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Others would not acknowledge their Rebel- A.D.1685; lion, though Kirk offer'd them their Lives
i Jac.2. upon that Condition; nay, 'tis related, that Kirk order'd one Person to be cut down twice or three Times, and after each offer'd him his Life, if he would only acknowledge that he had done amiss ; but he refus'd, and chose to be hang'd outright. But to proceed, if Kirk was such a Monster of Cruelty, for executing so small a Number of Rebels taken in Arms, how comes Cromwell's Cruelty never to be cenfur'd by the Fa&tion, who murdered his thousands and ten thousands in cold Blood ? Again, did not Fairfax, the Parliament's Ge- The Rebels
in the late neral, caufe Sir Charles Lucas and Sir George
. Life, two very great and good Men, to lay ty of much no more of them, to be shot before the Walls greater of Colchester after they had surrender'd, by
Cruelties. his fole Authority, only for defending that Town for their Sovereign against the Forces of the Rump? And if this was agreeable to the Rules of War, why was Kirk to be cenfur'd any more than Fairfax or Cromwell?
But some pretend to give a farther Infance Kirk charof Kirk's cruel and brutish Temper. They ged with:
Proof, tell us, that when a young Woman came to beg her Brother's Life, he promised it on Condition she would let him lye with her; which when she had consented to with much Relu&ance, he hang'd her Brother on the Sign Post of the same House before her Face, and laugh'd at her Credulity. But this Story has not only no Proof to support it, but it is told so many different Ways, as renders it exceeding fufpicious: Some affirm, That ic was a Daughter that petition'd for her Father; and others, that a Wife begg'd the Life of her Husband on these Terms; but Vol. XXIII.
A.D.1685.give us neither the Names nor Dwellings of Fac.z. any of the Parties : And after all, if this
Kirk was such a Brute of a Man, it is strange, that the pious King William was so far from calling him to an Account at the Revolution, that he rely'd upon him as much as on any English Officer he had; and particularly employ'd him in relieving the important Town of London-Derry, and raising the Siege of that
Place. But to return. L. Dela.
The Lord Delamere being suspected as a FaBrandon, vourer of the Rebels, a Proclamation was illuGerard,and ed on the 19th of July, commanding him to others, ap- surrender himself: And on the 26th of the prehended. fame Month, the Earl of Stamford, the Lord
Brandon, Gerard, and the Lord Delamere, were committed to the Tower : And another Proclamation issued, commanding George Speke, Francis Charlton, and John Wildman, Esqs; Colonel Danvers, and John Trenchard, Esq; to surrender themselves within twency Days, being charg'd with High Treason in being
among the Rebels, or Aiding and Afiling of A Thankf-them: And the 26th of July, was observ'd as giving for a Thanksgiving for the Success of the King's the Vi&tory Forces in the Weft; on which, one from the of Sedge
French King congratulated his Majesty the
beginning of the next Month. Jefferies And now the Court thinking fit to make and other some Examples of those who had been taken to try the in Rebellion, or were guilty of encouraging Rebels in or assisting the Rebels: A Commission of the Weft. Oyer and Terminer was granted to the Lord
Chief Justice Jefferies, Polexfen, and three other Commissioners, who were sent into the Welt the latter End of August, Colonel Kirk being order'd to protect them
against the Insolence of the People with a A.D.1685 Detachment of the Army.
