Showing posts with label Cromwell. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cromwell. Show all posts

Friday, 28 July 2017




( Falsly so called )

V I N D I C A T E D,



Of the twelve Troops (which by Trea-
chery in a Treaty) was lately surprised, and de-
feated at Burford, truly stated, and offered to the
Judgement of all unbyassed, and wel-minded
People, especially of the Army, their fellow
Souldiers, under the Conduct
of the Lord Fairfax.

By a faithful remnant, late of Col. Scroops, Com-
missary General Iretons, and Col. Harrisons Regiments,
that hath not yet bowed their knee unto Baal, whose names
(in the behalf of themselves, and by the appointment of the
rest of their friends) are hereunto subscribed.
Printed in the yeer 1649

The Case &c.
It is wel known, and yet fresh in the publike memory; with what monstrous and hateful defamations, as Anti-Scripturists, Libertines, Atheists, Mutiniers, Levellers, &c. we have most falsly and maliciously been deciphered out to the people and Army, on purpose to bury us under the rage and odium of our fellow-souldiers; and utterly to blast, and prejudice the common acceptance, against our late lawful, and concientious Undertaking: And seeing the equity of all transactions most commonly measured by the event, and success that befals them; few considering how God many times suffereth unjust men to prosper, and spred themselves in the world, like the Green Bay Tree; and the just (for their correction and proof) to be subdued and trod underfoot in a season. We are thereby at so great a seeming disadvantage amongst men, That in every thing we are fore spoken, our truths (how palpable and evident forever) are rendered as incredible, and regardless, strength and power being on their side to countenance their actions, our enemies over awing all judgements, and forcing by the might of their lawless Sword, a credit or subjection to their own most perfidious and deceitful ways; so that, as for the fruit or success that we expect, we could still have sat in patience, and not have uttered a word, but the dishonest and treacherous dealings recieved, with the woful ruin of the Nation, therewith sustained in ours (evidently appearing) do so boyl our hearts, and so prevalently press upon our conciences, that we are not able longer to rest in silence; but let the hazard to us be what it will, we shall so far presume upon the publike view, as faithfully and impartially, to set down the true state and maner of our whole proceedings in that our late undertaking, hitherto most falsly and deceitfully represented by the ruling Faction of the Army, and so leave the same to the judgement and timely consideration of all honest and conciencious people, especially of the Army, our fellow soldiers, under the conduct of the Lord Fairfax, and amongst them in a special maner, all those that really in judgement and concience took up Arms for the Rights and liberties of their Native Country, as the whole Army in their Declaration of the 14 of June, 1647 declare they all did. Thus then understanding, that we the soldiers of Col. Scroops Regiment, and others, were allotted for the service of Ireland, without our consent, or of any of our fellow soldiers in Counsel for us, we fell into serious debate (as in reason and honesty we could do no less, considering likewise our late solemn Engagement) whether we could lawfully, In safety of our selves, and our own Native Rights in England submit unto that foreign service or no? And finding by that our old Solemn Engagement at New Market and Triplo Heaths, June 5, 1647. with the manifold Declarations, Promises, and Protestations of the Army, in persuance thereof, were all utterly declined, and most perfidiously broken, and the whole fabrick of the Common-wealth fallen into the grossest and vilest Tyranny that ever English men groaned under; all their Laws, Rights, Lives, Liberties, and Properties, wholly subdued (under the vizard and form of that Engagement) to the Boundless wills of some decietful persons, having developed the whole Magistracy of England into their Martial Domination, ruling the people with a Rod of Iron, as most mens woeful experience can clearly witness; which, with the consideration of the particular, most insufferable abuses and dis-satisfactions put upon us, moved us to an unanimous refusal to go, till our Concience were discharged in the faithful fulfillment of our said Solemn Engagement to our Native Countrey; in which Engagement, we were expresly and particularly obliged against the Service of Ireland, till full satisfaction and security were given to us as Soldiers and Commoners, by a Counsel of our own free Election, according to the rule and tenor of that Engagement, Recorded in the Armies Book of Declarations pag 23, 24, 25, 26, 27. Whereupon we drew up a Paper of some Reasons, by way of Declaration, concerning our said refusal, to deliver to our Colonel; unto which, we all chearfully subscribed, with many of our Officers (especially Cornet Den who then seemingly was extream forward in assisting us to effect our desires) which being delivered a day or two after, immediately our Officers caused a Rendezvous near unto Salisbury, where they declared, That the General intended not to force us, but that we might either go or stay; and so testifying our intents to stay, we were all drawn into the town again, and the Colonel, with the rest of the Officers, full of discontent, threatened us the soldiers; and because we were all, or most of one minde, he termed our Unity a Combination, or Mutiny; yet himself upon our request to know, told us, That he could not assure us, that he would go. Which forementioned Paper, with a Letter, we sent to Commissary General Iretons Regiment, who took it so well, That they were immediately upon their march towards our quarters, to joyn with us, for the making good of their and our Engagement, which we, they, and the rest of the Army had engaged at New-Market and Triplo Heaths.
After all this, all politike means that could be thought upon, were put in practice to work us off from our resolutions, as severing the Troops, and dealing with them apart, not suffering the Soldiers of one Troop to come to any of the other, employing Agents and Preaching Officers from Troop to Troop, to work us to that Service; and craftily, and lyingly, telling each Troop, That the other Troops were listed for the Irish Service, surrupticiously to over-reach, and gain us by that deceit. A crime they most maliciously fix upon others, whom they would make the world believe drew us to that undertaking, as in their Declaration of their proceedings against us, published last May 22. is to be seen, where page 6. speaking scandalously of some persons, naming none, yet strongly implying our four worthy Friends in the Tower [John Lilburne, Richard Overton, William Walwyn and Thomas Prince], they say of them, "That they sent their Emissaries and Agents into all parts, pretending from one Regiment to another; that each Regiment had declared, That so by that Artifice, they might draw each to declare. To the Forces in Wales, and the West, they gave assurances, that the forces about London would revolt; to those about London, that those in Wales, and the West, would do the same." Thus to shroud their own vildness, and to effect their own evil ends, they are not sparing to blast innocent persons with their own wicked devices themselves are so apparently and foully guilty of; and yet wipe their mouths, as if no speck or stain were upon them, and raise the report upon others.
All those devices working nothing upon us (there being no satisfaction given to our just exceptions) our Colonel fell to violent threats, and commanded us to put our Horses in a Field two miles from our Quarters; which though at first we did, yet finding the bitterness of his spirit to increase, and that upon his information, That the General, and Lieutenant General [Fairfax and Cromwell] were preparing a force against us: what could we do less, than to put ourselves into the best posture we could to preserve ourselves, which we immediately did (and in this no man was more forward, and violently earnest, than that perfidious Apostate, Cornet Den.) And for our justification therein, we need go no further than their own words, in the Armies Declaration of the 14 of June, 1647. where to justifie their own opposition and rebellion to the Orders of a full, free, unforced, unravished, and untwice purged Parliament, they tell us, That the Parliament hath declared it no resisting of Magistracy, to side with the just principles, and Law of Nature and Nations, being that Law upon which the Army Assisted; and that the Souldiers may lawfully hold the hands of the General that will turn his Cannon against his Army, on purpose to destroy them.
This being done, we had further Intelligence of the greatness and speediness of the Generals preparations against us and that, Though what we had done, did not amount to so much, as the Army had formerly done at Saffron Walden, upon the Parliaments commanding them for Ireland, yet were we strangely represented to our fellow Souldiers, by the Lieutenant General [Cromwell] in Hide Park, under the notion of Mutiniers, Levellers, and denyers of the Scriptures, of purpose to make them engage against us*; so that now we saw, there was no way of safety left us, but by standing upon our Guard, and capitulating with our Swords in our hands, being encouraged thereto, as well by our own innocency, and the equity of those things, upon which we had grounded our Resolutions: As also for that we could not think our fellow Souldiers of the Army, who with us engaged at New-Market Heath, would fight against us, for upholding the said Solemn Engagement, wherein they were equally concerned and obliged with us, both as Souldiers and Commoners to each other, to us, and the whole Nation, with whom it was made. But indeed, this Treacherous Tragedy was principally managed and acted by (that Turn Coat) Reynolds, and his Regiment; who for most of them were strangers to that Engagement. A company of Blood-thirsty Rogues, Murderers, Thieves, High-way-men, and some that were taken in Colchester, and such as were cashiered out of other Regiments for high misdemeanors, being entertained therein. And these were the men principally designed, and to be trusted against us, as most fittest to fight for the truth of the Scriptures, and such Saints as the Lieutenant General(*)

*Though none act more directly against the tenor thereof than themselves, as is too manifest by their frequent breaking of all Faith and Promises, making nothing of Treachery, dissembling, yea, and lying too (which is not once to be mentioned amongst Saints, as they would have men think of them.) O abominable Hypocrites! Know ye not, that dissembling Piety is double iniquity; but we fear, while ye pretend to Scripture, ye believe neither it, nor the Resurrection: For if ye did, ye would not condemn the Innocent; against Knowledg and Concience, of those things your selves are Guilty. Repent betimes, or else your portion will be with Hypocrites.
(*)These are of the men that usually asperce the Peoples best Friends with such Language, as Atheists, Levellers, Anti-Scripturists, and who lives more like such than they? for it is they who ruine all, and destroy Propriety, by their Arbitrary and Lawless Power; and who more like Jesuites than themselves for crafty Policy, Lying, and Treachery? and certainly these be the effects, or fruits of Atheism: For by their works you shall know them.

