Edward Hyde Clarendon.

The life of Edward, earl of Clarendon, in which is included a continuation of his History of the grand rebellion (Volume 1) online

. (page 15 of 39)
Online LibraryEdward Hyde ClarendonThe life of Edward, earl of Clarendon, in which is included a continuation of his History of the grand rebellion (Volume 1) → online text (page 15 of 39)
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they had got, and left the
empty name of king to his ma-
jesty, there was an act passed
for the dissolving that parlia-
ment, with a provision in it,
that if the king should not call
another parliament within three
years after the dissolution of
that, that then, upon such day,
in such a year, summons should
be sent out by the several offi-
cers, so that infallibly, on such
a Tuesday, in such a year, an-
other parliament should meet at
Edinburgh according to such a
model as they had carried with

them from London. Now when
these commissioners came to
Oxford to demand a parlia-
ment, there were above two
years to come to the day upon
which that act of parliament
would authorize them to meet ;
but it is true the king might,
if he thought fit, convene one
sooner. His majesty knew well,
that, with reference to Scotland
itself, there was no occasion for
a parliament to meet, and knew
as well, that it was desired only
in order the better to support
the rebellion in England ; and,
without a parliament, he did
not believe that the disaffected
party in that kingdom would
have power enough to do him
any notable disservice ; his ma-
jesty always unhappily overva-
luing the authority of those
there, who he believed true to
him ; and therefore he gave for
answer to those commissioners,
that he would send out his sum-
mons time enough for a parlia-
ment to meet before that time :
nor could all the importunity
they could use, which was very
great, nor the professions and
promises which they could
make, which were very many,
how great benefit and service
his majesty should receive by
speedily calling a parliament,
prevail with him to give them
any other answer."

\Vhen they despaired of hav-
ing his majesty's leave to have
a parliament, which would have
served their turn, and suspended
all other propositions, they dealt
more ingenuously and openly ;
and taking notice of the present


PART to the advancement of true religion: and con-

. eluded with a very passionate desire for the altera-

1643. tj on of that government, as the only means to settle
peace throughout his majesty's dominions. In all
their other demands, concerning the kingdom of
Scotland, and calling a parliament there, the king
had only conferred with two or three of those he
most trusted, whereof the chancellor of the exche-
quer was always one, and drew the answers he
gave : but this last paper, which only concerned
England, he brought to the council-board, and re-
quired their advice, what answer he should give to
it. The king himself was very desirous to take this
occasion, to shew his affection and zeal for the
church ; and that other men's mouths might be
hereafter stopped in that argument, and that no-
body might ever make the same proposition to him
again, he had a great mind to have made an answer
to every expression in their paper, and to have set
out the divine right of episcopacy ; and how impos-
sible it was ever for him in conscience to consent to
any thing, to the prejudice of that order and func-
tion, or to the alienating their lands ; enlarging
himself more in the debate, than he used to do
upon any other argument; mentioning those rea-
sons which the ablest prelate could do upon that oc-
casion ; and wished that all those, and such others
as might occur, should be contained in his answer.

Many of the lords were of opinion that a short
answer would be best, that should contain nothing
but -a rejection of the proposition, without giving
any reason ; no man seeming to concur with his

treaty, and desiring such an nient of the true religion, they

end thereof as might establish presented a long paper to the

peace and quiet to the nation, king, &c. as in p. 188. I. 25.
to the glory of God, and settle-


majesty; with which he was not satisfied; and re- PART
plied with some sharpness upon what had been said. .

Upon which the lord Falkland replied, having been
before of that mind, desiring that no reasons might
be given ; and upon that occasion answered many
of those reasons the king had urged, as not valid to
support the subject, with a little quickness of wit,
(as his notions were always sharp, and expressed
with notable vivacity,) which made the king warmer
than he used to be; reproaching all who were of
that mind with, want of affection, for the church ;
and declaring, that he would have the substance of
what he had said, or of the like nature, digested
into his answer : with which reprehension all sat
very silent, having never undergone the like before.
Whereupon the king recollecting himself, and ob- The king
serving that the chancellor of the exchequer had
not yet spoke, called upon him to deliver his opinion, iJj
adding, that he was sure he was of his majesty's q er to de

