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known, that the king himself had been carrying on secret negotiations with France, Spain, and the Vatican. I
A parliament had not met in England for twelve years, but now the king was reluctantly compelled to have recourse to one, probably thinking that the treasonable letter of the Covenanters would rouse the national feeling, and lead to a vote for renewing the war. But the indignation of the country had been slowly accumulating against the arbitrary government of the king, and the parliament obstinately refused to grant any supplies, till they had first obtained a redress of their grievances. There was nothing for it but to dissolve the parliament, and dissolved it was. Meanwhile the 2d of June approached, to which the Scottish parliament was prorogued ; and though a commission was sent down for a further prorogation, advantage was taken of a technical blunder, and the Estates proceeded to business, enacted into laws the bills which had previously passed the Lords of the Articles, and nominated a committee to carry on the government of the country. The 29th of July came round too, and the Assembly met at Aberdeen. The moderator asked if any Commissioners were present to represent his Majesty, and none appearing, work was begun. An act was passed for demolishing monuments of idolatry; another against witches and charmers; another against revilers of the Covenant; but the most vehement debates regarded private religious meetings conducted by laymen, which had sprung up in different parts of the country, and of which we shall hear more afterwards.2
The Covenanters did not trust to the acts of the parliament and the General Assembly for protection. During the spring and summer their drums had been beating to arms; and the cajoleries of the recruiting-serjeant were seconded by the sermons of the ministers. Such was the spirit of the times that the rich brought their plate and had it melted down for the support of the army, receiving bonds for its repayment subscribed by the nobles. While the parliament and Assembly were yet sitting, the Earl of Argyll and General Munro were carrying the terror of their arms into the north, and ravishing the lands of all who were enemies to the Covenant. By the beginning of August a large army was marching from Edinburgh towards the south, with the renowned Felt-Marshal Leslie at its head. It halted for two or three weeks at
Fall of the Monarchy of Charles I., by Dr S. Rawson Gardiner. ? Peterkin's Records, p. 279.
Dunse-Law, the place of its former encampment, and then on the 21st of the month boldly crossed the Tweed, the Earl of Montrose being the first to plunge into the stream at the head of the van-guard.
So soon as the Covenanters found themselves upon English soil, they published “Six Considerations of the Lawfulness of their Expedition into England Manifested."1 By the 27th they had reached Newburn upon the Tyne, where Lord Conway was posted to oppose their progress; but on the following day, after a short cannonade, the river was crossed, and the English fled without stopping to fight. On the 30th the Scotch were in possession of Newcastle, where the utmost consternation prevailed, which spread to Durham and even to York, where the king was encamped with an army of about 18,000 men. The Covenanters, however, used their victory with moderation, and confidence was restored. The colliers resumed their labours in the coal-pits; the lighters entered the river to receive their cargoes for the metropolis; and everything went on as usual.
An instance of the kindly feeling which prevailed may be given. The English were unwilling that their young plantations should be cut down to make huts for the army. The Scotch were unwilling to offend them. A deputation was therefore despatched to Edinburgh to explain the difficulty. A sermon on the subject was preached on the Sunday, and on that very afternoon the goodwives of the town brought forth their well-stored webs of linen, and prolonging the pious work till the following day, furnished sufficient to make tents for the Covenanted warriors. 2
Having obtained the great success implied in the possession of Newcastle, the commissioners of the late parliament now petitioned the sovereign, through his Secretary for Scotland, the Earl of Lanark, to right their wrongs, and settle a firm and durable peace.
About the same time Charles received a petition from a number of his greatest English nobles, begging him to hold a parliament. Thus beset on the right hand and on the left,—with a hostile army in the midst of the country, and his peers uniting with his people in wishing for a parliament,-he felt it was impossible to resist. He requested the Covenanters to appoint commissioners to meet with fifteen of his English nobility, to negotiate an adjustment of differences.
1 Rushworth's Collections, vol. iii. p. 1223.
SCOTCH MINISTERS IN LONDON.
He summoned a parliament to meet at Westminster on the 3d of November. 1
The negotiators appointed by the king and the Covenanters met at Ripon, and soon arranged that the Scottish army should lie inactive at Newcastle, and that for doing so they should get £850 per day. They were in no hurry to settle matters farther, and as the English peers were anxious to be present in their places in parliament when it met, the negotiations were transferred to London.2
Great events now crowd upon one another. The Long Parliament met ; Strafford and Laud were impeached by the Commons; acts were passed, speeches made, and petitions presented, which clearly manifested the determination of the country to narrow the prerogative of the Crown, and either modify the Episcopate, or to pluck it up “root and branch.” 3 Meanwhile the Scottish Commissioners were comfortably lodged in the heart of the city, and had the Church of St Antholin's assigned them for the exercise of their worship. Here Henderson, Gillespie, and Baillie preached upon the controverted points between the Episcopalians and Presbyterians, between the Arminians and Calvinists, and thousands upon thousands, Sunday after Sunday, flocked to hear them. Those who could not find room within besieged the doors and clung to the windows, anxious to catch the faintest echoes of their northern eloquence.4 Pamphleteering was superadded to preaching, and more than one tract, upon the subject then agitating the English mind, emanated from the pen of the Scottish divines. This
, it must be confessed, was worthy of their zeal as apostles of Presbytery, but scarcely in keeping with their character as national negotiators.
