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Ecclesiastical history of England : from the opening of the long parliament to the death of Oliver Cromwell (Volume 5) online

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to the Huguenots oppressed by Poperj^, in their own
country, — Huguenots helped England to keep off the
yoke of a like oppression. There were other noteworthy
men amongst William's followers.

Gilbert Burnet was there, full of Dutch memories,
full of English hopes, picking up Imowledge from the
sailors, and musing upon the issue of his patron's enter-
prise, not without side glances at his own fortunes. Not
far off stood Carstairs, a cathohc-spirited Scotch Presby-
terian, who had manifested the utmost fortitude under
torture, and who, when his own cause rose to the ascen-
dant, did what is rare, for he signally manifested the
virtue of moderation. Beside him was a different cha-
racter, Piobert Ferguson, implicated in the Rye-house
Plot, and a ringleader in Monmouth's rebellion.

The fleet presented a magnificent spectacle. " Nothing

Smilen' Huguenots, 232.


could be more beautiful," says Dumont de Bostaquet,
" than the evolution of the immense flotilla which now
took place under a glorious sky;"^ and Rapin, recording
his own impressions of the moment, observes, " What a
glorious show the fleet made ! Five or six hundred ships
in so narrow a channel, and both the English and French
shores covered with numberless spectators is no common
sight. For my part, who was then on board the fleet,
it struck me extremely."

Such a fleet, known to be conveying an army to the
coast, watched on its way with imperfect information and
with mingled fear and hope, must have been to English-
men a spectacle full of excitement, to which history
records scarcely a parallel.

The 4th of November being Sunday, and also the
Prince's birthda}', he spent in devotion. Intending to
land at Torbay, he found himself carried beyond his
destination by the violence of the wind, or the unskilful-
ness of the pilot ; and some measure of agitation, — such as
thrilled the multitudes straining their e^^es on the Dover
Cliff's, whilst the quaintly-built vessels passed l^y, — must
have moved the inhabitants of the towns and villages on
both sides the sweep of water at the mouth of the Ex: as we
imagine, on the red sand hills, groups gathered here and
there, peering through windy weather in search of the
ships about to rest under the headland of Devonshire
Tor. The next day, the Dutch reached the desired
spot, and " the forces were landed with such diligence
and tranquillity, that the whole army was on shore before

The associations of the year and the day were pro-
pitious. Just a century before, God had scattered the

' Smiles' Huguenots, 256. "^ lutjiin, iii. 285.

Chap. II.] THE CRISIS. 37

Spanish Armada; and on the 5th of November, 1605, the
three Estates of England had been dehvered from the
Gunpowder Plot. The Calvinist William took the
Arminian Burnet by the hand, asking, ' ' Will you not
believe in predestination '? " " I will never forget," the
chaplain cautiously replied, "that providence of God
which has appeared so signally on this occasion."
Public worship followed the landing. Carstairs was the
first, " Scotsman and Presbyterian as he was," to call
-down the blessings of Heaven on the expedition; and
after his prayer, "the troops all along the beach, at his
instance, joined in the 118th Psalm," and this act of
devotion produced a sensible effect on the troops.^
The Prince for awhile seemed elated, yet soon re-
lapsed into his habitual gravity ; but Burnet only
interpreted the general feeling of the moment when
he says, " We saw new and unthought-of charac-
ters of a favourable providence of God watching over

Tidings of what had happened rapidly spread, and
excited all sorts of people, especially such as had re-
ligious sympathies with the new visitors. Devonshire
traditions afford an idea of what was felt and done by
Dissenters. A lady, worshipping in a meeting-house at
Totnes, in commemoration of the discovery of Gun-
powder Plot, when she learnt that the Prince had reached
the neighbouring bay, immediately hastened, in company
with another like-spirited matron, to meet His Highness
at Brixham, who " shook hands with them, and gave
them a parcel of his Proclamations to distribute, which

' Macaulay, iii. 226. Dr. Stanley, State Papers, Lectures on the Church
whose words I have quoted, refers of Scotland, 116.
to M'Cormick's preface to Carstairs. - Burnet, i, 789.


they did so industriously that not one ^vas left in the
family as a memorial of their adventure."^

A story is also told that Roman Catholics were at the
time eagerly expecting assistance from the French, and
a priest with his friends, stationed on a watch-tower,
haying descried white flags on the men of war as they
hove in sight, prepared an entertainment for the earnestly-
desired guests, and proceeded to chant a Te Deum, in
gratitude for their arrival. They were soon undeceived,
and the fare provided for the French was enjoyed hy the

