Elizabeth's reign terminated in 1603, when James VI. of Scotland, son of the beautiful and much-maligned Queen of Scots, succeeded to the throne. In his journey from the Scottish to the English capital, he passed through York, and he received in the city a right royal welcome, accompanied with all the ceremony and splendour usual on such occasions. Fourteen years later the king, with a train of nobles and knights, English and Scotch, passed through the county on his way to Scotland, and was received at York with the usual formalities. After attending divine service in the minster on the Sunday, he touched about seventy persons afflicted with the king's evil. He was presented by the corporation and inhabitants with a silver cup, value £36 5s. 7d., and a purse containing a hundred double sovereigns. At Ripon he received a gilt bowl and a pair of Ripon spurs.
James's prodigal liberality to worthless favourites, was a constant drain on his exchequer, and obliged him to have recourse to arbitrary and illegal ways of raising money. Contentions arose between him and his parliament as to their relative privileges, but the full force of the storm burst upon the comparatively unoffending head of his son. Charles I. had been indoctrinated by his father with very extravagant notions of the royal prerogative, which in the end occasioned his own total ruin, and for a time that of his posterity. He ascended the throne at a very critical moment, when the monarchical and democratic principles of government were in conflict for ascendency, and it would have required a clearer sighted and more vigorous minded man than Charles to steer clear of the shoals and quicksands that beset his path from the outset. He inherited from his father, not only an empty exchequer, but personal debts to the amount of £700,000, most of which had been incurred in the Palatinate war, into which James had been compelled to enter by the voice of the nation. Charles's appeals to parliament for subsidies were met in a very niggardly spirit, and he then had recourse to forced loans, but this unconstitutional proceeding encountered great opposition in the country. He next proceeded to raise money by tonnage and poundage, a privilege his predecessors had possessed for life, but which Charles's first parliament had limited to one year; this grievance was denounced by the commons in no unmeasured terms, and Buckingham, his chief adviser, and author of all his misfortunes, impeached of various misdemeanours. Each new parliament summoned by the king, proved more obstructive than its predecessor, and Charles determined to dispense with its services and reign a despot. He and the Earl of Strafford administered the state, and Archbishop Laud the church, and all who resisted royal extortion or ecclesiastical authority, were dealt with by the irresponsible courts of star chamber and high commission. But even these terrors could not silence the Puritans, who hated episcopacy almost as much as they did popery; and the imposition of a new tax, called ship-money, was stoutly disputed by John Hampden, a gentleman of Buckinghamshire. Hampden was arraigned before the king's bench, and a majority of the judges decided in favour of the crown, but this decision did not convince the nation of the legality of the impost.
In 1639, Charles embroiled himself in troubles with the Presbyterians of Scotland, by attempting to force upon them a liturgy, drawn up by Laud, on the model of the English church. The Scots resisted, and both sides prepared for open hostilities. 25,000 assembled in defence of the kirk on Dunse Law, and swore to fight or to die for "Christ's crown and the covenant." Alexander Lesley, an officer of experience and repute, was chosen to command. The English Puritans sympathised with their Scottish neighbours, and Charles with difficulty could muster 20,000 men. York was the place of rendezvous, and Charles, on his arrival there on the 30th of March, was received with every demonstration of loyalty. "The town and camp," says Guizot, "presented the appearance of a court and tournament, not at all that of an enemy and of war." It was Easter time, and the festival of Maundy Thursday (the Thursday before Easter), was observed by the king in the cathedral, where the Bishop of Ely washed the feet of 39 aged men in warm water, and dried them with a linen cloth. Afterwards the Bishop of Winchester washed them over in white wine, wiped, and kissed them. The king then distributed among them several articles of clothing and food, and to each he also gave a purse containing 20s. in money, and another one containing 39 silver pennies, being the number of his own years. On Good Friday, 200 persons suffering from the king's evil (scrofula) were brought before his majesty to receive the royal touch, but how many went away cured history averreth not.