But to return. Hereupon our Officers leaving us, we choose new ones, and disposed of our Colours, and immediately drew up a Declaration, wherein we signified the Resolutions of the General (upon our refusal to go to Ireland) in a slight and unworthy manner to disband us, after our so many years hard and faithful Services; which we then knew to have been practised upon many of our fellow souldiers in Colonel Huesons and Cooks Regiments; and thereupon, we resolved to stand to our former Engagements made at New-Market; which the proceedings of the General and our Officers, did expressly contradict and make voyd. This Declaration was publikely read at our Rendezvous in old Sarum [Iron-Age Hill-Fort NE of Salisbury], where four Troops of Commissarie General Iretons met us, and unanimously assented to by both Regiments; whereupon our conjunction we advanced to Marlborough, and so to Wantage, where Commissioners from the General met us, to wit Major White, Captain Scotten, Captain Pevreral, and Captain Lieutenant Batley, with whom that day we did nothing, but agreed to meet at Stamford Green, the next morning by eight of the Clock, where we were all according to appointment, but the Commissioners not coming, we marched out of the field, on our way towards Abbington; and as we were upon our march the Commissioners came posting after us, and we presently made a hault; then they overtaking us, and told us, They had Order from the General, and Lieutenant General, to hear our Desires, and endevor the Composure of our Differences; then they read a Letter unto us from the General, which took but little effect upon our Spirits; and so marching a little further, two of Colonel Harrisons Troops, to wit, Captain Pecks and Captain Winthrops were marching to their Quarters, where Cornet Den and divers others met them, And read a Declaration to them, and used many glorious invitations of them to desire them to come and joyn with us, making appeare the lawfulness of our cause, telling them that we were resolved to stand to our first principles, and that if there were but ten men would stand for those just things, he would make the eleventh, with divers such like expressions, the two Troops being very willing to be satisfied in the lawfulness of the engagement, telling us they were marching to Thame, and the next morning we should know their resolutions; But as we were marching back againe, before we were half out of the field, we spied a partie of horse, which it seemed was the Apostate Reynolds with his mercenary damme crew (such as in our hearing most desperately swore, That if the Devil would come from hell and give them a groat a day more than the state, they would fight for him against the Levellers or any others) well, upon this we drew out a Folorne hope, and thereupon two Troops of Colonel Harrisons marched with us towards them; they retreated towards New-bridge and kept it by force against us, but we unwilling to shed blood, or to be the original occasion of a new war (though they have often branded us with it as if we wholy sought it) but our actions did then clearly manifest the contrary; for we seeing Souldiers, coming in a Hostile manner against us as aforesaid, did meet them, having forty or fifty of them at our mercy, and could have destroyed them, for we had them two miles from the foresaid bridge, but we did not then in the least offer them any violence or diminish a hair of their heads, but let them go to their body againe, and withall marched to a Ford, because we would not in the least be an occasion of any blood-shed; And having marched through the Ford into the Marsh on the other side, we called our Councel together, who referred the appointment of our quarters to Lieutenant Ray and Cornet Den, who designed us for Burford, where being in the Treatie with the Commissioners, and having intelligence, that the General and Lieutenant Generall were upon their march towards us, many of us severall times, urged to Major White, and prest upon him, that he came to betray us, to which he replyed, That the Generall and Lieutenant Generall had engaged their Honours not to engage against us in any Hostile manner till they had received our Answer, no not so much as to follow their Messengers and Commissioners with force, and being too credulous to the Generals words, knowing that he never broak ingagement with the Cavaleers in that kinde; We gave the more credit to the Major, who seemed extream forward and hastie to make the Composure, pretending so far to approve of our standing for the things contained in our engagement at Triplo-Heath, that himself with our consents drew up a Paper in Answer to the Generall for us, so fully according to our desires as that it gave us satisfaction, so that the Agreement betwixt the Generals Commissioners and us, seemed to be even concluded and at an end; And for full satisfaction take a Copie of the said Letter which is as followeth:
May it please your Excellency.
WEe are your Excellencies Souldiers, who have engaged our lives under your Excellencies conduct, through all difficulties and hazards in order to the procurement of Freedom, Safety and Peace to this Nation, and our selves as Members thereof, and being lately designed by lot to be divided, and sent over into Ireland for the prosecution of that service, in order to the Peace and safety of this Common-wealth, which we think necessary to be performed, but looking back to take a view of our former proceeding, we finde that we cannot in concience to our selves, in duty to God, this Nation, and the rest of our fellow souldiers undertake that service, but by such a decision as is Agreeable to our solemn Engagement made at New-Market Heath, the 5 of June 1647. where we did in the presence of God, with one consent solemnly engage one to another, not to disband nor divide, nor suffer our selves to be disbanded nor divided, Untill satisfaction and security was received by the judgement of a councell consisting of two Officers and two Souldiers together with the Generall Officers that did concur, such satisfaction and security as that engagement refers unto; And being now departed from our obedience to you because you keep not Covenant with us: yet we shal not in the least harbour any evil thought or prejudice against you, nor use any act of hostility, unlesse necessitated thereunto in our own defence, which we desire God to prevent; All that we desire (and we speak in the presence of God, who knows our hearts) is, that your Excellency will call a Generall Councell according to the solemn Engagement. In the Judgment whereof we will acquiesse, and refer ourselves to them to take an account of our late actions. This being assured we will every man with cheerfulnesse returne to our obedience, and submit to your Excellency and the Judgement of that Councell in all matters that concern us as Souldiers, or Members of this Common-wealth; this we beg of your Excellency to grant, out of the respect of your duty to God, this Nation, and the Army, that we may thereby retain our peace with him and procure the happinesse of this Nation under him, which is the desire of our soules: If you shall deny us this, we must lay at your door all the Misery, Bloodshed and Ruine that will fall upon Nation and Army; for we are resolved as one man by Gods assistance to stand in this Just desire, and although our bodies perish, yet we shall keep our consciences cleer, and we are confident our soules will be at peace; Now till we have a full determination herein, we desire your Excellency will forbear all manner of hostility, or marching towards us for avoyding any inconveniencies that may come to our selves or the Country; these desires with affection being granted we hope the falling out of friends will be the renewing of love, And we shall subscribe and manifest our selves your Excellencies faithfull Souldiers, and servants to this Common-wealth.
But to returne, during the time of treaty, while the Commissioners thus assured us all security, one of them, to wit, Captain Scotten privately slipt from us, and to others, to wit, Captain Bayley and Peverill left notes at every Town of our strength and condition, whilst Major White held us in hand, and told us, that if they fell upon us, he would stand between the bullets and us: So that when notice had been sufficiently given, and we with all the meanes that could be used, wrought into a secure condition at Burford, & after the setting of our Guard, which was commanded by Quarter-Master More who was thereupon appointed, by his brother Traytor, Cornet Den (who himself) since his coming to London hath avowedly declared to Ma. W. W. [William Walwyn] to this effect, that his beginning and continuing with the Burford Troops was out of premeditated and complotted designe, that so at last he might the easier bring on their destruction, holding all the time he was with them, correspondency with the Generalls creatures, which said Quarter-Master More after he had set the guard in this slight manner, and possest us with as much security as he could, and under the pretence of going to refresh himself and horse, did most villanously and treacherously leave the guard without any Orders, and himself in person posted away to the Generals forces and brought them in upon us, marching in the head of them with his sword drawn against us; And Quarter-master More being afterward called Traitor by some of the Souldiers, Captain Gotherd of Scroops Regiment made answer, he was none, for that he did nothing but what he was sent to do; so that most Treacherously, that same night the Generals forces came pouring on both sides of the Towne of Burford, where we had not been above three houres, swearing, Damme them and sink them, and violently fell upon us, and so by a fraudulent and Treacherous surprize defeated us, not expecting it during the Treatie, especially from them with whom we had joyned these seven years for the defence of Englands Liberties and Freedoms, and though divers of us had fair quarter promised us by Colonel Okey, Major Barton and the rest of the Officers then with them, as that not a hair of our heads should perish, yet did they suffer their souldiers to plunder us, strip us, and barbarously to use us, worse than Cavaliers, yea Cromwell stood by to see Cornet Thomson, Master Church and Master Perkins murthered, and we were all condemned to death, although Colonel Okey, Major Barton and others of the Grandees had ingaged that not a hair of our heads should perish, when they surrendred themselves unto them, Thompson being then at the head of a party of two Troops of horse, and the other with their fellow Souldiers made good their Quarters while they had the conditions promissed them, and then Cromwel, after this horrid murther was committed upon the three forementioned, contrary to Okeys, Bartons and others of their promises at their taking them, came to us in the Church, and making his old manner of dissembling speaches, told us it was not they that had saved our lives, but providence had so ordered it and told us that he could not deny but that many of the things that we desired were good, and they intended to have many of them done, but we went in a mutinous way, and disobeyed the Generals Orders; but withall he told us that we should not be put off with dishonourable terms because we should not become a reproach to the common Enemie: but we desire all unbyassed men to judge, whether ten shillings a man and a peece of paper for seven yeers Service, be honourable terms: the paper being good for nothing but to sell to Parliament mens Agents who have set them a work to buy them for three shillings, or four shillings in a pound at most; and we are forced to sell them to supply our wants, to keep us from starving, or forcing us to go to the highway, by reason they will not pay us one penny of our Arrears any other way but by papers, that so they may rob us and the rest of the Souldiers of the Armie of their seven yeers Service, to make themselves and their adherence the soul possessors of the late Kings Lands for little or nothing; and for ought we know, the moneys they buy our Debenters withall, is the money the Nation cannot have any account of. But this their dealing is not onely so to us, whom they pretend disobeyed their commands; but they dealt so basely by other Souldiers who never resisted their unjust Commands, as we beleeve no age can parallel; For in the first place they turned them off with two months pay. Secondly they have taken away three parts of their Arrears for Free-quarter, though the Country (whose victuals, grasse and corn they eat) be never the better; and do also force them to sell their papers at the rate aforesaid. And deer fellow-Souldiers think not, because you are in Arms a little longer than we, that you shall speed better than we, which thay have disbanded before you; but be assured, that when they have their own ends served on you, as they have already on us, you shall have as bad conditions of them, and may be, worse, if it be possible, then we have had before you; and may also reward you for your good services, by raising a company of mercenary Rogues, to cut your throats, as they did trayterously to cut ours at Burford.
But to return, from this sad and long digression: by this their serpentine craft, and our own over credulous innocency, we were overthrown, and our hopefull beginnings for the rescue and deliverie of our selves and the Nation from the thraldome, in us all Assertors of the Freedoms of England, and to put an utter inconfidence and jealousie for ever amongst such upon all future engagements, they made that wretched Judas Den, to that end their pandor and slave: they pretendedly spare his life after his condemnation to death, although now upon good grounds and intelligence, (yea partly from his own confessions as is noted before) we do beleeve that from the beginnings of our proceedings, he was their appointed Emissary (as well as the forementioned Quartermaster) to be most zealous and forward of any man for us, the better to compasse our ruine and lead us like poor sheep to the slaughter; they enjoyne Den, to preach Apostacy to us in the Pulpit of Burford Church, to assert and plead the unlawfulnesse of our engagements, as much as before the lawfulnesse to vindicate, and justifie all those wicked and abhominable proceedings of the Generall, Lievetenant Generall and their officers against us, howling and weeping like a Crocadile, and to make him a perfect Rogue and villain upon everlasting Record, to which like the most abhorred of mankind to bring about their pernicious ends upon the people, he willingly submitted, and in that paper at the advantage of this wicked and treacherous overthrow of ours endeavoured to bury our solemn Engagement at New market heath in our ruines, as if long since cancell'd and of no longer force or obligation, pretending that by petition we had call'd home our councell of Agitators and so dissolv'd our engagement at New-market heath, And so the Army absolved from all further observation thereof.
