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Reign of William and Mary page 14


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And this was very soon strikingly demonstrated. Tourville triumphantly ranged along our coasts, after his victory at Beachy Head, without opposition, and he now proudly imagined that nothing was necessary to the restoration of James but a descent on England with a tolerable force, which was certain to be welcomed and swelled by the expectant Jacobites. Accordingly Tourville took on board a considerable body of soldiers, and made for the coast of Devon. His fleet numbered a hundred and eleven sail, but of these a large amount were mere Mediterranean galleys, rowed by slaves, and sent as transports to carry over the troops. On the 22nd of July he landed at Torbay, where William himself had landed; but, instead of finding the gentry or the people ready to join him in support of king James, the whole west rose as a man at the blaze of the beacon signals which blazed on all the hill-tops. Messengers were spurring from place to place all night to carry the exact intelligence to the authorities; and the next morning all Devonshire appeared to be marching for Torbay. Tourville speedily beheld numbers of armed horsemen, the gentry and yeomanry of the neighbourhood, assembled on the hills, and everything warned him to embark again as quickly as possible. But he would not retire without leaving some trace of his visit. He dispatched a number of his galleys to Teignmouth, where the French landed, set fire to the town, burned down a hundred houses, destroyed the fishing-boats in the harbour, killed or drove away all the live stock they could find, and demolished the interior of the churches, the pulpits, the communion-tables, and the Bibles and Prayer- books, which they tore up and trampled under foot in their hatred of Protestantism.

This specimen of what England was to expect if she received back the popish James at the point of French bayonets produced the most salutary effects on the whole nation. The indignation of the protestants at the desecration of their worship and its symbols was scarcely less than the shame and mortification of many of the leading Jacobites, whose patriotism was roused by the reflection that, to restore James only by a French invasion, and to see the wealth of England become the prey of the Gallic plunderers of Germany and Flanders, to see the quiet and prosperous vales and homes of England laid waste by the lawless hordes which had laid waste the palatinate, and everything which was sound and national made the mockery of these proud and ruthless foreigners - would be humiliation under which even they could not stoop. Accordingly, the very men who had been secretly conspiring to bring in James again, who had been secretly drilling their tenantry and neighbours to unite with his forces on his arrival, spurning the idea of being parties to a French invasion, burnt the commissions which they had received from James, secreted or destroyed their weapons, and united in the burst of patriotic devotion to the reigning dynasty which flashed forth from end to end of England. Nothing had yet done the cause of William so much good.

Mary showed herself equal to the emergency in the absence of her husband. She applied to the lord mayor to know what state of defence the city was in, and received the most prompt and satisfactory answer. His lordship assured her that the city would stand by her to a man; that it had ten thousand men well armed and disciplined, prepared to march, if necessary, at an hour's notice; that it would raise six regiments of foot and two regiments of horse at its own cost, and pay besides into the royal treasury a hundred thousand pounds. The country everywhere displayed the same loyalty. The yeoman cavalry of the different counties assembled in arms; those of Suffolk, Essex, Hertford, and Buckingham marched to Hounslow Heath, where Mary received them amid acclamations of loyalty; she received the cavalry troops of Kent and Surrey likewise on Black- heath. The militia was called out; noblemen hurried to their counties to take the command of the forces there on foot; and others, amongst whom was the lately recreant Shrewsbury, flocked to Whitehall to offer their lives and fortunes for the defence of the throne. The miners of Cornwall appeared ten thousand in number, armed as best they might be, ready to expel the invaders. Those of the Jacobites who stubbornly retained their faith in James, who still designated him as the stone which the builders had foolishly rejected, and who by their secret press urged the people to the assassination of William, and to vengeance on the protestant supporters, slunk into hiding-places and remained prudently quiet. Even the non-juring clergy and bishops excited the indignation of the masses, as men who encouraged by their conduct the hopes of the papists; and the bishop of Norwich was attacked in his palace, and was only rescued by the prompt measures of the authorities. The non-jurors were suspected of leaning not only to James, but to popery; and a new liturgy, which had been printed and industriously circulated, praying, in no ambiguous words, for the restoration of James by a foreign invasion, and for the murder of William, was widely believed to proceed from them, although they strenuously denied it.

