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vided in Spain for the purpose. They expected to have seized upon
the Tower at the same time. This being also frustrated by the vigilance of the government, they deferred their enterprise, till the camp, which had been formed by his majesty's orders, should break up, and, in the meantime, employed their agents to seduce and corrupt the officers and men employed in the army. He also stated, that from several letters, as well as from a variety of circumstances, it appeared the late duke of Ormond, the duke of Norfolk, lord North and Gray, the earl of Orrery, and Atterbury bishop of Rochester, if not the leaders, were, at least, deeply implicated in the conspiracy; and that their acting agents had been Christopher Layer and John Plunket, who travelled together to Rome, Dennis Kelly, George Kelly, and Thomas Carte, nonjuring clergymen, Neynoe, the Irish priest whom we have mentioned as being drowned in the Thames, in attempting to escape from the person who took him into custody, Messrs. Spilman, alias Yallop, and John Sample. Bills were brought in and passed, for inflicting pains and penalties upon John Plunket, and George Kelly, who were, by these acts, to be kept in close custody during his majesty's pleasure, in any prison in Great Britain, and that they should not attempt to escape under pain of death, to be inflicted
them and their assistants. A bill of the same nature was brought into the house of commons, against Atterbury, who wrote a letter to the speaker, importing, that though conscious of his innocence, he should declire giving the house any trouble, contenting himself with the opportunity of making his defence before another, of which he had the honour of being a member. Counsel being heard for the bill, it was committed to a grand committee on the sixth of April, 1723, when the most of the tory members quitted the house. It was then moved, that the bishop should be deprived of his office and benefice and banished the kingdom for ever, which, notwithstanding considerable opposition, was triumphantly carried.
The bill having passed the commons, was sent up to the lords, and the bishop was brought to his trial before that house on the ninth of May. He made an able defence, and his eloquence, politeness, and ingenuity, brought him many friends. Earl Poulet, lord Wharton—who had once been the principal
orator of the whigs in that house, but was now become a papist and a Jacobite—and the lords Bathurst and Cowper, spoke strongly in his favour, nevertheless, he was deprived of all his offices, benefices, and dignities, and declared incapable of enjoying any for the future. He was further banished the realm, and subjected to the pains of death in case he should return, as were all who should be found corresponding with him during his exile. The sentence being confirmed, he was, on the twentysecond of June, 1723, put on board the Aldborough man of war, which landed him at Calais, with his daughter, Mr :. Morris, and her husband, on the very day that Henry St. John, lord Bolingbroke, having made his peace with the government, arrived there on his way to England, which made the bishop facetiously observe, that they were exchanged. He continued till his death in exile and in poverty.
The assembly of the church of Scotland being met on the ninth of May, 1723, the earl of Hopeton, commissioner, James Smith, minister of Cramond, moderator, voted a loyal address to his majesty, on his being delivered from the recent plot to restore the pretender. In this address the assembly say,
66 We have for a long time observed with astonishment the restless and impudent malice of your enemies, endeavouring to misrepresent your majesty's just and gracious administration, in order to infuse their own disaffection to your person and government into the minds of others of your majesty's unwary, though well-meaning subjects. With this view have they charged upon your reign those evils to which none but themselves
gave rise. They have set forth the most innocent, necessary, and prudent steps of your administration in the falsest and blackest colours, and have even denied and ridiculed your royal goodness and mercy, to which multitudes of themselves, and of their nearest relations, owe their very lives and fortunes; so monstrous is their disingenuity and ingratitude, and such is their unaccountable fondness to have your kingdoms again enthralled under all the miseries of popery and arbitrary power.” There was little else came before this assembly of general interest, except the case of Mr. Gabriel Wilson, minister of Maxton, whom they proceeded to admonish for an excellent sermon
preached by him before the synod of Merse and Teviotdale*, which he had enlarged upon some of those doctrines of the gospel, that, under the name of Marrow doctrines, had become obnoxious to the leaders of the Scotish establishment. A process had been carried on against Mr. Wilson, by the synod, from the time of its delivery, in 1721, till it ended in a reference to this assembly; by which, Mr. Wilson was admonished “ to keep the form of sound words, and to beware of expressing himself, upon any occasion, in such terms as may be of bad influence on Christian practice, or any ways tend to weaken the life and power of godliness, and be of dangerous consequence to the great interests of precious souls.”+ Such were the suspicions entertained by this assembly, of doctrines which had all along been carefully imbodied in the standards of the Scotish church; doctrines, which, preached by the early reformers, especially by Luther and Calvin, had shaken the fabric of Romish superstition to its very foundations, and had been the blessed mean of regenerating protestant Europe. Instructions were also given by this assembly to the commission, “ to think upon proper means to hinder magistrates, and others, in public trust, from frequenting illegal meeting-houses,” &c. and to “ the procurator and agent for the church, by direction of his majesty's advocate, to commence prosecutions against popish schoolmasters and schoolmistresses, &c. and for getting legal schools erected in parishes where popery abounds.”
