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sent from our ROYAL Father and our royal mother with the privity and direction of the KING our FATHER, by which it appears, that WHATÈVÉR CORRESPONDENCE OR ACTINGS the said marquis had with the confederate Irish catholics, was DIRECTED and ALLOWED by the said letters and instructions, and that the KING himself was well pleased with what the marquis did after he had done it, and approved of the same."—Neal, Vol. 11. p. 507.
“This letter was read twice in one day, in the court of claims in Ireland, before thousands of people; among the rest a person of quality, whose papers I have used, then took a copy of it; and heard eight of the twelve qualitications (nay one of which being proved against a person, he was to be declared nocent, and his estate forfeited) proved upon him, Antrim, by substantial evidence; as, that by his commission many thousand head of cattle were driven away, and people murdered; and that in the town of Cashel, by bis commission 1200 throats of men, women, and children were cut in one night in cold blood; with others of the same nature. But the commissioners would not hear any more."*--Pierce's Vind. Diss.
Note Here is a great deal of bloodshed in many black instances, proved upon Antrim, before the earl of Northumberland and the committee of council; but he produces letters from the king Charles I. warranting and authorising him to do as he had done. The committee do not pretend any forgery in these letters, but seem perfectly satisfied that they were genuine and authentic : they declare themselves “sorry that he was able to produce such WARRANTS; but yet they did not think ANY WARRANT from the king or queen could justify so much blood-shed in so many black instances.” A plain proof that they thought he really had such warrant for the blood-shed he committed. And then to perfect the evidence, and put the matter out of all doubt, behold! the son of this unhappy father, Charles II. stands forth, and declares in a letter to the duke of Ormond_" That besides several letters and orders under his royal father's own HAND, there was sufficient evidence and testimony of several messages and directions sent from his ROYAL FATHER, by which it appears that WHATEVER CORRESPONpence or actings Antrim had with the confederate Irish catholics, they were directed and allowed by the said letters and instructions, and that the king himself was well pleased with what he (Antrim) had done, and approved the same.” Who now, after such evidence, can think the character of this unhappy prince free from deep stain as to this Irish rebellion? Many horrid and black instances of blood-shed and cruelty have been proved upon Antrim; but he undeniably shewed that he had acted by the king's warrant in what he had done; and king Charles II. affirms, and gives it under his hand, that all his actings with the bloody Irish were authorised, directed, and approved by his royal father. Accordingly Antrim was acquitted, and his forfeited estate restored; the guilt therefore of his acting must lie at anoTHER's door,
* Mr. Carte's attempts to vindicate the king as to this black affair, are considered and shewn to be insufficient, in Bennet's Defence of his Memorial, &c. And in a late curious tract intitled, An Inquiry into the Share which K. Charles I. had in the transactions of the Earl of GLAMORGAN, &c. printed 1747.
Who began the War; the king or the PARLIAMENT?
And whether it can, without the greatest Impropriety and Injustice, be styled a Rebellion ?
“ IT has been warmly disputed, on which side the war first began. Whether the king or the parliament were the aggressor ? He that believes the king's concessions were a sufficient guard against any invasions of the national liberties, and that his majesty really intended in future to govern by law, must condemn the parliament for requiring a further security, and deem the two houses the authors of the war. On the other hand, he that thinks the king had unwillingly consented to the acts limiting his prerogative, and would have revoked them whencver it had been in his power, (which Lord Clarendon himself insinuates to have been his majesty's intention) must throw the blame of the war upon the king, for rot agreeing to a farther limitation of his prerogative, at least for a time.”—Tindal's Cont. p. 9.
King Charles endeavours to establish principles wbich tended to subvert the constitution of the government; as, that parliaments owed their being to the concession of kings; and that this concession might be revoked, and the king might govern and tax his people without parliament That the king was above the laws—That the parliament had no right to meddle in affairs about which the king did not ask their advice-That to complain of the administration was want of respect to the king--That the parliament at most had but a right to represent the grievances to the king, which done, the redress of them was to be patiently waited for at the king's hands. All these principles it was easy to perceive, tended to establish a despotic power. The king endeavoured upon all occasions to instill these principles into the minds of his subjects; and to establish them upon instances, taken here and there, of the conduct of his predecessors. He was seen, by his actions, to draw from them the most extensive consequences; to fill the kingdom with monopolies; to compel his subjects to lend or give him money; to dissolve parliaments for not allowing his principles; to imprison such members as ventured to speak freely; and even to declare publicly that he would call no more parliaments. There was then no MIDDLE WAY: his pretensions were either to be yielded, or opposed with open force."
Rap. Vol. x. p. 7, 8. That is, there was no choice left, but for the nation to sit still, and to have the chain of despotic government riveted upon its neck; or else, to take arms, and stand up in defence of its constitution, its liberties and rights. To the glorious stand which was then made, we owe it, under God, that our freedom is preserved; and that we are not now a nation of abject and helpless slaves, groaning under the yoke of arbitrary rule.
That subjects greatly oppressed have a right to take arms and to stand upon their defence, king Charles himself before all the world expressly avowed, “For he not only assisted the Rochellers, taking armis agains their sovereign, after the war was actually begun; but we have reason to believe he encouraged them to it at first. He sent a gentleman to the duke of Rohan, soliciting him to the war. Buckingham, by his secretary, made many speeches and sent inany messages to the people of Rochell to excite them to arms. The king with his own hand sent them two letters to encourage and confirm them in the war they had un.
dertaken ; promising to exert the whole power of his kingdom for their deliverance; and enters into a league with thein, in which is this expression, That the ROCHELLERS may be delivered from the oppressions they groan under.”--Welwood, p. 72, 73. Hence then it most clearly and undeniably follows from the king's own principles and conduct, that the groaning under great oppressions, will justify subjects in taking arms for deliverance !
To call this war, therefore, a rebellion, is to call light, darkness ; and is to load with infamy those characters which merit iinmortal honour; and which ought ever, and will ever, be remembered by posterity with veneration and esteem. The sense of the nation, particularly of the very house of commons which restored king Charles II. with relation to this matter, appears in their treatment of Lenthal, a member of that house : who, having rashly said, “ He that first drew the sword against the late king; committed as great an offence as he that cut off his head,” was brought upon his knees at the bar of the house, and there severely reprimanded by the Speaker ; who declared it as the sense of the house, “ That those who drew the sword, did it to bring delinquents to punishment, and to vindicate their just liberties : and that Mr. Lenthal's words are an high reflection on the justice and proceedings of the Jords and commons in their actings before 1648.” ---Chillingworth's Life, p. 341.
Clarendon's, Nalson's, and other histories, which call this war a rebellion, as also the forın of prayer for the 29th of May, it is carefully to be remembered, were composed in the reign of Charles II. when the regal authority was carried to its atmost height; and the doctrines of passive-obedience and non-resistance were preached violently throughout the nation, when all in holy orders