Such was the position of things in England when William returned from Ireland. In Scotland great changes had taken place. The remains of the Jacobite force in the highlands had been effectually put down. In the spring of 1690 James had sent over an officer with the commission of general-in-chief of the Jacobite forces in Scotland. General Buchan, therefore, took precedence of the drunken and incompetent Cannon; but all the troops that he could muster were not more than one thousand four hundred, and these were surprised and crushed by William's general, Sir Thomas Livingstone, who occupied Inverness. General Mackay completed the subjugation of the highlands by building a fort at Inverlochy, called after the king, Fort William, which effectually held the Camerons and Macdonalds in check. The last chance of James was over in that quarter.

At Edinburgh the battle with the disaffected clubbists came very soon to a similar end. The most prominent members, Montgomery, Ross, and Annandale, offered to yield their opposition if William would admit them to favour and office; but William disdained to purchase their adhesion, and they then in resentment flung themselves into the arms of James. The treaty was carried on through the medium of James's agent in London, one Neville Payne; and Mary, James's queen, sent over despatches, creating Montgomery for his treason earl of Ayr, and secretary of state, with a pension of ten thousand pounds to relieve his immediate necessities, for he was miserably poor, and harassed by creditors. Ross was to be made an earl, and have the command of the guards; and Annandale was to be a marquis, lord high commissioner, and governor of Edinburgh castle. But this measure, which the court of St. Germains fondly fancied was going to give them the ascendancy in the Scottish parliament, produced an exactly contrary effect. The old tory Jacobite members of the club were so much incensed at this favour shown to these renegade whigs, whilst they themselves were passed over, that the whole club went to pieces in an explosion of jealousy, and on the meeting of the nobles the new proselytes of Jacobinism, who were to have turned the scale in favour of the Stuart dynasty, were found to be utterly helpless and abandoned.

Disappointed of heading a powerful party against William's government, these miserable traitors immediately began to plot against each other. Ross and Montgomery were in haste which should reach London first to inform against his colleagues. Ross was the first to make confession to lord Melville, the lord high commissioner, and denounce Montgomery and Ferguson as the real traitors, who had seduced him, poor innocent! No sooner did Montgomery get wind of this than he hurried with equal speed to Melville with a similar confession. Melville gave them both passes to London, and they endeavoured to win their pardons from Mary by offers to denounce their accomplices, on condition that they should be not only forgiven, but employed. Annandale fled, but was arrested at Bath, and brought before the privy council, where he denounced Montgomery as the grand seducer and traitor, and showed himself equally ready to betray others. Amongst these was Payne, the agent, through whom they had accomplished their treason, who fled to Scotland, but was flung into the castle of Edinburgh, and terribly tortured by the iron boot to force fresh disclosures from him, but in vain; he was not so base as these three noisy renegades, who for their own selfish purposes were ready to oppose any government, however good, or any man who had ventured to colleague with them.

This turbulent and factious party being thus broken up, and some of the clubbists going over to the new government voluntarily as the means of safety, and others being brought over by timely offers of place or money, the settlement of the affairs of Scotland became tolerably easy. The presbyterian religion was declared the established religion of Scotland. Contrary to the will of William, a toleration act for that kingdom had been rejected. The confession of faith of the Westminster assembly was adopted; the remaining presbyterian ministers who had been rejected at the restoration, now reduced from three hundred and fifty to sixty, were restored, and the episcopalian ministers were forcibly ejected in turn, and presbyterians installed. The old synodal polity was restored, and the sixty old restored ministers, and such as they should appoint, were ordered to visit all the different parishes and see that none but godly ministers, sound in the presbyterian faith, were occupying the manses and the pulpits. This, however, did not satisfy a section of the old Cameronian school. They complained that the parliament had betrayed the solemn league and covenant, and had sworn, and had caused others to swear, to a non-covenanting monarch, and they refused to bow the knee to this Baal. Thus a non-juring party sprung up also in Scotland, and has continued to exist in a small and rigid portion of the Scottish professors to the present time. In William's opinion, however, too much had been done in the way of conformity; and on his return from Ireland he j selected as lord high commissioner to Scotland lord Carmichael, a nobleman of liberal mind, and accompanied this appointment by a letter to the general assembly, declaring that he would never consent to any violent or persecuting measures, and that he expected the same from them. "We never," he nobly observed, "could be of the mind that violence was suited to the advancing of true religion; nor do we intend that our authority shall ever be a tool to the irregular passions of any party. Moderation is what religion enjoins, what neighbouring churches expect from you, and what we recommend to you." And the determination of the monarch put a strong and beneficial restraint on the spirit of the religious bigots of the north.

