Abbildungen der Seite

and their spies in all places. Major Adams, being apprehended on suspicion, was the first who discovered the couspiracy to the council of state. On bis information warrants were issued out, for apprehending most of the gentlemen and ministers abovementioned; but several absconded, and withdrew from the storm. The ministers who were apprehended were Dr. Drake, Mr. Jenkins, Jackson, Robinson, Watson, Blackmore, and Haviland, who after some time were released on their petition for mercy, and promising submission to the government for the fu. ture; but Mr. Love and Gibbons were made examples, as a terror to others. Mr. Jenkins's petition being expressed in very strong terms* was ordered to be printed; it was entitleil, The humble petition of William Jenkins, prisoner, declaring his unfeigned sorrow for all his late miscar. riages, and promising to be true and faithful to the present government ; with three queries, being the ground of his late petition, and submission to the present powers.

The reverend Mr. Love was brought before a new high court of justice erected for this purpose, as was the custom of these times for state criminals, when Mr. attorney-general Prideaux, June 20, exhibited against him the following charge of high treason; “ that at several times in the years 1619, 1650, and 1651, and in several places, he, with the persons abovementioned, had maliciously combined, and contrived to raise forces against the present govo ernment--that they had declared and published Charles Stuart, eldest son of the late king, to be king of England, without consent of parliament—that they had aided the Scots to invade this commonwealth-that the said Christopher Love, at divers times between the 29th of March 1650, and the first of June 1651, at London and other

* The most remarkable positions in this petition were: That the parljainent, without the king, were the supreme authority of the nation : that God's providences are antecedent declarations of his will and approbation; and appeared as evidently in removing the king and investing their honors with the government, as iu taking away and bestow. ing any government, in any history of any age of the world: that the relasal of subjection to their authority was such an opposing the gov. ernment set up by the sovereign Lord of heaven and earth, as none can have peace either in acting or suffering for: and that it was a duty to yieid to this authority all active and cheerful obedience, in the Lord, for conscience sake. Dr. Grey's Remarks, vol. iii. p. 127. Ed.

places, had traitorously and maliciously maintained correspondence and intelligence by letters and messages with Charles Stuart, son of the late king, and with the queen his mother, and with sundry of his council--that he did likewise hold correspondence with divers of the Scots nation, and bad assisted them with money,arms,and other supplies in the present war, as well as colonel Titus, and others of the English nation in confederacy with them, to the bazard of the public peace, and in breach of the lawsof the land."

To this charge Mr. Love, after baving demurred to the jurisdiction of the court, pleaded not guilty. The witnesses against him were eight of the above-mentioned gentle. mer. The reverend Mr. Jackson was summoned, but refused to be sworn, or give evidence, because he looked ou Mr. Love to be a good man; saying, he should have a hell in bis conscience to his dying day, if he should speak any thing that should be circumstantially prejudicial to Mr. Love's life. The court put him in mind of his obligation to the public,and that the very safety of all government depended upon it. But he refused to be sworn, for which the court sent him to the Fleet, and fined him five hundred poundsa

But it appeared by the other witnesses, that Mr. Love had carried on a criminal correspondence both with the king and the Scots. With regard to the king it was sworn, that about a month after his late majesty's death, several of them met at a tavern at Dowgate, and other places, to concert measures to forward the king's agreement with the Scots, for which purpose they applied by letters to the queen, and sent over colonel Titus with one hundred pounds to defray his expences. The colonel, having delivered his message, sent back letters by colonel Alsford, which were read in Mr. Love's house; with the copy of a letter from the king himself, Mr. Love being present.Upon these and such like facts, the council for the commonwealth insisted, that here was a criminal correspondence to restore the king, contrary to the ordinance of Jan. 30, 1618, which says, “that whosoever shall proclaim, declare, publish, or any ways promote Charles Stuart, or any other person, to be king of England, without consent of parliament, shall be adjudged a traitor, and suffer the pains of death as a traitor."

The other branch of the charge against Mr. Love, was his correspondence with the Scots, and assisting them in the war against the parliament. To support this article, captains Potter, Adams, and Mr. Jacquel, swore that letters came from Scotland to colonel Bamfield with the letter L upon them, giving a large narrative of the fight at Dunbar, and of the Scots affairs for three months after till Christmas. There came also letters from the earls of Argyle, Lothian, and Loudon, who proposed the raising ten thousand pounds to buy arms, and to hire sbipping, in order to land five thousand men in England. The letters were read at Mr. Love's house ; but the proposals being disliked, only forty pounds were raised for the expences of the messenger. At another time a letter was read from general Massey, in which he desires them to provide arms, and mentions bis own and colonel Titus's necessities ; upon which it was agreed to raise two or three bundred pounds by way of contribution, and every one present wrote down what he would lend, among whom was Mr. Love, who not only contributed himself, but carried about the paper to encourage others. This was construed by the council for the commonwealth, sufficient to bring Mr. Love within the ordinance of July 1, 1649, which says, 6 that if any shall procure, invite, aid, or assist, any foreigoers or strangers to invade England or Ireland; or shall adhere to any forces raised by the enemies of the parliament, or commonwealth, or keepers of the liberties of England, all such persons shall be deemed and adjudged guilty of high treason."

