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General History of the Highlands
1645 - 1649 (Part 2)


While the negotiations for the delivery of the king were pending, Charles, who seems to have been fully aware of them, meditated the design of escaping from the Scots army, and putting himself at the head of such forces as the Marquis of Huntly could raise in the North In pursuance of this design, his majesty, about the middle of December, sent Robert Leslie, brother of General David Leslie, with letters and a private commission to Huntly, by which he was informed of his majesty’s intentions, and Huntly was, therefore, desired to levy what forces he could, and have them in readiness to take the field on his arrival in the north. On receipt of his majesty’s commands, Huntly began to raise forces, and having collected them at Banff, fortified the town, and there awaited the king’s arrival. But the king was prevented from putting his plan into execution by a premature discovery, and was thenceforth much more strictly guarded.

After the delivery of the king to the English, on the 28th of January, 1647, the Scots army returned to Scotland. It was thereupon remodelled and reduced, by order of the parliament, to 6,000 foot, and 1,200 horse; a force which was considered sufficient not only to keep the royalists in awe, but also to reduce the Marquis of Huntly and Sir Alexander Macdonald, who were still at the head of some men. The dispersion, therefore, of the forces under these two commanders became the immediate object of the parliament. An attempt had been made in the month of January, by a division of the covenanting army stationed in Aberdeenshire, under the command of Major Bickerton, to surprise the Marquis of Huntly at Banff, but it had been obliged to retire with loss; and Huntly continued to remain in his position till the month of April, when, on the approach of General David Leslie with a considerable force, he fled with a few friends to the mountains of Lochaber for shelter. Leslie thereupon reduced the castles belonging to the marquis. He first took that of Strathbogie and sent the commander thereof; the laird of Newton-Gordon, to Edinburgh; then the castle of Lesmore; and lastly, the Bog of Gicht, or Gordon castle, the commander of which, James Gordon of Letterfurie, and his brother, Thomas Gordon of Clastirim, and other gentlemen of the name of Gordon, were sent to Edinburgh as prisoners. Leslie next took the isle of Lochtanner, in Aboyne, which had been fortified by Huntly. Quarter was given to the men who garrisoned those different strengths, with the exception of the Irish and deserters, who were hanged immediately on their capture.

Having taken these different places, Leslie, in quest of the marquis, next marched into Badenoch, where he captured the castle of Ruthven. Thence he proceeded into Lochaber, and took the fortress of Inverlochy. Huntly disbanded his forces in Badenoch, reserving only a few as a body-guard for himself and his son; "showing them that he was resolved to live an outlaw till provident heaven should be pleased to change the king’s fortune, upon whose commandments his life and fortune should always depend." The covenanting general, thereupon, marched to the south with a part of his forces, leaving the remainder in the north, under the command of Middleton, and encamped in Strathallan, he himself taking up his head-quarters in Dunblane. Here he remained till the middle of May, when he was joined by the Marquis of Argyle, and ordered to advance into that nobleman’s country to drive out Sir Alexander Macdonald. Accordingly, he set out on the 17th of May, and arrived at Inverary on the 21st. Sir Alexander Macdonald was at this time in Kintyre, with a force of about 1,400 foot and two troops of horse, which would have been fully sufficient to check Leslie, but he seems not to have been aware of the advance of the latter, and had taken no precautions to guard the passes leading into the peninsula, which might have been successfully defended by a handful of men against a considerable force. Having secured these difficult passes, Leslie advanced into Kintyre, and after skirmishing the whole of the 25th of May with Macdonald, forced him to retire. After throwing 300 men into a fortress on the top of the hill of Dunaverty, and in which "there was not a drop of water but what fell from the clouds," Macdonald, on the following day, embarked his troops in boats provided for the occasion, and passed over into Islay.

