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The constitutional history of England, from the accession of Henry VII. to the death of George II online

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Intelligent agent that the king possessed 562.
Sn England. The former, doubtless, per-

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should risk something in the game, and continually pressed
that either he or one of his brothers would land on the
coast His standard would become a ralljing-point for the
well-affected, and create such a demonstration of public sen-
timent as would overthrow the present unstable government.
But Charles, not by nature of a chivalrous temper, shrunk
from an enterprise which was certainly very hazardous, un-
less he could have obtained a greater assistance of troops
from the Low Countries than was to be hoped.^ He was
as little inclined to permit the duke of York's engaging in
It, on account of the differences that had existed between
them, and his knowledge of an intrigue that was going for-
ward in England, principally among the catholics, but with
the mischievous talents of the duke of Buckingham at its
head, to set up the duke instead of himself.' He gave,
however, fair words to his party, and continued for some
time on the French coast, as if waiting for his opportunity.
It was in great measure, as I suspect, to rid himself of
this importunity that he set out on his long and very need-
less journey to the foot of the Pyrenees. Thither the two
monarchs of France and Spain, wearied with twenty years
of hostility without a cause and without a purpose, had sent
their ministers to conclude the celebrated treaty which bears
the name of those mountains. Charles had long cherished
hopes that the first ^its of their reconciliation would be a
joint armament to place him on the Fnglish throne ; many
of his adherents almost despaired of any other means of

1 Olar. Papers, 614, 680, 686, 648. afflronto fh>m that party ; bat upon •
* Clarendon Papers, 425, 42/, 468, 4S2, finer spun design or setting up the in-
476, 626, 579. It is evident that the terest of the duke of York against the
catholics had greater hopes from the king; in which design I lear you will
duke than firom the king, and considered find confederated the duke of Bucks,
the former as already their own. A re- who perhaps may draw away with him
markable letter of Morley to Hyde, April lord Fairfax, the presbyterians, leTellors,
24, 1659, p. 468, shows the suspicions and many catholics. I am apt to think
alreadv entertained of him by the writer these things are not transacted without
in point of religion ; and Hyde is plainly the privity of the queen ; and I pray God
not free fh>m apprehension that he might that they hare not an ill influence upon
tKTOT the scheme of supplanting his vour aO&irs in France.^* 475- Bucking-
brother. The intrigue might hare gone ham was surmised to have been formally
a great way, though we may now think reconciled to the church of Rome. 427.
it probable that their alarm magnified Some supposed that he. with hi« fHend
the danger. ** Let me tell you," mys sir Wildman, were for a republic. But such
Antony Ashley Cooper in a letter to men are for nothing but the intrigue of
Hyde, ** that Wildman is as much an the moment. These projects of Buck-
enemy now to the king as he was before Ingham to set up the duke of York are
a seeming Mend; yet not upon the ac- hinted at in a pamphlet by Shaftesbu^
count of a commonwealth, for his ambi- or one of his party, written about 168d
tion meets with ereiy-day repulses and Somen Tracts, viiL 8^

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restoration. But Lewis de Haro was a timid statesman,
and Mazarin a cunning one : there was little to expect from
their generosity, and the price of assistance might probably
be such as none but desperate and unscrupulous exiles would
offer and the English nation would with unanimous indigna-
tion reject It was well for Charles that he contracted no
public engagement with these foreign powers, whose coop-
eration must either have failed of success or have placed
on his head a degraded and unstable crown. The full tol-
eration of popery in England, its establishment in Ireland,
its profession by the sovereign and his family, the surrender
of Jamaica, Dunkirk, and perhaps the Norman Islands, were
conditions on which tiie people might have thought the resto-
ration of the Stuart line too dearly obtained.

