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gave them to understand, that not only what counsel they should think fit to pitch upon, but also such other persons as they should choose to name as their assistants, whether peers or commoners, should bave free leave of the house to hold the most unrestrained intercourse with them. Not being ready, however, to put in their answer by the appointed time, the impeached lords petitioned the house for longer time, and were allowed till Thursday the nineteenth.
Upon the eleventh, the lords and commons, in separate bodies, presented their addresses to the king, and a bill to continue the suspension of the habeas corpus for six months longer, being prepared, the king gave it his royal assent upon the twenty-first, when he made the following speech :-“ My lords and gentlemen, I had reason to believe, when I spoke last to you, that the pretender was landed in Scotland, the accounts that I have received since do put it beyond all doubt that he is heading a rebellion there, and does assume the style and title of king of these realms, and his adherents do likewise confidently affirm that assurances are given them of support from abroad. This parliament hath on all occasions expressed so much duty to me, and so true a regard for the civil and religious rights of my people, that I am persuaded this daring presumption of our enemies will heighten your just indignation against them, and beget such further resolutions as, with the blessing of God, will enable me to defeat their attempts.
“ Gentlemen of the house of commons, The most effectual way to put a speedy end to these troubles, will be to make ' such effectual provision as may discourage any foreign power
from assisting the rebels. I do, therefore, hope that every sincere protestant and true Briton will look upon the extraordinary expense which a timely preparation may require, to be the best husbandry, since it will, in all human probability, prevent that desolation, and those calamities, which would unavoidably ensue, if the rebellion should be suffered to spread, and be supported by popish forces from abroad," &c. &c.
Under such circumstances, and under such an excitement of public feeling, did the trial of these unfortunate noblemen
All of them, the earl of Winton excepted, who was
allowed till the twenty-third to prepare his defences, were brought from the Tower, and placed at the bar of the house of peers, on Thursday the nineteenth of January, where they severally pleaded guilty to the articles of their impeachment. Several members exerted themselves with considerable eloquence to extenuate their guilt, and they were remanded to the Tower, till the ninth day of February, when they were brought to the bar of the court, erected in Westminster hall, with the axe, as is usual in such cases, borne before them. Being asked by the lord high steward what they had to say why judgment should not be passed upon them according to law, they severally acknowledged “ that their undertaking was rash and inconsiderate, begging his majesty's pardon, they relied upon bis mercy, upon which they were made to depend at the time of their surrender. They also besought the noble peers and honourable commons to intercede with his majesty for mercy to them, promising to the end of their lives to pay the utmost duty and gratitude to his majesty, and to be his most dutiful and obedient subjects.”
The lord high steward replied to every particular advanced in their answers to extenuate their guilt, which, he contended, were rather aggravations of it:-“And now, my lords, added he, nothing remains but that I pronounce upon you, and sorry am I that it falls to my lot to do it, that terrible sentence, the same that is usually given against the meanest offender in like circumstances. The most ignominious and painful parts of it are usually remitted, through the clemency of the crown, to persons of your quality; but the law, in this case, being blind to all distinctions of persons, requires I should pronounce the sentence adjudged by this court, which is, that you, James, earl of Derwentwater, William, lord Widdrington, William, earl of Nithsdale, Robert, earl of Carnwath, William, viscount Kenmure, William, lord Nairn, and every one of you, return to the prison of the Tower from which you came, thence you must be drawn to the place of execution, when there you must be hanged by the neck, not till you be dead, for you must be cut down alive, then your bowels taken out and burned before your faces, your heads must be severed from your bodies, and your bodies divided into four quarters,
to be at the king's disposal, and God Almighty be merciful to your souls."
Numerous intercessions were made by their friends for the unhappy criminals, and the house of lords presented an address to his majesty on their behalf. To this address his majesty replied :—“ That on this and all other occasions he would do what he thought most consistent with the dignity of his crown, and the interests of his people.” Next day, orders were signed in council for the execution of the earl of Derwentwater, the earl of Nithsdale, and viscount Kenmure. The lords Widdrington, Carnwath, and Nairn, were at the same time reprieved till the seventh of March, and these reprieves were renewed from time to time, till these lords were finally pardoned. Nithsdale was liberated the same night, through the ingenuity and fortitude of his lady, Mary Powis, a daughter of the earl of Powis.t Derwentwater and Ken
* Rae's History of the Rebellion, pp. 375, 376. Gordon's History of the Lives, &c. &c. vol. iii. pp. 552—555.
+ The following very interesting account of his lordship’s escape, written by this spirited and able lady, in a letter to her sister, the countess of Traquair, will not, we presume, be unacceptable to our readers :
My lord's escape, is now such an old story, that I have almost forgotten it; but since you desire me to give you a circumstantial account of it, I will endeavour to recal it to my memory, and be as exact in the narration as I possibly can; for I owe you too many obligations, to refuse you any thing that lies in my power to do.
I think I owe myself the justice to set out with the motives which influenced me to undertake so hazardous an attempt, which I despaired of thoroughly accomplishing, foreseeing a thousand obstacles, which never could be surmounted, but by the most particular interposition of divine providence. I confided in the Almighty God, and trusted that he would not abandon me, even when all human succours failed me.
