Attempts of Argyle and Monmouth - Account of their followers - Argyle's expedition discovered - His descent in Argyleshire - Dissensions among his followers - Loss of his shipping - His army dispersed, and himself taken prisoner - His behaviour in prison - His execution - The fate of his followers - Rumbold's last declaration examined - Monmouth's invasion of England - His first success and reception - His delays, disappointment, and despondency - Battle of Sedgmoor - He is discovered and taken - His letter to the king - His interview with James - His preparations for death - Circumstances attending his execution - His character.

It is now necessary to give some account of those attempts in Scotland by the Earl of Argyle, and in England by the Duke of Monmouth, of which the king had informed his parliament in the manner recited in the preceding chapter. The Earl of Argyle was son to the Marquis of Argyle, of whose unjust execution, and the treacherous circumstances accompanying it, notice has already been taken. He had in his youth been strongly attached to the royal cause, and had refused to lay down his arms till he had the exiled king's positive orders for that purpose. But the merit of his early services could neither save the life of his father, nor even procure for himself a complete restitution of his family honours and estates; and not long after the restoration, upon an accusation of leasing-making, an accusation founded, in this instance, upon a private letter to a fellow-subject, in which he spoke with some freedom of his majesty's Scottish ministry, he was condemned to death. The sentence was suspended and finally remitted, but not till after an imprisonment of twelve months and upwards. In this affair he was much assisted by the friendship of the Duke of Lauderdale, with whom he ever afterwards lived upon terms of friendship, though his principles would not permit him to give active assistance to that nobleman in his government of Scotland. Accordingly, we do not, during that period, find Argyle's name among those who held any of those great employments of State to which, by his rank and consequence, he was naturally entitled. When James, then Duke of York, was appointed to the Scottish government, it seems to have been the earl's intention to cultivate his royal highness's favour, and he was a strenuous supporter of the bill which condemned all attempts at exclusions or other alterations in the succession of the crown. But having highly offended that prince by insisting, on the occasion of the test, that the royal family, when in office, should not be exempted from taking that oath which they imposed upon subjects in like situations, his royal highness ordered a prosecution against him, for the explanation with which he had taken the test oath at the council-board, and the earl was, as we have seen, again condemned to death. From the time of his escape from prison he resided wholly in foreign countries, and was looked to as a principal ally by such of the English patriots as had at any time entertained thoughts, whether more or less ripened, of delivering their country.

James, Duke of Monmouth, was the eldest of the late king's natural children. In the early parts of his life he held the first place in his father's affections; and even in the height of Charles's displeasure at his political conduct, attentive observers thought they could discern that the traces of paternal tenderness were by no means effaced. Appearing at court in the bloom of youth, with a beautiful figure and engaging manners, known to be the darling of the monarch, it is no wonder that he was early assailed by the arts of flattery; and it is rather a proof that he had not the strongest of all minds, than of any extraordinary weakness of character, that he was not proof against them. He had appeared with some distinction in the Flemish campaigns, and his conduct had been noticed with the approbation of the commanders as well as Dutch as French, under whom he had respectively served. His courage was allowed by all, his person admired, his generosity loved, his sincerity confided in. If his talents were not of the first rate, they were by no means contemptible; and he possessed, in an eminent degree, qualities which, in popular government, are far more effective than the most splendid talents; qualities by which he inspired those who followed him, not only with confidence and esteem, but with affection, enthusiasm, and even fondness. Thus endowed, it is not surprising that his youthful mind was fired with ambition, or that he should consider the putting himself at the head of a party (a situation for which he seems to have been peculiarly qualified by so many advantages) as the means by which he was most likely to attain his object.

Many circumstances contributed to outweigh the scruples which must have harassed a man of his excellent nature, when he considered the obligations of filial duty and gratitude, and when he reflected that the particular relation in which he stood to the king rendered a conduct, which in any other subject would have been meritorious, doubtful, if not extremely culpable in him. Among these, not the least was the declared enmity which subsisted between him and his uncle, the Duke of York. The Earl of Mulgrave, afterwards Duke of Buckinghamshire, boasted in his "Memoirs," that this enmity was originally owing to his contrivances; and while he is relating a conduct, upon which the only doubt can be, whether the object or the means were the most infamous, seems to applaud himself as if he had achieved some notable exploit. While, on the one hand, a prospect of his uncle's succession to the crown was intolerable to him, as involving in it a certain destruction of even the most reasonable and limited views of ambition which he might entertain, he was easily led to believe, on the other hand, that no harm, but the reverse, was intended towards his royal father, whose reign and life might become precarious if he obstinately persevered in supporting his brother; whereas, on the contrary, if he could be persuaded, or even forced, to yield to the wishes of his subjects, he might long reign a powerful, happy, and popular prince.

It is also reasonable to believe, that with those personal and private motives others might co-operate of a public nature and of a more noble character. The Protestant religion, to which he seems to have been sincerely attached, would be persecuted, or perhaps exterminated, if the king should be successful in his support of the Duke of York and his faction. At least, such was the opinion generally prevalent, while, with respect to the civil liberties of the country, no doubt could be entertained, that if the court party prevailed in the struggle then depending they would be completely extinguished. Something may be attributed to his admiration of the talents of some, to his personal friendship for others among the leaders of the Whigs, more to the aptitude of a generous nature to adopt, and, if I may so say, to become enamoured of those principles of justice, benevolence, and equality, which form the true creed of the party which he espoused. I am not inclined to believe that it was his connection with Shaftesbury that inspired him with ambitious views, but rather to reverse cause and effect, and to suppose that his ambitious views produced his connection with that nobleman; and whoever reads with attention Lord Grey's account of one of the party meetings at which he was present, will perceive that there was not between them that perfect cordiality which has been generally supposed; but that Russell, Grey, and Hampden, were upon a far more confidential footing with him. It is far easier to determine generally, that he had high schemes of ambition, than to discover what was his precise object; and those who boldly impute to him the intention of succeeding to the crown, seem to pass by several weighty arguments, which make strongly against their hypothesis; such as his connection with the Duchess of Portsmouth, who, if the succession were to go to the king's illegitimate children, must naturally have been for her own son; his unqualified support of the Exclusion Bill, which, without indeed mentioning her, most unequivocally settled the crown, in case of a demise, upon the Princess of Orange; and, above all, the circumstance of his having, when driven from England, twice chosen Holland for his asylum. By his cousins he was received, not so much with the civility and decorum of princes, as with the kind familiarity of near relations, a reception to which he seemed to make every return of reciprocal cordiality. It is not rashly to be believed, that he, who has never been accused of hardened wickedness, could have been upon such terms with, and so have behaved to, persons whom he purposed to disappoint in their dearest and best grounded hopes, and to defraud of their inheritance.

Whatever his views might be, it is evident that they were of a nature wholly adverse, not only to those of the Duke of York, but to the schemes of power entertained by the king, with which the support of his brother was intimately connected. Monmouth was therefore, at the suggestion of James, ordered by his father to leave the country, and deprived of all his offices, civil and military. The pretence for this exile was a sort of principle of impartiality, which obliged the king, at the same time that he ordered his brother to retire to Flanders, to deal equal measure to his son. Upon the Duke of York's return (which was soon after), Monmouth thought he might without blame return also; and persevering in his former measures and old connections, became deeply involved in the cabals to which Essex, Russell, and Sidney fell martyrs. After the death of his friends, he surrendered himself; and upon a promise that nothing said by him should be used to the prejudice of any of his surviving friends, wrote a penitentiary letter to his father, consenting, at the same time, to ask pardon of his uncle. A great parade was made of this by the court, as if it was designed by all means to goad the feelings of Monmouth: his majesty was declared to have pardoned him at the request of the Duke of York, and his consent was required to the publication of what was called his confession. This he resolutely refused at all hazards, and was again obliged to seek refuge abroad, where he had remained to the period of which we are now treating.

A little time before Charles's death he had indulged hopes of being recalled; and that his intelligence to that effect was not quite unfounded, or if false, was at least mixed with truth, is clear from the following circumstance: - From the notes found when he was taken, in his memorandum book, it appears that part of the plan concerted between the king and Monmouth's friend (probably Halifax), was that the Duke of York should go to Scotland, between which, and his being sent abroad again, Monmouth and his friends saw no material difference. Now in Barillon's letters to his court, dated the 7th of December, 1684, it appears that the Duke of York had told that ambassador of his intended voyage to Scotland though he represented it in a very different point of view, and said that it would not be attended with any diminution of his favour or credit. This was the light in which Charles, to whom the expressions, "to blind my brother, not to make the Duke of York fly out," and the like, were familiar, would certainly have shown the affair to his brother, and therefore of all the circumstances adduced, this appears to me to be the strongest in favour of the supposition, that there was in the king's mind a real intention of making an important, if not a complete, change in his councils and measures.

Besides these two leaders, there were on the continent at that time several other gentlemen of great consideration. Sir Patrick Hume, of Polworth, had early distinguished himself in the cause of liberty. When the privy council of Scotland passed an order, compelling the counties to pay the expense of the garrisons arbitrarily placed in them, he refused to pay his quota, and by a mode of appeal to the court of session, which the Scotch lawyers call a bill of suspension, endeavoured to procure redress. The council ordered him to be imprisoned, for no other crime, as it should seem, than that of having thus attempted to procure, by a legal process, a legal decision upon a point of law. After having remained in close confinement in Stirling Castle for near four years, he was set at liberty through the favour and interest of Monmouth. Having afterwards engaged in schemes connected with those imputed to Sidney and Russell, orders were issued for seizing him at his house in Berwickshire; but having had timely notice of his danger from his relation, Hume of Ninewells, a gentleman attached to the royal cause, but whom party spirit had not rendered insensible to the ties of kindred and private friendship, he found means to conceal himself for a time, and shortly after to escape beyond sea. His concealment is said to have been in the family burial-place, where the means of sustaining life were brought to him by his daughter, a girl of fifteen years of age, whose duty and affection furnished her with courage to brave the terrors, as well superstitious as real, to which she was necessarily exposed in an intercourse of this nature.

Andrew Fletcher of Saltoun, a young man of great spirit, had signalised himself in opposition to Lauderdale's administration of Scotland, and had afterwards connected himself with Argyle and Russell, and what was called the council of six. He had, of course, thought it prudent to leave Great Britain, and could not be supposed unwilling to join in any enterprise which might bid fair to restore him to his country, and his countrymen to their lost liberties, though, upon the present occasion, which he seems to have judged to be unfit for the purpose, he endeavoured to dissuade both Argyle and Monmouth from their attempts. He was a man of much thought and reading, of an honourable mind, and a fiery spirit, and from his enthusiastic admiration of the ancients, supposed to be warmly attached, not only to republican principles, but to the form of a commonwealth. Sir John Cochrane of Ochiltree had fled his country on account of the transactions of 1683. His property and connections were considerable, and he was supposed to possess extensive influence in Ayrshire and the adjacent counties.

Such were the persons of chief note among the Scottish emigrants. Among the English, by far the most remarkable was Ford, Lord Grey of Wark. A scandalous love intrigue with his wife's sister had fixed a very deep stain upon his private character; nor were the circumstances attending this affair, which had all been brought to light in a court of justice, by any means calculated to extenuate his guilt. His ancient family, however, the extensive influence arising from his large possessions, his talents, which appear to have been very considerable, and above all, his hitherto unshaken fidelity in political attachments, and the general steadiness of his conduct in public life, might in some degree countervail the odium which he had incurred on account of his private vices. Of Matthews, Wade, and Ayloff, whose names are mentioned as having both joined the preliminary councils, and done actual service in the invasions, little is known by which curiosity could be either gratified or excited.

Richard Rumbold, on every account, merits more particular notice. He had formerly served in the republican armies; and adhering to the principles of liberty which he had imbibed in his youth, though nowise bigoted to the particular form of a commonwealth had been deeply engaged in the politics of those who thought they saw an opportunity of rescuing their country from the tyrannical government of the late king. He was one of the persons denounced in Keeling's narrative, and was accused of having conspired to assassinate the royal brothers in their road to Newmarket, an accusation belied by the whole tenor of his life and conduct, and which, if it had been true, would have proved him, who was never thought a weak or foolish man, to be as destitute of common sense as of honour and probity. It was pretended that the seizure of the princes was to take place at a farm called Rye House, which he occupied in Essex, for the purposes of his trade as maltster; and from this circumstance was derived the name of the Rye House Plot. Conscious of having done some acts which the law, if even fairly interpreted and equitably administered, might deem criminal, and certain that many which he had not done would be both sworn and believed against him, he made his escape, and passed the remainder of Charles's reign in exile and obscurity; nor is his name, as far as I can learn, ever mentioned from the time of the Rye House Plot to that of which we are now treating.

It is not to be understood that there were no other names upon the list of those who fled from the tyranny of the British government, or thought themselves unsafe in their native country, on account of its violence, besides those of the persons above mentioned, and of such as joined in their bold and hazardous enterprise. Another class of emigrants, not less sensible probably to the wrongs of their country, but less sanguine in their hopes of immediate redress, is ennobled by the names of Burnet the historian and Mr. Locke. It is difficult to accede to the opinion which the first of these seems to entertain, that though particular injustices had been committed, the misgovernment had not been of such a nature as to justify resistance by arms. But the prudential reasons against resistance at that time were exceedingly strong; and there is no point in human concerns wherein the dictates of virtue and worldly prudence are so identified as in this great question of resistance by force to established government. Success, it has been invidiously remarked, constitutes in most instances the sole difference between the traitor and the deliverer of his country. A rational probability of success, it may be truly said, distinguishes the well-considered enterprise of the patriot, from the rash schemes of the disturber of the public peace. To command success is not in the power of man; but to deserve success, by choosing a proper time, as well as a proper object, by the prudence of his means, no less than by the purity of his views, by a cause not only intrinsically just, but likely to insure general support, is the indispensable duty of him who engages in an insurrection against an existing government. Upon this subject the opinion of Ludlow, who, though often misled, appears to have been an honest and enlightened man, is striking and forcibly expressed. "We ought," says he, "to be very careful and circumspect in that particular, and at least be assured of very probable grounds to believe the power under which we engage to be sufficiently able to protect us in our undertaking; otherwise I should account myself not only guilty of my own blood, but also, in some measure, of the ruin and destruction of all those that I should induce to engage with me, though no cause were never so just." Reasons of this nature, mixed more or less with considerations of personal caution, and in some, perhaps, with dislike and distrust of the leaders, induced many, who could not but abhor the British government, to wait for better opportunities, and to prefer either submission at home, or exile, to an undertaking which, if not hopeless, must have been deemed by all hazardous in the extreme.

