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Title: Constitutional History of England, Henry VII to George II, Volume II
Author: Hallam, Henry, 1777-1859
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Everyman's Library
Edited by Ernest Rhys



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      *      *      *      *      *      *





London: Published
by J. M. Dent & Sons Ltd
and in New York
by E. P. Dutton & Co




     Declaration of the King after the Dissolution -- Prosecutions
     of Eliot and others for Conduct in Parliament -- Of Chambers
     for refusing to pay Customs -- Commendable Behaviour of Judges
     in some Instances -- Means adopted to raise the Revenue --
     Compositions for Knighthood -- Forest Laws -- Monopolies --
     Ship-Money -- Extension of it to inland Places -- Hampden's
     Refusal to pay -- Arguments on the Case -- Proclamations --
     Various arbitrary Proceedings -- Star-Chamber Jurisdiction --
     Punishments inflicted by it -- Cases of Bishop Williams,
     Prynne, etc. -- Laud, his Character -- Lord Strafford --
     Correspondence between these two -- Conduct of Laud in the
     Church -- Prosecution of Puritans -- Favour shown to Catholics
     -- Tendency to their Religion -- Expectations entertained by
     them -- Mission of Panzani -- Intrigue of Bishop Montagu with
     him -- Chillingworth -- Hales -- Character of Clarendon's
     Writings -- Animadversions on his Account of this Period --
     Scots Troubles, and Distress of the Government -- Parliament of
     April 1640 -- Council of York -- Convocation of Long
     Parliament                                                 Page 1



     Character of Long Parliament -- Its salutary Measures --
     Triennial Bill -- Other beneficial Laws -- Observations --
     Impeachment of Strafford -- Discussion of its Justice -- Act
     against Dissolution of Parliament without its Consent --
     Innovations meditated in the Church -- Schism in the
     Constitutional Party -- Remonstrance of November 1641 --
     Suspicions of the King's Sincerity -- Question of the Militia
     -- Historical Sketch of Military Force in England --
     Incroachments of the Parliament -- Nineteen Propositions --
     Discussion of the respective Claims of the two Parties to
     Support -- Faults of both                                 Page 85



     PART I

     Success of the King in the first Part of the War -- Efforts by
     the moderate Party for Peace -- Affair at Brentford -- Treaty
     of Oxford -- Impeachment of the Queen -- Waller's Plot --
     Secession of some Peers to the King's Quarters -- Their
     Treatment there impolitic -- The anti-pacific Party gain the
     Ascendant at Westminster -- The Parliament makes a new Great
     Seal -- And takes the Covenant -- Persecution of the Clergy who
     refuse it -- Impeachment and Execution of Laud -- Decline of
     the King's Affairs in 1644 -- Factions at Oxford -- Royalist
     Lords and Commoners summoned to that City -- Treaty of Uxbridge
     -- Impossibility of Agreement -- The Parliament insist on
     unreasonable Terms -- Miseries of the War -- Essex and
     Manchester suspected of Lukewarmness -- Self-denying Ordinance
     -- Battle of Naseby -- Desperate Condition of the King's
     Affairs -- He throws himself into the Hands of the Scots -- His
     Struggles to preserve Episcopacy, against the Advice of the
     Queen and others -- Bad Conduct of the Queen -- Publication of
     Letters taken at Naseby -- Discovery of Glamorgan's Treaty --
     King delivered up by the Scots -- Growth of the Independents
     and Republicans -- Opposition to the Presbyterian Government --
     Toleration -- Intrigues of the Army with the King -- His Person
     seized -- The Parliament yield to the Army -- Mysterious
     Conduct of Cromwell -- Imprudent Hopes of the King -- He
     rejects the Proposals of the Army -- His Flight from Hampton
     Court -- Alarming Votes against him -- Scots' Invasion -- The
     Presbyterians regain the Ascendant -- Treaty of Newport --
     Gradual Progress of a Republican Party -- Scheme among the
     Officers of bringing Charles to Trial -- This is finally
     determined -- Seclusion of Presbyterian Members -- Motives of
     some of the King's Judges -- Question of his Execution
     discussed -- His Character -- Icon Basilike              Page 138