Leslie, thereupon, laid siege to the castle of Dunaverty, which was well defended; but the assailants having carried a trench at the bottom of the hill which gave the garrison the command of water, and in the storming of which the besieged lost 40 men, the latter craved a parley, in consequence of which Sir James Turner, Leslie’s adjutant-general, was sent to confer with the garrison on the terms of surrender. Leslie would not grant "any other conditions than that they should yield on discretion or mercy. And it seemed strange to me," continues Sir James Turner, "to hear the lieutenant-general’s nice distinction, that they should yield themselves to the kingdom’s mercy, and not to his. At length they did so, and after they had come out of the castle, they were put to the sword, every mother’s son, except one young man, Macleod, whose life I begged to be sent to France, with 100 fellows which we had smoked out of a cave, as they do foxes, who were given to Captain Campbell, the chancellor’s brother." This atrocious act was perpetrated at the instigation of John Nave or Neaves, "a bloody preacher," but, according to Wodrow, an "excellent man," who would not be satisfied with less than the blood of the prisoners. As the account given by Sir James Turner, an eye-witness of this infamous transaction, is curious, no apology is necessary for inserting it. "Here it will be fit to make a stop, till this cruel action be canvassed. First, the lieutenant-general was two days irresolute what to do. The Marquis of Argyle was accused at his arraignment of this murder, and I was examined as a witness. I declared, which was true, that I never heard him advise the lieutenant-general to it. What he did in private I know not. Secondly, Argyle was but a colonel then, and he had no power to do it of himself Thirdly, though he had advised him to it, it was no capital crime; for counsel is no command. Fourthly, I have several times spoke to the lieutenant-general to save these men’s lives, and he always assented to it, and I know of himself he was unwilling to shed their blood. Fifthly, Mr. John Nave (who was appointed by the commission of the kirk to wait on him as his chaplain) never ceased to tempt him to that bloodshed, yea, and threatened him with the curses befell Saul for sparing the Amalekites, for with them his theology taught him to compare the Dunaverty men. And I verily believe that this prevailed most with David Leslie, who looked upon Nave as the representative of the kirk of Scotland." The fact of Sir James and David Leslie’s repugnance to shed the blood of those defenceless men is fully corroborated by Bishop Guthry, on the authority of many persons who were present, who says that while the butchery was going on, and while Leslie, Argyle, and Neaves were walking over the ancles in blood, Leslie turned out and thus addressed the latter: —" Now, Mr. John, have you not once got your fill of blood ?" The sufferers on this occasion were partly Trish, and partly belonging to the clan Dougal or Coull, to the castle of whose chief, in Lorne, Colonel Robert Montgomerie now laid siege, while Leslie himself, with a part of his forces, left Kintyre for Islay in pursuit of Macdonald.

On landing in Islay, Leslie found that Macdonald had fled to Ireland, and had left Colkittoch, his father, in the castle of Dunniveg, with a force of 200 men to defend the island against the superior power of Leslie. The result turned out as might have been anticipated. Although the garrison made a brave resistance, yet, being wholly without water, they found themselves unable to resist, and offered to capitulate on certain conditions. These were, that the officers should be entitled to go where they pleased, and that the privates should be sent to France. These conditions were agreed to, and were punctually fulfilled. Old Colkittoch had, however, the misfortune not to be included in this capitulation, for, before the castle had surrendered, "the old man, Colkittoch," says Sir James Turner, "coming foolishly out of the house, where he was governor, on some parole or other, to speak with his old friend, the captain of Dunstaffnage castle, was surprised, and made prisoner, not without some stain to the lieutenant-general’s honour. He was afterwards hanged by a jury of Argyle’s sheriff-depute, one George Campbell, from whose sentence few are said to have escaped that kind of death."