Now to this, is to be considered, that the said engagement was radicall upon the grounds of common freedom, safetie and securitie to the Nation, and upon that account and to that end onely undertaken and solemnly made, and all righteous othes, vows, and covenants are indissolveble and of force till their full and perfect accomplishment; the Apostacy and defection of no man, though of him or those that vowes, or makes such oaths or engagements can absolve or untie them; and this no man that hath any spark or Conscience or Christianitie in him can deny. Therefore it was most deceitfully and corruptly urged, that the fame power that gave it a being dissolved it; for till the vowes of that engagement be paid unto the people, it standeth firm and obligatorie, till then the gates of hell are not able to prevail against the being and obliging powers thereof; and we are sure none can say, the genuine ends and intents of that engagement are yet obtained, but a thousand times further off, then at the making of that vow: besides, as that engagement enjoynes, what securitie or satisfaction then their private or publick rights, both as Souldiers and commoners, have we of the rest of our fellow souldiers yet recieved from a councell consisting of two Souldiers chosen out of every Regiment, two commission officers with such Generall officers onely as assented to that undertaking when or where was it? Indeed had such a Councell so concluded, and we the souldiers by our unanimous testimony and subscription (as we did to our engagement) testifie our satisfaction, there might have been some plausible pretence for its dissolution; but to this day it is evident to the whole world that no such thing hath been, and this was the expresse letter and intent of that New-market engagement; and to urge a petition for recalling the Agitators is a blinde excuse; for put the case there had been such an one, and that of Generall, Officers and Souldiers, yet the foundation of that Vow standeth sure to us all, it is immovable till its own proper end, viz. the accomplishment of the righteous end therein contained, affix its period: which we earnestly desire, may be conscienciously and seriously laid to heart by all our fellow-souldiers in solemn covenant with us; for there is a God that over-seeth, and one day (when there will be no Articles of War to prevent) will call us to a strict reckoning for the breach of our faith and vows one to another, and the Nation and account with us for all the blood, ruine, misery and oppression that thereby hath ensued, and still dependeth upon that most monstrous Apostacie. That pretended petition at that day will be found to be but a broken reed to lean upon, it will nothing abate of the guilt: and how-ever it is now highly urged to wipe off all worldly dishonour from the iron Rulers of our age, we are not such strangers to the Army, if any such Army Petition were, as not to know it: Sure wee are, no such Petition can be produced from any single Troop, Company, or Regiment, much lesse from the Armie. And though some such endeavours were for the promotion of so wicked and vile an enterprise, and now as evilly made use of; yet it never fell under the cognizance of the Army, neither yet of any single entire Regiment, Troop or Company; and the Engagement by the Army was made as an Army, by unanimous consent, and therefore no otherwise dissolvable, but unanimously as an Army and that neither otherwise than righteously, after the tenour and true intent of that Engagement, as we have clearly evinced, and therein discharged our Consciences: See further upon this Subject a late Book of Aug. 1649. Lieut. Col. John Lilburns, Intituled, An Impeachment of High Treason against Oliver Cromwell, and Henry Ireton Esquires page 4,5. See also the 40, 41, 42, 43, 81, pages of the second edition of his Book of the eight of June 1646. Intituled, The Legall Fundamentall Liberties of the People of England, asserted, revived, and vindicated.
Thus we have truly stated the case of our late proceedings and differences betwixt our Officers and us, and hope sufficiently to beget a right understanding and approvement, especially with all honest and conscientious people, of the equity of our late undertakings: however to those that are and shall come after, we have published and left upon record a perfect view and Prospect of our condition, that if the present Perusers shall not, yet happily that those that are to come may be thereby provoked to consideration thereof, and equall resentment with us of the righteous ends of that now betrayed, deferred, Engagement of the Army, which we chiefly desire and expect at the hands of our Fellow Souldiers, that they may not longer like their Leaders be numbred amongst such as will not be limited or circumscribed within any Bounds, Engagements, Oaths, Promises, or Protestations, but levell, break, frustrate and throw off all, (as if no tyes betwixt man and man were to be on mankind) to bring about the corrupt ends of their ambition and avarice, as not only in this case of ours, but in all others of their publike undertakings since the beginning of the Armies Engagement is clearly manifest, and yet all their successes, and advancements over the People, gaind by their perjury, fraud, equivocations, treacheries and deceipts they ascribe to the immediate approving hand of God, and seal over their delusions with the glorious exercise of Religious formalities to the eye of the People, by which a thick mist, as thick as the Egyptian darkness is lately come over the eyes of the greatest pretenders to true puritie and Religion, and many conscientious people therewith bewitched into the favour and approvement of their alone Jesuitical, wicked, desperate and bloody wayes, even to the opposition and persecution of the most faithfull and constant promoters of, and sufferers for, the just freedoms of the Nation.
But in case our fellow Souldiers will not remember their vows, but still slight & desert the same, their sin be upon their own heads, we have discharged our selves: yet considering they may again possibly incline to their countries redemption (as labouring more under ignorance than willfulnes) we shall offer them and all others that bear good will to the Nation, what in reason and Equity is most conducing to a safe and well grounded peace amongst us, and which by its greatest Adversaries cannot be denyed but to be righteous and just, though contradictory to the lawless Lordship and ambitions of their Officers.
And first, We desire it may be considered, that our Hostile engagements against the late King, was not against his Oppressions and Tyranny on the People, and for their removall, but the use and advantage on all the successe God hath been pleased to give us is perverted to that personall end, that by his removall the Ruling sword-men might intrude into his Throne, set up a Martiall Monarchie more cruell, Arbitrarie and Tyrannicall then England ever yet tasted of, and that under the Notion of a Free State, when as the People had no share at all in the constitution thereof, but by the perjurie and falseness of the Lieutenant Generall and his Son in Law Ireton with their Faction was enforced and obtruded by meer conquest upon the People, a Title which Mr John Cook in his Book Intituled, King Charles his Case, &c. there confesseth to be more fit for Wolves and Bears then amongst men, and that such Tyrants that doe so govern with a rod of Iron, doe not govern by Gods permissive hand of approbation, and in such Cases its lawfull for a People to rise up and force their deliverance, See page 8, 10.
Now, rather then thus to be vassallaged, and thus trampled and trod under foot by such that over our backs, and by the many lives, and losse of our blood from us and our fellow-souldiers, have thus stept into the chair of this hatefull Kingship and presumption over us, in despight and defiance of the consent, choice, and allowance of the free-people of this Land (the true fountain and original of all just power, (as their own Votes against Kingly Government confesse) we will chuse subjection to the Prince [Charles I 's son, Charles II to be], chusing rather ten thousand times to be his slaves then theirs, yet hating slavery under both: and to that end, to avoid it in both, we desire it may be timely and seriously weighed,
That whereas a most judicious and faithfull Expedient to this purpose, hath as a peace-offering been tendered to the acceptance of the free people of England, intituled, An Agreement of the People, dated May 1 1649, from our four faithfull Friends, now close prisoners in the Tower of London, we cannot but judge, that that way of Settlement, to wit, by an Agreement of the People, is the onely and alone way of attonement, reconciliation, peace, freedom, and security (under God) to the Nation; it being impossible by way of Conquest to allay the feud, divisions, parties and Quarrels amongst us, which if not stopt, will certainly devour us up in Civil and domestick Broils, though we should have none from abroad; for the Sword convinceth not, it doth but enforce; it begetteth no love, but fomenteth and engendereth hatred and revenge; for bloud thirsteth after bloud, and vengeance rageth for vengeance, and this devoureth and destroyeth all where it cometh. And though our present Rulers have setled themselves and their conquest-Government over us; yet are we farther from peace and reconciliation then ever: the discontents and dissatisfactions amongst the people in the Kings time, (which at length burst into desperate Warr) was not the hundreth part so great as the discontents that are now; and if so much did follow the lesser, can better be expected from the greater? never were there such repinings, heart-burnings, grudgings, envyings and cursings in England as now, against the present Governours and Government; never such fraction and division into parties, banding, biting, countermining and plotting one against another for preheminency and majority then now; and of all this nothing is the cause, but this way of force and martiall obtrusion: And can it be imagined such counterplottings, repinings and divisions can be with safety and peace ? it is impossible : Insurrections, tumults, revoltings, war and commotions are the proper issues of the wayes of such violence, and no better is to be expected : none but intruders, usurpers and tyrants can be for the way of force ; such as would be but servants to the people, and not make the people their servants, cannot but abhor it, and lay down their glory at the feet of the people : these (that now ramp and rage over us) were they other than Tyrants, could do no lesse : they draw near it indeed in words, but are as far as hell from it in actions ; they vote and declare the People the supreme Power, and the originall of all just Authority; pretend the promotion of an Agreement of the people, stile this the First yeer of Englands Freedom, intitle their Government a Free State, and yet none more violent, bloudy and perverse enemies thereto; for not under pains of death, and confiscation of lands and goods, may any man challenge and promote those rights of the nation, so lately pretended to by themselves : if we ask them a Fish, they give us a Scorpion, if bread, they give us a stone. Nothing but their boundlesse, lawlesse wils, their naked swords, Armies, arms and ammunition is now law in England; never were a people so cheated, so abused and trod under foot ; enough to inrage them (as once the children of Israel against Adoram) to stone them to death as they passe the streets ; which some could not certainly escape, were it not for the fiery sword, vengeance that surrounds them, which at the best is but the arm of flesh, for their shelter and protection, and may fail ere they are aware : all sorts of people watch but for their opportunity, and if it once come like a raging sea on Pharaoh and his host they will swallow and devour them up alive : and sure, this kind of constitution of Government thus by force in despite of the people obtruded and setled, thus grutched, cursed and hated, will never bring any peace, quiet or rest unto this Nation, it will be but as a continuall fire in their bones: therefore this conquest Constitution is not the way of Englands peace : There is but two wayes, by Conquest, or Agreement ; by fire and sword, or by compact and love; and both these are contrary to each other as light is to darkness, and take their title from contrary ends ; and the way of love must needs be of God, for God is love, and all his ways are love ; therefore we are bold of all other ways and Expedients whatsoever, to commend only this way of love, of popular Agreement to the publick consideration for a well founded and safe setled peace : and upon this account, and no other, can any security or enjoyment be expected to any publick transactors in this English Theatre, whether Prince or others. We beleeve, he that now judgeth otherwise, will at the length, it may be, when it is too late, finde himself as much deceived, as he that lost his head against his own Palace gate.
Therefore considering there can be no sure building without a firm foundation, and for prevention of further homebred divisions and backslidings into blood, we desire our fellow Souldiers for their severall Regiments of Horse and Foot to chuse their respective Agents to consider this way of Peace, that yet at length they may be instrumentall in saving (as now they are in destroying) this Nation ; but considering what unsetledness, and wavering from their principles, hath appeared among them, and how slender grounds we have of their return from Apostacy, we heartily desire that all serious and well-affected people, that have any bowels of compassion in them to an afflicted, distressed nation, any sence of piety, justice, mercy or goodness in them, any hatred to oppression or remorse of spirit, at the afflicted, or desire of deliverance, or freedome from their worse then Egyptian bondage, that they would lay the miserable condition of the Nation to heart and unite themselves in their endeavours for a new, equall, and speedy Representative ; and we humbly offer this motion as a just expedient to that end that they would chuse two or three or more faithfull persons from their severall and respective Counties of the Land to come up to London to demand the freedom and release of the Owners and Publishers of the foresaid Agreement unjustly detained in Prison by Wil and Force, to debate and consult with them &c. of some way if possible to accomplish the said Agreement, before a deluge of Intestine insurrections and Forraign Invasions from Ireland, Scotland, Swethland, Denmarke, France, and Spain, sweep us away from the Land of our Nativity ; and for our parts we doe declare, that though we have been thus abused and defeated, we have still the hearts of Englishmen in us, and shall freely (if there be occasion) spend the Remainder of our strength and blood, for the redemption and purchase of an Agreement of the People, upon the foresaid principles, the which for the satisfaction of such as have not seen it, We have hereunto annexed the forementioned draught of the said Agreement of our 4. imprisoned Friends in the Tower of London, as containing those things our souls like and approve of as the most exactest that our eyes have seen, and commend the effectual promoting of it to the serious consideration of all the true hearted friends of this miserable and distressed Nation, and rest
The Nations true Friends and hearty Wel-wishers while
we have a drop of blood running in our Veines.
Signed at London this 20 of August 1649, by us
John Wood, Robert Everard, Hugh Hurst,
Humphry Marston, William Hutchinson, James Carpen,
in the behalf of our selves, and by the appointment of the rest of our fore-mentioned Friends of the three forementioned Regiments.
F I N I S .