At length terms of peace were agreed upon, the chief of which were,—That the acts of the parliament held at Edinburgh in June should be published by his Majesty's authority, and have in all time to come the full strength of laws; that See Peterkin for Documents, pp. 299, 300. Rushworth, vol. iii. pp. 1295-1306.
There was a petition numerously signed by the inhabitants of London presented to the parliament, praying them to remove Episcopacy.“root and branch.” It was generally known as the “Root and Branch Peti. tion."
Clarendon, vol. i. p. 150. Baillie, vol. i., where, in several of his letters, he gives an account of the way in which the Commissioners discharged their duties, and presents us with some life-like pictures of the state of society in London at the time, and of the great events which were passing there.
boy a broadsword. I carried myself, as the fashion was, a sword, and a couple of Dutch pistols at my saddle ; but I promise for the offence of no man, except a robber in the way; for it was our part alone to pray and preach for the encouragement of our countrymen, which I did to my power most cheerfully. Our hill was garnished on the top with our mounted cannon, well-nigh to the number of forty, great and small. Our regiments lay on the sides of the hill, almost round about. The crowners lay in canvas lodges, high and wide ; the captains about them in lesser ones ; the soldiers about all in huts of timber, covered with divot and straw. . . . It was thought the country of England was more afraid for the barbarity of the highlanders than of any other terror ; those of the English that came to visit our camp did gaze much with admiration upon these supple fellows, with their plaids, targes, and dorlachs. . . . Our captains were, for the most part, barons or gentlemen of good note; our lieutenants almost all soldiers who had served over sea in good charges; every company had flying at the captain's tent door a brave new colour, stamped with the Scottish arms, and the ditton, FOR CHRIST'S CROWN AND COVENANT, in golden letters. Our general had a brave royal tent, but it was not set up ; his constant guard was some hundreds of our lawyers, musketeers, under Durie and Hope's command, all the way standing in good arms, and with cocked matches, before his gate, well apparelled. . . . . Had you lent your ear in the morning, or especially at the evening, and heard in the tents the sound of some singing psalms, some praying, and some reading Scripture, you would have been refreshed. True, there was swearing, and cursing, and brawling in some quarters, whereat we were grieved.” 1
The two armies lay for some time looking at each other across the Tweed. Both were unwilling to come to blows, and gradually both became more and more anxious for an accommodation. The king knew that there was much discontent, and little willingness to fight, on the part of his nobles ; the Covenanters knew that it would be impossible to keep their array long together. This mutual feeling becoming known, the Covenanters sent the Earl of Dunfermline with a supplication to the King's most excellent Majesty,” praying him to nominate some of his English subjects, well affected to the true religion and their common peace, to meet with some of
1 Letters and Journals, vol. i. pp. 211-14.
them, that all misunderstandings might be removed, and the two kingdoms kept in quietness. The king listened to the supplication, and the consequence was that a deputation of the Scotch Covenanters crossed the Tweed, and came to the Earl of Arundel's tent to treat of peace. They were scarcely entered till the king came in, "at whose unexpected presence,” says Baillie, we were somewhat moved, but yet very glad." His Majesty said he came there to hear all they had to say, and is confessed to have listened with great patience and kindness to the free outspoken statements of the Covenanters. The truth is, Charles had a quiet, king-like manner, which fascinated many. There was a second and a third interview, and the happy result was a pacification.?
It was carried out in the following fashion :- The king published a declaration, in which he set forth his resolution to hold a free General Assembly at Edinburgh on the 6th of August, and a parliament on the 20th of the same month, for ratifying what should be concluded in the Assembly; and, further, to recall his fleets and his armies so soon as the Covenanters disbanded their forces, restored the castles which they held, and broke up the Tables. On the back of this the Covenanters signed an agreement to disband their forces within twenty-four hours, surrender their strongholds, hold no meetings but such as were warrantable by law, and carry
themselves like humble, loyal, and obedient subjects. The terms of the treaty were faithfully kept, and happily the country was once more at peace, without a single drop of blood being shed.
The time rapidly approached when the Assembly must meet. The king was resolved that the Assembly of 1638 should not be recognised, but willing that most of its acts should be passed anew.
He had at length brought himself, though not without a struggle, to give up the Episcopate, but was anxious that, if abolished, it should be so, not as a point of Popery, or contrary to God's law, or the Protestant religion," but simply " as contrary to the constitution of the Church of Scotland.” The king's relation to the Episcopal Church of England made him naturally and properly anxious on this point. He had promised at first to be present in the Assembly himself, but changing his mind, he asked the Marquis of Hamilton again
See letters, Supplications, &c., in Peterkin's Records, pp. 225-30. ? Baillie, vol. i. pp. 216, 217. 3 Peterkin's Records, pp. 230, 231.