Leaving Islay, Leslie "boated over to Jura. a horrible isle," says Sir James Turner, "and a habitation fit for deer and wild beasts; and so from isle to isle," continues he, "till he came to Mull, which is one of the best of the Hebrides. Here Maclaine saved his lands, with the loss of his reputation, if he ever had any. He gave up his strong castles to Leslie, gave his eldest son for hostage of his fidelity, and, which was unchristian baseness in the lowest degree, he delivered up fourteen prettie Irishmen, who had been all along faithful to him, to the lieutenant-general, who immediately caused hang them all. It was not well done to demand them from Maclaine, but inexcusablie ill done in him to betray them. Here I cannot forget one Donald Campbell, fleshed in blood from his very infancie, who with all imaginable violence pressed that the whole clan Maclaine should he put to the edge of the sword; nor could he be commanded to forbear his bloody suit by the lieutenant-general and two major-generals; and with some difficulty was he commanded silence by his chief, the Marquis of Argyle. For my part, I said nothing, for indeed I did not care though he had prevailed in his suit, the delivery of the Irish had so irritated me against that whole clan and name."

While Leslie was thus subduing the Hebrides, Middleton was occupied in pursuing the Marquis of Huntly through Glenmoriston, Badenoch, and other places. Huntly was at length captured by Lieutenant-Colonel Menzies, in Strathdon, in December, 1647. Having received intelligence of the place of the marquis’s retreat, Menzies came to Dalnabo with a select body of horse, consisting of three troops, about midnight, and immediately entered the house just as Huntly was going to bed. The marquis was attended by only ten gentlemen and servants, as a sort of body-guard, who notwithstanding the great disparity of numbers, made a brave attempt to protect the marquis, in which six of them were killed and the rest mortally wounded, among whom was John Grant, the landlord. On hearing that the marquis had been taken prisoner, the whole of his vassals in the neighbourhood, to the number of between 400 and 500, with Grant of Carron at their head, flew to arms to rescue him. Lieutenant-Colonel Menzies thereupon carried the marquis to the castle of Blairfindie, in Glenlivet, about four miles from Dalnabo, where the latter received a notice from Grant and his party by the wife of Gordon of Munrnore, that they had solemnly sworn either to rescue him or die to a man, and they requested him to give them such orders to carry their plan into effect as he might judge proper. But the marquis dissuaded his people from the intended attempt, and returned for answer that, now almost worn out with grief and fatigue, he could no longer live in hills and dens; and hoped that his enemies would not drive things to the worst; but, if such was the will ,of heaven, he could not outlive the sad fate he foresaw his royal master was likely to undergo; and be the event as it would, he doubted not but the just providence of God would restore the royal family, and his own along with it.

Second Marquis of HuntlyBesides the gentlemen and servants about Huntly’s person, there were some Irish who were quartered in the offices about Dalnabo. These were carried prisoners by Menzies to Strathbogie, where Middleton then was, who ordered them all to be shot. In consequence of an order from the committee of Estates at Edinburgh, Menzies carried the marquis under a strong guard of horse to Leith, where, after being kept two days, he was delivered up to the magistrates, and incarcerated in the jail of the city. The committee had previously debated the question whether the marquis should be immediately executed or reprieved till the meeting of parliament, but although the Argyle faction, notwithstanding the Marquis of Argyle withdrew before the vote was taken, and the committee of the church did every thing in their power to procure the immediate execution of the marquis, his life was spared till the meeting of the parliament by a majority of one vote. The Earl of Aboyne and Lord Lewis Gordon had the good fortune to escape to the continent. The first went to France, where he shortly thereafter died—the second took refuge in Holland. A reward of 1,000 sterling had been promised to any person who should apprehend Huntly, which sum was duly paid to Menzies by the Committee of Estates.