In the situation in which these two noblemen, Argyle and Monmouth, were placed, it is not to be wondered at if they were naturally willing to enter into any plan by which they might restore themselves to their country; nor can it be doubted but they honestly conceived their success to be intimately connected with the welfare, and especially with the liberty of the several kingdoms to which they respectively belonged. Monmouth, whether because he had begun at this time, as he himself said, to wean his mind from ambition, or from the observations he had made upon the apparently rapid turn which had taken place in the minds of the English people, seems to have been very averse to rash counsels, and to have thought that all attempts against James ought at least to be deferred till some more favourable opportunity should present itself. So far from esteeming his chance of success the better, on account of there being in James's parliament many members who had voted for the Exclusion Bill, he considered that circumstance as unfavourable. These men, of whom, however, he seems to have over-rated the number, would, in his opinion, be more eager than others to recover the ground they had lost, by an extraordinary show of zeal and attachment to the crown. But if Monmouth was inclined to dilatory counsels, far different were the views and designs of other exiles, who had been obliged to leave their country on account of their having engaged, if not with him personally, at least in the same cause with him, and who were naturally enough his advisers. Among these were Lord Grey of Wark, and Ferguson; though the latter afterwards denied his having had much intercourse with the duke, and the former, in his "Narrative," insinuates that he rather dissuaded than pressed the invasion.

But if Monmouth was inclined to delay, Argyle seems, on the other hand, to have been impatient in the extreme to bring matters to a crisis, and was of course anxious that the attempt upon England should be made in cooperation with his upon Scotland. Ralph, an historian of great acuteness as well as diligence, but who falls sometimes into the common error of judging too much from the event, seems to think this impatience wholly unaccountable; but Argyle may have had many motives which are now unknown to us. He may not improbably have foreseen that the friendly terms upon which James and the Prince of Orange affected at least to be, one with the other, might make his stay in the United Provinces impracticable, and that, if obliged to seek another asylum, not only he might have been deprived, in some measure, of the resources which he derived from his connections at Amsterdam, but that the very circumstance of his having been publicly discountenanced by the Prince of Orange and the states-general, might discredit his enterprise. His eagerness for action may possibly have proceeded from the most laudable motives, his sensibility to the horrors which his countrymen were daily and hourly suffering, and his ardour to relieve them. The dreadful state of Scotland, while it affords so honourable an explanation of his impatience, seems to account also, in a great measure, for his acting against the common notions of prudence, in making his attack without any previous concert with those whom he expected to join him there. That this was his view of the matter is plain, as we are informed by Burnet that he depended not only on an army of his own clan and vassals, but that he took it for granted that the western and southern counties would all at once come about him, when he had gathered a good force together in his own country; and surely such an expectation, when we reflect upon the situation of those counties, was by no means unreasonable.

Argyle's counsel, backed by Lord Grey and the rest of Monmouth's advisers, and opposed by none except Fletcher of Saltoun, to whom some add Captain Matthews, prevailed, and it was agreed to invade immediately, and at one time, the two kingdoms. Monmouth had raised some money from his jewels, and Argyle had a loan of ten thousand pounds from a rich widow in Amsterdam. With these resources, such as they were, ships and arms were provided, and Argyle sailed from Vly on the 2nd of May with three small vessels, accompanied by Sir Patrick Hume, Sir John Cochrane, a few more Scotch gentlemen, and by two Englishmen, Ayloff, a nephew by marriage to Lord Chancellor Clarendon, and Rumbold, the maltster, who had been accused of being principally concerned in that conspiracy which, from his farm in Essex, where it was pretended Charles II. was to have been intercepted in his way from Newmarket, and assassinated, had been called the Rye House Plot. Sir Patrick Hume is said to have advised the shortest passage, in order to come more unexpectedly upon the enemy; but Argyle, who is represented as remarkably tenacious of his own opinions, persisted in his plan of sailing round the north of Scotland, as well for the purpose of landing at once among his own vassals, as for that of being nearer to the western counties, which had been most severely oppressed, and from which, of course, he expected most assistance. Each of these plans had, no doubt, its peculiar advantages; but, as far as we can judge at this distance of time, those belonging to the earl's scheme seemed to preponderate; for the force he carried with him was certainly not sufficient to enable him, by striking any decisive stroke, to avail himself even of the most unprepared state in which he could hope to find the king's government. As he must, therefore, depend entirely upon reinforcements from the country, it seemed reasonable to make for that part where succour was most likely to be obtained, even at the hazard of incurring the disadvantage which must evidently result from the enemy's having early notice of his attack, and, consequently, proportionable time for defence.

Unfortunately this hazard was converted into a certainty by his sending some men on shore in the Orkneys. Two of these, Spence and Blackadder, were seized at Kirkwall by the bishop of the diocese, and sent up prisoners to Edinburgh, by which means the government was not only satisfied of the reality of the intended invasion, of which, however, they had before had some intimation, but could guess with a reasonable certainty the part of the coast where the descent was to take place, for Argyle could not possibly have sailed so far to the north with any other view than that of making his landing either on his own estate, or in some of the western counties. Among the numberless charges of imprudence against the unfortunate Argyle, charges too often inconsiderately urged against him who fails in any enterprise of moment, that which is founded upon the circumstance just mentioned appears to me to be the most weighty, though it is that which is the least mentioned, and by no author, as far as I recollect, much enforced. If the landing in the north was merely for the purpose of gaining intelligence respecting the disposition of the country, or for the more frivolous object of making some few prisoners, it was indeed imprudent in the highest degree. That prisoners, such as were likely to be taken on this occasion, should have been a consideration with any man of common sense is impossible. The desire of gaining intelligence concerning the disposition of the people was indeed a natural curiosity, but it would be a strong instance of that impatience which has been often alleged though in no other case proved to have been part of the earl's character, if, for the sake of gratifying such a desire, he gave the enemy any important advantage. Of the intelligence which he sought thus eagerly, it was evident that he could not in that place and at that time make any immediate use; whereas, of that which he afforded his enemies, they could and did avail themselves against him. The most favourable account of this proceeding, and which seems to deserve most credit, is, that having missed the proper passage through the Orkney Islands, he thought proper to send on shore for pilots, and that Spence very imprudently took the opportunity of going to confer with a relation at Kirkwall; but it is to be remarked that it was not necessary for the purpose of getting pilots, to employ men of note, such as Blackadder and Spence, the latter of whom was the earl's secretary; and that it was an unpardonable neglect not to give the strictest injunctions to those who were employed against going a step further into the country than was absolutely necessary.

Argyle, with his wonted generosity of spirit, was at first determined to lay siege to Kirkwall, in order to recover his friends; but, partly by the dissuasions of his followers, and still more by the objections made by the masters of the ships to a delay which might make them lose the favourable winds for their intended voyage, he was induced to prosecute his course. In the meantime the government made the use that it was obvious they would make of the information they had obtained, and when the earl arrived at his destination, he learned that considerable forces were got together to repel any attack that he might meditate. Being prevented by contrary winds from reaching the Isle of Islay, where he had purposed to make his first landing, he sailed back to Dunstafnage in Lorn, and there sent ashore his son, Mr. Charles Campbell, to engage his tenants and other friends and dependants of his family to rise in his behalf; but even there he found less encouragement and assistance than he had expected, and the laird of Lochniel, who gave him the best assurances, treacherously betrayed him, sent his letter to the government, and joined the royal forces under the Marquis of Athol. He then proceeded southwards, and landed at Campbelltown in Kintyre, where his first step was to publish his declaration, which appears to have produced little or no effect.

This bad beginning served, as is usual in such adventures, rather to widen than to reconcile the differences which had early begun to manifest themselves between the leader and his followers. Hume and Cochrane, partly construing, perhaps too sanguinely, the intelligence which was received from Ayrshire, Galloway, and the other Lowland districts in that quarter, partly from an expectation that where the oppression had been most grievous, the revolt would be proportionably the more general, were against any stay, or, as they termed it, loss of time in the Highlands, but were for proceeding at once, weak as they were in point of numbers, to a country where every man endowed with the common feelings of human nature must be their well-wisher, every man of spirit their coadjutor. Argyle, on the contrary, who probably considered the discouraging accounts from the Lowlands as positive and distinct, while those which were deemed more favourable appeared to him to be at least uncertain and provisional, thought the most prudent plan was to strengthen himself in his own country before he attempted the invasion of provinces where the enemy was so well prepared to receive him. He had hopes of gaining time, not only to increase his own army, but to avail himself of the Duke of Monmouth's intended invasion of England, an event which must obviously have great influence upon his affairs, and which, if he could but maintain himself in a situation to profit by it, might be productive of advantages of an importance and extent of which no man could presume to calculate the limits. Of these two contrary opinions it may be difficult at this time of day to appreciate the value, seeing that so much depends upon the degree of credit due to the different accounts from the Lowland counties, of which our imperfect information does not enable us to form any accurate judgment. But even though we should not decide absolutely in favour of the cogency of these reasonings which influenced the chief, it must surely be admitted that there was, at least, sufficient probability in them to account for his not immediately giving way to those of his followers, and to rescue his memory from the reproach of any uncommon obstinacy, or of carrying things, as Burnet phrases it, with an air of authority that was not easy to men who were setting up for liberty. On the other hand, it may be more difficult to exculpate the gentlemen engaged with Argyle for not acquiescing more cheerfully, and not entering more cordially into the views of a man whom they had chosen for their leader and general; of whose honour they had no doubt, and whose opinion even those who dissented from him must confess to be formed upon no light or trivial grounds.

The differences upon the general scheme of attack led, of course, to others upon points of detail. Upon every projected expedition there appeared a contrariety of sentiment, which on some occasions produced the most violent disputes. The earl was often thwarted in his plans, and in one instance actually over-ruled by the vote of a council of war. Nor were these divisions, which might of themselves be deemed sufficient to mar an enterprise of this nature, the only adverse circumstances which Argyle had to encounter. By the forward state of preparation on the part of the government, its friends were emboldened; its enemies, whose spirit had been already broken by a long series of sufferings, were completely intimidated, and men of fickle and time-serving dispositions were fixed in its interests. Add to all this, that where spirit was not wanting, it was accompanied with a degree and species of perversity wholly inexplicable, and which can hardly gain belief from any one whose experience has not made him acquainted with the extreme difficulty of persuading men who pride themselves upon an extravagant love of liberty, rather to compromise upon some points with those who have in the main the same views with themselves, than to give power (a power which will infallibly be used for their own destruction) to an adversary of principles diametrically opposite; in other words, rather to concede something to a friend, than everything to an enemy. Hence, those even whose situation was the most desperate, who were either wandering about the fields, or seeking refuge in rocks and caverns, from the authorised assassins who were on every side pursuing them, did not all join in Argyle's cause with that frankness and cordiality which was to be expected. The various schisms which had existed among different classes of Presbyterians were still fresh in their memory. Not even the persecution to which they had been in common, and almost indiscriminately subjected, had reunited them. According to a most expressive phrase of an eminent minister of their church, who sincerely lamented their disunion, the furnace had not yet healed the rents and breaches among them. Some doubted whether, short of establishing all the doctrines preached by Cargill and Cameron, there was anything worth contending for; while others, still further gone in enthusiasm, set no value upon liberty, or even life itself, if they were to be preserved by the means of a nobleman who had, as well by his serviced to Charles the Second as by other instances, been guilty in the former parts of his conduct of what they termed unlawful compliances.

Perplexed, no doubt, but not dismayed, by these difficulties, the earl proceeded to Tarbet, which he had fixed as the place of rendezvous, and there issued a second declaration (that which has been mentioned as having been laid before the House of Commons), with as little effect as the first. He was joined by Sir Duncan Campbell, who alone, of all his kinsmen, seems to have afforded him any material assistance, and who brought with him nearly a thousand men; but even with this important reinforcement, his whole army does not appear to have exceeded two thousand. It was here that he was over-ruled by a council of war, when he proposed marching to Inverary; and after much debate, so far was he from being so self- willed as he is represented, that he consented to go over with his army to that part of Argyleshire called Cowal, and that Sir John Cochrane should make an attempt upon the Lowlands; and he sent with him Major Fullarton, one of the offices in whom he most trusted, and who appears to have best deserved his confidence. This expedition could not land in Ayrshire, where it had at first been intended, owing to the appearance of two king's frigates, which had been sent into those seas; and when it did land near Greenock, no other advantage was derived from it than the procuring from the town a very small supply of provisions.

When Cochrane, with his detachment, returned to Cowal, all hopes of success in the Lowlands seemed, for the present at least, to be at an end, and Argyle's original plan was now necessarily adopted, though under circumstances greatly disadvantageous. Among these, the most important was the approach of the frigates, which obliged the earl to place his ships under the protection of the castle of Ellengreg, which he fortified and garrisoned as well as his contracted means would permit. Yet even in this situation, deprived of the co-operation of his little fleet, as well as of that part of his force which he left to defend it, being well seconded by the spirit and activity of Rumbold, who had seized the castle of Ardkinglass, near the head of Loch Fin, he was not without hopes of success in his main enterprise against Inverary, when he was called back to Ellengreg, by intelligence of fresh discontents having broken out there, upon the nearer approach of the frigates. Some of the most dissatisfied had even threatened to leave both castle and ships to their fate; nor did the appearance of the earl himself by any means bring with it that degree of authority which was requisite in such a juncture. His first motion was to disregard the superior force of the men of war, and to engage them with his small fleet; but he soon discovered that he was far indeed from being furnished with the materials necessary to put in execution so bold, or, as it may possibly be thought, so romantic a resolution. His associates remonstrated, and a mutiny in his ships was predicted as a certain consequence of the attempt. Leaving, therefore, once more, Ellengreg with a garrison under the command of the laird of Lochness, and strict orders to destroy both ships and fortification, rather than suffer them to fall into the hands of the enemy, he marched towards Gareloch. But whether from the inadequacy of the provisions with which he was to supply it, or from cowardice, misconduct, or treachery, it does not appear, the castle was soon evacuated without any proper measures being taken to execute the earl's orders, and the military stores in it to a considerable amount, as well as the ships which had no other defence, were abandoned to the king's forces.

