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1640.

ous to the prevailing fect, could not hope to remain long CHA P. unmolested. The voluntary contribution, which they LV. had made, in order to affift the king in his war againft the Scotch covenanters, was enquired into, and reprefented as the greatest enormity K. By an addrefs from the commons, all officers of that religion were removed from the army, and application was made to the king for feizing two thirds of recufants' lands; a proportion to which, by law, he was intitled, but which he had always allowed them to poffefs upon very eafy compofitions. The execution of the fevere and bloody laws against priests was infifted on: and one Goodman, a jefuit, who was found in prifon, was condemned to a capital punishment. Charles, however, agreeably to his usual principles, fcrupled to fign the warrant for his execution; and the commons expressed great refentment on that occafion. There remains a very fingular petition of Goodman, begging to be hanged, rather than prove a fource of contention between the king and his people M. He escaped with his life: but it seems more probable, that he was overlooked, amidst affairs of greater confequence, than that fuch unrelenting hatred would be foftened by any confideration of his courage and generofity.

FOR fome years, Con, a Scotfman; afterwards, Rosetti, an Italian, had openly refided at London, and frequented the court, as vefted with a commiffion from the pope. The queen's zeal, and authority with her husband, had been the cause of this imprudence, fo offenfive to the nation. But the fpirit of bigotry now rose too high to permit any longer fuch indulgences N.

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K Rufh. vol. v. p. 160.

fon, vol. i. p. 739.

vol. i. p. 749.

HAYWARD,

L Idem. ibid. p. 158, 159 Nal-
M Rushworth, vol. v. p. 166. Nalfon,

*It is known from the Clarendon papers, that the king had also an authorized agent who refided at Rome. His name was Bret, and his chief bufinefs was to negotiate with the pope concerning indulgences to the Catholics, and to engage the Catholics in return to be good and loyal fubjects. But this whole matter, though very innocent, was moft carefully kept fecret. The king fays, that he believed Bret to be as much his as any papift could be. See p. 348, 354. N Rushworth, vol. v. p. 301.

СНАР.
LV.

1640.

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 afcribed to the popery, not to the phrenzy of the affaffin; and great alarms feized the nation and parliament. An univerfal confpiracy of the papifts was fuppofed to have taken place; and every man, for fome days, imagined that he had a fword at his throat. Though fome perfons of family and distinction were still attached to the catholic fuperftition; it is certain that the numbers of that fect did not compose the fortieth part of the nation: And the frequent panics, to which men, during this period, were fo fubject, on account of the catholics, were lefs the effects of fear, than of extreme rage and averfion entertained against them.

THE queen mother of France, having been forced into banishment by fome court-intrigues, had retired into England; and expected fhelter, amidst her prefent diftreffes, in the dominions of her daughter and fon-in-law. But though she behaved in the most inoffenfive manner, she was infulted 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 mufqueteers to guard her; but finding that they had imbibed the fame prejudices with the rest of their countrymen, and were very unwillingly employed in fuch a fervice, he laid the cafe before the house of peers: For the king's authority was now entirely annihilated. He reprefented the indignity of the action, that fo great a princess, mother to the king of France, and to the queens of Spain. and England, should be affronted by the bafe multitude. He obferved the indeliable reproach, which would fall upon the nation, if that unfortunate queen fhould fuffer any violence from the misguided zeal of the people. He urged the facred rights of hofpitality, due to every one, much more to a perfon in difrefs, of so high a rank, with whom the nation was fo nearly connected. The peers thought proper to communicate the matter to the commons, whofe authority over the people was abfolute. The commons agreed to the neceffity of protecting the queen-mother; but at the fame time prayed, that the might be defired to depart the kingdom; " For the quiet

o Clarendon, vol. i. p. 249. Rushworth, vol. v. p. 57.

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1640.

"ing those jealoufies in the hearts of his majesty's well- CHAP. "affected fubjects, occafioned by fome ill inftruments "about that queen's perfon, by the flowing of priests "and papifts to her house, and by the use and practice "of the idolatry of the mafs, and exercise of other fuperftitious services of the Romish church, to the "great fcandal of true religion "."

66

P

CHARLES, in the former part of his reign, had endeavoured to overcome the intractable and encroaching fpirit of the commons, by a perfeverance in his own measures, by a stately dignity of behaviour, and by maintaining, at their utmost height, and even stretching beyond former precedent, the rights of his prerogative. Finding by experience how unfuccefsful those measures had proved, and obferving the low condition to which he was now reduced, he refolved to alter his whole conduct, and to regain the confidence of his people, by pliableness, by conceffions, and by a total conformity to their inclinations and prejudices. It may fafely be averred, that this new extreme, into which the king, for want of proper council of fupport, was fallen, became no lefs dangerous to the conftitution, and pernicious to public peace, than the other, in which he had fo long and fo unfortunately perfevered.

