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Charles a legitimate king? Is it lawful to dethrone and murder him ?"

When those deluded creatures, too ingenuous to prevaricate, answered the last question in the affirmative, they were delivered over to the Court of Justiciary. The reluctance of many to answer their persecutors was overcome by the torture. Even helpless females, in the flower of their youth, were condemned for their religious opinions; and notwithstanding their lives were offered them by the Duke if they would say "God save the King," such was their phrensy that they regarded a declaration of loyalty with abhorrence, and voluntarily preferred a crown of martyrdom.

York was frequently present at these revolting spectacles; and viewed their sufferings with as much composure as if he had been contemplating a philosophical experiment, whilst his counsellors recoiled from the scene.

Having been educated in the Romish faith, the Duke concealed not his predilection for that persuasion. The Presbyterians fancied that they beheld already the conversion of the national church to Popery. A general alarm was consequently excited. Notwithstanding the vigilance of the magistrates and the military to prevent every insult to the Duke's religion, it was impossible to repress the popular indignation and resentment. The students atA.D. tending the university of Edinburgh engaged, by a so1681. lemn oath, to burn the Pope in effigy; which they performed with adroitness and resolution. For this juvenile sally, the university was shut up for a short time, and the culprits were imprisoned.

In order to obtain a public and solemn acknowledgment of his right of succession, the Duke called a Parliament; and, to quiet the alarm excited by his partiality for the Catholic faith, a preliminary measure was loudly demanded by the Presbyterians—an act for the security of the Reformed church. But the act of security was insidiously converted into a test of passive obedience for the security of the throne. It asserted the King's supremacy in all matters civil and ecclesiastical; and all persons in civil, military, and ecclesiastical employments, were required to receive it, under penalty of treason and confiscation..

By this absurd statute, the Presbyterians saw themselves excluded from every office of trust under Government; but they had the address to overreach their adversaries. The first confes

sion of the Scottish Reformers, framed to expose the errors of Popery, and to justify their resistance to the Queen Regent, was artfully introduced as the prime standard of the Protestant faith, and which was to be added as a counterpart to the test. The illiterate bishops were ignorant of the contents of this document: It was readily adopted without being read. By this artful manœuvre, the Presbyterians expected, that a test contradicted throughout by the confession of faith, would be speedily abandoned as inconsistent and absurd; for no Presbyterian could subscribe the test, no Episcopalian could subscribe the confession, and no Papist could agree with either.

Eighty Episcopalian clergymen, more conscientious than courtly, resigned their livings rather than subscribe the obnoxious test and confession. The Presbyterians universally rejected it. The Earl of Argyll, because he refused to subscribe it without explanation or reserve, was basely tried for leasing-making and treason, and condemned.

It was obviously York's intention to ruin Argyll, as the head of the Presbyterians, that he might confiscate his estates and divide them among his own creatures. Argyll having escaped from prison, sentence of attainder was immediately pronounced; by which his honours, estates, and life, were forfeited, his arms reversed and torn, his children disinherited, and a large reward was offered for his person. So shameless a prostitution of justice produced a general execration and horror. The Presbyterians became ever after irreconcileable to the Duke; and several noblemen and gentlemen, despairing of protection or safety in their native country, retired to the Continent.


Before the Duke's return to London, he committed the 1682. government of Scotland to the Marquis of Queensberry, as Treasurer; the Earl of Perth, as Justice-General; and Gordon of Hadden, who was created Earl of Aberdeen, as Chancellor : But this change of administration was productive of no reformation in the measures of a despotical government.

A.D. 1683.


The remainder of Charles's reign presents a continuation of the oppression and cruelty which the nation had already endured. Wearied of the yoke they had hitherto borne, and terrified at the gloomy prospect of futurity, thirty-six noblemen and gentlemen prepared to expatriate themselves, dispose of their estates, and retire to America. It was at this crisis that an

insurrection was projected by Monmouth, in concert with many English noblemen and gentlemen, to emancipate their country. Argyll and the Scottish exiles in Holland readily promised their cooperation; as did several of their countrymen who were preparing to quit the kingdom. The explosion of this scheme proved destructive to many of the conspirators, and afforded a plausible pretext for multiplying confiscations and executions in Scotland. Sir Hugh Campbell of Cesnock, an aged and venerable gentleman, was arraigned as an accomplice in the conspiracy, and an abettor in the insurrection at Bothwell. His accusers, who had been suborned, faltered when called upon for their deposi tions, notwithstanding they had been previously tutored. The jury acquitted the prisoner, after a violent altercation with the bench; yet he was imprisoned for life, in defiance of justice and humanity.

A.D. 1684.