This was a severe blow; and all hopes of acting according to the earl's plan of establishing himself strongly in Argyleshire were now extinguished. He therefore consented to pass the Leven, a little above Dumbarton, and to march eastwards. In this march he was overtaken, at a place called Killerne, by Lord Dumbarton, at the head of a large body of the king's troops; but he posted himself with so much skill and judgment, that Dumbarton thought it prudent to wait, at least, till the ensuing morning, before he made his attack. Here, again Argyle was for risking an engagement, and in his nearly desperate situation, it was probably his best chance, but his advice (for his repeated misfortunes had scarcely left him the shadow of command) was rejected. On the other hand, a proposal was made to him, the most absurd, as it should seem, that was ever suggested in similar circumstances, to pass the enemy in the night, and thus exposing his rear, to subject himself to the danger of being surrounded, for the sake of advancing he knew not whither, or for what purpose. To this he could not consent; and it was at last agreed to deceive the enemies by lighting fires, and to decamp in the night towards Glasgow. The first part of this plan was executed with success, and the army went off unperceived by the enemy; but in their night march they were misled by the ignorance or the treachery of their guides and fell into difficulties which would have caused some disorder among the most regular and best-disciplined troops. In this case such disorder was fatal, and produced, as among men circumstanced as Argyle's were, it necessarily must, an almost general dispersion. Wandering among bogs and morasses, disheartened by fatigue, terrified by rumours of an approaching enemy, the darkness of the night aggravating at once every real distress, and adding terror to every vain alarm; in this situation, when even the bravest and the best (for according to one account Rumbold himself was missing for a time) were not able to find their leaders, nor the corps to which they respectively belonged; it is no wonder that many took this opportunity to abandon a cause now become desperate, and to effect individually that escape which, as a body, they had no longer any hopes to accomplish.

When the small remains of this ill-fated army got together, in the morning, at Kilpatrick, a place far distant from their destination, its number was reduced to less than five hundred. Argyle had lost all authority; nor, indeed, had he retained any, does it appear that he could now have used it to any salutary purpose. The same bias which had influenced the two parties in the time of better hopes, and with regard to their early operations, still prevailed now that they were driven to their last extremity. Sir Patrick Hume and Sir John Cochrane would not stay even to reason the matter with him whom, at the onset of their expedition, they had engaged to obey, but crossed the Clyde, with such as would follow them to the number of about two hundred, into Renfrewshire.

Argyle, thus deserted, and almost alone, still looked to his own country as the sole remaining hope, and sent off Sir Duncan Campbell, with the two Duncansons, father and son - persons, all three, by whom he seemed to have been served with the most exemplary zeal and fidelity - to attempt new levies there. Having done this, and settled such means of correspondence as the state of affairs would permit, he repaired to the house of an old servant, upon whose attachment he had relied for an asylum, but was peremptorily denied entrance. Concealment in this part of the country seemed now impracticable, and he was forced at last to pass the Clyde, accompanied by the brave and faithful Fullarton. Upon coming to a ford of the Inchanon they were stopped by some militia-men. Fullarton used in vain all the best means which his presence of mind suggested to him to save his general. He attempted one while by gentle, and then by harsher language, to detain the commander of the party till the earl, who was habited as a common countryman, and whom he passed for his guide, should have made his escape. At last, when he saw them determined to go after his pretended guide, he offered to surrender himself without a blow, upon condition of their desisting from their pursuit. This agreement was accepted, but not adhered to, and two horsemen were detached to seize Argyle. The earl, who was also on horseback, grappled with them till one of them and himself came to the ground. He then presented his pocket pistols, on which the two retired, but soon after five more came up, who fired without effect, and he thought himself like to get rid of them, but they knocked him down with their swords and seized him. When they knew whom they had taken they seemed much troubled, but dared not let him go. Fullarton, perceiving that the stipulation on which he had surrendered himself was violated, and determined to defend himself to the last, or at least to wreak, before he fell, his just vengeance upon his perfidious opponents, grasped at the sword of one of them, but in vain; he was overpowered, and made prisoner.

Argyle was immediately carried to Renfrew, thence to Glasgow, and on the 20th of June was led in triumph into Edinburgh. The order of the council was particular: that he should be led bareheaded in the midst of Graham's guards, with their matches cocked, his hands tied behind his back, and preceded by the common hangman, in which situation, that he might be more exposed to the insults and taunts of the vulgar, it was directed that he should be carried to the castle by a circuitous route. To the equanimity with which he bore these indignities, as indeed to the manly spirit exhibited by him throughout, in these last scenes of his life, ample testimony is borne by all the historians who have treated of them, even those who are the least partial to him. He had frequent opportunities of conversing, and some of writing, during his imprisonment, and it is from such parts of these conversations and writings as have been preserved to us, that we can best form to ourselves a just notion of his deportment during that trying period; at the same time a true representation of the temper of his mind in such circumstances will serve, in no small degree, to illustrate his general character and disposition.

We have already seen how he expresses himself with regard to the men who, by taking him, became the immediate cause of his calamity. He seems to feel a sort of gratitude to them for the sorrow he saw, or fancied he saw in them, when they knew who he was, and immediately suggests an excuse for them, by saying that they did not dare to follow the impulse of their hearts. Speaking of the supineness of his countrymen, and of the little assistance he had received from them, he declares with his accustomed piety his resignation to the will of God, which was that Scotland should not be delivered at this time, nor especially by his hand; and then exclaims, with the regret of a patriot, but with no bitterness of disappointment, "But alas! who is there to be delivered! There may," says he, "be hidden ones, but there appears no great party in the country who desire to be relieved." Justice, in some degree, but still more that warm affection for his own kindred and vassals, which seems to have formed a marked feature in this nobleman's character, then induces him to make an exception in favour of his poor friends in Argyleshire, in treating for whom, though in what particular way does not appear, he was employing, and with some hope of success, the few remaining hours of his life. In recounting the failure of his expedition it is impossible for him not to touch upon what he deemed the misconduct of his friends; and this is the subject upon which of all others, his temper must have been most irritable. A certain description of friends (the words describing them are omitted) were all of them without exception, his greatest enemies, both to betray and destroy him; and . . . and . . . (the names again omitted) were the greatest cause of his rout, and his being taken, though not designedly, he acknowledges, but by ignorance, cowardice, and faction. This sentence had scarce escaped him when, notwithstanding the qualifying words with which his candour had acquitted the last-mentioned persons of intentional treachery, it appeared too harsh to his gentle nature, and declaring himself displeased with the hard epithets he had used, he desires they may be put out of any account that is to be given of these transactions. The manner in which this request is worded shows that the paper he was writing was intended for a letter, and as it is supposed, to a Mrs. Smith, who seems to have assisted him with money; but whether or not this lady was the rich widow of Amsterdam, before alluded to, I have not been able to learn.

When he is told that he is to be put to the torture, he neither breaks out into any high-sounding bravado, any premature vaunts of the resolution with which he will endure it, nor, on the other hand, into passionate exclamations on the cruelty of his enemies, or unmanly lamentations of his fate. After stating that orders were arrived that he must be tortured, unless he answers all questions upon oath, he simply adds that he hopes God will support him; and then leaves off writing, not from any want of spirits to proceed, but to enjoy the consolation which was yet left him, in the society of his wife, the countess being just then admitted.

Of his interview with Queensbury, who examined him in private, little is known, except that he denied his design having been concerted with any persons in Scotland; that he gave no information with respect to his associates in England; and that he boldly and frankly averred his hopes to have been founded on the cruelty of the administration, and such a disposition in the people to revolt as he conceived to be the natural consequence of oppression. He owned, at the same time, that he had trusted too much to this principle. The precise date of this conversation, whether it took place before the threat of the torture, whilst that threat was impending, or when there was no longer any intention of putting it into execution, I have not been able to ascertain; but the probability seems to be that it was during the first or second of these periods.

Notwithstanding the ill success that had attended his enterprise, he never expresses, or even hints, the smallest degree of contrition for having undertaken it: on the contrary, when Mr. Charteris, an eminent divine, is permitted to wait on him, his first caution to that minister is, not to try to convince him of the unlawfulness of his attempt, concerning which his opinion was settled, and his mind made up. Of some parts of his past conduct he does indeed confess that he repents, but these are the compliances of which he had been guilty in support of the king, or his predecessors. Possibly in this he may allude to his having in his youth borne arms against the covenant, but with more likelihood to his concurrence, in the late reign, with some of the measures of Lauderdale's administration, for whom it is certain that he entertained a great regard, and to whom he conceived himself to be principally indebted for his escape from his first sentence. Friendship and gratitude might have carried him to lengths which patriotism and justice must condemn.

Religious concerns, in which he seems to have been very serious and sincere, engaged much of his thoughts; but his religion was of that genuine kind which, by representing the performance of our duties to our neighbour as the most acceptable service to God, strengthens all the charities of social life. While he anticipates, with a hope approaching to certainty, a happy futurity, he does not forget those who have been justly dear to him in this world. He writes, on the day of his execution, to his wife, and to some other relations, for whom he seems to have entertained a sort of parental tenderness, short, but the most affectionate letters, wherein he gives them the greatest satisfaction then in his power, by assuring them of his composure and tranquillity of mind, and refers them for further consolation to those sources from which he derived his own. In his letter to Mrs. Smith, written on the same day, he says, "While anything was a burden to me, your concern was; which is a cross greater than I can express" (alluding probably to the pecuniary loss she had incurred); "but I have, I thank God, overcome all." Her name, he adds, could not be concealed, and that he knows not what may have been discovered from any paper which may have been taken; otherwise he has named none to their disadvantage. He states that those in whose hands he is, had at first used him hardly, but that God had melted their hearts, and that he was now treated with civility. As an instance of this, he mentions the liberty he had obtained of sending this letter to her; a liberty which he takes as a kindness on their part, and which he had sought that she might not think he had forgotten her.

Never, perhaps, did a few sentences present so striking a picture of a mind truly virtuous and honourable. Heroic courage is the least part of his praise, and vanishes as it were from our sight, when we contemplate the sensibility with which he acknowledges the kindness, such as it is, of the very men who are leading him to the scaffold; the generous satisfaction which he feels on reflecting that no confession of his has endangered his associates; and above all, his anxiety, in such moments, to perform all the duties of friendship and gratitude, not only with the most scrupulous exactness, but with the most considerate attention to the feelings as well as to the interests of the person who was the object of them. Indeed, it seems throughout to have been the peculiar felicity of this man's mind, that everything was present to it that ought to be so; nothing that ought not. Of his country he could not be unmindful; and it was one among other consequences of his happy temper, that on this subject he did not entertain those gloomy ideas which the then state of Scotland was but too well fitted to inspire. In a conversation with an intimate friend, he says that, though he does not take upon him to be a prophet, he doubts not but that deliverance will come, and suddenly, of which his failings had rendered him unworthy to be the instrument. In some verses which he composed on the night preceding his execution, and which he intended for his epitaph, he thus expresses this hope still more distinctly

"On my attempt though Providence did frown, His oppressed people God at length shall own; Another hand, by more successful speed, Shall raise the remnant, bruise the serpent's head."

With respect to the epitaph itself, of which these lines form a part, it is probable that he composed it chiefly with a view to amuse and relieve his mind, fatigued with exertion, and partly, perhaps, in imitation of the famous Marquis of Montrose, who, in similar circumstances, had written some verses which have been much celebrated. The poetical merit of the pieces appears to be nearly equal, and is not in either instance considerable, and they are only in so far valuable as they may serve to convey to us some image of the minds by which they were produced. He who reads them with this view will, perhaps, be of opinion that the spirit manifested in the two compositions is rather equal in degree than like in character; that the courage of Montrose was more turbulent, that of Argyle more calm and sedate. If, on the one hand, it is to be regretted that we have not more memorials left of passages so interesting, and that even of those which we do possess, a great part is obscured by time, it must be confessed, on the other, that we have quite enough to enable us to pronounce that for constancy and equanimity under the severest trials, few men have equalled, none ever surpassed, the Earl of Argyle. The most powerful of all tempters, hope, was not held out to him, so that he had not, it is true, in addition to his other hard tasks, that of resisting her seductive influence; but the passions of a different class had the fullest scope for their attacks. These, however, could make no impression on his well- disciplined mind. Anger could not exasperate, fear could not appal him; and if disappointment and indignation at the misbehaviour of his followers, and the supineness of the country, did occasionally, as surely they must, cause uneasy sensations, they had not the power to extort from him one unbecoming or even querulous expression. Let him be weighed never so scrupulously, and in the nicest scales, he will not be found, in a single instance, wanting in the charity of a Christian, the firmness and benevolence of a patriot, the integrity and fidelity of a man of honour.

The Scotch parliament had, on the 11th of June, sent an address to the king wherein, after praising his majesty, as usual, for his extraordinary prudence, courage, and conduct, and loading Argyle, whom they styled an hereditary traitor, with every reproach they can devise - among others, that of ingratitude for the favours which he had received, as well from his majesty as from his predecessor - they implore his majesty that the earl may find no favour and that the earl's family, the heritors, ringleaders, and preachers who joined him, should be for ever declared incapable of mercy, or bearing any honour or estate in the kingdom, and all subjects discharged under the highest pains to intercede for them in any manner of way. Never was address more graciously received, or more readily complied with; and, accordingly, the following letter, with the royal signature, and countersigned by Lord Melford, Secretary of State for Scotland, was despatched to the council at Edinburgh, and by them entered and registered on the 29th of June.

"Whereas, the late Earl of Argyle is, by the providence of God, fallen into our power, it is our will and pleasure that you take all ways to know from him those things which concern our government most, as his assisters with men, arms, and money, his associates and correspondents, his designs, etc. But this must be done so as no time may be lost in bringing him to condign punishment, by causing him to be demeaned as a traitor, within the space of three days after this shall come to your hands, an account of which, with what he shall confess, you shall send immediately to us or our secretaries, for doing which this shall be your warrant."

