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crush and overwhelm them. But the British soldiers and sailors, when they came upon the coast of France, and knew how they were to be employed, were filled with deep indignation, “ftew into a fury, got up their anchors, and set sail for England, declaring, they had rather be hanged at home than be slaves to the French, and fight against the PROTESTANT religion."--Echard, p. 422. “The admiral Pennington and the French officer used all their rhetorick to persuade them, (offering chains of gold, and other rewards to all those captains, masters and owners who should go on this service) but they were all inflexible.'—Coke, Det. p. 8. “ The admiral acquainted the king; who sent him an order, to consign his own ship immediately into the hands of the French admiral, with all her equipage, artillery, &c. and require the other seven to put themselves into the service of our dear brother the French king; and in case of backwardness or refusal, we command you to use all forcible means, even to sinking.”-Echard, ibid. “In pursuance of this order the ships were delivered into the hands of the French; but all the English sailors and officers (to their immortal honour be it remembered) abandoned them, except two. The French having got the ships and artillery, quickly manned them with sailors of their own religion ; blocked up the (poor oppressed) Rochellers ; cut off their communication with their protestant friends ; reduced them to all the hardships of a most dreadful famine and siege, and forced them to surrender this chief bulwark of the protestant interest in France into the hands of the papists.”Neal, Vol. 11. p. 165. “ Above 15,000 perished for want of sustenance, and the remainder were so thin and pale, that they rather resembled skeletons tban living persons."--Echard, p. 440.
“ They lived long upon horse-flesh, hides, leather, dogs and cats, hardly leaving an horse alive.”— Coke Detec. p. 78.
“ He laid the foundation of an unhappy reign, not only in his dissimulation in the treaty of marriage, but much more by engaging to assist the French king with a fleet against the reformed in France; which he did, though the French broke their faith, in denying Mansfield to land his army, raised by England for the recovery of the Palatinate, at Calais.”—Coke Det. p. 195.
But king Charles shortly after, upon a private pique of Buckingham his favourite, “without any kind of provocation Lord Clarendon owns, and upon a particular passion very unwarrantable.”—Clarend. Vol. 1. p. 38,—was violently hurried into a war with France : « To satiate Buckingham's spite and revenge against Richlieu, for crossing him in his lust,” as Coke avers, Coke Det. p. 5, 44. and will by and by appear. The protestants were allured by solemn promises from his majesty to depend upon his support. “ He solicited the duke of Rohan to take up arms, and wrote a letter to the mayor, sheriffs, peers, burghers, &c. of Rochelle, encouraging them to hold out to the last ; for I am resolved, he says, that all my fleet shall perish, rather than
shall not be relieved.-- Be assured, I will never abandon you ; and that I will employ all the force of my kingdom for your deliverance, until it please God to bless me with giving you an assured peace.”-- Echard, p. 440. Welwood, p. 72.
But that which followed ill suited these fine. promises. “ The English fleet under the command of the earl of Denbigh sailed to Rochelle, and finding there some French ships, would not assault them, though fewer and weaker than themselves by many degrees; but after shewing them
selves only they returned and left Rochelle unrelieved.”-Whitelock's Mem. p. 10. " Cardinal Richlieu, who was at the siege in person, was well informed that the, fleet would not do him any great hurt, nor the city much good. For what the deputies (sent by the protestants to solicit succours at the English court) built in the day time with the king, the queen overthrew in the night ; and kept the king her brother from receiving any damage.”—Hist. Stu.p. 100. “The French were so alarmed at the invasion of the English under Buckinghain at first, that their king offered the duke of Rohan and the Rochellers any terms, if they would join against the English ; which they both (bravely) refusing, it occasioned both their ruin.”-Coke Det. p. 48. For the ungenerous English monarch quickly makes peace with France; in which he sacrifices the poor Rochellers ; " though they sent to implore his assistance with this pathetic expression, that what they now wrote was with their tears, and with their blood.”—Echard, p. 440.
“The war against France was not more inconsiderately begun, than the peace made with it
The first time it was inade known was when the French king besieged Privas; he proclaimed the peace with his good brother of England. The reformed were astonished and confounded that the king of England, who had brought them into the war, should leave them out of the peace. Hereupon Provas surrendered, so does Castres and Nimes : the great Rohan is forced to subunit and disband : the power of the reformed, in France, was thus routed up.”Coke Dęt. p. 90.
The particular passion, very unwarrantable, by which, Lord Clarendon says, the king was drawn into the war with France, his lordship and
Bishop Burnet thus relate. “ The duke of Buckingham, in his einbassy at that court, where his person and presence were wonderfully admired, had the assurance to dedicate his most violent affection to the queen of France, and to pursue it with most importunate addresses, and had a secret conversation with her. A jealousy of this arising, he was ordered immediately to leave the court.” In his return to England under this affront, “ he swore that he would see and speak with that_lady, in spight of the strength and power of France. He thenceforward omitted no opportunity to incense the king against France, and to dispose him to assist the Hugonots, whom he likewise encouraged to give their king some trouble. King Charles sent one to treat with the duke of Rohan, their chief, about it; and promised them powerful assistance. So a war was resolved on. But the infainous part was, that Richlieu got the king of France to make his queen write an obliging letter to the duke of Buckingham, assuring him, that if he would let Rochelle fall without assisting it, he should have leave to come over, and settle the whole malter of the religion according to their edicts. Upon this, the duke made that shameful campaign of the Isle of Rhee. But finding next winter that he was not to be suffered to go over to France, and that he was abused into a false hope, he resolved to have followed that matter with more vigor, when he was stabbed by Felton at Portsmouth." -Clarend. Vol. 1. p. 38. Burnet's Hist. Vol. 1. p. 51. So that here we see the peace of the nation, and the lives of thousands of Britons, as well as of brave protestants in France, sacrificed by this weak prince to the guilty passion of Buckingham, his lewd audacious favourite.
“ From this period of time,” archdeacon Echard observes,“ historians justly date the entire, ' though encreasing greatness of France, both as to her land and naval power. The great inconveniencies of which gave sufficient occasion for the complaints of the king's enemies at home and the protestant sufferers abroad. His majesty had before been told in council, that it was less prejudicial to England to lose the kingdom of IRELAND, than to suffer the reduction of RoCHELLE, and the ruin of the protestant religion in France."--Echard, p. 440. So that this desertion of these brave protestants was as contrary to sound policy, as it was unspeakably dishonourable and infamous in the English court.
CH A P. III.
CHARLES designs to overthrow the CONSTITUTION,
and to render himself absolute. THAT it was the avowed design of this prince to overthrow the ancient constitution and government of this kingdom, and to make himself absolute and independent of parliaments, his whole history puts beyond all rational doubt.
“ It was under the reign of Charles I. -says the judicious Rapin, that the project to render the king absolute and independant of the laws was pushed with vigour, and every sail set to go on the faster. Buckingham his favourite filled his head with maxims contrary to the established government, and so was the cause of his ruin. That lord being assassinated, the king pursued