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Accession : The Coup d'etat of 1688 (and All That)

This outright usurpation is blithely referred to in British-Venetian parlance as the 
``Glorious Revolution''
--which should give you some idea of how little regard for truth prevails in these circles.

"By the Grace of God, King of England, Scotland, France and Ireland, Stadholther of the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands, Prince of Orange, Count of Nassau, Defender of the Faith, etc."

If you crown him, let me prophesy:

The blood of English shall manure the ground,
And future ages groan for this foul act;
Peace shall go sleep with Turks and infidels,
And in this seat of peace tumultuous wars
Shall kin with kin and kind with kind confound;
Disorder, horror, fear and mutiny
Shall here inhabit, and this land be call'd
The field of Golgotha and dead men's skulls.
O, if you raise this house against this house,
It will the woefullest division prove
That ever fell upon this cursed earth.
Prevent it, resist it, let it not be so,
Lest child, child's children, cry against you woe!

Not all the water in the rough rude sea
Can wash the balm off from an anointed king;
The breath of worldly men cannot depose
The deputy elected by the Lord:
For every man that Bolingbroke hath press'd
To lift shrewd steel against our golden crown,
God for his Richard hath in heavenly pay
A glorious angel: then, if angels fight,

Weak men must fall, for Heaven still guards the right.

HIST-251: Early Modern England: Politics, Religion, and Society under the Tudors and Stuarts

Chapter 1. The Glorious Revolution of 1688 [00:00:00]

Professor Keith Wrightson: Okay. Let's get started.

When I was at school we were often told that one of the great things about British history was that the country had never been successfully invaded by a foreign power since 1066 when William the Conqueror and the Normans conquered the Saxon kingdom, and this was part of the national story as we got it. There was a great deal of emphasis upon successfully resisting foreign powers, the Spanish Armada, Napoleon, Hitler, whatever. 

So no successful foreign invasion since 1066, and this makes a good story, but unfortunately it's not actually true. 

Britain was very successfully invaded in November 1688 by a largely Dutch army under William of Orange, Stadtholder of the Netherlands.

But that of course didn't count. The whole events of 1688 had been successfully repackaged as the essential prelude to the English Revolution Part Two, the Glorious Revolution of 1688, taken in the classic Whig interpretation of national history as a fundamental watershed. 

Before 1688, the country had been beset with chronic political instability and indeed social conflict. 1688 cleared the way. It cleared the way for the establishment of a stable constitutional monarchy; cleared the way for political liberty. It cleared the way for religious toleration and cultural pluralism, the triumph of Whig principles in that respect; and security of property and growing economic opulence and the formation of the United Kingdom by the Union of England and Scotland, and finally the successful assertion of national power internationally and the growth of an overseas empire.

Well, these are some of the key elements classically stressed from the eighteenth century onwards in Whig historiography. It's a bit of a myth; a particular, rather self-serving, interpretation of the national past with a strong ideological message about what it is to be British. But like all historiographical myths of that kind it did have a kernel of truth, even if it airbrushed out an awful lot of the real complexities of the story and tended to represent as being almost inevitable a set of outcomes which were in fact far more complex, far more hesitant, far more messy than was usually recognized. But still, be that as it may, these are the processes that we need to consider in the final days of this course.

Well, as you'll remember, by 1688 King James II had succeeded in undermining the initial strength of his position when he came to the crown by utterly alienating what's usually referred to as the Tory Anglican majority in the political nation, people upon whom Charles II had counted when he faced down the Whig opposition in the Exclusion Crisis of 1678 to '81. And, at the same time as he alienated those people, James had failed to win the trust and support of the Protestant dissenters, [and] the low church Anglicans who had been the backbone of the Whig and exclusionist cause. The extent of this general alienation from the King and his policies was of course revealed in the fact that some of the leaders of the political nation were willing to actively support intervention by a foreign power in 1688, indeed to invite it in their famous letter to William III. And even more, including James II's own army, were willing at least to acquiesce in the face of William's intervention. 

They sat on their hands.

To this extent one could say that the Revolution of 1688 was in different ways both a Whig and a Tory revolution. It was in part an elite coup d'etat; it was in part a country revolution. It merged a range of political opinion in opposition to James, in opposition to the specter of "popery and arbitrary power." And the political settlement as it emerged reflected that composite character of the Revolution. On the 22nd of January 1689, a Convention Parliament met to begin working out the settlement. It had, it's estimated, 319 members of broadly Whig sympathy and 232 of broadly Tory sympathy plus the House of Lords, but the debates as they went on seemed to have become largely dominated by those of the middle ground who managed to hold the minorities of extremists of both political persuasions in check. It seems to have been one of those rare but instructive situations in history when the center is tough and holds firm.

