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ciently traced to Breadalhine, to Stair, and to the military officers employed by Stair as the inferior and immediate agents. Breadalbine pleaded his sovereign's permission and previous pardon for what he did; he was liberated atter a short inprisonment: the censure of Stair was referred to the king and he was dismissed from his employments. The officers instead of being sent home to stand their trial as the parliament demanded, were promoted for their ready obedience to their commanders, which William considered as the first duty of a soldier.
During the general ferment occasioned by this more than tragical event, the nation was alarmed at the report of a descent on Scotland by king James: the parliament omitted nothing that could defeat it; six new regiments were levied; a supply of a hundred and fifty thousand pounds, was voted; an act passed for recruiting the royal navy; all members who refused the government oaths were expelled: the episcopal clergy forfeited all legal rights to their livings by refusing to acknowledge presbytery as the only church goverament in Scotland.
Yet the revolution was far from being consolidated in Scotland: though William was in fact sovereign of the kingdom and obedience to bis: government was therefore necessary, many wha quietly paid this obedience, were willing to esteena James still their rightful sovereign to whose allegiance it became them to return, if his rights should ever again be effectually asserted. James although an exile, had still a degree of power in the regulation of affairs: the Jacobites obeveil his orders, and listened to us recommendativas
many instances as if he had been still seated on the throne. Many of the chieftains in the North, found it necessary for their self-preservation to pay their court equally to the reigning and to the abdicated king. Refusing obedience to the go. vernment of William, they would have been liable to the fate of rebels; refusing to join in the intrigues of the Jacobites, they would have been in danger of perishing by the violence or the artful accusations of that party. Even the presbyterians, the grand strength of the revolution, often harrassed the administration with their murmurs and menaced it with their enmity.
Both parties agreed in one point, which was their country's independence on England. Being freed from religious persecution, they had leisure to contemplate the benefits of trade and colonization, such as this age regarded as the true sources of national wealth. Paterson, who had probably been the projector of the bank of England, gave the outlines of a plan for establishing a company trading to Africa, the East and West Indies. The whole nation entered into the scheme with inconceivable ardour. The secretary of state represented to the king that the only means to gain the Scots to his interest, was to second their views. In compliance with these demands, an act passed, which sanctioned the establishment of a Scotch trading company, with ample privileges. It is scarce to be credited how eagerly shares in this new company were sought for. The contribu. tions of landholdiers, merchants, farmers, artizans, clergymen, the dowries of young ladies, the scanty fortimes of younger brothers, all swelled the siock of the new company to nearly 500,0001. YOL, XXI.
Subscriptions from England and from Hamburgh were prevented by the jealousy of the English East-India company. On that narrow neck of land which joins the two vast continents of America, there was a spot called Darien, unoccupied by: the Spaniards, which presented an eligible site for a colonial settlement. Thither Paterson turned his views: but neither he nor his party were aware of the insurmountable opposition they were to meet with. The situation of the intended colony was such as in time to command the whole commerce of Spain and Holland; and England could not sec with pleasure the establishment of a company which must greatly injure their flourishing trade. The king was too much of a Dutchman and of an Englishman to prefer the interests of Scotland to every other consideration. Both the houses of parliament strongly remonstrated with his majesty against the Scottish settlement. The king did not scruple to affirm that he had been imposed upon : he had been ill-served in Scotland, but he hoped some remedy might yet be found. The commons voted the directors of the Scotch company guilty of a high crime and misdemeanor for taking up money and administering an oath in England; and ordered the said directors to be impeached accordingly. The king directed his own minister at Hamburgh, where ships were building for the company, to present a memorial to the senate against the adventurers: he dismissed the Scottish ministry who had drawn him into this perplexing situation, and appointed another administration with orders to assemble the parliament. A general dejection prevailed in Scotland at these tidings. His majesty's inconstancy, and the jealousy and injustice of the English parliament, were mentioned in not very becoming terms. But the country was oppressed with a severe famine, many had emigrated to Ireland, and there was saill a hope of winning the favour of the court by dutiful measures.
The parliament, therefore, dissembling its uneasiness, voted 20,0001. for paying the sea and land forces; signed an association for the support of the gorernment against the intrigues of the acobites, as had been done in England, and obliged all persons in public trust to do the same. In the subsequent session the company presented 2 petition, by which it appeared, that notwithstanding every discouragement, matters were so far advanced, that if the new settlement did not succeed, Scotland must be ruined. The petition was favourably received by parliament, who voted 2 representation to the king, entreating him to support the rights of the company. A petition from the company seconded the address of parliament, and both contained very cutting reflections upon his majesty's conduct, under the plausible pretence of thanking him for his repeated assurances of protection: but William was not at leisure to attend to Scottish representations.
Meanwhile four ships had been built at Hamburgh; they were loaded with
kind of merchandize proper for the expedition, with artillery and military stores ; twelve hundred seamen and soldiers, the flower of the nation, embarked under the conduct of Paterson, and proceeded for the isthmus of Darien, where they met with a favourable reception from the natives.
But these were the only friends they had in the world. The Spanish ambassador at St. James's, claimed Darien, as belonging to his master. The French offered to lend a squadron to dislodge the new settlers; the Dutch conjured his majesty to prevent their utter ruin, by destroying the intant colony; and the king ordered, under the severest penalties, no provisions, no necessaries of life, to be sent them froin Jamaica or any of his WestIndia islands. The first emigrants, by these measures, were so effectually distressed, that they were obliged to abandon the settlement. The loss of the ship, with the provisions, disabled a second expedition; and a third, more powerful than either, was destroyed by dissention : so that when the Spaniards attacked them, they were obliged to.capitulate.
Thus ended the greatest commercial enterprize Scotland ever was engaged in. No interest, no profits, cuuld be divided to the proprietors. At the time when expectations of opulence were most sanguine, every one of those who had adventured their little all, were reduced to the wretchedness of absolute want.
The clamours of the nation were so loud and incessant, that the king was obliged to have recoure to his English parliament to vindicate his character. The house of peers voted, that the settlement of the Scotch colony at Darien was inconsistent with the good of the plantation trade in England. This vote, carried by a small majority, was rejected by the commons. A multitude of pamphlets were published to soothe the national resentment; but other publications, calling for vengeance, were industriously circulated all over the kingdoni.