When it is recollected that torture had been in common use in Scotland, and that the persons to whom the letter was addressed had often caused it to be inflicted, the words, "it is our will and pleasure that you take all ways," seem to convey a positive command for applying of it in this instance; yet it is certain that Argyle was not tortured. What was the cause of this seeming disregard of the royal injunctions does not appear. One would hope, for the honour of human nature, that James, struck with some compunction for the injuries he had already heaped upon the head of this unfortunate nobleman, sent some private orders contradictory to this public letter; but there is no trace to be discovered of such a circumstance. The managers themselves might feel a sympathy for a man of their own rank, which had no influence in the cases where only persons of an inferior station were to be the sufferers; and in those words of the king's letter which enjoin a speedy punishment as the primary object to which all others must give way, they might find a pretext for overlooking the most odious part of the order, and of indulging their humanity, such as it was, by appointing the earliest day possible for the execution. In order that the triumph of injustice might be complete, it was determined that, without any new trial, the earl should suffer upon the iniquitous sentence of 1682. Accordingly, the very next day ensuing was appointed, and on the 13th of June he was brought from the castle, first to the Laigh Council-house, and thence to the place of execution.

Before he left the castle, he had his dinner at the usual hour, at which he discoursed, not only calmly, but even cheerfully, with Mr. Charteris and others. After dinner he retired, as was his custom, to his bed-chamber, where it is recorded that he slept quietly for about a quarter of an hour. While he was in his bed, one of the members of the council came and intimated to the attendants a desire to speak with him: upon being told that the earl was asleep, and had left orders not to be disturbed, the manager disbelieved the account, which he considered as a device to avoid further questionings. To satisfy him, the door of the bed-chamber was half opened, and he then beheld, enjoying a sweet and tranquil slumber, the man who, by the doom of him and his fellows, was to die within the space of two short hours! Struck with this sight, he hurried out of the room, quitted the castle with the utmost precipitation, and hid himself in the lodgings of an acquaintance who lived near, where he flung himself upon the first bed that presented itself, and had every appearance of a man suffering the most excruciating torture. His friend, who had been apprised by the servant of the state he was in, and who naturally concluded that he was ill, offered him some wine. He refused, saying, "No, no, that will not help me: I have been in at Argyle, and saw him sleeping as pleasantly as ever man did, within an hour of eternity. But as for me - ." The name of the person to whom this anecdote relates is not mentioned, and the truth of it may therefore be fairly considered as liable to that degree of doubt with which men of judgment receive every species of traditional history. Woodrow, however, whose veracity is above suspicion, says he had it from the most unquestionable authority. It is not in itself unlikely; and who is there that would not wish it true? What a satisfactory spectacle to a philosophical mind, to see the oppressor, in the zenith of his power, envying his victim! What an acknowledgment of the superiority of virtue! What an affecting and forcible testimony to the value of that peace of mind which innocence alone can confer! We know not who this man was; but when we reflect that the guilt which agonised him was probably incurred for the sake of some vain title, or, at least, of some increase of wealth, which he did not want, and possibly knew not how to enjoy, our disgust is turned into something like compassion for that very foolish class of men whom the world calls wise in their generation.

Soon after his short repose Argyle was brought, according to order, to the Laigh Council-house, from which place is dated the letter to his wife, and thence to the place of execution. On the scaffold he had some discourse, as well with Mr. Annand, a minister appointed by government to attend him, as with Mr. Charteris. He desired both of them to pray for him, and prayed himself with much fervency and devotion. The speech which he made to the people was such as might be expected from the passages already related. The same mixture of firmness and mildness is conspicuous in every part of it. "We ought not," says he, "to despise our afflictions, nor to faint under them. We must not suffer ourselves to be exasperated against the instruments of our troubles, nor by fraudulent, nor pusillanimous compliances, bring guilt upon ourselves; faint hearts are ordinarily false hearts, choosing sin rather than suffering." He offers his prayers to God for the three kingdoms of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and that an end may be put to their present trials. Having then asked pardon for his own failings, both of God and man, he would have concluded; but being reminded that he had said nothing of the royal family, he adds that he refers, in this matter, to what he had said at his trial concerning the test; that he prayed there never might be wanting one of the royal family to support the Protestant religion; and if any of them had swerved from the true faith, he prayed God to turn their hearts, but, at any rate, to save His people from their machinations. When he had ended, he turned to the south side of the scaffold, and said, "Gentlemen, I pray you do not misconstruct my behaviour this day; I freely forgive all men their wrongs and injuries done against me, as I desire to be forgiven of God." Mr. Annand repeated these words louder to the people. The earl then went to the north side of the scaffold, and used the same or the like expressions. Mr. Annand repeated them again, and said, "This nobleman dies a Protestant." The earl stepped forward again, and said, "I die not only a Protestant, but with a heart-hatred of popery, prelacy, and all superstition whatsoever." It would perhaps have been better if these last expressions had never been uttered, as there appears certainly something of violence in them unsuitable to the general tenor of his language; but it must be remembered, first, that the opinion that the pope is Antichrist was at that time general among almost all the zealous Protestants in these kingdoms; secondly, that Annand being employed by government, and probably an Episcopalian, the earl might apprehend that the declaration of such a minister might not convey the precise idea which he, Argyle, affixed to the word Protestant.

He then embraced his friends, gave some tokens of remembrance to his son-in-law, Lord Maitland, for his daughter and grandchildren, stripped himself of part of his apparel, of which he likewise made presents, and laid his head upon the block. Having uttered a short prayer, he gave the signal to the executioner, which was instantly obeyed, and his head severed from his body. Such were the last hours, and such the final close, of this great man's life. May the like happy serenity in such dreadful circumstances, and a death equally glorious, be the lot of all whom tyranny, of whatever denomination or description, shall in any age, or in any country, call to expiate their virtues on the scaffold!

Of the followers of Argyle, in the disastrous expedition above recounted, the fortunes were various. Among those who either surrendered or were taken, some suffered the same fate with their commander, others were pardoned; while, on the other hand, of those who escaped to foreign parts, many after a short exile returned triumphantly to their country at the period of the revolution, and under a system congenial to their principles, some even attained the highest honours of the State. It is to be recollected that when, after the disastrous night-march from Killerne, a separation took place at Kilpatrick between Argyle and his confederates, Sir John Cochrane, Sir Patrick Hume, and others, crossed the Clyde into Renfrewshire, with about, it is supposed, two hundred men. Upon their landing they met with some opposition from a troop of militia horse, which was, however, feeble and ineffectual; but fresh parties of militia as well as regular troops drawing together, a sort of scuffle ensued, near a place called Muirdyke; an offer of quarter was made by the king's troops, but (probably on account of the conditions annexed to it) was refused; and Cochrane and the rest, now reduced to the number of seventy took shelter in a fold-dyke, where they were able to resist and repel, though not without loss on each side, the attack of the enemy. Their situation was nevertheless still desperate, and in the night they determined to make their escape. The king's troops having retired, this was effected without difficulty; and this remnant of an army being dispersed by common consent, every man sought his own safety in the best manner he could. Sir John Cochrane took refuge in the house of an uncle, by whom, or by whose wife, it is said, he was betrayed. He was, however, pardoned; and from this circumstance, coupled with the constant and seemingly peevish opposition which he gave to almost all Argyle's plans, a suspicion has arisen that he had been treacherous throughout. But the account given of his pardon by Burnet, who says his father, Lord Dundonald, who was an opulent nobleman, purchased it with a considerable sum of money, is more credible, as well as more candid; and it must be remembered that in Sir John's disputes with his general, he was almost always acting in conjunction with Sir Patrick Hume, who is proved, by the subsequent events, and indeed by the whole tenor of his life and conduct, to have been uniformly sincere and zealous in the cause of his country. Cochrane was sent to England, where he had an interview with the king, and gave such answers to the questions put to him as were deemed satisfactory by his majesty; and the information thus obtained whatever might be the real and secret causes, furnished a plausible pretence at least for the exercise of royal mercy. Sir Patrick Hume, after having concealed himself some time in the house, and under the protection of Lady Eleanor Dunbar, sister to the Earl of Eglington, found means to escape to Holland, whence he returned in better times, and was created first Lord Hume of Polwarth, and afterwards Earl of Marchmont. Fullarton, and Campbell of Auchinbreak, appear to have escaped, but by what means is not known. Two sons of Argyle, John and Charles, and Archibald Campbell, his nephew, were sentenced to death and forfeiture, but the capital part of the sentence was remitted. Thomas Archer, a clergyman, who had been wounded at Muirdyke, was executed, notwithstanding many applications in his favour, among which was one from Lord Drumlanrig, Queensbury's eldest son. Woodrow, who was himself a Presbyterian minister, and though a most valuable and correct historian, was not without a tincture of the prejudices belonging to his order, attributes the unrelenting spirit of the government in this instance to their malice against the clergy of his sect. Some of the holy ministry, he observes, as Guthrie at the restoration, Kidd and Mackail after the insurrections at Pentland and Bothwell Bridge, and now Archer, were upon every occasion to be sacrificed to the fury of the persecutors. But to him who is well acquainted with the history of this period, the habitual cruelty of the government will fully account for any particular act of severity; and it is only in cases of lenity, such as that of Cochrane, for instance, that he will look for some hidden or special motive.

Ayloff, having in vain attempted to kill himself, was, like Cochrane, sent to London to be examined. His relationship to the king's first wife might perhaps be one inducement to this measure, or it might be thought more expedient that he should be executed for the Rye House Plot, the credit of which it was a favourite object of the court to uphold, than for his recent acts of rebellion in Scotland. Upon his examination he refused to give any information, and suffered death upon a sentence of outlawry, which had passed in the former reign. It is recorded that James interrogated him personally, and finding him sullen, and unwilling to speak, said: "Mr. Ayloff, you know it is in my power to pardon you, therefore say that which may deserve it:" to which Ayloff replied: "Though it is in your power, it is not in your nature to pardon." This, however, is one of those anecdotes which are believed rather on account of the air of nature that belongs to them, than upon any very good traditional authority, and which ought, therefore when any very material inference with respect either to fact or character, is to be drawn from them, to be received with great caution.

Rumbold, covered with wounds, and defending himself with uncommon exertions of strength and courage, was at last taken. However desirable it might have been thought to execute in England a man so deeply implicated in the Rye House Plot, the state of Rumbold's health made such a project impracticable. Had it been attempted he would probably, by a natural death, have disappointed the views of a government who were eager to see brought to the block a man whom they thought, or pretended to think, guilty of having projected the assassination of the late and present king. Weakened as he was in body, his mind was firm, his constancy unshaken; and notwithstanding some endeavours that were made by drums and other instruments, to drown his voice when he was addressing the people from the scaffold, enough has been preserved of what he then uttered to satisfy us that his personal courage, the praise of which has not been denied him, was not of the vulgar or constitutional kind, but was accompanied with a proportionable vigour of mind. Upon hearing his sentence, whether in imitation of Montrose, or from that congeniality of character which causes men in similar circumstances to conceive similar sentiments, he expressed the same wish which that gallant nobleman had done; he wished he had a limb for every town in Christendom. With respect to the intended assassination imputed to him, he protested his innocence, and desired to be believed upon the faith of a dying man; adding, in terms as natural as they are forcibly descriptive of a conscious dignity of character, that he was too well known for any to have had the imprudence to make such a proposition to him. He concluded with plain, and apparently sincere, declarations of his undiminished attachment to the principles of liberty, civil and religious; denied that he was an enemy to monarchy, affirming, on the contrary, that he considered it, when properly limited, as the most eligible form of government; but that he never could believe that any man was born marked by God above another, "for none comes into the world with a saddle on his back, neither any booted and spurred to ride him."

Except by Ralph, who, with a warmth that does honour to his feelings, expatiates at some length upon the subject, the circumstances attending the death of this extraordinary man have been little noticed. Rapin, Echard, Kennet, Hume, make no mention of them whatever; and yet, exclusively of the interest always excited by any great display of spirit and magnanimity, his solemn denial of the project of assassination imputed to him in the affair of the Rye House Plot is in itself a fact of great importance, and one which might have been expected to attract, in no small degree, the attention of the historian. That Hume, who has taken some pains in canvassing the degree of credit due to the different parts of the Rye House Plot, should pass it over in silence, is the more extraordinary because, in the case of the popish plot, he lays, and justly lays, the greatest stress upon the dying declarations of the sufferers. Burnet adverts as well to the peculiar language used by Rumbold as to his denial of the assassination; but having before given us to understand that he believed that no such crime had been projected, it is the less to be wondered at that he does not much dwell upon this further evidence in favour of his former opinion. Sir John Dalrymple, upon the authority of a paper which he does not produce, but from which he quotes enough to show that if produced it would not answer his purpose, takes Rumbold's guilt for a decided fact, and then states his dying protestations of his innocence, as an instance of aggravated wickedness. It is to be remarked, too, that although Sir John is pleased roundly to assert that Rumbold denied the share he had had in the Rye House Plot, yet the particular words which he cites neither contain nor express, nor imply any such denial. He has not even selected those by which the design of assassination was denied (the only denial that was uttered), but refers to a general declaration made by Rumbold, that he had done injustice to no man - a declaration which was by no means inconsistent with his having been a party to a plot, which he, no doubt, considered as justifiable, and even meritorious. This is not all: the paper referred to is addressed to Walcot, by whom Rumbold states himself to have been led on; and Walcot, with his last breath, denied his own participation in any design to murder either Charles or James. Thus, therefore, whether the declaration of the sufferer be interpreted in a general or in a particular sense, there is no contradiction whatever between it and the paper adduced; but thus it is that the character of a brave and, as far as appears, a virtuous man, is most unjustly and cruelly traduced. An incredible confusion of head, and an uncommon want of reasoning powers, which distinguish the author to whom I refer, are, I should charitably hope, the true sources of his misrepresentation; while others may probably impute it to his desire of blackening, upon any pretence, a person whose name is more or less connected with those of Sidney and Russell. It ought not, perhaps, to pass without observation, that this attack upon Rumbold is introduced only in an oblique manner: the rigour of government destroyed, says the historian, the morals it intended to correct, and made the unhappy sufferer add to his former crimes the atrocity of declaring a falsehood in his last moments. Now, what particular instances of rigour are here alluded to, it is difficult to guess: for surely the execution of a man whom he sets down as guilty of a design to murder the two royal brothers, could not, even in the judgment of persons much less accustomed than Sir John to palliate the crimes of princes, be looked upon as an act of blameable severity; but it was thought, perhaps, that for the purpose of conveying a calumny upon the persons concerned, or accused of being concerned, in the Rye House Plot, an affected censure upon the government would be the fittest vehicle.

