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Approved of at Court.
Chapter not in their power to fulfil, such as the preventing of
conventicles and the like, under such penalties as the privy council might inflict, and a disobedience to them was followed by outlawry and confiscation.
The conduct of the Duke of Lauderdale, who was the chief actor in these scenes of violence and iniquity, was completely approved and justified at Court; but, in consequence, probably, of the state of politicks in England, at a time when the Whigs were strongest in the House of Commons, some of these grievances were in part redressed, and the Highlanders, and writs of Lawburrows were recalled. But the country was still treated like a conquered country. The Highlanders were replaced by an army of five thousand regulars, and garrisons were placed in private houses. The persecution of conventicles continued ; and ample indemnity was granted for
every species of violence that might be exercised Assassination by those employed to suppress them. In this state bishop Sharp. of things, the assassination and murder of Sharp,
Archbishop of St. Andrews, by a troop of fanaticks, who had been driven to madness by the oppression of Carmichael, one of that prelate's instruments, while it gave an additional spur to the vindictive temper of the government, was considered by it as a justification for every mode and degree of cruelty and
persecution. The outrage committed by a few indi- CHAPTER viduals, was imputed to the whole fanatick sect, as the government termed them, or, in other words, to a description of people which composed a great majority of the population in the low-lands of Scotland; and those who attended field or armed conventicles, were ordered to be indiscriminately massacred.
By such means an insurrection was at last pro- Insurrection duced, which, from the weakness, or, as some suppose, Bridge. from the wicked policy of an administration eager for confiscations, and desirous of such a state of the country as might, in some measure, justify their course of government, *[made such a progress that the insurgents] became masters of Glasgow, and the country adjacent. To quell these insurgents, who, undisciplined as they were, had defeated Graham, afterwards Viscount Dundee, the Duke of Monmouth was sent with an army from England; but, lest the generous mildness of his nature should prevail, he had sealed orders, which he was not to open till in sight of the rebels, enjoining him not to treat with them, but to fall upon them, without any previous negotiation. In pursuance of these orders, the insurgents were attacked at Bothwell Bridge, where,
* The words between the brackets have been inserted to complete the sense, there having been evidently an omission in the manuscript
Cuapter though they were entirely routed and dispersed, yet,
because those who surrendered at discretion were not put to death, and the army, by the strict enforcing of discipline, were prevented from plunder and other outrages, it was represented by James, and in some degree even by the King, that Monmouth had acted as if he had meant rather to put himself at the head of the fanaticks than to repel them, and were inclined rather to court their friendship than to punish their rebellion. All complaints against Lauderdale were dismissed ; his power confirmed; and an act of indemnity, which had been procured at Monmouth's intercession, was so clogged with exceptions, as to be of little use to any but to the agents of tyranny. Several persons, who were neither directly, nor indirectly concerned in the murder of the Archbishop, were executed as an expiation for that offence ;* but many more were obliged to compound for their lives, by submitting to the most rapacious extortion, which at this particular period, seems to have been the engine of oppression most in fashion, and which was extended, not only to those who had been in any way concerned in the insurrection, but to those who had neglected to attend the standard of the King, when displayed against what was styled, in
Laing, IV. 164. Woodrow, II. 87. 90.
the usual insulting language of tyrants, a most unna- CHAPTER tural rebellion.
The quiet produced by such means, was, as might More severe be expected, of no long duration. Enthusiasm was increased by persecution, and the fanatick preachers found no difficulty in persuading their flocks, to throw off all allegiance to a government which afforded them no protection. The King was declared to be an apostate from the Covenant, a tyrant, and an usurper; and Cargill, one of the most enthusiastick among the preachers, pronounced a formal sentence of excommunication against him, his brother the Duke of York, and others, their ministers and abettors. This outrage upon majesty, together with an insurrection, contemptible in point of numbers and strength, in which Cameron, another field-preacher, had been killed, furnished a pretence which was by no means neglected, for new cruelties and executions; but neither death nor torture were sufficient to subdue the minds of Cargill, and his intrepid followers. They all gloried in their sufferings; nor could the meanest of them be brought to purchase their lives by a retractation of their principles, or even by any expression that might be construed into an approbation of their persecutors. The effect of this heroick constancy upon the minds of their
CHAPTER oppressors, was to persuade them not to lessen the
numbers of executions, but to render them more private ;* whereby they exposed the true character of their government, which was not severity, but violence, not justice, but vengeance : for, example being the only legitimate end of punishment, where that is likely to encourage, rather than to deter, (as the government in these instances seems to have apprehended,) and consequently to prove more pernicious than salutary, every punishment inflicted by the magistrate is cruelty; every execution, murder. The rage of punishment did not stop even here; but questions were put to persons, and in many instances to persons under torture, who had not been proved to have been in any of the insurrections, whether they considered the Archbishop's assassination as murder, the rising at Bothwell Bridge rebellion, and Charles a lawful King. The refusal to answer these questions, or the answering of them in an unsatisfactory manner, was deemed a proof of guilt, and immediate execution ensued.
These last proceedings had taken place while James himself had the government in his hands, and under his immediate directions. Not long after, and when the Exclusionists in England were supposed
Woodrow, II. 189.
Act of Succession and Test.