     PART II

     Abolition of the Monarchy -- and of the House of Lords --
     Commonwealth -- Schemes of Cromwell -- His Conversations with
     Whitelock -- Unpopularity of the Parliament -- Their Fall --
     Little Parliament -- Instrument of Government -- Parliament
     called by Cromwell -- Dissolved by him -- Intrigues of the King
     and his Party -- Insurrectionary Movements in 1655 -- Rigorous
     Measures of Cromwell -- His arbitrary Government -- He summons
     another Parliament -- Designs to take the Crown -- the Project
     fails -- But his Authority as Protector is augmented -- He aims
     at forming a new House of Lords -- His Death -- and Character
     -- Richard his Son succeeds him -- Is supported by some prudent
     Men -- But opposed by a Coalition -- Calls a Parliament -- The
     Army overthrow both -- Long Parliament restored -- Expelled
     again -- and again restored -- Impossibility of establishing a
     Republic -- Intrigues of the Royalists -- They unite with the
     Presbyterians -- Conspiracy of 1659 -- Interference of Monk --
     His Dissimulation -- Secluded Members return to their Seats --
     Difficulties about the Restoration -- New Parliament -- King
     restored -- Whether previous Conditions required -- Plan of
     reviving the Treaty of Newport inexpedient -- Difficulty of
     framing Conditions -- Conduct of the Convention about this not
     blameable -- Except in respect of the Militia -- Conduct of
     Monk                                                     Page 212



     Popular Joy at the Restoration -- Proceedings of the Convention
     Parliament -- Act of Indemnity -- Exclusion of the Regicides
     and others -- Discussions between the Houses on it -- Execution
     of Regicides -- Restitution of Crown and Church Lands --
     Discontent of the Royalists -- Settlement of the Revenue --
     Abolition of Military Tenures -- Excise granted instead -- Army
     disbanded -- Clergy restored to their Benefices -- Hopes of the
     Presbyterians from the King -- Projects for a Compromise --
     King's Declaration in Favour of it -- Convention Parliament
     dissolved -- Different Complexion of the next -- Condemnation
     of Vane -- Its Injustice -- Acts replacing the Crown in its
     Prerogatives -- Corporation Act -- Repeal of Triennial Act --
     Star-chamber not restored -- Presbyterians deceived by the King
     -- Savoy Conference -- Act of Uniformity -- Ejection of
     Nonconformist Clergy -- Hopes of the Catholics -- Bias of the
     King towards them -- Resisted by Clarendon and the Parliament
     -- Declaration for Indulgence -- Objected to by the Commons --
     Act against Conventicles -- Another of the same Kind -- Remarks
     on them -- Dissatisfaction increases -- Private Life of the
     King -- Opposition in Parliament -- Appropriation of Supplies
     -- Commission of public Accounts -- Decline of Clarendon's
     Power -- Loss of the King's Favour -- Coalition against him --
     His Impeachment -- Some Articles of it not unfounded -- Illegal
     Imprisonments -- Sale of Dunkirk -- Solicitation of French
     Money -- His Faults as a Minister -- His pusillanimous Flight
     -- and consequent Banishment -- Cabal Ministry -- Scheme of
     Comprehension and Indulgence -- Triple Alliance -- Intrigue
     with France -- King's Desire to be absolute -- Secret Treaty of
     1670 -- Its Objects -- Differences between Charles and Louis as
     to the Mode of its Execution -- Fresh Severities against
     Dissenters -- Dutch War -- Declaration of Indulgence -- Opposed
     by Parliament -- and withdrawn -- Test Act -- Fall of
     Shaftesbury and his Colleagues                           Page 278



     Earl of Danby's Administration -- Opposition in the Commons --
     Frequently corrupt -- Character of Lord Danby -- Connection of
     the popular Party with France -- Its Motives on both Sides --
     Doubt as to their Acceptance of Money -- Secret Treaties of the
     King with France -- Fall of Danby -- His Impeachment --
     Questions arising on it -- His Commitment to the Tower --
     Pardon pleaded in Bar -- Votes of Bishops -- Abatement of
     Impeachments by Dissolution -- Popish Plot -- Coleman's Letters
     -- Godfrey's Death -- Injustice of Judges on the Trials --
     Parliament dissolved -- Exclusion of Duke of York proposed --
     Schemes of Shaftesbury and Monmouth -- Unsteadiness of the
     King -- Expedients to avoid the Exclusion -- Names of Whig and
     Tory -- New Council formed by Sir William Temple -- Long
     Prorogation of Parliament -- Petitions and Addresses --
     Violence of the Commons -- Oxford Parliament -- Impeachment of
     Commoners for Treason constitutional -- Fitzharris impeached --
     Proceedings against Shaftesbury and his Colleagues -- Triumph
     of the Court -- Forfeiture of Charter of London -- And of other
     Places -- Projects of Lord Russell and Sidney -- Their Trials
     -- High Tory Principles of the Clergy -- Passive Obedience --
     Some contend for absolute Power -- Filmer -- Sir George
     Mackenzie -- Decree of University of Oxford -- Connection with
     Louis broken off -- King's Death                         Page 361