i f i iii liver his

mmd, with reference to religion and the church. opinion

The chancellor stood up, and said, that he would
have been glad to have said nothing that day, hav-
ing observed more warmth than had ever been at
that board, since he had the honour to sit here,
(which was not many days before ;) that in truth
he was not of the opinion of any one who had
spoken ; he did not think that the answer ought to
be very short, or without any reasons ; and he did
as little think that the reasons mentioned by his
majesty ought to be applied to the paper, which the
Scots had been so bold as to present to the king.
He said, all those reasons were fit to be offered in a
synod, or in any other place, where that subject
could be lawfully ventilated ; and he believed them
all to be of that weight, that Mr. Henderson and all


PART his assembly of divines could never answer; but he
' should be very sorry that his majesty should so far
6 "* 3 - condescend to their presumption, as to give those
reasons ; as if he admitted the matter to be dis-
puted. He asked his majesty, what answer he would
give to the king of France, if he should send to him
to alter the government of the city of London, or
any other city, and that he would substitute other
magistrates in the place of those who are ; which,
as a king, he might more reasonably demand, than
these gentlemen of Scotland could do what they
propose ; whether his majesty would think it more
agreeable to his honour, to make a reasonable dis-
course of the antiquity of the lord mayor of London,
and of the dependence the present magistrates had
upon the law, and the frame of the government ; or
whether he would only send him word, that he
should meddle with what he had to do. He did
think, that it was very fit that his majesty's answer
to this paper should contain a very severe and sharp
reprehension for their presumption ; and take no-
tice, how solicitous they were for the preservation
of what they called the right and privilege of their
country, that his majesty might not bring any thing
into debate at his council-board here, that concerned
the kingdom of Scotland ; though it had often too
much relation to the affairs and government of Eng-
land : yet that they would take upon them to de-
mand from his majesty, at least to advise him to
make, an alteration in the government of England,
which would quite alter the frame of it, and make
such a confusion in the laws, which they could no
more comprehend than they could any f of the same
kind that related to any other foreign kingdom ;

f any] any thing


and therefore, that for the future they should not PART
practise the like presumption.

The king discovered himself to be very well ,J ^ 43 t : ,

* With which

pleased all the time he was speaking ; and when he the king is

. x . f well satisfi-

had done, his majesty said again, he was sure theed.
chancellor was entirely of his mind, with reference
to the church ; and that he had satisfied him that
this was not the season, nor the occasion, in which
those arguments which he had used were to be in-
sisted on ; and that he was willing to depart from
his own sense; and was in truth so well pleased,
that he vouchsafed to make some kind of excuse for
the passion he had spoken with : and all the lords
were very well satisfied with the expedient proposed;
and all commended the chancellor : and the answer
was given to the Scottish commissioners accordingly ;
who had too good intelligence not to know all that
had passed : and upon their long discourses with the
king, (who was always forward to enlarge upon that
subject, in which he was so well versed,) expected
such an answer as might give them opportunity to
bring the whole matter of episcopacy upon the stage,
and into public disputation. And so they returned
to London, with manifest dissatisfaction, before the
commissioners of the parliament ; and with avowed
detestation of a person, against whom they were
known always to have an inveterate and an impla-
cable displeasure. B

