of his English subjects; and to replenish the royal coffers, exhausted by his profusion, Mr. Hallam's highsouled prince' actually stooped to accept a secret bribe of ten thousand pounds from the East India Company, for the renewal of their charter.
While the public groaned under these exactions, parliament passed a bill, reducing the army to ten thousand men, at the peace of Ryswick; to this, after some demur, the king gave his assent, but, on going abroad shortly afterwards, he, without the knowledge of his ministers, left behind him sealed orders that sixteen thousand men should be kept up; and these orders of the nation's chosen sovereign' his Whig ministers most constitutionally obeyed.
But these offences, however they may detract from that foolish admiration which is claimed for this prince and his ministers, on the score of their regard for the liberties of the people, sink into utter insignificance when we come to the details of two transactions, which have imprinted upon the memory of William III., both as a monarch and a man, a stain, which no lapse of time can ever efface, nor any sophistry, however ingenious, effectually gild over-we allude to the judicial murder of Sir John Fenwick, and the massacre of Glenco.
The attainder and execution of this unfortunate officer present an instance of political atrocity, perpetrated by a party, and sanctioned by a sovereign, under the form of law, which equals, if it does not surpass, the death of Lord Stafford. Our readers well know that a plan for invading England was concerted by the exiled king in 1695, and countenanced by a great number of noblemen and gentlemen, among whom was Major-General Sir John Fenwick. A proclamation was issued to seize him, among others, as accessory to the intended invasion: he succeeded, however, in making his escape; but returning to this country, he was taken. In order to save his life, he sent to the Duke of Devonshire, to be transmitted by him to the king, a written list of many subjects of distinction who corresponded with King James; among whom he mentioned particularly the Lords Shrewsbury, Godolphin, Marlborough, and Admiral Russell. That these parties did actually carry on intrigues with James II. is not now a matter of doubt, and there is every ground to think that William believed Fenwick's charges, from information derived from other quarters.
There was only one witness against Fenwick, and therefore he could not regularly have been convicted in a court of law, which required the evidence of two persons in cases of treason. But
the persons whom he had accused, believing they could not be safe as long as he lived, resolved to have recourse to the discretionary power of parliament, for the destruction of their victim: in the pursuit of this bloody vengeance they were warmly supported by the whole of the Whig party: Admiral Russell, who had regularly betrayed every party that had confided in him, laid Fenwick's confession before the House of Commons, under the pretence of clearing his own character, but in reality with the view of making it the foundation of a bill of attainder. A base witness, named Porter, was prevailed upon to hide persons behind a curtain, to overhear and prove an offer of Lady Mary Fenwick, sister to the Earl of Carlisle, to bribe him to suppress his evidence, by retiring to foreign parts. And this attempt of a wife to save her husband's life from danger was construed into a proof of the husband's guilt. The examination of one Goodman, who had absconded, was permitted to be read in evidence against the accused, although the law required the witness himself to be confronted with the prisoner, and to be seen and examined in court. And the mere circumstance of Goodman's absconding, though it was not proved by whose persuasion he did so, was the ground of inferring Fenwick's guilt. Evidence was also transferred from the record of former guilt, and made a part of the charge against the prisoner. The accusation which he brought against those who intrigued with James, and which is now known to have been, in all points, true, was made a criminal charge against himself: it was alleged that he meant, by false and scandalous informations, to undermine the government, and create jealousies between the king and his subjects!"
In vain did Fenwick's counsel urge in his behalf the danger of a precedent, which employed the whole force of parliament to take away the life of a man whom the laws of his country could not condemn' nothing but his blood could allay the rage of his Whig pursuers. After a long and well-contested opposition, the bill passed the Commons by a vote of one hundred and eightynine to one hundred and fifty-six; and the other House, by a majority of only seven. The deliverer, who, we are told by Mr. Hallam, came to rescue the nation from the irregular proceedings which had too frequently disgraced the English courts of law before the Revolution, gave his assent to the bill when passed, and signed the warrant for Fenwick's execution; nay, his personal feeling against the prisoner is said to have been so strong, in consequence of some reflections which General Fenwick had made upon his conduct in an action in Flanders, that his majesty, according to all but universal belief, condescended to solicit, during the progress of the bill through the Houses of Parliament,
Parliament, members to vote for the condemnation of the prisoner. This statement may be false; but, however that may be, Mr. Hallam must, we think, admit, that it will ever form a serious drawback from William's reputation, that he did not resist, instead of abetting, the virulence of parliamentary faction upon this occasion.
The massacre of Glenco reflects still darker discredit upon the memory of William III. This atrocity has been succinctly and correctly described by Macpherson :
• An action of unexampled barbarity disgraced, in Scotland, the government of William, in the commencement of the year 1692. In the preceding August, in consequence of the pacification with the Highlanders, a proclamation of indemnity had been issued to such insurgents as should take the oaths to the king and queen on or before the last day of December. The chiefs of the few tribes who had been in arms for James complied, soon after, with the proclamation, except Macdonald, of Glenco; and even he failed in submitting within the limited time more from accident than design. In the end of December he came to Colonel Hill, who commanded the garrison in Fort William, to take the oaths of allegiance to the government. Hill having furnished Macdonald with a letter to Sir Colin Campbell, sheriff of the county of Argyle, directed him to repair immediately to Inverary, to make his submission in a legal manner before that magistrate. The way to Inverary lay across almost impassable mountains. The season was extremely rigorous, and the whole country covered with a deep So eager, however, was Macdonald to take the oaths before the limited time should expire, that though the road lay within half a mile of his own house, he would not stop to visit his family. After various obstructions, he arrived at Inverary. The time was elapsed. The sheriff hesitated to receive his submission; but Macdonald prevailed over his scruples with importunities, and even with tears.
