Vol 1 (con't)


The party among us who have distinguished themselves by their adhering to liberty and a popular government, have long indulged their prejudices against the succeeding race of princes, by bestowing unbounded panegyrics on the virtue and wisdom of Elizabeth. They have even been so extremely ignorant of the transactions of this reign, as to extol her for a quality which, of all others, she was the least possessed of; a tender regard for the constitution, and a concern for the liberties and privileges of her people. But as it is scarcely possible for the prepossessions of party to throw a veil much longer over facts so palpable and undeniable, there is danger lest the public should run into the opposite extreme, and should entertain an aversion to the memory of a princess who exercised the royal authority in a manner so contrary to all the ideas which we at present entertain of a legal constitution. But Elizabeth only supported the prerogatives transmitted to her by her predecessors: she believed that her subjects were entitled to no more liberty than their ancestors had enjoyed: she found that they entirely acquiesced in her arbitrary administration: and it was not natural for her to find fault with a form of government by which she herself was invested with such unlimited authority. In the particular exertions of power, the question ought never to be forgotten, What is best? But in the general distribution of power among the several members of a constitution, there can seldom be admitted any other question than, What is established? Few examples occur of princes who have willingly resigned their power; none of those who have, without struggle and reluctance, allowed it to be extorted from them. If any other rule than established practice be followed, factions and dissensions must multiply without end: and though many constitutions, and none more than the British, have been improved even by violent innovations, the praise bestowed on those patriots to whom the nation has been indebted for its privileges, ought to be given with some reserve, and surely without the least rancor against those who adhered to the ancient constitution.[*]
In order to understand the ancient constitution of England, there is not a period which deserves more to be studied than the reign of Elizabeth. The prerogatives of this princess were scarcely ever disputed, and she therefore employed them without scruple: her imperious temper—a circumstance in which she went far beyond her successors—rendered her exertions of power violent and frequent, and discovered the full extent of her authority: the great popularity which she enjoyed, proves that she did not infringe any established liberties of the people: there remains evidence sufficient to ascertain the most noted acts of her administration: and though that evidence must be drawn from a source wide of the ordinary historians, it becomes only the more authentic on that account, and serves as a stronger proof, that her particular exertions of power were conceived to be nothing but the ordinary course of administration, since they were not thought remarkable enough to be recorded even by contemporary writers. If there was any difference in this particular, the people in former reigns seem rather to have been more submissive than even during the age of Elizabeth;[**] it may not here be improper to recount some of the ancient prerogatives of the crown, and lay open the sources of that great power which the English monarchs formerly enjoyed.
     * By the ancient constitution, is here meant that which
     prevailed before the settlement of our present plan of
     liberty. There was a more ancient constitution, where,
     though the people had perhaps less liberty than under the
     Tudors, yet the king had also less authority: the power of
     the barons was a great check upon him, and exercised great
     tyranny over them. But there was still a more ancient
     constitution, viz., that before the signing of the charters,
     when neither the people nor the barons had any regular
     privileges; and the power of the government during the reign
     of an able prince was almost wholly in the king. The English
     constitution, like all others, has been in a state of
     continual fluctuation.

     ** In a memorial of the state of the realm, drawn by
     Secretary Cecil in 1569, there is this passage: "Then
     followeth the decay of obedience in civil policy, which
     being compared with the fearfulness and reverence of all
     inferior estates to their superiors in times past, will
     astonish any wise and considerate person, to behold the
     desperation of reformation," Haynes, p, 586. Again, p. 538.
One of the most ancient and most established instruments of power was the court of star chamber, which possessed an unlimited discretionary authority of fining, imprisoning, and inflicting corporal punishment; and whose jurisdiction extended to all sorts of offences, contempts, and disorders that lay not within reach of the common law. The members of this court consisted of the privy council and the judges; men who all of them enjoyed their offices during pleasure; and when the prince himself was present, he was the sole judge, and all the others could only interpose with their advice. There needed but this one court in any government to put an end to all regular, legal, and exact plans of liberty; for who durst set himself in opposition to the crown and ministry, or aspire to the character of being a patron of freedom, while exposed to so arbitrary a jurisdiction? I much question whether any of the absolute monarchies in Europe contain, at present, so illegal and despotic a tribunal.
The court of high commission was another jurisdiction still more terrible; both because the crime of heresy, of which it took cognizance, was more undefinable than any civil offence, and because its methods of inquisition, and of administering oaths, were more contrary to all the most simple ideas of justice and equity. The fines and imprisonments imposed by this court were frequent: the deprivations and suspensions of the clergy for nonconformity were also numerous, and comprehended at one time the third of all the ecclesiastics of England.[*] The queen, in a letter to the archbishop of Canterbury, said expressly, that she was resolved "that no man should be suffered to decline, either on the left or on the right hand, from the drawn line limited by authority, and by her laws and injunctions."[**]
But martial law went beyond even these two courts in a prompt, and arbitrary, and violent method of decision. Whenever there was any insurrection or public disorder, the crown employed martial law; and it was, during that time, exercised not only over the soldiers, but over the whole people; any one might be punished as a rebel, or an aider and abettor of rebellion, whom the provost martial, or lieutenant of a county, or their deputies, pleased to suspect. Lord Bacon says, that the trial at common law granted to the earl of Essex and his fellow-conspirators, was a favor; for that the case would have borne and required the severity of martial law.[***]
     * Neal, vol. i. p. 479.

     ** Vol. iv. p. 510.

     **** Murden, p. 183.
We have seen instances of its being employed by Queen Mary in defence of orthodoxy. There remains a letter of Queen Elizabeth's to the earl of Sussex, after the suppression of the northern rebellion, in which she sharply reproves him, because she had not heard of his having executed any criminals by martial law;[*] though it is probable that near eight hundred persons suffered, one way or other, on account of that slight insurrection. But the kings of England did not always limit the exercise of this law to times of civil war and disorder. In 1552, when there was no rebellion or insurrection, King Edward granted a commission of martial law; and empowered the commissioners to execute it, "as should be thought by their discretions most necessary."[**] Queen Elizabeth too was not sparing in the use of this law. In 1573, one Peter Burchet, a Puritan, being persuaded that it was meritorious to kill such as opposed the truth of the gospel, ran into the streets, and wounded Hawkins, the famous sea captain, whom he took for Hatton, the queen's favorite. The queen was so incensed, that she ordered him to be punished instantly by martial law; but upon the remonstrance of some prudent counsellors, who told her that this law was usually confined to turbulent times, she recalled her order, and delivered over Burchet to the common law.[***] But she continued not always so reserved in executing this authority. There remains a proclamation of hers, in which she orders martial law to be used against all such as import bulls, or even forbidden books and pamphlets from abroad;[****] and prohibits the questioning of the lieutenants or their deputies for their arbitrary punishment of such offenders, "any law or statute to the contrary in anywise notwithstanding."
     * MS. of Lord Royston's, from the paper office.

     ** Strype's Eccles. Memoirs, vol. ii. p. 373, 458, 459.

     *** Camden, p. 446. Strype, vol. ii. p. 288.

     **** Strype, vol. iii. p. 570
We have another act of hers still more extraordinary. The streets of London were much infested with idle vagabonds and riotous persons: the lord mayor had endeavored to repress this disorder: the star chamber had exerted its authority, and inflicted punishment on these rioters: but the queen, finding those remedies ineffectual, revived martial law, and gave Sir Thomas Wilford a commission of provost-martial: "Granting him authority, and commanding him, upon signification given by the justices of peace in London or the neighboring counties, of such offenders worthy to be speedily executed by martial law, to attach and take the same persons, and in the presence of the said justices, according to justice of martial law, to execute them upon the gallows or gibbet openly, or near to such place where the said rebellious and incorrigible offenders shall be found to have committed the said great offences."[*] I suppose it would be difficult to produce an instance of such an act of authority in any place nearer than Muscovy. The patent of high constable, granted to Earl Rivers by Edward IV., proves the nature of the office. The powers are unlimited, perpetual, and remain in force during peace as well as during war and rebellion. The parliament in Edward VI.'s reign acknowledged the jurisdiction of the constable and martial's court to be part of the law of the land.[**]
The star chamber, and high commission, and court martial, though arbitrary jurisdictions, had still some pretence of a trial, at least of a sentence; but there was a grievous punishment very generally inflicted in that age, without any other authority than the warrant of a secretary of state or of the privy council;[***] and that was, imprisonment in any jail, and during any time, that the ministers should think proper. In suspicious times, all the jails were full of prisoners of state; and these unhappy victims of public jealousy were sometimes thrown into dungeons, and loaded with irons, and treated in the most cruel manner, without their being able to obtain any remedy from law.
This practice was an indirect way of employing torture: but the rack itself, though not admitted in the ordinary execution of justice,[****] was frequently used, upon any suspicion, by authority of a warrant from a secretary or the privy council. Even the council in the marches of Wales was empowered, by their very commission, to make use of torture whenever they thought proper.[v]
     * Rymer, vol. xvi. p. 279.

     ** 7 Edw. VI. cap. 20. See Sir John Davis's Question
     concerning Impositions, p. 9.

     *** In 1588, the lord mayor committed several citizens to
     prison, because they refused to pay the loan demanded of
     them. Murden, p. 632.

     **** Harrison, chap. 11.

     v    Haynes, p 196. See further, La Boderie, vol. i. p. 211.
There cannot be a stronger proof how lightly the rack was employed than the following story, told by Lord Bacon. We shall give it in his own words: "The queen was mightily incensed against Haywarde, on account of a book he dedicated to Lord Essex, being a story of the first year of Henry IV., thinking it a seditious prelude to put into the people's heads boldness and faction:[*] she said, she had an opinion that there was treason in it, and asked me if I could not find any places in it that might be drawn within the case of treason? Whereto I answered, For treason, sure I found none; but for felony, very many: and when her majesty hastily asked me, Wherein? I told her, the author had committed very apparent theft; for he had taken most of the sentences of Cornelius Tacitus, and translated them into English, and put them into his text. And another time, when the queen could not be persuaded that it was his writing whose name was to it, but that it had some more mischievous author, and said with great indignation, that she would have him racked to produce his author; I replied, Nay, madam, he is a doctor; never rack his person, but rack his style: let him have pen, ink, and paper, and help of books, and be enjoined to continue the story where it breaketh off, and I will undertake, by collating the styles, to judge whether he were the author or no."[**] Thus, had it not been for Bacon's humanity, or rather his wit, this author, a man of letters, had been put to the rack for a most innocent performance. His real offence was his dedicating a book to that munificent patron of the learned, the earl of Essex, at a time when this nobleman lay under her majesty's displeasure.
     * To our apprehension, Haywarde's book seems rather to have
     a contrary tendency. For he has there preserved the famous
     speech of the bishop of Carlisle, which contains, in the
     most express terms, the doctrine of passive obedience. But
     Queen Elizabeth was very difficult to please on this head.

     ** Cabala, p. 81. anciently common of fining, imprisoning,
     or otherwise punishing the jurors, merely at the discretion
     of the court, for finding a verdict contrary to the
     direction of these dependent judges, it is obvious that
     juries were then no manner of security to the liberty of the
The queen's menace of trying and punishing Haywarde for treason could easily have been executed, let his book have been ever so innocent. While so many terrors hung over the people, no jury durst have acquitted a man when the court was resolved to have him condemned. The practice, also, of not confronting witnesses with the prisoner, gave the crown lawyers all imaginable advantage against him. And indeed there scarcely occurs an instance during all these reigns, that the sovereign or the ministers were ever disappointed in the issue of a prosecution. Timid juries, and judges who held their offices during pleasure, never failed to second all the views of the crown.
The power of pressing, both for sea and land service, and obliging any person to accept of any office, however mean or unfit for him, was another prerogative totally incompatible with freedom. Osborne gives the following account of Elizabeth's method of employing this prerogative: "In case she found any likely to interrupt her occasions," says he, "she did seasonably prevent him by a chargeable employment abroad, or putting him upon some service at home, which she knew least grateful to the people; contrary to a false maxim, since practised with far worse success, by such princes as thought it better husbandry to buy off enemies than reward friends."[*] The practice with which Osborne reproaches the two immediate successors of Elizabeth, proceeded partly from the extreme difficulty of their situation, partly from the greater lenity of their disposition. The power of pressing, as may naturally be imagined, was often abused, in other respects, by men of inferior rank; and officers often exacted money for freeing persons from the service.[**]
     * Page 392.

     * Murden, p. 181.
The government of England during that age, however different in other particulars, bore in this respect some resemblance to that of Turkey at present: the sovereign possessed every power, except that of imposing taxes; and in both countries, this limitation, unsupported by other privileges, appears rather prejudicial to the people. In Turkey, it obliges the sultan to permit the extortion of the pashas and governors of provinces, from whom he afterwards squeezes presents or takes forfeitures: in England, it engaged the queen to erect monopolies, and grant patents for exclusive trade; an invention so pernicious, that had she gone on during a tract of years at her own rate, England, the seat of riches, and arts, and commerce, would have contained at present as little industry as Morocco or the coast of Barbary.
We may further observe that this valuable privilege, valuable only because it proved afterwards the means by which the parliament extorted all their other privileges, was very much encroached on, in an indirect manner, during the reign of Elizabeth, as well as of her predecessors. She often exacted loans from her people; an arbitrary and unequal kind of imposition, and which individuals felt severely; for though the money had been regularly repaid, which was seldom the case,[*] it lay in the prince's hands without interest, which was a sensible loss to the persons from whom the money was borrowed.[**]
There remains a proposal, made by Lord Burleigh, for levying a general loan on the people, equivalent to a subsidy;[***] a scheme which would have laid the burden more equally, but which was, in different words, a taxation imposed without consent of parliament. It is remarkable, that the scheme thus proposed, without any visible necessity, by that wise minister, is the very same which Henry VIII. executed, and which Charles I., enraged by ill usage from his parliament, and reduced to the greatest difficulties, put afterwards in practice, to the great discontent of the nation.
The demand of benevolence was another invention of that age for taxing the people. This practice was so little conceived to be irregular, that the commons in 1585 offered the queen a benevolence; which she very generously refused, as having no occasion at that time for money.[****] Queen Mary, also, by an order of council, increased the customs in some branches; and her sister imitated the example.[v] There was a species of ship money imposed at the time of the Spanish invasion: the several ports were required to equip a certain number of vessels at their own charge: and such was the alacrity of the people for the public defence, that some of the ports, particularly London, sent double the number demanded of them.[v*]
     * Bacon, vol. iv. p. 362.

     ** In the second of Richard II., it was enacted that in
     loans which the king shall require of his subjects, upon
     letters of privy seal, such as have "reasonable" excuse of
     not lending, may there be received without further summons,
     travel, or grief. See Cotton's Abridg. p. 170. By this law,
     the king's prerogative of exacting loans was ratified; and
     what ought to be deemed a "reasonable" excuse was still left
     in his own breast to determine.

     *** Haynes, p. 518, 519.

     **** D'Ewes, p. 494.

     v Bacon, vol. iv p. 362.

     v* Monson, p 267.
When any levies were made for Ireland, France, or the Low Countries, the queen obliged the counties to levy the soldiers, to arm and clothe them, and carry them to the seaports at their own charge. New-year's gifts were at that time expected from the nobility, and from the more considerable gentry.[*]
Purveyance and preëmption were also methods of taxation, unequal, arbitrary, and oppressive. The whole kingdom sensibly felt the burden of those impositions; and it was regarded as a great privilege conferred on Oxford and Cambridge, to prohibit the purveyors from taking any commodities within five miles of these universities. The queen victualled her navy by means of this prerogative, during the first years of he reign.[**]
Wardship was the most regular and legal of all these impositions by prerogative; yet was it a great badge of slavery and oppressive to all the considerable families. When an estate devolved to a female, the sovereign obliged her to marry anyone he pleased: whether the heir were male or female, the crown enjoyed the whole profit of the estate during the minority. The giving of a rich wardship was a usual method of rewarding a courtier or favorite.
The inventions were endless which arbitrary power might employ for the extorting of money, while the people imagined that their property was secured by the crown's being debarred from imposing taxes. Strype has preserved a speech of Lord Burleigh to the queen and council, in which are contained some particulars not a little extraordinary.[***]
     * Strype's Memoirs, vol. i. p. 137.

     ** Camden, p. 388.

     *** Annals, vol. iv. p. 234 et seq.
Burleigh proposes, that she should erect a court for the correction of all abuses, and should confer on the commissioners a general inquisitorial power over the whole kingdom. He sets before her the example of her wise grandfather, Henry VII., who by such methods extremely augmented his revenue; and he recommends that this new court should proceed, "as well by the direction and ordinary course of the laws, as by virtue of her majesty's supreme regiment and absolute power, from whence law proceeded." In a word, he expects from this institution greater accession to the royal treasure than Henry VIII. derived from the abolition of the abbeys, and all the forfeitures of ecclesiastical revenues. This project of Lord Burleigh's needs not, I think, any comment. A form of government must be very arbitrary indeed, where a wise and good minister could make such a proposal to the sovereign.
Embargoes on merchandise was another engine of royal power, by which the English princes were able to extort money from the people. We have seen instances in the reign of Mary. Elizabeth, before her coronation, issued an order to the custom-house, prohibiting the sale of all crimson silks which should be imported, till the court were first supplied.[*] She expected, no doubt, a good pennyworth from the merchants while they lay under this restraint.
The parliament pretended to the right of enacting laws, as well as of granting subsidies; but this privilege was, during that age, still more insignificant than the other. Queen Elizabeth expressly prohibited them from meddling either with state matters or ecclesiastical causes; and she openly sent the members to prison who dared to transgress her imperial edict in these particulars. There passed few sessions of parliament, during her reign where there occur not instances of this arbitrary conduct.
But the legislative power of the parliament was a mere fallacy, while the sovereign was universally acknowledged to possess a dispensing power, by which all the laws could be invalidated, and rendered of no effect. The exercise of this power was also an indirect method practised for erecting monopolies. Where the statutes laid any branch of manufacture under restrictions, the sovereign, by exempting one person from the laws, gave him in effect the monopoly of that commodity.[**] There was no grievance at that time more universally complained of, than the frequent dispensing with the penal laws.[***]
But in reality the crown possessed the full legislative power, by means of proclamations, which might affect any matter, even of the greatest importance, and which the star chamber took care to see more rigorously executed than the laws themselves. The motives for these proclamations were sometimes frivolous, and even ridiculous. Queen Elizabeth had taken offence at the smell of woad; and she issued an edict prohibiting any one from cultivating that useful plant.[****]
     * Strype, vol. i. p. 27.

     ** Rymer, tom. xv. p. 756. D'Ewes, p. 645.

     *** Murden, p. 325.

     **** Townsend's Journals, p. 250. Stow's Annals.
She was also pleased to take offence at the long swords and high ruffs then in fashion: she sent about her officers to break every man's sword, and clip every man's ruff which was beyond a certain dimension.[*] This practice resembles the method employed by the great Czar Peter to make his subjects change their garb.
The queen's prohibition of the "prophesyings," or the assemblies instituted for fanatical prayers and conferences, was founded on a better reason, but shows still the unlimited extent of her prerogative. Any number of persons could not meet together, in order to read the Scriptures and confer about religion, though in ever so orthodox a manner, without her permission.
There were many other branches of prerogative incompatible with an exact or regular enjoyment of liberty. None of the nobility could marry without permission from the sovereign. The queen detained the earl of Southampton long in prison, because he privately married the earl of Essex's cousin.[**] No man could travel without the consent of the prince. Sir William Evers underwent a severe persecution because he had presumed to pay a private visit to the king of Scots.[***] The sovereign even assumed a supreme and uncontrolled authority over all foreign trade; and neither allowed any person to enter or depart the kingdom, nor any commodity to be imported or exported, without his consent.[****]
The parliament, in the thirteenth of the queen, praised her for not imitating the practice usual among her predecessors, of stopping the course of justice by particular warrants.[v] There could not possibly be a greater abuse, nor a stronger mark of arbitrary power; and the queen, in refraining from it, was very laudable. But she was by no means constant in this reserve. There remain in the public records some warrants of hers for exempting particular persons from all law-suits and prosecutions;[v*] If and these warrants, she says, she grants from her royal prerogative, which she will not allow to be disputed.
     * Townsend's Journals, p. 250. Stow's Annals. Strype, vol. i
     p 603.

     ** Birch's Memoirs, vol. ii. p. 422.

     *** Birch's Memoirs, vol. ii. p. 511.

     **** Sir John Davis's Question concerning Impositions,

     v    D'Ewes, p. 141.

     v*   Rymer, tom, xv. p 652 708, 777.
It was very usual in Queen Elizabeth's reign, and probably in all the preceding reigns, for noblemen or privy counsellors to commit to prison any one who had happened to displease them by suing for his just debts; and the unhappy person, though he gained his cause in the courts of justice, was commonly obliged to relinquish his property in order to obtain his liberty. Some, likewise, who had been delivered from prison by the judges, were again committed to custody in secret places, without any possibility of obtaining relief; and even the officers and serjeants of the courts of law were punished for executing the writs in favor of these persons. Nay, it was usual to send for people by pursuivants, a kind of harpies who then attended the orders of the council and high commission; and they were brought up to London, and constrained by imprisonment, not only to withdraw their lawful suits, but also to pay the pursuivants great sums of money. The judges, in the thirty-fourth of the queen, complain to her majesty of the frequency of this practice. It is probable that so egregious a tyranny was carried no farther down than the reign of Elizabeth; since the parliament who presented the petition of right found no later instances of it.[*] And even these very judges of Elizabeth, who thus protect the people against the tyranny of the great, expressly allow, that a person committed by special command of the queen is not bailable.
It is easy to imagine that, in such a government, no justice could by course of law be obtained of the sovereign, unless he were willing to allow it. In the naval expedition undertaken by Raleigh and Frobisher against the Spaniards, in the year 1592, a very rich carrack was taken, worth two hundred thousand pounds. The queen's share in the adventure was only a tenth; but as the prize was so great, and exceeded so much the expectation of all the adventurers, she was determined not to rest contented with her share. Raleigh humbly and earnestly begged her to accept of a hundred thousand pounds in lieu of all demands, or rather extortions; and says that the present which the proprietors were willing to make her of eighty thousand pounds, was the greatest that ever prince received from a subject.[**]
     * Rushworth, vol. i. p. 511. Franklyn's Annals, p. 250, 251.
     ** Strype, vol. iv. p. 128, 129.
But it is no wonder the queen, in her administration, should pay so little regard to liberty, while the parliament itself, in enacting laws, was entirely negligent of it. The persecuting statutes which they passed against Papists and Puritans are extremely contrary to the genius of freedom; and by exposing such multitudes to the tyranny of priests and bigots, accustomed the people to the most disgraceful subjection. Their conferring an unlimited supremacy on the queen, or, what is worse, acknowledging her inherent right to it, was another proof of their voluntary servitude.
The law of the twenty-third of her reign, making seditious words against the queen capital, is also a very tyrannical statute; and a use no less tyrannical was sometimes made of it. The case of Udal, a Puritanical clergyman, seems singular even in those arbitrary times. This man had published a book, called a Demonstration of Discipline, in which he inveighed against the government of bishops; and though he had carefully endeavored to conceal his name, he was thrown into prison upon suspicion, and brought to a trial for this offence. It was pretended, that the bishops were part of the queen's political body; and to speak against them, was really to attack her, and was therefore felony by the statute. This was not the only iniquity to which Udal was exposed. The judges would not allow the jury to determine any thing but the fact, whether Udal had written the book or not, without examining his intention, or the import of the words. In order to prove the fact, the crown lawyers did not produce a single witness to the court: they only read the testimony of two persons absent, one of whom said, that Udal had told him he was the author; another, that a friend of Udal's had said so. They would not allow Udal to produce any exculpatory evidence; which, they said, was never to be permitted against the crown.[*] And they tendered him an oath, by which he was required to depose that he was not the author of the book; and his refusal to make that deposition was employed as the strongest proof of his guilt. It is almost needless to add, that notwithstanding these multiplied iniquities, a verdict of death was given by the jury against Udal; for, as the queen was extremely bent upon his prosecution, it was impossible he could escape.[**] He died in prison, before execution of the sentence.
     * It was never fully established that the prisoner could
     legally produce evidence against the crown, till after the
     revolution. See Blackstone's Commentaries, vol. iv. p. 352.

     ** State Trials, vol. i. p. 144. Strype, voL iv. p. 21.
     Strype's Life of Whitgift, p. 343.
The case of Penry was, if possible, still hardier. This man was a zealous Puritan, or rather a Brownist, a small sect, which afterwards increased, and received the name of "Independents." He had written against the hierarchy several tracts, such as Martin Marprelate, Theses Martinianæ, and other compositions, full of low scurrility and petulant satire. After concealing himself for some years, he was seized; and as the statute against seditious words required that the criminal should be tried within a year after committing the offence, he could not be indicted for his printed books. He was therefore tried for some papers found in his pocket, as if he had thereby scattered sedition.[*] It was also imputed to him, by the lord keeper, Puckering, that in some of these papers, "he had only acknowledged her majesty's royal power to establish laws ecclesiastical and civil; but had avoided the usual terms of making, enacting, decreeing, and ordaining laws; which imply," says the lord keeper, "a most absolute authority."[**] Penry for these offences was condemned and executed.
Thus we have seen, that the "most absolute" authority of the sovereign, to make use of the lord keeper's expression was established on above twenty branches of prerogative, which are now abolished, and which were, every one of them totally incompatible with the liberty of the subject. But what insured more effectually the slavery of the people, than even these branches of prerogative, was, the established principles of the times, which attributed to the prince such an unlimited and indefeasible power, as was supposed to be the origin of all law, and could be circumscribed by none. The homilies published for the use of the clergy, and which they were enjoined to read every Sunday in all the churches, inculcate every where a blind and unlimited passive obedience to the prince, which on no account, and under no pretence, is it ever lawful for subjects in the smallest article to depart from or infringe. Much noise has been made because some court chaplains, during the succeeding reigns, were permitted to preach such doctrines; but there is a great difference between these sermons, and discourses published by authority, avowed by the prince and council, and promulgated to the whole nation.[***]
     * Strype's Life of Whitgift, book iv. chap. 11. Neal, vol.
     i. p. 564.
     ** Strype's Annals, vol. iv. p. 177.

     *** Gifford, a clergyman, was suspended in the year 1584,
     for preaching up a limited obedience to the civil
     magistrate, Neal, vol. i. p. 435.
So thoroughly were these principles imbibed by the people, during the reigns of Elizabeth and her predecessors, that opposition to them was regarded as the most flagrant sedition; and was not even rewarded by that public praise and approbation, which can alone support men under such dangers and difficulties as attend the resistance of tyrannical authority.[*] It was only during the next generation that the noble principles of liberty took root, and spreading themselves under the shelter of Puritanical absurdities, became fashionable among the people.
It is worth remarking, that the advantage usually ascribed to absolute monarchy, a greater regularity of police, and a more strict execution of the laws, did not attend the former English government, though in many respects it fell under that denomination. A demonstration of this truth is contained in a judicious paper which is preserved by Strype,[**] and which was written by an eminent justice of peace of Somersetshire, in the year 1596, near the end of the queen's reign; when the authority of that princess may be supposed to be fully corroborated by time, and her maxims of government improved by long practice.
     * It is remarkable, that in all the historical plays of
     Shakspeare, where the manners and characters, and even the
     transactions of the several reigns, are so exactly copied,
     there is scarcely any mention of civil liberty, which some
     pretended historians have imagined to be the object of all
     the ancient quarrels, insurrections, and civil wars. In the
     elaborate panegyric of England, contained in the tragedy of
     Richard II., and the detail of its advantages, not a word of
     its civil constitution, as anywise different from or
     superior to that of other European kingdoms; an omission
     which cannot be supposed in any English author that wrote
     since the restoration, at least since the revolution.

     ** Annals, vol. iv. p. 290
This paper contains an account of the disorders which then prevailed in the county of Somerset. The author says, that forty persons had there been executed in a year for robberies, thefts, and other felonies; thirty-five burnt in the hand, thirty-seven whipped, one hundred and eighty-three discharged: that those who were discharged were most wicked and desperate persons, who never could come to any good, because they would not work, and none would take them into service: that notwithstanding this great number of indictments, the fifth part of the felonies committed in the county were not brought to trial; the greater number escaped censure, either from the superior cunning of the felons, the remissness of the magistrates, or the foolish lenity of the people: that the rapines committed by the infinite number of wicked, wandering, idle people, were intolerable to the poor countrymen, and obliged them to keep a perpetual watch over their sheepfolds, their pastures, their woods, and their cornfields: that the other counties of England were in no better condition than Somersetshire; and many of them were even in a worse: that there were at least three or four hundred able-bodied vagabonds in every county, who lived by theft and rapine; and who sometimes met in troops to the number of sixty, and committed spoil on the inhabitants: that if all the felons of this kind were assembled, they would be able, if reduced to good subjection, to give the greatest enemy her majesty has a "strong battle:" and that the magistrates themselves were intimidated from executing the laws upon them; and there were instances of justices of peace who, after giving sentence against rogues, had interposed to stop the execution of their own sentence, on account of the danger which hung over them from the confederates of these felons.
In the year 1575, the queen complained in parliament of the bad execution of the laws; and threatened, that if the magistrates were not for the future more vigilant, she would intrust authority to indigent and needy persons, who would find an interest in a more exact administration of justice.[*] It appears that she was as good as her word. For in the year 1601, there were great complaints made in parliament of the rapine of justices of peace; and a member said, that this magistrate was an animal who, for half a dozen of chickens, would dispense with a dozen of penal statutes.[**] It is not easy to account for this relaxation of government, and neglect of police, during a reign of so much vigor as that of Elizabeth. The small revenue of the crown is the most likely cause that can be assigned. The queen had it not in her power to interest a great number in assisting her to execute the laws.[***] 39
     * D'Ewes, p. 234.

     ** D'Ewes, p. 661-694.

     *** See note MM, at the end of the volume.
On the whole, the English have no reason, from the example of their ancestors, to be in love with the picture of absolute monarchy; or to prefer the unlimited authority of the prince and his unbounded prerogatives, to that noble liberty, that sweet equality, and that happy security, by which they are at present distinguished above all nations in the universe. The utmost that can be said in favor of the government of that age and perhaps it may be said with truth, is, that the power of the prince, though really unlimited, was exercised after the European manner, and entered not into every part of the administration; that the instances of a high exerted prerogative were not so frequent as to render property sensibly insecure, or reduce the people to a total servitude; that the freedom from faction, the quickness of execution, and the promptitude of those measures which could be taken for offence or defence, made some compensation for the want of a legal and determinate liberty; that as the prince commanded no mercenary army, there was a tacit check on him, which maintained the government in that medium, to which the people had been accustomed; and that this situation of England, though seemingly it approached nearer, was in reality more remote from a despotic and Eastern monarchy, than the present government of that kingdom, where the people, though guarded by multiplied laws, are totally naked, defenceless, and disarmed; and besides, are not secured by any middle power, or independent powerful nobility, interposed between them and the monarch.
We shall close the present Appendix with a brief account of the revenues, the military force, the commerce, the arts, and the learning of England during this period.
Queen Elizabeth's economy was remarkable; and in some instances seemed to border on avarice. The smallest expense, if it could possibly be spared, appeared considerable in her eyes; and even the charge of an express, during the most delicate transactions, was not below her notice.[*] She was also attentive to every profit, and embraced opportunities of gain which may appear somewhat extraordinary. She kept, for instance, the see of Ely vacant nineteen years, in order to retain the revenue;[**] and it was usual with her, when she promoted a bishop, to take the opportunity of pillaging the see of some of its manors.[***]
     * Birch's Negot. p. 21.

     ** Strype, vol. iv. p.. 351.

     *** Strype, vol. iv. p. 215. There is a curious letter of
     the queen's written to a bishop of Ely, and preserved in the
     register of that see. It is in these words: "Proud prelate,
     I understand you are backward in complying with your
     agreement: but I would have you know, that I, who made you
     what you are, can unmake you; and if you do not forthwith
     fulfil your engagement, by God I will immediately unfrock
     you. Yours, as you demean yourself, Elizabeth." The bishop,
     it seems, had promised to exchange some part of the land
     belonging to the see for a pretended equivalent; and did so,
     but it was in consequence of the above letter. Annual
     Register. 1761, p. 15.
But that in reality there was little of no avarice in the queen's temper, appears from this circumstance, that she never amassed any treasure; and even refused subsidies from the parliament when she had no present occasion for them. Yet we must not conclude, from this circumstance, that her economy proceeded from a tender concern for her people; she loaded them with monopolies and exclusive patents, which are much more oppressive than the most heavy taxes levied in an equal and regular manner. The real source of her frugal conduct was derived from her desire of independency, and her care to preserve her dignity, which would have been endangered had she reduced herself to the necessity of having frequent recourse to parliamentary supplies. In consequence of this motive, the queen, though engaged in successful and necessary wars, thought it more prudent to make a continual dilapidation of the royal demesnes,[*] than demand the most moderate supplies from the commons. As she lived unmarried, and had no posterity, she was content to serve her present turn, though at the expense of her successors; who, by reason of this policy, joined to other circumstances, found themselves on a sudden reduced to the most extreme indigence.
The splendor of a court was during this age a great part of the public charge; and as Elizabeth was a single woman, and expensive in no kind of magnificence, except clothes, this circumstance enabled her to perform great things by her narrow revenue. She is said to have paid four millions of debt, left on the crown by her father, brother, and sister; an incredible sum for that age.[**] The states at the time of her death owed her about eight hundred thousand pounds; and, the king of France four hundred and fifty thousand.[***]
     * Rymer, tom. xvi. p. 141. D'Ewes, p. 151,457,525,629.
     Bacon, vol. iv. p. 363.

     ** D'Ewes, p. 473. I think it impossible to reconcile this
     account of the public debts with that given by Strype,
     (Eccles. Mem. vol. ii. p. 344,) that in the year 1553 the
     crown owed but three hundred thousand pounds. I own that
     this last sum appears a great deal more likely. The whole
     revenue of Queen Elizabeth would not in ten years have paid
     four millions.

     *** Winwood, vol. i. p. 29, 54.
Though that prince was extremely frugal, and after the peace of Vervins was continually amassing treasure, the queen never could, by the most pressing importunities, prevail on him to make payment of those sums which she had so generously advanced him during his greatest distresses. One payment of twenty thousand crowns, and another of fifty thousand, were all she could obtain, by the strongest representations she could make of the difficulties to which the rebellion in Ireland had reduced her.[*] The queen expended on the wars with Spain, between the years 1589 and 1593, the sum of one million three hundred thousand pounds, besides the pittance of a double subsidy, amounting to two hundred and eighty thousand pounds, granted her by parliament.[**] In the year 1599, she spent six hundred thousand pounds in six months on the service of Ireland.[***] Sir Robert Cecil affirmed, that in ten years Ireland cost her three millions four hundred thousand pounds.[****] She gave the earl of Essex a present of thirty thousand pounds upon his departure for the government of that kingdom.[v] Lord Burleigh computed, that the value of the gifts conferred on that favorite amounted to three hundred thousand pounds; a sum which, though probably exaggerated, is a proof of her strong affection towards him. It was a common saying during this reign, "The queen pays bountifully, though she rewards sparingly."[v*]
It is difficult to compute exactly the queen's ordinary revenue, but it certainly fell much short of five hundred thousand pounds a year.[v**] In the year 1590, she raised the customs from fourteen thousand pounds a year to fifty thousand, and obliged Sir Thomas Smith, who had farmed them, to refund some of his former profits.[v***]
     * Winwood, vol. i. p. 117—195.

     ** D'Ewes, p. 483.

     *** Camden, p. 167.

     **** Appendix to the Earl of Essex's Apology.

     v Birch's Memoirs, vol. ii.

     v* Nanton's Regalia, chap. 1.

     v** Franklyn, in his Annals, (p. 9,) says that the profit of
     the kingdom, besides wards and the duchy of Lancaster,
     (which amounted to about one hundred and twenty thousand
     pounds,) was one hundred and eighty-eight thousand one
     hundred and ninety-seven pounds: the crown lands seem to be
     comprehended in this computation.

     v*** Camden, p. 558. This account of Camden is difficult or
     impossible to be reconciled to the state of the customs in
     the beginning of the subsequent reign, as they appear in the
     journals of the commons. See Hist. of James, chap. 46.
This improvement of the revenue was owing to the suggestions of one Caermarthen; and was opposed by Burleigh, Leicester, and Walsingham: but the queen's perseverance overcame all their opposition. The great undertakings which she executed with so narrow a revenue, and with such small supplies from her people, prove the mighty effects of wisdom and economy. She received from the parliament, during the course of her whole reign, only twenty subsidies and thirty-nine fifteenths. I pretend not to determine exactly the amount of these supplies; because the value of a subsidy was continually falling; and in the end of her reign it amounted only to eighty thousand pounds,[*] though in the beginning it had been a hundred and twenty thousand. If we suppose that the supplies granted Elizabeth during a reign of forty-five years amounted to three millions, we shall not probably be much wide of the truth.[**] This sum makes only sixty-six thousand six hundred and sixty-six pounds a year; and it is surprising, that while the queen's demands were so moderate, and her expenses so well regulated, she should ever have found any difficulty in obtaining a supply from parliament, or be reduced to make sale of the crown lands. But such was the extreme, I had almost said, absurd parsimony of the parliaments during that period.
     * D'Ewes, p. 630.

     * Lord Salisbury computed these supplies only at two
     millions eight hundred thousand pounds, Journ. 17th Feb.
     1609. King James was certainly mistaken when he estimated
     the queen's annual supplies at one hundred and thirty-seven
     thousand pounds. Franklyn, p. 44. It is curious to observe
     that the minister, in the war begun in 1754, was in some
     periods allowed to lavish in two months as great a sum as
     was granted by parliament to Queen Elizabeth in forty-five
     years. The extreme frivolous object of the late war, and the
     great importance of hers, set this matter in still a
     stronger light. Money too, we may observe, was in most
     particulars of the same value in both periods: she paid
     eight pence a day to every foot soldier. But our late
     delusions have much exceeded any thing known in history, not
     even excepting those of the crusades. For I suppose there is
     no mathematical, still less an arithmetical demonstration,
     that the road to the Holy Land was not the road to paradise,
     as there is, that the endless increase of national debts is
     the direct road to national ruin. But having now completely
     reached that goal, it is needless at present to reflect on
     the past. It will be found in the present year, 1776, that
     all the revenues of this island north of Trent and west of
     Reading, are mortgaged or anticipated forever. Could the
     small remainder be in a worse condition were those provinces
     seized by Austria and Prussia? There is only this
     difference, that some event might happen in Europe, which
     would oblige these great monarchs to disgorge their
     acquisitions. But no imagination can figure a situation
     which will induce our creditors to relinquish their claims,
     or the public to seize their revenues. So egregious indeed
     has been our folly, that we have even lost all title to
     compassion in the numberless calamities that are awaiting
They valued nothing in comparison of their money: the members had no connection with the court; and the very idea which they conceived of the trust committed to them, was, to reduce the demands of the crown, and to grant as few supplies as possible. The crown, on the other hand, conceived the parliament in no other light than as a means of supply. Queen Elizabeth made a merit to her people of seldom summoning parliaments.[*] No redress of grievances was expected from these assemblies: they were supposed to meet for no other purpose than to impose taxes.
Before the reign of Elizabeth, the English princes had usually recourse to the city of Antwerp for voluntary loans; and their credit was so low, that, besides paying the high interest of ten or twelve per cent., they were obliged to make the city of London join in the security. Sir Thomas Gresham, that great and enterprising merchant, one of the chief ornaments of this reign, engaged the company of merchant-adventurers to grant a loan to the queen; and as the money was regularly repaid, her credit by degrees established itself in the city, and she shook off this dependence on foreigners.[**]
In the year 1559, however, the queen employed Gresham to borrow for her two hundred thousand pounds at Antwerp, in order to enable her to reform the coin, which was at that time extremely debased.[***] She was so impolitic as to make, herself, an innovation in the coin; by dividing a pound of silver into sixty-two shillings, instead of sixty, the former standard. This is the last time that the coin has been tampered with in England.
     * Strype, vol. iv. p. 124.

     ** Stowe's Survey of London, book i. p. 286.

     *** MS. of Lord Royston's, from the paper office, p. 295.
Queen Elizabeth, sensible how much the defence of her kingdom depended on its naval power, was desirous to encourage commerce and navigation: but as her monopolies tended to extinguish all domestic industry, which is much more valuable than foreign trade, and is the foundation of it, the general train of her conduct was ill calculated to serve the purpose at which she aimed, much less to promote the riches of her people. The exclusive companies also were an immediate check on foreign trade. Yet, notwithstanding these discouragements, the spirit of the age was strongly bent on naval enterprises; and besides the military expeditions against the Spaniards, many attempts were made for new discoveries, and many new branches of foreign commerce were opened by the English. Sir Martin Frobisher undertook three fruitless voyages to discover the north-west passage: Davis, not discouraged by this ill success, made a new attempt, when he discovered the straits which pass by his name. In the year 1600, the queen granted the first patent to the East India Company: the stock of that company was seventy-two thousand pounds; and they fitted out four ships, under the command of James Lancaster, for this new branch of trade. The adventure was successful; and the ships returning with a rich cargo, encouraged the company to continue the commerce.
The communication with Muscovy had been opened in Queen Mary's time by the discovery of the passage to Archangel: but the commerce to that country did not begin to be carried on to a great extent till about the year 1569. The queen obtained from the czar an exclusive patent to the English for the whole trade of Muscovy;[*] and she entered into a personal as well as national alliance with him. This czar was named John Basilides, a furious tyrant, who, continually suspecting the revolt of his subjects, stipulated to have a safe retreat and protection in England. In order the better to insure this resource, he purposed to marry an English woman; and the queen intended to have sent him Lady Anne Hastings; daughter of the earl of Huntingdon: but when the lady was informed of the barbarous manners of the country, she wisely declined purchasing an empire at the expense of her ease and safety.[**]
The English, encouraged by the privileges which they had obtained from Basilides, ventured farther into those countries than any Europeans had formerly done. They transported their goods along the River Dwina in boats made of one entire tree, which they towed and rowed up the stream as far as Walogda. Thence they carried their commodities seven days' journey by land to Yeraslau, and then down the Volga to Astracan. At Astracan they built ships, crossed the Caspian Sea, and distributed their manufactures into Persia. But this bold attempt met with such discouragements, that it was never renewed.[***]
     * Camden, p. 408.

     ** Camden, p. 493.

     *** Camden, p. 418.
After the death of John Basilides, his son Theodore revoked the patent which the English enjoyed for a monopoly of the Russian trade: when the queen remonstrated against this innovation, he told her ministers, that princes must carry an indifferent hand, as well between their subjects as between foreigners; and not convert trade, which, by the laws of nations, ought to be common to all, into a monopoly for the private gain of a few.[*] So much juster notions of commerce were entertained by this barbarian than appear in the conduct of the renowned Queen Elizabeth! Theodore, however, continued some privileges to the English, on account of their being the discoverers of the communication between Europe and his country.
The trade to Turkey commenced about the year 1583; and that commerce was immediately confined to a company by Queen Elizabeth. Before that time, the grand seignior had always conceived England to be a dependent province of France;[**] but having heard of the queen's power and reputation, he gave a good reception to the English, and even granted them larger privileges than he had given to the French.
     * Camden, p. 493.

     ** Birch's Memoirs, vol. i. p. 36
The merchants of the Hanse Towns complained loudly, in the beginning of Elizabeth's reign, of the treatment which they had received in the reigns of Edward and Mary. She prudently replied, that as she would not innovate any thing, she would still protect them in the immunities and privileges of which she found them possessed. This answer not contenting them, their commerce was soon after suspended for a time, to the great advantage of the English merchants, who tried what they could themselves effect for promoting their commerce. They took the whole trade into their own hands; and their returns proving successful, they divided themselves into staplers and merchant adventurers; the former residing constantly at one place, the latter trying their fortunes in other towns and states abroad with cloth and other manufactures. This success so enraged the Hanse Towns, that they tried all the methods which a discontented people could devise, to draw upon the English merchants the ill opinion of other nations and states. They prevailed so far as to obtain an imperial edict, by which the English were prohibited all commerce in the empire: the queen, by way of retaliation, retained sixty of their ships, which had been seized in the River Tagus with contraband goods of the Spaniards. These ships the queen intended to have restored, as desiring to have compromised all differences with those trading cities; but when she was informed, that a general assembly was held at Lubec, in order to concert measures for distressing the English trade, she caused the ships and cargoes to be confiscated: only two of them were released to carry home the news, and to inform these states, that she had the greatest contempt imaginable for all their proceedings.[*]
Henry VIII., in order to fit out a navy, was obliged to hire ships from Hamburgh, Lubec, Dantzic, Genoa, and Venice, but Elizabeth, very early in her reign, put affairs upon a better footing; both by building some ships of her own, and by encouraging the merchants to build large trading vessels which, on occasion, were converted into ships of war.[**] In the year 1582, the seamen in England were found to be fourteen thousand two hundred and ninety-five men;[***] the number of vessels twelve hundred and thirty-two; of which there were only two hundred and seventeen above eighty tons. Monson pretends, that though navigation decayed in the first years of James I., by the practice of the merchants, who carried on their trade in foreign bottoms,[****] yet, before the year 1640, this number of seamen was tripled in England.[v]
The navy which the queen left at her decease appears considerable, when we reflect only on the number of vessels, which were forty-two: but when we consider that none of these ships carried above forty guns; that four only came up to that number; that there were but two ships of a thousand tons; and twenty-three below five hundred, some of fifty, and some even of twenty tons; and that the whole number of guns belonging to the fleet was seven hundred and seventy four;[v*] we must entertain a contemptible idea of the English navy, compared to the force which it has now attained.[*] In the year 1588, there were not above five vessels fitted out by the noblemen and seaports, which exceeded two hundred tons.[v**] 40
     * Lives of the Admirals, vol. i. p. 470.

     ** Camden, p. 388.

     *** Monson, p. 256.

     **** Monson, p. 300.

     v Monson, p. 210, 256.

     v* Monson, p. 196. The English navy at present carries about
     fourteen thousand guns.

     v** See note NN, at the end of the volume.
     Monson, p. 300. Spaniards; and the queen equipped a
     fleet and levied an army in a fortnight to oppose them.
     Nothing gave foreigners a higher idea of the power of
     England than this sudden armament.
In the year 1575, all the militia in the kingdom were computed at a hundred and eighty-two thousand nine hundred and twenty-nine.[*] A distribution was made, in the year 1595, of a hundred and forty thousand men, besides those which Wales could supply.[**] These armies were formidable by their numbers; but their discipline and experience were not proportionate. Small bodies from Dunkirk and Newport frequently ran over and plundered the east coast: so unfit was the militia, as it was then constituted, for the defence of the kingdom. The lord lieutenants were first appointed to the counties in this reign.
Mr. Murden[***] has published, from the Salisbury collections, a paper which contains the military force of the nation at the time of the Spanish armada, and which is somewhat different from the account given by our ordinary historians. It makes all the able-bodied men of the kingdom amount to a hundred and eleven thousand five hundred and thirteen; those armed, to eighty thousand eight hundred and seventy-five; of whom forty-four thousand seven hundred and twenty-seven were trained. It must be supposed that these able-bodied men consisted of such only as were registered, otherwise the small number is not to be accounted for. Yet Sir Edward Coke[****] said, in the house of commons, that he was employed about the same time, together with Popham, chief justice, to take a survey of all the people of England, and that they found them to be nine hundred thousand of all sorts. This number, by the ordinary rules of computation, supposes that there were above two hundred thousand men able to bear arms. Yet even this number is surprisingly small. Can we suppose that the kingdom is six or seven times more populous at present? and that Murden's was the real number of men, excluding Catholics, and children, and infirm persons?
     * Lives of the Admirals, vol. i. p. 432.

     ** Strype, vol. iv. p. 221

     *** Page 608.

     **** Journ. 25 April 1621.
Harrison says, that in the musters taken in the years 1574 and 1575, the men fit for service amounted to one million one hundred and seventy-two thousand six hundred and seventy-four; yet was it believed that a full third was omitted. Such uncertainty and contradiction are there in all these accounts.
Notwithstanding the greatness of this number, the same author complains much of the decay of populousness; a vulgar complaint in all places and all ages. Guicciardini makes the inhabitants of England in this reign amount to two millions.
Whatever opinion we may form of the comparative populousness of England in different periods, it must be allowed that, abstracting from the national debt, there is a prodigious increase of power in that, more perhaps than in any other European state, since the beginning of the last century. It would be no paradox to affirm, that Ireland alone could, at present, exert a greater force than all the three kingdoms were capable of at the death of Queen Elizabeth. And we might go further, and assert, that one good county in England is able to make, at least to support, a greater effort than the whole kingdom was capable of in the reign of Henry V.; when the maintenance of a garrison in a small town like Calais, formed more than a third of the ordinary national expense. Such are the effects of liberty, industry, and good government!
The state of the English manufactures was at this time very low; and foreign wares of almost all kinds had the preference.[*] About the year 1590, there were in London four persons only rated in the subsidy books so high as four hundred pounds.[**] This computation is not indeed to be deemed an exact estimate of their wealth. In 1567, there were found, on inquiry, to be four thousand eight hundred and fifty-one strangers of all nations in London; of whom three thousand eight hundred and thirty-eight were Flemings, and only fifty-eight Scots.[***] The persecutions in France and the Low Countries drove afterwards a greater number of foreigners into England; and the commerce, as well as manufactures of that kingdom, was very much improved by them.[****] It was then that Sir Thomas Gresham built, at his own charge, the magnificent fabric of the Exchange for the reception of the merchants: the queen visited it, and gave it the appellation of the Royal Exchange.
     * D'Ewes, p. 505.

     ** D'Ewes, p. 497.

     *** Haynes, p. 461, 462.

     **** Stowe, p. 668.
By a lucky accident in language, which has a great effect on men's ideas, the invidious word usury which formerly meant the taking of any interest for money, came now to express only the taking of exorbitant and illegal interest. An act passed in 1571 violently condemns all usury; but permits ten per cent, interest to be paid. Henry IV. of France reduced Interest to six and a half per cent.; an indication of the great advance of France above England in commerce.
Dr. Howell says,[*] that Queen Elizabeth, in the third of her reign, was presented with a pair of black silk knit stockings by her silk-woman, and never wore cloth hose any more. The author of the Present State of England, says, that about 1577, pocket watches were first brought into England from Germany. They are thought to have been invented at Nurem berg. About 1580, the use of coaches was introduced by the earl of Arundel.[**] Before that time, the queen, on public occasions, rode behind her chamberlain.
Camden says, that in 1581, Randolph, so much employed by the queen in foreign embassies, possessed the office of postmaster-general of England. It appears, therefore, that posts were then established; though from Charles I.'s regulations in 1635, it would seem that few post-houses were erected before that time.
In a remonstrance of the Hanse Towns to the diet of the empire, in 1582, it is affirmed that England exported annually about two hundred thousand pieces of cloth.[***] This number seems to be much exaggerated.
In the fifth of this reign was enacted the first law for the relief of the poor.
A judicious author of that age confirms the vulgar observation, that the kingdom was depopulating, from the increase of enclosures and decay of tillage; and he ascribes the reason very justly to the restraints put oh the exportation of corn; while full liberty was allowed to export all the produce of pasturage, such as wool, hides, leather, tallow, etc. These prohibitions of exportation were derived from the prerogative, and were very injudicious. The queen once, on the commencement of her reign, had tried a contrary practice, and with good success. From the same author we learn, that the complaints renewed in our time were then very common, concerning the high prices of every thing.[****]
     * History of the World, vol. ii. p. 222.

     ** Anderson, vol. i. p. 421.

     *** Anderson, voL i. p. 424.

     **** A compendious or brief Examination of certain ordinary
     Complaints of divers of our Countrymen. The author says,
     that in twenty or thirty years before 1581, commodities had
     in general risen fifty per cent.; some more. "Cannot you,
     neighbor, remember," say she "that, indeed, to have been two
     periods, in which prices rose remarkably in England;" namely,
     that in Queen Elizabeth's reign, when they are computed to
     have doubled, and that in the present age. Between the two,
     there seems to have been a stagnation. It would appear, that
     industry, during that intermediate period, increased as fast
     as gold and silver, and kept commodities nearly at a par
     with money.
There were two attempts made in this reign to settle colonies in America; one by Sir Humphrey Gilbert in Newfoundland, another by Sir Walter Raleigh in Virginia: but neither of these projects proved successful. All those noble settlements were made in the following reigns. The current specie of the kingdom, in the end of this reign, is computed at four millions.[*]
The earl of Leicester desired Sir Francis Walsingham, then ambassador in France, to provide him with a riding master in that country, to whom he promises a hundred pounds a year, besides maintaining himself and servant and a couple of horses. "I know," adds the earl, "that such a man as I want may receive higher wages in France: but let him consider, that a shilling in England goes as far as two shillings in France." [**] It is known that every thing is much changed since that time.
The nobility in this age still supported, in some degree, the ancient magnificence in their hospitality, and in the numbers of their retainers; and the queen found it prudent to retrench, by proclamation, their expenses in this last particular.[***] The expense of hospitality she somewhat encouraged, by the frequent visits she paid her nobility, and the sumptuous feasts which she received from them.
     "I could, in this town, buy the best pig or goose I could
     lay my hands on for fourpence, which now costeth
     twelvepence; a good capon for threepence or fourpence; a
     chicken for a penny; a hen for twopence?" (p. 35.) "Yet the
     price of ordinary labor was then eightpence a day," (p. 31.)

     * Lives of the Admirals, vol. i. p. 475.

     ** Digges's Complete Ambassador.

     *** Strype, vol. iii. Append, p. 54.
Harrison, after enumerating the queen's palaces, adds, "But what shall I need to take upon me to repeat all, and tell what houses the queen's majesty hath? Sith all is hers; and when it pleaseth her in the summer season to recreate herself abroad, and view the estate of the country, and hear the complaints of her poor commons injured by her unjust officers or their substitutes, every nobleman's house is her palace, where she continueth during pleasure and tell her an entertainment in Kenilworth Castle, which was extraordinary for expense and magnificence." Among other particulars, we are told that three hundred and sixty-five hogsheads of beer were drunk at it.[*] The earl had fortified this castle at great expense; and it contained arms for ten thousand men.[**] The earl of Derby had a family consisting of two hundred and forty servants.[***] Stowe remarks it as a singular proof of beneficence in this nobleman, that he was contented with his rent from his tenants, and exacted not any extraordinary services from them; a proof that the great power of the sovereign (what was almost unavoidable) had very generally countenanced the nobility in tyrannizing over the people. Burleigh, though he was frugal, and had no paternal estate, kept a family consisting of a hundred servants.[****] He had a standing table for gentlemen, and two other tables for persons of meaner condition, which were always served alike, whether he were in town or in the country. About his person he had people of great distinction; insomuch that he could reckon up twenty gentlemen retainers who had each a thousand pounds a year; and as many among his ordinary servants who were worth from a thousand pounds to three, five, ten, and twenty thousand pounds.[v] It is to be remarked, that though the revenues of the crown were at that time very small, the ministers and courtiers sometimes found means, by employing the boundless prerogative, to acquire greater fortunes than it is possible for them at present to amass, from their larger salaries, and more limited authority.
Burleigh entertained the queen twelve several times in his country house; where she remained three, four, or five weeks at a time. Each visit cost him two or three thousand pounds.[v*] The quantity of silver plate possessed by this nobleman is surprising; no less than fourteen or fifteen thousand pounds weight;[v**] which, besides the fashion, would be above forty-two thousand pounds sterling in value. Yet Burleigh left only four thousand pounds a year in land, and eleven thousand pounds in money; and as land was then commonly sold at ten years' purchase, his plate was nearly equal to all the rest of his fortune. It appears that little value was then put upon the fashion of the plate, which probably was but rude: the weight was chiefly considered.
     *"She return again to some of her own, in which she
     remaineth so long as she pleaseth." Book ii. chap. 15.
     Surely one may say of such a guest, what Cicero says to
     Atticus, on occasion of a visit paid him by Cæsar. "Hospes
     tamen non is cui diceres, Amabo te, eodem ad me cum
     revertêre." Lib. xiii. Ep. 52. If she relieved the people
     from oppressions, (to whom it seems the law could give no
     relief,) her visits were a great oppression on the nobility.