The Convention's formal definition of the situation reflected that. It resolved — and I'm quoting — it resolved almost unanimously that, "King James II, having attempted to subvert the constitution of the kingdom by breaking the contract between king and people and by the advice of Jesuits and other wicked persons having violated the fundamental laws and having withdrawn himself out of this kingdom has abdicated the government and that the throne is thereby vacant."

That's what they resolved, and note carefully in those words; it's another masterpiece of ambiguity comparable to the communion service in the Anglican Prayer Book of 1559, which you'll remember. They say that James broke the contract between king and people. 

That's Whig ideology, the notion of a contract. But he also withdrew himself and abdicated, so he hadn't actually been deposed for his offenses. That's an appeal to Tory sympathy. They didn't believe in resistance to a divinely appointed and anointed king; so he'd abdicated. As for the Jesuits and so forth, well, everyone could agree on that. 

And in all of this of course the status of the baby Prince James was conveniently forgotten.

Chapter 2. Settlement

Now this kind of interpret-it-your-own-way attitude also suffused a lot of the rest of the settlement as it unfolded in 1689 and 1690. William was not content to be simply a regent, but he and Mary shared the crown until her death in 1694. He was king in effect but he wasn't an elected king. He held the crown in right of his wife who was a legitimate Stuart heir, the Protestant daughter of James II by his first marriage. And it was agreed that Mary's youngest sister, Princess Anne, would be the next heir, ahead of any children that William and Mary themselves might have. 

Again, all very odd.

The Convention also drew up a Declaration of Rights later passed into law as the Bill of Rights. It was clear on some matters which found almost universal assent, but it was also cautious and ambiguous in other respects. The power of the monarch, for example, to suspend the laws was declared to be illegal but the dispensing power of the monarch, the traditional dispensing power, was illegal "only as it hath been exercised of late," i.e., as it had been exercised by James II. Parliaments should be called frequently and should be freely elected, but as yet there were no specific measures to ensure that that would happen. Roman Catholics were to be excluded from the crown, but as yet there was no specific provision to ensure that that would be the case. And, above all, the status of the whole document was rather obscure. It looked rather like a contract with the new monarchs, but in fact the offer of the crown to William and Mary was not made conditional upon accepting it. The offer of the crown was actually made on the 13th of February before the Declaration of Rights had been presented to William and Mary, and they hadn't formally accepted it before they were proclaimed monarchs the next day.

So 1689 saw a series of measures intended to advance the transfer of power to William and Mary and that was rapidly consolidated with other acts of Parliament which again reflect the coalition of interests involved in the Revolution. They passed a Mutiny Act. That laid down that no standing army would be permitted in peace time unless authorized by Parliament. They voted income to the crown by taxation but the sums which were voted were well known to be inadequate for even peacetime administration, let alone war time, and so Parliament would always be needed in order to grant additional necessary supply. They passed a Toleration Act. Protestant dissenters were allowed to worship publicly, and by the end of 1690 some 9,000 dissenting meeting houses had been opened, but they were still not accorded full civil rights. The Church of England remained the legally established church, the Test Acts were still there to exclude nonmembers of the Church of England from holding public office. But Protestant dissenters were allowed to worship openly and meanwhile Roman Catholics, Unitarians and Jews were permitted to worship in private. They were tolerated, officially.

Altogether the settlement of 1688 and '9 constituted a kind of pragmatic compromise designed, obviously enough, to appeal to as many people as possible and to alienate as few as possible from the Revolutionary Settlement. John Morrill has put it well, he calls it "a centrist compromise and a constitutional blur." And as with the Elizabethan religious settlement of 1559 it was full of inconsistencies and it remained to be seen just how they would work it out in practice, how it would be worked out by political groups who had somewhat different interpretations of just what it actually meant.

But worked out it was. And in the course of the next twenty-five years or so that involved a significant refashioning of the state as a result, and the emergence by 1714 of a British state of a shape and structure which no one had quite anticipated in 1688.

Chapter 3. War

Well, that British state was shaped partly by political principles. It was shaped partly by political and religious prejudices, and partly also by the constraining force of immediate circumstances. And of those circumstances the dominant circumstance was war. The modern British state, it could be said, was forged under the stresses of war.

William of Orange hadn't intervened in 1688 out of his deep personal concern for England's religion and liberties. His intervention was part and parcel of his life's mission of containing the threatened hegemony of the French monarchy of Louis XIV and in particular the threat it posed to his own country, the Netherlands. And the price of William's intervention was war. War first of all to defend the Revolutionary Settlement against Jacobite risings — Jacobites being supporters of James — Jacobite risings in Scotland in 1689 to '90, then to oust James II from Ireland where he'd landed with an army in 1689 to '91, culminating in the Battle of the Boyne at which James was defeated and fled back to France. Then war in the Netherlands against Louis XIV between 1688 and 1697 to contain the French who were James' principal supporters, and then again after William III's death in 1702 renewed war between 1702 and 1713 to defeat the renewed menace of French hegemony, which included French recognition of the claims of James II's son. James had died in 1701. His son and heir, James III, to those who supported him, was known as "The Pretender" to the crowns of England and Scotland; thirteen years old when his father died.

So then between 1688 and 1713 we have a whole generation of major wars being fought on land and sea, mostly against the French. Given its commitment to the Revolution, the political nation represented in Parliament was willing, though very reluctant, to recognize the need for these wars. But at the same time Parliament was acutely sensitive to the danger that they might lead to a buildup of royal power which might threaten its own position, might raise again that specter of arbitrary power. Out of the interaction of that necessity to fight the wars and that anxiety about where they might lead, there eventually emerged what was, on the one hand, a far more powerful state apparatus — it's been described famously by John Brewer as the "fiscal military state" which emerges at this time — and yet, on the other hand, it was a more powerful state apparatus which remained very firmly under parliamentary control. The key to the whole process, as you'll be aware, was finance, but to understand that we have to step back first a little bit in time and look at what's known as the 'Financial Revolution'.

Chapter 4. The Financial Revolution 

Now, as you know, by the standards of the day England was a relatively rich country by the late seventeenth century and getting richer. Earlier in the century, however, governments had rarely succeeded in tapping that wealth effectively for their own purposes. The late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries and the so-called Financial Revolution saw a transformation of the 'fiscal capacity' of the state, that is its ability to raise money for its purposes, and consequently a transformation of its capacity for effective action. And this was the outcome of developments which, in the words of one recent historian of the Financial Revolution, "transformed the willingness, rather than the ability, of the English people to pay high taxes, lend large sums, and above all repose great trust in the financial institutions of their parliamentary government." That's Henry Roseveare I'm quoting.

Parliamentary government and the trust which it could inspire was perhaps indeed the key to this whole development. Under Charles II, Parliament's ultimate control of the public purse was of course not in doubt but, as you know, suspicion of the crown's policies could mean that Parliament was unwilling to grant supply. Indeed, in 1672 the situation in royal finances had become so bad, the crown became so overstretched as a debtor, that it led to what's known as the 'Stop of the Exchequer' in which Charles II postponed repayments of his debts to private lenders. Many London bankers were completely ruined as a result. It was a very severe blow to the crown's credit and its ability to raise money.

Well after 1688 that kind of situation was transformed, transformed in less than ten years, in the face of the need to raise money for the wars fought to defend the Revolutionary Settlement. It's a long and complex story, but the essence of it all was quite nicely contained in a statement made by Lord Macaulay in his history of all this written back in 1848. Macaulay wrote, "from a period of immemorial antiquity it has been the practice of every English government to contract debts. What the Revolution introduced was the practice of honestly paying them back." Parliament was now fully in control not only of grant of supply but of its expenditure. Annual estimates were made of need. Supply was voted. The accounts were audited by parliamentary commissioners. Revenue was now regarded as the public revenue rather than the monarch's revenue. And from 1698 even the ordinary day-to-day expenses of the crown were controlled by an annual grant, the so-called 'Civil List', the money paid for running the day-to-day business of the monarchy, as still happens.

Parliament sanctioned a whole series of devices to raise money for the war. In 1690, it voted a Land Tax, a quite heavy tax on landowners which brought in a reliable annual income. Loans were raised on the security of parliamentary taxation. Longer term borrowing was achieved by means of the sale of annuities to the public with the regular payment of those annuities secured by parliamentary taxation. They tried out lotteries as a way of raising money, again with Parliament's sanction. In 1694, the Bank of England was chartered. Lenders were brought to subscribe to a 1.2 million pound loan with the interest and the eventual repayment of the capital guaranteed from taxation. The Bank of England was not a central bank in the modern sense, but it was a vehicle devised to raise money for the needs of the state. There was also the development of a market in various forms of state securities, these new state securities which were being issued. They could be sold on to third parties and it was at the core of the emergence of dealings in stocks, the beginnings of the London Stock Exchange.

All of this was initiated in a piecemeal and a rather improvised manner, year by year they dreamed up something new as a way of raising the money they needed. But gradually by the early eighteenth century it had coalesced into a system, and fundamental to the whole emerging edifice was an effective tax system which made possible the servicing of a growing public debt. Initially the Land Tax, quite heavy, about 20% on landed income in the richest counties, and then increasingly the use of the Excise, which was indirect taxes collected by a growing corpus of public officials, Excise Men as they were known. And as this system developed there was a growth of confidence in the financial probity and reliability of the state, and that growing confidence transformed people's willingness to lend their money to the government. Public revenues increased massively. By 1700, it's been estimated that about 9% of national income was being taken in taxation, and by the same year about a third of the revenue raised by the state was being used to fund the debts.