i ac.2. The Judges opening their Commission at Winchester in Hampshire, Alice Life, the Widow Mrs. Life's of John Life, one of the Regicides, who was Trial. President also of the High Court of Justice that condemned Duke Hamilton, the Earl of Holland, and the Lord Capel, was brought before them, and charged with Harbouring John Hicks, a Non-Conformist Minister, and
Nelthorp, who had been in the Rebels Army at the Battle of Sedgemore; and she was condemned upon full Evidence, if we may credit the printed Trial, to which I refer the Reader; however, the Sentence was reversed at the Revolution. But our Historians have aggravated this Matter extremely, pretending Mrs. Life was ignorant whom she harboured, and had great Injustice done her; whereas it appears, that she was the great Patroness and Protector of the Rebels; that she contrived to have those Men brought to her House privately, supped with them in a Chamber, where they discoursed of what had happened in the Battle, and a&ually denied them when Colonel Penruddock came to search her House: Nor were the Jury ever turned back, as is pretended; though 'tis true they came into Court after they had withdrawn, to be fatisfied in two Points; one was, Whether it was Treason to receive a Rebel before he was convicted of Treason; to which the Court answered, It was: Then they said, They were in some Doubt, whether Hicks had been in the Army; to which Jefferies answered, Mrs. Life's ordering them to come in the Night, was a strong Presumption of it; but their talking of the Battle at Supper, left them no
A.D.1685. Room to doubt of it: Whereupon the Jury, 1 Jac. II.
without withdrawing again, gave their Ver
diet, That she was Guilty : And this Jury conShe is con- sisted of Gentlemen of as good Quality and victed.
Credit as any in the Country. Indeed the Court did observe, that the Prisoner's Hurband was a Regicide, and President of a High Court of Justice, that had taken away the Lives of several loyal Noblemen, and had condemned the Father of this very Colonel Penruddock, who seized Mrs. Lisle, and was a Witness against her at this Trial : But it is not to be Tupposed that the Jury, who were Gentlemen of Quality, should have any Regard to her Husband's Crimes in the Verdia against her, whatever Dr. Burnet, and other
Advocates for Rebellion, may insinuate : And, All the however the whole Load of Mrs. Life's ConJudges
demnation comes to be laid on Jefferies, it apagree in thie Justice pears that Polexfen and the rest of the Judges of her Şen in the Commission were unanimous in their
Opinions of her Guilt: And what takes off a great deal of the Odium from the Judges is, that they gave her Time to send to London, and folicite her Pardon; and when that could not be obtained, gave her an Opportunity of getting her Sentence changed from Burning to Beheading. But it is further observed, That as Mrs. Lise was very old and deaf, it would have redounded to the King's Honour to have spared her; she could have done him very little Harm, if he had suffered her to live; and those who suggest this may be very much in the right: But as for the Cruelty of the Matter, it may be as cruel to execute a young Woman as an old one; and as she was the great Encourager and Supporter of the Difaffe&ted in that part of the Country, I
presume the King consented to her Execution A.D.1685. in order to terrify others from harbouring and
1 Ac. II. fupporting his Enemies, rather than out of any Pique to the Person of this old Lady. But to proceed. The Prisoner and several more having been condemned at Winchester, the Commiffi ners went from thence to Dorchester, Exeter, Taunton, and Wells ; in all which Places feven or eight hundred were About 200 convi&ed, of whom about two hundred were executed. executed. Indeed Burnet pretends fix hun- Burnet dred were executed ; but three for one is an makes 600
of them. ordinary Stretch with that correct Writer : And in this particular even his Disciples, the Continuers of Rapin, have given him up ; though they tell us, that it was the Covetoufness of the Chief Justice that saved many of the Prisoners: But why Polexfen and the rest How como of the Commissioners, who concurred with Jefferies Fefferies are not equally censured, is a little to bear the difficult to conceive; unless it be that Polex- Odium of fen was afterwards one of King William's all these Judges, and the rest of them deemed no Ene mies to the Revolution. The Lord Churchill, (afterwards Duke of Marlborough) though the most ađive of all the Officers in suppressing the Western Rebellion, appears also to be fo much in Favour with the Fadion, that he has not incurred the least Cenfure on that Account; while poor Colonel Kirk, his inferiour Officer, is loaded with Infamy, and innumerable Stories raised of his Cruelty; particularly, That when thirty Men, who had been condemned by Jefferies and his Associates, were to be hanged at Taunton, he far at a Tavern to see the Execution, and ordered them to be turned off by half Scores, drinking the King's Health at the first Execution,