Слике страница
PDF
ePub

THOMS,

PRINTER AND STEREOTYPER, 12, WARWICK SQUARE.

THE

BRITISH CYCLOPÆDIA.

DIVISION IV.-BIOGRAPHY.

[graphic]

JAMES I.-The history of the Scottish sovereigns gaging in actual war by the inadequacy of his rewho bore this name will be found in a subsequent sources. page, and it may be enough to state that he was the One of the first acts of his majority was to reconsixth monarch of that name who swayed the sceptre cile the feuds of his nobility, whom for that purpose in the northern part of our island, before he was he invited to a grand festival at Holyrood house. called to the English throne. He was the son of On the threatened invasion of England by Philip II., Mary queen of Scotland, by her cousin Henry Lord he judiciously resolved to assist Elizabeth against the Darnley, and was born at Edinburgh castle, in June Spaniards, and was zealously supported by his people 1566, at the unfortunate period when his mother was for the preservation of protestantism, who entered at variance with her husband, and had begun to fix into a national covenant to maintain it. In 1589 her affections on the earl of Bothwell. In the stormy James married Anne, daughter of Frederic, king of and disgraceful times which followed, the infant Denmark. On his return home, after passing the prince was committed to the charge of the earl of winter at Copenhagen, he was in some danger from Mar; and in the following year, Mary being forced to conspiracies against his life; and for several succeedresign the throne, he was solemnly crowned at Stirling, ing years of his reign the history of Scotland displays and from that time all public acts ran in his name. much turbulence and party contest. His childhood was passed in civil wars under the regencies of Murray, Marr, and Morton, during which time he resided in Stirling castle under the tuition of the celebrated Buchanan. His progress in schoollearning was rapid; but as his character opened, an instability and weakness of temper became manifest, which indicated, what in the sequel proved to be the case, that he would become an easy prey to flatterers, and his reign be marked by injudicious favouritism. From the first too, he seems to have imbibed those arbitrary notions of the royal authority and divine right which proved so injurious to his posterity. Some injudicious measures, in the spirit of these opinions, early produced a conspiracy of his nobles against him, who in 1582 took possession of his person at Ruthven castle. A new confederacy, however, effected his liberation, and he again put himself under the direction of his favourite, the earl of Arran.

The policy of Queen Elizabeth, whose apprehensions from the catholic party in favour of Mary led her to employ every art to keep up a dissatisfied party in Scotland, was greatly assisted by the violent and unprincipled measures of Arran against the connexions of the late conspirators, many of whom fled In 1600, while the country was in a state of unusual to England. When, however, it became apparent tranquillity, a very extraordinary event took place, that the life of his mother was in danger from the the causes of which were never discovered. While sentence of an English judicature, James, who had the king was upon a hunting excursion, he was inhitherto treated her very irreverently, felt himself vited by the brother of Ruthven, earl of Gowrie, to called upon to interfere. He accordingly wrote a ride with a small train to the earl's house at Perth. menacing letter to Elizabeth on the subject, appealed Here he was led to a remote chamber, on pretence of to other courts for assistance, and assembled his a secret to be communicated to him, where he found nobles, who promised to assist him either to prevent a man in complete armour, and a dagger was put to or revenge that queen's injustice. When the news his breast by Ruthven, with threats of immediate of the catastrophe arrived, he rejected with proper death. His attendants, being alarmed, came his spirit the excuses of Elizabeth, and prepared for aid. Gowrie and his brother were slain, and the hostilities; but he was finally prevented from en-king escaped unhurt. BIOGRAPHY.-Vol. II.

