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seen at St. Omers; and being asked if he knew any thing more against Sir George VVakeman, he had held up his hands, protesting he did not; and that he had then owned that he did not know the prisoner’s hand-writing, though he now asserted the contrary. These contradictions were exposed in the charge of Chief Justice Scroggs, who having been at first shamefully violent in prosecuting the plot, was now as willing to please the court by bringing it into discredit. The prisoner, and three others who were tried with him, were acquitted. This trial'seems to be the point of departure of the two great ‘parties on the subject of the Popish Plot. Hitherto, the whole nation had given up
their senses and their reason to this favourite de-' lusion. But henceforward, the court and church party seem to have used every means to bring odium upon the witnesses ; thus exchanging their fears of popery for alarms of fanaticism. The country party, on the other hand, represented the trial of Wakeman as partial and unfair; and they endeavoured to magnify the danger'of the plot, by representing the court as favouring the escape of the conspirators.
1f Shaftesbury’s violence during the sitting of parliament had the eflect of alarming the King, his imprudent menace at the time of the prorogation served to bring back the Duke. For the King being taken dangerously ill at Windsor, the three Lords who formed the secret cabinet, thought their lives in danger should the King die, and Monmouth obtain possession of the crown. * They, therefore, advised Charles to send for his brother, who arrived from Brussels, to the great astonishment both of the court and the country. When he came to Windsor, he found his brother recovering, and he was requested to return with as much earnestness as he had been desired to come. He found means, however, by acting on the fears of Essex and Halifax, to change his banishment to
Brussels, for retirement to Scotland, and what was still more important, to have Shaftesbury dismissed from his oflice of President of the Council, and Monmouth deprived of his com‘ mand of the army. And to complete the triumph of James, this dangerous rival was sent to the place of exile from which he had himself returned.
The elections, as might have been expected, went generally in favour of the country party.The King, grown still more suspicious of his parliament, and more averse to the troubles of contention, had recourse to his old expedient, the alliance of France. ‘ He endeavoured to obtain nine millions of livres from Lewis, to be paid in the course of three years, on the condition that parliament should not be assembled during that time. He repeatedly re‘ presentedtoiBarillon, that this step would place England in the dependence of France for ever. The terms askedby the Duchess of Portsmouth and Lord Sunderland were still higher. The King at length agreed, however, to accept of one million of livres yearly for three years, with the condition that parliament should not be assembled during that time.
In the hope that a treaty would be concluded
on these terms, Charles told his council,
0 . . . Ct 15 that he had resolved to prorogue his
famous character, of the name of Willoughby, or Dangerfield, a friend of Bedloe, was released from prison by Mrs. Cellier, a Popish midwife, who obtained the money for that purpose from Lady Powis, a very eminent person of the
' Catholic religion. He contrived to cajole these
two ladies, by pretending a knowledge of a plot
carrying on by the Presbyterians. To support .
his pretentious, he made acquaintance as well as he could with the lower emissaries of the Opposition. He hid a treasonable paper in the bed-chamber of Colonal Mansel; and, by the advice of Mrs. Cellier, took the Custom-house officers there to search for prohibited goods. He then found the paper he had himself concealed, and immediately called out “ Here’s Treason !” Some days afterwards, another paper, containing a treasonable association, was found by Sir W. Waller in Mrs. Cellier’s house, concealed in a meal-tub. Upon enquiry, it appeared that Dangerfield had seen the Duke and the King, under pretence of ‘discovering a Presbyterian plot, and had received from the Duke twenty guineas. Both parties endeavoured to represent him as an agent of their opponents. But whilst his connection with Mrs. Cellier and Lady Powis was proved and avowed,‘ his intimacy with Lord Shaftesbury was only inferred from