The dissolution of a parliament was always to the prerogative what the
dispersion of clouds is to the sun. As if in mockery of the transient
obstruction, it shone forth as splendid and scorching as before. Even
after the exertions of the most popular and intrepid House of Commons
that had ever met, and after the most important statute that had been
passed for some hundred years, Charles found himself in an instant
unshackled by his law or his word; once more that absolute king, for
whom his sycophants had preached and pleaded, as if awakened from a
fearful dream of sounds and sights that such monarchs hate to endure,
to the full enjoyment of an unrestrained prerogative. He announced his
intentions of government for the future in a long declaration of the
causes of the late dissolution of parliament, which, though not
without the usual promises to maintain the laws and liberties of the
people, gave evident hints that his own interpretation of them must be
humbly acquiesced in.[1] This was followed up by a proclamation that
he "should account it presumption for any to prescribe a time to him
for parliament, the calling, continuing, or dissolving of which was
always in his own power; and he should be more inclinable to meet
parliament again, when his people should see more clearly into his
intents and actions, when such as have bred this interruption shall
have received their condign punishment." He afterwards declares that
he should "not overcharge his subjects by any more burthens, but
satisfy himself with those duties that were received by his father,
which he neither could nor would dispense with; but should esteem them
unworthy of his protection who should deny them."[2]

_Prosecutions of Eliot and others for conduct in parliament._--The
king next turned his mind, according to his own and his father's
practice, to take vengeance on those who had been most active in their
opposition to him. A few days after the dissolution, Sir John Eliot,
Holles, Selden, Long, Strode, and other eminent members of the
Commons, were committed, some to the Tower, some to the King's Bench,
and their papers seized. Upon suing for their habeas corpus, a return
was made that they were detained for notable contempts, and for
stirring up sedition, alleged in a warrant under the king's sign
manual. Their counsel argued against the sufficiency of this return,
as well on the principles and precedents employed in the former case
of Sir Thomas Darnel and his colleagues, as on the late explicit
confirmation of them in the Petition of Right. The king's counsel
endeavoured, by evading the authority of that enactment, to set up
anew that alarming pretence to a power of arbitrary imprisonment,
which the late parliament had meant to silence for ever. "A petition
in parliament," said the attorney-general Heath, "is no law, yet it is
for the honour and dignity of the king to observe it faithfully; but
it is the duty of the people not to stretch it beyond the words and
intention of the king. And no other construction can be made of the
petition, than that it is a confirmation of the ancient liberties and
rights of the subjects. So that now the case remains in the same
quality and degree as it was before the petition." Thus, by dint of a
sophism which turned into ridicule the whole proceedings of the late
parliament, he pretended to recite afresh the authorities on which he
had formerly relied, in order to prove that one committed by the
command of the king or privy council is not bailable. The judges,
timid and servile, yet desirous to keep some measures with their own
consciences, or looking forward to the wrath of future parliaments,
wrote what Whitelock calls "a humble and stout letter" to the king,
that they were bound to bail the prisoners; but requested that he
would send his direction to do so.[3] The gentlemen in custody were,
on this intimation, removed to the Tower; and the king, in a letter to
the court, refused permission for them to appear on the day when
judgment was to be given. Their restraint was thus protracted through
the long vacation; towards the close of which, Charles, sending for
two of the judges told them he was content the prisoners should be
bailed, notwithstanding their obstinacy in refusing to present a
petition, declaring their sorrow for having offended him. In the
ensuing Michaelmas term accordingly they were brought before the
court, and ordered not only to find bail for the present charge, but
sureties for their good behaviour. On refusing to comply with this
requisition, they were remanded to custody.

