« PreviousContinue »
A VIEW OF THE COURT OF ST. GERMAIN,
FROM THE YEAR 1690 TO 95.
With an Account of the Entertainment Protestants meet with there.
Directed to the Malecontent Protestants of England.
London : printed for R. Baldwin, near Oxford-Arms-Inn, in Warwick-Lane,
1696. Quarto, containing thirty Pages.
THE PREFACE. THE ages to come will hardly believe, that, in England, there
should be found one single Protestant Jacobite, at this time of day: and the reformed nations abroad are at a loss what to make of that unaccountable species of men.
When most of the Roman Catholick princes have heartily embraced the late revolution in Britain, as the last effort for the common liberty of Europe, and have entered into the strictest alliance, with those of an opposite religion, to support it: it looks like a dream, to meet with any English Protestant in an interest contradictory to, not only the publick liberty of their country, but to the religion they profess.
It was indeed no great wonder, that the late king made all the steps possible towards the change of the religion, in his opinion, heretical; at a time, when he was upon the throne, and backed with all the promising supports of regal power, yet even then be thought himself obliged to keep some measures with his Protestant subjects, and, instead of a total rupture with them, endeavoured to lull them a sleep, under the specious pretence of liberty of conscience, till all his engines were ready to give the fatal blow.
But now, that he has fallen under circumstances, which one would think should much more than ever oblige him to assume a new, at least keep on the old mask: upon the quite contrary, since he went to France, he bas taken all pains imaginable to let the world know his inveterate aversion to all those of the reformed religion, though never so much his friends“; and, at the same time, has given us the most authentick demonstration of his firm design, never to allow any there of his favour, nor owe his restoration to any but Roman Catholicks. All which will appear by the following account of his carriage towards those few Protestants, that have followed his sinking fortunes, the length of St. Germains.
THERE being already so many volumes to shew the lawfulness of the late revolution, it is superfluous, it seems, to make any further attempt on the same subject; for, if you shut your eyes against
the strong arguments and convincing proofs made use of in those books, who can flatter himself to cure you of that wilful blindness ? However, I hope, this plain account, I make bold to direct to you, will not prove altogether useless ; for, when I consider your party, I think I may reasonably believe that it is made up of some good and honest men, though misguided by a tender conscience, and of some self-interested persons, who, being not able to obtain the preferments they expected, have turned Jacobites, in hopes to advance their fortune by a second revolution. But, give me leave to tell you further, that, after an impartial enquiry into the life and conversation of your party, I have all the reason in the world to conclude, that the number of the conscientious Jacobites, I have spoken of, must be very little, and that the greatest number amongst you are hurried away by the imaginary hopes I have binted at; therefore, if I can convince you, that you have no reason to flatter yourselves, to obtain any reward or preferments under king James, no, not when he should be restored by your means, ! hope some of you will open your eyes to your own interest, and forsake a prince, from whom you cannot expect any grateful return.
I will not recall to your minds his behaviour, while he was on the throne of England; I suppose no body has forgot, that no Protestants were welcome to him, but such as would promise to betray the liberties of their country to popery, and arbitrary power; neither shall I mention how severely he used the Protestants of Ireland in 1689; you would be apt to say, that, being in Popish hands, he could not avoid it; but I intend only to give you a short view of his court at St. Germain, and an account of the entertainment the Protestants of your party have met there : for, if a prince in bis circumstances, whose interest it ought to be to court Protestants, cannot conceal, for a time, the hatred he has for them, what treatment can you expect from him, when he is re-inthroned, and supported by the power of France?
King James, retiring into France after his defeat at the Boyne, left the administration of his affairs in Ireland to my lord Tyre connel; and in Scotland, to the colonels Buchan and Cannon; and, the French king having appointed St. Germain in Laye, for his reception, he there began to form a court in the year 1990, and his houshold was constituted as follows:
The duke of Powis, lord chamberlain.
The earls of Dumbarton and Abercome, lords of the bed-chamber.
Captains Macdonald, Beadle, Stafford, and Trevanian, grooms of the bed-chamber.
The two Sheldons, Esquires.
Sir John Sparrow, board of green cloth ; and Mr. Strickland, vice chamberlain to the queen.
The Officers of State were as follow : Mr. Brown (brother to my lord Montague Brown, and sometime commissioner of the customs) secretary of state for England.
Father Innes, president of the Scots college at Paris, Secretary of State for Scotland.
Sir Richard Neagle, secretary of state for Ireland.
To these were added, as a juncto, Mr. Carril, the queen's secretary; and Mr. Stafford, formerly envoy at the court of Spain, whom the king called together as a privy-council, to advise with upon all emergencies: the earl of Melford, prime minister of state, being sent to Rome sometime before, partly to negotiate king James's affairs at the Pope's court, and partly to remove him from the jealousies of the Irish, who, at that time, wholly monopolised this prince's ear and favour.
Thus things continued for a while, but, Ireland being reduced some time after, and the Scottish Highlanders submitting, the court of St. Germain was every day thronged with gentlemen from those kingdoms, as well as from England; and then a Protestant party began to distinguish themselves, and endeavour to make an appearance at that court.
The first considerable step they made, was to desire a chapel from king James, for the exercise of their worship according to the church of England, and proposed Dr. Granvile, brother to the earl of Bath, formerly dean of Durham, as a fit person to be their chapJain; they urged the great encouragement such a toleration would give to his adherents in England, and what satisfaction it would be to such Protestants as followed him; but though common policy, and his circumstances, made every body believe that this request would be easily granted, yet it was positively denied, and Dr. Granvile obliged not only to retire from court, but also from the town of St. Germain, to avoid the daily insults of the priests, and the dreaded consequences of the jealousies with which they possessed king James's court against him. Dr. Gordon, a bishop of Scotland, the only Protestant divine that then was there, met with a worse treatment still than Dr. Granvile, and was reduced to the necessity of abjuring his religion for want of bread, with which he could not be supplied, but upon those bard terms. However, king James, being sensible that such an usage would prejudice his interest in Britain, resolved to prevent the coming of any Protestant divine there, and therefore sent Mr. Macqueen in company of Major Scot into England, who brought letters from him to his friends, in which he required them to trouble him no more with divines, as messengers.