     ** Biogr. Brit. vol. iii. p. 1791.

     *** Strype, vol. iii. p. 394.

     **** Stowe, p. 674.

     v Strype, vol. iii. p. 129. Append.

     v* Life of Burleigh, published by Collins.

     v** Life of Burleigh published by Collins, p. 40.
But though there were preserved great remains of the ancient customs, the nobility were by degrees acquiring a taste for elegant luxury; and many edifices, in particular were built by them, neat, large, and sumptuous; to the great ornament of the kingdom, says Camden,[*] 41 but to the no less decay of the glorious hospitality of the nation. It is, however, more reasonable to think, that this new turn of expense promoted arts and industry; while the ancient hospitality was the source of vice, disorder, sedition, and idleness.[**]
Among the other species of luxury, that of apparel began much to increase during this age; and the queen thought proper to restrain it by proclamation.[***] Her example was very little conformable to her edicts. As no woman was ever more conceited of her beauty, or more desirous of making impression on the hearts of beholders, no one ever went to a greater extravagance in apparel, or studied more the variety and richness of her dresses. She appeared almost every day in a different habit; and tried all the several modes by which she hoped to render herself agreeable. She was also so fond of her clothes, that she never could part with any of them; and at her death she had in her wardrobe all the different habits, to the number of three thousand, which she had ever worn in her lifetime.[****] 42
     * See note OO, at the end of the volume.

     ** This appears from Burleigh's will: he specifies only the
     number of ounces to be given to each legatee, and appoints a
     goldsmith to see it weighed out to them, without making any
     distinction of the pieces.

     **** See note PP, at the end of the volume.
The retrenchment of the ancient hospitality, and the diminution of retainers, were favorable to the prerogative of the sovereign; and, by disabling the great noblemen from resistance, promoted the execution of the laws, and extended the authority of the courts of justice. There were many peculiar causes in the situation and character of Henry VII. which augmented the authority of the crown: most of these causes concurred in succeeding princes; together with the factions in religion, and the acquisition of the supremacy, a most important article of prerogative: but the manners of the age were a general cause, which operated during this whole period, and which continually tended to diminish the riches, and still more the influence, of the aristocracy, anciently so formidable to the crown. The habits of luxury dissipated the immense fortunes of the ancient barons: and as the new methods of expense gave subsistence to mechanics and merchants, who lived in an independent manner on the fruits of their own industry, a nobleman, instead of that unlimited ascendant which he was wont to assume over those who were maintained at his board, or subsisted by salaries conferred on them, retained only that moderate influence which customers have over tradesmen, and which can never be dangerous to civil government. The landed proprietors also, having a greater demand for money than for men, endeavored to turn their lands to the best account with regard to profit; and either enclosing their fields, or joining many small farms into a few large ones, dismissed those useless hands which formerly were always at their call in every attempt to subvert the government, or oppose a neighboring baron. By all these means the cities increased; the middle rank of men began to be rich and powerful; the prince, who in effect was the same with the law, was implicitly obeyed: and though the further progress of the same causes begat a new plan of liberty, founded on the privileges of the commons, yet in the interval between the fall of the nobles and the rise of this order, the sovereign took advantage of the present situation, and assumed an authority almost absolute.
Whatever may be commonly imagined, from the authority of Lord Bacon, and from that of Harrington, and later authors the laws of Henry VII. contributed very little towards the great revolution which happened about this period in the English constitution. The practice of breaking entails by a fine and recovery, had been introduced in the preceding reigns; and this prince only gave indirectly a legal sanction to the practice, by reforming some abuses which attended it. But the settled authority which he acquired to the crown enabled the sovereign to encroach on the separate jurisdictions of the barons, and produced a more general and regular execution of the laws. The counties palatine underwent the same fate as the feudal powers; and, by a statute of Henry VIII.,[*] the jurisdiction of these counties was annexed to the crown, and all writs were ordained to run in the king's name. But the change of manners was the chief cause of the secret revolution of government, and subverted the power of the barons. There appear still in this reign some remains of the ancient slavery of the boors and peasants,[*] but none afterwards.
Learning, on its revival, was held in high estimation by the English princes and nobles; and as it was not yet prostituted by being too common, even the great deemed it an object of ambition to attain a character for literature. The four successive sovereigns, Henry, Edward, Mary, and Elizabeth, may, on one account or other, be admitted into the class of authors. Queen Catharine Parr translated a book: Lady Jane Gray, considering her age, and her sex, and her station, may be regarded as a prodigy of literature. Sir Thomas Smith was raised from being professor in Cambridge, first to be ambassador to France, then secretary of state. The despatches of those times, and among others those of Burleigh himself, are frequently interlarded with quotations from the Greek and Latin classics. Even the ladies of the court valued themselves on knowledge: Lady Burleigh, Lady Bacon, and their two sisters, were mistresses of the ancient as well as modern languages; and placed more pride in their erudition than in their rank and quality.
Queen Elizabeth wrote and translated several books: and she was familiarly acquainted with the Greek as well as Latin tongue.[**] 43
     * 27 Henry VIII. c. 24.

     ** See note QQ, at the end of the volume.
It is pretended that she made an extemporary reply in Greek to the university of Cambridge, who had addressed her in that language. It is certain that she answered in Latin without premeditation, and in a very spirited manner, to the Polish ambassador, who had been wanting in respect to her. When she had finished, she turned about to her courtiers, and said, "God's death, my lords," (for she was much addicted to swearing,) "I have been forced this day to scour up my old Latin, that hath long lain rusting."[*]
     * Speed.
Elizabeth, even after she was queen, did not entirely drop the ambition of appearing as an author; and, next to her desire of admiration for beauty, this seems to have been the chief object of her vanity. She translated Boethius of the Consolation of Philosophy; in order, as she pretended, to allay her grief for Henry IV.'s change of religion. As far us we can judge from Elizabeth's compositions, we may pronounce that, notwithstanding her application, and her excellent parts, her taste in literature was but indifferent: she was much inferior to her successor in this particular, who was himself no perfect model of eloquence.
Unhappily for literature, at least for the learned of this age, the queen's vanity lay more in shining by her own learning, than in encouraging men of genius by her liberality. Spenser himself, the finest English writer of his age, was long neglected; and after the death of Sir Philip Sidney, his patron, was allowed to die almost for want. This poet contains great beauties, a sweet and harmonious versification, easy elocution, a fine imagination; yet does the perusal of his work become so tedious, that one never finishes it from the mere pleasure which it affords; it soon becomes a kind of task-reading, and it requires some effort and resolution to carry us on to the end of his long performance. This effect, of which every one is conscious, is usually ascribed to the change of manners: but manners have more changed since Homer's age; and yet that poet remains still the favorite of every reader of taste and judgment. Homer copied true natural manners, which, however rough or uncultivated, will always form an agreeable and interesting picture; but the pencil of the English poet was employed in drawing the affectations, and conceits, and fopperies of chivalry, which appear ridiculous as soon as they lose the recommendation of the mode. The tediousness of continued allegory, and that, too, seldom striking or ingenious, has also contributed to render the Fairy Queen peculiarly tiresome; not to mention the too great frequency of its descriptions, and the languor of its stanza. Upon the whole, Spenser maintains his place upon the shelves among our English classics; but he is seldom seen on the table; and there is scarcely any one, if he dares to be ingenuous, but will confess, that, notwithstanding all the merit of the poet, he affords an entertainment with which the palate is soon satiated. Several writers of late have amused themselves in copying the style of Spenser; and no imitation has been so indifferent as not to bear a great resemblance to the original: his manner is so peculiar that it is almost impossible not to transfer some of it into the copy.



The crown of England was never transmitted from father to son with greater tranquillity than it passed from the family of Tudor to that of Stuart. During the whole reign of Elizabeth, the eyes of men had been employed in search of her successor; and when old age made the prospect of her death more immediate, there appeared none but the king of Scots who could advance any just claim or pretension to the throne. He was great-grandson of Margaret, elder daughter of Henry VII.; and, on the failure of the male line, his hereditary right remained unquestionable. If the religion of Mary queen of Scots, and the other prejudices contracted against her, had formed any considerable obstacle to her succession, these objections, being entirely personal, had no place with regard to her son. Men also considered, that though the title derived from blood had been frequently violated since the Norman conquest, such licenses had proceeded more from force or intrigue than from any deliberate maxims of government. The lineal heir had still in the end prevailed: and both his exclusion and restoration had been commonly attended with such convulsions as were sufficient to warn all prudent men not lightly to give way to such irregularities. If the will of Henry VIII., authorized by act of parliament, had tacitly excluded the Scottish line, the tyranny and caprices of that monarch had been so signal, that a settlement of this nature, unsupported by any just reason, had no authority with the people. Queen Elizabeth, too, with her dying breath, had recognized the undoubted title of her kinsman James; and the whole nation seemed to dispose themselves with joy and pleasure for his reception. Though born and educated amidst a foreign and hostile people, men hoped, from his character of moderation and wisdom, that he would embrace the maxims of an English monarch; and the prudent foresaw greater advantages resulting from a union with Scotland, than disadvantages from submitting to a prince of that nation. The alacrity with which the English looked towards the successor had appeared so evident to Elizabeth, that, concurring, with other causes, it affected her with the deepest melancholy; and that wise princess, whose penetration and experience had given her the greatest insight into human affairs, had not yet, sufficiently weighed the ingratitude of courtiers and levity of the people.
As victory abroad and tranquillity at home had attended this princess, she left the nation in such flourishing circumstances, that her successor possessed every advantage, except that of comparison with her illustrious name, when he mounted the throne of England. The king's journey from Edinburgh to London immediately afforded to the inquisitive some circumstances of comparison, which even the natural partiality in favor of their new sovereign could not interpret to his advantage. As he passed along, all ranks of men flocked about him from every quarter, allured by interest or curiosity. Great were the rejoicings, and loud and hearty the acclamations, which resounded from all sides; and every one could remember how the affability and popular manners of their queen displayed themselves amidst such concourse and exultation of her subjects. But James, though sociable and familiar with his friends and courtiers, hated the bustle of a mixed multitude; and though far from disliking flattery, yet was he still fonder of tranquillity and ease. He issued, therefore, a proclamation, forbidding this resort of people, on pretence of the scarcity of provisions, and other inconveniencies, which, he said, would necessarily attend it.[*]
     * Kennet, p. 662.
He was not, however, insensible to the great flow of affection which appeared in his new subjects; and being himself of an affectionate temper, he seems to have been in haste to make them some return of kindness and good offices. To this motive, probably, we are to ascribe that profusion of titles which was observed in the beginning of his reign; when, in six weeks' time after his entrance into the kingdom, he is computed to have bestowed knighthood on no less than two hundred and thirty-seven persons. If Elizabeth's frugality of honors, as well as of money, had formerly been repined at, it began now to be valued and esteemed, and every one was sensible that the king, by his lavish and premature conferring of favors, had failed of obliging the persons on whom he bestowed them. Titles of all kinds became so common, that they were scarcely marks of distinction; and being distributed, without choice or deliberation, to persons unknown to the prince, were regarded more as the proofs of facility and good nature, than of any determined friendship or esteem.
A pasquinade was affixed to St. Paul's, in which an art was promised to be taught, very necessary to assist frail memories in retaining the names of the new nobility.[*]
We may presume that the English would have thrown less blame on the king's facility in bestowing favors, had these been confined entirely to their own nation, and had not been shared out, in too unequal proportions, to his old subjects. James, who, through his whole reign, was more guided by temper and inclination than by the rules of political prudence, had brought with him great numbers of his Scottish courtiers, whose impatience and importunity were apt, in many particulars, to impose on the easy nature of their master, and extort favors of which, it is natural to imagine, his English subjects would loudly complain. The duke of Lenox, the earl of Marre, Lord Hume, Lord Kinloss, Sir George Hume, Secretary Elphinstone,[**] were immediately added to the English privy council. Sir George Hume, whom he created earl of Dunbar, was his declared favorite as long as that nobleman lived, and was one of the wisest and most virtuous, though the least powerful, of all those whom the king ever honored with that distinction. Hay, some time after, was created Viscount Doncaster, then earl of Carlisle, and got an immense fortune from the crown, all which he spent in a splendid and courtly manner. Ramsay obtained the title of earl of Holderness; and many others being raised on a sudden to the highest elevation, increased, by their insolence, that envy which naturally attended them as strangers and ancient enemies.
     * Wilson, in Kennet, p. 665.

     ** Wilson, in Kennet, p. 662.
It must, however, be owned, in justice to James, that he left almost all the chief offices in the hands of Elizabeth's ministers, and trusted the conduct of political concerns, both foreign and domestic, to his English subjects. Among these, Secretary Cecil, created successively Lord Effindon, Viscount Cranborne, and earl of Salisbury, was always regarded as his prime minister and chief counsellor. Though the capacity and penetration of this minister were sufficiently known, his favor with the king created surprise on the accession of that monarch. The secret correspondence into which he had entered with James, and which had sensibly contributed to the easy reception of that prince in England, laid the foundation of Cecil's credit; and while all his former associates, Sir Walter Raleigh, Lord Grey, Lord Cobham, were discountenanced on account of their animosity against Essex, as well as for other reasons, this minister was continued in employment, and treated with the greatest confidence and regard.
The capacity of James and his ministers in negotiation was immediately put to trial on the appearance of ambassadors from almost all the princes and states of Europe, in order to congratulate him on his accession, and form with him new treaties and alliances. Besides ministers from Venice, Denmark, the Palatinate; Henry Frederic of Nassau, assisted by Barnevelt, the pensionary of Holland, was ambassador from the states of the United Provinces. Aremberg was sent by Archduke Albert, and Taxis was expected in a little time from Spain. But he who most excited the attention of the public, both on account of his own merit and that of his master, was the marquis of Rosni, afterwards duke of Sully, prime minister and favorite of Henry IV. of France.
When the dominions of the house of Austria devolved on Philip II., all Europe was struck with terror, lest the power of a family, which had been raised by fortune, should now be carried to an immeasurable height by the wisdom and conduct of this monarch. But never were apprehensions found in the event to be more groundless. Slow without prudence, ambitious without enterprise, false without deceiving any body, and refined without any true judgment; such was the character of Philip, and such the character which, during his lifetime, and after his death, he impressed on the Spanish councils. Revolted or depopulated provinces, discontented or indolent inhabitants, were the spectacles which those dominions, lying in every climate of the globe, presented to Philip III., a weak prince, and to the duke of Lerma, a minister weak and odious. But though military discipline, which still remained, was what alone gave some appearance of life and vigor to that languishing body, yet so great was the terror produced by former power and ambition, that the reduction of the house of Austria was the object of men's vows throughout all the states of Christendom. It was not perceived, that the French empire, now united in domestic peace, and governed by the most heroic and most amiable prince that adorns modern story, was become, of itself, a sufficient counterpoise to the Spanish greatness. Perhaps that prince himself did not perceive it, when he proposed, by his minister, a league with James, in conjunction with Venice, the United Provinces, and the northern crowns, in order to attack the Austrian dominions on every side, and depress the exorbitant power of that ambitious family.[*] But the genius of the English monarch was not equal to such vast enterprises. The love of peace was his ruling passion; and it was his peculiar felicity, that the conjunctures of the times rendered the same object which was agreeable to him in the highest degree advantageous to his people.
The French ambassador, therefore, was obliged to depart from these extensive views, and to concert with James the means of providing for the safety of the United Provinces: nor was this object altogether without its difficulties. The king, before his accession, had entertained scruples with regard to the revolt of the Low Countries; and being commonly open and sincere,[**] he had, on many occasions, gone so far as to give to the Dutch the appellation of rebels; [***] but having conversed more fully with English ministers and courtiers, he found their attachment to that republic so strong, and their opinion of common interest so established, that he was obliged to sacrifice to politics his sense of justice; a quality which, even when erroneous, is respectable as well as rare in a monarch.
     * Sully's Memoirs.

     ** La Boderie, voL i. p. 120.

     *** Winwood, vol. ii. p 55.
He therefore agreed with Rosni to support secretly the states general, in concert with the king of France; lest their weakness and despair should oblige them to submit to their old master. The articles of the treaty were few and simple. It was stipulated, that the two kings should allow the Dutch to levy forces in their respective dominions; and should underhand remit to that republic the sum of one million four hundred thousand livres a year, for the pay of these forces: that the whole sum should be advanced by the king of France; but that the third of it should be deducted from the debt due by him to Queen Elizabeth. And if the Spaniards attacked either of the princes, they agreed to assist each other; Henry with a force of ten thousand men, James with that of six. This treaty, one of the wisest and most equitable concluded by James during the course of his reign was more the work of the prince himself, than any of his ministers.[*]
Amidst the great tranquillity, both foreign and domestic with which the nation was blest, nothing could be more surprising than the discovery of a conspiracy to subvert the government, and to fix on the throne Arabella Stuart, a near relation of the king's by the family of Lenox, and descended equally from Henry VII. Every thing remains still mysterious in this conspiracy; and history can give us no clew to unravel it. Watson and Clarke, two Catholic priests, were accused of the plot; Lord Grey, a Puritan; Lord Cobham, a thoughtless man, of no fixed principle; and Sir Walter Raleigh, suspected to be of that philosophical sect who were then extremely rare in England, and who have since received the appellation of "Free-thinkers;" together with these, Mr. Broke, brother to Lord Cobham, Sir Griffin Markham, Mr. Copeley, Sir Edward Parham. What cement could unite men of-such discordant principles in so dangerous a combination, what end they proposed, or what means proportioned to an undertaking of this nature, has never yet been explained, and cannot easily be imagined. As Raleigh, Grey, and Cobham were commonly believed, after the queen's death, to have opposed proclaiming the king till conditions should be made with him, they were, upon that account, extremely obnoxious to the court and ministry; and people were apt, at first, to suspect that the plot was merely a contrivance of Secretary Cecil, to get rid of his old confederates, now become his most inveterate enemies. But the confession, as well as trial, of the criminals, put the matter beyond doubt.[**] And though no one could find any marks of a concerted enterprise, it appeared that men of furious and ambitious spirits, meeting frequently together, and believing all the world discontented like themselves, had entertained very criminal projects, and had even entered, some of them at least, into a correspondence with Aremberg, the Flemish ambassador in order to give disturbance to the new settlement.
     * Sully's Memoirs.

     ** State Trials, p. 180, 2d edit. Winwood, vol. ii. p. 8,11.
The two priests[*] and Broke[**] were executed: Cobham, Grey, and Markham were pardoned,[***] after they had laid their heads upon the block.[****] Raleigh too was reprieved, not pardoned; and he remained in confinement many years afterwards.
It appears from Sully's Memoirs, that Raleigh secretly offered his services to the French ambassador; and we may thence presume that, meeting with a repulse from that quarter, he had recourse, for the same unwarrantable purposes, to the Flemish minister. Such a conjecture we are now enabled to form; but it must be confessed, that on his trial there appeared no proof of this transaction, nor indeed any circumstance which could justify his condemnation. He was accused by Cobham alone, in a sudden fit of passion, upon hearing that Raleigh, when examined, had pointed out some circumstances by which Cobham's guilt might be known and ascertained. This accusation Cobham afterwards retracted; and, soon after, he retracted his retractation. Yet upon the written evidence of this single witness, a man of no honor or understanding, and so contradictory in his testimony; not confronted with Raleigh; not supported by any concurring circumstance; was that great man, contrary to all law and equity, found guilty by the jury. His name was at that time extremely odious in England; and every man was pleased to give sentence against the capital enemy of Essex, the favorite of the people.
Sir Edward Coke, the famous lawyer, then attorney-general, managed the cause for the crown, and threw out on Raleigh such gross abuse, as may be deemed a great reflection, not only on his own memory, but even, in some degree, on the manners of the age. Traitor, monster, viper, and spider of hell, are the terms which he employs against one of the most illustrious men of the kingdom, who was under trial for life and fortune, and who defended himself with temper, eloquence, and courage.[v]
     * November 29.

     ** December 5.

     *** December 9.

     **** Winwood, vol. ii p. 11.

     v    State Trials, 1st edit. p. 176, 177, 182.
The next occupation of the king was entirely according to his heart's content. He was employed in dictating magisterially to an assembly of divines concerning points of faith and discipline, and in receiving the applauses of these holy men for his superior zeal and learning. The religious disputes between the church and the Puritans had induced him to call a conference at Hampton Court, on pretence of finding expedients which might reconcile both parties.
Though the severities of Elizabeth towards the Catholics had much weakened that party, whose genius was opposite to the prevailing spirit of the nation, like severities had had so little influence on the Puritans, who were encouraged by that spirit, that no less than seven hundred and fifty clergymen of that party signed a petition to the king on his accession; and many more seemed willing to adhere to it.[*]
     * Fuller, book x. Collier, vol. ii. p. 672.
They all hoped that James, having received his education in Scotland, and having sometimes professed an attachment to the church established there, would at least abate the rigor of the laws enacted in support of the ceremonies, and against Puritans; if he did not show more particular grace and encouragement to that sect. But the king's disposition had taken strongly a contrary bias. The more he knew the Puritanical clergy, the less favor he bore to them. He had remarked in their Scottish brethren a violent turn towards republicanism, and a zealous attachment to civil liberty; principles nearly allied to that religious enthusiasm with which they were actuated. He had found, that being mostly persons of low birth and mean education, the same lofty pretensions which attended them in their familiar addresses to their Maker, of whom they believed themselves the peculiar favorites, induced them to use the utmost freedoms with their earthly sovereign. In both capacities, of monarch and of theologian, he had experienced the little complaisance which they were disposed to show him; whilst they controlled his commands, disputed his tenets, and to his face, before the whole people, censured his conduct and behavior. If he had submitted to the indignity of courting their favor, he treasured up, on that account, the stronger resentment against them, and was determined to make them feel, in their turn, the weight of his authority. Though he had often met with resistance, and faction, and obstinacy in the Scottish nobility, he retained no ill will to that order; or rather showed them favor and kindness in England, beyond what reason and sound policy could well justify; but the ascendant which the Presbyterian clergy had assumed over him, was what his monarchical pride could never thoroughly digest.[*]
     * James ventured to say, in his Basilicon Duron, published
     while he was in Scotland, "I protest before the great God,
     and since I am here as upon my Testament, it is no place for
     me to lie in, that ye shall never find with any highland or
     borderer thieves, greater in gratitude, and more lies and
     vile perjuries, than with these fanatic spirits: and suffer
     not the principal of them to brook your land,"—King James's
     Works, p. 161.
He dreaded likewise the popularity which attended this order of men in both kingdoms. As useless austerities and self-denial are imagined, in many religions, to render us acceptable to a benevolent Being, who created us solely for happiness, James remarked, that the rustic severity of these clergymen, and of their whole sect, had given them, in the eyes of the multitude, the appearance of sanctity and virtue. Strongly inclined himself to mirth, and wine, and sports of all kinds, he apprehended their censure for his manner of life, free and disengaged. And being thus averse, from temper as well as policy, to the sect of Puritans, he was resolved, if possible, to prevent its further growth in England.
But it was the character of James's councils, throughout his whole reign, that they were more wise and equitable in their end, than prudent and political in the means. Though justly sensible that no part of civil administration required greater care or a nicer judgment than the conduct of religious parties, he had not perceived that, in the same proportion as this practical knowledge of theology is requisite, the speculative refinements in it are mean, and even dangerous in a monarch. By entering zealously into frivolous disputes, James gave them an air of importance and dignity which they could not otherwise have acquired; and being himself enlisted in the quarrel, he could no longer have recourse to contempt and ridicule, the only proper method of appeasing it. The church of England had not yet abandoned the rigid doctrines of grace and pre-destination: the puritans had not yet separated themselves from the church, nor openly renounced Episcopacy. Though the spirit of the parties was considerably different, the only appearing subjects of dispute were concerning the cross in baptism, the ring in marriage, the use of the surplice, and the bowing at the name of Jesus. These were the mighty questions which were solemnly agitated in the conference at Hampton Court between some bishops and dignified clergymen on the one hand, and some leaders of the Puritanical party on the other, the king and his ministers being present.[*]
The Puritans were here so unreasonable as to complain of a partial and unfair management of the dispute; as if the search after truth were in any degree the object of such conferences, and a candid indifference, so rare even among private inquirers in philosophical questions, could ever be expected among princes and prelates, in a theological controversy. The king, it must be confessed, from the beginning of the conference, showed the strongest propensity to the established church, and frequently inculcated a maxim which, though it has some foundation, is to be received with great limitations, "No bishop, no king." The bishops, in their turn, were very liberal of their praises towards the royal disputant; and the archbishop of Canterbury said, that "undoubtedly his majesty spake by the special assistance of God's Spirit."[**] A few alterations in the liturgy were agreed to, and both parties separated with mutual dissatisfaction.
It had frequently been the practice of the Puritans to form certain assemblies, which they called "prophesyings;" where alternately, as moved by the spirit, they displayed their pious zeal in prayers and exhortations, and raised their own enthusiasm, as well as that of their audience, to the highest pitch, from that social contagion which has so mighty an influence on holy fervors, and from the mutual emulation which arose in those trials of religious eloquence. Such dangerous societies had been suppressed by Elizabeth; and the ministers in this conference moved the king for their revival. But James sharply replied, "If you aim at a Scottish presbytery, it agrees as well with monarchy as God and the devil. There Jack and Tom, and Will and Dick, shall meet and censure me and my council. Therefore I reiterate my former speech: Le roi s'avisera. Stay, I pray, for one seven years, before you demand; and then, if you find me grow pursy and fat, I may perchance hearken unto you. For that government will keep me in breath, and give me work enough."[***] Such were the political considerations which determined the king in his choice among religious parties.
     * Fuller's Ecclesiastical History.

     ** Kennet, p. 665.

     *** Fuller's Ecclesiastical History.
The next assembly in which James displayed his learning and eloquence, was one that showed more spirit of liberty than appeared among his bishops and theologians The parliament was now ready to assemble; being so long delayed on account of the plague, which had broken out in London, and raged to such a degree, that above thirty thousand persons are computed to have died of it in a year; though the city contained at that time little more than one hundred and fifty thousand inhabitants.
The speech which the king made on opening the parliament, fully displays his character, and proves him to have possessed more knowledge and better parts, than prudence, or any just sense of decorum and propriety.[*] Though few productions of the age surpass this performance either in style or matter, it wants that majestic brevity and reserve which become a king in his addresses to the great council of the nation. It contains, however, a remarkable stroke of candor, where he confesses his too great facility in yielding to the solicitations of suitors:[**] a fault which he promises to correct, but which adhered to him, and distressed him, during the whole course of his reign.
The first business in which the commons were engaged was of the utmost importance to the preservation of their privileges; and neither temper nor resolution was wanting in their conduct of it.
In the former periods of the English government, the house of commons was of so small weight in the balance of the constitution, that little attention had been given either by the crown, the people, or the house itself, to the choice and continuance of the members. It had been usual, after parliaments were prolonged beyond one session, for the chancellor to exert a discretionary authority of issuing new writs to supply the place of any members whom he judged incapable of attending, either on account of their employment, their sickness, or other impediment. This practice gave that minister, and consequently the prince, an unlimited power of modelling at pleasure the representatives of the nation; yet so little jealousy had it created, that the commons of themselves, without any court influence or intrigue, and contrary to some former votes of their own, confirmed it in the twenty-third of Elizabeth.[***]
     * King James's Works, p. 484, 485, etc. Journ. 22d March,
     1603. Kennet, p. 668.

     ** King James's Works, p. 495, 496.

     *** Journ. January 19th, 1580.
At that time, though some members, whose places had been supplied on account of sickness, having now recovered their health, appeared in the house and claimed their seat, such was the authority of the chancellor, that, merely out of respect to him, his sentence was adhered to, and the new members were continued in their places. Here a most dangerous prerogative was conferred on the crown: but to show the genius of that age, or rather the channels in which power then ran, the crown put very little value on this authority; insomuch that two days afterwards the chancellor of himself resigned it back to the commons, and gave them power to judge of a particular vacancy in their house. And when the question concerning the chancellor's new writs was again brought on the carpet towards the end of the session, the commons were so little alarmed at the precedent, that though they readmitted some old members, whose seats had been vacated on account of slight indispositions, yet they confirmed the chancellor's sentence, in instances where the distemper appeared to have been dangerous and incurable.[*]
     * Journ. March 18th, 1580. See further, D'Ewes, p 430.
Nor did they proceed any further in vindication of their privileges than to vote, "That during the sitting of parliament, there do not, at any time, any writ go out for choosing or returning any member without the warrant of the house." In Elizabeth's reign, we may remark, and the reigns preceding, sessions of parliament were not usually the twelfth part so long as the vacations; and during the latter, the chancellor's power, if he pleased to exert it, was confirmed, at least left, by this vote, as unlimited and unrestrained as ever.
In a subsequent parliament, the absolute authority of the queen was exerted in a manner still more open; and began for the first time to give alarm to the commons. New writs having been issued by the chancellor when there was no vacancy, and a controversy arising upon that incident, the queen sent a message to the house, informing them that it were impertinent for them to deal in such matters. These questions, she said, belonged only to the chancellor; and she had appointed him to confer with the judges, in order to settle all disputes with regard to elections. The commons had the courage, a few days after, to vote, "That it was a most perilous precedent, where two knights of a county were duly elected, if any new writ should issue out for a second election without order of the house itself: that the discussing and adjudging of this and such like differences belonged only to the house; and that there should be no message sent to the lord chancellor, not so much as to inquire what he had done in the matter, because it was conceived to be a matter derogatory to the power and privilege of the house."[*] This is the most considerable, and almost only instance of parliamentary liberty, which occurs during the reign of that princess.
Outlaws, whether on account of debts or crimes, had been declared by the judges[*] incapable of enjoying a seat in the house, where they must themselves be lawgivers; but this opinion of the judges had been frequently overruled. I find, however, in the case of Vaughan,[**] who was questioned for an outlawry, that, having proved all his debts to have been contracted by suretyship, and to have been most of them honestly compounded, he was allowed, on account of these favorable circumstances, to keep his seat; which plainly supposes, that otherwise it would have been vacated on account of the outlawry.[***]
When James summoned this parliament, he issued a proclamation,[****] in which, among many general advices, which, like a kind tutor, he bestowed on his people, he strictly enjoins them not to choose any outlaw for their representative. And he adds, "If any person take upon him the place of knight, citizen, or burgess, not being duly elected, according to the laws and statutes in that behalf provided, and according to the purport, effect, and true meaning of this our proclamation, then every person so offending to be fined or imprisoned for the same." A proclamation here was plainly put on the same footing with a law, and that in so delicate a point as the right of elections; most alarming circumstances, had there not been reason to believe that this measure, being entered into so early in the king's reign, proceeded more from precipitation and mistake, than from any serious design of invading the privileges of parliament.[v]
     * D'Ewes, p. 397.

     ** 39 H. 6.

     *** Journ. Feb. 8th, 1580.

     **** In a subsequent parliament, that of the thirty-fifth of
     the queen, the commons, after a great debate, expressly
     voted, that a person outlawed might be elected. D'Ewes, p.
     518. But as the matter had been much contested, the king
     might think the vote of the house no law, and might esteem
     his own decision of more weight than theirs. We may also
     suppose that he was not acquainted with this vote. Queen
     Elizabeth, in her speech to her last parliament, complained
     of their admitting outlaws, and represents that conduct of
     the house as a great abuse.

     v   Jan. 11th, 1604. Rymer, tom. xvi. p. 561.
Sir Francis Goodwin was chosen member for the county of Bucks; and his return, as usual, was made into chancery. The chancellor, pronouncing him an outlaw, vacated his seat and issued writs for a new election.[*] Sir John Fortescue was chosen in his place by the county: but the first act of the house was to reverse the chancellor's sentence, and restore Sir Francis to his seat. At the king's suggestion, the lords desired a conference on the subject; but were absolutely refused by the commons, as the question entirely regarded their own privileges.[**] The commons, however, agreed to make a remonstrance to the king by the mouth of their speaker; in which they maintained that, though the returns were by form made into chancery, yet the sole right of judging with regard to elections belonged to the house itself, not to the chancellor.[***] James was not satisfied, and ordered a conference between the house and the judges, whose opinion in this case was opposite to that of the commons. This conference, he said, he commanded as an "absolute" king;[****] an epithet, we are apt to imagine, not very grateful to English ears, but one to which they had already been somewhat accustomed from the mouth of Elizabeth.[v] 44 He added, "That all their privileges were derived from his grant, and hoped they would not turn them against him;"[v*] a sentiment which, from her conduct, it is certain that princess had also entertained, and which was the reigning principle of her courtiers and ministers, and the spring of all her administration.
     * The duke of Sully tells us, that it was a maxim of James,
     that no prince, in the first year of his reign, should begin
     any considerable undertaking; a maxim reasonable in itself,
     and very suitable to his cautious, not to say timid
     character. The facility with which he departed from this
     pretension, is another proof that his meaning was innocent.
     But had the privileges of parliament been at that time
     exactly ascertained, or royal power fully limited, could
     such an imagination ever have been entertained by him, as to
     think that his proclamations could regulate parliamentary

     ** Winwood, vol. ii. p. 18, 19.

     *** Journ. 26th March, 1604

     **** Journ. 3d April, 1604.

     v    See note RR, at the end of the volume.

     v*   Camden, in Kennet, p. 375.
The commons were in some perplexity. Their eyes were now opened, and they saw the consequences of that power which had been assumed by the chancellor, and to which their predecessors had in some instances blindly submitted. "By this course," said a member, "the free election of the counties is taken away, and none shall be chosen but such as shall please the king and council. Let us therefore with fortitude, understanding, and sincerity, seek to maintain our privilege. This cannot be construed any contempt in us, but merely a maintenance of our common rights, which our ancestors have left us, and which it is just and fit for us to transmit to our posterity."[*] Another said, "This may be called a quo warranto to seize all our liberties."[**] "A chancellor," added a third, "by this course may call a parliament consisting of what persons he pleases. Any suggestion, by any person, may be the cause of sending a new writ. It is come to this plain question, whether the chancery or parliament ought to have authority."[***]
Notwithstanding this watchful spirit of liberty which now appeared in the commons, their deference for majesty was so great that they appointed a committee to confer with the judges before the king and council. There the question of law began to appear in James's eyes a little more doubtful than he had hitherto imagined it; and in order to extricate himself with some honor, he proposed that both Goodwin and Fortescue should be set aside, and a writ be issued, by warrant of the house, for a new election. Goodwin gave his consent, and the commons embraced the expedient; but in such a manner that, while they showed their regard for the king, they secured for the future the free possession of their seats, and the right which they claimed of judging solely in their own elections and returns.[****] 45
A power like this, so essential to the exercise of all their other powers, themselves so essential to public liberty, cannot fairly be deemed an encroachment in the commons; but must be regarded as an inherent privilege, happily rescued from that ambiguity which the negligence of some former parliaments had thrown upon it.
At the same time, the commons, in the case of Sir Thomas Shirley, established their power of punishing, as well the persons at whose suit any member is arrested, as the officers who either arrest or detain him. Their asserting of this privilege admits of the same reflection.[v]
     * Journ, 30th March, 1604.

     ** Journ, 30th March, 1604.

     *** Journ. 30th March, 1604.

     **** See note SS, at the end of the volume.

     v Journ. 6th and 7th May, 1604.
About this period, the minds of men throughout Europe, especially in England, seem to have undergone a general but insensible revolution. Though letters had been revived in the preceding age, they were chiefly cultivated by those of sedentary professions; nor had they till now begun to spread themselves in any degree among men of the world. Arts, both mechanical and liberal, were every day receiving great improvements. Navigation had extended itself over the whole globe. Travelling was secure and agreeable. And the general system of politics in Europe was become more enlarged and comprehensive.
In consequence of this universal fermentation, the ideas of men enlarged themselves on all sides; and the several constituent parts of the Gothic governments, which seem to have lain long inactive, began everywhere to operate and encroach on each other. On the continent, where the necessity of discipline had begotten standing armies, the princes commonly established an unlimited authority, and overpowered, by force or intrigue, the liberties of the people. In England, the love of freedom, which, unless checked, flourishes extremely in all liberal natures, acquired new force, and was regulated by more enlarged views, suitable to that cultivated understanding which became every day more common among men of birth and education. A familiar acquaintance with the precious remains of antiquity excited in every generous breast a passion for a limited constitution, and begat an emulation of those manly virtues which the Greek and Roman authors, by such animating examples, as well as pathetic expressions, recommend to us. The severe, though popular government of Elizabeth had confined this rising spirit within very narrow bounds; but when a new and a foreign family succeeded to the throne, and a prince less dreaded and less beloved, symptoms immediately appeared of a more free and independent genius in the nation.
Happily, this prince possessed neither sufficient capacity to perceive the alteration, nor sufficient art and vigor to check it in its early advances. Jealous of regal, because conscious of little personal authority, he had established within his own mind a speculative system of absolute government, which few of his subjects, he believed, and none but traitors and rebels, would make any scruple to admit. On whichever side he cast his eye, every thing concurred to encourage his prejudices. When he compared himself with the other hereditary sovereigns of Europe, he imagined that, as he bore the same rank, he was entitled to equal prerogatives; not considering the innovations lately introduced by them, and the military force by which their authority was supported. In England, that power, almost unlimited, which had been exercised for above a century, especially during the late reign, he ascribed solely to royal birth and title; not to the prudence and spirit of the monarchs, nor to the conjunctures of the times. Even the opposition which he had struggled with in Scotland, encouraged him still further in his favorite notions; while he there saw, that the same resistance which opposed regal authority, violated all law and order, and made way either for the ravages of a barbarous nobility, or for the more intolerable insolence of seditious preachers. In his own person, therefore, he thought all legal power to be centred, by an hereditary and a divine right: and this opinion might have proved dangerous, if not fatal to liberty, had not the firmness of the persuasion, and its seeming evidence, induced him to trust solely to his right, without making the smallest provision, either of force or politics, in order to support it.
Such were the opposite dispositions of parliament and prince at the commencement of the Scottish line; dispositions just beginning to exist and to appear in the parliament,[*] 46 but thoroughly established and openly avowed on the part of the prince.
     * See note TT, at the end of the volume.
The spirit and judgment of the house of commons appeared, not only in defence of their own privileges, but also in their endeavor, though at this time in vain, to free trade from those shackles which the high exerted prerogative, and even, in this respect, the ill-judged tyranny of Elizabeth, had imposed upon it.
James had already, of his own accord, called in and annulled all the numerous patents for monopolies which had been granted by his predecessor, and which extremely fettered every species of domestic industry: but the exclusive companies still remained; another species of monopoly, by which almost all foreign trade, except that to France, was brought into the hands of a few rapacious engrossers, and all prospect of future improvement in commerce was forever sacrificed to a little temporary advantage of the sovereign. These companies, though arbitrarily erected, had carried their privileges so far, that almost all the commerce of England was centred in London; and it appears that the customs of that port amounted to one hundred and ten thousand pounds a year, while those of all the kingdom beside yielded only seventeen thousand.[*] Nay, the whole trade of London was confined to about two hundred citizens,[**] who were easily enabled, by combining among themselves, to fix whatever price they pleased both to the exports and imports of the nation. The committee appointed to consider this enormous grievance, one of the greatest which we read of in English story, insist on it as a fact well known and avowed, however contrary to present received opinion, that shipping and seamen had insensibly decayed during all the preceding reign.[***] And though nothing be more common than complaints of the decay of trade, even during the most flourishing periods, yet is this a consequence which might naturally result from such arbitrary establishments, at a time when the commerce of all the other nations of Europe, except that of Scotland, enjoyed full liberty and indulgence.
While the commons were thus attempting to give liberty to the trading part of the nation, they also endeavored to free the landed property from the burden of wardships,[****] and to remove those remains of the feudal tenures under which the nation still labored. A just regard was shown to the crown in the conduct of this affair; nor was the remedy sought for considered as a matter of right, but merely of grace and favor. The profit which the king reaped, both from wards and from respite of homage, was estimated; and it was intended to compound for these prerogatives by a secure and independent revenue. But after some debates in the house, and some conferences with the lords, the affair was found to contain more difficulties than could easily, at that time, be surmounted; and it was not then brought to any conclusion.
The same fate attended an attempt of a like nature, to free the nation from the burden of purveyance. This prerogative had been much abused by the purveyors;[v] and the commons showed some intention to offer the king fifty thousand pounds a year for the abolition of it.
     * Journ. 21st May, 1604.

     ** Journ. 21st May, 1604.

     *** A remonstrance from the Trinity House, in 1602, says,
     that in a little above twelve years after 1588, the shipping
     and number of seamen in England decayed about a third.
     Anglesey's Happy Future State of England, p. 128, from Sir
     Julius Caesar's Collections. See Journ. 21st May, 1604.

     **** Journ. 1st June, 1604.

     v Journ. 30th April, 1604.
Another affair of the utmost consequence was brought before the parliament, where the commons showed a greater spirit of independence than any true judgment of national interest. The union of the two kingdoms was zealously, and even impatiently, urged by the king.[*] He justly regarded it as the peculiar felicity of his reign, that he had terminated the bloody animosities of these hostile nations; and had reduced the whole island under one government, enjoying tranquillity within itself, and security from all foreign invasions. He hoped that, while his subjects of both kingdoms reflected on past disasters, besides regarding his person as infinitely precious, they would entertain the strongest desire of securing themselves against the return of like calamities, by a thorough union of laws, parliaments, and privileges. He considered not, that this very reflection operated, as yet, in a contrary manner on men's prejudices, and kept alive that mutual hatred between the nations, which had been carried to the greatest extremities, and required time to allay it. The more urgent the king appeared in promoting so useful a measure, the more backward was the English parliament in concurring with him; while they ascribed his excessive zeal to that partiality in favor of his ancient subjects, of which they thought that, on other occasions, they had reason to complain. Their complaisance for the king, therefore, carried them no further than to appoint forty-four English to meet with thirty-one Scottish commissioners, in order to deliberate concerning the terms of a union; but without any power of making advances towards the establishment of it.[**]
     * Journ. 21st April, 1st May, 1604. Parliamentary History,
     vol v p. 91.

     ** Journ. 7th June, 1604. Kennet, p. 673.
The same spirit of independence, and perhaps not better judgment, appeared in the house of commons when the question of supply was brought before them by some members attached to the court. In vain was it urged that, though the king received a supply which had been voted to Elizabeth, and which had not been collected before her death, yet he found it burdened with a debt contracted by the queen, equal to the full amount of it: that peace was not yet thoroughly concluded with Spain, and that Ireland was still expensive.
On his journey from Scotland, amidst such a concourse of people, and on that of the queen and royal family he had expended considerable sums; and that, as the courtiers had looked for greater liberalities from the prince on his accession, and had imposed on his generous nature, so the prince, in his turn, would expect, at the beginning, some mark of duty and attachment from his people, and some consideration of his necessities. No impression was made on the house of commons by these topics; and the majority appeared fully determined to refuse all supply. The burden of government, at that time, lay surprisingly light upon the people: and that very reason, which to us, at this distance, may seem a motive of generosity, was the real cause why the parliament was, on all occasions, so remarkably, frugal and reserved. They were not, as yet, accustomed to open their purses in so liberal a manner as their successors, in order to supply the wants of their sovereign; and the smallest demand, however requisite, appeared in their eyes unreasonable and exorbitant. The commons seem also to have been desirous of reducing the crown to still further necessities, by their refusing a bill, sent down to them by the lords, for entailing the crown lands forever on the king's heirs and successors.[*] The dissipation made by Elizabeth had probably taught James the necessity of this law, and shown them the advantage of refusing it.
In order to cover a disappointment with regard to supply, which might bear a bad construction both at home and abroad, James sent a message to the house,[*] in which he told them that he desired no supply; and he was very forward in refusing what was never offered him.
     * Parliamentary Hist. vol. v. p. 108.
Soon after, he prorogued the parliament, not without discovering in his speech visible marks of dissatisfaction. Even so early in his reign, he saw reason to make public complaints of the restless and encroaching spirit of the Puritanical party, and of the malevolence with which they endeavored to inspire the commons. Nor were his complaints without foundation, or the Puritans without interest; since the commons, now finding themselves free from the arbitrary government of Elizabeth, made application for a conference with the lords, and presented a petition to the king; the purport of both which was, to procure in favor of the Puritans, a relaxation of the ecclesiastical laws.[*] The use of the surplice, and of the cross in baptism is there chiefly complained of; but the remedy seems to have been expected solely from the king's dispensing power,[**] In the papers which contain this application and petition, we may also see proofs of the violent animosity of the commons against the Catholics, together with the intolerating spirit of that assembly.[***] 47
This summer, the peace with Spain was finally concluded, and was signed by the Spanish ministers at London.[****] In the conferences previous to this treaty, the nations were found to have so few claims on each other, that, except on account of the support given by England to the Low Country provinces, the war might appear to have been continued more on account of personal animosity between Philip and Elizabeth, than any contrariety of political interests between their subjects. Some articles in the treaty, which seemed prejudicial to the Dutch commonwealth, were never executed by the king; and as the Spaniards made no complaints on that head, it appeared that, by secret agreement, the king had expressly reserved the power of sending assistance to the Hollanders.[v] The constable of Castile came into England to ratify the peace; and on the part of England, the earl of Hertford was sent into the Low Countries for the same purpose, and the earl of Nottingham, high admiral, into Spain. The train of the latter was numerous and splendid; and the Spaniards, it is said, were extremely surprised when they beheld the blooming countenances and graceful appearance of the English, whom their bigotry, inflamed by the priests, had represented as so many monsters and infernal demons.
     * La Boderie, the French ambassador, says, that the house of
     commons [Greek: ][Greek: ]was composed mostly of Puritans.
     Vol. i. p. 81.

     ** Parl. Hist. vol. v. p. 98, 99, 100.

     *** See note UU, at the end of the volume.

     **** Rymer, torn. xvi. p. 585, etc.

     v    Winwood, vol. ii. p. 27, 330, et alibi.
Though England, by means of her naval force, was perfectly secure during the latter years of the Spanish war, James showed an impatience to put an end to hostilities; and soon after his accession, before any terms of peace were concerted, or even proposed by Spain, he recalled all the letters of marque.
In this respect, James's peace was more honorable than that which Henry IV. himself made with Spain. This latter prince stipulated not to assist the Dutch; and the supplies which he secretly sent them were in direct contravention to the treaty.[*] which had been granted by Queen Elizabeth. Archduke Albert had made some advances of a like nature[**] which invited the king to take this friendly step. But what is remarkable, in James's proclamation for that purpose he plainly supposes, that as he had himself, while king of Scotland, always lived in amity with Spain, peace was attached to his person; and that merely by his accession to the crown of England, without any articles of treaty or agreement, he had ended the war between the kingdoms.[***] This ignorance of the law of nations may appear surprising in a prince who was thirty-six years of age, and who had reigned from his infancy; did we not consider that a king of Scotland, who lives in close friendship with England, has few transactions to manage with foreign princes, and has little opportunity of acquiring experience. Unhappily for James, his timidity, his prejudices, his indolence, his love of amusement, particularly of hunting, to which he was much addicted, ever prevented him from making any progress in the knowledge or practice of foreign politics, and in a little time diminished that regard which all the neighboring nations had paid to England during the reign of his predecessor.[****]
     * 23d June., 1603.

     ** Grotii Annal. lib xii.

     *** See Proclamations during the first seven years of King
     James Winwood, vol. ii. p. 65.

     **** Mémoires do la Boderia, vol i p. 64,181, 195, 217, 302;
     vol. ii p. 214, 278.



We are now to relate an event, one of the most memorable that history has conveyed to posterity, and containing at once a singular proof both of the strength and weakness of the human mind; its widest departure from morals, and most steady attachment to religious prejudices. It is the "gunpowder treason" of which I speak; a fact as certain as it appears incredible.
The Roman Catholics had expected great favor and indulgence on the accession of James, both as he was descended from Mary, whose life they believed to have been sacrificed to their cause, and as he himself, in his early youth, was imagined to have shown some partiality towards them, which nothing, they thought, but interest and necessity had since restrained. It is pretended, that he had even entered into positive engagements to tolerate their religion as soon as he should mount the throne of England; whether their credulity had interpreted in this sense some obliging expressions of the king's, or that he had employed such an artifice in order to render them favorable to his title.[*]
     * State Trials, vol. ii. p. 201, 202, 203. Winwood, vol. ii.
     p. 49.
Very soon they discovered their mistake; and were at once surprised and enraged to find James on all occasions express his intention of strictly executing the laws enacted against them, and of persevering in all the rigorous measures of Elizabeth. Catesby, a gentleman of good parts and of an ancient family, first thought of a most extraordinary method of revenge; and he opened his intention to Piercy, a descendant of the illustrious house of Northumberland. In one of their conversations with regard to the distressed condition of the Catholics, Piercy having broken into a sally of passion, and mentioned assassinating the king, Catesby took the opportunity of revealing to him a nobler and more extensive plan of treason, which not only included a sure execution of vengeance, but afforded some hopes of restoring the Catholic religion in England. "In vain," said he, "would you put an end to the king's life: he has children, who would succeed both to his crown and to his maxims of government. In vain would you extinguish the whole royal family: the nobility, the gentry, the parliament are all infected with the same heresy, and could raise to the throne another prince and another family, who, besides their hatred to our religion, would be animated with revenge for the tragical death of their predecessors. To serve any good purpose, we must destroy, at one blow, the king, the royal family, the lords, the commons; and bury all our enemies in one common ruin. Happily, they are all assembled on the first meeting of the parliament, and afford us the opportunity of glorious and useful vengeance. Great preparations will not be requisite. A few of us, combining, may run a mine below the hall in which they meet; and choosing the very moment when the king harangues both houses, consign over to destruction these determined foes to all piety and religion. Meanwhile, we ourselves standing aloof, safe and unsuspected, shall triumph in being the instruments of divine wrath, and shall behold with pleasure those sacrilegious walls, in which were passed the edicts for proscribing our church and butchering her children, tossed into a thousand fragments; while their impious inhabitants, meditating, perhaps, still new persecutions against us, pass from flames above to flames below, there forever to endure the torments due to their offences."[*]
Piercy was charmed with this project of Catesby; and they agreed to communicate the matter to a few more, and among the rest to Thomas Winter, whom they sent over to Flanders in quest of Fawkes, an officer in the Spanish service, with whose zeal and courage they were all thoroughly acquainted. When they enlisted any new conspirator, in order to bind him to secrecy, they always, together with an oath, employed the communion, the most sacred rite of their religion.[**] And it is remarkable, that no one of these pious devotees ever entertained the least compunction with regard to the cruel massacre which they projected, of whatever was great and eminent in the nation. Some of them only were startled by the reflection, that of necessity many Catholics must be present, as spectators or attendants on the king, or as having seats in the house of peers: but Tesmond, a Jesuit, and Garnet, superior of that order in England, removed these scruples, and showed them how the interests of religion required that the innocent should here be sacrificed with the guilty.
     * History of the Gunpowder Treason.

     ** State Trials, vol. i. p. 190, 198, 210.
All this passed in the spring and summer of the year 1604; when the conspirators also hired a house in Piercy's name, adjoining to that in which the parliament was to assemble. Towards the end of that year, they began their operations. That they might be less interrupted, and give less suspicion to the neighborhood, they carried in store of provisions with them, and never desisted from their labor. Obstinate in their purpose, and confirmed by passion, by principle, and by mutual exhortation, they little feared death in comparison of a disappointment; and having provided arms, together with the instruments of their labor, they resolved there to perish in case of a discovery. Their perseverance advanced the work; and they soon pierced the wall, though three yards in thickness; but on approaching the other side, they were somewhat startled at hearing a noise which they knew not how to account for.
Upon inquiry, they found that it came from the vault below the house of lords; that a magazine of coals had been kept there; and that, as the coals were selling off, the vault would be let to the highest bidder. The opportunity was immediately seized; the place hired by Piercy; thirty-six barrels of powder lodged in it; the whole covered up with fagots and billets; the doors of the cellar boldly flung open; and every body admitted, as if it contained nothing dangerous.
Confident of success, they now began to look forward, and to plan the remaining part of their project. The king, the queen, Prince Henry, were all expected to be present at the opening of parliament. The duke, by reason of his tender age, would be absent; and it was resolved that Piercy should seize him, or assassinate him. The princess Elizabeth, a child likewise, was kept at Lord Harrington's house in Warwickshire; and Sir Everard Digby, Rookwood, Grant, being let into the conspiracy, engaged to assemble their friends on pretence of a hunting match, and seizing that princess, immediately to proclaim her queen. So transported were they with rage against their adversaries, and so charmed with the prospect of revenge, that they forgot all care of their own safety; and trusting to the general confusion which must result from so unexpected a blow, they foresaw not that the fury of the people, now unrestrained by any authority, must have turned against them, and would probably have satiated itself by a universal massacre of the Catholics.
The day so long wished for now approached, on which the parliament was appointed to assemble. The dreadful secret, though communicated to above twenty persons, had been religiously kept during the space of near a year and a half. No remorse, no pity, no fear of punishment, no hope of reward, had as yet induced any one conspirator either to abandon the enterprise, or make a discovery of it. The holy fury had extinguished in their breast every other motive; and it was an indiscretion at last, proceeding chiefly from these very bigoted prejudices and partialities, which saved the nation.
Ten days before the meeting of parliament, Lord Monteagle, a Catholic, son to Lord Morley, received the following letter, which had been delivered to his servant by an unknown hand: "My Lord,—Out of the love I bear to some of your friends, I have a care of your preservation. Therefore I would advise you, as you tender your life, to devise some excuse to shift off your attendance at this parliament For God and man have concurred to punish the wickedness of this time. And think not slightly of this advertisement; but retire yourself into your country, where you may expect the event in safety. For though there be no appearance of any stir, yet, I say, they will receive a terrible blow this parliament, and yet they shall not see who hurts them. This counsel is not to be contemned, because it may do you good, and can do you no harm: for the danger is past as soon as you have burned the letter. And I hope God will give you the grace to make good use of it, unto whose holy protection I commend you."[*]
     * King James's Works, p. 227.
Monteagle knew not what to make of this letter; and though inclined to think it a foolish attempt to frighten and ridicule him, he judged it safest to carry it to Lord Salisbury, secretary of state. Though Salisbury, too, was inclined to pay little attention to it, he thought proper to lay it before the king, who came to town a few days after. To the king it appeared not so light a matter; and from the serious, earnest style of the letter, he conjectured that it implied something dangerous and important A "terrible blow," and yet "the authors concealed;" a danger so "sudden," and yet so "great;" these circumstances seemed all to denote some contrivance by gun powder; and it was thought advisable to inspect all the vaults below the houses of parliament. This care belonged to the earl of Suffolk, lord chamberlain, who purposely delayed the search till the day before the meeting of parliament. He remarked those great piles of wood and fagots which lay in the vault under the upper house; and he cast his eye upon Fawkes, who stood in a dark corner, and passed himself for Piercy's servant. That daring and determined courage which so much distinguished this conspirator, even among those heroes in villany, was fully painted in his countenance, and was not passed unnoticed by the chamberlain.[*] Such a quantity also of fuel, for the use of one who lived so little in town as Piercy, appeared a little extraordinary;[**] and upon comparing all circumstances, it was resolved that a more thorough inspection should be made. About midnight, Sir Thomas Knevet, a justice of peace, was sent with proper attendants; and before the door of the vault finding Fawkes, who had just finished all his preparations, he immediately seized him, and turning over the fagots, discovered the powder. The matches, and every thing proper for setting fire to the train, were taken in Fawkes's pocket; who, finding his guilt now apparent, and seeing no refuge but in boldness and despair, expressed the utmost regret that he had lost the opportunity of firing the powder at once, and of sweetening his own death by that of his enemies.[***] Before the council he displayed the same intrepid firmness, mixed even with scorn and disdain; refusing to discover his accomplices, and showing no concern but for the failure of the enterprise.[****] This obstinacy lasted two or three days: but being confined to the Tower, left to reflect on his guilt and danger, and the rack being just shown to him, his courage, fatigued with so long an effort, and unsupported by hope or society, at last failed him, and he made a full discovery of all the conspirators.[v]
     * King James's Works, p. 229.

