Vol 1 (con't)

CHAPTER L.

CHARLES I.

1625.
No sooner had Charles taken into his hands the reins of government, than he showed an impatience to assemble the great council of the nation; and he would gladly, for the sake of despatch, have called together the same parliament which had sitten under his father, and which lay at that time under prorogation. But being told that this measure would appear unusual, he issued writs for summoning a new parliament on the seventh of May; and it was not without regret that the arrival of the princess Henrietta, whom he had espoused by proxy, obliged him to delay, by repeated prorogations, their meeting till the eighteenth of June, when they assembled at Westminster for the despatch of business. The young prince, unexperienced and impolitic, regarded as sincere all the praises and caresses with which he had been loaded while active in procuring the rupture with the house of Austria. And besides that he labored under great necessities, he hastened with alacrity to a period when he might receive the most undoubted testimony of the dutiful attachment of his subjects. His discourse to the parliament was full of simplicity and cordiality. He lightly mentioned the occasion which he had for supply.[*] He employed no intrigue to influence the suffrages of the members. He would not even allow the officers of the crown, who had seats in the house, to mention any particular sum which might be expected by him Secure of the affections of the commons, he was resolved that their bounty should be entirely their own deed; unasked, unsolicited; the genuine fruit of sincere confidence and regard.
     * Rushworth, vol. i. p. 171. Parl. Hist. vol. vi. p. 346.
     Franklyn, p. 108.
The house of commons accordingly took into consideration the business of supply. They knew that all the money granted by the last parliament had been expended on naval and military armaments; and that great anticipations were likewise made on the revenues of the crown. They were not ignorant that Charles was loaded with a large debt, contracted by his father, who had borrowed money both from his own subjects and from foreign princes. They had learned by experience, that the public revenue could with difficulty maintain the dignity of the crown, even under the ordinary charges of government. They were sensible, that the present war was very lately the result of their own importunate applications and entreaties, and that they had solemnly engaged to support their sovereign in the management of it. They were acquainted with the difficulty of military enterprises directed against the whole house of Austria; against the king of Spain, possessed of the greatest riches and most extensive dominions of any prince in Europe; against the emperor Ferdinand, hitherto the most fortunate monarch of his age, who had subdued and astonished Germany by the rapidity of his victories. Deep impressions they saw must be made by the English sword, and a vigorous offensive war be waged against these mighty potentates, ere they would resign a principality which they had now fully subdued, and which they held in secure possession, by its being surrounded with all their other territories.
To answer, therefore, all these great and important ends; to satisfy their young king in the first request which he made them; to prove their sense of the many royal virtues, particularly economy, with which Charles was endued; the house of Commons, conducted by the wisest and ablest senators that had ever flourished in England, thought proper to confer on the king a supply of two subsidies, amounting to one hundred and twelve thousand pounds.[*]
     * A subsidy was now fallen to about fifty-six thousand
     pounds Cabala, p. 224, 1st edit.
This measure, which discovers rather a cruel mockery of Charles, than any serious design of supporting him, appears so extraordinary, when considered in all its circumstances, that it naturally summons up our attention, and raises an inquiry concerning the causes of a conduct unprecedented in an English parliament. So numerous an assembly, composed of persons of various dispositions, was not, it is probable, wholly influenced by the same motives; and few declared openly their true reason. We shall, therefore, approach nearer to the truth, if we mention all the views which the present conjuncture could suggest to them.
It is not to be doubted, but spleen and ill will against the duke of Buckingham had an influence with many. So vast and rapid a fortune, so little merited, could not fail to excite public envy; and however men's hatred might have been suspended for a moment, while the duke's conduct seemed to gratify their passions and their prejudices, it was impossible for him long to preserve the affections of the people. His influence over the modesty of Charles exceeded even that which he had acquired over the weakness of James; nor was any public measure conducted but by his counsel and direction. His vehement temper prompted him to raise suddenly, to the highest elevation, his flatterers and dependants; and upon the least occasion of displeasure, he threw them down with equal impetuosity and violence. Implacable in his hatred, fickle in his friendships, all men were either regarded as his enemies, or dreaded soon to become such. The whole power of the kingdom was grasped by his insatiable hand; while he both engrossed the entire confidence of his master, and held invested in his single person the most considerable offices of the crown.
However the ill humor of the commons might have been increased by these considerations, we are not to suppose them the sole motives. The last parliament of James, amidst all their joy and festivity, had given him a supply very disproportioned to his demand, and to the occasion. And as every house of commons which was elected during forty years, succeeded to all the passions and principles of their predecessors, we ought rather to account for this obstinacy from the general situation of the kingdom during that whole period, than from any circumstances which attended this particular conjuncture.
The nation was very little accustomed at that time to the burden of taxes, and had never opened their purses in any degree for supporting their sovereign. Even Elizabeth, notwithstanding her vigor and frugality, and the necessary wars in which she was engaged, had reason to complain of the commons in this particular; nor could the authority of that princess, which was otherwise almost absolute, ever extort from them the requisite supplies. Habits, more than reason, we find in every thing to be the governing principle of mankind. In this view, likewise, the sinking of the value of subsidies must be considered as a loss to the king. The parliament, swayed by custom, would not augment their number in the same proportion.
The Puritanical party, though disguised, had a great authority over the kingdom; and many of the leaders among the commons had secretly embraced the rigid tenets of that sect. All these were disgusted with the court, both by the prevalence of the principles of civil liberty essential to their party, and on account of the restraint under which they were held by the established hierarchy. In order to fortify himself against the resentment of James, Buckingham had affected popularity, and entered into the cabals of the Puritans: but, being secure of the confidence of Charles, he had since abandoned this party; and on that account was the more exposed to their hatred and resentment. Though the religious schemes of many of the Puritans, when explained, appear pretty frivolous, we are not thence to imagine that they were pursued by none but persons of weak understandings. Some men of the greatest parts and most extensive knowledge that the nation at this time produced, could not enjoy any peace of mind, because obliged to hear prayers offered up to the Divinity by a priest covered with a white linen vestment.
The match with France, and the articles in favor of Catholics which were suspected to be in the treaty, were likewise causes of disgust to this whole party: though it must be remarked, that the connections with that crown were much less obnoxious to the Protestants, and less agreeable to the Catholics, than the alliance formerly projected with Spain, and were therefore received rather with pleasure than dissatisfaction.
To all these causes we must yet add another, of considerable moment. The house of commons, we may observe, was almost entirely governed by a set of men of the most uncommon capacity and the largest views; men who were now formed into a regular party, and united, as well by fixed aims and projects, as by the hardships which some of them had undergone in prosecution of them. Among these we may mention the names of Sir Edward Coke, Sir Edwin Sandys, Sir Robert Philips, Sir Francis Seymour, Sir Dudley Digges, Sir John Elliot, Sir Thomas Wentworth, Mr. Selden, and Mr. Pym. Animated with a warm regard to liberty, these generous patriots saw with regret an unbounded power exercised by the crown, and were resolved to seize the opportunity which the king's necessities offered them, of reducing the prerogative within more reasonable compass. Though their ancestors had blindly given way to practices and precedents favorable to kingly power, and had been able, notwithstanding, to preserve some small remains of liberty, it would be impossible, they thought, when all these pretensions were methodised, and prosecuted by the increasing knowledge of the age, to maintain any shadow of popular government, in opposition to such unlimited authority in the sovereign. It was necessary to fix a choice; either to abandon entirely the privileges of the people, or to secure them by firmer and more precise barriers than the constitution had hitherto provided for them. In this dilemma, men of such aspiring geniuses, and such independent fortunes, could not long deliberate: they boldly embraced the side of freedom, and resolved to grant no supplies to their necessitous prince, without extorting concessions in favor of civil liberty. The end they esteemed beneficent and noble; the means, regular and constitutional. To grant or refuse supplies was the undoubted privilege of the commons. And as all human governments, particularly those of a mixed frame, are in continual fluctuation, it was as natural, in their opinion, and allowable, for popular assemblies to take advantage of favorable incidents, in order to secure the subject, as for monarchs, in order to extend their own authority. With pleasure they beheld the king involved in a foreign war, which rendered him every day more dependent on the parliament; while at the same time the situation of the kingdom, even without any military preparations, gave it sufficient security against all invasion from foreigners. Perhaps, too, it had partly proceeded from expectations of this nature, that the popular leaders had been so urgent for a rupture with Spain; nor is it credible, that religious zeal could so far have blinded all of them, as to make them discover, in such a measure, any appearance of necessity, or any hopes of success.
But, however natural all these sentiments might appear to the country party, it is not to be imagined that Charles would entertain the same ideas. Strongly prejudiced in favor of the duke, whom he had heard so highly extolled in parliament, he could not conjecture the cause of so sudden an alteration in their opinions. And when the war which they themselves had so earnestly solicited, was at last commenced, the immediate desertion of their sovereign could not but seem very unaccountable. Even though no further motive had been suspected, the refusal of supply in such circumstances would naturally to him appear cruel and deceitful: but when he perceived that this measure proceeded from an intention of encroaching on his authority, he failed not to regard these aims as highly criminal and traitorous. Those lofty ideas of monarchical power which were very commonly adopted during that age, and to which the ambiguous nature of the English constitution gave so plausible an appearance, were firmly rivetted in Charles; and however moderate his temper, the natural and unavoidable prepossessions of self-love, joined to the late uniform precedents in favor of prerogative, had made him regard his political tenets as certain and uncontroverted. Taught to consider even the ancient laws and constitution more as lines to direct his conduct, than barriers to withstand his power; a conspiracy to erect new ramparts, in order to straiten his authority, appeared but one degree removed from open sedition and rebellion. So atrocious in his eyes was such a design, that he seems even unwilling to impute it to the commons; and though he was constrained to adjourn the parliament by reason of the plague, which at that time raged in London, he immediately reassembled them at Oxford, and made a new attempt to gain from them some supplies in such an urgent necessity.
Charles now found himself obliged to depart from that delicacy which he had formerly maintained. By himself or his ministers he entered into a particular detail, both of the alliances which he had formed, and of the military operations which he had projected.[*]
     * Dugdale, p. 25, 26.
He told the parliament, that, by a promise of subsidies, he had engaged the king of Denmark to take part in the war; that this monarch intended to enter Germany by the north, and to rouse to arms those princes who impatiently longed for an opportunity of asserting the liberty of the empire; that Mansfeldt had undertaken to penetrate with an English army into the Palatinate, and by that quarter to excite the members of the evangelical unions that the states must be supported in the unequal warfare which they maintained with Spain; that no less a sum than seven hundred thousand pounds a year had been found, by computation, requisite for all these purposes; that the maintenance of the fleet, and the defence of Ireland, demanded an annual expense of four hundred thousand pounds; that he himself had already exhausted and anticipated, in the public service, his whole revenue, and had scarcely left sufficient for the daily subsistence of himself and his family;[*] that on his accession to the crown, he found a debt of above three hundred thousand pounds, contracted by his father in support of the palatine; and that while prince of Wales, he had himself contracted debts, notwithstanding his great frugality, to the amount of seventy thousand pounds, which he had expended entirely on naval and military armaments. After mentioning all these facts, the king even condescended to use entreaties. He said, that this request was the first that he had ever made them: that he was young, and in the commencement of his reign; and if he now met with kind and dutiful usage, it would endear to him the use of parliaments, and would forever preserve an entire harmony between him and his people.[**]
To these reasons the commons remained inexorable. Notwithstanding that the king's measures, on the supposition of a foreign war, which they had constantly demanded, were altogether unexceptionable, they obstinately refused any further aid. Some members, favorable to the court, having insisted on an addition of two fifteenths to the former supply, even this pittance was refused;[***] though it was known that a fleet and army were lying at Portsmouth, in great want of pay and provisions; and that Buckingham, the admiral, and the treasurer of the navy, had advanced on their own credit near a hundred thousand pounds for the sea service.[****]
     * Parl. Hist. vol. vi. p. 396.

     ** Rush, vol. i. p. 177, 178, etc. Parl. Hist. vol. vi. p.
     399. Franklyn, p. 108, 109. Journ. 10th Aug. 1625.

     *** Rush, vol. i. p. 190.

     **** Parl. Hist. vol. vi. p. 390.
Besides all their other motives, the house of commons had made a discovery, which, as they wanted but a pretence for their refusal, inflamed them against the court and against the duke of Buckingham. When James deserted the Spanish alliance, and courted that of France, he had promised to furnish Lewis, who was entirely destitute of naval force, with one ship of war, together with seven armed vessels hired from the merchants. These the French court had pretended they would employ against the Genoese, who, being firm and useful allies to the Spanish monarchy, were naturally regarded with an evil eye, both by the king of France and of England. When these vessels, by Charles's orders, arrived at Dieppe, there arose a strong suspicion that they were to serve against Rochelle. The sailors were inflamed. That race of men, who are at present both careless and ignorant in all matters of religion, were at that time only ignorant. They drew up a remonstrance to Pennington, their commander, and signing all their names in a circle, lest he should discover the ringleaders, they laid it under his prayer-book. Pennington declared that he would rather be hanged in England for disobedience, than fight against his brother Protestants in France. The whole squadron sailed immediately to the Downs. There they received new orders from Buckingham, lord admiral, to return to Dieppe. As the duke knew that authority alone would not suffice, he employed much art and many subtleties to engage them to obedience; and a rumor which was spread, that peace had been concluded between the French king and the Hugonots, assisted him in his purpose. When they arrived at Dieppe, they found that they had been deceived. Sir Ferdinando Gorges, who commanded one of the vessels, broke through and returned to England. All the officers and sailors of all the other ships, notwithstanding great offers made them by the French, immediately deserted. One gunner alone preferred duty towards his king to the cause of religion; and he was afterwards killed in charging a cannon before Rochelle.[*] The care which historians have taken to record this frivolous event, proves with what pleasure the news was received by the nation.
     * Franklyn, p. 09. Rush. vol. i. p. 175, 176, etc., 325,
     326, etc.
The house of commons, when informed of these transactions, showed the same attachment with the sailors for the Protestant religion; nor was their zeal much better guided by reason and sound policy. It was not considered that it was highly probable the king and the duke themselves had here been deceived by the artifices of France, nor had they any hostile intention against the Hugonots; that, were it otherwise yet might their measures be justified by the most obvious and most received maxims of civil policy; that, if the force of Spain were really so exorbitant as the commons imagined, the French monarch was the only prince that could oppose its progress, and preserve the balance of Europe; that his power was at present fettered by the Hugonots, who, being possessed of many privileges, and even of fortified towns, formed an empire within his empire, and kept him in perpetual jealousy and inquietude; that an insurrection had been at that time wantonly and voluntarily formed by their leaders, who, being disgusted in some court intrigue, took advantage of the never failing pretence of religion, in order to cover their rebellion, that the Dutch, influenced by these views, had ordered a squadron of twenty ships to join the French fleet employed against the inhabitants of Rochelle;[*] that the Spanish monarch, sensible of the same consequences, secretly supported the Protestants in France; and that all princes had ever sacrificed to reasons of state the interests of their religion in foreign countries. All these obvious considerations had no influence. Great murmurs and discontents still prevailed in parliament. The Hugonots, though they had no ground of complaint against the French court, were thought to be as much entitled to assistance from England, as if they had taken arms in defence of their liberties and religion against the persecuting rage of the Catholics. And it plainly appears from this incident, as well as from many others, that, of all European nations, the British were at that time, and till long after, the most under the influence of that religious spirit which tends rather to inflame bigotry than increase peace and mutual charity.
On this occasion, the commons renewed their eternal complaints against the growth of Popery, which was ever the chief of their grievances, and now their only one.[**] They demanded a strict execution of the penal laws against the Catholics, and remonstrated against some late pardons granted to priests.[***] They attacked Montague, one of the king's chaplains, on account of a moderate book which he had lately published, and which, to their great disgust, saved virtuous Catholics, as well as other Christians, from eternal torments.[****]
     * Journ. 18th April, 1626.

     ** Franklyn, p. 3, etc.

     *** Parl. Hist. vol. vi. p. 374. Journ. 1st Aug. 1625.

     **** Parl. Hist. vol. vi. p. 353 Journ. 7th July 1625.
Charles gave them a gracious and a compliant answer to all their remonstrances. He was, however, in his heart, extremely averse to these furious measures. Though a determined Protestant, by principle as well as inclination, he had entertained no violent horror against Popery: and a little humanity, he thought, was due by the nation to the religion of their ancestors. That degree of liberty which is now indulged to Catholics, though a party much more obnoxious than during the reign of the Stuarts, it suited neither with Charles's sentiments nor the humor of the age to allow them. An abatement of the more rigorous laws was all he intended; and his engagements with France, notwithstanding that their regular execution had never been promised or expected, required of him some indulgence. But so unfortunate was this prince, that no measure embraced during his whole reign, was ever attended with more unhappy and more fatal consequences.
The extreme rage against Popery was a sure characteristic of Puritanism. The house of commons discovered other infallible symptoms of the prevalence of that party. They petitioned the king for replacing such able clergy as had been silenced for want of conformity to the ceremonies.[*] They also enacted laws for the strict observance of Sunday, which the Puritans affected to call the Sabbath, and which they sanctified by the most melancholy indolence.[**] It is to be remarked, that the different appellations of this festival were at that time known symbols of the different parties.
The king, finding that the parliament was resolved to grant him no supply, and would furnish him with nothing but empty protestations of duty,[***] or disagreeable complaints of grievances, took advantage of the plague,[****] which began to appear at Oxford, and on that pretence immediately dissolved them. By finishing the session with a dissolution, instead of a prorogation, he sufficiently expressed his displeasure at their conduct.
     * Rushworth, vol. i. p. 281.

     ** 1 Car. I. cap. 1. Journ. 21st June, 1625.

     *** Franklyn, p. 113. Rushworth, vol. i. p. 190.

     **** The plague was really so violent, that it had been
     moved in the house, at the beginning of the session, to
     petition the king to adjourn them. (Journ. 21st June, 1625.)
     So it was impossible to enter upon grievances, even if there
     had been any. The only business of the parliament was to
     give supply, which was so much wanted by the king, in order
     to carry on the war in which they had engaged him.
To supply the want of parliamentary aids, Charles issued privy seals for borrowing money from his subjects.[*] The advantage reaped by this expedient was a small compensation for the disgust which it occasioned. By means, however, of that supply, and by other expedients, he was, though with difficulty, enabled to equip his fleet. It consisted of eighty vessels, great and small; and carried an board an army of ten thousand men. Sir Edward Cecil, lately created Viscount Wimbleton, was intrusted with the command. He sailed immediately for Cadiz, and found the bay full of Spanish ships of great value. He either neglected to attack these ships or attempted it preposterously. The army was landed, and a fort taken; but the undisciplined soldiers, finding store of wine, could not be restrained from the utmost excesses. Further stay appearing fruitless, they were reëmbarked; and the fleet put to sea with an intention of intercepting the Spanish galleons. But the plague having seized the seamen and soldiers, they were obliged to abandon all hopes of this prize, and return to England. Loud complaints were made against the court for intrusting so important a command to a man like Cecil, whom, though he possessed great experience, the people, judging by the event, esteemed of slender capacity,[**]
1626.
Charles, having failed of so rich a prize, was obliged again to have recourse to a parliament. Though the ill success of his enterprises diminished his authority, and showed every day more plainly the imprudence of the Spanish war; though the increase of his necessities rendered him more dependent, and more exposed to the encroachments of the commons, he was resolved to try once more that regular and constitutional expedient for supply. Perhaps, too, a little political art, which at that time he practised, was much trusted to. He had named four popular leaders, sheriffs of counties; Sir Edward Coke, Sir Robert Philips, Sir Thomas Wentworth, and Sir Francis Seymour; and, though the question had been formerly much contested,[***] he thought that he had by that means incapacitated them from being elected members. But his intention, being so evident, rather put the commons more upon their guard. Enow of patriots still remained to keep up the ill humor of the house; and men needed but little instruction or rhetoric to recommend to them practices which increased their own importance and consideration. The weakness of the court, also, could not more evidently appear, than by its being reduced to use so ineffectual an expedient, in order to obtain an influence over the commons.
     * Rushworth, vol. i. p. 192. Parl. Hist, vol. vi. p. 407.

     ** Franklyn, p. 113. Rushworth, vol. i. p. 196.

     *** It is always an express clause in the writ of summons,
     that no sheriff shall be chosen; but the contrary practice
     had often prevailed D'Ewes, p. 38. Yet still great doubts
     were entertained on this head. See Journ. 9th April, 1614.
The views, therefore, of the last parliament were immediately adopted; as if the same men had been every where elected, and no time had intervened since their meeting. When the king laid before the house his necessities, and asked for supply, they immediately voted him three subsidies and three fifteenths; and though they afterwards added one subsidy more, the sum was little proportioned to the greatness of the occasion, and ill fitted to promote those views of success and glory, for which the young prince, in his first enterprise, so ardently longed. But this circumstance was not the most disagreeable one. The supply was only voted by the commons. The passing of that vote into a law was reserved till the end of the session.[*] A condition was thereby made, in a very undisguised manner, with their sovereign. Under color of redressing grievances, which during this short reign could not be very numerous, they were to proceed in regulating and controlling every part of government which displeased them; and if the king either cut them short in this undertaking, or refused compliance with their demands, he must not expect any supply from the commons. Great dissatisfaction was expressed by Charles at a treatment which he deemed so harsh and undutiful.[**] But his urgent necessities obliged him to submit; and he waited with patience, observing to what side they would turn themselves.
The duke of Buckingham, formerly obnoxious to the public, became every day more unpopular, by the symptoms which appeared both of his want of temper and prudence, and of the uncontrolled ascendant which he had acquired over his master.[***]
     * Journ. 27th March, 1626.

     ** Parliamentary History, vol. vi. p. 449. Rushworth, vol. i.
     p. 224.

     *** His credit with the king had given him such influence,
     that he had no less than twenty proxies granted him this
     parliament by so many peers; which occasioned a vote, that
     no peer should have above two proxies. The earl of
     Leicester, in 1585, had once ten proxies D'Ewes, p. 314.
Two violent attacks he was obliged this session to sustain, one from the earl of Bristol, another from the house of commons.
As long as James lived, Bristol, secure of the concealed favor of that monarch, had expressed all duty and obedience; in expectation that an opportunity would offer of reinstating himself in his former credit and authority. Even after Charles's accession he despaired not. He submitted to the king's commands of remaining at his country seat, and of absenting himself from parliament. Many trials he made to regain the good opinion of his master; but finding them all fruitless, and observing Charles to be entirely governed by Buckingham, his implacable enemy, he resolved no longer to keep any measures with the court. A new spirit he saw, and a new power arising in the nation; and to these he was determined for the future to trust for his security and protection.
When the parliament was summoned, Charles, by a stretch of prerogative, had given orders that no writ, as is customary, should be sent to Bristol.[*] That nobleman applied to the house of lords by petition; and craved their good offices with the king for obtaining what was his due as a peer of the realm. His writ was sent him, but accompanied with a letter from the lord keeper Coventry, commanding him, in the king's name, to absent himself from parliament. This letter Bristol conveyed to the lords, and asked advice how to proceed in so delicate a situation.[**] The king's prohibition was withdrawn, and Bristol took his seat. Provoked at these repeated instances of vigor, which the court denominated contumacy, Charles ordered his attorney-general to enter an accusation of high treason against him. By way of recrimination, Bristol accused Buckingham of high treason. Both the earl's defence of himself and accusation of the duke remain;[***] and, together with some original letters still extant, contain the fullest and most authentic account of all the negotiations with the house of Austria. From the whole, the great imprudence of the duke evidently appears, and the sway of his ungovernable passions; but it would be difficult to collect thence any action which, in the eye of the law, could be deemed a crime, much less could subject him to the penalty of treason.
     * Rushworth, vol. i. p. 236.

     ** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 237. Franklyn, p. 120, etc.
     Franklyn, p. 123, etc
The impeachment of the commons was still less dangerous to the duke, were it estimated by the standard of law and equity. The house, after having voted, upon some queries of Dr. Turner's, "that common fame was a sufficient ground of accusation by the commons,"[*] proceeded to frame regular articles against Buckingham. They accused him of having united many offices in his person; of having bought two of them; of neglecting to guard the seas, insomuch that many merchant ships had fallen into the hands of the enemy; of delivering ships to the French king in order to serve against the Hugonots; of being employed in the sale of honors and offices; of accepting extensive grants from the crown; of procuring many titles of honor for his kindred; and of administering physic to the late king without acquainting his physicians. All these articles appear, from comparing the accusation and reply, to be either frivolous or false, or both.[**] The only charge which could be regarded as important, was, that he had extorted a sum of ten thousand pounds from the East India company, and that he had confiscated some goods belonging to French merchants, on pretence of their being the property of Spanish. The impeachment never came to a full determination; so that it is difficult for us to give a decisive opinion with regard to these articles: but it must be confessed that the duke's answer in these particulars, as in all the rest, is so clear and satisfactory, that it is impossible to refuse our assent to it.[***] His faults and blemishes were, in many respects, very great; but rapacity and avarice were vices with which he was entirely unacquainted.
     * Rushworth, vol. i. p. 217. Whitloeke, p. 5.

     ** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 306, etc., 375, etc. Journ. 25th
     March, 1626.

     *** Whitlocke, p. 7.
It is remarkable that the commons, though so much at a loss to find articles of charge against Buckingham, never adopted Bristol's accusation, or impeached the duke for his conduct in the Spanish treaty, the most blamable circumstance in his whole life. He had reason to believe the Spaniards sincere in their professions; yet, in order to gratify his private passions, he had hurried his master and his country into a war pernicious to the interests of both. But so rivetted throughout the nation were the prejudices with regard to Spanish deceit and falsehood, that very few of the commons seem as yet to have been convinced that they had been seduced by Buckingham's narrative: a certain proof that a discovery of this nature was not, as is imagined by several historians, the cause of so sudden and surprising a variation in the measures of the parliament.[*] 1
While the commons were thus warmly engaged against Buckingham, the king seemed desirous of embracing every opportunity by which he could express a contempt and disregard for them. No one was at that time sufficiently sensible of the great weight which the commons bore in the balance of the constitution. The history of England had never hitherto afforded one instance where any great movement or revolution had proceeded from the lower house. And as their rank, both considered in a body and as individuals, was but the second in the kingdom, nothing less than fatal experience could engage the English princes to pay a due regard to the inclinations of that formidable assembly.
The earl of Suffolk, chancellor of the university of Cambridge, dying about this time, Buckingham, though lying under impeachment was yet, by means of court interest, chosen in his place. The commons resented and loudly complained of this affront; and the more to enrage them, the king himself wrote a letter to the university, extolling the duke, and giving them thanks for his election.[**]
The lord keeper, in the king's name, expressly commanded the house not to meddle with his minister and servant, Buckingham; and ordered them to finish, in a few days, the bill which they had begun for the subsidies, and to make some addition to them; otherwise they must not expect to sit any longer.[***] And though these harsh commands were endeavored to be explained and mollified, a few days after, by a speech of Buckingham's,[****] they failed not to leave a disagreeable impression behind them.
     * See note A, at the end of the volume.

     ** Rush worth, vol. i. p. 371.

     *** Parliament. Hist. vol. vi. p. 444.

     **** Parliament. Hist. vol. vi. p 451. Rushworth. vol. i. p.
     225. Franklyn, p. 118.
Besides a more stately style which Charles in general affected to this parliament than to the last, he went so far, in a message, as to threaten the commons that, if they did not furnish him with supplies, he should be obliged to try new "counsels." This language was sufficiently clear: yet lest any ambiguity should remain, Sir Dudley Carleton, vice-chamberlain, took care to explain it. "I pray you, consider," said he, "what these new counsels are, or may be. I fear to declare those that I conceive. In all Christian kingdoms, you know that parliaments were in use anciently, by which those kingdoms were governed in a most flourishing manner; until the monarchs began to know their own strength, and seeing the turbulent spirit of their parliaments, at length they, by little and little, began to stand on their prerogatives, and at last overthrew the parliaments, throughout Christendom, except here only with us. Let us be careful then to preserve the king's good opinion of parliaments, which bringeth such happiness to this nation, and makes us envied of all others, while there is this sweetness between his majesty and the commons; lest we lose the repute of a free people by our turbulency in parliament."[*] These imprudent suggestions rather gave warning than struck terror. A precarious liberty, the commons thought, which was to be preserved by unlimited complaisance, was no liberty at all. And it was necessary, while yet in their power, to secure the constitution by such invincible barriers, that no king or minister should ever, for the future, dare to speak such a language to any parliament, or even entertain such a project against them.
Two members of the house, Sir Dudley Digges and Sir John Elliot, who had been employed as managers of the impeachment against the duke, were thrown into prison.[**] The commons immediately declared, that they would proceed no further upon business till they had satisfaction in their privileges. Charles alleged, as the reason of this measure, certain seditious expressions, which, he said, had, in their accusation of the duke, dropped from these members. Upon inquiry, it appeared that no such expressions had been used.[***] The members were released; and the king reaped no other benefit from this attempt than to exasperate the house still, and to show some degree of precipitancy and indiscretion.
Moved by this example, the house of peers were roused from their inactivity; and claimed liberty for the earl of Arundel, who had been lately confined in the Tower. After many fruitless evasions, the king, though somewhat ungracefully, was at last obliged to comply.[****] And in this incident it sufficiently appeared, that the lords, how little soever inclined to popular courses, were not wanting in a just sense of their own dignity.
     * Rushworth, vol. i. p. 359. Whitlocke, p. 6.

     ** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 356.

     *** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 358, 361. Franklyn, p. 180.

     **** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 363, 364, etc. Franklyn, p. 181.
The ill humor of the commons, thus wantonly irritated by the court, and finding no gratification in the legal impeachment of Buckingham, sought other objects on which it might exert itself. The never-failing cry of Popery here served them in stead. They again claimed the execution of the penal laws against Catholics; and they presented to the king a list of persons intrusted with offices, most of them insignificant who were either convicted or suspected recusants.[*] In this particular they had, perhaps, some reason to blame the king's conduct. He had promised to the last house of commons a redress of this religious grievance: but he was apt, in imitation of his father, to imagine that the parliament, when they failed of supplying his necessities, had, on their part, freed him from the obligation of a strict performance. A new odium, likewise, by these representations, was attempted to be thrown upon Buckingham. His mother, who had great influence over him, was a professed Catholic; his wife was not free from suspicion: and the indulgence given to Catholics was of course supposed to proceed entirely from his credit and authority. So violent was the bigotry of the times, that it was thought a sufficient reason for disqualifying any one from holding an office, that his wife, or relations, or companions were Papists, though he himself were a conformist.[**]
It is remarkable, that persecution was here chiefly pushed on by laymen; and that the church was willing to have granted more liberty than would be allowed by the commons. The reconciling doctrines, likewise, of Montague failed not anew to meet with severe censures from that zealous assembly.[***]
     * Franklyn, p. 195. Rushworth.

     ** See the list in Franklyn and Rushworth.

     *** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 209.
The next attack made by the commons, had it prevailed, would have proved decisive. They were preparing a remonstranace against the levying of tonnage and poundage without consent of parliament. This article, together with the new impositions laid on merchandise by James, constituted near half of the crown revenues; and by depriving the king of these resources, they would have reduced him to total subjection and dependence. While they retained such a pledge, besides the supply already promised, they were sure that nothing could be refused them. Though, after canvassing the matter near three ninths, they found themselves utterly incapable of fixing any legal crime upon the duke, they regarded him as an unable, and perhaps a dangerous minister; and they intended to present a petition, which would then have been equivalent to a command, for removing him from his majesty's person and councils.[*]
The king was alarmed at the yoke which he saw prepared for him. Buckingham's sole guilt, he thought, was the being his friend and favorite.[**]
     * Rushworth, vol. i. p. 400 Franklyn, p. 199.

     ** Franklyn, p. 178.
All the other complaints against him were mere pretences. A little before, he was the idol of the people. No new crime had since been discovered. After the most diligent inquiry, prompted by the greatest malice, the smallest appearance of guilt could not be fixed upon him. What idea, he asked, must all mankind entertain of his honor, should he sacrifice his innocent friend to pecuniary considerations? What further authority should he retain in the nation, were he capable, in the beginning of his reign, to give, in so signal an instance, such matter of triumph to his enemies, and discouragement to his adherents? To-day the commons pretend to wrest his minister from him: to-morrow they will attack some branch of his prerogative. By their remonstrances, and promises, and protestations, they had engaged the crown in a war. As soon as they saw a retreat impossible, without waiting for new incidents, without covering themselves with new pretences, they immediately deserted him, and refused him all reasonable supply. It was evident, that they desired nothing so much as to see him plunged in inextricable difficulties, of which they intended to take advantage. To such deep perfidy, to such unbounded usurpations, it was necessary to oppose a proper firmness and resolution. All encroachments on supreme power could only be resisted successfully on the first attempt. The sovereign authority was, with some difficulty, reduced from its ancient and legal height, but when once pushed downwards, it soon became contemptible, and would easily, by the continuance of the same effort, now encouraged by success, be carried to the lowest extremity.
Prompted by these plausible motives, Charles was determined immediately to dissolve the parliament. When this resolution was known, the house of peers, whose compliant behavior entitled them to some authority with him, endeavored to interpose;[*] and they petitioned him, that he would allow the parliament to sit some time longer. "Not a moment longer," cried the king hastily;[**] and he soon after ended the session by a dissolution.
As this measure was foreseen, the commons took care to finish and disperse their remonstrance, which they intended as a justification of their conduct to the people. The king likewise, on his part, published a declaration, in which he gave the reasons of his disagreement with the parliament, and of their sudden dissolution, before they had time to conclude any one act.[***] These papers furnished the partisans on both sides with ample matter of apology or of recrimination. But all impartial men judged, "that the commons, though they had not as yet violated any law, yet, by their unpliableness and independence, were insensibly changing, perhaps improving, the spirit and genius, while they preserved the form of the constitution and that the king was acting altogether without any plan; running on in a road surrounded on all sides with the most dangerous precipices, and concerting no proper measures, either for submitting to the obstinacy of the commons, or for subduing it."
     * Rushworth, vol. i. p. 398.

     ** Sanderson's Life of Charles I., p. 58.

     *** Franklyn, p. 203, etc Parliament. Hist. vol. vii p. 300
After a breach with the parliament, which seemed so difficult to repair, the only rational counsel which Charles could pursue, was immediately to conclude a peace with Spain, and to render himself, as far as possible, independent of his people, who discovered so little inclination to support him, or rather who seemed to have formed a determined resolution to abridge his authority. Nothing could be more easy in the execution than this measure, nor more agreeable to his own and to national interest. But, besides the treaties and engagements which he had entered into with Holland and Denmark, the king's thoughts were at this time averse to pacific counsels. There are two circumstances in Charles's character, seemingly incompatible, which attended him during the whole course of his reign, and were in part the cause of his misfortunes: he was very steady, and even obstinate in his purpose; and he was easily governed, by reason of his facility, and of his deference to men much inferior to himself both in morals and understanding. His great ends he inflexibly maintained; but the means of attaining them he readily received from his ministers and favorites, though not always fortunate in his choice. The violent, impetuous Buckingham, inflamed with a desire of revenge for injuries which he himself had committed, and animated with a love of glory which he had not talents to merit, had at this time, notwithstanding his profuse licentious life, acquired an invincible ascendant over the virtuous and gentle temper of the king.
The "new counsels," which Charles had mentioned to the parliament, were now to be tried, in order to supply his necessities. Had he possessed any military force on which he could rely, it is not improbable, that he had at once taken off the mask, and governed without any regard to parliamentary privileges: so high an idea had he received of kingly prerogative, and so contemptible a notion of the rights of those popular assemblies, from which, he very naturally thought, he had met with such ill usage. But his army was new levied, ill paid, and worse disciplined; nowise superior to the militia, who were much more numerous, and who were in a great measure under the influence of the country gentlemen. It behoved him, therefore, to proceed cautiously, and to cover his enterprises under the pretence of ancient precedents, which, considering the great authority commonly enjoyed by his predecessors, could not be wanting to him.
A commission was openly granted to compound with the Catholics, and agree for dispensing with the penal laws enacted against them.[*] By this expedient, the king both filled his coffers, and gratified his inclination of giving indulgence to these religionists; but he could not have employed any branch of prerogative which would have been more disagreeable, or would have appeared more exceptionable to his Protestant subjects.
From the nobility he desired assistance: from the city he required a loan of one hundred thousand pounds. The former contributed slowly; but the latter, covering themselves under many pretences and excuses, gave him at last a flat refusal.[**]
     * Rushworth, vol. i. p. 413. Whitlocke, p. 7.

     ** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 415. Franklyn, p. 206.
In order to equip a fleet, a distribution, by order of council, was made to all the maritime towns; and each of them was required, with the assistance of the adjacent counties, to arm so many vessels as were appointed them.[*] The city of London was rated at twenty ships. This is the first appearance, in Charles's reign, of ship-money; a taxation which had once been imposed by Elizabeth, but which afterwards, when carried some steps further by Charles, created such violent discontents.
Of some, loans were required:[**] to others the way of benevolence was proposed: methods supported by precedent, but always invidious, even in times more submissive and compliant. In the most absolute governments, such expedients would be regarded as irregular and unequal.
These counsels for supply were conducted with some moderation; till news arrived, that a great battle was fought between the king of Denmark and Count Tilly, the imperial general; in which the former was totally defeated. Money now more than ever, became necessary, in order to repair so great a breach in the alliance, and to support a prince who was so nearly allied to Charles, and who had been engaged in the war chiefly by the intrigues, solicitations, and promises of the English monarch. After some deliberation, an act of council was passed, importing, that as the urgency of affairs admitted not the way of parliament, the most speedy, equal, and convenient method of supply was by a "general loan" from the subject, according as every man was assessed in the rolls of the last subsidy. That precise sum was required which each would have paid, had the vote of four subsidies passed into a law: but care was taken to inform the people, that the sums exacted were not to be called subsidies, but loans.[***] Had any doubt remained, whether forced loans, however authorized by precedent, and even by statute, were a violation of liberty, and must, by necessary consequence, render all parliaments superfluous, this was the proper expedient for opening the eyes of the whole nation. The example of Henry VIII., who had once, in his arbitrary reign, practiced a like method of levying a regular supply, was generally deemed a very insufficient authority.
     * Rushworth, vol. i. p. 415.

     ** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 416.

     *** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 418. Whitlocke, p. 8.
The commissioners appointed to levy these loans, among other articles of secret instruction, were enjoined, "If any shall refuse to lend, and shall make delays or excuses, and persist in his obstinacy, that they examine him upon oath, whether he has been dealt with to deny or refuse to lend, or make an [excuse] for not lending? Who has dealt with him, and what speeches or persuasions were used to that purpose? And that they also shall charge every such person, in his majesty's name, upon his allegiance, not to disclose to any one what his answer was."[*] So violent an inquisitorial power, so impracticable an attempt at secrecy, were the objects of indignation, and even, in some degree, of ridicule.
That religious prejudices might support civil authority, sermons were preached by Sibthorpe and Manwaring, in favor of the general loan; and the court industriously spread them over the kingdom. Passive obedience was there recommended in its full extent, the whole authority of the state was represented as belonging to the king alone, and all limitations of law and a constitution were rejected as seditious and impious.[**] So openly was this doctrine espoused by the court, that Archbishop Abbot, a popular and virtuous prelate, was, because he refused to license Sibthorpe's sermon, suspended from the exercise of his office, banished from London, and confined to one of his country seats.[***] Abbot's principles of liberty, and his opposition to Buckingham, had always rendered him very ungracious at court, and had acquired him the character of a Puritan. For it is remarkable, that this party made the privileges of the nation as much a part of their religion, as the church party did the prerogatives of the crown: and nothing tended further to recommend among the people, who always take opinions in the lump, the whole system and all the principles of the former sect. The king soon found by fatal experience, that this engine of religion, which with so little necessity was introduced into politics, falling under more fortunate management, was played with the most terrible success against him.
While the king, instigated by anger and necessity, thus employed the whole extent of his prerogative, the spirit of the people was far from being subdued. Throughout England, many refused these loans; some were even active in encouraging their neighbors to insist upon their common rights and privileges. By warrant of the council, these were thrown into prison.[****]
     * Rushworth, vol. i. p. 419. Franklyn, p. 207.

     ** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 422. Franklyn, p. 208.

     *** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 431.

     **** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 429. Franklyn, p. 210.
Most of them with patience submitted to confinement, or applied by petition to the king, who commonly released them. Five gentlemen alone, Sir Thomas Darnel, Sir John Corbet, Sir Walter Earl, Sir John Heveningham, and Sir Edmond Hambden, had spirit enough, at their own hazard and expense, to defend the public liberties, and to demand releasement, not as a favor from the court, but as their due, by the laws of their country.[*] No particular cause was assigned of their commitment. The special command alone of the king and council was pleaded. And it was asserted, that, by law, this was not sufficient reason for refusing bail or releasement to the prisoners.

This question was brought to a solemn trial, before the king's bench; and the whole kingdom was attentive to the issue of a cause which was of much greater consequence than the event of many battles.
By the debates on this subject, it appeared, beyond controversy, to the nation, that their ancestors had been so jealous of personal liberty, as to secure it against arbitrary power in the crown, by six[**] several statutes, and by an article[***] of the Great Charter itself, the most sacred foundation of the laws and constitution. But the kings of England, who had not been able to prevent the enacting of these laws, had sufficient authority, when the tide of liberty was spent, to obstruct their regular execution; and they deemed it superfluous to attempt the formal repeal of statutes which they found so many expedients and pretences to elude.
     * Rushworth, vol. i. p. 458. Franklyn, p. 224. Whitlocke, p.
     8.

     ** 25 Edw. III. cap. 4. 28 Edw. III. cap, 3. 37 Edw. III.
     cap. 18 88 Edw. III. cap. 9 42 Edw. III. cap. 3. 1 Richard
     II. cap. 12.

     *** Chap. 29
Turbulent and seditious times frequently occurred, when the safety of the people absolutely required the confinement of factious leaders; and by the genius of the old constitution, the prince, of himself, was accustomed to assume every branch of prerogative which was found necessary for the preservation of public peace and of his own authority. Expediency, at other times, would cover itself under the appearance of necessity; and, in proportion as precedents multiplied, the will alone of the sovereign was sufficient to supply the place of expediency, of which he constituted himself the sole judge. In an age and nation where the power of a turbulent nobility prevailed, and where the king had no settled military force, the only means that could maintain public peace, was the exertion of such prompt and discretionary powers in the crown; and the public itself had become so sensible of the necessity, that those ancient laws in favor of personal liberty, while often violated, had never been challenged or revived during the course of near three centuries. Though rebellious subjects had frequently, in the open field, resisted the king's authority, no person had been found so bold, while confined and at mercy, as to set himself in opposition to regal power, and to claim the protection of the constitution against the will of the sovereign. It was not till this age, when the spirit of liberty was universally diffused, when the principles of government were nearly reduced to a system, when the tempers of men, more civilized, seemed less to require those violent exertions of prerogative, that these five gentlemen above mentioned, by a noble effort, ventured, in this national cause, to bring the question to a final determination. And the king was astonished to observe, that a power exercised by his predecessors almost without interruption, was found, upon trial, to be directly opposite to the clearest laws, and supported by few undoubted precedents in courts of judicature. These had scarcely in any instance refused bail upon commitments by special command of the king, because the persons committed had seldom or never dared to demand it, at least to insist on their demand.
1627.
Sir Randolf Crew, chief justice, had been displaced, as unfit for the purposes of the court: Sir Nicholas Hyde, esteemed more obsequious, had obtained that high office: yet the judges, by his direction, went no further than to remand the gentlemen to prison, and refuse the bail which was offered.[*] Heathe, the attorney-general, insisted that the court, in imitation of the judges in the thirty-fourth of Elizabeth,[**] should enter a general judgment, that no bail could be granted upon a commitment by the king or council.[***] But the judges wisely declined complying. The nation, they saw, was already to the last degree exasperated. In the present disposition of men's minds, universal complaints prevailed, as if the kingdom were reduced to slavery. And the most invidious prerogative of the crown, it was said, that of imprisoning the subject, is here openly, and solemnly, and in numerous instances, exercised for the most invidious purpose; in order to extort loans, or rather subsidies, without consent of parliament.
     * Rushworth, vol. i. p. 462.

     ** State Trials, vol. vii. p. 147.

     *** State Trials, vol. vii. p. 161.
But this was not the only hardship of which the nation thought they had reason to complain. The army which had made the fruitless expedition to Cadiz, was dispersed throughout the kingdom; and money was levied upon the counties for the payment of their quarters.[*]
The soldiers were billeted upon private houses, contrary to custom, which required that, in all ordinary cases, they should be quartered in inns and public houses.[**]
Those who had refused or delayed the loan, were sure to be loaded with a great number of these dangerous and disorderly guests.
Many too, of low condition, who had shown a refractory disposition, were pressed into the service, and enlisted in the fleet or army,[***] Sir Peter Hayman, for the same reason, was despatched on an errand to the Palatinate.[****] Glanville, an eminent lawyer, had been obliged, during the former interval of parliament, to accept of an office in the navy.[v]
The soldiers, ill paid and undisciplined, committed many crimes and outrages, and much increased the public discontents. To prevent these disorders, martial law, so requisite to the support of discipline, was exercised upon the soldiers. By a contradiction which is natural when the people are exasperated, the outrages of the army were complained of; the remedy was thought still more intolerable.[v*] Though the expediency, if we are not rather to say the necessity, of martial law had formerly been deemed of itself a sufficient ground for establishing it, men, now become more jealous of liberty, and more refined reasoners in questions of government, regarded as illegal and arbitrary every exercise of authority which was not supported by express statute or uninterrupted precedent.
     * Rushworth, vol. i. p. 419.

     ** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 419.

     *** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 422.

     **** Rushworth, vol i. p. 481.

     v    Parl. Hist. vol. vii. p. 310.

     v**  Rushworth, vol. i. p. 419. Whitlocke, p. 7.
It may safely be affirmed, that, except a few courtiers or ecclesiastics, all men were displeased with this high exertion of prerogative, and this new spirit of administration. Though ancient precedents were pleaded in favor of the king's measures, a considerable difference, upon comparison, was observed between the cases. Acts of power, however irregular, might casually, and at intervals, be exercised by a prince, for the sake of despatch or expediency, and yet liberty still subsist in some tolerable degree under his administration. But where all these were reduced into a system, were exerted without interruption, were studiously sought for, in order to supply the place of laws, and subdue the refractory spirit of the nation, it was necessary to find some speedy remedy, or finally to abandon all hopes of preserving the freedom of the constitution. Nor did moderate men esteem the provocation which the king had received, though great, sufficient to warrant all these violent measures. The commons as yet had nowise invaded his authority: they had only exercised, as best pleased them, their own privileges. Was he justifiable, because from one house of parliament he had met with harsh and unkind treatment, to make, in revenge, an invasion on the rights and liberties of the whole nation?
But great was at this time the surprise of all men, when Charles, baffled in every attempt against the Austrian dominions, embroiled with his own subjects, unsupplied with any treasure but what he extorted by the most invidious and most dangerous measures; as if the half of Europe, now his enemy, were not sufficient for the exercise of military prowess; wantonly attacked France, the other great kingdom in his neighborhood, and engaged at once in war against these two powers, whose interests were hitherto deemed so incompatible that they could never, it was thought, agree either in the same friendships or enmities. All authentic memoirs, both foreign and domestic, ascribe to Buckingham's counsels this war with France, and represent him as actuated by motives which would appear incredible, were we not acquainted with the violence and temerity of his character.
The three great monarchies of Europe were at this time ruled by young princes, Philip, Louis, and Charles, who were nearly of the same age, and who had resigned the government of themselves, and of their kingdoms, to their creatures and ministers, Olivarez, Richelieu, and Buckingham. The people, whom the moderate temper or narrow genius of their princes would have allowed to remain forever in tranquillity, were strongly agitated by the emulation and jealousy of the ministers. Above all, the towering spirit of Richelieu, incapable of rest, promised an active age, and gave indications of great revolutions throughout all Europe.
This man had no sooner, by suppleness and intrigue, gotten possession of the reins of government, than he formed at once three mighty projects; to subdue the turbulent spirits of the great, to reduce the rebellious Hugonots, and to curb the encroaching power of the house of Austria. Undaunted and implacable, prudent and active, he braved all the opposition of the French princes and nobles in the prosecution of his vengeance; he discovered and dissipated all their secret cabals and conspiracies. His sovereign himself he held in subjection, while he exalted the throne. The people, while they lost their liberties, acquired, by means of his administration, learning, order, discipline, and renown. That confused and inaccurate genius of government, of which France partook in common with other European kingdoms, he changed into a simple monarchy; at the very time when the incapacity of Buckingham encouraged the free spirit of the commons to establish in England a regular system of liberty.
However unequal the comparison between these ministers, Buckingham had entertained a mighty jealousy against Richelieu; a jealousy not founded on rivalship of power and politics, but of love and gallantry; where the duke was as much superior to the cardinal, as he was inferior in every other particular.
At the time when Charles married by proxy the princess Henrietta, the duke of Buckingham had been sent to France, in order to grace the nuptials, and conduct the new queen into England. The eyes of the French court were directed by curiosity towards that man who had enjoyed the unlimited favor of two successive monarchs, and who, from a private station, had mounted, in the earliest youth, to the absolute government of three kingdoms. The beauty of his person, the gracefulness of his air, the splendor of his equipage, his fine taste in dress, festivals, and carousals, corresponded to the prepossessions entertained in his favor: the affability of his behavior, the gayety of his manners, the magnificence of his expense, increased still further the general admiration which was paid him. All business being already concerted, the time was entirely spent in mirth and entertainments; and during those splendid scenes among that gay people, the duke found himself in a situation where he was perfectly qualified to excel.[*]
     * Clarendon, vol. i. p. 38.
But his great success at Paris proved as fatal as his former failure at Madrid. Encouraged by the smiles of the court, he dared to carry his ambitious addresses to the queen herself; and he failed not to make impression on a heart not undisposed to the tender passions. That attachment at least of the mind, which appears so delicious, and is so dangerous, seems to have been encouraged by the princess; and the duke presumed so far on her good graces, that, after his departure, he secretly returned upon some pretence, and, paying a visit to the queen, was dismissed with a reproof which savored more of kindness than of anger.[*]
Information of this correspondence was soon carried to Richelieu. The vigilance of that minister was here further roused by jealousy. He, too, either from vanity or politics, had ventured to pay his addresses to the queen. But a priest, past middle age, of a severe character, and occupied in the most extensive plans of ambition or vengeance, was but an unequal match, in that contest, for a young courtier, entirely disposed to gayety and gallantry. The cardinal's disappointment strongly inclined him to counterwork the amorous projects of his rival. When the duke was making preparations for a new embassy to Paris, a message was sent him from Louis, that he must not think of such a journey. In a romantic passion he swore, "That he would see the queen, in spite of all the power of France;" and, from that moment, he determined to engage England in a war with that kingdom.[**]
He first took advantage of some quarrels excited by the queen of England's attendants; and he persuaded Charles to dismiss at once all her French servants, contrary to the articles of the marriage treaty.[***] He encouraged the English ships of war and privateers to seize vessels belonging to French merchants; and these he forthwith condemned as prizes, by a sentence of the court of admiralty. But finding that all these injuries produced only remonstrances and embassies, or at most reprisals, on the part of France, he resolved to second the intrigues of the duke of Soubize, and to undertake at once a military expedition against that kingdom.
     * Mémoires de Mad. de Motteville.

     ** Clarendon, vol. i. p. 38

     *** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 423, 424.
Soubize, who, with his brother, the duke of Rohan, was the leader of the Hugonot faction, was at that time in London, and strongly solicited Charles to embrace the protection of these distressed religionists. He represented, that after the inhabitants of Rochelle had been repressed by the combined squadrons of England and Holland, after peace was concluded with the French king under Charles's mediation, the ambitious cardinal was still meditating the destruction of the Hugonots: that preparations were silently making in every province of France for the suppression of their religion; that forts were erected in order to bridle Rochelle, the most considerable bulwark of the Protestants; that the reformed in France cast their eyes on Charles as the head of their faith, and considered him as a prince engaged by interest, as well as inclination, to support them; that so long as their party subsisted, Charles might rely on their attachment as much as on that of his own subjects; but if their liberties were once ravished from them, the power of France, freed from this impediment, would soon become formidable to England, and to all the neighboring nations.
Though Charles probably bore but small favor to the Hugonots, who so much resembled the Puritans in discipline and worship, in religion and politics, he yet allowed himself to be gained by these arguments, enforced by the solicitations of Buckingham. A fleet of a hundred sail, and an army of seven thousand men, were fitted out for the invasion of France, and both of them intrusted to the command of the duke, who was altogether unacquainted both with land and sea service. The fleet appeared before Rochelle; but so ill concerted were Buckingham's measures, that the inhabitants of that city shut their gates and refused to admit allies of whose coming they were not previously informed.[*] All his military operations showed equal incapacity and inexperience. Instead of attacking Oleron, a fertile island, and defenceless, he bent his course to the Isle of Rhé, which was well garrisoned and fortified: having landed his men, though with some loss, he followed not the blow, but allowed Toiras, the French governor, five days' respite, during which St. Martin was victualled and provided for a siege.[**]
     * Rushworth, vol i. p. 426.

     ** Whitlocke, p. 8. Sir Philip Warwick, p. 25.
He left behind him the small fort of Prie, which could at first have made no manner of resistance: though resolved to starve St. Martin, he guarded the sea negligently, and allowed provisions and ammunition to be thrown into it: despairing to reduce it by famine, he attacked it without having made any breach, and rashly threw away the lives of the soldiers: having found that a French army had stolen over in small divisions, and had landed at Prie, the fort which he had at first overlooked, he began to think of a retreat; but made it so unskilfully, that it was equivalent to a total rout; he was the last of the army that embarked; and he returned to England, having lost two thirds of his land forces; totally discredited both as an admiral and a general; and bringing no praise with him, but the vulgar one of courage and personal bravery.
The duke of Rohan, who had taken arms as soon as Buckingham appeared upon the coast, discovered the dangerous spirit of the sect, without being able to do any mischief; the inhabitants of Rochelle, who had at last been induced to join the English, hastened the vengeance of their master, exhausted their provisions in supplying their allies, and were threatened with an immediate siege. Such were the fruits of Buckingham's expedition against France.




CHAPTER LI.





CHARLES I.