The fact itself, that Rumbold did, in his last hours, solemnly deny the having been concerned in any project for assassinating the king or duke, has not, I believe, been questioned. It is not invalidated by the silence of some historians: it is confirmed by the misrepresentation of others. The first question that naturally presents itself must be, was this declaration true? The asseverations of dying men have always had, and will always have, great influence upon the minds of those who do not push their ill opinion of mankind to the most outrageous and unwarrantable length; but though the weight of such asseverations be in all cases great, it will not be in all equal. It is material therefore to consider, first, what are the circumstances which may tend in particular cases to diminish their credit; and next, how far such circumstances appear to have existed in the case before us. The case where this species of evidence would be the least convincing, would be where hope of pardon is entertained; for then the man is not a dying man in the sense of the proposition, for he has not that certainty that his falsehood will not avail him, which is the principal foundation of the credit due to his assertions. For the same reason, though in a less degree, he who hopes for favour to his children, or to other surviving connections, is to be listened to with some caution; for the existence of one virtue does not necessarily prove that of another, and he who loves his children and friends may yet be profligate and unprincipled; or, deceiving himself, may think that while his ends are laudable, he ought not to hesitate concerning the means. Besides these more obvious temptations to prevarication, there is another which, though it may lie somewhat deeper, yet experience teaches us to be rooted in human nature: I mean that sort of obstinacy, or false shame, which makes men so unwilling to retract what they have once advanced, whether in matter of opinion or of fact. The general character of the man is also in this, as in all other human testimony, a circumstance of the greatest moment. Where none of the above-mentioned objections occur, and where therefore the weight of evidence in question is confessedly considerable, yet is it still liable to be balanced or outweighed by evidence in the opposite scale.

Let Rumbold's declaration, then, be examined upon these principles, and we shall find that it has every character of truth, without a single circumstance to discredit it. He was so far from entertaining any hope of pardon, that he did not seem even to wish it; and indeed if he had had any such chimerical object in view, he must have known that to have supplied the government with a proof of the Rye House assassination plot, would be a more likely road at least, than a steady denial, to obtain it. He left none behind him for whom to entreat favour, or whose welfare or honour was at all affected by any confession or declaration he might make. If, in a prospective view, he was without temptation, so neither, if he looked back, was he fettered by any former declaration; so that he could not be influenced by that erroneous notion of consistency to which it may be feared that truth, even in the most awful moments, has in some cases been sacrificed. His timely escape in 1683 had saved him from the necessity of making any protestation upon the subject of his innocence at that time; and the words of the letter to Walcot are so far from containing such a protestation, that they are quoted (very absurdly, it is true) by Sir John Dalrymple as an avowal of guilt. If his testimony is free from these particular objections, much less is it impeached by his general character, which was that of a bold and daring man, who was very unlikely to feel shame in avowing what he had not been ashamed to commit, and who seems to have taken a delight in speaking bold truths, or at least what appeared to him to be such, without regarding the manner in which his hearers were likely to receive them. With respect to the last consideration, that of the opposite evidence, it all depends upon the veracity of men who, according to their own account, betrayed their comrades, and were actuated by the hope either of pardon or reward.

It appears to be of the more consequence to clear up this matter, because if we should be of opinion, as I think we all must be, that the story of the intended assassination of the king, in his way from Newmarket, is as fabulous as that of the silver bullets by which he was to have been shot at Windsor, a most singular train of reflections will force itself upon our minds, as well in regard to the character of the times, as to the means by which the two causes gained successively the advantage over each other. The Royalists had found it impossible to discredit the fiction, gross as it was, of the popish plot; nor could they prevent it from being a powerful engine in the hands of the Whigs, who, during the alarm raised by it, gained an irresistible superiority in the House of Commons, in the City of London, and in most parts of the kingdom. But they who could not quiet a false alarm raised by their adversaries, found little or no difficulty in raising one equally false in their own favour, by the supposed detection of the intended assassination. With regard to the advantages derived to the respective parties from those detestable fictions, if it be urged, on one hand, that the panic spread by the Whigs was more universal and more violent in its effects, it must be allowed, on the other, that the advantages gained by the Tories were, on account of their alliance with the crown, more durable and decisive. There is a superior solidity ever belonging to the power of the crown, as compared with that of any body of men or party, or even with either of the other branches of the legislature. A party has influence, but, properly speaking, no power. The Houses of Parliament have abundance of power, but, as bodies, little or no influence. The crown has both power and influence, which, when exerted with wisdom and steadiness, will always be found too strong for any opposition whatever, till the zeal and fidelity of party attachments shall be found to increase in proportion to the increased influence of the executive power.

While these matters were transacting in Scotland, Monmouth, conformably to his promise to Argyle, set sail from Holland, and landed at Lyme in Dorsetshire, on the 11th of June. He was attended by Lord Grey of Wark, Fletcher of Saltoun, Colonel Matthews, Ferguson, and a few other gentlemen. His reception was, among the lower ranks, cordial, and for some days at least, if not weeks, there seemed to have been more foundation for the sanguine hopes of Lord Grey and others, his followers, than the duke had supposed. The first step taken by the invader was to issue a proclamation, which he caused to be read in the market-place. In this instrument he touched upon what were, no doubt, thought to be the most popular topics, and loaded James and his Catholic friends with every imputation which had at any time been thrown against them. This declaration appears to have been well received, and the numbers that came in to him were very considerable; but his means of arming them were limited, nor had he much confidence, for the purpose of any important military operation, in men unused to discipline, and wholly unacquainted with the art of war. Without examining the question whether or not Monmouth, from his professional prejudices, carried, as some have alleged he did, his diffidence of unpractised soldiers and new levies too far, it seems clear that, in his situation, the best, or rather the only chance of success, was to be looked for in counsels of the boldest kind. If he could not immediately strike some important stroke, it was not likely that he ever should; nor indeed was he in a condition to wait. He could not flatter himself, as Argyle had done, that he had a strong country, full of relations and dependants, where he might secure himself till the co-operation of his confederate or some other favourable circumstance might put it in his power to act more efficaciously. Of any brilliant success in Scotland he could not, at this time, entertain any hope, nor, if he had, could he rationally expect that any events in that quarter would make the sort of impression here which, on the other hand, his success would produce in Scotland. With money he was wholly unprovided; nor does it appear, whatever may have been the inclination of some considerable men, such as Lords Macclesfield, Brandon, Delamere, and others, that any persons of that description were engaged to join in his enterprise. His reception had been above his hopes, and his recruits more numerous than could be expected, or than he was able to furnish with arms; while, on the other hand, the forces in arms against him consisted chiefly in a militia, formidable neither from numbers nor discipline, and moreover suspected of disaffection. The present moment, therefore, seemed to offer the most favourable opportunity for enterprise of any that was likely to occur; but the unfortunate Monmouth judged otherwise, and, as if he were to defend rather than to attack, directed his chief policy to the avoiding of a general action.

It being, however, absolutely necessary to dislodge some troops which the Earl of Feversham had thrown into Bridport, a detachment of three hundred men was made for that purpose, which had the most complete success, notwithstanding the cowardice of Lord Grey, who commanded them. This nobleman, who had been so instrumental in persuading his friend to the invasion, upon the first appearance of danger is said to have left the troops whom he commanded, and to have sought his own personal safety in flight. The troops carried Bridport, to the shame of the commander who had deserted them, and returned to Lyme.

It is related by Ferguson that Monmouth said to Matthews, "What shall I do with Lord Grey?" To which the other answered, "That he was the only general in Europe who would ask such a question;" intending, no doubt, to reproach the duke with the excess to which he pushed his characteristic virtues of mildness and forbearance. That these virtues formed a part of his character is most true, and the personal friendship in which he had lived with Grey would incline him still more to the exercise of them upon this occasion; but it is to be remembered also that the delinquent was, in respect of rank, property, and perhaps too of talent, by far the most considerable man he had with him; and, therefore, that prudential motives might concur to deter a general from proceeding to violent measures with such a person, especially in a civil war, where the discipline of an armed party cannot be conducted upon the same system as that of a regular army serving in a foreign war. Monmouth's disappointment in Lord Grey was aggravated by the loss of Fletcher of Saltoun, who, in a sort of scuffle that ensued upon his being reproached for having seized a horse belonging to a man of the country, had the misfortune to kill the owner. Monmouth, however unwilling, thought himself obliged to dismiss him; and thus, while a fatal concurrence of circumstances forced him to part with the man he esteemed, and to retain him whom he despised, he found himself at once disappointed of the support of the two persons upon whom he had most relied.

On the 15th of June, his army being now increased to near three thousand men, the duke marched from Lyme. He does not appear to have taken this step with a view to any enterprise of importance, but rather to avoid the danger which he apprehended from the motions of the Devonshire and Somerset militias, whose object it seemed to be to shut him up in Lyme. In his first day's march he had opportunities of engaging, or rather of pursuing, each of those bodies, who severally retreated from his forces; but conceiving it to be his business, as he said, not to fight, but to march on, he went through Axminster, and encamped in a strong piece of ground between that town and Chard in Somersetshire, to which place he proceeded on the ensuing day. According to Wade's narrative, which appears to afford by far the most authentic account of these transactions, here it was that the first proposition was made for proclaiming Monmouth king. Ferguson made the proposal, and was supported by Lord Grey, but it was easily run down, as Wade expresses it, by those who were against it, and whom, therefore, we must suppose to have formed a very considerable majority of the persons deemed of sufficient importance to be consulted on such an occasion. These circumstances are material, because if that credit be given to them which they appear to deserve, Ferguson's want of veracity becomes so notorious, that it is hardly worth while to attend to any part of his narrative. Where it only corroborates accounts given by others, it is of little use; and where it differs from them, it deserves no credit. I have, therefore, wholly disregarded it.

From Chard, Monmouth and his party proceeded to Taunton, a town where, as well from the tenor of former occurrences as from the zeal and number of the Protestant dissenters, who formed a great portion of its inhabitants, he had every reason to expect the most favourable reception. His expectations were not disappointed.

The inhabitants of the upper, as well as the lower classes, vied with each other in testifying their affection for his person, and their zeal for his cause. While the latter rent the air with applauses and acclamations, the former opened their houses to him and to his followers, and furnished his army with necessaries and supplies of every kind. His way was strewed with flowers; the windows were thronged with spectators, all anxious to participate in what the warm feelings of the moment made them deem a triumph. Husbands pointed out to their wives, mothers to their children, the brave and lovely hero who was destined to be the deliverer of his country. The beautiful lines which Dryden makes Achitophel, in his highest strain of flattery, apply to this unfortunate nobleman, were in this instance literally verified:

"Thee, saviour, thee, the nation's vows confess, And, never satisfied with seeing, bless. Swift unbespoken pomps thy steps proclaim, And stammering babes are taught to lisp thy name."

In the midst of these joyous scenes twenty-six young maids, of the best families in the town, presented him in the name of their townsmen with colours wrought by them for the purpose, and with a Bible; upon receiving which he said that he had taken the field with a design to defend the truth contained in that Book, and to seal it with his blood if there was occasion.

In such circumstances it is no wonder that his army increased; and, indeed, exclusive of individual recruits, he was here strengthened by the arrival of Colonel Bassett with a considerable corps. But in the midst of these prosperous circumstances, some of them of such apparent importance to the success of his enterprise, all of them highly flattering to his feelings, he did not fail to observe that one favourable symptom (and that too of the most decisive nature) was still wanting. None of the considerable families, not a single nobleman, and scarcely any gentleman of rank and consequence in the counties through which he had passed, had declared in his favour. Popular applause is undoubtedly sweet; and not only so, it often furnishes most powerful means to the genius that knows how to make use of them. But Monmouth well knew that without the countenance and assistance of a proportion, at least, of the higher ranks in the country, there was, for an undertaking like his, little prospect of success. He could not but have remarked that the habits and prejudices of the English people are, in a great degree, aristocratical; nor had he before him, nor indeed have we since his time, had one single example of an insurrection that was successful, unaided by the ancient families and great landed proprietors. He must have felt this the more, because in former parts of his political life he had been accustomed to act with such coadjutors; and it is highly probable that if Lord Russell had been alive, and could have appeared at the head of one hundred only of his western tenantry, such a reinforcement would have inspired him with more real confidence than the thousands who individually flocked to his standard.

But though Russell was no more, there were not wanting, either in the provinces through which the duke passed, or in other parts of the kingdom, many noble and wealthy families who were attached to the principles of the Whigs. To account for their neutrality, and, if possible, to persuade them to a different conduct, was naturally among his principal concerns. Their present coldness might be imputed to the indistinctness of his declarations with respect to what was intended to be the future government. Men zealous for monarchy might not choose to embark without some certain pledge that their favourite form should be preserved. They would also expect to be satisfied with respect to the person whom their arms, if successful, were to place upon the throne. To promise, therefore, the continuance of a monarchical establishment, and to designate the future monarch, seemed to be necessary for the purpose of acquiring aristocratical support. Whatever might be the intrinsic weight of this argument, it easily made its way with Monmouth in his present situation. The aspiring temper of mind which is the natural consequence of popular favour and success, produced in him a disposition to listen to any suggestion which tended to his elevation and aggrandisement; and when he could persuade himself, upon reasons specious at least, that the measures which would most gratify his aspiring desires would be, at the same time, a stroke of the soundest policy, it is not to be wondered at that it was immediately and impatiently adopted. Urged, therefore, by these mixed motives, he declared himself king, and issued divers proclamations in the royal style; assigning to those whose approbation he doubted the reasons above adverted to, and proscribing and threatening with the punishment due to rebellion such as should resist his mandates, and adhere to the usurping Duke of York.

If this measure was in reality taken with views of policy, those views were miserably disappointed; for it does not appear that one proselyte was gained. The threats in the proclamation were received with derision by the king's army, and no other sentiments were excited by the assumption of the royal title than those of contempt and indignation. The commonwealthsmen were dissatisfied, of course, with the principle of the measure: the favourers of hereditary right held it in abhorrence, and considered it as a kind of sacrilegious profanation; nor even among those who considered monarchy in a more rational light, and as a magistracy instituted for the good of the people, could it be at all agreeable that such a magistrate should be elected by the army that had thronged to his standard, or by the particular partiality of a provincial town. Monmouth's strength, therefore, was by no means increased by his new title, and seemed to be still limited to two descriptions of persons; first, those who, from thoughtlessness or desperation, were willing to join in any attempt at innovation; secondly, such as, directing their views to a single point, considered the destruction of James's tyranny as the object which, at all hazards, and without regard to consequences, they were bound to pursue. On the other hand, his reputation both for moderation and good faith was considerably impaired, inasmuch as his present conduct was in direct contradiction to that part of his declaration wherein he had promised to leave the future adjustment of government, and especially the consideration of his own claims, to a free and independent parliament.