     ** King James's Works, p. 229.

     *** King James's Works, p. 230.

     **** Winwood, vol. ii. p. 173.

     v    King James's Works, p. 231.
Catesby, Piercy, and the other criminals who were in London, though they had heard of the alarm taken at a letter sent to Monteagle; though they had heard of the chamberlain's search; yet were resolved to persist to the utmost, and never abandon their hopes of success.[*] 50 But at last, hearing that Fawkes was arrested, they hurried down to Warwickshire; where Sir Everard Digby, thinking himself assured that success had attended his confederates, was already in arms, in order to seize the princess Elizabeth. She had escaped into Coventry; and they were obliged to put themselves on their defence against the country, who were raised from all quarters and armed by the sheriff. The conspirators, with all their attendants, never exceeded the number of eighty persons; and being surrounded on every side, could no longer entertain hopes either of prevailing or escaping. Having therefore confessed themselves, and received absolution, they boldly prepared for death, and resolved to sell their lives as dear as possible to the assailants. But even this miserable consolation was denied them. Some of their powder took fire, and disabled them for defence.[**] The people rushed in upon them. Piercy and Catesby were killed by one shot. Digby, Rookwood, Winter, and others, being taken prisoners, were tried, confessed their guilt, and died, as well as Garnet, by the hands of the executioner. Notwithstanding this horrid crime, the bigoted Catholics were so devoted to Garnet, that they fancied miracles to be wrought by his blood;[***] and in Spain he was regarded as a martyr.[****]
Neither had the desperate fortune of the conspirators urged them to this enterprise, nor had the former profligacy of their lives prepared them for so great a crime. Before that audacious attempt, their conduct seems, in general, to be liable to no reproach. Catesby's character had entitled him to such regard, that Rookwood and Digby were seduced by their implicit trust in his judgment; and they declared that, from the motive alone of friendship to him, they were ready, on any occasion, to have sacrificed their lives.[v] Digby himself was as highly esteemed and beloved as any man in England; and he had been particularly honored with the good opinion of Queen Elizabeth.
     * See note XX, at the end of the volume.

     ** State Trials, vol. i. p. 199. Discourse of the Manner,
     etc. p. 69, 70.

     *** Winwood, vol. ii. p. 300.

     **** Winwood, vol. ii. p. 300.

     v State Trials, vol. i. p. 201.
It was bigoted zeal alone, the most absurd of prejudices masked with reason, the most criminal of passions covered with the appearance of duty, which seduced them into measures that were fatal to themselves, and had so nearly proved fatal to their country.[*]
The lords Mordaunt and Stourton, two Catholics, were fined, the former ten thousand pounds, the latter four thousand, by the star chamber; because their absence from parliament had begotten a suspicion of their being acquainted with the conspiracy. The earl of Northumberland was fined thirty thousand pounds, and detained several years prisoner in the Tower, because, not to mention other grounds of suspicion, he had admitted Piercy into the number of gentlemen pensioners without his taking the requisite oaths.[**]
The king, in his speech to the parliament, observed that, though religion had engaged the conspirators in so criminal an attempt, yet ought we not to involve all the Roman Catholics in the same guilt, or suppose them equally disposed to commit such enormous barbarities. Many holy men, he said, and our ancestors among the rest, had been seduced to concur with that church in her scholastic doctrines, who yet had never admitted her seditious principles concerning the pope's power of dethroning kings, or sanctifying assassination. The wrath of Heaven is denounced against crimes, but innocent error may obtain its favor; and nothing can be more hateful than the uncharitableness of the Puritans, who condemn alike to eternal torments even the most inoffensive partisans of Popery. For his part, he added, that conspiracy, however atrocious, should never alter in the least his plan of government: while with one hand he punished guilt, with the other he would still support and protect innocence.[***] After this speech he prorogued the parliament till the twenty-second of January.[****]
     * Digby, after his condemnation, said, in a letter to his
     wife, "Now for my intention, let me tell you, that if I had
     thought there had been the least sin in the plot, I would
     not have been of it for all the world; and no other cause
     drew me to hazard my fortune and life, but zeal to God's
     religion." He expresses his surprise to hear that any
     Catholics had condemned it. Digby's Papers, published by
     Secretary Coventry.

     * Camden, in Kennet, p. 692.

     * King James's Works, p. 503, 504.

     * The parliament this session passed an act obliging every
     one to take the oath of allegiance; a very moderate test,
     since it decided no controverted points between the two
     religions, and only engaged the persons who took it to
     abjure the pope's power of dethroning kings. See King
     James's Works p. 250.
The moderation, and, I may say, magnanimity of the king immediately after so narrow an escape from a most detestable conspiracy, was nowise agreeable to his subjects. Their animosity against Popery, even before this provocation, has risen to a great pitch; and it had perhaps been more prudent in James, by a little dissimulation, to have conformed himself to it. His theological learning, confirmed by disputation, has happily fixed his judgment in the Protestant faith; yet was his heart a little biased by the allurements of Rome; and he had been well pleased, if the making of some advances could have effected a union with that ancient mother church. He strove to abate the acrimony of his own subjects against the religion of their fathers: he became himself the object of their diffidence and aversion. Whatever measures he embraced—in Scotland to introduce prelacy, in England to enforce the authority of the established church, and support its rites and ceremonies—were interpreted as so many steps towards Popery; and were represented by the Puritans as symptoms of idolatry and superstition. Ignorant of the consequences, or unwilling to sacrifice to politics his inclination, which he called his conscience, he persevered in the same measures, and gave trust and preferment, almost indifferently, to his Catholic and Protestant subjects. And finding his person, as well as his title, less obnoxious to the church of Rome, than those of Elizabeth, he gradually abated the rigor of those laws which had been enacted against that church, and which were so acceptable to his bigoted subjects. But the effects of these dispositions on both sides became not very sensible till towards the conclusion of his reign.
At this time, James seems to have possessed the affections even of his English subjects, and, in a tolerable degree, their esteem and regard. Hitherto their complaints were chiefly levelled against his too great constancy in his early friendships; a quality which, had it been attended with more economy, the wise would have excused, and the candid would even, perhaps, have applauded. His parts, which were not despicable, and his learning, which was great, being highly extolled by his courtiers and gownmen, and not yet tried in the management of any delicate affairs, for which he was unfit, raised a high idea of him in the world; nor was it always through flattery or insincerity that he received the title of the second Solomon. A report, which was suddenly spread about this time of his being assassinated, visibly struck a great consternation into all orders of men.[*] The commons also abated, this session, somewhat of their excessive frugality, and granted him an aid, payable in four years, of three subsidies and six fifteenths, which, Sir Francis Bacon said in the house,[**] might amount to about four hundred thousand pounds; and for once the king and parliament parted in friendship and good humor. The hatred which the Catholics so visibly bore him, gave him, at this time, an additional value in the eyes of his people. The only considerable point in which the commons incurred his displeasure, was by discovering their constant good will to the Puritans, in whose favor they desired a conference with the lords;[***] which was rejected.
The chief affair transacted next session, was the intended union of the two kingdoms.[****] Nothing could exceed the king's passion and zeal for this noble enterprise, but the parliament's prejudice and reluctance against it. There remain two excellent speeches in favor of the union, which it would not be improper to compare together; that of the king,[v] and that of Sir Francis Bacon. Those who affect in every thing such an extreme contempt for James, will be surprised to find that his discourse, both for good reasoning and elegant composition, approaches very near that of a man who was undoubtedly, at that time, one of the greatest geniuses in Europe. A few trivial indiscretions and indecorums may be said to characterize the harangue of the monarch, and mark it for his own. And, in general, so open and avowed a declaration in favor of a measure, while he had taken no care, by any precaution or intrigue, to insure success, may safely be pronounced an indiscretion. But the art of managing parliaments by private interest or cabal, being found hitherto of little use or necessity, had not as yet become a part of English politics. In the common course of affairs, government could be conducted without their assistance; and when their concurrence became necessary to the measures of the crown, it was, generally speaking, except in times of great faction and discontent, obtained without much difficulty.
     * Kennet, p. 696.

     ** Journ. 20th May, 1606

     *** Journ. 5th April, 1606.

     **** Kennet, p 676.

     v King James's Works, p. 509.
The king's influence seems to have rendered the Scottish parliament cordial in all the steps which they took towards the union. Though the advantages which Scotland might hope from that measure were more considerable, yet were the objections too, with regard to that kingdom more striking and obvious. The benefit which must have resulted to England, both by accession of strength and security, was riot despicable; and as the English were by far the greater nation, and possessed the seat of government, the objections, either from the point of honor or from jealousy, could not reasonably have any place among them. The English parliament, indeed, seem to have been swayed merely by the vulgar motive of national antipathy. And they persisted so obstinately in their prejudices, that all the efforts for a thorough union and incorporation ended only in the abolition of the hostile laws formerly enacted between the kingdoms.[*]
     * The commons were even so averse to the union, that they
     had complained in the former session, to the lords, of the
     bishop of Bristol, for writing a book in favor of it; and
     the prelate was obliged to make submissions for this
     offence. The crime imputed to him seems to have consisted in
     his treating of a subject which lay before the parliament:
     so little notion had they as yet of general liberty. See
     Parliamentary History, vol. v. p 108, 109, 110
Some precipitate steps, which the king, a little after his accession, had taken, in order to promote his favorite project, had been here observed to do more injury than service. From his own authority, he had assumed the title of king of Great Britain; and had quartered the arms of Scotland with those of England, in all coins, flags, and ensigns. He had also engaged the judges to make a declaration, that all those who, after the union of the crowns, should be born in either kingdom, were, for that reason alone, naturalized in both. This was a nice question, and, according to the ideas of those times, susceptible of subtle reasoning on both sides. The king was the same: the parliaments were different. To render the people therefore the same, we must suppose that the sovereign authority resided chiefly in the prince, and that these popular assemblies were rather instituted to assist with money and advice, than endowed with any controlling or active powers in the government. "It is evident," says Bacon, in his pleadings on this subject, "that all other commonwealths, monarchies only excepted, do subsist by a law precedent. For where authority is divided amongst many officers, and they not perpetual, but annual or temporary, and not to receive their authority but by election, and certain persons to have voices only in that election, and the like; these are busy and curious frames, which of necessity do presuppose a law precedent, written or unwritten, to guide and direct them: but in monarchies, especially hereditary, that is, when several families or lineages of people do submit themselves to one line, imperial or royal, the submission is more natural and simple; which afterwards, by law subsequent, is perfected, and made more formal; but that is grounded upon nature."[*] It would seem, from this reasoning, that the idea of an hereditary limited monarchy, though implicitly supposed in many public transactions, had scarcely ever as yet been expressly formed by any English lawyer or politician.
Except the obstinacy of the parliament with regard to the union, and an attempt on the king's ecclesiastical jurisdiction,[*] most of their measures, during this session, were sufficiently respectful and obliging; though they still discover a vigilant spirit, and a careful attention towards national liberty. The votes also of the commons show that the house contained a mixture of Puritans, who had acquired great authority among them,[**] and who, together with religious prejudices, were continually suggesting ideas more suitable to a popular than a monarchical form of government. The natural appetite for rule made the commons lend a willing ear to every doctrine which tended to augment their own power and influence.
A petition was moved in the lower house for a more rigorous execution of the laws against Popish recusants and an abatement towards Protestant clergymen who scrupled to observe the ceremonies. Both these points were equally unacceptable to the king; and he sent orders to the house to proceed no further in that matter. The commons were inclined, at first, to consider these orders as a breach of privilege; but they soon acquiesced, when told that this measure of the king's was supported by many precedents during the reign of Elizabeth.[***] Had they been always disposed to make the precedents of that reign the rule of their conduct, they needed never have had any quarrel with any of their monarchs.
The complaints of Spanish depredations were very loud among the English merchants.[****] The lower house sent a message to the lords, desiring a conference with them, in order to their presenting a joint petition to the king on the subject.
     * Bacon's Works, vol. iv. p. 190, 191, edit. 1730.

     ** Journ. 2d December; 5th March, 1606. 25th, 26th June,

     *** Journ. 26th February; 4th, 7th March, 1606. 2d May; 17th
     June, 1607.

     ****Journ. 16th, 17th June, 1607.
The lords took some time to deliberate on this message; because, they said, the matter was weighty and rare. It probably occurred to them, at first, that the parliament's interposing in affairs of state would appear unusual and extraordinary. And to show that in this sentiment they were not guided by court influence, after they had deliberated, they agreed to the conference.
The house of commons began now to feel themselves of such importance, that, on the motion of Sir Edwin Sandys, a member of great authority, they entered, for the first time, an order for the regular keeping of their journals.[*] When all business was finished, the king prorogued the parliament.
     * Journ. 3d July, 1607.
About this time there was an insurrection of the country people in Northamptonshire, headed by one Reynolds, a man of low condition. They went about destroying enclosures; but carefully avoided committing any other outrage. This insurrection was easily suppressed; and, though great lenity was used towards the rioters, yet were some of the ringleaders punished. The chief cause of that trivial commotion seems to have been, of itself, far from trivial. The practice still continued in England of disusing tillage and throwing the land into enclosures, for the sake of pasture. By this means the kingdom was depopulated, at least prevented from increasing so much in people as might have been expected from the daily increase of industry and commerce.
Next year presents us with nothing memorable; but in the spring of the subsequent,
after a long negotiation, was concluded, by a truce of twelve years, that war which, for near half a century, had been carried on with such fury between Spain and the states of the United Provinces. Never contest seemed, at first, more unequal; never contest was finished with more honor to the weaker party. On the side of Spain were numbers, riches, authority, discipline: on the side of the revolted provinces were found the attachment to liberty and the enthusiasm of religion. By her naval enterprises, the republic maintained her armies; and, joining peaceful industry to military valor, she was enabled, by her own force, to support herself, and gradually rely less on those neighboring princes, who, from jealousy to Spain, were at first prompted to encourage her revolt. Long had the pride of that monarchy prevailed over her interest, and prevented her from hearkening to any terms of accommodation with her rebellious subjects. But finding all intercourse cut off between her provinces by the maritime force of the states, she at last agreed to treat with them as a free people, and solemnly to renounce all claim and pretension to their sovereignty.
This chief point being gained, the treaty was easily brought to a conclusion, under the joint mediation and guaranty of France and England. All exterior appearances of honor were paid equally to both crowns: but very different were the sentiments which the states, as well as all Europe, entertained of the princes who wore them. Frugality and vigor, the chief circumstances which procure regard among foreign nations, shone out as conspicuously in Henry as they were deficient in James. To a contempt of the English monarch, Henry seems to have added a considerable degree of jealousy and aversion, which were sentiments altogether without foundation. James was just and fair in all transactions with his allies;[*] but it appears from the memoirs of those times, that each side deemed him partial towards their adversary, and fancied that he had entered into secret measures against them;[**] so little equity have men in their judgments of their own affairs; and so dangerous is that entire neutrality affected by the king of England!
The little concern which James took in foreign affairs, renders the domestic occurrences, particularly those of parliament, the most interesting of his reign. A new session was held this spring; the king, full of hopes of receiving supply; the commons, of circumscribing his prerogative. The earl of Salisbury, now created treasurer on the death of the earl of Dorset, laid open the king's necessities, first to the peers, then to a committee of the lower house.[***]
     * The plan of accommodation which James recommended is found
     in Winwood, (vol. ii. p. 429, 430,) and is the same that was
     recommended by Henry, as we learn from Jeanin, (tom. iii. p.
     416, 417.) It had long been imagined by historians, from
     Jeanin's authority, that James had declared to the court of
     Spain, that he would not support the Dutch in their
     pretensions to liberty and independence. But it has since
     been discovered by Winwood's Memorials, (vol. ii. p. 456,
     466, 469, 475, 476,) that that report was founded on a lie
     of President Richardot's.

     ** Winwood and Jeanin, passim.

     *** Journ. 17th Feb. 1609. Kennet, p. 681.
He insisted on the unavoidable expense incurred in supporting the navy, and in suppressing a late insurrection in Ireland: he mentioned three numerous courts which the king was obliged to maintain, for himself, for the queen, and for the prince of Wales: he observed that Queen Elizabeth, though a single woman, had received very large supplies in the years preceding her death, which alone were expensive to her: and he remarked, that during her reign she had alienated many of the crown lands; an expedient which, though it supplied her present necessities, without laying burdens on her people, extremely multiplied the necessities of her successor. From all these causes he thought it nowise strange that the king's income should fall short so great a sum as eighty-one thousand pounds of his stated and regular expense; without mentioning contingencies, which ought always to be esteemed a fourth of the yearly charges. And as the crown was now necessarily burdened with a great and urgent debt of three hundred thousand pounds, he thence inferred the absolute necessity of an immediate and large supply from the people. To all these reasons, which James likewise urged in a speech addressed to both houses, the commons remained inexorable. But not to shock the king with an absolute refusal, they granted him one subsidy and one fifteenth; which would scarcely amount to a hundred thousand pounds. And James received the mortification of discovering in vain all his wants, and of begging aid of subjects who had no reasonable indulgence or consideration for him.
Among the many causes of disgust and quarrel which now daily and unavoidably multiplied between prince and parliament, this article of money is to be regarded as none of the least considerable. After the discovery and conquest of the West Indies, gold and silver became every day more plentiful in England, as well as in the rest of Europe; and the price of all commodities and provisions rose to a height beyond what had been known since the declension of the Roman empire. As the revenue of the crown rose not in proportion,[*] the prince was insensibly reduced to poverty amidst the general riches of his subjects, and required additional funds in order to support the same magnificence and force which had been maintained by former monarchs. But, while money thus flowed into England, we may observe, that, at the same time, and probably from that very cause, arts and industry of all kinds received a mighty increase; and elegance in every enjoyment of life became better known and more cultivated among all ranks of people.
     * Besides the great alienation of the crown lands, the fee-
     farm rents never increased, and the other lands were let on
     long leases and at a great undervalue, little or nothing
     above the old rent.
The king's servants, both civil and military, his courtiers, his ministers, demanded more ample supplies from the impoverished prince, and were not contented with the same simplicity of living which had satisfied their ancestors. The prince himself began to regard an increase of pomp and splendor as requisite to support the dignity of his character, and to preserve the same superiority above his subjects which his predecessors had enjoyed. Some equality, too, and proportion to the other sovereigns of Europe, it was natural for him to desire; and as they had universally enlarged their revenue, and multiplied their taxes, the king of England deemed it reasonable that his subjects, who were generally as rich as theirs, should bear with patience some additional burdens and impositions.
Unhappily for the king, those very riches, with the increasing knowledge of the age, bred opposite sentiments in his subjects; and, begetting a spirit of freedom and independence, disposed them to pay little regard either to the entreaties or menaces of their sovereign. While the barons possessed their former immense property and extensive jurisdictions, they were apt, at every disgust, to endanger the monarch, and throw the whole government into confusion; but this confusion often, in its turn, proved favorable to the monarch, and made the nation again submit to him, in order to reëstablish justice and tranquillity. After the power of alienations, as well as the increase of commerce, had thrown the balance of property into the hands of the commons, the situation of affairs, and the dispositions of men, became susceptible of a more regular plan of liberty; and the laws were not supported singly by the authority of the sovereign. And though in that interval, after the decline of the peers, and before the people had yet experienced their force, the princes assumed an exorbitant power, and had almost annihilated the constitution under the weight of their prerogative; as soon as the commons recovered from their lethargy, they seem to have been astonished at the danger, and were resolved to secure liberty by firmer barriers than their ancestors had hitherto provided for it.
Had James possessed a very rigid frugality, he might have warded off this crisis somewhat longer; and waiting patiently for a favorable opportunity to increase and fix his revenue, might have secured the extensive authority transmitted to him. On the other hand, had the commons been inclined to act with more generosity and kindness towards their prince, they might probably have turned his necessities to good account, and have bribed him to depart peaceably from the more dangerous articles of his prerogative. But he was a foreigner, and ignorant of the arts of popularity; they were soured by religious prejudices, and tenacious of their money: and in this situation it is no wonder, that during this whole reign we scarcely find an interval of mutual confidence and friendship between prince and parliament.
The king, by his prerogative alone, had some years before altered the rates of the customs, and had established higher impositions on several kinds of merchandise. This exercise of power will naturally, to us, appear arbitrary and illegal; yet, according to the principles and practices of that time, it might admit of some apology. The duties of tonnage and poundage were at first granted to the crown by a vote of parliament, and for a limited time; and as the grant frequently expired and was renewed, there could not then arise any doubt concerning the origin of the king's right to levy these duties; and this imposition, like all others, was plainly derived from the voluntary consent of the people. But as Henry V., and all the succeeding sovereigns, had the revenue conferred on them for life, the prince, so long in possession of these duties, began gradually to consider them as his own proper right and inheritance, and regarded the vote of parliament as a mere formality, which rather expressed the acquiescence of the people in his prerogative, than bestowed any new gift or revenue upon him.
The parliament, when it first granted poundage to the crown, had fixed no particular rates: the imposition was given as a shilling in a pound, or five percent, on all commodities: it was left to the king himself and the privy council, aided by the advice of such merchants as they should think proper to consult, to fix the value of goods, and thereby the rates of the customs: and as that value had been settled before the discovery of the West Indies, it was become much inferior to the prices which almost all commodities bore in every market in Europe; and consequently the customs on many goods, though supposed to be five per cent., was in reality much inferior. The king, therefore, was naturally led to think, that rates which were now plainly false, ought to be corrected;[*] that a valuation of commodities, fixed by one act of the privy council, might be amended by another; that if his right to poundage were inherent in the crown, he should also possess, of himself, the right of correcting its inequalities; if this duty were granted by the people, he should at least support the spirit of the law, by fixing a new and a juster valuation of all commodities. But, besides this reasoning, which seems plausible, if not solid, the king was supported in that act of power by direct precedents, some in the reign of Mary, some in the beginning of Elizabeth.[**] Both these princesses had, without consent of parliament, altered the rates of commodities; and as their impositions had all along been submitted to without a murmur, and still continued to be levied, the king had no reason to apprehend that a further exertion of the same authority would give any occasion of complaint. That less umbrage might be taken, he was moderate in the new rates which he established: the customs, during his whole reign, rose only from one hundred and twenty-seven thousand pounds a year to one hundred and ninety thousand; though, besides the increase of the rates, there was a sensible increase of commerce and industry during that period: every commodity, besides, which might serve to the subsistence of the people, or might be considered as a material of manufactures, was exempted from the new impositions of James;[***] but all this caution could not prevent the complaints of the commons.
     * Winwood, vol. ii. p. 438.

     ** Journ. 18th April; 5th and 10th May, 1614, etc.; 20th
     February 1625. See also Sir John Davis's Question concerning
     Impositions. p. 127, 128.

     *** Sir John Davis's Question concerning Impositions.
A spirit of liberty had now taken possession of the house: the leading members, men of an independent genius and large views, began to regulate their opinions more by the future consequences which they foresaw, than by the former precedents which were set before them; and they less aspired at maintaining the ancient constitution, than at establishing a new one, and a freer, and a better. In their remonstrances to the king on this occasion, they observed it to be a general opinion, "That the reasons of that practice might be extended much further, even to the utter ruin of the ancient liberty of the kingdom, and the subjects' right of property in their lands and goods."[*] Though expressly forbidden by the king to touch his prerogative, they passed a bill abolishing these impositions; which was rejected by the house of lords.
In another address to the king, they objected to the practice of borrowing upon privy seals, and desired that the subjects should not be forced to lend money to his majesty, nor give a reason for their refusal. Some murmurs likewise were thrown out in the house against a new monopoly of the license of wines.[**] It must be confessed, that forced loans and monopolies were established on many and ancient as well as recent precedents; though diametrically opposite to all the principles of a free government.[***] 51
The house likewise discovered some discontent against the king's proclamations. James told them, "That though he well knew, by the constitution and policy of the kingdom, that proclamations were not of equal force with laws, yet he thought it a duty incumbent on him, and a power inseparably annexed to the crown, to restrain and prevent such mischiefs and inconveniencies as he saw growing on the state, against which no certain law was extant, and which might tend to the great detriment of the subject, if there should be no remedy provided till the meeting of a parliament. And this prerogative," he adds, "our progenitors have in all times used and enjoyed."[****] The intervals between sessions, we may observe, were frequently so long as to render it necessary for a prince to interpose by his prerogative. The legality of this exertion was established by uniform and undisputed practice; and was even acknowledged by lawyers, who made, however, this difference between laws and proclamations, that the authority of the former was perpetual, that of the latter expired with the sovereign who emitted them.[v] But what the authority could be which bound the subject, yet was different from the authority of laws, and inferior to it, seems inexplicable by any maxims of reason or politics: and in this instance, as in many others, it is easy to see how inaccurate the English constitution was, before the parliament was enabled, by continued acquisitions or encroachments, to establish it on fixed principles of liberty.
     * Journ. 28th May, 1610.

     ** Parliament. Hist. vol. v. p. 241.

     *** See note YY, at the end of the volume.

     **** Parliament. Hist. vol. v. p. 250.

     v    Journ. 12th May, 1624.
Upon the settlement of the reformation, that extensive branch of power which regards ecclesiastical matters, being then without an owner, seemed to belong to the first occupant; and Henry VIII. failed not immediately to seize it, and to exert it even to the utmost degree of tyranny. The possession of it was continued with Edward, and recovered by Elizabeth; and that ambitious princess was so remarkably jealous of this flower of her crown, that she severely reprimanded the parliament if they ever presumed to intermeddle in these matters; and they were so overawed by her authority as to submit, and to ask pardon on these occasions. But James's parliaments were much less obsequious. They ventured to lift up their eyes, and to consider this prerogative. They there saw a large province of government, possessed by the king alone, and scarcely ever communicated with the parliament. They were sensible that this province admitted not of any exact boundary or circumscription. They had felt that the Roman pontiff, in former ages, under pretence of religion, was gradually making advances to usurp the whole civil power. They dreaded still more dangerous consequences from the claims of their own sovereign, who resided among them, and who, in many other respects, possessed such unlimited authority. They therefore deemed it absolutely necessary to circumscribe this branch of prerogative; and accordingly, in the preceding session, they passed a bill against the establishment of any ecclesiastical canons without consent of parliament.[*] But the house of lords, as is usual, defended the barriers of the throne, and rejected the bill.
In this session, the commons, after passing anew the same bill, made remonstrances against the proceedings of the high commission court.[**] It required no great penetration to see the extreme danger to liberty, arising in a regal government, from such large discretionary powers as were exercised by that court. But James refused compliance with the application of the commons. He was probably sensible that, besides the diminution of his authority, many inconveniencies must necessarily result from the abolishing of all discretionary power in every magistrate; and that the laws, were they ever so carefully framed and digested, could not possibly provide against every contingency; much less, where they had not as yet attained a sufficient degree of accuracy and refinement.
     * Journ. 2d, 11th December; 5th March, 1606.

     ** Parliament. Hist. vol. v. p. 247. Kennet, p. 681.
But the business which chiefly occupied the commons during this session, was the abolition of wardships and purveyance; prerogatives which had been more or less touched on every session during the whole reign of James. In this affair the commons employed the proper means which might entitle them to success: they offered the king a settled revenue, as an equivalent for the powers which he should part with; and the king was willing to hearken to terms. After much dispute, he agreed to give up these prerogatives for two hundred thousand pounds a year, which they agreed to confer upon him.[*] And nothing remained towards closing the bargain, but that the commons should determine the funds by which this sum should be levied. This session was too far advanced to bring so difficult a matter to a full conclusion; and though the parliament met again towards the end of the year, and resumed the question, they were never able to terminate an affair upon which they seemed so intent. The journals of that session are lost; and as the historians of this reign are very negligent in relating parliamentary affairs, of whose importance they were not sufficiently apprised, we know not exactly the reason of this failure. It only appears, that the king was extremely dissatisfied with the conduct of the parliament, and soon after dissolved it. This was his first parliament, and it sat near seven years.
     * We learn from Winwood's Memorials (vol. ii. p. 193) the
     reason assigned for this particular sum. "From thence my
     lord treasurer came to the price; and here he said, that the
     king would no more rise and fall like a merchant. That he
     would not have a flower of his crown (meaning the court of
     wards) so much tossed; that it was too dainty to be so
     handled; and then he said, that he must deliver the very
     countenance and character of the king's mind out of his own
     handwriting; which before he read, he said he would acquaint
     us with a pleasant conceit of his majesty. As concerning the
     number of ninescore thousand pounds, which was our number,
     he could not affect, because nine was the number of the
     poets, who were always beggars, though they served so many
     muses; and eleven was the number of the apostles, when the
     traitor Judas was away; and therefore might best be affected
     by his majesty: but there was a mean number, which might
     accord us both; and that was ten: which, says my lord
     treasurer, is a sacred number; for so many were God's
     commandments, which tend to virtue and edification." If the
     commons really voted twenty thousand pounds a year more, on
     account of this "pleasant conceit" of the king and the
     treasurer, it was certainly the best paid wit, for its
     goodness, that ever was in the world.
Amidst all these attacks, some more, some less violent, on royal prerogative, the king displayed, as openly as ever, all his exalted notions of monarchy and the authority of princes. Even in a speech to the parliament where he begged for supply, and where he should naturally have used every art to ingratiate himself with that assembly, he expressed himself in these terms: "I conclude, then, the point touching the power of kings, with this axiom of divinity, that, as to dispute what God may do, is blasphemy; but what God wills, that divines may lawfully and do ordinarily dispute and discuss. So is it sedition in subjects to dispute what a king may do in the height of his power. But just kings will ever be willing to declare what they will do, if they will not incur the curse of God. I will not be content that my power be disputed upon; but I shall ever be willing to make the reason appear of my doings, and rule my actions according to my laws."[*] Notwithstanding the great extent of prerogative in that age, these expressions would probably give some offence. But we may observe, that, as the king's despotism was more speculative than practical, so the independency of the commons was, at this time, the reverse; and, though strongly supported by their present situation, as well as disposition, was too new and recent to be as yet founded on systematical principles and opinions.[**] 52
This year was distinguished by a memorable event, which gave great alarm and concern in England; the murder of the French monarch by the poniard of the fanatical Ravaillac. With his death, the glory of the French monarchy suffered an eclipse for some years; and as that kingdom fell under an administration weak and bigoted, factious and disorderly, the Austrian greatness began anew to appear formidable to Europe. In England, the antipathy to the Catholics revived a little upon this tragical event; and some of the laws which had formerly been enacted, in order to keep these religionists in awe, began now to be executed with greater rigor and severity.[***]
     * King James's Works, p. 531.

     ** See note ZZ at the end of the volume.

     *** Kennet, p. 684.
Though James's timidity and indolence fixed him, during most of his reign, in a very prudent inattention to foreign affairs, there happened this year an event in Europe of such mighty consequence as to rouse him from his lethargy, and summon up all his zeal and enterprise. A professor of divinity, named Vorstius, the disciple of Arminius was called from a German to a Dutch university; and as he differed from his Britannic majesty in some nice questions concerning the intimate essence and secret decrees of God, he was considered as a dangerous rival in scholastic fame, and was at last obliged to yield to the legions of that royal doctor, whose syllogisms he might have refuted or eluded. If vigor was wanting in other incidents of James's reign, here he behaved even with haughtiness and insolence; and the states were obliged, after several remonstrances, to deprive Vorstius of his chair, and to banish him their dominions.[*] The king carried no further his animosity against that professor; though he had very charitably hinted to the states, "That, as to the burning of Vorstius for his blasphemies and atheism, he left them to their own Christian wisdom; but surely never heretic better deserved the flames."[**] It is to be remarked, that, at this period, all over Europe, except in Holland alone, the practice of burning heretics still prevailed, even in Protestant countries; and instances were not wanting in England during the reign of James.
To consider James in a more advantageous light, we must take a view of him as the legislator of Ireland; and most of the institutions which he had framed for civilizing that kingdom being finished about this period, it may not here be improper to give some account of them. He frequently boasts of the management of Ireland as his masterpiece; and it will appear, upon inquiry, that his vanity in this particular was not altogether without foundation.
After the subjection of Ireland by Elizabeth, the more difficult task still remained; to civilize the inhabitants, to reconcile them to laws and industry, and to render their subjection durable and useful to the crown of England. James proceeded in this work by a steady, regular, and well-concerted plan; and in the space of nine years, according to Sir John Davis, he made greater advances towards the reformation of that kingdom, than had been made in the four hundred and forty years which had elapsed since the conquest was first attempted.[***]
     * Kennet, p. 715.

     ** King James's Works, p. 355.

     *** King James's Works, p. 259, edit. 1613.
It was previously necessary to abolish the Irish customs, which supplied the place of laws, and which were calculated to keep that people forever in a state of barbarism and disorder.
By the "Brehon" law or custom, every crime, however enormous, was punished, not with death, but by a fine or pecuniary mulct, which was levied upon the criminal. Murder itself, as among all the ancient barbarous nations, was atoned for in this manner; and each man, according to his rank, had a different rate or value affixed to him, which if any one were willing to pay, he needed not fear assassinating his enemy. This rate was called his "eric." When Sir William Fitzwilliams, being lord deputy, told Maguire, that he was to send a sheriff into Fermannah, which a little before had been made a county, and subjected to the English law; "Your sheriff," said Maguire, "shall be welcome to me: but let me know, beforehand, his eric, or the price of his head, that, if my people cut it off, I may levy the money upon the county."[*] As for oppression, extortion, and other trespasses, so little were they regarded, that no penalty was affixed to them, and no redress for such offences could ever be obtained.
The customs of "gavelkinde" and "tanistry" were attended with the same absurdity in the distribution of property.
The land, by the custom of gavelkinde, was divided among all the males of the sept, or family, both bastard and legitimate: and, after partition made if any of the sept died, his portion was not shared out among his sons, but the chieftain, at his discretion, made a new partition of all the lands belonging to that sept, and gave every one his share.[**] As no man, by reason of this custom, enjoyed the fixed property of any land; to build, to plant, to enclose, to cultivate, to improve, would have been so much lost labor.
The chieftains and the tanists, though drawn from the principal families, were not hereditary, but were established by election, or, more properly speaking, by force and violence. Their authority was almost absolute; and, notwithstanding that certain lands were assigned to the office, its chief profit resulted from exactions, dues, assessments, for which there was no fixed law, and which were levied at pleasure.[***]
     * Sir John Davis, p. 166.

     ** Sir John Davis, p. 167

     *** Sir John Davis, p. 173
Hence arose that common by-word among the Irish, "That they dwelt westward of the law which dwelt beyond the river of the Barrow;" meaning the country where the English inhabited, and which extended not beyond the compass of twenty miles, lying in the neighborhood of Dublin.[*]
After abolishing these Irish customs, and substituting English law in their place, James, having taken all the natives under his protection, and declared them free citizens, proceeded to govern them by a regular administration, military at well as civil.
A small army was maintained, its discipline inspected, and its pay transmitted from England, in order to keep the soldiers from preying upon the country, as had been usual in former reigns. When Odoghartie raised an insurrection, a reënforcement was sent over, and the flames of that rebellion were immediately extinguished.
All minds being first quieted by a general indemnity,[**] circuits were established, justice administered, oppression banished, and crimes and disorders of every kind severely punished.[***] As the Irish had been universally engaged in the rebellion against Elizabeth, a resignation of all the rights which had been formerly granted them to separate jurisdictions, was rigorously exacted; and no authority, but that of the king and the law, was permitted throughout the kingdom.[****]
A resignation of all private estates was even required; and when they were restored, the proprietors received them under such conditions as might prevent, for the future, all tyranny and oppression over the common people. The value of the dues which the nobles usually claimed from their vassals, was estimated at a fixed sum, and all further arbitrary exactions prohibited under severe penalties.[v]
The whole province of Ulster having fallen to the crown by the attainder of rebels, a company was established in London for planting new colonies in that fertile country: the property was divided into moderate shares, the largest not exceeding two thousand acres: tenants were brought over from England and Scotland: the Irish were removed from the hills and fastnesses, and settled in the open country: husbandry and the arts were taught them: a fixed habitation secured: plunder and robbery punished: and by these means, Ulster, from being the most wild and disorderly province of all Ireland, soon became the best cultivated and most civilized.[v*]
     * Sir John Davis, p. 237.

     ** Sir John Davis, p. 263.

     *** Sir John Davis, p. 264, 265, etc

     **** Sir John Davis, p. 276.

     v    Sir John Davis, p. 278.
Such were the arts by which James introduced humanity and justice among a people who had ever been buried in the most profound barbarism. Noble cares! much superior to the vain and criminal glory of conquests; but requiring ages of perseverance and attention to perfect what had been so happily begun.
A laudable act of justice was about this time executed in England upon Lord Sanqubir, a Scottish nobleman, who had been guilty of the base assassination of Turner, a fencing master. The English nation, who were generally dissatisfied with the Scots, were enraged at this crime, equally mean and atrocious; but James appeased them, by preferring the severity of law to the intercession of the friends and family of the criminal.[*]
     * Kennet, p. 688.



This year the sudden death of Henry, prince of Wales, diffused a universal grief throughout the nation. Though youth and royal birth, both of them strong allurements, prepossess men mightily in favor of the early age of princes, it is with peculiar fondness that historians mention Henry, and, in every respect, his merit seems to have been extraordinary. He had not reached his eighteenth year, and he already possessed more dignity in his behavior, and commanded more respect, than his father, with all his age, learning, and experience. Neither his high fortune, nor his youth, had seduced him into any irregular pleasures: business and ambition seem to have been his sole passion. His inclinations, as well as exercises, were martial. The French ambassador, taking leave of him, and asking his commands for France, found him employed in the exercise of the pike: "Tell your king," said he, "in what occupation you left me engaged."[*] He had conceived great affection and esteem for the brave Sir Walter Raleigh. It was his saying, "Sure no king but my father would keep such a bird in a cage."[**]
     * The French monarch had given particular orders to his
     ministers to cultivate the prince's friendship; who must
     soon, said he, have chief authority in England, where the
     king and queen are held in so little estimation. See Dep. de
     la Boderie, vol. i. p. 402, 415; vol. ii p. 16, 349.

     ** Coke's Detection, p. 37.
He seems indeed to have nourished too violent a contempt for the king, on account of his pedantry and pusillanimity; and by that means struck in with the restless and martial spirit of the English nation. Had he lived, he had probably promoted the glory, perhaps not the felicity, of his people. The unhappy prepossession which men commonly entertain in favor of ambition, courage, enterprise, and other warlike virtues, engages generous natures, who always love fame, in such pursuits all destroy their own peace, and that of the rest of mankind.
Violent reports were propagated, as if Henry had been carried off by poison; but the physicians, on opening his body, found no symptoms to confirm such an opinion.[*] The bold and criminal malignity of men's tongues and pens spared not even the king on the occasion. But that prince's character seems rather to have failed in the extreme of facility and humanity, than in that of cruelty and violence. His indulgence to Henry was great, and perhaps imprudent, by giving him a large and independent settlement, even in so early youth.
     * Kennet, p. 690. Coke, p. 37. Welwood, p. 272
The marriage of the princess Elizabeth with Frederic, elector palatine, was finished some time after the death of the prince, and served to dissipate the grief which arose on that melancholy event. But this marriage, though celebrated with great joy and festivity, proved itself an unhappy event to the king, as well as to his son-in-law, and had ill consequences on the reputation and fortunes of both. The elector, trusting to so great an alliance, engaged in enterprises beyond his strength: and the king, not being able to support him in his distress, lost entirely, in the end of his life, what remained of the affections and esteem of his own subjects.
Except during sessions of parliament, the history of this reign may more properly be called the history of the court, than that of the nation. An interesting object had for some years engaged the attention of the court; it was a favorite, and one beloved by James with so profuse and unlimited an affection, as left no room for any rival or competitor. About the end of the year 1609, Robert Carre, a youth of twenty years of age, and of a good family in Scotland, arrived in London, after having passed some time in his travels. All his natural accomplishments consisted in good looks: all his acquired abilities in an easy air and graceful demeanor. He had letters of recommendation to his countryman Lord Hay; and that nobleman no sooner cast his eye upon him, than he discovered talents sufficient to entitle him immediately to make a great figure in the government. Apprised of the king's passion for youth and beauty, and exterior appearance, he studied how matters might be so managed that this new object should make the strongest impression upon him. Without mentioning him at court, he assigned him the office, at a match of tilting, of presenting to the king his buckler and device; and hoped that he would attract the attention of the monarch. Fortune proved favorable to his design, by an incident which bore at first a contrary aspect. When Carre was advancing to execute his office, his unruly horse flung him, and broke his leg in the king's presence. James approached him with pity and concern: love and affection arose on the sight of his beauty and tender years; and the prince ordered him immediately to be lodged in the palace, and to be carefully attended. He himself, after the tilting, paid him a visit in his chamber, and frequently returned during his confinement. The ignorance and simplicity of the boy finished the conquest begun by his exterior graces and accomplishments. Other princes have been fond of choosing their favorites from among the lower ranks of their subjects, and have reposed themselves on them with the more unreserved confidence and affection, because the object has been beholden to their bounty for every honor and acquisition: James was desirous that his favorite should also derive from him all his sense, experience, and knowledge. Highly conceited of his own wisdom, he pleased himself with the fancy, that this raw youth, by his lessons and instructions, would, in a little time, be equal to his sagest ministers, and be initiated into all the profound mysteries of government, on which he set so high a value. And as this kind of creation was more perfectly his own work than any other, he seems to have indulged an unlimited fondness for his minion, beyond even that which he bore to his own children. He soon knighted him, created him Viscount Rochester, gave him the garter, brought him into the privy council, and, though at first without assigning him any particular office, bestowed on him the supreme direction of all his business and political concerns. Agreeable to this rapid advancement in confidence and honor, were the riches heaped upon the needy favorite; and while Salisbury and all the wisest ministers could scarcely find expedients sufficient to keep in motion the overburdened machine of government, James, with unsparing hand, loaded with treasures this insignificant and useless pageant.[*]
     * Kennet, p. 685, 686, etc.
It is said, that the king found his pupil so ill educated as to be ignorant even of the lowest rudiments of the Latin tongue; and that the monarch, laying aside the sceptre, took the birch into his royal hand, and instructed him in the principles of grammar. During the intervals of this noble occupation, affairs of state, would be introduced; and the stripling, by the ascendant which he had acquired, was now enabled to repay on political, what he had received in grammatical instruction. Such scenes, and such incidents, are the more ridiculous, though the less odious, as the passion of James seems not to have contained in it any thing criminal or flagitious. History charges herself willingly with a relation of the great crimes, and still more with that of the great virtues, of mankind; but she appears to fall from her dignity, when necessitated to dwell on such frivolous events and ignoble personages.
The favorite was not, at first, so intoxicated with advancement, as not to be sensible of his own ignorance and inexperience. He had recourse to the assistance and advice of a friend; and he was more fortunate in his choice than is usual with such pampered minions. In Sir Thomas Overbury he met with a judicious and sincere counsellor; who, building all hopes of his own preferment on that of the young favorite, endeavored to instil into him the principles of prudence and discretion. By zealously serving every body, Carre was taught to abate the envy which might attend his sudden elevation: by showing a preference for the English, he learned to escape the prejudices which prevailed against his country. And so long as he was content to be ruled by Overbury's friendly counsels, he enjoyed—what is rare—the highest favor of the prince, without being hated by the people.
To complete the measure of courtly happiness, nought was wanting but a kind mistress; and, where high fortune concurred with all the graces of youth and beauty, this circumstance could not be difficult to attain. But it was here that the favorite met with that rock on which all his fortunes were wrecked, and which plunged him forever into an abyss of infamy, guilt, and misery.
No sooner had James mounted the throne of England, than he remembered his friendship for the unfortunate families of Howard and Devereux, who had suffered for their attachment to the cause of Mary and to his own. Having restored young Essex to his blood and dignity, and conferred the titles of Suffolk and Northampton on two brothers of the house of Norfolk, he sought the further pleasure of uniting these families by the marriage of the earl of Essex with Lady Frances Howard, daughter of the earl of Suffolk. She was only thirteen, he fourteen years of age; and it was thought proper, till both should attain the age of puberty that he should go abroad, and pass some time in his travels.[*] He returned into England after four years' absence, and was pleased to find his countess in the full lustre of beauty, and possessed of the love and admiration of the whole court. But, when the earl approached, and claimed the privileges of a husband, he met with nothing but symptoms of aversion and disgust, and a flat refusal of any further familiarities. He applied to her parents, who constrained her to attend him into the country, and to partake of his bed: but nothing could overcome her rigid sullenness and obstinacy; and she still rose from his side without having shared the nuptial pleasures. Disgusted with reiterated denials, he at last gave over the pursuit, and separating himself from her, thenceforth abandoned her conduct to her own will and discretion.
Such coldness and aversion in Lady Essex arose not without an attachment to another object. The favorite had opened his addresses, and had been too successful in making impression on the tender heart of the young countess.[**] She imagined that, so long as she refused the embraces of Essex, she never could be deemed his wife; and that a separation and divorce might still open the way for a new marriage with her beloved Rochester.[***] Though their passion was so violent, and their opportunities of intercourse so frequent, that they had already indulged themselves in all the gratifications of love, they still lamented their unhappy fate, while the union between them was not entire and indissoluble. And the lover, as well as his mistress, was impatient till their mutual ardor should be crowned by marriage.
     * Kennet, p. 686.

     ** Kennet, p. 687.

     *** State Trials, vol. i. p. 228.
So momentous an affair could not be concluded without consulting Overbury, with whom Rochester was accustomed to share all his secrets. While that faithful friend had considered his patron's attachment to the countess of Essex merely as an affair of gallantry, he had favored its progress; and it was partly owing to the ingenious and passionate letters which he dictated, that Rochester had met with such success in his addresses. Like an experienced courtier, he thought that a conquest of this nature would throw a lustre on the young favorite, and would tend still further to endear him to James, who was charmed to hear of the amours of his court, and listened with attention to every tale of gallantry. But great was Overbury's alarm, when Rochester mentioned his design of marrying the countess; and he used every method to dissuade his friend from so foolish an attempt. He represented how invidious, how difficult an enterprise to procure her a divorce from her husband: how dangerous, how shameful, to take into his own bed a profligate woman, who, being married to a young nobleman of the first rank, had not scrupled to prostitute her character, and to bestow favors on the object of a capricious and momentary passion. And in the zeal of friendship, he went so far as to threaten Rochester, that he would separate himself forever from him, if he could so far forget his honor and his interest as to prosecute the intended marriage.[*]
Rochester had the weakness to reveal this conversation to the countess of Essex; and when her rage and fury broke out against Overbury, he had also the weakness to enter into her vindictive projects, and to swear vengeance against his friend, for the utmost instance which he could receive of his faithful friendship. Some contrivance was necessary for the execution of their purpose. Rochester addressed himself to the king; and after complaining, that his own indulgence to Overbury had begotten in him a degree of arrogance which was extremely disagreeable, he procured a commission for his embassy to Russia; which he represented as a retreat for his friend, both profitable and honorable. When consulted by Overbury, he earnestly dissuaded him from accepting this offer, and took on himself the office of satisfying the king, if he should be anywise displeased with the refusal.[**] To the king again, he aggravated the insolence of Overbury's conduct, and obtained a warrant for committing him to the Tower, which James intended as a slight punishment for his disobedience. The lieutenant of the Tower was a creature of Rochester's, and had lately been put into the office for this very purpose: he confined Overbury so strictly, that the unhappy prisoner was debarred the sight even of his nearest relations, and no communication of any kind was allowed with him during near six months which he lived in prison.
     * State Trials, vol. i. p. 235, 236, 252. Franklyn, p. 14.

     ** State Trials, vol. i. p. 236, 237, etc.
This obstacle being removed, the lovers pursued their purpose; and the king himself, forgetting the dignity of his character, and his friendship for the family of Essex, entered zealously into the project of procuring the countess a divorce from her husband. Essex also embraced the opportunity of separating himself from a bad woman, by whom he was hated; and he was willing to favor their success by any honorable expedient. The pretence for a divorce was his incapacity to fulfil the conjugal duties; and he confessed that, with regard to the countess, he was conscious of such an infirmity, though he was not sensible of it with regard to any other woman. In her place, too, it is said, a young virgin was substituted under a mask, to undergo a legal inspection by a jury of matrons. After such a trial, seconded by court influence, and supported by the ridiculous opinion of fascination or witchcraft, the sentence of divorce was pronounced between the earl of Essex and his countess.[*] And, to crown the scene, the king, solicitous lest the lady should lose any rank by her new marriage, bestowed on his minion the title of earl of Somerset.
Notwithstanding this success, the countess of Somerset was not satisfied till she should further satiate her revenge on Overbury: and she engaged her husband, as well as her uncle, the earl of Northampton, in the atrocious design of taking him off secretly by poison. Fruitless attempts were reiterated by weak poisons; but at last they gave him one so sudden and violent, that the symptoms were apparent to every one who approached him.[**] His interment was hurried on with the greatest precipitation; and though a strong suspicion immediately prevailed in the public, the full proof of the crime was not brought to light till some years after.
     * State Trials, vol. i. p. 223, 224, etc.

     ** Franklyn's Annais. p. 2, 3, etc.
The fatal catastrophe of Overbury increased or begot the suspicion that the prince of Wales had been carried off by poison given him by Somerset. Men considered not that the contrary inference was much juster. If Somerset was so great a novice in this detestable art, that, during the course of five months, a man who was his prisoner and attended by none but his emissaries, could not be despatched but in so bungling a manner, how could it be imagined, that a young prince, living in his own court, surrounded by his own friends and domestics, could be exposed to Somerset's attempts, and be taken off by so subtile a poison, if such a one exist, as could elude the skill of the most experienced physicians?
The ablest minister that James ever possessed, the earl of Salisbury, was dead.[*] Suffolk, a man of slender capacity, had succeeded him in his office; and it was now his task to supply, from an exhausted treasury, the profusion of James and of his young favorite. The title of baronet, invented by Salisbury, was sold; and two hundred patents of that species of knighthood were disposed of for so many thousand pounds; each rank of nobility had also its price affixed to it:[**] privy seals were circulated to the amount of two hundred thousand pounds: benevolences were exacted to the amount of fifty-two thousand pounds:[***] and some monopolies, of no great value, were erected. But all these expedients proved insufficient to supply the king's necessities; even though he began to enter into some schemes for retrenching his expenses.[****] However small the hopes of success, a new parliament must be summoned, and this dangerous expedient—for such it was now become—once more be put to trial.
When the commons were assembled, they discovered an extraordinary alarm, on account of the rumor which was spread abroad concerning "undertakers."[v] It was reported, that several persons, attached to the king, had entered into a confederacy; and having laid a regular plan for the new elections, had distributed their interest all over England, and had undertaken to secure a majority for the court. So ignorant were the commons, that they knew not this incident to be the first infallible symptom of any regular or established liberty. Had they been contented to follow the maxims of their predecessors, who, as the earl of Salisbury said to the last parliament, never, but thrice in six hundred years, refused a supply,[v*] they needed not dread that the crown should ever interest itself in their elections. Formerly the kings even insisted, that none of their household should be elected members; and though the charter was afterwards declared void, Henry VI., from his great favor to the city of York, conferred a peculiar privilege on its citizens, that they should be exempted from this trouble.[v**]
     * 14th of May, 1612.

     ** Franklyn, p. 11, 33.

     *** Franklyn, p. 10.

     **** Franklyn, p. 49.

     v   Parliament. Hist. vol. v. p. 286. Kennet, p. 696. Journ.
     12th April; 2d May, 1614, etc. Franklyn, p. 48.

     v*  Journ. 17th Feb. 1609. It appears, however, that
     Salisbury was somewhat mistaken in this fact; and if the
     kings were not oftener refused supply by the parliament, it
     was only because they would not often expose themselves to
     the hazard of being refused: but it in certain that English
     parliaments did anciently carry their frugality to an
     extreme, and seldom could be prevailed upon to give the
     necessary support to government.

     v** Coke's Institutes, part iv. chap. I, of Charters of
It is well known, that, in ancient times, a seat in the house being considered as a burden, attended neither with honor nor profit, it was requisite for the counties and boroughs to pay fees to their representatives. About this time, a seat began to be regarded as an honor, and the country gentlemen contended for it; though the practice of levying wages for the parliament men was not altogether discontinued. It was not till long after, when liberty was thoroughly established, and popular assemblies entered into every branch of public business, that the members began to join profit to honor, and the crown found it necessary to distribute among them all the considerable offices of the kingdom.
So little skill, or so small means, had the courtiers in James's reign for managing elections, that this house of commons showed rather a stronger spirit of liberty than the foregoing; and instead of entering upon the business of supply, as urged by the king, who made them several liberal offers of grace,[*] they immediately resumed the subject which had been opened last parliament, and disputed his majesty's power of levying new customs and impositions, by the mere authority of his prerogative. It is remarkable, that, in their debates on this subject, the courtiers frequently pleaded, as a precedent, the example of all the other hereditary monarchs in Europe, and particularly mentioned the kings of France and Spain; nor was this reasoning received by the house either with surprise or indignation.[**] The members of the opposite party either contented themselves with denying the justness of the inference, or they disputed the truth of the observation.[***] And a patriot member in particular, Sir Roger Owen, even in arguing against the impositions, frankly allowed, that the king of England was endowed with as ample a power and prerogative as any prince in Christendom.[****] The nations on the continent, we may observe, enjoyed still, in that age, some small remains of liberty; and the English were possessed of little more.
     * Journ. 11th April, 1614.