s an implacable displeasure.] day was expired that was as-

Thus continued in the MS. : It signed for the treaty. They

appeared quickly that the parlia- who intended nothing but the

ment had refused to enlarge the carrying on of the war, and be-

time of the treaty, and so posi- lieved there could be no security

tively commanded the commis- for them but by an entire vic-

sioners to return before the List tory of the king, and a total



PART The king was much troubled at the disunion be-

-tween the princes Rupert and Maurice, and the

marquis of Hertford h , after the taking of Bristol;
which he knew must exceedingly disorder and di-
vide that army : for composing whereof, his majesty
resolved, the next day after the news, to go himself
to Bristol ; which was very necessary in many re-
spects. The settlement of the port, which was of
infinite importance to the king in point of trade,
and his customs, and with reference to Ireland, and
the applying the army to some new enterprise, with-
out loss of time, could not be done without his ma-
jesty's presence. But there was nothing more dis-
posed his majesty to that resolution, than to be
absent from his council at Oxford, when he should
settle the differences between the princes * and the
marquis ; for as he was always swayed by his affec-
tion to his nephews k , which he did not think par-
subduing his party, had not made such wonderful haste in
power enough to hinder and recruiting the army, (to which
prevent the treaty, and there- the earl of Essex had contri-
fore satisfied themselves with buted all his endeavours, be-
limiting the commissioners to lieving that he had yet per-
such propositions and by such formed less than had been ex-
instructions as are mentioned pected from him,) that the very
before. But from that time day that the commissioners left
they met with little opposition Oxford, the earl of Essex had a
in the houses ; they who desir- rendezvous of his whole army,
ed peace, and had raised their and marched towards Reading,
hopes upon the treaty, thinking which was about the beginning
it reasonable that all prepara- of April.

tions should be made for the ll at the disunion between
"war, and they who abhorred the princes Rupert and Mau-
the thought of peace, and all rice, and the marquis of Hert-
those who affected it, using all ford] The account of this dis-
imaginable diligence in advanc- union is inserted in Appendix D
ing those preparations ; inso- of the ^.th volume of the History
much as, having by- ordinances of the Rebellion.
and seizures drawn in great ' princes] prince
supplies of money, they had k nephews] nephew



tiality; so the lords, towards whom the princes 1 did PART
not" live with any condescension, were very solicitous
that the marquis might receive no injustice or dis-
obligation. And the king, to avoid all counsel in
this particular, resolved to declare no resolution till
he should come himself to Bristol; and so went
from Oxford thither : taking with him, of the coun-
cil, the duke of Richmond, the lord Falkland, the
master of the rolls, and the chancellor of the exche-
quer. The king lodging the first night at Malms-
bury; and the lord Falkland, the master of the rolls,
and some other gentlemen lodging that night with
the chancellor of the exchequer, at his house at Pir-
ton, which lay in the way to Bristol ; where they
were the next day within an hour after the king. m

1 princes] prince

m within an hour after the
king.] ThuscontinuedintheMS.:
The disorders at Bristol were
greater than could have been
imagined ; the factions and jea-
lousies ran through all kinds
and degrees of men, of the ar-
my, of the city, of the country;
and the loss of many officers
and common men upon the as-
saults had weakened the army
beyond imagination, and the
number of the sick and wound-
ed was very great. The natural
murmurs of the Cornish were
now turned into direct mutiny,
and they declared positively that
they would not march further
southward, but would return to
their own country to look to
their houses, their wives, and
their children, which they said
were infested by the garrison at
Plymouth. There was no mo-
ney to give them, nor were

there any officers left, who had
credit and authority over them ;
and now all men saw the infi-
nite loss the king had sustained
in the death of Greenvil, Slan-
ning, and Trevannion, who go-
verned that people absolutely.
It was evident, that if they were
compelled to march further,many
of them would run away, and
the rest be full of discontent ;
and therefore it was resolved,
that they, and all the rest who
had been officers or soldiers
formerly designed for the west-
ern services under the marquis
and prince Maurice, should re-
turn again to the west, upon a
presumption that they would
be able, with the reputation they
would carry back upon the tak-
ing of Bristol, in a short time
to subdue those maritime places,
which were possessed by small
garrisorts for the parliament; and
being recruited by good winter

o 21




The chancellor of the exchequer had undergone
some mortification during the short abode at Bristol,



The chan- ... .