The notion of improving his new levies by discipline seems to have taken such possession of Monmouth's mind that he overlooked the probable, or rather the certain, consequences of a delay, by which the enemy would be enabled to bring into the field forces far better disciplined and appointed than any which, even with the most strenuous and successful exertions, he could hope to oppose to them. Upon this principle, and especially as he had not yet fixed upon any definite object of enterprise, he did not think a stay of a few days at Taunton would be materially, if at all, prejudicial to his affairs; and it was not till the 21st of June that he proceeded to Bridgewater, where he was received in the most cordial manner. In his march, the following day, from that town to Glastonbury, he was alarmed by a party of the Earl of Oxford's horse; but all apprehensions of any material interruptions were removed by an account of the militia having left Wells, and retreated to Bath and Bristol. From Glastonbury he went to Shipton-Mallet, where the project of an attack upon Bristol was communicated by the duke to his officers. After some discussion, it was agreed that the attack should be made on the Gloucestershire side of the city, and with that view to pass the Avon at Keynsham Bridge, a few miles from Bath. In their march from Shipton-Mallet, the troops were again harassed in their rear by a party of horse and dragoons, but lodged quietly at night at a village called Pensford. A detachment was sent early the next morning to possess itself of Keynsham, and to repair the bridge, which might probably be broken down to prevent a passage. Upon their approach, a troop of the Gloucestershire horse- militia immediately abandoned the town in great precipitation, leaving behind them two horses and one man. By break of day, the bridge, which had not been much injured, was repaired, and before noon, Monmouth, having passed it with his whole army, was in full march to Bristol, which he determined to attack the ensuing night. But the weather proving rainy and bad, it was deemed expedient to return to Keynsham, a measure from which he expected to reap a double advantage; to procure dry and commodious quarters for the soldiery, and to lull the enemy, by a movement, which bore the semblance of a retreat, into a false and delusive security. The event, however, did not answer his expectation, for the troops had scarcely taken up their quarters, when they were disturbed by two parties of horse, who entered the town at two several places. An engagement ensued, in which Monmouth lost fourteen men, and a captain of horse, though in the end the Royalists were obliged to retire, leaving three prisoners. From these the duke had information that the king's army was near at hand, and, as they said, about four thousand strong.

This new state of affairs seemed to demand new councils. The projected enterprise upon Bristol was laid aside, and the question was, whether to make by forced marches for Gloucester, in order to pass the Severn at that city, and so to gain the counties of Salop and Chester, where he expected to be met by many friends, or to march directly into Wiltshire, where, according to some intelligence received ["from one Adlam"] the day before, there was a considerable body of horse (under whose command does not appear) ready, by their junction, to afford him a most important and seasonable support. To the first of these plans a decisive objection was stated. The distance by Gloucester was so great, that, considering the slow marches to which he would be limited, by the daily attacks with which the different small bodies of the enemy's cavalry would not fail to harass his rear, he was in great danger of being overtaken by the king's forces, and might thus be driven to risk all in an engagement upon terms the most disadvantageous. On the contrary, if joined in Wiltshire by the expected aids, he might confidently offer battle to the royal army; and, provided he could bring them to an action before they were strengthened by new reinforcements, there was no unreasonable prospect of success. The latter plan was therefore adopted, and no sooner adopted than put in execution. The army was in motion without delay, and being before Bath on the morning of the 26th of June, summoned the place, rather (as it should seem) in sport than in earnest, as there was no hope of its surrender. After this bravado they marched on southward to Philip's Norton, where they rested; the horse in the town, and the foot in the field.

While Monmouth was making these marches, there were not wanting, in many parts of the adjacent country, strong symptoms of the attachment of the lower orders of people to his cause, and more especially in those manufacturing towns where the Protestant dissenters were numerous. In Froome there had been a considerable rising, headed by the constable, who posted up the duke's declaration in the market-place. Many of the inhabitants of the neighbouring towns of Westbury and Warminster came in throngs to the town to join the insurgents; some armed with fire-arms, but more with such rustic weapons as opportunity could supply. Such a force, if it had joined the main army, or could have been otherwise directed by any leader of judgment and authority, might have proved very serviceable; but in its present state it was a mere rabble, and upon the first appearance of the Earl of Pembroke, who entered the town with a hundred and sixty horse and forty musketeers, fell, as might be expected, into total confusion. The rout was complete; all the arms of the insurgents were seized; and the constable, after having been compelled to abjure his principles, and confess the enormity of his offence, was committed to prison.

This transaction took place the 25th, the day before Monmouth's arrival at Philip's Norton, and may have, in a considerable degree, contributed to the disappointment, of which we learn from Wade, that he at this time began bitterly to complain. He was now upon the confines of Wiltshire, and near enough for the bodies of horse, upon whose favourable intentions so much reliance had been placed, to have effected a junction, if they had been so disposed; but whether that Adlam's intelligence had been originally bad, or that Pembroke's proceedings at Froome had intimidated them, no symptom of such an intention could be discovered. A desertion took place in his army, which the exaggerated accounts in the Gazette made to amount to near two thousand men. These dispiriting circumstances, added to the complete disappointment of the hopes entertained from the assumption of the royal title, produced in him a state of mind but little short of despondency. He complained that all people had deserted him, and is said to have been so dejected, as hardly to have the spirit requisite for giving the necessary orders.

From this state of torpor, however, he appears to have been effectually roused by a brisk attack that was made upon him on the 27th, in the morning, by the Royalists, under the command of his half-brother, the Duke of Grafton. That spirited young nobleman (whose intrepid courage, conspicuous upon every occasion, led him in this, and many other instances, to risk a life, which he finally lost in a better cause), heading an advanced detachment of Lord Feversham's army, who had marched from Bath, with a view to fall on the enemy's rear, marched boldly up a narrow lane leading to the town, and attacked a barricade, which Monmouth had caused to be made across the way, at the entrance of the town. Monmouth was no sooner apprised of this brisk attack, than he ordered a party to go out of the town by a by-way, who coming on the rear of the Grenadiers while others of his men were engaged with their front, had nearly surrounded them, and taken their commander prisoner, but Grafton forced his way through the enemy. An engagement ensued between the insurgents and the remainder of Feversham's detachment, who had lined the hedges which flanked them. The former were victorious, and after driving the enemy from hedge to hedge, forced them at last into the open field, where they joined the rest of the king's forces, newly come up. The killed and wounded in these encounters amounted to about forty on Feversham's side, twenty on Monmouth's; but among the latter there were several officers, and some of note, while the loss of the former, with the exception of two volunteers, Seymour and May, consisted entirely of common soldiers.

The Royalists now drew up on an eminence, about five hundred paces from the hedges, while Monmouth, having placed, of his four field- pieces, two at the mouth of the lane, and two upon a rising ground near it on the right, formed his army along the hedge. From these stations a firing of artillery was begun on each side, and continued near six hours, but with little or no effect. Monmouth, according to Wade, losing but one, and the Royalists, according to the Gazette, not one man, by the whole cannonade. In these circumstances, notwithstanding the recent and convincing experience he now had of the ability of his raw troops to face, in certain situations at least, the more regular forces of his enemy, Monmouth was advised by some to retreat; but upon a more general consultation, this advice was over-ruled, and it was determined to cut passages through the hedges and to offer battle. But before this could be effected the royal army, not willing again to engage among the enclosures, annoyed in the open field by the rain which continued to fall very heavily, and disappointed, no doubt, at the little effect of their artillery, began their retreat. The little confidence which Monmouth had in his horse - perhaps the ill opinion he now entertained of their leader - forbade him to think of pursuit, and having stayed till a late hour in the field, and leaving large fires burning, he set out on his march in the night, and on the 28th, in the morning, reached Froome, where he put his troops in quarter and rested two days.

It was here he first heard certain news of Argyle's discomfiture. It was in vain to seek for any circumstance in his affairs that might mitigate the effect of the severe blow inflicted by this intelligence, and he relapsed into the same low spirits as at Philip's Norton. No diversion, at least no successful diversion, had been made in his favour: there was no appearance of the horse, which had been the principal motive to allure him into that part of the country; and what was worst of all, no desertion from the king's army. It was manifest, said the duke's more timid advisers, that the affair must terminate ill, and the only measure now to be taken was, that the general with his officers should leave the army to shift for itself, and make severally for the most convenient sea- ports, whence they might possibly get a safe passage to the Continent. To account for Monmouth's entertaining, even for a moment, a thought so unworthy of him, and so inconsistent with the character for spirit he had ever maintained - a character unimpeached even by his enemies - we must recollect the unwillingness with which he undertook this fatal expedition; that his engagement to Argyle, who was now past help, was perhaps his principal motive for embarking at the time; that it was with great reluctance he had torn himself from the arms of Lady Harriet Wentworth, with whom he had so firmly persuaded himself that he could be happy in the most obscure retirement, that he believed himself weaned from ambition, which had hitherto been the only passion of his mind. It is true, that when he had once yielded to the solicitations of his friends so far as to undertake a business of such magnitude, it was his duty (but a duty that required a stronger mind than his to execute) to discard from his thoughts all the arguments that had rendered his compliance reluctant. But it is one of the great distinctions between an ordinary mind and a superior one, to be able to carry on without relenting a plan we have not originally approved, and especially when it appears to have turned out ill. This proposal of disbanding was a step so pusillanimous and dishonourable that it could not be approved by any council, however composed. It was condemned by all except Colonel Venner, and was particularly inveighed against by Lord Grey, who was perhaps desirous of retrieving, by bold words at least, the reputation he had lost at Bridport. It is possible, too, that he might be really unconscious of his deficiency in point of personal courage till the moment of danger arrived, and even forgetful of it when it was passed. Monmouth was easily persuaded to give up a plan so uncongenial to his nature, resolved, though with little hope of success, to remain with his army to take the chance of events, and at the worst to stand or fall with men whose attachment to him had laid him under indelible obligations.

This resolution being taken, the first plan was to proceed to Warminster, but on the morning of his departure hearing, on the one hand, that the king's troops were likely to cross his march, and on the other, being informed by a quaker, before known to the duke, that there was a great club army, amounting to ten thousand men, ready to join his standard in the marshes to the westward, he altered his intention, and returned to Shipton-Mallet, where he rested that night, his army being in good quarters. From Shipton- Mallet he proceeded, on the 1st of July, to Wells, upon information that there were in that city some carriages belonging to the king's army, and ill-guarded. These he found and took, and stayed that night in the town. The following day he marched towards Bridgewater in search of the great succour he had been taught to expect; but found, of the promised ten thousand men, only a hundred and sixty. The army lay that night in the field, and once again entered Bridgewater on the 3rd of July. That the duke's men were not yet completely dispirited or out of heart appears from the circumstance of great numbers of them going from Bridgewater to see their friends at Taunton, and other places in the neighbourhood, and almost all returning the next day according to their promise. On the 5th an account was received of the king's army being considerably advanced, and Monmouth's first thought was to retreat from it immediately, and marching by Axbridge and Keynsham to Gloucester, to pursue the plan formerly rejected, of penetrating into the counties of Chester and Salop.

His preparations for this march were all made, when, on the afternoon of the 5th, he learnt, more accurately than he had before done, the true situation of the royal army, and from the information now received, he thought it expedient to consult his principal officers, whether it might not be advisable to attempt to surprise the enemy by a night attack upon their quarters. The prevailing opinion was, that if the infantry were not entrenched the plan was worth the trial; otherwise not. Scouts were despatched to ascertain this point, and their report being that there was no entrenchment, an attack was resolved on. In pursuance of this resolution, at about eleven at night, the whole army was in march, Lord Grey commanding the horse, and Colonel Wade the vanguard of the foot. The duke's orders were, that the horse should first advance, and pushing into the enemy's camp, endeavour to prevent their infantry from coming together; that the cannon should follow the horse, and the foot the cannon, and draw all up in one line, and so finish what the cavalry should have begun, before the king's horse and artillery could be got in order. But it was now discovered that though there were no entrenchments, there was a ditch which served as a drain to the great moor adjacent, of which no mention had been made by the scouts. To this ditch the horse under Lord Grey advanced, and no farther; and whether immediately, as according to some accounts, or after having been considerably harassed by the enemy in their attempts to find a place to pass, according to others, quitted the field. The cavalry being gone, and the principle upon which the attack had been undertaken being that of a surprise, the duke judged it necessary that the infantry should advance as speedily as possible. Wade, therefore, when he came within forty paces of the ditch, was obliged to halt to put his battalion into that order, which the extreme rapidity of the march had for the time disconcerted. His plan was to pass the ditch, reserving his fire; but while he was arranging his men for that purpose, another battalion, newly come up, began to fire, though at a considerable distance; a bad example, which it was impossible to prevent the vanguard from following, and it was now no longer in the power of their commander to persuade them to advance. The king's forces, as well horse and artillery as foot, had now full time to assemble. The duke had no longer cavalry in the field, and though his artillery, which consisted only of three or four iron guns, was well served under the directions of a Dutch gunner, it was by no means equal to that of the royal army, which, as soon as it was light, began to do great execution. In these circumstances the unfortunate Monmouth, fearful of being encompassed and made prisoner by the king's cavalry, who were approaching upon his flank, and urged, as it is reported, to flight by the same person who had stimulated him to his fatal enterprise, quitted the field accompanied by Lord Grey and some others. The left wing, under the command of Colonel Holmes and Matthews, next gave way; and Wade's men, after having continued for an hour and a half a distant and ineffectual fire, seeing their left discomfited, began a retreat, which soon afterwards became a complete rout.