There appears to be no doubt that Argyle was highly gratified at the capture of Huntly. It is related by Spalding, that taking advantage of Huntly’s situation, Argyle bought up all the comprisings on his lands, and that he caused summon at the market-cross of Aberdeen by sound of trumpet, all Huntly’s wadsetters and creditors to appear at Edinburgh in the month of March following Huntly’s imprisonment, calling on them to produce their securities before the lords of session, with certification that if they did not appear, their securities were to be declared null and void. Some of Huntly’s creditors sold their claims to Argyle, and having thus bought up all the rights he could obtain upon Huntly’s estate at a small or nominal value, under the pretence that he was acting for the benefit of his nephew, Lord Gordon, he granted bonds for the amount which, according to Spalding, he never paid. In this way did Argyle possess himself of the marquis’s estates, which he continued to enjoy upwards of twelve years; viz., from 1648, till the restoration of Charles II. in 1660.

When the king, who was then a prisoner in Carisbrook castle, heard of the capture of Huntly, he wrote a letter to the Earl of Lanark, then in London, earnestly urging him to do all in his power in behalf of the Marquis. The earl, however, either from unwillingness or inability, appears to have paid no attention to this letter.

Shortly before the capture of the Marquis of Huntly, John Gordon of Innermarkie, Gordon, younger of Newton-Gordon, and the laird of Harthill, three of his chief friends, had been taken prisoners by Major-General Middleton, and sent to Edinburgh, where they were imprisoned. The two latter were condemned to die by the Committee of Estates, and although their friends procured a remission of the sentence from the king, they were, notwithstanding, both beheaded at the market-cross of Edinburgh.

While the hopes of the royalists, both in England and Scotland, seemed to be almost extinguished, a ray of light, about this time, darted through the dark gloom of the political horizon, which they fondly imagined was the harbinger of a new and, for them, a better order of things; but all their expectations were destined to end in bitter disappointment. The Duke of Hamilton, who had lately formed an association to release the king from his captivity, which went under the name of the "Engagement," prevailed upon the parliament, which met in March, 1648, to appoint a committee of danger, and to consent to a levy of 40,000 men. The bulk of the English population, with the exception of the army, had grown quite dissatisfied with the state of matters. Their eyes were now directed towards Scotland, and the news of the Scots’ levy made them indulge a hope that they would soon be enabled, by the aid of the Scots auxiliaries, to throw off the military yoke, and restore the king on conditions favourable to liberty. But Hamilton, being thwarted by Argyle and his party, had it not in his power to take advantage of the favourable disposition of the English people, and instead of raising 40,000 men, he found, to his great mortification, that, at the utmost, he could, after upwards of three months labour, only bring about 15,000 men into the field, and that not until several insurections in England, in favour of the king, had been suppressed.

It was the misfortune of Hamilton that with every disposition to serve the cause of his royal master, he had neither the capacity to conceive, nor the resolution to adopt bold and decisive measures equal to the emergency of the times. Like the king, he attempted to act the part of the cunning politician, but was wholly unfitted for the performance of such a character. Had he had the address to separate old Leslie and his nephew from the party of Argyle, by placing the direction of military affairs in their hands, he might have succeeded in raising a force sufficient to cope with the parliamentary army of England; but he had the weakness, after both these generals had joined the kirk in its remonstrance to the parliament that nothing should be done without the consent of the committee of the general assembly, to get himself appointed commander-in-chief of the army, a measure which could not fail to disgust these hardy veterans. He failed in an attempt to conciliate the Marquis of Argyle, who did all in his power to thwart Hamilton’s designs. Argyle went to Fife and induced the gentry of that county not only to oppose the levies, but to hold themselves in readiness to rise on the other side when called upon. He was not so successful in Stirlingshire, none of the gentlemen of that county concurring in his views except the laird of Buchanan, Sir William Bruce of Stenhouse, and a few persons of inferior note; but in Dumbartonshire he succeeded to the utmost of his wishes. After attending a meeting with the Lord Chancellor, (Loudon,) the Earls of Cassilis and Eglinton, and David Dick and other ministers, at Eglinton’s house, on the 29th of May, Argyle went home to raise his own people.

