The king moved uneasily in his chair. He shunned the governor’s searching eye, and affected to be watching a ship in the offing, of which a view was commanded by his casement.
“That vessel appears to interest your majesty,” said Carteret, “she flies St. Andrew’s Cross.”
“I opine that it is the vessel of the Scots Commissioners,” answered Charles. “An it be so, we will receive them in council. Matters of great moment may be awaiting their arrival. For the present, Sir George, I bid you farewell.”
It was now December. The “St. Martin’s summer” of the Channel Islands was almost over. The trees were losing their leaves. The last roses lingered still only in sheltered nooks, rich as the Maufant garden. The sky was, however, serene, and the sea calm, as the Scottish ship sailed into the harbour. She had come over from Holland with a favouring wind, bringing the Chief Commissioner of the Parliament and clergy of Scotland, together with other gentlemen and officers, and an emissary from the Duke of Lorraine. The result of their arrival demands another chapter, for it seriously affected the fortunes of several persons concerned in the events which our history relates. Our scene changes to the ancient monastic chapel of the castle, in which the commissioners were brought before the king in council.
FAREWELL TO JERSEY.
The king’s ordinary cabinet council was now reduced to three persons besides himself, for it must be remembered that down to the days of the German sovereigns, who could not join from ignorance of the language, the English kings were always members of the cabinet, as the viceroy is to this day in British India. Hyde still playing the vain Ind futile part of ambassador in Madrid, Lord Hopton and the two secretaries, Nicholas and Long, were the only ministers present.
But the matter now opened by the arrival of the Scottish commissioners, was considered of so much moment as to justify, and even to demand, the summoning of the lieutenant-governor, and of all the peers then resident in Jersey. The deliberations of this assembly—which may be regarded as being tantamount to the Privy Council at large—lasted to the end of the month of December. But we are not dealing with general history. It will suffice to record that Winram, of Liberton, the chief of the mission, appeared charged, in the name of the parliament and clergy of the northern kingdom, to present and enforce certain written addresses, of which the gist was this.