A

2

JA MES 11. In 1603 James succeeded to the crown of England to accept the crown of Bohemia, and to head the on the death of Elizabeth, and proceeded, amidst the protestant interest in Germany, was stripped of all acclamations of his new subjects, to London. One his dominions by the emperor. Urged by the naof his first acts was to bestow a profusion of honours tional feelings for the protestant cause, he was at and titles on the inhabitants of both countries, in length in 1624 induced to declare war against Spain which, as in many other points, he displayed a con- and the emperor ; and troops were sent over to Holtrast to the maxims of the late reign. A conference land to act in conjunction with Prince Maurice. The held at Hampton court between the divines of the defeat of this enterprise, through sickness and misestablished church and the puritans, afforded James management, it is thought, produced the king so an opportunity of exhibiting his skill in theological much uneasiness as to cause the intermittent fever controversy, and the ill-will he bore to popular by which he was soon after attacked, and of which schemes of church government. The meeting of he died in March 1625, in the fifty-ninth year of his parliament also enabled him to assert those principles age. of absolute power in the crown which he could never James was not destitute of abilities nor of good practically maintain, but the theoretical claim of which intentions, but the former were not those of a ruler, provided the increasing spirit of freedom in the house and the latter were defeated by pliability and unmanly of commons with constant matter of alarm and con- attachments. His reign, although not unprosperous tention. Although James had behaved with great to his subjects, was inglorious in character and loss lenity to the catholics in Scotland, those in England of influence, and he was neither beloved at home nor were so disappointed in their expectations of favour, esteemed abroad. Upon the whole the good qualities of that the celebrated gunpowder plot was concerted in James were unstatesmanlike, and his bad ones unmanly 1605, the object of which was to blow up the king and puerile. It would be difficult, says Hume, to find and parliament. His cares for reducing and improv- a reign less illustrious, yet more unspotted and uning Ireland do him honour. In 1612 he lost his blemished, than that of James in both kingdoms. eldest son Henry, a prince of great promise, then of James possessed many virtues, but scarcely any of the age of nineteen; and in the following year, the them pure or free from the contagion of neighbouring eventful marriage of his daughter Elizabeth with the vices. His learning degenerating into pedantry and elector palatine took place. About this time the prejudice, his generosity into profusion, his good object of the weak passion of James for handsome nature into pliability and unmanly fondness, his love favourites was Robert Carr, a youth from Scotland, of peace into pusillanimity, and his wisdom into who in a short time was raised from a court page to cunning. His intentions were just, but more adapted be earl of Somerset, and was loaded with honours to the conduct of private life than to the government and riches. The scandalous murder of Sir Thomas of kingdoms. He was an encourager of learning, and Overbury, by the machinations of this minion and was himself an author of no mean genius, consider. his infamous countess, put an end to the king's par- ing the times in which he lived. His chief works tiality, although he disgracefully pardoned the prin- were, “Basilicon Doron," and “The True Law of cipals in the murder, while he allowed their agents Free Monarchies,” but he is more known for his adto be executed.

herence to witchcraft and demoniacal possessions in The fate of Somerset paved the way for the rise of his “ Demonology," and for his “ Counterblast to George Villiers, duke of Buckingham. No circum- Tobacco.” He was also a poet, and specimens of stance in the reign of James was more unpopular his talent, such as it was, are to be found in many than his treatment of the celebrated Sir Walter Ra. of our miscellanies. He also wrote some rules and leigh. Soon after the king's accession, that states- cautels for the use of professors of the art, which, man, who had been opposed to the Scottish succession, says Mr. Ellis, have been long, and perhaps deservedly engaged in a plot to set aside James in favour of the disregarded. The best specimen of his poetical Lady Arabella Stuart, for which he was tried and powers is his “Basilicon Doron,” which Bishop Percy capitally convicted, but, being reprieved, was kept has reprinted in his "Reliques,” and declares that it thirteen years in prison. In 1615 he obtained his would not dishonour any writer of that time. We release by dint of money, and was allowed to set out subjoin a fac-simile of his autograph shortly after he upon an expedition to the South Seas in search of came to the English throne. gold, with the sentence of death hanging over his head. He was unsuccessful in his objects, and James, instigated, as it is supposed, by his desire of an alliance between Prince Charles and the infanta of Spain, listened to the suggestions of the latter power, and, to the great scandal of the whole nation, Sir Walter was executed upon his former sentence. The match with the infanta, notwithstanding, failed, and Charles married Henrietta Maria, daughter of Henry JAMES II., king of England, second son of IV. of France, with the disgraceful stipulation, that Charles I. and of Henrietta of France, was born in the children should be brought up by their mother October 1633 and immediately declared duke of York. until thirteen years of age; to which arrangement the After the capture of Oxford by the parliamentary future religious opinions of Charles II. and James army, he escaped in 1648 at the age of fifteen, and II. may perhaps be attributed.