Charles remained in Yorkshire about a month, and during his stay he visited Hull, where he was received with all the usual pomp and ceremony. Mr. Thorpe, the recorder, as the organ of the corporation, delivered an address full of fulsome adulation, declaring their unfeigned attachment to his majesty, and their willingness to sacrifice their lives and fortunes in his cause; yet before that day twelve months, they closed their gates against him. The king inspected the fortifications the following day, and then returned to York.
TROUBLES WITH THE SCOTS, AND COMMENCEMENT OF THE CIVIL WAR. -
In the meantime the Scots were massing on Dunse Law, and Charles, at the head of 20,000 men, marched to Berwick; but from a slight encounter here, in which a portion of his cavalry beat a hasty and disorderly retreat before a smaller number of the Scots, he saw that he could place no reliance on his men. He, therefore, entered into negotiations with the Covenanters, and a treaty, known as the "Pacification of Berwick," was the result. This, however, was of short duration, and the following year the war broke out again. Lesley, with 26,000 men under his command, crossed the English border, and defeated 6,000 English under Lord Conway, at Newburn, on the banks of the Tyne. In this battle the English stood for a time a raking fire from the enemy's guns, and then retreated towards Yorkshire, leaving the two northern counties in the undisputed possession of the Scots. Charles hastened with reinforcements to York, where he found himself at the head of 20,000 men, with sixty pieces of cannon. But here he was beset with difficulties and gloomy anticipations. His army was inexperienced and of doubtful loyalty, and its maintenance in the field could not long be sustained without supplies. Ten years had passed since Charles had dissolved his last parliament, and he had ruled in the meantime without its aid. He now summoned the peers of the realm to meet him in a great council, to be held at York, on the 24th September (1640). The people viewed this return to ancient feudal practice with alarm, and the friends of the king advised him to summon a new parliament, to which he reluctantly assented.
In the meantime he entered into negotiations with the Covenanters, but the saints were in no hurry to leave their snug quarters in Newcastle. When they entered England, they declared that they made war, not against the inhabitants, but against popery and prelacy; but now they exacted, from the people of the two counties, a weekly contribution of £5,600, besides confiscating all the property of the Catholics, and appropriating the tithes and rents of the clergy. "They possessed themselves," says Rushworth, "of such corn, cheese, beer, &c., as they found, giving the owners thereof, or some one in their stead, some money in hand and security, in writing, for the rest, to be paid at four or six months end in money or corn; and if they refuse, said the Scots, such is the necessity of their army, that they must take it without security rather than starve." Thus they lived at their ease for twelve months, probably more sumptuously than they had done amid their own bleak hills, and carried away with them £60,000 as the price of their departure.
Charles had exhausted all his sources of supply, and was without the means to carry on the war. On the 10th of September, he assembled the gentlemen of Yorkshire, and proposed that they should call out the train bands and provide for their maintenance for two months, which they consented to do. The Scots were, at this time, threatening to march upon York, and a small body, under Sir A. Douglas, crossed the Tees and plundered the house of Mr. Pudsay. They were intercepted by a small force of English, under Sir John Digby, and in the encounter the Scottish leader and 36 men were taken prisoners, and 23 were killed in the fight.
The peers obeyed the summons of the king and assembled at the deanery, which had been richly hung with tapestry for the purpose. The king, in his opening speech, announced his intention to call parliament together before the end of the year, and he also placed before them two questions on which he wanted their counsel in the meantime: (1) How could he raise supplies to maintain the army during the next three months? and (2) How was he to deal with the Scots who had invaded his English dominions? The council continued its sittings from the 24th of September till the 18th October; and during this time the city of York must have presented a gay and animated appearance. The peers, in response to the first question, sent a deputation of six lords to London, who, on the security of their bonds, obtained a loan of £200,000. On the second point they advised the king to open negotiations with the Covenanters, and a, conference was accordingly held at Ripon. The Scotch commissioners led off the charge by demanding a monthly subsidy of £40,000, but they eventually agreed to accept a weekly sum of £5,600, promising, that as long as this subsidy was paid, to refrain from all raiding or compulsory demand.
