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oh a sackposset; nay, master would have his soon, and for haste burnt his fingers in the posset;
.but he does but rub his hands for it I do
propose going to my neighbour Worsley's today. Would fain be telling my heart more things,—any thing to be in a kind of talk with him; but I believe Spencer stays for my dispatch. He was willing to go early; but this was to be the delight of the morning, and the support of the day. 'Tis written in bed, thy pillow at my back, where thy dear head shall lie, I hope, to-morrow night, and many more I trust in His mercy, notwithstanding all our enemies, or ill-wishers. Love, and be willing to be loved by, "R. Russell."
Though the Whig party seem to have sunk quietly into retirement after their defeat, the King could, by no means, rest satisfied with the victory he had obtained over his parliament, and the general tranquillity which ensued. He was determined to execute vengeance on his opponents, and establish arbitrary power upon a system of terror. For this purpose he did not scruple to employ those witnesses whose perjuries in the trials for the Popish plot he had been the foremost to expose. The first person selected for punishment was Stephen Colledge. This man was a carpenter, who, by his noisy zeal, and the notice he had received from the
VOL. II. *b 2
Duke of Monmouth, and other men of rank, had acquired the name of the Protestant joiner. Turberville, Dugdale, Haynes, and Smith swore against him many treasonable discourses, and some strange stories of his having silk armour, and pocket pistols, at Oxford. The grand jury, however refused to believe the witnesses, and threw out the bill. But the court was not to be foiled in this manner: they removed the trial to Oxford, where a jury, as partial on the other side, was procured. Colledge had, besides, many hardships to undergo. His papers were taken from him on his way to trial, and the court adjourned on purpose to examine them. So that, whilst the crown lawyers had the advantage of knowing the points he meant to have argued, this poor mechanic was unable to plead the informality of the indictment, or to use other legal arguments he intended to have urged. A copy of the pannel, which had been usually given to prisoners, was denied him, and his own witnesses were not allowed to be examined upon oath. Notwithstanding these disadvantages, he brought forward such evidence as materially injured the credit of the witnesses against him. Excepting Sir W. Jennings, and Mr. Masters, he showed that every one of them had owned himself forced to change sides, to avoid starving, or had been guilty of attempting to suborn others. One of them, Smith, had said, that if the Parliament refused to give the King money, and continued to press the Bill of Exclusion, that was a sufficient ground for swearing there was a plot to seize the King. As for Sir W. Jennings and Mr. Masters, they only swore that Colledge had justified, in conversation, the parliament of 1640; and that, in a quarrel at Oxford, where he had got a bloody nose, he had said, "I have shed the first blood in the cause* but it will not be the last." Colledge explained this, as well as his having a sword and pistols in his possession, by saying that he expected the Papists would attempt a massacre. He begged the jury to consider that he could not seize the King alone, and that no conspiracy had been proved. Jeffries, in speaking for the crown, impudently argued, that they must'not discredit Dugdale (though, in one point, he had been clearly convicted of falsehood), as that would be throwing a slur on the evidence for the Popish plot. The Chief-justice, North, in summing up, said, he would not notice the evidence that had been produced to discredit the witnesses, as that was a point for the jury to decide: yet he afterwards commented on such parts as he thought unfavourable to the prisoner. Colledge was found guilty, and executed a fortnight afterwards. But the King, to display the royal attribute of mercy, gave permission that his quarters should be buried; a favour which he slighted, saying, with philosophical indifference, he cared not whether he was eaten up by flies or worms.
Having shed the blood of Colledge, the Court next attempted the life of Lord Shaftesbury. He was imprisoned in July, and indicted in November. A plan of association, found in his room, but without any signature, was brought forth to supply the want of evidence. The proceedings in this case are a melancholy instance of the effects of party rancour. The witnesses whom the Court produced to prove high-treason against a man who had been High Chancellor of England, were, with one exception, the perjured wretches who, under the name of Irish witnesses, had become infamously notorious, and, on the trial of Colledge, had lost their small remaining* credit. The only other witness was one Booth, a man who had ruined himself by a profligate course of life, and who, on this occasion, was proved to have perjured himself. On
* Two of these, of the name of Macnamara, though prepared to be witnesses against Colledge, were not produced on that trial, as the crown lawyers found by the inspection of his papers, that he was able to destroy their testimony. Shaftesbury had listened to them with too much readiness. Ferguson says that they were set to ensnare him.
(Growth of Popery.)
the other hand, the grand jury consisted entirely of Lord Shaftesbury's friends. They made a return of ignoramus upon the bill, and hence the term Ignoramus Jury became a bye-word against the Whigs.
The Court was convinced, by the result of this enquiry, that the strength of the opposition in the city would be a troublesome obstacle to the execution of their designs. At this point, therefore they determined to make the first attack on the liberties of England. Saunders, a learned but profligate lawyer, proposed to seize the charter of London by a process of quo warranto. The decision, in thiscase, rests with the judges, whose appointment was during the pleasure of the Crown. Saunders himself was made chief-justice, for the purpose, and Dolben gave place to Withers. It was thought that the charter of the metropolis, once in the hands of the Crown, other cities and towns might easily be induced to make a surrender of theirs, which were only to be returned to them with the condition that the King should appoint the mayor, and officers of corporations. Thus a parliament might be produced entirely subservient to the Crown? and the sanction of parliament, for an independent revenue, once obtained, it would have been easy to lay aside the use of parliaments altogether. In the meantime a new alli