Mr. Love, in his defence, behaved with a little too much freedom and boldness; he set too high a value upon his sacred character, which the court was inclined to treat with neglect. He objected to the witnesses, as being foreed into the service to save their lives. He observes, that to several of the facts there was only one witness ; and that some of them had sworn falsely, or at least their memories had failed them in some things; which might easily bappen at so great a distance of time. He called no witnesses to confront the evidence, but at the close of his defence confessed ingenuously, that there had been several meet

ings of the abovenanied persons at his house, that a commission was read, but that he had dissented from it. He acknowledged further, that he was present at the reading of letters, or of some part of them, “ but I was ignorant (says he) of the danger that I now see I am in. The act of Aug. 2, 1650, makes it treason to hold any correspondence with Scotland, or to send letters thither though but in a way of commerce, the two nations being at war; now here my council acquaints me with my danger, that I being present when letters were read in my house, am guilty of a concealment and therefore as to that, I humbly lay myself at your feet and mercy.

And to move the court to shew mercy to him, he endeavored to set out his own character in the most favorable light; “I have been called a malignant and apostate, (says he) but, God is my witness, I never carried on a malignant interest; I shall retain my covenanting principles, from which by the grace of God I will never depart; neither am I an incendiary between the two nations of England and Scotland, but I am grieved for their divisions; and if I had as much blood in my veins as there is water in the sea, I could account it well spent to quench the fire that our sins have kindled between them. I have all along engaged my life and estate in the parliament's quarrel, against the forces raised by the late king, not from a prospect of advantage, but from conscience and duty; and I am so far from repenting, that were it to do again, upon the same unquestionable authority, and for the same declared ends, I should as readily engage in it as ever; though I wish from my soul, that the ends of that just war had been better accomplished.

“ Nor have my sufferings in this cause been inconsiderable; when I was a scholar in Oxford, and M. A. I was the first, who publicly refused to subscribe the canons inposed by the late archbishop, for which I was expelled the convocation house. When I came first to London, which was about twelve years ago, I was opposed by the bishop of London, and it was about three years before I could obtain so much as a lecture. In the year 1640, or 1611, I was imprisoned in Newcastle, for preaching against the service-book from whence I was removed hither by

habeas corpus, and acquitted. In the beginning of the war between the late king and parliament, I was accused for preaching treason and rebellion, merely because I maintained, in a sermon at Tenterden in Kent, the lawfulness of a defensive war. I was again complained of by the commissioners at Uxbridge for preaching a sermon, which I hear is lately reprinted ; and if it be printed according to the first copy, I will own every line of it. After all this, I have been three times in trouble since the late change of government. Once I was committed to custody, and twice cited before the committee for plundered ministers, but for want of proof was discharged. And now last of all, this great trial is come upon me; I have been kept several weeks in close prison, and am now arraigned for my life, and like to suffer from the hands of those for whom I have done and suffered so much, and who have lifted up their hands with me in the same covenant; and yet I am not conscious of any personal act proved against me, that brings me within any of your laws as to treason.

Upon the whole, though I never wrote nor sent letters into Scotland, yet I confess their proceedings with the king are agreeable to my judgment, and for the good of the nation; and though I disown the commission and instructions mentioned in the indictment, yet I have desired an agreement between the king and the Scots, agreeably to the covenant; for they having declared him to be their king, I have desired and prayed as a private man, that they might accomplish their ends upon such terms as were consistent with the safety of religion and the covenant.”

He concludes with beseeching the court, that he may not be put to death for state reasons.

He owns he had been guilty of a concealment, and begs the mercy of the court for it, promising for the futare to lead a quiet and peaceable life. He puts them in mind, that when Abiathar the priest had done an unjustifiable action, king Solomon said, he would not put him to death at that time, because he bore the ark of the Lord God before David his father ; and because he had been afflicted in all wherein his father had been afflicted.—5 Thus (says be) I commit myself and my all to God, and to your judgments and consciences, with the VOL. IV.


« ZurückWeiter »