On the 3rd of November of the same year (1640), Charles opened that memorable parliament which eventually brought him to the scaffold, and was, at last, ignominiously dissolved by the usurping tyrant, whom it had blindly raised to power. With the contests between the king and the Commons we are not here concerned, only in so far as they relate to Yorkshire; suffice it to say, that every measure and action of the king was opposed and condemned. Wentworth, Earl of Strafford, and Archbishop Laud, his chief advisers, were impeached, and the Scottish rebellion encouraged and aided by two grants of £125,000 and £300,000. The king was stripped of nearly every privilege and power which he possessed, and was reduced to the mere shadow of royal authority.
In the November of the following year (1641), the king, accompanied by the Prince of Wales and several noblemen, visited York, and so threatening was the aspect of affairs at the time that he demanded a body guard from the freeholders of Yorkshire for his protection, which was readily granted. He then went forward to Edinburgh to open the Scottish parliament, and there, in the hope of winning that nation over to his side, he dispensed his favours among some of the most influential persons, who had lately been in arms against him. Charles returned to London, where the English parliament continued its sittings in defiance of the royal commands. The menaces which he heard on every side warned him of his personal danger, and he dared not move about unless accompanied by a body guard, but even this did not protect him from the insults of the populace. The bishops too met with similar treatment, and Williams, Archbishop of York, and eleven other prelates, in a declaration read before the House, declared that they could no longer attend parliament, as their lives were in danger, and they further protested against the validity of any proceedings passed during their absence. This excited indignation among the Lords, and in the Commons the twelve prelates were impeached of high treason.
As time went on the parliament became more antagonistic, and there were skirmishes daily between the Cavaliers, or royal party, and the Roundheads, or friends of the parliament. In the early part of 1642 the rupture was complete, and Charles withdrew into Yorkshire, where the people were still favourable to his cause. Both sides prepared for war. On the 23rd of April the king, attended by his son, Prince Charles, and a train of between 200 and 300 servants, with many gentlemen of the county, set out early in the morning from York for Hull, and when within four miles of the place, he sent an officer to inform the governor that he intended that day to dine with him. In this fortress were stored all the arms and ammunition of the forces levied against the Scots, and these it was the king's object to secure. But there were traitors in the royal household, and his designs had been communicated to the parliament. Sir John Hotham, the governor, was secretly warned to be on his guard, for, if he admitted the king, his life would be in danger for his previous misconduct. Sir John despatched a message to the king, humbly beseeching him to decline his intended visit, since he could not, without betraying the trust committed to him, open the gates to so great a train as his majesty was at present attended with." Charles appeared in person before the Beverley gate, but it was closed against him; threats and entreaties were used in vain. Sir John remained inflexible, and the king returned to York. The king sent a message to both houses of parliament, apprising them of the governor's refusal to admit him within the walls of Hull, and demanding justice against him, but parliament accorded Sir John and his supporters a vote of thanks. To this first message the Commons returned no reply; but in answer to a second one they justified the conduct of Sir John, who had acted in obedience to the commands of both houses of parliament. Another attempt was made to obtain possession of Hull by corrupting the fidelity of some of the officers, but the scheme failed; and the parliament, anticipating an armed attack upon the town, strengthened the garrison, and caused all the military stores in the magazine to be removed to the tower of London. This was done in defiance of the commands of the king, who regarded the proceeding as an open declaration of war against him.
