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In 1653, Cromwell dissolved the Rump, or Long Parliament, which had first met in 1640, and was immediately appointed Protector of the Kingdom; an Act was then made, appointing him Supreme Magistrate of the Commonwealth, with power little short of royalty; he was to enjoy the office for life, and the place was to be supplied at his death by the Council.
Notwithstanding that the Usurper was very successful both at home and abroad, he never felt himself quite at ease; the Royalists being often engaged in plans of insurrection and assassination, he became distrustful of every person; disease attacked him, and he died on the 3d September 1658, in the 59th year of his age. He was a man of great courage, respectable military talents, dexterity, and address; he was also possessed of a good deal of liberality.
At Oliver's death, his son Richard was recognised as Protector. On this event taking place, a rupture was produced between the Parliament and the army, which was followed by the dissolution of the former on 22d April 1659, and soon afterwards, by the dismission of the Protector. The Long Parliament, which had dethroned Charles I., was now restored, without giving satisfaction to either party.
A general discontent having now pervaded the nation, the Parliament ordered Lambert to destroy the resources of the Royalists; and Monk apprehended and imprisoned several of the nobility in Scotland.
Monk, at this period, having gained the favour of the army, and the confidence of the greater part of the people of Scotland, convened a meeting of Commissioners from a number of Shires, Magistrates of Burghs, and several of the Nobility, in the Parliament House of Edinburgh, on the 15th of November 1659, when he acquainted them, in a speech, that he intended to march into England to redress their grievances, and to restore order; this information was no sooner given, than he was cheered, and received an immediate supply of money. When Monk entered England with his army, he was implored
by people from all quarters to restore the Government, and put an end to anarchy and confusion. On reaching the neighbourhood of London, that Capital was thrown into disorder, and, on the 1st of May 1660, being the very day which completed a century after the abolition of Popery and the establishment of the Reformation, Monk introduced Sir John Granville to Parliament, with despatches from Charles; on which, the House got into an ecstacy of joy, and the King was immediately proclaimed. Monk went to Dover to meet the Prince, who received him with open arms, distinguished him by the name of Father, created him Duke of Albemarle, while he had the glory to place his Sovereign on the throne. In August following, Charles appointed the Earl of Glencairn to be Chancellor of Scotland; Lauderdale, to be Secretary of State; Crawfurd, Lord Treasurer; Sir John Gilmour, President of the Session; and Mr., afterwards Sir John, Fletcher, Lord Advocate; he also nominated the Lords of the Articles*.
On 23d August 1660, the Commissioners of the Church, consisting of a number of Ministers and Elders, met at Edinburgh, when they addressed the King, congratulating him on his return, and praying that he would respect the national covenant. The Committee of Estates, hearing of this meeting, caused their papers to be seized, and the members thrown into prison. This step, which was considered as illegal and unprecedented, was merely a prelude to the arbitrary proceedings, oppressions, and cruelties, which were soon to take place. The day after the Ministers and Elders were imprisoned,
* The Lords of the Articles, were chosen men from the Clergy, Nobility, Knights, and Burgesses. The Bishops, for instance, chose eight Peers, and the Peers chose eight Bishops, and these sixteen jointly chose eight Barons, (or Knights of the Shire,) and eight Commissioners for Burghs, and to all these were added eight Great Officers of State, the Chancellor being President of the whole. Their business was to prepare all matters and bills which were to come before Parliament, so that, in fact, although the King had no negative, he contrived to keep back all obnoxious bills by means of the Lords of the Articles,
the Committee of Estates published a proclamation, prohibiting and discharging all unlawful meetings, whether they were of a civil or religious nature; the latter was now known by the name of Conventicles; and also prohibiting all seditious petitions and remonstrances. On the 14th September, the Council sent an order to the Magistrates of Glasgow, to desire Principal Gillespie to appear before them, which he did on the 17th current, when he was sent to Edinburgh Jail, and was afterwards imprisoned in the Bass Island, along with a number of Ministers. Notwithstanding these imprisonments, some few had the boldness in their sermons before Parliament, to urge them to do nothing against the work of Reformation. At this period, the Registers and Records of the Kingdom, which had been sent to London by Monk, were ordered to be returned in a ship bound for Kirkaldy, which foundered at sea on the 18th December. It is quite unaccountable how such valuable national property should have been hazarded at sea, when it could have been so easily sent by land. Principal Gillespie having at length been brought before Parliament, he acknowledged his offence, and was liberated.