Sir John Dalrymple, afterwards Earl of Stair, a man of profligate principles, attended King William, as secretary of state for Scotland, He took advantage of Macdonald's neglecting to take the oaths within the time prescribed. He procured from the king a warrant of military execution against him and his whole tribe. As a mark of his own eagerness, or to save Dalrymple, William signed the warrant, both above and below, with his own hand. The secretary, in letters expressive of a brutal ferocity of mind, urged the military officers who commanded in the Highlands, to execute their orders with the utmost rigour. Campbell, of Glenlyon, a captain in the Earl of Argyle's regiment, and two subalterns, were ordered, with one hundred and twenty men, to repair to Glenco on the 1st of February. Campbell being uncle to young Macdonald's wife, was received by the father with friendship and hospitality. The men were treated in the houses. of his tenants with free quarters and kind entertainment. Till the 13th of February the troops lived in good humour and familiarity with
VOL. XXXVII. NO. LXXIII.
the people. The officers on the very night of the massacre passed the evening, and played at cards, in Macdonald's house. In the night, Lieutenant Lindsay, with a party of soldiers, called in a friendly manner at his door. He was instantly admitted. Macdonald, as he was rising from his bed to receive his guest, was shot dead behind his back with two bullets. His wife had already put on her clothes, but she was stripped naked by the soldiers, who tore the rings off her fingers with their teeth.
The slaughter now became general. To prevent the pity of the soldiers to their hosts, their quarters had been changed the night before. Neither age nor infirmity was spared. Some women, in defending their children, were killed. Boys imploring mercy were shot by officers on whose knees they hung. In one place, nine persons, as they sat enjoying themselves at table, were shot dead by the soldiers. The assassins are even said to have made a sport of death. At Inveriggen, in Campbell's own quarters, nine men were first bound by the soldiers, then shot at intervals, one by one. Near forty persons were massacred by the troops. Several, who fled to the mountains, perished by famine and the inclemency of the season. Those who escaped owed their lives to a tempestuous night. Lieutenant-Colonel Hamilton, who had the charge of the execution from Dalrymple, was on his march with four hundred men, to occupy all the passes which led from the valley of Glenco. He was obliged to stop by the severity of the weather, which proved the safety of the unfortunate tribe. He entered the valley the next day. He laid all the houses in ashes, and carried away all the cattle and spoil, which were divided among the officers and soldiers.'
All Europe, as well as Britain, was shocked at the particulars of this impolitic, as well as inhuman and barbarous, massacre. The rigour of the warrant, the circumstances of its execution, the mask of friendship under which an unsuspecting and unarmed people were butchered by soldiers, could scarcely be exaggerated by the enemies of William, or extenuated by his friends. Various excuses have been offered for the king's conduct on this memorable occasion. It is alleged that he was deceived and betrayed by his minister but to this it is a sufficient reply, that he trusted, employed, and rewarded that minister afterwards. It has also been contended, that from his slow habits of transacting business he had signed the warrant among other papers without inquiry: but in answer to this it must be stated, that the warrant for the massacre of Glenco, instead of being signed by the king, and countersigned in the usual form by his minister, was both signed and countersigned by William himself. This appears to furnish conclusive evidence that he deliberately took upon himself the responsibility of an action which his minister, from prudence, or some other cause, declined officially to sanction. The clamour excited by
this atrocity was so loud, that the king and his friends became alarmed. With the view of breaking its force, William was, therefore, advised to appoint commissioners to inquire into the particulars. The inquiry answered the purpose of its projectors by occasioning delay; the intensity of public feeling gradually relaxed; and when at length the report of the commissioners confirmed, in every particular, the dreadful story detailed by Macpherson, great care was taken to throw the blame upon Dalrymple and the inferior actors in the tragedy. The king, however, had now recovered from the alarm into which he had been thrown by the first burst of British feeling; the report of the commissioners was quietly suppressed; Dalrymple was rewarded with new proofs of his master's favour; and the most prominent and active among the military executioners of the unarmed and defenceless inhabitants of that unhappy glen were not only protected, but promoted.
Every candid reader will, we think, admit that the prejudices which have hitherto existed, and which we venture to predict will ever continue to exist in this country against king William's memory, do not spring from the calumnies with which his political opponents are alleged to have sullied the stream of history,' but from those innate principles which impel every Englishman to despise ungenerous duplicity, and abhor cruelty.
But we must conclude. To pursue this Constitutional History through all its misrepresentations, and the whole sophistry of its special pleading, would require a work of equal bulk. Enough has been done to exhibit its design and character; ex pede ;-Mr. Hallam is no Hercules,—and the foot is a cloven one.
It is not necessary for us to dwell upon the hostility to the principle of hereditary succession, which is, on every occasion, displayed by this historian; nor to adduce further proofs of the ill-will with which he regards the ecclesiastical part of our constitution; and which he manifests with so much animosity, and so little prudence, that he must have calculated very largely upon the malevolence and the ignorance of his readers. Nor need we bring forward more examples of the disposition which seems to delight in detracting from the Good and the Great; nor of opinions which tend to the subversion of all legitimate authority, and which in their consequences would place all government upon Hobbes's foundation, leaving it no other support than military force. The disagreeable temper of the book would alone subtract much from the pleasure to be derived from the general ability which it displays, and the even tenour of its plain, strong, perspicuous style. Well, indeed, would it be if the spirit were as English as the language: well, even, if want of generosity, want of candour, and want of feeling