The army next day marched on to Exeter, tho
officers, like the soldiers, wet to the skin, having
neither change of raiment, nor food, nor horses, nor
servants, nor beds — the baggage still remaining in the
ships. But expressions of sympathy, perhaps timor-
ously conveyed, cheered them somewhat on this dreary
day ; and stories are still circulated amongst the Non-
conformist families of the neighbourhood, of ancestors
who watched the landing, and spoke of '• seeing the

' " The crimson and gold purse time. Tlie place could only be
and pincusliion, ^Yllichslle is saidto reached by a ladder, which was re-
have worn at her girdle on that oc- moved when not wanted. There
casion, and her chain and locket, are the poor gii-l's food was taken to lier
still preserved in the family." at night, and her presence was only

"Before this," adds my informant, known to the heads of the family.

" one of the ' Taunton maids,' who The house stood where the entrance

assisted in working a banner for to the Priory now is."

Monmouth, Avas sent away, to be '^ Hurl. JliscclL, i. 449.

liidden from Judge Jeffreys and his " But bciug soon undeceived on

creatui-es, who where hunting up all our landing, Ave found the benefit of

they could lay liands upon to extort their provision ; and instead of

fines from ; and our ancestors having 'Voire serviteur, 31onsiein\' they

an estate near, and perhaps conncc- were entertained witlx ' ^lynht'rr,

tions at Taunton, the girl was sent can ye Dutch xprakeiij upon which

to Totnes to them, and was hidden they ran away from the house, but the

in tlie roof of their house for some Lady Carey and a few old servants."

Chap. II ] THE CRISIS. 39

country people rolling apples down the hill- side to the

The progress was slow, and the stay at the Western
capital long. Thomas Lamplngh, the Bishop who had
approved of the Declaration and of the conduct of His
Majesty's servile Judges, showed his fidelity to James by
rushing up to London, where he was rewarded with the
Archiepiscopal throne of York. York had been left vacant
for more than two years and a half, with the design, it
was said, of being ultimately occupied by a Koman
Catholic. A Popish Bishop had been settled there, with
a title in partihus iNjidcIium, whose crosier and uten-
sils were seized after the landing of the Prince of
Orange. 2

The Dean of Exeter also fled in alarm, and His High-
ness took up his abode in the deserted Deanery. The
Prebendaries refused to meet him, or to occupy their stalls,
when he marched in military state through the western
portal, well studded with statues of saints and kings ;
and proceeding up the nave, with its exquisite minstrels'
gallery, ascended the steps of the choir, passed under the

' "A farmer, named Searle, had firstpersonof importance who joined
holdings at this time, under the the Prince at Exeter. It is liowever
Dean and Chapter of Exeter, in the believed that tlie two had met pri-
parish of Staverton. One of his vately, before Sir Edward publiclj'-
grandsons died at an advanced age gave in his adhesion. A cottage
about seven years ago. He used to still exists near Longcombe, on the
state that when he was a boy there borders of the parish of Berry Pome-
lived an old man at Staverton. over roy, adjoining Totnes, still known as
ninety years of age, who told him ' Parliament House,' where the
that he, and others, were sent by Prince is said to have held a Council,
his master, Mr. Searle's grand- The cottage is situated on the pro-
father, to the high road, with cart- perty of Sir Edward, in a retired
loads of apples, that the Prince's spot, and not above two miles from
troops might help themselves. the line of march from Brixham to

" Macaulay mentions the fact Newton." 3IS. Iti format ion.

that Sir Edward Sevmour was the - Lc Neve's Archhishops, 269.


beautiful screen, and took his seat on the Episcopal
throne, — the ornamentation of which in cbonlike oak,
without a single nail in the curious structure, so admirably
contrasts with the pale arches and the vaulted roof.
As soon as the chanting of the Tc Dcuin had ceased,
Burnet read His Highness's Declaration, which proved a
signal for such of the clergy and choristers as had ven-
tured on being present, to quit the edifice. At the end
of the reading the Doctor cried, " God save the Prince of
Orange ! " to which some of the congregation responded
with a hearty Amen.