It was a more desirable object for the king to bring over,
if possible, some of the leaders of the commonwealth. Ex-
cept Vane, accordingly, and the decided republicans, there
was hardly any man of consequence whom his agents did
not attempt to gain, or, at least, from whom they did not en-
tertain hopes. Three stood at this time conspicuous above
the rest, not aU of them in ability, but in apparent power
of serving the royal cause by their defection — Fleetwood,
Lambert, and Monk. The first had discovered, as far as
his understanding was capable of perceiving anything, that
he had been the dupe of more crafty men in the cabals
against Richard Cromwell, whose complete fall from power
he had neither designed nor foreseen. In pique and vexa-
tion he listened to the overtures of the royalist agents, and
sometimes, if we believe their assertions, even promised to
declare for the king.^ But his resolutions were not to be
relied upon, nor was his influence likely to prove considei^
able; though, from his post of lieutenant-general of the
army, and long-accustomed precedence, he obtained a sort
of outward credit far beyond his capacity. Lambert was of
a very different stamp : eager, enterprising, ambitious, but

1 Hyde wTltw to the duke of Ormond, the honest thooflrbtt which some time

**rpray iofbrmtbe king that Fleetwood possess him," 692 (Oct. 81), and that

makes great professions of being con- Manchester, Popham, and others, tried

Terted, and of a resolution to serve the what they could do with Fleetwood ; but,

king upon the first opportunity^' Oct. *' though they left him with good reeolu-

11, 16^. Carte's Letters, ii. 281. See tions, they were so weak as not to ocn-

Clarendon State Papers, 651 (Sept. 2) tinue longer than the next temptatton."

and 677. But it is said afterwards that 685 (Deo. 27).
he had "not courage enough to IbUoir

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destitute of the qualities that inspire respect or oonildence.
Far from the weak enthusiasm of Fleetwood, he gave of-
fence by displaying less show of religion than the temper
of his party required, and still more by a current suspicion
that his secret faith was that of the church of Rome, to
which the partiality of the catholics towards him gave sup-
port^ The crafty unfettered aml^ition of Lambert rendered
it not unlikely that, finding his own schemes of sovereignty
impracticable, he would make terms with the king; and
there were not wanting those who recommended the latter
to secure his services by the offer of marrying his daughter,*
but it does not appear that any actual overtures were made
on either side.

There remained one man of eminent military reputation,
in the command of a considerable insulated army, interference
to whom the royalists anxiously looked with alter- of Monk,
nate hope and despondency. Monk's early connections were
with the king's party, among whom he had been defeated
and taken prisoner by Fairfax at Namptwich. Yet even in
this period of his life he had not escaped suspicions of dis-
iiffection, which he effaced by continuing in prison till the
termination of the war in England. He then accepted a
commission from the parliament to serve against the Irish,
and now, falling entirely into his new line of politics, became
strongly attached to Cromwell, by whom he* was left in*
the military government, or rather viceroyalty, of Scotland,
which he had reduced to subjection, and kept under with a
vigorous hand. Charles had once, it is said, attempted to
seduce him by a letter from Cologne, which he instantly
transmitted to the protector.* Upon Oliver's death he wrote
a very sensible letter to Richard Cromwell, containing his

1 Clarendon State Papers, 688. Carte'a dni, whom Gharlea had asked Ibr fn

Letters, U. U2b. Tain.

s Lord Hatton, an old royalist, suff- > Biogr. Brit., art. Monk. The royal-

gested this humiliating proposition In is'ts continued to entertain hopes of him,

terms scarcely less so to the heir of Cerdto especially after Olirer's death. Claren-

and Fergus. ** The race is a very good don Papers, ill. 893, 896, 896. In a sen*

fentUmanU family^ and kings hare con- sible letter of Colepepper to Hyde, Sept.

descended to marry subjects. The lady 20, 1658, he points out Monk as able

Is pretty, of an extraordinary sweetness alone to restore the king, and not ab-

of dispoeiUon, and rery Tirtuously and solutely averse to it, either in his priu-

ingenuously disposed ; the bther Is a per- ciples or affections ; kept hitherto by trie

son, set aside his unhappy engagement, ranity of adhering to his profe&«ions, and

of rery great parts and noble inclina- by his affection to Cromwell, the latter

tlons." Clarendon State Papers, 692. whereof Is dissolved both by the JenU

Tet, after all. Miss Lambert was hardly ousles he entertained of him, and by hia

mora a mAsaUianoe than Hortense Man- death, &c. Id. 412.

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Chip. X.

advice for the government He recommends him to obtain
the affections of the moderate presbyterian ministers, who
have much influence over the people, to summon to his house
of lords the wisest and most faithful of the old nobility and
some of the leading gentry, to diminish the number of su-
perior officers in the army by throwing every two regiments
into one, and to take into his council as his chief advisers
"Whitelock, St John, lord Broghill, sir Richard Onslow,. Pier-
point, and Thurloe.^ The judiciousness of this advice is the
surest evidence of its sincerity, and must leave no doubt on
our minds that Monk was at that time very hr from har-
boring any thoughts of the king's restoration.