This bad success did not altogether discourage the Protestant party; they made a second effort upon the constitution of the
before-mentioned council of five, to have one of the number, at least, a Protestant: they insisted upon the advantages which might thence redound to his majesty's affairs in Britain, and for that end did earuestly recommend my lord chief justice Herbert, as a person both well qualified to give advice in English affairs, and of an unspotted reputation in his country. Those reasons were so convincing, that, the Irish fearing they would obtain their demand, an information was trumped up against the chief justice by Mr. coinptroller Skelton, and sir William Sharp, of having said, that king James's violent temper would ruin himself and all that fol. lowed him. My lord owned the words, but made so ingenuous an explanation of his meaning, wbich was in relation to the act of settlement in Ireland, that king James was satisfied. The Irish, having missed their aim, formed a short time after another plot against him, and charged him with corresponding with the English, and mis-representing the transactions of that court; whereupon he and a worthy lady, with whom he boarded, were confined, and Broomfield, the quaker, committed to the Bastile. And thus was this lord chief justice, for no other reason but his adhering to a Protestant interest, excluded from all share of management of affairs in king James's court, though his capacity and sufferings were sufficient, in the eyes of all reasonable men, to have intitled him to a share in that prince's favour and secret. If my lord chief justice Herbert was so used, I would fain know upon what ground any of our Jacobites should flatter himself with a better treatment.
Mr. Cockburn of Lanton, in the kingdom of Scotland, was the next Protestant that had merit and favour enough to pretend to a share in the management of king James's affairs. This gentleman, having followed him in Ireland, was taken at sea, after the battle of the Boyne, and brought prisoner to London ; but, a proposal being made of exchanging him for captain St. Lo, then prisoner in France, he was enlarged; and, during his abode here, did so ingratiate himself with the most considerable of the disaffected Protestants, that he was recommended by them to king James, as a person fit to serve him in the affairs of greatest trust.
He was no sooner arrived at St. Germain, than he told that prince, his friends in England thought that my lord Melford, who was then returned from Rome, was a great grievance, and ought to be laid aside; and that the only way for the king to procure the good opinion of his subjects in Britain, and reconcile them to him, was to put the management of his affairs in Protestant hands. This prudent advice of the disaffected Protestants of England, or of Mr. Cockburn, had an effect quite contrary to what they expected; king James took it so ill, that, in a few days after, an order was procured from the French court, commanding him to depart France under severe. penalties, being too much a friend to the English interest: Mr. Cockburn was forced to obey, and has lived as an exile in Holland and Hamburgh ever since. But the submission of the Scotch Highlanders affords us still
more convincing proofs of king James's hatred for the Protestant religion, and of his ingratitude towards such who had made a sacrifice of all that can be dear to men, to support his sinking fortune in Scotland. The lords Dumferling, Dundee, Dunkel, colonels Cannon, Graham, and several other Protestants, having forfeited their estates and families, retired into France, as also did the colonels Buchan, Maxwell, Wauchop, and some other Popish gentlemen; but, when they came to St. Germain, the Papists were immediately preferred to considerable posts, both in the French and Irish armies, while the Protestants, though their merit was greater, were exposed to all imaginable hardship, and contempts: my lord Dumferling and col. Cannon are too illustrious examples of king James's ingratitude, to be here passed by. The earl, through a mistaken notion of loyalty and honour, had sacrificed his honourable family, and a plentiful estate, to follow that prince in his misfortune; and, it must be granted, that such a proof of loyalty deserved some kind returns; yet, happening to quarrel at St. Germain with one capt. Brown, a Papist, about a trifle, the captain was encouraged and countenanced in his quarrel by the court, and made commander of a company of Scots, reformed officers in Catalonia, whilst this noble lord was despised, for his adhering to his religion: this ill treatment broke his heart, and he sunk under the weight of his hard fate, at St. Germain. His misfortune lasted longer than his life, for, notwithstanding his merits, sufferings, and the interest made by his friends, he could not obtain a Christian burial ; 'and his corpse was hid in a chamber, till an opportunity was found of digging a hole in the fields, in the night, where they thrust him in.
Nor was col. Cannon better used than my lord Dumferling : this gentleman commanded as general over king James's army in Scotland, and served him with so much faithfulness, that every body thought he would be preferred to a great command, upon his arrival at St. Germain; but he, positively refusing to abandon the little religion he had, wbich was Protestant, was reduced to the scandalous allowance of half-a-crown a day, whilst Papists, who had served under him, were advanced to good posts. This unhappy gentleman, finding himself thus neglected, fell sick through grief, and want, and died; having taken the sacrament from the hands of Dr. Granvile, three days before his death; but the priest, who was always buzzing about him, took the opportunity of his being speechless, to thrust a wafer down his throat, and gave out, that he was dead a Papist, and, by this means, got him the favour of burial, which his corpse had else been excluded from, as well as my lord Dumferling's. If the sufferings, and great merits of these two gentlemen, have not been able to mollify king James's heart, and to obtain from him any generous returns, I would fain know upon what foundation are grounded the great hopes of our grumblers, seeing the most part of them have not had courage enough to follow that prince, and have, for aught we see, no other qualifications to recommend them, but their bare Jacobitism.