Thus ended the decisive battle of Sedgmoor; an attack which seems to have been judiciously conceived, and in many parts spiritedly executed. The general was deficient neither in courage nor conduct; and the troops, while they displayed the native bravery of Englishmen, were under as good discipline as could be expected from bodies newly raised. Two circumstances seem to have principally contributed to the loss of the day; first, the unforeseen difficulty occasioned by the ditch, of which the assailants had had no intelligence; and secondly, the cowardice of the commander of the horse. The discovery of the ditch was the more alarming, because it threw a general doubt upon the information of the spies, and the night being dark they could not ascertain that this was the only impediment of the kind which they were to expect. The dispersion of the horse was still more fatal, inasmuch as it deranged the whole order of the plan, by which it had been concerted that their operations were to facilitate the attack to be made by the foot. If Lord Grey had possessed a spirit more suitable to his birth and name, to the illustrious friendship with which he had been honoured, and to the command with which he was entrusted, he would doubtless have persevered till he found a passage into the enemy's camp, which could have been effected at a ford not far distant: the loss of time occasioned by the ditch might not have been very material, and the most important consequences might have ensued; but it would surely be rashness to assert, as Hume does, that the army would after all have gained the victory had not the misconduct of Monmouth and the cowardice of Grey prevented it. This rash judgment is the more to be admired, as the historian has not pointed out the instance of misconduct to which he refers. The number of Monmouth's men killed is computed by some at two thousand, by others at three hundred - a disparity, however, which may be easily reconciled, by supposing that the one account takes in those who were killed in battle, while the other comprehends the wretched fugitives who were massacred in ditches, corn-fields, and other hiding-places, the following day.

In general, I have thought it right to follow Wade's narrative, which appears to me by far the most authentic, if not the only authentic account of this important transaction. It is imperfect, but its imperfection arises from the narrator's omitting all those circumstances of which he was not an eye-witness, and the greater credit is on that very account due to him for those which he relates. With respect to Monmouth's quitting the field, it is not mentioned by him, nor is it possible to ascertain the precise point of time at which it happened. That he fled while his troops were still fighting, and therefore too soon for his glory, can scarcely be doubted; and the account given by Ferguson, whose veracity, however, is always to be suspected, that Lord Grey urged him to the measure, as well by persuasion as by example, seems not improbable. This misbehaviour of the last-mentioned nobleman is more certain; but as, according to Ferguson, who has been followed by others, he actually conversed with Monmouth in the field, and as all accounts make him the companion of his flight, it is not to be understood that when he first gave way with his cavalry, he ran away in the literal sense of the words, or if he did, he must have returned. The exact truth, with regard to this and many other interesting particulars, is difficult to be discovered; owing, not more to the darkness of the night in which they were transacted, than to the personal partialities and enmities by which they have been disfigured, in the relations of the different contemporary writers.

Monmouth with his suite first directed his course towards the Bristol Channel, and as is related by Oldmixon, was once inclined, at the suggestion of Dr. Oliver, a faithful and honest adviser, to embark for the coast of Wales, with a view of concealing himself some time in that principality. Lord Grey, who appears to have been, in all instances, his evil genius, dissuaded him from this plan, and the small party having separated, took each several ways. Monmouth, Grey, and a gentleman of Brandenburg, went southward, with a view to gain the New Forest in Hampshire, where, by means of Grey's connections in that district, and thorough knowledge of the country, it was hoped they might be in safety, till a vessel could be procured to transport them to the Continent. They left their horses, and disguised themselves as peasants; but the pursuit, stimulated as well by party zeal as by the great pecuniary rewards offered for the capture of Monmouth and Grey, was too vigilant to be eluded. Grey was taken on the 7th in the evening; and the German, who shared the same fate early on the next morning, confessed that he had parted from Monmouth but a few hours since. The neighbouring country was immediately and thoroughly searched, and James had ere night the satisfaction of learning that his nephew was in his power. The unfortunate duke was discovered in a ditch, half concealed by fern and nettles. His stock of provision, which consisted of some peas gathered in the fields through which he had fled, was nearly exhausted, and there is reason to think that he had little, if any other sustenance, since he left Bridgewater on the evening of the 5th. To repose he had been equally a stranger; how his mind must have been harassed, it is needless to discuss. Yet that in such circumstances he appeared dispirited and crestfallen, is, by the unrelenting malignity of party writers, imputed to him as cowardice and meanness of spirit. That the failure of his enterprise, together with the bitter reflection that he had suffered himself to be engaged in it against his own better judgment, joined to the other calamitous circumstances of his situation, had reduced him to a state of despondency, is evident; and in this frame of mind, he wrote, on the very day of his capture, the following letter to the king:

"Sir, - Your majesty may think it the misfortune I now lie under makes me make this application to you; but I do assure your majesty, it is the remorse I now have in me of the wrong I have done you in several things, and now in taking up arms against you. For my taking up arms, it was never in my thought since the king died: the Prince and Princess of Orange will be witness for me of the assurance I gave them, that I would never stir against you. But my misfortune was such as to meet with some horrid people, that made me believe things of your majesty, and gave me so many false arguments, that I was fully led away to believe that it was a shame and a sin before God not to do it. But, sir, I will not trouble your majesty at present with many things I could say for myself, that I am sure would move your compassion; the chief end of this letter being only to beg of you, that I may have that happiness as to speak to your majesty; for I have that to say to you, sir, that I hope may give you a long and happy reign.

"I am sure, sir, when you hear me, you will be convinced of the zeal I have of your preservation, and how heartily I repent of what I have done. I can say no more to your majesty now, being this letter must be seen by those that keep me. Therefore, sir, I shall make an end in begging of your majesty to believe so well of me, that I would rather die a thousand deaths than excuse anything I have done, if I did not really think myself the most in the wrong that ever a man was, and had not from the bottom of my heart an abhorrence for those that put me upon it, and for the action itself. I hope, sir, God Almighty will strike your heart with mercy and compassion for me, as he has done mine with the abhorrence of what I have done: wherefore, sir, I hope I may live to show you how zealous I shall ever be for your service; and could I but say one word in this letter, you would be convinced of it; but it is of that consequence, that I dare not do it. Therefore, sir, I do beg of you once more to let me speak to you; for then you will be convinced how much I shall ever be, your majesty's most humble and dutiful


The only certain conclusion to be drawn from this letter, which Mr. Echard, in a manner perhaps not so seemly for a Churchman, terms submissive, is, that Monmouth still wished anxiously for life, and was willing to save it, even at the cruel price of begging and receiving it as a boon from his enemy. Ralph conjectures with great probability that this unhappy man's feelings were all governed by his excessive affection for his mistress and that a vain hope of enjoying, with Lady Harriet Wentworth, that retirement which he had so unwillingly abandoned, induced him to adopt a conduct, which he might otherwise have considered as indecent. At any rate it must be admitted that to cling to life is a strong instinct in human nature, and Monmouth might reasonably enough satisfy himself, that when his death could not by any possibility benefit either the public or his friends, to follow such instinct, even in a manner that might tarnish the splendour of heroism, was no impeachment of the moral virtue of a man.

With respect to the mysterious part of the letter, where he speaks of one word which would be of such infinite importance, it is difficult, if not rather utterly impossible, to explain it by any rational conjecture. Mr. Macpherson's favourite hypothesis, that the Prince of Orange had been a party to the late attempt, and that Monmouth's intention, when he wrote the letter, was to disclose this important fact to the king, is totally destroyed by those expressions, in which the unfortunate prisoner tells his majesty he had assured the Prince and Princess of Orange that he would never stir against him. Did he assure the Prince of Orange that he would never do that which he was engaged to the Prince of Orange to do? Can it be said that this was a false fact, and that no such assurances were in truth given? To what purpose was the falsehood? In order to conceal from motives, whether honourable or otherwise, his connection with the prince? What! a fiction in one paragraph of the letter in order to conceal a fact, which in the next he declares his intention of revealing? The thing is impossible.

The intriguing character of the Secretary of State, the Earl of Sunderland, whose duplicity in many instances cannot be doubted, and the mystery in which almost everything relating to him is involved, might lead us to suspect that the expressions point at some discovery in which that nobleman was concerned, and that Monmouth had it in his power to be of important service to James, by revealing to him the treachery of his minister. Such a conjecture might be strengthened by an anecdote that has had some currency, and to the truth of which, in part, King James's "Memoirs," if the extracts from them can be relied on, bear testimony. It is said that the Duke of Monmouth told Mr. Ralph Sheldon, one of the king's chamber, who came to meet him on his way to London, that he had had reason to expect Sunderland's co-operation, and authorised Sheldon to mention this to the king: that while Sheldon was relating this to his majesty, Sunderland entered; Sheldon hesitated, but was ordered to go on. "Sunderland seemed, at first, struck" (as well he might, whether innocent or guilty), "but after a short time said, with a laugh, 'If that be all he (Monmouth) can discover to save his life, it will do him little good.'" It is to be remarked, that in Sheldon's conversation, as alluded to by King James, the Prince of Orange's name is not even mentioned, either as connected with Monmouth or with Sunderland. But, on the other hand, the difficulties that stand in the way of our interpreting Monmouth's letter as alluding to Sunderland, or of supposing that the writer of it had any well-founded accusation against that minister, are insurmountable. If he had such an accusation to make, why did he not make it? The king says expressly, both in a letter to the Prince of Orange, and in the extract, from his "Memoirs," above cited, that Monmouth made no discovery of consequence, and the explanation suggested, that his silence was owing to Sunderland the secretary's having assured him of his pardon, seems wholly inadmissible. Such assurances could have their influence no longer than while the hope of pardon remained. Why, then, did he continue silent, when he found James inexorable? If he was willing to accuse the earl before he had received these assurances, it is inconceivable that he should have any scruple about doing it when they turned out to have been delusive, and when his mind must have been exasperated by the reflection that Sunderland's perfidious promises and self-interested suggestions had deterred him from the only probable means of saving his life.

A third, and perhaps the most plausible, interpretation of the words in question is, that they point to a discovery of Monmouth's friends in England, when, in the dejected state of his mind at the time of writing, unmanned as he was by misfortune, he might sincerely promise what the return of better thoughts forbade him to perform. This account, however, though free from the great absurdities belonging to the two others, is by no means satisfactory. The phrase, "one word," seems to relate rather to some single person, or some single fact, and can hardly apply to any list of associates that might be intended to be sacrificed. On the other hand, the single denunciation of Lord Delamere, of Lord Brandon, or even of the Earl of Devonshire, or of any other private individual, could not be considered as of that extreme consequence which Monmouth attaches to his promised disclosure. I have mentioned Lord Devonshire, who was certainly not implicated in the enterprise, and who was not even suspected, because it appears, from Grey's narrative, that one of Monmouth's agents had once given hopes of his support; and therefore there is a bare possibility that Monmouth may have reckoned upon his assistance. Perhaps, after all, the letter has been canvassed with too much nicety, and the words of it weighed more scrupulously than, proper allowance being made for the situation and state of mind of the writer, they ought to have been. They may have been thrown out at hazard, merely as means to obtain an interview, of which the unhappy prisoner thought he might, in some way or other, make his advantage. If any more precise meaning existed in his mind, we must be content to pass it over as one of those obscure points of history, upon which neither the sagacity of historians, nor the many documents since made public, nor the great discoverer, Time, has yet thrown any distinct light.

Monmouth and Grey were now to be conveyed to London, for which purpose they set out on the 11th, and arrived in the vicinity of the metropolis on the 13th of July. In the meanwhile, the queen dowager, who seems to have behaved with a uniformity of kindness towards her husband's son that does her great honour, urgently pressed the king to admit his nephew to an audience. Importuned, therefore, by entreaties, and instigated by the curiosity which Monmouth's mysterious expressions, and Sheldon's story, had excited, he consented, though with a fixed determination to show no mercy. James was not of the number of those, in whom the want of an extensive understanding is compensated by a delicacy of sentiment, or by those right feelings, which are often found to be better guides for the conduct than the most accurate reasoning. His nature did not revolt, his blood did not run cold, at the thoughts of beholding the son of a brother whom he had loved embracing his knees, petitioning, and petitioning in vain, for life; of interchanging words and looks with a nephew, on whom he was inexorably determined, within forty-eight short hours, to inflict an ignominious death.

In Macpherson's extract from King James's "Memoirs," it is confessed that the king ought not to have seen, if he was not disposed to pardon the culprit; but whether the observation is made by the exiled prince himself, or by him who gives the extract, is in this, as in many other passages of those "Memoirs," difficult to determine. Surely if the king had made this reflection before Monmouth's execution, it must have occurred to that monarch, that if he had inadvertently done that which he ought not to have done, without an intention to pardon, the only remedy was to correct that part of his conduct which was still in his power, and since he could not recall the interview, to grant the pardon.

Pursuant to this hard-hearted arrangement, Monmouth and Grey, on the very day of their arrival, were brought to Whitehall, where they had severally interviews with his majesty. James, in a letter to the Prince of Orange, dated the following day, gives a short account of both these interviews. Monmouth, he says, betrayed a weakness which did not become one who had claimed the title of king; but made no discovery of consequence.

Grey was more ingenuous (it is not certain in what sense his majesty uses the term, since he does not refer to any discovery made by that lord), and never once begged his life. Short as this account is, it seems the only authentic one of those interviews. Bishop Kennet, who has been followed by most of the modern historians, relates, that "This unhappy captive, by the intercession of the queen dowager, was brought to the king's presence, and fell presently at his feet, and confessed he deserved to die; but conjured him, with tears in his eyes, not to use him with the severity of justice, and to grant him a life, which he would be ever ready to sacrifice for his service. He mentioned to him the example of several great princes, who had yielded to the impressions of clemency on the like occasions, and who had never afterwards repented of those acts of generosity and mercy; concluding, in a most pathetical manner, 'Remember, sir, I am your brother's son, and if you take my life, it is your own blood that you will shed.' The king asked him several questions, and made him sign a declaration that his father told him he was never married to his mother: and then said, he was sorry indeed for his misfortunes; but his crime was of too great a consequence to be left unpunished, and he must of necessity suffer for it. The queen is said to have insulted him in a very arrogant and unmerciful manner. So that when the duke saw there was nothing designed by this interview but to satisfy the queen's revenge, he rose up from his majesty's feet with a new air of bravery, and was carried back to the Tower."

The topics used by Monmouth are such as he might naturally have employed, and the demeanour attributed to him, upon finding the king inexorable, is consistent enough with general probability, and his particular character; but that the king took care to extract from him a confession of Charles's declaration with respect to his illegitimacy, before he announced his final refusal of mercy, and that the queen was present for the purpose of reviling and insulting him, are circumstances too atrocious to merit belief, without some more certain evidence. It must be remarked also, that Burnet, whose general prejudices would not lead him to doubt any imputations against the queen, does not mention her majesty's being present. Monmouth's offer of changing religion is mentioned by him, but no authority quoted; and no hint of the kind appears either in James's Letters, or in the extract from his "Memoirs."