Bailie of Jarviswood, who had been implicated in the conspi racy, was brought to trial, though in the last stage of a decline; and, after his condemnation, only a few hours elapsed until he was executed. A general inquisition was made, to discover all who had harboured rebels, or maintained any intercourse with persons intercommuned. In almost all the parishes of the West and South, a voluminous list of delinquents was prepared for the itinerant Justiciary Court; which speedily proscribed two thousand persons as outlaws.

The dispensation of justice was become a source of iniquitous traffic; the fines extorted from nonconformists were collected as a source of revenue. A gentleman of the name of Porterfield was condemned to death, and obliged to compound with his judge, Lord Melfort, the Chancellor's brother, for his life and estate; because, though he refused, when solicited, to contribute a small sum for the support of Argyll, he had not apprized the Government of the application.

The Cameronians were treated with great inhumanity. The Privy Council voted an indicriminate massacre of all who refused the test; and the military were instructed to execute the order. Of the number of those who thus perished, no accurate account has been preserved. An expression of the Duke of York, that it would never be well with Scotland till all the country north of the Forth was made a hunting-field, suggests a painful reflection on the disposition and intention of the Government.

A.D. ?

Charles the Second died of apoplexy-or, as some have 1685. Sasserted, by poison-in the fifty-fifth year of his age, and the twenty-fifth of his reign. The great lines of his character are exhibited in a very unfavourable light, by his profligacy and licentiousness in the pursuit of criminal pleasure, which contributed also to corrupt the national manners. Immersed in luxury, he devolved the government of the kingdom upon a cabal of unprincipled ministers; who, from his extreme indolence and aversion to business, tyrannized with impunity. Charles's figure was tall and graceful; but his features, though majestic, were harsh and forbidding, an unhappy indication of a cruel, depraved, and obdurate heart.


James professes the Catholic religion-arrogates absolute authority. Entails legalized. Insurrection of Argyll—his disasters-is executed. Religious toleration. Prince of Orange lands in England. James retires to France.

A.D. JAMES the SEVENTH of Scotland and SECOND of England. 1685. The Duke of York succeeded his brother by the title of James the Second. His reign was short and inglorious; for he was the instrument of his own misfortunes, and ran headlong to destruction.

Though considerable alarm and opposition had been excited in the preceding year against a Popish successor, there was no party resolute enough in England or Scotland to disturb James's accession. In the latter kingdom, he had secured many friends among the nobility and gentry; whom he suffered to oppress the peasantry with impunity, or gratified with a part of the confiscated estates; and the Highland chieftains were won to his interests by religious sympathy and his efforts to compose their feudal differ


During his reign, his commands were received in Scotland with the most abject submission. The poverty to which many of the nobility were reduced by multiplied extortions and confiscations, rendered them meaner slaves and more intolerant tyrants than ever. The people, always neglected, were now odious, and loaded with every injury, because attached to religious and political principles repugnant to those adopted by their prince.

No sooner did he assume the reins of government, than his fix

ed resolution to overturn the constitution in church and state became perfectly evident. Though the Catholics were not at this time the hundredth part of the nation, yet was James so infatuated as to make the desperate attempt of substituting the Romish for the Protestant faith. Directed solely by the Catholic priests, he discarded the nobility from his councils; and, in the very outset of his reign, expressed his contempt for the authority of Parliament, and his determination to exercise an unlimited authority.

He went openly to mass, though an illegal worship, with all the ensigns of his dignity; he sent an agent to Rome, to make submission to the Pope; and he levied taxes without the consent of Parliament. An ostentatious act of indemnity was proclaimed in Scotland; but it excluded all persons above the rank of peasants or mechanics. To all who refused to take the test oath, perpetual exile was the only alternative. By a fatality which attended James, he declined taking the coronation oath prescribed by the constitution of Scotland, because it was repugnant to his religion. But that omission, unfortunate for him, was employed at the Revolution to justify the declaration that he had forfeited the throne.

The King's intention to render his government more arbitrary than ever, was signified to the Estates assembled at Edinburgh; and that obsequious convention, in which all desire for constitutional freedom seems to have been extinguished, responded in a suitable strain, acknowledging the absolute and unalienable power with which he was invested. The Parliament likewise concurred in the following extraordinary declaration,—that the land-tax should be conferred upon the King for life, the excise to the crown for ever; and that all in the nation fit to carry arms should be devoted to his service.

The tantalizing indemnity mitigated not the sufferings of the Presbyterians; military violence continued to increase; the soldiers, at once the judges, the jury, and the executioners, condemned and executed the fugitives in clusters on the highways. Many were transported to America and the West Indies. Num. bers of the women thus sentenced were branded on the face; the ears of the men were cut off, to prevent their return. Helpless females were fastened to stakes beneath the sea-mark, that they might suffer the lingering horrors of a protracted death, because they refused to bless or acknowledge the King.

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