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A History of the Four Georges, Volume I

Who had been a conspicuous Jacobite


Then,

and for long after, these public streets were battle-grounds on which Whigs and Tories, Hanoverians and Jacobites, fought out their quarrel. Men carried turnips in their hats in mockery of the German elector who had threatened to make St. James's Park a turnip-field, and were prepared to fight lustily for their bucolic emblem. Women fanned the strife, wore white roses for the King {136} over the water, or Sweet William in compliment to the "immortal memory" of William of Nassau. Sometimes even women were roughly treated. On one occasion we read of a serving-girl, who had made known the hiding-place of a Jacobite, being attacked and nearly murdered by a Jacobite mob, and rescued by some Whig gentlemen. On another occasion a Whig gentleman seeing a young lady in the street with a white rose in her bosom, jumped from his coach, tore out the disloyal blossom, lashed the young lady with his whip, and handed her over to a gang of Whigs, who would have stripped and scourged her but for the timely appearance of some Jacobite gentry, by whom she was carried home in safety. The "Flying Post" warns all "he-Jacobites" and "she-Jacobites" that if they are not careful they will meet with more severe treatment than hitherto, and then alludes to some pretty severe treatment the poor "she-Jacobites" had already received.

[Sidenote: 1715--"All for our rightful King"]

To do the King and his family justice, they behaved with

courage and composure through this long season of popular excitement. They went everywhere as they pleased, braving the dangers that certainly existed. Once a man named Moor spat in the face of the Princess of Wales as she was going through the streets, and he was scourged till he cried "God bless King George!" In 1718 a youth named Sheppard was hanged for planning King George's death. This led a Hanoverian fanatic named Bowes to suggest to the ministry that in return he should go to Italy and kill King James. His proffer of political retaliation only resulted in his being shut up as a madman. At last the temper of the times and the frequent threats of assassination compelled the King to take more care of himself. Though he walked in Kensington Gardens every day, the gardens were first searched, and then carefully watched by soldiers.

When the rebellion was over, the Government found they had a large number of prisoners on their hands, many of them of high rank. Several officers taken on {137} the field had already been treated as deserters and shot, after a trial by drum-head court-martial. Some of the prisoners of higher rank were brought into London in a manner like that of captives dragged along in an old Roman triumph, or like that of actual convicts taken to Tyburn. They were marched in procession from Highgate through London, each man sitting on a horse, having his arms tied with cords behind his back, the horses led by soldiers, with a military escort drumming and fifing a march of triumph. The men of noble rank were confined in the Tower; others, many of them men of position, such as Mr. Thomas Forster, a Northumberland gentleman, and member for his county, were thrust into Newgate, whose horrors have been so well described in Scott's "Rob Roy." The Rev. Robert Patten, who had been a conspicuous Jacobite, played a Titus Oates part in betraying his companions, and his name figures for King's evidence incessantly in the political trials. When he tired of treachery he retired to the obscurity of his parish of Allendale, in Northumberland, and gave the world his history of the rebellion in which he had played so base a part.


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