De Bostaquet, the French Huguenot, accustomed to
the extreme and rigid simphcity of Protestant worship in
his own country, was scandalized at what he witnessed at
Exeter. He regarded the English service as retaining
nearly all the externals of Poper}^ — for such he counted
the altar, and the great candles on each side, and the
basin of silver-gilt between, and the Canons, in surplices
and stoles, ranged in stalls on each side the nave, and the
choir of little boys singing with charming voices. He
was touched somewhat with the beauty of the music,
but the sturdy and ultra -Picformer declared it was
all opposed to the simplicity of the French reformed
religion, and he confessed he w^as by no means edilied
with it.i

Burnet delivered a sermon on the following Sunday ;
and on the same day, Piobert Ferguson, being refused by
the Presbyterians the keys of the meeting-house in St.
James Street, exclaimed, "I will take the kingdom of
heaven by violence ! " and calling for a hammer, broke
open the door. Sword in hand he mounted the pulpit, and
preached against the Papists from the 1 6th verse of the

Quoted ill SniUeti' Huguenots, 256.

Chap. II.] THE CRISIS. 41

94tli Psalm : " Who will rise up for me against the evil
doers ?"^

At first the Prince's affairs wore an unfavourable
appearance — people of influence did not join him ; but
before long the tide turned, " and every man mistaliing his
neighbour's courage for his own, all rushed to the camp
or to the stations which had been assigned them, with a
violence proportioned to their late fears."^ Ahearty welcome
awaited His Highness in many places through which he
marched, the Dissenters in particular hailing his approach.
One of them, a country gentleman, living at Coaxden
Hall, rich in rookeries, between Axminster and Chard,
had tables spread with provisions under an avenue of
trees leading up to the house. The gentleman was
Kichard Cogan, whose wife Elizabeth, before her marriage,
concealed him under a feather-bed, after the Monmouth
rebellion, and so saved his life and v^^on his affections.
His mother had been a Royalist ; and amongst many stories
told of Charles's adventures after his defeat at Worcester,
it is related that this lady covered him with the skirts of
her enormously-hooped petticoats.-'^ The clergy of Dor-
set found themselves in an awkward position after William
had triumphantly passed through the country. They had

' I give this story as it is found idea of Ferguson than the current

in the Harleian MisceUan//, and one. However this may be, there

Murclis Hist, of the rrcshi/tcrian can, I apprehend, be no doubt of his

Cliurclies. Ferguson was first a eccentricity and violence, and of his

Presbyterian, then an Independent, taking the side of the Jacobite

and for some time he acted as assis- plotters after the Pievolution, as he

taut to Dr. Owen. Calamy, chiefly liad taken the' opposite side before,

on the authority of Burnet, gives See his own extraordinary letter to

him a bad character, and this is en- Secretary Trencliard. Ralph (ii. 524)

dorsed in Palmer s Nonconf. Memo- gives a full account of it.

rial, and by Wilson in liis Dissenting ' Dalnjmple, i. '22r>.

Churches,!. 284. ^ Note in Wilson's Life of Defoe,

It is said that there are letters in i. no.
existence which authorize a different


received an order of Council, sent by the Bishop, pre-
scribing prayers for the Prince of Wales and the Koyal
family. But now, although some persevered in using the
prayers, others laid them aside. There still exists a letter
to the Archbishop of Canterbury from the incumbent of
Wimborne, asking what he should do under the circum-

When Ken heard that the Dutch were cominof to
WeUs, he immediately left the city, and in obedience to
His Majesty's general commands, took all his coach
hoi-ses with him, and as many of his saddle horses as he
could ; seeking shelter in a village near Devizes, intending
to wait on James, should he come into that neighbourhood.
Ken was awkwardly situated, having been chaplain to the
Princess of Orange, and knowingmanyofthe Dutch officers;
therefore, to prevent suspicion, he left his diocese, deter-
mined to preserve his allegiance to a Monarch who still
occupied the throne.- William found himself in the
neighbourhood where the unfortunate Duke of Monmouth
had a few years earlier unfurled his flag, to which certain
Nonconformists had been drawn, who paid a terrible
penalty for their rashness. Many retained keen recol-
lections of Sedgmoor fight and Taunton Assizes, and
could scarcely calculate upon the success of this new
attempt ; yet they sympathized intensely in William's
designs, as is manifest from some of their Church records
containing narratives of the Deliverer's march through the
west of England. The Declaration said little in favour of
Nonconformists, and only by implication gave hopes to
them of legal security. But the documents received an
interpretation from the knowledge that William believed

I. Dec. 29, 168S.
/u7j\s' L\fc, ly II Lcnjinau. 324..

Chap. II.] THE CRISIS. 43

conscience to be God's province, and tliat toleration is as
politic as it is righteous.

