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himself seems to have taken the same view of the situation if it be true that, on receiving the news from Dunbar, he gave thanks to God ‘that he was so fairly rid of his enemies’. At all events the key to the history of the next twelve months in Scotland is the attempt to convert a clerical into a national resistance. To Cromwell, an attempt to force England
n into political conformity with Scotland was as much
to be resisted as an attempt to impose on her the Scottish religion. It was the despotic tendencies, not the fervour of that religion, that he disliked. The association of the laity with the clergy in the government of the Church was insufficient for him. His ideal community was one in which every layman was capable of performing spiritual functions. He would not listen to the objection of a colonel who complained that one of his officers ‘was a better preacher than fighter’. “Truly,” he replied, “I think that he that
‘ prays and preaches best, will fight best. I know
:_ nothing will give like courage as the knowledge of ' God in Christ will, and I bless God to see any in this
army able and willing to impart the knowledge they
‘have, for the good of others; and I expect it be
encouraged by all the chief officers in this army
' especially; and I hope you will do so. I pray receive
Captain Empson lovingly; I dare assure you he is a good man and a good officer- I would we had no
Unluckily there was no response amongst the Scottish laymen to such an appeal as this. They were satisfied—if religiously inclined—with the part assigned to them on Kirk Sessions or Presbyteries, and preferred to take their sermons from an ordained minister. Even those Presbyterians who distrusted a malignant King held aloof from the sectarian Englishman.
In England, the news of the great victory was enthusiastically received. One hundred and sixty Scottish flags were hung up in Westminster Hall, and Parliament ordered that a medal, known as the ‘Dunbar Medal,’ the first war medal granted to an English army, should bear Cromwell’s likeness on one side. Against this glorifying of himself Cromwell protested in vain, but for all that he could say, his own lineaments were not excluded. His work in Scotland was however far from being accomplished. The victory of Dunbar was in time followed by the surrender of Edinburgh Castle, brought about, it is said, by the treachery of the governor; but it was in vain that the conqueror attempted to win over the extreme Covenanters who held out in the west under Strachan and Ker, and in the end he had to send Lambert against them. Lambert fell upon them at Hamilton and broke their power of resistance.
In the meantime, the tendency to resist the pretensions of the clergy was slowly making its way.
On January I, 1651, Charles was duly crowned at Scone, swearing not only to approve of the Covenants in Scotland, but to give his Royal assent to acts and ordinances of Parliament, passed and to be passed, enjoining the same in his other dominions. The young King protested his sincerity and begged the Ministers present to show him so much favour as ‘that if in any time coming they did hear or see him breaking that Covenant, they would tell him of it, and put him in mind of his oath’. For all that, Charles was busily undermining the party of the Covenant. One by one the leaders of the Hamilton party
_ Hamilton himself—a brother of the Duke who had
been beheaded at Westminster,—and who, when still only Earl of Lanark, had been deeply concerned in patching up the Engagement with Charles I.—Middleton, the rough soldier who had fought Charles I., and Lauderdale, the ablest of those Presbyterians who had rallied to the throne, were admitted, after humbly acknowledging their offences to the Kirk, to take their seats in Parliament, and to place their swords at the King’s disposal. Argyle, who had triumphed over these men in his prosperity, was driven to seek refuge in his Highland home at Inverary. His policy of heading a democratic party organised by the clergy had fallen to the ground without hope of recovery. The national movement had passed into the hands of the nobility.
In the spring and early summer of I651 Cromwell had thus to face a resistance based on a national policy rather than on extreme Covenanting grounds. For the present he had to leave his enemies unassailed. He was lying at Edinburgh, stricken down by illness, and for some time his life was despaired of. More than ever, indeed, he had the strength of England to fall back on. Englishmen had no desire to submit to Scottish dictation. Conspiracies for a Royalist insurrection were firmly suppressed, and suspected Royalists committed to prison as a preventive measure. At the same time a body of the new militia, which had been recently organised, was entrusted to Harrison_the fierce enthusiast who had been left in charge of the forces remaining in England, and who was now directed to guard the northern border against the Scottish invasion.
At last Cromwell was himself again. In the first
‘ days of June Charles’s new army lay at Stirling.
The seizure and imprisonment of his English partisans had deprived him of all hope of raising a diversion in the south, and Leslie was compelled to fall back on the defensive tactics by which he had guarded Edinburgh the year before. During the first fortnight of July Cromwell laboured in vain to bring on an engagement. Leslie, strongly posted amongst the hills to the south of Stirling, was not to be induced to repeat the error he had committed at Dunbar, and this time provisions and water could be obtained without difficulty. If Cromwell did not intend to waste his army away, he must transfer it to the enemy’s rear, with a certain result of leaving the road open for their advance into England. Six months before, whilst the chiefs of English royalism were still at large, it would have been a most hazardous plan. Now that they were under arrest, it might. be attempted with impunity. Lambert -was sent across to North Queensferry, and on July 20 he defeated, at Inverkeithing, a Scottish force sent out from Stirling against him. Before long Cromwell followed his lieutenant, and on August 2 Perth fell into his hands. The communications of the Scottish army at Stirling were thus cut, and there was nothing before it but to march southwards on the uncertain prospect of being still able to find allies in England. That Cromwell had been able to accomplish this feat was owing partly to his command of the sea, which had enabled him with safety to send Lambert across the Forth, partly to his knowledge that the materials of the Scottish army were far inferior to those of his own. Had Leslie been at the head of a force capable of meeting the invaders in the field, Cromwell at Perth might indeed have found himself in an awkward position, as, in case of defeat, he might easily have been driven back to perish in the Highlands. On the other hand, it must be acknowledged that the