Several instances of opposition to the levy took place; but the most formidable one, and the only one worthy of notice, was in Ayrshire, where a body of armed insurgents, to the number of 800 horse and 1,200 foot according to one writer, and 500 horse and 2,000 foot according to another, headed by several ministers, assembled at Mauchline; but they were defeated and dispersed, on the 10th of June, by Middleton, who had been appointed lieutenant-general of horse, with the loss of 80 men.

There are no data by which to ascertain the number of men raised in the Highlands for Hamilton’s army; but it must necessarily have been very inconsiderable. Not a single man was of course raised in Argyleshire, and scarcely any in the adjoining part of Inverness-shire, to which the influence or power of Argyle extended. The Earl of Sutherland, who had been appointed a colonel of foot in his own division, declined the office, and Lord Reay was so disgusted with "Duke Hamilton’s failure," that he took shipping at Thurso in the month of July, and went to Norway, where he was appointed governor of Bergen, and received the colonelcy of a regiment from the King of Denmark, whom he had formerly served. The only individual who could have benefitted the royal cause in the north was the Marquis of Huntly, but by a strange fatality the Duke of Hamilton, who could have easily procured an order from the parliament for his liberation from prison, allowed him to continue there, and merely contented himself with obtaining a warrant for changing the marquis’s place of confinement from the jail to the castle of Edinburgh.

In consequence of the many difficulties which occurred in collecting his troops, and providing the necessary materiel for the use of the army, the duke was not able to begin his march till the 8th of July, on which day he put his army in motion towards the borders. His force, which amounted to about 10,000 foot and 4,000 horse, was composed of raw and undisciplined levies, and he had not a single field-piece. He entered England by the western border, where he was met by Sir Marmaduke Langdale and a body of 4,000 brave cavaliers, all devotedly attached to the king. At this time Lambert, the parliamentary general, had invested Carlisle, and Hamilton was induced by the English royalists, contrary to his own views, to march upon Carlisle, and force Lambert to raise the siege. That general, who had received orders from Cromwell not to engage the Scots till he should join him, accordingly retired, and Carlisle was delivered up next day to Hamilton by the English royalists, who also put him in possession of Berwick.

It is unnecessary to enter into details concerning this mismanaged and unfortunate expedition, the result of which is well known to every reader of English history. Sir Marmaduke Langdale was defeated by Cromwell at Preston on the 17th of August, and on entering the town after the defeat, was mortified to find that his Scotch allies had abandoned it. Langdale having now no alternative but flight, disbanded his infantry, and along with his cavalry and Hamilton, who, refusing to follow the example of his army, had remained in the town, swam across the Ribble.

The Scotch army retired during the night towards Wigan, where it was joined by the duke next morning, but so reduced in spirits and weakened by desertion as to be quite unable to make any resistance to the victorious troops of Cromwell, who pressed hard upon them. The foot, under the command of Baillie, continued to retreat during the day, but were overtaken at Warrington, and, being unable either to proceed or to resist, surrendered. The number which capitulated amounted to about 3,000. Upwards of 6,000 had previously been captured by the country people, and the few who had the good fortune to escape joined Munro and returned to Scotland. These prisoners were sold as slaves, and sent to the plantations.

The duke, abandoning Baillie to his fate, carried off the whole cavalry; but he had not proceeded far when his rear was attacked by the parliamentary army. Middleton made a gallant defence, and was taken prisoner; but the duke escaped, and fled to Uttoxeter, followed by his horse, where he surrendered himself to General Lambert and Lord Grey of Groby, who sent him prisoner to Windsor. The Earl of Callander, having effected his escape, went over to Holland, disgusted at the conduct of the duke.