Three days before the landing of the Prince, James
admonished his subjects, upon peril of being prosecuted,
not to publish the treasonable Proclamations ; and on the
day after the landing, he denounced the act as aiming at
the immediate possession of the Crown. Between those
two dates, the Scottish Bishops, whose feudal-hke loyalty
mastered their patriotism, and placed them in oppo-
sition to their Episcopal brethren of the South, sent an
address to the falling Monarch, in which they denounced the
invasion, and professed unshaken allegiance to be part of
their religion; not doubting that God, who had often deliv-
ered His Majesty, would now give him the hearts of his
subjects and the necks of his enemies.^ ilnother Scotch
address, breathing the utmost devotion, followed, in signi-
ficant opposition to the ominous silence maintained by
Englishmen. This flash of enthusiasm, however, on the
other side the Tweed, did nothing for the salvation of the
House of Stuart,— the current of opinion throughout the
realm, amongst high and low, having set in the opposite

At this critical moment, amidst the confusion which
reigned at Whitehall, and as selfish courtiers were waitiug-
to see how they could promote their own interests, the
misguided Sovereign commanded his army to march
towards Salisbury. The night before he himself started
for that city, a few noblemen and Bishops waited upon
him with a proposal to assemble Parliament, and treat
with the Prince of Orange ; when, according to his own
account, he told the Prelates that it would much better
become men of their calling to instruct the people in their

' See Gazette, Nov.


duty to God aud the King, rather than foment a rebel-
lious temper, by presenting such petitions at the very
moment the enemy stood at the door. He says he regarded
them as making religion a cloak of rebellion, and was at
last convinced that the Church's doctrine of passive obedi-
ence formed too sandy a foundation for a Prince's hope.^
His answer to the request for a Parliament, according to
the report of the Bishop of Piochester, ran in these words :
"What you ask of me, I most passionately desire, and
I promise you upon the faith of a king, that I will have
a Parliament, and such an one as you ask for, as soon as
ever the Prince of Orange has quitted this realm. For
how is it possible a Parliament should be free in all its
circumstances, as you petition for, wdiilst an enemy is in
the kingdom, and can make a return of near a hundred
voices ?"^

James reached Salisbury on the i gtli of November, and
took up his abode in the Episcopal Palace, — under the
shadow of the noble spire which rises so gracefully out of
the midst of a pleasant landscape of quaint-looking houses,
near the confluence of two rivers, bordered by gardens
and orchards, by green meadows and brown fields. There
he had reason enough to be alarmed by the progress
of events, and to reflect on the instability of worldly
greatness ; yet he did not despair.

He was wonderfully slow in giving up all hope of help
from Bishops. To the last he seemed to cling to that
order wath the tenacity of a sailor who has seized on
a plank from a foundered vessel. From Salisbury he

' Life of James II., ii. 209-212. at which Compton was present. Hist.

'^ Sjind'.: History of the Deser- of' Great Britain, i. 530. Original

tion, 62. Macpherson mentions a P'lpers, i. 2S1. Rei'esby is refcrret.! to

meeting held the same evening by asanauthority,butIcanfiud nothing

the friends of the Prince of Orange, about this circumstance in liis Diary.

Chap. II] THE CRISIS. 45

sent for the Bishop of "VVmchester, who had cautiously
remained at his princely castle during these troublous
times. The Bishop wrote to the Archbishop of
Canterbury the following account of tliis fruitless
visit : —

"May it please your Grace,
" His Majesty's intimation to me, that he thought
my presence would, if occasion required, very much
influence his army, I could not take it for less than
a command, and accordingly posted to Sarum, where
I pressed him, with all imaginable arguments, to call
a Parliament, as the most visible way to put a stop
to those confusions which threatened the Government ;
and I left him in a far more inclinable disposition to
it than I found him, and engaged several persons
near liim to second what I had attempted. The next
day, which was Friday, I found that several of the
troops were commanded towards London, and, waiting
upon His Majesty, he told me he would be with me as
to-morrow ; so that, in order to his reception, I came
yesterday from Sarum, which is a long journey of above
forty miles, and I now understand that His Majesty comes
not this way. This account of myself I thought proper
to give your Grace, that I may receive the commands,
which shall, with all duty, be obeyed by your son and
servant. "1

A spirit of disaffection soon showed itself in the upper
ranks. Lord Lovelace had been deeply involved in in-
trigues preparatoiy to the Kevolution ; and in a crypt under
liis Elizabethan mansion, called Lady-place, at Hurley,
so well known to all pilgrims to picturesque spots, on the