     ** Journ. 21st May, 1614.

     *** Journ. 12th, 21st May, 1614.

     **** Journ. 18th April, 1614.
The commons applied to the lords for a conference with regard to the new impositions. A speech of Neile, bishop of Lincoln, reflecting on the lower house, begat some altercation with the peers;[*] 53 and the king seized the opportunity of dissolving, immediately, with great indignation, a parliament which had shown so firm a resolution of retrenching his prerogative, without communicating, in return, the smallest supply to his necessities. He carried his resentment so far, as even to throw into prison some of the members who had been the most forward in their opposition to his measures.[**] In vain did he plead, in excuse for this violence, the example of Elizabeth, and other princes of the line of Tudor, as well as Plantagenet. The people and the parliament, without abandoning forever all their liberties and privileges, could acquiesce in none of these precedents, how ancient and frequent soever. And were the authority of such precedents admitted, the utmost that could be inferred is, that the constitution of England was, at that time, an inconsistent fabric, whose jarring and discordant parts must soon destroy each other, and from the dissolution of the old, beget some new form of civil government, more uniform and consistent.
     * See note AAA, at the end of the volume.

     ** Kennet, p. 696.
In the public and avowed conduct of the king and the house of commons, throughout this whole reign, there appears sufficient cause of quarrel and mutual disgust; yet are we not to imagine that this was the sole foundation of that jealousy which prevailed between them. During debates in the house, it often happened that a particular member, more ardent and zealous than the rest, would display the highest sentiments of liberty, which the commons contented themselves to hear with silence and seeming approbation; and the king, informed of these harangues, concluded the whole house to be infected with the same principles, and to be engaged in a combination against his prerogative. The king, on the other hand, though he valued himself extremely on his kingcraft, and perhaps was not altogether incapable of dissimulation, seems to have been very little endowed with the gift of secrecy; but openly at his table, in all companies, inculcated those monarchical tenets which he had so strongly imbibed. Before a numerous audience, he had expressed himself with great disparagement of the common law of England, and had given the preference, in the strongest terms, to the civil law: and for this indiscretion he found himself obliged to apologize, in a speech to the former parliament.[*] As a specimen of his usual liberty of talk, we may mention a story, though it passed some time after, which we meet with in the life of Waller, and which that poet used frequently to repeat. When Waller was young, he had the curiosity to go to court; and he stood in the circle, and saw James dine; where, among other company, there sat at table two bishops, Neile and Andrews. The king proposed aloud this question, Whether he might not take his subjects' money, when he needed it, without all this formality of parliament? Neile replied, "God forbid you should not: for you are the breath of our nostrils." Andrews declined answering, and said he was not skilled in parliamentary cases: but upon the king's urging him, and saying he would admit of no evasion, the bishop replied pleasantly, "Why, then, I think your majesty may lawfully take my brother Neile's money; for he offers it."[**]
The favorite had hitherto escaped the inquiry of justice; but he had not escaped that still voice which can make itself be heard amidst all the hurry and flattery of a court, and astonishes the criminal with a just representation of his most secret enormities. Conscious of the murder of his friend, Somerset received small consolation from the enjoyments of love, or the utmost kindness and indulgence of his sovereign. The graces of his youth gradually disappeared, the gayety of his manners was obscured, his politeness and obliging behavior were changed into sullenness and silence. And the king, whose affections had been engaged by these superficial accomplishments, began to estrange himself from a man who no longer contributed to his amusement.
The sagacious courtiers observed the first symptoms of this disgust: Somerset's enemies seized the opportunity, and offered a new minion to the king. George Villiers, a youth of one-and-twenty, younger brother of a good family, returned at this time from his travels, and was remarked for the advantages of a handsome person, genteel air, and fashionable apparel. At a comedy, he was purposely placed full in James's eye, and immediately engaged the attention, and, in the same instant, the affections of that monarch.[***] Ashamed of his sudden attachment, the king endeavored, but in vain, to conceal the partiality which he felt for the handsome stranger; and he employed all his profound politics to fix him in his service, without seeming to desire it.
     * King James's Works, p. 532.

     ** Preface to Waller's Works.

     *** Franklyn, p. 50. Kennet, vol. ii. p. 698.
He declared his resolution not to confer any office on him, unless entreated by the queen; and he pretended, that it should only be in complaisance to her choice he would agree to admit him near his person. The queen was immediately applied to; but she, well knowing the extreme to which the king carried these attachments, refused, at first, to lend her countenance to this new passion. It was not till entreated by Abbot, archbishop of Canterbury, a decent prelate, and one much prejudiced against Somerset, that she would condescend to oblige her husband, by asking this favor of him.[*] And the king, thinking now that all appearances were fully saved, no longer constrained his affection, but immediately bestowed the office of cup-bearer on young Villiers.
     * Coke, p. 46, 47. Rush, vol. i. p. 456.
The whole court was thrown into parties between the two minions: while some endeavored to advance the rising fortunes of Villiers, others deemed it safer to adhere to the established credit of Somerset. The king himself, divided between inclination and decorum, increased the doubt and ambiguity of the courtiers; and the stern jealousy of the old favorite, who refused every advance of friendship from his rival, begat perpetual quarrels between their several partisans. But the discovery of Somerset's guilt in the murder of Overbury at last decided the controversy, and exposed him to the ruin and infamy which he so well merited.
An apothecary's apprentice, who had been employed in making up the poisons, having retired to Flushing, began to talk very freely of the whole secret; and the affair at last came to the ears of Trumbal, the king's envoy in the Low Countries. By his means, Sir Ralph Winwood, secretary of state, was informed; and he immediately carried the intelligence to James. The king, alarmed and astonished to find such enormous guilt in a man whom he had admitted into his bosom, sent for Sir Edward Coke, chief justice, and earnestly recommended to him the most rigorous and unbiased scrutiny. This injunction was executed with great industry and severity: the whole labyrinth of guilt was carefully unravelled: the lesser criminals, Sir Jervis Elvis, lieutenant of the Tower, Franklin, Weston, Mrs. Turner, were first tried and condemned: Somerset and his countess were afterwards found guilty. Northampton's death, a little before, had saved him from a like fate.
It may not be unworthy of remark, that Coke, in the trial of Mrs. Turner, told her that she was guilty of the seven deadly sins: she was a whore, a bawd, a sorcerer, a witch, a Papist, a felon, and a murderer.[*] And, what may more surprise us, Bacon, then attorney-general, took care to observe, that poisoning was a Popish trick.[**] Such were the bigoted prejudices which prevailed: poisoning was not of itself sufficiently odious, if it were not represented as a branch of Popery. Stowe tells us, that when the king came to Newcastle, on his first entry into England, he gave liberty to all the prisoners, except those who were confined for treason, murder, and Papistry. When one considers these circumstances, that furious bigotry of the Catholics which broke out in the gunpowder conspiracy, appears the less surprising.
All the accomplices in Overbury's murder received the punishment due to their crime: but the king bestowed a pardon on the principals, Somerset and the countess. It must be confessed, that James's fortitude had been highly laudable, had he persisted in his first intention of consigning over to severe justice all the criminals: but let us still beware of blaming him too harshly, if, on the approach of the fatal hour, he scrupled to deliver into the hands of the executioner persons whom he had once favored with his most tender affections. To soften the rigor of their fate, after some years' imprisonment, he restored them to their liberty, and conferred on them a pension, with which they retired, and languished out old age in infamy and obscurity. Their guilty loves were turned into the most deadly hatred; and they passed many years together in the same house, without any intercourse or correspondence with each other.[***]
Several historians,[****] in relating these events, have insisted much on the dissimulation of James's behavior, when he delivered Somerset into the hands of the chief justice; on the insolent menaces of that criminal; on his peremptory refusal to stand a trial; and on the extreme anxiety of the king during the whole progress of this affair.
     * State Trials, vol. i. p. 230.

     ** State Trials, vol. i. p. 242.

     *** Kennet, p. 699.

     **** Coke, Weldon, etc.
Allowing all these circumstances to be true, of which some are suspicious, if not palpably false,[*] the great remains of tenderness which James still felt for Somerset, may, perhaps, be sufficient to account for them. That favorite was high-spirited, and resolute rather to perish than live under the infamy to which he was exposed. James was sensible, that the pardoning of so great a criminal, which was of itself invidious, would become still more unpopular, if his obstinate and stubborn behavior on his trial should augment the public hatred against him.[**] At least, the unreserved confidence in which the king had indulged his favorite for several years, might render Somerset master of so many secrets, that it is impossible, without further light, to assign the particular reason of that superiority which, it is said, he appeared so much to assume.
The fall of Somerset, and his banishment from court, opened the way for Villiers to mount up at once to the full height of favor, of honors, and of riches. Had James's passion been governed by common rules of prudence, the office of cup-bearer would have attached Villiers to his person, and might well have contented one of his age and family; nor would any one, who was not cynically austere, have much censured the singularity of the king's choice in his friends and favorites. But such advancement was far inferior to the fortune which he intended for his minion. In the course of a few years, he created him Viscount Villiers, earl, marquis, and duke of Buckingham, knight of the garter, master of the horse, chief justice in eyre, warden of the cinque ports, master of the king's bench office, steward of Westminster, constable of Windsor, and lord high admiral of England. His mother obtained the title of countess of Buckingham: his brother was created Viscount Purbeck; and a numerous train of needy relations were all pushed up into credit and authority. And thus the fond prince, while he meant to play the tutor to his favorite, and to train him up in the rules of prudence and politics, took an infallible method, by loading him with premature and exorbitant honors, to render him, forever, rash, precipitate, and insolent.
     * See Biog. Brit, article Coke, p. 1384.

     ** Bacon, vol.iv. p. 617.

     *** Franklyn, p. 30. Clarendon, 8vo. edit. vol. i. p. 10
A young minion to gratify with pleasure, a necessitous family to supply with riches, were enterprises too great for the empty exchequer of James. In order to obtain a little money, the cautionary towns must be delivered up to the Dutch; a measure which has been severely blamed by almost all historians; and I may venture to affirm, that it has been censured much beyond its real weight and importance.
When Queen Elizabeth advanced money for the support of the infant republic, besides the view of securing herself against the power and ambition of Spain, she still reserved the prospect of reimbursement; and she got consigned into her hands the three important fortresses of Flushing, the Brille, and Rammekins, as pledges for the money due to her. Indulgent to the necessitous condition of the states, she agreed that the debt should bear no interest; and she stipulated, that if ever England should make a separate peace with Spain, she should pay the troops which garrisoned those fortresses.[*]
After the truce was concluded between Spain and the United Provinces, the states made an agreement with the king, that the debt, which then amounted to eight hundred thousand pounds, should be discharged by yearly payments of forty thousand pounds; and as five years had elapsed, the debt was now reduced to six hundred thousand pounds; and in fifteen years more, if the truce were renewed, it would be finally extinguished.[**]
     * Rymer, tom. xvi. p. 341. Winwood, vol. ii. p. 351.

     ** Sir Dudley Carleton's Letters, p. 27, 28.
But of this sum, twenty-six thousand pounds a year were expended on the pay of the garrisons: the remainder alone accrued to the king: and the states, weighing these circumstances, thought that they made James a very advantageous offer, when they expressed their willingness, on the surrender of the cautionary towns to pay him immediately two hundred and fifty thousand pounds, and to incorporate the English garrisons in their army. It occurred also to the king, that even the payment of the forty thousand pounds a year was precarious, and depended on the accident that the truce should be renewed between Spain and the republic: if war broke out, the maintenance of the garrisons lay upon England alone; a burden very useless, and too heavy for the slender revenues of that kingdom: that even during the truce, the Dutch, straitened by other expenses, were far from being regular in their payments; and the garrisons were at present in danger of mutinying for want of subsistence: that the annual sum of fourteen thousand pounds, the whole saving on the Dutch payments, amounted, in fifteen years, to no more than two hundred and ten thousand pounds; whereas two hundred and fifty thousand pounds were offered immediately, a larger sum; and if money be computed at ten per cent., the current interest more than double the sum to which England was entitled:[*] that if James waited till the whole debt were discharged, the troops which composed the garrisons remained a burden upon him, and could not be broken, without receiving some consideration for their past services: that the cautionary towns were only a temporary restraint upon the Hollanders; and, in the present emergence, the conjunction of interest between England and the republic was so intimate as to render all other ties superfluous; and no reasonable measures for mutual support would be wanting from the Dutch, even though freed from the dependence of these garrisons: that the exchequer of the republic was at present very low, insomuch that they found difficulty, now that the aids of France were withdrawn, to maintain themselves in that posture of defence which was requisite during the truce with Spain: and that the Spaniards were perpetually insisting with the king on the restitution of these towns, as belonging to their crown; and no cordial alliance could ever be made with that nation, while they remained in the hands of the English.[**] These reasons, together with his urgent wants, induced the king to accept of Caron's offer; and he evacuated the cautionary towns, which held the states in a degree of subjection, and which an ambitious and enterprising prince would have regarded as his most valuable possessions. This is the date of the full liberty of the Dutch commonwealth.
     * An annuity of fourteen thousand pounds during fifteen
     years, money being at ten per cent., is worth, on
     computation, only one hundred and six thousand five hundred
     pounds; whereas the king received two hundred and fifty
     thousand pounds. Yet the bargain was good for the Dutch, as
     well as the king; because they were both of them freed from
     the maintenance of useless garrisons.

     ** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 3.
When the crown of England devolved on James, it might have been foreseen by the Scottish nation, that the independence of their kingdom, the object for which their ancestors had shed so much blood, would now be lost; and that, if both states persevered in maintaining separate laws and parliaments, the weaker would more sensibly feel the subjection, than if it had been totally subdued by force of arms. But these views did not generally occur. The glory of having given a sovereign to their powerful enemy, the advantages of present peace and tranquillity, the riches acquired from the munificence of their master; these considerations secured their dutiful obedience to a prince who daily gave such sensible proofs of his friendship and partiality towards them. Never had the authority of any king who resided among them, been so firmly established as was that of James, even when absent; and as the administration had been hitherto conducted with great order and tranquillity, there had happened no occurrence to draw thither our attention. But this summer the king was resolved to pay a visit to his native country, in order to renew his ancient friendships and connections, and to introduce that change of ecclesiastical discipline and government on which he was extremely intent. The three chief points of this kind, which James proposed to accomplish by his journey to Scotland, were the enlarging of episcopal authority, the establishing of a few ceremonies in public worship, and the fixing of a superiority in the civil above the ecclesiastical jurisdiction.
But it is an observation suggested by all history, and by none more than by that of James and his successor, that the religious spirit, when it mingles with faction, contains in it something supernatural and unaccountable; and that, in its operations upon society, effects correspond less to their known causes than is found in any other circumstance of government; a reflection which may at once afford a source of blame against such sovereigns as lightly innovate in so dangerous an article, and of apology for such as, being engaged in an enterprise of that nature, are disappointed of the expected event, and fail in their undertakings.
When the Scottish nation was first seized with that zeal for reformation, which, though it caused such disturbance during the time, has proved so salutary in the consequences, the preachers, assuming a character little inferior to the prophetic or apostolical, disdained all subjection to the spiritual rulers of the church, by whom their innovations were punished and opposed. The revenues of the dignified clergy, no longer considered as sacred, were either appropriated by the present possessors, or seized by the more powerful barons; and what remained, after mighty dilapidations, was, by act of parliament, annexed to the crown. The prelates, however, and abbots, maintained their temporal jurisdictions and their seats in parliament; and though laymen were sometimes endowed with ecclesiastical titles, the church, notwithstanding its frequent protestations to the contrary, was still supposed to be represented by those spiritual lords in the states of the kingdom. After many struggles, the king, even before his accession to the throne of England, had acquired sufficient influence over the Scottish clergy, to extort from them an acknowledgment of the parliamentary jurisdiction of bishops; though attended with many precautions, in order to secure themselves against the spiritual encroachments of that order.[*] When king of England, he engaged them, though still with great reluctance on their part, to advance a step further, and to receive the bishops as perpetual presidents or moderators in their ecclesiastical synods; reiterating their protestations against all spiritual jurisdiction of the prelates, and all controlling power over the presbyters.[**] And by such gradual innovations, the king flattered himself that he should quietly introduce episcopal authority: but as his final scope was fully seen from the beginning, every new advance gave fresh occasion of discontent, and aggravated, instead of softening, the abhorrence entertained against the prelacy.
     * 1598.

     ** 1606.
What rendered the king's aim more apparent, were the endeavors which, at the same time, he used to introduce into Scotland some of the ceremonies of the church of England: the rest, it was easily foreseen, would soon follow. The fire of devotion, excited by novelty, and inflamed by opposition, had so possessed the minds of the Scottish reformers, that all rites and ornaments, and even order of worship, were disdainfully rejected as useless burdens; retarding the imagination in its rapturous ecstasies, and cramping the operations of that divine spirit by which they supposed themselves to be animated. A mode of worship was established, the most naked and most simple imaginable; one that borrowed nothing from the senses, but reposed itself entirely on the contemplation of that divine essence which discovers itself to the understanding only. This species of devotion, so worthy of the Supreme Being, but so little suitable to human frailty, was observed to occasion great disturbances in the breast, and in many respects to confound all rational principles of conduct and behavior. The mind, straining for these extraordinary raptures, reaching them by short glances, sinking again under its own weakness, rejecting all exterior aid of pomp and ceremony, was so occupied in this inward life, that It fled from every intercourse of society, and from every cheerful amusement which could soften or humanize the character. It was obvious to all discerning eyes, and had not escaped the king's, that, by the prevalence of fanaticism, a gloomy and sullen disposition established itself among the people; a spirit obstinate and dangerous; independent and disorderly; animated equally with a contempt of authority, and a hatred to every other mode of religion, particularly to the Catholic. In order to mellow these humors, James endeavored to infuse a small tincture of ceremony into the national worship, and to introduce such rites as might, in some degree, occupy the mind, and please the senses, without departing too far from that simplicity by which the reformation was distinguished. The finer arts too, though still rude in these northern kingdoms, were employed to adorn the churches; and the king's chapel, in which an organ was erected, and some pictures and statues displayed, was proposed as a model to the rest of the nation. But music was grating to the prejudiced ears of the Scottish; clergy; sculpture and painting appeared instruments of idolatry the surplice was a rag of Popery; and every motion or gesture prescribed by the liturgy, was a step towards that spiritual Babylon, so much the object of their horror and aversion. Every thing was deemed impious but their own mystical comments on the Scriptures, which they idolized, and whose Eastern prophetic style they employed in every common occurrence.
It will not be necessary to give a particular account of the ceremonies which the king was so intent to establish. Such institutions, for a time, are esteemed either too divine to have proceeded from any other being than the Supreme Creator of the universe, or too diabolical to have been derived from any but an infernal demon. But no sooner is the mode of the controversy past, than they are universally discovered to be of so little importance, as scarcely to be mentioned with decency amidst the ordinary course of human transactions. It suffices here to remark, that the rites introduced by James regarded the kneeling at the sacrament, private communion, private baptism, confirmation of children, and the observance of Christmas and other festivals.[*]
     * Franklyn, p. 25. Spotswood.
The acts establishing these ceremonies were afterwards known by the name of the Articles of Perth, from the place where they were ratified by the assembly.
A conformity of discipline and worship between the churches of England and Scotland, which was James's aim, he never could hope to establish, but by first procuring an acknowledgment of his own authority in all spiritual causes; and nothing could be more contrary to the practice as well as principles of the Presbyterian clergy. The ecclesiastical courts possessed the power of pronouncing excommunication; and that sentence, besides the spiritual consequences supposed to follow from it, was attended with immediate effects of the most important nature. The person excommunicated was shunned by every one as profane and impious; and his whole estate, during his lifetime, and all his movables, forever, were forfeited to the crown. Nor were the previous steps requisite before pronouncing this sentence, formal or regular, in proportion to the weight of it. Without accuser, without summons, without trial, any ecclesiastical court, however inferior, sometimes pretended, in a summary manner, to denounce excommunication, for any cause, and against any person, even though he lived not within the bounds of their jurisdiction.[*] And, by this means, the whole tyranny of the inquisition, though without its order, was introduced into the kingdom.
But the clergy were not content with the unlimited jurisdiction which they exercised in ecclesiastical matters: they assumed a censorial power over every part of administration; and, in all their sermons, and even prayers, mingling politics with religion, they inculcated the most seditious and most turbulent principles. Black, minister of St. Andrew's, went so far,[**] in a sermon, as to pronounce all kings the devil's children; he gave the queen of England the appellation of atheist; he said, that the treachery of the king's heart was now fully discovered; and in his prayers for the queen he used these words: "We must pray for her for the fashion's sake, but we have no cause: she will never do us any good." When summoned before the privy council, he refused to answer to a civil court for any thing delivered from the pulpit, even though the crime of which he was accused was of a civil nature. The church adopted his cause. They raised a sedition in Edinburgh.[***]
     * Spotswood.

     ** 1596.

     *** 17th Dec. 1596.
The king, during some time, was in the hands of the enraged populace; and it was not without courage, as well as dexterity, that he was able to extricate himself.[*] A few days after, a minister, preaching in the principal church of that capital, said, that the king was possessed with a devil; and that, one devil being expelled, seven worse had entered in his place.[**] To which he added, that the subjects might lawfully rise, and take the sword out of his hand. Scarcely, even during the darkest night of Papal superstition, are there found such instances of priestly encroachments, as the annals of Scotland present to us during that period.
By these extravagant stretches of power, and by the patient conduct of James, the church began to lose ground, even before the king's accession to the throne of England; but no sooner had that event taken place, than he made the Scottish clergy sensible that he was become the sovereign of a great kingdom, which he governed with great, authority. Though formerly he would have thought himself happy to have made a fair partition with them of the civil and ecclesiastical authority, he was now resolved to exert a supreme jurisdiction in church as well as state, and to put an end to their seditious practices. An assembly had been summoned at Aberdeen;[***] but, on account of his journey to London, he prorogued it to the year following. Some of the clergy, disavowing his ecclesiastical supremacy, met at the time first appointed, notwithstanding his prohibition. He threw them into prison. Such of them as submitted, and acknowledged their error, were pardoned. The rest were brought to their trial. They were condemned for high treason. The king gave them their lives, but banished them the kingdom. Six of them suffered this penalty.[****]
The general assembly was afterwards induced[v] to acknowledge the king's authority in summoning ecclesiastical courts, and to submit to the jurisdiction and visitation of the bishops Even their favorite sentence of excommunication was declared invalid, unless confirmed by the ordinary. The king recommended to the inferior courts the members whom they should elect to this assembly; and every thing was conducted in it with little appearance of choice and liberty.[v*]
     * Spotswood.

     ** Spotswood.

     *** July, 1604.

     **** Spotswood.

     V    6th June, 1610.

     v*   Spotswood.
By his own prerogative, likewise, which he seems to have stretched on this occasion, the king erected a court of high commission,[*] in imitation of that which was established in England. The bishops and a few of the clergy, who had been summoned, willingly acknowledged this court; and it proceeded immediately upon business, as if its authority had been grounded on the full consent of the whole legislature.
But James reserved the final blow for the time when he should himself pay a visit to Scotland. He proposed to the parliament, which was then assembled, that they should enact, that "whatever his majesty should determine in the external government of the church, with the consent of the archbishops, bishops, and a competent number of the ministry, should have the force of law."[**] What number should be deemed competent was not determined; and their nomination was left entirely to the king: so that his ecclesiastical authority, had this bill passed, would have been established in its full extent. Some of the clergy protested. They apprehended, they said, that the purity of their church would, by means of this new authority, be polluted with all the rites and liturgy of the church of England. James, dreading clamor and opposition dropped the bill, which had already passed the lords of articles; and asserted, that the inherent prerogative of the crown contained more power than was recognized by it. Some time after, he called, at St. Andrew's, a meeting of the bishops and thirty-six of the most eminent clergy. He there declared his resolution of exerting his prerogative, and of establishing, by his own authority, the few ceremonies which he had recommended to them. They entreated him rather to summon a general assembly, and to gain their assent. An assembly was accordingly summoned to meet on the twenty-fifth of November ensuing.
     * 15th Feb. 1610.

     ** Spotswood. Franklyn, p. 29.
Yet this assembly, which met after the king's departure from Scotland, eluded all his applications; and it was not till the subsequent year, that he was able to procure a vote for receiving his ceremonies. And through every step in this affair, in the parliament as well as in all the general assemblies, the nation betrayed the utmost reluctance to all these innovations, and nothing but James's importunity and authority had extorted a seeming consent, which was belied by the inward sentiments of all ranks of people. Even the few over whom religious prejudices were not prevalent, thought national honor sacrificed by a servile imitation of the modes worship practised in England. And every prudent man agreed in condemning the measures of the king, who, by an ill-timed zeal for insignificant ceremonies, had betrayed, though in an opposite manner, equal narrowness of mind with the persons whom he treated with such contempt. It was judged that, had not these dangerous humors been irritated by opposition; had they been allowed peaceably to evaporate; they would at last have subsided within the limits of law and civil authority; and that, as all fanatical religions naturally circumscribe to very narrow bounds the numbers and riches of the ecclesiastics, no sooner is their first fire spent, than they lose their credit over the people, and leave them under the natural and beneficent influence of their civil and moral obligations.
At the same time that James shocked, in so violent a manner, the religious principles of his Scottish subjects, he acted in opposition to those of his English. He had observed, in his progress through England, that a Judaical observance of the Sunday, chiefly by means of the Puritans, was every day gaining ground throughout the kingdom; and that the people, under color of religion, were, contrary to former practice debarred such sports, and recreations as contributed both to their health and their amusement.[*] Festivals, which, in other nations and ages, are partly dedicated to public worship, partly to mirth and society, were here totally appropriated to the offices of religion, and served to nourish those sullen and gloomy contemplations to which the people were, of themselves, so unfortunately subject. The king imagined, that it would be easy to infuse cheerfulness into this dark spirit of devotion. He issued a proclamation to allow and encourage, after divine service, all kinds of lawful games and exercises; and, by his authority, he endeavored to give sanction to a practice which his subjects regarded as the utmost instance of profaneness and impiety.[**]
     * Kennet, p. 709.

     ** Franklyn, p. 31.
To show how rigid the English, chiefly the Puritans, were become in this particular, a bill was introduced into the house of commons, in the eighteenth of the king, for the more strict observance of the Sunday, which they affected to the Sabbath. One Shepherd opposed this bill, objected to the appellation of Sabbath as Puritanical, defended dancing by the example of David, and seems even to have justified sports on that day. For this profaneness he was expelled the house, by the suggestion of Mr. Pym the house of lords opposed so far this Puritanical spirit of the commons that they proposed that the appellation of Sabbath should be changed into that of the Lord's day.[*]
     * Journ. 15th, 16th, Feb. 1620. 28th May, 1621. In
     Shepherd's sentence, his offence is said by the house to be
     great, exorbitant, unparalleled.



At the time when Sir Waller Raleigh was first confined in the Tower, his violent and haughty temper had rendered him the most unpopular man in England; and his condemnation was chiefly owing to that public odium under which he labored. During the thirteen years' imprisonment which he suffered, the sentiments of the nation were much changed with regard to him. Men had leisure to reflect on the hardship, not to say injustice, of his sentence; they pitied his active and enterprising spirit, which languished in the rigors of confinement; they were struck with the extensive genius of the man, who, being educated amidst naval and military enterprises, had surpassed, in the pursuits of literature, even those of the most recluse and sedentary lives; and they admired his unbroken magnanimity, which, at his age, and under his circumstances, could engage him to undertake and execute so great a work as his History of the World. To increase these favorable dispositions, on which he built the hopes of recovering his liberty, he spread the report of a golden mine which he had discovered in Guiana, and which was sufficient, according to his representation, not only to enrich all the adventurers, but to afford immense treasures to the nation. The king gave little credit to these mighty promises; both because he believed that no such mine as the one described was any where in nature, and because he considered Raleigh as a man of desperate fortunes, whose business it was, by any means, to procure his freedom, and to reinstate himself in credit and authority. Thinking, however, that he had already undergone sufficient punishment, he released him from the Tower; and when his vaunts of the golden mine had induced multitudes to engage with him, the king gave them permission to try the adventure, and, at their desire, he conferred on Raleigh authority over his fellow-adventurers. Though strongly solicited, he still refused to grant him a pardon, which he deemed a natural consequence, when he was intrusted with power and command. But James declared himself still diffident of Raleigh's intentions; and he meant, he said, to reserve the former sentence, as a check upon his future behavior.
Raleigh well knew that it was far from the king's purpose to invade any of the Spanish settlements: he therefore firmly denied that Spain had planted any colonies on that part of the coast where his mine lay. When Gondomar, the ambassador of that nation, alarmed at his preparations, carried complaints to the king, Raleigh still protested the innocence of his intentions; and James assured Gondomar, that he durst not form any hostile attempt, but should pay with his head for so audacious an enterprise. The minister, however, concluding that twelve armed vessels were not fitted out without some purpose of invasion, conveyed the intelligence to the court of Madrid, who immediately gave orders for arming and fortifying all their settlements, particularly those along the coast of Guiana.
When the courage and avarice of the Spaniards and Portuguese had discovered so many new worlds, they were resolved to show themselves superior to the barbarous heathens whom they invaded, not only in arts and arms, but also in the justice of the quarrel: they applied to Alexander VI.., who then filled the papal chair; and he generously bestowed on the Spaniards the whole western, and on the Portuguese the whole eastern part of the globe. The more scrupulous Protestants, who acknowledged not the authority of the Roman pontiff, established the first discovery as the foundation of their title; and if a pirate or sea adventurer of their nation had but erected a stick or a stone on the coast, as a memorial of his taking possession, they concluded the whole continent to belong to them, and thought themselves entitled to expel or exterminate, as usurpers, the ancient possessors and inhabitants It was in this manner that Sir Walter Raleigh, about twenty-three years before, had acquired to the crown of England a claim to the continent of Guiana, a region as large as the half of Europe; and though he had immediately left the coast, yet he pretended that the English title to the whole remained certain and indefeasible. But it had happened in the mean time, that the Spaniards, not knowing, or not acknowledging, this imaginary claim, had taken possession of a part of Guiana, had formed a settlement on the River Oronooko, had built a little town called St. Thomas, and were there working some mines of small value.
To this place Raleigh directly bent his course; and, remaining himself at the mouth of the river with five of the largest ships, he sent up the rest to St. Thomas, under the command of his son, and of Captain Keymis, a person entirely devoted to him. The Spaniards, who had expected this invasion, fired on the English at their landing, were repulsed, and pursued into the town. Young Raleigh, to encourage his men, called out, "That this was the true mine, and none but fools looked for any other;" and, advancing upon the Spaniards, received a shot, of which he immediately expired. This dismayed not Keymis and the others. They carried on the attack, got possession of the town, which they afterwards reduced to ashes; and found not in it any thing of value.
Raleigh did not pretend that he had himself seen the mine which he had engaged so many people to go in quest of: it was Keymis, he said, who had formerly discovered it, and had brought him that lump of ore, which promised such immense treasures. Yet Keymis, who owned that he was within two hours' march of the place, refused, on the most absurd pretences, to take any effectual step towards finding it; and he returned immediately to Raleigh, with the melancholy news of his son's death, and the ill success of the enterprise. Sensible to reproach, and dreading punishment for his behavior, Keymis, in despair, retired into his cabin, and put an end to his own life.
The other adventurers now concluded, that they were deceived by Raleigh; that he never had known of any such mine as he pretended to go in search of; that his intention had ever been to plunder St. Thomas; and having encouraged his company by the spoils of that place, to have thence proceeded to the invasion of the other Spanish settlements; that he expected to repair his ruined fortunes by such daring enterprises; and that he trusted to the money he should acquire, for making his peace with England; or, if that view failed him, that he purposed to retire into some other country, where his riches would secure his retreat.
The small acquisitions gained by the sack of St. Thomas discouraged Raleigh's companions from entering into these views; though there were many circumstances in the treaty and late transactions between the nations, which might invite them to engage in such a piratical war against the Spaniards.
When England made peace with Spain, the example of Henry IV. was imitated, who, at the treaty of Vervins, finding a difficulty in adjusting all questions with regard to the Indian trade, had agreed to pass over that article in total silence.
The Spaniards, having all along published severe edicts against the this silence in their own favor, and considered it as a tacit acquiescence of England in the established laws of Spain. The English, on the contrary, pretended that, as they had never been excluded by any treaty from commerce with any part of the king of Spain's dominions, it was still as lawful for them to trade with his settlements in either Indies, as with his European territories. In consequence of this ambiguity, many adventurers from England sailed to the Spanish Indies, and met with severe punishment when caught; as they, on the other hand, often stole, and when superior in power, forced a trade with the inhabitants, and resisted, nay, sometimes plundered, the Spanish governors. Violences of this nature, which had been carried to a great height on both sides, it was agreed to bury in total oblivion; because of the difficulty which was found in remedying them upon any fixed principles.
But as there appeared a great difference between private adventurers in single ships, and a fleet acting under a royal commission, Raleigh's companions thought it safest to return immediately to England, and carry him along with them to answer for his conduct. It appears that he employed many artifices, first to engage them to attack the Spanish settlements, and, failing of that, to make his escape into France: but, all these proving unsuccessful, he was delivered into the king's hands, and strictly examined, as well as his fellow-adventurers, before the privy council. The council, upon inquiry, found no difficulty in pronouncing, that the former suspicions, with regard to Raleigh's intentions, had been well grounded; that he had abused the king in the representations which he had made of his projected adventure; that, contrary to his instructions, he had acted in an offensive and hostile manner against his majesty's allies; and that he had wilfully burned and destroyed a town belonging to the king of Spain. He might have been tried either by common law, for this act of violence and piracy; or by martial law, for breach of orders: but it was an established principle among lawyers,[*] that, as he lay under an actual attainder for high treason, he could not be brought to a new trial for any other crime. To satisfy, therefore the court of Spain, which raised the loudest complaints against him, the king made use of that power which he had purposely reserved in his own hands, and signed the warrant for his execution upon his former sentence.[**] 54
     * See this matter discussed in Bacon's Letters published by
     Dr Birch, p. 181.

     ** See note BBB, at the end of the volume.
Raleigh, finding his fate inevitable, collected all his courage and though he had formerly made use of many mean artifices, such as feigning madness, sickness, and a variety of diseases, in order to protract his examination, and procure his escape, he now resolved to act his part with bravery and resolution, "'Tis a sharp remedy," he said, "but a sure one for all ills," when he felt the edge of the axe by which he was to be beheaded.[*] His harangue to the people was calm and eloquent; and he endeavored to revenge himself, and to load his enemies with the public hatred, by strong asseverations of facts, which, to say the least, may be esteemed very doubtful.[**] With the utmost indifference he laid his head upon the block, and received the fatal blow; and in his death there appeared the same great, but ill-regulated mind, which, during his life, had displayed itself in all his conduct and behavior.
     * Franklyn, p. 32.

     ** He asserted, in the most solemn manner, that he had
     nowise contributed to Essex's death: but the last letter in
     Murden's Collection contains the strongest proof of the
No measure of James's reign was attended with more public dissatisfaction than the punishment of Sir Walter Raleigh. To execute a sentence which was originally so hard, which had been so long suspended, and which seemed to have been tacitly pardoned, by conferring on him a new trust and commission, was deemed an instance of cruelty and injustice. To sacrifice to a concealed enemy of England the life of the only man in the nation who had a high reputation for valor and military experience, was regarded as meanness and indiscretion; and the intimate connections which the king was now entering into with Spain, being universally distasteful, rendered this proof of his complaisance still more invidious and unpopular.
James had entertained an opinion, which was peculiar to himself, and which had been adopted by none of his predecessors, that any alliance below that of a great king was unworthy of a prince of Wales; and he never would allow any princess, but a daughter of France or Spain, to be mentioned as a match for his son.[*] This instance of pride, which really implies meanness, as if he could receive honor from any alliance, was so well known, that Spain had founded on it the hopes of governing, in the most important transactions, this monarch, so little celebrated for politics or prudence. During the life of Henry, the king of Spain had dropped some hints of bestowing on that prince his eldest daughter, whom he afterwards disposed of in marriage to the young king of France, Lewis XIII. At that time, the views of the Spaniards were to engage James into a neutrality with regard to the succession of Cleves, which was disputed between the Protestant and Popish line;[**] but the bait did not then take; and James, in consequence of his alliance with the Dutch, and with Henry IV. of France, marched[***] four thousand men, under the command of Sir Edward Cecil, who joined these two powers, and put the marquis of Brandenburgh and the palatine of Newbourg in possession of that duchy.
Gondomar was at this time the Spanish ambassador in England; a man whose flattery was the more artful, because covered with the appearance of frankness and sincerity; whose politics were the more dangerous, because disguised under the mask of mirth and pleasantry. He now made offer of the second daughter of Spain to Prince Charles; and, that he might render the temptation irresistible to the necessitous monarch, he gave hopes of an immense fortune, which should attend the princess. The court of Spain, though determined to contract no alliance with a heretic,[****] entered into negotiations with James, which they artfully protracted; and, amidst every disappointment, they still redoubled his hopes of success.[v] The transactions in Germany, so important to the Austrian greatness, became every day a new motive for this duplicity of conduct.
     * Kennet, p 703, 748

     ** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 2.

     *** 1610.

     **** La Boderie, vol. ii. p. 30.

     v     Franklyn, p, 71.
In that great revolution of manners which happened during the sixteenth and the seventeenth centuries, the only nations who had the honorable, though often melancholy advantage, of making an effort for their expiring privileges, were such as, together with the principles of civil liberty, were animated with a zeal for religious parties and opinions. Besides the irresistible force of standing armies, the European princes possessed this advantage, that they were descended from the ancient royal families; that they continued the same designations of magistrates, the same appearance of civil government; and restraining themselves by all the forms of legal administration, could insensibly impose the yoke on their unguarded subjects. Even the German nations, who formerly broke the Roman chains, and restored liberty to mankind, now lost their own liberty, and saw with grief the absolute authority of their princes firmly established among them. In their circumstances, nothing but a pious zeal, which disregards all motives of human prudence, could have made them entertain hopes of preserving any longer those privileges which their ancestors, through so many ages, had transmitted to them.
As the house of Austria, throughout all her extensive dominions, had ever made religion the pretence for her usurpations, she now met with resistance from a like principle; and the Catholic religion, as usual, had ranged itself on the side of monarchy; the Protestant, on that of liberty. The states of Bohemia, having taken arms against the emperor Matthias, continued their revolt against his successor, Ferdinand, and claimed the observance of all the edicts enacted in favor of the new religion, together with the restoration of their ancient laws and constitution. The neighboring principalities, Silesia, Moravia, Lusatia, Austria, even the kingdom of Hungary, took part in the quarrel; and throughout all these populous and martial provinces, the spirit of discord and civil war had universally diffused itself.[*]
Ferdinand II., who possessed more vigor and greater abilities, though not more lenity and moderation, than are usual with the Austrian princes, strongly armed himself for the recovery of his authority; and besides employing the assistance of his subjects, who professed the ancient religion, he engaged on his side a powerful alliance of the neighboring potentates. All the Catholic princes of the empire had embraced his defence; even Saxony, the most powerful of the Protestant: Poland had declared itself in his favor;[**] and, above all, the Spanish monarch, deeming his own interest closely connected with that of the younger branch of his family, prepared powerful succors from Italy, and from the Low Countries; and he also advanced large sums for the support of Ferdinand and of the Catholic religion.
     * Rushworth, vol. i. p. 7, 8.

     ** Rushworth, vol. i p. 13,14.
The states of Bohemia, alarmed at these mighty preparations, began also to solicit foreign assistance; and, together with that support which they obtained from the evangelical union in Germany, they endeavored to establish connections with greater princes. They cast their eyes on Frederic, elector palatine. They considered that, besides commanding no despicable force of his own, he was son-in-law to the king of England, and nephew to Prince Maurice, whose authority was become almost absolute in the United Provinces. They hoped that these princes, moved by the connections of blood, as well as by the tie of their common religion, would interest themselves in all the fortunes of Frederic, and would promote his greatness. They therefore made him a tender of their crown, which they considered as elective; and the young palatine, stimulated by ambition, without consulting either James[*] or Maurice, whose opposition he foresaw, immediately accepted the offer, and marched all his forces into Bohemia, in support of his new subjects.
The news of these events no sooner reached England, than the whole kingdom was on fire to engage in the quarrel. Scarcely was the ardor greater, with which all the states of Europe, in former ages, flew to rescue the Holy Land from the dominion of infidels. The nation was as yet sincerely attached to the blood of their monarchs, and they considered their connection with the palatine, who had married a daughter of England, as very close and intimate; and when they heard of Catholics carrying on wars and persecutions against Protestants, they thought their own interest deeply concerned, and regarded their neutrality as a base desertion of the cause of God, and of his holy religion. In such a quarrel they would gladly have marched to the opposite extremity of Europe, have plunged themselves into a chaos of German politics, and have expended all the blood and treasure of the nation, by maintaining a contest with the whole house of Austria, at the very time and in the very place in which it was the most potent, and almost irresistible.
But James, besides that his temper was too little enterprising for such vast undertakings, was restrained by another motive, which had a mighty influence over him: he refused to patronize the revolt of subjects against their sovereign. From the very first, he denied to his son-in-law the title of king of Bohemia.[**]
     * Franklyn, p. 49.

     ** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 12, 13.
He forbade him to be prayed for in the churches under that appellation; and though he owned, that he had nowise examined the pretensions, privileges, and constitution of the revolted states,[*] so exalted was his idea of the rights of kings, that he concluded subjects must ever be in the wrong, when they stood in opposition to those who had acquired or assumed that majestic title. Thus, even in measures founded on true politics, James intermixed so many narrow prejudices, as diminished his authority, and exposed him to the imputation of weakness and of error.
Meanwhile affairs every where hastened to a crisis. Ferdinand levied a great force, under the command of the duke of Bavaria and the count of Bucquoy, and advanced upon his enemy in Bohemia. In the Low Countries, Spinola collected a veteran army of thirty thousand men. When Edmonds, the king's resident at Brussels, made remonstrances to the archduke Albert, he was answered, that the orders for this armament had been transmitted to Spinola from Madrid, and that he alone knew the secret destination of it. Spinola again told the minister that his orders were still sealed; but, if Edmonds would accompany him in his march to Coblentz, he would there open them, and give him full satisfaction.[**] It was more easy to see his intentions, than to prevent their success. Almost at one time it was known in England, that Frederic, being defeated in the great and decisive battle of Prague, had fled with his family into Holland, and that Spinola had invaded the Palatinate, and, meeting with no resistance, except from some princes of the union, and from one English regiment of two thousand four hundred men, commanded by the brave Sir Horace Vere,[***] had, in a little time, reduced the greater part of that principality.
     * Franklyn, p. 48.

     ** Franklyn, p. 44. Rushworth, vol. i. p. 14.

     *** Franklyn, p. 42, 43. Rushworth, vol. i p. 15. Kennet, p.
High were now the murmurs and complaints against the king's neutrality and inactive disposition. The happiness and tranquillity of their own country became distasteful to the English, when they reflected on the grievances and distresses of their Protestant brethren in Germany. They considered not, that their interposition in the wars of the continent, though agreeable to religious zeal, could not, at that time, be justified by any sound maxims of politics; that, however exorbitant the Austrian greatness, the danger was still too distant to give any just alarm to England; that mighty resistance would yet be made by so many potent and warlike princes and states in Germany, ere they would yield their neck to the yoke; that France, now engaged to contract a double alliance with the Austrian family, must necessarily be soon roused from her lethargy, and oppose the progress of so hated a rival; that, in the further advance of conquests, even the interests of the two branches of that ambitious family must interfere, and beget mutual jealousy and opposition; that a land war, carried on at such a distance, would waste the blood and treasure of the English nation, without any hopes of success; that a sea war, indeed, might be both safe and successful against Spain, but would not affect the enemy in such vital parts as to make them stop their career of success in Germany, and abandon all their acquisitions; and that the prospect of recovering the Palatinate being at present desperate, the affair was reduced to this simple question, whether peace and commerce with Spain, or the uncertain hopes of plunder and of conquest in the Indies, were preferable? a question which, at the beginning of the king's reign, had already been decided, and perhaps with reason, in favor of the former advantages.
James might have defended his pacific measures by such plausible arguments; but these, though the chief, seem not to have been the sole motives which swayed him. He had entertained the notion, that, as his own justice and moderation had shone out so conspicuously throughout all these transactions, the whole house of Austria, though not awed by the power of England, would willingly, from mere respect to his virtue, submit themselves to so equitable an arbitration. He flattered himself that, after he had formed an intimate connection with the Spanish monarch, by means of his son's marriage, the restitution of the Palatinate might be procured from the motive alone of friendship and personal attachment. He perceived not, that his unactive virtue, the more it was extolled, the greater disregard was it exposed to. He was not sensible, that the Spanish match was itself attended with such difficulties, that all his art of negotiation would scarcely be able to surmount them; much less, that this match could in good policy be depended on, as the means of procuring such extraordinary advantages. His unwarlike disposition, increased by age, rivetted him still faster in his errors, and determined him to seek the restoration of his son-in-law, by remonstrances and entreaties, by arguments and embassies, rather than by blood and violence. And the same defect of courage which held him in awe of foreign nations, made him likewise afraid of shocking the prejudices of his own subjects, and kept him from openly avowing the measures which he was determined to pursue. Or, perhaps, he hoped to turn these prejudices to account; and, by their means, engage his people to furnish him with supplies, of which their excessive frugality had hitherto made them so sparing and reserved.[*]
He first tried the expedient of a benevolence, or free gift, from individuals; pretending the urgency of the case, which would not admit of leisure for any other measure: but the jealousy of liberty was now roused, and the nation regarded these pretended benevolences as real extortions, contrary to law, and dangerous to freedom, however authorized by ancient precedent. A parliament was found to be the only resource which could furnish any large supplies; and writs were accordingly issued for summoning that great council of the nation.[**] 55
In this parliament there appeared, at first, nothing but duty and submission on the part of the commons; and they seemed determined to sacrifice every thing, in order to maintain a good correspondence with their prince. They would allow no mention to be made of the new customs or impositions, which had been so eagerly disputed in the former parliament;[***] the imprisonment of the members of that parliament was here by some complained of; but, by the authority of the graver and more prudent part of the house, that grievance was buried in oblivion;[****] and, being informed that the king had remitted several considerable sums to the palatine, the commons, without a negative, voted him two subsidies;[v] and that too at the very beginning of the session, contrary to the maxims frequently adopted by their predecessors.
     * Franklyn, p. 47. Rushworth, vol. i. p. 21

     ** See note CCC, at the end of the volume.

     *** Journ. 5th Dec. 1621.

     **** Journ. 12th, 16th Feb. 1620.

     v    Journ. 16th Feb. 1620.
Afterwards they proceeded, but in a very temperate manner, to the examination of grievances. They found, that patents had been granted to Sir Giles Mompesson and Sir Francis Michel, for licensing inns and alehouses; that great sums of money had been exacted, under pretext of these licenses; and that such innkeepers as presumed to continue their business without satisfying the rapacity of the patentees, had been severely punished by fine, imprisonment, and vexatious prosecutions.
The same persons had also procured a patent, which they shared with Sir Edward Villiers, brother to Buckingham, for the sole making of gold and silver thread and lace, and had obtained very extraordinary powers for preventing any rivalship in these manufactures: they were armed with authority to search for all goods which might interfere with their patent; and even to punish, at their own will and discretion, the makers, importers, and venders of such commodities. Many had grievously suffered by this exorbitant jurisdiction; and the lace which had been manufactured by the patentees was universally found to be adulterated, and to be composed more of copper than of the precious metals.
These grievances the commons represented to the king and they met with a very gracious and very cordial reception. He seemed even thankful for the information given him; and declared himself ashamed that such abuses, unknowingly to him, had crept into his administration. "I assure you," said he, "had I before heard these things complained of, I would have done the office of a just king, and out of parliament have punished them, as severely, and peradventure more, than you now intend to do."[*] A sentence was passed for the punishment of Michel and Mompesson.[**] It was executed on the former. The latter broke prison and escaped. Villiers was at that time sent purposely on a foreign employment; and his guilt, being less enormous, or less apparent, than that of the others, he was the more easily protected by the credit of his brother Buckingham.[***]
     * Franklyn, p. 51. Rushworth, vol. i. p. 25.

     ** Franklyn, p. 52. Rushworth, vol. i. p. 27.

     **** Yelverton, the attorney-general, was accused by the
     commons for drawing the patents for these monopolies, and
     for supporting them. He apologized for himself, that he was
     forced by Buckingham, and that he supposed it to be the
     king's pleasure. The lords were so offended at these
     articles of defence, though necessary to the attorney-
     general, that they fined him ten thousand pounds to the
     king, five thousand to the duke. The fines, however, were
     afterwards remitted. Franklyn, p. 55. Rushworth, vol. i. p.
     31, 32, etc.
Encouraged by this success, the commons carried their scrutiny, and still with a respectful hand, into other abuses of importance. The great seal was at that time in the hands of the celebrated Bacon, created Viscount St. Albans; a man universally admired for the greatness of his genius, and beloved for the courteousness and humanity of his behavior. He was the great ornament of his age and nation; and nought was wanting to render him the ornament of human nature itself, but that strength of mind which might check his intemperate desire of preferment, that could add nothing to his dignity, and might restrain his profuse inclination to expense, that could be requisite neither for his honor nor entertainment. His want of economy, and his indulgence to servants, had involved him in necessities; and, in order to supply his prodigality, he had been tempted to take bribes, by the title of presents, and that in a very open manner, from suitors in chancery. It appears that it had been usual for former chancellors to take presents; and it is pretended that Bacon, who followed the same dangerous practice, had still, in the seat of justice, preserved the integrity of a judge, and had given just decrees against those very persons from whom he had received the wages of iniquity. Complaints rose the louder on that account, and at last reached the house of commons, who sent up an impeachment against him to the peers. The chancellor, conscious of guilt, deprecated the vengeance of his judges, and endeavored, by a general avowal, to escape the confusion of a stricter inquiry. The lords insisted on a particular confession of all his corruptions. He acknowledged twenty-eight articles; and was sentenced to pay a fine of forty thousand pounds, to be imprisoned in the Tower during the king's pleasure, to be forever incapable of any office, place, or employment, and never again to sit in parliament, or come within the verge of the court.
This dreadful sentence, dreadful to a man of nice sensibility to honor, he survived five years; and being released in a little time from the Tower, his genius, yet unbroken, supported itself amidst involved circumstances and a depressed spirit, and shone out in literary productions which have made his guilt or weaknesses be forgotten or overlooked by posterity. In consideration of his great merit, the king remitted his fine, as well as all the other parts of his sentence, conferred on him a large pension of one thousand eight hundred pounds a year, and employed every expedient to alleviate the weight of his age and misfortunes. And that great philosopher at last acknowledged with regret, that he had too long neglected the true ambition of a fine genius; and by plunging into business and affairs, which require much less capacity, but greater firmness of mind, than the pursuits of learning, had exposed himself to such grievous calamities.[*]
The commons had entertained the idea, that they were the great patrons of the people, and that the redress of all grievances must proceed from them; and to this principle they were chiefly beholden for the regard and consideration of the public. In the execution of this office, they now kept their ears open to complaints of every kind; and they carried their researches into many grievances which, though of no great importance, could not be touched on without sensibly affecting the king and his ministers. The prerogative seemed every moment to be invaded; the king's authority, in every article, was disputed; and James, who was willing to correct the abuses of his power, would not submit to have his power itself questioned and denied. After the house, therefore, had sitten near six months, and had as yet brought no considerable business to a full conclusion, the king resolved, under pretence of the advanced season, to interrupt their proceedings; and he sent them word, that he was determined, in a little time, to adjourn them till next winter. The commons made application to the lords, and desired them to join in a petition for delaying the adjournment; which was refused by the upper house. The king regarded this project of a joint petition as an attempt to force him from his measures: he thanked the peers for their refusal to concur in it; and told them, that, if it were their desire, he would delay the adjournment, but would not so far comply with the request of the lower house.[**] And thus, in these great national affairs, the same peevishness, which, in private altercations, often raises a quarrel from the smallest beginnings, produced a mutual coldness and disgust between the king and the commons.
     * It is thought, that appeals from chancery to the house of
     peers first came into practice while Bacon held the great
     seal. Appeals, under the form of writs of error, had long
     before lain against the courts of law. Blackstone's
     Commentaries, vol. iii. p. 454.

     * Rushworth, vol. i. p. 35.
During the recess of parliament, the king used every measure to render himself popular with the nation, and to appease the rising ill humor of their representatives. He had voluntarily offered the parliament to circumscribe his own prerogative, and to abrogate, for the future, his power of granting monopolies. He now recalled all the patents of that kind and redressed every article of grievance, to the number of thirty-seven, which had ever been complained of in the house of commons.[*] But he gained not the end which he proposed. The disgust which had appeared at parting, could not so suddenly be dispelled. He had likewise been so imprudent as to commit to prison Sir Edwin Sandys,[**] without any known cause, besides his activity and vigor in discharging his duty as member of parliament. And, above all, the transactions in Germany were sufficient, when joined to the king's cautions, negotiations, and delays, to inflame that jealousy of honor and religion which prevailed throughout the nation.[***] This summer, the ban of the empire had been published against the elector palatine; and the execution of it was committed to the duke of Bavaria.[****] The Upper Palatinate was, in a little time, conquered by that prince; and measures were taking in the empire for bestowing on him the electoral dignity, of which the palatine was then despoiled. Frederic now lived with his numerous family, in poverty and distress, either in Holland, or at Sedan with his uncle the duke of Bouillon. And throughout all the new conquests, in both the Palatinates, as well as in Bohemia, Austria, and Lusatia, the progress of the Austrian arms was attended with rigors and severities, exercised against the professors of the reformed religion.
     * Rushworth, vol. i. p. 36. Kennet, p. 733.

     ** Journ. 1st December, 1621.

     *** To show to what degree the nation was inflamed with
     regard to the Palatinate, there occurs a remarkable story
     this session. One Floyd, a prisoner in the Fleet, a
     Catholic, had dropped some expressions in private
     conversation, as if he were pleased with the misfortunes of
     the palatine and his wife. The commons were in a flame; and,
     pretending to be a court of judicature and of record,
     proceeded to condemn him to a severe punishment. The house
     of lords checked this encroachment; and, what was
     extraordinary, considering the present humor of the lower
     house, the latter acquiesced in the sentiments of the peers.
     This is almost the only pretension of the English commons in
     which they have not prevailed. Happily for the nation, they
     have been successful in almost all their other claims. See
     Parliamentary History, vol. v. p 428, 429, etc. Journ. 4th,
     8th, 12th of May, 1621.