But when, through the force of circumstances and the de»
Hi0 dteim- ficiencies in the young protector^s capacity, he saw
niatton. tijg house of Cromwell forever fallen, it was for
Monk to consider what course he should follow, and by what
means the nation was to be rescued from the state of an-
archy that seemed to menace it That very different plans
must have passed through his mind before he commenccHl his
march from Scotland, it is easy to conjecture ; but at what
time his determination was finally taken we cannot certainly
pronounce.^ It would be the most hononyi>le supposition to

1 Thnrloe, tU. 887. Monk wrote about
the same time egainst the earl of Argjle,
as not a friend to the goTvmmeDt : p. 684.
Two yean afterwards he took away his
life as being too much so.

s If the account of his chaplain. Dr.
pTicOf republished in Maseres* Tracts,
vol. 11., be worthy of trust. Monk gave so
much encouragement to his brother, a
clergyman, secretly despatched to Sa>t>
land by sir John QrenTil, his relation,
in June. 1659, as to hare approrod sir
George Booth *8 insurrection, and to have
been on the point of publishing a decla-
ration in &Tor of it. P. 718. But this
Is flatly in contradiction of what Claren-
don asserts, that the general not only
sent away his brother with no hopes, but
threatened to hang him if he came again
on such an errand. And, in fiu;t. if any-
thing so &vorable as what Price tells us
bad occurred, the king could not tail to
have kuown it. See Clarendon State Pa-
pers, iii. 543. This throws some suspi-
vion on Price's subsequent narratlTe (so
for as it professes to relate the general's
intentions); so that I rely fiir less on it
than on Monk's own beharlOT, which
seems irreconcilable with his professions
of republican principles. It is, howoTer,

an obscure point of history, wbloh wm
easily admit of different opiniona.

The story told br Locke, on lord
Shaftesbury's authority, that Monk had
agreed with the French ambaasador to
take on himself the goTemment, wherein
he was to have the support of Masarln,
and that his wife, baring OTerheard what
was going fbrward, sent notice to Sbaftea*
bury, who was thus enabled to firustrata
the intrigue (Locke's Works, lU. 466),
seons to haTe been confirmed lately by
Mr. D'lsraeli, in an extract firom tba
manuscript memoirs of sir Thomas
Browne (Cariosities of Uteratore, N. 8.,
Tol. ii.), hut in terms so nearly resem-
bling thoae of Locke, that it may be
suspected of being merely an echo. It
is certain, as we find by Phillips's oon*
tinuation of Baker's Chronicle (said to
be assisted In this part'by sir Th<unas
Clargee, Monk's brother-in-law), that
Bourd«iux, the French ambassador, did
make such orertures to the general, who
absolutely reftised to enter upon them ;
but, as the writer admits, receiTed a visit
from Uie ambassador on condition that
he should propose nothing in relation to
public matters. I quote from Kenneth
Begister, 86. But, according to my prst-

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believe that he was sincere in those solemn protestations of
adherence to the commonwealth which he poured forth, as
well during his march as after his arrival in London; till
discovering, at length, the popular zeal for the king's restora-
tion, he concurred in a change which it would have been
unwise, and perhaps impracticable, to resist. This, however,
seems not easily reconcilable to Monk's proceedings in new-
modelling his army, and confiding power, both in Scotland
and £ngland, to men of known intentions towards royidty ;
nor did his assurances of support to the republican party
become less i'requent or explicit at a time when every one
must believe that he had taken his resolution, and even after
he had communicated with the king. I incline, therefore,
upon the whole, to believe that Monk, not accustomed to
respect the parliament, and incapable, both by hb tempera-
ment and by the course of his life, of any enthusiasm for
the name of liberty, had satisfied himself as to the expe-
diency of the king's restoration from the time that the Crom-
wells had sunk below his power to assist them, though his
projects were still subservient to his own security, which he
was resolved not to forfeit by any premature declaration or
unsuccessful enterprise. If the coalition of cavaliers and
presbyterians and the strong bent of the entire nation had
not convinced this wary dissembler that he could not fail of
success, he would have continued true to his professions as
the general of a commonwealth, content with crushing his
rival Lambert and breaking that fanatical interest which he
most disliked. That he aimed at such a sovereignty as
Cromwell had usurped has been the natural conjecture of
many, but does not appear to me either warranted by any
presumptive evidence, or consonant to the good sense and
phlegmatic temper of Monk.