As soon as the news of the defeat of Hamilton reached Scotland, the Covenanters of the west began to bestir themselves, and a party of them, under the command of Robert Montgomery, son of the Earl of Eglinton, attacked a troop of Lanark’s horse, quartered in Ayr- I shire, killed some and routed the rest. The Committee of Estates, apprehensive that the spirit of insurrection would speedily spread, immediately ordered out all the fencible men in the kingdom to put down the rising in the west. A difference, however, arose in the committee in the choice of a commander. -The Earl of Lanark and the Earl Marischal were proposed by their respective friends. Lanark’s chief opponent was the Earl of Roxburgh, who, (says Wishart,) "in a grave and modest speech, earnestly entreated him, for the sake of their dear sovereign and their distressed country, not to insist in demanding that dignity, which was extremely unseasonable and ill-judged at that time" Roxburgh’s remonstrance had no effect upon Lanark, who, on a vote being taken, was found to have the majority, and so anxious was he to obtain the command of the army that he actually voted for himself. He had even the indiscretion to declare, that he would not permit any other person to command in his brother’s absence. This rash and imprudent behaviour on the part of Lanark so exasperated Roxburgh and his friends, who justly dreaded the utter ruin of the king’s affairs, that they henceforth withdrew altogether from public affairs.

As soon as Lanark had been appointed to the command of the new levy, he set about raising it with great expedition. For this purpose he sent circulars, plausibly written, to every part of Scotland, calling upon all classes to join him without delay. These circulars had the desired effect. The people beyond the Forth, and even the men of Fife, showed a disposition to obey the call. The Earl of Sea-forth raised 4,000 men in the Western Islands and in Ross-shire, whom he brought south, and the Earl of Morton also brought into Lothian 1,200 men from the Orkneys. In short, with the exception of Argyle, there were few places in Scotland from which considerable bodies of men might not have been expected.

Before the defeat of Hamilton’s army, Lanark had raised three regiments of horse, which were now under his command. These, with the accessions of force which were daily arriving from different parts of the kingdom, were quite sufficient to have put down the insurrection in the west; but instead of marching thither, Lanark, to the surprise of every person, proceeded through East Lothian towards the eastern borders to meet Sir George Munro, who was retiring upon Berwick before the army of Cromwell. The people of the west being thus relieved from the apprehensions of a visit, assembled in great numbers, and taking advantage of Lanark’s absence, a body of them, to the number of no less than 6,000 men, headed by the chancellor, the Earl of Eglinton, and some ministers, advanced upon the capital, which they entered without opposition, the magistrates and ministers of the city welcoming their approach by going out to meet them. Bishop Wishart describes this body as "a confused rabble, composed of farmers, cow herds, shepherds, coblers, and such like mob, without arms, and without courage," and says, that when they arrived in Edinburgh, "they were provided with arms, which, as they were unaccustomed to, were rather a burden and incumbrance than of any use,"—that "they were mounted upon horses, or jades rather, which had been long used to the drudgery of labour, equipped with pack saddles and halters, in place of saddles and bridles." This tumultuary body, however, was soon put into proper order by the Earl of Leven, who was invested with the chief command, and by David Leslie, as his lieutenant-general, and presented a rather formidable appearance, for on Lanark’s return from the south, he did not venture to engage it, though his force amounted to 4,000 or 5,000 horse and as many foot, many of whom were veterans who had served in Ireland under Munro.

In thus declining to attack Leslie, Lanark acted contrary to the advice of Munro and his other officers. According to Dr. Wish art, Lanark’s advanced guard, on arriving at Musselburgh, fell in with some of Leslie’s outposts, who defended the bridge over the Esk, and Lanark’s advanced guard, though inferior in number, immediately put them in great disorder, and killed some of them without sustaining any loss. This success was reported to Lanark, and it was represented to him, that by following it up immediately, while the enemy continued in the state of alarm into which this affair of outposts had thrown them, he might, perhaps, obtain a bloodless victory, and secure possession of the city of Edinburgh and the town of Leith, with all the warlike stores, before sunset.

