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was possessed of a store of money, amounting, according to some calculations, to above twelve millions Sterling. He expected great assistance from Louis the Fourteenth, his kinsman and friend, who, though he had just concluded a peace with Britain, was nevertheless sufficiently inclined to further a civil war within its bosom, and whose interest it plainly was to keep a Protestant, and a sworn enemy of his own, out of the government of so important a member of the European family of nations.
With all these favouring circumstances, James was only six-and-twenty years of age, with a character which, if not very good, yet remained in a great measure to be proved.
Some men, however, are born to make, and others to mar fortune. Who could suppose that, at a crisis which seemed in every respect so favourable to his design, and when possessed of so many substantial advantages for its prosecution, this unbappy prince was almost as far from having formed a proper scheme for those who undertook to act for him, as be was on the day he was born? The reader would be surprised to learn the vague and indecisive counsels on which the insurrection of 1715 proceeded. In July, only two months before it commenced, Lord Bolingbroke, on visiting the Chevalier at Commercy, was astonished to find him in as complete ignorance as himself, with respect to the preparations which had been made for the success of his cause. 4 It was soon after ascertained, by a memorial from the Earl of Mar, that, unless a body of twenty thousand regular forces could be landed in Britain, the English Jacobites could not rise ; and that, without the English Jacobites, the Scottish would be of little avail. This force the Chevalier knew he could not get ; yet he permitted the scheme to go on.
The reader would also be surprised to learn the meanness of the agents employed in this prince's affairs. At Paris, he had a set of Irish friends, who, in the words of a writer already quoted, acted without subordination, or order, or concert. These men, mistaking encouragements to act for action, had worked up one another to believe success infallible. “ Here,” says Lord Bolingbroke, “ care and hope sate on every busy Irish face. Those who could read and write had letters to show, and those who had not arrived at this pitch of erudition, had their secrets to whisper." " A Mrs Trant, a lady endowed with not the best possible character, was one of the chief persons in this spontaneous ministry. All the messages that were sent, all the information that was received, all the designs that were afloat, were carried from one little knot of people to another, and soon had a place in the despatches of the Earl of Stair to the government of England. ”
Action was at length commenced in a most improvident manner. The Scottish Jacobites had for a long time entreated the Chevalier to come over, and commence his undertaking with them ; assuring him, with their proper national ardour, that the only thing required was a commencement with them. Lord Bolingbroke, in reply to one very pressing request of this nature, had written to Lord Mar that the sense of their friends was, that Scotland could do nothing without England ; that England would not stir without assistance from abroad; and that no such assistance was to be ex. pected. Yet, while Bolingbroke, and all the other friends of the cause in France, were supposing that the project was thus to be delayed, James himself had secretly given the Earl of Mar permission to erect the standard of insurrection on the mountains of Scotland. A striking omen, as a Whig of the day might have justly remarked, of the arbitrary and wilful way in which the Chevalier would probably act, in case of his being restored to the throne !
In the meantime, the Government, fully apprised by Lord Stair of what was intended, took some decisive steps for its protection. The Habeas Corpus act was suspended. An act was passed for the suppression of riots. The Dutch were requested to send over the six thousand men, whom they had lately agreed, by the treaty of guarantee, to furnish for the defence of the Protestant succession. A reward of a hundred thousand pounds was offered to any who should seize the person of the Pretender within the British dominions. The British fleet, reinforced by six thousand additional seamen, was stationed along the Channel to intercept any suspicious vessels sailing from France. Three thousand dragoons, and four thousand infantry, were added to the army. The half-pay officers were dispersed throughout the country, to discipline and encourage the bodies of militia which were everywhere beginning to form. All Papists were ordered to depart from London and Westminster, and not to come within ten miles of these cities. The severe laws already existing against people of this persuasion, were ordered to be put in full force throughout the country. And the King was empowered, by an act
passed on the 30th of August, to summon all the Scottish chiefs and gentlemen whom he suspected, to Edinburgh, there to give caution for their fide
COMMENCEMENT OF THE INSURRECTION,
Were ye wi' me to chase the rae,
The Earl of Mar thought proper to mark the commencement of his undertaking by a singular, but most characteristic act of duplicity. On the 1st of August, the day before he was to set out! for Scotland, he attended to pay his compliments to King George, against whom he was so soon to declare war. Whether he was urged to do this by a desire of confounding observation, or by mere recklessness of disposition, it was certainly a singularly broad insult, as offered to a prince.
On August 2d, (1715), having first disguised himself as a private person, he embarked, with Major-General Hamilton, Colonel Hay, and two servants, at Gravesend, on board a collier, which carried him to Newcastle. From Newcastle he proceeded in a vessel belonging to one Spence, to the Firth of Forth, where, refusing to be landed on the coast of Lothian, lest he should be there recognised and seized, he went on shore at Ely, a