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consequently viewed as an incorrigible heretic. The Gunpowder Plot was next formed; and the first symptoms of its existence were discovered by the king himself, with a degree of sagacity scarcely inferior to the celebrated judgment of the "sapient king," whose name has since been so insultingly converted into an epithet of unmerited derision against the pursuits, character, and penetration of the British sovereign. The disappointment of the Papists, at the failure of this plot, was no doubt severe, and they ought perhaps on that account to be tolerated in thus expressing their mortification, especially as he who was to have been the principal victim, was their providential detecter; but it would be at least ungrateful in Protestants, if they were to suffer his enemies thus to convert their defeat into victory, by exaggerating the private imperfections of a prince, who, considering his real virtues, and the age in which he lived, must still command the admiration and respect of every impartial mind.

In 1612, the death of prince Henry, the heir apparent, who was a youth of the greatest promise, the hope and darling of the nation, was a severe blow to both king and people, and presents several points of striking similarity with that severe loss which the British Empire now deplores, and the melancholy details of which, together with every thing connected with the painful subject, in all its bearings, it is the object of the present work to record.

The marriage of James's daughter, Elizabeth, with Frederick V. Elector Palatine of the Rhine, by which, through the subsequent union of their youngest daughter, Sophia, with Ernest-Augustus, Elector of Hanover, already noticed, the royal family of Stuart became united with the House of Brunswick, is to us the most interesting event of the reign of James I. as it at length resulted in the

elevation of the Protestant branch of that house to the British throne.

Charles, the second son of James I. succeeded his brother Henry, as Prince of Wales. He unfortunately married Henrietta of France, and acceded to the throne, with the impetuous and despotic Buckingham for his minister; both of which circumstances impressed on the palate of the nation a foretaste of suspicion and disgust, and led to his utter ruin. The events of the civil war, however, had little connexion with the personal character of the king his conduct, whether in prison, at the trial, or on the scaffold, was firm, unaffected, and decent; so that those, whose views of his political and religious character are the farthest from awarding to him the palm of martyrdom, may creditably feel a sentiment of commiseration, not unallied to the sympathy excited by those who have really suffered for the truth. He was passionately fond of Shakspear's writings, and patronized Ben Jonson, Rubens, Vandyke, and Inigo Jones.

He was succeeded, after an interregnum of eleven years, by his son Charles II. during whose dissolute reign vice seemed to triumph. He was unquestionably a man of superior sense, although the disgusting details of his licentiousness are well known; and his contradictory character has been admirably drawn by the Earl of Rochester, in the celebrated verse, which was called the King's Epitaph: Here lies our Sovereign Lord the King, Whose word no man relies on; Who never said a foolish thing, Nor ever did a wise one!

In answer to which, Charles shrewdly admitted that it was true, Because, said he, my sayings are my own, but my actions are those of my ministry! He married Catharine of Portugal, by whom he had no children: his four mistresses, however, were abundantly fruitful, and of course fathered them all upon

the king, who returned the compliment, by a grant of earldoms and dukedoms, which their surviving descendants still continue to enjoy. His brother, James, Duke of York, therefore became heir apparent; and having served in the French army, under the celebrated Turenne, with great reputation, besides defeating the Dutch fleet in a dread-. ful battle, during his brother's reign, became renowned for his prowess and spirit, as well as for his high birth. He was, however, a rigid papist, and was compelled to resign his command as Lord High Admiral, by the Test Act; after the passing of which, he exerted all his influence to restore the popish religion in England. That the king (Charles II.) though of no religion, was induced by his suggestions to concur in favouring the design, there can be little, if any doubt, when we consider that Charles II. died an apparent convert to the Church of Rome, since he treated the Church of England ministers, who attended him in his last illness, with total indifference, but received the sacrament from the bands of the Catholic priests; and left two papers in his cabinet, written with his own hand, and containing his arguments in favour of the Romish communion. These papers James II. immediately published, and, from the moment of his succession to the throne, pursued, with steady determination, the two objects-of rendering himself absolute, and of restoring the Roman Catholic Church to its original supremacy in the British dominions.

He began his short career, by going openly with the ensigns of his dignity to the Mass, which at that time was an illegal meeting. The rebellion of the Duke of Monniouth, the natural sor of his dissolute predecessor, by one Lucy Walters, placed James's disposition in its true light. The severity of his measures, and his sanctioning the inhuman proceedings of the execrable Jefferies,

whom he raised to the peerage and chancellorship, produced more hatred than terror. Notwithstanding this, if he had not pursued with impolitic haste his grand design of restoring popery, it is probable all desire of resistance to his arbitrary conduct would have died away; but his eagerness providentially excited all the zeal of the great body of Protestants, and brought their united force into action. The king hoped to lull their apprehensions by his delusive declaration in favour of liberty of conscience; but they soon perceived that this was only intended to operate in favour of Catholics. He next attacked the established church, and appointed a commission, which cited before it every clergyman whose actions had offended the court. The rights of the Universities were invaded, and, in particular, a mandate was issued to Magdalen college, Oxford, commanding them to elect as their president, a person who had shown a disposition to become a Catholic. He next published a declaration of indulgences in matters of religion, which the clergy were commanded to read in all the churches throughout the kingdom. Seven of the bishops met, and drew up a very loyal petition against this royal ordinance; for which they were committed to the Tower, prosecuted for sedition, and brought to trial; but were acquitted, and hailed as the saviours of their country. The general rejoicing on this occasion extended to the regiments encamped on Hounslow-Heath, and indeed to almost the whole army. James had already sent an embassy to Rome, in order to reconcile his kingdom to the Holy See; and the birth of a son and heir at this time supported his confidence: but so unpopular was he become, that a general persuasion prevailed of its being a supposititious child, which was intended to be obtruded on the nation.

The dangers which now threatened the liberties and religion of the country, produced an union of

parties; and many of the nobility and gentry concurred in an application to the Prince of Orange, Stadtholder of the United Provinces, and the king's own son-in-law, for assistance. William listened to the prayer of their petitions, and, with great secrecy, prepared a fleet and army for the invasion of England. James at length became sensible of his errors, and would gladly have retraced his steps, but all confidence between him and his people was destroyed; so that his concessions were justly regarded as the tokens of fear, not as the evidences of contrition. The Prince of Orange landed, and the royal army began to desert by whole companies, and even in entire regiments; till the bigoted monarch, forsaken by his subjects, and opposed by the very man who had married his daughter, found it best to retire. Even his favourite daughter, Anne, afterwards the celebrated Queen of England, who was then married to George, Prince of Denmark, joined the invaders; which so affected him, that when the news was brought, he exclaimed, in an agony of grief, "God help me! my own children have forsaken me."

In 1688, he fled to France, and was received with the greatest hospitality by the French king, Louis XIV. who enabled him to recover almost the whole of Ireland, in the following year, where the Catholics possessed the chief power. The city of Londonderry, however, declared against him, and sustained a most memorable siege by the combined Irish and French army, commanded by the King in person, from December 7, 1688, to July 31, 1689; on which latter day it was relieved by the arrival of some provision ships from England, when the garrison had been reduced to a handful of men, principally through famine; all articles of life having been expended, so that the inhabitants had been obliged to subsist on the horses of the troops, while any remained; and afterwards on dogs, cats, rats,

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