Leading his army along the base of the Pentland hills, Lanark proceeded to Linlithgow, which he entered on the evening of the 11th of September, where he almost surprised the Earl of Cassius, who, at the head of 800 horse from Carrick and Galloway, had taken up his quarters there for the night; but a notice having been sent to him of the Earl of Lanark’s approach by some friend, he fled precipitately to Queensferry, leaving the supper which was cooking for him and his men on the fire, which repast was greedily devoured by Lanark’s troops.

Ever since Lanark’s march to the borders to meet Munro, the Marquis of Argyle had been busily employed in raising men in his own territory to assist the insurgents, but it had been so much depopulated by the ravages of Montrose and Macdonald, that he could scarcely muster 300 men. With these and 400 more which he had collected in the Lennox and in the western part of Stirlingshire, he advanced to Stirling, entering it upon the 12th of September at eleven o’clock forenoon. After assigning to the troops their different posts in the town, and making arrangements with the magistrates for their support, Argyle went to dine with the Earl of Mar at his residence in the town. But while the dinner was serving up, Argyle, to his infinite alarm, heard that a part of Lanark’s forces had entered Stirling. This was the advanced guard, commanded by Sir George Munro, who, on hearing that Argyle was in possession of the town when only within two miles of it, had, unknown to Lanark, who was behind with the main body of the army, pushed forward and entered the town before Argyle’s men were aware of his approach Argyle, as formerly, having a great regard for his personal safety, immediately mounted his horse, galloped across Stirling bridge, and never looked behind till he reached North Queensferry, where he instantly crossed the Frith in a small boat and proceeded to Edinburgh. Nearly 200 of Argyle’s men were either killed or drowned, and the remainder were taken prisoners.

A negotiation for peace immediately ensued between the two parties, and on the 15th of September a treaty was entered into by which the Hamilton party agreed to refer all civil matters in dispute to a Parliament, to be held before the 10th of January, and all ecclesiastical affairs to an assembly of the kirk. Ii was also stipulated that both armies should be disbanded before the 29th of September, or at farthest on the 5th of October, that the adherents of the king should not be disturbed; and that all the prisoners taken in Scotland should be released. Munro perceiving that the king’s affairs would be irretrievably ruined by this compromise, objected to the treaty, and would have stood out had he been backed by the other officers; but very few seconding his views, he addressed the troops, who had accompanied him from Ireland, in St Ninian’s church, and offered to lead back to Ireland such as were inclined to serve under their old commander, Major-General Robert Munro; but having received intelligence at Glasgow that that general had been taken prisoner and sent to London, he disbanded the troops who had followed him thither, and retired to Holland.

According to the treaty the two armies were disbanded on the appointed day, and the "Whigamores," as the insurgents from the west were called, immediately returned home to cut down their corn, which was ready for the sickle. Argyle’s men, who had been taken prisoners at Stirling, were set at liberty, and conducted home to their own country by one of Argyle’s officers.

The Marquis of Argyle, Loudon the chancellor, the Earls of Cassilis and Eglinton, and others, now met at Edinburgh, and formed themselves into a body under the title of the Committee of Estates, and having arranged matters for the better securing their own influence, they summoned a parliament to meet on the 4th of January. In the meantime, Oliver Cromwell, who, after the pursuit of Munro, had laid siege to Berwick, was waited upon by Argyle, Lord Elcho, and Sir Charles Erskine, to compliment him upon his success at Preston, and after making Ludovick Leslie deliver up Berwick to him, they invited him and Lambert to Edinburgh. Cromwell took up his residence in the House of Lady Home in the Canongate, where he received frequent visits from Argyle, Loudon, the Earl of Lothian, Lords Arbuthnot, Elcho, and Burleigh, and the most noted of the ministers. It is said, that during these conferences, Cromwell communicated to his visitors his intentions with respect to the king, and obtained their consent.