     **** Franklyn. p. 73.
The zeal of the commons immediately moved them, upon their assembling, to take all these transactions into consideration. They framed a remonstrance, which they intended to carry to the king. They represented, that the enormous growth of the Austrian power threatened the liberties of Europe; that the progress of the Catholic religion in England bred the most melancholy apprehensions, lest it should again acquire an ascendant in the kingdom; that the indulgence of his majesty towards the professors of that religion had encouraged their insolence and temerity; that the uncontrolled conquests made by the Austrian family in Germany, raised mighty expectations in the English Papists; but above all, that the prospect of the Spanish match elevated them so far as to hope for an entire toleration, if not the final reëstablishment of their religion. The commons, therefore, entreated his majesty, that he would immediately undertake the defence of the Palatinate, and maintain it by force of arms; that he would turn his sword against Spain, whose armies and treasures were the chief support of the Catholic interest in Europe that he would enter into no negotiation for the marriage of his son but with a Protestant princess; that the children of Popish recusants should be taken from their parents, and be committed to the care of Protestant teachers and schoolmasters; and that the fines and confiscations to which the Catholics were by law liable, should be levied with the utmost severity.[*]
     * Franklyn, p. 58, 59. Rushworth, vol. i. p. 40, 41. Kennet,
     p. 787.
By this bold step, unprecedented in England for many years, and scarcely ever heard of in peaceable times, the commons attacked at once all the king's favorite maxims of government; his cautious and pacific measures, his lenity towards the Romish religion, and his attachment to the Spanish alliance, from which he promised himself such mighty advantages. But what most disgusted him was, their seeming invasion of his prerogative, and their pretending, under color of advice, to direct his conduct in such points as had ever been acknowledged to belong solely to the management and direction of the sovereign. He was at that time absent at Newmarket; but as soon as he heard of the intended remonstrance of the commons, he wrote a letter to the speaker, in which he sharply rebuked the house for openly debating matters far above their reach and capacity; and he strictly forbade them to meddle with any thing that regarded his government, or deep matters of state, and especially not to touch on his son's marriage with the daughter of Spain, nor to attack the honor of that king, or any other of his friends and confederates. In order the more to intimidate them, he mentioned the imprisonment of Sir Edwin Sandys; and though he denied that the confinement of that member had been owing to any offence committed in the house, he plainly told them, that he thought himself fully entitled to punish every misdemeanor in parliament, as well during its sitting as after its dissolution; and that he intended thenceforward to chastise any man whose insolent behavior there should minister occasion of offence.[*]
This violent letter, in which the king, though he here imitated former precedents, may be thought not to have acted altogether on the defensive, had the effect which might naturally have been expected from it: the commons were inflamed, not terrified. Secure of their own popularity, and of the bent of the nation towards a war with the Catholics abroad, and the persecution of Popery at home, they little dreaded the menaces of a prince who was unsupported by military force, and whose gentle temper would, of itself, so soon disarm his severity. In a new remonstrance, therefore, they still insisted on their former remonstrance and advice; and they maintained, though in respectful terms, that they were entitled to interpose with their counsel in all matters of government; that to possess entire freedom of speech in their debates on public business, was their ancient and undoubted right, and an inheritance transmitted to them from their ancestors; and that if any member abused this liberty, it belonged to the house alone, who were witnesses of his offence, to inflict a proper censure upon him.[**]
So vigorous an answer was nowise calculated to appease the king. It is said, when the approach of the committee who were to present it was notified to him, he ordered twelve chairs to be brought; for that there were so many kings a coming.[***]
     * Franklyn, p. 60. Rushworth, vol. i. p. 43. Kennet, p. 741.

     ** Franklyn, p. 60. Rushworth, vol. i. p. 44. Kennet, p.

     *** Kennet, p. 43.
His answer was prompt and sharp. He told the house, that their remonstrance was more like a denunciation of war than an address of dutiful subjects; that their pretension to inquire into all state affairs, without exception, was such a plenipotence as none of their ancestors, even during the reign of the weakest princes, had ever pretended to; that public transactions depended on a complication of views and intelligence, with which they were entirely unacquainted; that they could not better show their wisdom, as well as duty, than by keeping within their proper sphere;[*] and that in any business which depended on his prerogative, they had no title to interpose with their advice, except when he was pleased to desire it. And he concluded with these memorable words: "And though we cannot allow of your style, in mentioning your ancient and undoubted right and inheritance, but would rather have wished that ye had said, that your privileges were derived from the grace and permission of our ancestors and us, (for the most of them grew from precedents, which shows rather a toleration than inheritance,) yet we are pleased to give you our royal assurance, that as long as you contain yourselves within the limits of your duty, we will be as careful to maintain and preserve your lawful liberties and privileges as ever any of our predecessors were, nay, as to preserve our own royal prerogative."[**]
This open pretension of the king's naturally gave great alarm to the house of commons. They saw their title to every privilege, if not plainly denied, yet considered at least as precarious. It might be fortified by abuse; and they had already abused it. They thought proper, therefore, immediately to oppose pretension to pretension. They framed a protestation, in which they repeated all their former claims for freedom of speech, and an unbounded authority to interpose with their advice and counsel. And they asserted, "That the liberties, franchises, privileges, and jurisdictions of parliament, are the ancient and undoubted birthright and inheritance of the subjects of England."[***]
The king, informed of these increasing heats and jealousies in the house, hurried to town. He sent immediately for the journals of the commons; and, with his own hand, before the council, he tore out this protestation;[****] 56 and ordered his reasons to be inserted in the council-book. He was doubly displeased, he said, with the protestation of the lower house, on account of the manner of framing it, as well as of the matter which it contained.
     * "Ne sutor ultra crepidam." This expression is imagined to
     be insolent and disobliging: but it was a Latin proverb
     familiarly used on all occasions.

     ** Franklyn, p, 62, 63, 64. Rushworth, vol. i. p. 46, 47
     etc. Kennet, p. 743.

     **** See note DDD, at the end of the volume.

It was tumultuously voted, at a late hour, and in a thin house; and it was expressed in such general and ambiguous terms,[*] as might serve for a foundation to the most enormous claims, and to the most unwarrantable usurpations upon his prerogative.[**]
The meeting of the house might have proved dangerous after so violent a breach. It was no longer possible, while men were in such a temper, to finish any business. The king, therefore, prorogued the parliament, and soon after dissolved it by proclamation; in which he also made an apology to the public for his whole conduct.
The leading members of the house, Sir Edward Coke and Sir Robert Philips, were committed to the Tower; Selden Pym, and Mallory, to other prisons. As a lighter punishment, Sir Dudley Digges, Sir Thomas Crew, Sir Nathaniel Rich, Sir James Perrot, joined in commission with others, were sent to Ireland, in order to execute some business.[***] The king at that time enjoyed, at least exercised, the prerogative of employing any man, even without his consent, in any branch of public service.
Sir John Savile, a powerful man in the house of commons, and a zealous opponent of the court, was made comptroller of the household, a privy counsellor, and soon after a baron.[****] This event is memorable, as being the first instance, perhaps, in the whole history of England, of any king's advancing a man on account of parliamentary interest, and of opposition to his measures. However irregular this practice, it will be regarded by political reasoners as one of the most early and most infallible symptoms of a regular, established liberty.
The king having thus, with so rash and indiscreet a hand, torn off that sacred veil which had hitherto covered the English constitution, and which threw an obscurity upon it so advantageous to royal prerogative, every man began to indulge himself in political reasonings and inquiries; and the same factions which commenced in parliament, were propagated throughout the nation. In vain did James, by reiterated proclamations, forbid the discoursing of state affairs.[v] Such proclamations, if they had any effect, served rather to inflame the curiosity of the public. And in every company or society, the late transactions became the subject of argument and debate.
     * Franklyn, p. 65.

     ** Franklyn, p. 66. Rushworth, vol. i. p. 55.

     *** Franklyn, p. 66. Rushworth, vol. i. p. 55.

     **** Kennet, p. 749.

     v    Franklyn, p. 56. Rushworth, vol. i. p. 21, 36, 55. The
     king also, in imitation of his predecessors, gave rules to
All history, said the partisans of the court, as well as the history of England, justify the king's position with regard to the origin of popular privileges; and every reasonable man must allow, that as monarchy is the most simple form of government, it must first have occurred to rude and uninstructed mankind. The other complicated and artificial additions were the successive invention of sovereigns and legislators; or, if they were obtruded on the prince by seditious subjects, their origin must appear, on that very account, still more precarious and unfavorable. In England, the authority of the king, in all the exterior forms of government, and in the common style of law, appears totally absolute and sovereign; nor does the real spirit of the constitution, as it has ever discovered itself in practice, fall much short of these appearances. The parliament is created by his will; by his will it is dissolved. It is his will alone, though at the desire of both houses, which gives authority to laws. To all foreign nations, the majesty of the monarch seems to merit sole attention and regard. And no subject who has exposed himself to royal indignation, can hope to live with safety in the kingdom; nor can he even leave it, according to law, without the consent of his master. If a magistrate, environed with such power and splendor, should consider his authority as sacred, and regard himself as the anointed of Heaven, his pretensions may bear a very favorable construction. Or, allowing them to be merely pious frauds, we need not be surprised, that the same stratagem which was practised by Minos, Numa, and the most celebrated legislators of antiquity, should now, in these restless and inquisitive times, be employed by the king of England. Subjects are not raised above that quality, though assembled in parliament. The same humble respect and deference is still due to their prince. Though he indulges them in the privilege of laying before him their domestic grievances, with which they are supposed to be best acquainted, this warrants not their bold intrusion into every province of government. And, to all judicious examiners, it must appear, "That the lines of duty are as much transgressed by a more independent and less respectful exercise of acknowledged powers, as by the usurpation of such as are new and unusual."[*]
     * Franklyn, p. 70. The pulpit was at that time much more
     dangerous than the press. Few people could read, and still
     fewer were in the practice of reading.
The lovers of liberty throughout the nation reasoned after a different manner. It is in vain, said they, that the king traces up the English government to its first origin, in order to represent the privileges of parliament as dependent and precarious: prescription, and the practice of so many ages, must, long ere this time, have given a sanction to these assemblies, even though they had been derived from an origin no more dignified than that which he assigns them. If the written records of the English nation, as asserted, represent parliaments to have arisen from the consent of monarchs, the principles of human nature, when we trace government a step higher, must show us, that monarchs themselves owe all their authority to the voluntary submission of the people. But, in fact, no age can be shown, when the English government was altogether an unmixed monarchy; and, if the privileges of the nation have, at any period, been overpowered by violent irruptions of foreign force or domestic usurpation, the generous spirit of the people has ever seized the first opportunity of reëstablishing the ancient government and constitution. Though in the style of the laws, and in the usual forms of administration, royal authority may be represented as sacred and supreme, whatever is essential to the exercise of sovereign and legislative power must still be regarded as equally divine and inviolable. Or, if any distinction be made in this respect, the preference is surely due to those national councils, by whose interposition the exorbitancies of tyrannical power are restrained, and that sacred liberty is preserved, which heroic spirits, in all ages, have deemed more precious than life itself. Nor is it sufficient to say, that the mild and equitable administration of James affords little occasion, or no occasion, of complaint. How moderate soever the exercise of his prerogative, how exact soever his observance of the laws and constitution, "If he founds his authority on arbitrary and dangerous principles, it is requisite to watch him with the same care, and to oppose him with the same vigor, as if he had indulged himself in all the excesses of cruelty and tyranny."
Amidst these disputes, the wise and moderate in the nation endeavored to preserve, as much as possible, an equitable neutrality between the opposite parties; and the more they reflected on the course of public affairs, the greater difficulty they found in fixing just sentiments with regard to them. On the one hand, they regarded the very rise of parties as a happy prognostic of the establishment of liberty; nor could they ever expect to enjoy, in a mixed government, so invaluable a blessing, without suffering that inconvenience which, in such governments, has ever attended it. But when they considered, on the other hand, the necessary aims and pursuits of both parties, they were struck with apprehension of the consequences, and could discover no feasible plan of accommodation between them. From long practice, the crown was now possessed of so exorbitant a prerogative, that it was not sufficient for liberty to remain on the defensive, or endeavor to secure the little ground which was left her: it was become necessary to carry on an offensive war, and to circumscribe, within more narrow, as well as more exact bounds; the authority of the sovereign. Upon such provocation, it could not but happen, that the prince, however just and moderate, would endeavor to repress his opponents; and, as he stood upon the very brink of arbitrary power, it was to be feared that he would, hastily and unknowingly, pass those limits which were not precisely marked by the constitution. The turbulent government of England, ever fluctuating between privilege and prerogative, would afford a variety of precedents, which might be pleaded on both sides. In such delicate questions, the people must be divided: the arms of the state were still in their hands: a civil war must ensue; a civil war where no party, or both parties, would justly bear the blame and where the good and virtuous would scarcely know what vows to form; were it not that liberty, so necessary to the perfection of human society, would be sufficient to bias their affections towards the side of its defenders.



To wrest the Palatinate from the hands of the emperor and the duke of Bavaria, must always have been regarded as a difficult task for the power of England, conducted by so unwarlike a prince as James: it was plainly impossible, while the breach subsisted between him and the commons. The king's negotiations, therefore, had they been managed with ever so great dexterity, must now carry less weight with them; and it was easy to elude all his applications. When Lord Digby, his ambassador to the emperor, had desired a cessation of hostilities, he was referred to the duke of Bavaria, who commanded the Austrian armies. The duke of Bavaria told him, that it was entirely superfluous to form any treaty for that purpose. "Hostilities are already ceased," said he, "and I doubt not but I shall be able to prevent their revival, by keeping firm possession of the Palatinate, till a final agreement shall be concluded between the contending parties."[*]
     * Franklyn, p. 57. Rushworth, vol. i. p 38.
Notwithstanding this insult, James endeavored to resume with the emperor a treaty of accommodation; and he opened the negotiations at Brussels, under the mediation of Archduke Albert; and, after his death, which happened about this time, under that of the infanta: when the conferences were entered upon, it was found, that the powers of these princes to determine in the controversy were not sufficient or satisfactory. Schwartzenbourg, the imperial minister, was expected at London; and it was hoped that he would bring more ample authority: his commission referred entirely to the negotiation at Brussels. It was not difficult for the king to perceive that his applications were neglected by the emperor; but as he had no choice of any other expedient, and it seemed the interest of his son-in-law to keep alive his pretensions he was still content to follow Ferdinand through all his shifts and evasions. Nor was he entirely discouraged, even when the imperial diet at Ratisbon, by the influence, or rather authority of the emperor, though contrary to the protestation of Saxony, and of all the Protestant princes and cities, had transferred the electoral dignity from the palatine to the duke of Bavaria.
Meanwhile the efforts made by Frederic for the recovery of his dominions, were vigorous. Three armies were levied in Germany by his authority, under three commanders, Duke, Christian of Brunswick, the prince of Baden-Dourlach, and Count Mansfeldt. The two former generals were defeated by Count Tilly and the imperialists: the third, though much inferior in force to his enemies, still maintained the war; but with no equal supplies of money either from the palatine or the king of England. It was chiefly by pillage and free quarters in the Palatinate, that he subsisted his army. As the Austrians were regularly paid, they were kept in more exact discipline; and James justly became apprehensive, lest so unequal a contest, besides ravaging the palatine's hereditary dominions, would end in the total alienation of the people's affections from their ancient sovereign, by whom they were plundered, and in an attachment to their new masters, by whom they were protected.[*] He persuaded, therefore, his son-in-law to disarm, under color of duty and submission to the emperor; and, accordingly, Mansfeldt was dismissed from the palatine's service; and that famous general withdrew his army into the Low Countries, and there received a commission from the states of the United Provinces.
To show how little account was made of James's negotiations abroad, there is a pleasantry mentioned by all historians, which, for that reason, shall have place here. In a farce, acted at Brussels, a courier was introduced carrying the doleful news, that the Palatinate would soon be wrested from the house of Austria; so powerful were the succors which, from all quarters, were hastening to the relief of the despoiled elector: the king of Denmark had agreed to contribute to his assistance a hundred thousand pickled herrings, the Dutch a hundred thousand butter-boxes, and the king of England a hundred thousand ambassadors. On other occasions, he was painted with a scabbard, but without a sword, or with a sword which nobody could draw, though several were pulling at it.[**]
     * Parl. Hist. vol. v. p. 484.

     ** Kennet, p. 749.
It was not from his negotiations with the emperor or the duke of Bavaria, that James expected any success in his project of restoring the palatine: his eyes were entirely turned towards Spain; and if he could effect his son's marriage with the infanta, he doubted not but that, after so intimate a conjunction, this other point could easily be obtained. The negotiations of that court being commonly dilatory, it was not easy for a prince of so little penetration in business, to distinguish whether the difficulties which occurred were real or affected; and he was surprised, after negotiating five years on so simple a demand, that he was not more advanced than at the beginning. A dispensation from Rome was requisite for the marriage of the infanta with a Protestant prince; and the king of Spain, having undertaken to procure that dispensation, had thereby acquired the means of retarding at pleasure, or of forwarding the marriage, and at the same time of concealing entirely his artifices from the court of England.
In order to remove all obstacles, James despatched Digby, soon after created earl of Bristol, as his ambassador to Philip IV., who had lately succeeded his father in the crown of Spain. He secretly employed Gage as his agent at Rome, and finding that the difference of religion was the principal, if not the sole difficulty, which retarded the marriage, he resolved to soften that objection as much as possible. He issued public orders for discharging all Popish recusants who were imprisoned; and it was daily apprehended that he would forbid, for the future, the execution of the penal laws enacted against them. For this step, so opposite to the rigid spirit of his subjects, he took care to apologize; and he even endeavored to ascribe it to his great zeal for the reformed religion. He had been making applications, he said, to all foreign princes, for some indulgence to the distressed Protestants; and he was still answered by objections derived from the severity of the English laws against Catholics.[*] It might indeed occur to him, that if the extremity of religious zeal were ever to abate among Christian sects, one of them must begin; and nothing would be more honorable for England, than to have led the way in sentiments so wise and moderate.
     * Franklyn p. 69. Rushworth, vol. i. p. 63.
Not only the religious Puritans murmured at this tolerating measure of the king; the lovers of civil liberty were alarmed at so important an exertion of prerogative. But, among other dangerous articles of authority, the kings of England were at that time possessed of the dispensing power; at least, were at the constant practice of exercising it. Besides, though the royal prerogative in civil matters was then extensive, the princes, during some late reigns, had been accustomed to assume a still greater in ecclesiastical. And the king failed not to represent the toleration of Catholics as a measure entirely of that nature.
By James's concession in favor of the Catholics, he attained his end. The same religious motives which had hitherto rendered the court of Madrid insincere in all the steps taken with regard to the marriage, were now the chief cause of promoting it. By its means, it was there hoped the English Catholics would for the future enjoy ease and indulgence; and the infanta would be the happy instrument of procuring to the church some tranquillity, after the many severe persecutions which it had hitherto undergone. The earl of Bristol, a minister of vigilance and penetration, and who had formerly opposed all alliance with Catholics,[*] was now fully convinced of the sincerity of Spain; and he was ready to congratulate the king on the entire completion of his views and projects.[**] A daughter of Spain, whom he represents as extremely accomplished, would soon, he said, arrive in England, and bring with her an immense fortune of two millions of pieces of eight, or six hundred thousand pounds sterling; a sum four times greater than Spain had ever before given with any princess, and almost equal to all the money which the parliament, during the whole course of this reign, had hitherto granted to the king. But what was of more importance to James's honor and happiness, Bristol considered this match as an infallible prognostic of the palatine's restoration; nor would Philip, he thought, ever have bestowed his sister and so large a fortune, under the prospect of entering next day into a war with England. So exact was his intelligence, that the most secret counsels of the Spaniards, he boasts, had never escaped him;[***] and he found that they had all along considered the marriage of the infanta and the restitution of the Palatinate as measures closely connected, or altogether inseparable.[****]
     * Rushworth, vol. i. p. 292.

     ** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 69.

     *** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 272.

     **** We find, by private letters between Philip IV. and the
     Condé Oliarez, shown by the latter to Buckingham, that the
     marriage and the restitution of the Palatinate were always
     considered by the court of Spain as inseparable. See
     Franklyn, p. 71, 72. Rushworth, vol. i. p. 71, 280, 299,
     300. Parl. Hist. vol. vi. p. 66.
However little calculated James's character to extort so vast a concession; however improper the measures which he had pursued for attaining that end; the ambassador could not withstand the plain evidence of facts, by which Philip now demonstrated his sincerity. Perhaps, too, like a wise man, he considered, that reasons of state, which are supposed solely to influence the councils of monarchs, are not always the motives which there predominate; that the milder views of gratitude, honor, friendship, generosity, are frequently able, among princes as well as private persons, to counterbalance these selfish considerations; that the justice and moderation of James had been so conspicuous in all these transactions, his reliance on Spain, his confidence in her friendship, that he had at last obtained the cordial alliance of that nation, so celebrated for honor and fidelity. Or, if politics must still be supposed the ruling motive of all public measures, the maritime power of England was so considerable, and the Spanish dominions so divided, as might well induce the council of Philip to think, that a sincere friendship with the masters of the sea could not be purchased by too great concessions.[*] And as James, during so many years, had been allured and seduced by hopes and protestations, his people enraged by delays and disappointments, it would probably occur, that there was now no medium left between the most inveterate hatred and the most intimate alliance between the nations. Not to mention that, as a new spirit began about this time to animate the councils of France, the friendship of England became every day more necessary to the greatness and security of the Spanish monarch.
All measures being, therefore, agreed on between the parties, nought was wanting but the dispensation from Rome, which might be considered as a mere formality.[**] The king, justified by success, now exulted in his pacific counsels, and boasted of his superior sagacity and penetration; when all these flattering prospects were blasted by the temerity of a man whom he had fondly exalted from a private condition, to be the bane of himself, of his family, and of his people.
     * Franklyn, p. 72.

     ** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 66.
Ever since the fall of Somerset, Buckingham had governed, with an uncontrolled sway, both the court and nation; and could James's eyes have been opened, he had now full opportunity of observing how unfit his favorite was for the high station to which he was raised. Some accomplishments of a courtier he possessed: of every talent of a minister he was utterly destitute. Headlong in his passions, and incapable equally of prudence and of dissimulation; sincere from violence rather than candor; expensive from profusion more than generosity; a warm friend, a furious enemy, but without any choice or discernment in either; with these qualities he had early and quickly mounted to the highest rank; and partook at once of the insolence which attends a fortune newly acquired, and the impetuosity which belongs to persons born in high stations and unacquainted with opposition.
Among those who had experienced the arrogance of this overgrown favorite, the prince of Wales himself had not been entirely spared; and a great coldness, if not an enmity, had, for that reason, taken place between them. Buckingham, desirous of an opportunity which might connect him with the prince, and overcome his aversion, and, at the same time envious of the great credit acquired by Bristol in the Spanish negotiation, bethought himself of an expedient by which he might at once gratify both these inclinations. He represented to Charles, that persons of his exalted station were peculiarly unfortunate in their marriage, the chief circumstance of life; and commonly received into their arms a bride unknown to them, to whom they were unknown; not endeared by sympathy, not obliged by service; wooed by treaties alone, by negotiations, by political interests: that however accomplished the infanta, she must still consider herself as a melancholy victim of state, and could not but think with aversion of that day when she was to enter the bed of a stranger; and, passing into a foreign country and a new family, bid adieu forever to her father's house and to her native land: that it was in the prince's power to soften all these rigors and lay such an obligation on her, as would attach the most indifferent temper, as would warm the coldest affections: that his journey to Madrid would be an unexpected gallantry, which would equal all the fictions of Spanish romance, and, suiting the amorous and enterprising character of that nation, must immediately introduce him to the princess under the agreeable character of a devoted lover and daring adventurer: that the negotiations with regard to the Palatinate, which had hitherto languished in the hands of ministers, would quickly he terminated by so illustrious an agent, seconded by the mediation and entreaties of the grateful infanta: that Spanish generosity, moved by that unexampled trust and confidence, would make concessions beyond what could be expected from political views and considerations: and that he would quickly return to the king with the glory of having reëstablished the unhappy palatine, by the same enterprise which procured him the affections and the person of the Spanish princess.[*]
The mind of the young prince, replete with candor, was inflamed by these generous and romantic ideas suggested by Buckingham. He agreed to make application to the king for his approbation. They chose the moment of his kindest and most jovial humor; and, more by the earnestness which they expressed, than by the force of their reasons, they obtained a hasty and unguarded consent to their undertaking. And having engaged his promise to keep their purpose secret, they left him, in order to make preparations for the journey.
No sooner was the king alone, than his temper, more cautious than sanguine, suggested very different views of the matter, and represented every difficulty and danger which could occur. He reflected that however the world might pardon this sally of youth in the prince, they would never forgive himself, who, at his years, and after his experience, could intrust his only son, the heir of his crown, the prop of his age, to the discretion of foreigners, without so much as providing the frail security of a safe-conduct in his favor: that if the Spanish monarch were sincere in his professions, a few months must finish the treaty of marriage, and bring the infanta into England; if he were not sincere, the folly was still more egregious of committing the prince into his hands: that Philip, when possessed of so invaluable a pledge, might well rise in his demands, and impose harder conditions of treaty: and that the temerity of the enterprise was so apparent, that the event, how prosperous soever, could not justify it; and if disastrous, it would render himself infamous to his people, and ridiculous to all posterity.[**]
     * Clarendon, vol. i. p. 11, 12.

     ** Clarendon, vol. i. p. 14.
Tormented with these reflections, as soon as the prince and Buckingham returned for their despatches, he informed them of all the reasons which had determined him to change his resolution; and he begged them to desist from so foolish an adventure. The prince received the disappointment with sorrowful submission and silent tears: Buckingham presumed to speak in an imperious tone, which he had ever experienced to be prevalent over his too easy master. He told the king, that nobody for the future would believe any thing he said, When he retracted so soon the promise so solemnly given; that he plainly discerned this change of resolution to proceed from another breach of his word, in communicating the matter to some rascal, who had furnished him with those pitiful reasons which he had alleged, and he doubted not but he should hereafter know who his counsellor had been; and that if he receded from what he had promised, it would be such a dis-obligation to the prince, who had now set his heart upon the journey, after his majesty's approbation, that he could never forget it, nor forgive any man who had been the cause of it[*]
     * Clarendon vol. i. p. 16.
The king, with great earnestness, fortified by many oaths, made his apology, by denying that he had communicated the matter to any; and finding himself assailed, as well by the boisterous importunities of Buckingham, as by the warm entreaties of his son, whose applications had hitherto, on other occasions, been always dutiful, never earnest, he had again the weakness to assent to their purposed journey. It was agreed that Sir Francis Cottington alone, the prince's secretary, and Endymion Porter, gentleman of his bed-chamber, should accompany them; and the former being at that time in the antechamber, he was immediately called in by the king's orders.
James told Cottington, that he had always been an honest man, and therefore he was now to trust him in an affair of the highest importance, which he was not, upon his life, to disclose to any man whatever. "Cottington," added he, "here is baby Charles and Stenny," (these ridiculous appellations he usually gave to the prince and Buckingham,) "who have a great mind to go post into Spain, and fetch home the infanta: they will have but two more in their company, and have chosen you for one. What think you of the journey?" Sir Francis, who was a prudent man, and had resided some years in Spain as the king's agent, was struck with all the obvious objections to such an enterprise, and scrupled not to declare them. The king threw himself upon his bed, and cried, "I told you this before;" and fell into a new passion and new lamentations, complaining that he was undone, and should lose baby Charles.
The prince showed by his countenance, that he was extremely dissatisfied with Cottington's discourse; but Buckingham broke into an open passion against him. The king, he told him, asked him only of the journey, and of the manner of travelling; particulars of which he might be a competent judge, having gone the road so often by post; but that he, without being called to it, had the presumption to give his advice upon matters of state, and against his master, which he should repent as long as he lived. A thousand other reproaches he added, which put the poor king into a new agony in behalf of a servant, who, he foresaw, would suffer for answering him honestly. Upon which he said, with some emotion, "Nay, by God, Stenny, you are much to blame for using him so: he answered me directly to the question which I asked him, and very honestly and wisely; and yet, you know, he said no more than I told you before he was called in." However, after all this passion on both sides, James renewed his consent; and proper directions were given for the journey. Nor was he now at any loss to discover, that the whole intrigue was originally contrived by Buckingham, as well as pursued violently by his spirit and impetuosity.
These circumstances, which so well characterize the persons, seem to have been related by Cottington to Lord Clarendon, from whom they are here transcribed; and though minute, are not undeserving of a place in history.
The prince and Buckingham, with their two attendants, and Sir Richard Graham, master of horse to Buckingham, passed disguised and undiscovered through France; and they even ventured into a court ball at Paris, where Charles saw the princess Henrietta, whom he afterwards espoused, and who was at that time in the bloom of youth and beauty. In eleven days after their departure from London, they arrived at Madrid; and surprised every body by a step so unusual among great princes. The Spanish monarch immediately paid Charles a visit, expressed the utmost gratitude for the confidence reposed in him, and made warm protestations of a correspondent confidence and friendship. By the most studied civilities, he showed the respect which he bore to his royal guest. He gave him a golden key, which opened all his apartments, that the prince might; without any introduction, have access to him at all hours: he took the left hand of him on every occasion, except in the apartments assigned to Charles; for there, he said, the prince was at home: Charles was introduced into the palace with the same pomp and ceremony that attends the kings of Spain on their coronation: the council received public orders to obey him as the king himself.
Olivarez too, though a grandee of Spain, who has the right of being covered before his own king, would not put on his hat in the prince's presence:[*] all the prisons of Spain were thrown open, and all the prisoners received their freedom, as if the event the most honorable and most fortunate had happened to the monarchy:[**] and every sumptuary law with regard to apparel was suspended during Charles's residence in Spain. The infanta, however, was only shown to her lover in public; the Spanish ideas of decency being so strict, as not to allow of any further intercourse, till the arrival of the dispensation.[***]
The point of honor was carried so far by that generous people, that no attempt was made, on account of the advantage which they had acquired, of imposing any harder conditions of treaty: their pious zeal only prompted them, on one occasion, to desire more concessions in the religious articles; but, upon the opposition of Bristol, accompanied with some reproaches, they immediately desisted. The pope, however, hearing of the prince's arrival in Madrid, tacked some new clauses to the dispensation;[****] and it became necessary to transmit the articles to London, that the king might ratify them. This treaty, which was made public, consisted of several articles, chiefly regarding the exercise of the Catholic religion by the infanta and her household. Nothing could reasonably be found fault with, except one article, in which the king promised, that the children should be educated by the princess, till ten years of age. This condition could not be insisted on, but with a view of seasoning their minds with Catholic principles; and though so tender an age seemed a sufficient security against theological prejudices, yet the same reason which made the pope insert that article, should have induced the king to reject it.
Besides the public treaty, there were separate articles, privately sworn to by the king; in which he promised to suspend the penal laws enacted against Catholics, to procure a repeal of them in parliament, and to grant a toleration for the exercise of the Catholic religion in private houses.[v]
     * Franklyn, p. 73.

     ** Franklyn, p. 74.

     *** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 77.

     **** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 84.

     v    Franklyn, p. 80. Rushworth, vol. i. p. 89. Kennet, p.
Great murmurs, we may believe, would have arisen against these articles, had they been made known to the public; since we find it to have been imputed as an enormous crime to the prince that, having received, about this time, a very civil letter from the pope, he was induced to return a very civil answer.[*]
Meanwhile Gregory XV., who granted the dispensation, died; and Urban VIII. was chosen in his place. Upon this event, the nuncio refused to deliver the dispensation, till it should be renewed by Urban; and that crafty pontiff delayed sending a new dispensation, in hopes that, during the prince's residence in Spain, some expedient might be fallen upon to effect his conversion. The king of England, as well as the prince, became impatient. On the first hint, Charles obtained permission to return; and Philip graced his departure with all the circumstances of elaborate civility and respect which had attended his reception. He even erected a pillar on the spot where they took leave of each other, as a monument of mutual friendship; and the prince, having sworn to the observance of all the articles, entered on his journey, and embarked on board the English fleet at St. Andero.
The character of Charles, composed of decency, reserve, modesty, sobriety, virtues so agreeable to the manners of the Spaniards; the unparalleled confidence which he had reposed in their nation; the romantic gallantry which he had practised towards the princess; all these circumstances, joined to his youth and advantageous figure, had endeared him to the whole court of Madrid, and had impressed the most favorable ideas of him.[**] But, in the same proportion that the prince was beloved and esteemed, was Buckingham despised and hated. His behavior, composed of English familiarity and French vivacity; his sallies of passion, his indecent freedoms with the prince, his dissolute pleasures, his arrogant, impetuous temper, which he neither could nor cared to disguise; qualities like these could, most of them, be esteemed nowhere, but to the Spaniards were the objects of peculiar aversion.[***] They could not conceal their surprise, that such a youth could intrude into a negotiation, now conducted to a period by so accomplished a minister as Bristol, and could assume to himself all the merit of it. They lamented the infanta's fate, who must be approached by a man whose temerity seemed to respect no laws, divine or human.[****]
     * Rushworth, vol. i. p. 82. Franklyn, p. 77.

     ** Franklyn, p. 80. Rushworth, vol. i. p. 103.

     *** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 101.

     **** Clarendon, vol. i. p. 36.
And when they observed, that he had the imprudence to insult the Condé duke of Olivarez, their prime minister, every one who was ambitious of paying court to the Spanish became desirous of showing a contempt for the English favorite.
The duke of Buckingham told Olivarez, that his own attachment to the Spanish nation and to the king of Spain was extreme; that he would contribute to every measure which could cement the friendship between England and them; and that his peculiar ambition would be to facilitate the prince's marriage with the infanta. But he added, with a sincerity equally insolent and indiscreet, "With regard to you, sir, in particular, you must not consider me as your friend, but must ever expect from me all possible enmity and opposition." The Condé duke replied, with a becoming dignity, that he very willingly accepted of what was proffered him: and on these terms the favorites parted.[*]
Buckingham, sensible how odious he was become to the Spaniards, and dreading the influence which that nation would naturally acquire after the arrival of the infanta, resolved to employ all his credit in order to prevent the marriage, By what arguments he could engage the prince to offer such an insult to the Spanish nation, from whom he had met with such generous treatment; by what colors he could disguise the ingratitude and imprudence of such a measure; these are totally unknown to us. We may only conjecture, that the many unavoidable causes of delay which had so long prevented the arrival of the dispensation, had afforded to Buckingham a pretence for throwing on the Spaniards the imputation of insincerity in the whole treaty. It also appears, that his impetuous and domineering character had acquired, what it ever after maintained, a total ascendant over the gentle and modest temper of Charles; and, when the prince left Madrid, he was firmly determined, notwithstanding all his professions, to break off the treaty with Spain.
It is not likely that Buckingham prevailed so easily with James to abandon a project which, during so many years, had been the object of all his wishes, and which he had now unexpectedly conducted to a happy period.[**]
     * Rushworth, vol. i. p. 103. Clarendon, vol. i. p. 37.

     ** Hacket's Life of Williams.
A rupture with Spain, the loss of two millions, were prospects little agreeable to this pacific and indigent monarch. But, finding his only son bent against a match which had always been opposed by his people and his parliament, he yielded to difficulties which he had not courage or strength of mind sufficient to overcome. The prince, therefore, and Buckingham, on their arrival at London, assumed entirely the direction of the negotiation; and it was their business to seek for pretences by which they could give a color to their intended breach of treaty.
Though the restitution of the Palatinate had ever been considered by James as a natural or necessary consequence of the Spanish alliance, he had always forbidden his ministers to insist on it as a preliminary article to the conclusion of the marriage treaty. He considered, that this principality was now in the hands of the emperor and the duke of Bavaria and that it was no longer in the king of Spain's power, by a single stroke of his pen, to restore it to its ancient master. The strict alliance of Spain with these princes would engage Philip, he thought, to soften so disagreeable a demand by every art of negotiation; and many articles must of necessity be adjusted, before such an important point could be effected. It was sufficient, in James's opinion, if the sincerity of the Spanish court could, for the present, be ascertained; and, dreading further delays of the marriage, so long wished for, he was resolved to trust the palatine's full restoration to the event of future counsels and deliberations.[*]
This whole system of negotiation Buckingham now reversed; and he overturned every supposition upon which the treaty had hitherto been conducted. After many fruitless artifices were employed to delay or prevent the espousals, Bristol received positive orders not to deliver the proxy, which had been left in his hands, or to finish the marriage, till security were given for the full restitution of the Palatinate.[**]
     * Parl. Hist. vol. vi. p. 57.

     ** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 105. Rennet, p. 776.
Philip understood this language. He had been acquainted with the disgust received by Buckingham; and deeming him a man capable of sacrificing to his own ungovernable passions the greatest interests of his master and of his country, his had expected, that the unbounded credit of that favorite would be employed to embroil the two nations. Determined, however to throw the blame of the rupture entirely on the English, he delivered into Bristol's hand a written promise, by which he bound himself to procure the restoration of the Palatinate either by persuasion, or by every other possible means; and when he found that this concession gave no satisfaction, he ordered the infanta to lay aside the title of princess of Wales which she bore after the arrival of the dispensation from Rome, and to drop the study of the English language.[*] Any thinking that such rash counsels as now governed the court of England, would not stop at the breach of the marriage treaty, he ordered preparations for war immediately to be made throughout all his dominions.[**]
Thus James, having, by means inexplicable from the ordinary rules of politics, conducted, so near an honorable period, the marriage of his son and the restoration of his son-in-law, failed at last of his purpose, by means equally unaccountable.
But though the expedients already used by Buckingham were sufficiently inglorious, both for himself and for the nation, it was necessary for him, ere he could fully effect his purpose, to employ artifices still more dishonorable.
The king, having broken with Spain, was obliged to concert new measures; and, without the assistance of parliament, no effectual step of any kind could be taken. The benevolence which, during the interval, had been rigorously exacted for recovering the Palatinate, though levied for no popular an end, had procured to the king less money than ill will from his subjects.[***] Whatever discouragements, therefore, he might receive from his ill agreement with former parliaments, there was a necessity of summoning once more this assembly: and it might be hoped, that the Spanish alliance which gave such umbrage, being abandoned, the commons would now be better satisfied with the king's administration. In his speech to the houses, James dropped some hints of his cause of complaint against Spain; and he graciously condescended to ask the advice of parliament, which he had ever before rejected, with regard to the conduct of so important so affair as his son's marriage.[****]
     * Franklyn, p. 80. Rushworth, vol. i. p. 112.

     ** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 114.

     *** To show by what violent measures benevolences were
     usually raised, Johnstone tells us, in his Rerum
     Britanniearum Historia, that Barnes, a citizen of London,
     was the first who refused to contribute any thing upon which
     the treasurer sent him word, that he must immediately
     prepare himself to carry by post a despatch into Ireland,
     The citizen was glad to make his peace by paying a hundred
     pounds. And no one durst afterwards refuse the benevolence
     required. See further, Coke, p. 80.

     **** Franklyn, p. 79. Rushworth, vol. i. p. 115. Kennet, p.
Buckingham delivered to a committee of lords and commons a long narrative, which he pretended to be true and complete, of every step taken in the negotiations with Philip: but, partly by the suppression of some facts, partly by the false coloring laid on others, this narrative was calculated entirely to mislead the parliament, and to throw on the court of Spain the reproach of artifice and insincerity. He said, that, after many years' negotiation, the king found not himself any nearer his purpose; and that Bristol had never brought the treaty beyond general professions and declarations; that the prince, doubting the good intentions of Spain, resolved at last to take a journey to Madrid, and put the matter to the utmost trial; that he there found such artificial dealing as made him conclude all the steps taken towards the marriage to be false and deceitful: that the restitution of the Palatinate, which had ever been regarded by the king as an essential preliminary, was not seriously intended by Spain; and that, after enduring much bad usage, the prince was obliged to return to England, without any hopes, either of obtaining the infanta, or of restoring the elector palatine.[*]
This narrative, which, considering the importance of the occasion, and the solemnity of that assembly to which it was delivered, deserves great blame, was yet vouched for truth by the prince of Wales, who was present; and the king himself lent it, indirectly, his authority, by telling the parliament, that it was by his orders Buckingham laid the whole affair before them. The conduct of these princes it is difficult fully to excuse. It is in vain to plead the youth and inexperience of Charles; unless his inexperience and youth, as is probable,[**] 57 if not certain, really led him into error, and made him swallow all the falsities of Buckingham. And though the king was here hurried from his own measures by the impetuosity of others, nothing should have induced him to prostitute his character, and seem to vouch the impostures, at least false colorings, of his favorite, of which he had so good reason to entertain a suspicion.[***]
     * Franklyn, p.89, 90, 91, etc. Rushworth, vol. i. p. 119,
     120, etc. Parl. Hist. vol. vi. p. 20, 21, etc.

     ** See note EEE, at the end of the volume.

     *** It must, however, be confessed, that the king afterwards
     warned the house not to take Buckingham's narrative for his,
     though it was said before them by his order. Parl. Hist.
     vol. vi. p. 104. James was probably ashamed to have been
     carried so far by his favorite.
Buckingham's narrative, however artfully disguised, contained so many contradictory circumstances, as were sufficient to open the eyes of all reasonable men; but it concurred so well with the passions and prejudices of the parliament, that no scruple was made of immediately adopting it.[*] Charmed with having obtained at length the opportunity, so long wished for, of going to war with Papists, they little thought of future consequences; but immediately advised the king to break off both treaties with Spain, as well that which regarded the marriage, as that for the restitution of the Palatinate.[**] The people, ever greedy of war till they suffer by it, displayed their triumph at these violent measures by public bonfires and rejoicings, and by insults on the Spanish ministers. Buckingham was now the favorite of the public and of the parliament. Sir Edward Coke, in the house of commons, called him the savior of the nation.[***] Every place resounded with his praises. And he himself, intoxicated by a popularity which he enjoyed so little time, and which he so ill deserved, violated all duty to his indulgent master, and entered into cabals with the Puritanical members, who had ever opposed the royal authority. He even encouraged schemes for abolishing the order of bishops, and selling the dean and chapter lands, in order to defray the expenses of a Spanish war. And the king, though he still entertained projects for temporizing, and for forming an accommodation with Spain, was so borne down by the torrent of popular prejudices, conducted and increased by Buckingham, that he was at last obliged, in a speech to parliament, to declare in favor of hostile measures, if they would engage to support him.[****] Doubts of their sincerity in this respect, doubts which the event showed not to be ill grounded, had probably been one cause of his former pacific and dilatory measures.
     * Parl. Hist. vol. vi. p. 75.

     ** Franklyn, p. 98. Rushworth, vol. i. p. 128. Parl. Hist.
     vol. vi. p. 103.

     *** Clarendon, vol. i. p. 6.

     **** Franklyn, p. 94, 95. Rushworth, vol. i. p. 129, 130.
In his speech on this occasion, the king began with lamenting his own unhappiness, that, having so long valued himself on the epithet of the pacific monarch, he should now, in his old age, be obliged to exchange the blessings of peace for the inevitable calamities of war. He represented to them the immense and continued expense requisite for military armaments; and, besides supplies from time to time, as they should become necessary, he demanded a vote of six subsidies and twelve fifteenths, as a proper stock before the commencement of hostilities. He told them of his intolerable debts, chiefly contracted by the sums remitted to the palatine;[*] 58 but he added, that he did not insist on any supply for his own relief, and that it was sufficient for him if the honor and security of the public were provided for. To remove all suspicion, he, who had ever strenuously maintained his prerogative, and who had even extended it into some points esteemed doubtful, now made an imprudent concession, of which the consequences might have proved fatal to royal authority; he voluntarily offered, that the money voted should be paid to a committee of parliament, and should be issued by them, without being intrusted to his management.[**] The commons willingly accepted of this concession, so unusual in an English monarch: they voted him only three subsidies and three fifteenths:[***] and they took no notice of the complaints which he made of his own wants and necessities.
Advantage was also taken of the present good agreement between the king and parliament, in order to pass the bill against monopolies, which had formerly been encouraged by the king, but which had failed by the rupture between him and the last house of commons. This bill was conceived in such terms as to render it merely declaratory; and all monopolies were condemned, as contrary to law and to the known liberties of the people. It was there supposed, that every subject of England had entire power to dispose of his own actions, provided he did no injury to any of his fellow subjects; and that no prerogative of the king, no power of any magistrate, nothing but the authority alone of laws, could restrain that unlimited freedom. The full prosecution of this noble principle into all its natural consequences, has at last, through many contests, produced that singular and happy government which we enjoy at present.[****] 59
     * See note FFF, at the end of the volume.

     ** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 137.

     *** Less than three hundred thousand pounds.

     **** See note GGG, at the end of the volume.
The house of commons also corroborated, by a new precedent, the important power of impeachment, which, two years before, they had exercised in the case of Chancellor Bacon, and which had lain dormant for near two centuries, except when they served as instruments of royal vengeance. The earl of Middlesex had been raised, by Buckingham's interest, from the rank of a London merchant, to be treasurer of England; and, by his activity and address, seemed not unworthy of that preferment. But, as he incurred the displeasure of his patron, by scrupling or refusing some demands of money during the prince's residence in Spain, that favorite vowed revenge, and employed all his credit among the commons to procure an impeachment of the treasurer. The king was extremely dissatisfied with this measure, and prophesied to the prince and duke, that they would live to have their fill of parliamentary prosecutions.[*] In a speech to the parliament, he endeavored to apologize for Middlesex, and to soften the accusation against him.[**] The charge, however, was still maintained by the commons; and the treasurer was found guilty by the peers, though the misdemeanors proved against him were neither numerous nor important. The accepting of two presents of five hundred pounds apiece, for passing two patents, was the article of greatest weight. His sentence was, to be fined fifty thousand pounds for the king's-use, and to suffer all the other penalties formerly inflicted upon Bacon. The fine was afterwards remitted by the prince, when he mounted the throne.
This session, an address was also made, very disagreeable to the king, craving the severe execution of the laws against Catholics. His answer was gracious and condescending;[***] though he declared against persecution, as being an improper measure for the suppression of any religion, according to the received maxim, "That the blood of the martyrs was the seed of the church." He also condemned an entire indulgence of the Catholics; and seemed to represent a middle course as the most humane and most politic. He went so far as even to affirm with an oath, that he never had entertained any thoughts of granting a toleration to these religionists.[****] The liberty of exercising their worship in private houses, which he had secretly agreed to in the Spanish treaty, did not appear to him deserving that name; and it was probably by means of this explication, he thought that he had saved his honor. And as Buckingham, in his narrative,[v] confessed that the king had agreed to a temporary suspension of the penal laws against the Catholics, which he distinguished from a toleration, (a term at that time extremely odious,) James naturally deemed his meaning to be sufficiently explained, and feared not any reproach of falsehood or duplicity, on account of this asseveration.
     * Clarendon, vol. i. p. 23.

     ** Parl. Hist. vol. vi. p. 19.

     *** Franklyn, p. 101, 102.

     **** See, further, Franklyn, p. 87.

     v    Parl. Hist. vol. vi. p. 37.
After all these transactions, the parliament was prorogued by the king, who let fall some hints, though in gentle terms, of the sense which he entertained of their unkindness in not supplying his necessities.[*]
     * Franklyn, p. 103.
James, unable to resist so strong a combination as that of his people, his parliament, his son, and his favorite, had been compelled to embrace measures for which, from temper as well as judgment, he had ever entertained a most settled aversion. Though he dissembled his resentment, he began to estrange himself from Buckingham, to whom he ascribed all those violent counsels, and whom he considered as the author, both of the prince's journey to Spain, and of the breach of the marriage treaty. The arrival of Bristol he impatiently longed for; and it was by the assistance of that minister, whose wisdom he respected, and whose views he approved, that he hoped in time to extricate himself from his present difficulties.
During the prince's abode in Spain, that able negotiator had ever opposed, though unsuccessfully, to the impetuous measures suggested by Buckingham, his own wise and well-tempered counsels. After Charles's departure, he still, upon the first appearance of a change of resolution, interposed his advice, and strenuously insisted on the sincerity of the Spaniards in the conduct of the treaty, as well as the advantages which England must reap from the completion of it. Enraged to find that his successful labors should be rendered abortive by the levities and caprices of an insolent minion, he would understand no hints; and nothing but express orders from his master could engage him to make that demand which, he was sensible, must put a final period to the treaty. He was not, therefore, surprised to hear that Buckingham had declared himself his open enemy, and, on all occasions, had thrown out many violent reflections against him.
Nothing could be of greater consequence to Buckingham than to keep Bristol at a distance both from the king and the parliament; lest the power of truth, enforced by so well-informed a speaker, should open scenes which were but suspected by the former, and of which the latter had as yet entertained no manner of jealousy. He applied therefore to James, whose weakness, disguised to himself under the appearance of finesse and dissimulation, was now become absolutely incurable. A warrant for sending Bristol to the Tower was issued immediately upon his arrival in England;[*] and though he was soon released from confinement, yet orders were carried him from the king, to retire to his country seat, and to abstain from all attendance in parliament He obeyed; but loudly demanded an opportunity of justifying himself, and of laying his whole conduct before his master. On all occasions, he protested his innocence, and threw on his enemy the blame of every miscarriage. Buckingham, and, at his instigation, the prince, declared that they would be reconciled to Bristol, if he would but acknowledge his errors and ill conduct: but the spirited nobleman, jealous of his honor, refused to buy favor at so high a price. James had the equity to say, that the insisting on that condition was a strain of unexampled tyranny: but Buckingham scrupled not to assert, with his usual presumption, that neither the king, the prince, nor himself, were as yet satisfied of Bristol's innocence.[**]
While the attachment of the prince to Buckingham, while the timidity of James or the shame of changing his favorite, kept the whole court in awe, the Spanish ambassador, Inoiosa, endeavored to open the king's eyes, and to cure his fears by instilling greater fears into him. He privately slipped into his hand a paper, and gave him a signal to read it alone. He there told him, that he was as much a prisoner at London as ever Francis I. was at Madrid; that the prince and Buckingham had conspired together, and had the whole court at their devotion; that cabals among the popular leaders in parliament were carrying on, to the extreme prejudice of his authority; that the project was to confine him to some of his hunting seats, and to commit the whole administration to Charles; and that it was necessary for him, by one vigorous effort, to vindicate his authority, and to punish those who had so long and so much abused his friendship and beneficence.[***]
     * Rushworth, vol. i. p. 145.

     ** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 259.

     *** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 144. Hacket's Life of Williams.
     Coke p. 107.
What credit James gave to this representation does not appear. He only discovered some faint symptoms, which he instantly retracted, of dissatisfaction with Buckingham. All his public measures, and all the alliances into which he entered, were founded on the system of enmity to the Austrian family, and of war to be carried on for the recovery of the Palatinate.
The states of the United Provinces were at this time governed by Maurice; and that aspiring prince, sensible that his credit would languish during peace, had, on the expiration of the twelve years' truce, renewed the war with the Spanish monarchy. His great capacity in the military art would have compensated the inferiority of his forces, had not the Spanish armies been commanded by Spinola, a general equally renowned for conduct, and more celebrated for enterprise and activity. In such a situation, nothing could, be more welcome to the republic than the prospect of a rupture between James and the Catholic king; and they flattered themselves, as well from the natural union of interests between them and England, as from the influence of the present conjuncture, that powerful succors would soon march to their relief. Accordingly an army of six thousand men was levied in England, and sent over to Holland, commanded by four young noblemen, Essex, Oxford, Southampton, and Willoughby, who were ambitious of distinguishing themselves in so popular a cause, and of acquiring military experience under so renowned a captain as Maurice.
It might reasonably have been expected, that, as religious zeal had made the recovery of the Palatinate appear a point of such vast importance in England, the same effect must have been produced in France, by the force merely of political views and considerations. While that principality remained in the hands of the house of Austria, the French dominions were surrounded on all sides by the possessions of that ambitious family, and might be invaded by superior forces from every quarter. It concerned the king of France, therefore, to prevent the peaceable establishment of the emperor in his new conquests; and both by the situation and greater power of his state, he was much better enabled than James to give succor to the distressed palatine.[*]
     * See Collection of State Papers by the earl of Clarendon,
     p. 302.

 But though these views escaped not Louis,
nor Cardinal Richelieu, who now began to acquire an ascendant in the
French court, that minister was determined to pave the way for his
enterprises by first subduing the Hugonots, and thence to proceed, by
mature counsels, to humble the house of Austria. The prospect, however,
of a conjunction with England was presently embraced, and all imaginable
encouragement was given to every proposal for conciliating a marriage
between Charles and the princess Henrietta.
Notwithstanding the sensible experience which James might have acquired of the unsurmountable antipathy entertained by his subjects against an alliance with Catholics, he still persevered in the opinion, that his son would be degraded by receiving into his bed a princess of less than royal extraction. After the rupture, therefore, with Spain, nothing remained but an alliance with France; and to that court he immediately applied himself.[*] The same allurements had not here place, which had so long entangled him in the Spanish negotiation: the portion promised was much inferior; and the peaceable restoration of the palatine could not thence be expected. But James was afraid lest his son should be altogether disappointed of a bride; and therefore, as soon as the French king demanded, for the honor of his crown, the same terms which had been granted to the Spanish, he was prevailed with to comply. And as the prince, during his abode in Spain, had given a verbal promise to allow the infanta the education of her children till the age of thirteen, this article was here inserted in the treaty; and to that imprudence is generally imputed the present distressed condition of his posterity. The court of England, however, it must be confessed, always pretended, even in their memorials to the French court that all the favorable conditions granted to the Catholics, were inserted in the marriage treaty merely to please the pope, and that their strict execution was, by an agreement with France, secretly dispensed with.[**] 60
     * Rushworth, vol. i. p. 152.

     ** See note HHH, at the end of the volume.
As much as the conclusion of the marriage treaty was acceptable to the king, as much were all the military enterprises disagreeable, both from the extreme difficulty of the undertaking in which he was engaged, and from his own incapacity for such a scene of action.
During the Spanish negotiation, Heidelberg and Manheim had been taken by the imperial forces; and Frankendale, though the garrison was entirely English, was closely besieged by them. After reiterated remonstrances from James, Spain interposed, and procured a suspension of arms during eighteen months. But as Frankendale was the only place of Frederic's ancient dominions which was still in his hands, Ferdinand, desirous of withdrawing his forces from the Palatinate, and of leaving that state in security was unwilling that so important a fortress should remain in the possession of the enemy. To compromise all differences, it was agreed to sequestrate it into the hands of the infanta as a neutral person; upon condition that, after the expiration of the truce, it should be delivered to Frederic; though peace should not, at that time, be concluded between him and Ferdinand.[*] After the unexpected rupture with Spain, the infanta, when James demanded the execution of the treaty, offered him peaceable possession of Frankendale, and even promised a safe-conduct for the garrison through the Spanish Netherlands: but there was some territory of the empire interposed between her state and the Palatinate; and for passage over that territory, no terms were stipulated.[**] By this chicane, which certainly had not been employed if amity with Spain had been preserved, the palatine was totally dispossessed of his patrimonial dominions.
     * Rushworth, vol. i. p. 74.

     ** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 151.
The English nation, however, and James's warlike council, were not discouraged. It was still determined to reconquer the Palatinate; a state lying in the midst of Germany, possessed entirely by the emperor and duke of Bavaria, surrounded by potent enemies, and cut off from all communication with England. Count Mansfeldt was taken into pay; and an English army of twelve thousand foot and two hundred horse was levied by a general press throughout the kingdom. During the negotiation with France, vast promises had been made, though in general terms, by the French ministry; not only that a free passage should be granted to the English troops, but that powerful succors should also join them in their march towards the Palatinate. In England, all these professions were hastily interpreted to be positive engagements. The troops under Mansfeldt's command were embarked at Dover; but, upon sailing over to Calais, found no orders yet arrived for their admission. After waiting in vain during some time, they were obliged to sail towards Zealand, where it had also been neglected to concert proper measures for their disembarkation; and some scruples arose among the states on account of the scarcity of provisions. Meanwhile a pestilential distemper crept in among the English forces, so long cooped up in narrow vessels. Half the army died while on board; and the other half, weakened by sickness, appeared too small a body to march into the Palatinate.[*]
And thus ended this ill-concerted and fruitless expedition; the only disaster which happened to England during the prosperous and pacific reign of James.
That reign was now drawing towards a conclusion. With peace, so successfully cultivated, and so passionately loved by this monarch, his life also terminated. This spring, he was seized with a tertian ague; and, when encouraged by his courtiers with the common proverb, that such a distemper, during that season, was health for a king, he replied, that the proverb was meant of a young king. After some fits, he found himself extremely weakened, and sent for the prince, whom he exhorted to bear a tender affection for his wife, but to preserve a constancy in religion; to protect the church of England; and to extend his care towards the unhappy family of the palatine.[**] With decency and courage, he prepared himself for his end; and he expired on the twenty-seventh of March, after a reign over England of twenty-two years and some days, and in the fifty-ninth year of his age. His reign over Scotland was almost of equal duration with his life. In all history, it would be difficult to find a reign less illustrious, yet more unspotted and unblemished, than that of James in both kingdoms.
     * Franklyn, p. 104. Rushworth, vol. i. p. 154. Dugdale, p.

     ** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 155.
No prince, so little enterprising and so inoffensive, was ever so much exposed to the opposite extremes of calumny and flattery, of satire and panegyric. And the factions which began in his time, being still continued, have made his character be as much disputed to this day, as is commonly that of princes who are our contemporaries. Many virtues, however, it must be owned, he was possessed of, but scarce any of them pure, or free from the contagion of the neighboring vices. His generosity bordered on profusion, his learning on pedantry, his pacific disposition on pusillanimity, his wisdom on cunning, his friendship on light fancy and boyish fondness. While he imagined that he was only maintaining his own authority, he may, perhaps, be suspected, in a few of his actions, and still more of his pretensions, to have somewhat encroached on the liberties of his people: while he endeavored, by an exact neutrality, to acquire the good will of all his neighbors, he was able to preserve fully the esteem and regard of none. His capacity was considerable; but fitter to discourse on general maxims, than to conduct any intricate business: his intentions were just; but more adapted to the conduct of private life than to the government of kingdoms. Awkward in his person, and ungainly in his manners, he was ill qualified to command respect; partial and undiscerning in his affections, he was little fitted to acquire general love. Of a feeble temper, more than of a frail judgment; exposed to our ridicule from his vanity; but exempt from our hatred by his freedom from pride and arrogance. And, upon the whole, it may be pronounced of his character, that all his qualities were sullied with weakness and embellished by humanity. Of political courage he certainly was destitute; and thence, chiefly, is derived the strong prejudice which prevails against his personal bravery; an inference, however, which must be owned, from general experience, to be extremely fallacious.
He was only once married, to Anne of Denmark, who died on the third of March, 1619, in the forty-fifth year of her age; a woman eminent neither for her vices nor her virtues. She loved shows and expensive amusements, but possessed little taste in her pleasures. A great comet appeared about the time of her death; and the vulgar esteemed it the prognostic of that event: so considerable in their eyes are even the most insignificant princes.
He left only one son, Charles, then in the twenty-fifth year of his age; and one daughter, Elizabeth, married to the elector palatine. She was aged twenty-nine years. Those alone remained of six legitimate children born to him. He never had any illegitimate; and he never discovered any tendency, even the smallest, towards a passion for any mistress.
The archbishops of Canterbury during this reign were Whitgift, who died in 1604; Bancroft, in 1610; Abbot, who survived the king. The chancellors, Lord Ellesmore, who resigned in 1617; Bacon was first lord keeper till 1619; then was created chancellor, and was displaced in 1621: Williams, bishop of Lincoln, was created lord keeper in his place. The high treasurers were the earl of Dorset, who died in 1609, the earl of Salisbury, in 1612; the earl of Suffolk, fined and displaced for bribery in 1618. Lord Mandeville resigned in 1621, the earl of Middlesex, displaced in 1624; the earl of Marlborough succeeded. The lord admirals were, the earl of Nottingham, who resigned in 1618; the earl, afterwards duke of Buckingham. The secretaries of state were, the earl of Salisbury, Sir Ralph Winwood, Nanton, Calvert, Lord Conway, Sir Albertus Moreton.
The numbers of the house of lords, in the first parliament of this reign, were seventy-eight temporal peers. The numbers in the first parliament of Charles were ninety-seven. Consequently James, during that period, created nineteen new peerages above those that expired.
The house of commons, in the first parliament of this reign, consisted of four hundred and sixty-seven members. It appears that four boroughs revived their charters, which they had formerly neglected. And as the first parliament of Charles consisted of four hundred and ninety-four members, we may infer that James created ten new boroughs.


     This history of the house of Stuart was written and
     published by the author before the history of the house of
     Tudor. Hence it happens that some passages, particularly in
     the present Appendix, may seem to be repetitions of what was
     formerly delivered in the reign of Elizabeth. The author, in
     order to obviate this objection, has cancelled some few
     passages in the foregoing chapters.
It may not be improper, at this period, to make a pause, and to take a survey of the state of the kingdom with regard to government, manners, finances, arms, trade, learning. Where a just notion is not formed of these particulars, history can be little instructive, and often will not be intelligible.
We may safely pronounce that the English government, at the accession of the Scottish line, was much more arbitrary than it is at present; the prerogative less limited, the liberties of the subject less accurately defined and secured. Without mentioning other particulars, the courts alone of high commission and star chamber were sufficient to lay the whole kingdom at the mercy of the prince.
The court of high commission had been erected by Elizabeth, in consequence of an act of parliament passed in the beginning of her reign: by this act it was thought proper during the great revolution of religion, to arm the sovereign with full powers, in order to discourage and suppress opposition. All appeals from the inferior ecclesiastical courts were carried before the high commission; and, of consequence, the whole life and doctrine of the clergy lay directly under its inspection. Every breach of the act of uniformity, every refusal of the ceremonies, was cognizable in this court; and, during the reign of Elizabeth, had been punished by deprivation, by fine, confiscation, and imprisonment. James contented himself with the gentler penalty of deprivation; nor was that punishment inflicted with rigor on every offender. Archbishop Spotswood tells us, that fee was informed by Bancroft, the primate, several years after the king's accession, that not above forty-five clergymen had then been deprived. All the Catholics, too, were liable to be punished by this court, if they exercised any act of their religion, or sent abroad their children or other relations to receive that education which they could not procure them in their own country. Popish priests were thrown into prison, and might be delivered over to the law, which punished them with death; though that severity had been sparingly exercised by Elizabeth, and never almost by James. In a word, that liberty of conscience, which we so highly and so justly value at present, was totally suppressed; and no exercise of any religion but the established, was permitted throughout the kingdom. Any word or writing which tended towards heresy or schism, was punishable by the high commissioners, or any three of them: they alone were judges what expressions had that tendency: they proceeded not by information, but upon rumor, suspicion, or according to their discretion: they administered an oath, by which the party cited before them was bound to answer any question which should be propounded to him: whoever refused this oath, though he pleaded ever so justly, that he might thereby be brought to accuse himself or his dearest friend, was punishable by Imprisonment: and in short, an inquisitorial tribunal, with all its terrors and iniquities, was erected in the kingdom. Full discretionary powers were bestowed with regard to the inquiry, trial, sentence, and penalty inflicted; excepting only that corporal punishments were restrained by that patent of the prince which erected the court, not by the act of parliament which empowered him. By reason of the uncertain limits which separate ecclesiastical from civil causes, all accusations of adultery and incest were tried by the court of high commission; and every complaint of wives against their husbands was there examined and discussed.[*]
     * Rymer, tom. xvii. p. 200.
On like pretences, every cause which regarded conscience, that is, every cause, could have been brought under their jurisdiction. But there was a sufficient reason why the king would not be solicitous to stretch the jurisdiction of this court: the star chamber possessed the same authority in civil matters; and its methods of proceeding were equally arbitrary and unlimited, The origin of this court was derived from the most remote antiquity[*] though it is pretended, that its power had first been carried to the greatest height by Henry VII. In all times, however, it is confessed, it enjoyed authority; and at no time was its authority circumscribed, or method of proceeding directed by any law or statute.
We have had already, or shall have sufficient occasion, dur-* ing the course of this history, to mention the dispensing power, the power of imprisonment, of exacting loans[**] and benevolences, of pressing and quartering soldiers, of altering the customs, of erecting monopolies. These branches of power, if not directly opposite to the principles of all free government, must, at least, be acknowledged dangerous to freedom in a monarchical constitution, where an eternal jealousy must be preserved against the sovereign, and no discretionary powers must ever be intrusted to him, by which the property or personal liberty of any subject can be affected. The kings of England, however, had almost constantly exercised these powers; and if, on any occasion, the prince had been obliged to submit to laws enacted against them, he had ever, in practice, eluded these laws, and returned to the same arbitrary administration. During almost three centuries before the accession of James, the regal authority, in all these particulars, had never once been called in question.
     * Bushworth, vol. ii. p. 473. In Chambers's case, it was the
     unanimous opinion of the court of king's bench, that the
     court of star Chamber was not derived from the statute of
     Henry VII., but was a court many years before, and one of
     the most high and honorable courts of justice. See Coke's
     Rep. term. Mich. 5 Car. I. See, further, Camden's Brit. vol.
     i. Intro, p. 254, edit. of Gibson.

     ** During several centuries, no reign had passed without
     some forced loans from the subject.
We may also observe, that the principles in general which prevailed during that age, were so favorable to monarchy, that they bestowed on it an authority almost absolute and unlimited, sacred and indefeasible.
The meetings of parliament were so precarious, their sessions so short, compared to the vacations, that, when men's eyes were turned upwards in search of sovereign power, the prince alone was apt to strike them as the only permanent magistrate, invested with the whole majesty and authority of the state. The great complaisance too of parliaments, during so long a period, had extremely degraded and obscured those assemblies; and as all instances of opposition to prerogative must have been drawn from a remote age, they were unknown to a great many, and had the less authority even with those who were acquainted with them. These examples, besides, of liberty had commonly, in ancient times, been accompanied with such circumstances of violence, convulsion, civil war, and disorder, that they presented but a disagreeable idea to the inquisitive part of the people, and afforded small inducement to renew such dismal scenes. By a great many, therefore, monarchy, simple and unmixed, was conceived to be the government of England; and those popular assemblies were supposed to form only the ornament of the fabric, without being in any degree essential to its being and existence.[*] 61 The prerogative of the crown was represented by lawyers as something real and durable; like those eternal essences of the schools, which no time or force could alter. The sanction of religion was by divines called in aid; and the Monarch of heaven was supposed to be interested in supporting the authority of his earthly vicegerent. And though it is pretended that these doctrines were more openly inculcated and more strenuously insisted on during the reign of the Stuarts, they were not then invented; and were only found by the court to be more necessary at that period, by reason of the opposite doctrines, which began to be promulgated by the Puritanical party.[**] 62
     * See note III, at the end of the volume.

     ** See note KKK, at the end of the volume.
In consequence of these exalted ideas of kingly authority, the prerogative, besides the articles of jurisdiction founded on precedent, was by many supposed to possess an inexhaustible fund of latent powers, which might be exerted on any emergence. In every government, necessity, when real, supersedes all laws, and levels all limitations; but in the English government, convenience alone was conceived to authorize any extraordinary act of regal power, and to render it obligatory on the people. Hence the strict obedience required to proclamations during all periods of the English history; and if James has incurred blame on account of his edicts, it is only because he too frequently issued them at a time when they began to be less regarded, not because he first assumed or extended to an unusual degree that exercise of authority. Of his maxims in a parallel case, the following is a pretty remark able instance.
Queen Elizabeth had appointed commissioners for the inspection of prisons, and had bestowed on them full discretionary powers to adjust all differences between prisoners and their creditors, to compound debts, and to give liberty to such debtors as they found honest and insolvent. From the uncertain and undefined nature of the English constitution, doubts sprang up in many, that this commission was contrary to law; and it was represented in that light to James. He forbore, therefore, renewing the commission, till the fifteenth of his reign; when complaints rose so high with regard to the abuses practised in prisons, that he thought himself obliged to overcome his scruples, and to appoint new commissioners, invested with the same discretionary powers which Elizabeth had formerly conferred.[*]
     * Rymer, tom. xviii. p. 117, 594.
Upon the whole, we must conceive that monarchy, on the accession of the house of Stuart, was possessed of a very extensive authority: an authority, in the judgment of all, not exactly limited; in the judgment of some, not limitable. But, at the same time, this authority was founded merely on the opinion of the people, influenced by ancient precedent and example. It was not supported either by money or by force of arms. And, for this reason, we need not wonder that the princes of that line were so extremely jealous of their prerogative; being sensible, that when these claims were ravished from them, they possessed no influence by which they could maintain their dignity, or support the laws. By the changes which have since been introduced, the liberty and independence of individuals has been rendered much more full, entire and secure; that of the public more uncertain and precarious. And it seems a necessary, though perhaps a melancholy truth, that in every government, the magistrate must either possess a large revenue and a military force, or enjoy some discretionary powers, in order to execute the laws and support his own authority.
We have had occasion to remark, in so many instances, the bigotry which prevailed in that age, that we can look for no toleration among the different sects. Two Arians, under the title of heretics, were punished by fire during this period; and no other reign, since the reformation, had been free from the like barbarities. Stowe says, that these Arians were offered their pardon at the stake, if they would merit it by a recantation. A madman, who called himself the Holy Ghost, was without any indulgence for his frenzy, condemned to the same punishment. Twenty pounds a month could, by law, be levied on every one who frequented not the established worship. This rigorous law, however, had one indulgent clause, that the lines exacted should not exceed two thirds of the yearly income of the person. It had been usual for Elizabeth to allow those penalties to run on for several years; and to levy them all at once, to the utter ruin of such Catholics as had incurred her displeasure. James was more humane in this, as in every other respect. The Puritans formed a sect which secretly lurked in the church, but pretended not to any separate worship or discipline. An attempt of that kind would have been universally regarded as the most unpardonable enormity. And had the king been disposed to grant the Puritans a full toleration for a separate exercise of their religion, it is certain, from the spirit of the times, that this sect itself would have despised and hated him for it, and would have reproached him with luke-warmness and indifference in the cause of religion. They maintained, that they themselves were the only pure church; that their principles and practices ought to be established by law; and that no others ought to be tolerated. It may be questioned, therefore, whether the administration at this time could with propriety deserve the appellation of persecutors with regard to the Puritans. Such of the clergy, indeed, as refused to comply with the legal ceremonies, were deprived of their livings, and sometimes, in Elizabeth's reign, were otherwise punished: and ought any man to accept of an office or benefice in an establishment, while he declines compliance with the fixed and known rules of that establishment? But Puritans were never punished for frequenting separate congregations; because there were none such in the kingdom; and no Protestant ever assumed or pretended to the right of erecting them. The greatest well-wishers of the Puritanical sect would have condemned a practice, which in that age was universally, by statesmen and ecclesiastics-philosophers and zealots, regarded as subversive of civil society. Even so great a reasoner as Lord Bacon thought that uniformity in religion was absolutely necessary to the support of government, and that no toleration could with safety be given to sectaries.[*]
     * See his essay De Unitate Ecclesiae.
Nothing but the imputation of idolatry, which was thrown on the Catholic religion, could justify, in the eyes of the Puritans themselves, the schism made by the Hugonots and other Protestants who lived in Popish countries.
In all former ages, not wholly excepting even those of Greece and Rome, religious sects, and heresies, and schisms had been esteemed dangerous, if not pernicious, to civil government, and were regarded as the source of faction, and private combination, and opposition to the laws.[*] The magistrate, therefore, applied himself directly to the cure of this evil, as of every other; and very naturally attempted, by penal statutes, to suppress those separate communities, and punish the obstinate innovators. But it was found by fatal experience, and after spilling an ocean of blood in those theological quarrels, that the evil was of a peculiar nature, and was both inflamed by violent remedies, and diffused itself more rapidly throughout the whole society. Hence, though late, arose the paradoxical principle and salutary practice of toleration.
The liberty of the press was incompatible with such maxims and such principles of government as then prevailed, and was therefore quite unknown in that age. Besides employing the two terrible courts of star chamber and high commission, whose powers were unlimited, Queen Elizabeth exerted her authority by restraints upon the press. She passed a decree in her court of star chamber, that is, by her own will and pleasure, forbidding any book to be printed in any place but in London, Oxford, and Cambridge:[**] and another, in which she prohibited, under severe penalties, the publishing of any book or pamphlet "against the form or meaning of any restraint or ordinance, contained, or to be contained, in any statute or laws of this realm, or in any injunction made or set forth by her majesty or her privy council, or against the true sense or meaning of any letters patent, commissions or prohibitions under the great seal of England."[***] James extended the same penalties to the importing of such books from abroad.[****]
     * See Cicero de Legibus.

     ** 28th of Elizabeth. See State Trials Sir Robert Knightly,
     vol vii. 1st edit.

     *** Rymer, tom. xvii. p. 522.

     **** Rymer, tom. xvii. p. 522.
And to render these edicts more effectual, he afterwards inhibited the printing of any book without a license from the archbishop of Canterbury, the archbishop of York, the bishop of London, or the vice-chancellor of one of the universities, or of some person appointed by them.[*]
In tracing the coherence among the systems of modern theology, we may observe, that the doctrine of absolute decrees has ever been intimately connected with the enthusiastic spirit, as that doctrine affords the highest subject of joy, triumph, and security to the supposed elect, and exalts them by infinite degrees above the rest of mankind. All the first reformers adopted these principles; and the Jansenists too, a fanatical sect in France, not to mention the Mahometans in Asia, have ever embraced them. As the Lutheran establishments were subjected to Episcopal jurisdiction, their enthusiastic genius gradually decayed; and men had leisure to perceive the absurdity of supposing God to punish by infinite torments what he himself from all eternity had unchangeably decreed. The king, though at this time his Calvinistic education had rivetted him in the doctrine of absolute decrees, yet, being a zealous partisan of Episcopacy, was insensibly engaged, towards the end of his reign, to favor the milder theology of Arminius. Even in so great a doctor, the genius of the religion prevailed over its speculative tenets; and with him, the whole clergy gradually dropped the more rigid principles of absolute reprobation and unconditional decrees. Some noise was at first made about these innovations; but being drowned in the fury of factions and civil wars which ensued, the scholastic arguments made an insignificant figure amidst those violent disputes about civil and ecclesiastical power with which the nation was agitated. And at the restoration, the church, though she still retained her old subscriptions and articles of faith, was found to have totally changed her speculative doctrines, and to have embraced tenets more suitable to the genius of her discipline and worship, without its being possible to assign the precise period in which the alteration was produced.
It may be worth observing, that James, from his great desire to promote controversial divinity, erected a college at Chelsea for the entertainment of twenty persons, who should be entirely employed in refuting the Papists and Puritans.[**]
     * Rymer, tom. xvii. p. 616.

     ** Kennel, p. 685. Caraden's Brit vol. i. p. 370. Gibson's
All the efforts of the great Bacon could not procure an establishment for the cultivation of natural philosophy: even to this day, no society has been instituted for the polishing and fixing of our language. The only encouragement which the sovereign in England has ever given to any thing that has the appearance of science, was this short-lived establishment of James; an institution quite superfluous, considering the unhappy propension which at that time so universally possessed the nation for polemical theology.
The manners of the nation were agreeable to the monarchical government which prevailed, and contained not that strange mixture which at present distinguishes England from all other countries. Such violent extremes were then unknown, of industry and debauchery, frugality and profusion, civility and rusticity, fanaticism and scepticism. Candor, sincerity, modesty, are the only qualities which the English of that age possessed in common with the present.
High pride of family then prevailed; and it was by a dignity and stateliness of behavior, that the gentry and nobility distinguished themselves from the common people. Great riches acquired by commerce were more rare, and had not as yet been able to confound all ranks of men, and render money the chief foundation of distinction. Much ceremony took place in the common intercourse of life, and little familiarity was indulged by the great. The advantages which result from opulence are so solid and real, that those who are possessed of them need not dread the near approaches of their inferiors. The distinctions of birth and title, being more empty and imaginary, soon vanish upon familiar access and acquaintance.
The expenses of the great consisted in pomp, and show, and a numerous retinue, rather than in convenience and true pleasure. The earl of Nottingham, in his embassy to Spain, was attended by five hundred persons: the earl of Hertford, in that to Brussels, carried three hundred gentlemen along with him. Lord Bacon has remarked, that the English nobility, in his time, maintained a larger retinue of servants than the nobility of any other nation, except, perhaps, the Polanders.[*]
Civil honors, which now hold the first place, were at that time subordinate to the military. The young gentry and nobility were fond of distinguishing themselves by arms. The fury of duels, too, prevailed more than at anytime before or since.[**] This was the turn that the romantic chivalry, for which the nation was formerly so renowned, had lately taken.
     * Essays De profer, fin. imp.

     ** Franklyn, p. 5 See also Lord Herbert's Memoirs.
Liberty of commerce between the sexes was indulged, but without any licentiousness of manners. The court was very little an exception to this observation. James had rather entertained an aversion and contempt for the females; nor were those young courtiers, of whom he was so fond, able to break through the established manners of the nation.
The first sedan chair seen in England was in this reign, and was used by the duke of Buckingham; to the great indignation of the people, who exclaimed, that he was employing his fellow-creatures to do the service of beasts.
The country life prevails at present in England beyond any cultivated nation of Europe; but it was then much more generally embraced by all the gentry. The increase of arts, pleasures, and social commerce, was just beginning to produce an inclination for the softer and more civilized life of the city. James discouraged, as much as possible, this alteration of manners. "He was wont to be very earnest," as Lord Bacon tells us, "with the country gentlemen to go from London to their country seats. And sometimes he would say thus to them: 'Gentlemen, at London you are like ships in a sea, which show like nothing; but in your country villages you are like ships in a river, which look like great things.'"[*]
He was not content with reproof and exhortation. As Queen Elizabeth had perceived with regret the increase of London, and had restrained all new buildings by proclamation, James, who found that these edicts were not exactly obeyed, frequently renewed them; though a strict execution seems still to have been wanting. He also issued reiterated proclamations, in imitation of his predecessor; containing severe menaces against the gentry who lived in town.[**]
     * Apophthegms.

     ** Rymer, tom. xvii. p. 632.
This policy is contrary to that which has ever been practised by all princes who studied the increase of their authority. To allure the nobility to court; to engage them in expensive pleasures or employments which dissipate their fortune; to increase their subjection to ministers by attendance; to weaken their authority in the provinces by absence: these have been the common arts of arbitrary government. But James, besides that he had certainly laid no plan for extending his power, had no money to support a splendid court, or bestow on a numerous retinue of gentry and nobility. He thought too, that by their living together, they became more sensible of their own strength, and were apt to indulge too curious researches into matters of government. To remedy the present evil, he was desirous of dispersing them into their country seats; where, he hoped, they would bear a more submissive reverence to his authority, and receive less support from each other. But the contrary effect soon followed. The riches amassed during their residence at home rendered them independent. The influence acquired by hospitality made them formidable. They would not be led by the court: they could not be driven: and thus the system of the English government received a total and a sudden alteration in the course of less than forty years.
The first rise of commerce and the arts had contributed, in preceding reigns, to scatter those immense fortunes of the barons which rendered them so formidable both to king and people. The further progress of these advantages began, during this reign, to ruin the small proprietors of land;[*] and, by both events, the gentry, or that rank which composed the house of commons, enlarged their power and authority. The early improvements in luxury were seized by the greater nobles, whose fortunes, placing them above frugality, or even calculation, were soon dissipated in expensive pleasures. These improvements reached at last all men of property; and those of slender fortunes, who at that time were often men of family, imitating those of a rank immediately above them, reduced themselves to poverty. Their lands, coming to sale, swelled the estates of those who possessed itches sufficient for the fashionable expenses, but who were not exempted from some care and attention to their domestic economy.
The gentry also of that age were engaged in no expense, except that of country hospitality. No taxes were levied, no wars waged, no attendance at court expected, no bribery or profusion required at elections.[**] Could human nature ever reach happiness, the condition of the English gentry, under so mild and benign a prince, might merit that appellation.
The amount of the king's revenue, as it stood in 1617, is thus stated.[***]
     * Cabala, p. 224, 1st edit.

     ** Men seem then to have been ambitious of representing the
     counties, but careless on the boroughs. A seat in the house
     was, in itself, of small importance: but the former became a
     point of honor among the gentlemen. Journ. 10th Feb. 1620.
     Towns which had formerly neglected their right of sending
     members, now began to claim it. Journ. 26th Feb. 1623.

     *** An Abstract, or brief Declaration of his Majesty's
     Revenue, with the Assignations and Defalcations upon the
Of crown lands, eighty thousand pounds a year; by customs and new impositions, near one hundred and ninety thousand; by wards and other various branches of revenue, besides purveyance, one hundred and eighty thousand: the whole amounting to four hundred and fifty thousand. The king's ordinary disbursements, by the same account, are said to exceed this sum thirty-six thousand pounds.[*] All the extraordinary sums which James had raised by subsidies, loans, sale of lands, sale of the title of baronet, money paid by the states and by the king of France, benevolences, etc., were, in the whole, about two millions two hundred thousand pounds; of which the sale of lands afforded seven hundred and seventy-five thousand pounds. The extraordinary disbursements of the king amounted to two millions; besides above four hundred thousand pounds given in presents. Upon the whole, a sufficient reason appears, partly from necessary expenses, partly for want of a rigid economy, why the king, even early in his reign, was deeply involved in debt, and found great difficulty to support the government.
Farmers, not commissioners, levied the customs. It seems, indeed, requisite, that the former method should always be tried before the latter, though a preferable one. When men's own interest is concerned, they fall upon a hundred expedients to prevent frauds in the merchants; and these the public may afterwards imitate, in establishing proper rules for its officers.
The customs were supposed to amount to five per cent. of the value, and were levied upon exports, as well as imports. Nay, the imposition upon exports, by James's additions, is said to amount, in some few instances, to twenty-five per cent This practice, so hurtful to industry, prevails still in France, Spain, and most countries of Europe. The customs in 1604 yielded one hundred and twenty-seven thousand pounds a year: [**] they rose to one hundred and ninety thousand towards the end of the reign.
     * The excess was formerly greater, as appears by Salisbury's
     account. See chap. 2.

     ** Journ. 21st May, 1604.
Interest, during this reign, was at ten per cent. till 1624, when it was reduced to eight. This high interest is an indication of the great profits and small progress of commerce.
The extraordinary supplies granted by parliament, during this whole reign, amounted not to more than six hundred and thirty thousand pounds; which, divided among twenty-one years, makes thirty thousand pounds a year. I do not include those supplies, amounting to three hundred thousand pounds, which were given to the king by his last parliament. These were paid in to their own commissioners; and the expenses of the Spanish war were much more than sufficient to exhaust them. The distressed family of the palatine was a great burden on James, during part of his reign. The king, it is pretended, possessed not frugality proportioned to the extreme narrowness of his revenue. Splendid equipages, however, he did not affect, nor costly furniture, nor a luxurious table, nor prodigal mistresses. His buildings too were not sumptuous; though the Banqueting House must not be forgotten, as a monument which does honor to his reign. Hunting was his chief amusement, the cheapest pleasure in which a king can indulge himself. His expenses were the effects of liberality, rather than of luxury.
One day, it is said, while he was standing amidst some of his courtiers, a porter passed by, loaded with money, which he was carrying to the treasury. The king observed that Rich, afterwards earl of Holland, one of his handsome, agreeable favorites, whispered something to one standing near him. Upon inquiry, he found that Rich had said, "How happy would that money make me!" Without hesitation, James bestowed it all upon him, though it amounted to three thousand pounds. He added, "You think yourself very happy in obtaining so large a sum; but I am more happy in having an opportunity of obliging a worthy man, whom I love." The generosity of James was more the result of a benign humor or light fancy, than of reason or judgment. The objects of it were such as could render themselves agreeable to him in his loose hours; not such as were endowed with great merit, or who possessed talents or popularity which could strengthen his interest with the public.
The same advantage, we may remark, over the people, which the crown formerly reaped from that interval between the fall of the peers and rise of the commons, was now possessed by the people against the crown, during the continuance of a like interval. The sovereign had already lost that independent revenue by which he could subsist without regular supplies from parliament; and he had not yet acquired the means of influencing those assemblies. The effects of this situation, which commenced with the accession of the house of Stuart, soon rose to a great height, and were more of less propagated throughout all the reigns of that unhappy family.
Subsidies and fifteenths are frequently mentioned by historians; but neither the amount of these taxes, nor the method of levying them, have been well explained. It appears, that the fifteenths formerly corresponded to the name, and were that proportionable part of the movables.[*] But a valuation having been made in the reign of Edward III., that valuation was always adhered to, and each town paid unalterably a particular sum, which the inhabitants themselves assessed upon their fellow-citizens. The same tax in corporate towns was called a tenth; because there it was, at first, a tenth of the movables. The whole amount of a tenth and a fifteenth throughout the kingdom, or a fifteenth, as it is often more concisely called, was about twenty-nine thousand pounds.[**] The amount of a subsidy was not invariable, like that of a fifteenth. In the eighth of Elizabeth, a subsidy amounted to one hundred and twenty thousand pounds: in the fortieth, it was not above seventy-eight thousand.[***] It afterwards fell to seventy thousand, and was continually decreasing.[****] The reason is easily collected from the method of levying it. We may learn from the subsidy bills,[v] that one subsidy was given for four shillings in the pound on land, and two shillings and eightpence on movables throughout the counties; a considerable tax, had it been strictly levied. But this was only the ancient state of a subsidy. During the reign of James, there was not paid the twentieth part of that sum. The tax was so far personal, that a man paid only in the county where he lived, though he should possess estates in other counties; and the assessors formed a loose estimation of his property, and rated him accordingly.
     * Coke's Inst. book iv. chap. 1, cf fifteenths, quinzins.

     ** Coke's Inst. book iv. chap. 1, subsidies temporary.

     *** Journ. 11th July, 1610.

     **** Coke's Inst. book iv.  subsidies temporary.

     v    See Statutes at large.
To preserve, however, some rule in the estimation, it seems to have been the practice to keep an eye to former assessments, and to rate every man according as his ancestors, or men of such an estimated property, were accustomed to pay. This was a sufficient reason why subsidies could not increase, notwithstanding the great increase of money and rise of rents. But there was an evident reason why they continually decreased. The favor, as is natural to suppose, ran always against the crown; especially during the latter end of Elizabeth, when subsidies became numerous and frequent, and the sums levied were considerable, compared to former supplies. The assessors, though accustomed to have an eye to ancient estimations, were not bound to observe any such rule, but might rate anew any person, according to his present income. When rents fell, or parts of an estate were sold off, the proprietor was sure to represent these losses, and obtain a diminution of his subsidy; but where rents rose, or new lands were purchased, he kept his own secret, and paid no more than formerly. The advantage, therefore, of every change was taken against the crown; and the crown could obtain the advantage of none. And, to make the matter worse, the alterations which happened in property during this age, were in general unfavorable to the crown. The small proprietors, or twenty-pound men, went continually to decay; and when their estates were swallowed up by a greater, the new purchaser increased not his subsidy. So loose, indeed, is the whole method of rating subsidies, that the wonder was, not how the tax should continually diminish, but how it yielded any revenue at all. It became at last so unequal and uncertain, that the parliament was obliged to change it into a land tax.
The price of corn during this reign, and that of the other necessaries of life, was no lower, or was rather higher, than at present. By a proclamation of James, establishing public magazines, whenever wheat fell below thirty-two shillings a quarter, rye below eighteen, barley below sixteen, the commissioners were empowered to purchase corn for the magazines.[*] These prices then are to be regarded as low; though they would rather pass for high by our present estimation. The usual bread of the poor was at this time made of barley.[**] The best wool, during the greater part of James's reign, was at thirty-three shillings a tod.[***] At present, it is not above two-thirds of that value; though it is lo be presumed that our exports in woollen goods are somewhat increased. The finer manufactures, too, by the progress of arts and industry, have rather diminished in price, notwithstanding the great increase of money.
     * Rymer, tom. xvii. p. 526. To the same purpose, see also
     21st lac vi. cap. 28.

     ** Rymer, tom. xx. p. 157.

     *** See a compendium or dialogue inserted in the Memoirs of
     Wool, chap. 23.
In Shakspeare, the hostess tells Falstaff, that the shirts she bought him were Holland at eight shillings a yard; a high price at this day, even supposing, what is not probable, that the best Holland at that time was equal in goodness to the best that can now be purchased. In like manner, a yard of velvet, about the middle of Elizabeth's reign, was valued at two and twenty shillings. It appears from Dr. Birch's life of Prince Henry,[*] that that prince, by contract with his butcher, paid near a groat a pound throughout the year for all the beef and mutton used in his family. Besides, we must consider, that the general turn of that age, which no laws could prevent, was the converting of arable land into pasture; a certain proof that the latter was found more profitable, and consequently that all butcher's meat, as well as bread, was rather higher than at present. We have a regulation of the market with regard to poultry, and some other articles, very early in Charles I.'s reign; [**] and the prices are high. A turkey cock four shillings and sixpence, a turkey hen three shillings, a pheasant cock six, a pheasant hen five, a partridge one shilling, a goose two, a capon two and sixpence, a pullet one and sixpence, a rabbit eightpence, a dozen of pigeons six shillings.[***] We must consider that London at present is more than three times more populous than it was at that time; a circumstance which much increases the price of poultry, and of every thing that cannot conveniently be brought from a distance: not to mention, that these regulations by authority are always calculated to diminish, never to increase the market prices. The contractors for victualling the navy were allowed by government eightpence a day for the diet of each man when in harbor, sevenpence halfpenny when at sea; [****] which would suffice at present. The chief difference in expense between that age and the present consists in the imaginary wants of men, which have since extremely multiplied.[v] These are the principal reasons why James's revenue would go further than the same money in our time; though the difference is not near so great as is usually imagined.
     * Page 449.

     ** Rymer, tom. xix. p. 511.

     *** We may judge of the great grievance of purveyance by
     this circumstance, that the purveyors often gave but
     sixpence for a dozen of pigeons, and twopence for a fowl.
     Journ. 25th May, 1626.

     **** Rymer, tom. xvii. p. 441, et seq.

     v    This volume was written above twenty years before the
     edition of 1778. In that short period, prices have perhaps
     risen more than during the preceding hundred and fifty.
The public was entirely free from the danger and expense of a standing army. While James was vaunting his divine vicegerency, and boasting of his high prerogative, he possessed not so much as a single regiment of guards to maintain his extensive claims; a sufficient proof that he sincerely believed his pretensions to be well grounded, and a strong presumption that they were at least built on what were then deemed plausible arguments. The militia of England, amounting to one hundred and sixty thousand men,[*] was the sole defence of the kingdom. It is pretended that they were kept in good order during his reign.[**] The city of London procured officers who had served abroad, and who taught the trained bands their exercises in Artillery Garden; a practice which had been discontinued since 1588. All the counties of England, in emulation of the capital, were fond of showing a well-ordered and well-appointed militia. It appeared, that the natural propensity of men towards military shows and exercises will go far, with a little attention in the sovereign, towards exciting and supporting this spirit in any nation. The very boys, at this time, in mimicry of their elders, enlisted themselves voluntarily into companies, elected officers, and practised the discipline, of which the models were every day exposed to their view.[***] Sir Edward Harwood, In a memorial composed at the beginning of the subsequent reign, says, that England was so unprovided with horses fit for war, that two thousand men could not possibly be mounted throughout the whole kingdom.[****] At present, the breed of horses is so much improved, that almost all those which are employed, either in the plough, wagon, or coach, would be fit for that purpose.
The disorders of Ireland obliged James to keep up some forces there, and put him to great expense. The common pay of a private man in the infantry was eightpence a day, a lieutenant two shillings, an ensign eighteen pence.[v]
     * Journ. 1st March, 1623.

     ** Stowe. See also Sir Walter Raleigh of the Prerogatives of
     Parliament, and Johnston Hist. lib. xviii.

     *** Stowe.

     **** In the Harleian Miscellany, vol. iv, p. 255.

     v     Rymer, tom. xvi. p. 717.
The armies in Europe were not near so numerous during that age; and the private men, we may observe, were drawn from a better rank than at present, and approaching nearer to that of the officers.
In the year 1583, there was a general review made of all the men in England capable of bearing arms; and these were found to amount to one million one hundred and seventy-two thousand men, according to Raleigh.[*] It is impossible to warrant the exactness of this computation; or rather, we may fairly presume it to be somewhat inaccurate. But if it approached near the truth, England has probably, since that time, increased in populousness. The growth of London, in riches and beauty, as well as in numbers of inhabitants, has been prodigious. From 1600, it doubled every forty years;[*] and consequently, in 1680, it contained four times as many inhabitants as at the beginning of the century. It has ever been the centre of all the trade in the kingdom; and almost the only town that affords society and amusement. The affection which the English bear to a country life, makes the provincial towns be little frequented by the gentry. Nothing but the allurements of the capital, which is favored by the residence of the king, and by being the seat of government and of all the courts of justice, can prevail over their passion for their rural villas.
London at this time was almost entirely built of wood, and in every respect was certainly a very ugly city. The earl of Arundel first introduced the general practice of brick buildings.[**]
The navy of England was esteemed formidable in Elizabeth's time, yet it consisted only of thirty-three ships, besides pinnaces;[***] and the largest of these would not equal our fourth-rates at present. Raleigh advises never to build a ship of war above six hundred tons. James was not negligent of the navy. In five years preceding 1623, he built ten new ships, and expended fifty thousand pounds a year on the fleet.
     * Sir William Petty.

     ** Sir Edward Walker's Political Discourses, p. 270

     *** Coke's Inst. book iv. chap. 1. Consultation in
     parliament for the navy.
Of the Invention of Shipping. This number is much superior to that contained in Murden, and that delivered by Sir Edward Coke to the house of commons; and is more likely.
By Raleigh's account, in his discourse of the first invention of shipping, the fleet, in the twenty-fourth of the queen, consisted only of thirteen ships, and was augmented afterwards eleven. He probably reckoned some to be pinnaces, which Coke called ships, besides the value of thirty-six thousand pounds in timber, which he annually gave from the royal forests.[*] The largest ship that ever had come from the English docks was built during this reign. She was only one thousand four hundred tons, and carried sixty-four guns.[**] The merchant ships, in cases of necessity, were instantly converted into ships of war. The king affirmed to the parliament, that the navy had never before been in so good a condition.[***]
Every session of parliament, during this reign, we meet with grievous lamentations concerning the decay of trade, and the growth of Popery: such violent propensity have men to complain of the present times, and to entertain discontent against their fortune and condition. The king himself was deceived by these popular complaints, and was at a loss to account for the total want of money, which he heard so much exaggerated.[****] It may, however, be affirmed, that during no preceding period of English history, was there a more sensible increase, than during the reign of this monarch, of all the advantages which distinguish a flourishing people. Not only the peace which he maintained was favorable to industry and commerce: his turn of mind inclined him to promote the peaceful arts: and trade being as yet in its infancy, all additions to it must have been the more evident to every eye which was not blinded by melancholy prejudices.[v] 63
By an account[v*] which seems judicious and accurate, it appears, that all the seamen employed in the merchant service amounted to ten thousand men, which probably exceeds not the fifth part of their present number. Sir Thomas Overbury says, that the Dutch possessed three times more shipping than the English, but that their ships were of inferior burden to those of the latter.[v**] Sir William Monson computed the English naval power to be little or nothing inferior to the Dutch,[v***] which is surely an exaggeration. The Dutch at this time traded to England with six hundred ships; England to Holland with sixty only.[v****]
     * Journ. 11th March, 1623. Sir William Monson makes the
     number amount only to nine new ships, (p. 253.)

     ** Stowe.

     *** Parl. Hist, vol vi. p. 94.

     **** Rymer, tom. xvii. p. 413.

     v See note LLL, at the end of the volume.

     v* The trade's increase, in the Harleian Misc. vol. iii.

     v** Remarks on his travels, Harl. Misc. vol. ii. p. 348.

     v*** Naval Tracts, p. 329, 350.

     v**** Raleigh's Observations.
A catalogue of the manufactures for which the English were then eminent, would appear very contemptible, in comparison of those which flourish among them at present. Almost all the more elaborate and curious arts were only cultivated abroad, particularly in Italy, Holland, and the Netherlands. Ship-building and the founding of iron cannon were the sole in which the English excelled. They seem, indeed, to have possessed alone the secret of the latter; and great complaints were made every parliament against the exportation of English ordnance.
Nine tenths of the commerce of the kingdom consisted in woollen goods.[*] Wool, however, was allowed to be exported, till the nineteenth of the king. Its exportation was then forbidden by proclamation; though that edict was never strictly executed. Most of the cloth was exported raw, and was dyed and dressed by the Dutch; who gained, it is pretended, seven hundred thousand pounds a year by this manufacture.[**] A proclamation issued by the king against exporting cloth in that condition, had succeeded so ill during one year, by the refusal of the Dutch to buy the dressed cloth, that great murmurs arose against it; and this measure was retracted by the king, and complained of by the nation, as if it had been the most impolitic in the world. It seems indeed to have been premature.
In so little credit was the fine English cloth even at home, that the king was obliged to seek expedients by which he might engage the people of fashion to wear it.[***] The manufacture of fine linen was totally unknown in the kingdom.[****]
     * Journ. 26th May, 1621.

     ** Journ. 20th May, 1614. Raleigh, in his Observations,
     computes the loss at four hundred thousand pounds to the
     nation. There are about eighty thousand undressed cloths,
     says he, exported yearly. He computes, besides, that about
     one hundred thousand pounds a year had been lost by kerseys;
     not to mention other articles. The account of two hundred
     thousand cloths a year exported in Elizabeth's reign, seems
     to be exaggerated.

     *** Kymer, tom. xvii. p. 415.

     **** Rymer, tom. xvii. p. 415.
The company of merchant adventurers, by their patent, possessed the sole commerce of woollen goods, though the staple commodity of the kingdom. An attempt made during the reign of Elizabeth to lay open this important trade, had been attended with bad consequences for a time, by a conspiracy of the merchant adventurers not to make any purchases of cloth; and the queen immediately restored them their patent.
It was the groundless fear of a like accident, that enslaved the nation to those exclusive companies which confined so much every branch of commerce and industry. The parliament, however, annulled, in the third of the king, the patent of the Spanish company; and the trade to Spain, which was at first very insignificant, soon became the most considerable in the kingdom. It is strange that they were not thence encouraged to abolish all the other companies, and that they went no further than obliging them to enlarge their bottom, and to facilitate the admission of new adventurers.
A board of trade was erected by the king in 1622.[*] One of the reasons assigned in the commission is, to remedy the low price of wool, which begat complaints of the decay of the woollen manufactory. It is more probable, however, that this fall of prices proceeded from the increase of wool. The king likewise recommends it to the commissioners to inquire and examine, whether a greater freedom of trade, and an exemption from the restraint of exclusive companies, would not be beneficial. Men were then fettered by their own prejudices; and the king was justly afraid of embracing a bold measure, whose consequences might be uncertain. The digesting of a navigation act, of a like nature with the famous one executed afterwards by the republican parliament, is likewise recommended to the commissioners. The arbitrary powers then commonly assumed by the privy council, appear evidently through the whole tenor of the commission.
The silk manufacture had no footing in England: but, by James's direction, mulberry-trees were planted, and silk-worms introduced.[**] The climate seems unfavorable to the success of this project. The planting of hops increased much in England during this reign.
     * Rymer tom, xvii. p. 410.

     ** Stowe
Greenland is thought to have been discovered about this period; and the whale fishery was carried on with success: but the industry of the Dutch, in spite of all opposition, soon deprived the English of this source of riches. A company was erected for the discovery of the north-west passage; and many fruitless attempts were made for that purpose. In such noble projects, despair ought never to be admitted, till the absolute impossibility of success be fully ascertained.
The passage to the East Indies had been opened to the English during the reign of Elizabeth; but the trade to those parts was not entirely established till this reign, when the East India company received a new patent, enlarged their stock to one million five hundred thousand pounds,[*] and fitted out several ships on these adventures. In 1609, they built a vessel of twelve hundred tons, the largest merchant ship that England had ever known. She was unfortunate, and perished by shipwreck. In 1611, a large ship of the company, assisted by a pinnace, maintained five several engagements with a squadron of Portuguese, and gained a complete victory over forces much superior. During the following years, the Dutch company was guilty of great injuries towards the English, in expelling many of their factors, and destroying their settlements: but these violences were resented with a proper spirit by the court of England. A naval force was equipped under the earl of Oxford,[**] and lay in wait for the return of the Dutch East India fleet. By reason of cross winds, Oxford tailed of his purpose, and the Dutch escaped. Some time after, one rich ship was taken by Vice-admiral Merwin; and it was stipulated by the Dutch to pay seventy thousand pounds to the English company, in consideration of the losses which that company had sustained.[***]
     * Journ. 26th Nov. 1621.

     ** In 1622.

     *** Johnstoni Hist. lib. xix.
But neither this stipulation, nor the fear of reprisals, nor the sense of that friendship which subsisted between England and the states, could restrain the avidity of the Dutch company, or render them equitable in their proceedings towards their allies. Impatient to have the sole possession of the spice trade, which the English then shared with them, they assumed a jurisdiction over a factory of the latter in the Island of Amboyna; and on very improbable, and even absurd pretences, seized all the factors with their families, and put them to death with the most inhuman tortures. This dismal news arrived in England at the time when James, by the prejudices of his subjects and the intrigues of his favorite, was constrained to make a breach with Spain: and he was obliged, after some remonstrances, to acquiesce in this indignity from a state whose alliance was now become necessary to him. It is remarkable, that the nation, almost without a murmur, submitted to this injury from their Protestant confederates; an injury which, besides the horrid enormity of the action, was of much deeper importance to national interest, than all those which they were so impatient to resent from the house of Austria.
The exports of England from Christmas, 1612, to Christmas 1613, are computed at two millions four hundred and eighty-seven thousand four hundred and thirty-five pounds; the imports at two millions one hundred and forty-one thousand one hundred and fifty-one: so that the balance in favor of England was three Hundred and forty-six thousand two hundred and eighty-four.[*] But in 1622, the exports were two millions three hundred and twenty thousand four hundred and thirty-six pounds; the imports two millions six hundred and nineteen thousand three hundred and fifteen; which makes a balance of two hundred and ninety-eight thousand eight hundred and seventy-nine pounds against England.[**] The coinage of England from 1599 to 1619 amounted to four millions seven hundred and seventy-nine thousand three hundred and fourteen pounds thirteen shillings and fourpence:[***] a proof that the balance, in the main, was considerably in favor of the kingdom. As the annual imports and exports together rose to near five millions, and the customs never yielded so much as two Hundred thousand pounds a year, of which tonnage made a part, it appears that the new rates affixed by James did not, on the whole, amount to one shilling in the pound, and consequently were still inferior to the intention of the original grant of parliament. The East India company usually carried out a third of their cargo in commodities.[****] The trade to Turkey was one of the most gainful to the nation. It appears that copper halfpence and farthings began to be coined in this reign.[v] Tradesmen had commonly carried on their retail business chiefly by means of leaden tokens. The small silver penny was soon lost, and at this time was nowhere to be found.
     * Misselden's Circle of Commerce, p. 121.

     ** Misselden's Circle of Commerce, p. 121.

     *** Happy Future State of England, p. 78.

     **** Munn's Discourse on the East India Trade.

     v    Anderson, vol. i. p. 477.
What chiefly renders the reign of James memorable, is the commencement of the English colonies in America; colonies established on the noblest footing that has been known in any age or nation. The Spaniards, being the first discoverers of the new world, immediately took possession of the precious mines which they found there; and, by the allurement of great riches, they were tempted to depopulate their own country, as well as that which they conquered; and added the vice of sloth to those of avidity and barbarity, which had attended their adventurers in those renowned enterprises. That fine coast was entirely neglected which reaches from St. Augustine to Cape Breton, and which lies in all the temperate climates, is watered by noble rivers, and offers a fertile soil, but nothing more, to the industrious planter. Peopled gradually from England by the necessitous and indigent, who at home increased neither wealth nor populousness, the colonies which were planted along that tract have promoted the navigation, encouraged the industry, and even perhaps multiplied the inhabitants of their mother country. The spirit of independency, which was reviving in England, here shone forth in its full lustre, and received new accession from the aspiring character of those who, being discontented with the established church and monarchy, had sought for freedom amidst those savage deserts.
Queen Elizabeth had done little more than given a name to the continent of Virginia; and, after her planting one feeble colony, which quickly decayed, that country was entirely abandoned. But when peace put an end to the military enterprises against Spain, and left ambitious spirits no hopes of making any longer such rapid advances towards honor and fortune, the nation began to second the pacific intentions of its monarch, and to seek a surer, though slower expedient, for acquiring riches and glory. In 1606, Newport carried over a colony, and began a settlement; which the company, erected by patent for that purpose in London and Bristol, took care to supply with yearly recruits of provisions, utensils, and new inhabitants. About 1609, Argal discovered a more direct and shorter passage to Virginia, and left the track of the ancient navigators, who had first directed their course southwards to the tropic, sailed westward by means of the trade winds, and then turned northward, till they reached the English settlements. The same year, five hundred persons, under Sir Thomas Gates and Sir George Somers, were embarked for Virginia. Somers's ship, meeting with a tempest, was driven into the Bermudas, and laid the foundation of a settlement in those islands. Lord Delawar afterwards undertook the government of the English colonies: but, notwithstanding all his care, seconded by supplies from James and by money raised from the first lottery ever known in the kingdom, such difficulties attended the settlement of these countries, that, in 1614, there were not alive more than four hundred men, of all that had been sent thither. After supplying themselves with provisions more immediately necessary for the support of life, the new planters began the cultivating of tobacco; and James, notwithstanding his antipathy to that drug, which he affirmed to be pernicious to men's morals, as well as their health,[*] gave them permission to enter it in England; and he inhibited by proclamation all importation of it from Spain.[**] By degrees, new colonies were established in that continent, and gave new names to the places where they settled, leaving that of Virginia to the province first planted. The Island of Barbadoes was also planted in this reign.
     * Rymer, tom. xvii. p. 621.