At the moment when, with a small but veteran army of

est ImpreMlon, this to more likely to houM, Feb. 21 ; and thto mlleged IntrlgM

haTebeen the foandatioD ofShafteebary'n with Maxaila could hardly have been so

stoiy, who might hare heard from Mrs. early.

Monk the circumstance of the risit, and It may be added that In one of the

eonceived suspicions upon it. which he pamphletsabout the time of the exclusion

afterwards turned into prooCi. It was bill, written by Shaftesbury hhnself; or

evidently not in Monk^s power to haye one of his party (Somors Tracts, Tiii.SSS).

usurped the goTemment after he had let be is hinted to hare principally brought

the royalist inclinations of the people about the Restoration ; " without whone

show themselTes ; and ho was by no courage and dexterity some men, the

means of a rash character. He must most liighly rewarded, had done other-

haTe taken his resolutioa when the se- wise than they did." But thto stiU <!••

eluded members were restored to the pends on hto Texadtj.

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7000 men, lie took up his quarters in London, it seemed to
be within his arbitrament which way the scale should pre-
ponderate. On one side were the wishes of the nation,
but restrained bj fear ; on the other, established possession,
maintained by the sword, but rendered precarious by dis-
union and treachery. It is certainly very possible that, by
keeping close to the parliament, Monk might have retarded,
at least for a considerable time, the great event which has
immortalized him. But it can hardly be said that the king's
restoration was rather owing to him than to the general sen-
timents of the nation, and almost the necessity of circum-
stances, which had already made every judicious person
anticipate the sole termination of our civil discord which
they had prepared. Whitelock, who, incapable of refusing
compliance with the ruling power, had sat in the committee
of safety established in October, 1659, by the officers who
had expelled the parliament, has recorded a curious anec-
dote, whence we may collect how little was wanting to pre-
vent Monk from being the great mover in the restoration.
He had for some time, as appears by his journal, entertained
a persuasion that the general meditated nothing but the
king's return, to which he was doubtless himself well in-
clined, except from some apprehension for the public inter-
est, and some also for his own. This induced him to have a
private conference with Fleetwood, which he enters as of the
22d December, 1659, wherein, after pointing out the prob-
able designs of Monk, he urged him either to take posses-
sion of the Tower and declare for a free parliament, in which
he would have the assistance of the city, or to send some
trusty person to Breda, who might offer to bring in the king
upon such terms as should be settled. Both these proposi-
tions were intended as different methods of bringing about
a revolution which he judged to be inevitable. " By this
means," he contended, " Fleetwood might make terms with
the king for preservation of himself and his friends, and of
that cause, in a good measure, in which they had been en-
gaged; but if it were lefl to Monk, they and all that had
been done would be lefl to the danger of destruction. Fleet-
wood then asked me, *if I would be willing to go myself
upon this employment?' I answered, * that I would go if
Fleetwood thought fit to send me.* And after much other
discourse to this effect Fleetwood seemed fully satisfied to

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send me to the king, and desired me to go and prepare my-
self forthwith for the journey ; and that in the mean time
Fleetwood and his friends would prepare the instructions for
me, so that I might begin my journey this evening or to-
mon-ow morning early.

" I, going away from Fleetwood, met Vane, Desborongh,
and Berry in the next room, coming to speak with Fleet-
wood, who thereupon desired me to stay a little ; and I sus-
pected wh'at would be the issue of their consultation, and
within a quarter of an hour Fleetwood came' to me, and in
much passion said to me, ' I cannot do it 1 I cannot do it I '
I desired his reason why he could not do it ? He answered,
Those gentlemen have remembered me, and it is true, that
I am engaged not to do any such thing without my lord
Lambert's consent' I replied, 'that Lambert was at too
great a distance to have his consent to this business, which
must be instantly acted.' Fleetwood again said, * I cannot
do it without him.' Then 1 said, * You will ruin yourself
and your friends.' He said, ' I cannot help it.' Then I told
him I must take my leave, and so we parted."*