ceilor of the quarters, an army would be ready
exchequer's by the next spring to attend his
office invad- majesty; and all the Cornish
ed by Mr. ma( i e so lenin promises that, as
soon as Plymouth should be
reduced, they would with great
alacrity return to any service
they should be required. The
expectation was very reasonable,
and the counsel much advanced
by prince Rupert, that his bro-
ther Maurice might be in the
head of an army; for he had
prevailed with the king to re-
solve that the marquis of Hertz
ford should be no more em-
ployed as general, though it
was not discovered to him, nor
his commission taken from him.
Besides the king's inclination
to his nephew, he found that
work not so difficult, nor the
marquis so popular, as it ap-
peared in the first consultation
at Oxford. The marquis's unac-
tivity in all things relating to
the war, and his too much re-
tirement to his ease, had lost
all the reverence and devotion
of the soldiers ; and prince
Maurice's living with them so-
ciably and familiarly, and going
with them upon all parties and
in all actions, in which he had
received some hurts, had made
both his person and his com-
mand very acceptable to them.
Then the marquis's leaning too
much to the advice of his do-
mestic officers and the stewards
of his lands,. and people of that
condition, (many whereof were
thought very disaffected to the
king's service, as most of his
tenants were,) made the chief

persons of the country less so-
licitous for his command over
them than they had been, where-
of the lord Paulet was the chief,
who was then at Bristol, and
spake with great freedom to the
king of the marquis's unfitness
to exercise that command; which
advice, besides that it was very
grateful, made the more im-
pression, because he was thought
to have good affection for the
marquis, and had little know-
ledge of the prince.

This matter being thus set-
tled in the king's own thoughts
and resolutions, he discovered
it no further than by appoint-
ing those troops to be ready for
their march, and prince Maurice
to conduct them, whilst the
marquis of Hertford attended
his majesty till the business of
Bristol should be settled, and
some other affairs of the coun-
try; the marquis intending, when
those should be settled, (in do-
ing whereof he was willing to
be present,) to make haste to
the army, and his majesty, ac-
cording to his natural custom
of discovering any disobliging
resolution as late as was possi-
ble, did not at all impart his
purpose to him, and being first
to resolve what obligation to
confer upon him at the same
time, to make the other the
better digested ; and to that pur-
pose he was pleased to confer
with freedom and without re-
servation with the chancellor of
the exchequer, and bidding him
inform himself of the opinion
both the army and the country


which was the only port of trade within the king's PART
which was like to yield a considerable

quarters ;

had of the marquis, and asking
him, whether the lord Paulet
and others had not spoken to
him of the laziness of the mar-
quis, and of the credit and power
Hirton had with him; and of
some actions done by his secre-
tary, who was a fellow of an ill
reputation; and wished him to
think of it, and to dispose the
marquis to decline that employ-
ment, as less agreeable to his
nature and constitution, and to
remain about the person of the
king, in order to which he would
think upon some place, for he
knew he was weary of being
governor to the prince. The
chancellor had great reverence
for the marquis, and knew the
benefit his fidelity had brought
to the king, and the insupport-
able damage that would accrue
from his declared discontent,
and had no other esteem of the
prince's parts and conduct and
discretion, than good manners
obliged him -to ; and yet he had
with much trouble heard the
little credit the marquis had in
the army, and more of his unac-
tivity than he believed he could
have been guilty of; for though
he knew he was naturally lazy,
and did so much love his ease,
he knew too that he had a clear
courage and a very good under-
standing ; and if he had a friend
by him to put him in mind of
any thing that concerned his
honour, he would be very coun-
sellable. Whereupon he told
the king, that though he had
heard many discourses which
he had not expected, and found


that some persons had changed
their opinions of the marquis,
yet he was so apprehensive of
the ill consequence that might
probably attend his majesty's
inclination to remove him from
the command, and giving the
entire trust to his nephew, that
he could not give his counsel
for the putting it in execution ;
but that when his majesty upon
full thoughts had fixed himself,
he would use the credit he had
with the marquis to dispose him
to conform himself to his ma-
jesty's determination, and that
he could with a much better
conscience dissuade the marquis
from affecting that command,
than he could persuade his ma-
jesty to take it from him.