1628.
There was reason to apprehend some disorder or insurrection from the discontents which prevailed among the people in England. Their liberties, they believed, were ravished from them; illegal taxes extorted; their commerce which had met with a severe check from the Spanish, was totally annihilated by the French war; those military honors transmitted to them from their ancestors, had received a grievous stain by two unsuccessful and ill-conducted expeditions; scarce an illustrious family but mourned, from the last of them, the loss of a son or brother; greater calamities were dreaded from the war with these powerful monarchies, concurring with the internal disorders under which the nation labored. And these ills were ascribed, not to the refractory disposition of the two former parliaments, to which they were partly owing, but solely to Charles's obstinacy in adhering to the counsels of Buckingham, a man nowise entitled by his birth, age, services, or merit, to that unlimited confidence reposed in him. To be sacrificed to the interest, policy, and ambition of the great, is so much the common lot of the people, that they may appear unreasonable who would pretend to complain of it: but to be the victim of the frivolous gallantry of a favorite, and of his boyish caprices, seemed the object of peculiar indignation.
In this situation, it may be imagined the king and the duke dreaded, above all things, the assembling of a parliament; but so little foresight had they possessed in their enterprising schemes, that they found themselves under an absolute necessity of embracing that expedient. The money levied, or rather extorted, under color of prerogative, had come in very slowly, and had left such ill humor in the nation, that it appeared dangerous to renew the experiment. The absolute necessity of supply, it was hoped, would engage the commons to forget all past injuries; and, having experienced the ill effects of former obstinacy, they would probably assemble with a resolution of making some reasonable compliances. The more to soften them, it was concerted, by Sir Robert Cotton's advice,[*] that Buckingham should be the first person that proposed in council the calling of a new parliament. Having laid in this stock of merit, he expected that all his former misdemeanors would be overlooked and forgiven; and that, instead of a tyrant and oppressor, he should be regarded as the first patriot in the nation.
The views of the popular leaders were much more judicious and profound. When the commons assembled, they appeared to be men of the same independent spirit with their predecessors, and possessed of such riches, that their property was computed to surpass three times that of the house of peers;[**] they were deputed by boroughs and counties, inflamed all of them by the late violations of liberty; many of the members themselves had been cast into prison, and had suffered by the measures of the court; yet, notwithstanding these circumstances, which might prompt them to embrace violent resolutions, they entered upon business with perfect temper and decorum. They considered that the king, disgusted at these popular assemblies, and little prepossessed in favor of their privileges, wanted but a fair pretence for breaking with them, and would seize the first opportunity offered by any incident, or any undutiful behavior of the members. He fairly told them in his first speech, that, "If they should not do their duties in contributing to the necessities of the state, he must, in discharge of his conscience, use those other means which God had put into his hands, in order to save that which the follies of some particular men may otherwise put in danger. Take not this for a threatening," added the king, "for I scorn to threaten any but my equals; but as an admonition from him who, by nature and duty, has most care of your preservation and prosperity."[***] The lord keeper, by the king's direction, subjoined, "This way of parliamentary supplies as his majesty told you, he hath chosen, not as the only way, but as the fittest; not because he is destitute of others, but because it is most agreeable to the goodness of his own most gracious disposition, and to the desire and weal of his people. If this be deferred, necessity and the sword of the enemy make way for the others. Remember his majesty's admonition. I say, remember it."[****]
     * Franklyn, p. 230.

     ** Sanderson, p. 106. Walker, p. 339

     *** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 477. Franklyn, p. 233.

     **** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 479. Franklyn, p. 234
From these avowed maxims, the commons foresaw that, if the least handle were afforded, the king would immediately dissolve them, and would thenceforward deem himself justified for violating, in a manner still more open, all the ancient forms of the constitution. No remedy could then be looked for but from insurrections and civil war, of which the issue would be extremely uncertain, and which must, in all events, prove calamitous to the nation. To correct the late disorders in the administration required some new laws, which would, no doubt, appear harsh to a prince so enamored of his prerogative; and it was requisite to temper, by the decency and moderation of their debates, the rigor which must necessarily attend their determinations. Nothing can give us a higher idea of the capacity of those men who now guided the commons, and of the great authority which they had acquired, than the forming and executing of so judicious and so difficult a plan of operations.
The decency, however, which the popular leaders had prescribed to themselves, and recommended to others, hindered them not from making the loudest and most vigorous complaints against the grievances under which the nation had lately labored. Sir Francis Seymour said, "This is the great council of the kingdom; and here with certainty, if not here only, his majesty may see, as in a true glass, the state of the kingdom. We are called hither by his writs, in order to give him faithful counsel; such as may stand with his honor: and this we must do without flattery. We are also sent hither by the people, in order to deliver their just grievances: and this we must do without fear. Let us not act like Cambyses's judges, who, when their approbation was demanded by the prince to some illegal measure, said, that 'Though there was a written law, the Persian kings might follow their own will and pleasure.' This was base flattery, fitter for our reproof than our imitation; and as fear, so flattery, taketh away the judgment. For my part, I shall shun both; and speak my mind with as much duty as any man to his majesty, without neglecting the public.
"But how can we express our affections while we retain our fears; or speak of giving, till we know whether we have any thing to give? For if his majesty may be persuaded to take what he will, what need we give?
"That this hath been done, appeareth by the billeting of soldiers, a thing nowise advantageous to the king's service, and a burden to the commonwealth: by the imprisonment of gentlemen for refusing the loan, who, if they had done the contrary for fear, had been as blamable as the projector of that oppressive measure. To countenance these proceedings, hath it not been preached in the pulpit, or rather prated, that 'All we have is the king's by divine right'? But when preachers forsake their own calling, and turn ignorant statesmen, we see how willing they are to exchange a good conscience for a bishopric.
"He, I must confess, is no good subject, who would not willingly and cheerfully lay down his life, when that sacrifice may promote the interests of his sovereign, and the good of the commonwealth. But he is not a good subject, he is a slave, who will allow his goods to be taken from him against his will, and his liberty against the laws of the kingdom. By opposing these practices, we shall but tread in the steps of our forefathers, who still preferred the public before their private interest, nay, before their very lives. It will in us be a wrong done to ourselves, to our posterities, to our consciences, if we forego this claim and pretension."[*]
     * Franklyn p. 243. Rushworth, vol. i, p. 499.
"I read of a custom," said Sir Robert Philips, "among the old Romans, that once every year they held a solemn festival, in which their slaves had liberty, without exception, to speak what they pleased, in order to ease their afflicted minds; and, on the conclusion of the festival, the slaves severally returned to their former servitudes.
"This institution may, with some distinction, well set forth our present state and condition. After the revolution of some time, and the grievous sufferance of many violent oppressions, we have now at last, as those slaves, obtained, for a day, some liberty of speech; but shall not, I trust, be hereafter slaves: for we are born free. Yet what new illegal burdens our estates and persons have groaned under, my heart yearns to think of, my tongue falters to utter.——
"The grievances by which we are oppressed, I draw under two heads; acts of power against law, and the judgments of lawyers against our liberty."
Having mentioned three illegal judgments passed within his memory; that by which the Scots, born after James's accession, were admitted to all the privileges of English subjects;[** semi-colon inserted, not in scan] that by which the new impositions had been warranted; and the late one, by which arbitrary imprisonments were authorized; he thus proceeded:—
"I can live, though another, who has no right, be put to live along with me; nay, I can live, though burdened with impositions beyond what at present I labor under: but to have my liberty, which is the soul of my life, ravished from me to have my person pent up in a jail, without relief by law, and to be so adjudged,—O, improvident ancestors! O, unwise forefathers! to be so curious in providing for the quiet possession of our lands, and the liberties of parliament; and at the same time to neglect our personal liberty, and let us lie in prison, and that during pleasure, without redress or remedy! If this be law, why do we talk of liberties? why trouble ourselves with disputes about a constitution, franchises, property of goods, and the like? What may any man call his own, if not the liberty of his person?
"I am weary of treading these ways; and therefore conclude to have a select committee, in order to frame a petition to his majesty for redress of these grievances. And this petition, being read, examined, and approved, may be delivered to the king; of whose gracious answer we have no cause to doubt, our desires being so reasonable, our intentions so loyal, and the manner so dutiful. Neither need we fear that this is the critical parliament, as has been insinuated; or that this is the way to distraction: but assure ourselves of a happy issue. Then shall the king, as he calls us his great council, find us his true council, and own us his good council."[*]
     * Franklyn, p. 245. Parl. Hist. vol. vii. p. 363. Rushworth,
     vol i. p. 502.
The same topics were enforced by Sir Thomas Wentworth. After mentioning projectors and ill ministers of state, "These," said he, "have introduced a privy council, ravishing at once the spheres of all ancient government; destroying all liberty; imprisoning us without bail or bond. They have taken from us—What shall I say? Indeed, what have they left us? By tearing up the roots of all property, they have taken from us every means of supplying the king, and of ingratiating ourselves by voluntary proofs of our duty and attachment towards him.
"To the making whole all these breaches I shall apply myself, and to all these diseases shall propound a remedy. By one and the same thing have the king and the people been hurt, and by the same must they be cured. We must vindicate—what? New things? No: our ancient, legal, and vital liberties; by reënforcing the laws enacted by our ancestors; by setting such a stamp upon them, that no licentious spirit shall dare henceforth to invade them. And shall we think this a way to break a parliament? No: our desires are modest and just. I speak both for the interest of king and people. If we enjoy not these rights, it will be impossible for us to relieve him. Let us never, therefore, doubt of a favorable reception from his goodness."[*]
These sentiments were unanimously embraced by the whole house. Even the court party pretended not to plead, in defence of the late measures, any thing but the necessity to which the king had been reduced by the obstinacy of the two former parliaments. A vote, therefore, was passed, without opposition, against arbitrary imprisonments and forced loans.[**] And the spirit of liberty having obtained some contentment by this exertion, the reiterated messages of the king, who pressed for supply, were attended to with more temper. Five subsidies were voted him; with which, though much inferior to his wants, he declared himself well satisfied; and even tears of affection started in his eye when he was informed of this concession. The duke's approbation too was mentioned by Secretary Coke; but the conjunction of a subject with the sovereign was ill received by the house.[***] Though disgusted with the king, the jealousy which they felt for his honor was more sensible than that which his unbounded confidence in the duke would allow even himself to entertain.
     * Franklyn, p 243. Rushworth, vol. i. p. 500.

     ** Franklyn, p. 251. Rushworth, vol. i. p. 513. Whitlocke,
     p. 9

     *** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 526, Whitlocke, p. 9.
The supply, though voted, was not as yet passed into a law; and the commons resolved to employ the interval in providing some barriers to their rights and liberties so lately violated. They knew that their own vote, declaring the illegality of the former measures, had not, of itself, sufficient authority to secure the constitution against future invasion. Some act to that purpose must receive the sanction of the whole legislature; and they appointed a committee to prepare the model of so important a law. By collecting into one effort all the dangerous and oppressive claims of his prerogative, Charles had exposed them to the hazard of one assault and had further, by presenting a nearer view of the consequences attending them, roused the independent genius of the commons. Forced loans, benevolences, taxes without consent of parliament, arbitrary imprisonments, the billeting of soldiers, martial law; these were the grievances complained of, and against these an eternal remedy was to be provided. The commons pretended not, as they affirmed, to any unusual powers or privileges: they aimed only at securing those which had been transmitted them from their ancestors: and their law they resolved to call a Petition of Right; as implying that it contained a corroboration or explanation of the ancient constitution, not any infringement of royal prerogative, or acquisition of new liberties.
While the committee was employed in framing the petition of right, the favorers of each party, both in parliament and throughout the nation, were engaged in disputes about this bill, which, in all likelihood, was to form a memorable era in the English government.
That the statutes, said the partisans of the commons, which secure English liberty, are not become obsolete, appears hence, that the English have ever been free, and have ever been governed by law and a limited constitution. Privileges in particular, which are founded on the Great Charter, must always remain in force, because derived from a source of never-failing authority, regarded in all ages as the most sacred contract between king and people. Such attention was paid to this charter by our generous ancestors, that they got the confirmation of it reiterated thirty several times; and even secured it by a rule which, though vulgarly received, seems in the execution impracticable. They have established it as a maxim "That even a statute which should be enacted in contradiction to any article of that charter, cannot have force or validity." But with regard to that important article which secures personal liberty, so far from attempting at any time any legal infringement of it, they have corroborated it by six statutes, and put it out of all doubt and controversy. If in practice it has often been violated, abuses can never come in the place of rules; nor can any rights or legal powers be derived from injury and injustice. But the title of the subject to personal liberty not only is founded on ancient, and, therefore, the most sacred laws; it is confirmed by the whole analogy of the government and constitution. A free monarchy in which every individual is a slave, is a glaring contradiction: and it is requisite, where the laws assign privileges to the different orders of the state, that it likewise secure the independence of the members. If any difference could be made in this particular, it were better to abandon even life or property to the arbitrary will of the prince; nor would such immediate danger ensue, from that concession, to the laws and to the privileges of the people. To bereave of his life a man not condemned by any legal trial, is so egregious an exercise of tyranny, that it must at once shock the natural humanity of princes, and convey an alarm throughout the whole commonwealth. To confiscate a man's fortune, besides its being a most atrocious act of violence, exposes the monarch so much to the imputation of avarice and rapacity, that it will seldom be attempted in any civilized government. But confinement, though a less striking, is no less severe a punishment; nor is there any spirit so erect and independent, as not to be broken by the long continuance of the silent and inglorious sufferings of a jail. The power of imprisonment, therefore, being the most natural and potent engine of arbitrary government, it is absolutely necessary to remove it from a government which is free and legal.
The partisans of the court reasoned after a different manner. The true rule of government, said they, during any period, is that to which the people, from time immemorial, have been accustomed, and to which they naturally pay a prompt obedience. A practice which has ever struck their senses, and of which they have seen and heard innumerable precedents, has an authority with them much superior to that which attends maxims derived from antiquated statutes and mouldy records. In vain do the lawyers establish it as a principle, that a statute can never be abrogated by opposite custom; but requires to be expressly repealed by a contrary statute: while they pretend to inculcate an axiom peculiar to English jurisprudence, they violate the most established principles of human nature; and even by necessary consequence reason in contradiction to law itself, which they would represent as so sacred and inviolable. A law, to have any authority must be derived from a legislature which has right. And whence do all legislatures derive their right, but from long custom and established practice? If a statute contrary to public good has at any time been rashly voted and assented to, either from the violence of faction or the inexperience of senates and princes, it cannot be more effectually abrogated by a train of contrary precedents, which prove, that by common consent it has been tacitly set aside, as inconvenient and impracticable. Such has been the case with all those statutes enacted during turbulent times, in order to limit royal prerogative, and cramp the sovereign in his protection of the public, and his execution of the laws. But above all branches of prerogative, that which is most necessary to be preserved, is the power of imprisonment. Faction and discontent, like diseases, frequently arise in every political body; and during these disorders, it is by the salutary exercise alone of this discretionary power, that rebellions and civil wars can be prevented. To circumscribe this power, is to destroy its nature: entirely to abrogate it, is impracticable; and the attempt itself must prove dangerous, if not pernicious to the public. The supreme magistrate, in critical and turbulent times, will never, agreeably either to prudence or duty, allow the state to perish, while there remains a remedy which, how irregular soever, it is still in his power to apply. And if, moved by a regard to public good, he employs any exercise of power condemned by recent and express statute, how greedily, in such dangerous times, will factious leaders seize this pretence of throwing on his government the imputation of tyranny and despotism! Were the alternative quite necessary, it were surely much better for human society to be deprived of liberty than to be destitute of government.
Impartial reasoners will confess that this subject is not, on both sides, without its difficulties. Where a general and rigid law is enacted against arbitrary imprisonment, it would appear that government cannot, in times of sedition and faction, be conducted but by temporary suspensions of the law; and such an expedient was never thought of during the age of Charles.[**period inserted] The meetings of parliament were too precarious, and their determinations might be too dilatory, to serve in cases of urgent necessity. Nor was it then conceived, that the king did not possess of himself sufficient power for the security and protection of his people, or that the authority of these popular assemblies was ever to become so absolute, that the prince must always conform himself to it, and could never have any occasion to guard against their practices, as well as against those of his other subjects.
Though the house of lords was not insensible to the reasons urged in favor of the pretensions of the commons, they deemed the arguments pleaded in favor of the crown still more cogent and convincing. That assembly seems, during this whole period, to have acted, in the main, a reasonable and a moderate part; and if their bias inclined a little too much, as is natural, to the side of monarchy, they were far from entertaining any design of sacrificing to arbitrary will the liberties and privileges of the nation. Ashley, the king's serjeant, having asserted, in pleading before the peers, that the king must sometimes govern by acts of state as well as by law, this position gave such offence, that he was immediately committed to prison, and was not released but upon his recantation and submission.[*] Being, however, afraid lest the commons should go too far in their projected petition, the peers proposed a plan of one more moderate, which they recommended to the consideration of the other house. It consisted merely in a general declaration, that the Great Charter, and the six statutes conceived to be explanations of it, stand still in force, to all intents and purposes; that, in consequence of the charter and the statutes, and by the tenor of the ancient customs and laws of the realm, every subject has a fundamental property in his goods, and a fundamental liberty of his person; that this property and liberty are as entire at present as during any former period of the English government; that in all common cases, the common law ought to be the standard of proceedings: "And in case that, for the security of his majesty's person, the general safety of his people, or the peaceable government of the kingdom, the king shall find just cause, for reasons of state, to imprison or restrain any man's person, he was petitioned graciously to declare that, within a convenient time, he shall and will express the cause of the commitment or restraint, either general or special, and, upon a cause so expressed, will leave the prisoner immediately to be tried according to the common law of the land."[**]
     * Whitlocke, p. 10.

     ** State Trials, vol. vii. p. 187. Rushworth, vol. i. p.
     548.
Archbishop Abbot was employed by the lords to recommend, in a conference, this plan of a petition to the house of commons. The prelate, as was no doubt foreseen, from his known principles, was not extremely urgent in his applications; and the lower house was fully convinced that the general declarations signified nothing, and that the latter clause left their liberties rather in a worse condition than before. They proceeded, therefore, with great zeal, in framing, the model of a petition which should contain expressions more precise, and more favorable to public freedom.
The king could easily see the consequence of these proceedings. Though he had offered, at the beginning of the session, to give his consent to any law for the security of the rights and liberties of the people, he had not expected that such inroads would be made on his prerogative. In order, therefore, to divert the commons from their intention, he sent a message, wherein he acknowledged past errors, and promised that hereafter there should be no just cause of complaint. And he added, "That the affairs of the kingdom press him so, that he could not continue the session above a week or two longer: and if the house be not ready by that time to do what is fit for themselves, it shall be their own fault."[*] On a subsequent occasion, he asked them, "Why demand explanations, if you doubt not the performance of the statutes according to their true meaning? Explanations will hazard an encroachment upon the prerogative; and it may well be said, What need a new law to confirm an old, if you repose confidence in the declarations which his majesty made to both houses?"[**] The truth is, the Great Charter and the old statutes were sufficiently clear in favor of personal liberty: but as all kings of England had ever, in cases of necessity or expediency, been accustomed at intervals to elude them; and as Charles, in a complication of instances, had lately violated them; the commons judged it requisite to enact a new law, which might not be eluded or violated by any interpretation, construction, or contrary precedent. Nor was it sufficient, they thought, that the king promised to return into the way of his predecessors. His predecessors in all times had enjoyed too much discretionary power; and by his recent abuse of it, the whole world had reason to see the necessity of entirely retrenching it.
The king still persevered in his endeavors to elude the petition. He sent a letter to the house of lords, in which he went so far as to make a particular declaration, "That neither he nor his privy council shall or will, at any time hereafter, commit or command to prison, or otherwise restrain, any man for not lending money, or for any other cause which, in his conscience,[**joined-up though no hyphen] he thought not to concern the public good, and the safety of king and people." And he further declared, "That he never would be guilty of so base an action as to pretend any cause of whose truth he was not fully satisfied."[***] But this promise, though enforced to the commons by the recommendation of the upper house, made no more impression than all the former messages.
     * State Trials, vol. vii. p. 193.

     ** State Trials, vol. vii. p. 196. Rushworth, vol. i. p. 556
     *** State Trials, vol. vii. p. 198. Rushworth, vol. i. p.
     560, Parl. Hist. vol. viii. p. 111.
Among the other evasions of the king, we may reckon the proposal of the house of peers, to subjoin to the intended petition of right the following clause: "We humbly present this petition to your majesty, not only with a care of preserving our own liberties, but with due regard to leave entire that sovereign power with which your majesty is intrusted for the protection, safety, and happiness of your people."[*] Less penetration than was possessed by the leaders of the house of commons, could easily discover how captious this clause was, and how much it was calculated to elude the whole force of the petition.
These obstacles, therefore, being surmounted, the petition of right passed the commons, and was sent to the upper house.[**] 2 The peers, who were probably well pleased in secret that all their solicitations had been eluded by the commons, quickly passed the petition without any material alteration; and nothing but the royal assent was wanting to give it the force of a law. The king accordingly came to the house of peers; sent for the commons; and, being seated in his chair of state, the petition was read to him. Great was now the astonishment of all men, when, instead of the usual concise and clear form by which a bill is either confirmed or rejected Charles said, in answer to the petition, "The king willeth, that right be done according to the laws and customs of the realm, and that the statutes be put into execution; that his subjects may have no cause to complain of any wrong or oppression, contrary to their just rights and liberties, to the preservation whereof he holds himself in conscience as much obliged as of his own prerogative."[***]
     * State Trials, vol. vii. p. 199. Ruskworth, vol. i. p. 561.
     Parl Hist. vol. viii. p. 116. Whitlocke, p. 10.

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

     *** State Trials, vol. vii. p. 212. Rushworth, vol. i. p.
     500.
It is surprising that Charles, who had seen so many instances of the jealousy of the commons, who had himself so much roused that jealousy by his frequent evasive messages during this session, could imagine that they would rest satisfied with an answer so vague and undeterminate. It was evident, that the unusual form alone of the answer must excite their attention; that the disappointment must inflame their anger; and that therefore it was necessary, as the petition seemed to bear hard on royal prerogative, to come early to some fixed resolution, either gracefully to comply with it, or courageously to reject it.
It happened as might have been foreseen. The commons returned in very ill humor. Usually, when in that disposition, their zeal for religion, and their enmity against the unfortunate Catholics, ran extremely high. But they had already, in the beginning of the session, presented their petition of religion and had received a satisfactory answer; though they expected that the execution of the laws against Papists would, for the future, be no more exact and rigid than they had hitherto found it. To give vent to their present indignation, they fell with their utmost force on Dr. Manwaring.
There is nothing which tends more to excuse, if not to justify, the extreme rigor of the commons towards Charles, than his open encouragement and avowal of such general principles as were altogether incompatible with a limited government. Manwaring had preached a sermon which the commons found, upon inquiry, to be printed by special command of the king;[*] and when this sermon was looked into, it contained doctrines subversive of all civil liberty. It taught, that, though property was commonly lodged in the subject, yet, whenever any exigency required supply, all property was transferred to the sovereign; that the consent of parliament was not necessary for the imposition of taxes; and that the divine laws required compliance with every demand, how irregular soever, which the prince should make upon his subjects[**] For these doctrines the commons impeached Manwaring. The sentence pronounced upon him by the peers was, that he should be imprisoned during the pleasure of the house, be fined a thousand pounds to the king, make submission and acknowledgment of his offence, be suspended during three years, be incapable of holding any ecclesiastical dignity or secular office, and that his book be called in and burnt.[***]
     * Parliament. Hist. vol. viii. p. 206.

     ** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 585, 594. Parl. Hist. vol. viii. p.
     168, 169, 170, etc. Welwood, p. 44.

     ** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 65. Parl. Hist. vol. viii. p. 212.
It may be worthy of notice, that no sooner was the session ended, than this man, so justly obnoxious to both houses received a pardon, and was promoted to a living of considerable value.[*] Some years after, he was raised to the see of St. Asaph. If the republican spirit of the commons increased beyond all reasonable bounds, the monarchical spirit of the court, this latter, carried to so high a pitch, tended still further to augment the former. And thus extremes were every where affected, and the just medium was gradually deserted by all men.
From Manwaring, the house of commons proceeded to censure the conduct of Buckingham, whose name hitherto they had cautiously forborne to mention.[**] In vain did the king send them a message, in which he told them that the session was drawing near to a conclusion; and desired that they would not enter upon new business, nor cast any aspersions on his government and ministry.[***] Though the court endeavored to explain and soften this message by a subsequent message,[****] as Charles was apt hastily to correct any hasty step which he had taken, it served rather to inflame than appease the commons; as if the method of their proceedings had here been prescribed to them. It was foreseen that a great tempest was ready to burst on the duke; and in order to divert it, the king thought proper, upon a joint application of the lords and commons,[v] to endeavor giving them satisfaction with regard to the petition of right. He came, therefore, to the house of peers, and pronouncing the usual form of words, "Let it be law, as is desired," gave full sanction and authority to the petition. The acclamations with which the house resounded, and the universal joy diffused over the nation, showed how much this petition had been the object of all men's vows and expectations[v*]
     * Rushworth, vol. i. p. 635. Whitlocke, p. 11.

     ** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 607.

     *** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 605.

     **** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 610. Parl. Hist vol. viii. p.
     197.

     v    Rushworth, vol. i. p. 613, Journ. 7th June, 1628. Parl.
     Hist. vol. viii. p. 201.

     v*   Rushworth, vol. i. p. 613.
It may be affirmed, without any exaggeration, that the king's assent to the petition of right produced such a change in the government, as was almost equivalent to a revolution; and by circumscribing, in so many articles, the royal prerogative gave additional security to the liberties of the subject. Yet were the commons far from being satisfied with this important concession. Their ill humor had been so much irritated by the king's frequent evasions and delays, that it could not be presently appeased by an assent which he allowed to be so reluctantly extorted from him. Perhaps, too, the popular leaders, implacable and artful, saw the opportunity favorable; and, turning against the king those very weapons with which he had furnished them, resolved to pursue the victory. The bill, however, for five subsidies, which had been formerly voted, immediately passed the house; because the granting of that supply was, in a manner, tacitly contracted for, upon the royal assent to the petition; and had faith been here violated, no further confidence could have subsisted between king and parliament. Having made this concession, the commons continued to carry their scrutiny into every part of government. In some particulars, their industry was laudable; in some, it may be liable to censure.
A little after writs were issued for summoning this parliament, a commission had been granted to Sir Thomas Coventry, lord keeper, the earl of Marlborough, treasurer, the earl of Manchester, president of the council, the earl of Worcester, privy seal, the duke of Buckingham, high admiral, and all the considerable officers of the crown; in the whole, thirty-three. By this commission, which, from the number of persons named in it, could be no secret, the commissioners were empowered to meet, and to concert among themselves the methods of levying money by impositions, or otherwise; "Where form and circumstance," as expressed in the commission, "must be dispensed with, rather than the substance be lost or hazarded."[*] In other words, this was a scheme for finding expedients which might raise the prerogative to the greatest height, and render parliaments entirely useless. The commons applied for cancelling the commission;[**] and were, no doubt, desirous that all the world should conclude the king's principles to be extremely arbitrary, and should observe what little regard he was disposed to pay to the liberties and privileges of his people.
     * Rushworth, vol. i. p. 614. Parl. Hist. vol. viii. p. 214.

     ** Journ. 13th June, 1628.
A commission had likewise been granted, and some money remitted, in order to raise a thousand German horse, and transport them into England. These were supposed to be levied in order to support the projected impositions or excises, though the number seems insufficient for such a purpose,[*] The house took notice of this design in severe terms: and no measure, surely, could be projected more generally odious to the whole nation. It must, however, be confessed, that the king was so far right, that he had now at last fallen on the only effectual method for supporting his prerogative. But at the same time, he should have been sensible that, till provided with a sufficient military force, all his attempts in opposition to the rising spirit of the nation, must in the end prove wholly fruitless; and that the higher he screwed up the springs of government, while he had so little real power to retain them in that forced situation, with more fatal violence must they fly out, when any accident occurred to restore them to their natural action.
The commons next resumed their censure of Buckingham's conduct and behavior, against whom they were implacable. They agreed to present a remonstrance to the king, in which they recapitulated all national grievances and misfortunes, and omitted no circumstance which could render the whole administration despicable and odious. The compositions with Catholics, they said, amounted to no less than a toleration, hateful to God, full of dishonor and disprofit to his majesty, and of extreme scandal and grief to his good people: they took notice of the violations of liberty above mentioned, against which the petition of right seems to have provided a sufficient remedy: they mentioned the decay of trade, the unsuccessful expeditions to Cadiz and the Isle of Rhé, the encouragement given to Arminians, the commission for transporting German horse, that for levying illegal impositions; and all these grievances they ascribed solely to the ill conduct of the duke of Buckingham.[**] This remonstrance was, perhaps, not the less provoking to Charles, because, joined to the extreme acrimony of the subject, there were preserved in it, as in most of the remonstrances of that age, an affected civility and submission in the language. And as it was the first return which he met with for his late beneficial concessions, and for his sacrifices of prerogative,—the greatest by far ever made by an English sovereign,—nothing could be more the object of just and natural indignation.
     * Rushworth, vol. i. p. 612.

     ** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 619. Parl. Hist. vol viii. p. 219,
     220, etc.
It was not without good grounds that the commons were so fierce and assuming. Though they had already granted the king the supply of five subsidies, they still retained a pledge in their hands, which they thought insured them success in all their applications. Tonnage and poundage had not yet been granted by parliament; and the commons had artfully, this session, concealed their intention of invading that branch of revenue, till the royal assent had been obtained to the petition of right, which they justly deemed of such importance. They then openly asserted, that the levying of tonnage and poundage without consent of parliament, was a palpable violation of the ancient liberties of the people, and an open infringement of the petition of right, so lately granted.[*] The king, in order to prevent the finishing and presenting this remonstrance, came suddenly to the parliament, and ended this session by a prorogation.[**]
     * Rushworth, vol. i. p. 628. Journ. 18th 20th June, 1628.

     ** Journ, 26th June, 1628.
Being freed for some time from the embarrassment of this assembly, Charles began to look towards foreign wars, where all his efforts were equally unsuccessful as in his domestic government. The earl of Denbigh, brother-in-law to Buckingham, was despatched to the relief of Rochelle, now closely besieged by land, and threatened with a blockade by sea: but he returned without effecting any thing; and having declined to attack the enemy's fleet, he brought on the English arms the imputation either of cowardice or ill conduct. In order to repair this dishonor, the duke went to Portsmouth, where he had prepared a considerable fleet and army, on which all the subsidies given by parliament had been expended. This supply had very much disappointed the king's expectations. The same mutinous spirit which prevailed in the house of commons had diffused itself over the nation; and the commissioners appointed for making the assessments had connived at all frauds which might diminish the supply, and reduce the crown to still greater necessities. This national discontent, communicated to a desperate enthusiast, soon broke out in an event which may be considered as remarkable.
There was one Felton, of a good family, but of an ardent, melancholic temper, who had served under the duke in the station of lieutenant. His captain being killed in the retreat at the Isle of Rhé, Felton had applied for the company; and when disappointed, he threw up his commission, and retired in discontent from the army. While private resentment was boiling in his sullen, unsociable mind, he heard the nation resound with complaints against the duke; and he met with the remonstrance of the commons, in which his enemy was represented as the cause of every national grievance, and as the great enemy of the public. Religious fanaticism further inflamed these vindictive reflections; and he fancied that he should do Heaven acceptable service, if at one blow he despatched this dangerous foe to religion and to his country.[*] Full of these dark views, he secretly arrived at Portsmouth at the same time with the duke, and watched for an opportunity of effecting his bloody purpose.
     * May's Hist. of the Parliament, p. 12.
Buckingham had been engaged in conversation with Soubize and other French gentlemen; and a difference of sentiment having arisen, the dispute, though conducted with temper and decency, had produced some of those vehement gesticulations and lively exertions of voice, in which that nation, more than the English, are apt to indulge themselves. The conversation being finished, the duke drew towards the door; and in that passage, turning himself to speak to Sir Thomas Friar, a colonel in the army, he was on the sudden, over Sir Thomas's shoulder, struck upon the breast with a knife. Without uttering other words than, "The villain has killed me," in the same moment pulling out the knife, he breathed his last.
No man had seen the blow, nor the person who gave it, but in the confusion every one made his own conjecture; and all agreed that the murder had been committed by the French gentlemen whose angry tone of voice had been heard, while their words had not been understood by the bystanders. In the hurry of revenge, they had instantly been put to death, had they not been saved by some of more temper and judgment, who, though they had the same opinion of their guilt, thought proper to reserve them for a judicial trial and examination.
Near the door there was found a hat, in the inside of which was sewed a paper, containing four or five lines of that remonstrance of the commons which declared Buckingham an enemy to the kingdom; and under these lines was a short ejaculation, or attempt towards a prayer. It was easily concluded that this hat belonged to the assassin: but the difficulty still remained, who that person should be; for the writing discovered not the same; and whoever he was, it was natural to believe that he had already fled far enough not to be found without a hat.
In this hurry, a man without a hat was seen walking very composedly before the door. One crying out, "Here is the fellow who killed the duke;" every body ran to ask, "Which is he?" The man very sedately answered, "I am he." The more furious immediately rushed upon him with drawn swords: others, more deliberate, defended and protected him: he himself, with open arms, calmly and cheerfully exposed his breast to the swords of the most enraged; being willing to fall a sudden sacrifice to their anger, rather than be reserved for that public justice which he knew must be executed upon him.
He was now known to be that Felton who had served in the army. Being carried into a private room, it was thought proper so far to dissemble as to tell him, that Buckingham was only grievously wounded, but not without hopes of recovery. Felton smiled, and told them, that the duke, he knew full well, had received a blow which had terminated all their hopes. When asked at whose instigation he had performed the horrid deed, he replied, that they needed not to trouble themselves in that inquiry; that no man living had credit enough with him to have disposed him to such an action; that he had not even intrusted his purpose to any one; that the resolution proceeded only from himself, and the impulse of his own conscience; and that his motives would appear, if his hat were found; for that, believing he should perish in the attempt, he had there taken care to explain them.[*]
When the king was informed of this assassination, he received the news in public with an unmoved and undisturbed countenance; and the courtiers, who studied his looks, concluded, that secretly he was not displeased to be rid of a minister so generally odious to the nation.[**]
     * Clarendon, vol. i. p. 27, 20.

     ** Warwick, p. 34.
But Charles's command of himself proceeded entirely from the gravity and composure of his temper. He was still as much as ever attached to his favorite; and during his whole life he retained an affection for Buckingham's friends, and a prejudice against his enemies. He urged too, that Felton should be put to the question, in order to extort from him a discovery of his accomplices; but the judges declared, that though that practice had formerly been very usual, it was altogether illegal: so much reasoners, with regard to law, had they become from the jealous scruples of the house of commons.
Meanwhile the distress of Rochelle had risen to the utmost extremity. That vast genius of Richelieu, which made him form the greatest enterprises, led him to attempt their execution by means equally great and extraordinary. In order to deprive Rochelle of all succor, he had dared to project the throwing across the harbor a mole of a mile's extent in that boisterous ocean; and having executed his project, he now held the town closely blockaded on all sides. The inhabitants, though pressed with the greatest rigors of famine, still refused to submit; being supported, partly by the lectures of their zealous preachers, partly by the daily hopes of relief from England. After Buckingham's death, the command of the fleet and army was conferred on the earl of Lindesey; who, arriving before Rochelle, made some attempts to break through the mole, and force his way into the harbor: but by the delays of the English, that work was now fully finished and fortified; and the Rochellers, finding their last hopes to fail them, were reduced to surrender at discretion, even in sight of the English admiral. Of fifteen thousand persons shut up in the city, four thousand alone survived the fatigues and famine which they had undergone.[*]
     * Rushworth, vol. 1. p. 636.
This was the first necessary step towards the prosperity of France. Foreign enemies, as well as domestic factions, being deprived of this resource, that kingdom began now to shine forth in its full splendor. By a steady prosecution of wise plans, both of war and policy, it gradually gained an ascendant over the rival power of Spain; and every order of the state, and every sect, were reduced to pay submission to the lawful authority of the sovereign. The victory, however, over the Hugonots, was at first pushed by the French king with great moderation. A toleration was still continued to them; the only avowed and open toleration which at that time was granted in any European kingdom.
1629.
The failure of an enterprise in which the English nation, from religious sympathy, so much interested themselves, could not but diminish the king's authority in the parliament during the approaching session: but the commons, when assembled, found many other causes of complaint. Buckingham's conduct and character with some had afforded a reason, with others a pretence, for discontent against public measures but after his death there wanted not new reasons and new pretences for general dissatisfaction. Manwaring's pardon and promotion were taken notice of: Sibthorpe and Cosins, two clergymen, who, for like reasons, were no less obnoxious to the commons, had met with like favor from the king: Montague, who had been censured for moderation towards the Catholics, the greatest of crimes, had been created bishop of Chichester. They found likewise, upon inquiry, that all the copies of the petition of right which were dispersed, had, by the king's orders, annexed to them the first answer, which had given so little satisfaction to the commons;[*] an expedient by which Charles endeavored to persuade the people that he had nowise receded from his former claims and pretensions, particularly with regard to the levying of tonnage and poundage. Selden also complained in the house, that one Savage, contrary to the petition of right, had been punished with the loss of his ears, by a discretionary or arbitrary sentence of the star chamber:[**] so apt were they, on their part, to stretch the petition into such consequences as might deprive the crown of powers which, from immemorial custom, were supposed inherent in it.
But the great article on which the house of commons broke with the king, and which finally created in Charles a disgust to all parliaments, was their claim with regard to tonnage and poundage. On this occasion, therefore, it is necessary to give an account of the controversy.
The duty of tonnage and poundage, in more ancient times, had been commonly a temporary grant of parliament; but it had been conferred on Henry V., and all the succeeding princes, during life, in order to enable them to maintain a naval force for the defence of the kingdom. The necessity of levying this duty had been so apparent, that each king had ever claimed it from the moment of his accession; and the first parliament of each reign had usually by vote conferred on the prince what they found him already in possession of. Agreeably to the inaccurate genius of the old constitution, this abuse, however considerable, had never been perceived nor remedied; though nothing could have been easier than for the parliament to have prevented it.[***]
     * State Trials, vol. vii. p. 216. Rushworth, vol. i. p. 643.

     ** State Trials, vol. vii. p. 216. Parl. Hist. vol. viii. p.
     246.

     *** Parl. Hist. vol. viii. p. 339, 343.
By granting this duty to each prince during his own life, and for a year after his demise to the successor, all inconveniencies had been obviated; and yet the duty had never for a moment been levied without proper authority. But contrivances of that nature were not thought of during those rude ages; and as so complicated and jealous a government as the English cannot subsist without many such refinements, it is easy to see how favorable every inaccuracy must formerly have proved to royal authority, which, on all emergencies, was obliged to supply, by discretionary power, the great deficiency of the laws.
The parliament did not grant the duty of tonnage and poundage to Henry VIII. till the sixth of his reign: yet this prince, who had not then raised his power to its greatest height, continued during that whole time to levy the imposition; the parliament, in their very grant, blame the merchants who had neglected to make payment to the crown; and though one expression of that bill may seem ambiguous, they employ the plainest terms in calling tonnage and poundage the king's due, even before that duty was conferred on him by parliamentary authority.[*] Four reigns, and above a whole century, had since elapsed; and this revenue had still been levied before it was voted by parliament: so long had the inaccuracy continued, without being remarked or corrected.
During that short interval which passed between Charles's accession and his first parliament, he had followed the example of his predecessors; and no fault was found with his conduct in this particular. But what was most remarkable in the proceedings of that house of commons, and what proved beyond controversy that they had seriously formed a plan for reducing their prince to subjection, was, that instead of granting this supply during the king's lifetime, as it had been enjoyed by all his immediate predecessors, they voted it only for a year; and, after that should be elapsed, reserved to themselves the power of renewing or refusing the same concession.[**] But the house of peers, who saw that this duty was now become more necessary than ever to supply the growing necessities of the crown, and who did not approve of this encroaching spirit in the commons, rejected the bill; and the dissolution of that parliament followed so soon after, that no attempt seems to have been made for obtaining tonnage and poundage in any other form.[***] 3
     * 6 Henry VIII. cap. 14.

     ** Journ. 5th July, 1625.

     *** See note C, at the end of the volume.
Charles, meanwhile, continued still to levy this duty by his own authority, and the nation was so accustomed to that exertion of royal power, that no scruple was at first entertained of submitting to it. But the succeeding parliament excited doubts in every one. The commons took there some steps towards declaring it illegal to levy tonnage and poundage without consent of parliament; and they openly showed their intention of employing this engine, in order to extort from the crown concessions of the most important nature. But Charles was not yet sufficiently tamed to compliance; and the abrupt dissolution of that parliament, as above related, put an end, for the time, to their further pretensions.
The following interval between the second and third parliament, was distinguished by so many exertions of prerogative, that men had little leisure to attend to the affair of tonnage and poundage, where the abuse of power in the crown might seem to be of a more disputable nature. But after the commons, during the precedent session, had remedied all these grievances by means of their petition of right, which they deemed so necessary, they afterwards proceeded to take the matter into consideration, and they showed the same intention as formerly, of exacting, in return for the grant of this revenue, very large compliances on the part of the crown. Their sudden profulgation prevented them from bringing their pretensions to a full conclusion.
When Charles opened this session, he had foreseen that the same controversy would arise; and he therefore took care very early, among many mild and reconciling expressions, to inform the commons, "That he had not taken these duties as appertaining to his hereditary prerogative; but that it ever was, and still is, his meaning to enjoy them as a gift of his people: and that, if he had hitherto levied tonnage and poundage he pretended to justify himself only by the necessity of so doing, not by any right which he assumed."[*]
     * Rushworth, vol. i. p. 644 Parl. Hist. vol. viii. p. 256,
     346.
This concession, which probably arose from the king's moderate temper, now freed from the impulse of Buckingham's violent counsels, might have satisfied the commons, had they entertained no other view than that of ascertaining their own powers and privileges. But they carried their pretensions much higher. They insisted, as a necessary preliminary, that the king should once entirely desist from levying these duties; after which they were to take it into consideration, how far they would restore, him to the possession of a revenue of which he had clearly divested himself. But, besides that this extreme rigor had never been exercised towards any of his predecessors, and many obvious inconveniencies must follow from the intermission of the customs, there were other reasons which deterred Charles from complying with so hard a condition. It was probable, that the commons might renew their former project of making this revenue only temporary, and thereby reducing their prince to perpetual dependence; they certainly would cut off the new impositions which Mary and Elizabeth, but especially James, had levied, and which formed no despicable part of the public revenue: and they openly declared, that they had at present many important pretensions, chiefly with regard to religion; and if compliance were refused, no supply must be expected from the commons.
It is easy to see in what an inextricable labyrinth Charles was now involved. By his own concessions, by the general principles of the English government, and by the form of every bill which had granted this duty, tonnage and poundage was derived entirely from the free gift of the people; and, consequently, might be withdrawn at their pleasure. If unreasonable in their refusal, they still refused nothing but what was their own. If public necessity required this supply, it might be thought also to require the king's compliance with those conditions which were the price of obtaining it. Though the motive for granting it had been the enabling of the king to guard the seas, it did not follow, that because he guarded the seas, he was therefore entitled to this revenue without further formality: since the people had still reserved to themselves the right of judging how far that service merited such a supply. But Charles, notwithstanding his public declaration, was far from assenting to this conclusion in its full extent. The plain consequence, he saw, of all these rigors, and refinements, and inferences, was, that he, without any public necessity, and without any fault of his own, must of a sudden, even from his accession, become a magistrate of a very different nature from any of his predecessors, and must fall into a total dependence on subjects over whom former kings, especially those immediately preceding, had exercised an authority almost unlimited. Entangled in a chain of consequences which he could not easily break, he was inclined to go higher, and rather deny the first principle, than admit of conclusions which to him appeared so absurd and unreasonable. Agree-* to the ideas hitherto entertained both by natives and foreigners, the monarch he esteemed the essence and soul of the English government: and whatever other power pretended to annihilate or even abridge, the royal authority, must necessarily, he thought, either in its nature or exercise, be deemed no better than a usurpation. Willing to preserve the ancient harmony of the constitution, he had ever intended to comply as far as he easily could, with the ancient forms of administration; but when these forms appeared to him, by the inveterate obstinacy of the commons, to have no other tendency than to disturb that harmony, and to introduce a new constitution, he concluded that, in this violent situation, what was subordinate must necessarily yield to what was principal, and the privileges of the people, for a time, give place to royal prerogative. From the rank of a monarch, to be degraded into a slave of his insolent, ungrateful subjects, seemed of all indignities the greatest; and nothing, in his judgment, could exceed the humiliation attending such a state, but the meanness of tamely submitting to it, without making some efforts to preserve the authority transmitted to him by his predecessors.
Though these were the king's reflections and resolutions before the parliament assembled, he did not immediately break with them upon their delay in voting him this supply. He thought that he could better justify any strong measure which he might afterwards be obliged to take, if he allowed them to carry to the utmost extremities their attacks upon his government and prerogative.[*] He contented himself, for the present, with soliciting the house by messages and speeches. But the commons, instead of hearkening to his solicitations proceeded to carry their scrutiny into his management of religion,[**] which was the only grievance to which, in their opinion, they had not as yet, by their petition of right, applied a sufficient remedy.
     * Rushworth, vol. i. p. 642.

     ** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 651. Whitlocke, p. 12.
It was not possible that this century, so fertile in religious sects and disputes, could escape the controversy concerning fatalism and free will, which, being strongly interwoven both with philosophy and theology had, in all ages, thrown every school and every church into such inextricable doubt and perplexity. The first reformers in England, as in other European countries, had embraced the most rigid tenets of predestination and absolute decrees, and had composed upon that, system all the articles of their religious creed. But these principles having met with opposition from Arminius and his sectaries, the controversy was soon brought into this island and began here to diffuse itself. The Arminians, finding more encouragement from the superstitious spirit of the church than from the fanaticism of the Puritans, gradually incorporated themselves with the former; and some of that sect, by the indulgence of James and Charles, had attained the highest preferments in the hierarchy. But their success with the public had not been altogether answerable to that which they met with in the church and the court. Throughout the nation, they still lay under the reproach of innovation and heresy. The commons now levelled against them their formidable censures, and made them the objects of daily invective and declamation. Their protectors were stigmatized; their tenets canvassed; their views represented as dangerous and pernicious. To impartial spectators surely, if any such had been at that time in England, it must have given great entertainment to see a popular assembly, inflamed with faction and enthusiasm, pretend to discuss questions to which the greatest philosophers, in the tranquillity of retreat, had never hitherto been able to find any satisfactory solution.
Amidst that complication of disputes in which men were then involved, we may observe, that the appellation "Puritan" stood for three parties, which, though commonly united, were yet actuated by very different views and motives. There were the political Puritans, who maintained the highest principles of civil liberty; the Puritans in discipline, who were averse to the ceremonies and Episcopal government of the church; and the doctrinal Puritans, who rigidly defended the speculative system of the first reformers. In opposition to all these stood the court party, the hierarchy, and the Arminians; only with this distinction, that the latter sect, being introduced a few years before, did not as yet comprehend all those who were favorable to the church and to monarchy. But, as the controversies on every subject grew daily warmer, men united themselves more intimately with their friends, and separated themselves wider from their antagonists; and the distinction gradually became quite uniform and regular.
This house of commons, which, like all the preceding, during the reigns of James and Charles, and even of Elizabeth, was much governed by the Puritanical party, thought that they could not better serve their cause than by branding and punishing the Arminian sect, which, introducing an innovation in the church, were the least favored and least powerful of all their antagonists. From this measure, it was easily foreseen, that, besides gratifying the animosity of the doctrinal Puritans, both the Puritans in discipline and those in politics would reap considerable advantages. Laud, Neile, Montague, and other bishops, who were the chief supporters of Episcopal government, and the most zealous partisans of the discipline and ceremonies of the church, were all supposed to be tainted with Arminianism. The same men and their disciples were the strenuous preachers of passive obedience, and of entire submission to princes; and if these could once be censured, and be expelled the church and court, it was concluded, that the hierarchy would receive a mortal blow, the ceremonies be less rigidly insisted on, and the king, deprived of his most faithful friends, be obliged to abate those high claims of prerogative on which at present he insisted.
But Charles, besides a view of the political consequences which must result from a compliance with such pretensions, was strongly determined, from principles of piety and conscience, to oppose them. Neither the dissipation incident to youth, nor the pleasures attending a high fortune, had been able to prevent this virtuous prince from embracing the most sincere sentiments of religion: and that character, which in that religious age should have been of infinite advantage to him, proved in the end the chief cause of his ruin; merely because the religion adopted by him was not of that precise mode and sect which began to prevail among his subjects. His piety, though remote from Popery, had a tincture of superstition in it; and, being averse to the gloomy spirit of the Puritans, was represented by them as tending towards the abominations of Antichrist. Laud also had unfortunately acquired a great ascendant over him; and as all those prelates obnoxious to the commons, were regarded as his chief friends and most favored courtiers, he was resolved not to disarm and dishonor himself by abandoning them to the resentment of his enemies. Being totally unprovided with military force, and finding a refractory, independent spirit to prevail among the people, the most solid basis of his authority, he thought consisted in the support which he received from the hierarchy.
In the debates of the commons, which are transmitted to us, it is easy to discern so early some sparks of that enthusiastic fire which afterwards set the whole nation in combustion. One Rouse made use of an allusion which, though familiar seems to have been borrowed from the writings of Lord Bacon.[*] "If a man meet a dog alone," said he, "the dog is fearful, though ever so fierce by nature: but if the dog have his master with him, he will set upon that man from whom he fled before. This shows, that lower natures, being backed by higher, increase in courage and strength; and certainly man, being backed with Omnipotency, is a kind of omnipotent creature. All things are possible to him that believes; and where all things are possible, there is a kind of omnipotency. Wherefore, let it be the unanimous consent and resolution of us all, to make a vow and covenant henceforth to hold fast our God and our religion; and then shall we henceforth expect with certainty happiness in this world."[**]
Oliver Cromwell, at that time a young man of no account in the nation, is mentioned in these debates, as complaining of one who, he was told, preached flat Popery.[***] It is amusing to observe the first words of this fanatical hypocrite correspond so exactly to his character.
The inquiries and debates concerning tonnage and poundage went hand in hand with these theological or metaphysical controversies. The officers of the custom-house were summoned before the commons, to give an account by what authority they had seized the goods of merchants who had refused to pay these duties: the barons of the exchequer were questioned concerning their decrees on that head.[****] One of the sheriffs of London was committed to the Tower for his activity in supporting the officers of the custom-house: the goods of Rolles, a merchant, and member of the house, being seized for his refusal to pay the duties, complaints were made of this violence as if it were a breach of privilege:[v] Charles supported his officers in all these measures; and the quarrel grew every day higher between him and the commons.[v*] Mention was made in the house of impeaching Sir Richard Weston the treasurer;[v**] and the king began to entertain thoughts of finishing the session by a dissolution.
     * Essay of Atheism.

     ** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 646. Parl. Hist. vol. viii. p. 260.

     *** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 655. Parl. Hist. vol. viii. p.
     289.

     **** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 654. Parl. Hist. vol. viii. p.
     301.

     v    Rushworth, vol. i. p. 653.

     v*   Rushworth, vol. i. p. 659.

     v**  Parl. Hist. vol. viii. p. 326.
Sir John Elliot framed a remonstrance against levying tonnage and poundage without consent of parliament, and offered it to the clerk to read. It was refused. He read it himself. The question being then called for, the speaker, Sir John Finch, said, "That he had a command from the king to adjourn, and to put no question;"[*] upon which he rose and left the chair. The whole house was in an uproar. The speaker was pushed back into the chair, and forcibly held in it by Hollis and Valentine, till a short remonstrance was framed, and was passed by acclamation rather than by vote. Papists and Arminians were there declared capital enemies to the commonwealth. Those who levied tonnage and poundage were branded with the same epithet. And even the merchant who should voluntarily pay these duties, were denominated betrayers of English liberty, and public enemies. The doom, being locked, the gentleman usher of the house of lords, who was sent by the king, could not get admittance till this remonstrance was finished. By the king's order, he took the mace from the table, which ended their proceedings,[**] and a few days after the parliament was dissolved.
The discontents of the nation ran high, on account of this violent rupture between the king and parliament. These discontents Charles inflamed by his affectation of a severity which he had not power, nor probably inclination, to carry to extremities. Sir Miles Hobart, Sir Peter Heyman, Selden, Coriton, Long, Strode, were committed to prison on account of the last tumult in the house, which was called sedition.[***]
     * The king's power of adjourning, as well as proroguing the
     parliament, was and is never questioned. In the nineteenth
     of the late king, the judges determined, that the
     adjournment by the king kept the parliament in statu quo
     until the next sitting, but that then no committees were to
     meet; but if the adjournment be by the house then the
     committees and other matters do continue. Parl. Hist, vol v.
     p. 466.

     ** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 660. Whitlocke, p. 12.

     *** Rushworth, vol. i. p. 661, 681. Parl. Hist. vol. viii.
     p. 354 May, p. 13
With great difficulty, and after several delays, they were released; and the law was generally supposed to be wrested in order to prolong their imprisonment. Sir John Elliot, Hollis, and Valentine, were summoned to their trial in the king's bench, for seditious speeches and behavior in parliament; but refusing to answer before an inferior court for their conduct as members of a superior, they were condemned to be imprisoned during the king's pleasure, to find sureties for their good behavior, and to be fined, the two former a thousand pounds apiece, the latter five hundred.[*] This sentence, procured by the influence of the crown, served only to show the king's disregard to the privileges of parliament, and to acquire an immense stock of popularity to the sufferers who had so bravely, in opposition to arbitrary power, defended the liberties of their native country. The commons of England, though an immense body, and possessed of the greater part of national property, were naturally somewhat defenceless, because of their personal equality, and their want of leaders: but the king's severity, if these prosecutions deserve the name, here pointed out leaders to them, whose resentment was inflamed, and whose courage was nowise daunted, by the hardships which they had undergone in so honorable a cause.
So much did these prisoners glory in their sufferings, that, though they were promised liberty on that condition, they would not condescend even to present a petition to the king, expressing their sorrow for having offended him.[**] They unanimously refused to find sureties for their good behavior, and disdained to accept of deliverance on such easy terms. Nay, Hollis was so industrious to continue his meritorious distress, that when one offered to bail him, he would not yield to the rule of court, and be himself bound with his friend. Even Long, who had actually found sureties in the chief justice's chamber, declared in court that his sureties should no longer continue.[***] Yet because Sir John Elliot Happened to die while in custody, a great clamor was raised against the administration; and he was universally regarded as a martyr to the liberties of England.[****]
     * Rushworth, vol. i. p. 684, 691.

     ** Whitlocke, p. *13.

     *** Kennet vol. iii. p. 49.

     **** Rushworth, vol. v. p. 440.




CHAPTER LII





CHARLES I.

1629.
There now opens to us a new scene. Charles naturally disgusted with parliaments, who, he found, were determined to proceed against him with unmitigated rigor, both in invading his prerogative and refusing him all supply, resolved not to call any more, till he should see greater indications of a compliant disposition in the nation. Having lost his great favorite, Buckingham, he became his own minister and never afterwards reposed in any one such unlimited confidence. As he chiefly follows his own genius and disposition, his measures are henceforth less rash and hasty; though the general tenor of his administration still wants somewhat of being entirely legal, and perhaps more of being entirely prudent.
We shall endeavor to exhibit a just idea of the events which followed for some years, so far as they regard foreign affairs, the state of the court, and the government of the nation. The incidents are neither numerous nor illustrious; but the knowledge of them is necessary for understanding the subsequent transactions which are so memorable.
Charles, destitute of all supply, was necessarily reduced to embrace a measure which ought to have been the result of reason and sound policy: he made peace with the two crowns against which he had hitherto waged a war, entered into without necessity, and conducted without glory. Notwithstanding the distracted and helpless condition of England, no attempt was made either by France or Spain to invade their enemy nor did they entertain any further project than to defend themselves against the feeble and ill-concerted expeditions of that kingdom. Pleased that the jealousies and quarrels, between king and parliament had disarmed so formidable a power, they carefully avoided any enterprise which might rouse either the terror or anger of the English, and dispose them to domestic union and submission. The endeavors to regain the good will of the nation were carried so far by the king of Spain, that he generously released and sent home all the English prisoners taken in the expedition against Cadiz. The example was imitated by France after the retreat of the English from the Isle of Rhé. When princes were in such dispositions, and had so few pretensions on each other, it could not be difficult to conclude a peace. The treaty was first signed with France.[*] The situation of the king's affairs did not entitle him to demand any conditions for the Hugonots, and they were abandoned to the will of their sovereign.
1630.
Peace was afterwards concluded with Spain, where no conditions were made in favor of the palatine, except that Spain promised in general to use their good offices for his restoration.[**] The influence of these two wars on domestic affairs, and on the dispositions of king and people, was of the utmost consequence; but no alteration was made by them on the foreign interests of the kingdom.
     * Rushworth, vol. ii. p. 23, 24.