     ** Rymer, tom. xvii. p. 621, 633.
Speculative reasoners, during that age, raised many objections to the planting of those remote colonies; and foretold that, after draining their mother country of inhabitants, they would soon shake off her yoke, and erect an independent government in America: but time has shown, that the views entertained by those who encouraged such generous undertakings, were more just and solid. A mild government and great naval force have preserved, and may still preserve during some time, the dominion of England over her colonies. And such advantages have commerce and navigation reaped from these establishments, that more than a fourth of the English shipping is at present computed to be employed in carrying on the traffic with the American settlements.
Agriculture was anciently very imperfect in England. The sudden transitions, so often mentioned by historians, from the lowest to the highest price of grain, and the prodigious inequality of its value in different years, are sufficient proofs, that the produce depended entirely on the seasons, and that art had as yet done nothing to fence against the injuries of the heavens. During this reign, considerable improvements were made, as in most arts, so in this, the most beneficial of any. A numerous catalogue might be formed of books and pamphlets treating of husbandry, which were written about this time. The nation, however, was still dependent on foreigners for daily bread; and though its exportation of grain forms a considerable branch of its commerce, notwithstanding its probable increase of people, there was, in that period, a regular importation from the Baltic, as well as from France and if it ever stopped, the bad consequences were sensibly felt by the nation. Sir Walter Raleigh, in his Observations, computes that two millions went out at one time for corn. It was not till the fifth of Elizabeth, that the exportation of corn had been allowed in England; and Camden observes, that agriculture from that moment received new life and vigor.
The endeavors of James, or, more properly speaking, those—of the nation, for promoting trade, were attended with greater success than those for the encouragement of learning. Though the age was by no means destitute of eminent writers, a very bad taste in general prevailed during that period; and the monarch himself was not a little infected with it.
On the origin of letters among the Greeks, the genius of poets and orators, as might naturally be expected, was distinguished by an amiable simplicity, which, whatever rudeness may sometimes attend it, is so fitted to express the genuine movements of nature and passion, that the compositions possessed of it must ever appear valuable to the discerning part of mankind. The glaring figures of discourse, the pointed antithesis, the unnatural conceit, the jingle of words; such false ornaments were not employed by early writers; not because they were rejected, but because they scarcely ever occurred to them. An easy, unforced strain of sentiment runs through their compositions; though at the same time we may observe, that, amidst the most elegant simplicity of thought and expression, one is sometimes surprised to meet with a poor conceit, which had presented itself unsought for, and which the author had not acquired critical observation enough to condemn.[*]
     * The name of Polynices, one of OEdipus's sons, means in the
     original "much quarrelling." In the altercations between the
     two brothers, in Æschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides, this
     conceit is employed; and it is remarkable, that so poor a
     conundrum could not be rejected by any of these three poets,
     so justly celebrated for their taste and simplicity. What
     could Shakspeare have done worse? Terence has his "inceptio
     est amentium, non amanthim." Many similar instances will
     occur to the learned. It is well known that Aristotle treats
     very seriously of puns, divides them into several classes,
     and recommends the use of them to orators.
A bad taste seizes with avidity these frivolous beauties, and even perhaps a good taste, ere surfeited by them: they multiply every day more and more in the fashionable compositions: nature and good sense are neglected: labored ornaments studied and admired: and a total degeneracy of style and language prepares the way for barbarism and ignorance. Hence the Asiatic manner was found to depart so much from the simple purity of Athens: hence that tinsel eloquence which is observable in many of the Roman writers, from which Cicero himself is not wholly exempted, and which so much prevails in Ovid, Seneca, Lucan, Martial, and the Plinys.
On the revival of letters, when the judgment of the public is yet raw and unformed, this false glitter catches the eye, and leaves no room, either in eloquence or poetry, for the durable beauties of solid sense and lively passion. The reigning genius is then diametrically opposite to that which prevails on the first origin of arts. The Italian writers, it is evident, even the most celebrated, have not reached the proper simplicity of thought and composition; and in Petrarch, Tasso, Guarini, frivolous witticisms and forced conceits are but too predominant. The period during which letters were cultivated in Italy was so short, as scarcely to allow leisure for correcting this adulterated relish.
The more early French writers are liable to the same reproach. Voiture, Balzac, even Coraeneille, have too much affected those ambitious ornaments, of which the Italians in general, and the least pure of the ancients, supplied them with so many models. And it was not till late, that observation and reflection gave rise to a more natural turn of thought and composition among that elegant people.
A like character may be extended to the first English writers; such as flourished during the reigns of Elizabeth and James, and even till long afterwards. Learning, on its revival in this island, was attired in the same unnatural garb which it wore at the time of its decay among the Greeks and Romans. And, what may be regarded as a misfortune, the English writers were possessed of great genius before they were endowed with any degree of taste, and by that means gave a kind of sanction to those forced turns and sentiments which they so much affected. Their distorted conceptions and expressions are attended with such vigor of mind, that we admire the imagination which produced them, as much as we blame the want of judgment which gave them admittance. To enter into an exact criticism of the writers of that age, would exceed our present purpose. A short character of the most eminent, delivered with the same freedom which history exercises over kings and ministers, may not be improper. The national prepossessions which prevail, will perhaps render the former liberty not the least perilous for an author.
If Shakspeare be considered as a man, born in a rude age, and educated in the lowest manner, without any instruction either from the world or from books, he may be regarded as a prodigy: if represented as a poet, capable of furnishing a proper entertainment to a refined or intelligent audience, we must abate much of this eulogy. In his compositions, we regret that many irregularities, and even absurdities, should so frequently disfigure the animated and passionate scenes intermixed with them; and at the same time, we perhaps admire the more those beauties, on account of their being surrounded with such deformities. A striking peculiarity of sentiment adapted to a singular character, he frequently hits, as it were by inspiration; but a reasonable propriety of thought he cannot for any time uphold. Nervous and picturesque expressions, as well as descriptions, abound in him; but it is in vain we look either for purity or simplicity of diction. His total ignorance of all theatrical art and conduct, however material a defect, yet, as it affects the spectator rather than the reader, we can more easily excuse, than that want of taste which often prevails in his productions, and which gives way only by intervals to the irradiations of genius. A great and fertile genius he certainly possessed, and one enriched equally with a tragic and comic vein; but he ought to be cited as a proof, how dangerous it is to rely on these advantages alone for attaining an excellence in the finer arts.[*] And there may even remain a suspicion, that we overrate, if possible, the greatness of his genius; in the same manner as bodies often appear more gigantic, on account of their being disproportioned and misshapen. He died in 1616, aged fifty-three years.
     * Invenire etiam barbari solent, disponere et ornare non
     nisi eruditus.—PLIN
Jonson possessed all the learning which was wanting to Shakspeare, and wanted all the genius of which the other was possessed. Both of them were equally deficient in taste and elegance, in harmony and correctness. A servile copyist of the ancients, Jonson translated into bad English the beautiful passages of the Greek and Roman authors, without accommodating them to the manners of his age and country. His merit has been totally eclipsed by that of Shakspeare, whose rude genius prevailed over the rude art of his contemporary. The English theatre has ever since taken a strong tincture of Shakspeare's spirit and character; and thence it has proceeded, that the nation has undergone, from all its neighbors, the reproach of barbarism, from which its valuable productions in some other parts of learning would otherwise have exempted it. Jonson had a pension of a hundred marks from the king, which Charles afterwards augmented to a hundred pounds He died in 1637, aged sixty-three.
Fairfax has translated Tasso with an elegance and ease, and at the same time with an exactness, which, for that age, are surprising. Each line in the original is faithfully rendered by a correspondent line in the translation. Harrington's translation of Ariosto is not likewise without its merit. It is to be regretted, that these poets should have imitated the Italians in their stanza, which has a prolixity and uniformity in it that displeases in long performances. They had, otherwise, as well as Spenser, who went before them, contributed much to the polishing and refining of the English versification.
In Donne's satires, when carefully inspected, there appear some flashes of wit and ingenuity; but these totally suffocated and buried by the harshest and most uncouth expression that is any where to be met with.
If the poetry of the English was so rude and imperfect during that age, we may reasonably expect that their prose would be liable to still greater objections. Though the latter appears the more easy, as it is the more natural method of composition, it has ever in practice been found the more rare and difficult; and there scarcely is an instance, in any language, that it has reached a degree of perfection, before the refinement of poetical numbers and expression. English prose, during the reign of James, was written with little regard to the rules of grammar, and with a total disregard to the elegance and harmony of the period. Stuffed with Latin sentences and quotations, it likewise imitated those inversions, which, however forcible and graceful in the ancient languages, are entirely contrary to the idiom of the English. I shall indeed venture to affirm, that, whatever uncouth phrases and expressions occur in old books, they were chiefly owing to the unformed taste of the author; and that the language spoken in the courts of Elizabeth and James, was very little different from that which we meet with at present in good company. Of this opinion, the little scraps of speeches which are found in the parliamentary journals, and which carry all air so opposite to the labored: rations, seem to be a sufficient proof; and there want not productions of that age, which, being written by men who were not authors by profession, retain a very natural manner, and may give us some idea of the language which prevailed among men of the world. I shall particularly mention Sir John Davis's Discovery. Throgmorton's, Essex's, and Nevil's letters. In a more early period, Cavendish's life of Cardinal Wolsey, the pieces that remain of Bishop Gardiner, and Anne Boleyn's letter to the king, differ little or nothing from the language of our time.
The great glory of literature in this island during the reign of James, was Lord Bacon. Most of his performances were composed in Latin; though he possessed neither the elegance of that, nor of his native tongue. If we consider the variety of talents displayed by this man, as a public speaker, a man of business, a wit, a courtier, a companion, an author, a philosopher, he is justly the object of great admiration. If we consider him merely as an author and philosopher, the light in which we view him at present, though very estimable, he was yet inferior to his contemporary Galilaeo, perhaps even to Kepler. Bacon pointed out at a distance the road to true philosophy: Galilaeo both pointed it out to others, and made himself considerable advances in it. The Englishman was ignorant of geometry: the Florentine revived that science, excelled in it, and was the first that applied it, together with experiment, to natural philosophy. The former rejected, with the most positive disdain, the system of Copernicus: the latter fortified it with new proofs, derived both from reason and the senses. Bacon's style is stiff and rigid: his wit, though often brilliant, is also often unnatural and far-fetched; and he seems to be the original of those pointed similes and long-spun allegories which so much distinguish the English authors: Galilaeo is a lively and agreeable, though somewhat a prolix writer. But Italy not united in any single government, and perhaps satiated with that literary glory which it has possessed both in ancient and modern times, has too much neglected the renown which it has acquired by giving birth to so great a man. That national spirit which prevails among the English, and which forms their great happiness, is the cause why they bestow on all their eminent writers, and on Bacon among the rest, such praises and acclamations as may often appear partial and excessive. He died in 1626, in the sixty-sixth year of his life.
If the reader of Raleigh's history can have the patience to wade through the Jewish and rabbinical learning which compose the half of the volume, he will find, when he comes to the Greek and Roman story, that his pains are not unrewarded. Raleigh is the best model of that ancient style which some writers would affect to revive at present. He was beheaded in 1618, aged sixty-six years.
Camden's history of Queen Elizabeth may be esteemed good composition, both for style and matter. It is written with simplicity of expression, very rare in that age, and with a regard to truth. It would not perhaps be too much to affirm, that it is among the best historical productions which have yet been composed by any Englishman. It is well known that the English have not much excelled in that kind of literature. He died in 1623, aged seventy-three years.
We shall mention the king himself at the end of these English writers; because that is his place, when considered as an author. It may safely be affirmed, that the mediocrity of James's talents in literature, joined to the great change in national taste, is one cause of that contempt under which his memory labors, and which is often carried by party writers to a great extreme. It is remarkable, how different from ours were the sentiments of the ancients with regard to learning. Of the first twenty Roman emperors, counting from Caesar to Severus, above the half were authors; and though few of them seem to have been eminent in that profession, it is always remarked to their praise, that by their example they encouraged literature. Not to mention Germanicus, and his daughter Agrippina, persons so nearly allied to the throne, the greater part of the classic writers whose works remain, were men of the highest quality. As every human advantage is attended with inconveniencies, the change of men's ideas in this particular may probably be ascribed to the invention of printing; which has rendered books so common, that even men of slender fortunes can have access to them.
That James was but a middling writer, may be allowed: that he was a contemptible one, can by no means be admitted. Whoever will read his Basilicon Doron, particularly the two last books, the true law of free monarchies, his answer to Cardinal Perron, and almost all his speeches and messages to parliament, will confess him to have possessed no mean genius. If he wrote concerning witches and apparitions; who, in that age did not admit the reality of these fictitious beings? If he has composed a commentary on the Revelations, and proved the pope to be Antichrist; may not a similar reproach be extended to the famous Napier; and even to Newton, at a time when learning was much more advanced than during the reign of James? From the grossness of its superstitions we may infer the ignorance of an age; but never should pronounce concerning the folly of an individual, from his admitting popular errors, consecrated by the appearance of religion.
Such a superiority do the pursuits of literature possess above every other occupation, that even he who attains but a mediocrity in them, merits the preëminence above those that excel the most in the common and vulgar professions. The speaker of the house of commons is usually an eminent lawyer; yet the harangue of his majesty will always be found much superior to that of the speaker, in every parliament during this reign.
Every science, as well as polite literature, must be considered as being yet in its infancy. Scholastic learning and polemical divinity retarded the growth of all true knowledge. Sir Henry Saville, in the preamble of that deed by which he annexed a salary to the mathematical and astronomical professors in Oxford, says, that geometry was almost totally abandoned and unknown in England.[*] The best learning of that age was the study of the ancients. Casaubon, eminent for this species of knowledge, was invited over from France by James, and encouraged by a pension of three hundred pounds a year, as well as by church preferments.[**] The famous Antonio di Dominis, archbishop of Spalatro, no despicable philosopher, came likewise into England, and afforded great triumph to the nation, by their gaining so considerable a proselyte from the Papists. But the mortification followed soon after: the archbishop, though advanced to some ecclesiastical preferments.[***] received not encouragement sufficient to satisfy his ambition; he made his escape into Italy, where he died in confinement.
     * Rymer, tom. xvii. p. 217

     ** Rymer, tom. xvii. p. 709.

     *** Rymer, tom. xvii. p. 96.


CHARLES II., when he ascended the throne of his ancestors, was thirty years of age. He possessed a vigorous constitution, a fine shape, a manly figure, a graceful air; and though his features were harsh, yet was his countenance in the main lively and engaging. He was in that period of life when there remains enough of youth to render the person amiable, without preventing that authority and regard which attend the years of experience and maturity. Tenderness was excited by the memory of his recent adversities. His present prosperity was the object rather of admiration than of envy. And as the sudden and surprising revolution which restored him to his regal rights, had also restored the nation to peace, law, order, and liberty, no prince ever obtained a crown in more favorable circumstances, or was more blessed with the cordial affection and attachment of his subjects.
This popularity the king, by his whole demeanor and behavior, was well qualified to support and to increase. To a lively wit and quick comprehension, he united a just understanding and a general observation both of men and things. The easiest manners, the most unaffected politeness, the most engaging gayety, accompanied his conversation and address. Accustomed during his exile, to live among his courtiers rather like a companion than a monarch, he retained, even while on the throne, that open affability which was capable of reconciling the most determined republicans to his royal dignity. Totally devoid of resentment, as well from the natural lenity as carelessness of his temper, he insured pardon to the most guilty of his enemies, and left hopes of favor to his most violent opponents. From the whole tenor of his actions and discourse, he seemed desirous of losing the memory of past animosities, and of uniting every party in an affection for their prince and their native country.
Into his council were admitted the most eminent men of the nation, without regard to former distinctions: the Presbyterians, equally with the royalists, shared this honor. Annesley was also created earl of Anglesey; Ashley Cooper, Lord Ashley; Denzil Hollis, Lord Hollis. The earl of Manchester was appointed lord chamberlain, and Lord Say, privy seal. Calamy and Baxter, Presbyterian clergymen, were even made chaplains to the king.
Admiral Montague, created earl of Sandwich, was entitled from his recent services to great favor; and he obtained it. Monk, created duke of Albemarle, had performed such signal services, that, according to a vulgar and malignant observation, he ought rather to have expected hatred and ingratitude; yet was he ever treated by the king with great marks of distinction. Charles's disposition, free from jealousy, and the prudent behavior of the general, who never overrated his merits, prevented all those disgusts which naturally arise in so delicate a situation. The capacity, too, of Albemarle was not extensive, and his parts were more solid than shining. Though he had distinguished himself in inferior stations, he was imagined, upon familiar acquaintance, not to be wholly equal to those great achievements which fortune, united to prudence, had enabled him to perform; and he appeared unfit for the court, a scene of life to which he had never been accustomed. Morrice, his friend, was created secretary of state, and was supported more by his patron's credit than by his own abilities or experience.
But the choice which the king at first made of his principal ministers and favorites, was the circumstance which chiefly gave contentment to the nation, and prognosticated future happiness and tranquillity. Sir Edward Hyde, created earl of Clarendon, was chancellor and prime minister; the marquis, created duke of Ormond, was steward of the household, the earl of Southampton, high treasurer; Sir Edward Nicholas, secretary of state. These men, united together in friendship, and combining in the same laudable inclinations, supported each other's credit, and pursued the interests of the public.
Agreeable to the present prosperity of public affairs was the universal joy and festivity diffused throughout the nation. The melancholy austerity of the fanatics fell into discredit together with their principles. The royalists, who had ever affected a contrary disposition, found in their recent success new motives for mirth and gayety; and it now belonged to them to give repute and fashion to their manners. From past experience it had sufficiently appeared, that gravity was very distinct from wisdom, formality from virtue, and hypocrisy from religion. The king himself, who bore a strong propensity to pleasure, served, by his powerful and engaging example, to banish those sour and malignant humors which had hitherto engendered such confusion. And though the just bounds were undoubtedly passed, when men returned from their former extreme, yet was the public happy in exchanging vices pernicious to society, for disorders hurtful chiefly to the individuals themselves who were guilty of them.
It required some time before the several parts of the state, disfigured by war and faction, could recover their former arrangement; but the parliament immediately fell into good correspondence with the king; and they treated him with the same dutiful regard which had usually been paid to his predecessors. Being summoned without the king's consent, they received, at first, only the title of a convention; and it was not till he passed an act for that purpose, that they were called by the appellation of parliament. All judicial proceedings, transacted in the name of the commonwealth or protector, were ratified by a new law. And both houses, acknowledging the guilt of the former rebellion, gratefully received, in their own name, and in that of all the subjects, his majesty's gracious pardon and indemnity.
The king, before his restoration, being afraid of reducing any of his enemies to despair, and at the same time unwilling that such enormous crimes as had been committed should receive a total impunity, had expressed himself very cautiously in his declaration of Breda, and had promised an indemnity to all criminals, but such as should be excepted by parliament. He now issued a proclamation declaring that such of the late king's judges as did not yield themselves pris-* *-oners within fourteen days, should receive no pardon. Nine teen surrendered themselves; some were taken in their flight; others escaped beyond sea.
The commons seem to have been more inclined to lenity than the lords. The upper house, inflamed by the ill usage which they had received, were resolved, besides the late king's judges, to except every one who had sitten in any high court of justice. Nay, the earl of Bristol moved, that no pardon might be granted to those who had anywise contributed to the king's death. So wide an exception, in which every one who had served the parliament might be comprehended, gave a general alarm; and men began to apprehend, that this motion was the effect of some court artifice or intrigue. But the king soon dissipated these fears. He came to the house of peers, and in the most earnest terms passed the act of general indemnity. He urged both the necessity of the thing, and the obligation of his former promise; a promise, he said which he would ever regard as sacred; since to it he probably owed the satisfaction which at present he enjoyed of meeting his people in parliament. This measure of the king's was received with great applause and satisfaction.
After repeated solicitations, the act of indemnity passed both houses, and soon received the royal assent. Those who had an immediate hand in the late king's death, were there excepted: even Cromwell, Ireton, Bradshaw, and others now dead, were attainted, and their estates forfeited. Vane and Lambert, though none of the regicides, were also excepted. St. John and seventeen persons more were deprived of all benefit from this act, if they ever accepted any public employment. All who had sitten in any illegal high court of justice were disabled from bearing offices. These were all the severities which followed such furious civil wars and convulsions.
The next business was the settlement of the king's revenue. In this work, the parliament had regard to public freedom, as well as to the support of the crown. The tenures of wards and liveries had long been regarded as a grievous burden by the nobility and gentry: several attempts had been made during the reign of James to purchase this prerogative, together with that of purveyance: and two hundred thousand pounds a year had been offered that prince in lieu of them; wardships and purveyance had been utterly abolished by the republican parliament; and even in the present parliament before the king arrived in England, a bill had been introduced offering him a compensation for the emolument of these prerogatives. A hundred thousand pounds a year was the sum agreed to; and half of the excise was settled in perpetuity upon the crown as the fund whence this revenue should be levied. Though that impost yielded more profit, the bargain might be esteemed hard; and it was chiefly the necessity of the king's situation which induced him to consent to it. No request of the parliament, during the present joy, could be refused them.
Tonnage and poundage and the other half of the excise, were granted to the king during life. The parliament even proceeded so far as to vote, that the settled revenue of the crown for all charges should be one million two hundred thousand pounds a year; a sum greater than any English monarch had ever before enjoyed. But as all the princes of Europe were perpetually augmenting their military force, and consequently their expense, it became requisite that England, from motives both of honor and security, should bear some proportion to them, and adapt its revenue to the new system of politics which prevailed. According to the chancellor's computation, a charge of eight hundred thousand pounds a year was at present requisite for the fleet and other articles, which formerly cost the crown but eighty thousand.
Had the parliament, before restoring the king, insisted on any further limitations than those which the constitution already imposed, besides the danger of reviving former quarrels among parties, it would seem that their precaution had been entirely superfluous. By reason of its slender and precarious revenue, the crown in effect was still totally dependent. Not a fourth part of this sum, which seemed requisite for public expenses, could be levied without consent of parliament; and any concessions, had they been thought necessary, might, even after the restoration, be extorted by the commons from their necessitous prince. This parliament showed no intention of employing at present that engine to any such purposes; but they seemed still determined not to part with it entirely, or to render the revenues of the crown fixed and independent. Though they voted in general, that one million two hundred thousand pounds a year should be settled on the king, they scarcely assigned any funds which could yield two thirds of that sum. And they left the care of fulfilling their engagements to the future consideration of parliament. In all the temporary supplies which they voted, they discovered the same cautious frugality. To disband the army, so formidable in itself, and so much accustomed to rebellion and changes of government, was necessary for the security both of king and parliament; yet the commons showed great jealousy in granting the sums requisite for that end. An assessment of seventy thousand pounds a month was imposed; but it was at first voted to continue only three months; and all the other sums which they levied for that purpose, by a poll-bill and new assessments, were still granted by parcels, as if they were not as yet well assured of the fidelity of the hand to which the money was intrusted. Having proceeded so far in the settlement of the nation, the parliament adjourned itself for some time.
During the recess of parliament, the object which chiefly interested the public, was the trial and condemnation of the regicides. The general indignation attending the enormous crime of which these men had been guilty, made their sufferings the subject of joy to the people: but in the peculiar circumstances of that action, in the prejudices of the times, as well as in the behavior of the criminals, a mind seasoned with humanity will find a plentiful source of compassion and indulgence. Can any one, without concern for human blindness and ignorance, consider the demeanor of General Harrison, who was first brought to his trial? With great courage and elevation of sentiment, he told the court, that the pretended crime of which he stood accused, was not a deed performed in a corner; the sound of it had gone forth to most nations; and in the singular and marvellous conduct of it, had chiefly appeared the sovereign power of Heaven: that he himself, agitated by doubts, had often, with passionate tears, offered up his addresses to the divine Majesty, and earnestly sought for light and conviction: he had still received assurance of a heavenly sanction, and returned from these devout supplications with more serene tranquillity and satisfaction: that all the nations of the earth were, in the eyes of their Creator, less than a drop of water in the bucket; nor were their erroneous judgments aught but darkness, compared with divine illuminations: that these frequent relapses of the divine spirit he could not suspect to be interested illusions; since he was conscious, that for no temporal advantage would he offer injury to the poorest man or woman that trod upon the earth: that all the allurements of ambition, all the terrors of imprisonment, had not been able, during the usurpation of Cromwell, to shake his steady resolution, or bend him to a compliance with that deceitful tyrant: and that when invited by him to sit on the right hand of the throne, when offered riches and splendor and dominion, he had disdainfully rejected all temptations; and neglecting the tears of his friends and family, had still, through every danger, held fast his principles and his integrity.
Scot, who was more a republican than a fanatic, had said in the house of commons, a little before the restoration, that he desired no other epitaph to be inscribed on his tombstone than this: "Here lies Thomas Scot, who adjudged the king to death." He supported the same spirit upon his trial.
Carew, a Millenarian, submitted to his trial, "saving to our Lord Jesus Christ his right to the government of these kingdoms." Some scrupled to say, according to form, that they would be tried by God and their country; because God was not visibly present to judge them. Others said, that they would be tried by the word of God.
No more than six of the late king's judges, Harrison, Scot, Carew, Clement, Jones, and Scrope, were executed; Scrope alone, of all those who came in upon the king's proclamation. He was a gentleman of good family and of a decent character: but it was proved, that he had a little before, in conversation, expressed himself as if he were nowise convinced of any guilt in condemning the king. Axtel, who had guarded the high court of justice, Hacker, who commanded on the day of the king's execution, Coke, the solicitor for the people of England, and Hugh Peters, the fanatical preacher, who inflamed the army and impelled them to regicide; all these were tried, and condemned, and suffered with the king's judges. No saint or confessor ever went to martyrdom with more assured confidence of heaven, than was expressed by those criminals, even when the terrors of immediate death, joined to many indignities, were set before them. The rest of the king's judges, by an unexampled lenity, were reprieved; and they were dispersed into several prisons.
This punishment of declared enemies interrupted not the rejoicings of the court: but the death of the duke of Gloucester, a young prince of promising hopes, threw a great cloud upon them. The king, by no incident in his life, was ever so deeply affected. Gloucester was observed to possess united the good qualities of both his brothers: the clear judgment and penetration of the king; the industry and application of the duke of York. He was also believed to be affectionate to the religion and constitution of his country. He was but twenty years of age, when the small-pox put an end to his life.
The princess of Orange, having come to England in order to partake of the joy attending the restoration of her family, with whom she lived in great friendship, soon after sickened and died. The queen mother paid a visit to her son; and obtained his consent to the marriage of the princess Henrietta with the duke of Orleans, brother to the French king.
After a recess of near two months, the parliament met, and proceeded in the great work of the national settlement. They established the post-office, wine-licenses, and some articles of the revenue. They granted more assessments, and some arrears for paying and disbanding the army. Business, being carried on with great unanimity, was soon despatched; and after they had sitten near two months, the king, in a speech full of the most gracious expressions, thought proper to dissolve them.
This house of commons had been chosen during the reign of the old parliamentary party; and though many royalists had crept in amongst them, yet did it chiefly consist of Presbyterians, who had not yet entirely laid aside their old jealousies and principles. Lenthal, a member, having said, that those who first took arms against the king were as guilty as those who afterwards brought him to the scaffold, was severely reprimanded by order of the house; and the most violent efforts of the long parliament, to secure the constitution, and bring delinquents to justice, were in effect vindicated and applauded.[*] The claim of the two houses to the militia, the first ground of the quarrel, however exorbitant a usurpation, was never expressly resigned by this parliament. They made all grants of money with a very sparing hand. Great arrears being due, by the protectors, to the fleet, the army, the navy office, and every branch of service, this whole debt they threw upon the crown, without establishing funds sufficient for its payment. Yet, notwithstanding this jealous care expressed by the parliament, there prevails a story, that Popham, having sounded the disposition of the members, undertook to the earl of Southampton to procure, during the king's life, a grant of two millions a year, land tax; a sum which, added to the customs and excise, would forever have rendered this prince independent of his people.
     * Journals, vol. viii. p. 24
Southampton, it is said, merely from his affection to the king, had unwarily embraced the offer; and it was not till he communicated the matter to the chancellor, that he was made sensible of its pernicious tendency. It is nor improbable, that such an offer might have been made, and been hearkened to; but it is nowise probable, that all the interest of the court would ever with this house of commons, have been able to make it effectual. Clarendon showed his prudence, no less than his integrity, in entirely rejecting it.
The chancellor, from the same principles of conduct, hastened to disband the army. When the king reviewed these veteran troops, he was struck with their beauty, order, discipline, and martial appearance; and being sensible, that regular forces are most necessary implements of royalty, he expressed a desire of finding expedients still to retain them.
But his wise minister set before him the dangerous spirit by which these troops were actuated, their enthusiastic genius, their habits of rebellion and mutiny; and he convinced the king, that, till they were disbanded, he never could esteem himself securely established on his throne. No more troops were retained than a few guards and garrisons, about one thousand horse and four thousand foot. This was the first appearance, under the monarchy, of a regular standing army in this island. Lord Mordaunt said, that the king, being possessed of that force, might now look upon himself as the most considerable gentleman in England.[*] The fortifications of Gloucester, Taunton, and other towns, which had made resistance to the king during the civil wars, were demolished.
     * King James's Memoirs. This prince says, that Vernier's
     insurrection furnished a reason or pretence for keeping up
     the guards, which were intended at first to have been
     disbanded with the rest of the army.
Clarendon not only behaved with wisdom and justice in the office of chancellor; all the counsels which he gave the king tended equally to promote the interest of prince and people. Charles, accustomed in his exile to pay entire deference to the judgment of this faithful servant, continued still to submit to his direction; and for some time no minister was ever possessed of more absolute authority. He moderated the forward zeal of the royalists, and tempered their appetite for revenge. With the opposite party, he endeavored to preserve inviolate all the king's engagements: he kept an exact register of the promises which had been made for any service, he employed all his industry to fulfil them. This good minister was now nearly allied to the royal family. His daughter, Ann Hyde, a woman of spirit and fine accomplishments, had hearkened, while abroad, to the addresses of the duke of York, and under promise of marriage, had secretly admitted him to her bed. Her pregnancy appeared soon after the restoration; and though many endeavored to dissuade the king from consenting to so unequal an alliance, Charles, in pity to his friend and minister, who had been ignorant of these engagements, permitted his brother to marry her.[*] Clarendon expressed great uneasiness at the honor which he had obtained; and said that, by being elevated so much above his rank, he thence dreaded a more sudden downfall.
     * King James's Memoirs.
Most circumstances of Clarendon's administration have met with applause: his maxims alone in the conduct of ecclesiastical politics have by many been deemed the effect of prejudices narrow and bigoted. Had the jealousy of royal power prevailed so far with the convention parliament as to make them restore the king with strict limitations, there is no question but the establishment of Presbyterian discipline had been one of the conditions most rigidly insisted on. Not only that form of ecclesiastical government is more favorable to liberty than to royal power; it was likewise, on its own account, agreeable to the majority of the house of commons, and suited their religious principles. But as the impatience of the people, the danger of delay, the general disgust towards faction, and the authority of Monk, had prevailed over that jealous project of limitations, the full settlement of the hierarchy, together with the monarchy, was a necessary and infallible consequence. All the royalists were zealous for that mode of religion; the merits of the Episcopal clergy towards the king, as well as their sufferings on that account, had been great; the laws which established bishops and the liturgy, were as yet unrepealed by legal authority; and any attempt of the parliament, by new acts, to give the superiority to Presbyterianism, had been sufficient to involve the nation again in blood and confusion. Moved by these views, the commons had wisely postponed the examination of all religious controversy, and had left the settlement of the church to the king and to the ancient laws.
The king at first used great moderation in the execution of the laws. Nine bishops still remained alive; and these were immediately restored to their sees: all the ejected clergy recovered their livings: the liturgy, a form of worship decent, and not without beauty, was again admitted into the churches: but at the same time a declaration was issued, in order to give contentment to the Presbyterians, and preserve an air of moderation and neutrality.[*] In this declaration, the king promised, that he would provide suffragan bishops for the larger dioceses; that the prelates should, all of them, be regular and constant preachers; that they should not confer ordination, or exercise any jurisdiction, without the advice and assistance of presbyters chosen by the diocese; that such alterations should be made in the liturgy as would render it totally unexceptionable; that, in the mean time, the use of that mode of worship should not be imposed on such as were unwilling to receive it; and that the surplice, the cross in baptism, and bowing at the name of Jesus, should not be rigidly insisted on. This declaration was issued by the king as head of the church; and he plainly assumed, in many parts of it, a legislative authority in ecclesiastical matters. But the English government, though more exactly defined by late contests, was not as yet reduced in every particular to the strict limits of law. And if ever pre-rogative was justifiably employed, it seemed to be on the present occasion; when all parts of the state were torn with past convulsions, and required the moderating hand of the chief magistrate to reduce them to their ancient order.
     * Parl. Hist vol. xxiii. p. 173
But though these appearances of neutrality were maintained, and a mitigated Episcopacy only seemed to be insisted on, it was far from the intention of the ministry always to preserve like regard to the Presbyterians. The madness of the Fifth Monarchy men afforded them a pretence for departing from it. Venner, a desperate enthusiast, who had often conspired against Cromwell, having, by his zealous lectures inflamed his own imagination and that of his followers, issued forth at their head into the streets of London. They were, to the number of sixty, completely armed, believed themselves invulnerable and invincible, and firmly expected the same success which had attended Gideon and other heroes of the Old Testament Every one at first fled before them. One unhappy man, who, being questioned, said, "he was for God and King Charles," was instantly murdered by them. They went triumphantly from street to street, every where proclaiming King Jesus, who, they said, was their invisible leader. At length, the magistrates, having assembled some train bands, made an attack upon them. They defended themselves with order as well as valor; and after killing many of the assailants they made a regular retreat into Cane Wood, near Hampstead. Next morning, they were chased thence by a detachment of the guards; but they ventured again to invade the city, which was not prepared to receive them. After committing great disorder, and traversing almost every street of that immense capital, they retired into a house, which they were resolute to defend to the last extremity. Being surrounded, and the house untiled, they were fired upon from every side; and they still refused quarter. The people rushed in upon them, and seized the few who were alive. These were tried, condemned, and executed; and to the last they persisted in affirming, that, if they were deceived, it was the Lord that had deceived them.
Clarendon and the ministry took occasion, from this insurrection, to infer the dangerous spirit of the Presbyterians, and of all the sectaries: but the madness of the attempt sufficiently proved, that it had been undertaken by no concert, and never could have proved dangerous. The well-known hatred, too, which prevailed between the Presbyterians and the other sects, should have removed the former from all suspicion of any concurrence in the enterprise. But as a pretence was wanted, besides their old demerits, for justifying the intended rigors against all of them, this reason, however slight, was greedily laid hold of.
Affairs in Scotland hastened with still quicker steps then those in England towards a settlement and a compliance with the king. It was deliberated in the English council, whether that nation should be restored to its liberty, or whether the forts erected by Cromwell should not still be upheld, in order to curb the mutinous spirit by which the Scots in all ages had been so much governed. Lauderdale, who, from the battle of Worcester to the restoration, had been detained prisoner in the Tower, had considerable influence with the king; and he strenuously opposed this violent measure. He represented that it was the loyalty of the Scottish nation which had engaged them in an opposition to the English rebels; and to take advantage of the calamities into which, on that account, they had fallen, would be regarded as the highest injustice and ingratitude: that the spirit of that people was now fully subdued by the servitude under which the usurpers had so long held them, and would of itself yield to any reasonable compliance with their legal sovereign, if, by this means, they recovered their liberty and independence: that the attachment of the Scots towards their king, whom they regarded as their native prince, was naturally much stronger than that of the English; and would afford him a sure resource, in case of any rebellion among the latter: that republican principles had long been, and still were, very prevalent with his southern subjects, and might again menace the throne with new tumults and resistance: that the time would probably come, when the king, instead of desiring to see English garrisons in Scotland, would be better pleased to have Scottish garrisons in England; who, supported by English pay, would be fond to curb the seditious genius of that opulent nation: and that a people, such as the Scots, governed by a few nobility, would more easily be reduced to submission under monarchy, than one like the English, who breathed nothing but the spirit of democratical equality.
These views induced the king to disband all the forces in Scotland, and to raze all the forts which had been erected. General Middleton, created earl of that name, was sent commissioner to the parliament, which was summoned. A very compliant spirit was there discovered in all orders of men. The commissioner had even sufficient influence to obtain an act, annulling at once all laws which had passed since the year 1633; on pretext of the violence which, during that time, had been employed against the king and his father, in order to procure their assent to these statutes. This was a very large, if not an unexampled concession; and, together with many dangerous limitations, overthrew some useful barriers which had been erected to the constitution. But the tide was now running strongly towards monarchy; and the Scottish nation plainly discovered, that their past resistance had proceeded more from the turbulence of their aristocracy, and the bigotry of their ecclesiastics, than from any fixed passion towards civil liberty. The lords of articles were restored, with some other branches of prerogative; and royal authority fortified with more plausible claims and pretences, was, in its full extent, reestablished in that kingdom.
The prelacy likewise, by the abrogating of every statute enacted in favor of Presbytery, was thereby tacitly restored; and the king deliberated what use he should make of this concession. Lauderdale, who at bottom was a passionate zealot against Episcopacy, endeavored to persuade him, that the Scots, if gratified in this favorite point of ecclesiastical government, would, in every other demand, be entirely compliant with the king. Charles, though he had not so much attachment to prelacy as had influenced his father and grandfather, had suffered such indignities from the Scottish Presbyterians, that he ever after bore them a hearty aversion. He said to Lauderdale, that Presbyterianism, he thought, was not a religion for a gentleman; and he could not consent to its further continuance in Scotland. Middleton too and his other ministers persuaded him, that the nation in general was so disgusted with the violence and tyranny of the ecclesiastics, that any alteration of church government would be universally grateful. And Clarendon, as well as Ormond, dreading that the Presbyterian sect, if legally established in Scotland, would acquire authority in England and Ireland, seconded the application of these ministers. The resolution was therefore taken to restore prelacy; a measure afterwards attended with many and great inconveniencies: but whether in this resolution Charles chose not the lesser evil, it is very difficult to determine. Sharp, who had been commissioned by the Presbyterians in Scotland to manage their interests with the king, was persuaded to abandon that party; and, as a reward for his compliance, was created archbishop of St. Andrews. The conduct of ecclesiastical affairs was chiefly intrusted to him; and as he was esteemed a traitor and a renegade by his old friends, he became on that account, as well as from the violence of his conduct, extremely obnoxious to them.
Charles had not promised to Scotland any such indemnity as he had insured to England by the declaration of Breda: and it was deemed more political for him to hold over men's heads, for some time, the terror of punishment, till they should have made the requisite compliances with the new government. Though neither the king's temper nor plan of administration led him to severity, some examples, after such a bloody and triumphant rebellion, seemed necessary; and the marquis of Argyle and one Guthry were pitched on as the victims. Two acts of indemnity, one passed by the late king in 1641, another by the present in 1651, formed, it was thought, invincible obstacles to the punishment of Argyle, and barred all inquiry into that part of his conduct which might justly be regarded as the most exceptionable. Nothing remained but to try him for his compliance with the usurpation; a crime common to him with the whole nation, and such a one as the most loyal and affectionate subject might frequently by violence be obliged to commit. To make this compliance appear the more voluntary and hearty, there were produced in court letters which he had written to Albemarle, while that general commanded in Scotland, and which contained expressions of the most cordial attachment to the established government. But besides the general indignation excited by Albemarle's discovery of this private correspondence, men thought, that even the highest demonstrations of affection might, during jealous times, be exacted as a necessary mark of compliance from a person of such distinction as Argyle, and could not, by any equitable construction, imply the crime of treason. The parliament, however, scrupled not to pass sentence upon him; and he died with great constancy and courage. As he was universally known to have been the chief instrument of the past disorders and civil wars, the irregularity of his sentence, and several iniquitous circumstances in the method of conducting his trial, seemed on that account to admit of some apology. Lord Lorne, son of Argyle, having ever preserved his loyalty, obtained a gift of the forfeiture. Guthry was a seditious preacher, and had personally affronted the king: his punishment gave surprise to nobody. Sir Archibald Johnstone of Warriston was attainted and fled; but was seized in France about two years after, brought over, and executed. He had been very active during all the late disorders; and was even suspected of a secret correspondence with the English regicides.
Besides these instances of compliance in the Scottish parliament, they voted an additional revenue to the king of forty thousand pounds a year, to be levied by way of excise. A small force was purposed to be maintained by this revenue, in order to prevent like confusions with those to which the kingdom had been hitherto exposed. An act was also passed, declaring the covenant unlawful, and its obligation void and null.
In England, the civil distinctions seemed to be abolished by the lenity and equality of Charles's administration. Cavalier and roundhead were heard of no more: all men seemed to concur in submitting to the king's lawful prerogatives, and in cherishing he just privileges of the people and of parliament. Theological controversy alone still subsisted, and kept alive some sparks of that flame which had thrown the nation into combustion. While Catholics, Independents, and other sectaries were content with entertaining some prospect of toleration, Prelacy and Presbytery struggled for the superiority, and the hopes and fears of both parties kept them in agitation. A conference was held in the Savoy between twelve bishops and twelve leaders among the Presbyterian ministers, with an intention, at least on pretence, of bringing about an accommodation between the parties. The surplice, the cross in baptism, the kneeling at the sacrament, the bowing at the name of Jesus, were anew canvassed; and the ignorant multitude were in hopes, that so many men of gravity and learning could not fail, after deliberate argumentation, to agree in all points of controversy: they were surprised to see them separate more inflamed than ever, and more confirmed in their several prejudices. To enter into particulars would be superfluous. Disputes concerning religious forms are, in themselves, the most frivolous of any; and merit attention only so far as they have influence on the peace and order of civil society.
The king's declaration had promised, that some endeavors should be used to effect a comprehension of both parties; and Charles's own indifference with regard to all such questions seemed a favorable circumstance for the execution of that project. The partisans of a comprehension said, that the Presbyterians, as well as the Prelatists, having felt by experience the fatal effects of obstinacy and violence, were now well disposed towards an amicable agreement: that the bishops, by relinquishing some part of their authority, and dispensing with the most exceptionable ceremonies, would so gratify their adversaries as to obtain their cordial and affectionate compliance, and unite the whole nation in one faith and one worship: that by obstinately insisting on forms, in themselves insignificant, an air of importance was bestowed on them, and men were taught to continue equally obstinate in rejecting them: that the Presbyterian clergy would go every reasonable length, rather than, by parting with their livings, expose themselves to a state of beggary, at best of dependence: and that if their pride were flattered by some seeming alterations, and a pretence given them for affirming that they had not abandoned their former principles, nothing further was wanting to produce a thorough union between those two parties, which comprehended the bulk of the nation.
It was alleged, on the other hand, that the difference between religious sects was founded, not on principle, but on passion; and till the irregular affections of men could be corrected, it was in vain to expect, by compliances, to obtain a perfect unanimity and comprehension: that the more insignificant the objects of dispute appeared, with the more certainty might it be inferred, that the real ground of dissension was different from that which was universally pretended: that the love of novelty, the pride of argumentation, the pleasure of making proselytes, and the obstinacy of contradiction, would forever give rise to sects and disputes; nor was it possible that such a source of dissension could ever, by any concessions, be entirely exhausted: that the church, by departing from ancient practices and principles, would tacitly acknowledge herself guilty of error, and lose that reverence, so requisite for preserving the attachment of the multitude; and that if the present concessions (which was more than probable) should prove ineffectual, greater must still be made; and in the issue discipline would be despoiled of all its authority, and worship of all its decency, without obtaining that end which had been so fondly sought for by these dangerous indulgences.
The ministry were inclined to give the preference to the latter arguments; and were the more confirmed in that intention by the disposition which appeared in the parliament lately assembled. The royalists and zealous churchmen were at present the popular party in the nation, and, seconded by the efforts of the court, had prevailed in most elections. Not more than fifty-six members of the Presbyterian party had obtained seats in the lower house; [*] and these were not able either to oppose or retard the measures of the majority. Monarchy, therefore, and Episcopacy, were now exalted to as great power and splendor as they had lately suffered misery and depression. Sir Edward Turner was chosen speaker.
     [*] Carte's Answer to the Bystander, p. 79.
An act was passed for the security of the king's person and government. To intend or devise the king's imprisonment, or bodily harm, or deposition, or levying war against him, was declared, during the lifetime of his present majesty, to be high treason. To affirm him to be a Papist or heretic, or to endeavor by speech or writing to alienate his subjects' affections from him; these offences were made sufficient to incapacitate the person guilty from holding any employment in church or state. To maintain that the long parliament is not dissolved, or that either or both houses, without the king, are possessed of legislative authority, or that the covenant is binding, was made punishable by the penalty of premunire.
The covenant itself, together with the act for erecting the high court of justice, that for subscribing the engagement, and that for declaring England a commonwealth, were ordered to be burnt by the hands of the hangman. The people assisted with great alacrity on this occasion.
The abuses of petitioning in the preceding reign had been attended with the worst consequences; and to prevent such irregular practices for the future, it was enacted that no more than twenty hands should be fixed to any petition, unless with the sanction of three justices, or the major part of the grand jury, and that no petition should be presented to the king or either house by above ten persons. The penalty annexed to a transgression of this law was a fine of a hundred pounds and three months' imprisonment.
The bishops, though restored to their spiritual authority, were still excluded from parliament, by the law which the late king had passed immediately before the commencement of the civil disorders. Great violence, both against the king and the house of peers, had been employed in passing this law; and on that account alone the partisans of the church were provided with a plausible pretence for repealing it. Charles expressed much satisfaction when he gave his assent to the act for that purpose. It is certain that the authority of the crown, as well as that of the church, was interested in restoring the prelates to their former dignity. But those who deemed every acquisition of the prince a detriment to the people, were apt to complain of this instance of complaisance in the parliament.
After an adjournment of some months, the parliament was again assembled, and proceeded in the same spirit as before. They discovered no design of restoring, in its full extent, the ancient prerogative of the crown: they were only anxious to repair all those breaches which had been made, not by the love of liberty, but by the fury of faction and civil war. The power of the sword had in all ages been allowed to be vested in the crown; and though no law conferred this prerogative every parliament, till the last of the preceding reign, had willingly submitted to an authority more ancient, and therefore more sacred, than that of any positive statute. It was now thought proper solemnly to relinquish the violent pretensions of that parliament, and to acknowledge that neither one house nor both houses, independent of the king, were possessed of any military authority. The preamble to this statute went so far as to renounce all right even of defensive arms against the king; and much observation has been made with regard to a concession esteemed so singular. Were these terms taken in their full literal sense, they imply a total renunciation of limitations to monarchy, and of all privileges in the subject, independent of the will of the sovereign. For as no rights can subsist without some remedy, still less rights exposed to so much invasion from tyranny, or even from ambition; if subjects must never resist, it follows that every prince, without any effort, policy, or violence, is at once rendered absolute and uncontrollable; the sovereign needs only issue an edict abolishing every authority but his own; and all liberty from that moment is in effect annihilated. But this meaning it were absurd to impute to the present parliament, who, though zealous royalists, showed in their measures that they had not cast off all regard to national privileges. They were probably sensible, that to suppose in the sovereign any such invasion of public liberty, is entirely unconstitutional; and that therefore expressly to reserve, upon that event, any right of resistance in the subject, must be liable to the same objection. They had seen that the long parliament, under color of defence, had begun a violent attack upon kingly power; and after involving the kingdom in blood, had finally lost that liberty for which they had so imprudently contended. They thought, perhaps erroneously, that it was no longer possible, after such public and such exorbitant pretensions, to persevere in that prudent silence hitherto maintained by the laws; and that it was necessary, by some positive declaration, to bar the return of like inconveniencies. When they excluded, therefore, the right of defence, they supposed that the constitution, remaining firm upon its basis, there never really could be an attack made by the sovereign. If such an attack was at any time made, the necessity was then extreme; and the case of extreme and violent necessity, no laws, they thought, could comprehend; because to such a necessity no laws could beforehand point out a proper remedy.
The other measures of this parliament still discovered a more anxious care to guard against rebellion in the subject than encroachments in the crown; the recent evils of civil war and usurpation had naturally increased the spirit of submission to the monarch, and had thrown the nation into that dangerous extreme. During the violent and jealous government of the parliament and of the protectors, all magistrates liable to suspicion had been expelled the corporations; and none had been admitted who gave not proofs of affection to the ruling powers, or who refused to subscribe the covenant. To leave all authority in such hands seemed dangerous; and the parliament therefore empowered the king to appoint commissioners for regulating the corporations, and expelling such magistrates as either intruded themselves by violence, or professed principles dangerous to the constitution, civil and ecclesiastical. It was also enacted, that all magistrates should disclaim the obligation of the covenant, and should declare both their belief that it was not lawful, upon any pretence whatsoever, to resist the king, and their abhorrence of the traitorous position of taking arms by the king's authority against his person, or against those who were commissioned by him.
The care of the church was no less attended to by this parliament than that of monarchy; and the bill of uniformity was a pledge of their sincere attachment to the Episcopal hierarchy, and of their antipathy to Presbyterianism, Different parties, however, concurred in promoting this bill, which contained many severe clauses. The Independents and other sectaries, enraged to find all their schemes subverted by the Presbyterians, who had once been their associates, exerted themselves to disappoint that party of the favor and indulgence to which, from their recent merits in promoting the restoration, they thought themselves justly entitled. By the Presbyterians, said they, the war was raised; by them was the populace first incited to tumults; by their zeal, interest, and riches, were the armies supported; by their force was the king subdued; and if, in the sequel, they protested against those extreme violences committed on his person by the military leaders, their opposition came too late, after having supplied these usurpers with the power and the pretences by which they maintained their sanguinary measures. They had indeed concurred with the royalists in recalling the king; but ought they to be esteemed, on that account, more affectionate to the royal cause? Rage and animosity, from disappointed ambition, were plainly their sole motives; and if the king should now be so imprudent as to distinguish them by any particular indulgences, he would soon experience from them the same hatred and opposition which had proved so fatal to his father.
The Catholics, though they had little interest in the nation, were a considerable party at court; and from their services and sufferings during the civil wars, it seemed but just to bear them some favor and regard. These religionists dreaded an entire union among the Protestants. Were they the sole nonconformists in the nation, the severe execution of penal laws upon their sect seemed an infallible consequence; and they used, therefore, all their interest to push matters to extremity against the Presbyterians, who had formerly been their most severe oppressors, and whom they now expected for their companions in affliction. The earl of Bristol, who, from conviction, or interest, or levity, or complaisance for the company with whom he lived, had changed his religion during the king's exile, was regarded as the head of this party.
The church party had, during so many years, suffered such injuries and indignities from the sectaries of every denomination, that no moderation, much less deference, was on this occasion to be expected in the ecclesiastics. Even the laity of that communion seemed now disposed to retaliate upon their enemies, according to the usual measures of party justice. This sect or faction (for it partook of both) encouraged the rumors of plots and conspiracies against the government; crimes which, without any apparent reason, they imputed to their adversaries. And instead of enlarging the terms of communion, in order to comprehend the Presbyterians, they gladly laid hold of the prejudices which prevailed among that sect, in order to eject them from their livings. By the bill of uniformity, it was required, that every clergyman should be reordained, if he had not before received Episcopal ordination; should declare his assent to every thing contained in the Book of Common Prayer; should take the oath of canonical obedience; should abjure the solemn league, and covenant; and should renounce the principle of taking arms on any pretence whatsoever against the king.
This bill reinstated the church in the same condition in which it stood before the commencement of the civil wars; and as the old persecuting laws of Elizabeth still subsisted in their full rigor, and new clauses of a like nature were now enacted, all the king's promises of toleration and of indulgence to tender consciences were thereby eluded and broken. It is true, Charles, in his declaration from Breda, had expressed his intention of regulating that indulgence by the advice and authority of parliament; but this limitation could never reasonably be extended to a total infringement and violation of his engagements. However, it is agreed that the king did not voluntarily concur with this violent measure; and that the zeal of Clarendon and of the church party among the commons, seconded by the intrigues of the Catholics, was the chief cause which extorted his consent.
The royalists, who now predominated, were very ready to signalize their victory, by establishing those high principles of monarchy which their antagonists had controverted: but when any real power or revenue was demanded for the crown, they were neither so forward nor so liberal in their concessions as the king would gladly have wished. Though the parliament passed laws for regulating the navy, they took no notice of the army, and declined giving their sanction to this dangerous innovation. The king's debts were become intolerable; and the commons were at last constrained to vote him an extraordinary supply of one million two hundred thousand pounds, to be levied by eighteen monthly assessments. But besides that this supply was much inferior to the occasion, the king was obliged earnestly to solicit the commons, before he could obtain it; and, in order to convince the house of its absolute necessity, he desired them to examine strictly into all his receipts and disbursements. Finding, likewise, upon inquiry, that the several branches of revenue fell much short of the sums expected, they at last, after much delay, voted a new imposition of two shillings on each hearth; and this tax they settled on the king during life. The whole established revenue, however, did not for many years exceed a million;[*] a sum confessedly too narrow for the public expenses. A very rigid frugality at least, which the king seems to have wanted, would have been requisite to make it suffice for the dignity and security of government. After all business was despatched, the parliament was prorogued.
     * D'Estrades, July 25, 1661. Mr. Ralph's History, vol. i. p.
Before the parliament rose, the court was employed in making preparations for the reception of the new queen, Catharine of Portugal, to whom the king was betrothed, and who had just landed at Portsmouth. During the time that the protector carried on the war with Spain, he was naturally led to support the Portuguese in their revolt; and he engaged himself by treaty to supply them with ten thousand men for their defence against the Spaniards. On the king's restoration, advances were made by Portugal for the renewal of the alliance; and in order to bind the friendship closer, an offer was made of the Portuguese princess, and a portion of five hundred thousand pounds, together with two fortresses, Tangiers in Africa, and Bombay in the East Indies. Spain, who, after the peace of the Pyrenees, bent all her force to recover Portugal, now in appearance abandoned by France, took the alarm, and endeavored to fix Charles in an opposite interest The Catholic king offered to adopt any other princess as a daughter of Spain, either the princess of Parma, or, what he thought more popular, some Protestant princess, the daughter of Denmark, Saxony, or Orange; and on any of these he promised to confer a dowry equal to that which was offered by Portugal. But many reasons inclined Charles rather to accept of the Portuguese proposals. The great disorders in the government and finances of Spain made the execution of her promises be much doubted; and the king's urgent necessities demanded some immediate supply of money. The interest of the English commerce likewise seemed to require that the independency of Portugal should be supported, lest the union of that crown with Spain should put the whole treasures of America into the hands of one potentate. The claims, too, of Spain upon Dunkirk and Jamaica, rendered it impossible, without further concessions, to obtain the cordial friendship of that power; and on the other hand, the offer, made by Portugal, of two such considerable fortresses, promised a great accession to the naval force of England. Above all, the proposal of a Protestant princess was no allurement to Charles, whose inclinations led him strongly to give the preference to a Catholic alliance. According to the most probable accounts,[*] the resolution of marrying ihe daughter of Portugal was taken by the king, unknown to all his ministers, and no remonstrances could prevail with him to alter his intentions.
     * Carte's Ormond, vol. ii. p. 254. This account seems better
     supported than that in Ablancourt's Memoirs, that the
     chancellor chiefly pushed the Portuguese alliance. The
     secret transactions of the court of England could not be
     supposed to be much known to a French resident at Lisbon:
     and whatever opposition the chancellor might make, he would
     certainly endeavor to conceal it from the queen and all her
     family; and even in the parliament and council would support
     the resolution already taken. Clarendon himself says, in his
     Memoirs, that he never either opposed or promoted the
     Portuguese match.
When the matter was laid before the council, all voices concurred in approving the resolution; and the parliament expressed the same complaisance. And thus was concluded, seemingly with universal consent, the inauspicious marriage with Catharine, a princess of virtue, but who was never able, either by the graces of her person or humor, to make herself agreeable to the king. The report, however, of her natural incapacity to have children, seems to have been groundless, since she was twice declared to be pregnant.[*]
     * Lord Lansdowne's Defence of General Monk. Temple vol. ii
     p. 154
The festivity of these espousals was clouded by the trial and execution of criminals. Berkstead, Cobbet, and Okey, three regicides, had escaped beyond sea; and after wandering some time concealed in Germany, came privately to Delft, having appointed their families to meet them in that place. They were discovered by Downing, the king's resident in Holland, who had formerly served the protector and commonwealth in the same station, and who once had even been chaplain to Okey's regiment. He applied for a warrant to arrest them. It had been usual for the states to grant these warrants; though at the same time, they had ever been careful secretly to advertise the persons, that they might be enabled to make their escape. This precaution was eluded by the vigilance and despatch of Downing. He quickly seized the criminals, hurried them on board a frigate which lay off the coast, and sent them to England. These three men behaved with more moderation and submission than any of the other regicides who had suffered. Okey in particular, at the place of execution, prayed for the king, and expressed his intention, had he lived, of submitting peaceably to the established government. He had risen, during the wars, from being a chandler in London, to a high rank in the army; and in all his conduct appeared to be a man of humanity and honor. In consideration of his good character and of his dutiful behavior, his body was given to his friends to be buried.
The attention of the public was much engaged by the trial of two distinguished criminals, Lambert and Vane. These men, though none of the late king's judges, had been excepted from the general indemnity, and committed to prison. The convention parliament, however, was so favorable to them, as to petition the king, if they should be found guilty, to suspend their execution: but this new parliament, more zealous for monarchy, applied for their trial and condemnation. Not to revive disputes which were better buried in oblivion, the indictment of Vane did not comprehend any of his actions during the war between the king and parliament: it extended only to his behavior after the late king's death, as member of the council of state, and secretary of the navy, where fidelity to the trust reposed in him required his opposition to monarchy.
Vane wanted neither courage nor capacity to avail himself of this advantage. He urged that, if a compliance with the government at that time established in England, and the acknowledging of its authority, were to be regarded as criminal, the whole nation had incurred equal guilt, and none would remain whose innocence could entitle them to try or condemn him for his pretended treasons: that, according to these maxims, wherever an illegal authority was established by force, a total and universal destruction must ensue; while the usurpers proscribed one part of the nation for disobedience, the lawful prince punished the other for compliance: that the legislature of England, foreseeing this violent situation, had provided for public security by the famous statute of Henry VII.; in which it was enacted that no man, in case of any revolution, should ever be questioned for his obedience to the king in being: that whether the established government were a monarchy or a commonwealth, the reason of the thing was still the same; nor ought the expelled prince to think himself entitled to allegiance, so long as he could not afford protection: that it belonged not to private persons, possessed of no power, to discuss the title of their governors; and every usurpation, even the most flagrant, would equally require obedience with the most legal establishment: that the controversy between the late king and his parliament was of the most delicate nature; and men of the greatest probity had been divided in their choice of the party which they should embrace; that the parliament, being rendered indissoluble but by its own consent, was become a kind of coördinate power with the king; and as the case was thus entirely new and unknown to the constitution, it ought not to be tried rigidly by the letter of the ancient laws: that for his part, all the violences which had been put upon the parliament, and upon the person of the sovereign, he had ever condemned; nor had he once in the house for some time before and after the execution of the king: that, finding the whole government thrown into disorder, he was still resolved, in every revolution, to adhere to the commons, the root, the foundation, of all lawful authority: that in prosecution of this principle, he had cheerfully under gone all the violence of Cromwell's tyranny; and would now with equal alacrity, expose himself to the rigors of perverted law and justice: that though it was in his power, on the king's restoration, to have escaped from his enemies, he was determined, in imitation of the most illustrious names of antiquity, to perish in defence of liberty, and to give testimony with his blood for that honorable cause in which he had been enlisted; and that, besides the ties by which God and nature had bound him to his native country, he was voluntarily engaged by the most sacred covenant, whose obligation no earthly power should ever be able to make him relinquish.
All the defence which Vane could make was fruitless. The court, considering more the general opinion of his active guilt in the beginning and prosecution of the civil wars, than the articles of treason charged against him, took advantage of the letter of the law, and brought him in guilty. His courage deserted him not upon his condemnation. Though timid by nature, the persuasion of a just cause supported him against the terrors of death, while his enthusiasm, excited by the prospect of glory, embellished the conclusion of a life, which through the whole course of it, had been so much disfigured by the prevalence of that principle. Lest pity for a courageous sufferer should make impression on the populace, drummers were placed under the scaffold, whose noise, as he began to launch out in reflections on the government, drowned his voice, and admonished him to temper the ardor of his zeal. He was not astonished at this unexpected incident. In all his behavior there appeared a firm and animated intrepidity; and he considered death but as a passage to that eternal felicity which he believed to be prepared for him.
This man, so celebrated for his parliamentary talents, and for his capacity in business, has left some writings behind him: they treat, all of them, of religious subjects, and are absolutely unintelligible: no traces of eloquence, or even of common sense, appear in them. A strange paradox! did we not know, that men of the greatest genius, where they relinquish by principle the use of their reason, are only enabled, by their vigor of mind, to work themselves the deeper into error and absurdity. It was remarkable, that as Vane, by being the chief instrument of Strafford's death, had first opened the way for that destruction which overwhelmed the nation, so by his death he closed the scene of blood. He was the last that suffered on account of the civil wars. Lambert, though condemned, was reprieved at the bar; and the judges declared, that if Vane's behavior had been equally dutiful and submissive, he would have experienced like lenity in the king. Lambert survived his condemnation near thirty years. He was confined to the Isle of Guernsey, where he lived contented, forgetting all his past schemes of greatness, and entirely forgotten by the nation. He died a Roman Catholic.
However odious Vane and Lambert were to the Presbyterians, that party had no leisure to rejoice at their condemnation. The fatal St. Bartholomew approached; the day when the clergy were obliged, by the late law, either to relinquish their livings, or to sign the articles required of them. A combination had been entered into by the more zealous of the Presbyterian ecclesiastics to refuse the subscription, in hopes that the bishops would not venture at once to expel so great a number of the most popular preachers. The Catholic party at court, who desired a great rent among the Protestants, encouraged them in this obstinacy, and gave them hopes that the king would protect them in their refusal. The king himself, by his irresolute conduct, contributed, either from design or accident, to increase this opinion. Above all, the terms of subscription had been made strict and rigid, on purpose to disgust all the zealous and scrupulous among the Presbyterians, and deprive them of their livings. About two thousand of the clergy, in one day, relinquished their cures; and, to the astonishment of the court, sacrificed their interest to their religious tenets. Fortified by society in their sufferings, they were resolved to undergo any hardships, rather than openly renounce those principles, which, on other occasions, they were so apt, from interest, to warp or elude. The church enjoyed the pleasure of retaliation; and even pushed, as usual, the vengeance farther than the offence. During the dominion of the parliamentary party, a fifth of each living had been left to the ejected clergyman; but this indulgence, though at first insisted on by the house of peers, was now refused to the Presbyterians. However difficult to conciliate peace among theologians, it was hoped by many, that some relaxation in the terms of communion might have kept the Presbyterians united to the church, and have cured those ecclesiastical factions which had been so fatal, and were still so dangerous. Bishoprics were offered to Calamy, Baxter, and Reynolds, leaders among the Presbyterians: the last only could be prevailed on to accept. Deaneries and other preferments were refused by many.
The next measure of the king has not had the good fortune to be justified by any party, but is often considered, on what grounds I shall not determine, as one of the greatest mistakes, if not blemishes, of his reign. It is the sale of Dunkirk to the French. The parsimonious maxims of the parliament, and the liberal, or rather careless disposition of Charles, were ill suited to each other; and notwithstanding the supplies voted him, his treasury was still very empty and very much indebted. He had secretly received the sum of two hundred thousand crowns from France for the support of Portugal, but the forces sent over to that country, and the fleets maintained in order to defend it, had already cost the king that sum, and, together with it, near double the money which had been paid as the queen's portion.[*] The time fixed for payment of his sister's portion to the duke of Orleans was approaching. Tangiers, a fortress from which great benefit was expected, was become an additional burden to the crown; and Rutherford, who now commanded in Dunkirk, had increased the charge of that garrison to a hundred and twenty thousand pounds a year. These considerations had such influence, not only on the king, but even on Clarendon, that this uncorrupt minister was the most forward to advise accepting a sum of money in lieu of a place which, he thought, the king, from the narrow state of his revenue, was no longer able to retain. By the treaty with Portugal, it was stipulated that Dunkirk should never be yielded to the Spaniards; France was therefore the only purchaser that remained. D'Estrades was invited over by a letter from the chancellor himself, in order to conclude the bargain. Nine hundred thousand pounds were demanded: one hundred thousand were offered. The English by degrees lowered their demand; the French raised their offer: and the bargain was concluded at four hundred thousand pounds. The artillery and stores were valued at a fifth of the sum.[**]
     * D'Estrades, 17th of August, 1662. There was above half of
     five hundred thousand pounds really paid as the queen's

     * D'Estrades, 21st of August, 12th of September, 1662.
The importance of this sale was not, at this time, sufficiently known, either abroad or at home.[*] The French monarch himself, so fond of acquisitions, and so good a judge of his own interests, thought that he had made a hard bargain;[**] and this sum, in appearance so small, was the utmost which he would allow his ambassador to offer.
     * It appears, however, from many of D'Estrades's letters,
     particularly that of the 21st of August, 1661, that the king
     might have transferred Dunkirk to the parliament, who would
     not have refused to bear the charges of it, but were
     unwilling to give money to the king for that purpose. The
     king, on the other hand, was jealous lest the parliament
     should acquire any separate dominion or authority in a
     branch of administration which seemed so little to belong to
     them; a proof that the government was not yet settled into
     that composure and mutual confidence which is absolutely
     requisite for conducting it.

