« ZurückWeiter »
overtake the Cause on their account. Something other than a blessing has overtaken the Cause :-and now, on rallying at Stirling with unbroken purpose of struggle, there arise in the Committee of Estates and Kirk, and over the Nation generally, earnest considerations as to the methods of farther strug. gle; huge discrepancies as to the ground and figure it ought henceforth to take. As was natural to the case, Three Parties now develop themselves : a middle one, and two extremes. The Official Party, Argyle and the Official Persons, especially the secular portion of them, think that the old ground should as much as possible be adhered to : Let us fill up our old ranks with new men, and fight and resist with the Covenanted Charles Stuart at the head of us, as we did before. This is the middle or Official opinion.
No, answers an extreme Party, Let us have no more to do with your covenanting pedantries ; let us sign your Covenant one good time for all, and have done with it; but prosecute the King's Interest, and call on all men to join us in that. An almost openly declared Malignant Party this ; at the head of which Lieutenant-General Middleton, the Marquis of Huntly and other Royalist Persons are raising forces, publishing manifestos, in the Highlands near by. Against whom David Lesley himself at last has to march. This is the one extreme; the Malignant or Royalist extreme. The amount of whose exploits was this : They invited the poor King to run off from Perth and his Church-and-State Officials, and join them; which he did, -rode out as if to hawk, one afternoon, softly across the South Inch of Perth, then galloped some forty miles; found the appointed place; a villanous hut among the Grampian Hills, without soldiers, resources, or accommodations,
with nothing but a turf pillow to sleep on:' and was easily persuaded back, the day after ;l making his peace by a few
: 14.6 October, Balfour, iv. 113-15.
more-what shall we call them ?-poetic figments; which the Official Persons, with an effort, swallowed. Shortly after, by official persuasion and military coercion, this first extreme Party was suppressed, reunited to the main body; and need not concern us farther.
But now, quite opposite to this, there is another extreme Party; which has its seat in the Western Shires,' from Renfrew down to Dumfries; — which is, in fact, I think, the old Whiggamore Raid of 1648 under a new figure; these Western Shires being always given that way. They have now got a • Western Army,' with Colonel Ker and Colonel Strahan to command it; and most of the Earls, Lairds, and Ministers in those parts have joined. Very strong for the Covenant; very strong against all shams of the Covenant. Colonel Ker is the ' famed Commander Gibby Carre,' who came to commune with us in the Burrow-moor, when we lay on Pentland Hills : Colonel Strahan is likewise a famed Commander, who was thought to be slain at Musselburgh once, but is alive here still; an old acquaintance of my Lord General Cromwell's, and always suspected of a leaning to Sectarian courses. These Colonels and Gentry having, by sanction of the Committee of Estates, raised a Western Army of some Five-thousand, and had much consideration with themselves; and seen, especially by the flight into the Grampians, what way his Majesty's real inclinations are tending, -decide, or threaten to decide, that they will not serve under his Majesty or his General Lesley with their Army, till they see new light; that in fact they dare not; being apprehensive he is no genuine Covenanted King, but only the sham of one, whom it is terribly dangerous to follow ! On this Party Cromwell has his eye ; and they on him. What becomes of them we shall, before long, learn.
· Meanwhile here is a Letter to the Official Authorities ; which, however, produces small effect upon them.
For the Right Honourable the Committee of Estates of
Scotland, at Stirling, or elsewhere : These.
Right HONOURABLE, Linlithgow, 9th October, 1650.
The grounds and ends of the Army's entering Scotland have been heretofore, often and clearly, made known unto you; and how much we have desired the same might be accomplished without blood. But, according to what returns we have received, it is evident your hearts had not that love to us as we can truly say we had towards you. And we are persuaded those difficulties in which you have involved yourselves,— by espousing your King's interest, and taking into your bosom that person, in whom (notwithstanding what hath been' or may be said to the contrary) that which is really Malignancy and all Malignants do centre ; against whose Family the Lord hath so eminently witnessed for bloodguiltiness, not to be done away by such hypocritical and formal shews of repentance as are expressed in his late Declaration ; and your strange prejudices against us as men of heretical opinions (which, through the great goodness of God to us, have been unjustly charged upon us),- have occasioned your rejecting these Overtures which, with a Christian affection, were offered to you before any blood was spilt, or your People had suffered damage by us.
The daily sense we have of the calamity of War lying upon the poor People of this Nation, and the sad
Ivin the daily People howed to you
consequences of blood and famine likely to come upon them; the advantage given to the Malignant, Profane, and Popish party by this War; and that reality of affection which we have so often professed to you, -and concerning the truth of which we have so solemnly appealed, -do again constrain us to send unto you, to let you know, That if the contending for that Person be not by you preferred to the peace and welfare of your Country, the blood of your Peoples, the love of men of the same faith with you, and (in this above all) the honour of that God we serve, — Then give the State of England that satisfaction and security for their peaceable and quiet living beside you, which may in justice be demanded from a Nation giving so just ground to ask the same, - from those who have, as you, taken their enemy into their bosom, whilst he was in hostility against them: “Do this;' and it will be made good to you, That you may have a lasting and durable Peace with them, and the wish of a blessing upon you in all religious and civil things.
If this be refused by you, we are persuaded that God, who hath once borne His testimony, will do it again on the behalf of us His poor servants, who do appeal to Him whether their desires flow from sincerity of heart or not. I rest, Your Lordships' humble servant,
The Committee of Estates at Stirling or elsewhere debated about an Answer to this Letter ; but sent none, except of
* Newspapers (in Cromwelliana, p. 93).
civility merely, and after considerable delays. A copy of the Letter was likewise forwarded to Colonels Ker and Strahan and their Western Army, by whom it was taken into consideration ; and some Correspondence, Cromwell's part of which is not yet altogether lost, followed upon it there ; and indeed Cromwell, as we dimly discover in the old Books, set forth towards Glasgow directly on the back of it, in hopes of a closer communication with these Western Colonels and their Party.
While Ker and Strahan are busy at Dumfries,' says Baillie, Cromwell with the whole body of his Army and cannon *comes peaceably by way of Kilsyth to Glasgow. It is Friday evening, 18th October, 1650. "The Ministers and Magisstrates flee all away. I got to the Isle of Cumbrae with my Lady Montgomery ; but left all my family and goods to Cromwell's courtesy, — which indeed was great; for he took such a course with his soldiers that they did less displeasure *at Glasgow than if they had been in London ; though Mr. * Zachary Boyd,' a fantastic old gentleman still known in Glasgow and Scotland, - railed on them all, to their very face, in 'the High Church ;"1 calling them Sectaries and Blasphemers, the fantastic old gentleman! "Glasgow, though not so big or • rich as Edinburgh, is a much sweeter place; the completest town we have yet seen here, and one of their choicest Uņi
versities. The people were much afraid of us till they saw how we treated them. Captain Covel of the Lord General's * regiment of horse was cashiered here, for holding some blas• phemous opinions.'? — This is Cromwell's first visit to Glasgow: he made two others, of which on occasion notice shall be taken. In Pinkerton's Correspondence are certain 'anecdotes of Cromwell at Glasgow;' which, like many others on
| Baillie, iii. 119 ; Whitlocke, p. 459.