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Hobson played false. Their purpose was to compel the King to keep his promise of toleration to all but Catholics, remove the hearth money, excise, and other taxes, and restore a Gospel ministry and magistracy. Fairfax, Manchester and Sir John Lawson knew of the design but disowned it, and Wharton was privy to it.
Albemarle and Buckingham were to have been killed, Hull, Appleby and Carlisle seized. Ludlow and Goffe were to have led parties against Whitehall. Many in the Life Guards, in Albemarle's regiment, in the fleet, in Scotland and oversea, with men of quality in England were engaged. Atkinson, reputed an old in former, was said to be false and subtle, and his examinations seemed to indicate either that this was true or that, as had been reported, the plot was so arranged that no one could betray it if he would.122
Despite such unsatisfactory information as this the whole matter henceforth assumed a new aspect. In place of the vague and uncertain rumors of earlier years the government had now certain undisputed facts to deal with.
It had actually seized some revolutionaries and learned the names of others. It proceeded therefore to complete its information and its captures.123 Ilolland was the first objective. Thence the refugee Colonel Bampfield and a spy, Custis, furnished news of their associates.1 The latter, indeed, interviewed Dr. Richardson himself. The doctor admitted having written the declaration, but attributed the authorship of the address to the Quakers to one Denham. He had left York August 6, the day Captain Rymer landed in England to take part in the rising, and so had no share in the actual insurrection. That, he declared, failed on account of poor leadership, Walters, who was to have led them, having gone mad. Their numbers were small but their faith strong, and they believed miracles would attend their godly design. This was vague enough and the government turned to other meas
The informers were rewarded, the leading prisoners respited for further examination, and many attempts made to suppress a seditious pamphlet Vene Tekel attributed to Captain Jones.126 Much energy was fruitlessly expended in an effort to seize one Sydrach Lester a shipmaster carrying revolutionary contraband be
122 Cal. St. P. Dom., 1663–1664, pp. 352-540 passim.
123 Ibid., pp. 505, 512-513, 521. Walters and Carr implicated Neville, Salway and Wildman, ibid., pp. 391–392. A plan for a Parliament of 300 members, p. 404.
13 Published by an old offender, Elizabeth Calvert, ibid., p. 465. AM. HIST. REV., VOL. XIV. - 34.
tween England and Holland.127 An old officer of the Duke of York sent in reports of his earnest effort to kill or kidnap Ludlow and his fellow refugees in Switzerland.128 The political prisoners were again redistributed among the prisons, in accordance with the policy of never leaving them long in the same place. And finally,129 measures were taken to crush or overawe Dissent in those places where an investigation set on foot in the preceding August had showed that it was practically undisturbed. With the situation well in hand the administration prepared to meet Parliament.130
The Houses came together in March 1664. It is not surprising that their attention was directed to the recent disturbances. Upon these the King laid the stress of his speech. One question, in particular, of vital importance to them, he said, had been raised by the insurrection. Some plotters had declared for the Long Parliament, others maintained that the present Parliament had expired according to the Triennial Act of 1641, and proposed, in the absence of new writs, to assemble and choose another themselves. Ought they not, therefore, to repeal the act which made their own existence a matter of question? His argument was effective.
Within a week the Triennial Act was repealed, and the existing royalist Anglican Parliament perpetuated, subject only to royal will. Nor was this all. Recent revelations had convinced the majority that the conventicles were hotbeds of sedition, which neither the old acts of Elizabeth nor their own measures had checked. A bill against such meetings which had failed in the Lords during the previous session was now revived under the influence of the plot and passed both houses, as the Conventicle Act. Thenceforth it was illegal for more than five persons besides a family to meet for religious service outside a church.131
With the passage of this measure, the executions for the plot of 1663, and the repeal of the Triennial Act, the first period of Restoration conspiracies, and of its politics generally, ended in this
12He was captured, escaped and joined the Dutch navy, Cal. St. P. Dom., 1663–1664, pp. 279-387 passim.
128 Ibid., pp. 380, 398 ; Ludlow, ed. Firth, II. 359, 382 ff., 482.
129 Cal. St. P. Dom., 1663–1664, pp. 430-431, 438, 461; Hist. MSS. Comm. Reports, Heathcote, p. 144.
130 Cal. St. P. Dom., 1663–1664, pp. 293-298, 306-348 passim, 452-460, 433-458 (examinations), 301, 350 (proclamations, old soldiers to leave London).