In the meantime the Independents were doing their utmost to induce the English parliament to bring the king to trial for high treason. They, having in the meantime been disappointed in their views by the presbyterians, prevailed upon Fairfax to order Hammond, the governor of the Isle of Wight, to attend him at Windsor, and to send Colonel Euro with orders to seize the king at Newport, where he was conferring with the commissioners, and imprison him again in Carisbrook castle; but Hammond having declined to allow Euro to interfere without an order from the parliament, Euro left the island without attempting to fulfil his instructions. Hammond, however, afterwards left the island with the commissioners, and committed Charles to the custody of one Major Rowe, a person who, only six months before, had been charged with a design on the life of the king, and who had escaped trial because only one witness had attested the fact before the grand jury.

The king seemed to be fully aware of the danger of his present situation, and on the morning of the 28th of November, when the commissioners left the island, he gave vent to his feelings in a strain of the most pathetic emotions, which drew tears from his attendants; "My lords," said he to the commissioners, "I believe we shall scarce ever see each other again, but God’s will be done! I have made my peace with him, and shall undergo without fear whatever he may suffer men to do to me. My lords, you cannot but know, that in my fall and ruin you see your own, and that also near you. I pray God send you better friends than I have found. I am fully informed of the carriage of those who plot against me and mine; but nothing affects me so much as the feeling I have of the sufferings of my subjects, and the mischief that hangs over my three kingdoms, drawn upon them by those who, upon pretences of good, violently pursue their own interests and ends." As soon as the commissioners and Hammond had quitted the island, Fairfax sent a troop of horse and a company of foot, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Cobbett, to seize the king, who received notice of the approach of this body and of its object next morning from a person in disguise; but although advised by the Duke of Richmond, the Earl of Lindsay, and Colonel Coke to make his escape, which he could easily have accomplished, he declined to do so, because he considered himself bound in honour to remain twenty days after the treaty. The consequence was, that Charles was taken prisoner by Cobbett, and carried to Hurst castle.

The rest of this painful tragedy is well known. After the purjfied house of commons had passed a vote declaring that it was high treason in the king of England, for the time being, to levy war against the parliament and kingdom of England, his majesty was brought to trial before a tribunal erected pro re nata by the house called the high court of justice, which adjudged him "as a tyrant, traitor, murderer, and public enemy to the good people of the nation, to be put to death by the severing of his head from his body," a sentence which was carried into execution, in front of Whitehall, on the 30th of January 1649. The unfortunate monarch conducted himself throughout the whole of these melancholy proceedings with becoming dignity, and braved the terrors of death with fortitude and resignation.

The Duke of Hamilton, who, by his incapacity, had ruined the king’s affairs when on the point of being retrieved, was not destined long to survive his royal master. In violation of the articles of his capitulation, he was brought to trial, and although he pleaded that he acted under the orders of the Scottish parliament, and was not amenable to an English tribunal, he was, under the pretence that he was Earl of Cambridge in England, sentenced to be beheaded. He suffered on the 9th of March.

The Marquis of Huntly had languished in prison since December 1647, and during the life of the king the Scottish parliament had not ventured to bring him to the block; but both the king and Hamilton, his favourite, being now put out of the way, they felt themselves no longer under restraint, and accordingly the parliament, on the 16th of March, ordained the marquis to be beheaded, at the market-cross of Edinburgh, on the 22d of that month. As he lay under sentence of ecclesiastical excommunication, one of the "bloody ministers," says the author of the History of the family of Gordon, "asked him, when brought upon the scaffold, if he desired to be absolved from the sentence;" to which the marquis replied, "that as he was not accustomed to give ear to false prophets, he did not wish to be troubled by him." And thereupon turning "towards the people, he told them that he was going to die for having employed some years of his life in the service of the king his master; that he was sorry he was not the first of his majesty’s subjects who had suffered for his cause, so glorious in itself that it sweetened to him all the bitterness of death." He then declared that he had charity to forgive those who had voted for his death, although he could not admit that he had done any thing contrary to the laws. After throwing off his doublet, he offered up a prayer, and then embracing some friends around him, he submitted his neck, without any symptoms of emotion, to the fatal instrument.


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