The attorney-general, dropping the charge against the rest, exhibited
an information against Sir John Eliot for words uttered in the house;
namely, That the council and judges had conspired to trample under
foot the liberties of the subject; and against Mr. Denzil Holles and
Mr. Valentine for a tumult on the last day of the session; when the
speaker having attempted to adjourn the house by the king's command,
had been forcibly held down in the chair by some of the members, while
a remonstrance was voted. They pleaded to the court's jurisdiction,
because their offences were supposed to be committed in parliament,
and consequently not punishable in any other place. This brought
forward the great question of privilege, on the determination of which
the power of the House of Commons, and consequently the character of
the English constitution, seemed evidently to depend.

Freedom of speech, being implied in the nature of a representative
assembly called to present grievances and suggest remedies, could not
stand in need of any special law or privilege to support it. But it
was also sanctioned by positive authority. The speaker demands it at
the beginning of every parliament among the standing privileges of the
house; and it had received a sort of confirmation from the legislature
by an act passed in the fourth year of Henry VIII., on occasion of one
Strode, who had been prosecuted and imprisoned in the Stannary court,
for proposing in parliament some regulations for the tinners in
Cornwall; which annuls all that had been done, or might hereafter be
done, towards Strode, for any matter relating to the parliament, in
words so strong as to form, in the opinion of many lawyers, a general
enactment. The judges however held, on the question being privately
sent to them by the king, that the statute concerning Strode was a
particular act of parliament extending only to him and those who had
joined with him to prefer a bill to the Commons concerning tinners;
but that, although the act were private and extended to them alone,
yet it was no more than all other parliament men, by privilege of the
house, ought to have; namely, freedom of speech concerning matters
there debated.[4]

It appeared by a constant series of precedents, the counsel for Eliot
and his friends argued, that the liberties and privileges of
parliament could only be determined therein, and not by any inferior
court; that the judges had often declined to give their opinions on
such subjects, alleging that they were beyond their jurisdiction; that
the words imputed to Eliot were in the nature of an accusation of
persons in power which the Commons had an undoubted right to prefer;
that no one would venture to complain of grievances in parliament, if
he should be subjected to punishment at the discretion of an inferior
tribunal; that whatever instances had occurred of punishing the
alleged offences of members after a dissolution, were but acts of
power, which no attempt had hitherto been made to sanction; finally,
that the offences imputed might be punished in a future parliament.

The attorney-general replied to the last point, that the king was not
bound to wait for another parliament; and moreover, that the House of
Commons was not a court of justice, nor had any power to proceed
criminally, except by imprisoning its own members. He admitted that
the judges had sometimes declined to give their judgment upon matters
of privilege; but contended that such cases had happened during the
session of parliament, and that it did not follow, but that an offence
committed in the house might be questioned after a dissolution. He set
aside the application of Strode's case, as a special act of
parliament; and dwelt on the precedent of an information preferred in
the reign of Mary against certain members for absenting themselves
from their duty in parliament, which, though it never came to a
conclusion, was not disputed on the ground of right.

The court were unanimous in holding that they had jurisdiction, though
the alleged offences were committed in parliament, and that the
defendants were bound to answer. The privileges of parliament did not
extend, one of them said, to breaches of the peace, which was the
present case; and all offences against the crown, said another, were
punishable in the court of King's Bench. On the parties refusing to
put in any other plea, judgment was given that they should be
imprisoned during the king's pleasure, and not released without giving
surety for good behaviour, and making submission; that Eliot, as the
greatest offender and ringleader, should be fined in £2000, Holles and
Valentine to a smaller amount.[5]

Eliot, the most distinguished leader of the popular party, died in the
tower without yielding to the submission required. In the long
parliament, the commons came to several votes on the illegality of all
these proceedings, both as to the delay in granting their habeas
corpus, and the overruling their plea to the jurisdiction of the
King's Bench. But the subject was revived again in a more distant and
more tranquil period. In the year 1667, the Commons resolved that the
act of 4 H. VIII. concerning Strode was a general law, "extending to
indemnify all and every the members of both houses of parliament, in
all parliaments, for and touching any bills, speaking, reasoning or
declaring of any matter or matters, in and concerning the parliament
to be communed and treated of, and is a declaratory law of the ancient
and necessary rights and privileges of parliament." They resolved also
that the judgment given 5 Car. I. against Sir John Eliot, Denzil
Holles, and Benjamin Valentine, is an illegal judgment, and against
the freedom and privilege of parliament. To these resolutions the
Lords gave their concurrence. And Holles, then become a peer, having
brought the record of the King's Bench by writ of error before them,
they solemnly reversed the judgment.[6] An important decision with
respect to our constitutional law, which has established beyond
controversy the great privilege of unlimited freedom of speech in
parliament; unlimited, I mean, by any authority except that by which
the house itself ought always to restrain indecent and disorderly
language in its members. It does not, however, appear to be a
necessary consequence from the reversal of this judgment, that no
actions committed in the house by any of its members are punishable in
a court of law. The argument in behalf of Holles and Valentine goes
indeed to this length; but it was admitted in the debate on the
subject in 1667, that their plea to the jurisdiction of the King's
Bench could not have been supported as to the imputed riot in
detaining the speaker in the chair, though the judgment was erroneous
in extending to words spoken in parliament. And it is obvious that the
house could inflict no adequate punishment in the possible case of
treason or felony committed within its walls; nor, if its power of
imprisonment be limited to the session, in that of many smaller