I first came to London, upon hearing that my lord was committed to the Tower. I was at the same time informed, that he had expressed the greatest anxiety to see me, having, as he afterwards told me, nobody to console him, till I arrived. I rode to Newcastle, and from thence, took the stage to York. When I arrived there, the snow was so deep, that the stage could not set out for London. The season was so severe, and the roads so extremely bad, that the post itself was stopt. However, I took horses and rode to London, through the snow, which was generally above the horse's girth, and arrived safe and sound, without any accident.
On my arrival, I went immediately to make what interest I could, among those who were in place. No one gave me any hopes, but all, to the contrary,
mure were both beheaded on Towerhill next day, February the twenty-fourth, according to their sentence.
Derwentwater made a speech from the scaffold, in which he begged pardon of all whom he might have scandalized by
assured me, that although some of the prisoners were to be pardoned, yet my lord would certainly not be of the number. When I inquired into the reason of this distinction, I could obtain no other answer, than that they would not flatter me; but I soon perceived the reasons, which they declined alleging
A Roman Catholick upon the frontiers of Scotland who headed a very considerable party; a man whose family bad always signalised itself by its loyalty to the royal house of Stuart, and who was the only support of the catholicks against the inveteracy of the whigs, who were very numerous in that part of Scotland, would become an agreeable sacrifice to the opposite party. They still retained a lively remembrance of his grandfather, who de fended his own castle of Calaverock to the very last extremity, and surrendered it up only by the express command of his royal master. Now, having his grandson in their power, they were determined not to let him escape from their hands.
Upon this, I formed the resolution to attempt his escape, but opened my intentions to nobody but to my dear Evans. In order to concert measures, I strongly solicited to be permitted to see my lord, which they refused to grant me, unless I would remain confined with him in the Tower. This I would not submit to, and alledged for excuse, that my health would not permit me to undergo the confinement. The real reason of my refusal was, not to put it out of my power to accomplish my designs ; however, by bribing the guards, I often contrived to see my lord, till the day upon which the prisoners were condemned; after that, we were allowed for the last week to see and take our leave of them.
By the help of Evans, I had prepared every thing necessary to disguise my lord, but had the utmost difficulty to prevail upon him to make use of them; however, I at length succeeded by the help of Almighty God.
On the 22d February, which fell on a Thursday, our petition was to be presented to the house of lords, the purport of which was, to entreat the lords to intercede with his majesty to pardon the prisoners. We were, however, disappointed the day before the petition was to be presented; for the Duke of St. Alban's, who had promised my lady Derwentwater to present it, when it came to the point, failed in his word: However, as she was the only English countess concerned, it was incumbent upon her to have it presented. We had but one day left before the execution, and the duke still promised to present the petition; but for fear he should fail, I engaged the duke of Montrose to secure its being done by the one or the other. I then went in company of most of the ladies of quality who were then in town, to solicit the interest of the lords as they were going to the house. They all behaved to me with great civility, but particularly my lord Pembroke, who, though he desired me not to speak to him, yet promised to employ his interest in our
pleading guilty at his trial, and declared that in this he had made free with his loyalty, having never had any other for his rightful and lawful sovereign than James III.; and, though at his trial he had said a great deal to excuse and to palliate
favour, and honourably kept his word; for he spoke in the house very strongly in our behalf. The subject of the debate was, Whether the king had the power to pardon those who had been condemned by parliament ? And it was chiefly owing to lord Pembroke's speech, that it passed in the affirmative. However, one of the lords stood up and said, that the house would only in. tercede for those of the prisoners who should approve themselves worthy of their intercession, but not for all of them indiscriminately. This salvo quite blasted all my hopes, for I was assured it aimed at the exclusion of those who should refuse to subscribe to the petition, which was a thing I knew my lord would never submit to, nor in fact could I wish to preserve his life on such terms.
As the motion had passed generally, I thought I could draw some advantage in favour of my design. Accordingly, I immediately left the house of lords, and hastened to the Tower, where, affecting an air of joy and satisfaction, I told all the guards I passed by, that I came to bring joyful tidings to the prisoners. I desired them to lay aside their fears, for the petition had passed the house in their favour. I then gave them some money to drink to the lords and his majesty, though it was but trifling; for I thought, that if I were too liberal on the occasion, they might suspect my designs, and that giving them something, would gain their good humour and services for the next day, which was the eve of the execution.
The next morning, I could not go to the Tower, having so many things in my hands to put in readiness; but in the evening, when all was ready, I sent for Mrs. Mills, with whom I lodged, and acquainted her with my design of attempting my lord's escape, as there was no prospect of his being pardoned; and this was the last night before the execution. I told her, that I had every thing in readiness, and that I trusted she would not refuse to accompany me, that my lord might pass for her. I pressed her to come immediately as we had no time to lose, at the same time, I sent for a Mrs. Morgan, then usually known by the name of Hilton, to whose acquaintance my dear Evans has introduced me, which I look upon as a very singular happiness. I immediately communicated my resolution to her. She was of a very tall and slender make; so I begged her to put under her own riding hood, one that I had prepared for Mrs. Mills, as she was to lend hers to my lord, that in coming out he might be taken for her. Mrs. Mills was then with child; so that she was not only of the same height, but nearly of the same size as my lord. When we were in the coach, I never ceased talking, that they might have no leisure to reflect. Their surprise and astonishment, when I first opened my design to them, had made them consent, without ever thinking of the consequences. On our arrival at the Tower, the first I introduced was Mrs. Morgan, for I was only allowed to take in one at a time. She brought in the clothes that