By 1714, the national debt had risen to 48 million pounds, a massive sum by the standards of the day, most of it funded by parliamentary pledges to pay the interest and eventually the principal. In 1717, after the end of the War of the Spanish Succession, a variety of sinking funds were established to pay off parts of the debt, but it was generally recognized that a public debt of some size, reliably serviced in the way I've described, would be a permanent fact of life thereafter. In short, what they'd done in the Financial Revolution was to create, gradually, a stable system of public credit based upon parliamentary taxation and with it a regime which has been described as having "the political support, the administrative capacity and the fiscal base required to accumulate and service a perpetual national debt."

So in the years after 1688 the fiscal capacity of the state was rapidly and massively transformed. John Brewer calls this a "fiscal military state" because so much of the enhanced public revenue was spent on war. Military expenditure as a proportion of national income was about 2% at the death of Charles II in 1685. By 1700 it was 4%, in 1710 at the height of the War of the Spanish Succession it peaked at over 14%, and then it settled down after peace came in 1714 at about 5% even in peace time, mostly as a result of the regular expenditure which was maintaining the Royal Navy as a permanent military presence.

Now all of this could have been potentially destabilizing, and there were times in the 1690s as they went from year to year trying to raise money that the whole thing sometimes teetered on the edge of potential collapse. There was a real risk in 1696 that they wouldn't be able to raise enough money, for example, to pay the army. But they managed to sustain it. They improvised their way through and eventually, as I said, it coalesced into a system which provided the underpinning for the emergence of England as a significant military power, a significant world power.

But if Parliament was willing to provide the resources which made possible that kind of growth in the power of the state, Parliament also exacted a price. It exacted a price politically. As John Brewer shows, the prevalent suspicion of central government amongst parliamentarians meant that they exerted themselves to try to shape this emergent state apparatus in ways that would accord with their own preferences, their so-called country attitudes, their suspicion of central government. The need for annual parliamentary supply meant that Parliament became a permanent part of the government of the country. They had to have parliamentary sessions every single year. No one had anticipated that. It just happened; it was necessary.

The money which was granted to the government by these parliaments was very carefully monitored according to the system of 'appropriation', the principle of 'appropriation'. That's to say parliamentary grants could be used only for the purposes for which they had been granted. Therefore, policy had to be in accord with Parliament's wishes, to meet Parliament's approval. Royal ministers might be chosen by the crown but, again, they needed to be men who could command the support of a majority in the House of Commons. If they had no majority in the House of Commons, they were unable to achieve anything, they were unable to get the supply that they needed. And in other more specific ways, as Brewer puts it, "fiscal control put the bite into the bark of country politics."

Sometimes they would tack on to revenue bills a Place Act. That was an act which attempted to exclude government officials from the House of Commons in order to preserve the independence of Parliament. In 1694, William III was forced to accept a new and strengthened Triennial Act, under which Parliament should be not only called every three years but should not sit longer than three years without new elections. So they had to have elections every three years, a very significant curtailment of the royal prerogative to call and then to dissolve Parliament when the king chose. William resisted it strongly but he had to give way in the end.

By 1700, the relationship between the ministers in the royal government, those who sat in the Cabinet, and Parliament, had become the crucial axis of political life. And the struggle of those ministers to establish and to maintain a working majority in Parliament, above all in the House of Commons, was giving rise to an increasingly vigorous brand of organized party politics in Parliament. The old abusive labels, Whig and Tory, which, as you know, had first appeared to hurl against your enemies in the Exclusion Crisis, these were now revived and perpetuated to describe different groupings, groupings which had different interpretations of the meaning of the Revolution and differences of view about how the Revolutionary Settlement should be developed.

By 1700, the Whigs and the Tories were fairly organized groups: they had their own favorite meeting places in London, they had their own newspapers, they had their own national followings. The adversarial politics of Whigs and Tories influenced political life at the level of the city, at the level of county politics. It erupted periodically in the vigorous contests of the many general elections which were held between 1695 and 1715. There were ten general elections in those years in which it's estimated something like a quarter of the adult male population exercised their votes and the election campaigns were full of competing — of competition — for seats in which the Whigs and Tories organized their supporters. These alignments were even such that in the city of York, where they had assembly rooms where polite society met to hold balls and other occasions, concerts and so forth, there was one assembly room for the Whigs and one for the Tories.

But if Whigs and Tories fought furiously for dominance in both Parliament and in local politics, there were also vital areas in which they were fundamentally at one, and that was revealed in 1701 when the death of Princess Anne's only child, the ultimate heir to the throne, called into question the future succession of the crown. This precipitated the so-called Act of Settlement of 1701. It's known as the Act of Settlement but the actual title of the act is quite significant. It was actually called "An Act for the Further Limitation of the Crown and Better Securing the Rights of the Subject". This act, which obtained support from both sides politically, passed over fifty-seven possible claimants to the crown on the grounds that they were Roman Catholics and it fixed the succession on the Electress Sophia of Hanover, ruler of a small north German principality who was descended from King James I. 

Sophia of Hanover and her heirs were chosen as the nearest Protestant successors

The Act also required that future monarchs should be communicants of the 
Church of England; 
It forbade their marriage to Roman Catholics; 

It restricted the movements of the monarch outside the kingdom, they could not leave the kingdom without permission; 

and, in addition, it made royal privy councilors more accountable to Parliament, restricted the election of placemen from the government to the House of Commons, and declared that, in future, judges in the law courts should enjoy their tenure during good behavior and not merely at the will of the monarch. 

So a specific contingency, the problem over the succession, gave rise to a far-reaching set of statutory restrictions on the crown's actions which found widespread support.

In sum then, by the time Queen Anne came to the throne in 1702 with the prospect of the future Hanoverian succession, which actually eventually took place in 1714 when Electress Sophia's son, George, became king,, with all of that it can be said that some of the fundamental political issues which had so disturbed the seventeenth century were close to being resolved, with general acceptance of those resolutions. The issue of the security of the Protestant religion and of the toleration of religious dissenters had been resolved. The issue of Parliament's role and its permanence in the constitution had been resolved. The issue of the royal prerogative in matters of state and how far it could be controlled or reduced. The problem of effective government finance. The problem of how to contain differences of political principle without those partisan differences leading to the breakdown of government or to civil war had been resolved with party politics. The structures and practices of the English state had been refashioned in a manner which both enhanced the power of the state and at the same time contained the power of the state in ways which would be conducive to safeguarding the liberties of the subject.

Chapter 5. Scotland

Well, one final element remains. From 1707, this emergent state was not just an English but a British state, with the constitutional union in May 1707 of England and Scotland. Ireland remained technically a separate kingdom until 1801, though one ruled by a Protestant landed elite.

Now in Scotland much of the kingdom, particularly lowland Scotland and some parts of the Highlands, those parts of the western Highlands of Scotland which were dominated by the Clan Campbell who were both Protestants and Whigs in politics, much of Scotland then had welcomed the Revolution of 1688. And rebellions by some of the Jacobite clans of highland Scotland were swiftly put down in 1690. But in the years that followed, if the 1690s witnessed a kind of resurgence of Scotland's political independence it was also a profoundly traumatic decade for the Scots.

Scotland remained a relatively poor country; magnificent landscape but somewhat barren. It was largely a subsistence economy in the rural areas and it was a very fragile one

In 1695 to '99, Scotland suffered dreadful famine known as the "ill Years of King William." 

It's possible that as much as 13% of the population of Scotland died in those years and indeed much more in the most marginal highland areas. 

In the highland Aberdeenshire up here, the highland areas of northeastern Scotland, it's estimated that perhaps a third of the population died in the 1690s. 

Scotland had relatively little manufacturing industry. It was little developed. The most important sector was the manufacture of linen on Tayside up here and over near Glasgow in the west, and this was an industry which was principally dependent upon selling that linen to English markets.

Overseas trade was also relatively limited. Scotland was excluded from England's colonial trade as a separate kingdom, and efforts made by some Scots in the 1690s to try to establish a colonial foothold of their own, when they attempted to establish a colony in Panama, the Darien scheme in 1695 to '99, unfortunately those efforts proved to be a disastrous failure. Not least because the English government refused to help a venture which antagonized Spain by attempting to establish a Scottish colonial presence in territories regarded as part of the Spanish empire. Well, all of these unhappy events provided the political and economic context of the Union of 1707.

The Scots were extremely conscious, of course, of their distinctive national identity and history. They were anxious to preserve their national integrity.

In the 1690s, the Scottish Parliament was enjoying a greater independence from the crown than it had ever done so hitherto. 

But economically the most dynamic sectors of the Scottish economy were heavily dependent upon England and some Scots were also attracted to the possibility of obtaining greater access to English markets and participation as equals in English colonial trade. Meanwhile, the English government was interested in a closer union with Scotland for quite different reasons, for largely political reasons.

In 1701, when the Act of Settlement was passed fixing the succession in the Hanoverian line, the Scottish Parliament did not at first follow England's lead in recognizing the Hanoverian succession. This raised, in the early years of the eighteenth century, a potentially dangerous situation. 

What if the Scottish Parliament decided to recognize a Stuart succession, decided to vest their crown in the old line, the Stuart line, after Queen Anne's death?

If that happened it could potentially provide a major security risk. 

It could return to a situation in which the two kingdoms, which had been joined only in the person of their monarchs, might fully separate. 

That might pose a new threat to England from the North, especially if the Scots had a Stuart crown allied to the French.