     ** Rushworth, vol. ii. p. 75. Whitlocke, p. 14.
Nothing more happy can be imagined than the situation in which England then stood with regard to foreign affairs. Europe was divided between the rival families of Bourbon and Austria, whose opposite interests, and still more, their mutual jealousies, secured the tranquillity of this island. Their forces were so nearly counterpoised, that no apprehensions were entertained of any event which could suddenly disturb the balance of power between them. The Spanish monarch, deemed the most powerful, lay at greatest distance; and the English, by that means, possessed the advantage of being engaged by political motives into a more intimate union and confederacy with the neighboring potentate. The dispersed situation of the Spanish dominions rendered the naval power of England formidable to them, and kept that empire in continual dependence. France, more vigorous and more compact, was every day rising in policy and discipline; and reached at last an equality of power with the house of Austria; but her progress, slow and gradual, left it still in the power of England, by a timely interposition, to check her superiority. And thus Charles, could he have avoided all dissensions with his own subjects, was in a situation to make himself be courted and respected by every power in Europe; and, what has scarcely ever since been attained by the princes of this island, he could either be active with dignity, or neutral with security.
A neutrality was embraced by the king; and during the rest of his reign, he seems to have little regarded foreign affairs, except so far as he was engaged by honor and by friendship for his sister and the palatine, to endeavor the procuring of some relief for that unhappy family. He joined his good offices to those of France, and mediated a peace between the kings of Sweden and Poland, in hopes of engaging the former to embrace the protection of the oppressed Protestants in the empire. This was the famed Gustavus, whose heroic genius, seconded by the wisest policy, made him in a little time the most distinguished monarch of the age, and rendered his country, formerly unknown and neglected, of great weight in the balance of Europe. To encourage and assist him in his projected invasion of Germany, Charles agreed to furnish him with six thousand men; but, that he might preserve the appearance of neutrality, he made use of the marquis of Hamilton's name.[*]
     * Rushworth, vol. i. p. 46, 53, 62. 83.
That nobleman entered into an engagement with Gustavus; and enlisting these troops in England and Scotland, at Charles's expense, he landed them in the Elbe. The decisive battle of Leipsic was fought soon after, where the conduct of Tilly and the valor of the imperialists were overcome by the superior conduct of Gustavus and the superior valor of the Swedes. What remained of this hero's life was one continued series of victory, for which he was less beholden to fortune than to those personal endowments which he derived from nature and from industry. That rapid progress of conquest which we so much admire in ancient history, was here renewed in modern annals; and without that cause to which, in former ages, it had ever been owing. Military nations were not now engaged against an undisciplined and unwarlike people; nor heroes set in opposition to cowards. The veteran troops of Ferdinand, conducted by the most celebrated generals of the age, were foiled in every encounter; and all Germany was overrun in an instant by the victorious Swede. But by this extraordinary and unexpected success of his ally, Charles failed of the purpose for which he framed the alliance. Gustavus, elated by prosperity, began to form more extensive plans of ambition; and in freeing Germany from the yoke of Ferdinand, he intended to reduce it to subjection under his own. He refused to restore the palatine to his principality, except on conditions which would have kept him in total dependence.[*] And thus the negotiation was protracted, till the battle of Lutzen, where the Swedish monarch perished in the midst of a complete victory which he obtained over his enemies.
We have carried on these transactions a few years beyond the present period, that we might not be obliged to return to them, nor be henceforth interrupted in our account of Charles's court and kingdoms.
     * Franklyn, vol. i. p. 415.
When we consider Charles as presiding in his court, as associating
with his family, it is difficult to imagine a character at once more
respectable and more amiable. A kind husband, an indulgent father, a
gentle master, a steadfast friend; to all these eulogies his conduct
in private life fully entitled him. As a monarch too, in the exterior
qualities, he excelled; in the essential, he was not defective.
His address and manner, though perhaps inclining a little towards
stateliness and formality, in the main corresponded to his high rank,
and gave grace to that reserve and gravity which were natural to him.
The moderation and equity which shone forth in his temper seemed to
secure him against rash and dangerous enterprises: the good sense which
he displayed in his discourse and conversation, seemed to warrant his
success in every reasonable undertaking. Other endowments likewise he
had attained, which, in a private gentleman, would have been highly
ornamental, and which, in a great monarch, might have proved extremely
useful to his people. He was possessed of an excellent taste in all
the fine arts; and the love of painting was in some degree his favorite
passion. Learned beyond what is common in princes, he was a good judge
of writing in others, and enjoyed himself no mean talent in composition.
In any other age or nation, this monarch had been secure of a prosperous
and a happy reign. But the high idea of his own authority which he had
imbibed, made him incapable of giving way to the spirit of liberty which
began to prevail among his subjects. His politics were not supported
by such vigor and foresight as might enable him to subdue their
pretensions, and maintain his prerogative at the high pitch to which
it had been raised by his predecessors. And, above all, the spirit of
enthusiasm, being universally diffused, disappointed all the views
of human prudence, and disturbed the operation of every motive which
usually influences society.

 But the misfortunes arising from these
causes were yet remote. Charles now enjoyed himself in the full
exercise of his authority, in a social intercourse with his friends
and courtiers, and in a moderate use of those pleasures which he most
affected.
After the death of Buckingham, who had somewhat alienated Charles from the queen, she is to be considered as his chief friend and favorite. That rustic contempt of the fair sex which James affected, and which, banishing them from his court, made it resemble more a fair or an exchange than the seat of a great prince, was very wide of the disposition of this monarch. But though full of complaisance to the whole sex, Charles reserved all his passion for his consort, to whom he attached himself with unshaken fidelity and confidence. By her sense and spirit, as well as by her beauty, she justified the fondness of her husband; though it is allowed that, being somewhat of a passionate temper, she precipitated him into hasty and imprudent measures. Her religion likewise, to which she was much addicted, must be regarded as a great misfortune; since it augmented the jealousy which prevailed against the court, and engaged her to procure for the Catholics some indulgences which were generally distasteful to the nation.[*]
In the former situation of the English government, when the sovereign was in a great measure independent of his subjects, the king chose his ministers either from personal favor, or from an opinion of their abilities, without any regard to their parliamentary interest or talents. It has since been the maxim of princes, wherever popular leaders encroach too much on royal authority, to confer offices on them, in expectation that they will afterwards become more careful not to diminish that power which has become their own. These politics were now embraced by Charles; a sure proof that a secret revolution had happened in the constitution, and had necessitated the prince to adopt new maxims of government.[**]
     * May, p 21.

     ** Sir Edw. Walker, p. 328.
But the views of the king were at this time so repugnant to those of the Puritans, that the leaders whom he gained, lost from that moment all interest with their party, and were even pursued as traitors with implacable hatred and resentment. This was the case with Sir Thomas Wentworth, whom the king created, first a baron, then a viscount, and afterwards earl of Strafford; made him president of the council of York, and deputy of Ireland; and regarded him as his chief minister and counsellor. By his eminent talents and abilities, Strafford merited all the confidence which his master reposed in him: his character was stately and austere; more fitted to procure esteem than love: his fidelity to the king was unshaken; but as he now employed all his counsels to support the prerogative, which he had formerly bent all his endeavors to diminish his virtue seems not to have been entirely pure, but to have been susceptible of strong impressions from private interest and ambition. Sir Dudley Digges was about the same time created master of the rolls; Noy, attorney-general; Littleton, solicitor-general. All these had likewise been parliamentary leaders, and were men eminent in their profession.[*]
     * Whitlocke, p. 13. May, p. 20.
ENLARGE

In all ecclesiastical affairs, and even in many civil, Laud, bishop of London, had great influence over the king. This man was virtuous, if severity of manners alone, and abstinence from pleasure, could deserve that name. He was learned, if polemical knowledge could entitle him to that praise. He was disinterested; but with unceasing industry he studied to exalt the priestly and prelatical character, which was his own. His zeal was unrelenting in the cause of religion; that is, in imposing by rigorous measures his own tenets and pious ceremonies on the obstinate Puritans, who had profanely dared to oppose him. In prosecution of his holy purposes, he overlooked every human consideration; or, in other words, the heat and indiscretion of his temper made him neglect the views of prudence and rules of good manners. He was in this respect happy, that all his enemies were also imagined by him the declared enemies to loyalty and true piety, and that every exercise of his anger by that means became in his eyes a merit and a virtue. This was the man who acquired so great an ascendant over Charles, and who led him, by the facility of his temper, into a conduct which proved so fatal to himself and to his kingdoms.
The humor of the nation ran at that time into the extreme opposite to superstition; and it was with difficulty that the ancient ceremonies to which men had been accustomed, and which had been sanctified by the practice of the first reformers, could be retained in divine service: yet was this the time which Laud chose for the introduction of new ceremonies and observances. Besides that these were sure to displease as innovations, there lay, in the opinion of the public, another very forcible objection against them. Laud, and the other prelates who embraced his measures, were generally well instructed in sacred antiquity, and had adopted many of those religious sentiments which prevailed during the fourth and fifth centuries; when the Christian church, as is well known, was already sunk into those superstitions which were afterwards continued and augmented by the policy of Rome. The revival, therefore, of the ideas and practices of that age, could not fail of giving the English faith and liturgy some resemblance to the Catholic superstition, which the kingdom in general, and the Puritans in particular, held in the greatest horror and detestation. Men also were apt to think, that, without some secret purpose, such insignificant observances would not be imposed with such unrelenting zeal on the refractory nation; and that Laud's scheme was, to lead back the English by gradual steps to the religion of their ancestors. They considered not, that the very insignificancy of these ceremonies recommended them to the superstitious prelate, and made them appear the more peculiarly sacred and religious, as they could serve to no other purpose. Nor was the resemblance to the Romish ritual any objection, but rather a merit with Laud and his brethren; who bore a much greater kindness to the mother church, as they called her, than to the sectaries and Presbyterians, and frequently recommended her as a true Christian church; an appellation which they refused, or at least scrupled to give to the others.[*] So openly were these tenets espoused, that not only the discontented Puritans believed the church of England to be relapsing fast into Romish superstition: the court of Rome itself entertained hopes of regaining its authority in this island; and, in order to forward Laud's supposed good intentions, an offer was twice made him in private of a cardinal's hat, which he declined accepting.[**] His answer was, as he says himself, "That something dwelt within him, which would not suffer his compliance, till Rome were other than it is."[***]
     * May, p. 25.

     ** Rushworth, vol. ii. p. 190. Welwood, p. 61.

     *** Rushworth, vol. iii. p. 1327. Whitlocke, p. 97.
A court lady, daughter of the earl of Devonshire, having turned Catholic, was asked by Laud the reason of her conversion: "'Tis chiefly," said she, "because I hate to travel in a crowd." The meaning of this expression being demanded, she replied, "I perceive your grace and many others are making haste to Rome; and therefore, in order to prevent my being crowded, I have gone before you." It must be confessed, that though Laud deserved not the appellation of Papist, the genius of his religion was, though in a less degree, the same with that of the Romish: the same profound respect was exacted to the sacerdotal character, the same submission required to the creeds and decrees of synods and councils; the same pomp and ceremony was affected in worship; and the same superstitious regard to days, postures, meats, and vestments. No wonder, therefore, that this prelate was every where among the Puritans regarded with horror, as the forerunner of Antichrist.
As a specimen of the new ceremonies to which Laud sacrificed his own quiet and that of the nation, it may not be amiss to relate those which he was accused of employing in the consecration of St. Catharine's church, and which were the object of such general scandal and offence.
On the bishop's approach to the west door of the church, a loud voice cried, "Open, open, ye everlasting doors, that the king of glory may enter in!" Immediately the doors of the church flew open, and the bishop entered. Falling upon his knees, with eyes elevated and arms expanded, he uttered these words: "This place is holy; the ground is holy: in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, I pronounce it holy."
Going towards the chancel, he several times took up from the floor some of the dust, and threw it in the air. When he approached, with his attendants, near to the communion table, he bowed frequently towards it; and on their return, they went round the church, repeating, as they marched along, some of the psalms; and then said a form of prayer, which concluded with these words: "We consecrate this church, and separate it unto thee as holy ground, not to be profaned any more to common uses."
After this, the bishop, standing near the communion table solemnly pronounced many imprecations upon such as should afterwards pollute that holy place by musters of soldiers, or keeping in it profane law-courts, or carrying burdens through it. On the conclusion of every curse, he bowed towards the east, and cried, "Let all the people say, Amen."
The imprecations being all so piously finished, there were poured out a number of blessings upon such as had any hand in framing and building that sacred and beautiful edifice, and on such as had given, or should hereafter give to it, any chalices, plate, ornaments, or utensils. At every benediction he in like manner bowed towards the east, and cried, "Let all the people say, Amen."
The sermon followed; after which the bishop consecrated and administered the sacrament in the following manner.
As he approached the communion table, he made many lowly reverences; and coming up to that part of the table where the bread and wine lay, he bowed seven times. After the reading of many prayers, he approached the sacramental elements, and gently lifted up the corner of the napkin in which the bread was placed. When he beheld the bread, he suddenly let fall the napkin, flew back a step or two, bowed three several times towards the bread; then he drew nigh again, opened the napkin, and bowed as before.
Next he laid his hand on the cup, which had a cover upon it, and was filled with wine. He let go the cup, fell back, and bowed thrice towards it. He approached again; and lifting op the cover, peeped into the cup. Seeing the wine, he let fall the cover, started back, and bowed as before. Then he received the sacrament, and gave it to others. And many prayers being said, the solemnity of the consecration ended. The walls, and floor, and roof of the fabric were then supposed to be sufficiently holy.[*]
Orders were given, and rigorously insisted on, that the communion table should be removed from the middle of the area where it hitherto stood in all churches, except in cathedrals.[**] It was placed at the east end, railed in, and denominated an "altar;" as the clergyman who officiated received commonly the appellation of "priest." It is not easy to imagine the discontents excited by this innovation, and the suspicions which it gave rise to.
     * Rushworth, vol. ii. p. 76, 77. Welwood, p. 275. Franklyn,
     p. 386.

     ** Rushworth, vol ii. p. 207. Whitlocke, p. 24.
The kneeling at the altar, and the using of copes, a species of embroidered vestment, in administering the sacrament, were also known to be great objects of scandal, as being Popish practices; but the opposition rather increased than abated the zeal of the prelate for the introduction of these habits and ceremonies.
All kinds of ornament, especially pictures, were necessary for supporting that mechanical devotion which was purposed to be raised in this model of religion: but as these had been so much employed by the church of Rome, and had given rise to so much superstition, or what the Puritans called idolatry it was impossible to introduce them into English churches without exciting general murmurs and complaints. But Laud possessed of present authority, persisted in his purpose, and made several attempts towards acquiring these ornaments. Some of the pictures introduced by him were also found, upon inquiry, to be the very same that might be met with in the mass-book. The crucifix too, that eternal consolation of all pious Catholics, and terror to all sound Protestants, was not forgotten on this occasion.[*]
It was much remarked, that Sheffield, the recorder of Salisbury, was tried in the star chamber, for having broken, contrary to the bishop of Salisbury's express injunctions, a painted window of St. Edmond's church in that city. He boasted that he had destroyed these monuments of idolatry: but for this effort of his zeal, he was fined five hundred pounds, removed from his office, condemned to make a public acknowledgment, and be bound to his good behavior.[**]
Not only such of the clergy as neglected to observe every ceremony were suspended and deprived by the high commission court: oaths were, by many of the bishops, imposed or the churchwardens; and they were sworn to inform against any one who acted contrary to the ecclesiastical canons.[***] Such a measure, though practised during the reign of Elizabeth, gave much offence, as resembling too nearly the practice of the Romish inquisition.
To show the greater alienation from the churches reformed after the Presbyterian model, Laud advised that the discipline and worship of the church should be imposed on the English regiments and trading companies abroad.[****] All foreigners of the Dutch and Walloon congregations were commanded to attend the established church; and indulgence was granted to none after the children of the first denizens.[v]
     * Rushworth, vol. ii. p. 272, 273.

     ** Rushworth, Vol. ii. p. 152. State Trials, vol. v. p 46.
     Franklyn, p. 410, 411, 412.

     *** Rushworth, vol. ii. p. 186.

     **** Rushworth, vol, ii. p. 249. Franklyn, p. 451.

     v    Rushworth, vol. ii. p. 272
Scudamore, too, the king's ambassador at Paris, had orders to withdraw himself from the communion of the Hugonots. Even men of sense were apt to blame this conduct, not only because it gave offence in England, but because, in foreign countries, it lost the crown the advantage of being considered as the head and support of the reformation.[*]
On pretence of pacifying disputes, orders were issued from the council, forbidding on both sides all preaching and printing with regard to the controverted points of predestination and free will. But it was complained of, and probably with reason that the impartiality was altogether confined to the orders, and that the execution of them was only meant against the Calvinists.
In return for Charles's indulgence towards the church, Laud and his followers took care to magnify, on every occasion, the regal authority, and to treat with the utmost disdain or detestation all Puritanical pretensions to a free and independent constitution. But while these prelates were so liberal in raising the crown at the expense of public liberty, they made no scruple of encroaching, themselves, on the royal rights the most incontestable, in order to exalt the hierarchy, and procure to their own order dominion and independence. All the doctrines which the Romish church had borrowed from some of the fathers, and which freed the spiritual from subordination to the civil power, were now adopted by the church of England, and interwoven with her political and religious tenets. A divine and apostolical charter was insisted on, preferably to a legal and parliamentary one.[**]
     * State Papers collected by the earl of Clarendon, p 338.

     ** Whitlocke, p. 22.
The sacerdotal character was magnified as sacred and indefeasible: all right to spiritual authority, or even to private judgment in spiritual subjects, was refused to profane laymen: ecclesiastical courts were held by the bishops in their own name, without any notice taken of the king's authority: and Charles, though extremely jealous of every claim in popular assemblies, seemed rather to encourage than repress those encroachments of his clergy. Having felt many sensible inconveniencies from the independent spirit of parliaments, he attached himself entirely to those who professed a devoted obedience to his crown and person; nor did he foresee, that the ecclesiastical power which he exalted, not admitting of any precise boundary, might in time become more dangerous to public peace, and no less fatal to royal prerogative, than the other.
So early as the coronation, Laud was the person, according to general opinion, that introduced a novelty which, though overlooked by Charles, made a deep impression on many of the bystanders. After the usual ceremonies, these words were recited to the king: "Stand and hold fast, from henceforth the place to which you have been heir by the succession of your forefathers, being now delivered to you by the authority of Almighty God, and by the hands of us and all the bishops and servants of God. And, as you see the clergy to come nearer the altar than others, so remember that, in all places convenient, you give them greater honor; that the Mediator of God and man may establish you on the kingly throne, to be a mediator betwixt the clergy and the laity; and that you may reign forever with Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords." [*]
The principles which exalted prerogative, were not entertained by the king merely as soft and agreeable to his royal ears; they were also put in practice during the time that he ruled without parliaments. Though frugal and regular in his expense, he wanted money for the support of government; and he levied it, either by the revival of obsolete laws, or by violations, some more open, some more disguised, of the privileges of the nation. Though humane and gentle in his temper, he gave way to a few severities in the star chamber and high commission, which seemed necessary in order to support the present mode of administration, and repress the rising spirit of liberty throughout the kingdom. Under these two heads may be reduced all the remarkable transactions of this reign during some years; for, in peaceable and prosperous times, where a neutrality in foreign affairs is observed, scarcely any thing is remarkable, but what is in some degree blamed or blamable. And, lest the hope of relief or protection from parliament might encourage opposition, Charles issued a proclamation, in which he declared, "That whereas, for several ill ends, the calling again of a parliament is divulged; though his majesty has shown, by frequent meetings with his people, his love to the use of parliaments: yet the late abuse having for the present driven him unwillingly out of that course; he will account it presumption for anyone to prescribe to him any time for the calling of that assembly."[**]
     * Franklyn, p. 114. Rushworth, vol. i. p. 201.

     ** Parl. Hist. vol. viii. p. 389. Rush. vol. ii. p. 3.
This was generally construed as a declaration, that during this reign no more parliaments were intended to be summoned.[*] And every measure of the king's confirmed a suspicion so disagreeable to the generality of the people.
Tonnage and poundage continued to be levied by the royal authority alone. The former additional impositions were still exacted. Even new impositions were laid on several kinds of merchandise.[**]
The custom-house officers received orders from the council to enter into any house, warehouse, or cellar; to search any trunk or chest; and to break any bulk whatever; in default of the payment of customs.[***]
In order to exercise the militia, and to keep them in good order, each county, by an edict of the council, was assessed in a certain sum, for maintaining a muster-master, appointed for that service.[****]
Compositions were openly made with recusants, and the Popish religion became a regular part of the revenue. This was all the persecution which it underwent during the reign of Charles.[v]
A commission was granted for compounding with such as were possessed of crown lands upon defective titles; and on this pretence some money was exacted from the people.[v*]
There was a law of Edward II.,[v**] that whoever was possessed of twenty pounds a year in land, should be obliged, when summoned, to appear and to receive the order of knighthood. Twenty pounds at that time, partly by the change of denomination, partly by that in the value of money, were equivalent to two hundred in the seventeenth century; and it seemed just that the king should not strictly insist on the letter of the law, and oblige people of so small revenue to accept of that expensive honor. Edward VI,[v***] and Queen Elizabeth,[v****] who had both of them made use of this expedient for raising money, had summoned only those who were possessed of forty pounds a year and upwards to receive knighthood, or compound for their neglect; and Charles imitated their example, in granting the same indulgence.
     * Clarendon, vol. i. p. 4. May, p. 14.

     ** Rush. vol. ii. p. 8. May, p. 16.

     *** Rush. vol. ii. p. 9.

     **** Rush. vol. ii. p. 10.

     v     Rush. vol. ii. p. 11, 12, 13, 247.

     v*    Rush. vol. ii: p. 49.

     v**   Statutum de militibus.

     v***  Rymer, tom. xv. p. 124.

     v**** Rymer, tom. xv. p. 493, 504.
Commissioners were appointed for fixing the rates of composition; and instructions were given to these commissioners not to accept of a less sum than would have been due by the party upon a tax of three subsidies and a half.[*] Nothing proves more plainly how ill disposed the people were to the measures of the crown, than to observe that they loudly complained of an expedient founded on positive statute, and warranted by such recent precedents. The law was pretended to be obsolete; though only one reign had intervened since the last execution of it.
Barnard, lecturer of St. Sepulchre's, London, used this expression in his prayer before sermon: "Lord, open the eyes of the queen's majesty, that she may see Jesus Christ, whom she has pierced with her infidelity, superstition, and idolatry." He was questioned in the high commission court for this insult on the queen; but, upon his submission, dismissed.[**] Leighton, who had written libels against the king, the queen, the bishops, and the whole administration, was condemned by a very severe, if not a cruel sentence; but the execution of it was suspended for some time, in expectation of his submission.[***] All the severities, indeed, of this reign were exercised against those who triumphed in their sufferings, who courted persecution, and braved authority; and on that account their punishment may be deemed the more just, but the less prudent. To have neglected them entirely, had it been consistent with order and public safety, had been the wisest measure that could have been embraced; as perhaps it had been the most severe punishment that could have been inflicted on these zealots.
1631.
In order to gratify the clergy with a magnificent fabric, subscriptions were set on foot for repairing and rebuilding St. Paul's; and the king, by his countenance and example, encouraged this laudable undertaking.[****] By order of the privy council, St. Gregory's church was removed, as an impediment to the project of extending and beautifying the cathedral. Some houses and shops likewise were pulled down, and compensation was made to the owners.[v]
     * Rush. vol. ii. p. 70, 71, 72. May, p. 16.

     ** Rush vol. ii. p. 32.

     *** Kennets Complete Hist. vol. iii. p. 60. Whitlocke, p.
     15.

     **** Whitlocke, p. 17.

     v    Rush. vol. ii. p. 88, 89, 90, 207, 462 718.
As there was no immediate prospect of assembling a parliament, such acts of power in the king became necessary; and in no former age would the people have entertained any scruple with regard to them. It must be remarked, that the Puritans were extremely averse to the raising of this ornament to the capital. It savored, as they pretended, of Popish superstition.
A stamp duty was imposed on cards; a new tax, which of itself was liable to no objection, but appeared of dangerous consequence when considered as arbitrary and illegal.[*]
Monopolies were revived; an oppressive method of levying money, being unlimited, as well as destructive of industry. The last parliament of James, which abolished monopolies, had left an equitable exception in favor of new inventions; and on pretence of these, and of erecting new companies and corporations, was this grievance now renewed. The manufacture of soap was given to a company who paid a sum for their patent.[**] Leather, salt, and many other commodities, even down to linen rags, were likewise put under restrictions.
It is affirmed by Clarendon, that so little benefit was reaped from these projects, that of two hundred thousand pounds thereby levied on the people, scarcely one thousand five hundred came into the king's coffers. Though we ought not to suspect the noble historian of exaggerations to the disadvantage of Charles's measures, this fact, it must be owned, appears somewhat incredible. The same author adds, that the king's intention was to teach his subjects how unthrifty a thing it was to refuse reasonable supplies to the crown: an imprudent project: to offend a whole nation under the view of punishment: and to hope by acts of violence to break their refractory spirits, without being possessed of any force to prevent resistance.
1632.
The council of York had been first erected, after a rebellion, by a patent from Henry VIII., without any authority of parliament; and this exercise cf power, like many others, was indulged to that arbitrary monarch. This council had long acted chiefly as a criminal court; but, besides some innovations introduced by James, Charles thought proper some time after Wentworth was made president, to extend its powers, and to give it a large civil jurisdiction, and that in some respects discretionary.[***]
     * Rush. vol. ii. p. 103.

     ** Rush. vol. ii. p. 136, 142, 189, 252.

     *** Rush. vol. ii. p, 158, 159, etc. Franklyn, p. 412.
It is not improbable, that the king's intention was only to prevent inconveniencies, which arose from the bringing of every cause, from the most distant parts of the kingdom, into Westminster Hall: but the consequence, in the mean time, of this measure, was the putting of all the northern counties out of the protection of ordinary law, and subjecting them to an authority somewhat arbitrary. Some irregular acts of that council were this year complained of.[*]
1633.
The court of star chamber extended its authority; and it was matter of complaint that it encroached upon the jurisdiction of the other courts; imposing heavy fines and inflicting severe punishment, beyond the usual course of justice. Sir David Foulis was fined five thousand pounds, chiefly because he had dissuaded a friend from compounding with the commissioners of knighthood.[**]
     * Rush. vol. ii. p. 202, 203.

     ** Rush, vol. ii. p. 215, 216, etc.
Prynne, a barrister of Lincoln's Inn, had written an enormous quarto of a thousand pages, which he called Histrio-Mastyx. Its professed purpose was to decry stage-plays, comedies, interludes, music, dancing; but the author likewise took occasion to declaim against hunting, public festivals, Christmas-keeping, bonfires, and may-poles. His zeal against all these levities, he says, was first moved by observing that plays sold better than the choicest sermons, and that they were frequently printed on finer paper than the Bible itself. Besides, that the players were often Papists, and desperately wicked; the play-houses, he affirms, are Satan's chapels; the play-haunters little better than incarnate devils; and so many steps in a dance, so many paces to hell. The chief crime of Nero, he represents to have been his frequenting and acting of plays; and those who nobly conspired his death, were principally moved to it, as he affirms, by their indignation at that enormity. The rest of his thousand pages is of a like strain. He had obtained a license from Archbishop Abbot's chaplain; yet was he indicted in the star chamber as a libeller. It was thought somewhat hard that general invectives against plays should be interpreted into satires against the king and queen, merely because they frequented these amusements, and because the queen sometimes acted a part in pastorals and interludes which were represented at court. The author, it must be owned, had, in plainer terms, blamed the hierarchy, the ceremonies, the innovations in religious worship, and the new superstitions introduced by Laud;[*] and this, probably, together with the obstinacy and petulance of his behavior before the star chamber, was the reason why his sentence was so severe. He was condemned to be put from the bar; to stand on the pillory in two places, Westminster and Cheapside; to lose both his ears, one in each place; to pay five thousand pounds' fine to the king; and to be imprisoned during life.[**]
This same Prynne was a great hero among the Puritans; and it was chiefly with a view of mortifying that sect, that though of an honorable profession, he was condemned by the star chamber to so ignominious a punishment. The thorough-paced Puritans were distinguishable by the sourness and austerity of their manners, and by their aversion to all pleasure and society.[***] To inspire them with better humor was certainly, both for their own sake and that of the public, a laudable intention in the court; but whether pillories, fines and prisons were proper expedients for that purpose, may admit of some question.
Another expedient which the king tried, in order to infuse cheerfulness into the national devotion, was not much more successful. He renewed his father's edict for allowing sports and recreations on Sunday to such as attended public worship; and he ordered his proclamation for that purpose to be publicly read by the clergy after divine service.[****] Those who were Puritanically affected refused obedience, and were punished by suspension or deprivation. The differences between the sects were before sufficiently great; nor was it necessary to widen them further by these inventions.
Some encouragement and protection which the king and the bishops gave to wakes, church ales, bride ales, and other cheerful festivals of the common people, were the objects of like scandal to the Puritans.[v]
     * Rush. vol. ii. p. 223.

     ** Rush. vol. ii. p. 220, 221, etc.

     *** Dugdale, p. 2.

     **** Rush, vol. ii. p. 193, 459. Whitlocke, p. 16, 17.
     Franklyn, p. 431*.

     v    Rush. vol. ii. p. 191, 192. May, p. 2.
The music in the churches he affirmed not to be the noise of men, but a bleating of brute beasts; choristers bellow the tenor, as it were oxen; bark a counterpart, as it were a kennel of dogs; roar out a treble, as it were a sort of bulls; and grunt out a bass, as it were a number of hogs: Christmas, as it is kept, is the devil's Christmas: and Prynne employed a great number of pages to persuade men to affect the name of "Puritan," as if Christ had been a Puritan; and so he saith in his index.
This year, Charles made a journey to Scotland, attended by the court, in order to hold a parliament there, and to pass through the ceremony of his coronation. The nobility and gentry of both kingdoms rivalled each other in expressing all duty and respect to the king, and in showing mutual friendship and regard to each other. No one could have suspected, from exterior appearances, that such dreadful scenes were approaching.
One chief article of business, (for it deserves the name,) which the king transacted in this parliament, was, besides obtaining some supply, to procure authority for ordering the habits of clergymen.[*] The act did not pass without opposition and difficulty. The dreadful surplice was before men's eyes, and they apprehended, with some reason, that under sanction of this law, it would soon be introduced among them. Though the king believed that his prerogative entitled him to a power, in general, of directing whatever belonged to the exterior government of the church, this was deemed a matter of too great importance to be ordered without the sanction of a particular statute.
Immediately after the king's return to England, he heard of Archbishop Abbot's death; and, without delay, he conferred that dignity on his favorite, Laud; who, by this accession of authority, was now enabled to maintain ecclesiastical discipline with greater rigor, and to aggravate the general discontent of the nation.
Laud obtained the bishopric of London for his friend Juxon: and, about a year after the death of Sir Richard Weston, created earl of Portland, had interest enough to engage the king to make that prelate high treasurer. Juxon was a person of great integrity, mildness, and humanity, and endued with a good understanding.[**] Yet did this last promotion give general offence. His birth and character were deemed too obscure for a man raised to one of the highest offices of the crown. And the clergy, it was thought, were already too much elated by former instances of the king's attachment to them, and needed not this further encouragement to assume dominion over the laity.[***] The Puritans, likewise, were much dissatisfied with Juxon, notwithstanding his eminent virtues, because he was a lover of profane field sports and hunting.
     * Bushworth, vol. ii. p. 183.

     ** Whitlocke, p. 23. Clarendon, vol. i. p. 99.

     *** Clarendon, vol. i. p. 97. May, p. 23.
1634.
Ship money was now introduced. The first writs of this kind had been directed to seaport towns only: but ship money was at this time levied on the whole kingdom; and each county was rated at a particular sum, which was after wards assessed upon individuals.[*] The amount of the whole tax was very moderate, little exceeding two hundred thousand pounds: it was levied upon the people with equality: the money was entirely expended on the navy, to the great honor and advantage of the kingdom: as England had no military force, while all the other powers of Europe were strongly armed, a fleet seemed absolutely necessary for her security; and it was obvious, that a navy must be built and equipped at leisure, during peace; nor could it possibly be fitted out on a sudden emergence, when the danger became urgent; yet all these considerations could not reconcile the people to the imposition. It was entirely arbitrary: by the same right any other tax might be imposed: and men thought a powerful fleet, though very desirable both for the credit and safety of the kingdom, but an unequal recompense for their liberties, which, they apprehended, were thus sacrificed to the obtaining of it.
England, it must be owned, was in this respect unhappy in its present situation, that the king had entertained a very different idea of the constitution, from that which began in general to prevail among his subjects. He did not regard national privileges as so sacred and inviolable, that nothing but the most extreme necessity could justify an infringement of them. He considered himself as the supreme magistrate, to whose care Heaven, by his birthright, had committed his people; whose duty it was to provide for their security and happiness, and who was vested with ample discretionary powers for that salutary purpose. If the observance of ancient laws and customs was consistent with the present convenience of government, he thought himself obliged to comply with that rule, as the easiest, the safest, and what procured the most prompt and willing obedience. But when a change of circumstances, especially if derived from the obstinacy of the people, required a new plan of administration, national privileges, he thought, must yield to supreme power; nor could any order of the state oppose any right to the will of the sovereign, directed to the good of the public.[**]
     * Rush. vol. ii. p. 257, 258, etc.

     ** Rush. vol. iv p 535, 542.
That these principles of government were derived from the uniform tenor of the English laws, it would be rash to affirm. The fluctuating nature of the constitution, the impatient humor of the people, and the variety of events, had, no doubt, in different ages, produced exceptions and contradictions. These observations alone may be established on both sides, that the appearances were sufficiently strong in favor of the king to apologize for his following such maxims; and that public liberty must be so precarious under this exorbitant prerogative, as to render an opposition not only excusable, but laudable in the people.[*] 4
Some laws had been enacted, during the reign of Henry VII., against depopulation, or the converting of arable lands into pasture. By a decree of the star chamber, Sir Anthony Roper was fined four thousand pounds for an offence of that nature.[**] This severe sentence was intended to terrify others into composition; and above thirty thousand pounds were levied by that expedient.[***] Like compositions, or, in default of them, heavy fines, were required for encroachments on the king's forests, whose bounds, by decrees deemed arbitrary, were extended much beyond what was usual.[****] The bounds of one forest, that of Rockingham, were increased from six miles to sixty.[v] The same refractory humor which made the people refuse to the king voluntary supplies, disposed them, with better reason, to murmur against these irregular methods of taxation.
Morley was fined ten thousand pounds for reviling, challenging, and striking, in the court of Whitehall, Sir George Theobald, one of the king's servants.[v*] This fine was thought exorbitant; but whether it was compounded, as was usual in fines imposed by the star chamber, we are not informed.
     * See note D, at the end of the volume.

     ** Rush. vol. ii. p. 270; vol. iii. App. p. 106.

     *** Rush. vol. iii. p. 333. Franklyn, p. 478.

     **** May, p. 16.

     v Strafford's Letters and Despatches, vol. ii. p. 117.

     v* Rush. vol. ii. p. 270.
Allison had reported, that the archbishop of York had incurred the king's displeasure, by asking a limited toleration for the Catholics, and an allowance to build some churches for the exercise of their religion. For this slander against the archbishop, he was condemned in the star chamber to be fined one thousand pounds, to be committed to prison, to be bound to his good behavior during life, to be whipped, and to be set on the pillory at Westminster, and in three other towns in England. Robins, who had been an accomplice in the guilt, was condemned by a sentence equally severe.[*] Such events are rather to be considered as rare and detached incidents, collected by the severe scrutiny of historians, than as proofs of the prevailing genius of the king's administration which seems to have been more gentle and equitable than, that of most of his predecessors: there were, on the whole, only five or six such instances of rigor during the course of fifteen years, which elapsed before the meeting of the long parliament. And it is also certain, that scandal against the great, though seldom prosecuted at present, is, however, in the eye of the law, a great crime, and subjects the offender to very heavy penalties.
There are other instances of the high respect paid to the nobility and to the great in that age, when the powers of monarchy, though disputed, still maintained themselves in their pristine vigor. Clarendon[**] tells us a pleasant incident to this purpose: a waterman, belonging to a man of quality, having a squabble with a citizen about his fare, showed his badge, the crest of his master, which happened to be a swan; and thence insisted on better treatment from the citizen. But the other replied carelessly, that he did not trouble his head about that goose. For this offence, he was summoned before the marshal's court; was fined, as having opprobriously defamed the nobleman's crest, by calling the swan a goose; and was in effect reduced to beggary.
Sir Richard Granville had thought himself ill used by the earl of Suffolk in a lawsuit; and he was accused before the star chamber of having said of that nobleman, that he was a base lord. The evidence against him was somewhat lame; yet for this slight offence, insufficiently proved, he was condemned to pay a fine of eight thousand pounds; one half to the earl, the other to the king.[***]
     * Bush. vol. u. p, 269.

     ** Life of Clarendon, vol. i. p. 72.

     *** Lord Lansdown, p. 514.
Sir George Markham, following a chase where Lord Darcy's huntsman was exercising his hounds, kept closer to the dogs than was thought proper by the huntsman, who, besides other rudeness, gave him foul language, which Sir George returned with a stroke of his whip. The fellow threatened to complain to his master: the knight replied, "If his master should justify such insolence, he would serve him in the same manner;" or words to that effect. Sir George was summoned before the Star chamber, and fined ten thousand pounds: "So fine a thing was it in those days to be a lord!"—a natural reflection of Lord Lansdown's in relating this incident.[*] The people, in vindicating their liberties from the authority of the crown, threw off also the yoke of the nobility. It is proper to remark that this last incident happened early in the reign of James. The present practice of the star chamber was far from being an innovation; though the present dispositions of the people made them repine more at this servitude.
1635.
Charles had imitated the example of Elizabeth and James, and had issued proclamations forbidding the landed gentlemen and the nobility to live idly in London, and ordering them to retire to their country seats.[**] For disobedience to this edict, many were indicted by the attorney-general, and were fined in the star chamber.[***] This occasioned discontents; and the sentences were complained of as illegal. But if proclamations had authority, of which nobody pretended to doubt, must they not be put in execution? In no instance I must confess, does it more evidently appear, what confused and uncertain ideas were during that age entertained concerning the English constitution.
Ray, having exported fuller's earth, contrary to the king's proclamation, was, besides the pillory, condemned in the star chamber to a fine of two thousand pounds.[****] Like fines were levied on Terry, Eman, and others, for disobeying a proclamation which forbade the exportation of gold.[v] In order to account for the subsequent convulsions, even these incidents are not to be overlooked as frivolous or contemptible. Such severities were afterwards magnified into the greatest enormities.
There remains a proclamation of this year, prohibiting hackney coaches from standing in the street.[v*] We are told, that there were not above twenty coaches of that kind in London. There are at present near eight hundred.
     * Lord Lansdown, p. 515. This story is told differently in
     Hobart's Reports, p. 120. It there appears, that Markham was
     fined only five hundred pounds, and very deservedly; for he
     gave the lie and wrote a challenge to Lord Darcy. James was
     anxious to discourage the practice of duelling, which was
     then very prevalent.

     ** Rush. vol. ii. p. 144.

     *** Rush. vol. ii, p. 288.

     **** Rush. vol. ii. p. 348.

     v    Rush. vol. ii. p. 360.

     v*   Rush. vol. ii. p. 316.
1636.
The effects of ship money began now to appear. A formidable fleet of sixty sail, the greatest that England had ever known, was equipped under the earl of Northumberland, who had orders to attack the herring busses of the Dutch, which fished in what were called the British seas. The Dutch were content to pay thirty thousand pounds for a license during this year. They openly denied, however, the claim of dominion in the seas beyond the friths, bays, and shores; and it may be questioned whether the laws of nations warrant any further pretensions.
This year, the king sent a squadron against Sallee; and, with the assistance of the emperor of Morocco, destroyed that receptacle of pirates, by whom the English commerce, and even the English coasts, had long been infested.
1637.
Burton, a divine, and Bastwick, a physician, were tried in the star chamber for seditious and schismatical libels, and were condemned to the same punishment that had been inflicted on Prynne. Prynne himself was tried for a new offence; and, together with another fine of five thousand pounds, was condemned to lose what remained of his ears. Besides that these writers had attacked with great severity, and even an intemperate zeal, the ceremonies, rites, and government of the church, the very answers which they gave in to the court were so full of contumacy and of invectives against the prelates, that no lawyer could be prevailed on to sign them.[*] The rigors, however, which they underwent, being so unworthy men of their profession, gave general offence; and the patience, or rather alacrity, with which they suffered, increased still further the indignation of the public.[**]
     * Rush. vol. ii. p. 381, 382, etc. State Trials, vol. v. p.
     66.

     ** State Trials, vol. v. p. 80.
The severity of the star chamber, which was generally ascribed to Laud's passionate disposition, was, perhaps, in itself somewhat blamable; but will naturally, to us, appear enormous, who enjoy, in the utmost latitude, that liberty of the press, which is esteemed so necessary in every monarchy, confined by strict legal limitations. But as these limitations were not regularly fixed during the age of Charles, nor at any time before, so was this liberty totally unknown, and was generally deemed, as well as religious toleration, incompatible with all good government. No age or nation among the moderns had ever set an example of such an indulgence; and it seems unreasonable to judge of the measures embraced during one period by the maxims which prevail in another.
Burton, in his book where he complained of innovations mentioned, among others, that a certain Wednesday had been appointed for a fast, and that the fast was ordered to be celebrated without any sermons.[*] The intention, as he pretended, of that novelty was, by the example of a fast without sermons, to suppress all the Wednesday's lectures in London. It is observable, that the church of Rome and that of England, being both of them lovers of form, and ceremony, and order, are more friends to prayer than preaching; while the Puritanical sectaries, who find that the latter method of address, being directed to a numerous audience present and visible, is more inflaming and animating, have always regarded it as the chief part of divine service. Such circumstances, though minute, it may not be improper to transmit to posterity; and those who are curious of tracing the history of the human mind, may remark how far its several singularities coincide in different ages.
Certain zealots had erected themselves into a society for buying in of impropriations, and transferring them to the church; and great sums of money had been bequeathed to the society for these purposes. But it was soon observed, that the only use which they made of their funds was to establish lecturers in all the considerable churches; men who, without being subjected to Episcopal authority, employed themselves entirely in preaching and spreading the fire of Puritanism. Laud took care, by a decree which was passed in the court of exchequer, and which was much complained of, to abolish this society, and to stop their progress.[**] It was, however, still observed, that throughout England the lecturers were all of them Puritanically affected; and from them the clergymen, who contented themselves with reading prayers and homilies to the people, commonly received the reproachful appellation of "dumb dogs."
     * State Trials, vol. v. p. 74. Franklyn, p. 839.

     ** Rush. vol. ii. p. 150, 151. Whitlocke, p. 15. History of
     the Life Sufferings of Laud, p. 211, 212.
The Puritans, restrained in England, shipped themselves off for America,
and laid there the foundations of a government which possessed all
the liberty, both civil and religious, of which they found themselves
bereaved in their native country.

 But their enemies, unwilling that they
should any where enjoy ease and contentment, and dreading, perhaps, the
dangerous consequences of so disaffected a colony, prevailed on the king
to issue a proclamation, debarring these devotees access even into those
inhospitable deserts.[*] Eight ships, lying in the Thames, and ready to
sail, were detained by order of the council; and in these were embarked
Sir Arthur Hazelrig, John Hambden, John Pym, and Oliver Cromwell,[**]
who had resolved forever to abandon their native country, and fly to
the other extremity of the globe; where they might enjoy lectures
and discourses of any length or form which pleased them. The king had
afterwards full leisure to repent this exercise of his authority.
The bishop of Norwich, by rigorously insisting on uniformity, had banished many industrious tradesmen from that city, and chased them into Holland.[***] The Dutch began to be more intent on commerce than on orthodoxy; and thought that the knowledge of useful arts and obedience to the laws formed a good citizen; though attended with errors in subjects where it is not allowable for human nature to expect any positive truth or certainty.
Complaints about this time were made, that the petition of right was in some instances violated; and that, upon a commitment by the king and council, bail or releasement had been refused to Jennings, Pargiter, and Danvers.[****]
Williams, bishop of Lincoln, a man of spirit and learning, a popular prelate, and who had been lord keeper, was fined ten thousand pounds by the star chamber, committed to the Tower during the king's pleasure, and suspended from his office. This severe sentence was founded on frivolous pretences, and was more ascribed to Laud's vengeance, than to any guilt of the bishop.[v] Laud, however, had owed his first promotion to the good offices of that prelate with King James. But so implacable was the haughty primate, that he raised up a new prosecution against Williams, on the strangest pretence imaginable.
     * Rush. vol. ii. p. 409, 418.

     ** Mather's History of New England, book i. Dugdale. Bates
     Hutchinson's History of Massachusetts Bay, vol. i. p. 42.
     This last quoted author puts the fact beyond controversy.
     And it is a curious fact, as well with regard to the
     characters of the men, as of the times. Can any one doubt
     that the ensuing quarrel was almost entirety theological,
     not political? What might be expected of the populace when
     such was the character of the most enlightened Readers?

     *** May, p. 82.

     **** Rush. vol. ii. p. 414.

     v Rush. vol. ii. p. 416, etc.
In order to levy the fine above mentioned, some officers had been sent to seize all the furniture and books of his episcopal palace of Lincoln; and in rummaging the house, they found in a corner some neglected letters, which had been thrown by as useless. These letters were written by one Osbaldistone, a schoolmaster, and were directed to Williams. Mention was there made of "a little great man;" and in another passage, the same person was denominated "a little urchin." By inferences and constructions, these epithets were applied to Laud; and on no better foundation was Williams tried anew, as having received scandalous letters, and not discovering that private correspondence. For this offence, another fine of eight thousand pounds was levied on him: Osbaldistone was likewise brought to trial, and condemned to pay a fine of five thousand pounds, and to have his ears nailed to the pillory before his own school. He saved himself by flight; and left a note in his study, wherein he said, "that he was gone beyond Canterbury."[*]
These prosecutions of Williams seem to have been the most iniquitous measure pursued by the court during the time that the use of parliaments was suspended. Williams had been indebted for all his fortune to the favor of James; but having quarrelled, first with Buckingham, then with Laud, he threw himself into the country party; and with great firmness and vigor opposed all the measures of the king. A creature of the court to become its obstinate enemy, a bishop to countenance Puritans; these circumstances excited indignation, and engaged the ministers in those severe measures. Not to mention, what some writers relate, that, before the sentence was pronounced against him, Williams was offered a pardon upon his submission, which he refused to make; the court was apt to think, that so refractory a spirit must by any expedient be broken and subdued.
In a former trial which Williams underwent,[**] (for these were not the first,) there was mentioned in court a story, which, as it discovers the genius of parties, may be worth relating. Sir John Lambe urging him to prosecute the Puritans, the prelate asked what sort of people these same Puritans were. Sir John replied, "that to the world they seemed to be such as would not swear, whore, or be drunk; out they would lie, cozen, and deceive; that they would frequently hear two sermons a day, and repeat them too, and that some, times they would fast all day long." This character must be conceived to be satirical; yet it may be allowed, that that sect was more averse to such irregularities as proceed from the excess of gayety and pleasure, than to those enormities which are the most destructive of society, The former were opposite to the very genius and spirit of their religion; the latter were only a transgression of its precepts: and it was not difficult for a gloomy enthusiast to convince himself, that a strict observance of the one would atone for any violation of the other.
     * Rush. voL ii. p. 803, etc. Whittocke, p. 25.

     ** Rush. vol. ii. p. 416.
In 1632, the treasurer Portland had insisted with the vintners, that they should submit to a tax of a penny a quart upon all the wine which they retailed; but they rejected the demand, In order to punish them, a decree suddenly, without much inquiry or examination, passed in the star chamber, prohibiting them to sell or dress victuals in their houses.[*] Two years after, they were questioned for the breach of this decree; and in order to avoid punishment, they agreed to lend the king six thousand pounds. Being threatened, during the subsequent years, with fines and prosecutions, they at last compounded the matter, and submitted to pay half of that duty which was at first demanded of them.[**] It required little foresight to perceive, that the king's right of issuing proclamations must, if prosecuted, draw on a power of taxation.
     * Rash. vol. ii p. 197.

     ** Rush. vol. ii, p. 45.
Lilburne was accused before the star chamber of publishing and dispersing seditious pamphlets. He was ordered to be examined; but refused to take the oath usual in that court that he would answer interrogatories, even though they might lead him to accuse himself. For this contempt, as it was interpreted, he was condemned to be whipped, pilloried, and imprisoned. While he was whipped at the cart, and stood on the pillory, he harangued the populace, and declaimed violently against the tyranny of bishops. From his pockets also he scattered pamphlets, said to be seditious, because they attacked the hierarchy. The star chamber, which was sitting at that very time, ordered him immediately to be gagged. He ceased not, however, though both gagged and pilloried, to stamp with his foot and gesticulate, in order to show the people that, if he had it in his power, he would still harangue them. This behavior gave fresh provocation to the star chamber; and they condemned him to be imprisoned in a dungeon, and to be loaded with irons.[*] It was found difficult to break the spirits of men who placed both their honor and their conscience in suffering.
The jealousy of the church appeared in another instance less tragical. Archy, the king's fool, who by his office had the privilege of jesting on his master and the whole court, happened unluckily to try his wit upon Laud, who was too sacred a person to be played with. News having arrived from Scotland of the first commotions excited by the liturgy, Archy, seeing the primate pass by, called to him, "Who's fool now, my lord?" For this offence Archy was ordered, by sentence of the council, to have his coat pulled over his head and to be dismissed the king's service.[**]
Here is another instance of that rigorous subjection in which all men were held by Laud. Some young gentlemen of Lincoln's Inn, heated by their cups, having drunk confusion to the archbishop, were at his instigation cited before the star chamber. They applied to the earl of Dorset for protection. "Who bears witness against you?" said Dorset. "One of the drawers," they said. "Where did he stand when you were supposed to drink this health?" subjoined the earl, "He was at the door," they replied, "going out of the room." "Tush!" cried he, "the drawer must be mistaken: you drank confusion to the archbishop of Canterbury's enemies and the fellow was gone before you pronounced the last word." This hint supplied the young gentlemen with a new method of defence: and being advised by Dorset to behave with great humility and great submission to the primate, the modesty of their carriage, the ingenuity of their apology, with the patronage of that noble lord, saved them from any severer punishment than a reproof and admonition, with which they were dismissed.[***]
     * Rush. vol. ii. p. 465, 466, 467.

     ** Rush. voL ii. p. 470. Welwood, p. 278.

     *** Rush. vol. iii. p. 180.
This year, John Hambden acquired, by his spirit and courage, universal popularity throughout the nation, and has merited great renown with posterity, for the bold stand which he made in defence of the laws and liberties of his country. After the imposing of ship money, Charles, in order to discourage all opposition, had proposed this question to the judges: "Whether, in a case of necessity, for the defence of the kingdom, he might not impose this taxation; and whether he were not sole judge of the necessity." These guardians of law and liberty replied, with great complaisance, "that in a case of necessity he might impose that taxation, and that he was sole judge of the necessity."[*] Hambden had been rated at twenty shillings for an estate which he possessed in the county of Buckingham: yet, notwithstanding this declared opinion of the judges, notwithstanding the great power and sometimes rigorous maxims of the crown, notwithstanding the small prospect of relief from parliament, he resolved, rather than tamely submit to so illegal an imposition, to stand a legal prosecution, and expose himself to all the indignation of the court. The case was argued during twelve days, in the exchequer chamber, before all the judges of England; and the nation regarded, with the utmost anxiety, every circumstance of this celebrated trial. The event was easily foreseen: but the principles, and reasonings, and behavior of the parties engaged in the trial, were much canvassed and inquired into; and nothing could equal the favor paid to the one side, except the hatred which attended the other.
     * Rush. vol. ii. p. 355. Whitlocke, p. 24.
It was urged by Hambden's counsel, and by his partisans in the nation, that the plea of necessity was in vain introduced into a trial of law; since it was the nature of necessity to abolish all law, and, by irresistible violence, to dissolve all the weaker and more artificial ties of human society. Not only the prince, in cases of extreme distress, is exempted from the ordinary rules of administration: all orders of men are then levelled; and any individual may consult the public safety by any expedient which his situation enables him to employ. But to produce so violent an effect, and so hazardous to every community, an ordinary danger or difficulty is not sufficient; much less a necessity which is merely fictitious and pretended. Where the peril is urgent and extreme, it will be palpable to every member of the society; and though all ancient rules of government are in that case abrogated, men will readily, of themselves, submit to that irregular authority which is exerted for their preservation. But what is there in common between such suppositions and the present condition of the nation? England enjoys a profound peace with al her neighbors; and what is more, all her neighbors are engaged in furious and bloody wars among themselves, and by their mutual enmities further insure their tranquillity. The very writs themselves, which are issued for the levying of ship money, contradict the supposition of necessity, and pretend only that the seas are infested with pirates; a slight and temporary inconvenience, which may well await a legal supply from parliament. The writs likewise allow several months for equipping the ships; which proves a very calm and deliberate species of necessity, and one that admits of delay much beyond the forty days requisite for summoning that assembly. It is strange, too, that an extreme necessity, which is always apparent, and usually comes to a sudden crisis, should now have continued without interruption for near four years, and should have remained during so long a time invisible to the whole kingdom. And as to the pretension, that the king is sole judge of the necessity, what is this but to subject all the privileges of the nation to his arbitrary will and pleasure? To expect that the public will be convinced by such reasoning, must aggravate the general indignation, by adding to violence against men's persons, and their property, so cruel a mockery of their understanding.
In vain are precedents of ancient writs produced: these writs, when examined, are only found to require the seaports, sometimes at their own charge, sometimes at the charge of the counties, to send their ships for the defence of the nation. Even the prerogative which empowered the crown to issue such writs is abolished, and its exercise almost entirely discontinued from the time of Edward III.;[*] and all the authority which remained, or was afterwards exercised, was to press ships into the public service, to be paid for by the public.
     * State Trials, vol. v. p. 245, 255.
How wide are these precedents from a power of obliging the people, at their own charge, to build new ships, to victual and pay them, for the public; nay, to furnish money to the crown for that purpose? What security either against the further extension of this claim, or against diverting to other purposes the public money so levied? The plea of necessity would warrant any other taxation as well as that of ship money; wherever any difficulty shall occur, the administration, instead of endeavoring to elude or overcome it by gentle and prudent measures, will instantly represent it as a reason for infringing all ancient laws and institutions: and if such maxims and such practices prevail, what has become of national liberty? What authority is left to the Great Charter, to the statutes, and to the very petition of right, which in the present reign had been so solemnly enacted by the concurrence of the whole legislature?
The defenceless condition of the kingdom while unprovided with a navy; the inability of the king, from his established revenues, with the utmost care and frugality, to equip and maintain one; the impossibility of obtaining, on reasonable terms, any voluntary supply from parliament; all these are reasons of state, not topics of law. If these reasons appear to the king so urgent as to dispense with the legal rules of government, let him enforce his edicts by his court of star chamber, the proper instrument of irregular and absolute power, not prostitute the character of his judges by a decree which is not, and cannot possibly be legal. By this means, the boundaries, at least, will be kept more distinct between ordinary law and extraordinary exertions of prerogative; and men will know, that the national constitution is only suspended during a present and difficult emergence, but has not under gone a total and fundamental alteration.
Notwithstanding these reasons, the prejudiced judges, four[*] excepted, gave sentence in favor of the crown. Hambden, however, obtained by the trial the end for which he had so generously sacrificed his safety and his quiet: the people were roused from their lethargy, and became sensible of the danger to which their liberties were exposed.
     * See State Trials, article, Ship Money, which contains the
     speeches of four judges in favor of Hambden.
These national questions were canvassed in every company; and the more they were examined, the more evidently did it appear to many, that liberty was totally subverted, and an unusual and arbitrary authority exercised over the kingdom. Slavish principles they said, concur with illegal practices; ecclesiastical tyranny gives aid to civil usurpation; iniquitous taxes are supported by arbitrary punishments; and all the privileges of the nation, transmitted through so many ages, secured by so many laws and purchased by the blood of so many heroes and patriots, now lie prostrate at the feet of the monarch. What though public peace and national industry increased the commerce and opulence of the kingdom? This advantage was temporary, and due alone, not to any encouragement given by the crown, but to the spirit of the English, the remains of their ancient freedom. What though the personal character of the king amidst all his misguided counsels, might merit indulgence, or even praise? He was but one man; and the privileges of the people, the inheritance of millions, were too valuable to be sacrificed to his prejudices and mistakes. Such, or more severe, were the sentiments promoted by a great party in the nation: no excuse on the king's part, or alleviation, how reasonable soever, could be hearkened to or admitted: and to redress these grievances, a parliament was impatiently longed for; or any other incident, however calamitous, that might secure the people against these oppressions which they felt, or the greater ills which they apprehended from the combined encroachments of church and state.




