Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

the chief reasons that drew on their undertaking. And long it was before that assurance failed them; until the bishops and popish lords, who, while they sat and voted, still opposed the sending aid to Ireland, were expelled the house.

200. Seeing then the main excitement and authority for this rebellion must needs be derived from England, it will be next inquired, who was the prime author. The king here denounces a malediction temporal and eternal, not simply to the author, but to the “malicious author" of this bloodshed : and by that limitation may exempt, not himself only, but perhaps the Irish rebels themselves, who never will confess to God or man that any blood was shed by them maliciously; but either in the Catholic cause, or common liberty, or some other specious plea, which the conscience, from grounds both good and evil, usually suggests to itself: thereby thinking to elude the direct force of that imputation, which lies upon them.

201. Yet he acknowledges, “ it fell out as a most unhappy advantage of some men's malice against him :" but indeed of most men's just suspicion, by finding in it no such wide departure or disagreement from the scope of his former counsels and proceedings. And that he himself was the author of that rebellion, he denies both here and elsewhere, with many imprecations, but no solid evidence. What on the other side against his denial hath been affirmed in three kingdoms, being here briefly set in view, the reader may so judge as he finds cause.

VOL. II.

202. This is most certain, that the king was ever friendly to the Irish papists, and in his third year, against the plain advice of parliament, like a kind of pope, sold them many indulgences for money; and upon all occasions advancing the popish party, and negotiating underhand by priests, who were made his agents, engaged the Irish papists in a war against the Scots Protestants. To that end he furnished them, and had them trained in, arms, and kept them up, either openly or underhand, the only army in his three kingdoms, till the very burst of that rebellion. The summer before that dismal October, a committee of most active papists, all since in the head of that rebellion, were in great favour at White-' hall; and admitted to many private consultations with the king and queen. And to make it evident that no mean matters were the subject of those conferences, at their request he gave away his peculiar right to more than five Irish counties, for the payment of an inconsiderable rent. They departed not home till within two months before the rebellion; and were either from the first breaking out, or soon after, found to be the chief rebels themselves.

203. But what should move the king besides his own inclination to popery, (71) and the pre

(71) That Charles I. should have been favourably disposed towards the Roman Catholics, is not at all surprising, since his wife, by whom he was governed, was a most bigoted papist, and, in the face of the country, acted so many disgraceful fooleries, at the command of her confessors, that she drew upon herself the

valence of his queen over him, to hold such frequent and close meetings with a committee of Irish papists in his own house, while the parliament of England sat unadvised with, is declared by a Scots author, and of itself is clear enough.

The parliament at the beginning of that summer, having put Strafford to death, imprisoned others his chief favourites, and driven the rest to fly, the king, who had in vain tempted both the Scots and the English army to come up against the parliament and city, finding no compliance answerable to his hope from the Protestant armies, betakes himself last to the Irish ; who had in readiness an army of eight thousand papists, which he had refused so often to disband, and a committee here of the same religion. With them, who thought the time now come, (which to bring about they contempt of every thinking man. Mr. D’Israeli, partial as he is to every thing bearing the name of king or queen, denominates them “degrading penances," and very honestly inserts them in his work. “ One of the most flagrant, he says, is alluded to in our history. This was a barefoot pilgrimage to Tyburn, where, one morning, under the gallows, on which so many jesuits had been executed as traitors to Elizabeth and James I., she knelt and prayed to them as martyrs and saints, who had shed their blood in defence of the Catholic cause.” Another example is quoted out of a MS. letter of those times, from Mr. Pory to Mr. Mead, July, 1626. (Harl. MSS. No. 383.) 6. The priests also made her dabble in the dirt in a foul morning from Somersethouse to St. James's, her Luciferian confessor riding along by her in his coach! They have made her to go barefoot, to spin, to eat her meat out of dishes, to wait at the table of servants, with many other ridiculous and absurd penances. And if they dare thus insult over the daughter, sister, and wife of so great kings, what slavery would they not make us, the people, undergo !" (Curiosities of Literature, iii. 404, 405.) This pilgrimage to Tyburn,

had been many years before not wishing only, but with much industry complotting, to do some eminent service for the church of Rome and their own perfidious natures, against a puritan parliament and the hated English their masters,) be agrees and concludes, that so soon as both armies in England were disbanded, the Irish should appear in arms, master all the Protestants, and help the king against his parliament. And we need not doubt, that those five counties were given to the Irish for no other reason than the four northern counties had been a little before offered to the Scots. The king, in August, takes a journey into Scotland; and overtaking the Scots army then on

which even Mr. D’Israeli does not regard as altogether becoming, is noticed in the “ King's Cabinet Opened ;” (No. 34. p. 35, 36 ;) where Charles 1. is giving an account of the private quarrels between himself and his wife. “Having had so long patience, with the disturbance of that that should have been one of my greatest contentments, I can no longer suffer those that I know to be the cause and fomenters of these humours, to be about my wife, which I must do if it were but for one action they made my wife do, which is, to make her go to Tyburn in devotion to pray, which action can have no greater invective made against it, than the relation.” This was written July 12th, 1626. The same indefatigable writer (D’Israeli) has discovered in the “ Ambassades du Marechal du Bassompierre” (iii. 49) an “unnoticed document,” which, he remarks, “is nothing less than a most solemn obligation contracted (by Henrietta Maria) with the pope and her brother the king of France, to educate her children as Catholics, and only to choose Catholics to attend them. Had this been known, either to Charles (?) or to the English nation, Henrietta could never have been permitted to ascend the English throne. The fate of both her sons shows how faithfully she performed this treasonable contract.(Coriosities of Literature, iii. 397.)

their way home, attempts the second time to pervert them, but without success.

204. No sooner come into Scotland, but he lays a plot, so saith the Scots author, to remove out of the way such of the nobility there as were most likely to withstand, or not to further his designs. This being discovered, he sends from his side one Dillon, a papist lord, soon after a chief rebel, with letters into Ireland; and dispatches a commission under the great seal of Scotland, at that time in his own custody, commanding that they should forth with, as had been formerly agreed, cause all the Irish to rise in arms. Who no sooner had received such command but obeyed, and began in massacre; for they knew no other way to make sure the Protestants, which was commanded them expressly; and the way, it seems, left to their discretion. He who hath a mind to read the commission itself, and sound reason added why it was not likely to be forged, besides the attestation of so many Irish themselves, may have recourse to a book, entitled, “ The Mystery of Iniquity.” Besides what the parliament itself in the declaration of “ no more addresses" hath affirmed, that they have one copy of that commission in their own hands, attested by the oaths of some that were eye-witnesses, and had seen it under the seal : (**)

(12) Clarendon notices the rumour as prevalent at the time. “ Those men again whispered, and by degrees shortly after spake aloud, that that commotion was licensed by the king, with a purpose to perplex this kingdom, and to form an army of papists that should be at his devotion, to invade this kingdom, and oppress the parliament." (History, &c., suppressed passages,

« AnteriorContinuar »