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CHA P. chant, and member of the house, being seized for his reLII. fufal to pay the' duties, complaints were made of this violence, as if it were a breach of privilege C: Charles 1629. fupported his officers in all these measures; and the quarrel grew every day higher between him and the commons D. Mention was made in the house of impeaching Sir Richard Weston, the treasurer E: and the king began to entertain thoughts of finishing the feffion by a diffolution.
SIR John Elliot framed a remonstrance against levying tonnage and poundage without confent of parliament, and offered it to the clerk to read. It was refufed. He read it himself. The queftion being then called for, the fpeaker, Sir John Finch, faid, That he had a command from the king to adjourn, and to put no question *. Upon which he rofe and left the chair. The whole houfe was in an uproar. The speaker was pushed back into the chair, and forcibly held in it by Hollis and Valentine, till a short remonftrance was framed, and was paffed by acclamation rather than by vote. Papifts and Arminians were there declared capital enemies to the commonwealth. Thofe, who levied tonnage and poundage, were branded with the fame epithet. And even the merchants, who should voluntarily pay these duties were denominated betrayers of English liberty, and public enemies. The doors being locked, the gentleman ufher of the house of lords, who was fent by the king, could get no admittance till Diffolution this remonftrance was finished. By the king's order, he of the par- took the mace from the table, which ended their proceedliament, ings F. ings F. And a few days after the parliament was dif10th Mar. folved.
THE difcontents of the nation ran extremely high, on account of this violent rupture between the king and parliament. These discontents Charles inflamed by his affectation
c Rushworth, vol. i. p. 653. D Ibid. p. 658. E Parl.
Hit. vol viii. p. 326.
*The king's power of adjourning, as well as proroguing the parliament, was fcarce ever queftioned. In the 19th of the late king, the judges determined, that the adjournment by the king kept the parliament in ftatu quo until the next fitting; but that then no committees were to meet: But if the adjourn ment be by the houfe, then the committees and other matters do continue. Parl. Hift. vol. v. p. 466.
F Rushworth, vol. i. p. 660. Whitlocke, p. 12.
affectation of severity, which he had not power, nor pro- CHA P. bably inclination, to carry to extremity. Sir Miles Hobart, Sir Peter Heyman, Selden, Coriton, Long, Strode, were committed to prifon, on account of the last tumult in the house, which was called fedition G. With great difficulty, and after feveral delays, they were released; and the law was generally fuppofed to be wrested, in order to prolong their imprisonment. Sir John Elliot, Hollis and Valentine, were fummoned to their trial in the king's bench, for feditious fpeeches and behaviour in parliament; but refufing to anfwer before an inferior court for their conduct, as members of a fuperior, they were condemned to be imprisoned during the king's pleasure, to find fureties for their good behaviour, and to be fined, the two former a thousand pounds a piece, the latter five hundred H. This fentence, procured by the influence of the crown, ferved only to fhew the king's disregard to the privileges of parliament, and to acquire an immense stock of popularity to the sufferers, who had fo bravely, in opposition to arbitrary power, defended the liberties of their native country. The commons of England, though an immenfe body, and poffeffed of the greatest part of national property, were naturally fomewhat defenceless; becaufe of their perfonal equality and their want of leaders: But the king's feverity, if these profecutions deferve the name, here pointed our leaders to them, whose refentment was inflamed, and whose courage was no-wife daunted, by the hardships, which they had undergone in fo honourable a caufe.
So much did these prisoners glory in their sufferings, that, though they were promifed liberty on that condition, they would not condefcend even to prefent a petition to the king, expreffing their forrow for having offended him. They unanimoufly refufed to find fureties for their good behaviour; and difdained to accept of deliverance on fuch easy terms. Nay, Hollis was fo induftrious 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,
G Rushworth, vol. i. p. 661. Parl. Hift. vol. viii. p. 354.