CHAPTER LIII





CHARLES I.

1637.
The grievances under which the English labored when considered in themselves, without regard to the constitution, scarcely deserve the name; nor were they either burdensome on the people's properties, or anywise shocking to the natural humanity of mankind. Even the imposition of ship money, independent of the consequences, was a great and evident advantage to the public, by the judicious use which the king made of the money levied by that expedient. And though it was justly apprehended, that such precedents, if patiently submitted to, would end in a total disuse of parliaments, and in the establishment of arbitrary authority, Charles dreaded no opposition from the people, who are not commonly much affected with consequences, and require some striking motive to engage them in a resistance of established government. All ecclesiastical affairs were settled by law and uninterrupted precedent; and the church was become a considerable barrier to the power, both legal and illegal, of the crown. Peace too, industry, commerce, opulence; nay, even justice and lenity of administration, notwithstanding some very few exceptions; all these were enjoyed by the people; and every other blessing of government, except liberty, or rather the present exercise of liberty and its proper security.[*] It seemed probable, therefore, that affairs might long have continued on the same footing in England, had it not been for the neighborhood of Scotland; a country more turbulent, and less disposed to submission and obedience. It was thence the commotions first arose; and is therefore time for us to return thither, and to give an account of the state of affairs in that kingdom.
     * Clarendon, p. 74, 75. May, p. 18. Warwick, p. 62.
Though the pacific, and not unskilful government of James, and the great authority which he had acquired, had much allayed the feuds among the great families, and had established law and order throughout the kingdom, the Scottish nobility were still possessed of the chief power and influence over the people. Their property was extensive; their hereditary jurisdictions and the feudal tenures increased their authority; and the attachment of the gentry to the heads of families established a kind of voluntary servitude under the chieftains. Besides that long absence had much loosened the King's connections with the nobility, who resided chiefly at their country seats, they were in general, at this time, though from slight causes, much disgusted with the court. Charles, from the natural piety or superstition of his temper, was extremely attached to the ecclesiastics; and as it is natural for men to persuade themselves that their interest coincides with their inclination, he had established it as a fixed maxim of policy, to increase the power and authority of that order. The prelates, he thought, established regularity and discipline among the clergy; the clergy inculcated obedience and loyalty among the people; and as that rank of men had no separate authority and no dependence but on the crown, the royal power, it would seem, might with the greater safety be intrusted in their hands. Many of the prelates, therefore, were raised to the chief dignities of the state;[*] Spotswood, archbishop of St. Andrews, was created chancellor: nine of the bishops were privy councillors: the bishop of Ross aspired to the office of treasurer: some of the prelates possessed places in the exchequer: and it was even endeavored to revive the first institution of the college of justice, and to share equally between the clergy and laity the whole judicial authority.[**]
     * Rush. vol. ii. p. 386. May, p. 29.

     ** Guthry's Memoirs, p. 14 Burnet's Mem. p. 29, 30.
These advantages, possessed by the church, and which the bishops did not always enjoy with suitable modesty, disgusted the haughty nobility, who, deeming themselves much superior in rank and quality to this new order of men, were displeased to find themselves inferior in power and influence. Interest joined itself to ambition, and begat a jealousy lest the episcopal sees, which at the reformation had been pillaged by the nobles, should again be enriched at the expense of that order. By a most useful and beneficial law, the impropriations had already been ravished from the great men: competent salaries had been assigned to the impoverished clergy from the tithes of each parish: and what remained, the proprietor of the land was empowered to purchase at a low valuation.[*] The king likewise, warranted by ancient law and practice, had declared for a general resumption of all crown lands alienated by his predecessors; and though he took no step towards the execution of this project, the very pretension to such power had excited jealousy and discontent.[**]
Notwithstanding the tender regard which Charles bore to the whole church, he had been able in Scotland to acquire only the affection of the superior rank among the clergy. The ministers in general equalled, if not exceeded, the nobility in their prejudices against the court, against the prelates, and against episcopal authority.[***] Though the establishment of the hierarchy might seem advantageous to the inferior clergy, both as it erected dignities to which all of them might aspire, and as it bestowed a lustre on the whole body, and allured men of family into it, these views had no influence on the Scottish ecclesiastics. In the present disposition of men's minds, there was another circumstance which drew consideration, and counterbalanced power and riches, the usual foundations of distinction among men; and that was the fervor of piety, and the rhetoric, however barbarous, of religious lectures and discourses. Checked by the prelates in the license of preaching, the clergy regarded episcopal jurisdiction both as a tyranny and a usurpation, and maintained a parity among ecclesiastics to be a divine privilege, which no human law could alter or infringe. While such ideas prevailed, the most moderate exercise of authority would have given disgust; much more, that extensive power which the king's indulgence encouraged the prelates to assume. The jurisdiction of presbyteries, synods, and other democratical courts, was in a manner abolished by the bishops; and the general assembly itself had not been summoned for several years.[****] A new oath was arbitrarily imposed on intrants, by which they swore to observe the articles of Perth, and submit to the liturgy and canons. And in a word, the whole system of church government, during a course of thirty years, had been changed by means of the innovations introduced by James and Charles.
     * King's Declaration, p. 7. Franklyn, p, 611.

     ** King's Declaration, p. 6.

     *** Burnet's Mem., p. 29, 30.

     **** May, p. 29.
The people, under the influence of the nobility and clergy, could not fail to partake of the discontents which prevailed among these two orders; and where real grounds of complaint were wanting, they greedily laid hold of imaginary ones. The same horror against Popery with which the English Puritans were possessed, was observable among the populace in Scotland; and among these, as being more uncultivated and uncivilized, seemed rather to be inflamed into a higher degree of ferocity. The genius of religion which prevailed in the court and among the prelates, was of an opposite nature; and having some affinity to the Romish worship, led them to mollify, as much as possible, these severe prejudices, and to speak of the Catholics in more charitable language, and with more reconciling expressions. From this foundation a panic fear of Popery was easily raised; and every new ceremony or ornament introduced into divine service, was part of that great mystery of iniquity, which, from the encouragement of the king and the bishops, was to overspread the nation.[*] The few innovations which James had made, were considered as preparatives to this grand design; and the further alterations attempted by Charles, were represented as a plain declaration of his intentions. Through the whole course of this reign, nothing had more fatal influence, in both kingdoms, than this groundless apprehension, which with so much industry was propagated, and with so much credulity was embraced, by all ranks of men.
     * Burnet's Mem. p. 29, 30, 31.
Amidst these dangerous complaints and terrors of religious innovation, the civil and ecclesiastical liberties of the nation were imagined, and with some reason, not to be altogether free from invasion.
The establishment of the high commission by James, without any authority of law, seemed a considerable encroachment of the crown, and erected the most dangerous and arbitrary of all courts, by a method equally dangerous and arbitrary. All the steps towards the settlement of Episcopacy had indeed been taken with consent of parliament: the articles of Perth were confirmed in 1621: in 1633, the king had obtained a general ratification of every ecclesiastical establishment: but these laws had less authority with the nation, as they were known to have passed contrary to the sentiments even of those who voted for them, and were in reality extorted by the authority and importunity of the sovereign. The means, however, which both James and Charles had employed, in order to influence the parliament, were entirely regular, and no reasonable pretence had been afforded for representing these laws as null or invalid.
But there prevailed among the greater part of the nation another principle, of the most important and most dangerous nature; and which, if admitted, destroyed entirely the validity of all such statutes. The ecclesiastical authority was supposed totally independent of the civil; and no act of parliament, nothing but the consent of the church itself, was represented as sufficient ground for the introduction of any change in religious worship or discipline. And though James had obtained the vote of assemblies for receiving Episcopacy and his new rites; it must be confessed, that such irregularities had prevailed in constituting these ecclesiastical courts, and such violence in conducting them, that there were some grounds for denying the authority of all their acts. Charles, sensible that an extorted consent, attended with such invidious circumstances, would rather be prejudicial to his measures, had wholly laid aside the use of assemblies, and was resolved, in conjunction with the bishops, to govern the church by an authority to which he thought himself fully entitled, and which he believed inherent in the crown.
The king's great aim was to complete the work so happily begun by his father; to establish discipline upon a regular system of canons, to introduce a liturgy into public worship, and to render the ecclesiastical government of all his kingdoms regular and uniform. Some views of policy might move him to this undertaking; but his chief motives were derived from principles of zeal and conscience.
The canons for establishing ecclesiastical jurisdiction were promulgated in 1635; and were received by the nation, though without much appearing opposition, yet with great inward apprehension and discontent. Men felt displeasure at seeing the royal authority highly exalted by them, and represented as absolute and uncontrollable. They saw these speculative principles reduced to practice, and a whole body of ecclesiastical laws established without any previous consent either of church or state.[*]
     * Clarendon, vol. i. p. 106.
They dreaded lest, by a parity of reason, like arbitrary authority, from like pretences and principles, would be assumed in civil matters: they remarked, that the delicate boundaries which separate church and state were already passed, and many civil ordinances established by the canons, under color of ecclesiastical institutions: and they were apt to deride the negligence with which these important edicts had been compiled, when they found that the new liturgy or service-book was every where, under severe penalties, enjoined by them, though it had not yet been composed or published.[*] It was, however, soon expected; and in the reception of it, as the people are always most affected by what is external and exposed to the senses, it was apprehended that the chief difficulty would consist.
The liturgy which the king, from his own authority, imposed on Scotland, was copied from that of England: but, lest a servile imitation might shock the pride of his ancient kingdom, a few alterations, in order to save appearances, were made in it; and in that shape it was transmitted to the bishops at Edinburgh.[**] But the Scots had universally entertained a notion, that, though riches and worldly glory had been shared out to them with a sparing hand, they could boast of spiritual treasures more abundant and more genuine than were enjoyed by any nation under heaven. Even their southern neighbors, they thought, though separated from Rome, still retained a great tincture of the primitive pollution; and their liturgy was represented as a species of mass, though with some less show and embroidery.[***] Great prejudices, therefore, were entertained against it, even considered in itself; much more when regarded as a preparative, which was soon to introduce into Scotland all the abominations of Popery. And as the very few alterations which distinguished the new liturgy from the English, seemed to approach nearer to the doctrine of the real presence, this circumstance was deemed an undoubted confirmation of every suspicion with which the people were possessed.[****]
     * Clarendon, vol. i. p. 105.

     ** King's Decl. p. 18. May, p. 32.

     *** King's Decl. p. 20.

     **** Burnet's Mem. p. *8*1. Rush. vol. ii. p. 396. May, p.
     31.
Easter-day was, by proclamation, appointed for the first reading of the service in Edinburgh: but in order to judge more surely of men's dispositions, the council delayed the matter till the twenty-third of July; and they even gave notice, the Sunday before, of their intention to commence the use of the new liturgy. As no considerable symptoms of discontent appeared, they thought that they might safely proceed in their purpose; and accordingly, in the cathedral church of St. Giles, the dean of Edinburgh, arrayed in his surplice, began the service; the bishop himself and many of the privy council being present. But no sooner had the dean opened the book than a multitude of the meanest sort, most of them women, clapping their hands, cursing, and crying out, "A pope, a pope! Antichrist! stone him!" raised such a tumult that it was impossible to proceed with the service. The bishop, mounting the pulpit in order to appease the populace, had a stool thrown at him; the council was insulted: and it was with difficulty that the magistrates were able, partly by authority, partly by force, to expel the rabble, and to shut the doors against them. The tumult, however, still continued without: stones were thrown at the doors and windows: and when the service was ended, the bishop, going home, was attacked, and narrowly escaped from the hands of the enraged multitude. In the afternoon, the privy seal, because he carried the bishop in his coach, was so pelted with stones, and hooted at with execrations, and pressed upon by the eager populace, that if his servants with drawn swords had not kept them off, the bishop's life had been exposed to the utmost danger.[*]
Though it was violently suspected that the low populace, who alone appeared, had been instigated by some of higher condition, yet no proof of it could be produced; and every one spake with disapprobation of the licentiousness of the giddy multitude.[**] It was not thought safe, however, to hazard a new insult by any new attempt to read the liturgy; and the people seemed for the time to be appeased and satisfied. But it being known that the king still persevered in his intentions of imposing that mode of worship, men fortified themselves still further in their prejudices against it; and great multitudes resorted to Edinburgh, in order to oppose the introduction of so hated a novelty.[***]
     * King's Decl. p. 22. Clarendon, vol. i. p. 108. Rush, vol.
     ii. p. 387.

     ** King's Decl. p. 23, 24, 25. Rush. vol. ii. p. 388.

     *** King's Decl. p. 26, 30. Clarendon, vol. i. p. 109.
It was not long before they broke, out in the most violent disorder. The bishop of Galloway was attacked in the streets, and chased into the chamber where the privy council was sitting. The council itself was besieged and violently attacked: the town council met with the same fate: and nothing could have saved the lives of all of them, but their application to some popular lords, who protected them, and dispersed the multitude. In this sedition, the actors were of some better condition than in the former; though nobody of rank seemed as yet to countenance them.[*]
All men, however, began to unice and to encourage each other in opposition to the religious innovations introduced into the kingdom. Petitions to the council were signed and presented by persons of the highest quality: the women took part, and, as was usual, with violence: the clergy every where loudly declaimed against Popery and the liturgy, which they represented as the same: the pulpits resounded with vehement invectives against Antichrist: and the populace, who first opposed the service, was often compared to Balaam's ass, an animal in itself stupid and senseless, but whose mouth had been opened by the Lord, to the admiration of the whole world. In short, fanaticism mingling with faction, private interest with the spirit of liberty, symptoms appeared on all hands of the most dangerous insurrection and disorder.
     * King's Decl. p. 35, 36 etc. Rush. vol. ii. p. 404.
The primate, a man of wisdom and prudence, who was all along averse to the introduction of the liturgy, represented to the king the state of the nation: the earl of Traquaire, the treasurer, set out for London, in order to lay the matter more fully before him: every circumstance, whether the condition of England or of Scotland were considered, should have engaged him to desist from so hazardous an attempt: yet was Charles inflexible. In his whole conduct of this affair, there appear no marks of the good sense with which he was endowed: a lively instance of that species of character so frequently to be met with; where there are found parts and judgment in every discourse and opinion; in many actions, indiscretion and imprudence. Men's views of things are the result of their understanding alone: their conduct is regulated by their understanding, their temper, and their passions.
1638.
To so violent a combination of a whole kingdom, Charles had nothing to oppose but a proclamation; in which he pardoned all past offences, and exhorted the people to be more obedient for the future, and to submit peaceably to the use of the liturgy. This proclamation was instantly encountered with a public protestation, presented by the earl of Hume and Lindesey: and this was the first time that men of quality had appeared in any violent act of opposition.[*] But this proved a crisis. The insurrection, which had been advancing by a gradual and slow progress, now blazed up at once. No disorder, however, attended it. On the contrary, a new order immediately took place. Four "tables," as they were called, were formed in Edinburgh. One consisted of nobility, another of gentry, a third of ministers, a fourth of burgesses. The table of gentry was divided into many subordinate tables, according to their different counties. In the hands of the four tables the whole authority of the kingdom was placed. Orders were issued by them, and every where obeyed with the utmost regularity.[**] And among the first acts of their government was the production of the "Covenant."
This famous covenant consisted first of a renunciation of Popery, formerly signed by James in his youth, and composed of many invectives, fitted to inflame the minds of men against their fellow-creatures, whom Heaven has enjoined them to cherish and to love. There followed a bond of union, by which the subscribers obliged themselves to resist religious innovations, and to defend each other against all opposition whatsoever: and all this, for the greater glory of God, and the greater honor and advantage of their king and country.[***] The people, without distinction of rank or condition, of age or sex, flocked to the subscription of this covenant: few in their judgment disapproved of it; and still fewer durst openly condemn it. The king's ministers and counsellors themselves were most of them seized by the general contagion. And none but rebels to God, and traitors to their country, it was thought, would withdraw themselves from so salutary and so pious a combination.
     * King's Decl. p. 47, 48, etc. Guthry, p. 28. May, p. 37.

     ** Clarendon, vol. i. p. 111. Rush. vol. ii. p. 734.

     *** King's Decl. p. 57, 58. Rush. vol. ii. p. 734. May, p.
     38.
The treacherous, the cruel, the unrelenting Philip, accompanied with all the terrors of a Spanish inquisition, was scarcely, during the preceding century, opposed in the Low Countries with more determined fury, than was now, by the Scots, the mild, the humane Charles, attended with his inoffensive liturgy.
The king began to apprehend the consequences. He sent the marquis of Hamilton, as commissioner, with authority to treat with the Covenanters. He required the covenant to be renounced and recalled: and he thought, that on his part he had made very satisfactory concessions, when he offered to suspend the canons and the liturgy, till in a fair and legal way they could be received; and so to model the high commission, that it should no longer give offence to his subjects.[*] Such general declarations could not well give content to any, much less to those who carried so much higher their pretensions. The Covenanters found themselves seconded by the zeal of the whole nation. Above sixty thousand people were assembled in a tumultuous manner in Edinburgh and the neighborhood. Charles possessed no regular forces in either of his kingdoms. And the discontents in England, though secret, were believed so violent, that the king, it was thought, would find it very difficult to employ in such a cause the power of that kingdom. The more, therefore, the popular leaders in Scotland considered their situation, the less apprehension did they entertain of royal power, and the more rigorously did they insist on entire satisfaction. In answer to Hamilton's demand of renouncing the covenant, they plainly told him that they would sooner renounce their baptism.[**] And the clergy invited the commissioner himself to subscribe it, by informing him "with what peace and comfort it had filled the hearts of all God's people; what resolutions and beginnings of reformation of manners were sensibly perceived in all parts of the nation, above any measure they had ever before found or could have expected; how great glory the Lord had received thereby; and what confidence they had that God would make Scotland a blessed kingdom."[***]
Hamilton returned to London; made another fruitless journey, with new concessions, to Edinburgh; returned again to London; and was immediately sent back with still more satisfactory concessions. The king was now willing entirely to abolish the canons, the liturgy, and the high commission court. He was even resolved to limit extremely the power of the bishops, and was content if on any terms he could retain that order in the church of Scotland.[****] And to insure all these gracious offers, he gave Hamilton authority to summon first an assembly, then a parliament, where every national grievance might be redressed and remedied.
     * Rush, vol. ii. p. 137, etc.

     ** King's Decl. p. 87.

     *** King's Decl. p. 88. Rush, vol. ii. p. 751.

     **** King's Decl. p. 137. Rush, vol. ii. p. 762.
These successive concessions of the king, which yet came still short of the rising demands of the malecontents, discovered his own weakness, encouraged their insolence, and gave no satisfaction. The offer, however, of an assembly and a parliament, in which they expected to be entirely masters, was willingly embraced by the Covenanters.
Charles, perceiving what advantage his enemies had reaped from their covenant, resolved to have a covenant on his side; and he ordered one to be drawn up for that purpose. It consisted of the same violent renunciation of Popery above mentioned; which, though the king did not approve of it, he thought it safest to adopt, in order to remove all the suspicions entertained against him. As the Covenanters, in their bond of mutual defence against all opposition, had been careful not to except the king, Charles had formed a bond, which was annexed to this renunciation, and which expressed the duty and loyalty of the subscribers to his majesty.[*] But the Covenanters, perceiving that this new covenant was only meant to weaken and divide them, received it with the utmost scorn and detestation. And without delay they proceeded to model the future assembly, from which such great achievments were expected.[**]
The genius of that religion which prevailed in Scotland, and which every day was secretly gaining ground in England, was far front inculcating deference and submission to the ecclesiastics, merely as such; or rather, by nourishing in every individual the highest raptures and ecstasies of devotion, it consecrated, in a manner, every individual, and in his own eyes bestowed a character on him much superior to what forms and ceremonious institutions could alone confer. The clergy of Scotland, though such tumult was excited about religious worship and discipline, were both poor and in small numbers; nor are they in general to be considered, at least in the beginning, as the ringleaders of the sedition which was raised on their account. On the contrary, the laity, apprehending, from several instances which occurred, a spirit of moderation in that order, resolved to domineer entirely in the assembly which was summoned, and to hurry on the ecclesiastics by the same furious zeal with which they were themselves transported.[***]
     * King's Decl. p. 140, etc.

     ** Rush. vol. ii. p. 772.

     *** King's Decl. p. 188, 189. Rush. voL ii. p. 761.
It had been usual, before the establishment of prelacy, for each presbytery to send to the assembly, besides two or three ministers, one lay commissioner;[*] and, as all the boroughs and universities sent likewise commissioners, the lay members in that ecclesiastical court nearly equalled the ecclesiastics. Not only this institution, which James, apprehensive of zeal in the laity, had abolished, was now revived by the Covenanters; they also introduced an innovation, which served still further to reduce the clergy to subjection. By an edict of the tables, whose authority was supreme, an elder from each parish was ordered to attend the presbytery, and to give his vote in the choice both of the commissioners and ministers who should be deputed to the assembly. As it is not usual for the ministers, who are put in the list of candidates, to claim a vote, all the elections by that means fell into the hands of the laity: the most furious of all ranks were chosen: and the more to overawe the clergy, a new device was fallen upon, of choosing to every commissioner four or five lay assessors, who, though they could have no vote, might yet interpose with their advice and authority in the assembly.[**]
The assembly met at Glasgow; and, besides a great concourse of the people, all the nobility and gentry of any family or interest were present, either as members, assessors, or spectators; and it was apparent that the resolutions taken by the Covenanters could here meet with no manner of opposition. A firm determination had been entered into of utterly abolishing episcopacy; and as a preparative to it, there was laid before the presbytery of Edinburgh, and solemnly read in all the churches of the kingdom, an accusation against the bishops, as guilty, all of them, of heresy, simony, bribery, perjury, cheating, incest, adultery, fornication, common swearing, drunkenness, gaming, breach of the Sabbath, and every other crime that had occurred to the accusers.[***] The bishops sent a protest, declining the authority of the assembly: the commissioner, too, protested against the court, as illegally constituted and elected; and, in his majesty's name, dissolved it. This measure was foreseen, and little regarded. The court still continued to sit, and to finish their business.[****]
     * A presbytery in Scotland is an inferior ecclesiastical
     court, the same that was afterwards called a classis in
     England, and is composed of the clergy of the neighboring
     parishes, to the number commonly of between twelve and
     twenty.

     ** King's Decl. p. 190, 191, 290. Guthry, p. 39, etc.

     *** King's Decl. p. 218. Rush. vol. ii p. 787.

     **** May, p. 44.
All the acts of assembly, since the accession of James to the crown of England, were, upon pretty reasonable grounds, declared null and invalid. The acts of parliament which affected ecclesiastical affairs were supposed, on that very account, to have no manner of authority. And thus episcopacy, the high commission, the articles of Perth, the canons, and the liturgy, were abolished and declared unlawful; and the whole fabric which Jamas and Charles, in a long course of years, had been rearing with so much care and policy, fell at once to the ground.
1639.
The covenant, likewise, was ordered to be signed by every one, under pain of excommunication.[*]
The independency of the ecclesiastical upon the civil power, was the old Presbyterian principle, which had been zealously adopted at the reformation, and which, though James and Charles had obliged the church publicly to disclaim it, had secretly been adhered to by all ranks of people. It was commonly asked whether Christ or the king were superior; and as the answer seemed obvious, it was inferred, that the assembly, being Christ's council, was superior in all spiritual matters to the parliament, which was only the king's. But as the Covenanters were sensible that this consequence, though it seemed to them irrefragable, would not be assented to by the king, it became necessary to maintain their religious tenets by military force, and not to trust entirely to supernatural assistance, of which, however, they held themselves well assured. They cast their eyes on all sides, abroad and at home, whence ever they could expect any aid or support.
After France and Holland had entered into a league against Spain, and framed a treaty of partition, by which they were to conquer and to divide between them the Low Country provinces, England was invited to preserve a neutrality between the contending parties, while the French and Dutch should attack the maritime towns of Flanders. But the king replied to D'Estrades, the French ambassador, who opened the proposal, that he had a squadron ready, and would cross the seas, if necessary, with an army of fifteen thousand men, in order to prevent these projected conquests.[**] This answer, which proves that Charles though he expressed his mind with an imprudent candor, had at last acquired a just idea of national interest irritated Cardinal Richelieu; and, in revenge, that politic and enterprising minister carefully fomented the first commotions in Scotland, and secretly supplied the Covenanters with money and arms, in order to encourage them in their opposition against their sovereign.
     * King's Decl. p. 317.

     ** Mem. D'Estrades, vol. i.
But the chief resource of the Scottish malecontents was in themselves, and in their own vigor and abilities. No regular established commonwealth could take juster measures, or execute them with greater promptitude, than did this tumultuous combination, inflamed with bigotry for religious trifles, and faction without a reasonable object. The whole kingdom was in a manner engaged, and the men of greatest abilities soon acquired the ascendant, which their family interest enabled them to maintain. The earl of Argyle, though he long seemed to temporize, had at last embraced the covenant; and he became the chief leader of that party; a man equally supple and inflexible, cautious and determined, and entirely qualified to make a figure during a factious and turbulent period. The earls of Rothes, Cassils, Montrose, Lothian, the lords Lindesey, Louden, Yester, Balmerino, distinguished themselves in that party. Many Scotch officers had acquired reputation in the German wars, particularly under Gustavus; and these were invited over to assist their country in her present necessity. The command was intrusted to Lesley, a soldier of experience and abilities. Forces were regularly enlisted and disciplined. Arms were commissioned and imported from foreign countries. A few castles which belonged to the king, being unprovided with victuals, ammunition, and garrisons, were soon seized. And the whole country, except a small part, where the marquis of Huntley still adhered to the king, being in the hands of the Covenanters, was in a very little time put in a tolerable posture of defence.[*]
The fortifications of Leith were begun and carried on with great rapidity. Besides the inferior sort, and those who labored for pay, incredible numbers of volunteers, even noblemen and gentlemen, put their hand to the work, and deemed the most abject employment to be dignified by the sanctity of the cause. Women, too, of rank and condition, forgetting the delicacy of their sex and the decorum of their character were intermingled with the lowest rabble, and carried on their shoulders the rubbish requisite for completing the fortifications.[**]
     * May, p. 49.

     ** Guthry's Memoirs, p. 46.
We must not omit another auxiliary of the Covenanters and no inconsiderable one; a prophetess, who was much followed and admired by all ranks of people. Her name Michelson, a woman full of whimseys partly hysterical, partly religious; and inflamed with a zealous concern for the ecclesiastical discipline of the Presbyterians. She spoke at certain times only, and had often interruptions of days and weeks: but when she began to renew her ecstasies, warning of the happy event was conveyed over the whole country; thousands crowded about her house; and every word which she uttered was received with veneration, as the most sacred oracles. The covenant was her perpetual theme. The true, genuine covenant, she said, was ratified in heaven: the king's covenant was an invention of Satan: when she spoke of Christ, she usually gave him the name of the Covenanting Jesus. Rollo, a popular preacher, and zealous Covenanter, was her great favorite, and paid her, on his part, no less veneration. Being desired by the spectators to pray with her, and speak to her, he answered, "that he durst not; and that it would be ill manners in him to speak while his master, Christ, was speaking in her."[*]
     * King's Declaration at large, p. 227. Burnet's Memoirs of
     Hamilton.
Charles had agreed to reduce episcopal authority so much, that it would no longer have been of any service to support the crown; and this sacrifice of his own interests he was willing to make, in order to attain public peace and tranquillity. But he could not consent entirely to abolish an order which he thought as essential to the being of a Christian church, as his Scottish subjects deemed it incompatible with that sacred institution. This narrowness of mind, if we would be impartial, we must either blame or excuse equally on both sides; and thereby anticipate, by a little reflection, that judgment which time, by introducing new subjects of controversy, will undoubtedly render quite familiar to posterity.
So great was Charles's aversion to violent and sanguinary measures, and so strong his affection to his native kingdom that it is probable the contest in his breast would be nearly equal between these laudable passions and his attachment to the hierarchy. The latter affection, however, prevailed for the time, and made him hasten those military preparations which he had projected for subduing the refractory spirit of the Scottish nation. By regular economy, he had not only paid all the debts contracted during the Spanish and French wars, but had amassed a sum of two hundred thousand pounds, which he reserved for any sudden exigency. The queen had great interest with the Catholics, both from the sympathy of religion, and from the favors and indulgences which she had been able to procure to them. She now employed her credit, and persuaded them that it was reasonable to give large contributions, as a mark of their duty to the king, during this urgent necessity.[*] A considerable supply was obtained by this means; to the great scandal of the Puritans, who were offended at seeing the king on such good terms with the Papists, and repined that others should give what they themselves were disposed to refuse him.
Charles's fleet was formidable and well supplied. Having put five thousand land forces on board, he intrusted it to the marquis of Hamilton, who had orders to sail to the Frith of Forth, and to cause a diversion in the forces of the malecontents. An army was levied of near twenty thousand foot, and above three thousand horse; and was put under the command of the earl of Arundel, a nobleman of great family, but celebrated neither for military nor political abilities. The earl of Essex, a man of strict honor, and extremely popular, especially among the soldiery, was appointed lieutenant-general: the earl of Holland was general of the horse. The king himself joined the army, and he summoned all the peers of England to attend him. The whole had the appearance of a splendid court, rather than of a military armament; and in this situation, carrying more show than real force with it, the camp arrived at Berwick.[**]
The Scottish army was as numerous as that of the king, but inferior in cavalry. The officers had more reputation and experience; and the soldiers, though undisciplined and ill armed, were animated, as well by the national aversion to England, and the dread of becoming a province to their old enemy, as by an unsurmountable fervor of religion. The pulpits had extremely assisted the officers in levying recruits, and had thundered out anathemas against all those "who went not out to assist the Lord against the mighty."[***] Yet so prudent were the leaders of the malecontents, that they immediately sent submissive messages to the king, and craved to be admitted to a treaty.
     * Rush. vol. iii. p. 1329. Franklyn, p. 767.

     ** Clarendon, vol. i p. 115, 116, 117.

     *** Burnet's Memoirs of Hamilton.
Charles knew that the force of the Covenanters was considerable, their spirits high, their zeal furious; and that, as they were not yet daunted by any ill success, no reasonable terms could be expected from them. With regard therefore to a treaty, great difficulties occurred on both sides. Should he submit to the pretensions of the malecontents, (besides that the prelacy must be sacrificed to their religious prejudices,) such a check would be given to royal authority, which had very lately, and with much difficulty, been thoroughly established in Scotland, that he must expect ever after to retain in that kingdom no more than the appearance of majesty. The great men, having proved by so sensible a trial the impotence of law and prerogative, would return to their former licentiousness: the preachers would retain their innate arrogance: and the people, unprotected by justice, would recognize no other authority than that which they found to domineer over them. England also, it was much to be feared, would imitate so bad an example; and having already a strong propensity towards republican and Puritanical factions, would expect, by the same seditious practices, to attain the same indulgence. To advance so far, without bringing the rebels to a total submission, at least to reasonable concessions, was to promise them, in all future time, an impunity for rebellion.
On the other hand, Charles considered that Scotland was never before, under any of his ancestors, so united and so animated in its own defence; yet had often been able to foil or elude the force of England, combined heartily in one cause, and inured by long practice to the use of arms. How much greater difficulty should he find, at present, to subdue by violence a people inflamed with religious prejudices; while he could only oppose to them a nation enervated by long peace, and lukewarm in his service; or, what was more to be dreaded, many of them engaged in the same party with the rebels?[*]
     * Rush. vol. iii. p. 936.
Should the war be only protracted beyond a campaign, (and who could expect to finish it in that period?) his treasures would fail him; and for supply he must have recourse to an English parliament, which, by fatal experience, he had ever found more ready to encroach on the prerogatives, than to supply the necessities of the crown. And what if he receive a defeat from the rebel army? This misfortune was far from being impossible. They were engaged in a national cause, and strongly actuated by mistaken principles. His army was retained entirely by pay, and looked on the quarrel with the same indifference which naturally belongs to mercenary troops without possessing the discipline by which such troops are commonly distinguished. And the consequences of a defeat, while Scotland was enraged and England discontented, were so dreadful, that no motive should persuade him to hazard it.
It is evident, that Charles had fallen into such a situation, that whichever side he embraced, his errors must be dangerous. No wonder, therefore, he was in great perplexity. But he did worse than embrace the worst side; for, properly speaking, he embraced no side at all. He concluded a sudden pacification, in which it was stipulated, that he should withdraw his fleet and army; that within eight and forty hours the Scots should dismiss their forces; that the king's forts should be restored to him; his authority be acknowledged; and a general assembly and a parliament be immediately summoned, in order to compose all differences.[*] What were the reasons which engaged the king to admit such strange articles of peace, it is in vain to inquire; for there scarcely could be any. The causes of that event may admit of a more easy explication.
     * Rush vol. iii. p. 945.
The malecontents had been very industrious in representing to the English the grievances under which Scotland labored, and the ill counsels which had been suggested to their sovereign. Their liberties, they said, were invaded; the prerogatives of the crown extended beyond all former precedent; illegal courts erected; the hierarchy exalted at the expense of national privileges; and so many new superstitions introduced by the haughty, tyrannical prelates, as begat a just suspicion that a project was seriously formed for the restoration of Popery. The king's conduct, surely, in Scotland, had been in every thing, except in establishing the ecclesiastical canons, more legal than in England; yet was there such a general resemblance in the complaints of both kingdoms, that the English readily assented to all the representations of the Scottish malecontents, and believed that nation to have been driven by oppression into the violent counsels which they had embraced. So far, therefore, from being willing to second the king in subduing the free spirit of the Scots, they rather pitied that unhappy people, who had been pushed to those extremities; and they thought, that the example of such neighbors, as well as their assistance, might some time be advantageous to England, and encourage her to recover, by a vigorous effort, her violated laws and liberties. The gentry and nobility, who, without attachment to the court, without command in the army, attended in great numbers the English camp, greedily seized, and propagated, and gave authority to these sentiments: a retreat, very little honorable, which the earl of Holland, with a considerable detachment of the English forces, had made before a detachment of the Scottish, caused all these humors to blaze up at once: and the king, whose character was not sufficiently vigorous or decisive, and who was apt from facility to embrace hasty counsels, suddenly assented to a measure which was recommended by all about him, and which favored his natural propension towards the misguided subjects of his native kingdom.[*]
Charles, having so far advanced in pacific measures, ought, with a steady resolution, to have prosecuted them, and have submitted to every tolerable condition demanded by the assembly and parliament; nor should he have recommenced hostilities, but on account of such enormous and unexpected pretensions as would have justified his cause, if possible, to the whole English nation. So far, indeed, he adopted this plan, that he agreed, not only to confirm his former concessions, of abrogating the canons, the liturgy, the high commission, and the articles of Perth, but also to abolish the order itself of bishops, for which he had so zealously contended.[**] But this concession was gained by the utmost violence which he could impose on his disposition and prejudices: he even secretly retained an intention of seizing favorable opportunities, in order to: recover the ground which he had lost.[***] And one step farther he could not prevail with himself to advance. The assembly, when it met, paid no deference to the king's prepossessions, but gave full indulgence to their own. They voted episcopacy to be unlawful in the church of Scotland: he was willing to allow it contrary to the constitutions of that church. They stigmatized the liturgy and canons as Popish: he agreed simply to abolish them. They denominated the high commission, tyranny: he was content to set it aside.[****]
     * Clarendon, vol. i. p. 122, 123. May, p. 46.

     ** Rush. vol. iii. p. 946.

     *** Burnet's Memoirs, p. 154 Rush. vol. iii. p. 951.

     **** Rush. vol. iii. p. 958, etc.
The parliament, which sat after the assembly, advanced pretensions which tended to diminish the civil power of the monarch; and, what probably affected Charles still more, they were proceeding to ratify the acts of assembly, when, by the king's instructions,[*] Traquaire, the commissioner, prorogued them. And on account of these claims, which might have been foreseen, was the war renewed; with great advantages on the side of the Covenanters and disadvantages on that of the king.
No sooner had Charles concluded the pacification without conditions than the necessity of his affairs and his want of money obliged him to disband his army; and as the soldiers had been held together solely by mercenary views, it was not possible, without great trouble, and expense, and loss of time, again to assemble them. The more prudent Covenanters had concluded, that their pretensions being so contrary to the interests, and still more to the inclinations, of the king, it was likely that they should again be obliged to support their cause by arms; and they were therefore careful, in dismissing their troops, to preserve nothing but the appearance of a pacific disposition. The officers had orders to be ready on the first summons: the soldiers were warned not to think the nation secure from an English invasion: and the religious zeal which animated all ranks of men, made them immediately fly to their standards as soon as the trumpet was sounded by their spiritual and temporal leaders. The credit which in their last expedition they had acquired, by obliging their sovereign to depart from all his pretensions, gave courage to every one in undertaking this new enterprise.[**]
     * Rush vol. iii. p. 955.

     ** Clarendon, vol. i. p. 125. Rush vol. iii. p. 1023.
1640.
The king, with great difficulty, found means to draw together an army; but soon discovered that all savings being gone, and great debts contracted, his revenue would be insufficient to support them. An English parliament, therefore, formerly so unkind and intractable, must now, after above eleven years' intermission, after the king had tried many irregular methods of taxation, after multiplied disgusts given to the Puritanical party, be summoned to assemble, amidst the must pressing necessities of the crown.
As the king resolved to try whether this house of commons would be more compliant than their predecessors, and grant him supply on any reasonable terms, the time appointed for the meeting of parliament was late, and very near the time allotted for opening the campaign against the Scots. After the past experience of their ill humor, and of their encroaching disposition, he thought that he could not in prudence trust them with a long session, till he had seen some better proofs of their good intentions: the urgency of the occasion, and the little time allowed for debate, were reasons which he reserved against the malecontents in the house; and an incident had happened, which, he believed, had now furnished him with still more cogent arguments.
The earl of Traquaire had intercepted a letter written to the king of France by the Scottish malecontents, and had conveyed this letter to the king. Charles, partly repenting of the large concessions made to the Scots, partly disgusted at their fresh insolence and pretensions, seized this opportunity of breaking with them. He had thrown into the Tower Lord Loudon, commissioner from the Covenanters, one of the persons who had signed the treasonable letter.[*] And he now laid the matter before the parliament, whom he hoped to inflame by the resentment, and alarm by the danger, of this application to a foreign power.
     * Clarendon, vol. i. p. 129. Rush. vol. iii. p 956. May, p.
     56.
By the mouth of the lord keeper Finch, he discovered his wants, and informed them, that he had been able to assemble his army, and to subsist them, not by any revenue which he possessed, but by means of a large debt of above three hundred thousand pounds, which he had contracted, and for which he had given security upon the crown lands. He represented, that it was necessary to grant supplies for the immediate and urgent demands of his military armaments: that the season was far advanced, the time precious, and none of it must be lost in deliberation; that though his coffers were empty, they had not been exhausted by unnecessary pomp, or sumptuous buildings, or any other kind of magnificence: that whatever supplies had been levied on his subjects, had been employed for their advantage and preservation; and, like vapors rising out of the earth, and gathered into a cloud, had fallen in sweet and refreshing showers on the same fields from which they had at first been exhaled: that though he desired such immediate assistance as might prevent for the time a total disorder in the government he was far from any intention of precluding them from their right to inquire into the state of the kingdom, and to offer his petitions for the redress of their grievances: that as much as was possible of this season should afterwards be allowed them for that purpose: that as he expected only such supply at present as the current service necessarily required, it would be requisite to assemble them again next winter, when they should have full leisure to conclude whatever business had this session been left imperfect and unfinished: that the parliament of Ireland had twice put such trust in his good intentions as to grant him, in the beginning of the session, a large supply, and had ever experienced good effects from the confidence reposed in him: and that; in every circumstance, his people should find his conduct suitable to a just, pious, and gracious king; and such as was calculated to promote an entire harmony between prince and parliament.[*]
     * Rush. vol. iii. p. 1114.
However plausible these topics, they made small impression on the house of commons. By some illegal, and several suspicious measures of the crown, and by the courageous opposition which particular persons, amidst dangers and hardships, had made to them, the minds of men, throughout the nation, had taken such a turn, as to ascribe every honor to the refractory opposers of the king and the ministers. These were the only patriots, the only lovers of their country, the only heroes, and perhaps, too, the only true Christians. A reasonable compliance with the court was slavish dependence; a regard to the king, servile flattery; a confidence in his promises, shameful prostitution. This general cast of thought, which has more or less prevailed in England during near a century and a half, and which has been the cause of much good and much ill in public affairs, never predominated more than during the reign of Charles. The present house of commons, being entirely composed of country gentlemen, who came into parliament with all their native prejudices about them, and whom the crown had no means of influencing, could not fail to contain a majority of these stubborn patriots.
Affairs likewise, by means of the Scottish insurrection and the general discontents in England, were drawing so near to a crisis, that the leaders of the house, sagacious and penetrating, began to foresee the consequences, and to hope that the time so long wished for was now come, when royal authority must fall into a total subordination under popular assemblies, and when public liberty must acquire a full ascendant. By reducing the crown to necessities, they had hitherto found that the king had been pushed into violent counsels, which had served extremely the purposes of his adversaries: and by multiplying these necessities, it was foreseen that his prerogative, undermined on all sides, must at last be overthrown, and be no longer dangerous to the privileges of the people. Whatever, therefore, tended to compose the differences between king and parliament, and to preserve the government uniformly in its present channel, was zealously opposed by these popular leaders; and their past conduct and sufferings gave them credit sufficient to effect all their purposes.
The house of commons, moved by these and many other obvious reasons, instead of taking notice of the king's complaints against his Scottish subjects, or his applications for supply, entered immediately upon grievances; and a speech which Pym made them on that subject was much more hearkened to, than that which the lord keeper had delivered to them in the name of their sovereign. The subject of Pym's harangue has been sufficiently explained above; where we gave an account of all the grievances, imaginary in the church, more real in the state, of which the nation at that time so loudly complained.[*] The house began with examining the behavior of the speaker the last day of the former parliament; when he refused, on account of the king's command, to put the question: and they declared it a breach of privilege. They proceeded next to inquire into the imprisonment and prosecution of Sir John Elliot, Hollis, and Valentine:[**] the affair of ship money was canvassed: and plentiful subject of inquiry was suggested on all hands. Grievances were regularly classed under three heads; those with regard to privileges of parliament, to the property of the subject, and to religion.[***]
     * Clarendon, vol. i. p. 133. Rush. vol. iii. p. 1131. May,
     p. 60.

     ** Rush. vol. iii p. 1136.

     *** Rush. vol. iii. p. 1147.
The king, seeing a large and inexhaustible field opened, pressed them again for supply; and finding his message ineffectual, he came to the house of peers, and desired their good offices with the commons. The peers were sensible of the king's urgent necessities; and thought that supply on this occasion ought, both in reason and in decency, to go before grievances. They ventured to represent their sense of the matter to the commons; but their intercession did harm. The commons had always claimed, as their peculiar province the granting of supplies; and, though the peers had here gone no further than offering advice, the lower house immediately thought proper to vote so unprecedented an interposition to be a breach of privilege.[*] Charles, in order to bring the matter of supply to some issue, solicited the house by new messages: and finding that ship money gave great alarm and disgust; besides informing them, that he never intended to make a constant revenue of it, that all the money levied had been regularly, with other great sums, expended on equipping the navy; he now went so far as to offer them a total abolition of that obnoxious claim, by any law which the commons should think proper to present to him. In return, he only asked for his necessities a supply of twelve subsidies,—about six hundred thousand pounds,—and that payable in three years; but at the same time he let them know, that, considering the situation of his affairs, a delay would be equivalent to a denial.[**] The king though the majority was against him, never had more friends in any house of commons; and the debate was carried on for two days, with great zeal and warmth on both sides.
     * Clarendon, vol. i. p. 134.

     ** Clarendon, vol. 1. p. 135. Rush. vol. iii p. 1154.
It was urged by the partisans of the court, that the happiest occasion which the fondest wishes could suggest, was now presented for removing all disgusts and jealousies between king and people, and for reconciling their sovereign forever to the use of parliaments: that if they, on their part, laid aside all enormous claims and pretensions, and provided in a reasonable manner for the public necessities, they needed entertain no suspicion of any insatiable ambition or illegal usurpation in the crown: that though due regard had not always been paid, during this reign, to the rights of the people, yet no invasion of them had been altogether deliberate and voluntary; much less the result of wanton tyranny and injustice; and still less of a formal design to subvert the constitution. That to repose a reasonable confidence in the king, and generously to supply his present wants, which proceeded neither from prodigality nor misconduct, would be the true means of gaining on his generous nature, and extorting, by a gentle violence, such concessions as were requisite for the establishment of public liberty: that he had promised, not only on the word of a prince, but also on that of a gentleman, (the expression which he had been pleased to use,) that, after the supply was granted the parliament should still have liberty to continue their deliberations: could it be suspected that any man, any prince much less such a one, whose word was as yet sacred and inviolate, would, for so small a motive forfeit his honor, and, with it, all future trust and confidence, by breaking a promise so public and so solemn? that even if the parliament should be deceived in reposing this confidence in him, they neither lost any thing, nor incurred any danger; since it was evidently necessary, for the security of public peace, to supply him with money, in order to suppress the Scottish rebellion: that he had so far suited his first demands to their prejudices, that he only asked a supply for a few months, and was willing, after so short a trust from them, to fall again into dependence, and to trust them for his further support and subsistence: that if he now seemed to desire something further, he also made them, in return, a considerable offer, and was willing, for the future, to depend on them for a revenue which was quite necessary for public honor and security: that the nature of the English constitution supposed a mutual confidence between king and parliament: and if they should refuse it on their part, especially with circumstances of such outrage and indignity, what could be expected but a total dissolution of government, and violent factions, followed by the most dangerous convulsions and intestine disorders?
In opposition to these arguments, it was urged by the malecontent party, that the court had discovered, on their part, but few symptoms of that mutual confidence to which they now so kindly invited the commons: that eleven years' intermission of parliaments—the longest that was to be found in the English annals—was a sufficient indication of the jealousy entertained against the people; or rather of designs formed for the suppression of all their liberties and privileges: that the ministers might well plead necessity, nor could any thing, indeed, be a stronger proof of some invincible necessity, than their embracing a measure for which they had conceived so violent an aversion, as the assembling of an English parliament: that this necessity, however, was purely ministerial, not national; and if the same grievances, ecclesiastical and civil, under which this nation itself labored, had pushed the Scots to extremities, was it requisite that the English should forge their own chains, by imposing chains on their unhappy neighbors? that the ancient practice of parliament was to give grievances the precedency of supply; and this order, so carefully observed by their ancestors, was founded on a jealousy inherent in the constitution, and was never interpreted as any peculiar diffidence of the present sovereign: that a practice which had been upheld during times the most favorable to liberty, could not, in common prudence, be departed from, where such undeniable reasons for suspicion had been afforded: that it was ridiculous to plead the advanced season, and the urgent occasion for supply; when it plainly appeared that, in order to afford a pretence for this topic, and to seduce the commons, great political contrivance had been employed: that the writs for elections were issued early in the winter; and if the meeting of parliament had not purposely been delayed till so near the commencement of military operations, there had been leisure sufficient to have redressed all national grievances, and to have proceeded afterwards to an examination of the king's occasion for supply: that the intention of so gross an artifice was to engage the commons, under pretence of necessity, to violate the regular order of parliament; and a precedent of that kind being once established, no inquiry into public measures would afterwards be permitted: that scarcely any argument more unfavorable could be pleaded for supply, than an offer to abolish ship money; a taxation the most illegal and the most dangerous that had ever, in any reign, been imposed upon the nation: and that, by bargaining for the remission of that duty, the commons would in a manner ratify the authority by which it had been levied; at least give encouragement for advancing new pretensions of a like nature, in hopes of resigning them on like advantageous conditions.
These reasons, joined to so many occasions of ill humor, seemed to sway with the greater number: but, to make the matter worse, Sir Harry Vane, the secretary, told the commons, without any authority from the king, that nothing less than twelve subsidies would be accepted as a compensation for the abolition of ship money. This assertion, proceeding from the indiscretion, if we are not rather to call it the treachery of Vane, displeased the house, by showing a stiffness and rigidity in the king, which, in a claim so ill grounded, was deemed inexcusable.[*] We are informed likewise, that some men, who were thought to understand the state of the nation, affirmed in the house, that the amount of twelve subsidies was a greater sum than could be found in all England: such were the happy ignorance and inexperience of those times with regard to taxes.[**]
     * Clarendon, vol. i. p. 138.

     ** Clarendon, vol. *i. p. 136.
The king was in great doubt and perplexity. He saw that his friends in the house were outnumbered by his enemies, and that the same counsels were still prevalent which had ever bred such opposition and disturbance. Instead of hoping that any supply would be granted him to carry on war against the Scots, whom the majority of the house regarded as their best friends and firmest allies; he expected every day that they would present him an address for making peace with those rebels. And if the house met again, a vote, he was informed, would certainly pass, to blast his revenue of ship money; and thereby renew all the opposition which, with so much difficulty, he had surmounted in levying that taxation. Where great evils lie on all sides, it is difficult to follow the best counsel; nor is it any wonder that the king, whose capacity was not equal to situations of such extreme delicacy, should hastily have formed and executed the resolution of dissolving this parliament: a measure, however, of which he soon after repented, and which the subsequent events, more than any convincing reason, inclined every one to condemn. The last parliament, which ended with such rigor and violence, had yet at first covered their intentions with greater appearance of moderation than this parliament had hitherto assumed.
An abrupt and violent dissolution naturally excites discontents among the people, who usually put entire confidence in their representatives, and expect from them the redress of all grievances. As if there were not already sufficient grounds of complaint, the king persevered still in those counsels which, from experience, he might have been sensible were so dangerous and unpopular. Bellasis and Sir John Hotham were summoned before the council; and, refusing to give any account of their conduct in parliament, were committed to prison. All the petitions and complaints which had been sent to the committee of religion, were demanded from Crew, chairman of that committee; and on his refusal to deliver them, he was sent to the Tower. The studies, and even the pockets of the earl of Warwick and Lord Broke, before the expiration of privilege, were searched, in expectation of finding treasonable papers. These acts of authority were interpreted, with some appearance of reason, to be invasions on the right of national assemblies.[*] But the king, after the first provocation which he met with, never sufficiently respected the privileges of parliament; and, by his example, he further confirmed their resolution, when they should acquire power, to pay like disregard to the prerogatives of the crown.
     * Rush. vol. iii. p. 1167. May, p. 61.
Though the parliament was dissolved, the convocation was still allowed to sit; a practice of which, since the reformation, there were but few instances,[*] and which was for that reason supposed by many to be irregular. Besides granting to the king a supply from the spirituality, and framing many canons, the convocation, jealous of like innovations with those which had taken place in Scotland, imposed an oath on the clergy and the graduates in the universities, by which every one swore to maintain the established government of the church by archbishops, bishops, deans, chapters, etc.[**] These steps, in the present discontented humor of the nation, were commonly deemed illegal; because not ratified by consent of parliament, in whom all authority was now supposed to be centred. And nothing, besides, could afford more subject of ridicule, than an oath which contained an "et cætera," in the midst of it.
The people, who generally abhorred the convocation as much as they revered the parliament, could scarcely be restrained from insulting and abusing this assembly; and the king was obliged to give them guards, in order to protect them.[***] An attack too was made during the night upon Laud, in his palace of Lambeth, by above five hundred persons; and he found it necessary to fortify himself for his defence.[****] A multitude, consisting of two thousand secretaries, entered St. Paul's, where the high commission then sat, tore down the benches, and cried out, "No bishop; no high commission."[v] All these instances of discontent were presages of some great revolution, had the court possessed sufficient skill to discern the danger, or sufficient power to provide against it.
In this disposition of men's minds, it was in vain that the king issued a declaration, in order to convince his people of the necessity which he lay under of dissolving the last parliament.[v*]
     * There was one in 1586: see History of Archbishop Laud, p.
     80. The authority of the convocation was, indeed, in most
     respects, independent of the parliament: and there was no
     reason which required the one to be dissolved upon the
     dissolution of the other.

     ** Whitlocke, p. 33.

     *** Whitlocke, p. 33.

     **** Dugdale, p. 62. Clarendon, vol. i. p. 143.

     v    Dugdale, p. 65.

     V*   Rush. vol. iii. p. 1165.
The chief topic on which he insisted was, that the commons imitated the bad example of all then predecessors of late years, in making continual encroachments on his authority, in censuring his whole administration and conduct, in discussing every circumstance of public government, and in their indirect bargaining and contracting with their king for supply; as if nothing ought to be given him but what he should purchase, either by quitting somewhat of his royal prerogative, or by diminishing and lessening his standing revenue. These practices, he said, were contrary to the maxims of their ancestors; and these practices were totally incompatible with monarchy.[*] 5
The king, disappointed of parliamentary subsidies, was obliged to have recourse to other expedients, in order to supply his urgent necessities. The ecclesiastical subsidies served him in some stead; and it seemed but just that the clergy should contribute to a war which was in a great measure of their own raising.[**] He borrowed money from his ministers and courtiers; and so much was he beloved among them, that above three hundred thousand pounds were subscribed in a few days; though nothing surely could be more disagreeable to a prince full of dignity, than to be a burden on his friends instead of being a support to them. Some attempts were made towards forcing a loan from the citizens; but still repelled by the spirit of liberty, which was now become unconquerable.[***] A loan of forty thousand pounds was extorted from the Spanish merchants, who had bullion in the Tower exposed to the attempts of the king. Coat and conduct money for the soldiery was levied on the counties; an ancient practice,[****] but supposed to be abolished by the petition of right. All the pepper was bought from the East India Company upon trust, and sold at a great discount for ready money.[v] A scheme was proposed for coining two or three hundred thousand pounds of base money:[v*] such were the extremities to which Charles was reduced. The fresh difficulties which, amidst the present distresses, were every day raised with regard to the payment of ship money, obliged him to exert continual acts of authority, augmented the discontents of the people, and increased his indigence and necessities.[v**]
     * See note E, at the end of the volume.