The English government therefore began to put on pressure for a union which would remove that threat and they were willing to use economic leverage to try to do so. In 1705, the English parliament passed the Alien Acts, which excluded the Scots from English markets unless they commenced negotiations for a possible union. And, on the other hand, it held out the prospect of economic advantages for Scotland if they were willing to do so. Now in Scotland the issue was very passionately debated both in Parliament and in the streets of Edinburgh, but in those debates the economic advantages of union soon came well to the fore. As one opponent of the union, Alexander Fletcher of Saltoun, put it, the economic issues were "the bait that covers the hook." And, in the event, that carried the day with those of the Scottish elite in Scotland's Parliament who ended up making the decision.

In 1707, after protracted negotiations a Treaty of Union was at last agreed. There would be a single United Kingdom of Great Britain with a single flag, the "Union Jack." You'll see, lovingly drawn on the bottom of your handout, the St. George flag of England, the St. Andrew's flag of Scotland, and how they merged together into the Union Jack, a flag now familiar to us on the tops of mini-cars and on swimming costumes. [Laughter] 

The Hanoverian succession to the united throne was recognized. The Scots would join a single parliament for the United Kingdom meeting in Westminster. Sixteen members would be sent to the House of Lords, forty-five to the House of Commons, in rough proportion to population. 

The Scottish legal system, however, would retain its full jurisdictional independence. The Scottish church, the Kirk, would also retain its independence as a Presbyterian church.

But fifteen of the twenty-five articles of the Treaty of Union concerned economic arrangements. The Scots would be granted full access to English trade. Lower taxes would be levied in Scotland, because of the relative economic poverty of Scotland as compared to England. Scotland's industries would be protected. Substantial compensation would be paid to those Scots who had lost heavily through their investment in the Darien adventure of the 1690s. 

And so on the first of May, 1707, Scotland's Parliament dissolved itself, not to meet again until the year 1999 when it was reinstated as part of the current constitutional reconfiguration of the United Kingdom. 

So the Union had taken place.

Was it, one might ask, a union of absorption, a union in which Scotland was to be dominated by England, a union of absorption, or was it to be a union of fusion, one of cooperation rather than domination? Many Scots at the time feared that it would be the former. In the long run I think it turned out to be more the latter. Scots certainly proved to have a quite disproportionately large role, almost from the beginning of the Union, in the running of the British Empire for example. But in the early eighteenth century it was not yet quite either. England was not actually much interested in dominating Scotland beyond the question of security, and indeed Scottish affairs remained largely in the hands of Scots themselves. Conversely, it took a while before Scotland was able to fully exploit the economic advantages of Union, though by the 1750s they were indeed doing so very successfully. The emergence of Glasgow as one of the major Atlantic ports is one of the biggest success stories of that part of the Union.

The Union then, one could say, confirmed neither the fears nor initially the full hopes of the Scots who had agreed to it. But from the English point of view it had resolved a pressing security problem and it completed the refashioning of the state which had been introduced by the Revolution of 1688. 

Culturally, there was an England and a Scotland and a Wales, as there still is, but politically by 1714 there was what Jonathan Swift described as that "crazy double-bottomed realm Great Britain."

And crazy it was in many ways; a monarchy which was actually run by a Parliament, truly a monarchical republic, in which The King after 1701 actually had fewer powers than were later granted to Presidents of the United States. 

A confessional state and yet a confessional state which actually had two established religions

The Church of England in England, 
The Presbyterian Church of Scotland in Scotland, 

and which, by 1714, was headed by a "King" who was actually a German Lutheran

but was an Anglican when he was in England 
a Presbyterian when he was in Scotland

and meanwhile practicing greater religious freedom than was tolerated by any other state save the Netherlands. 

An offshore island deeply hostile to foreign involvement, deeply hostile to militarism, and yet which was playing a key role in destroying the threat of Louis XIV's monarchy and which had emerged as a great military power.

It was all very confusing, but there it was. They had finally muddled through to something that worked.

Okay. And we all lived happily ever after. [Laughter]

Right. Next time I'll have a short lecture as a kind of windup and then talk in some detail about the examination and what to expect when the examination comes. The examination's going to be held here on the 16th at 2 p.m., remember.

[end of transcript]

God forbid!
Worst in this royal presence may I speak,
Yet best beseeming me to speak the truth.
Would God that any in this noble presence
Were enough noble to be upright judge
Of noble Richard! then true noblesse would
Learn him forbearance from so foul a wrong.
What subject can give sentence on his king?
And who sits here that is not Richard's subject?
Thieves are not judged but they are by to hear,
Although apparent guilt be seen in them;
And shall the figure of God's majesty,
His captain, steward, deputy-elect,
Anointed, crowned, planted many years,
Be judged by subject and inferior breath,
And he himself not present? O, forfend it, God,
That in a Christian climate souls refined
Should show so heinous, black, obscene a deed!
I speak to subjects, and a subject speaks,
Stirr'd up by God, thus boldly for his King:
My Lord of Hereford here, whom you call king,
Is a foul traitor to proud Hereford's king:

And if you crown him, let me prophesy:

The blood of English shall manure the ground,
And future ages groan for this foul act;
Peace shall go sleep with Turks and infidels,
And in this seat of peace tumultuous wars
Shall kin with kin and kind with kind confound;
Disorder, horror, fear and mutiny
Shall here inhabit, and this land be call'd
The field of Golgotha and dead men's skulls.
O, if you raise this house against this house,
It will the woefullest division prove
That ever fell upon this cursed earth.
Prevent it, resist it, let it not be so,
Lest child, child's children, cry against you woe!

Schiller Institute 1994-Palmerston Zoo conference-G. Lowry --Venice Takeover of England

How The Venetian Virus Infected

by H. Graham Lowry
Chorus: (WGT) The consolidation of the Venetian Party in England and Britain was a question of culture. Francesco Zorzi of Venice, the close friend and relative of Gasparo Contarini, who was sent by the Venetian oligarchy to England as the sex adviser to Henry VIII, was a cabbalist and Rosicrucian. In 1529, Zorzi came to London to deliver his opinion, and he remained at the court for the rest of his life, building up an important party of followers--the nucleus of the modern Venetian Party in England. In 1525, Zorzi had published the treatise De Harmonia Mundi, which uses the cabbalistic Sephiroth to expound a mystical, irrationalist outlook and to undercut the influence of Nicolaus of Cusa.
In 1536, when he was at the English court, Zorzi wrote his second major work, In Scripturam Sacram Problemata. This is a manual of magic, with Zorzi assuring the aspiring wizard that Christian angels will guard him to make sure he does not fall into the hands of demons.

Zorzi was a great influence on certain Elizabethan poets. Sir Philip Sidney was a follower of Zorzi, as was the immensely popular Edmund Spencer, the author of the long narrative poem The Faerie Queene. Spencer is a key source for the idea of English imperial destiny as God's chosen people, with broad hints of British Israel. Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare both attacked Zorzi's influence in such plays as Doctor Faustus and Othello, but the Venetian school was carried on by the Rosicrucian Robert Fludd, and, of course, by Francis Bacon and Thomas Hobbes.

John Milton, the admirer of Paolo Sarpi and apologist for usury, is an example of the pro-Venetian Puritan of the Cromwell Commonwealth period. Milton taught that the Son of God is inferior to the Father, a kind of afterthought, and in any case not necessary. Milton was the contemporary of Sabbatai Zevi, the false messiah from Smyrna, Turkey, whose father was an agent for English Puritan merchants. Did Milton's Paradise Regained of 1671 reflect knowledge of Sabbatai Zevi's meteoric career, which burst on the world in 1665?

The British East India Company was founded in 1600. By 1672, adventurers, such as Diamond Pitt, were freebooting around India.

H. Graham Lowry: 

In December 1688, the armies of the Dutch Prince William of Orange invaded England, interrupting the Hobbesian nightmare the country had experienced under the deranged King Charles II and his brother James II. A worse nightmare was to follow when William seized the throne of James II, for he embodied a more highly distilled form of poison which Venice had perfected during its sway over the remains of the Dutch Republic. 

This outright usurpation is blithely referred to in British-Venetian parlance as the ``Glorious Revolution''--which should give you some idea of how little regard for truth prevails in these circles.

The notion of ``English rights and liberties'' was quickly transformed from fiction to fraud under William's dictatorial regime. When King James II fled to France, the rightful successor to the English throne was his eldest daughter Mary, who had married William of Orange reluctantly (he was a notorious homosexual). 

William's demand to be declared King was never submitted to Parliament for a ``constitutional'' veneer. 

Instead, he summoned a special ``convention,'' which granted him full power, rather than simply the rank of the Queen's Consort.

King William's Venetian baggage included the evil John Locke, who became the chief propagandist for foisting the Bank of England on that hapless country in 1694. 

This was not the sort of bank you turned to for financial assistance. It was a gargantuan Venetian swindle, which promptly created England's first national debt to finance ongoing wars of attrition in Europe, imposed a credit crunch by cutting the amount of circulating English coinage nearly in half, and loaded new taxes on an already-collapsing economy. The bank's chief architect was Venetian Party leader Charles Montagu, William's new chancellor of the exchequer, who later attained the loftier position of British ambassador to Venice. Montagu appointed the pathetic Sir Isaac Newton to oversee the ``recoinage'' swindle, and Newton repaid that debt by prostituting his own niece to serve as Montagu's mistress.

The bank's promotional hireling John Locke is better known as the peddler of the obscene notion that the human mind is nothing more than a tabula rasa--a passive register of animal sensations. He clearly had a higher regard for the cash register, however, and openly defended usury as a necessary service for those whose ``estates'' lie ``in money.'' Locke's theories of government approximate those of a casino operator who lays down rules rigged for the house, under which the bestialized players compete for sums of money, which then define their worth as individuals. This is Locke's ``liberty'' to pursue property. His notion of the ``social contract,'' which guarantees the players' club members the right to enter the casino, was in fact advanced in order to justify William of Orange's usurpation of the British throne. James II, in effect, was charged with having denied those rights to his more speculative subjects, thus breaking the contract. Locke argued that the Venetian mob was therefore entitled to move in under a new contract.

