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" to his Majesty, of those who had served him, and " with whom he conferred without reservation; and the “ citizens flocked thither, as they had used to do at the “ end of a progress, when the King had been some “ months absent from London.”! He was thus again surrounded by friends in whose fidelity he could confide, and attended by divines who could administer spiritual comfort according to those rites of the Church of England to which he adhered. The Duke of Richmond, the Marquis of Hertford, the Marquis of Ormond, the Earl of Southampton, Sir John Berkeley, Mr. John Ashburnham, Lord Capell, Dr. Sheldon, and Dr. Hammond’ were amongst the many who now eagerly seized upon the opportunity of again showing their respect and attachment to their Sovereign: it was all they had left in their power.
On the 11th of November, 1647, the King, having determined to adopt the dangerous course of endeavouring to escape, secretly quitted Hampton Court, attended by Sir John Berkeley, Mr. Ashburnham, and Legg, and fled towards that part of Hampshire that led to the New Forest. The ship which he had expected to find was not in sight, and, to avoid the highways, he visited Tichfield, the seat of the Earl of Southampton.” But Tichfield could only afford temporary security, and the question arose whither they were to go : there seemed no hope that any vessel would arrive, and there were fears of discovery if they prolonged their stay where
· Hist. of the Rebellion, vol. v. p. 470. 2 Warwick's · Memorials,' p. 338. * The house was then inhabited by his mother, the Earl being absent.
they were. In this dilemma the Isle of Wight was mentioned, it is said by Mr. Ashburnham, as a place of safety, and thither they determined to repair. Colonel Hammond (the nephew of Dr. Hammond) was Governor of the island, and on him they had relied for protection; but though he received the King at first with all demonstration of respect and duty, he received him also as a prisoner, and lodged him in Carisbrook Castle.
The plan having proved unsuccessful, blame and suspicion fell heavily upon those who were supposed to have advised either the flight from Hampton Court or the refuge in the Isle of Wight, and Sir John Berkeley and Mr. Ashburnham did not escape the imputation of having betrayed their master. The reproach rested chiefly on Mr. Ashburnham, Sir John Berkeley having only received the King's order to attend him at a particular hour and place, and to be ready to accompany him on horseback, whilst Mr. Ashburnham was known to be in the King's confidence on all subjects. But the best refutation of such accusations is, that the King never entertained the least suspicion of any treachery on the part of either;a that Mr. Ashburnham“ pre“ served his credit with the most eminent of the King's “ party;"3 that after the return of Charles II. “ those “ of the greatest reputation gave him a good testi
1 " He was known,” says Lord Clarendon, “to have so great an interest “ in the affections of his Majesty, and so great an influence upon his “ counsels and resolutions, that he could not be ignorant of anything that “ moved him.”—Hist. of the Rebellion, vol. v. p. 493.
Ibid. 3 Ibid., p. 494.
mony;" and that amongst those favourable witnesses were to be found the Marquis of Hertford and the Earl of Southampton,' whose means of information in this matter, having afterwards joined the King in the Isle of Wight, were equal to their powers of judgment.
? Hist. of the Rebellion, vol. v. p. 495. Lord Clarendon speaks of having read the “ written relations” of both Sir John Berkeley and Mr. Ashburnham, “ and of having conferred with both of them at large to “ discover in truth what the motives might be which led to so fatal an “ end,” and that it was his opinion “ that neither of them were in any “ degree corrupted in their loyalty or affection to the King, or suborned to “ gratify any persons with a disservice to their master."—Hist. of the Rebellion, vol. v. p. 497.
Negotiations at Newport for a treaty—The Royal and Parliamentary
Commissioners meet-Lord Hertford attends as one of the King's Commissioners-Manner in which the discussions are conducted— The negotiations are concluded–The King is seized, and removed to Hurst Castle-His Execution-Statement that Lord Hertford and other peers offered their lives for the King-Its authority—The King is buried at Windsor-His funeral is attended by Lord Hertford.
Each attempt made by the King to free himself from the restraint of those in whose power he fell led only to consequences disastrous to his cause and fatal to his liberty; and the spectacle of an imprisoned monarch entering into treaties with his subjects, and with the semblance of free action on his part which they only enjoyed, affords but a melancholy example of the mere mockery of power. Soon after the King's arrival at the Isle of Wight the Scottish Commissioners repaired thither also, and he was by them induced to sign, on the 26th of December, 1647, the treaty which had been commenced at Hampton Court.
It is a large volume of history that is contained in the few months that elapsed between the time of his departure from Hampton Court and the arrival of the Parliamentary Commissioners at the Isle of Wight, who were sent to carry on a personal treaty, or rather to force from the King an entire surrender of all those
· Hist. of the Rebellion, vol. v. p. 540.
rights to which he deemed the Crown entitled, and those possessions which he held to be unalienable from the Church. The whole country had become the theatre of civil war, and pages might be filled with the accounts of castles defended and destroyed, of spirited attacks and gallant repulses, of skilful sieges and noble endurance; but patriotism and loyalty were equally unavailing in bringing about the good to their country for which the respective partisans had fought and bled. A reign of confusion now threatened to follow the sovereignty of the King and the domination of Parliament. Authority was shaken or resisted on all sides and in all parties, and military force threatened to supersede even the very appearance of civil government. The Parliament feared the army, and the army was impatient of the Parliament; parties were broken into factions, and religious sects of every denomination were divided and subdivided again into other sects with newfound names; the unoccupied throne stood as a lure to ambition, and the confiscation of ecclesiastical property was a bar to reconciliation with the head of the Church. Yet such was the impulse given by these dissensions that, without the desire to restore the authority of the King or the government of the Church, mere apprehension of the course that new powers might adopt drove the Parliament into passing a resolution that was to rescind their former vote “that no more addresses “ should be made to the King,” and both Houses agreed that a personal treaty with him should be commenced at Newport. Immediately on the King's arrival in the Isle of