     ** May, p. 48.

     *** Rush. vol. iii. p. 1181.

     **** Rush. vol. i. p. 168.

     v May, p. 63.

     v* Rush. vol. iii. p. 1216. May, p. 63.

     v** Rush. vol. iii. p. 1173, 1182, 1184, 1199, 1200, 1203,
     1204.
The present expedients, however, enabled the king, though with great difficulty, to march his army, consisting of nineteen thousand foot and two thousand horse.[*] The earl of Northumberland was appointed general; the earl of Strafford, who was called over from Ireland, lieutenant-general; Lord Conway, general of the horse. A small fleet was thought sufficient to serve the purposes of this expedition.
So great are the effects of zeal and unanimity, that the Scottish army, though somewhat superior, were sooner ready than the king's; and they marched to the borders of England. To engage them to proceed, besides their general knowledge of the secret discontents of that kingdom, Lord Saville had forged a letter, in the name of six noblemen the most considerable of England, by which the Scots were invited to assist their neighbors in procuring a redress of grievances.[**] Notwithstanding these warlike preparations and hostile attempts, the Covenanters still preserved the most pathetic and most submissive language; and entered England, they said, with no other view than to obtain access to the king's presence, and lay their humble petition at his royal feet. At Newburn upon Tyne, they were opposed by a detachment of four thousand five hundred men under Conway, who seemed resolute to dispute with them the passage of the river. The Scots first entreated them, with great civility, not to stop them in their march to their gracious sovereign; and then attacked them with great bravery, killed several, and chased the rest from their ground. Such a panic seized the whole English army, that the forces at Newcastle fled immediately to Durham; and not yet thinking themselves safe, they deserted that town, end retreated into Yorkshire.[***]
The Scots took possession of Newcastle; and though sufficiently elated with their victory, they preserved exact discipline, and persevered in their resolution of paying for every thing, in order still to maintain the appearance of an amicable correspondence with England. They also despatched messengers to the king, who was arrived at York; and they took care, after the advantage which they had obtained, to redouble their expressions of loyalty, duty, and submission to his person; and they even made apologies, full of sorrow and contrition for their late victory.[****]
     * Rush. vol. iii. p. 1279.

     ** Nalson, vol. ii. p. 427.

     *** Clarendon, vol. i. p. 143.

     **** Rush. vol. iii. p. 1255.
Charles was in a very distressed condition. The nation was universally and highly discontented. The army was discouraged, and began likewise to be discontented, both from the contagion of general disgust, and as an excuse for their misbehavior, which they were desirous of representing rather as want of will than of courage to fight. The treasury too was quite exhausted, and every expedient for supply had been tried to the uttermost. No event had happened, but what might have been foreseen as necessary, at least as very probable; yet such was the king's situation, that no provision could be made, nor was even any resolution taken against such an exigency.
In order to prevent the advance of the Scots upon him, the king agreed to a treaty, and named sixteen English noblemen, who met with eleven Scottish commissioners at Rippon. The earls of Hertford, Bedford, Salisbury, Warwick, Essex, Holland, Bristol, and Berkshire, the lords Kimbolton, Wharton. Dunsmore, Paget, Broke Saville, Paulet, and Howard of Escric, were chosen by the king; all of them popular men and consequently supposed nowise averse to the Scottish invasion, or unacceptable to that nation.[*]
An address arrived from the city of London, petitioning for a parliament; the great point to which all men's projects at this time tended.[**] Twelve noblemen presented a petition to the same purpose.[***] But the king contented himself with summoning a great council of the peers at York; a measure which had formerly been taken in cases of sudden emergency, but which at present could serve to little purpose. Perhaps the king, who dreaded above all things the house of commons, and who expected no supply from them on any reasonable terms, thought that, in his present distresses, he might be enabled to levy supplies by the authority of the peers alone. But the employing so long the plea of a necessity which appeared distant and doubtful, rendered it impossible for him to avail himself of a necessity which was now at last become real, urgent, and inevitable.
     * Clarendon, vol. i. p. 155.

     ** Rush. vol. iii. p. 1263.

     *** Clarendon, vol. i. p, 146. Rush. vol. iii. p. 1260. May,
     p. 66. Warwick, p. 151.
By Northumberland's sickness, the command of the army had devolved on Strafford. This nobleman possessed more vigor of mind than the king or any of the council. He advised Charles rather to put all to hazard, than submit to unworthy terms as were likely to be imposed upon him.
The loss sustained at Newburn, he said, was inconsiderable and though a panic had for the time seized the army, that event was nothing strange among new levied troops and the Scots, being in the same condition, would no doubt be liable in their turn to a like accident. His opinion therefore was, that the king should push forward and attack the Scots, and bring the affair to a quick decision; and, if he were ever so unsuccessful, nothing worse could befall him than what from his inactivity he would certainly be exposed to.[*] To show how easy it would be to execute this project, he ordered an assault to be made on some quarters of the Scots, and he gained an advantage over them. No cessation of arms had as yet been agreed to during the treaty at Rippon; yet great clamor prevailed on account of this act of hostility. And when it was known that the officer who conducted the attack was a Papist, a violent outcry was raised against the king for employing that hated sect in the murder of his Protestant subjects.[**]
It may be worthy of remark, that several mutinies had arisen among the English troops when marching to join the army; and some officers had been murdered merely on suspicion of their being Papists.[***] The petition of right had abolished all martial law; and by an inconvenience which naturally attended the plan, as yet new and unformed, of regular and rigid liberty, it was found absolutely impossible for the generals to govern the army by all the authority which the king could legally confer upon them. The lawyers had declared, that martial law could not be exercised, except in the very presence of an enemy; and because it had been found necessary to execute a mutineer, the generals thought it advisable, for their own safety, to apply for a pardon from the crown. This weakness, however, was carefully concealed from the army, and Lord Conway said, that if any lawyer were so imprudent as to discover the secret to the soldiers, it would be necessary instantly to refute it, and to hang the lawyer himself by sentence of a court martial.[****]
     * Nalson, vol. ii. p. 5.

     ** Clarendon, vol. i. p. 159.

     *** Rush. vol. iii. 1190, 1191, 1192, etc. May, p. 64.

     **** Rush. vol. iii. p 1199.
An army new levied, undisciplined, frightened, seditious, ill paid, and governed by no proper authority, was very unfit for withstanding a victorious and high-spirited enemy, and retaining in subjection a discontented and zealous nation.
Charles, in despair of being able to stem the torrent, at last determined to yield to it: and as he foresaw that the great council of the peers would advise him to call a parliament, he told them, in his first speech, that he had already taken this resolution. He informed them likewise, that the queen, in a letter which she had written to him, had very earnestly recommended that measure. This good prince, who was extremely attached to his consort, and who passionately wished to render her popular in the nation, forgot not, amidst all his distress, the interests of his domestic tenderness.[*]
In order to subsist both armies, (for the king was obliged, in order to save the northern counties, to pay his enemies,) Charles wrote to the city, desiring a loan of two hundred thousand pounds. And the peers at York, whose authority was now much greater than that of their sovereign, joined in the same request:[**] so low was this prince already fallen in the eyes of his own subjects.
As many difficulties occurred in the negotiation with the Scots, it was proposed to transfer the treaty from Rippon to London; a proposal willingly embraced by that nation, who were now sure of treating with advantage in a place where the king, they foresaw, would be in a manner a prisoner, in the midst of his implacable enemies, and their determined friends.[***]
     * Clarendon, vol. 1. p. 154. Bush. vol. iii. p. 1275.

     ** Rush. vol. iii. p 1279.

     *** Rush, vol. iii. p 1805.




CHAPTER LIV.





CHARLES I

1640.
The causes of disgust which for above thirty years had daily been multiplying in England, were now come to full maturity, and threatened the kingdom with some great revolution or convulsion. The uncertain and undefined limits of prerogative and privilege had been eagerly disputed during that whole period; and in every controversy between prince and people, the question, however doubtful, had always been decided by each party in favor of its own pretensions. Too lightly, perhaps, moved by the appearance of necessity, the king had even assumed powers incompatible with the principles of limited government, and had rendered it impossible for his most zealous partisans entirely to justify his conduct, except by topics so unpopular, that they were more fitted, in the present disposition of men's minds, to inflame than appease the general discontent. Those great supports of public authority, law and religion, had likewise, by the unbounded compliance of judges and prelates, lost much of their influence over the people; or rather had, in a great measure, gone over to the side of faction, and authorized the spirit of opposition and rebellion. The nobility, also, whom the king had no means of retaining by offices and preferments suitable to their rank, had been seized with the general discontent, and unwarily threw themselves into the scale which already began too much to preponderate. Sensible of some encroachments which had been made by royal authority, men entertained no jealousy of the commons, whose enterprises for the acquisition of power had ever been covered with the appearance of public good, and had hitherto gone no further than some disappointed efforts and endeavors. The progress of the Scottish malecontents reduced the crown to an entire dependence for supply: their union with the popular party in England brought great accession of authority to the latter: the near prospect of success roused all latent murmurs and pretensions, which had hitherto been held in such violent constraint; and the torrent of general inclination and opinion ran so strongly against the court, that the king was in no situation to refuse any reasonable demands of the popular leaders either for defining or limiting the powers of his prerogative. Even many exorbitant claims, in his present situation, would probably be made, and must necessarily be complied with.
The triumph of the malecontents over the church was not yet so immediate or certain. Though the political and religious Puritans mutually lent assistance to each other, there were many who joined the former, yet declined all connection with the latter. The hierarchy had been established in England ever since the reformation: the Romish church, in all ages, had carefully maintained that form of ecclesiastical government: the ancient fathers too bore testimony to episcopal jurisdiction; and though parity may seem at first to have had place among Christian pastors, the period during which it prevailed was so short, that few undisputed traces of it remained in history. The bishops and their more zealous partisans inferred, thence the divine, indefeasible right of prelacy: others regarded that institution as venerable and useful; and if the love of novelty led some to adopt the new rites and discipline of the Puritans, the reverence to antiquity retained many in their attachment to the liturgy and government of the church. It behoved, therefore, the zealous innovators in parliament to proceed with some caution and reserve. By promoting all measures which reduced the powers of the crown, they hoped to disarm the king, whom they justly regarded, from principle, inclination, and policy, to be the determined patron of the hierarchy. By declaiming against the supposed encroachments and tyranny of the prelates, they endeavored to carry the nation, from a hatred of their persons, to an opposition against their office and character. And when men were enlisted in party, it would not be difficult, they thought, to lead them by degrees into many measures for which they formerly entertained the greatest aversion. Though the new sectaries composed not at first the majority of the nation, they were inflamed, as is usual among innovators, with extreme zeal for their opinions. Their unsurmountable passion, disguised to themselves as well as to others under the appearance of holy fervors, was well qualified to make proselytes, and to seize the minds of the ignorant multitude. And one furious enthusiast was able, by his active industry, to surmount the indolent efforts of many sober and reasonable antagonists.
When the nation, therefore, was so generally discontented and little suspicion was entertained of any design to subvert the church and monarchy, no wonder that almost all elections ran in favor of those who, by their high pretensions to piety and patriotism, had encouraged the national prejudices. It is a usual compliment to regard the king's inclination in the choice of a speaker; and Charles had intended to advance Gardiner, recorder of London, to that important trust; but so little interest did the crown at that time possess in the nation, that Gardiner was disappointed of his election, not only in London, but in every other place where it was attempted; and the king was obliged to make the choice of speaker fail on Lenthal, a lawyer of some character, but not sufficiently qualified for so high and difficult an office.[*]
     * Clarendon, vol. i. p. 169.
The eager expectations of men with regard to a parliament, summoned at so critical a juncture, and during such general discontents; a parliament which, from the situation of public affairs, could not be abruptly dissolved, and which was to execute every thing left unfinished by former parliaments; these motives, so important and interesting, engaged the attendance of all the members; and the house of commons was never observed to be from the beginning so full and numerous. Without any interval, therefore, they entered upon business, and by unanimous consent they immediately struck a blow which may in a manner be regarded as decisive.
The earl of Strafford was considered as chief minister, both on account of the credit which he possessed with his master, and of his own great and uncommon vigor and capacity. By a concurrence of accidents, this man labored under the severe hatred of all the three nations which composed the British monarchy. The Scots, whose authority now ran extremely high, looked on him as the capital enemy of their country and one whose counsels and influence they had most reason to apprehend. He had engaged the parliament of Ireland to advance large subsidies, in order to support a war against them: he had levied an army of nine thousand men, with which he had menaced all their western coast: he had obliged the Scots who lived under his government, to renounce the Covenant, their national idol: he had in Ireland proclaimed the Scottish Covenanters rebels and traitors, even before the king had issued any such declaration against them in England, and he had ever dissuaded his master against the late treaty and suspension of arms, which he regarded as dangerous and dishonorable. So avowed and violent were the Scots in their resentment of all these measures, that they had refused to send commissioners to treat at York, as was at first proposed; because, they said, the lieutenant of Ireland, their capital enemy, being general of the king's forces, had there the chief command and authority.
Strafford, first as deputy, then as lord lieutenant, had governed Ireland during eight years with great vigilance, activity, and prudence, but with very little popularity. In a nation so averse to the English government and religion, these very virtues were sufficient to draw on him the public hatred. The manners too and character of this great man, though to all full of courtesy, and to his friends full of affection, were at bottom haughty, rigid, and severe. His authority and influence during the time of his government had been unlimited; but no sooner did adversity seize him, than the concealed aversion of the nation blazed up at once, and the Irish parliament used every expedient to aggravate the charge against him.
The universal discontent which prevailed in England against the court, was all pointed towards the earl of Strafford; though without any particular reason, but because he was the minister of state whom the king most favored and most trusted. His extraction was honorable, his paternal fortune considerable, yet envy attended his sudden and great elevation. And his former associates in popular counsels, finding that he owed his advancement to the desertion of their cause, represented him as the great apostate of the commonwealth, whom it behoved them to sacrifice as a victim to public justice.
Strafford, sensible of the load of popular prejudices under which he labored, would gladly have declined attendance in parliament; and he begged the king's permission to withdraw himself to his government of Ireland, at least to remain at the head of the army in Yorkshire; where many opportunities, he hoped, would offer, by reason of his distance, to elude the attacks of his enemies. But Charles, who had entire confidence in the earl's capacity, thought that his counsels would be extremely useful during the critical session which approached. And when Strafford still insisted on the danger of his appearing amidst so many enraged enemies, the king, little apprehensive that his own authority was so suddenly to expire, promised him protection, and assured him that not a hair of his head should be touched by the parliament.[*]
No sooner was Strafford's arrival known, than a concerted attack was made upon him in the house of commons. Pym, in a long studied discourse, divided into many heads, after his manner, enumerated all the grievances under which the nation labored; and, from a complication of such oppressions, inferred that a deliberate plan had been formed of changing entirely the frame of government, and subverting the ancient laws and liberties of the kingdom.[**] Could any thing, he said, increase our indignation against so enormous and criminal a project, it would be to find that, during the reign of the best of princes, the constitution had been endangered by the worst of ministers, and that the virtues of the king had been seduced by wicked and pernicious counsel. We must inquire, added he, from what fountain these waters of bitterness flow; and though doubtless many evil counsellors will be found to have contributed their endeavors, yet there is one who challenges the infamous preeminence, and who, by his courage, enterprise, and capacity, is entitled to the first place among these betrayers of their country. He is the earl of Strafford, lieutenant of Ireland, and president of the council of York, who, in both places, and in all other provinces where he has been intrusted with authority, has raised ample monuments of tyranny, and will appear, from a survey of his actions, to be the chief promoter of every arbitrary counsel. Some instances of imperious expressions, as well as actions, were given by Pym; who afterwards entered into a more personal attack of that minister, and endeavored to expose his whole character and manners. The austere genius of Strafford, occupied in the pursuits of ambition, had not rendered his breast altogether inaccessible to the tender passions, or secured him from the dominion of the fair; and in that sullen age, when the irregularities of pleasure were more reproachful than the most odious crimes, these weaknesses were thought worthy of being mentioned, together with his treasons, before so great an assembly. And, upon the whole, the orator concluded, that it belonged to the house to provide a remedy proportionable to the disease, and to prevent the further mischiefs justly to be apprehended from the influence which this man had acquired over the measures and counsels of their sovereign.[***]
     * Whitlocke, p. 36.

     ** Whitlocke, p. 36

     *** Clarendon, vol. i. p. 172.
Sir John Clotworthy, an Irish gentleman, Sir John Hotham of Yorkshire, and many others, entered into the same topics, and after several hours spent in bitter invective, when the doors were locked, in order to prevent all discovery of their purpose, it was moved, in consequence of the resolution secretly taken, that Strafford should immediately be impeached of high treason. This motion was received with universal approbation; nor was there, in all the debate, one person who offered to stop the torrent by any testimony in favor of the earls conduct. Lord Falkland alone, though known to be his enemy, modestly desired the house to consider whether it would not better suit the gravity of their proceedings, first to digest by a committee many of those particulars which had been mentioned, before they sent up an accusation against him. It was ingeniously answered by Pym, that such a delay might probably blast all their hopes, and put it out of their power to proceed any further in the prosecution: that when Strafford should learn that so many of his enormities were discovered, his conscience would dictate his condemnation; and so great was his power and credit, he would immediately procure the dissolution of the parliament, or attempt some other desperate measure for his own preservation: that the commons were only accusers, not judges; and it was the province of the peers to determine whether such a complication of enormous crimes in one person, did not amount to the highest crime known by the law.[*] Without further debate, the impeachment was voted: Pym was chosen to carry it up to the lords: most of the house accompanied him on so agreeable an errand; and Strafford, who had just entered the house of peers, and who little expected so speedy a prosecution was immediately, upon this general charge, ordered into custody, with several symptoms of violent prejudice in his judges as well as in his prosecutors.
     * Clarendon, vol. i. p. 174.
In the inquiry concerning grievances, and in the censure of past measures, Laud could not long escape the severe scrutiny of the commons; who were led too, in their accusation of that prelate, as well by their prejudices against his whole order, as by the extreme antipathy which his intemperate zeal had drawn upon him. After a deliberation which scarcely lasted half an hour, an impeachment of high treason was voted against this subject, the first both in rank and in favor throughout the kingdom. Though this incident, considering the example of Stratford's impeachment, and the present disposition of the nation and parliament, needed be no surprise to him, yet was he betrayed into some passion when the accusation was presented. "The commons themselves," he said, "though his accusers, did not believe him guilty of the crimes with which they charged him;" an indiscretion which, next day, upon more mature deliberation, he desired leave to retract; but so little favorable were the peers, that they refused him this advantage or indulgence. Laud also was immediately, upon this general charge, sequestered from parliament, and committed to custody.[*]
The capital article insisted on against these two great men, was the design which the commons supposed to have been formed of subverting the laws and constitution of England, and introducing arbitrary and unlimited authority into the kingdom. Of all the king's ministers, no one was so obnoxious in this respect as the lord keeper Finch. He it was who, being speaker in the king's third parliament, had left the chair, and refused to put the question when ordered by the house. The extrajudicial opinion of the judges in the case of ship money had been procured by his intrigues, persuasions, and even menaces. In all unpopular and illegal measures, he was ever most active; and he was even believed to have declared publicly, that, while he was keeper, an order of council should always with him be equivalent to a law. To appease the rising displeasure of the commons, he desired to be heard at their bar. He prostrated himself with all humility before them; but this submission availed him nothing. An impeachment was resolved on; and in order to escape their fury, he thought proper secretly to withdraw, and retire into Holland. As he was not esteemed equal to Stratford, or even to Laud, either in capacity or in fidelity to his master, it was generally believed that his escape had been connived at by the popular leaders.[**] His impeachment, however, in his absence, was carried up to the house of peers.
     * Clarendon, vol. i. p. 177. Whitlocke, p. 38, Rush. vol.
     iii. p. 1365.

     ** Clarendon, vol. i. p. 177. Whitlocke, p. 38. Rush. vol.
     i. p 129.
Sir Francis Windebank, the secretary, was a creature of Laud's; a sufficient reason for his being extremely obnoxious to the commons. He was secretly suspected too of the crime of Popery; and it was known that, from complaisance to the queen, and indeed in compliance with the king's maxims of government, he had granted many indulgences to Catholics, and had signed warrants for the pardon of priests, and their delivery from confinement. Grimstone, a popular member, called him, in the house, the very pander and broker to the whore of Babylon.[*] Finding that the scrutiny of the commons was pointing towards him, and being sensible that England was no longer a place of safety for men of his character, he suddenly made his escape into France.[**]
Thus in a few weeks this house of commons, not opposed, or rather seconded by the peers, had produced such a revolution in the government, that the two most powerful and most favored ministers of the king were thrown into the Tower, and daily expected to be tried for their life: two other ministers had, by flight alone, saved themselves from a like fate: all the king's servants saw that no protection could be given them by their master: a new jurisdiction was erected in the nation; and before that tribunal all those trembled who had before exulted most in their credit and authority.
     * Rush, vol. v. p. 122.

     ** Clarendon, vol. i. p. 178. Whitlocke, p. 37.
What rendered the power of the commons more formidable was, the extreme prudence with which it was conducted. Not content with the authority which they had acquired by attacking these great ministers, they were resolved to render the most considerable bodies of the nation obnoxious to them. Though the idol of the people, they determined to fortify themselves likewise with terrors, and to overawe those who might still be inclined to support the falling ruins of monarchy.
During the late military operations, several powers had been exercised by the lieutenants and deputy lieutenants of counties; and these powers, though necessary for the defence of the nation, and even warranted by all former precedent yet not being authorized by statute, were now voted to be illegal, and the persons who had assumed them declared delinquents. This term was newly come into vogue, and expressed a degree and species of guilt not exactly known or ascertained. In consequence of that determination, many of the nobility and prime gentry of the nation, while only exerting as they justly thought, the legal powers of magistracy unexpectedly found themselves involved in the crime of delinquency. And the commons reaped this multiplied advantage by their vote: they disarmed the crown; they established the maxims of rigid law and liberty; and they spread the terror of their own authority.[*]
The writs for ship money had been directed to the sheriffs, who were required, and even obliged, under severe penalties, to assess the sums upon individuals, and to levy them by their authority: yet were all the sheriffs, and all those who had been employed in that illegal service, voted, by a very rigorous sentence, to be delinquents. The king, by the maxims of law, could do no wrong: his ministers and servants, of whatever degree, in case cf any violation of the constitution, were alone culpable.[**]
All the farmers and officers of the customs, who had been employed during so many years in levying tonnage and poundage and the new impositions, were likewise declared criminals, and were afterwards glad to compound for a pardon by paying a fine of one hundred and fifty thousand pounds.
Every discretionary or arbitrary sentence of the star chamber and high commission, courts which, from their very constitution, were arbitrary, underwent a severe scrutiny; and all those who had concurred in such sentences were voted to be liable to the penalties of law.[***] No minister of the king, no member of the council, but found himself exposed by this decision.
The judges who had given their vote against Hambden in the trial of ship money, were accused before the peers, and obliged to find surety for their appearance. Berkeley, a judge of the king's bench, was seized by order of the house, even when sitting in his tribunal; and all men saw with astonishment the irresistible authority of their jurisdiction.[****]
The sanction of the lords and commons, as well as that of the king, was declared necessary for the confirmation of ecclesiastical canons.[v] And this judgment, it must be confessed, however reasonable, at least useful, it would have been difficult to justify by any precedent.[v*]
     * Clarendon, vol. i. p. 176.

     ** Clarendon, vol. i. p. 176.

     *** Clarendon, vol. i. p. 177.

     **** Whitlocke, p. 39.

     v    Nalson, vol. i. p. 673.

     v*   An act of parliament, 25th Henry VIII., cap. 19,
     allowed the convocation with the king's consent to make
     canons. By the famous act of submission to that prince, the
     clergy bound themselves to enact no canons without the
     king's consent. The parliament was never mentioned nor
     thought of. Such pretensions as the commons advanced at
     present, would in any former age have been deemed strange
     usurpations.
But the present was no time for question or dispute. That decision which abolished all legislative power except that of parliament, was requisite for completing the new plan of liberty, and rendering it quite uniform and systematical. Almost all the bench of bishops, and the most considerable of the inferior clergy, who had voted in the late convocation, found themselves exposed by these new principles to the imputation of delinquency.[*]
The most unpopular of all Charles's measures, and the least justifiable, was the revival of monopolies, so solemnly abolished, after reiterated endeavors, by a recent act of parliament. Sensible of this unhappy measure, the king had of himself recalled, during the time of his first expedition against Scotland, many of these oppressive patents; and the rest were now annulled by authority of parliament, and every one who was concerned in them declared delinquents. The commons carried so far their detestation of this odious measure, that they assumed a power which had formerly been seldom practised,[**] and they expelled all their members who were monopolists or projectors; an artifice by which, besides increasing their own privileges, they weakened still further the very small party which the king secretly retained in the house. Mildmay, a notorious monopolist, yet having associated himself with the ruling party, was still allowed to keep his seat. In all questions, indeed, of elections, no steady rule of decision was observed; and nothing further was regarded than the affections and attachments of the parties.[***] Men's passions were too much heated to be shocked with any instance of injustice, which served ends so popular as those which were pursued by this house of commons.
     * Clarendon, vol. i. p. 206. Whitlocke, p. 37. Rush. vol. v.
     p. 235, 359. Nalson, vol. i. p. 807.

     ** Lord Clarendon says it was entirely new; but there are
     instances of it in the reign of Elizabeth. D'Ewes, p. 296,
     352. There are also instances in the reign of James.

     *** Clarendon, vol. i. p. 176.
The whole sovereign power being thus in a manner transferred to the commons, and the government, without any seeming violence or disorder, being changed in a moment from a monarchy almost absolute to a pure democracy, the popular leaders seemed willing for some time to suspend their active vigor, and to consolidate their authority, ere they proceeded to any violent exercise of it. Every day produced some new harangue on past grievances. The detestation of former usurpations was further enlivened; the jealousy of liberty roused; and, agreeably to the spirit of free government, no less indignation was excited by the view of a violated constitution, than by the ravages of the most enormous tyranny.
This was the time when genius and capacity of all kinds, freed from the restraint of authority, and nourished by unbounded hopes and projects, began to exert themselves, and be distinguished by the public. Then was celebrated the sagacity of Pym, more fitted for use than ornament; matured, not chilled, by his advanced age and long experience: then was displayed the mighty ambition of Hambden, taught disguise, not moderation, from former constraint; supported by courage, conducted by prudence, embellished by modesty; but whether founded in a love of power or zeal for liberty, is still, from his untimely end, left doubtful and uncertain: then too were known the dark, ardent, and dangerous character of St. John; the impetuous spirit of Hollis, violent and sincere, open and entire in his enmities and in his friendships; the enthusiastic genius of young Vane, extravagant in the ends which he pursued, sagacious and profound in the means which he employed; incited by the appearances of religion, negligent of the duties of morality.
So little apology would be received for past measures, so contagious the general spirit of discontent, that even men of the most moderate tempers, and the most attached to the church and monarchy, exerted themselves with the utmost vigor in the redress of grievances, and in prosecuting the authors of them. The lively and animated Digby displayed his eloquence on this occasion; the firm and undaunted Capel, the modest and candid Palmer. In this list too of patriot royalists are found the virtuous names of Hyde and Falkland. Though in their ultimate views and intentions these men differed widely from the former, in their present actions and discourses an entire concurrence and unanimity was observed.
By the daily harangues and invectives against illegal usurpations, not only the house of commons inflamed themselves with the highest animosity against the court: the nation caught new fire from the popular leaders, and seemed now to have made the first discovery of the many supposed disorders in the government. While the law in several instances seemed to be violated, they went no further than some secret and calm murmurs; but mounted up into rage and fury as soon as the constitution was thought to be restored to its former integrity and vigor. The capital especially, being the seat of parliament, was highly animated with the spirit of mutiny and disaffection. Tumults were daily raised; seditious assemblies encouraged; and every man, neglecting his own business, was wholly intent on the defence of liberty and religion. By stronger contagion, the popular affections were communicated from breast to breast in this place of general rendezvous and society.
The harangues of members, now first published and dispersed, kept alive the discontents against the king's administration. The pulpits, delivered over to Puritanical preachers and lecturers, whom the commons arbitrarily settled in all the considerable churches, resounded with faction and fanaticism. Vengeance was fully taken for the long silence and constraint in which, by the authority of Laud and the high commission, these preachers had been retained. The press, freed from all fear or reserve, swarmed with productions, dangerous by their seditious zeal and calumny, more than by any art or eloquence of composition. Noise and fury, cant and hypocrisy, formed the sole rhetoric which, during this tumult of various prejudices and passions, could be heard or attended to.
The sentence which had been executed against Prynne, Bastwic, and Burton, now suffered a revisal from parliament. These libellers, far from being tamed by the rigorous punishments which they had undergone, showed still a disposition of repeating their offence; and the ministers were afraid lest new satires should issue from their prisons, and still further inflame the prevailing discontents. By an order, therefore, of council, they had been carried to remote prisons; Bastwic to Scilly, Prynne to Jersey, Burton to Guernsey; all access to them was denied; and the use of books, and of pen, ink and paper, was refused them. The sentence for these additional punishments was immediately reversed, in an arbitrary manner, by the commons: even the first sentence, upon examination, was declared illegal; and the judges who passed it were ordered to make reparation to the sufferers.[*]
     * Nalson, vol. i. p 783. May, p. 79.
When the prisoners landed in England, they were received and entertained with the highest demonstrations of affection; were attended by a mighty confluence of company, their charges were borne with great magnificence, and liberal presents bestowed on them. On their approach to any town, all the inhabitants crowded to receive them, and welcomed their reception with shouts and acclamations. Their train still increased as they drew nigh to London. Some miles from the city, the zealots of their party met them in great multitudes, and attended their triumphant entrance: boughs were carried in this tumultuous procession; the roads were strewed with flowers; and amidst the highest exultations of joy, were intermingled loud and virulent invectives against the prelates, who had so cruelly persecuted such godly personages.[*] The more ignoble these men were, the more sensible was the insult upon royal authority, and the more dangerous was the spirit of disaffection and mutiny which it discovered among the people.
Lilburne, Leighton, and every one that had been punished for seditious libels during the preceding administration, now recovered their liberty, and were decreed damages from the judges and ministers of justice.[**]
Not only the present disposition of the nation insured impunity to all libellers: a new method of framing and dispersing libels was invented by the leaders of popular discontent. Petitions to parliament were drawn, craving redress against particular grievances; and when a sufficient number of subscriptions was procured, the petitions were presented to the commons, and immediately published. These petitions became secret bonds of association among the subscribers, and seemed to give undoubted sanction and authority to the complaints which they contained.
It is pretended by historians favorable to the royal cause,[***] and is even asserted by the king himself in a declaration,[****] that a most disingenuous, or rather criminal, practice prevailed in conducting many of these addresses. A petition was first framed; moderate, reasonable, such as men of character willingly subscribed. The names were afterwards torn off and affixed to another petition which served better the purposes of the popular faction. We may judge of the wild fury which prevailed throughout the nation, when so scandalous an imposture, which affected such numbers of people, could be openly practised without drawing infamy and ruin upon the managers.
     * Clarendon, vol. i. p. 199, 200, etc. Nalson, vol. i. p.
     570. May p. 80.

     ** Rushworth, vol. v. p 228. Nalson, vol. i. p. 800.

     *** Dugdale. Clarendon, vol i. p. 203.

     **** Husb. Col. p. 536.
So many grievances were offered, both by the members and by petitions without doors, that the house was divided into above forty committees, charged each of them with the examination of some particular violation of law and liberty which had been complained of. Besides the general committees of religion, trade, privileges, laws, many subdivisions of these were framed, and a strict scrutiny was every where carried on. It is to be remarked that, before the beginning of this century, when the commons assumed less influence and authority, complaints of grievances were usually presented to the house by any members who had had particular opportunity of observing them. These general committees, which were a kind of inquisitorial courts, had not then been established; and we find that the king, in a former declaration.[*] complains loudly of this innovation, so little favorable to royal authority. But never was so much multiplied, as at present, the use of these committees; and the commons, though themselves the greatest innovators, employed the usual artifice of complaining against innovations, and pretending to recover the ancient and established government.
     * Published on dissolving the third parliament. See Parl.
     Hist, vol. viii. p. 347.
From the reports of their committees, the house daily passed votes which mortified and astonished the court, and inflamed and animated the nation. Ship money was declared illegal and arbitrary; the sentence against Hambden cancelled; the court of York abolished; compositions for knighthood stigmatized; the enlargement of the forests condemned; patents for monopolies annulled; and every late measure of administration treated with reproach and obloquy. To-day a sentence of the star chamber was exclaimed against; to-morrow a decree of the high commission. Every discretionary act of council was represented as arbitrary and tyrannical; and the general inference was still inculcated, that a formed design had been laid to subvert the laws and constitution of the kingdom.
From necessity the king remained entirely passive during all these violent operations. The few servants who continued faithful to him, were seized with astonishment at the rapid progress made by the commons in power and popularity, and were glad, by their inactive and inoffensive behavior, to compound for impunity. The torrent rising to so dreadful and unexpected a height, despair seized all those who from interest or habit were most attached to monarchy. And as for those who maintained their duty to the king merely from their regard to the constitution, they seemed by their concurrence to swell that inundation which began already to deluge every thing. "You have taken the whole machine of government in pieces," said Charles, in a discourse to the parliament; "a practice frequent with skilful artists, when they desire to clear the wheels from any rust which may have grown upon them. The engine," continued he, "may again be restored to its former use and motions, provided it be put up entire, so as not a pin of it be wanting." But this was far from the intention of the commons. The machine, they thought, with some reason, was encumbered with many wheels and springs which retarded and crossed its operations, and destroyed its utility. Happy! had they proceeded with moderation, and been contented, in their present plenitude of power, to remove such parts only as might justly be deemed superfluous and incongruous.
In order to maintain that high authority which they had acquired, the commons, besides confounding and overawing their opponents, judged it requisite to inspire courage into their friends and adherents; particularly into the Scots, and the religious Puritans, to whose assistance and good offices they were already so much beholden.
No sooner were the Scots masters of the northern counties, than they laid aside their first professions, which they had not indeed means to support, of paying for every thing; and in order to prevent the destructive expedient of plunder and free quarters, the country consented to give them a regular contribution of eight hundred and fifty pounds a day, in full of their subsistence.[*]
     * Rush. vol. iii. p. 1295.
The parliament, that they might relieve the northern counties from so grievous a burden, agreed to remit pay to the Scottish as well as to the English army; and because subsidies would be levied too slowly for so urgent an occasion, money was borrowed from the citizens upon the security of particular members. Two subsidies, a very small sum,[*] were at first voted; and as the intention of this supply was to indemnify the members who by their private had supported public credit, this pretence was immediately laid hold of, and the money was ordered to be paid, not into the treasury, but to commissioners appointed by parliament; a practice which as it diminished the authority of the crown, was willingly embraced, and was afterwards continued by the commons with regard to every branch of revenue which they granted to the king. The invasion of the Scots had evidently been the cause of assembling the parliament: the presence of their army reduced the king to that total subjection in which he was now held: the commons, for this reason, openly professed their intention of retaining these invaders, till all their own enemies should be suppressed, and all their purposes effected. "We cannot yet spare the Scots," said Strode plainly in the house, "the sons of Zeruiah are still too strong for us;"[**] an allusion to a passage of Scripture, according to the mode of that age. Eighty thousand pounds a month were requisite for the subsistence of the two armies; a sum much greater than the subject had ever been accustomed in any former period to pay to the public. And though several subsidies, together with a poll-tax, were from time to time voted to answer the charge, the commons still took care to be in debt, in order to render the continuance of the session the more necessary.
     * It appears that a subsidy was now fallen to fifty thousand
     pounds.

     ** Dugdale, p. 71.
The Scots being such useful allies to the malecontent party in England, no wonder they were courted with the most unlimited complaisance and the most important services. The king, having in his first speech called them rebels, observed that he had given great offence to the parliament; and he was immediately obliged to soften, and even retract the expression.
The Scottish commissioners, of whom the most considerable were the earl of Rothes and Lord Loudon, found every advantage in conducting their treaty; yet made no haste in bringing it to an issue. They were lodged in the city, and kept an intimate correspondence, as well with the magistrates who were extremely disaffected, as with the popular leaders in both houses. St. Antholine's church was assigned them for their devotions; and their chaplains here began openly to practise the Presbyterian form of worship, which, except in foreign languages, had never hitherto been allowed any indulgence or toleration. So violent was the general propensity towards this new religion, that multitudes of all ranks crowded to the church. Those who were so happy as to find access early in the morning, kept their places the whole day, those who were excluded clung to the doors or windows, in hopes of catching at least some distant murmur or broken phrases of the holy rhetoric.[*] All the eloquence of parliament, now well refined from pedantry, animated with the spirit of liberty and employed in the most important interests, was not attended to with such insatiable avidity, as were these lectures, delivered with ridiculous cant and a provincial accent, full of barbarism and of ignorance.
The most effectual expedient for paying court to the zealous Scots, was to promote the Presbyterian discipline and worship throughout England; and to this innovation the popular leaders among the commons, as well as their more devoted partisans, were of themselves sufficiently inclined. The Puritanical party, whose progress, though secret, had hitherto been gradual in the kingdom, taking advantage of the present disorders, began openly to profess their tenets, and to make furious attacks on the established religion. The prevalence of that sect in the parliament discovered itself, from the beginning, by insensible but decisive symptoms. Marshall and Burgess, two Puritanical clergymen, were chosen to preach before them, and entertained them with discourses seven hours in length.[**] It being the custom of the house always to take the sacrament before they enter upon business, they ordered, as a necessary preliminary, that the communion table should be removed from the east end of St. Margaret's into the middle of the area.[***] The name of the "spiritual lords" was commonly left out in acts of parliament; and the laws ran in the name of king, lords, and commons. The clerk of the upper house, in reading bills, turned his back on the bench of bishops; nor was his insolence ever taken notice of.
     * Clarendon, vol. i. p. 189.

     ** Nalson, vol. i. p. 530, 533.

     *** Nalson, voL i. p. 537
On a day appointed for a solemn fast and humiliation, all the orders of temporal peers, contrary to former practice, in going to church took place of the spiritual; and Lord Spencer remarked that the humiliation that day seemed confined alone to the prelates.
Every meeting of the commons produced some vehement harangue against the usurpations of the bishops, against the high commission, against the late convocation, against the new canons. So disgusted were all lovers of civil liberty at the doctrines promoted by the clergy, that these invectives were received without control; and no distinction at first appeared between such as desired only to repress the exorbitancies of the hierarchy, and such as pretended totally to annihilate episcopal jurisdiction. Encouraged by these favorable appearances, petitions against the church were framed in different parts of the kingdom. The epithet of the ignorant and vicious priesthood was commonly applied to all churchmen addicted to the established discipline and worship; though the episcopal clergy in England, during that age, seem to have been, as they are at present, sufficiently learned and exemplary. An address against episcopacy was presented by twelve clergymen to the committee of religion, and pretended to be signed by many hundreds of the Puritanical persuasion. But what made most noise was, the city petition for a total alteration of church government; a petition to which fifteen thousand subscriptions were annexed, and which was presented by Alderman Pennington, the city member.[*] It is remarkable that, among the many ecclesiastical abuses there complained of, an allowance given by the licensers of books to publish a translation of Ovid's Art of Love, is not forgotten by these rustic censors.[**]
Notwithstanding the favorable disposition of the people, the leaders in the house resolved to proceed with caution. They introduced a bill for prohibiting all clergymen the exercise of any civil office. As a consequence, the bishops were to be deprived of their seats in the house of peers; a measure not unacceptable to the zealous friends of liberty, who observed with regret the devoted attachment of that order to the will of the monarch. But when this bill was presented to the peers, it was rejected by a great majority;[***] the first check which the commons had received in their popular career, and a prognostic of what they might afterwards expect from the upper house, whose inclinations and interests could never be totally separated from the throne.
     * Clarendon, vol. i. p. 203. Whitlocke, p. 37. Nalson, vol.
     i. p. 666.

     ** Rush. vol. v. p. 171.

     *** Clarendon, vol. i. p. 237.
But to show how little they were discouraged, the Puritans immediately brought in another bill for the total abolition of episcopacy; though they thought proper to let that bill sleep at present, in expectation of a more favorable opportunity of reviving it.[*]
Among other acts of regal executive power which the commons were every day assuming, they issued orders for demolishing all images, altars, crucifixes. The zealous Sir Robert Harley, to whom the execution of these orders was committed, removed all crosses even out of streets and markets; and, from his abhorrence of that superstitious figure, would not any where allow one piece of wood or stone to lie over another at right angles.[**]
The bishop of Ely and other clergymen were attacked on account of innovations.[***] Cozens, who had long been obnoxious, was exposed to new censures. This clergyman, who was dean of Peterborough, was extremely zealous for ecclesiastical ceremonies: and so far from permitting the communicants to break the sacramental bread with their fingers, a privilege on which the Puritans strenuously insisted, he would not so much as allow it to be cut with an ordinary household instrument. A consecrated knife must perform that sacred office, and must never afterwards be profaned by any vulgar service.[****]
Cozens likewise was accused of having said, "The king has no more authority in ecclesiastical matters, than the boy who rubs my horse's heels."[v] The expression was violent: but it is certain that all those high churchmen, who were so industrious in reducing the laity to submission, were extremely fond of their own privileges and independency, and were desirous of exempting the mitre from all subjection to the crown.
     * Clarendon, vol. i. p. 237.

     ** Whitlocke, p. 45.

     *** Rush. vol. v. p. 351.

     **** Rush. vol. v. p. 203.

     v Parl. Hist. vol. vii. p. 282. Rush. vol. v. p. 209.
A committee was elected by the lower house as a court of inquisition upon the clergy, and was commonly denominated the committee of "scandalous ministers." The politicians among the commons were apprised of the great importance of the pulpit for guiding the people; the bigots were enraged against the prelatical clergy; and both of them knew that no established government could be overthrown by strictly observing the principles of justice, equity, or clemency. The proceedings, therefore, of this famous committee, which continued for several years, were cruel and arbitrary, and made great havoc both on the church and the universities. They began with harassing, imprisoning, and molesting the clergy; and ended with sequestrating and ejecting them. In order to join contumely to cruelty, they gave the sufferers the epithet of "scandalous," and endeavored to render them as odious as they were miserable.[*] The greatest vices, however, which they could reproach to a great part of them, were, bowing at the name of Jesus, placing the communion table in the east, reading the king's orders for sports on Sunday, and other practices which the established government, both in church and state, had strictly enjoined them.
It may be worth observing, that all historians who lived near that age, or, what perhaps is more decisive, all authors who have casually made mention of those public transactions, still represent the civil disorders and convulsions as proceeding from religious controversy, and consider the political disputes about power and liberty as entirely subordinate to the other. It is true, had the king been able to support government, and at the same time to abstain from all invasion of national privileges, it seems not probable that the Puritans ever could have acquired such authority as to overturn the whole constitution: yet so entire was the subjection into which Charles was now fallen, that, had not the wound been poisoned by the infusion of theological hatred, it must have admitted of an easy remedy. Disuse of parliaments, imprisonments and prosecution of members, ship money, an arbitrary administration; these were loudly complained of; but the grievances which tended chiefly to inflame the parliament and nation, especially the latter, were the surplice, the rails placed about the altar, the bows exacted on approaching it, the liturgy, the breach of the Sabbath, embroidered copes, lawn sleeves, the use of the ring in marriage, and of the cross in baptism. On account of these were the popular leaders content to throw the government into such violent convulsions; and, to the disgrace of that age and of this island, it must be acknowledged, that the disorders in Scotland entirely, and those in England mostly proceeded from so mean and contemptible an origin.[**]
     * Clarendon, vol. i. p. 199. Whitlocke, p. 122. May, p. 81.

     ** Lord Clarendon (vol. i. p. 233) says, that the
     parliamentary party were not agreed about the entire
     abolition of episcopacy: they were only the root and branch
     men, as they were called, who insisted on that measure. But
     those who were willing to retain bishops, insisted on
     reducing their authority to a low ebb, as well as on
     abolishing the ceremonies of worship and vestments of the
     clergy. The controversy therefore, between the parties was
     almost wholly theological, and that of the most frivolous
     and ridiculous kind.
Some persons, partial to the patriots of this age, have ventured to put them in a balance with the most illustrious characters of antiquity; and mentioned the names of Pym, Hambden, Vane, as a just parallel to those of Cato, Brutus, Cassius. Profound capacity, indeed, undaunted courage, extensive enterprise; in these particulars, perhaps, the Roman do not much surpass the English worthies: but what a difference, when the discourse, conduct, conversation, and private as well as public behavior of both are inspected! Compare only one circumstance, and consider its consequences. The leisure of those noble ancients was totally employed in the study of Grecian eloquence and philosophy; in the cultivation of polite letters and civilized society: the whole discourse and language of the moderns were polluted with mysterious jargon, and full of the lowest and most vulgar hypocrisy.
The laws, as they stood at present, protected the church but they exposed the Catholics to the utmost rage of the Puritans; and these unhappy religionists, so obnoxious to the prevailing sect, could not hope to remain long unmolested. The voluntary contribution, which they had made, in order to assist the king in his war against the Scottish Covenanters, was inquired into, and represented as the greatest enormity.[*] By an address from the commons, all officers of that religion were removed from the army, and application was made to the king for seizing two thirds of the lands of recusants; a proportion to which by law he was entitled, but which he had always allowed them to possess upon easy compositions. The execution of the severe and bloody laws against priests was insisted on; and one Goodman, a Jesuit, who was found in prison, was condemned to a capital punishment. Charles, however, agreeably to his usual principles, scrupled to sign the warrant for his execution; and the commons expressed great resentment on the occasion.[**] There remains a singular petition of Goodman, begging to be hanged, rather than prove a source of contention between the king and his people.[***]
     * Rush, vol. v. p. 160.

     ** Rush. vol. v. p. 158, 159. Nalson, vol. i. p. 739.

     *** Rush. vol. v. p. 166. Nalson, vol. i. p. 749.
He escaped with his life; but it seems more probable, that he was overlooked amidst affairs of greater consequence, than that such unrelenting hatred would be softened by any consideration of his courage and generosity.
For some years Con, a Scotchman, afterwards Rosetti, an Italian, had openly resided at London, and frequented the court, as vested with a commission from the pope. The queen's zeal, and her authority with her husband, had been the cause of this imprudence, so offensive to the nation.[*] But the spirit of bigotry now rose too high to permit any longer such indulgences.[**]
Hayward, a justice of peace, having been wounded, when employed in the exercise of his office, by one James, a Catholic madman, this enormity was ascribed to the Popery, not to the frenzy of the assassin; and great alarms seized the nation and parliament.[***] A universal conspiracy of the Papists was supposed to have taken place; and every man for some days imagined that he had a sword at his throat. Though some persons of family and distinction were still attached to the Catholic superstition, it is certain that the numbers of that sect did not amount to the fortieth part of the nation: and the frequent panics to which men, during this period, were so subject on account of the Catholics, were less the effects of fear, than of extreme rage and aversion entertained against them.
     * It is now known from the Clarendon papers, that the king
     had also an authorized agent who resided at Rome. His name
     was Bret, and his chief business was to negotiate with the
     pope concerning indulgences to the Catholics, and to engage
     the Catholics, in return, to be good and loyal subjects. But
     this whole matter, though very innocent, was most carefully
     kept secret. The king says, that he believed Bret to be as
     much his as any Papist could be. See p. 348, 354.

     ** Bush. vol. v. p. 301.

     *** Clarendon, vol. i. p. 249 Rush. vol. v. p. 57.
The queen mother of France, having been forced into banishment by some court intrigues, had retired into England; and expected shelter, amidst her present distresses, in the dominions of her daughter and son-in-law, But though she behaved in the most inoffensive manner, she was insulted by the populace on account of her religion, and was even threatened with worse treatment. The earl of Holland, lieutenant of Middlesex, had ordered a hundred musketeers to guard her; but finding that they had imbibed the same prejudices with the rest of their countrymen, and were unwillingly employed in such a service, he laid the case before the house of peers, for the king's authority was now entirely annihilated. He represented the indignity of the action, that so great a princess, mother to the king of France and to the queens of Spain and England, should be affronted by the multitude. He observed the indelible reproach which would fall upon the nation, if that unfortunate queen should suffer any violence from the misguided zeal of the people. He urged the sacred rights of hospitality, due to every one, much more to a person in distress, of so high a rank, with whom the nation was so nearly connected. The peers thought proper to communicate the matter to the commons, whose authority over the people was absolute. The commons agreed to the necessity of protecting the queen mother; but at the same time prayed that she might be desired to depart the kingdom, "for the quieting those jealousies in the hearts of his majesty's well-affected subjects, occasioned by some ill instruments about that queen's person, by the flowing of priests and Papists to her house, and by the use and practice of the idolatry of the mass, and exercise of other superstitious services of the Romish church, to the great scandal of true religion."[*]
Charles, in the former part of his reign, had endeavored to overcome the intractable and encroaching spirit of the commons, by a perseverance in his own measures, by a stately dignity of behavior, and by maintaining at their utmost height, and even perhaps stretching beyond former precedent, the rights of his prerogative. Finding, by experience, how unsuccessful those measures had proved, and observing the low condition to which he was now reduced, he resolved to alter his whole conduct, and to regain the confidence of his people by pliableness, by concessions, and by a total conformity to their inclinations and prejudices. It may safely be averred, that this new extreme into which the king, for want of proper counsel or support, was fallen, became no less dangerous to the constitution, and pernicious to public peace, than the other, in which he had so long and so unfortunately persevered.
The pretensions with regard to tonnage and poundage were revived, and with certain assurance of success, by the commons.[**]
     * Rush, vol. v. p. 267.

     * It appears not that the commons, though now entirely
     masters, abolished the new impositions of James, against
     which they had formerly so loudly complained; a certain
     proof that the rates of customs settled by that prince, were
     in most instances just, and proportioned to the new price of
     commodities. They seem rather to have been low. See Journ.
     10th Aug. 1625.
The levying of these duties as formerly, without consent of parliament, and even increasing them at pleasure, was such an incongruity in a free constitution, where the people by their fundamental privileges cannot be taxed but by their own consent, as could no longer be endured by these jealous patrons of liberty. In the preamble, therefore, to the bill by which the commons granted these duties to the king, they took care, in the strongest and most positive terms, to assert their own right of bestowing this gift, and to divest the crown of all independent title of assuming it. And that they might increase, or rather finally fix, the entire dependence and subjection of the king, they voted these duties only for two months; and afterwards, from time to time, renewed their grant for very short periods.[*] Charles, in order to show that he entertained no intention ever again to separate himself from his parliament, passed this important bill without any scruple or hesitation.[**]
     * It was an instruction given by the house to the committee
     which framed one of these bills, to take care that the rates
     upon exportation may be as light as possible, and upon
     importation as heavy as trade will bear; a proof that the
     nature of commerce began now to be understood. Journ. 1st
     June, 1641

     ** Clarendon, vol. i. p. 208.
With regard to the bill for triennial parliaments, he made a little difficulty. By an old statute, passed during the reign of Edward III., it had been enacted, that parliaments should be held once every year, or more frequently if necessary: but as no provision had been made in case of failure, and no precise method pointed out for execution, this statute had been considered merely as a general declaration, and was dispensed with at pleasure. The defect was supplied by those vigilant patriots who now assumed the reins of government. It was enacted, that if the chancellor, who was first bound under severe penalties, failed to issue writs by the third of September in every third year, any twelve or more of the peers should be empowered to exert this authority; in default of the peers, that the sheriffs, mayors, bailiffs, etc., should summon the voters; and in their default, that the voters themselves should meet and proceed to the election of members, in the same manner as if writs had been regularly issued from the crown. Nor could the parliament, after it was assembled, be adjourned, prorogued, or dissolved, without their own consent, during the space of fifty days. By this bill, some of the noblest and most valuable prerogatives of the crown were retrenched; but at the same time nothing could be more necessary than such a statute, for completing a regular plan of law and liberty. A great reluctance to assemble parliaments must be expected in the king, where these assemblies, as of late, establish it as a maxim to carry their scrutiny into every part of government. During long intermissions of parliament, grievances and abuses, as was found by recent experience, would naturally creep in; and it would even become necessary for the king and council to exert a great discretionary authority, and by acts of state to supply, in every emergence, the legislative power, whose meeting was so uncertain and precarious. Charles, finding that nothing less would satisfy his parliament and people, at last gave his assent to this bill which produced so great an innovation in the constitution.[*] Solemn thanks were presented him by both houses. Great rejoicings were expressed both in the city and throughout the nation. And mighty professions were every where made of gratitude and mutual returns of supply and confidence. This concession of the king, it must be owned, was not entirely voluntary: it was of a nature too important to be voluntary. The sole inference which his partisans were entitled to draw from the submissions so frankly made to present necessity was, that he had certainly adopted a new plan of government, and for the future was resolved, by every indulgence, to acquire the confidence and affections of his people.
Charles thought, that what concessions were made to the public were of little consequence, if no gratifications were bestowed on individuals who had acquired the direction of public counsels and determinations. A change of ministers, as well as of measures, was therefore resolved on. In one day, several new privy counsellors were sworn; the earls of Hertford Bedford, Essex, Bristol; the lords Say, Saville, Kimbolton. within a few days after was admitted the earl of Warwick.[**] All these noblemen were of the popular party; and some of them afterwards, when matters were pushed to extremities by the commons, proved the greatest support of monarchy.
     * Clarendon, vol. i. p. 209. Whitlocke, p. 39. Rush. vol. v.
     p, 189.

     ** Clarendon, vol. i. p. 195.
Juxon, bishop of London, who had never desired the treasurer's staff, now earnestly solicited for leave to resign it, and retire to the care of that turbulent diocese committed to him. The king gave his consent; and it is remarkable that, during all the severe inquiries carried on against the conduct of ministers and prelates, the mild and prudent virtues of this man who bore both these invidious characters, remained unmolested.[*] It was intended that Bedford, a popular man, of great authority, as well as wisdom and moderation, should succeed Juxon; but that nobleman, unfortunately both for king and people, died about this very time. By some promotions, place was made for St. John, who was created solicitor-general. Hollis was to be made secretary of state, in the room of Windebank, who had fled: Pym, chancellor of the exchequer, in the room of Lord Cottington, who had resigned: Lord Say, master of the wards, in the room of the same nobleman: the earl of Essex, governor, and Hambden, tutor to the prince.[**]
     * Warwick, p, 95.