Charles summoned his friends to meet him at York, and 3,800 troops were mustered, 3,000 of whom were foot and the rest horse. With this force he resolved to make an attack upon Hull, which fortress he had some reason to believe would be delivered into his hands by the defection of the governor. The parliament, doubtful of Sir John Hotham's constancy, placed a watch over him, so that he found it impossible to carry out any pre-arranged surrender. In a council of war it was determined to render impossible any access to the town by the royal troops. To effect this, the sluices were pulled up, the banks of both the Humber and the Hull were cut, and by the aid of the spring tides next morning the surrounding country, to the extent of two miles, was laid under water. Sir John Meldrum, a Scotch officer, was sent down by parliament to assist the governor, and greatly distinguished himself in the defence of the town. The king, after a short time, raised the siege and returned to York.
Both the king and the parliament now prepared for more vigorous measures, each side striving to make the other the aggressor. Recruiting parties were sent out by each, but the chief strength of the royalists lay to the north of the Trent and Humber. The parliament, however, was not without its partizans here, and it is not a little remarkable that Yorkshire should have produced Sir Thomas Fairfax and General Lambert, two of the ablest generals of that party. To the former was entrusted the command of the Roundheads in the north, whilst that office in the Royalist camp was assigned to William Cavendish, Earl of Newcastle. The inhabitants of the manufacturing districts of the West Riding, were generally favourable to the parliament, and the Royalist troops were driven from Bradford, Leeds, and Halifax, towards York. A detachment of the enemy, 700 strong, under the elder Lord Fairfax, pursued them as far as Tadcaster, and there encamped. Newcastle, with 4,000 men and seven pieces of cannon, marched from York to attack them. The battle lasted from eleven o'clock in the forenoon until dusk, but there was little loss of life, and Fairfax, under cover of the night, withdrew his men to Selby and Cawood. About the same time a small force of Roundheads who, under Sir Thomas Fairfax, held the town of Wetherby, were surprised by 800 Royalists, but, after a smart engagement, the latter were repulsed, and retreated to York.
The parliament had declared the various expedients of the king for raising money (tonnage, poundage, ship money, &c.) illegal, and he was now dependent on the voluntary loans and contributions of his friends, a source of supply that must soon become exhausted. In this emergency the queen (Henrietta Maria) was despatched to Holland with the crown jewels, which she there pledged, and returned to England with 32 pieces of ordnance, and small arms for the equipment of 10,000 men. Having eluded the vessels cruising along the coast to intercept her, she landed at Bridlington, on the 20th of February, 1643, and was conducted thence to York.
The Royalists, considerably reinforced, under the Earl of Newcastle, met with several successes; Leeds, Wakefield, Halifax, and Bradford were retaken, and Sir Thomas Fairfax, who had come to the relief of Bradford, was totally defeated at Adwalton Moor, whence he retreated to Hull. This fortress still held out for the parliament, and the earl resolved to attempt its capture. He invested the town on the 2nd of September. Sir John Hotham was still the governor, but either piqued at the treatment he had received from the parliament, or disgusted with the cause he had espoused, he entered into a conspiracy to surrender the fortress to the Royalists. His treasonable designs were suspected and discovered, and Sir John and his son, Captain Hotham, were secured and afterwards executed. Lord Fairfax was appointed governor; the earl, failing in every attempt to take the town, retired from the siege on the 11th of October.
Had Charles succeeded in obtaining the aid of the Scots, he would in all probability have triumphed over his enemies; but there was a bond of sympathy between the Presbyterians and the Roundheads, they were both actuated by a bitter hatred of episcopacy. Each party made tempting bids for their co-operation, but the offer of £100,000 by the parliament carried off the prize, and a compact called the Solemn League and Covenant was the result. Twenty-one thousand men well trained and drilled, under the command of General Lesley, crossed the Tweed, on the 15th of January, 1644, and Sir Thomas Glenham, the Royalist commander-in-chief of the north, retreated before them with his inferior forces to Newcastle. Though it was the depth of winter when the Scots crossed the border, and snow lay deep on the ground, their enthusiasm and the prospective view of good pay and good living, carried them forward with light hearts. Arrived before the walls of Newcastle, they summoned the town to surrender, but the earl, who had united his Yorkshire levies with those of Sir Thomas Glenham the day before, sent a defiant refusal. Unable to make any breach in the walls, the Scots broke up their camp, crossed the Tyne, and marched to Sunderland, whither they were followed and cooped up for five weeks, by the Royalist forces under the Earl (now the Marquis) of Newcastle.
