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our highness will soon repent it." The protector answered that he oped his lordship would do what he could to prevent the mischief; to this Broghill simply answered, " that as a general officer, he had a right to be present, and would see what they were doing." He at the same time turned to lord Howard and Falconbridge, who were present, and expressed his expectation of their assistance, which "they faithfully promised." On the meeting of the military council, these lords, with lord Broghill, repaired to Wallingford house, where they found live hundred officers assembled. After a prayer from Dr Owen, Desborough made a long speech, in which, among other topics of the same nature, he expressed his apprehensions of the departure of their prosperity, from the circumstance that many "ions of BeliaV had latterly been creeping in among them. To remedy this, he proposed "to purge the army:" as the most expedient method by which this might be effected, he advised a test oath, by which every one in the army should swear that "he did believe in his conscience, that the putting to death of the late king Charles Stewart was lawful and just." This proposal was received with a loud tumult of approbation; and the whole assembly seemed so eager to have it adopted, that lords Howard and Falconbridge, considering themselves a miserable minority to outface five hundred persons, got up and went to give the protector a sad account of this affair. But when the assembly became silent, lord Broghill rose and declared his dissent from the last speaker; he said, that "he was against the imposition of a test upon the army, as a grievance of which they had felt the effects, and against which they had repeatedly declared. That if they once began to put tests upon themselves, they would soon have them put upon them by others, and there would be an end to that liberty of conscience for which they had so often fought. To the particular test proposed, he objected, that it was unjust and unreasonable to require men to swear to the lawfulness of an action, the circumstances of which they were unacquainted with. If, however, they would persist in desiring a test to purge the army, he had as good a right to propose a test as any one, and would take the liberty to offer one, which he hoped would be more reasonable than that proposed by the noble lord who went before him. He then proposed, that any one should be turned out of the army, who would not swear to defend the established government under the protector and the parliament." Among other arguments for this, he told them, that "if that test should have the ill-fortune to be rejected in that council, he would move it the next day in the house of commons, where he was confident, it would meet with a better reception." This proposal was yet more warmly received than the former; and, while the assembly was yet in a state of noise and confusion, Broghill found his way to another place between two very influential persons, colonels Whalley and Gough, two "hot men," and persuaded them to take the same part, which each of them did. In the mean time, Fleetwood and Desborough, with some of their friends, retired to consult; and having returned, declared that they had not before considered all the disadvantages of tests, but they were now convinced so fully by the arguments of lord Broghill, that they proposed to have both the tests withdrawn. Lord Broghill consented, and the blow was parried for the
time. Lord Broghill then represented to the protector, whom he found in consternation, from the account of lords Howard and Falconbridge, that this council would infallibly do mischief if they should be suffered to hold their sittings. He advised their immediate dissolution. Richard Cromwell acceded, but desired to know how this was to be managed. Lord Broghill proposed to draw up a short speech for him, which he was to deliver next day after sitting among them for an hour. This being agreed to, Broghill prepared the speech, and at ten next morning, Richard Cromwell astonished the council by his unexpected appearance; and, having taken his seat in a chair of state, he sat for an hour listening to their debate. He then rose up, and addressed them as follows:—
"Gentlemen,—I thankfully accept of your services. I have considered your grievances; and think the properest method to redress what is amiss amongst you is to do it in the parliament now sitting, and where I will take care that you shall have justice done you. I therefore declare my commission for holding this assembly to be void; and that this general council is now dissolved; and I desire, that such of you as are not members of parliament, will repair forthwith to your respective commands."
This speech produced the intended effect of disconcerting the conspirators, and frustrating their immediate design. But they were at no loss to conjecture the source from which the blow proceeded, and their anger against lord Broghill was vehement. They immediately endeavoured to excite the irritation of that weathercock machine of democratic impulse, a republican house of commons. Some one of them the next day moved, that "an address should be presented to his highness the protector, to know who had advised him to dissolve the council of war, without the consent or knowledge of his parliament." On this, Budgell says, it is hard to credit such absurdities, that some of lord Broghill's friends advised him to retire. Lord Broghill sat still until his enemies had made their speeches, and then addressed the speaker to this effect:—" I am not against presenting this address; but humbly move, that another may be presented to the protector at the same time, to know who advised the calling of a general council of officers, without the consent or knowledge of the parliament; for surely that man is guilty, who durst advise his highness to call such a council, without either the knowledge or consent of his parliament."