     * D'Estrades, 3d of October, 1662. The chief importance,
     indeed, of Dunkirk to the English was, that it was able to
     distress their trade when in the hands of the French: but it
     was Lewis XIV. who first made it a good seaport. If ever
     England have occasion to transport armies to the continent,
     it must be in support of some ally whose towns serve to the
     same purpose as Dunkirk would, if in the hands of the
A new incident discovered such a glimpse of the king's character and principles as, at first, the nation was somewhat at a loss how to interpret, but such as subsequent events, by degrees, rendered sufficiently plain and manifest. He issued a declaration on pretence of mitigating the rigors contained in the act of uniformity. After expressing his firm resolution to observe the general indemnity, and to trust entirely to the affections of his subjects, not to any military power, for the support of his throne, he mentioned the promises of liberty of conscience contained in his declaration of Breda. And he subjoined, that, "as in the first place he had been zealous to settle the uniformity of the church of England, in discipline, ceremony, and government, and shall ever constantly maintain it, so, as for what concerns the penalties upon those who, living peaceably, do not conform themselves thereunto, through scruple and tenderness of misguided conscience, but modestly and without scandal perform their devotions in their own way, he should make it his special care, so far as in him lay, without invading the freedom of parliament, to incline their wisdom, next approaching sessions, to concur with him in making some such act for that purpose, as may enable him to exercise, with a more universal satisfaction, that power of dispensing, which he conceived to be inherent in him."[*] Here a most important prerogative was exercised by the king; but under such artful reserves and limitations as might prevent the full discussion of the claim, and obviate a breach between him and his parliament. The foundation of this measure lay much deeper, and was of the utmost consequence.
The king, during his exile, had imbibed strong prejudices a favor of the Catholic religion; and, according to the most probable accounts, had already been secretly reconciled in form to the church of Rome. The great zeal expressed by the parliamentary party against all Papists, had always, from a spirit of opposition, inclined the court and all the royalists to adopt more favorable sentiments towards that sect, which, through the whole course of the civil wars, had strenuously supported the rights of the sovereign. The rigor, too, which the king, during his abode in Scotland, had experienced from the Presbyterians, disposed him to run into the other extreme, and to bear a kindness to the party most opposite in its genius to the severity of those religionists. The solicitations and importunities of the queen mother, the contagion of the company which he frequented, the view of a more splendid and courtly mode of worship, the hopes of indulgence in pleasure, all these causes operated powerfully on a young prince, whose careless and dissolute temper made him incapable of adhering closely to the principles of his early education. But if the thoughtless humor of Charles rendered him an easy convert to Popery, the same disposition ever prevented the theological tenets of that sect from taking any fast hold of him. During his vigorous state of health, while his blood was warm and his spirits high, a contempt and disregard to all religion held possession of his mind; and he might more properly be denominated a deist than a Catholic. But in those revolutions of temper, when the love of raillery gave place to reflection, and his penetrating, but negligent understanding was clouded with fears and apprehensions, he had starts of mere sincere conviction; and a sect which always possessed his inclination, was then master of his judgment and opinion.[**]
     * Kennet's Register, p. 850.

     * The author confesses, that the king's zeal for Popery was
     apt at intervals to go further than is here supposed, as
     appears from many passages in James II.'s Memoirs.
But though the king thus fluctuated, during his whole reign, between irreligion, which he more openly professed, and Popery, to which he retained a secret propensity, his brother the duke of York, had zealously adopted all the principles of that theological party. His eager temper and narrow understanding made him a thorough convert, without any reserve from interest, or doubts from reasoning and inquiry. By his application to business, he had acquired a great ascendant over the king; who, though possessed of more discernment, was glad to throw the burden of affairs on the duke, of whom he entertained little jealousy. On pretence of easing the Protestant dissenters, they agreed upon a plan for introducing a general toleration, and giving the Catholics the free exercise of their religion; at least the exercise of it in private houses. The two brothers saw with pleasure so numerous and popular a body of the clergy refuse conformity; and it was hoped that, under shelter of their name, the small and hated sect of the Catholics might meet with favor and protection.
But while the king pleaded his early promises of toleration, and insisted on many other plausible topics, the parliament, who sat a little after the declaration was issued, could by no means be satisfied with this measure. The declared intention of easing the dissenters, and the secret purpose of favoring the Catholics, were equally disagreeable to them and in these prepossessions they were encouraged by the king's ministers themselves, particularly the chancellor. The house of commons represented to the king, that his declaration of Breda contained no promise to the Presbyterians and other dissenters, but only an expression of his intentions, upon supposition of the concurrence of parliament: that even if the nonconformists had been entitled to plead a promise, they had intrusted this claim, as all their other rights and privileges, to the house of commons, who were their representatives, and who now freed the king from that obligation: that it was not to be supposed, that his majesty and the houses were so bound by that declaration, as to be incapacitated from making any laws which might be contrary to it: that even at the king's restoration, there were laws of uniformity in force, which could not be dispensed with but by act of parliament: and that the indulgence intended would prove most pernicious both to church and state, would open the door to schism, encourage faction, disturb the public peace, and discredit the wisdom of the legislature. The king did not think proper, after this remonstrance, to insist any further at present on the project of indulgence.
In order to deprive the Catholics of all hopes, the two houses concurred in a remonstrance against them. The king gave a gracious answer; though he scrupled not to profess his gratitude towards many of that persuasion, on account of their faithful services in his father's cause and in his own. A proclamation, for form's sake, was soon after issued against Jesuits and Romish priests: but care was taken, by the very terms of it, to render it ineffectual. The parliament had allowed, that all foreign priests, belonging to the two queens, should be excepted, and that a permission for them to remain in England should still be granted. In the proclamation, the word foreign was purposely omitted; and the queens were thereby authorized to give protection to as many English priests as they should think proper.
That the king might reap some advantage from his compliances, however fallacious, he engaged the commons anew into an examination of his revenue, which, chiefly by the negligence in levying it, had proved, he said, much inferior to the public charges. Notwithstanding the price of Dunkirk, his debts, he complained, amounted to a considerable sum; and to satisfy the commons that the money formerly granted him had not been prodigally expended, he offered to lay before them the whole account of his disbursements. It is, however, agreed on all hands, that the king, though during his banishment he had managed his small and precarious income with great order and economy, had now much abated of these virtues, and was unable to make his royal revenues suffice for his expenses. The commons, without entering into too nice a disquisition, voted him four subsidies; and this was the last time that taxes were levied in that manner.
Several laws were made this session with regard to trade. The militia also came under consideration, and some rules were established for ordering and arming it. It was enacted, that the king should have no power of keeping the militia under arms above fourteen days in the year. The situation of this island, together with its great naval power, has always occasioned other means of security, however requisite, to be much neglected among us: and the parliament showed here a very superfluous jealousy of the king's strictness in disciplining the militia. The principles of liberty rather require a contrary jealousy.
The earl of Bristol's friendship with Clarendon, which had subsisted, with great intimacy, during their exile and the distresses of the royal party, had been considerably impaired, since the restoration, by the chancellor's refusing his assent to some grants which Bristol had applied for to a court lady: and a little after, the latter nobleman, agreeably to the impetuosity and indiscretion of his temper, broke out against the minister in the most outrageous manner. He even entered a charge of treason against him before the house of peers; but had concerted his measures so imprudently, that the judges, when consulted, declared, that neither for its matter nor its form could the charge be legally received. The articles indeed resemble more the incoherent altercations of a passionate enemy, than a serious accusation, fit to be discussed by a court of judicature; and Bristol himself was so ashamed of his conduct and defeat, that he absconded during some time. Notwithstanding his fine talents, his eloquence, his spirit, and his courage, he could never regain the character which he lost by this hasty and precipitate measure.
But though Clarendon was able to elude this rash assault, his credit at court was sensibly declining; and in proportion as the king found himself established on the throne, he began to alienate himself from a minister whose character was so little suited to his own. Charles's favor for the Catholics was always opposed by Clarendon, public liberty was secured against all attempts of the over-zealous royalists, prodigal grants of the king were checked or refused, and the dignity of his own character was so much consulted by the chancellor, that he made it an inviolable rule, as did also his friend Southampton, never to enter into any connection with the royal mistresses. The king's favorite was Mrs. Palmer, afterwards created duchess of Cleveland; a woman prodigal, rapacious, dissolute, violent, revengeful. She failed not in her turn to undermine Clarendon's credit with his master; and her success was at this time made apparent to the whole world. Secretary Nicholas, the chancellor's great friend, was removed from his place; and Sir Harry Bennet, his avowed enemy, was advanced to that office. Bennet was soon after created Lord Arlington.
Though the king's conduct had hitherto, since his restoration, been in the main laudable, men of penetration began to observe, that those virtues by which he had at first so much dazzled and enchanted the nation, had great show, but not equal solidity. His good understanding lost much of its influence by his want of application his bounty was more the result of a facility of disposition than any generosity of character; his social humor led him frequently to neglect his dignity; his love of pleasure was not attended with proper sentiment and decency; and while he seemed to bear a good will to every one that approached him, he had a heart not very capable of friendship, and he had secretly entertained a very bad opinion and distrust of mankind. But above all, what sullied his character in the eyes of good judges, was his negligent ingratitude towards the unfortunate cavaliers, whose zeal and sufferings in the royal cause had known no bounds. This conduct, however, in the king may, from the circumstances of his situation and temper, admit of some excuse; at least, of some alleviation. As he had been restored more by the efforts of his reconciled enemies than of his ancient friends, the former pretended a title to share his favor; and being from practice acquainted with public business, they were better qualified to execute any trust committed to them. The king's revenues were far from being large, or even equal to his necessary expenses; and his mistresses, and the companions of his mirth and pleasures, gained by solicitation every request from his easy temper. The very poverty to which the more zealous royalists had reduced themselves, by rendering them insignificant, made them unfit to support the king's measures, and caused him to deem them a useless encumbrance. And as many false and ridiculous claims of merit were offered, his natural indolence, averse to a strict discussion or inquiry, led him to treat them all with equal indifference. The parliament took some notice of the poor cavaliers. Sixty thousand pounds were at one time distributed among them; Mrs. Lane also and the Penderells had handsome presents and pensions from the king. But the greater part of the royalists still remained in poverty and distress, aggravated by the cruel disappointment in their sanguine hopes, and by seeing favor and preferment bestowed upon their most inveterate foes. With regard to the act of indemnity and oblivion, they universally said, that it was an act of indemnity to the king's enemies and of oblivion to his friends.



The next session of parliament discovered a continuance of the same principles which had prevailed in all the foregoing. Monarchy and the church were still the objects of regard and affection. During no period of the present reign did this spirit more evidently pass the bounds of reason and moderation.
The king, in his speech to the parliament, had ventured openly to demand a repeal of the triennial act; and he even went so far as to declare that, notwithstanding the law, he never would allow any parliament to be assembled by the methods prescribed in that statute. The parliament, without taking offence at this declaration, repealed the law; and in lieu of all the securities formerly provided, satisfied themselves with a general clause, "that parliament should not be interrupted above three years at the most." As the English parliament had now raised itself to be a regular check and control upon royal power, it is evident that they ought still to have preserved a regular security for their meeting, and not have trusted entirely to the good will of the king, who, if ambitious or enterprising, had so little reason to be pleased with these assemblies. Before the end of Charles's reign, the nation had occasion to feel very sensibly the effects of this repeal.
By the act of uniformity, every clergyman who should officiate without being properly qualified, was punishable by fine and imprisonment: but this security was not thought sufficient for the church. It was now enacted, that, wherever five persons above those of the same household should assemble in a religious congregation, every one of them was liable, for the first offence, to be imprisoned three months, or pay five pounds; for the second, to be imprisoned six months, or pay ten pounds; and for the third, to be transported seven years, or pay a hundred pounds. The parliament had only in their eye the malignity of the sectaries; they should have carried their attention further, to the chief cause of that malignity, the restraint under which they labored.
The commons likewise passed a vote, that the wrongs, dishonors, and indignities offered to the English by the subjects of the United Provinces, were the greatest obstructions to all foreign trade: and they promised to assist the king with their lives and fortunes in asserting the rights of his crown against all opposition whatsoever. This was the first open step towards a Dutch war. We must explain the causes and motives of this measure.
That close union and confederacy which, during a course of near seventy years, has subsisted, almost without interruption or jealousy, between England and Holland, is not so much founded on the natural, unalterable interests of these states, as on their terror of the growing power of the French monarch, who, without their combination, it is apprehended, would soon extend his dominion over Europe. In the first years of Charles's reign, when the ambitious genius of Lewis had not as yet displayed itself, and when the great force of his people was in some measure unknown even to themselves, the rival-ship of commerce, not checked by any other jealousy or apprehension, had in England begotten a violent enmity against the neighboring republic.
Trade was beginning among the English to be a matter of general concern; but notwithstanding all their efforts and advantages, their commerce seemed hitherto to stand upon a footing which was somewhat precarious. The Dutch, who by industry and frugality were enabled to undersell them in every market, retained possession of the most lucrative branches of commerce; and the English merchants had the mortification to find, that all attempts to extend their trade were still turned, by the vigilance of their rivals, to their loss and dishonor. Their indignation increased, when they considered the superior naval power of England; the bravery of her officers and seamen; her favorable situation, which enabled her to intercept the whole Dutch commerce. By the prospect of these advantages, they were strongly prompted, from motives less just and political, to make war upon the states; and at once to ravish from them by force what they could not obtain, or could obtain but slowly, by superior skill and industry.
The careless, unambitious temper of Charles rendered him little capable of forming so vast a project as that of engrossing the commerce and naval power of Europe; yet could he not remain altogether insensible to such obvious and such tempting prospects. His genius, happily turned towards mechanics, had inclined him to study naval affairs, which, of all branches of business, he both loved the most and understood the best. Though the Dutch, during his exile, had expressed towards him more civility and friendship than he had received from any other foreign power, the Louvestein or aristocratic faction, which at this time ruled the commonwealth, had fallen into close union with France; and could that party be subdued, he might hope that his nephew, the young prince of Orange, would be reinstated in the authority possessed by his ancestors, and would bring the states to a dependence under England. His narrow revenues made it still requisite for him to study the humors of his people, which now ran violently towards war; and it has been suspected, though the suspicion was not justified by the event, that the hopes of diverting some of the supplies to his private use were not overlooked by this necessitous monarch.
The duke of York, more active and enterprising, pushed more eagerly the war with Holland. He desired an opportunity of distinguishing himself: he loved to cultivate commerce: he was at the head of a new African company, whose trade was extremely checked by the settlements of the Dutch: and perhaps the religious prejudices by which that prince was always so much governed, began, even so early, to instil into him an antipathy against a Protestant commonwealth, the bulwark of the reformation. Clarendon and Southampton, observing that the nation was not supported by any foreign alliance, were averse to hostilities; but their credit was now on the decline.
By these concurring motives, the court and parliament were both of them inclined to a Dutch war. The parliament was prorogued without voting supplies: but as they had been induced, without any open application from the crown, to pass that vote above mentioned against the Dutch encroachments, it was reasonably considered as sufficient sanction for the rigorous measures which were resolved on.
Downing, the English minister at the Hague, a man of an insolent, impetuous temper, presented a memorial to the states, containing a list of those depredations of which the English complained. It is remarkable, that all the pretended depreciations preceded the year 1662, when a treaty of league and alliance had been renewed with the Dutch; and these complaints were then thought either so ill grounded or so frivolous, that they had not been mentioned in the treaty. Two ships alone, the Bonaventure and the Good Hope, had been claimed by the English; and it was agreed that the claim should be prosecuted by the ordinary course of justice. The states had consigned a sum of money, in case the cause should be decided against them; but the matter was still in dependence. Cary who was intrusted by the proprietors with the management of the lawsuit for the Bonaventure, had resolved to accept of thirty thousand pounds, which were offered him; but was hindered by Downing, who told him that the claim was a matter of state between the two nations, not a concern of private persons.[*] These circumstances give us no favorable idea of the justice of the English pretensions.
     * Temple, vol. ii, p. 42.
Charles confined not himself to memorials and remonstrances. Sir Robert Holmes was secretly despatched with a squadron of twenty-two ships to the coast of Africa. He not only expelled the Dutch from Cape Corse, to which the English had some pretensions; he likewise seized the Dutch settlements of Cape Verde and the Isle of Goree, together with several ships trading on that coast. And having sailed to America, he possessed himself of Nova Belgia, since called New York; a territory which James I. had given by patent to the earl of Stirling, but which had never been planted but by the Hollanders. When the states complained of these hostile measures, the king, unwilling to avow what he could not well justify, pretended to be totally ignorant of Holmes's enterprise. He likewise confined that admiral to the Tower; but some time after released him.
The Dutch, finding that their applications for redress were likely to be eluded, and that a ground of quarrel was industriously sought for by the English, began to arm with diligence. They even exerted, with some precipitation, an act of vigor which hastened on the rupture. Sir John Lawson and De Ruyter had been sent with combined squadrons into the Mediterranean, in order to chastise the piratical states on the coast of Barbary; and the time of their separation and return was now approaching. The states secretly despatched orders to De Ruyter, that he should take in provisions at Cadiz; and sailing towards the coast of Guinea, should retaliate on the English, and put the Dutch in possession of those settlements whence Holmes had expelled them. De Ruyter, having a considerable force on board, met with no opposition in Guinea.
All the new acquisitions of the English, except Cape Corse were recovered from them. They were even dispossessed of some old settlements. Such of their ships as fell into his hands were seized by De Ruyter. That admiral sailed next to America. He attacked Barbadoes, but was repulsed. He afterwards committed hostilities on Long Island.
Meanwhile the English preparations for war were advancing with vigor and industry. The king had received no supplies from parliament; but by his own funds and credit he was enabled to equip a fleet: the city of London lent him one hundred thousand pounds: the spirit of the nation seconded his armaments: he himself went from port to port, inspecting with great diligence, and encouraging the work; and in a little time the English navy was put in a formidable condition. Eight hundred thousand pounds are said to have been expended on this armament. When Lawson arrived, and communicated his suspicion of De Ruyter's enterprise, orders were issued for seizing all Dutch ships; and one hundred and thirty-five fell into the hands of the English. These were not declared prizes till afterwards, when war was proclaimed.
The parliament, when it met, granted a supply, the largest by far that had ever been given to a king of England, yet scarcely sufficient for the present undertaking. Near two millions and a half were voted, to be levied by quarterly payments in three years. The avidity of the merchants, together with the great prospect of success, had animated the whole nation against the Dutch.
A great alteration was made this session in the method of taxing the clergy. In almost all the other monarchies of Europe, the assemblies, whose consent was formerly requisite to the enacting of laws, were composed of three estates, the clergy, the nobility, and the commonalty, which formed so many members of the political body, of which the king was considered as the head. In England too, the parliament was always represented as consisting of three estates; but their separation was never so distinct as in other kingdoms. A convocation, however, had usually sitten at the same time with the parliament; though they possessed not a negative voice in the passing of laws, and assumed no other temporal power than that of imposing taxes on the clergy. By reason of ecclesiastical preferments, which he could bestow, the king's influence over the church was more considerable than over the laity; so that the subsidies granted by the convocation were commonly greater than those which were voted by parliament. The church, therefore, was not displeased to depart tacitly from the right of taxing herself, and allow the commons to lay impositions on ecclesiastical revenues, as on the rest of the kingdom. In recompense, two subsidies, which the convocation had formerly granted, were remitted, and the parochial clergy were allowed to vote at elections. Thus the church of England made a barter of power for profit. Their convocations, having become insignificant to the crown, have been much disused of late years.
The Dutch saw, with the utmost regret, a war approaching, whence they might dread the most fatal consequences, but which afforded no prospect of advantage. They tried every art of negotiation, before they would come to extremities. Their measures were at that time directed by John de Wit, a minister equally eminent for greatness of mind, for capacity, and for integrity. Though moderate in his private deportment, he knew how to adopt in his public counsels that magnanimity which suits the minister of a great state. It was ever his maxim, that no independent government should yield to another any evident point of reason or equity; and that all such concessions, so far from preventing war, served to no other purpose than to provoke fresh claims and insults. By his management a spirit of union was preserved in all the provinces; great sums were levied; and a navy was equipped, composed of larger ships than the Dutch had ever built before, and able to cope with the fleet of England.
As soon as certain intelligence arrived of De Ruyter's enterprises, Charles declared war against the states. His fleet, consisting of one hundred and fourteen sail, besides fireships and ketches, was commanded by the duke of York, and under him by Prince Rupert and the earl of Sandwich. It had about twenty-two thousand men on board. Obdam, who was admiral of the Dutch navy, of nearly equal force, declined not the combat. In the heat of action, when engaged in close fight with the duke of York, Obdam's ship blew up. This accident much discouraged the Dutch, who fled towards their own coast. Tromp alone, son of the famous admiral killed during the former war, bravely sustained with his squadron the efforts of the English, and protected the rear of his countrymen. The vanquished had nineteen ships sunk and taken. The victors lost only one. Sir John Lawson died soon after of his wounds. It is affirmed, and with an appearance of reason, that this victory might have been rendered more complete, had not orders been issued to slacken sail by Brounker, one of the duke's bed-chamber, who pretended authority from his master. The duke disclaimed the orders; but Brounker never was sufficiently punished for his temerity.[*] It is allowed, however, that the duke behaved with great bravery during the action. He was long in the thickest of the fire. The earl of Falmouth, Lord Muskerry, and Mr. Boyle, were killed by one shot at his side, and covered him all over with their brains and gore. And it is not likely, that, in a pursuit, where even persons of inferior station, and of the most cowardly disposition, acquire courage, a commander should feel his spirits to flag ana should turn from the back of an enemy, whose face he had not been afraid to encounter.
     * King James, in his Memoirs, gives an account of
     this affair different from what we meet with in any
     historian. He says, that, while he was asleep, Brounker
     brought orders to Sir John Harman, captain of the ship, to
     slacken sail. Sir John remonstrated, but obeyed. After some
     time, finding that his falling back was likely to produce
     confusion in the fleet, he hoisted the sail as before; so
     that the prince, coming soon after on the quarter deck, and
     finding all things as he left them, knew nothing of what had
     passed during his repose. Nobody gave him the least
     intimation of it. It was long after that he heard of it, by
     a kind of accident; and he intended to have punished
     Brounker by martial law; but just about that time, the house
     of commons took up the question, and impeached him, which
     made it impossible for the duke to punish him otherwise than
     by dismissing him his service. Brounker, before the house,
     never pretended that he had received any orders from the
This disaster threw the Dutch into consternation, and determined De Wit, who was the soul of their councils, to exert his military capacity, in order to support the declining courage of his countrymen. He went on board the fleet, which he took under his command; and he soon remedied all those disorders which had been occasioned by the late misfortune. The genius of this man was of the most extensive nature. He quickly became as much master of naval affairs, as if he had from his infancy been educated in them; and he even made improvements in some parts of pilotage and sailing, beyond what men expert in those arts had ever been able to attain.
The misfortunes of the Dutch determined their allies to act for their assistance and support. The king of France was engaged in a defensive alliance with the states; but as his naval force was yet in its infancy, he was extremely averse, at that time, from entering into a war with so formidable a power as England. He long tried to mediate a peace between the states, and for that purpose sent an embassy to London, which returned without effecting any thing. Lord Hollis, the English ambassador at Paris, endeavored to draw over Lewis to the side of England; and, in his master's name, made him the most tempting offers. Charles was content to abandon all the Spanish Low Countries to the French, without pretending to a foot of ground for himself, provided Lewis would allow him to pursue his advantages against the Dutch.[*] But the French monarch, though the conquest of that valuable territory was the chief object of his ambition, rejected the offer as contrary to his interests: he thought, that if the English had once established an uncontrollable dominion over the sea and over commerce, they would soon be able to render his acquisitions a dear purchase to him. When De Lionne, the French secretary, assured Van Beuninghen, ambassador of the states, that this offer had been pressed on his master during six months, "I can readily believe it," replied the Dutchman; "I am sensible that it is the interest of England."[**]
     * D'Estrades, December 19, 1664.

     ** D'Estrades, August 14, 1665.
Such were the established maxims at that time with regard to the interests of princes. It must, however, be allowed, that the politics of Charles, in making this offer, were not a little hazardous. The extreme weakness of Spain would have rendered the French conquests easy and infallible; but the vigor of the Dutch, it might be foreseen, would make the success of the English much more precarious. And even were the naval force of Holland totally annihilated, the acquisition of the Dutch commerce to England could not be relied on as a certain consequence; nor is trade a constant attendant of power, but depends on many other, and some of them very delicate, circumstances.
Though the king of France was resolved to support the Hollanders in that unequal contest in which they were engaged, he yet protracted his declaration, and employed the time in naval preparations, both in the ocean and the Mediterranean. The king of Denmark, meanwhile, was resolved not to remain an idle spectator of the contest between the maritime powers. The part which he acted was the most extraordinary: he made a secret agreement with Charles to seize all the Dutch ships in his harbors, and to share the spoils with the English, provided they would assist him in executing this measure. In order to increase his prey, he perfidiously invited the Dutch to take shelter in his ports; and accordingly the East India fleet, very richly laden, had put into Bergen. Sandwich, who now commanded the English navy, (the duke having gone ashore,) despatched Sir Thomas Tiddiman with a squadron to attack them; but whether from the king of Denmark's delay in sending orders to the governor, or, what is more probable, from his avidity in endeavoring to engross the whole booty, the English admiral, though he behaved with great bravery, failed of his purpose. The Danish governor fired upon him; and the Dutch, having had leisure to fortify themselves, made a gallant resistance.
The king of Denmark, seemingly ashamed of his conduct, concluded with Sir Gilbert Talbot, the English envoy, an offensive alliance against the states; and at the very same time, his resident at the Hague, by his orders, concluded an offensive alliance against England. To this latter alliance he adhered, probably from jealousy of the increasing naval power of England; and he seized and confiscated all the English ships in his harbors. This was a sensible check to the advantages which Charles had obtained over the Dutch. Not only a blow was given to the English commerce; the king of Denmark's naval force was also considerable, and threatened every moment a conjunction with the Hollanders. That prince stipulated to assist his ally with a fleet of thirty sail; and he received in return a yearly subsidy of one million five hundred thousand crowns, of which three hundred thousand were paid by France.
The king endeavored to counterbalance these confederacies by acquiring new friends and allies. He had despatched Sir Richard Fanshaw into Spain, who met with a very cold reception. That monarchy was sunk into a state of weakness, and was menaced with an invasion from France; yet could not any motive prevail with Philip to enter into cordial friendship with England. Charles's alliance with Portugal, the detention of Jamaica and Tangiers, the sale of Dunkirk to the French, all these offences sunk so deep in the mind of the Spanish monarch, that no motive of interest was sufficient to outweigh them.
The bishop of Munster was the only ally that Charles could acquire. This prelate, a man of restless enterprise and ambition, had entertained a violent animosity against the states and he was easily engaged, by the promise of subsidies from England, to make an incursion on that republic. With a tumultuary army of near twenty thousand men, he invaded her territories, and met with weak resistance. The land forces of the states were as feeble and ill governed, as their fleets were gallant and formidable. But after his committing great ravages in several of the provinces, a stop was put to the progress of this warlike prelate. He had not military skill sufficient to improve the advantages which fortune had put into his hands: the king of France sent a body of six thousand men to oppose him: subsidies were not regularly remitted him from England; and many of his troops deserted for want of pay: the elector of Brandenburgh threatened him with an invasion in his own state; and on the whole, he was glad to conclude a peace under the mediation of France. On the first surmise of his intentions, Sir William Temple was sent from London with money to fix him in his former alliance; but found that he arrived too late.
The Dutch, encouraged by all these favorable circumstances, continued resolute to exert themselves to the utmost in their own defence. De Ruyter, their great admiral, was arrived from his expedition to Guinea: their Indian fleet was come home in safety: their harbors were crowded with merchant ships: faction at home was appeased: the young prince of Orange had put himself under the tuition of the states of Holland, and of De Wit, their pensionary, who executed his trust with honor and fidelity; and the animosity which the Hollanders entertained against the attack of the English, so unprovoked, as they thought it, made them thirst for revenge, and hope for better success in their next enterprise. Such vigor was exerted in the common cause, that, in order to man the fleet, all merchant ships were prohibited to sail, and even the fisheries were suspended.[*]
     * Tromp's Life. D'Estrades February 5, 1665.
The English likewise continued in the same disposition, though another more grievous calamity had joined itself to that of war. The plague had broken out in London; and that with such violence as to cut off, in a year, near ninety thousand inhabitants. The king was obliged to summon the Parliament at Oxford.
A good agreement still subsisted between the king and parliament. They, on their part, unanimously voted him the supply demanded, twelve hundred and fifty thousand pounds, to be levied in two years by monthly assessments. And he, to gratify them, passed the five-mile act, which has given occasion to grievous and not unjust complaints. The church, under pretence of guarding monarchy against its inveterate enemies, persevered in the project of wreaking her own enmity against the nonconformists. It was enacted, that no dissenting teacher, who took not the nonresistance oath above mentioned, should, except upon the road, come within five miles of any corporation, or of any place, where he had preached after the act of oblivion. The penalty was a fine of fifty pounds, and six months' imprisonment. By ejecting the nonconforming clergy from their churches, and prohibiting all separate congregations, they had been rendered incapable of gaining any livelihood by their spiritual profession. And now, under color of removing them from places where their influence might be dangerous, an expedient was fallen upon to deprive them of all means of subsistence. Had not the spirit of the nation undergone a change, these violences were preludes to the most furious persecution.
However prevalent the hierarchy, this law did not pass without opposition. Besides several peers, attached to the old parliamentary party, Southampton himself, though Clarendon's great friend, expressed his disapprobation of these measures. But the church party, not discouraged with this opposition, introduced into the house of commons a bill for imposing the oath of nonresistance on the whole nation. It was rejected only by three voices. The parliament, after a short session, was prorogued.
After France had declared war, England was evidently overmatched in force. Yet she possessed this advantage by her situation, that she lay between the fleets of her enemies, and might be able, by speedy and well-concerted operations, to prevent their junction. But such was the unhappy conduct of her commanders, or such the want of intelligence in her ministers, that this circumstance turned rather to her prejudice. Lewis had given orders to the duke of Beaufort, his admiral, to sail from Toulon; and the French squadron under his command, consisting of above forty sail,[*] was now commonly supposed to be entering the Channel.
     * D'Estrades, May 21, 1666.
The Dutch fleet, to the number of seventy-six sail, was at sea, under the command of De Ruyter and Tromp, in order to join him. The duke of Albemarle and Prince Rupert commanded the English fleet, which exceeded not seventy-four sail. Albemarle, who, from his successes under the protector, had too much learned to despise the enemy, proposed to detach Prince Rupert with twenty ships, in order to oppose the duke of Beaufort. Sir George Ayscue, well acquainted with the bravery and conduct of De Ruyter, protested against the temerity of this resolution: but Albemarle's authority prevailed. The remainder of the English set sail to give battle to the Dutch; who, seeing the enemy advance quickly upon them, cut their cables, and prepared for the combat. The battle that ensued is one of the most memorable that we read of in story; whether we consider its long duration, or the desperate courage with which it was fought. Albemarle made here some atonement by his valor for the rashness of the attempt. No youth, animated by glory and ambitious hopes, could exert himself more than did this man, who was now in the decline of life, and who had reached the summit of honors. We shall not enter minutely into particulars. It will be sufficient to mention the chief events of each day's engagement.
In the first day, Sir William Berkeley, vice-admiral, leading the van, fell into the thickest of the enemy, was overpowered, and his ship taken. He himself was found dead in his cabin, all covered with blood. The English had the weather-gage of the enemy; but as the wind blew so hard that they could not use their lower tier, they derived but small advantage from this circumstance. The Dutch shot, however, fell chiefly on their sails and rigging; and few ships were sunk or much damaged. Chain-shot was at that time a new invention; commonly attributed to De Wit. Sir John Harman exerted himself extremely on this day. The Dutch admiral, Evertz, was killed in engaging him. Darkness parted the combatants.
The second day, the wind was somewhat fallen, and the combat became more steady and more terrible. The English now found, that the greatest valor cannot compensate the superiority of numbers, against an enemy who is well conducted, and who is not defective in courage. De Ruyter and Van Tromp, rivals in glory and enemies from faction, exerted themselves in emulation of each other; and De Ruyter had the advantage of disengaging and saving his antagonist, who had been surrounded by the English, and was in the most imminent danger. Sixteen fresh ships joined the Dutch fleet during the action: and the English were so shattered, that their fighting ships were reduced to twenty-eight, and they found themselves obliged to retreat towards their own coast. The Dutch followed them, and were on the point of renewing the combat; when a calm, which came a little before night, prevented the engagement.
Next morning, the English were obliged to continue their retreat; and a proper disposition was made for that purpose. The shattered ships were ordered to stretch ahead; and sixteen of the most entire followed them in good order, and kept the enemy in awe. Albemarle himself closed the rear, and presented an undaunted countenance to his victorious foes. The earl of Ossory, son of Ormond, a gallant youth, who sought honor and experience in every action throughout Europe, was then on board the admiral. Albemarle confessed to him his intention rather to blow up his ship and perish gloriously, than yield to the enemy. Ossory applauded this desperate resolution.
About two o'clock, the Dutch had come up with their enemy, and were ready to renew the fight; when a new fleet was descried from the south, crowding all their sail to reach the scene of action. The Dutch flattered themselves that Beaufort was arrived to cut off the retreat of the vanquished: the English hoped, that Prince Rupert had come, to turn the scale of action. Albemarle, who had received intelligence of the prince's approach, bent his course towards him. Unhappily, Sir George Ayscue, in a ship of a hundred guns, the largest in the fleet, struck on the Galloper sands, and could receive no assistance from his friends, who were hastening to join the reënforcement. He could not even reap the consolation of perishing with honor, and revenging his death on his enemies. They were preparing fireships to attack him, and he was obliged to strike. The English sailors, seeing the necessity, with the utmost indignation surrendered themselves prisoners.
Albemarle and Prince Rupert were now determined to face the enemy; and next morning, the battle began afresh, with more equal force than ever, and with equal valor. After long cannonading, the fleets came to a close combat; which was continued with great violence, till parted by a mist. The English retired first into their harbors.
Though the English, by their obstinate courage, reaped the chief honor in this engagement it is somewhat uncertain who obtained the victory. The Hollanders took a few ships; and having some appearances of advantage, expressed their satisfaction by all the signs of triumph and rejoicing. But as the English fleet was repaired in a little time, and put to sea more formidable than ever, together with many of those ships which the Dutch had boasted to have burned or destroyed, all Europe saw, that those two brave nations were engaged in a contest which was not likely, on either side, to prove decisive.
It was the conjunction alone of the French, that could give a decisive superiority to the Dutch. In order to facilitate this conjunction, De Ruyter, having repaired his fleet, posted himself at the mouth of the Thames. The English, under Prince Rupert and Albemarle, were not long in coming to the attack. The numbers of each fleet amounted to about eighty sail; and the valor and experience of the commanders, as well as of the seamen, rendered the engagement fierce and obstinate. Sir Thomas Allen, who commanded the white squadron of the English, attacked the Dutch van, which he entirely routed; and he killed the three admirals who commanded it. Van Tromp engaged Sir Jeremy Smith; and during the heat of action, he was separated from De Ruyter and the main body, whether by accident or design was never certainly known. De Ruyter, with conduct and valor, maintained the combat against the main body of the English; and, though overpowered by numbers, kept his station, till night ended the engagement. Next day, finding the Dutch fleet scattered and discouraged, his high spirit submitted to a retreat, which yet he conducted with such skill, as to render it equally honorable to himself as the greatest victory. Full of indignation, however, at yielding the superiority to the enemy, he frequently exclaimed, "My God! what a wretch am I! Among so many thousand bullets, is there not one to put an end to my miserable life?" One De Witte, his son-in-law, who stood near, exhorted him, since he sought death, to turn upon the English, and render his life a dear purchase to the victors. But De Ruyter esteemed it more worthy a brave man to persevere to the uttermost, and, as long as possible, to render service to his country. All that night and next day, the English pressed upon the rear of the Dutch; and it was chiefly by the redoubled efforts of De Ruyter, that the latter saved themselves in their harbors.
The loss sustained by the Hollanders in this action was not very considerable; but as violent animosities had broken out between the two admirals, who engaged all the officers on one side or other, the consternation which took place was great among the provinces. Tromp's commission was at last taken from him; but though several captains had misbehaved, they were so effectually protected by their friends in the magistracy of the towns, that most of them escaped punishment, and many were still continued in their commands.
The English now rode incontestable masters of the sea, and insulted the Dutch in their harbors. A detachment under Holmes was sent into the road of Vlie, and burned a hundred and forty merchantmen, two men-of-war, together with Brandaris, a large and rich village on the coast. The Dutch merchants, who lost by this enterprise, uniting themselves to the Orange faction, exclaimed against an administration which, they pretended, had brought such disgrace and ruin on their country. None but the firm and intrepid mind of De Wit could have supported itself under such a complication of calamities.
The king of France, apprehensive that the Dutch would sink under their misfortunes, at least that De Wit, his friend, might be dispossessed of the administration, hastened the advance of the duke of Beaufort. The Dutch fleet likewise was again equipped; and under the command of De Ruyter, cruised near the Straits of Dover. Prince Rupert with the English navy, now stronger than ever, came full sail upon them. The Dutch admiral thought proper to decline the combat, and retired into St. John's road, near Bulloigne. Here he sheltered himself, both from the English, and from a furious storm which arose. Prince Rupert, too, was obliged to retire into St. Helens; where he staid some time, in order to repair the damages which he had sustained. Meanwhile the duke of Beaufort proceeded up the Channel, and passed the English fleet unperceived; but he did not find the Dutch, as he expected. De Ruyter had been seized with a fever: many of the chief officers had fallen into sickness: a contagious distemper was spread through the fleet: and the states thought it necessary to recall them into their harbors, before the enemy should be refitted. The French king, anxious for his navy, which with so much care and industry he had so lately built, despatched orders to Beaufort, to make the best of his way to Brest. That admiral had again the good fortune to pass the English. One ship alone, the Ruby, fell into the hands of the enemy.
While the war continued without any decisive success on either side, a calamity happened in London which threw the people into great consternation. Fire, breaking out in a baker's house near the bridge, spread itself on all sides with such rapidity, that no efforts could extinguish it, till it laid in ashes a considerable part of the city. The inhabitants, without being able to provide effectually for their relief, were reduced to be spectators of their own ruin; and were pursued from street to street by the flames, which unexpectedly gathered round them. Three days and nights did the fire advance; and it was only by the blowing up of houses that it was at last extinguished. The king and duke used their utmost endeavors to stop the progress of the flames; but all their industry was unsuccessful. About four hundred streets and thirteen thousand houses were reduced to ashes.
The causes of this calamity were evident. The narrow streets of London, the houses built entirely of wood, the dry season, and a violent east wind which blew; these were so many concurring circumstances, which rendered it easy to assign the reason of the destruction that ensued. But the people were not satisfied with this obvious account. Prompted by blind rage, some ascribed the guilt to the republicans, others to the Catholics; though it is not easy to conceive how the burning of London could serve the purposes of either party. As the Papists were the chief objects of public detestation, the rumor which threw the guilt on them was more favorably received by the people. No proof, however, or even presumption, after the strictest inquiry by a committee of parliament, ever appeared to authorize such a calumny; yet, in order to give countenance to the popular prejudice, the inscription, engraved by authority on the monument, ascribed this calamity to that hated sect. This clause was erased by order of King James, when he came to the throne; but after the revolution it was replaced: so credulous, as well as obstinate, are the people in believing every thing which flatters their prevailing passion.
The fire of London, though at that time a great calamity, has proved in the issue beneficial both to the city and the kingdom. The city was rebuilt in a very little time; and care was taken to make the streets wider and more regular than before. A discretionary power was assumed by the king to regulate the distribution of the buildings, and to forbid the use of lath and timber, the materials of which the houses were formerly composed. The necessity was so urgent, and the occasion so extraordinary that no exceptions were taken at an exercise of authority which otherwise might have been deemed illegal. Had the king been enabled to carry his power still further, and made the houses be rebuilt with perfect regularity, and entirely upon one plan, he had much contributed to the convenience, as well as embellishment of the city. Great advantages, however, have resulted from the alterations though not carried to the full length. London became much more healthy after the fire. The plague, which used to break out with great fury twice or thrice every century, and indeed was always lurking in some corner or other of the city, has scarcely ever appeared since that calamity.
The parliament met soon after, and gave the sanction of law to those regulations made by royal authority; as well as appointed commissioners for deciding all such questions of property as might arise from the fire. They likewise voted a supply of one million eight hundred thousand pounds, to be levied, partly by a poll-bill, partly by assessments. Though their inquiry brought out no proofs which could fix on the Papists the burning of London, the general aversion against that sect still prevailed; and complaints were made, probably without much foundation, of its dangerous increase. Charles, at the desire of the commons, issued a proclamation for the banishment of all priests and Jesuits; but the bad execution of this, as well as of former edicts, destroyed all confidence in his sincerity, whenever he pretended an aversion towards the Catholic religion. Whether suspicions of this nature had diminished the king's popularity, is uncertain; but it appears that the supply was voted much later than Charles expected, or even than the public necessities seemed to require. The intrigues of the duke of Buckingham, a man who wanted only steadiness to render him extremely dangerous, had somewhat embarrassed the measures of the court: and this was the first time that the king found any considerable reason to complain of a failure of confidence in this house of commons. The rising symptoms of ill humor tended, no doubt, to quicken the steps which were already making towards a peace with foreign enemies.
Charles began to be sensible, that all the ends for which the war had been undertaken were likely to prove entirely abortive. The Dutch, even when single, had defended themselves with vigor, and were every day improving in their military skill and preparations.
Though their trade had suffered extremely, their extensive credit enabled them to levy great sums; and while the seamen of England loudly complained of want of pay, the Dutch navy was regularly supplied with money and every thing requisite for its subsistence. As two powerful kings now supported them, every place, from the extremity of Norway to the coasts of Bayonne, was become hostile to the English. And Charles, neither fond of action, nor stimulated by any violent ambition, earnestly sought for means of restoring tranquillity to his people, disgusted with a war, which, being joined with the plague and fire, had proved so fruitless and destructive.
The first advances towards an accommodation were made by England. When the king sent for the body of Sir William Berkeley, he insinuated to the states his desire of peace on reasonable terms; and their answer corresponded in the same amicable intentions. Charles, however, to maintain the appearance of superiority, still insisted that the states should treat at London; and they agreed to make him this compliment so far as concerned themselves: but being engaged in alliance with two crowned heads, they could not, they said, prevail with these to depart in that respect from their dignity. On a sudden, the king went so far on the other side as to offer the sending of ambassadors to the Hague; but this proposal, which seemed honorable to the Dutch, was meant only to divide and distract them, by affording the English an opportunity to carry on cabals with the disaffected party. The offer was therefore rejected; and conferences were secretly held in the queen mother's apartments at Paris, where the pretensions of both parties were discussed. The Dutch made equitable proposals; either that all things should be restored to the same condition in which they stood before the war, or that both parties should continue in possession of their present acquisitions. Charles accepted of the latter proposal; and almost every thing was adjusted, except the disputes with regard to the Isle of Polerone. This island lies in the East Indies, and was formerly valuable for its produce of spices. The English had been masters of it, but were dispossessed at the time when the violences were committed against them at Amboyna. Cromwell had stipulated to have it restored; and the Hollanders, having first entirely destroyed all the spice trees, maintained that they had executed the treaty, but that the English had been anew expelled during the course of the war. Charles renewed his pretensions to this island; and as the reasons on both sides began to multiply, and seemed to require a long discussion, it was agreed to transfer the treaty to some other place; and Charles made choice of Breda.
Lord Hollis and Henry Coventry were the English ambassadors. They immediately desired that a suspension of arms should be agreed to, till the several claims should be adjusted; but this proposal, seemingly so natural, was rejected by the credit of De Wit. That penetrating and active minister, thoroughly acquainted with the characters of princes and the situation of affairs, had discovered an opportunity of striking a blow, which might at once restore to the Dutch the honor lost during the war, and severely revenge those injuries which he ascribed to the wanton ambition and injustice of the English.
Whatever projects might have been formed by Charles for secreting the money granted him by parliament, he had hitherto failed in his intention. The expenses of such vast armaments had exhausted all the supplies,[*] and even a great debt was contracted to the seamen. The king, therefore, was resolved to save, as far as possible, the last supply of one million eight hundred thousand pounds; and to employ it for payment of his debts, as well those which had been occasioned by the war, as those which he had formerly contracted. He observed, that the Dutch had been with great reluctance forced into the war, and that the events of it were not such as to inspire them with great desire of its continuance. The French, he knew, had been engaged into hostilities by no other motive than that of supporting their ally; and were now more desirous than ever of putting an end to the quarrel. The differences between the parties were so inconsiderable, that the conclusion of peace appeared infallible; and nothing but forms, at least some vain points of honor, seemed to remain for the ambassadors at Breda to discuss. In this situation, Charles, moved by an ill-timed frugality, remitted his preparations, and exposed England to one of the greatest affronts which it has ever received. Two small squadrons alone were equipped, and during a war with such potent and martial enemies, every thing was left almost in the same situation as in times of the most profound tranquillity.
     * The Dutch had spent on the war near forty millions of
     livres a year, about three millions sterling; a much greater
     sum than had been granted by the English parliament.
     D'Estrades, December 24 1665. January 1, 1666. Temple, vol.
     i. p. 71. It was probably the want of money which engaged
     the king to pay the seamen with tickets; a contrivance which
     proved so much to their loss.
De Wit protracted the negotiations at Breda, and hastened the naval preparations. The Dutch fleet appeared in the Thames, under the command of De Ruyter, and threw the English into the utmost consternation. A chain had been drawn across the River Medway; some fortifications had been added to Sheerness and Upnore Castle; but all these preparations were unequal to the present necessity. Sheerness was soon taken; nor could it be saved by the valor of Sir Edward Sprague, who defended it. Having the advantage of a spring tide and an easterly wind, the Dutch pressed on, and broke the chain, though fortified by some ships, which had been there sunk by orders of the duke of Albemarle. They burned the three ships which lay to guard the chain—the Matthias, the Unity, and the Charles V. After damaging several vessels, and possessing themselves of the hull of the Royal Charles, which the English had burned, they advanced with six men-of-war and five fireships as far as Upnore Castle, where they burned the Royal Oak, the Loyal London, and the Great James. Captain Douglas, who commanded on board the Royal Oak, perished in the flames, though he had an easy opportunity of escaping. "Never was it known," he said, "that a Douglas had left his post without orders."[*] The Hollanders fell down the Medway without receiving any considerable damage; and it was apprehended, that they might next tide sail up the Thames, and extend their hostilities even to the bridge of London. Nine ships were sunk at Woolwich, four at Blackwall: platforms were raised in many places, furnished with artillery; the train bands were called out, and every place was in a violent agitation. The Dutch sailed next to Portsmouth, where they made a fruitless attempt: they met with no better success at Plymouth: they insulted Harwich: they sailed again up the Thames as far as Tilbury, where they were repulsed. The whole coast was in alarm; and had the French thought proper at this time to join the Dutch fleet, and to invade England, consequences the most fatal might justly have been apprehended. But Lewis had no intention to push the victory to such extremities. His interest required that a balance should be kept between the two maritime powers; not that an uncontrolled superiority should be given to either.
     * Temple, vol. ii. p. 41.
Great indignation prevailed amongst the English, to see an enemy, whom they regarded as inferior, whom they had expected totally to subdue, and over whom they had gained many honorable advantages, now of a sudden ride undisputed masters of the ocean, burn their ships in their very harbors, fill every place with confusion, and strike a terror into the capital itself. But though the cause of all these disasters could be ascribed neither to bad fortune, to the misconduct of admirals, nor to the ill behavior of seamen, but solely to the avarice, at least to the improvidence, of the government, no dangerous symptoms of discontent appeared, and no attempt for an insurrection was made by any of those numerous sectaries who had been so openly branded for their rebellious principles, and who, upon that supposition, had been treated with such severity.[*]
     * Some nonconformists, however, both in Scotland and
     England, had kept a correspondence with the states, and had
     entertained projects for insurrections; but they were too
     weak even to attempt the execution of them. D'Estrades,
     October 13, 1665.
In the present distress, two expedients were embraced: an army of twelve thousand men was suddenly levied; and the parliament, though it lay under prorogation, was summoned to meet. The houses were very thin; and the only vote which the commons passed, was an address for breaking the army; which was complied with. This expression of jealousy showed the court what they might expect from that assembly; and it was thought more prudent to prorogue them till next winter.
But the signing of the treaty at Breda extricated the king from his present difficulties. The English ambassadors received orders to recede from those demands, which, how ever frivolous in themselves, could not now be relinquished without acknowledging a superiority in the enemy. Polerone remained with the Dutch; satisfaction for the ships Bonaventure and Good Hope, the pretended grounds of the quarrel, was no longer insisted on; Acadie was yielded to the French. The acquisition of New York, a settlement so important by its situation, was the chief advantage which the English reaped from a war, in which the national character of bravery had shone out with lustre, but where the misconduct of the government, especially in the conclusion, had been no less apparent.
To appease the people by some sacrifice seemed requisite before the meeting of parliament; and the prejudices of the nation pointed out the victim. The chancellor was at this time much exposed to the hatred of the public, and of every party which divided the nation. All the numerous sectaries regarded him as their determined enemy; and ascribed to his advice and influence those persecuting laws to which they had lately been exposed. The Catholics knew, that while he retained any authority, all their credit with the king and the duke would be entirely useless to them, nor must they ever expect any favor or indulgence. Even the royalists, disappointed in their sanguine hopes of preferment, threw a great load of envy on Clarendon, into whose hands the king seemed at first to have resigned the whole power of government. The sale of Dunkirk, the bad payment of the seamen, the disgrace at Chatham, the unsuccessful conclusion of the war all these misfortunes were charged on the chancellor, who though he had ever opposed the rupture with Holland, thought it still his duty to justify what he could not prevent. A building, likewise, of more expense and magnificence than his slender fortune could afford, being unwarily undertaken by him, much exposed him to public reproach, as if he had acquired great riches by corruption. The populace gave it commonly the appellation of Dunkirk House.