     ** Clarendon, vol. i. p. 210, 211.
What retarded the execution of these projected changes, was the difficulty of satisfying all those who, from their activity and authority in parliament, had pretensions for offices, and who still had it in their power to embarrass and distress the public measures. Their associates too in popularity, whom the king intended to distinguish by his favor, were unwilling to undergo the reproach of having driven a separate bargain, and of sacrificing to their own ambitious views the cause of the nation. And as they were sensible that they must owe their preferment entirely to their weight and consideration in parliament, they were most of them resolved still to adhere to that assembly, and both to promote its authority, and to preserve their own credit in it. On all occasions, they had no other advice to give the king, than to allow himself to be directed by his great council; or, in other words, to resign himself passively to their guidance and government. And Charles found, that instead of acquiring friends by the honors and offices which he should bestow, he should only arm his enemies with more power to hurt him.
The end on which the king was most intent in changing ministers was, to save the life of the earl of Strafford, and to mollify, by these indulgences, the rage of his most furious prosecutors. But so high was that nobleman's reputation for experience and capacity, that all the new counsellors and intended ministers plainly saw, that if he escaped their vengeance, he must return into favor and authority; and they regarded his death as the only security which they could have, both for the establishment of their present power, and for success in their future enterprises. His impeachment, therefore, was pushed on with the utmost vigor; and, after long and solemn preparations, was brought to a final issue.
Immediately after Strafford was sequestered from parliament, and confined in the Tower, a committee of thirteen was chosen by the lower house, and intrusted with the office of preparing a charge against him. These, joined to a small committee of lords, were vested with authority to examine all witnesses, to call for every paper, and to use any means of scrutiny, with regard to any part of the earl's behavior and conduct.[*] After so general and unbounded an inquisition, exercised by such powerful and implacable enemies, a man must have been very cautious or very innocent, not to afford, during the whole course of his life, some matter of accusation against him.
This committee, by direction from both houses, took an oath of secrecy; a practice very unusual, and which gave them the appearance of conspirators, more than ministers of justice.[**] But the intention of this strictness was, to render it more difficult for the earl to elude their search, or prepare for his justification.
Application was made to the king, that he would allow this committee to examine privy counsellors with regard to opinions delivered at the board: a concession which Charles unwarily made, and which thenceforth banished all mutual confidence from the deliberations of council; where every man is supposed to have entire freedom, without fear of future punishment or inquiry, of proposing any expedient, questioning any opinion, or supporting any argument.[***]
Sir George Ratcliffe, the earl's intimate friend and confidant, was accused of high treason, sent for from Ireland, and committed to close custody. As no charge ever appeared or was prosecuted against him, it is impossible to give a more charitable interpretation to this measure, than that the commons thereby intended to deprive Strafford, in his present distress, of the assistance of his best friend, who was most enabled, by his testimony, to justify the innocence of his patron's conduct and behavior.[****]
     * Clarendon, vol. i. p. 192.

     ** Whitlocke, p. 37.

     *** Clarendon, vol. i. p. 193.

     **** Clarendon, vol. i. p 214.
When intelligence arrived in Ireland of the plans laid for Stafford's ruin, the Irish house of commons, though they had very lately bestowed ample praises on his administration, entered into all the violent counsels against him, and prepared a representation of the miserable state into which, by his misconduct, they supposed the kingdom to be fallen. They sent over a committee to London, to assist in the prosecution of their unfortunate governor; and by intimations from this committee, who entered into close confederacy with the popular leaders in England, was every measure of the Irish parliament governed and directed. Impeachments, which were never prosecuted, were carried up against Sir Richard Bolton, the chancellor, Sir Gerard Louther, chief justice, and Bramhall, bishop of Derry.[*] This step, which was an exact counterpart to the proceedings in England, served also the same purposes: it deprived the king of the ministers whom he most trusted; it discouraged and terrified all the other ministers and it prevented those persons who were best acquainted with Strafford's counsels from giving evidence in his favor before the English parliament.
1641.
The bishops, being forbidden by the ancient canons to assist in trials for life, and being unwilling by any opposition to irritate the commons, who were already much prejudiced against them, thought proper of themselves to withdraw.[**] The commons also voted, that the new-created peers ought to have no voice in this trial; because the accusation being agreed to while they were commoners, their consent to it was implied with that of all the commons of England. Notwithstanding this decision, which was meant only to deprive Strafford of so many friends, Lord Seymour and some others still continued to keep their seat; nor was their right to it any further questioned.[***]
To bestow the greater solemnity on this important trial scaffolds were erected in Westminster Hall; where both houses sat, the one as accusers, the other as judges. Besides the chair of state, a close gallery was prepared for the king and queen, who attended during the whole trial.[****]
     * Rush. vol. v. p. 214.

     ** Clarendon, vol. i. p 216.

     *** Clarendon, vol. i. p. 216.

     ****Whitlocke, p. 40. Rush. vol. iv. p. 11., May. p. 90.
An accusation carried on by the united effort of three kingdoms against one man, unprotected by power, unassisted by counsel, discountenanced by authority, was likely to prove a very unequal contest; yet such were the capacity, genius presence of mind, displayed by this magnanimous statesman, that, while argument, and reason, and law had any place, he obtained an undisputed victory. And *he perished at last, overwhelmed, and still unsubdued, by the open violence of his fierce and unrelenting antagonists.
The articles of impeachment against Strafford are twenty-eight in number; and regard his conduct, as president of the council of York, as deputy or lieutenant of Ireland, and as counsellor or commander in England. But though four months were employed by the managers in framing the accusation, and all Strafford's answers were extemporary, it appears from comparison, not only that he was free from the crime of treason, of which there is not the least appearance, but that his conduct, making allowance for human infirmities, exposed to such severe scrutiny, was innocent, and even laudable.
The powers of the northern council, while he was president, had been extended by the king's instructions beyond what formerly had been practised: but that court being at first instituted by a stretch of royal prerogative, it had been usual for the prince to vary his instructions; and the largest authority committed to it was altogether as legal as the most moderate and most limited. Nor was it reasonable to conclude, that Strafford had used any art to procure those extensive powers; since he never once sat as president, or exercised one act of jurisdiction, after he was invested with the authority so much complained of.[*]
In the government of Ireland, his administration had been equally promotive of his master's interest, and that of the subjects committed to his care. A large debt he had paid off: he had left a considerable sum in the exchequer: the revenue, which never before answered the charges of government, was now raised to be equal to them.[**] A small standing army, formerly kept in no order, was augmented, and was governed by exact discipline; and a great force was there raised and paid for the support of the king's authority against the Scottish covenanters.
     * Bush. vol. iv, p. 145.

     ** Bush. vol. v. p. 120, 247. Warwick, p. 115.
Industry and all the arts of peace were introduced among that rude people; the shipping of the kingdom augmented a hundred fold;[*] the customs tripled upon the same rates: the exports double in value to the imports; manufactures, particularly that of linen, introduced and promoted;[**] agriculture, by means of the English and Scottish plantations, gradually advancing; the Protestant religion encouraged, without the persecution or discontent of the Catholics.
     * Nelson, vol. ii. p. 45.

     ** Rush. vol. iv. p. 124., Warwick, p. 115.
The springs of authority he had enforced without overstraining them. Discretionary acts of jurisdiction, indeed, he had often exerted, by holding courts martial, billetting soldiers, deciding causes upon paper petitions before the council, issuing proclamations, and punishing their infraction. But discretionary authority during that age was usually exercised even in England. In Ireland, it was still more requisite, among a rude people, not yet thoroughly subdued, averse to the religion and manners of their conquerors, ready on all occasions to relapse into rebellion and disorder. While the managers of the commons demanded every moment, that the deputy's conduct should be examined by the line of rigid law and severe principles, he appealed still to the practice of all former deputies, and to the uncontrollable necessity of his situation.
So great was his art of managing elections and balancing parties, that he had engaged the Irish parliament to vote whatever was necessary, both for the payment of former debts, and for support of the new-levied army; nor had he ever been reduced to the illegal expedients practised in England for the supply of public necessities. No imputation of rapacity could justly lie against his administration. Some instances of imperious expressions, and even actions, may be met with. The case of Lord Mountnorris, of all those which were collected with so much industry, is the most flagrant and the least excusable.
It had been reported at the table of Lord Chancellor Loftus, that Annesley, one of the deputy's attendants, in moving a stool, had sorely hurt his master's foot, who was at that time afflicted with the gout. "Perhaps," said Mountnorris, who was present at table, "it was done in revenge of that public affront which my lord deputy formerly put upon him: but he has a brother who would not have taken such a revenge." This casual, and seemingly innocent, at least ambiguous expression, was reported to Stafford; who, on pretence that such a suggestion might prompt Annesley to avenge himself in another manner, ordered Mountnorris, who was an officer to be tried by a court martial for mutiny and sedition against his general. The court, which consisted of the chief officers of the army, found the crime to be capital, and condemned that nobleman to lose his head.[*]
In vain did Strafford plead in his own defence against this article of impeachment, that the sentence of Mountnorris was the deed, and that too unanimous, of the court, not the act of the deputy; that he spake not to a member of the court, nor voted in the cause, but sat uncovered as a party, and then immediately withdrew, to leave them to their freedom; that, sensible of the iniquity of the sentence, he procured his majesty's free pardon to Mountnorris; and that he did not even keep that nobleman a moment in suspense with regard to his fate, but instantly told him, that he himself would sooner lose his right hand than execute such a sentence, nor was his lordship's life in any danger. In vain did Strafford's friends add, as a further apology, that Mountnorris was a man of an infamous character, who paid court by the lowest adulation to all deputies while present, and blackened their character by the vilest calumnies when recalled; and that Strafford, expecting like treatment, had used this expedient for no other purpose than to subdue the petulant spirit of the man. These excuses alleviate the guilt; but there still remains enough to prove, that the mind of the deputy, though great and firm, had been not a little debauched by the riot of absolute power and uncontrolled authority.
When Strafford was called over to England, he found every thing falling into such confusion, by the open rebellion of the Scots, and the secret discontents of the English, that, if he had counselled or executed any violent measure, he might perhaps have been able to apologize for his conduct from the great law of necessity, which admits not, while the necessity is extreme, of any scruple, ceremony, or delay.[**] But, in fact, no illegal advice or action was proved against him; and the whole amount of his guilt, during this period, was some peevish, or at most imperious expressions, which, amidst such desperate extremities, and during a bad state of health, had unhappily fallen from him.
     * Rush. vol. iv. p. 187.

     ** Rush. vol. iv. p. 559.
If Strafford's apology was in the main so satisfactory when he pleaded to each particular article of the charge, his victory was still more decisive when he brought the whole together, and repelled the imputation of treason; the crime which the commons would infer from the full view of his conduct and behavior. Of all species of guilt, the law of England had with the most scrupulous exactness defined that of treason; because on that side it was found most necessary to protect the subject against the violence of the king and of his ministers. In the famous statute of Edward III., all the kinds of treason are enumerated; and every other crime, besides such as are there expressly mentioned, is carefully excluded from that appellation. But with regard to this guilt, "an endeavor to subvert the fundamental laws," the statute of treasons is totally silent: and arbitrarily to introduce it into the fatal catalogue, is itself a subversion of all law; and under color of defending liberty, reverses a statute the best calculated for the security of liberty that had ever been enacted by an English parliament.
As this species of treason, discovered by the commons, is entirely new and unknown to the laws, so is the species of proof by which they pretend to fix that guilt upon the prisoner. They have invented a kind of accumulative or constructive evidence, by which many actions either totally innocent in themselves, or criminal in a much inferior degree, shall, when united, amount to treason, and subject the person to the highest penalties inflicted by the law. A hasty and unguarded word, a rash and passionate action, assisted by the malevolent fancy of the accuser, and tortured by doubtful constructions, is transmuted into the deepest guilt; and the lives and fortunes of the whole nation, no longer protected by justice, are subjected to arbitrary will and pleasure.
"Where has this species of guilt lain so long concealed?" said Strafford in conclusion. "Where has this fire been so long buried during so many centuries, that no smoke should appear till it burst out at once to consume me and my children? Better it were to live under no law at all, and by the maxims of cautious prudence to conform ourselves the best we can to the arbitrary will of a master, than fancy we have a law on which we can rely, and find at last, that this law shall inflict a punishment precedent to the promulgation, and try us by maxims unheard of till the very moment of the prosecution. If I sail on the Thames, and split my vessel on an anchor, in case there be no buoy to give warning, the party shall pay me damages: but if the anchor be marked out, then is the striking on it at my own peril. Where is the mark set upon this crime? where the token by which I should discover it? It has lain concealed under water; and no human prudence, no human innocence, could save me from the destruction with which I am at present threatened.
"It is now full two hundred and forty years since treasons were defined; and so long has it been since any man was touched to this extent upon this crime before myself. We have lived, my lords, happily to ourselves at home: we have lived gloriously abroad to the world: let us be content with what our fathers have left us.*let not our ambition carry us to be more learned than they were in these killing and destructive arts. Great wisdom it will be in your lordships, and just providence for yourselves, for your posterities, for the whole kingdom, to cast from you into the fire these bloody and mysterious volumes of arbitrary and constructive treasons, as the primitive Christians did their books of curious arts, and betake yourselves to the plain letter of the statute, which tells you where the crime is, and points out to you the path by which you may avoid it.
"Let us not, to our own destruction, awake those sleeping lions, by rattling up a company of old records which have lain for so many ages by the wall, forgotten and neglected. To all my afflictions, add not this, my lords, the most severe of any; that I, for my other sins, not for my treasons, be the means of introducing a precedent so pernicious to the laws and liberties of my native country.
"However, these gentlemen at the bar say they speak for the commonwealth, and they believe so; yet, under favor, it is I who, in this particular, speak for the commonwealth. Precedents like those which are endeavored to be established against me, must draw along such inconveniencies and miseries, that in a few years the kingdom will be in the condition expressed in a statute of Henry IV.; and no man shall know by what rule to govern his words and actions.
"Impose not, my lords, difficulties insurmountable upon ministers of state, nor disable them from serving with cheerfulness their king and country. If you examine them, and under such severe penalties, by every grain, by every little weight, the scrutiny will be intolerable. The public affairs of the kingdom must be left waste; and no wise man, who has any honor or fortune to lose, will ever engage himself in such dreadful, such unknown perils.
"My lords, I have now troubled your lordships a great deal longer than I should have done. Were it not for the interest of these pledges, which a saint in heaven left me, I should be loath—" (Here he pointed to his children, and his weeping stopped him.) "What I forfeit for myself, it is nothing: but, I confess, that my indiscretion should forfeit for them, it wounds me very deeply. You will be pleased to pardon my infirmity: something I should have said; but I see I shall not be able, and therefore I shall leave it.
"And now, my lords, I thank God, I have been by his blessing sufficiently instructed in the extreme vanity of all temporary enjoyments, compared to the importance of our eternal duration. And so, my lords, even so, with all humility, and with all tranquillity of mind, I submit, clearly and freely, to your judgments: and whether that righteous doom shall be to life or death, I shall repose myself, full of gratitude and confidence, in the arms of the great Author of my existence."[*]
"Certainly," says Whitlocke,[**] with his usual candor, "never any man acted such a part, on such a theatre, with more wisdom, constancy, and eloquence, with greater reason, judgment, and temper, and with a better grace in all his words and actions, than did this great and excellent person; and he moved the hearts of all his auditors, some few excepted, to remorse and pity." It is remarkable, that the historian who expresses himself in these terms, was himself chairman of that committee which conducted the impeachment against this unfortunate statesman. The accusation and defence lasted eighteen days. The managers divided the several articles among them, and attacked the prisoner with all the weight of authority, with all the vehemence of rhetoric, with all the accuracy of long preparation. Strafford was obliged to speak with deference and reserve towards his most inveterate enemies, the commons, the Scottish nation, and the Irish parliament. He took only a very short time on each article to recollect himself: yet he alone, without assistance, mixing modesty and humility with firmness and vigor, made such a defence that the commons saw it impossible, by a legal prosecution, ever to obtain a sentence against him.
     * Rush. vol. iv. p *59, etc.

     ** Page 41.
But the death of Stafford was too important a stroke of party to be left unattempted by any expedient, however extraordinary. Besides the great genius and authority of that minister, he had threatened some of the popular leaders with an impeachment; and, had he not himself been suddenly prevented by the impeachment of the commons, he had that very day, it was thought, charged Pym, Hambden, and others with treason, for having invited the Scots to invade England. A bill of attainder was therefore brought into the lower house immediately after finishing these pleadings; and, preparatory to it, a new proof of the earl's guilt was produced, in order to remove such scruples as might be entertained with regard to a method of proceeding so unusual and irregular.
Sir Henry Vane, secretary, had taken some notes of a debate in council, after the dissolution of the last parliament; and being at a distance, he had sent the keys of his cabinet, as was pretended, to his son Sir Henry, in order to search for some papers which were necessary for completing a marriage settlement. Young Vane, falling upon this paper of notes, deemed the matter of the utmost importance; and immediately communicated it to Pym, who now produced the paper before the house of commons. The question before the council was, "Offensive or defensive war with the Scots." The king proposes this difficulty, "But how can I undertake offensive war, if I have no more money?" The answer ascribed to Strafford was in these words: "Borrow of the city a hundred thousand pounds: go on vigorously to levy ship money. Your majesty having tried the affections of your people, you are absolved and loose from all rules of government, and may do what power will admit. Your majesty, having tried all ways, shall be acquitted before God and man. And you have an army in Ireland, which you may employ to reduce this kingdom to obedience: for I am confident the Scots cannot hold out five months." There followed some counsels of Laud and Cottington, equally violent with regard to the king's being absolved from all rules of government.[*]
     * Clarendon, vol. i. p. 223, 229, 230, etc. Whitlocke, p.
     41. May p. 93.
This paper, with all the circumstances of its discovery and communication, was pretended to be equivalent to two witnesses, and to be an unanswerable proof of those pernicious counsels of Strafford which tended to the subversion of the laws and constitution. It was replied by Strafford and his friends, that old Vane was his most inveterate and declared enemy; and if the secretary himself, as was by far most probable, had willingly delivered to his son this paper of notes, to be communicated to Pym, this implied such a breach of oaths and of trust as rendered him totally unworthy of all credit: that the secretary's deposition was at first exceedingly dubious: upon two examinations, he could not remember any such words: even the third time, his testimony was not positive, but imported only, that Strafford had spoken such or suchlike words; and words may be very like in sound, and differ much in sense; nor ought the lives of men to depend upon grammatical criticisms of any expressions, much less of those which had been delivered by the speaker without premeditation, and committed by the hearer for any time however short, to the uncertain record of memory: that, in the present case, changing this kingdom into that kingdom a very slight alteration, the earl's discourse could regard nothing but Scotland, and implies no advice unworthy of an English counsellor: that even retaining the expression, this kingdom, the words may fairly be understood of Scotland, which alone was the kingdom that the debate regarded, and which alone had thrown off allegiance, and could be reduced to obedience: that it could be proved, as well by the evidence of all the king's ministers, as by the known disposition of the forces, that the intention never was to land the Irish army in England, but in Scotland: that of six other counsellors present, Laud and Windebank could give no evidence; Northumberland, Hamilton, Cottington, and Juxon, could recollect no such expression; and the advice was too remarkable to be easily forgotten: that it was nowise probable such a desperate counsel would be openly delivered at the board, and before Northumberland, a person of that high rank, and whose attachments to the court were so much weaker than his connections with the country. That though Northumberland, and he alone, had recollected some such expression as that of "being absolved from rules of government," yet, in such desperate extremities as those into which the king and kingdom were then fallen, a maxim of that nature, allowing it to be delivered by Strafford, may be defended upon principles the most favorable to law and liberty and that nothing could be more iniquitous than to extract an accusation of treason from an opinion simply proposed at the council table; where all freedom of debate ought to be permitted, and where it was not unusual for the members, in order to draw forth the sentiments of others, to propose counsels very remote from their own secret advice and judgment.[*]
The evidence of Secretary Vane, though exposed to such unsurmountable objections, was the real cause of Strafford' unhappy fate; and made the bill of attainder pass the commons with no greater opposition than that of fifty-nine dissenting votes. But there remained two other branches of the legislature, the king and the lords, whose assent was requisite; and these, if left to their free judgment, it was easily foreseen, would reject the bill without scruple or deliberation. To overcome this difficulty, the popular leaders employed expedients for which they were beholden partly to their own industry, partly to the indiscretion of their adversaries.
Next Sunday, after the bill passed the commons, the Puritanical pulpits resounded with declamations concerning the necessity of executing justice upon great delinquents.[**] The populace took the alarm. About six thousand men, armed with swords and cudgels, flocked from the city, and surrounded the houses of parliament.[***] The names of the fifty-nine commoners who had voted against the bill of attainder, were posted up under the title of "Straffordians, and betrayers of their country." These were exposed to all the insults of the ungovernable multitude. When any of the lords passed, the cry for justice against Strafford resounded in their ears; and such as were suspected of friendship to that obnoxious minister, were sure to meet with menaces, not unaccompanied with symptoms of the most desperate resolutions in the furious populace.[****]
Complaints in the house of commons being made against these violences, as the most flagrant breach of privilege, the ruling members, by their affected coolness and indifference, showed plainly, that the popular tumults were not disagreeable to them.[v] But a new discovery, made about this time, served to throw every thing into still greater flame and combustion.
     * Rush. vol. iv. p. 560.

     ** Whitlocke, p. 43.

     *** Whitlocke, p. 43.

     **** Clarendon, vol. i. p. 232, 256. Rush. vol. v. p. 248,
     1279.

     v    Whitlocke, ut supra.
Some principal officers, Piercy, Jermyn, O'Neale, Goring, Wilmot, Pollard, Ashburnham, partly attached to the court, partly disgusted with the parliament, had formed a plan of engaging into the king's service the English army, whom they observed to be displeased at some marks of preference given by the commons to the Scots. For this purpose, they entered into an association, took an oath of secrecy, and kept a close correspondence with some of the king's servants. The form of a petition to the king and parliament was concerted; and it was intended to get this petition subscribed by the army. The petitioners there represent the great and unexampled concessions made by the king for the security of public peace and liberty; the endless demands of certain insatiable and turbulent spirits, whom nothing less will content than a total subversion of the ancient constitution; the frequent tumults which these factious malecontents had excited, and which endangered the liberty of parliament. To prevent these mischiefs, the army offered to come up and guard that assembly, "So shall the nation," as they express themselves in the conclusion, "not only be vindicated from preceding innovations, but be secured from the future, which are threatened, and which are likely to produce more dangerous effects than the former."[*] The draught of this petition being conveyed to the king, he was prevailed on, somewhat imprudently, to countersign it himself, as a mark of his approbation. But as several difficulties occurred, the project was laid aside two months before any public discovery was made of it.
It was Goring who betrayed the secret to the popular leaders. The alarm may easily be imagined which this intelligence conveyed. Petitions from the military to the civil power are always looked on as disguised or rather undisguised commands, and are of a nature widely different from petitions presented by any other rank of men. Pym opened the matter in the house.[**] On the first intimation of a discovery, Piercy concealed himself, and Jermyn withdrew beyond sea. This further confirmed the suspicion of a dangerous conspiracy. Goring delivered his evidence before the house: Piercy wrote a letter to his brother, Northumberland, confessing most of the particulars.[***] Both their testimonies agree with regard to the oath of secrecy; and as this circumstance had been denied by Pollard, Ashburnham, and Wilmot, in all their examinations, it was regarded as a new proof of some desperate resolutions which had been taken.
     * Clarendon, vol. i. p. 247. Whitlocke, p. 43.

     ** Rush, vol v. p. 240.

     *** Rush. vol. v. p. 255.
To convey more quickly the terror and indignation at this plot, the commons voted that a protestation should be signed by all the members. It was sent up to the lords, and signed by all of them, except Southampton and Robarts. Orders were given by the commons alone, without other authority that it should be subscribed by the whole nation. The protestation was in itself very inoffensive, even insignificant; and contained nothing but general declarations, that the subscribers would defend their religion and liberties.[*] But it tended to increase the popular panic, and intimated, what was more expressly declared in the preamble, that these blessings were now exposed to the utmost peril.
Alarms were every day given of new conspiracies.[**] In Lancashire, great multitudes of Papists were assembling: secret meetings were held by them in caves and under ground in Surrey: they had entered into a plot to blow up the river with gunpowder, in order to drown the city:[***] provisions of arms were making beyond sea: sometimes France, sometimes Denmark, was forming designs against the kingdom; and the populace, who are always terrified with present, and enraged with distant dangers, were still further animated in their demands of justice against the unfortunate Strafford.
The king came to the house of lords: and though he expressed his resolution, for which he offered them any security, never again to employ Strafford in any branch of public business, he professed himself totally dissatisfied with regard to the circumstance of treason, and on that account declared his difficulty in giving his assent to the bill of attainder.[****] The commons took fire, and voted it a breach of privilege for the king to take notice of any bill depending before the houses, Charles did not perceive that his attachment to Strafford was the chief motive for the bill; and that the greater proofs he gave of anxious concern for this minister, the more inevitable did he render his destruction.
About eighty peers had constantly attended Strafford's trial; but such apprehensions were entertained on account of the popular tumults, that only forty-five were present when the bill of attainder was brought into the house. Yet of these nineteen had the courage to vote against it;[v] a certain proof that if entire freedom had been allowed, the bill had been rejected by a great majority.
     * Clarendon, vol. i. p. 252. Rush. vol. v. p. 241. Warwick,
     p. 180.

     ** Dugdale, p. 69. Franklyn, p. 901.

     *** Sir Edward Walker p. 349.

     **** Rush. vol. v. p. 239.

     v Whitlocke, p. 43.
In carrying up the bill to the lords, St. John, the solicitor-general, advanced two topics well suited to the fury of the times; that though the testimony against Strafford were not clear, yet, in this way of bill, private satisfaction to each man's conscience was sufficient, even should no evidence at all be produced; and that the earl had no title to plead law, because he had broken the law. It is true, added he, we give law to hares and deer, for they are beasts of chase: but it was never accounted either cruel or unfair to destroy foxes or wolves wherever they can be found, for they are beasts of prey.[*]
After popular violence had prevailed over the lords, the same battery was next applied to force the king's assent. The populace flocked about Whitehall, and accompanied their demand of justice with the loudest clamors and most open menaces. Rumors of conspiracies against the parliament were anew spread abroad; invasions and insurrections talked of; and the whole nation was raised into such a ferment, as threatened some great and imminent convulsion. On whichever side the king cast his eyes, he saw no resource or security. All his servants, consulting their own safety, rather than their master's honor, declined interposing with their advice between him and his parliament. The queen, terrified with the appearance of so mighty a danger, and bearing formerly no good will to Strafford, was in tears, and pressed him to satisfy his people in this demand, which, it was hoped, would finally content them. Juxon, alone, whose courage was not inferior to his other virtues, ventured to advise him, if in his conscience he did not approve of the bill, by no means to assent to it.[**]
Strafford, hearing of Charles's irresolution and anxiety, took a very extraordinary step: he wrote a letter, in which he entreated the king, for the sake of public peace, to put an end to his unfortunate, however innocent life, and to quiet the tumultuous people by granting them the request for which they were so importunate.[***]
     * Clarendon, vol. i. p. 232.

     ** Clarendon, vol. i. p. 257. Warwick, p. 160.

     *** Clarendon, vol. i. p. 258. Rush. vol. v. p. 251.
"In this," added he, "my consent will more acquit you to God than all the world can do besides. To a willing man there is no injury. And as, by God's grace, I forgive all the world, with a calmness and meekness of infinite contentment to my dislodging soul, so, sir, to you I can resign the life of this world with all imaginable cheerfulness, in the just acknowledgment of your exceeding favors." Perhaps Strafford hoped, that this unusual instance of generosity would engage the king still more strenuously to protect him: perhaps he gave his life for lost; and finding himself in the hands of his enemies, and observing that Balfour, the lieutenant of the Tower, was devoted to the popular party,[*] he absolutely despaired of ever escaping the multiplied dangers with which he was every way environed. We might ascribe this step to a noble effort of disinterestedness, not unworthy the great mind of Strafford, if the measure which he advised had not been, in the event, as pernicious to his master, as it was immediately fatal to himself.[**] 6
     * Whitlocke, p. 44. Franklyn, p. 896.

     ** See note F, at the end of the volume.
After the most violent anxiety and doubt, Charles at last granted a commission to four noblemen to give the royal assent in his name to the bill; flattering himself probably, in this extremity of distress, that as neither his will consented to the deed, nor was his hand immediately engaged in it, he was the more free from all the guilt which attended it. These commissioners he empowered, at the same time, to give his assent to the bill which rendered the parliament perpetual.
The commons, from policy rather than necessity, had embraced the expedient of paying the two armies by borrowing money from the city; and these loans they had repaid afterwards by taxes levied upon the people. The citizens, either of themselves or by suggestion, began to start difficulties with regard to a further loan, which was demanded. We make no scruple of trusting the parliament, said they, were we certain that the parliament were to continue till our repayment. But in the present precarious situation of affairs, what security can be given us for our money? In pretence of obviating this objection, a bill was suddenly brought into the house, and passed with great unanimity and rapidity, that the parliament should not be dissolved, prorogued, or adjourned, without their own consent. It was hurried in like manner through the house of peers, and was instantly carried to the king for his assent. Charles, in the agony of grief, shame, and remorse for Strafford's doom, perceived not that this other bill was of still more fatal consequence to his authority, and rendered the power of his enemies perpetual, as it was already uncontrollable.[*] In comparison of the bill of attainder, by which he deemed himself an accomplice in his friend's murder, this concession made no figure in his eyes;[**] 7 a circumstance which, if it lessen our idea of his resolution or penetration serves to prove the integrity of his heart, and the goodness of his disposition. It is indeed certain, that strong compunction for his consent to Strafford's execution attended this unfortunate prince during the remainder of his life; and even at his own fatal end, the memory of this guilt, with great sorrow and remorse, recurred upon him. All men were so sensible of the extreme violence which was done him, that he suffered the less, both in character and interest, from this unhappy measure; and though he abandoned his best friend, yet was he still able to preserve, in some degree, the attachment of all his adherents.
Secretary Carleton was sent by the king to inform Strafford of the final resolution which necessity had extorted from him. The earl seemed surprised, and starting up, exclaimed, in the words of Scripture, "Put not your trust in princes, nor in the sons of men, for in them there is no salvation."[***] He was soon able, however, to collect his courage; and he prepared himself to suffer the fatal sentence. Only three days' interval was allowed him. The king, who made a new effort in his behalf, and sent by the hands of the young prince a letter addressed to the peers, in which he entreated them to confer with the commons about a mitigation of Strafford's sentence, and begged at least for some delay, was refused in both requests.[****]
Strafford, in passing from his apartment to Tower Hill, where the scaffold was erected, stopped under Laud's windows, with whom he had long lived in intimate friendship, and entreated the assistance of his prayers in those awful moments which were approaching. The aged primate dissolved in tears; and having pronounced, with a broken voice, a tender blessing on his departing friend, sunk into the arms of his attendants.[v] Stafford, still superior to his fate, moved on with an elated countenance, and with an air even of greater dignity than what usually attended him.
     * Clarendon, vol. i. p. 261, 262. Rush. vol. v. p. 264.

     ** See note G, at the end of the volume

     *** Whitlocke, p. 44.

     **** Rush. vol. v. p. 265.

     v Nalson, vol. ii. p. 198.
He wanted that consolation which commonly supports those who perish by the stroke of injustice and oppression: he was not buoyed up by glory, nor by the affectionate compassion of the spectators; yet his mind, erect and undaunted, found resources within itself, and maintained its unbroken resolution amidst the terrors of death, and the triumphant exultations of his misguided enemies. His discourse on the scaffold was full of decency and courage. "He feared," he said, "that the omen was bad for the intended reformation of the state, that it commenced with the shedding of innocent blood." Having bid a last adieu to his brother and friends who attended him, and having sent a blessing to his nearer relations who were absent, "And now," said he, "I have nigh done! One stroke will make my wife a widow, my dear children fatherless, deprive my poor servants of their indulgent master, and separate me from my affectionate brother and all my friends! But let God be to you and them all in all!" Going to disrobe and prepare himself for the block, "I thank God," said he, "that I am nowise afraid of death, nor am daunted with any terrors; but do as cheerfully lay down my head at this time as ever I did when going to repose!" With one blow was a period put to his life by the executioner.[*]
Thus perished, in the forty-ninth year of his age, the earl of Strafford, one of the most eminent personages that has appeared in England. Though his death was loudly demanded as a satisfaction to justice, and an atonement for the many violations of the constitution, it may safely be affirmed, that the sentence by which he fell was an enormity greater than the worst of those which his implacable enemies prosecuted with so much cruel industry. The people, in their rage, had totally mistaken the proper object of their resentment. All the necessities, or, more properly speaking, the difficulties by which the king had been induced to use violent expedients for raising supply, were the result of measures previous to Strafford's favor; and if they arose from ill conduct, he at least was entirely innocent. Even those violent expedients themselves, which occasioned the complaint that the constitution was subverted, had been, all of them, conducted, so far as appeared, without his counsel or assistance. And whatever his private advice might be,[**] this salutary maxim he failed not often and publicly to inculcate in the king's presence, that, if any inevitable necessity ever obliged the sovereign to violate the laws, this license ought to be practised with extreme reserve, and, as soon as possible, a just atonement be made to the constitution for any injury which it might sustain from such dangerous precedents.[***] The first parliament after the restoration reversed the bill of attainder; and even a few weeks after Strafford's execution, this very parliament remitted to his children the more severe consequences of his sentence; as if conscious of the violence with which the prosecution had been conducted.
     * Rush, vol, v. p. 267.

     ** That Strafford was secretly no enemy to arbitrary
     counsels, appears from some of his letters and despatches,
     particularly vol. ii. p. 60, where he seems to wish that a
     standing army were established.

     *** Rush. vol. iv. p. 567, 568, 569, 570.
In vain did Charles expect, as a return for so many instances of unbounded compliance, that the parliament would at last show him some indulgence, and would cordially fall into that unanimity to which, at the expense of his own power and of his friend's life, he so earnestly courted them. All his concessions were poisoned by their suspicion of his want of cordiality; and the supposed attempt to engage the army against them, served with many as a confirmation of this jealousy. It was natural for the king to seek some resource, while all the world seemed to desert him, or combine against him; and this probably was the utmost of that embryo scheme which was formed with regard to the army. But the popular leaders still insisted, that a desperate plot was laid to bring up the forces immediately, and offer violence to the parliament; a design of which Piercy's evidence acquits the king, and which the near neighborhood of the Scottish army seems to render absolutely impracticable.[*] By means, however, of these suspicions, was the same implacable spirit still kept alive; and the commons, without giving the king any satisfaction in the settlement of his revenue, proceeded to carry their inroads with great vigor into his now defenceless prerogative.[**]
     * The project of bringing up the army to London, according
     to Piercy, was proposed to the king: but he rejected it as
     foolish; because the Scots, who were in arms, and lying in
     their neighborhood, must be at London as soon as the English
     army. This reason is so solid and convincing, that it leaves
     no room to doubt of the veracity of Piercy's evidence; and
     consequently acquits the king of this terrible plot of
     bringing up the army, which made such a noise at the time,
     and was a pretence for so many violences.

     ** Clarendon, vol. i. p. 266.
The two ruling passions of this parliament were, zeal for liberty, and an aversion to the church; and to both of these, nothing could appear more exceptionable than the court of high commission, whose institution rendered it entirely arbitrary, and assigned to it the defence of the ecclesiastical establishment. The star chamber also was a court which exerted high discretionary powers and had no precise rule or limit, either with regard to the causes which came under its jurisdiction, or the decisions which it formed. A bill unanimously passed the houses to abolish these two courts; and in them to annihilate the principal and most dangerous articles of the king's prerogative. By the same bill, the jurisdiction of the council was regulated, and its authority abridged.[*] Charles hesitated before he gave his assent. But finding that he had gone too far to retreat, and that he possessed no resource in case of a rupture, he at last affixed the royal sanction to this excellent bill. But to show the parliament that he was sufficiently apprised of the importance of his grant, he observed to them, that this statute altered in a great measure the fundamental laws, ecclesiastical and civil, which many of his predecessors had established.[**]
     * Clarendon, vol. i. p. 283, 284. Whitlocke, p. 47. Rush.
     vol. iii. p. 1383, 1384.

     ** Rush. vol. v. p. 30.
By removing the star chamber, the king's power of binding the people by his proclamations was indirectly abolished; and that important branch of prerogative, the strong symbol of arbitrary power, and unintelligible in a limited constitution, being at last removed, left the system of government more consistent and uniform. The star chamber alone was accustomed to punish infractions of the king's edicts: but as no courts of judicature now remained except those in Westminster Hall, which take cognizance only of common and statute law, the king may thenceforth issue proclamations, but no man is bound to obey them, It must, however, be confessed, that the experiment here made by the parliament was not a little rash and adventurous. No government at that time appeared in the world, nor is perhaps to be found in the records of any history, which subsisted without the mixture of some arbitrary authority committed to some magistrate; and it might reasonably, beforehand, appear doubtful, whether human society could ever reach that state of perfection, as to support itself with no other control than the general and rigid maxims of law and equity. But the parliament justly thought, that the king was too eminent a magistrate to be trusted with discretionary power, which he might so easily turn to the destruction of liberty. And in the event, it has hitherto been found, that, though some sensible inconveniencies arise from the maxim of adhering strictly to law, yet the advantages overbalance them, and should render the English grateful to the memory of their ancestors, who, after repeated contests, at last established that noble, though dangerous principle.
At the request of the parliament, Charles, instead of the patents during pleasure, gave all the judges patents during their good behavior;[*] a circumstance of the greatest moment towards securing their independency, and barring the entrance of arbitrary power into the ordinary courts of judicature.
The marshal's court, which took cognizance of offensive, words, and was not thought sufficiently limited by law, was also for that reason abolished.[**] The stannary courts, which exercised jurisdiction over the miners, being liable to a like objection, underwent a like fate. The abolition of the council of the north and the council of Wales followed from the same principles. The authority of the clerk of the market, who had a general inspection over the weights and measures throughout the kingdom, was transferred to the mayors, sheriffs, and ordinary magistrates.
     * May, p. 107.

     ** Nalson, vol. i p. 778.
In short, if we take a survey of the transactions of this memorable parliament during the first period of its operations, we shall find that, excepting Strafford's attainder, which was a complication of cruel iniquity, their merits in other respects so much outweigh their mistakes, as to entitle them to praise, from all lovers of liberty. Not only were former abuses remedied, and grievances redressed; great provision for the future was made by law against the return of like complaints. And if the means by which they obtained such advantages savor often of artifice, sometimes of violence, it is to be considered, that revolutions of government cannot be effected by the mere force of argument and reasoning; and that factions being once excited, men can neither so firmly regulate the tempers of others, nor their own, as to insure themselves against all exorbitances.
The parliament now came to a pause. The king had promised his Scottish subjects that he would this summer pay them a visit, in order to settle their government; and though the English parliament was very importunate with him, that he should lay aside that journey, they could not prevail with him so much as to delay it. As he must necessarily, in his journey, have passed through the troops of both nations, the commons seem to have entertained great jealousy on that account, and to have now hurried on, as much as they formerly delayed, the disbanding of the armies. The arrears, therefore, of the Scots were fully paid them; and those of the English in part. The Scots returned home, and the English were separated into their several counties, and dismissed.
After this, the parliament adjourned to the twentieth of October; and a committee of both houses—a thing unprecedented—was appointed to sit during the recess, with very ample powers.[*] Pym was elected chairman of the committee of the lower house. Further attempts were made by the parliament while it sat, and even by the commons alone for assuming sovereign executive powers, and publishing their ordinances, as they called them, instead of laws. The committee too, on their part, was ready to imitate the example.
A small committee of both houses was appointed to attend the king into Scotland, in order, as was pretended, to see that the articles of pacification were executed; but really to be spies upon him, and extend still further the ideas of parliamentary authority, as well as eclipse the majesty of the king. The earl of Bedford, Lord Howard, Sir Philip Stapleton, Sir William Armyne, Fiennes, and Hambden, were the persons chosen.[**]
     * Rush. vol. v. p. 387.

     ** Rush. vol. v. p. 376
Endeavors were used, before Charles's departure, to have a protector of the kingdom appointed, with a power to pass laws without having recourse to the king: so little regard was now paid to royal authority, or to the established constitution of the kingdom.
Amidst the great variety of affairs which occurred during this busy period, we have almost overlooked the marriage of the princess Mary with William, prince of Orange. The king concluded not this alliance without communicating his intentions to the parliament, who received the proposal with satisfaction.[*] This was the commencement of the connections with the family of Orange; connections which were afterwards attended with the most important consequences, both to the kingdom and to the house of Stuart.
     * Whitlocke, p. 38.




CHAPTER LV.

CHARLES I.

1641.
THE Scots, who began these fatal commotions, thought that they had finished a very perilous undertaking much to their profit and reputation. Besides the large pay voted them for lying in good quarters during a twelvemonth, the English parliament had conferred on them a present of three hundred thousand pounds for their brotherly assistance.[*] In the articles of pacification, they were declared to have ever been good subjects; and their military expeditions were approved of, as enterprises calculated and intended for his majesty's honor and advantage. To carry further the triumph over their sovereign, these terms, so ignominious to him, were ordered by a vote of parliament to be read in all churches, upon a day of thanksgiving appointed for the national pacification;[**] all their claims for the restriction of prerogative were agreed to be ratified; and, what they more valued than all these advantages, they had a near prospect of spreading the Presbyterian discipline in England and Ireland, from the seeds which they had scattered of their religious principles. Never did refined Athens so exult in diffusing the sciences and liberal arts over a savage world, never did generous Rome so please herself in the view of law and order established by her victorious arms, as the Scots now rejoiced in communicating their barbarous zeal and theological fervor to the neighboring nations.
     * Nalson, vol. i. p. 747. May, p. 104.

     ** Rush. vol. v. p. 365. Clarendon, vol. ii p. 293.
Charles, despoiled in England of a considerable part of his authority, and dreading still further encroachments upon him, arrived in Scotland, with an intention of abdicating almost entirely the small share of power which there remained to him, and of giving full satisfaction, if possible, to his restless subjects in that kingdom.
The lords of articles were an ancient institution in the Scottish parliament. They were constituted after this manner: The temporal lords chose eight bishops: the bishops elected eight temporal lords: these sixteen named eight commissioners of counties, and eight burgesses, and without the previous consent of the thirty-two, who were denominated lords of articles, no motion could be made in parliament. As the bishops were entirely devoted to the court, it is evident, that all the lords of articles, by necessary consequence, depended on the king's nomination; and the prince, besides one negative after the bills had passed through parliament, possessed indirectly another before their introduction; a prerogative of much greater consequence than the former. The bench of bishops being now abolished, the parliament laid hold of the opportunity, and totally set aside the lords of articles: and till this important point was obtained, the nation, properly speaking, could not be said to enjoy any regular freedom.[*]
It is remarkable that, notwithstanding this institution, to which there is no parallel in England, the royal authority was always deemed much lower in Scotland than in the former kingdom. Bacon represents it as one advantage to be expected from the union, that the too extensive prerogative of England would be abridged by the example of Scotland, and the too narrow prerogative of Scotland be enlarged from the imitation of England. The English were at that time a civilized people, and obedient to the laws; but among the Scots it was of little consequence how the laws were framed, or by whom voted, while the exorbitant aristocracy had it so much in their power to prevent their regular execution.
The peers and commons formed only one house in the Scottish parliament: and as it had been the practice of James, continued by Charles, to grace English gentlemen with Scottish titles, all the determinations of parliament, it was to be feared, would in time depend upon the prince, by means of these votes of foreigners, who had no interest or property in the nation. It was therefore a law deserving approbation, that no man should be created a Scotch peer, who possessed not ten thousand marks (above five hundred pounds) of annual rent in the kingdom.[**]
A law for triennial parliaments was likewise passed; and it was ordained, that the last act of every parliament should be to appoint the time and place for holding the parliament next ensuing.[***]
     * Burnet, Mem.

     ** Burnet, Mem.

     *** Burnet, Mem.
The king was deprived of that power formerly exercised of issuing proclamations which enjoined obedience under the penalty of treason; a prerogative which invested him with the whole legislative authority, even in matters of the highest importance.[*]
So far was laudable: but the most fatal blow given to royal authority, and what in a manner dethroned the prince, was the article, that no member of the privy council, in whose hands during the king's absence the whole administration lay, no officer of state, none of the judges, should be appointed but by advice and approbation of parliament. Charles even agreed to deprive of their seats four judges who had adhered to his interests; and their place was supplied by others more agreeable to the ruling party. Several of the Covenanters were also sworn of the privy council. And all the ministers of state, counsellors, and judges, were by law to hold their places during life or good behavior.[**]
The king while in Scotland conformed himself entirely to the established church, and assisted with great gravity at the long prayers and longer sermons with which the Presbyterians endeavored to regale him. He bestowed pensions and preferments on Henderson, Gillespy, and other popular preachers, and practised every art to soften, if not to gain, his greatest enemies. The earl of Argyle was created a marquis, Lord Loudon an earl, Lesley was dignified with the title of earl of Leven.[***] His friends he was obliged for the present to neglect and overlook: some of them were disgusted; and his enemies were not reconciled, but ascribed all his caresses and favors to artifice and necessity.
     * Burnet, Mem.

     ** Burnet, Mem.

     *** Clarendon, vol. ii p. 309.
Argyle and Hamilton, being seized with an apprehension, real or pretended, that the earl of Crawfurd and others meant to assassinate them, left the parliament suddenly, and retired into the country; but upon invitation and assurances, returned in a few days. This event, which had neither cause nor effect that was visible, nor purpose, nor consequence, was commonly denominated the incident. But though the incident had no effect In Scotland; what was not expected, it was attended with consequences in England. The English parliament, which was now assembled, being willing to awaken the people's tenderness by exciting their fears, immediately took the alarm; as if the malignants—so they called the king's party—had had laid a plot at once to murder them and all the godly in both kingdoms. They applied therefore to Essex, whom the king had left general in the south of England; and he ordered a guard to attend them.[*]
But while the king was employed in pacifying the commotions in Scotland, and was preparing to return to England, in order to apply himself to the same salutary work in that kingdom, he received intelligence of a dangerous rebellion broken but in Ireland, with circumstances of the utmost horror, bloodshed, and devastation. On every side this unfortunate prince was pursued with murmurs, discontent, faction, and civil wars, and the fire from all quarters, even by the most independent accidents, at once blazed up about him.
The great plan of James in the administration of Ireland, continued by Charles, was, by justice and peace to reconcile that turbulent people to the authority of laws; and, introducing art and industry among them, to cure them of that sloth and barbarism to which they had ever been subject. In order to serve both these purposes, and at the same time secure the dominion of Ireland to the English crown, great colonies of British had been carried over, and, being intermixed with the Irish, had every where introduced a new face of things into that country. During a peace of near forty years, the inveterate quarrels between the nations seemed, in a great measure, to be obliterated; and though much of the landed property forfeited by rebellion had been conferred on the new planters, a more than equal return had been made, by their instructing the natives in tillage, building, manufactures, and all the civilized arts of life.[**] This had been the course of things during the successive administrations of Chichester, Grandison, Falkland, and, above all, of Strafford. Under the government of this latter nobleman, the pacific plans, now come to great maturity, and forwarded by his vigor and industry, seemed to have operated with full success, and to have bestowed at last on that savage country the face of a European settlement.
     * Whitlocke, p. 40. Dugdale, p. 72. Burnet's Memoirs of the
     House of Hamilton, p. 184, 185. Clarendon, vol. ii. p. 299.

     ** Sir John Temple's Irish Rebellion, p. 12.
After Strafford fell a victim to popular rage, the humors excited in Ireland by that great event could not suddenly be composed, but continued to produce the greatest innovations in the government.
The British Protestants transplanted into Ireland, having every moment before their eyes all the horrors of Popery, had naturally been carried into the opposite extreme, and had universally adopted the highest principles and practices of the Puritans. Monarchy, as well as the hierarchy, was become odious to them; and every method of limiting the authority of the crown, and detaching themselves from the king of England, was greedily adopted and pursued. They considered not, that as they scarcely formed the sixth part of the people, and were secretly obnoxious to the ancient inhabitants, their only method of supporting themselves was by maintaining royal authority, and preserving a great dependence on their mother country. The English commons, likewise, in their furious persecution of Strafford, had overlooked the most obvious consequences; and, while they imputed to him as a crime every discretionary act of authority, they despoiled all succeeding governors of that power by which alone the Irish could be retained in subjection. And so strong was the current for popular government in all the three kingdoms, that the most established maxims of policy were every where abandoned, in order to gratify this ruling passion.
Charles, unable to resist, had been obliged to yield to the Irish, as to the Scottish and English parliaments; and found, too, that their encroachments still rose in proportion to his concessions. Those subsidies which themselves had voted, they reduced, by a subsequent vote, to a fourth part; the court of high commission was determined to be a grievance; martial law abolished; the jurisdiction of the council annihilated; proclamations and acts of state declared of no authority; every order or institution which depended on monarchy was invaded; and the prince was despoiled of all his prerogative, without the least pretext of any violence or illegality in his administration.
The standing army of Ireland was usually about three thousand men; but, in order to assist the king in suppressing the Scottish Covenanters, Strafford had raised eight thousand more, and had incorporated with them a thousand men drawn from the old army; a necessary expedient for bestowing older and discipline on the new-levied soldiers. The private men in this army were all Catholics; but the officers, both commission and non-commission, were Protestants, and could entirely be depended on by Charles. The English commons entertained the greatest apprehensions on account of this army, and never ceased soliciting the king till he agreed to break it. Nor they consent to any proposal for augmenting the standing army to five thousand men; a number which the king deemed necessary for retaining Ireland in obedience.
Charles, thinking it dangerous that eight thousand men accustomed to idleness, and trained to the use of arms, should be dispersed among a nation so turbulent and unsettled, agreed with the Spanish ambassador to have them transported into Flanders, and enlisted in his master's service. The English commons, pretending apprehensions, lest regular bodies of troops, disciplined in the Low Countries, should prove still more dangerous, showed some aversion to this expedient; and the king reduced his allowance to four thousand men. But when the Spaniards had hired ships for transporting these troops, and the men were ready to embark, the commons, willing to show their power, and not displeased with an opportunity of curbing and affronting the king, prohibited every one from furnishing vessels for that service. And thus the project formed by Charles, of freeing the country from these men was unfortunately disappointed.[*]
The old Irish remarked all these false steps of the English, and resolved to take advantage of them. Though their animosity against that nation, for want of an occasion to exert itself, seemed to be extinguished, it was only composed into a temporary and deceitful tranquillity.[**] Their interests, both with regard to property and religion, secretly stimulated them to a revolt. No individual of any sept, according to the ancient customs, had the property of any particular estate; but as the whole sept had a title to a whole territory, they ignorantly preferred this barbarous community before the more secure and narrower possessions assigned them by the English. An indulgence, amounting almost to a toleration, had been given to the Catholic religion: but so long as the churches and the ecclesiastical revenues were kept from the priests, and they were obliged to endure the neighborhood of profane heretics, being themselves discontented, they continually endeavored to retard any cordial reconciliation between the English and the Irish nations.
     * Clarendon, vol. i. p. 281. Rush. vol. v. p, 381. Dugdale,
     p. 78 May, book ii. p. 3.

     ** Temple, p. 14
There was a gentleman called Roger More, who, though of a narrow fortune, was descended from an ancient Irish family and was much celebrated among his countrymen for valor and capacity. This man first formed the project of expelling the English, and asserting the independency of his native country.[*]
     * Nalson, vol. iii. p. 543.
He secretly went from chieftain to chieftain, and roused up every latent principle of discontent. He maintained a close correspondence with Lord Maguire and Sir Phelim O'Neale, the most powerful of the old Irish. By conversation, by letters, by his emissaries, he represented to his countrymen the motives of a revolt. He observed to them, that, by the rebellion of the Scots, and factions of the English, the king's authority in Britain was reduced to so low a condition, that he never could exert himself with any vigor in maintaining the English dominion over Ireland: that the Catholics in the Irish house of commons, assisted by the Protestants, had so diminished the royal prerogative and the power of the lieutenant, as would much facilitate the conducting to its desired effect any conspiracy or combination which could be formed: that the Scots, having so successfully thrown off dependence on the crown of England, and assumed the government into their own hands, had set an example to the Irish, who had so much greater oppressions to complain of: that the English planters, who had expelled them their possessions, suppressed their religion, and bereaved them of their liberties were but a handful in comparison of the natives: that they lived in the most supine security, interspersed with their numerous enemies, trusting to the protection of a small army, which was itself scattered in inconsiderable divisions through out the whole kingdom: that a great body of men, disciplined by the government, were now thrown loose, and were ready for any daring or desperate enterprise: that though the Catholics had hitherto enjoyed, in some tolerable measure, the exercise of their religion, from the moderation of their indulgent prince, they must henceforth expect that the government will be conducted by other maxims and other principles: that the Puritanical parliament, having at length subdued their sovereign, would no doubt, as soon as they had consolidated their authority, extend their ambitious enterprises to Ireland, and make the Catholics in that kingdom feel the same furious persecution, to which their brethren in England were at present exposed: and that a revolt in the Irish, tending only to vindicate their native liberty against the violence of foreign invaders, could never at any time be deemed rebellion, much less during the present confusions, when their prince was in a manner a prisoner, and obedience must be paid, not to him, but to those who had traitorously usurped his lawful authority.[*]
By these considerations, More engaged all the heads of the native Irish into the conspiracy. The English of the pale, as they were called, or the old English planters, being all Catholics, it was hoped would afterwards join the party which restored their religion to its ancient splendor and authority. The intention was, that Sir Phelim O'Neale and the other conspirators should begin an insurrection on one day throughout the provinces, and should attack all the English settlements; and that, on the same day, Lord Maguire and Roger More should surprise the Castle of Dublin. The commencement of the revolt was fixed on the approach of winter, that there might be more difficulty in transporting forces from England. Succors to themselves and supplies of arms they expected from France, in consequence of a promise made them by Cardinal Richelieu. And many Irish officers, who served in the Spanish troops, had engaged to join them, as soon as they saw an insurrection entered upon by their Catholic brethren. News, which every day arrived from England, of the fury expressed by the commons against all Papists, struck fresh terror into the Irish nation, and both stimulated the conspirators to execute their fatal purpose, and gave them assured hopes of the concurrence of all their country men.[**]
Such propensity to a revolt was discovered in all the Irish, that it was deemed unnecessary, as it was dangerous to intrust the secret to many hands; and the appointed day drew nigh, nor had any discovery been yet made to the government. The king, indeed, had received information from his ambassadors, that something was in agitation among the Irish in foreign parts; but though he gave warning to the administration in Ireland, the intelligence was entirely neglected.[***]
     * Temple, p. 72, 73, 78. Dugdale, p. 73.