was conducted to his sister, the princess of Orange. The close of the life of James was marked by He soon after joined his mother at Paris, and, when violent contests with his parliament, which prepared he had reached his twentieth year, served in the French dreadful consequences for his successor. He was army under Turenne, and subsequently entered the also much disquieted by the misfortune of his son- Spanish army in Flanders, under Don John of Austria in-law, the elector palatine, who having been induced and the prince of Condé. In these campaigns he

James

[ocr errors][merged small]

3

JAMES 11. obtained reputation and experience although with moted to an ecclesiastical office in the household of the display of no very great or shining qualities. a prince, who still exercised all the power of the suAt the restoration he took the command of the fleet preme head of a protestant church. Corker, an Engas lord high admiral. He had previously married lish Benedictine, the superior of a monastery of that Anne, daughter of Chancellor Hyde, afterwards Lord order in London, had an audience of the king in his Clarendon, and ungenerously attempted to free him- ecclesiastical habit

, as envoy from the elector of Coself from the union ; but the marriage being satis-logne, doubtless by a secret understanding between factorily established, he could not succeed. În 1664 James and that prince; an act which Louis XIV. he took a leading part in proinoting a Dutch war, himself condemned as unexampled in catholic counfor the alleged interests of trade, and June 3, 1665, tries, and likely to provoke heretics, whose prejudices with a powerful fleet under his command, engaged ought not to be wantonly irritated. As the animothat of the Dutch under Opdam, who, with his ship, sity of the people towards the catholic religion inwas blown up in the action, and nineteen of his creased, the designs of James for its re-establishment squadron were sunk or taken, with the loss of only became bolder and more open. The monastic orders, one on the part of the English.

clad in garments long strange, and now alarming to In 1671 the duchess of York died, leaving her the people, filled the streets of London, and the king husband two daughters, who became successively prematurely exulted that his capital had the appear. queens of England. Before her death she declared ance of a catholic city, little aware of the indignation herself a convert to the Roman catholic faith, which with which that obnoxious appearance inspired the had been secretly that of the duke for many years, body of his protestant subjects. He must now have and was now openly avowed by him. This declara- felt that his contests with the church of England had tion produced a great impression on the people, and reached that point in which neither party would sublaid the foundation of the opposition which finally mit without a total defeat. The language used or acdrove him from the throne. In the Dutch war of quiesced in by him in the most confidential inter1672 he was again placed at the head of the fleet, and course does not leave his intention to be gathered being attacked by De Ruyter, a furious engagement by inference, for though the words 'to establish the ensued. The Dutch fleet at length retired. A test catholic religion' may denote no more than to secure act being soon after passed to prevent Roman catho- its free exercise, another expression is employed on lics from holding public employments, the duke was this subject for a long time, and by different persons obliged to resign his command-a result which in- in correspondence with him, which has no equivocal duced him to join in the plot of the king and certain sense and allows no such limitation. On the 12th of his counsellors, to restore the Roman catholic re- of May, 1687, Barillon assured him that the inost ligion. In 1671 he married Mary Beatrice of Este, Christian King ‘had nothing so much at heart as to daughter of the duke of Modena, and in 1677 his see the success of his exertions to re-establish the eldest daughter, Mary, was united to William prince catholic religion.' Far from limiting this important of Orange.