THE pretenfions with regard to tonnage and poundage Tonnage were revived, and with certain affurance of fuccefs, by and the commons. The levying of these duties, as former- poundage. ly, without confent of parliament, and even encreasing them at pleasure, was fuch an incongruity in a free constitution, where the people, by their fundamental privileges, cannot be taxed but by their own confent, as could no longer be endured by these jealous patrons of liberty. In the preamble, therefore, to the bill, by which the commons granted thefe duties to the king, they took care,

P Rushworth, vol. v. p. 267.

It appears not, that the commons, though now entirely mafters, abolished the new impofitions of James, against which they had formerly fo loudly complained: A certain proof that the rates of cuftoms, fettled by that prince, were in most inftances juft, and proportioned to the new price of commodities. They feem rather to have been low: For they raised only the customs a third; whereas prices had certainly augmented five or fix times. See Journ. 10 August, 1625.

And that

CHAP. care, in the strongest and most positive terms, to affert LV. their own right of beftowing this gift, and to diveft the crown of all independent title of affuming it. 1640. they might encrease, or rather finally fix, the entire dependence and fubjection of the king, they voted these duties only for two months; and afterwards, from time to time, renewed their grants for very fhort periods *. Charles, in order to fhew that he entertained no intention ever again to separate himself from his parliament, paffed this important bill, without any fcruple or hesitation R.

Triennial

bill.

WITH regard to the bill for triennial parliaments, he made a little difficulty. By an old statute, paffed during the reign of Edward III. it had been enacted, that parliaments should be held once every year, or more frequently, if neceffary: But as no provifion had been made in cafe of failure, and no precife method pointed out for execution; this ftatute had been confidered merely as a general declaration, and was dispensed with at pleasure. The defect was fupplied by thofe vigilant patriots, who now affumed the reins of government. It was enacted, that, if the chancellor, who was first bound under fevere penalties, failed to iffue 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, &c. fhould fummon the voters: And in their default, that the voters themselves fhould meet and proceed to the election of members, in the fame manner as if writs had been regularly iffued from the crown. Nor could the parliament, after it was affembled, be adjourned, prorogued, or diffolved, without their own confent, during the space of fifty days. By this bill, fome of the nobleft and most valuable prerogatives of the crown were retrenched; but at the fame 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

muft

It was an inftruction given by the house to the committee which framed one of thefe bills, to take care that the rates upon exportation may be as light as poffible; and upon importation as heavy as trade will bear: A proof, that the nature of commerce began now to be understood. Journ. 1 June, 1641. R Clarendon, vol. i. P. 208.

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must be expected in the king; where these affemblies, as CHA P. of late, establish it as a maxim to carry their scrutiny into every part of government. During long intermiffions of parliament, grievances and abufes, 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 difcretionary authority, and, by acts of state, to fupply, in every emergence, the legislative power, whose meeting was fo uncertain and precarious. Charles, finding that nothing lefs would fatisfy his parliament and people, at last gave his affent to this bill, which produced fo great an innovation in the constitutions. Solemn thanks were prefented by both houfes. Great rejoicings were expreffed both in the city and throughout the nation. And mighty profeffions were every where made of gratitude and mutual returns of supply and confidence. This conceffion of the king, it must be owned, was not entirely voluntary. It was of a nature too important to be voluntary. The fole inference, which his partizans were intitled to draw from the fubmiffions fo frankly made to prefent neceffity, was, that he had certainly adopted a new plan of government, and, for the future, was refolved, by every indulgence, to acquire the confidence and affections of his people.

CHARLES thought, that what conceffions were made to the public were of little confequence, if no gratifications were bestowed on individuals, who had acquired the direction of public counfels and determinations. A change of minifters, as well as of meafures, was therefore refolved on. In one day feveral new privy-counfellors were fworn; the earls of Hertford, Bedford, Effex, Bristol; the lords Say, Saville, Kimbolton: Within a few days after, was admitted the earl of Warwic T. All these noblemen were of the popular party; and fome of them afterwards, when matters were pushed to extremity by the commons, proved the greatest support of monarchy.

JuxON, bishop of London, who had never defired the treasurer's staff, now earnestly folicited for leave to refign it, and retire to the care of that turbulent diocese, committed to him. The king gave his confent; and

s Clarendon, vol. i. p. 209. Whitlocke, P. 39. v. p. 189. T Clarendon, vol. i. p. 195.

Rush. vol.

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