Whatever might have been in the power of Monk by
adhering to his declarations of obedience to the
parliament, it would have been too late for him, Sem^
after consenting to the restoration of the secluded "'"™ *?
members to their seats on February 21, 1660, to
withstand the settlement which it seems incredible that he
should not at that time have desired. That he continued for
at least six weeks afterwards in a course of astonishing dis-
simulation, so as to deceive in a great measure almost all the
royalists, who were distrusting his intentions at the' very
moment when he made his first and most private tender of
service to the king through Sir John Grenvil about the be-
ginning of April, might at first seem rather to have pro-
ceeded from a sort of inability to shake off his inveterate
reservedness than from consummate prudence and discre-
tion ; for any sudden risings in the king's favor, or an in-
trigue in the council of state, might easily have brought
about the Restoration without his concurrence ; and, even as
it was, the language held in the house of commons before
their dissolution, the votes expunging all that appeared on
their journals against the regal government and the house

1 Whitolook, 690.

TOL.1I. 18

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of lordd,^ and, above all, the course of the elections for the
new parliament, made it sufficientlj evident that the general
had delayed his assurances of loyalty till they had lost a part
of their value. It is, however, a full explanation of Monk's
public conduct that he was not secure of the army, chiefly
imbued with fanatical principles, and bearing an inveterate
hatred towards the name of Charles Stuart. A correspon-
dent of the king writes to him on the 28th of March, ^ The
army is not ye£ in a state to hear your name publicly." * In
the beginning of that month many of the officers, instigated

1 The engagement wu repealed March
18. This was of iteelf tantamount to a
declaration in fltTor of the king, though
perhaps the prerious order of March 5,
that the aofinnn league and corenant
f hould be read in churches, was still more
io. Prynne was the first who had the
boldness to sneak for the king, declaring
his opinion that the parliament was dis-
solTed by the death of Charles I. ; he was
supported by one or two more. Clar.
Papers, 686. Thurloe, vii. 864. Carte's
Letters, ii. 812. Prynne wrote a pam-
phlet advLring the peers to meet and lasae
writs for a new parliament, according to
the proTisions of the triennial act, which,
in Ikct, was no bad expedient Somen
Tracts, ir. 684.

A speech of sir Harbottle Qrimston be-
fore the close of the parliament, March,
1660, Is more explicit for tlie king^s res-
toration than anything which I hare seen
elsewhere ; and as I do not know that It
has been printed, T will gire an extract
fh>m the Harleian MS. I6f9.

He urges it as necessary to be done by
them, and not left for the next parlia-
ment, who all men belieTo would restore
him. '*Thi8 is so true and so well under-
stood, that we all belieTe that, whatso-
erer our thoughts are, this will be the
opinion of the succeeding parliament,
whose concerns as well as aSSactions will
make them active for his introductioo.
And I appeal, then, to your own judg-
ments whether it is likely that those per-
sons, as to their parUcular interest more
unconcerned, and probably less knowing
in the affairs of the nation, can or would
obtain for any those terms or articles as
we are yet in a capacity to procure both
for them and us. I must confess sineere-
ly that It would be as strange to me as a
miracle, did I not know that Ood infktu-
ates whom he designs to destroy, that we
can see the king's return so unaroidable;
and yet be no more studious of serrlng
him, or at least ourselyes, in the manag-
ing of his recaJL

" The general, tiiat noble personage to
wliom under God we do and must owe
all the adTantages of our past and fatnre
changes, will m as flu- tnm opposing us
in the design, as the design is ranored
from the dimdrantage of the nation. He
himself is, I am confident, of the same
opinion ; and if he has not yet g^ves
notice of it to the house, it is not that he
does not look upon it as the best expedi-
ent: but he only forbears to propose it,
that he might not seem to necessitate us,
and by an over-early discoTery of his own
judgment be thought to take ficom us the
needom of ours."

In another place he says, ** Tliat the
recalling of our king In this only way (for
composure of affidrs) is already grown al-
most as visible as true ; and, wvre it but
confessed of all of whom it is believed,
I should quickly hear from the greatest
part of this house wliat now it hears alone
from me. Had we as little reason to fear
as we have too much, that, if we bring
not in the king, he either already is. or

Online LibraryHenry HallamThe constitutional history of England, from the accession of Henry VII. to the death of George II → online text (page 34 of 56)