Now the majority of those present, not belonging to the military council, were ready to take alarm at the overbearing demonstrations of a power, of which, the effect had been repeatedly felt by this very parliament. The speech of lord Broghill at once called up this general 6ense to his rescue; it was a well-timed appeal both to the fear and pride of the commons; it was warmly received and the faction of Fleetwood was again discomfited. But though the council of officers had been thus dissolved, they continued to hold private meetings and to concentrate the power which they held in their hands. It was evident that their designs were not to be defeated by votes and the forms of civil authority; lord Broghill and those who acted with him, apprized the protector of the danger of his position, and expressed their opinion that nothing could save him, but the same vigorous and direct recourse to strong measures which always characterized the policy and eusured the success of his father. They volunteered to act for him, and pledged themselves to the success of the course they recommended. But Richard Cromwell was mild, amiable and averse from all harsh and violent proceedings, he felt himself to be unequal to the dangers and difficulties, and to the cruel and arbitrary resources necessary in such contests, and he recoiled from the suggestions of his firm and spirited advisers. "He thanked them for their friendship, but he had neither done nor would do any person any harm, and rather than a drop of blood should be spilt on his account, he would lay down that greatness which was but a burthen to him."
From this his friends came to the conclusion that he could not be supported with any success, or to any useful end. They remitted in their efforts and cousulted their own interests. Lord Broghill repaired to Munster, of which at that time, he was president; on his way he had to encounter the ambushes and snares of Fleetwood and Desborough, who would willingly be freed from the risk of again having to encounter one so able and so honest. It was at this time that lord Broghill came to the resolution to exert himself for the restoration of the royal family. It had indeed become plain to every observant and considerate mind, that it was the last resource against the utter dissolution of all civil order in the clash of parties, of whom none looked beyond the object of private interest, pursued by means inconsistent with any settled state of things, or any respect to constitutional rights. With this impression lord Broghill retired to Ireland, to act as occasion might offer means: he was pursued by the suspicion of his enemies. Acting with an energy which the feeble Richard Cromwell was quite unequal to resist, his military tyrants now compelled him to dissolve the parliament, and took the reins of power into their own hands. He signed his abdication, they restored the long parliament, and the country was at their mercy. To Ireland, they sent their commissioners and gave them a special charge to have "a particular eye to lord Broghill, and if possible to take some means to confine him." In pursuance of this, these officials sent a summons to lord Broghill, to appear before them in the castle of Dublin. He consulted his friends, and was by them advised not to place himself in the power of his enemies. He however, determined to outface them, for the refusal would be equivalent to a direct defiance, which he did not yet consider himself able to maintain, as alone it could be maintained, by a demonstration of military resistance. He therefore took his own troop and repaired to Dublin; and on his arrival, leaving his men without the town he presented himself before the commissioners. They told him that the state had been induced to suspect that he had designs against their government, and had given them directions to confine him, unless he could give sufficient security for his peaceable conduct. Lord Broghill demanded what security they desired; they proposed that he should enter into an engagement under penalty of estate and life, that there should be no commotion in Munster; he asked for time to consider, it was refused; he then desired to be satisfied on one point, "if they intended to put the whole power of Munster into his hands, if such was their intention he was ready to enter into the engagement they required, if not he must appeal to the world on the cruelty and unreasonableness of expecting, that he would answer for people over whom he had no control." The commissioners were embarrassed and ordered him to withdraw, and had a long discussion as to the most expedient proceeding; one of them, who was the lord chancellor of Ireland, declared that "even the honest party in Ireland would think it hard to see a man clapped up in prison who had done such signal service to the protestants; but that on the other hand, he could never consent to an increase of lord Broghill's power, which the state was apprehensive might be one day employed against them. He for these reasons proposed, that they for the present should not take any steps but contrive to send lord Broghill in good humour back to his command, to continue there till they should be further instructed." The board agreed—lord Broghill was called in, received with compliments and smiles, and invited to dine with the commissioners, whom he understood very well and repaid in their own coin.