The other matter concerning
the government of Bristol was
of as nice a nature, but not like
to give the king so much trou-
ble; for sir Ralph Hopton had
neither set his heart upon the
command, nor would embrace
any title that might give any
umbrage to his majesty, but
laid all his pretences at the
king's feet, and himself to be
disposed of by him. By which
unconcernedness and ingenuity
the marquis was sensibly dis-
obliged, having chosen him as
a subject fit to support his au-
thority against the pretences of
the prince; and therefore this un-
warm condescension was look-
ed upon as a forsaking the mar-
quis, who was never thoroughly
reconciled to him afterwards.
But that which gave the king
trouble was, the clear and un-

o 3



PART benefit to the king, if it were well managed; and
. the direction thereof belonged entirely to his office :


questionable credit and reputa-
tion of sir Ralph Hopton, who
was now the only man left, who
had out of nothing, and when
the marquis had given over all
hopes of the west and abandon-
ed it, and fled into Wales, (which
was now remembered with many
reproaches,) raised that force,
and upon the matter reduced
that part of the kingdom to his
majesty's obedience. He was
a person of one of the best
families, and one of the fairest
fortunes, of all the gentlemen
in that large, rich, and populous
county of Somerset, and inferior
to none in the love and affection
of that people. He was of a
very generous nature, a pious
and devout man, and an exact
observer of justice, which made
the city infinitely desire that he
might be their govemor, who
would not suffer them to be
made a prey to the soldier. On
the other side, by being himself
ungrievous to them by any ex-
actions, it was very probable he
would be able to persuade and
induce them cheerfully to sub-
mit to such impositions as were
necessary for their own defence ;
and that such a man should be
rejected by the king upon the
prince's pretence, who could
not reside there himself, and
must leave it to a deputy who
would never be grateful, seemed
unreasonable to the king him-
self in reference to his own
service, and to the envy which
would be increased by it towards
his nephew, prince Rupert, who
was already become very un-

popular ; but on the other side,
the granting it to him would be
generally looked upon as the
triumph of the marquis of Hert-
ford over prince Rupert, which
his majesty could not think of
with any patience. The easy
temper and disposition of sir
Ralph Hopton, and prince Ru-
pert's being willing to come off
from this matter with his honour,
gave the king an expedient to
compose this difficult affair to
his own satisfaction : prince Ru-
pert should have the name of
governor of Bristol, according to
his pretence, by a grant from
the king, and sir Ralph Hopton
should be his lieutenant gover-
nor, which he without scruple
accepted : but the prince pro-
mised to the king that he would
never in the least degree meddle
in the government, but leave it
entirely to sir Ralph Hopton ;
which being all concluded, two
were only satisfied, the king
and sir Ralph Hopton ; the
other two, the prince and the
marquis, were both offended,
the latter thinking himself in-
jured by sir Ralph's declining
his commission to be governor,
and submitting to be lieutenant
under prince Rupert, though he
had it by commission from the
king himself; and prince Ru-
pert being as angry that he had
only the title, and could not
make his own lieutenant ; and
that the same man's having the
place, who was designed to it
by the marquis, as was generally
known, would be believed to be
put in by his authority; and


but when he sent to the officers of the customs, to PART

be informed of the present state of trade, he found "

that some treaty was made, and order given in it by
Mr. Ashburnham, a groom of the bedchamber; who,
with the assistance and advice of sir John Cole-
pepper, had prevailed with the king to assign that
province to him, as a means to raise a present sum
of money for the supply of the army : which the
chancellor took very heavily; and the lord Falkland,
out of his friendship to him, more tenderly ; and ex-
postulated it with the king with some warmth ; and
more passionately with sir John Colepepper and Mr.
Ashburnham, as a violation of the friendship they
professed to the chancellor, and an invasion of his
office; which no man bears easily.

They were both ashamed of it, and made some
weak excuses, of incogitance and inadvertence ; and
the king himself, who discerned the mischief that
would ensue, if there should be an apparent schism
amongst those he so entirely trusted, was pleased to
take notice of it to the chancellor, with many gra-
cious expressions ; and said, " that Mr. Ashburnham The king
" being treasurer and paymaster of the army, he did
" believe some money might have been raised for the
" present occasion ; and only intended it for the

from that time he never favour- upon several occasions,

ed sir Ralph Hopton, but al- When the king had settled

ways discountenanced him all these particulars, which had very

he could. But the king, to much disquieted him, he consi-

Online LibraryEdward Hyde ClarendonThe life of Edward, earl of Clarendon, in which is included a continuation of his History of the grand rebellion (Volume 1) → online text (page 15 of 39)