_Prosecution of Chambers for refusing to pay customs._--The customs on
imported merchandises were now rigorously enforced.[7] But the late
discussions in parliament, and the growing disposition to probe the
legality of all acts of the Crown, rendered the merchants more
discontented than ever. Richard Chambers, having refused to pay any
further duty for a bale of silks than might be required by law, was
summoned before the privy-council. In the presence of that board he
was provoked to exclaim that in no part of the world, not even in
Turkey, were the merchants so screwed and wrung as in England. For
these hasty words an information was preferred against him in the
star-chamber; and the court, being of opinion that the words were
intended to make the people believe that his majesty's happy
government might be termed Turkish tyranny, manifested their laudable
abhorrence of such tyranny by sentencing him to pay a fine of £2000,
and to make a humble submission. Chambers, a sturdy puritan,
absolutely refused to subscribe the form of submission tendered to
him, and was of course committed to prison. But the court of King's
Bench admitted him to bail on a habeas corpus; for which, as Whitelock
tells us, they were reprimanded by the council.[8]

_Commendable behaviour of judges in some instances._--There were
several instances, besides this just mentioned, wherein the judges
manifested a more courageous spirit than they were able constantly to
preserve; and the odium under which their memory labours for a servile
compliance with the court, especially in the case of ship-money,
renders it but an act of justice to record those testimonies they
occasionally gave of a nobler sense of duty. They unanimously
declared, when Charles expressed a desire that Felton, the assassin of
the Duke of Buckingham, might be put to the rack in order to make him
discover his accomplices, that the law of England did not allow the
use of torture. This is a remarkable proof that, amidst all the
arbitrary principles and arbitrary measures of the time, a truer sense
of the inviolability of law had begun to prevail, and that the free
constitution of England was working off the impurities with which
violence had stained it. For, though it be most certain that the law
never recognised the use of torture, there had been many instances of
its employment, and even within a few years.[9] In this public
assertion of its illegality, the judges conferred an eminent service
on their country, and doubtless saved the king and his council much
additional guilt and infamy which they would have incurred in the
course of their career. They declared, about the same time, on a
reference to them concerning certain disrespectful words alleged to
have been spoken by one Pine against the king, that no words can of
themselves amount to treason within the statute of Edward III.[10]
They resolved, some years after, that Prynne's, Burton's, and
Bastwick's libels against the bishops were no treason.[11] In their
old controversy with the ecclesiastical jurisdiction, they were
inflexibly tenacious. An action having been brought against some
members of the high-commission court for false imprisonment, the king,
on Laud's remonstrance, sent a message to desire that the suit might
not proceed till he should have conversed with the judges. The
chief-justice made answer that they were bound by their oaths not to
delay the course of justice; and after a contention before the
privy-council, the commissioners were compelled to plead.[12]

Such instances of firmness serve to extenuate those unhappy
deficiencies which are more notorious in history. Had the judges been
as numerous and independent as those of the parliament of Paris, they
would not probably have been wanting in equal vigour. But holding
their offices at the king's will, and exposed to the displeasure of
his council whenever they opposed any check to the prerogative, they
held a vacillating course, which made them obnoxious to those who
sought for despotic power, while it forfeited the esteem of the