abounds.” From these acts, it is probable there flowed little of either good or evil. Kings' advocates and procurators are at best missionaries of a suspicious character, and, though they have sometimes been pretty efficient on the side of error, have made but few converts to truth. In the present instance they were too busy, supporting and strengthening by political intrigue the ascendancy of the moderates, to pay any attention to their new commission. But the commission itself was much. It showed distinctly that orthodoxy was not the alone object of the assembly's detestation, and by occupying the
* This sermon, entitled “ The Trust,” has been often printed, and few sermons of equal merit have issued from the Scotish press.
+ Acts of Assembly, 1723,
public mind with the terrors of popery, diverted it from taking any interest in the fate of a few obscure ministers, and one or two disputable points in divinity! which was what the assembly had principally to fear, and which they were peculiarly anxious to guard against The assembly was dissolved in the usual form, on the twenty-third, having appointed their next meeting for the second Thursday of May, 1724.*
At this period there appears to have been little transacted in Scotland worthy of being recorded. A close correspondence was still carried on with the chevalier, by those calling themselves his trustees, but it related principally to squabbles among the nonjuring clergy, who had fallen out among themselvessome of them being jealous of the chevalier assuming too much authority over them, and some of them wishing to introduce several usages into the practice of the church, which had not the sanction of any regular authority, civil or ecclesiastic, such as the mixture of the cup, chrism, prayers for the dead, &c.; which, as they gave countenance to the idea generally entertained among the presbyterians, that all who were episcopal in religion, or Jacobite in politics, had a leaning, at least, if not a positive predilection for the church of Rome, gave considerable alarm to some of the Jacobite leaders, as tending to strengthen prejudices, and to keep alive suspicions, which it was the great object of their endeavours to soothe and to lay asleep. From this correspondence it is evident that the late conspiracy had extended but partially to Scotland, if it had been known there at all, and that at present expectation was turned to the other end of the island. “ Your friends," says Lockhart, writing to the chevalier, in December this year,“ live pretty easily here just now, but how long it may be so, God only knows, being, by the repeal of the habeas corpus, at the mercy of their enemies. We have been pretty much in the dark of late, and the truth is, there's no need, nor any great curiosity to have secrets communicated to this part of the island, where we want nothing but a hearty concurrence of those in the south, to bring matters soon about to our mutual benefit.” The reply of the chevalier in April following is soothing and
Acts of Assembly, 1723
hopeful:-“ Great caution will be necessary, on all sides, for fear of giving the government any handle of exercising the same severities in Scotland, as they have done in England, where, I am in great hopes none will, at least, suffer more than by present confinement; and on the whole, considering the present disposition of the nation, and the posture of affairs in Europe, I think we have all reason to hope for some favourable change. My endeavours to hasten it are continual, and when the time comes, I cannot doubt of the hearty concurrence of my Scots subjects, for whom I have, and ever shall have, the most sincere and tender affection."
This tranquillity, however, on the part of the Scotish Jacobites was soon disturbed by the act of parliament, imposing on all persons the oath of abjuration, and compelling such as did not, to register their names and real estates. “ It exposed," says Lockhart, “ the king's friends to great difficulties. Such as did not comply, were left at their enemy's mercy—and those who did, were likely to be disesteemed by those who did not; which could not fail to occasion a dryness, at least, amongst people, who, in the main, aimed at the same things. Many, to obviate the penalties of the law, or to render themselves qualified to follow out their employments, as lawyers, or the like, inclined to comply, but wished the taking of it might have its rise, from a general measure concerted by the leading men of the party.”*
To effect this purpose, viz. to bring the whole party to perjure themselves by common consent, or to connive at one another doing so, Lockhart, and Henry Maule, now become, by the death of his brother, earl of Panmure, and the earl of Kincardine, applied themselves with great diligence. The duke of Hamilton, as the most influential man of the party, not having taken the oaths himself, was applied to again and again, to bring the whole of the party together, but without effect; for “ though he approved of the measure, he could not be persuaded to leave his country diversions, and spend a few days in town upon so pressing an occasion.” + Finding themselves thus unable to form a plan for the conduct of their party, they agreed to lay the whole affair before the chevalier, which was
* Lockliart Papers, vol. ii. pp. 97, 98, 102.