In the meantime, Colonel Bellasis had been left in Yorkshire, with about 4,000 men for the protection of the county. Sir Thomas Fairfax, with a superior force, encountered them at Selby, and gained a complete victory. York was now in danger of falling into the hands of the enemy, and the Marquis of Newcastle hastened to its protection. There was nothing now to impede the march of the Scots, who entered Yorkshire, and united their forces with those of Sir Thomas Fairfax, at Wetherby. Reinforcements also arrived from Lancashire under the Earl of Manchester, and the afterwards famous Oliver Cromwell. The parliamentary army, comprising 22,000 foot and 7,000 horse, advanced to the siege of York, which they invested on three sides, on the 19th of April, 1644. Prince Rupert, who had driven the Parliamentarians from before Newark, and reduced Stockport, Bolton, and Liverpool, collected what forces he could, and hastened to its relief. The garrison and inhabitants, under the Marquis of Newcastle, valiantly defended the city till the arrival of the prince, on the 1st of July, when the besiegers withdrew to Marston Moor, about eight miles west of the town. Their total strength was about 27,000. Prince Rupert had brought with him 10,000 men, and the Marquis of Newcastle had about 13,000 under his command. A council of war was held; the prince urged immediate action; the marquis proposed a delay, as their forces were inferior in number to those of the enemy, and in a few days he expected Colonel Clavering, with 6,000 men from the north. The prince replied that he had the king's imperative command to give battle to the enemy at once. The marquis, who was probably annoyed at the prince's appointment to the chief command, unwillingly acquiesced, and next day was fought the battle which proved the deathblow of the royal cause.
There had been little time for selection of ground, but the parliamentary forces had the advantage. They were drawn up on rising ground, in three divisions, their lines extending from Marston to Tockwith. The main body was led by Lord Fairfax and General Lesley, with Sir Thomas Fairfax on the right, and the Earl of Manchester and Oliver Cromwell on the left. The Royalist army were ranged in line opposite, on the open moor, partly protected by broken ground, ditches, and furze bushes. The left wing was led by Prince Rupert; the right wing by Sir Charles Lucas and Colonel Urrey, and the main body by Generals Goring, Porter, and Tilliard. The Yorkshire Royalists were commanded by the Marquis of Newcastle. The battle began about seven o'clock in the evening by a furious onslaught by Cromwell's Ironsides, who drove their opponents before them. The Marquis of Newcastle's regiment of a thousand stout, whitecoated Northumbrians, deserted by the horse, were literally cut to pieces. The left wing of the Royalists, led by Generals Goring and Urrey, made a brilliant charge on the Scots under Lesley. After a short resistance, they turned and fled, followed by the Royalists, but this pursuit, in all probability, lost them the battle. The main body of the parliamentary army rushed boldly down the hill; in front of them stretched a ditch, with a high embankment; here the struggle between the two bodies was terrific. Four brigades of Royalist musketeers had been placed in the ditch; musketeers also lined the hedgerows; and the mass of the infantry were drawn up on their own side of the fosse, whence they poured a destructive fire on the Roundheads as they scrambled over the ditch. The infantry on the right, commanded by Lord Fairfax, were thrown into confusion, routed, and dispersed, but the divisions under Sir Thomas Fairfax, General Lambert, and Colonel Thoresby, though driven back, maintained their compact form. Cromwell, having defeated and dispersed the left wing of the Royalists, now came up with his Ironsides to their assistance, and the fight was renewed with redoubled energy. High above the din rang out the words of Cromwell, "The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!" and his Ironsides, maddened with the frenzy of fanaticism, rushed forward with overbearing impetuosity. The Royalists' ranks were disorganised; they wavered, and slowly fell back. At that moment Prince Rupert, with his victorious division, returned from the pursuit of the enemy, but he came too late to prevent the defeat and rout of the royal army. It was ten o'clock before the battle and pursuit were ended; and in those three eventful hours, 5,000 persons shed their blood, either in the cause of an unfortunate monarch or religious intolerance; 1,600 were taken prisoners, and 25 pieces of artillery, 130 barrels of gunpowder, 47 colours, and two waggon loads of carbines and pistols, fell into the hands of the victors. Upwards of 4,000 bodies were burned in the field of battle, where their graves may still be seen, and interesting memorials of the strife are occasionally turned up by the plough. *
* One of the burial pits was cut through by some drainers in 1857. In one part 20 or 25 bodies had been thrown in, one upon another, the forms of many of them being left in the clay. The skulls had retained their shape, but crumbled away on exposure to the air. There was a damp black soot-like deposit at the bottom of the pit, from which there arose an intolerable stench.