_Means adopted to raise the revenue. Compositions for knighthood._--In
pursuance of the system adopted by Charles's ministers, they had
recourse to exactions, some odious and obsolete, some of very
questionable legality, and others clearly against law. Of the former
class may be reckoned the compositions for not taking the order of
knighthood. The early kings of England, Henry III. and Edward I., very
little in the spirit of chivalry, had introduced the practice of
summoning their military tenants, holding £20 per annum, to receive
knighthood at their hands. Those who declined this honour were
permitted to redeem their absence by a moderate fine.[13] Elizabeth,
once in her reign, and James, had availed themselves of this ancient
right. But the change in the value of money rendered it far more
oppressive than formerly, though limited to the holders of £40 per
annum in military tenure. Commissioners were now appointed to compound
with those who had neglected some years before to obey the
proclamation, summoning them to receive knighthood at the king's
coronation.[14] In particular instances, very severe fines are
recorded to have been imposed upon defaulters, probably from some
political resentment.[15]

_Forest laws._--Still greater dissatisfaction attended the king's
attempt to revive the ancient laws of the forests,--those laws, of
which, in elder times, so many complaints had been heard, exacting
money by means of pretensions which long disuse had rendered dubious,
and showing himself to those who lived on the borders of those domains
in the hateful light of a litigious and encroaching neighbour. The
Earl of Holland held a court almost every year, as chief-justice in
eyre, for the recovery of the king's forestal rights, which made great
havoc with private property. No prescription could be pleaded against
the king's title, which was to be found, indeed, by the inquest of a
jury, but under the direction of a very partial tribunal. The royal
forests in Essex were so enlarged, that they were hyperbolically said
to include the whole county.[16] The Earl of Southampton was nearly
ruined by a decision that stripped him of his estate near the New
Forest.[17] The boundaries of Rockingham forest were increased from
six miles to sixty, and enormous fines imposed on the trespassers;
Lord Salisbury being amerced in £20,000, Lord Westmoreland in £19,000,
Sir Christopher Hatton in £12,000.[18] It is probable that much of
these was remitted.

_Monopolies._--A greater profit was derived from a still more
pernicious and indefensible measure, the establishment of a chartered
company, with exclusive privileges of making soap. The recent statute
against monopolies seemed to secure the public against this species of
grievance. Noy, however, the attorney-general, a lawyer of uncommon
eminence, and lately a strenuous asserter of popular rights in the
House of Commons, devised this project, by which he probably meant to
evade the letter of the law, since every manufacturer was permitted to
become a member of the company. They agreed to pay eight pounds for
every ton of soap made, as well as £10,000 for their charter. For this
they were empowered to appoint searchers, and exercise a sort of
inquisition over the trade. Those dealers who resisted their
interference were severely fined, on informations in the star-chamber.
Some years afterwards, however, the king received money from a new
corporation of soap-makers, and revoked the patent of the former.[19]

This precedent was followed in the erection of a similar company of
starch-makers, and in a great variety of other grants, which may be
found in Rymer's _Foedera_, and in the proceedings of the long
parliament; till monopolies, in transgression or evasion of the late
statute, became as common as they had been under James or Elizabeth.
The king, by a proclamation at York in 1639, beginning to feel the
necessity of diminishing the public odium, revoked all those
grants.[20] He annulled at the same time a number of commissions that
had been issued in order to obtain money by compounding with offenders
against penal statutes. The catalogue of these, as well as of the
monopolies, is very curious. The former were, in truth, rather
vexatious than illegal, and sustained by precedents in what were
called the golden ages of Elizabeth and James, though at all times the
source of great and just discontent.

The name of Noy has acquired an unhappy celebrity by a far more famous
invention, which promised to realise the most sanguine hopes that
could have been formed of carrying on the government for an indefinite
length of time without the assistance of parliament. Shaking off the
dust of ages from parchments in the Tower, this man of venal diligence
and prostituted learning discovered that the sea-ports and even
maritime counties had in early times been sometimes called upon to
furnish ships for the public service; nay, there were instances of a
similar demand upon some inland places. Noy himself died almost
immediately afterwards. Notwithstanding his apostasy from the public
cause, it is just to remark that we have no right to impute to him the
more extensive and more unprecedented scheme of ship-money as a
general tax, which was afterwards carried into execution. But it
sprang by natural consequence from the former measure, according to
the invariable course of encroachment, which those who have once bent
the laws to their will ever continue to pursue. The first writ issued
from the council in October 1634. It was directed to the magistrates
of London and other sea-port towns. Reciting the depredations lately
committed by pirates, and slightly adverting to the dangers imminent
in a season of general war on the continent, it enjoins them to
provide a certain number of ships of war of a prescribed tonnage and
equipage; empowering them also to assess all the inhabitants for a
contribution towards this armament according to their substance. The
citizens of London humbly remonstrated that they conceived themselves
exempt, by sundry charters and acts of parliament, from bearing such a
charge. But the council peremptorily compelled their submission; and
the murmurs of inferior towns were still more easily suppressed. This
is said to have cost the city of London £35,000.[21]