term, James adopted it in its full extent, answering, During the violent proceedings on account of the You see that I omit nothing in my power. Not supposed popish plot in 1679, by the advice of the content with thus accepting the congratulation in its king he retired to Brussels, and a bill passed the utmost latitude, James continued, I hope the king commons for his exclusion from the throne, which your master will aid me, and that we shall, in concert, was, however, rejected by the lords. When the royal do great things for religion ;' proclaiming his reliance. party again prevailed, the duke in 1681 was sent into for aid in his designs on a monarch who at that moScotland, where he acted with great rigour, not to ment supported the religious establishment by persay cruelty, to the remnant of the covenanters. It is secution. In a few months afterwards, when imitat. even said that he sometimes personally assisted at ing another part of the policy of Louis XIV. he had the torture of criminals, and altogether exhibited established a fund for rewarding converts to his rehimself as a man of a severe and unrelenting temper. ligion, he solicited pecuniary aid from the pope for During the whole of the remaining reign of Charles that very ambiguous purpose. The nuncio in answer II. indeed, during which he possessed great influence declared the sorrow of his holiness at being disabled in the government, he was forward in promoting all by the impoverished state of his treasury to contrithe severe measures that disgraced it. On the death bute money, notwithstanding his paternal zeal for of Charles II., in February 1685, the duke succeeded the promoting in every way the re-establishment of under the title of James II., and from the time of his the catholic religion in these kingdoms;' as he had ascending the throne, seems to have acted with a shortly before expressed his hope that the queen's steady determination to render himself absolute, and pregnancy would ensure the re-establishment of the to restore the Roman catholic religion. This part true religion in these kingdoms:' another term was of the king's designs is so admirably portrayed by in familiar use at court for the final object of the royal Sir James Macintosh, that we gladly avail ourselves pursuit ; it was called the great work,' a phrase borof his view of James' intentions :—“While these rowed from the supposed transmutation of metals hopes and fears [the expected birth of the prince] by the alchemists, which naturally signified a total agitated the multitude of both parties, the ultimate change, and which never could have been applied to objects of the king became gradually more definite, mere toleration by those who were in system, if not while he at the same time deliberated, or perhaps, in practice, the most intolerant men of an intolerant rather decided about the choice of his means. His age. The king told the nuncio that Holland was the open policy assumed a more decisive tone ; Castle- main obstacle to the establishment of the catholic remaine, who in his embassy had acted with the most ligion in these kingdoms; and D'Albyville, minister ostentatious defiance of the laws, and Petre, the most at the Hague, declared that without humbling the obnoxious clergyman of the church of Rome, were pride of that republic there could be no hope of the sworn of the privy council. The latter was even pro- success of the great work.' Two years, afterwards,

[ocr errors][merged small]

4

JAMES I. James, after reviewing his whole policy and its con- | proceeded to a direct attack on the established church sequences, deliberately and decisively avows the ex- by the formation of an ecclesiastical commission, tent of his own designs. Our subjects opposed our which cited before it all clergymen who had done government from the fear that we should introduce any thing to displease the court