Returning to Munster he proceeded steadily in the prosecution of his design; first securing his own officers,he also made a friend and confederate of the governor of Limerick where there was a garrison of 2000 men, and having secured Munster, he opened a communication with Sir C. Coote, who engaged in the same undertaking with an ardour which demanded all the restraint which could be exercised, by his more cool and cautious ally. Their efforts were soon successful beyond expectation; the country had long been ripe for the desired change. Wearied with the continuation of a series of contests for power and gain which appeared interminable, as one party succeeded the other with the same objects, and as little regard for any consideration divine or human, but the fear, revenge and cupidity which were the common spirit of every side.
Lord Broghill sent lord Shannon to the king to invite him over to Ireland, assuring him of a force sufficient to protect him against his enemies. But Charles had at the same time reason to hope for a similar invitation from England.
The activity of Coote had excited the notice of the commissioners, and finding that he could no longer proceed in secret, he urged lord Broghill to an open course, Broghill reluctantly consented, he had indeed no choice. His confederate was acting with a vigour which quickly produced extraordinary changes: having seized Galway, Coote surprised Athlone, marched to Dublin and impeached Ludlow. While the spirited example diffusing a general excitement, the royalists seized Yougbal, Clonmel, Carlow, Limerick and Drogheda.
The magistracy of Dublin now acted their part and called a convention, which met and held its deliberations in defiance of an order from the English council of state. The members of this assembly declared their abhorrence of the proceedings of the high court of justice, and of the late king's murder. They secured the payment of the army and declared for a "free parliament;" a phrase then universally understood to imply the restoration of the royal family, for such was known to be the universal sense. The English parliament were this time compelled to confine their attention to the desperate effort of selfpreservation; after a few last efforts they recalled their agents; and the king was soon proclaimed in Ireland.
Lord Broghill met with a cold reception from the king. He suspected that he had been injured by Coote, and to counteract the impression which he thought to have been made upon the king by the misrepresentations of a rival, he sent his brother lord Shannon with a letter of Coote's, containing an acknowledgment, that it was at his instance that he first entered on the design of declaring for the king and parliament. This lord Shannon contrived to show to his majesty, and it had the effect desired. Lord Broghill was soon after created earl of Orrery, made one of the lords-justices in Ireland and president of Munster.
We have now to conclude with some notice of the literary productions, which would entitle this nobleman to a place in a different section of this work, if his far more eminent qualities as a soldier and a statesman, did not place him among the most eminent political characters of his own time. When the political state of the two kingdoms at last subsided in that repose so much and so long desired, the activity of the earl of Orrery's spirit no longer exercised in the field and council, found its occupation in the pursuits of literature; or as one of his biographers describes this change of employment, "finding that there was no longer any occasion for his sword, resolved to employ his wit and learning for the diversion and amusement of his royal master."* The first results of this new turn of the earl's loyalty were his plays, which we must admit owed their eminent success to the exceedingly depraved state of literature and literary taste in the time of Charles II. They were received with a degree of applause which might be appealed to as a test of merit, but which when justly appreciated only shows the absurdity of such a test; and their court favour was no less than their public success. Of this it is mentioned as a proof that in his play of Henry V., "Mr Harris who acted as king, was drest in the duke of York's coronation suit; Mr Betterton who played Owen Tudor, in king Charles's, and Liliston who represented the duke of Burgundy, in the lord Oxford's.'^
He wrote many poems, of which the composition may be described as poor and inartifical, though the thoughts display the moral elevation of the writers mind. We here extract a portion of one upon the death of Cowley, for whom the earl entertained a high regard.
"Our wit, till Cowley did its lustre raise,
May be resembled to the 6rst three days;
In which did shine only such streaks of light,
Ab served but to distinguish day from night.
But wit breaks forth in all that he has done,
Like light, when 'twas united to the sun.
The poets formerly did lie in wait
To rifle those whom they would imitate;
We watch'd to rob all strangers when they write.
And learned their language, but to steal their wit;
* Budgeli's Memoir. t Budgell.