' Farnham Castle, Nov. 25, 16SS. Tanner MSS., xsviii.


banks of the Thames, he had hekl midnight conferences
whilst all the Whigs were longing for a Protestant wind.
He now quitted his home, at the head of seventy followers,
and galloped westward to join the Prince. Colchester,
Wharton, Ptussel, and Abingdon proceeded in the same
direction ; but, what foreboded more mischief, defection
broke out in the ranks of PtoyaHsm. Cornbury, eldest
son of Lord Clarendon, and nephew of James' first wife,
at the head of three regiments, deserted the camp at
Salisbury, and joined the Prince — most of his soldiers,
more faithful than himself, deserting him, when they dis-
covered his treachery. Still worse defections followed.
Prince George of Denmark — the husband of the Princess
Anne, James' daughter, a person who, with all her weak-
ness of mind, had acquired a reputation for Protestant
zeal — went next. In company with the Duke of Ormond,
he rode off from Andover, having the previous night
supped at his father-in-law's table. The Clmrchills —
great favourites with James, great supporters of his cause
— soon fell into the stream. The destined hereof Blenheim,
accompanied by Grafton, pushed on his way to worship the
rising sun. A story is told, I do not know on what autho-
rity, that William, on seeing these unexpected visitors,
exclaimed, " If ye be come peaceably to me to help me,
mine heart shall l)e knit unto you, but if ye be come to
betray me to mine enemies (seeing that there is no wrong
in my hands), the God of 3^our fathers rebuke it." One
of them replied, " Thine arc we, David, and on thy side,
thou son of Jesse. Peace, peace be unto thee, and peace
be to thy helpers, for thy God helpeth thee." The Princess
Anne, imitating her husbands example, disappeared from
Whitehall, and in a carriage — preceded by Compton,
Bishop of London, who wore a purple velvet coat and
jack boots, with pistols in his holsters and a sword in his

Chap, ir.] THE CRISIS, 47

liandi — was driving off at the top of lier horses' speed
to the town of Nottingham.

The desertions at Sahshury drove James back to Loudon ;
there the last drop was added to the cup of his domestic
sorrow, when he learned that his daughter Anne had
abandoned his cause. Further calamities befell him.
Kochester, Godolphin, even Jeffreys, meeting their master
in Council, recommended the calling of a Parliament;
and at the same time Clarendon blamed James for leaving
Salisbury without fighting a battle. Eventually, after
having bewailed his son Cornbury's apostacy, the great
courtier thought it the safest course to imitate that son's

James w^as now reduced to extremities, and on the 2 2nd of
November he issued a Proclamation, in which he recalled
his revolted subjects to allegiance with the promise of a
free and gracious pardon, and tempted the soldiers of the
Dutch army to come over to the Royal standard with the
promise of liberal entertainment, or of safe dismissal to
their own country. On the 30th, appeared another
Proclamation, for the speedy calling of a Parliament.-

Matters were proceeding favourably on the other side.
Crossing Salisbury Plain, marching past Stonehenge, Wil-
liam and his army, with great military display, took posses-
sion of Salisbury, after which the Prince occupied a house
in the neighbouring village of Berwick. Clarendon, on
reaching the Episcopal city, which had become the head
quarters of the Revolution, alighted at the George Inn,
where he found the Dutch Ambassador ; and the next
morning waited on the Prince, who took him into his bed-
chamber, and talked with him for half an hour, telhng
him how glad he felt to see him, and how seasonable the

' Ralph, i. 1073. ^ Gazettes under dates.


accession of his son had proved. The Eaii, hearing
Burnet ^vas in the house, went to see that important
person. " What," asked the latter, "can ])e the mean-
ing of the King's sending these Commissioners?" "To
adjust matters for the safe and easy meeting of the Par-
Uament," rephed CLarendou. " How," rejoined the other,
" can a Parhament meet, now the kingdom is in this
confusion — all the West being possessed by the Prince's
forces, and all the North being in arms for him?" Clar-
endon urged that if the design was to settle things, they
might hope "for a composure." The Doctor, with his
usual warmth, answered, "It is impossible : there can
be no Parliament : there must be no Parliament. It is
impossible !''^

Clarendon made his way to Berwick — the house used
by the Prince at the time was in the possession of one of

Online LibraryJohn StoughtonEcclesiastical history of England : from the opening of the long parliament to the death of Oliver Cromwell (Volume 5) → online text (page 4 of 38)