« VorigeDoorgaan »
and soon arrived in the islands of Scilly. The parliament understanding this, invited him to return into England', and reside in
west; it will be but justice to say, that the valour of Sir Thomas Fairfax's army contributed as much as any thing thereunto. The observations of a writer, who was present during all the transactions in those parts, though delivered in a very plain style, are worthy of notice. “The hard task the army had in forcing up so great a body as 5000 of the enemies horse, into such a narrow neck of land, through a country so cragged, in such a season of the year, the ground all covered over with snow, the ways so slippery, and the weather so bitter cold, by a hard frost of that continuance, as had not been known for many years before, may well be compared with Hannibal's forcing his passage into Italy through the frozen Alps with fire and vinegar. · That five thousand horse and more should be forced to capitulate and yield themselves to an army coming short of that number in horse, is that which history can hardly parallel, and posterity will scarce believea.” Thus the association, which promised such mighty matters, we see, was a mere chimera; and the prince was so far from being able to gain any advantage over the parliament by it, that it only hastened the subjection of those who projected it! After the reduction of the west, the king's affairs declined apace; and, before the end of the following year, he was wholly deprived of towns, and armies, by the conqueror.
• The parliament invited the prince to return into England.] Though the prince had the nominal com
a Sprigge's England's Recovery, p. 229. fol. Lond. 1647.
some place agreeable to them. For it is not improbable that they wished well to
mand of the western army, the parliament had no disinclination towards him, or desire of his damage. They would gladly have had him with them; in hopes thereby to bring his father to terms, and settle the nation on a proper footing. For hitherto they were pretty well the masters of their own army, and the king himself was looked on with some degree of reverence by most kinds of men. The sending of the prince abroad, was an action displeasing to the people in general; to many of the prince's own servants, particularly to lord Hopton, “who professed his ignorance of it, and that they were traitors who had a hand in ita;” and more especially to the parliament, who, on the 30th of March, 1746, 0. S. agreed on the form of a letter to be sent to him, in these words :
SIR, The lords and commons assembled in the parliament of England, being informed that your highness is lately removed into the isle of Scilly, have commanded us,
in their names, to invite you to come forthwith into their quarters; and to reside in such place, and with such council and attendants about you, as the two houses shall think fit to appoint. This being all we have in charge, we take leave to rest Your highness's humble servants,
* Parliamentary History, vol. XIV. p. 293. 8vo. Iond. 1755.
the prince at that time, and would with pleasure have made use of his mediation
The prince, in answer, dated, “ At our court in the · isle of Scilly, April 15, 1646,” after acknowledging the receipt of the above letter, adds, “ We have'a great and earnest desire to be amongst you, if we might have any assurance that it might prove an expedient towards a blessed peace, and the composure of these miserable distractions; and therefore, when we were compelled to depart from Cornwall, we chose this poor island to reside in, where we hoped we might have securely attended God's pleasure, till we might have been made an instrument towards a happy peace; but the scarcity of provisions being such in this place, that we have not since our coming hither, which is now about six weeks, received one day's victual, though we left servants of our own in our dutchy of Cornwall to take care for our necessary supply, we are again compelled to remove to the island of Jersey, whither we hope God Almighty will direct us; which place we chose the rather, as well being part of the dominions of our royal father (which as yet it is evident to you we have no mind to quit) as being much nearer to you, and so fitter for correspondency; and therefore, that we may the better receive advice from you, with which we shall always comply as far as with our duty and piety we may,
to send to us a safe conduct for the lord Capel to come to you, and to receive from you such particular propositions for our welfare and subsistence as you think fit to make; and that he may then attend our royal father and return to us at Jersey; and thereupon we hope, by the blessing of God, you will receive such satisfaction as shall testify the great
for peace with the king, on terms consistent with their own safety and honour, and the welfare and liberties of the people. His highness, however, was not to be prevailed on: for, leaving Scilly, he went to Jersey, and from thence to France, as required and
- This was a very
desire we have, and shall always have, to follow the counsel and advice you shall give, which will be an unspeakable comfort to usa.".
artful letter, and tended to cover the design, long before fixed, of going into France, and to render the execution of it the more easy. Accordingly the prince, departing from Scilly, went to Jersey; where, after great disputes among his council, some of whom and particularly the chancellor of the exchequer, remained on the island, he embarked for France, and safely arrived at Paris. Indeed many of the prince's counsellors thought it very unsafe and impolitic to trust the heir to the British dominions in a foreign land, especially as it was well known he would be there under the government of his mother, whose counsels had been so fatal to herself, her husband, and the kingdom. But the truth was,--the king judged the prince's freedom necessary to his own preservation ;-that it was in danger from the power of the parliament in any part of his dominions; and the queen, who loved to give the law to her husband, peremptorily insisted on her son's residence with her: to which the king was no way averse, though he had more than once also mentioned Denmark as the place of refuge.
a Parliamentary History, vol. XIV. p. 379.
commanded by his father and mother, where he met with the treatment of princes dependent on others for subsistence?
? He met with the treatment of princes dependent on others for subsistence.] It had been suspected, and talked, that France was intended for the abode of the prince, some time before it was so in fact. Nor was it a secret in that kingdom, that such was the intention of their majesties. “ One of the prince's bed-chamber, who was newly returned from Paris, brought a letter from the earl of Norwich, then the king's ambassador there, to one of the council; in which taking notice of a report there of the prince of Wales's coming thither, he passionately declared against it as a certain ruin to the prince; of which the messenger, by his direction, gave many instances of moment." The advice, we see, had no effect, though the event shewed the wisdom of it. Lord Clarendon tells us, that "all the professions which had been made of respect and tenderness towards the prince of Wales when his person should once appear in France, were unworthily disappointed. The prince,” continues he,“ had been above two months with the queen his mother, before any notice was taken of his being in France, by the least message sent from the court to congratulate his arrival there; but that time was spent in debating the formalities of his reception; how the king should treat him? whether he should take place of Monsieur the king's brother ? and what kind of ceremonies should be observed between the prince of Wales and his uncle the duke of Orleans ? and many such other
* Hist, of the Rebellion, vol. IV. p. 685.