     ** Dugdale, p. 74.

     *** Bush vol. v. p. 408. Nalson, vol ii. p. 565.
Secret rumors likewise were heard of some approaching conspiracy; but no attention was paid to them. The earl of Leicester, whom the king had appointed lieutenant, remained in London, The two justices, Sir William Parsons and Sir John Borlace, were men of small abilities; and, by an inconvenience common to all factious times, owed their advancement to nothing but their zeal for the party by whom every thing was now governed. Tranquil from their ignorance and inexperience, these men indulged themselves in the most profound repose, on the very brink of destruction.
But they were awakened from their security on the very day before that which was appointed for the commencement of hostilities. The Castle of Dublin, by which the capital was commanded, contained arms for ten thousand men, with thirty-five pieces of cannon, and a proportionable quantity of ammunition; yet was this important place guarded, and that too without any care, by no greater force than fifty men. Maguire and More were already in town with a numerous band of their partisans; others were expected that night and next morning they were to enter upon what they esteemed the easiest of all enterprises, the surprisal of the castle. O'Conolly, an Irishman, but a Protestant, betrayed the conspiracy to Parsons.[*] The justices and council fled immediately for safety into the castle, and reënforced the guards. The alarm was conveyed to the city, and all the Protestants prepared for defence. More escaped; Maguire was taken; and Mahone, one of the conspirators, being likewise seized, first discovered to the justices the project of a general insurrection, and redoubled the apprehensions which already were universally diffused throughout Dublin.[**]
But though O'Conolly's discovery saved the castle from a surprise, the confession extorted from Mahone came too late to prevent the intended insurrection. O'Neale and his Confederates had already taken arms in Ulster. The Irish, every where intermingled with the English, needed but a hint from their leaders and priests to begin hostilities against a people whom they hated on account of their religion, and envied for their riches and prosperity.[***]
     * Rush, vol. v. p. 399. Nalson, vol. ii. p. 520. May, book
     ii p. 6

     ** Temple p 17, 18, 19, 20. Rush. vol. v p. 400.

     *** Ten ple, p. 39, 40, 79.
The houses, cattle, goods, of the unwary English were first seized. Those who heard of the commotions in their neighborhood, instead of deserting their habitations, and assembling for mutual protection, remained at home in hopes of defending their property, and fell thus separately into the hands of their enemies.[*] After rapacity had fully exerted itself, cruelty, and the most barbarous that ever in any nation was known or heard of, began its operations. A universal massacre commenced of the English, now defenceless, and passively resigned to their inhuman foes. No age, no sex, no condition was spared. The wife weeping for her butchered husband, and embracing her helpless children, was pierced with them, and perished by the same stroke.[**] The old, the young, the vigorous, the infirm, underwent a like fate, and were confounded in one common ruin. In vain did flight save from the first assault: destruction was every where let loose, and met the hunted victims at every turn. In vain was recourse had to relations, to companions, to friends: all connections were dissolved, and death was dealt by that hand from which protection was implored and expected. Without provocation, without opposition, the astonished English, living in profound peace and full security were massacred by their nearest neighbors, with whom they had long upheld a continued intercourse of kindness and good offices.[***]
But death was the lightest punishment inflicted by those rebels. All the tortures which wanton cruelty could devise all the lingering pains of body, the anguish of mind, the agonies of despair, could not satiate revenge excited without injury, and cruelty derived from no cause. To enter into particulars would shock the least delicate humanity. Such enormities, though attested by undoubted evidence, appear almost incredible. Depraved nature, even perverted religion encouraged by the utmost license, reach not to such a pitch of ferocity, unless the pity inherent in human breasts be destroyed by that contagion of example which transports men beyond all the usual motives of conduct and behavior.
The weaker sex themselves, naturally tender to their own sufferings, and compassionate to those of others, here emulated their more robust companions in the practice of every cruelty.[****] Even children, taught by the example and encouraged by the exhortation of their parents, essayed their feeble blows on the dead carcasses or defenceless children of the English.[v]
     * Temple, p. 42.

     ** Temple, p. 40.

     *** Temple, p. 39, 40

     **** Temple, p. 96, 101. Rush. vol. v. p. 415.

     v    Temple, p. 100
The very avarice of the Irish was not a sufficient restraint to their cruelty. Such was their frenzy, that the cattle which they had seized, and by rapine made their own, yet, because they bore the name of English, were wantonly slaughtered, or, when covered with wounds, turned loose into the woods or deserts.[*]
The stately buildings or commodious habitations of the planters, as if upbraiding the sloth and ignorance of the natives, were consumed with fire, or laid level with the ground. And where the miserable owners, shut up in their houses, and preparing for defence, perished in the flames, together with their wives and children, a double triumph was afforded to their insulting foes.[**]
If any where a number assembled together, and, assuming courage from despair, were resolved to sweeten death by revenge on their assassins, they were disarmed by capitulations and promises of safety, confirmed by the most solemn oaths. But no sooner had they surrendered, than the rebels, with perfidy equal to their cruelty, made them share the fate of their unhappy countrymen.[***]
Others, more ingenious still in their barbarity, tempted their prisoners, by the fond love of life, to imbrue their hands in the blood of friends, brothers, parents; and having thus rendered them accomplices in guilt, gave them that death which they sought to shun by deserving it.[****]
Amidst all these enormities, the sacred name of religion resounded on every side; not to stop the hands of these murderers, but to enforce their blows, and to steel their hearts against every movement of human or social sympathy. The English, as heretics, abhorred of God and detestable to all holy men, were marked out by the priests for slaughter; and of all actions, to rid the world of these declared enemies to Catholic faith and piety, was represented as the most meritorious.[v] Nature, which in that rude people was sufficiently inclined to atrocious deeds, was further stimulated by precept: and national prejudices empoisoned by those aversions, more deadly and incurable, which arose from an enraged superstition. While death finished the sufferings of each victim, the bigoted assassins, with joy and exultation, still echoed in his expiring ears, that these agonies were but the commencement of torments infinite and eternal.[v*]
     * Temple, p. 84.

     ** Temple, p. 99, 106. Rash. vol. v. p. 414

     *** Whitlocke, p. 47. Rush. vol. v. p. 416.

     **** Temple, p 100.

     v Temple, p. 85, 106.

     v* Temple, p 94, 107, 108. Rush. vol. v. p. 407.
Such were the barbarities by which Sir Phelim O'Neale and the Irish in Ulster signalized their rebellion; an event memorable in the annals of human kind, and worthy to be held in perpetual detestation and abhorrence. The generous nature of More was shocked at the recital of such enormous cruelties. He flew to O'Neale's camp; but found that his authority, which was sufficient to excite the Irish to an insurrection, was too feeble to restrain their inhumanity. Soon after, he abandoned a cause polluted by so many crimes; and he retired into Flanders. Sir Phelim, recommended by the greatness of his family, and perhaps too by the unrestrained brutality of his nature, though without any courage or capacity, acquired the entire ascendent over the northern rebels.[*] The English colonies were totally annihilated in the open country of Ulster: the Scots at first met with more favorable treatment. In order to engage them to a passive neutrality, the Irish pretended to distinguish between the British nations; and, claiming friendship and consanguinity with the Scots, extended not over them the fury of their massacres. Many of them found an opportunity to fly the country; others retired into places of security, and prepared themselves for defence; and by this means the Scottish planters, most of them at least, escaped with their lives.[**]
From Ulster the flames of rebellion diffused themselves in an instant over the other three provinces of Ireland. In all places, death and slaughter were not uncommon; though the Irish in these other provinces pretended to act with moderation and humanity. But cruel and barbarous was their humanity! Not content with expelling the English their houses, with despoiling them of their goodly manors, with wasting their cultivated fields, they stripped them of their very clothes, and turned them out, naked and defenceless, to all the severities of the season.[***] The heavens themselves, as if conspiring against that unhappy people, were armed with cold and tempest unusual to the climate, and executed what the merciless sword had left unfinished.[****] The roads were covered with crowds of naked English, hastening towards Dublin and the other cities which yet remained in the hands of their countrymen. The feeble age of children, the tender sex of women, soon sunk under the multiplied rigors of cold and hunger.
     * Temple, p. 44.

     ** Temple, p. 41 Rush, i. p. 416.

     *** Temple, p. 42.

     **** Temple, p. 64
Here the husband, bidding a final adieu to his expiring family, envied them that fate which, he himself expected so soon to share: there the son, having long supported his aged parent, with reluctance obeyed his last commands, and, abandoning him in this uttermost distress, reserved himself to the hopes of avenging that death which all his efforts could not prevent nor delay. The astonishing greatness of the calamity deprived the sufferers of any relief from the view of companions in affliction. With silent tears, or lamentable cries, they hurried on through the hostile territories, and found every heart which was not steeled by native barbarity, guarded by the more implacable furies of mistaken piety and religion.[*]
The saving of Dublin preserved in Ireland the remains of the English name. The gates of that city, though timorously opened, received the wretched supplicants, and presented to the view a scene of human misery beyond what any eye had ever before beheld.[**] Compassion seized the amazed inhabitants, aggravated with the fear of like calamities; while they observed the numerous foes, without and within, which every where environed them, and reflected on the weak resources by which they were themselves supported. The more vigorous of the unhappy fugitives, to the number of three thousand, were enlisted into three regiments; the rest were distributed into the houses; and all care was taken, by diet and warmth, to recruit their feeble and torpid limbs. Diseases of unknown name and species, derived from these multiplied distresses, seized many of them, and put a speedy period to their lives: others, having now leisure to reflect on their mighty loss of friends and fortune, cursed that being which they had saved. Abandoning themselves to despair, refusing all succor, they expired; without other consolation than that of receiving among their countrymen the honors of a grave, which, to their slaughtered companions, had been denied by the inhuman barbarians.[***]
     * Temple, p. 88.

     ** Temple, p. 62.

     **** Temple, p. 43, 62.
By some computations, those who perished by all these cruelties are supposed to be a hundred and fifty or two hundred thousand: by the most moderate, and probably the most reasonable account, they are made to amount to forty thousand; if this estimation itself be not, as is usual in such cases, somewhat exaggerated.
The justices ordered to Dublin all the bodies of the army which were not surrounded by the rebels; and they assembled a force of one thousand five hundred veterans. They soon enlisted and armed from the magazines above four thousand men more. They despatched a body of six hundred men to throw relief into Tredah, besieged by the Irish. But these troops, attacked by the enemy, were seized with a panic, and were most of them put to the sword. Their arms, falling into the hands of the Irish, supplied them with what they most wanted.[*] The justices, willing to foment the rebel lion in a view of profiting by the multiplied forfeitures, henceforth thought of nothing more than providing for their own present security and that of the capital. The earl of Ormond, their general, remonstrated against such timid, not to say base and interested counsels; but was obliged to submit to authority.
The English of the pale, who probably were not at first in the secret, pretended to blame the insurrection, and to detest the barbarity with which it was accompanied.[**] By their protestations and declarations, they engaged the justices to supply them with arms, which they promised to employ in defence of the government.[***] But in a little time, the interests of religion were found more prevalent over them than regard and duty to their mother country. They chose Lord Gormanstone their leader; and, joining the old Irish, rivalled them in every act of violence towards the English Protestants. Besides many smaller bodies dispersed over the kingdom, the principal army of the rebels amounted to twenty thousand men, and threatened Dublin with an immediate siege.[****]
Both the English and Irish rebels conspired in one imposture, with which they seduced many of their deluded countrymen: they pretended authority from the king and queen, but chiefly from the latter, for their insurrection; and they affirmed, that the cause of their taking arms was to vindicate royal prerogative, now invaded by the Puritanical parliament.[v] Sir Phelim O'Neale, having found a royal patent in Lord Caulfield's house, whom he had murdered, tore off the seal, and affixed it to a commission which he had forged for himself.[v*]
     * Nalson, vol. ii. p. 905.

     ** Temple, p. 33. Rush. vol. v. p. 402.

     *** Temple, p. 60. Borlase, Hist. p. 28.

     **** Whitlocke, p. 49.

     v    Rush. vol. v. p. 400, 401.

     v*   Rush. vol. v. p. 402.
The king received an account of this insurrection by a messenger despatched from the north of Ireland. He immediately communicated his intelligence to the Scottish parliament. He expected that the mighty zeal expressed by the Scots for the Protestant religion, would immediately engage them to fly to its defence where it was so violently invaded; he hoped that their horror against Popery, a religion which now appeared in its most horrible aspect, would second all his exhortations: he had observed with what alacrity they had twice run to arms, and assembled troops in opposition to the rights of their sovereign: he saw with how much greater facility they could now collect forces which had been very lately disbanded, and which had been so long inured to military discipline. The cries of their affrighted and distressed brethren in Ireland, he promised himself, would powerfully incite them to send over succors, which could arrive so quickly, and aid them with such promptitude in this uttermost distress. But the zeal of the Scots, as is usual among religious sects, was very feeble when not stimulated either by faction or by interest. They now considered themselves entirely as a republic, and made no account of the authority of their prince, which they had utterly annihilated. Conceiving hopes from the present distresses of Ireland, they resolved to make an advantageous bargain for the succors with which they should supply their neighboring nation. And they cast their eye towards the English parliament, with whom they were already so closely connected, and who could alone fulfil any articles which might be agreed on. Except despatching a small body to support the Scottish colonies in Ulster, they would therefore go no further at present than sending commissioners to London in order to treat with that power to whom the sovereign authority was now in reality transferred.[*]
     * Rush. vol. v. p. 407.
The king, too, sensible of his utter inability to subdue the Irish rebels, found himself obliged, in this exigency, to have recourse to the English parliament, and depend on their assistance for supply. After communicating to them the intelligence which he had received, he informed them, that the insurrection was not, in his opinion, the result of any rash enterprise, but of a formed conspiracy against the crown of England. To their care and wisdom, therefore, he said, he committed the conduct and prosecution of the war, which, in a cause so important to national and religious interests, must of necessity be immediately entered upon, and vigorously pursued.[*]
     * Clarendon, vol. ii. p. 301.
The English parliament was now assembled, and discovered in every vote the same dispositions in which they had separated. The exalting of their own authority, the diminishing of the king's, were still the objects pursued by the majority. Every attempt which had been made to gain the popular leaders, and by offices to attach them to the crown, had failed of success, either for want of skill in conducting it, or by reason of the slender preferments which it was then in the king's power to confer. The ambitious and enterprising patriots disdained to accept, in detail, of a precarious power, while they deemed it so easy, by one bold and vigorous assault, to possess themselves forever of the entire sovereignty. Sensible that the measures which they had hitherto pursued rendered them extremely obnoxious to the king; were many of them in themselves exceptionable; some of them, strictly speaking, illegal; they resolved to seek their own security, as well as greatness, by enlarging popular authority in England. The great necessities to which the king was reduced; the violent prejudices which generally, throughout the nation, prevailed against him; his facility in making the most important concessions; the example of the Scots, whose encroachments had totally subverted monarchy; all these circumstances further instigated the commons in their invasion of royal prerogative. And the danger to which the constitution seemed to have been so lately exposed, persuaded many that it never could be sufficiently secured, but by the entire abolition of that authority which had invaded it.
But this project it had not been in the power, scarcely in the intention of the popular leaders to execute, had it not been for the passion which seized the nation for Presbyterian discipline, and for the wild enthusiasm which at that time accompanied it. The license which the parliament had bestowed on this spirit, by checking ecclesiastical authority; the countenance and encouragement with which they had honored it; had already diffused its influence to a wonderful degree; and all orders of men had drunk deep of the intoxicating poison. In every discourse or conversation this mode of religion entered; in all business it had a share; every elegant pleasure or amusement it utterly annihilated; many vices or corruptions of mind it promoted: even diseases and bodily distempers were not totally exempted from it; and it became requisite, we are told, for all physicians to be expert in the spiritual profession, and by theological considerations to allay those religious terrors with which their patients were so generally haunted. Learning itself, which tends so much to enlarge the mind and humanize the temper, rather served on this occasion to exalt that epidemical frenzy which prevailed. Rude as yet, and imperfect, it supplied the dismal fanaticism with a variety of views, founded it on some coherency of system, enriched it with different figures of elocution; advantages with which a people totally ignorant and barbarous had been happily unacquainted.
From policy, at first, and inclination, now from necessity the king attached himself extremely to the hierarchy: for like reasons, his enemies were determined, by one and the same effort, to overpower the church and monarchy.
While the commons were in this disposition, the Irish rebellion was the event which tended most to promote the views in which all their measures terminated. A horror against the Papists, however innocent, they had constantly encouraged, a terror from the conspiracies of that sect, however improbable, they had at all times endeavored to excite. Here was broken out a rebellion, dreadful and unexpected; accompanied with circumstances the most detestable of which there ever was any record; and what was the peculiar guilt of the Irish Catholics, it was no difficult matter, in the present disposition of men's minds, to attribute to that whole sect, who were already so much the object of general abhorrence. Accustomed in all invectives to join the prelatical party with the Papists, the people immediately supposed this insurrection to be the result of their united counsels. And when they heard that the Irish rebels pleaded the king's commission for all their acts of violence, bigotry, ever credulous and malignant, assented without scruple to that gross imposture, and loaded the unhappy prince with the whole enormity of a contrivance so barbarous and inhuman.[*] 8
     * See note H. at the end of the volume
By the difficulties and distresses of the crown, the commons, who possessed alone the power of supply, had aggrandized themselves; and it seemed a peculiar happiness, that the Irish rebellion had succeeded at so critical a juncture to the pacification of Scotland. That expression of the king's, by which he committed to them the care of Ireland, they immediately laid hold of, and interpreted in the most, unlimited sense. They had on other occasions been gradually encroaching on the executive power of the crown, which forms its principal and most natural branch of authority; but with regard to Ireland, they at once assumed it, fully and entirely, as if delivered over to them by a regular gift or assignment. And to this usurpation the king was obliged passively to submit; both because of his inability to resist, and lest he should still more expose himself to the reproach of favoring the progress of that odious rebellion.
The project of introducing further innovations in England being once formed by the leaders among the commons, it became a necessary consequence, that their operations with regard to Ireland should, all of them, be considered as subordinate to the former, on whose success, when once undertaken, their own grandeur, security, and even being, must entirely depend. While they pretended the utmost zeal against the Irish insurrection, they took no steps towards its suppression, but such as likewise tended to give them the superiority in those commotions which, they foresaw, must so soon be excited in England.[*]
     * Clarendon, vol. ii. p, 435. Sir Ed. Walker p 6.
The extreme contempt entertained for the natives in Ireland, made the popular leaders believe that it would be easy at any time to suppress their rebellion, and recover that kingdom: nor were they willing to lose, by too hasty success, the advantage which that rebellion would afford them in their projected encroachments on the prerogative. By assuming the total management of the war, they acquired the courtship and dependence of every one who had any connection with Ireland, or who was desirous of enlisting in these military enterprises: they levied money under pretence of the Irish expedition; but reserved it for purposes which concerned them more nearly: they took arms from the king's magazines; but still kept them with a secret intention of employing them against himself: whatever law they deemed necessary for aggrandizing themselves, was voted, under color of enabling them to recover Ireland; and if Charles withheld the royal assent, his refusal was imputed to those pernicious counsels which had at first excited the Popish rebellion, and which still threatened total destruction to the Protestant interest throughout all his dominions.[*] And though no forces were for a long time sent over to Ireland, and very little money remitted during the extreme distress of that kingdom, so strong was the people's attachment to the commons, that the fault was never imputed to those pious zealots, whose votes breathed nothing but death and destruction to the Irish rebels.
     * Nalson, vol. ii. p 318. Clarendon, vol. iv. p. 590.
To make the attack on royal authority by regular approaches, it was thought proper to frame a general remonstrance of the state of the nation; and accordingly the committee, which at the first meeting of parliament had been chosen for that purpose, and which had hitherto made no progress in their work, received fresh injunctions to finish that undertaking.
The committee brought into the house that remonstrance which has become so memorable, and which was soon afterwards attended with such important consequences. It was not addressed to the king; but was openly declared to be an appeal to the people. The harshness of the matter was equalled by the severity of the language. It consists of many gross falsehoods, intermingled with some evident truths: malignant insinuations are joined to open invectives; loud complaints of the past, accompanied with jealous prognostications of the future. Whatever unfortunate, whatever invidious, whatever suspicious measure had been embraced by the king, from the commencement of his reign, is insisted on and aggravated with merciless rhetoric: the unsuccessful expeditions to Cadiz and the Isle of Rhé are mentioned; the sending of ships to France for the suppression of the Hugonots; the forced loans; the illegal confinement of men for not obeying illegal commands; the violent dissolution of four parliaments; the arbitrary government which always succeeded; the questioning, fining, and imprisoning of members for their conduct in the house; the levying of taxes without consent of the commons; the introducing of superstitious innovations into the church, without authority of law: in short, every thing which, either with or without reason, had given offence during the course of fifteen years, from the accession of the king to the calling of the present parliament. And though all these grievances had been already redressed, and even laws enacted for future security against their return, the praise of these advantages was ascribed, not to the king, but to the parliament, who had extorted his consent to such salutary statutes. Their own merits too, they asserted, towards the king, were no less eminent than towards the people. Though they had seized his whole revenue, rendered it totally precarious, and made even their temporary supplies be paid to their own commissioners, who were independent of him, they pretended that they had liberally supported him in his necessities. By an insult still more egregious, the very giving of money to the Scots for levying war against their sovereign, they represented as an instance of their duty towards him. And all their grievances, they said, which amounted to no less than a total subversion of the constitution, proceeded entirely from the formed combination of a Popish faction, who had ever swayed the king's counsels, who had endeavored, by an uninterrupted effort, to introduce their superstition into England and Scotland, and who had now at last excited an open and bloody rebellion in Ireland.[*]
This remonstrance, so full of acrimony and violence, was a plain signal for some further attacks intended on royal prerogative, and a declaration, that the concessions already made, however important, were not to be regarded as satisfactory. What pretensions would be advanced, how unprecedented, how unlimited, were easily imagined; and nothing less was foreseen, whatever ancient names might be preserved, than an abolition, almost total, of the monarchical government of England. The opposition, therefore, which the remonstrance met with in the house of commons was great. For above fourteen hours the debate was warmly managed; and from the weariness of the king's party, which probably consisted chiefly of the elderly people, and men of cool spirits, the vote was at last carried by a small majority of eleven.[**] Some time after, the remonstrance was ordered to be printed and published, without being carried up to the house of peers for their assent and concurrence.
     * Rush. vol. v. p. 438. Nalson, vol. ii. p. 694.

     ** Whitlocke, p. 49. Dugdale, p. 71. Nalson, vol. ii. p.
     668.
When this remonstrance was dispersed, it excited every where the same violent controversy which attended it when introduced into the house of commons. This parliament, said the partisans of that assembly, have at length profited by the fatal example of their predecessors; and are resolved, that the fabric which they have generously undertaken to wear for the protection of liberty, shall not be left to future ages insecure and imperfect. At the time when the petition of right, that requisite vindication of a violated constitution, was extorted from the unwilling prince, who but imagined that liberty was at last secured, and that the laws would thenceforth maintain themselves in opposition to arbitrary authority? But what was the event? A right was indeed acquired to the people, or rather their ancient right was more exactly defined; but as the power of invading it still remained in the prince, no sooner did an opportunity offer, than he totally disregarded all laws and preceding engagements, and made his will and pleasure the sole rule of government. Those lofty ideas of monarchical authority, which he has derived from his early education, which are united in his mind with the irresistible illusions of self-love, which are corroborated by his mistaken principles of religion, it is in vain to hope that, in his more advanced age, he will sincerely renounce from any subsequent reflection or experience. Such conversions, if ever they happen, are extremely rare; but to expect that they will be derived from necessity, from the jealousy and resentment of antagonists, from blame, from reproach, from opposition, must be the result of the fondest and most blind credulity. These violences, however necessary, are sure to irritate a prince against limitations so cruelly imposed upon him; and each concession which he is constrained to make, is regarded as a temporary tribute paid to faction and sedition, and is secretly attended with a resolution of seizing every favorable opportunity to retract it. Nor should we imagine that opportunities of that kind will not offer in the course of human affairs. Governments, especially those of a mixed kind, are in continual fluctuation: the humors of the people change perpetually from one extreme to another: and no resolution can be more wise, as well as more just, than that of employing the present advantages against the king, who had formerly pushed much less tempting ones to the utmost extremities against, his people and his parliament. It is to be feared, that if the religious rage which has seized the multitude be allowed to evaporate, they will quickly return to the ancient ecclesiastical establishment; and with it embrace those principles of slavery which it inculcates with such zeal on its submissive proselytes. Those patriots who are now the public idols, may then become the objects of general detestation; and equal shouts of joy attend their ignominious execution, with those which second their present advantages and triumphs. Nor ought the apprehension of such an event to be regarded in them as a selfish consideration: in their safety is involved the security of the laws. The patrons of the constitution cannot suffer without a fatal blow to the constitution: and it is but justice in the public to protect, at any hazard, those who have so generously exposed themselves to the utmost hazard for the public interest. What though monarchy, the ancient government of England, be impaired, during these contests, in many of its former prerogatives: the laws will flourish the more by its decay; and it is happy, allowing that matters are really carried beyond the bounds of moderation, that the current at least runs towards liberty, and that the error is on that side which is safest for the general interests of mankind and society.
The best arguments of the royalists against a further attack on the prerogative, were founded more on opposite ideas which they had formed of the past events of this reign, than on opposite principles of government. Some invasions, they said, and those too of moment, had undoubtedly been made on national privileges: but were we to look for the cause of these violences, we should never find it to consist in the wanton tyranny and injustice of the prince, not even in his ambition or immoderate appetite for authority. The hostilities with Spain, in which the king on his accession found himself engaged, however imprudent and unnecessary, had proceeded from the advice, and even importunity of the parliament; who deserted him immediately after they had embarked him in those warlike measures. A young prince, jealous of honor, was naturally afraid of being foiled in his first enterprise, and had not as yet attained such maturity of counsel, as to perceive that his greatest honor lay in preserving the laws inviolate, and gaining the full confidence of his people. The rigor of the subsequent parliaments had been extreme with regard to many articles, particularly tonnage and poundage; and had reduced the king to an absolute necessity, if he would preserve entire the royal prerogative, of levying those duties by his own authority, and of breaking through the forms, in order to maintain the spirit of the constitution. Having once made so perilous a step, he was naturally induced to continue, and to consult the public interest by imposing ship money, and other moderate though irregular burdens and taxations. A sure proof that he had formed no system for enslaving his people is, that the chief object of his government has been to raise a naval, not a military force; a project useful, honorable, nay, indispensably requisite, and, in spite of his great necessities, brought almost to a happy conclusion. It is now full time to free him from all these necessities, and to apply cordials and lenitives, after those severities which have already had their full course against him. Never was sovereign blessed with more moderation of temper, with more justice, more humanity, more honor, or a more gentle disposition. What pity that such a prince should so long have been harassed with rigors, suspicions, calumnies, complaints, encroachments; and been forced from that path, in which the rectitude of his principles would have inclined him to have constantly trod! If some few instances are found of violations made on the petition of right, which he himself had granted, there is an easier and more natural way for preventing the return of like inconveniencies, than by a total abolition of royal authority. Let the revenue be settled, suitably to the ancient dignity and splendor of the crown; let the public necessities be fully supplied; let the remaining articles of prerogative be left untouched; and the king, as he has already lost the power, will lay aside the will, of invading the constitution. From what quarter can jealousies now arise? What further security can be desired or expected? The king's preceding concessions, so far from being insufficient for public security, have rather erred on the other extreme; and, by depriving him of all power of self-defence, are the real cause why the commons are emboldened to raise pretensions hitherto unheard of in the kingdom, and to subvert the whole system of the constitution. But would they be content with moderate advantages, is it not evident that, besides other important concessions, the present parliament may be continued, till the government be accustomed to the new track, and every part be restored to full harmony and concord? By the triennial act, a perpetual succession of parliaments is established, as everlasting guardians to the laws, while the king possesses no independent power or military force by which he can be supported in his invasion of them. No danger remains but what is inseparable from all free constitutions, and what forms the very essence of their freedom; the danger of a change in the people's disposition, and of general disgust contracted against popular privileges To prevent such an evil, no expedient is more proper than to contain ourselves within the bounds of moderation, and to consider, that all extremes naturally and infallibly beget each other. In the same manner as the past usurpations of the crown, however excusable on account of the necessity or provocations whence they arose, have excited an immeasurable appetite for liberty; let us beware, lest our encroachments, by introducing anarchy, make the people seek shelter under the peaceable and despotic rule of a monarch. Authority, as well as liberty, is requisite to government; and is even requisite to the support of liberty itself, by maintaining the laws, which can alone regulate and protect it. What madness, while every thing is so happily settled under ancient forms and institutions, now more exactly poised and adjusted, to try the hazardous experiment of a new constitution, and renounce the mature wisdom of our ancestors for the crude whimseys of turbulent innovators! Besides the certain and inconceivable mischiefs of civil war, are not the perils apparent, which the delicate frame of liberty must inevitably sustain amidst the furious shock of arms? Whichever side prevails, she can scarcely hope to remain inviolate, and may suffer no less, or rather greater injuries from the boundless pretensions of forces engaged in her cause, than from the invasion of enraged troops enlisted on the side of monarchy.
The king, upon his return from Scotland, was received in London with the shouts and acclamations of the people, and with every demonstration of regard and affection.[*] Sir Richard Gournay, lord mayor, a man of moderation and authority, had promoted these favorable dispositions, and had engaged the populace, who so lately insulted the king, and who so soon after made furious war upon him, to give him these marks of their dutiful attachment. But all the pleasure which Charles reaped from this joyous reception, was soon damped by the remonstrance of the commons, which was presented him, together with a petition of a like strain. The bad counsels which he followed are there complained of; his concurrence in the Irish rebellion plainly insinuated; the scheme laid for the introduction of Popery and superstition inveighed against; and, as a remedy for all these evils, he is desired to intrust every office and command to persons in whom his parliament should have cause to confide.[**]
     * Rush. vol. v. p. 429.

     ** Bush. vol. v. p. 437. Nalson, vol. ii. p. 692.
By this phrase, which is so often repeated in all the memorials and addresses of that time, the commons meant themselves and their adherents.
As soon as the remonstrance of the commons was published the king dispersed an answer to it. In this contest, he lay under great disadvantages. Not only the ears of the people were extremely prejudiced against him; the best topics upon which he could justify, at least apologize for his former conduct, were such as it was not safe or prudent for him at this time to employ. So high was the national idolatry towards parliaments, that to blame the past conduct of these assemblies would have been very ill received by the generality of the people. So loud were the complaints against regal usurpations, that had the king asserted the prerogative of supplying, by his own authority, the deficiencies in government arising from the obstinacy of the commons, he would have increased the clamors with which the whole nation already resounded. Charles, therefore, contented himself with observing in general, that even during that period so much complained of, the people enjoyed a great measure of happiness, not only comparatively, in respect of their neighbors, but even in respect of those times which were justly accounted the most fortunate. He made warm protestations of sincerity in the reformed religion; he promised indulgence to tender consciences with regard to the ceremonies of the church; he mentioned his great concessions to national liberty; he blamed the infamous libels every where dispersed against his person and the national religion; he complained of the general reproaches thrown out in the remonstrance with regard to ill counsels, though he had protected no minister from parliamentary justice, retained no unpopular servant, and conferred offices on no one who enjoyed not a high character and estimation in the public. "If, notwithstanding this," he adds, "any malignant party shall take heart, and be willing to sacrifice the peace and happiness of their country to their own sinister ends and ambition, under whatever pretence of religion and conscience; if they shall endeavor to lessen my reputation and interest, and to weaken my lawful power and authority; if they shall attempt, by discountenancing the present laws, to loosen the bands of government, that all disorder and confusion may break in upon us; I doubt not but God in his good time will discover them to me, and that the wisdom and courage of my high court of parliament will join with me in their suppression and punishment."[*] Nothing shows more evidently the hard situation in which Charles was placed, than to observe that he was obliged to confine himself within the limits of civility towards subjects who had transgressed all bounds of regard, and even of good manners, in the treatment of their sovereign.
The first instance of those parliamentary encroachments which Charles was now to look for, was the bill for pressing soldiers to the service of Ireland. This bill quickly passed the lower house. In the preamble, the king's power of pressing, a power exercised during all former times, was declared illegal, and contrary to the liberty of the subject. By a necessary consequence, the prerogative, which the crown had ever assumed, of obliging men to accept of any branch of public service, was abolished and annihilated; a prerogative, it must be owned, not very compatible with a limited monarchy. In order to elude this law, the king offered to raise ten thousand volunteers for the Irish service: but the commons were afraid lest such an army should be too much at his devotion. Charles, still unwilling to submit to so considerable a diminution of power, came to the house of peers, and offered to pass the law without the preamble; by which means, he said, that ill-timed question with regard to the prerogative would for the present be avoided, and the pretensions of each party be left entire. Both houses took fire at this measure, which, from a similar instance, while the bill of attainder against Strafford was in dependence, Charles might foresee would be received with resentment. The lords, as well as commons, passed a vote, declaring it to be a high breach of privilege for the king to take notice of any bill which was in agitation in either of the houses, or to express his sentiments with regard to it, before it be presented to him for his assent in a parliamentary manner. The king was obliged to compose all matters by an apology.[**]
     * Nalson, vol. ii. p. 748.

     ** Rush. vol. v. p. 457, 458, etc. Clarendon, vol. ii. p.
     327. Nalson, vol. ii. p. 738, 750, 751, etc.
The general question, we may observe, with regard to privileges of parliament, has always been, and still continues, one of of the greatest mysteries in the English constitution; and in some respects, notwithstanding the accurate genius of that government, these privileges are at present as undetermined as were formerly the prerogatives of the crown. Such privileges as are founded on long precedent cannot be controverted: but though it were certain, that former kings had not in any instance taken notice of bills lying before the houses, (which yet appears to have been very common,) it follows not, merely from their never exerting such a power, that they had renounced it, or never were possessed of it. Such privileges also as are essential to all free assemblies which deliberate, they may be allowed to assume, whatever precedents may prevail: but though the king's interposition, by an offer or advice, does in some degree overawe or restrain liberty; it may be doubted whether it imposes such evident violence as to entitle the parliament, without any other authority or concession, to claim the privilege of excluding it. But this was the favorable time for extending privileges; and had none more exorbitant or unreasonable been challenged, few bad consequences had followed. The establishment of this rule, it is certain, contributes to the order and regularity, as well as freedom, of parliamentary proceedings.
The interposition of peers in the election of commoners was likewise about this time declared a breach of privilege, and continues ever since to be condemned by votes of the commons, and universally practised throughout the nation.
Every measure pursued by the commons, and, still more, every attempt made by their partisans, were full of the most inveterate hatred against the hierarchy, and showed a determined resolution of subverting the whole ecclesiastical establishment. Besides numberless vexations and persecutions which the clergy underwent from the arbitrary power of the lower house, the peers, while the king was in Scotland, having passed an order for the observance of the laws with regard to public worship, the commons assumed such authority, that, by a vote alone of their house, they suspended those laws, though enacted by the whole legislature: and they particularly forbade bowing at the name of Jesus; a practice which gave them the highest scandal, and which was one of their capital objections against the established religion.[*] They complained of the king's filling five vacant sees, and considered it as an insult upon them, that he should complete and strengthen an order which they intended soon entirely to abolish.[**] They had accused thirteen bishops of high treason, for enacting canons without consent of parliament,[***] though, from the foundation of the monarchy, no other method had ever been practised: and they now insisted that the peers, upon this general accusation, should sequester those bishops from their seats in parliament, and commit them to prison.
     * Rush. vol. v. p. 385, 386. Nalson, vol. ii. p. 482.

     ** Nalson, vol. ii. p 511.

     *** Rush. vol. v. p. 359
Their bill for taking away the bishops' votes had last winter been rejected by the peers: but they again introduced the same bill, though no prorogation had intervened; and they endeavored, by some minute alterations, to elude that rule of parliament which opposed them. And when they sent up this bill to the lords, they made a demand, the most absurd in the world, that the bishops, being all of them parties, should be refused a vote with regard to that question.[*] After the resolution was once formed by the commons, of invading the established government of church and state, it could not be expected that their proceedings, in such a violent attempt, would thenceforth be altogether regular and equitable: but it must be confessed that, in their attack on the hierarchy, they still more openly passed all bounds of moderation; as supposing, no doubt, that the sacredness of the cause would sufficiently atone for employing means the most irregular and unprecedented. This principle, which prevails so much among zealots, never displayed itself so openly as during the transactions of this whole period.
     * Clarendon. vol. ii. p. 304.
But, notwithstanding these efforts of the commons, they could not expect the concurrence of the upper house either to this law, or to any other which they should introduce for the further limitation of royal authority. The majority of the peers adhered to the king, and plainly foresaw the depression of nobility, as a necessary consequence of popular usurpations on the crown. The insolence, indeed, of the commons, and their haughty treatment of the lords, had already risen to a great height, and gave sufficient warning of their future attempts upon that order. They muttered somewhat of their regret that they should be obliged to save the kingdom alone, and that the house of peers would have no part in the honor. Nay, they went so far as openly to tell the lords, "That they themselves were the representative body of the whole kingdom, and that the peers were nothing but individuals who held their seats in a particular capacity; and therefore, if their lordships will not consent to the passing of acts necessary for the preservation of the people, the commons, together with such of the lords as are more sensible of the danger, must join together, and represent the matter to his majesty."[*] So violent was the democratical, enthusiastic spirit diffused throughout the nation, that a total confusion of all rank and order was justly to be apprehended; and the wonder was, not that the majority of the nobles should seek shelter under the throne, but that any of them should venture to desert it. But the tide of popularity seized many, and carried them wide of the most established maxims of civil policy. Among the opponents of the king are ranked the earl of Northumberland, lord admiral, a man of the first family and fortune, and endowed with that dignified pride which so well became his rank and station: the earl of Essex, who inherited all his father's popularity, and having from his early youth sought renown in arms, united to a middling capacity that rigid inflexibility of honor which forms the proper ornament of a nobleman and a soldier: Lord Kimbolton, soon after earl of Manchester, a person distinguished by humanity, generosity, affability, and every amiable virtue. These men, finding that their credit ran high with the nation, ventured to encourage those popular disorders, which, they vainly imagined, they possessed authority sufficient to regulate and control.
In order to obtain a majority in the upper house, the commons had recourse to the populace, who on other occasions had done them such important service. Amidst the greatest security, they affected continual fears of destruction to themselves and the nation, and seemed to quake at every breath or rumor of danger. They again excited the people by never-ceasing inquiries after conspiracies, by reports of insurrections, by feigned intelligence of invasions from abroad, by discoveries of dangerous combinations at home among Papists and their adherents. When Charles dismissed the guard which they had ordered during his absence, they complained; and upon his promising them a new guard, under the command of the earl of Lindesey, they absolutely refused the offer, an were well pleased to insinuate, by this instance of jealousy, that their danger chiefly arose from the king himself.[**]
     * Clarendon, vol. ii. p. 415.

     ** Journ. 30th Nov. 1641 Nalson, vol ii. y 688.
They ordered halberts to be brought into the hall where they assembled, and thus armed themselves against those conspiracies with which, they pretended, they were hourly threatened. As stories of plots, however ridiculous, were willingly attended to, and were dispersed among the multitude, to whose capacity they were well adapted. Beale, a tailor, informed the commons that, walking in the fields, he had hearkened to the discourse of certain persons unknown to him, and had heard them talk of a most dangerous conspiracy. A hundred and eight ruffians, as he learned, had been appointed to murder a hundred and eight lords and commoners, and were promised rewards for these assassinations, ten pounds for each lord, forty shillings for each commoner. Upon this notable intelligence, orders were issued for seizing priests and Jesuits, a conference was desired with the lords, and the deputy lieutenants of some suspected counties were ordered to put the people in a posture of defence.[*]
The pulpits likewise were called in aid, and resounded with the dangers which threatened religion from the desperate attempts of Papists and malignants. Multitudes flocked towards Westminster, and insulted the prelates and such of the lords as adhered to the crown. The peers voted a declaration against those tumults, and sent it to the lower house; but these refused their concurrence.[**] Some seditious apprentices, being seized and committed to prison, immediately received their liberty, by an order of the commons.[***] The sheriffs and justices having appointed constables with strong watches to guard the parliament, the commons sent for the constables, and required them to discharge the watches, convened the justices, voted their orders a breach of privilege, and sent one of them to the Tower.[****]
     * Nalson, vol. ii. p. 646. Journ. 16th Nov. 1641. Dugdale,
     p. 79.

     ** Rush. part. iii. vol. i. p. 710.

     *** Nalson, vol ii. p 784, 792.

     **** Nalson, vol. ii. p. 792. Journ. 27th, 28th, and 29th of
     Dec. 1641.
Encouraged by these intimations of their pleasure, the populace crowded about Whitehall, and threw out insolent menaces against Charles himself. Several seduced officers and young gentlemen of the inns of court, during this time of disorder and danger, offered their service to the king. Between them and the populace there passed frequent skirmishes, which ended not without bloodshed. By way of reproach, these gentlemen gave the rabble the appellation of Roundheads, on account of the short cropped hair which they wore: these called the others Cavaliers. And thus the nation, which was before sufficiently provided with religious as well as civil causes of quarrel, was also supplied with party names, under which the factions might rendezvous and signalize their mutual hatred.[*]
Meanwhile the tumults still continued, and even increased about Westminster and Whitehall. The cry incessantly resounded against "bishops and rotten-hearted lords."[**] The former especially, being distinguishable by their habit, and being the object of violent hatred to all the sectaries, were exposed to the most dangerous insults.[***] Williams, now created archbishop of York, having been abused by the populace, hastily called a meeting of his brethren. By his advice, a protestation was drawn and addressed to the king and the house of lords. The bishops there set forth, that though they had an undoubted right to sit and vote in parliament, yet in coming thither, they had been menaced, assaulted, affronted, by the unruly multitude, and could no longer with safety attend their duty in the house. For this reason they protested against all laws, votes, and resolutions, as null and invalid, which should pass during the time of their constrained absence. This protestation, which, though just and legal, was certainly ill-timed, was signed by twelve bishops, and communicated to the king, who hastily approved of it. As soon as it was presented to the lords, that house desired a conference with the commons, whom they informed of this unexpected protestation. The opportunity was seized with joy and triumph. An impeachment of high treason was immediately sent up against the bishops, as endeavoring to subvert the fundamental laws, and to invalidate the authority of the legislature.[****] They were, on the first demand, sequestered from parliament, and committed to custody. No man in either house ventured to speak a word in their vindication; so much displeased was every one at the egregious imprudence of which they had been guilty. One person alone said, that he did not believe them guilty of high treason; but that they were stark mad, and therefore desired they might be sent to bedlam.[v]
     * Clarendon, vol. ii. p. 339.

     ** Clarendon, vol. ii. p. 336.

     *** Dugdale, p. 78.

     **** Whitlocke, p. 51. Rush. vol. v. p. 466. Nalson, vol.
     ii. p, 794.

     v Clarendon, vol. ii. p. 355.
1642.
A few days after, the king was betrayed into another indiscretion, much more fatal; an indiscretion to which all the ensuing disorders and civil wars ought immediately and directly to be ascribed; this was the impeachment of Lord Kimbolton and the five members.
When the commons employed in their remonstrance language so severe and indecent, they had not been actuated entirely by insolence and passion; their views were more solid and profound. They considered that in a violent attempt, such as an invasion of the ancient constitution, the more leisure was afforded the people to reflect, the less would they be inclined to second that rash and dangerous enterprise: that the peers would certainly refuse their concurrence; nor were there any hopes of prevailing on them, but by instigating the populace to tumult and disorder: that the employing of such odious means for so invidious an end would, at long-run, lose them all their popularity, and turn* the tide of favor to the contrary party; and that, if the king only remained in tranquillity, and cautiously eluded the first violence of the tempest he would in the end certainly prevail, and be able at least to preserve the ancient laws and constitution. They were therefore resolved, if possible, to excite him to some violent passion, in hopes that he would commit indiscretions of which they might make advantage.
It was not long before they succeeded beyond their fondest wishes. Charles was enraged to find that all his concessions but increased their demands; that the people who were returning to a sense of duty towards him, were again roused to sedition and tumults; that the blackest calumnies were propagated against him, and even the Irish massacre ascribed to his counsels and machinations; and that a method of address was adopted not only unsuitable towards so great a prince, but which no private gentleman could bear without resentment. When he considered all these increasing acts of insolence in the commons, he was apt to ascribe them in a great measure to his own indolence and facility. The queen and the ladies of the court further stimulated his passion, and represented that, if he exerted the vigor and displayed the majesty of a monarch, the daring usurpations of his subjects would shrink before him. Lord Digby, a man of fine parts but full of levity, and hurried on by precipitate passions, suggested like counsels; and Charles, who, though commonly moderate in his temper, was ever disposed to hasty resolutions, gave way to the fatal importunity of his friends and servants.[*]
     * Clarendon, vol. ii. p. 360.
Herbert, attorney-general, appeared in the house of peers and in his majesty's name entered an accusation of high treason against Lord Kimbolton and five commoners, Hollis, Sir Arthur Hazlerig, Hambden, Pym, and Strode. The articles were, that they had traitorously endeavored to subvert the fundamental laws and government of the kingdom, to deprive the king of his regal power, and to impose on his subjects an arbitrary and tyrannical authority: that they had endeavored, by many foul aspersions on his majesty and his government, to alienate the affections of his people, and make him odious to them: that they had attempted to draw his late army to disobedience of his royal commands, and to side with them in their traitorous designs: that they had invited and encouraged a foreign power to invade the kingdom: that they had aimed at subverting the rights and very being of parliament: that, in order to complete their traitorous designs, they had endeavored, as far as in them lay, by force and terror to compel the parliament to join with them; and to that end had actually raised and countenanced tumults against the king and parliament: and that they had traitorously conspired to levy, and actually had levied war against the king.[*]
     * Whitlocke, p. 50. Rush. vol. v. p. 473. Nalson, vol. ii.
     p. 811. Franklyn, p. 906.
The whole world stood amazed at this important accusation, so suddenly entered upon without concert, deliberation, or reflection. Some of these articles of accusation, men said, to judge by appearance, seem to be common between the impeached members and the parliament; nor did these persons appear any further active in the enterprises of which they were accused, than so far as they concurred with the majority in their votes and speeches. Though proofs might perhaps be produced of their privately inviting the Scots to invade England, how could such an attempt be considered as treason, after the act of oblivion which had passed, and after that both houses, with the king's concurrence, had voted that nation three hundred thousand pounds for their brotherly assistance? While, the house of peers are scarcely able to maintain their independency, or to reject the bills sent them by the commons, will they ever be permitted by the populace, supposing them inclined, to pass a sentence which must totally subdue the lower house, and put an end to their ambitious undertakings? These five members, at least Pym, Hambden and Hollis, are the very heads of the popular party; and if these be taken off, what fate must be expected by their followers, who are, many of them, accomplices in the same treason? The punishment of leaders is ever the last triumph over a broken and routed party; but surely was never before attempted, in opposition to a faction, during the full tide of its power and success.
But men had not leisure to wonder at the indiscretion of this measure: their astonishment was excited by new attempts, still more precipitate and imprudent. A serjeant at arms, in the king's name, demanded of the house the five members: and was sent back without any positive answer. Messengers were employed to search for them, and arrest them. Their trunks, chambers, and studies were sealed and locked. The house voted all these acts of violence to be breaches of privilege, and commanded every one to defend the liberty of the members.[*] The king, irritated by all this opposition, resolved next day to come in person to the house, with an intention to demand, perhaps seize in their presence, the persons whom he had accused.
This resolution was discovered to the countess of Carlisle, sister to Northumberland, a lady of spirit, wit, and intrigue.[**] She privately sent intelligence to the five members; and they had time to withdraw, a moment before the king entered. He was accompanied by his ordinary retinue, to the number of above two hundred, armed as usual, some with halberts, some with walking swords. The king left them at the door, and he himself advanced alone through the hall, while all the members rose to receive him.
     * Whitlocke, p. 50 Rush. vol. v. p. 474, 475.

     ** Whitlocke, p. 51. Warwick, p. 204.
The speaker withdrew from his chair, and the king took possession of it. The speech which he made was as follows: "Gentlemen, I am sorry for this occasion of coming to you. Yesterday I sent a serjeant at arms to demand some who, by my order, were accused of high treason. Instead of obedience, I received a message. I must here declare to you, that though no king that ever was in England could be more careful of your privileges than I shall be, yet in cases of treason no person has privilege. Therefore am I come to tell you, that I must have these men wheresoever I can find them. Well, since I see all the birds are flown, I do expect that you will send them to me as soon as they return. But I assure you, on the word of a king, I never did intend any force, but shall proceed against them in a fair and legal way; for I never meant any other. And now, since I see I cannot do what I came for, I think this is no unfit occasion to repeat what I have said formerly, that whatever I have done in favor and to the good of my subjects, I do intend to maintain it."[*]
When the king was looking around for the accused members, he asked the speaker, who stood below, whether any of these persons were in the house. The speaker, falling on his knee, prudently replied, "I have, sir, neither eyes to see nor tongue to speak in this place, but as the house is pleased to direct me, whose servant I am. And I humbly ask pardon, that I cannot give any other answer to what your majesty is pleased to demand of me."[**]
The commons were in the utmost disorder; and when the king was departing, some members cried aloud, so as he might hear them, "Privilege! privilege!" And the house immediately adjourned till next day.[***]
     * Whitloeke, p. 50.

     ** Whitlocke, p. 50. May, book ii. p. 20.

     *** Whitlocke, p. 51.
That evening the accused members, to show the greater apprehension, removed into the city, which was their fortress. The citizens were the whole night in arms. Some people, who were appointed for that purpose, or perhaps actuated by their own terrors, ran from gate to gate, crying out that the cavaliers were coming to burn the city, and that the king himself was at their head.
Next morning, Charles sent to the mayor, and ordered him to call a common council immediately. About ten o'clock, he himself, attended only by three or four lords, went to Guildhall. He told the common council, that he was sorry to hear of the apprehensions entertained of him; that he was come to them without any guard, in order to show how much he relied on their affections; and that he had accused certain men of high treason, against whom he would proceed in a legal way, and therefore presumed that they would not meet with protection in the city. After many other gracious expressions, he told one of the sheriffs, who of the two was thought the least inclined to his service, that he would dine with him. He departed the hall without receiving the applause which he expected. In passing through the streets, he heard the cry, "Privilege of parliament! privilege of parliament!" resounding from all quarters. One of the populace, more insolent than the rest drew nigh to his coach, and called out with a loud voice, "To your tents, O Israel!" the words employed by the mutinous Israelites when they abandoned Rehoboam, their rash and ill-counselled sovereign,[*]
When the house of commons met, they affected the greatest dismay; and adjourning themselves for some days, ordered a committee to sit in Merchant Tailors Hall in the city. The committee made an exact inquiry into all circumstances attending the king's entry into the house: every passionate speech, every menacing gesture of any, even the meanest of his attendants, was recorded and aggravated. An intention of offering violence to the parliament, of seizing the accused members in the very house, and of murdering all who should make resistance, was inferred. And that unparalleled breach of privilege—so it was called—was still ascribed to the counsel of Papists and their adherents. This expression, which then recurred every moment in speeches and memorials, and which at present is so apt to excite laughter in the reader, begat at that time the deepest and most real consternation throughout the kingdom.
A letter was pretended to be intercepted, and was communicated to the committee, who pretended to lay great stress upon it. One Catholic there congratulates another on the accusation of the members; and represents that incident as a branch of the same pious contrivance which had excited the Irish insurrection, and by which the profane heretics would soon be exterminated in England.[**]
     * Rush. vol. v. p. 479. Clarendon, vol. ii. p. 301.

     ** Nalson, vol. ii. p. 836.
The house again met; and, after confirming the votes of their committee, instantly adjourned, as if exposed to the most imminent perils from the violence of their enemies. This practice they continued for some time. When the people, by these affected panics, were wrought up to a sufficient degree of rage and terror, it was thought proper that the accused members should, with a triumphant and military procession, take their seats in the house. The river was covered with boats and other vessels, laden with small pieces of ordnance, and prepared for fight. Skippon, whom the parliament had appointed, by their own authority, major-general of the city militia,[*] conducted the members, at the head of this tumultuary army, to Westminster Hall. And when the populace, by land and by water, passed Whitehall, they still asked, with insulting shouts, "What has become of the king and his cavaliers? And whither are they fled?"[**]
     * Nalson, vol. ii. p 833.

     ** Whitlocke. p. 52 Dugdale, p. 82. Clarendon, vol ii p.
     380.
The king, apprehensive of danger from the enraged multitude, had retired to Hampton Court, deserted by all the world, and overwhelmed with grief, shame, and remorse, for the fatal measures into which he had been hurried. His distressed situation he could no longer ascribe to the rigors of destiny, or the malignity of enemies: his own precipitancy and indiscretion must bear the blame of whatever disasters should henceforth befall him. The most faithful of his adherents, between sorrow and indignation, were confounded with reflections on what had happened, and what was likely to follow. Seeing every prospect blasted, faction triumphant, the discontented populace inflamed to a degree of fury, they utterly despaired of success in a cause to whose ruin friends and enemies seemed equally to conspire.
The prudence of the king, in his conduct of this affair, nobody pretended to justify. The legality of his proceedings met with many and just apologies, though generally offered to unwilling ears. No maxim of law, it was said, is more established, or more universally allowed, than that privilege of parliament extends not to treason, felony, or breach of peace; nor has either house, during former ages, ever pretended, in any of those cases, to interpose in behalf of its members. Though some inconveniencies should result from the observance of this maxim, that would not be sufficient, without other authority, to abolish a principle established by uninterrupted precedent, and founded on the tacit consent of the whole legislature. But what are the inconveniencies so much dreaded? The king, on pretence of treason, may seize any members of the opposite faction, and for a time gain to his partisans the majority of voices. But if he seize only a few, will he not lose more friends by such a gross artifice than he confines enemies? If he seize a great number, is not this expedient force, open and barefaced? And what remedy at all times against such force, but to oppose to it a force which is superior? Even allowing that the king intended to employ violence, not authority, for seizing the members; though at that time, and ever afterwards, he positively asserted the contrary; yet will his conduct admit of excuse. That the hall where the parliament assembles is an inviolable sanctuary, was never yet pretended. And if the commons complain of the affront offered them, by an attempt to arrest their members in their very presence, the blame must lie entirely on themselves! who had formerly refused compliance with the king's message, when he peaceably demanded these members. The sovereign is the great executor of the laws; and his presence was here legally employed, both in order to prevent opposition, and to protect the house against those insults which their disobedience had so well merited.
Charles knew to how little purpose he should urge these reasons against the present fury of the commons. He proposed, therefore, by a message, that they would agree upon a legal method by which he might carry on his prosecution against the members, lest further misunderstandings happen with regard to privilege. They desired him to lay the grounds of accusation before the house; and pretended that they must first judge whether it were proper to give up their members, to a legal trial. The king then informed them, that he would waive, for the present, all prosecution: by successive messages he afterwards offered a pardon to the members; offered to concur in any law that should acquit or secure them; offered any reparation to the house for the beach of privilege, of which, he acknowledged, they had reason to complain.[*] They were resolved to accept of no satisfaction, unless he would discover his advisers in that illegal measure; a condition to which, they knew that, without rendering himself forever vile and contemptible, he could not possibly submit. Meanwhile, they continued to thunder against the violation of parliamentary privileges, and by their violent outcries to inflame the whole nation. The secret reason of their displeasure, however obvious, they carefully concealed. In the king's accusation of the members, they plainly saw his judgment of late parliamentary proceedings; and every adherent of the ruling faction dreaded the same fate, should royal authority be reëstablished in its ancient lustre. By the most unhappy conduct, Charles, while he extremely augmented in his opponents the will, had also increased the ability of hurting him.
     * Dugdale, p. 84. Rush, vol v. p. 484, 488, 492, etc.
The more to excite the people, whose dispositions were already very seditious, the expedient of petitioning was renewed. A petition from the county of Buckingham was presented to the house by six thousand subscribers, who promised to live and die in defence of the privileges of parliament.[*] The city of London, the county of Essex, that of Hertford, Surrey, Berks, imitated the example. A petition from the apprentices was graciously received.[**] Nay, one was encouraged from the porters, whose numbers amounted, as they said, to fifteen thousand.[***] The address of that great body contained the same articles with all the others; the privileges of parliament, the danger of religion, the rebellion of Ireland, the decay of trade. The porters further desired, that justice might be done upon offenders, as the atrociousness of their crimes had deserved. And they added, "That if such remedies were any longer suspended, they should be forced to extremities not fit to be named, and make good the saying, that 'Necessity has no law.'"[****]
Another petition was presented by several poor people, or beggars, in the name of many thousands more; in which the petitioners proposed as a remedy for the public miseries "That those noble worthies of the house of peers, who concur with the happy votes of the commons, may separate themselves from the rest, and sit and vote as one entire body." The commons gave thanks for this petition.[v]
     * Rush. vol. v. p. 487.

