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PREFACE.

There

HERE is no part of the English History, proba• bly, which hath been so greatly misrepresented, or which is generally at present so little understood, as the reign of the unhappy prince of which the following papers treat.

I shall not here inquire into the cause of this ignorance, nor observe the huriful effect it has had upon society : how much it hath been abused to corrupt the principles of the people ; to inflame and pervert their passions, and to perpeluate animosities which every good Briton wishes to see eternally extinguished and forgot. Nor shall I make any apology for publishing this collection, though it may seem in some places to bear hard upon a royal character to which much incensé has been offered up. Whatever sacredness there may may be in such exalted characters, the truth of history is more sacred : a reverence for this only, hath produced the following Essay; which is undertaken with a sincere desire of informing my fellow subjects as to the transactions of a reign which hath generally, not in private only, but in the most public and sacred places, been represented to the people in extremely fallacious colours. Tuo great complaisance to the errors of the past age, may be cruelty to the present; one principal use of history is to point out the misconducts and follies of former rimes, to serve as warnings and instructions to those who come after.

It was a saying worthy that glory of the Stuart fa. mily, and indeed of the British nation, Queen Mary 11. When reflections were made in her presence upon the sharpness of some historians, who had left heavy imputations

upon the memory of some princes, her majesty replied. If those princes were truly such as the bis.

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PREFACE.

.

There is no part of the English History, probably, which hath been so greatly misrepresented, or which is generally at present so little understood, as the reign of the unhappy prince of which the following papers treat.

i shall not here inquire into the cause of this ignorance, nor observe the huriful effect it has had upon society: how much it hath been abused to corrupt the principles of the people ; to inflame and pervert their passions, and to perpetuate animosities which every good Briton wishes to see eternally extinguished and forgot. Nor shall I make any apology for publishing this collection, though it may seem in some places 10 bear hard upon a royal character to which much incense has been offered up. Whatever sacredness there may may be in such exalted characters, the truth of history is more sacred : a reverence for this only, hath produced the following Essay; which is undertaken with a sincere desire of informing my fellow subjects as to the iransactions of a reign which hath generally, not in private only, but in the most public and sacred places, been represented to the people in extremely fallacious colours. Too great complaisance to the errors of the past age, may be cruelty to the present ; one principal use of history is to point out the misconducts and follies of former times, to serve as warnings and instructions to those who come after.

It was a saying worthy that glory of the Stuart fa. mily, and indeed of the British nation, Queen Mary II. When reflections were made in her presence upon the sharpness of some historians, who had left heavy imputations upon the memory of some prioces, her majesty replied—" If those princes were truly such as the bis

torians represented them, they had well deserved that treatment; and others who tread their steps must look for the same : for truth would be told at last, and that with the more acriinony of style, for being so long restrained. It was a gentle suffering to be exposed to the world in their true colours, much below what others had suffered at their hands.”

The method bere taken will be thought, it is presumed, the most likely to come at the knowledge of the truth; which is to call, as it were, a council of the most celebrated historians and writers of those times, and to give the reader the satisfaction of hearing them stand forth, and each in his own words pronouncing upon the case. That he may be able to judge of the weight of their several testimonies, and what credit they deserve, I shall give a succinct account of some of the chief.

LORD CLARENDON was king Charles I.'s most inti. mate counsellor, favourite, and friend; who himself says, " that he first undertook the writing his history with the King's approbation, and by his encouragement, and FOR HIS VINDICATION :- That the KING ihanked him for it; sent him his own memorials, or those which by his command had been kept, and were perused and corrected by himself; out of which memorials a considerable part of his slordship’s] accounts are collected.Hist. Reb. Vol. iv.p. 627.-Vol. v. p. 70.–This then being the professed design, and these the sources of his bistory, his lordship, to be sure, sets the actions of the king and the errors of his government in the most favourable light, and puts the softest constructions they could reasonably bear. When we are reading Clarendon's accounts iben, we are to remember they are ibe accounts of a zealous advocate for the royal cause; and yet froin these we see enough to consider the reign of ihis unhappy prince as a most grievous tyranny and oppression.*

WAITELOCK was a person of great figure in those days, son of judge Whitelock; a commissioner of the great seal, ambassador to the court of Sweden, a member of the long parliament, one of the commissioners both at the Oxford and Uxbridge treaties, a man of great knowledge as well as temper and moderation, and of chief influence in some of the principal transactions of those times. Lord Clarendon says of him, " That he had no inclination to the persons or principles of the chief actors against the king, and professed his detesta. tion of all the proceedings of that party ; though he could not be persuaded to separate himself from them, because all his estate lay in their quarters, and he had a nature that could not bear to submit to be undone.-Hist. Reb, Vol. iv. p. 598.—He wrote a memorial, a kind of jour. nal of the particular occurrences of this reign; which is deservedly esteemed by all one of the most authentic and faithful accounts. And having no inclination either to the persons or principles of those whu opposed the KING, we may depend upon his accounts as not partial towards them.

* In the preface to the former editions of this work, Mr. Towgood, on some authorities quoted by Oldmixon, intimated that Lord Cla. rendon's history lay under the suspicion of being softened and garbled in favour of the royal cause. This charge was believed by many persons to be well founded at the time this Essay was first published;

Core was an active partizan and apologist for the king; whose father (Sir Edward Coke) bore a great share in the transactions of this reign, was a member of the long parliament, was sequestered and imprisoned by them for not owning their power and paving their taxes; and who himself was an hearty favourer of the royal cause and a sufferer for it. He wrote a Detection of the Court and State of EnglAND, &c.

Bishop Byrnet was a inost faithtul friend and bright ornament of the established church, who con. tributed as much, perhaps, as any subject ever did to its preservation and supporı ; whose name therefore will be ever precious to every genuine son viit. He was admitted into great intimacy, for a long course of years, with many of the prime managers of those umes; and had singular opportunities of penetrating tar into their seciet coupsels and designs. He wrote an History of his own time : and, with an appeal to the God of truth, professes to tell the truth as fully and freely its he was able to find it out.

but Dr. Johnson and others have since proved to satisfaction of the world in general, as well as Mr. Tui gouri bmselt, that it was entirely groundless.- Vanning's Sketch of Toa gonna's Life and three tings, p.41.- Johnson's Lije oj Srith.--- Il'orhs, Vol. x. p. 25.

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