. A declaration of the orthodox faith, which we were indeed labouring indulgence in matters of religion was ordered to be to accomplish when the storm began, and which we read by the clergy in all the churches of the king, have done in our kingdom of Ireland. Mary of Este, dom. Seven bishops met, and drew up a loyal and during the absence of her husband in Ireland, exhorts humble petition against this ordinance, which step the papal minister to earn the glorious title of re- being considered as an act of disloyalty, they were storer of the faith in the British kingdoms, and de- sent to the Tower. clares that she hopes much from his administration These innovations, in regard both to the religion and for the re-establishment both of religion and the royal government, gradually united opposing interests, family.' Finally, the term re-establish,' which can and a large body of nobility and gentry concurred in refer to no time subsequent to the accession of Eli- an application to the prince of Orange, who had been zabeth, had so much become the appropriate term, secretly preparing a feet and an army for the invathat Louis XIV. assured the pope of his determina- sion of the country. James, who was long kept in tion to aid 'the king of England, and to re-establish ignorance of these transactions, when informed of the catholic religion in that island.' None of the them by his minister at the Hague, was struck most discerning friends or opponents of the king seem with terror equal to his former infatuation; and, imat this time to have doubted that he meditated no less mediately repealing all his obnoxious acts, he practhan to transfer to his own religion the privileges of tised every method to gain popularity. All confian established church. Gourville, one of the most dence was, however, destroyed between the king sagacious men of his age, being asked by the duchess and the people. of Tyrconnel, when about to make a journey to Lon William arrived with his fleet in Torbay, November don, what she should say to the king if he enquired 4, 1688, and landed his forces ; but the remembrance about the opinion of his old friend Gourville, of his of Monmouth's rebellion for some time prevented measures for the re-establishment of the catholic the people in the west from joining him, until, at religion in England, begged her to answer, 'If I were length, several men of rank went over, and the pope I should have excommunicated him for exposing royal army began to desert by entire regiments. all the English catholics to the risk of being hanged. Incapable of any vigorous resolution, and finding his I have do doubt that what he sees done in France is overtures of accommodations disregarded, he resolved his model, but the circumstances are very different. to quit the country. He repaired to St. Germain, In my opinion he ought to be content with favouring where he was received with great kindness and hosthe catholics on every occasion, in order to augment pitality by Louis XIV. In the meantime the throne their number ; and he should leave to his successors of Great Britain was declared abdicated, and was the care of gradually subjecting England altogether filled, with the national and parliamentary consent, to the authority of the pope.' Bossuet, the most by his eldest daughter, Mary, and her husband Willearned, vigorous, and eloquent of controversialists liam, conjointly; Anne, who had, equally with her in the great work on the variations of the protestant sister, been educated a strict protestant, being dechurches, which he published at this critical time, clared next in succession to the exclusion of the inventured to foretel that the pious efforts of James fant prince. Assisted by Louis XIV. James was enawould speedily be rewarded by the reconciliation of bled, in March, 1689, to make an attempt for the rethe British islands with the universal church, and covery of Ireland. The battle of Boyne, fought June their filial submission to the apostolic see." 1690, compelled him to return to France. All suc

After disgusting the great majority of his subjects, ceeding projects for his restoration proved equally by attending mass with all the ensigns of his dignity, abortive, and he spent the last years of his life in he proceeded to levy the customs and excise without acts of ascetic devotion. the authority of parliament. He even sent an agent to Rome, to pave the way for a solemn re-admission of England into the bosom of that church, and received advice, on the score of moderation, from the pope himself. This conduct encouraged the rebellion of the duke of Monmouth. The unrelenting temper of James was again exhibited in the executions on this account. The legal proceedings under Jeffreys were brutal in the extreme; and it is esti JAMES I., of Scotland.—This distinguished momated that no fewer than 251 persons suffered death in narch was one of the most learned as well as the the west of England by the cruel proceedings of that most unfortunate of sovereigns. He stood forth a infamous judge, which it was the custom of the king bright and shining light in the turbulent times in to gibe upon, under the name of " Jeffreys' Cam- which he was placed, and ultimately fell a sacrifice paign.” The temporary awe, produced by this se- to the powerful brigands who then formed the Scotverity, even in parliament, was so great, that James tish aristocracy. He was born in 1394, and became was encouraged to throw off almost all disguise, both a prisoner to the English monarch when but a child. in regard to religion and government. By virtue of He was for some time closely confined in London, his assumed dispensing power, he rendered tests of and in 1407 he was removed to the castle of Nottingno avail, and filled his army and council with Roman ham, from whence he was brought back to the Tower catholics. He put Ireland entirely into their hands, in March 1414, and there confined till August in the and governed Scotland by a few noblemen who had same year, when he was conveyed to the castle of become converts to the same faith. He gradually Windsor, where he was detained till the summer of

James

[ocr errors]
« ПретходнаНастави »