By 1697, the Venetian Party's coup inside England was nearly total, and its members filled William's ``ship of state'' from stem to stern. They looked forward to reducing a most troubling matter in the English colonies of America: the impulse toward building an independent nation, which had been driving the Venetians berserk since the 1630s founding of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. In 1701, John Locke, as a member of England's Board of Trade, advocated revoking all the independent charters of the American colonies, placing their economic activity under royal dictatorship, and banning their manufacture of any finished goods.

Leibniz builds anti-Venice movement
Yet, even as the Venetians were swaggering over their apparent triumph, a powerful republican opposition was building around a higher conception of the nature and purpose of man, which both inspired and opened the way for the later founding of the United States. Its leader was the great German scientist and statesman Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz, who led what might well be called a movement for the pursuit of happiness--the ultimate goal of the liberty which America embraced in its Declaration of Independence.

In the face of the new Venetian onslaught in England, Leibniz set forth his view of human happiness, from the standpoint of man's creation in imago Dei. Writing ``On the Notions of Right and Justice'' in 1693, Leibniz defines charity as ``universal benevolence,'' which he calls the habit of loving, i.e., ``to regard another's happiness as one's own.'' That joy is first approximated, he says, in the contemplation of a beautiful painting by Raphael, for example, ``by one who understands it, even if it brings no riches, in such a way that it is kept before his eyes and regarded with delight, as a symbol of love.''

When the object of delight ``is at the same time also capable of happiness, his affection passes over into true love,'' Leibniz says. ``But the divine love surpasses other loves, because God can be loved with the greatest result, since nothing is at once happier than God, and nothing more beautiful and more worthy of happiness can be known than He.'' And, since God possesses the ultimate wisdom, Leibniz says, ``the notions of men are best satisfied if we say that wisdom is nothing else than the very science of happiness.''

As the leading scientist and philosopher of his day, Leibniz was widely known throughout Europe, and among such republican leaders of New England as the Winthrops and Mathers, later extending to include, most significantly, Benjamin Franklin. From the 1690s onward, Leibniz's leading ally within England, Scotland, and Ireland, was the brilliant anti-Venetian polemicist Jonathan Swift, who directed a cultural onslaught against the bestial notions of Bacon, Hobbes, René Descartes, Newton, and Locke, for more than 40 years.

From the standpoint of reason, the Aristotelian empiricism of the likes of Descartes and Locke reduces the notion of man to the level of a mere beast, which, of course, is the prerequisite for imposing an empire of the sort the Venetians sought, then and now. When Jonathan Swift took up his cudgels on behalf of Leibniz's refutation of empiricism, he ridiculed their enemies' ideas for what they were: insane. Swift's ``A Digression on Madness,'' in his 1696 work A Tale of a Tub, examines ``the great introducers of new schemes in philosophy,'' both ancient and modern. They were usually mistaken by all but their own followers, Swift says, ``to have been persons crazed, or out of their wits;|... agreeing for the most part in their several models, with their present undoubted successors in the academy of modern Bedlam.''

Oligarchical Families Move In

By 1701, the lunatics of the late-model incarnation of the Venetian Party had typically inbred a set of oligarchical families, mixing and matching Spencers, and Godolphins, and Churchills--the last headed by John Churchill, soon to become duke of Marlborough.
Churchill had begun as a page boy to Charles II in 1665, behind the skirts of his sister Arabella, the mistress of the king's brother James. Then, for similar services rendered, Churchill received £10,000 from Charles II's favorite mistress.

With things apparently moving so swimmingly, the Venetians set their course for their next major objective: the destruction of France, the most productive economic power in Europe. Under the ministry of Jean-Baptiste Colbert, the patron of the scientific academy at Paris where Leibniz himself was engaged in the early 1670s, France had led the way in infrastructural and industrial development. So in 1701, England launched war on France. More than a decade of bloodshed and destruction followed--for the populations of both countries, and their European allies. It was yet another rigged game, in which Venice expected to be the only winner.

There are inevitably loose ends in any foul scheme. Queen Mary had died in 1694, leaving William without a direct heir. Her sister Anne was next in line to the throne, but the death of Anne's only surviving child in 1700 presented a new succession crisis. An Act of Settlement was imposed in 1701. James I's 71-year-old granddaughter Sophie, the head of the German House of Hanover, was designated as Anne's successor. King William died in 1702, and Anne became queen of England.
As the Venetian Party expected, she quickly bestowed preeminence at court upon the duke and duchess of Marlborough, who had spun their webs of influence over her for many years. The problem for the Venetians, was that Sophie's chief adviser and privy counsellor, was Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz.

The Battle for Britain 

With Leibniz virtually one step away from guiding policy in London, the final battle against Venetian Party dictatorship within England broke out in earnest. It was a conflict between the pursuit of happiness, and the lust for empire. The Marlboroughs resorted to deceit, terror, and treachery to cut off political relations--or even ordinary civilities--between Queen Anne and Sophie of Hanover. Swift maintained a fierce barrage both publicly and privately against Marlborough's Venetian gang, to the point that he broke their domination of Queen Anne's cabinet. He extended his own influence to her innermost circle, and, during 1710 and 1711, he drove the Marlboroughs and all their cronies from office.

London desperately hurled Isaac Newton into the fray against Leibniz, puffing the old fraud up with the lie that differential calculus was his invention rather than Leibniz's. Leibniz and Swift conspired to bring the great composer George Frideric Handel from Hanover to London in 1710, seeking to uplift English musical culture from decadent braying and outright snoring.

The American Flank

And in the midst of all this, Swift managed to get two of his allies appointed to royal governorships in the American colonies. Robert Hunter in New York, and Alexander Spotswood in Virginia, launched a drive in 1710 which opened the door to our future continental republic.

That same year, in Massachusetts, Cotton Mather published his republican organizing manual, An Essay upon the Good, which spread Leibniz's notion of the science of happiness throughout America for more than a century. Benjamin Franklin paid tribute to Mather's book as the single most important influence upon his life.

Jonathan Swift said of this period, that he doubted there was another in history ``more full of passages which the curious of another age would be glad to know the secret springs of.'' The Venetians would not like you to know that Leibniz and Swift constructed some of the secret passages which led to the founding of the American Republic. But within Britain (as it came to be known after the 1707 union which England forced upon Scotland), the battle against the Venetian Party was soon lost.

Leibniz's patron, Sophie of Hanover, the designated successor to Queen Anne, died in May 1714, at the age of 84. Her son George was now the heir to the British throne. William of Orange had been George's idol, and Marlborough and the Venetian Party had bought him many times over. Barely two months after Sophie's death, Queen Anne's life was ended, probably by poison, at the age of 49. The duke of Marlborough, who had plotted in exile for years for Anne's overthrow, landed in England the same day; and George of Hanover was proclaimed Great Britain's King George I. Jonathan Swift had been forced to flee to Ireland, and George soon dismissed Leibniz from the court of Hanover.

How serious was the threat Leibniz and Swift posed to the Venetian Party's conspirators? Just consider the conspirators' satanic rage against the dead Queen Anne, who for all her faults had learned to seek something better in life than they could ever know. There was no public mourning, nor royal funeral; her corpse was left to rot for more than three weeks. Then a chosen few, serving George I, buried her secretly at night, in Westminster Abbey--beneath the tomb of her great-great-grandmother, Mary, Queen of Scots. To this day, no stone or tablet marks her grave.

Leibniz himself died in 1716. Jonathan Swift fought on from Ireland, from the position Queen Anne had granted him as the Dean of St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin.

He became the acknowledged political leader of all Ireland during the 1720s, building a mass-based movement on the principles of man's God-given right to liberty, and the right to national sovereignty based on natural law. Swift thereby extended Leibniz's movement for the pursuit of happiness, and immeasurably influenced the growth of republicanism in eighteenth-century America.

Britain, however, began a rapid descent into hell, under the new regime of George I. Previously secret Satan-worshipping societies such as the Hell-Fire Club now surfaced, heralded by the publication in 1714 of Bernard Mandeville's Fable of the Bees, or Private Vices, Public Benefits. Very simply, Mandeville argued that the interests of the state were nothing more than the maximum fulfillment of its individuals' hedonistic pleasures: The more private vices, the more public benefits. Therefore, the state thrives most upon the corruption of its subjects. Inevitably, Britain was soon locked into a Venetian orgy of corruption and new heights of financial speculation, leading to the massive blowout of the South Sea Bubble in 1720. Appropriately, the government which emerged in 1721 from this devastating collapse, was headed by Prime Minister Robert Walpole, who held that post in the service of evil for the next 20 years. 
The Hell-Fire Clubs not only proliferated; they became the inner sanctum of Britain's degenerate elite. The most prominent one, founded in 1720 by Lord Wharton, included on its dining-room menu ``Hell-Fire Punch,'' ``Holy Ghost Pie,'' ``Devil's Loins,'' and ``Breast of Venus'' (garnished with cherries for nipples). By the 1760s, when the American colonies began to openly break with Britain, most of the king's cabinet were members of the Hell-Fire Club. When Benjamin Franklin served as our colonial postmaster general, for example, his official superior, Sir Francis Dashwood, was the head of the Hell-Fire Club!

The murderous toll of such a regime upon the British population is expressed by the following statistics: From 1738 to 1758, there were only 297,000 births recorded--against 486,000 deaths. Typifying the bestiality of the emerging British Empire, was the phrase smugly coined by Robert Walpole, ``Every man has his price.''

We must not pay it.