William had returned from Ireland with a great accession of power and éclat. He had shown that the imbecile and bigoted James could not stand for a moment before him; he had reduced Ireland to such general subjection that the remaining insurgents in the south could not long hold out. To hasten this result, and to cut off the access of fresh reinforcements from France, he now sent out an expedition which had been some time preparing under Marlborough, to reduce Cork and Kinsale, and garrison them for himself. That strange but able man Marlborough, though he was at this very moment in full correspondence with the court of St. Germains, so as to meet all chances, and even the now feeble one of James ever regaining his throne, though he was disliked and suspected by William and Mary, yet had himself proposed this expedition, anxious to grasp some of the glory of reconquering Ireland, and perhaps not inattentive to the equally attractive prospect of winning booty. Marlborough was already lying at Portsmouth with his squadron when William reached London; and sailing thence on the 18th, he landed at Cork on the 21st of September, with five thousand men. The duke of Wurtemberg there joined him with his four thousand Danes, together making a strong force, but which was in danger of becoming paralysed by the German duke insisting on taking the chief command on account of his superior rank. Marlborough was not a man willingly to resign any position likely to do him honour; but he consented to share the command, taking it on alternate days. With him he had also the duke of Grafton, one of Charles II.'s illegitimate sons, who had fallen under suspicion of leaning to his uncle James, but, to prove his loyalty to William, came out as a volunteer. Cork was vigorously attacked, and in forty-eight hours it capitulated. The garrison, between four and five thousand men, surrendered as prisoners, and Marlborough promised to use his endeavours to obtain the favour of William for both them and the citizens. He forbade his troops to plunder, but was obliged to use force to repel the hordes of wild people who rushed in and began ransacking the catholics. The duke of Grafton fell in the attack.

Without losing a day, Marlborough sent forward his cavalry to Kinsale to demand its surrender, and followed with his infantry. The Irish set fire to the town, and retired into two forts, the Old Fort and the New Fort. The English, however, managed to put out the fire, and, Marlborough arriving, invested the forts, and took the Old Fort by storm, killing nearly five hundred men, who refused all surrender. The garrison of the New Fort, after seeing Marlborough prepared to storm that too, yielded on condition that they might go to Limerick. They were twelve hundred strong. In this fort was found abundance of provisions, a thousand barrels of wheat, and eighty pipes of claret. Having executed this mission, and secured the two forts for the king, Marlborough re-embarked, and reached London again in little more than a month from the day that he sailed from Portsmouth. William, astonished at the rapidity of this success, declared that there was no officer living who had seen so little service, who was so qualified for a general as Marlborough. The English people went still further, and declared their countryman had achieved more in a single month than the king's Dutch favourites in two campaigns.

Soon after Marlborough's return, William had another proof of the estimation of his rising fortunes on the continent. Affairs there had not progressed during the summer. The battle of Fleurus had been lost, and the allies had lost the brave duke of Lorraine; but the imperious treatment of Louis XIY. had compelled Amadeus, duke of Savoy, to declare against him and for the allies; and at the end of October an envoy extraordinary from Amadeus arrived at Whitehall to congratulate William on his successful termination of his great enterprise, which insured the liberties of Europe, and had emboldened himself to declare for the allies.

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