Before the traitor had been admitted to Mary's presence, he had obtained a promise that he should be allowed to depart in safety. The promise was kept. During some months, he lay hid in London, and contrived to carry on a negotiation with the government. He offered to be a witness against his accomplices on condition of having a good place. William would bid no higher than a pardon. At length the communications were broken off. Montgomery retired for a time to France. He soon returned to London, and passed the miserable remnant of his life in forming plots which came to nothing, and in writing libels which are distinguished by the grace and vigour of their style from most of the productions of the Jacobite press.
Annandale, when he learned that his two accomplices had turned approvers, retired to Bath, and pretended to drink the waters. Thence he was soon brought up to London by a warrant. He acknowledged that he had been seduced into treason; but he declared that he had only said Amen to the plans of others, and that his childlike simplicity had been imposed on by Montgomery, that worst, that falsest, that most unquiet of human beings. The noble penitent then proceeded to make atonement for his own crime by criminating other people, English and Scotch, Whig and Tory, guilty and innocent. Some he accused on his own knowledge, and some on mere hearsay. Among those whom he accused on his own knowledge was Neville Payne, who had not, it should seem, been mentioned either by Ross or by Montgomery.
Payne, pursued by messengers and warrants, was so ill advised as to take refuge in Scotland. Had he remained in England he would have been safe; for, though the moral proofs of his guilt were complete, there was not such legal evidence as would have satisfied a jury that he had committed high treason; he could not be subjected to torture in order to force him to furnish evidence against himself; nor could he be long confined without being brought to trial. But the moment that he passed
- Compare Balcarras with Burnett, ii. 62. The pamphlet entitled Great Britain's Just Complaint is a good specimen of Montgomery's manner.
- Balcarras; Annandale's Confession.