The disunion between the Marquis of Newcastle and Prince Rupert, which was probably one of the causes, if not the chief cause, that led to their defeat, was not healed by the loss of the battle. They separated next morning; Newcastle taking with him Lords Falconberg and Widdrington, and about 90 other friends, went to Scarborough, whence they sailed to the Continent, and Rupert, whose impetuous temper had precipitated the battle in opposition to the cooler judgment of Newcastle, cared not to linger in a place fraught with such a bitter reminiscence, collected the remnant of his forces and hastened to his former command in the west.
The parliamentary army renewed the siege of York, and summoned the governor, Sir Thomas Glenham, to an unconditional surrender; this he refused, and held out for 13 days, when the garrison capitulated on honourable terms, and retired to Skipton. Lord Ferdinando Fairfax was made governor of York, and a committee of Roundheads, appointed by parliament, managed the affairs of the county. Yorkshire was now almost lost to the Royalists; the castles of Pontefract, Scarborough, Skipton, and a few other strong places alone held out for the king. Sir Thomas Fairfax was commissioned to reduce these fortresses. Pontefract offered a most stubborn resistance. Having obtained possession of the town early in December, the siege of the castle commenced on Christmas Day, 1644. Towards the end of the following January, the garrison were sorely distressed for want of provisions, but still they refused to surrender. Sir Marmaduke Langdale, a gallant general, was sent by the king from Oxford at the head of 2,000 horse to their assistance. By forced marches he arrived at Pontefract, attacked the besiegers, who fled in disorder to Ferrybridge, and thence towards Sherburn and Tadcaster. After this brilliant little action, he refreshed his men for a few days, and then departed for Newark. The relief of the garrison was, however, only temporary. With an augmented force, Sir Thomas Fairfax, this time commanding in person, invested the castle on the 21st of March (1645), and after four months of incessant cannonades, attacks, and sorties, the garrison, being reduced to a state of famine, surrendered the castle by an honourable capitulation on the 20th of July. Scarborough Castle was at the same time besieged by a division of the parliamentary army under Sir John Meldrum, but the garrison, under Sir Hugh Cholmley, after an obstinate defence for four months, surrendered on honourable terms on the 22nd of July. The castles of Bolton and Skipton were still held by the friends of the king, but these also surrendered in the latter part of the year, and with them was wrecked the last hope of the Royalists in Yorkshire.
The king's army in the south was still more unfortunate, and the defeat at Naseby showed Charles that further resistance was hopeless, and that his defeat or capture must speedily follow. He, therefore, secretly quitted Oxford, and, travelling in disguise to Newark, surrendered himself to the Scots, hoping that from them, his countrymen, he would at least receive protection. The parliament entered into negotiations with the Scots for the delivery of the king, and it was ultimately agreed that for the immediate payment of £200,000, and a guarantee of a further payment within two years of a like sum, the arrears due to them, they would surrender him, and quit the country. The first instalment was paid to them at York; Charles was transferred to the custody of the commissioners deputed to receive him, and conveyed to Holmby, in the vicinity of Northampton.