From Whitehall Monmouth was at night carried to the Tower, where, no longer uncertain as to his fate, he seems to have collected his mind, and to have resumed his wonted fortitude. The bill of attainder that had lately passed having superseded the necessity of a legal trial, his execution was fixed for the next day but one after his commitment. This interval appeared too short even for the worldly business which he wished to transact, and he wrote again to the king on the 14th, desiring some short respite, which was peremptorily refused. The difficulty of obtaining any certainty concerning facts, even in instances where there has not been any apparent motive for disguising them, is nowhere more striking than in the few remaining hours of this unfortunate man's life. According to King James's statement in his "Memoirs," he refused to see his wife, while other accounts assert positively that she refused to see him, unless in presence of witnesses. Burnet, who was not likely to be mistaken in a fact of this kind, says they did meet, and parted very coldly, a circumstance which, if true, gives us no very favourable idea of the lady's character. There is also mention of a third letter written by him to the king, which being entrusted to a perfidious officer of the name of Scott, never reached its destination; but for this there is no foundation. What seems most certain is, that in the Tower, and not in the closet, he signed a paper, renouncing his pretensions to the crown, the same which he afterwards delivered on the scaffold; and that he was inclined to make this declaration, not by any vain hope of life, but by his affection for his children, whose situation he rightly judged would be safer and better under the reigning monarch and his successors, when it should be evident that they could no longer be competitors for the throne.

Monmouth was very sincere in his religious professions, and it is probable that a great portion of this sad day was passed in devotion and religious discourse with the two prelates who had been sent by his majesty to assist him in his spiritual concerns. Turner, bishop of Ely, had been with him early in the morning, and Kenn, bishop of Bath and Wells, was sent, upon the refusal of a respite, to prepare him for the stroke, which it was now irrevocably fixed he should suffer the ensuing day. They stayed with him all night, and in the morning of the 15th were joined by Dr. Hooper, afterwards, in the reign of Anne, made bishop of Bath and Wells, and by Dr. Tennison, who succeeded Tillotson in the see of Canterbury. This last divine is stated by Burnet to have been most acceptable to the duke, and, though he joined the others in some harsh expostulations, to have done what the right reverend historian conceives to have been his duty, in a softer and less peremptory manner. Certain it is, that none of these holy men seem to have erred on the side of compassion or complaisance to their illustrious penitent. Besides endeavouring to convince him of the guilt of his connection with his beloved lady Harriet, of which he could never be brought to a due sense, they seem to have repeatedly teased him with controversy, and to have been far more solicitous to make him profess what they deemed the true creed of the Church of England, than to soften or console his sorrows, or to help him to that composure of mind so necessary for his situation. He declared himself to be a member of their Church, but, they denied that he could be so, unless he thoroughly believed the doctrine of passive obedience and non-resistance. He repented generally of his sins, and especially of his late enterprise, but they insisted that he must repent of it in the way they prescribed to him, that he must own it to have been a wicked resistance to his lawful king, and a detestable act of rebellion. Some historians have imputed this seemingly cruel conduct to the king's particular instructions, who might be desirous of extracting, or rather extorting, from the lips of his dying nephew such a confession as would be matter of triumph to the royal cause. But the character of the two prelates principally concerned, both for general uprightness and sincerity as Church of England men, makes it more candid to suppose that they did not act from motives of servile compliance, but rather from an intemperate party zeal for the honour of their Church, which they judged would be signally promoted if such a man as Monmouth, after having throughout his life acted in defiance of their favourite doctrine, could be brought in his last moments to acknowledge it as a divine truth. It must never be forgotten, if we would understand the history of this period, that the truly orthodox members of our Church regarded monarchy not as a human, but as a divine institution, and passive obedience and non-resistance, not as political maxims, but as articles of religion.

At ten o'clock on the 15th Monmouth proceeded in a carriage of the lieutenant of the Tower to Tower Hill, the place destined for his execution. The two bishops were in the carriage with him, and one of them took that opportunity of informing him that their controversial altercations were not yet at an end, and that upon the scaffold he would again be pressed for more explicit and satisfactory declarations of repentance. When arrived at the bar which had been put up for the purpose of keeping out the multitude, Monmouth descended from the carriage, and mounted the scaffold, with a firm step, attended by his spiritual assistants. The sheriffs and executioners were already there. The concourse of spectators was innumerable; and if we are to credit traditional accounts, never was the general compassion more affectingly expressed. The tears, sighs, and groans, which the first sight of this heartrending spectacle produced, were soon succeeded by a universal and awful silence; a respectful attention and affectionate anxiety to hear every syllable that should pass the lips of the sufferer. The duke began by saying he should speak little; he came to die, and he should die a Protestant of the Church of England. Here he was interrupted by the assistants, and told, that if he was of the Church of England, he must acknowledge the doctrine of non- resistance to be true. In vain did he reply that if he acknowledged the doctrine of the Church in general it included all: they insisted he should own that doctrine, particularly with respect to his case, and urged much more concerning their favourite point, upon which, however, they obtained nothing but a repetition in substance of former answers. He was then proceeding to speak of Lady Harriet Wentworth, of his high esteem for her, and of his confirmed opinion that their connection was innocent in the sight of God, when Goslin, the sheriff, asked him, with all the unfeeling bluntness of a vulgar mind, whether he was ever married to her. The duke refusing to answer, the same magistrate, in the like strain, though changing his subject, said he hoped to have heard of his repentance for the treason and bloodshed which had been committed; to which the prisoner replied, with great mildness, that he died very penitent. Here the Churchmen again interposed, and renewing their demand of particular penitence and public acknowledgment upon public affairs, Monmouth referred them to the following paper, which he had signed that morning:

"I declare that the title of king was forced upon me, and that it was very much contrary to my opinion when I was proclaimed. For the satisfaction of the world, I do declare that the late king told me he was never married to my mother. Having declared this, I hope the king who is now will not let my children suffer on this account. And to this I put my hand this fifteenth day of July, 1685.


There was nothing, they said, in that paper about resistance; nor, though Monmouth, quite worn-out with their importunities, said to one of them, in the most affecting manner, "I am to die - pray my lord - I refer to my paper," would those men think it consistent with their duty to desist. There were only a few words they desired on one point. The substance of these applications on the one hand, and answers on the other, was repeated over and over again, in a manner that could not be believed, if the facts were not attested by the signatures of the persons principally concerned. If the duke, in declaring his sorrow for what had passed, used the word invasion, "Give it the true name," said they, "and call it rebellion." "What name you please," replied the mild-tempered Monmouth. He was sure he was going to everlasting happiness, and considered the serenity of his mind in his present circumstances as a certain earnest of the favour of his Creator. His repentance, he said, must be true, for he had no fear of dying; he should die like a lamb. "Much may come from natural courage," was the unfeeling and stupid reply of one of the assistants. Monmouth, with that modesty inseparable from true bravery, denied that he was in general less fearful than other men, maintaining that his present courage was owing to his consciousness that God had forgiven him his past transgressions, of all which generally he repented with all his soul.

At last the reverend assistants consented to join with him in prayer, but no sooner were they risen from their kneeling posture than they returned to their charge. Not satisfied with what had passed, they exhorted him to a true and thorough repentance. Would he not pray for the king, and send a dutiful message to his majesty to recommend the duchess and his children? "As you please," was the reply; "I pray for him and for all men." He now spoke to the executioner, desiring that he might have no cap over his eyes, and began undressing. One would have thought that in this last sad ceremony, the poor prisoner might have been unmolested, and that the divines would have been satisfied that prayer was the only part of their function for which their duty now called upon them. They judged differently, and one of them had the fortitude to request the duke, even in this stage of the business, that he would address himself to the soldiers then present, to tell them he stood a sad example of rebellion, and entreat the people to be loyal and obedient to the king. "I have said I will make no speeches," repeated Monmouth, in a tone more peremptory than he had before been provoked to; "I will make no speeches. I come to die." "My lord, ten words will be enough," said the persevering divine; to which the duke made no answer, but turning to the executioner, expressed a hope that he would do his work better now than in the case of Lord Russell. He then felt the axe, which he apprehended was not sharp enough, but being assured that it was of proper sharpness and weight, he laid down his head. In the meantime many fervent ejaculations were used by the reverend assistants, who, it must be observed, even in these moments of horror, showed themselves not unmindful of the points upon which they had been disputing, praying God to accept his imperfect and general repentance.

The executioner now struck the blow, but so feebly or unskilfully, that Monmouth, being but slightly wounded, lifted up his head, and looked him in the face as if to upbraid him, but said nothing. The two following strokes were as ineffectual as the first, and the headsman, in a fit of horror, declared he could not finish his work. The sheriffs threatened him; he was forced again to make a further trial, and in two more strokes separated the head from the body.

Thus fell, in the thirty-sixth year of his age, James, Duke of Monmouth, a man against whom all that has been said by the most inveterate enemies both to him and his party amounts to little more than this, that he had not a mind equal to the situations in which his ambition, at different times, engaged him to place himself. But to judge him with candour, we must make great allowances, not only for the temptations into which he was led by the splendid prosperity of the earlier parts of his life, but also for the adverse prejudices with which he was regarded by almost all the contemporary writers, from whom his actions and character are described. The Tories, of course, are unfavourable to him; and even among the Whigs, there seems, in many, a strong inclination to disparage him; some to excuse themselves for not having joined him, others to make a display of their exclusive attachment to their more successful leader, King William. Burnet says of Monmouth, that he was gentle, brave, and sincere: to these praises, from the united testimony of all who knew him, we may add that of generosity; and surely those qualities go a great way in making up the catalogue of all that is amiable and estimable in human nature. One of the most conspicuous features in his character seems to have been a remarkable, and, as some think, a culpable degree of flexibility. That such a disposition is preferable to its opposite extreme, will be admitted by all who think that modesty, even in excess, is more nearly allied to wisdom than conceit and self-sufficiency. He who has attentively considered the political, or, indeed, the general concerns of life, may possibly go still further, and rank a willingness to be convinced, or in some cases even without conviction, to concede our own opinion to that of other men, among the principal ingredients in the composition of practical wisdom. Monmouth had suffered this flexibility, so laudable in many cases, to degenerate into a habit which made him often follow the advice, or yield to the entreaties, of persons whose characters by no means entitled them to such deference. The sagacity of Shaftesbury, the honour of Russell, the genius of Sydney, might, in the opinion of a modest man, be safe and eligible guides. The partiality of friendship, and the conviction of his firm attachment, might be some excuse for his listening so much to Grey; but he never could, at any period of his life, have mistaken Ferguson for an honest man. There is reason to believe that the advice of the two last-mentioned persons had great weight in persuading him to the unjustifiable step of declaring himself king. But far the most guilty act of this unfortunate man's life was his lending his name to the declaration which was published at Lyme, and in this instance Ferguson, who penned the paper, was both the adviser and the instrument. To accuse the king of having burnt London, murdered Essex in the Tower, and, finally, poisoned his brother, unsupported by evidence to substantiate such dreadful charges, was calumny of the most atrocious kind; but the guilt is still heightened, when we observe, that from no conversation of Monmouth, nor, indeed, from any other circumstance whatever, do we collect that he himself believed the horrid accusations to be true. With regard to Essex's death in particular, the only one of the three charges which was believed by any man of common sense, the late king was as much implicated in the suspicion as James. That the latter should have dared to be concerned in such an act, without the privacy of his brother, was too absurd an imputation to be attempted, even in the days of the popish plot. On the other hand, it was certainly not the intention of the son to brand his father as an assassin. It is too plain that, in the instance of this declaration, Monmouth, with a facility highly criminal, consented to set his name to whatever Ferguson recommended as advantageous to the cause. Among the many dreadful circumstances attending civil wars, perhaps there are few more revolting to a good mind than the wicked calumnies with which, in the heat of contention, men, otherwise men of honour, have in all ages and countries permitted themselves to load their adversaries. It is remarkable that there is no trace of the divines who attended this unfortunate man having exhorted him to a particular repentance of his manifesto, or having called for a retraction or disavowal of the accusations contained in it. They were so intent upon points more immediately connected with orthodoxy of faith, that they omitted pressing their penitent to the only declaration by which he could make any satisfactory atonement to those whom he had injured.


The following detached paragraphs were probably intended for the fourth chapter. They are here printed in the incomplete and unfinished state in which they were found.

While the Whigs considered all religious opinions with a view to politics, the Tories, on the other hand, referred all political maxims to religion. Thus the former, even in their hatred to popery, did not so much regard the superstition, or imputed idolatry of that unpopular sect, as its tendency to establish arbitrary power in the State, while the latter revered absolute monarchy as a divine institution, and cherished the doctrines of passive obedience and non-resistance as articles of religious faith.

* * *

To mark the importance of the late events, his majesty caused two medals to be struck; one of himself, with the usual inscription, and the motto, Aras et sceptra tuemur; the other of Monmouth, without any inscription. On the reverse of the former were represented the two headless trunks of his lately vanquished enemies, with other circumstances in the same taste and spirit, the motto, Ambitio malesuada ruit; on that of the latter appeared a young man falling in the attempt to climb a rock with three crowns on it, under which was the insulting motto, Superi risere.

* * *

With the lives of Monmouth and Argyle ended, or at least seemed to end, all prospect of resistance to James's absolute power; and that class of patriots who feel the pride of submission, and the dignity of obedience, might be completely satisfied that the crown was in its full lustre.

James was sufficiently conscious of the increased strength of his situation, and it is probable that the security he now felt in his power inspired him with the design of taking more decided steps in favour of the popish religion and its professors than his connection with the Church of England party had before allowed him to entertain. That he from this time attached less importance to the support and affection of the Tories is evident from Lord Rochester's observations, communicated afterwards to Burnet. This nobleman's abilities and experience in business, his hereditary merit, as son of Lord Chancellor Clarendon, and his uniform opposition to the Exclusion Bill, had raised him high in the esteem of the Church party. This circumstance, perhaps, as much, or more than the king's personal kindness to a brother-in-law, had contributed to his advancement to the first office in the State. As long, therefore, as James stood in need of the support of the party, as long as he meant to make them the instruments of his power, and the channels of his favour, Rochester was, in every respect, the fittest person in whom to confide; and accordingly, as that nobleman related to Burnet, his majesty honoured him with daily confidential communications upon all his most secret schemes and projects. But upon the defeat of the rebellion, an immediate change took place, and from the day of Monmouth's execution, the king confined his conversations with the treasurer to the mere business of his office.