181 Clarendon, Life, Cont., p. 506 ff.; Parl. Hist., IV. 289-296; Cal. St. P. Dom., 1663–1664, pp. 552-559. Many alarms and train-bands out, Pepys, March 27, 1664. The Nonconformists defied or evaded these measures. Cf. Calamy, Memorials, I. 177, 307, 514, II. 387, etc.
spring of 1664 with the triumph of the administration. The royalist Anglicans had legislated themselves into the control of the church livings and the borough corporations. The Parliament which they controlled was indefinitely perpetuated. The meetings of their rivals were made unlawful. The efforts of the party of force to overthrow them had not only failed but had largely contributed to Anglican success. So true was this that the defeated party declared that these so-called plots were, in fact, urged on by those in power for their own ends.132 In the Sparry-Yarrington episode, possibly in some cases beside, this charge seems to contain an element of truth. But no one can read the information which deluged the secretaries without feeling that, plot or no plot, with all allowance for exaggeration and untruth, there was enough to cause such a government as that of Charles II. serious uneasiness. It is not incredible that some men played on these fears for their own ends. It has been admitted that the use of spies was excessive and the results harmful. But it was not the first time nor the last that men in such a position have been moved by panic. Stronger governments than that of Charles II. under slighter provocation have resorted to like measures to crush less formidable foes. And it cannot be denied that, whether as a result of its own policy or not, events increasingly demonstrated the existence of a revolutionary party opposed to the English government in England, Scotland, Ireland and on the Continent. Never formidable enough in mere numbers to seriously threaten a government which had reasonable support at home and no foreign complications, this was none the less a source of danger. The revolutionary plans clearly reveal the direction in which that danger lay. The widespread discontent among the masses over the government's religious and financial policy offered a fertile field for conspiracy and possible rebellion. The seizure of a defensible position and successful resistance might precipitate civil war and popular support of the revolutionaries. The death of the King and a disturbed succession would doubtless have accomplished the same end. A foreign war might afford similar opportunity.
The weakness of the revolutionaries lay in the mutual antagonism of the various elements opposed to the government. Their dislike of the administration was equalled or exceeded by their dislike of each other, and upon this the party in power could safely rely. None the less the plotters had materially influenced the course of events in spite of their own failure and the disasters they had brought upon Nonconformity in general. They had, it is true, contributed more than any other force to the triumph of their opponents and to the enactment of the so-called persecuting measures. But they had at the same time helped to make compromise impossible, and by their indirect assistance in preventing comprehension had assisted in deepening the division between Churchman and Dissenter.
Cf. Neal, Puritans, p. 530 ; Secret Hist., I. 462; Rapin, ed. 1769, pp. 860, 889; Burnet, passim; Ludlow, II, 341, etc. Howell, State Trials, VI. 226, of Tong, etc., that government greatly exaggerated but there was certainly some danger. This seems a fair statement of the whole matter. Cf. also Lister, Life of Clarendon, II. 280 ff.
Doubtless their importance was as much magnified by the Anglicans then as it has been neglected since. They had caused much uneasiness, but they had failed in their two chief plans, insurrection and the seizure or assassination of the King. If matters had remained as they were in the spring of 1664, that period might well have seen the end of revolution and revolutionaries alike, and their epitaph would have been written in the statutes against Nonconformity they had given their enemies so much assistance in enacting. From this fate they were saved by the third alternative, foreign war. Clarendon's rivals in the Council at this juncture espoused the cause of the merchants against the Dutch as they had hitherto championed the same dissenting interest against the Anglicans. With the outbreak of hostilities between England and Holland the history of the English revolutionaries enters on a new phase.
WILBUR C. ABBOTT.
THE SOUTH CAROLINA FEDERALISTS, I.
ORIGINAL material for Southern history has been so scarce at the centres where American historiographers have worked, that the general writers have had to substitute conjecture for understanding in many cases when attempting to interpret Southern developments. The Federalists of the South have suffered particularly from misrepresentation and neglect. Their Democratic-Republican contemporaries of course abused them; the American public at large in the following generation was scandalized by the course of the New England Federalists, and placed a stigma upon all who bore or had borne the name of Federalists anywhere; no historical monographs have made the pertinent data available; and the standard historians, with the exception of Henry Adams, who has indicated a sound interpretation in the form of conjecture but who has given no data, have failed to handle the theme with any approach to adequacy. The South Carolina group appears to have been typical of the whole Southern wing of the Federalists; and because of the greater fullness of the extant documents and the more apparent unity of the theme, the present essay will treat of the origin, character and early career of the party in the state where it was most prominent, rather than in the Southern region at large.
South Carolina has always been in large degree a community apart from the rest of the United States. The long isolation of the colony upon an exposed frontier, and the centralization of commercial, social and political life by reason of the great importance of the city of Charleston, had given the commonwealth a remarkable sentiment of compactness and self-reliance. In the whole period from the Revolution to the Civil War the tendency of public opinion generally prevailing was to regard the membership of their state in the Federal Union as merely providing a more or less intimate alliance of the states, as mutual convenience might require. The stress of somewhat abnormal conditions, however, led many prominent men in the state to favor strong powers for the federal government throughout the period from 1786 to the time of the " second war for American independence ", in 1812–1815.
In the internal politics of South Carolina, an aristocracy composed of the planters and the leading Charleston merchants was
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