CHAP. Long, who had actually found fureties in the chief jufLII. tice's chamber, declared in court, that his fureties fhould no longer continue K. Yet because Sir John Elliot happened to die while in custody, a great clamour was raifed against the administration; and he was universally regarded as a martyr to the liberties of England L.
K Kennet, vol. iii. p. 49. L Rushworth, vol. v. p. 440.
Peace with France.Peace with Spain.State of the court and miniftry. -Character of the queen.-Strafford. Laud -Innovations in the church.
gular levies of money.Severities in the ftar-chamber and high commiffion.Ship-money-Trial of Hambden.
HERE now opens to us a new fcene. Charles, C H AP. naturally disgusted with parliaments, was refolved LIII. not to call any more, till he should fee greater indications of a compliant difpofition in the nation. Having loft his 1629. great favourite, Buckingham, he became his own minifter; and never afterwards repofed in any one fuch unlimited confidence. As he chiefly follows his own genius and difpofition, his measures are henceforth less rash and hafty; though the general tenor of his administration still wants fomewhat of being entirely legal, and more of being entirely prudent.
WE fhall endeavour to exhibit a juft idea of the events which followed for fome years; fo far as they regard foreign affairs, the state of the court, and the government of the nation. The incidents are neither numerous nor illuftrious; but the knowledge of them is necessary for understanding the subsequent tranfactions, which are fo memorable.
CHARLES, deftitute of all supply, was obliged from neceffity to embrace a measure, which ought to have been the refult of reafon and found policy: He made peace with the two crowns, against whom he had hitherto waged war, entered into without neceffity, 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 farther project, than to defend themselves against the feeble and ill-concerted expeditions of that kingdom. Pleased that the jealoufies and quarrels between king and parliament had difarmed fo formidable a power, they carefully avoided any enterprize, which might rouze either the terror or anger of the English, and difpofe them to domeftic union and fubmiffion. The endeavours to regain the good-will of the nation were carried fo far by the king of Spain, that he generously released and fent home all the English prisoners taken in the expedition against Cadiz. The example was imitated
1629. Peace with
Spain. April 14. 1630.
CHAP. by France, after the retreat of the English from the isle LIII. of Rhé. When princes were in fuch difpofitions, and had fo few pretenfions on each other, it could not be difficult to conclude a peace. The treaty was first figned with France A. The fituation of the king's affairs did not intitle him to demand any conditions for the hugonots, and they were abandoned to the will of their fovereign. Peace was afterwards concluded with Spain; where no conditions were made in favour of the Palatine, except that Spain promised in general to use her good offices for his restoration B. The influence of these two wars on domestic affairs, and on the difpofitions of king and people, was of the utmost confequence: But no alteration was made by them on the foreign interefts of the kingdom.
NOTHING more happy can be imagined than the fituation, in which England then flood with regard to foreign affairs. Europe was divided between the rival families of Bourbon and Auftria, whofe oppofite interefts, and still more their mutual jealoufies, fecured the tranquility of this island. Their forces were fo nearly counterpoised, that no apprehenfions were entertained of any event, which could fuddenly disturb the balance of power between them. The Spanish monarch, deemed the most powerful, lay at greatest distance; and the English, by that means, poffeffed the advantage of being engaged by political motives in a more intimate union and confederacy with the neighbouring potentate. The dispersed fituation of the Spanish dominions rendered the naval power of England very formidable to them, and kept that empire in continual dependence. France, more vigorous and more compact, was every day rising in policy and difcipline; and reached at laft an equality of power with the house of Auftria: But her progrefs, flow and gradual, left it still in the power of England, by a timely interpofition, to check her fuperiority. And thus Charles, could he have avoided all diffentions with his own subjects, was in a situation to make himself be courted and refpected by every power in Europe; and, what has fcarcely ever fince been attained by the princes of this ifland, he could either be active with dignity, or neutral with fecurity.
A Rushworth, vol. ii. p. 23, 24.
B Idem ibid. p. 75.