     ** Rush. vol. v. p. 462.

     *** Dugdale, p. 87.

     **** Clarendon, vol. ii. p. 412.

     v Clarendon, vol. li. p. 413.
The very women were seized with the same rage. A brewer's wife, followed by many thousands of her sex, brought a petition to the house, in which the petitioners expressed their terror of the Papists and prelates, and their dread of like massacres, rapes, and outrages, with those which had been committed upon their sex in Ireland. They had been necessitated, they said, to imitate the example of the women of Tekoah: and they claimed equal right with the men, of declaring by petition their sense of the public cause; because Christ had purchased them at as dear a rate, and in the free enjoyment of Christ consists equally the happiness of both sexes. Pym came to the door of the house; and having told the female zealots that their petition was thankfully accepted and was presented in a seasonable time, he begged that their prayers for the success of the commons might follow their petition. Such low arts of popularity were affected, and by such illiberal cant were the unhappy people incited to civil discord and convulsions.
In the mean time, not only all petitions which favored the church or monarchy, from whatever hand they came, were discouraged, but the petitioners were sent for, imprisoned, and prosecuted as delinquents; and this unequal conduct was openly avowed and justified. Whoever desire a change, it was said, must express their sentiments; for how otherwise shall they be known? But those who favor the established government in church or state, should not petition; because they already enjoy what they wish for.[*]
The king had possessed a great party in the lower house, as appeared in the vote for the remonstrance; and this party, had every new cause of disgust been carefully avoided, would soon have become the majority, from the odium attending the violent measures embraced by the popular leaders. A great majority he always possessed in the house of peers, even after the bishops were confined or chased away; and this majority could not have been overcome but by outrages which, in the end, would have drawn disgrace and ruin on those who incited them. By the present fury of the people, as by an inundation, were all these obstacles swept away, and every rampart of royal authority laid level with the ground. The victory was pursued with impetuosity by the sagacious commons, who knew the importance of a favorable moment in all popular commotions. The terror of their authority they extended over the whole nation; and all opposition, and even all blame vented in private conversation, were treated as the most atrocious crimes by these severe inquisitors. Scarcely was it permitted to find fault with the conduct of any particular member, if he made a figure in the house; and reflections thrown out on Pym were at this time treated as breaches of privilege. The populace without doors were ready to execute, from the least hint, the will of their leaders; nor was it safe for any member to approach either house, who pretended to control or oppose the general torrent. After so undisguised a manner was this violence conducted, that Hollis, in a speech to the peers, desired to know the names of such members as should vote contrary to the sentiments of the commons:[**] and Pym said in the lower house, that the people must not be restrained in the expressions of their just desires.[***]
     * Clarendon, vol. ii. p. 449.

     ** King's Declaration of 12th of August, 1642

     *** King's Declaration of 12th August, 1642.
By the flight, or terror, or despondency of the king's party, an undisputed majority remained everywhere to their opponents; and the bills sent up by the commons, which had hitherto stopped with the peers, and would certainly have been rejected, now passed, and were presented for the royal assent. These were, the pressing bill with its preamble, and the bill against the votes of the bishops in parliament. The king's authority was at that time reduced to the lowest ebb. The queen too, being secretly threatened with an impeachment, and finding no resource in her husband's protection, was preparing to retire into Holland. The rage of the people was, on account of her religion, as well as her spirit and activity, universally levelled against her. Usage the most contumelious she had hitherto borne with silent indignation. The commons, in their fury against priests, had seized her very confessor, nor would they release him upon her repeated applications. Even a visit of the prince to his mother had been openly complained of, and remonstrances against it had been presented to her.[*] Apprehensive of attacks still more violent, she was desirous of facilitating her escape; and she prevailed with the king to pass these bills, in hopes of appeasing for a time the rage of the multitude.[**]
These new concessions, however important, the king immediately found to have no other effect than had all the preceding ones: they were made the foundation of demands still more exorbitant. From the facility of his disposition, from the weakness of his situation, the commons believed that he could now refuse them nothing. And they regarded the least moment of relaxation in their invasion of royal authority as highly impolitic, during the uninterrupted torrent of their successes. The very moment they were informed of these last acquisitions, they affronted the queen by opening some intercepted letters written to her by Lord Digby: they carried up an impeachment against Herbert, attorney-general, for obeying his master's commands in accusing their members.[***] And they prosecuted with fresh vigor their plan of the militia, on which they rested all future hopes of an uncontrolled authority.
     * Nalson, vol. ii. p. 512.

     ** Clarendon, vol. ii. p. 428.

     *** Rush. vol. v. p. 489. Clarendon, vol. ii. p. 385.
The commons were sensible that monarchical government, which during so many ages had been established in England, would soon regain some degree of its former dignity, after the present tempest was overblown; nor would all their new invented limitations be able totally to suppress an authority to which the nation had ever been accustomed. The sword alone, to which all human ordinances must submit, could guard their acquired power, and fully insure to them personal safety against the rising indignation of their sovereign. This point, therefore, became the chief object of their aims. A large magazine of arms being placed in the town of Hull, they despatched thither Sir John Hotham, a gentleman of considerable fortune in the neighborhood, and of an ancient family, and they gave him the authority of governor. They sent orders to Goring, governor of Portsmouth, to obey no commands but such as he should receive from the parliament. Not content with having obliged the king to displace Lunsford, whom he had appointed governor of the Tower,[*] they never ceased soliciting him till he had also displaced Sir John Biron, a man of unexceptionable character, and had bestowed that command on Sir John Conyers, in whom alone, they said, they could repose confidence. After making a fruitless attempt, in which the peers refused their concurrence, to give public warning, that the people should put themselves in a posture of defence against the enterprises of "Papists and other ill-affected persons,"[**] they now resolved, by a bold and decisive stroke, to seize at once the whole power of the sword, and to confer it entirely on their own creatures and adherents.
     * Rush. voL v. p. 459.

     ** Nalson, vol. ii. p. 850.
The severe votes passed in the beginning of this parliament against lieutenants and their deputies, for exercising powers assumed by all their predecessors, had totally disarmed the crown, and had not left in any magistrate military authority sufficient for the defence and security of the nation. To remedy this inconvenience now appeared necessary. A bill was introduced, and passed the two houses, which restored to lieutenants and deputies the same powers of which the votes of the commons had bereaved them; but at the same time the names of all the lieutenants were inserted in the bill; and these consisted entirely of men in whom the parliament could confide. And for their conduct they were accountable, by the express terms of the bill, not to the king, but to the parliament.
The policy pursued by the commons, and which had hitherto succeeded to admiration, was, to astonish the king by the boldness of their enterprises, to intermingle no sweetness with their severity, to employ expressions no less violent than their pretensions, and to make him sensible in what little estimation they held both his person and his dignity. To a bill so destructive of royal authority, they prefixed, with an insolence seemingly wanton, a preamble equally dishonorable to the personal character of the king. These are the words: "Whereas there has been of late a most dangerous and desperate design upon the house of commons, which we have just cause to believe an effect of the bloody counsels of Papists and other ill-affected persons who have already raised a rebellion in the kingdom of Ireland. And whereas, by reason of many discoveries, we cannot but fear they will proceed, not only to stir up the like rebellions and insurrections in this kingdom of England, but also to back them with forces from abroad," etc.[*]
Here Charles first ventured to put a stop to his concessions, and that not by a refusal, but a delay. When this demand was made,—a demand, which, if granted, the commons justly regarded as the last they should ever have occasion to make,—he was at Dover, attending the queen and the princess of Orange in their embarkation. He replied, that he had not now leisure to consider a matter of so great importance, and must therefore respite his answer till his return.[**] The parliament instantly despatched another message to him, with solicitations still more importunate. They expressed their great grief on account of his majesty's answer to their just and necessary petition. They represented, that any delay during dangers and distractions so great and pressing, was not less unsatisfactory and destructive than an absolute denial. They insisted, that it was their duty to see put in execution a measure so necessary for public safety. And they affirmed, that the people in many counties had applied to them for that purpose, and in some places were, of themselves and by their own authority, providing against those urgent dangers with which they were threatened.[***]
     * Rush. vol. v. p. 519.

     ** Rush. vol. v. p. 521.

     *** Rush, vol. v. p. 521.
Even after this insolence, the king durst not venture upon a flat denial. Besides excepting to the preamble, which such dishonor upon him, and protesting the innocence of his intentions when he entered the house of commons, he only desired that the military authority, if it were defective, should first be conferred upon the crown; and he promised to bestow commissions, but such as should be revocable at pleasure, on the same persons whom the parliament had named in the bill.[*] By a former message, he had expressed his wishes that they would lay before him, in one view, all the concessions which they deemed requisite for the settlement of the nation. They pretended, that they were exposed to perils so dreadful and imminent, that they had not leisure for such a work.[**] The expedient proposed by the king seemed a sufficient remedy during this emergence, and yet maintained the prerogatives of the crown entire and unbroken.
But the intentions of the commons were wide of this purpose, and their panics could be cured by one remedy alone. They instantly replied, that the dangers and distempers of the nation were such as could endure no longer delay; and unless the king speedily complied with their demands, they should be constrained, for the safety of prince and people, to dispose of the militia by the authority of both houses, and were resolved to do it accordingly. They asserted, that those parts of the kingdom which had, from their own authority, put themselves in a posture of defence during these prevailing fears and jealousies, had acted suitably to the declarations and directions of both houses, and conformably to the laws of the kingdom. And while they thus menaced the king with their power they invited him to fix his residence at London, where they knew he would be entirely at mercy.[***]
     * Rush. vol. v. p. 521.

     ** Rush. vol. v. p. 516, 517.

     *** Rush, part iii. vol. i. chap. iv. p. 523.
"I am so much amazed at this message," said the king in his prompt reply, "that I know not what to answer. You speak of jealousies and fears. Lay your hands on your hearts, and ask yourselves whether I may not likewise be disturbed with fears and jealousies, and if so, I assure you that this message has nothing lessened them.
"As to the militia, I thought so much of it before I gave that answer, and am so much assured that the answer is agreeable to what in justice or reason you can ask, or I in honor grant, that I shall not alter it in any point.
"For my residence near you, I wish it might be safe and honorable, and that I had no cause to absent myself from Whitehall: ask yourselves whether I have not.[*]
"What would you have? Have I violated your laws? Have I denied to pass any bill for the ease and security of my subjects? I do not ask what you have done for me.
"Have any of my people been transported with fears and apprehensions? I offer as free and general a pardon as yourselves can devise. All this considered, there is a judgment of Heaven upon this nation if these distractions continue.
"God so deal with me and mine as all my thoughts and intentions are upright for the maintenance of the true Protestant profession, and for the observance and preservation of the laws; and I hope God will bless and assist those laws for my preservation."[**]
No sooner did the commons despair of obtaining the king's consent to their bill, than they instantly voted, that those who advised his majesty's answer were enemies to the state, and mischievous projectors against the safety of the nation; that this denial is of such dangerous consequence, that, if his majesty persist in it, it will hazard the peace and tranquillity of all his kingdoms, unless some speedy remedy be applied by the wisdom and authority of both houses; and that such of the subjects as have put themselves in a posture of defence against the common danger, have done nothing but what is justifiable, and approved by the house.[***]
Lest the people might be averse to the seconding of all these usurpations, they were plied anew with rumors of danger, with the terrors of invasion, with the dread of English and Irish Papists; and the most unaccountable panics were spread throughout the nation. Lord Digby having entered Kingston in a coach and six, attended by a few livery servants, the intelligence was conveyed to London; and it was immediately voted, that he had appeared in a hostile manner, to the terror and affright of his majesty's subjects, and had levied war against the king and kingdom.[****] Petitions from all quarters loudly demanded of the parliament to put the nation in a posture of defence; and the county of Stafford in particular expressed such dread of an insurrection among the Papists, that every man, they said, was constrained to stand upon his guard, not even daring to go to church unarmed.[v]
     * Rush. vol. v. p. 524.

     ** Rush. vol. v. p. 532.

     *** Rush. part. iii. vol. i. chap. iv. p. 524.

     **** Clarendon. Rush., part. iii. vol. i. chap, ii p. 495.

     v    Dugdale, p. 80.
That the same violence by which he had so long been oppressed might not still reach him, and extort his consent to the militia bill, Charles had resolved to remove farther from London; and accordingly, taking the prince of Wales and the duke of York along with him, he arrived by slow journeys at York, which he determined for some time to make the place of his residence. The distant parts of the kingdom, being removed from that furious vortex of new principles and opinions which had transported the capital, still retained a sincere regard for the church and monarchy; and the king here found marks of attachment beyond what he had before expected.[*]
     * Warwick, p. 203.
From all quarters of England, the prime nobility and gentry, either personally or by messages and letters, expressed their duty towards him; and exhorted him to save himself and them from that ignominious slavery with which they were threatened. The small interval of time which had passed since the fatal accusation of the members, had been sufficient to open the eyes of many, and to recover them from the astonishment with which at first they had been seized. One rash and passionate attempt of the king's seemed but a small counterbalance to so many acts of deliberate violence which had been offered to him and every branch of the legislature; and, however sweet the sound of liberty, many resolved to adhere to that moderate freedom transmitted them from their ancestors, and now better secured by such important concessions, rather than, by engaging in a giddy search after more independence, run a manifest risk either of incurring a cruel subjection, or abandoning all law and order.
Charles, finding himself supported by a considerable party in the kingdom, began to speak in a firmer tone, and to retort the accusations of the commons with a vigor which he had not before exerted. Notwithstanding their remonstrances, and menaces, and insults, he still persisted in refusing their bill; and they proceeded to frame an ordinance, in which, by the authority of the two houses, without the king's consent, they named lieutenants for all the counties, and conferred on them the command of the whole military force, of all the guards, garrisons, and forts of the kingdom. He issued proclamations against this manifest usurpation; and, as he professed a resolution strictly to observe the law himself, so was he determined, he said, to oblige every other person to pay it a like obedience The name of the king was so essential to all laws, and so familiar in all acts of executive authority, that the parliament was afraid, had they totally omitted it, that the innovation would be too sensible to the people. In all commands, therefore, which they conferred, they bound the persons to obey the orders of his majesty signified by both houses of parliament. And inventing a distinction, hitherto unheard of, between the office and the person of the king, those very forces which they employed against him they levied in his name and by his authority.[*]
It is remarkable how much the topics of argument were now reversed between the parties. The king, while he acknowledged his former error, of employing a plea of necessity in order to infringe the laws and constitution, warned the parliament not to imitate an example on which they threw such violent blame; and the parliament, while they clothed their personal fears or ambition under the appearance of national and imminent danger, made unknowingly an apology for the most exceptionable part of the king's conduct. That the liberties of the people were no longer exposed to any peril from royal authority, so narrowly circumscribed, so exactly defined, so much unsupported by revenue and by military power, might be maintained upon very plausible topics: but that the danger, allowing it to have any existence, was not of that kind, great, urgent, inevitable, which dissolves all law and levels all limitations, seems apparent from the simplest view of these transactions. So obvious indeed was the king's present inability to invade the constitution, that the fears and jealousies which operated on the people, and pushed them so furiously to arms, were undoubtedly not of a civil, but of a religious nature. The distempered imaginations of men were agitated with a continual dread of Popery, with a horror against prelacy, with an antipathy to ceremonies and the liturgy, and with a violent affection for whatever was most opposite to these objects of aversion. The fanatical spirit, let loose, confounded all regard to ease, safety, interest; and dissolved every moral and civil obligation.[**] 9
     * Rush. vol. v. p. 526.

     ** See note I, at the end of the volume.
Each party was now willing to throw on its antagonist the odium of commencing a civil war; but both of them prepared for an event which they deemed inevitable. To gain the people's favor and good opinion was the chief point on both sides. Never was there a people less corrupted by vice, and more actuated by principle, than the English during that period: never were there individuals who possessed more capacity, more courage, more public spirit, more disinterested zeal. The infusion of one ingredient in too large a proportion had corrupted all these noble principles, and converted them into the most virulent poison. To determine his choice in the approaching contests, every man hearkened with avidity to the reasons proposed on both sides. The war of the pen preceded that of the sword, and daily sharpened the humors of the opposite parties. Besides private adventurers without number, the king and parliament themselves carried on the controversy by messages, remonstrances, and declarations; where the nation was really the party to whom all arguments were addressed. Charles had here a double advantage. Not only his cause was more favorable, as supporting the ancient government in church and state against the most illegal pretensions; it was also defended with more art and eloquence. Lord Falkland had accepted the office of secretary; a man who adorned the purest virtue, with the richest gifts of nature, and the most valuable acquisitions of learning. By him, assisted by the king himself, were the memorials of the royal party chiefly composed. So sensible was Charles of his superiority in this particular, that he took care to disperse every where the papers of the parliament together with his own, that the people might be the more enabled, by comparison, to form a judgment between them: the parliament, while they distributed copies of their own, were anxious to suppress all the king's compositions.[*]
To clear up the principles of the constitution, to mark the boundaries of the powers intrusted by law to the several members, to show what great improvements the whole political system had received from the king's late concessions, to demonstrate his entire confidence in his people, and his reliance on their affections, to point out the ungrateful returns which had been made him, and the enormous encroachments, insults, and indignities to which he had been exposed; these were the topics which, with so much justness of reasoning and propriety of expression, were insisted on in the king's declarations and remonstrances.[**] 11
     * Rush. vol. v. p. 751.

     ** See note K, at the end of the volume.
Though these writings were of consequence, and tended much to reconcile the nation to Charles, it was evident that they would not be decisive, and that keener weapons must determine the controversy. To the ordinance of the parliament concerning the militia, the king opposed his commissions of array. The counties obeyed the one or the other, according as they stood affected. And in many counties, where the people were divided, mobbish combats and skirmishes ensued.[*] The parliament on this occasion went so far as to vote, "That when the lords and commons in parliament, which is the supreme court of judicature, shall declare what the law of the land is, to have this not only questioned, but contradicted, is a high breach of their privileges."[**] This was a plain assuming of the whole legislative authority, and exerting it in the most material article, the government of the militia. Upon the same principles they pretended, by a verbal criticism on the tense of a Latin verb, to ravish from the king his negative voice in the legislature.[***]
The magazine of Hull contained the arms of all the forces levied against the Scots; and Sir John Hotham, the governor, though he had accepted of a commission from the parliament, was not thought to be much disaffected to the church and monarchy. Charles therefore entertained hopes that if he presented himself at Hull before the commencement of hostilities, Hotham, overawed by his presence, would admit him with his retinue; after which he might easily render himself master of the place. But the governor was on his guard. He shut the gates, and refused to receive the king, who desired leave to enter with twenty persons only. Charles immediately proclaimed him traitor, and complained to the parliament of his disobedience. The parliament avowed and justified the action.[****]
     * May, book ii. p. 99.

     ** Rush. vol. v. p. 534.

     *** The king, by his coronation oath, promises that he would
     maintain the laws and customs which the people had chosen,
     "quas vulgus elegerit:" the parliament pretended, that
     elegerit meant shall choose; and, consequently, that the
     king had no right to refuse any bills which should be
     presented him. See Rush. vol. v. p. 580.

     **** Whitlocke, p. 55. Rush. vol. v. p. 565 etc. May, book
     ii p. 51.
The county of York levied a guard for the king of six hundred men; for the kings of England had hitherto lived among their subjects like fathers among their children, and had derived all their security from the dignity of their character, and from the protection of the laws. The two houses, though they had already levied a guard for themselves, had attempted to seize all the military power, all the navy, and all the forts of the kingdom, and had openly employed their authority in every kind of warlike preparations, yet immediately voted, "That the king, seduced by wicked counsel, intended to make war against his parliament, who, in all their consultations and actions, had proposed no other end but the care of his kingdoms, and the performance of all duty and loyalty to his person; that this attempt was a breach of the trust reposed in him by his people, contrary to his oath, and tending to a dissolution of the government; and that whoever should assist him in such a war, were traitors to the fundamental laws of the kingdom."[*]
The armies which had been everywhere raised on pretence of the service in Ireland, were henceforth more openly enlisted by the parliament for their own purposes, and the command of them was given to the earl of Essex. In London, no less than four thousand men enlisted in one day.[**] And the parliament voted a declaration, which they required every member to subscribe, that they would live and die with their general.
They issued orders for bringing in loans of money and plate, in order to maintain forces which should defend the king and both houses of parliament; for this style they still preserved. Within ten days, vast quantities of plate were brought to their treasurers. Hardly were there men enough to receive it, or room sufficient to stow it; and many with regret were obliged to carry back their offerings, and wait till the treasurers could find leisure to receive them; such zeal animated the pious partisans of the parliament, especially in the city. The women gave up all the plate and ornaments of their houses, and even their silver thimbles and bodkins, "in order to support the good cause against the malignants."[***]
     * Whitlocke, p. 57. Rush. vol. v. p. 717. Dugdale, p. 93.
     May, book 11. p. 54.

     ** Vicar's God in the Mount.

     *** Whitlocke, p. 58. Dugdale, p. 96, 99.
Meanwhile the splendor of the nobility with which the king was environed much eclipsed the appearance at Westminster. Lord Keeper Littleton, after sending the great seal before him, had fled to York. Above forty peers of the first rank attended the king,[*] whilst the house of lords seldom consisted of more than sixteen members. Near the moiety, too, of the lower house absented themselves from counsels which they deemed so full of danger. The commons sent up an impeachment against nine peers, for deserting their duty in parliament. Their own members, also, who should return to them, they voted not to admit till satisfied concerning the reason of their absence.
Charles made a declaration to the peers who attended him, that he expected from them no obedience to any commands which were not warranted by the laws of the land. The peers answered this declaration by a protest, in which they declared their resolution to obey no commands but such as were warranted by that authority.[**] By these deliberate engagements, so worthy of an English prince and English nobility, they meant to confound the furious and tumultuary resolutions taken by the parliament.
     * May, book ii. p. 59.

     ** Rush vol. v. p. 626, 627. May, book ii. p. 86. Warwick,
     p. 210.
The queen, disposing of the crown jewels in Holland, had been enabled to purchase a cargo of arms and ammunition. Part of these, after escaping many perils, arrived safely to the king. His preparations were not near so forward as those of the parliament. In order to remove all jealousy, he had resolved that their usurpations and illegal pretensions should be apparent to the whole world; and thought that to recover the confidence of the people was a point much more material to his interest, than the collecting of any magazines, stores, or armies which might breed apprehensions of violent or illegal counsels. But the urgent necessity of his situation no longer admitted of delay. He now prepared himself for defence. With a spirit, activity, and address, which neither the one party apprehended nor the other expected, he employed all the advantages which remained to him, and roused up his adherents to arms. The resources of this prince's genius increased in proportion to his difficulties, and he never appeared greater than when plunged into the deepest perils and distresses. From the mixed character, indeed, of Charles, arose in part the misfortunes in which England was at this time involved. His political errors, or rather weaknesses, had raised him inveterate enemies: his eminent moral virtues had procured him zealous partisans; and between the hatred of the one, and the affections of the other, was the nation agitated with the most violent convulsions.
That the king might despair of all composition, the parliament sent him the conditions on which they were willing to some to an agreement. Their demands, contained in nineteen propositions, amounted to a total abolition of monarchical authority. They required that no man should remain in the council who was not agreeable to parliament; that no deed of the king's should have validity unless it passed the council, and was attested under their hand; that all the officers of state and principal judges should be chosen with consent of parliament, and enjoy their offices for life; that none of the royal family should marry without consent of parliament or council; that the laws should be executed against Catholics; that the votes of Popish lords should be excluded; that the reformation of the liturgy and church government should, have place according to advice of parliament; that the ordinance with regard to the militia be submitted to; that the justice of parliament pass upon all delinquents; that a general pardon be granted, with such exceptions as should be advised by parliament that the forts and castles be disposed of by consent of parliament; and that no peer be made but with consent of both houses.[*]
"Should I grant these demands," said the king in reply, "I may be waited on bareheaded; I may have my hand kissed; the title of majesty may be continued to me; and 'the king's authority, signified by both houses,' may still be the style of your commands; I may have swords and maces carried before me, and please myself with the sight of a crown and sceptre, (though even these twigs would not long flourish when the stock upon which they grew was dead;) but as to true and real power, I should remain but the outside, but the picture, but the sign of a king."[**] War on any terms was esteemed, by the king and all the counsellors, preferable to so ignominious a peace. Charles accordingly resolved to support his authority by arms. "His towns," he said, "were taken from him, his ships, his arms, his money; but there still remained to him a good cause, and the hearts of his loyal subjects, which, with God's blessing, he doubted not would recover all the rest." Collecting, therefore, some forces, he advanced southwards; and at Nottingham he erected his royal standard, the open signal of discord and civil war throughout the kingdom.
     * Rush. vol. v. p. 722. May, book ii. p. 54.

     ** Rush. vol. v, p. 728. Warwick, p, 189.




CHAPTER LVI.





CHARLES I.

1642.
When two names so sacred in the English constitution as those of king and parliament were placed in opposition, no wonder the people were divided in their choice, and were agitated with the most violent animosities and factions.
The nobility and more considerable gentry, dreading a total confusion of rank from the fury of the populace, enlisted themselves in defence of the monarch, from whom they received and to whom they communicated their lustre. Animated with the spirit of loyalty derived from their ancestors they adhered to the ancient principles of the constitution, and valued themselves on exerting the maxims, as well as inheriting the possessions of the old English families. And while they passed their time mostly at their country seats, they were surprised to hear of opinions prevailing with which they had ever been unacquainted, and which implied not a limitation, but an abolition almost total of monarchical authority.
The city of London, on the other hand, and most of the great corporations, took part with the parliament, and adopted with zeal those democratical principles, on which the pretensions of that assembly were founded. The government of cities, which even under absolute monarchies is commonly republican, inclined them to this party: the small hereditary influence which can be retained over the industrious inhabitants of towns, the natural independence of citizens, and the force of popular currents over those more numerous associations of mankind; all these causes gave their authority to the new principles propagated throughout the nation. Many families, too, which had lately been enriched by commerce, saw with indignation that, notwithstanding their opulence, they could not raise themselves to a level with the ancient gentry: they therefore adhered to a power by whose success they hoped to acquire rank and consideration.[*] And the new splendor and glory of the Dutch commonwealth, where liberty so happily supported industry, made the commercial part af the nation desire to see a like form of government established in England.
     * Clarendon, vol. iii. p. 4.
The genius of the two religions, so closely at this time interwoven with politics, corresponded exactly to these divisions. The Presbyterian religion was new, republican, and suited to the genius of the populace: the other had an air of greater show and ornament, was established on ancient authority, and bore an affinity to the kingly and aristocratical parts of the constitution. The devotees of Presbytery became of course zealous partisans of the parliament: the friends of the Episcopal church valued themselves on defending the rights of monarchy.
Some men also there were of liberal education, who, being either careless or ignorant of those disputes bandied about by the clergy of both sides, aspired to nothing but an easy enjoyment of life, amidst the jovial entertainment and social intercourse of their companions. All these flocked to the king's standard, where they breathed a freer air, and were exempted from that rigid preciseness and melancholy austerity which reigned among the parliamentary party.
Never was a quarrel more unreal than seemed at first than between the contending parties: almost every advantage lay against the royal cause. The king's revenue had been seized from the beginning by the parliament, who issued out to him from time to time small sums for his present subsistence; and as soon as he withdrew to York, they totally stopped all payments. London, and all the seaports, except Newcastle, being in their hands, the customs yielded them a certain and considerable supply of money; and all contributions, loans, and impositions were more easily raised from the cities, which possessed the ready money, and where men lived under their inspection, than they could be levied by the king in those open countries which after some time declared for him.
The seamen naturally followed the disposition of the sea ports to which they belonged: and the earl of Northumberland, lord admiral, having embraced the party of the parliament, had appointed, at their desire, the earl of Warwick to be his lieutenant; who at once established his authority in the fleet, and kept the entire dominion of the sea in the hands of that assembly.
All the magazines of arms and amunition were from the first seized by the parliament; and their fleet intercepted the greater part of those which were sent by the queen from Holland. The king was obliged, in order to arm his followers, to borrow the weapons of the train bands, under promise of restoring them as soon as peace should be settled in the kingdom.
The veneration for parliaments was at this time extreme throughout the nation.[*] The custom of reviling those assemblies for corruption, as it had no pretence, so was it unknown during all former ages. Few or no instances of their encroaching ambition or selfish claims had hitherto been observed. Men considered the house of commons in no other light than as the representatives of the nation, whose interest was the same with that of the public, who were the eternal guardians of law and liberty, and whom no motive, but the necessary defence of the people, could ever engage in an opposition to the crown. The torrent, therefore, of general affection ran to the parliament. What is the great advantage of popularity, the privilege of affixing epithets fell of course to that party. The king's adherents were the wicked and the malignant: their adversaries were the godly and the well-affected. And as the force of the cities was more united than that of the country, and at once gave shelter and protection to the parliamentary party, who could easily suppress the royalists in their neighborhood, almost the whole kingdom, at the commencement of the war, seemed to be in the hands of the parliament.[**]
     * Walker p 336.

     ** Warwick, p. 318.
What alone gave the king some compensation for all the advantages possessed by his adversaries was, the nature and qualities of his adherents. More bravery and activity were hoped for from the generous spirit of the nobles and gentry, than from the base disposition of the multitude. And as the men of estates, at their own expense, levied and armed their tenants, besides an attachment to their masters, greater force and courage were to be expected in these rustic troops, than in the vicious and enervated populace of cities.
The neighboring states of Europe, being engaged in violent wars, little interested themselves in these civil commotions; and this island enjoyed the singular advantage (for such it surely was) of fighting out its own quarrels without the interposition of foreigners. France, from policy, had fomented the first disorders in Scotland, had sent over arms to the Irish rebels, and continued to give countenance to the English parliament; Spain, from bigotry, furnished the Irish with some supplies of money and arms. The prince of Orange, closely allied to the crown, encouraged English officers who served in the Low Countries to enlist in the king's army: the Scottish officers, who had been formed in Germany and in the late commotions, chiefly took part with the parliament.
The contempt entertained by the parliament for the king's party was so great, that it was the chief cause of pushing matters to such extremities against him; and many believed that he never would attempt resistance, but must soon yield to the pretensions, however enormous, of the two houses. Even after his standard was erected, men could not be brought to apprehend the danger of a civil war; nor was it imagined that he would have the imprudence to enrage his implacable enemies, and render his own condition more desperate, by opposing a force which was so much superior. The low condition in which he appeared at Nottingham confirmed all these hopes. His artillery, though far from numerous, had been left at York for want of horses to transport it. Besides the trained bands of the county, raised by Sir John Digby, the sheriff, he had not gotten together above three hundred infantry. His cavalry, in which consisted his chief strength, exceeded not eight hundred, and were very ill provided with arms. The forces of the parliament lay at Northampton, within a few days' march of him, and consisted of above six thousand men, well armed and well appointed. Had these troops advanced upon him, they must soon have dissipated the small force which he had assembled. By pursuing him in his retreat, they had so discredited his cause and discouraged his adherents, as to have forever prevented his collecting an army able to make head against them. But the earl of Essex, the parliamentary general, had not yet received any orders from his masters.[*]
     * Clarendon, vol. iii. p. 1, 2.
What rendered them so backward, after such precipitate steps as they had formerly taken, is not easily explained. It is probable, that in the extreme distress of his party consisted the present safety of the king. The parliament hoped that the royalists, sensible of their feeble condition, and convinced of their slender resources, would disperse of themselves, and leave their adversaries a victory so much the more complete and secure, as it would be gained without the appearance of force, and without bloodshed. Perhaps, too, when it became necessary to make the concluding step, and offer barefaced violence to their sovereign, their scruples and apprehensions, though not sufficient to overcome their resolutions, were able to retard the execution of them.[*]
Sir Jacob Astley, whom the king had appointed major-general of his intended army, told him, that he could not give him assurance but he might be taken out of his bed, if the rebels should make a brisk attempt to that purpose. All the king's attendants were full of well-grounded apprehensions. Some of the lords having desired that a message might be sent to the parliament with overtures to a treaty, Charles, who well knew that an accommodation in his present condition meant nothing but a total submission, hastily broke up the council lest this proposal should be further insisted on. But next day the earl of Southampton, whom no one could suspect of base or timid sentiments, having offered the same advice in council it was hearkened to with more coolness and deliberation. He urged, that though such a step would probably increase the insolence of the parliament, this was so far from being an objection, that such dispositions must necessarily turn to the advantage of the royal cause: that if they refused to treat, which was more probable, the very sound of peace was so popular, that nothing could more disgust the nation than such haughty severity: that if they admitted of a treaty, their proposals, considering their present situation, would be so exorbitant, as to open the eyes of their most partial adherents, and turn the general favor to the king's party: and that, at worst, time might be gained by this expedient, and a delay of the imminent danger with which the king was at present threatened.[**]
Charles, on assembling the council, had declared against all advances towards an accommodation; and had said that, having now nothing left him but his honor, this last possession he was resolved steadily to preserve, and rather to perish than yield any further to the pretensions of his enemies:[***] but, by the unanimous desire of the counsellors, he was prevailed on to embrace Southampton's advice. That nobleman, therefore, with Sir John Colepeper and Sir William Uvedale, was despatched to London with offers of a treaty.[****]
     * Clarendon, vol. iii. p. 18.

     ** Clarendon, vol. iii. p. 7.

     *** Clarendon, vol. iii. p. 7.

     **** Rush. vol. v. p. 784.
The manner in which they were received gave little hopes of success. Southampton was not allowed by the peers to take his seat; but was ordered to deliver his message to the usher, and immediately to depart the city: the commons showed little better disposition towards Colepeper and Uvedale.[*] Both houses replied, that they could admit of no treaty with the king till he took down his standard, and recalled his proclamations, in which the parliament supposed themselves to be declared traitors. The king, by a second message, denied any such intention against the two houses; but offered to recall these proclamations, provided the parliament agreed to recall theirs, in which his adherents were declared traitors. They desired him, in return, to dismiss his forces, to reside with his parliament, and to give up delinquents to their justice; that is abandon himself and his friends to the mercy of his enemies.[**] Both parties flattered themselves that, by these messages and replies, they had gained the ends which they proposed.[***] The king believed that the people were made sufficiently sensible of the parliament's insolence and aversion to peace: the parliament intended, by this vigor in their resolutions, to support the vigor of their military operations.
The courage of the parliament was increased, besides their great superiority of force, by two recent events which had happened in their favor. Goring was governor of Portsmouth, the best fortified town in the kingdom, and by its situation of great importance. This man seemed to have rendered himself an implacable enemy to the king, by betraying, probably magnifying, the secret cabals of the army; and the parliament thought that his fidelity to them might on that account be entirely depended on. But the same levity of mind still attended him, and the same disregard to engagements and professions. He took underhand his measures with the court, and declared against the parliament. But though he had been sufficiently supplied with money, and long before knew his danger, so small was his foresight, that he had left the place entirely destitute of provisions, and in a few days he was obliged to surrender to the parliamentary forces.[****]
     * Clarendon, vol. iii. p. 10.

     ** Rush. vol. v. p. 786. Dugdale, p. 102.

     *** Whitlocke, p. 59.

     **** Rush, vol. v. p. 683. Whitlocke, p. 60. Clarendon, vol.
     iii. p. 19.
The marquis of Hertford was a nobleman of the greatest quality and character in the kingdom, and, equally with the king, descended by a female from Henry VII. During the reign of James, he had attempted, without having obtained the consent of that monarch, to marry Arabella Stuart, a lady nearly related to the crown; and, upon discovery of his intentions, had been obliged for some time to fly the kingdom. Ever after, he was looked on with an evil eye at court, from which in a great measure he withdrew; and living in an independent manner, he addicted himself entirely to literary occupations and amusements. In proportion as the king declined in popularity, Hertford's character flourished with the people; and when this parliament assembled, no nobleman possessed more general favor and authority. By his sagacity he soon perceived that the commons, not content with correcting the abuses of government, were carried, by the natural current of power and popularity, into the opposite extreme, and were committing violations, no less dangerous than the former, upon the English constitution. Immediately he devoted himself to the support of the king's falling authority, and was prevailed with to be governor to the young prince and reside at court; to which, in the eyes of all men, he gave by his presence a new lustre and authority. So high was his character for mildness and humanity, that he still preserved, by means of these popular virtues, the public favor; and every one was sensible of the true motive of his change. Notwithstanding his habits of ease and study, he now exerted himself in raising an army for the king; and being named general of the western counties, where his interest chiefly lay, he began to assemble forces in Somersetshire. By the assistance of Lord Seymour, Lord Paulet, John Digby, son of the earl of Bristol, Sir Francis Hawley, and others, he had drawn together some appearance of an army; when the parliament, apprehensive of the danger, sent the earl of Bedford with a considerable force against him. On his approach Hertford was obliged to retire into Sherborne Castle; and finding that place untenable, he himself passed over into Wales, leaving Sir Ralph Hopton, Sir John Berkeley, Digby and other officers, with their horse, consisting of about a hundred and twenty, to march into Cornwall, in hopes of finding that county better prepared for their reception.[*]
     * Clarendon, vol. vi. p. 2, 3, etc.
All the dispersed bodies of the parliamentary army were now ordered to march to Northampton; and the earl of Essex who had joined them, found the whole amount to fifteen thousand men.[*] The king, though his camp had been gradually reënforced from all quarters, was sensible that he had no army which could cope with so formidable a force, and he thought it prudent, by slow marches, to retire to Derby, thence to Shrewsbury, in order to countenance the levies which his friends were making in those parts. At Wellington, a day's march from Shrewsbury, he made a rendezvous of all his forces, and caused his military orders to be read at the head of every regiment. That he might bind himself by reciprocal ties, he solemnly made the following declaration before his whole army.
"I do promise, in the presence of Almighty God, and as I hope for his blessing and protection, that I will, to the utmost of my power, defend and maintain the true reformed Protestant religion established in the church of England, and, by the grace of God, in the same will live and die.
"I desire that the laws may ever be the measure of my government, and that the liberty and property of the subject may be preserved by them with the same care as my own just rights. And if it please God, by his blessing on this army raised for my necessary defence, to preserve me from the present rebellion, I do solemnly and faithfully promise, in the sight of God, to maintain the just privileges and freedom of parliament, and to govern, to the utmost of my power, by the known statutes and customs of the kingdom; and particularly to observe inviolably the laws to which I have given my consent this parliament. Meanwhile, if this emergence, and the great necessity to which I am driven, beget any violation of law, I hope it shall be imputed by God and man to the authors of this war; not to me, who have so earnestly labored to preserve the peace of the kingdom.
"When I willingly fail in these particulars, I shall expect no aid or relief from man, nor any protection from above: but in this resolution I hope for the cheerful assistance of all good men, and am confident of the blessing of Heaven."[*]
     * Whitlocke, p. 60., Clarendon, vol. iii. p. 15, 17.
     Dugdale, p. 104.
Though the concurrence of the church undoubtedly increased the king's adherents, it may safely be affirmed, that the high monarchical doctrines, so much inculcated by the clergy, had never done him any real service. The bulk of that generous train of nobility and gentry who now attended the king in his distresses, breathed the spirit of liberty as well as of loyalty; and in the hopes alone of his submitting to a legal and limited government, were they willing in his defence to sacrifice their lives and fortunes.
While the king's army lay at Shrewsbury, and he was employing himself in collecting money, which he received, though in no great quantities, by voluntary contributions, and by the plate of the universities, which was sent him, the news arrived of an action, the first which had happened in these wars, and where he was successful.
On the appearance of commotions in England, the princes Rupert and Maurice, sons of the unfortunate palatine, had offered their service to the king; and the former at that time commanded a body of horse, which had been sent to Worcester in order to watch the motions of Essex, who was marching towards that city. No sooner had the prince arrived, than he saw some cavalry of the enemy approaching the gates. Without delay, he briskly attacked them, as they were defiling from a lane, and forming themselves. Colonel Sandys, who led them, and who fought with valor, being mortally wounded, fell from his horse. The whole party was routed, and was pursued above a mile. The prince, hearing of Essex's approach, retired to the main body.[*] This rencounter, though in itself of small importance, mightily raised the reputation of the royalists, and acquired to Prince Rupert the character of promptitude and courage; qualities which he eminently displayed during the whole course of the war.
The king, on mustering his army, found it amount to ten thousand men. The earl of Lindesey, who in his youth had sought experience of military service in the Low Countries,[**] was general; Prince Rupert commanded the horse; Sir Jacob Astley, the foot; Sir Arthur Aston, the dragoons; Sir John Heydon, the artillery. Lord Bernard Stuart was at the head of a troop of guards. The estates and revenue of this single troop, according to Lord Clarendon's computation, were at least equal-to those of all the members who at the commencement of war voted in both houses. Their servants, under the command of Sir William Killigrew, made another troop, and always marched with their masters.[***]
     * Clarendon, vol. iii. p. 25. May. book iii. p. 10.

     ** He was then Lord Willoughby.

     *** Clarendon, vol. iii. p. 41. Warwick, p. 231.
With this army the king left Shrewsbury, resolving to give battle as soon as possible to the army of the parliament, which he heard was continually augmenting by supplies from London. In order to bring on an action, he directed his march towards the capital, which he knew the enemy would not abandon to him. Essex had now received his instructions. The import of them was, to present a most humble petition to the king, and to rescue him and the royal family from those desperate malignants who had seized their persons.[*] Two days after the departure of the royalists from Shrewsbury, he left Worcester. Though it be commonly easy in civil wars to get intelligence, the armies were within six miles of each other ere either of the generals was acquainted with the approach of his enemy. Shrewsbury and Worcester, the places from which they set out, are not above twenty miles distant; yet had the two armies marched ten days in this mutual ignorance: so much had military skill, during a long peace, decayed in England.[**]
     * Whitlocke, p. 59. Clarendon, vol. iii, p. 27, 28, etc.

     ** Clarendon, vol. iii. p. 44.
The royal army lay near Banbury; that of the parliament, at Keinton, in the county of Warwick. Prince Rupert sent intelligence of the enemy's approach. Though the day was far advanced, the king resolved upon the attack: Essex drew up his men to receive him. Sir Faithful Fortescue, who had levied a troop for the Irish wars, had been obliged to serve in the parliamentary army, and was now posted on the left wing, commanded by Ramsay, a Scotchman. No sooner did the king's army approach, than Fortescue, ordering his troop to discharge their pistols in the ground, put himself under the command of Prince Rupert. Partly from this incident, partly from the furious shock made upon them by the prince, that whole wing of cavalry immediately fled, and were pursued for two miles. The right wing of the parliament's army had no better success. Chased from their ground by Wilmot and Sir Arthur Aston, they also took to flight. The king's body of reserve, commanded by Sir John Biron, judging, like raw soldiers, that all was over, and impatient to have some share in the action, heedlessly followed the chase which their left wing had precipitately led them. Sir William Balfour, who commanded Essex's reserve, perceived the advantage: he wheeled about upon the king's infantry, now quite unfurnished of horse; and he made great havoc among them. Lindesey, the general, was mortally wounded, and taken prisoner. His son, endeavoring his rescue, fell likewise into the enemy's hands. Sir Edmund Verney, who carried the king's standard, was killed, and the standard taken; but it was afterwards recovered. In this situation, Prince Rupert, on his return, found affairs. Every thing bore the appearance of a defeat, instead of a victory, with which he had hastily flattered himself. Some advised the king to leave the field; but that prince rejected such pusillanimous counsel. The two armies faced each other for some time, and neither of them retained courage sufficient for a new attack. All night they lay under arms; and next morning found themselves in sight of each other. General, as well as soldier, on both sides, seemed averse to renew the battle. Essex first drew off, and retired to Warwick. The king returned to his former quarters. Five thousand men are said to have been found dead on the field of battle, and the loss of the two armies, as far as we can judge by the opposite accounts, was nearly equal. Such was the event of this first battle fought at Keinton, or Edge Hill.[*]
Some of Essex's horse, who had been driven off the field in the beginning of the action, flying to a great distance, carried news of a total defeat, and struck a mighty terror into the city and parliament. After a few days, a more just account arrived; and then the parliament pretended to a complete victory.[**] The king also, on his part, was not wanting to display his advantages; though, except the taking of Banbury a few days after, he had few marks of victory to boast of. He continued his march, and took possession of Oxford, the only town in his dominions which was altogether at his devotion.
     * Clarendon, vol. iii. p. 44, etc. May, book iii. p. 16,
     etc.

     ** Whitlocke, p. 61. Clarendon, vol. iii. p. 59.
After the royal army was recruited and refreshed, as the weather still continued favorable, it was again put in motion, A party of horse approached to Reading, of which Martin was appointed governor by the parliament. Both governor and garrison were seized with a panic, and fled with precipitation to London. The king, hoping that every thing would yield before him, advanced with his whole army to Reading. The parliament, who, instead of their fond expectations that Charles would never be able to collect an army, had now the prospect of a civil war, bloody, and of uncertain event; were further alarmed at the near approach of the royal army, while their own forces lay at a distance. They voted an address for a treaty. The king's nearer approach to Colebroke quickened their advances for peace. Northumberland and Pembroke, with three commoners, presented the address of both houses; in which they besought his majesty to appoint some convenient place where he might reside, till committees could attend him with proposals. The king named Windsor, and desired that their garrison might be removed, and his own troops admitted into that castle.[*]
Meanwhile Essex, advancing by hasty marches, had arrived at London. But neither the presence of his army, nor the precarious hopes of a treaty, retarded the king's approaches. Charles attacked at Brentford two regiments quartered there, and after a sharp action beat them from that village, and took, about five hundred prisoners. The parliament had sent orders to forbear all hostilities, and had expected the same from the king; though no stipulations to that purpose had been mentioned by their commissioners. Loud complaints were raised against this attack, as if it had been the most apparent perfidy and breach of treaty.[**] Inflamed with resentment, as well as anxious for its own safety, the city marched its trained bands in excellent order, and joined the army under Essex. The parliamentary army now amounted to above twenty-four thousand men, and was much superior to that of the king.[***] After both armies had faced each other for some time, Charles drew off and retired to Reading, thence to Oxford.
While the principal armies on both sides were kept in inaction by the winter season, the king and parliament were employed in real preparations for war, and in seeming advances towards peace. By means of contributions or assessments levied by the horse, Charles maintained his cavalry; by loans and voluntary presents sent him from all parts of the kingdom, he supported his infantry: but the supplies were still very unequal to the necessities under which he labored.[****]
     * Whitlocke, p. 62. Clarendon, vol. iii. p. 73.

     ** Whitlocke, p. 62. Clarendon, vol. iii. p. 75.

     *** Whitlocke, p. 62.

     **** Clarendon, vol. iii p. 87.
The parliament had much greater resources for money; and had by consequence every military preparation in much greater order and abundance. Besides an imposition levied in London, amounting to the five-and-twentieth part of every one's substance, they established on that city a weekly assessment of ten thousand pounds, and another of twenty-three thousand five hundred and eighteen on the rest of the kingdom.[*] And as their authority was at present established in most counties, they levied these taxes with regularity; though they amounted to sums much greater than the nation had formerly paid to the public.
1643.
The king and parliament sent reciprocally their demands; and a treaty commenced, but without any cessation of hostilities, as had at first been proposed. The earl of Northumberland and four members of the lower house came to Oxford, as commissioners.[**] In this treaty, the king perpetually insisted on the reëstablishment of the crown in its legal powers, and on the restoration of his constitutional prerogative:[***] the parliament still required new concessions, and a further abridgment of regal authority, as a more effectual remedy to their fears and jealousies. Finding the king supported by more forces and a greater party than they had ever looked for, they seemingly abated somewhat of those extravagant conditions which they had formerly claimed; but their demands were still too high for an equal treaty. Besides other articles, to which a complete victory alone could entitle them, they required the king, in express terms, utterly to abolish Episcopacy; a demand which before they had only insinuated; and they required, that all other ecclesiastical controversies should be determined by their assembly of divines; that is, in the manner the most repugnant to the inclinations of the king and all his partisans. They insisted, that he should submit to the punishment of his most faithful adherents. And they desired him to acquiesce in their settlement of the militia, and to confer on their adherents the entire power of the sword. In answer to the king's proposal, that his magazines, towns, forts, and ships should be restored to him, the parliament required that they should be put into such hands as they could confide in:[****] the nineteen propositions which they formerly sent to the king, showed their inclination to abolish monarchy: they only asked at present the power of doing it.
     * Clarendon, vol. iii. p. 171.

     ** Whitlocke, p. 6*.

     *** Rush, vol. vi. p. 202.

     **** Rush, vol. vi. p. 166. Clarendon, vol. iii. p. 119.
And having now in the eye of the law been guilty of treason, by levying war against their sovereign, it is evident that their fears and jealousies must on that account have multiplied extremely, and have rendered their personal safety, which they interwove with the safety of the nation, still more incompatible with the authority of the monarch. Though the gentleness and lenity of the king's temper might have insured them against schemes of future vengeance, they preferred, as is no doubt natural, an independent security, accompanied too with sovereign power, to the station of subjects, and that not entirely guarded from all apprehensions of danger.[*] 12
The conferences went no further than the first demand on each side. The parliament, finding that there was no likelihood of coming to any agreement, suddenly recalled their commissioners.
A military enterprise, which they had concerted early in the spring, was immediately undertaken. Reading, the garrison of the king's which lay nearest to London, was esteemed a place of considerable strength in that age, when the art of attacking towns was not well understood in Europe, and was totally unknown in England. The earl of Essex sat down before this place with an army of eighteen thousand men, and carried on the siege by regular approaches. Sir Arthur Aston, the governor, being wounded, Colonel Fielding succeeded to the command. In a little time, the town was found to be no longer in a condition of defence; and though the king approached with an intention of obliging Essex to raise the siege, the disposition of the parliamentary army was so strong as rendered the design impracticable. Fielding, therefore, was contented to yield the town, on condition that he should bring off all the garrison with the honors of war, and deliver up deserters. This last article was thought so ignominious and so prejudicial to the king's interests, that the governor was tried by a council of war, and condemned to lose his life for consenting to it. His sentence was afterwards remitted by the king.[**]
     * See note L, at the end of the volume.

     ** Rush. vol. vi. p. 265, etc. Clarendon, vol. iii. p. 237,
     238, etc.
Essex's army had been fully supplied with all necessaries from London; even many superfluities and luxuries were sent them by the care of the zealous citizens; yet the hardships which they suffered from the siege during so early a season had weakened them to such a degree, that they were no longer fit for any new enterprise. And the two armies for some time encamped in the neighborhood of each other, without attempting on either side any action of moment.
Besides the military operations between the principal armies which lay in the centre of England, each county, each town, each family almost, was divided within itself; and the most violent convulsions shook the whole kingdom. Throughout the winter, continual efforts had every where been made by each party to surmount its antagonist; and the English, roused from the lethargy of peace, with eager though unskilful hands employed against their fellow-citizens their long-neglected weapons. The furious zeal for liberty and Presbyterian discipline, which had hitherto run uncontrolled throughout the nation, now at last excited an equal ardor for monarchy and Episcopacy, when the intention of abolishing these ancient modes of government was openly avowed by the parliament. Conventions for neutrality, though in several counties they had been entered into and confirmed by the most solemn oaths, yet being voted illegal by the two houses, were immediately broken;[*] and the fire of discord was spread into every quarter. The altercation of discourse, the controversies of the pen, but above all the declamations of the pulpit, indisposed the minds of men towards each other, and propagated the blind rage of party.[**] Fierce, however, and inflamed as were the dispositions of the English, by a war both civil and religious, that great destroyer of humanity, all the events of this period are less distinguished by atrocious deeds either of treachery or cruelty, than were ever any intestine discords which had so long a continuance; a circumstance which will be found to reflect great praise on the national character of that people now so unhappily roused to arms.
     * Clarendon, vol. iii. p. 137, 139.

     ** Dugdale, p. 95.
In the north, Lord Fairfax commanded for the parliament, the earl of Newcastle for the king. The latter nobleman began those associations which were afterwards so much practised in other parts of the kingdom. He united in a league for the king the counties of Northumberland, Cumberland, Westmoreland, and the bishopric, and engaged some time after other counties in the same association. Finding that Fairfax, assisted by Hotham and the garrison of Hull, was making progress in the southern parts of Yorkshire, he advanced with a body of four thousand men, and took possession of York. At Tadcaster, he attacked the forces of the parliament, and dislodged them: but his victory was not decisive. In other rencounters, he obtained some inconsiderable advantages. But the chief benefit which resulted from his enterprises was, the establishing of the king's authority in all the northern provinces.
In another part of the kingdom, Lord Broke was killed by a shot while he was taking possession of Lichfield for the parliament.[*] After a sharp combat near Stafford, between the earl of Northampton and Sir John Gell, the former, who commanded the king's forces, was killed while he fought with great valor; and his forces, discouraged by his death, though they had obtained the advantage in the action, retreated into the town of Stafford.[**]
Sir William Waller began to distinguish himself among the generals of the parliament. Active and indefatigable in his operations, rapid and enterprising, he was fitted by his genius to the nature of the war; which, being managed by raw troops, conducted by unexperienced commanders, afforded success to every bold and sudden undertaking. After taking Winchester and Chichester, he advanced towards Gloucester, which was in a manner blockaded by Lord Herbert, who had levied considerable forces in Wales for the royal party.[***] While he attacked the Welsh on one side, a sally from Gloucester made impression on the other. Herbert was defeated; five hundred of his men killed on the spot; a thousand taken prisoners; and he himself escaped with some difficulty to Oxford. Hereford, esteemed a strong town, defended by a considerable garrison, was surrendered to Waller, from the cowardice of Colonel Price, the governor. Tewkesbury underwent the same fate. Worcester refused him admittance; and Waller, without placing any garrisons in his new conquests, retired to Gloucester, and he thence joined the army under the earl of Essex.[****]
     * He had taken possession of Lichfield, and was viewing from
     a window St. Chad's cathedral, in which a party of the
     royalists had fortified themselves. He was cased in complete
     armor, but was shot through the eye by a random ball. Lord
     Broke was a zealous Puritan; and had formerly said, that he
     hoped to see with his eyes the ruin of all the cathedrals of
     England. It was a superstitious remark of the royalists,
     that he was killed on St. Chad's day by a shot from St.
     Chad's cathedral, which pierced that very eye by which he
     hoped to see the ruin of all cathedrals. Dugdale, p. 118.
     Clarendon, etc.

     * Whitlocke, p. 66. Rush. vol. vi. p. 152. Clarendon, vol.
     iii. p. 151.

     * Rush. vol. vi. D. 92, 100.

     * Rush. vol. vi. p. 262.