On the 1st of August 1661, the Privy Council proceeded with rigour against the Earl of Tweeddale, and several gentlemen and Ministers, for their adherence to the Usurper. These prosecutions were instigated at the instance of Mr. James Sharp, who was at that time in London as Commissioner from the Church of Scotland, to represent the loyalty of the Scots Clergy, and to obtain a confirmation of their Presbyterian privileges, but who apostatized from the principles he professed, and joined with others to persuade the King, that Episcopacy was agreeable to the bulk of the people in Scotland. The King, who wished very much for such authority, resolved to re-establish this form of government in the Church, and immediately appointed Mr. Sharp to be Archbishop of St. Andrews, Mr. Andrew Fairfowl, the Minister of Dunse, to be Archbishop of Glasgow; he also filled up other Bishop
ricks; and an order from the Privy Council was issued, discharging presentations to Presbyteries. Sharp, Fairfowl, and other two Bishops, who had been consecrated at London, came to Berwick on the 8th April 1662, and were met on the road to Edinburgh, by several noblemen and others, and received with great solemnity. The Earl of Middleton, as the King's Commissioner, came to Holyrood-House on Sunday, 4th May, and congratulated the Archbishops on their promotion in the Church. On the 7th of the same month, several other Prelates were consecrated by the two Archbishops; and the next day, they were all received with great pomp in Parliament.
Thus the government of the Church by Bishops was restored, not by the Church, or the State, the Clergy, or the Laity, but by the King's royal prerogative, which was ratified by the Parliament in 1662. To compel the people to approve of the change in the form of their worship, it was found necessary to have recourse to measures which were found to be cruel and oppressive.
When the new Bishops were consecrated and inducted in their Sees, the attendance of all Parsons, Vicars, and Ministers, were required, to give concurrence in their stations, under His Majesty's displeasure. This order, however, was but ill attended to, except in the north; it was therefore thought necessary, that the Earl of Middleton, and a quorum of the Privy Council, should visit the Western Towns, so as to support the measure by their presence. On the 26th September 1662, they came to Glasgow, and were waited on by Provost Campbell and the other Magistrates, and almost every person of note in the neighbourhood. Archbishop Fairfowl complained to the Council, that none of the Ministers had acknowledged his authority as Bishop, and therefore moved that they would agree upon an Act and Proclamation, peremptorily banishing all such Ministers from their Houses, Parishes, and Presbyteries, respectively, as would not now, or betwixt the first of November next,
appear and receive collation and admission from him as their Bishop; assuring the Commissioner, that there would not be ten in his Diocese who would stand out and lose their stipend in this cause. Every desire of the Prelates having now become next to a law, a meeting of Council was convened in the Fore Hall of the College, when the Commissioner laid before the Council the desire of the Archbishop, which was agreed to by all except Lord Lee, who assured them, that such an act would desolate the country, and increase the dislike to the Bishops; he also asserted, that the Ministers would go farther than the loss of their stipends before they would submit; this reasoning, however, had no weight with the meeting; the Act was therefore framed in terms of the Archbishop's demand. This ambulatory Council having finished their business in Glasgow, visited Hamilton, Paisley, and Dumbarton, and having passed through Renfrew, Cunningham, Kyle, and Carrick, remained some time in Ayr. As the Council committed many acts of profanity and excessive dissipation, the Presbyterians considered it as a proof, that profanity and Prelacy in Scotland went hand in hand. From Ayr, the Council went to Wigton and Dumfries, and, upon the last of October, returned to Holyrood-House. Soon after this, accounts came to Edinburgh from the west and south Districts, of the distracted state of those parts of the country, occasioned by the silencing of their Ministers. Middleton, therefore, who had been misled by Fairfowl, desired that a Council should be met, and that the Bishops should attend, in order to give advice in what was to be done. On the 23d December 1662, being the last meeting of the Council, it was determined, that the time for the Ministers to obtain collation, should be extended till the first of February next, but if they neglected to comply betwixt and that time, they were to be put out of their Parishes, Presbyteries, and Diocese. Such procedure could not fail to overwhelm the country with grief and indignation. February had scarcely arrived, when the work of ejection began, and it was not long till upwards of 400 Ministers were