The trial and execution of the king followed in 1649, and then a system of government was established which became more despotic and tyrannical than had been that which brought the unfortunate Charles to the block. The estates of all those gentlemen who had taken up arms in the royal interest were sequestered. and many a family was in consequence reduced to poverty.
Yorkshire figures but little in the annals of the Commonwealth. The arbitrary rule of Cromwell was followed by the feeble sway of his son Richard. The hopes of the Royalists, which had never been wholly extinguished, now revived. An extensive league was formed among the cavaliers, the object of which was to make a simultaneous effort to recover the crown for Charles, the eldest son of the late king. Many who had opposed the king were disgusted with the government they had helped to establish. Fairfax, the "Hero of the Commonwealth," who had for some time been in secret a Royalist, gladly entered into the scheme of General Monk for the restoration of monarchy. Assured by the latter that he would join him within 12 days or perish in the attempt, he called his friends together, and, on the 1st of January, 1660, surprised the city of York, which opened its gates. Monk advanced with his army from Scotland to join him. General Lambert, the idol of the army, lay with his troops at Northallerton. He was still an ardent republican, but the parliament, fearing both his power and his ambition, ordered him to disband his forces, which he did, and retired to his house in the country. Monk reached York, spent five days in the city in consultation with Fairfax, and then proceeded to the metropolis. On the 8th of May, Charles II. was solemnly proclaimed in London, and three days later at York, amidst outward demonstrations of unbounded joy. "The Lord Mayor, Aldermen, &c., on horseback, in their richest habits, preceded the cavalcade; next followed the Chamberlains and Common Councilmen on foot, in their gowns; these were attended by more than a thousand citizens under arms; and, lastly, came a troop of country gentlemen, near three hundred, with Lord Fairfax at their head, who all rode with their swords drawn, and hats upon the points of them. When the proclamation was read at the usual places, the bells rang, the cannon roared from the tower, and the soldiers fired several volleys; and at night were bonfires, illuminations, &c., with every other demonstration of joy. " ( quote from Allen's History of the County of York.)
The nation now became intoxicated with the spirit of royalty, and every evil which they had lately suffered was attributed to the abolition of monarchy. There was, however, still in the country a considerable number of persons who cherished an unquenchable hatred to bishops and king, and regarded themselves as the elect of God. In 1663, a great number of these fanatics assembled in Farnley Wood, near Leeds, under the leadership of one Oates, an old officer in the parliamentary army. Their object was to "re-establish a gospel ministry and magistracy; to restore the Long Parliament; to relieve themselves from the excise of all subsidies; and to reform all orders and degrees of men, especially the lawyers and clergy." They had not observed secrecy, either as to the time or place of rendezvous, and a small body of regular troops, with a few of the county militia, was sent against them, and the contemptible fiasco of an insurrection collapsed with ludicrous suddenness. The principal leaders were tried at York, by a special commission, the following January, and 21 were convicted and executed.
Charles II. was succeeded by his brother James II., who, while Duke of York, had embraced the Catholic religion, and now, by an ill-advised attempt to re-establish Romanism, aroused the anger of the nation, and brought about the Revolution of 1688, which transferred the crown to his daughter Mary and her husband, William, Prince of Orange. James fled to France, where he died. Many of the gentry still remained warmly attached to the ill-fated Stuart line, and in 1715, and again in 1745, attempts were made to place his descendants on the throne; but the battle of Culloden, in the latter rebellion, extinguished for ever the hope of the Stuart succession. Though both these rebellions extended into Lancashire and other northern counties, neither of them had any appreciable effect in Yorkshire, nor were there found among the rebels any Yorkshiremen of note. Since that time there has been little to disturb the general serenity, and the county has advanced with rapid strides in material and social progress.