There wanted not reasons in the cabinet of Charles for placing the
navy at this time on a respectable footing. Algerine pirates had
become bold enough to infest the Channel; and what was of more serious
importance, the Dutch were rapidly acquiring a maritime preponderance,
which excited a natural jealousy, both for our commerce, and the
honour of our flag. This commercial rivalry conspired with a far more
powerful motive at court, an abhorrence of everything republican or
Calvinistic, to make our course of policy towards Holland not only
unfriendly, but insidious and inimical in the highest degree. A secret
treaty is extant, signed in 1631, by which Charles engaged to assist
the King of Spain in the conquest of that great protestant
commonwealth, retaining the isles of Zealand as the price of his

Yet, with preposterous inconsistency as well as ill-faith, the two
characteristics of all this unhappy prince's foreign policy, we find
him in the next year carrying on a negotiation with a disaffected
party in the Netherlands, in some strange expectation of obtaining the
sovereignty on their separation from Spain. Lord Cottington betrayed
this intrigue (of which one whom we should little expect to find in
these paths of conspiracy, Peter Paul Rubens, was the negotiator) to
the court of Madrid.[23] It was in fact an unpardonable and unprovoked
breach of faith, and accounts for the indifference, to say no more,
which that government always showed to his misfortunes. Charles, whose
domestic position rendered a pacific system absolutely necessary,
busied himself, far more than common history has recorded, with the
affairs of Europe. He was engaged in a tedious and unavailing
negotiation with both branches of the house of Austria, especially
with the court of Madrid, for the restitution of the Palatinate. He
took a much greater interest than his father had done in the fortunes
of his sister and her family; but, like his father, he fell into the
delusion that the cabinet of Madrid, for whom he could effect but
little, or that of Vienna, to whom he could offer nothing, would so
far realise the cheap professions of friendship they were always
making, as to sacrifice a conquest wherein the preponderance of the
house of Austria and the catholic religion in Germany was so deeply
concerned. They drew him on accordingly through the labyrinths of
diplomacy; assisted, no doubt, by that party in his councils, composed
at this time of Lord Cottington, Secretary Windebank, and some others,
who had always favoured Spanish connections.[24] It appears that the
fleet raised in 1634 was intended, according to an agreement entered
into with Spain, to restrain the Dutch from fishing in the English
seas, nay even, as opportunities should arise, to co-operate hostilely
with that of Spain.[25] After above two years spent in these
negotiations, Charles discovered that the house of Austria were
deceiving him; and, still keeping in view the restoration of his
nephew to the electoral dignity and territories, entered into stricter
relations with France; a policy which might be deemed congenial to the
queen's inclinations, and recommended by her party in his council, the
Earl of Holland, Sir Henry Vane, and perhaps by the Earls of
Northumberland and Arundel. In the first impulse of indignation at the
duplicity of Spain, the king yielded so far to their counsels as to
meditate a declaration of war against that power.[26] But his own
cooler judgment, or the strong dissuasions of Strafford, who saw that
external peace was an indispensable condition for the security of
despotism,[27] put an end to so imprudent a project; though he
preserved, to the very meeting of the long parliament, an intimate
connection with France, and even continued to carry on negotiations,
tedious and insincere, for an offensive alliance.[28] Yet he still
made, from time to time, similar overtures to Spain;[29] and this
unsteadiness, or rather duplicity, which could not easily be concealed
from two cabinets eminent for their secret intelligence, rendered both
of them his enemies, and the instruments, as there is much reason to
believe, of some of his greatest calamities. It is well known that the
Scots covenanters were in close connection with Richlieu; and many
circumstances render it probable, that the Irish rebellion was
countenanced and instigated both by him and by Spain.

_Extension of writs for ship-money to inland places._--This desire of
being at least prepared for war, as well as the general system of
stretching the prerogative beyond all limits, suggested an extension
of the former writs from the sea-ports to the whole kingdom. Finch,
chief justice of the common pleas, has the honour of this improvement
on Noy's scheme. He was a man of little learning or respectability, a
servile tool of the despotic cabal; who, as speaker of the last
parliament, had, in obedience to a command from the king to adjourn,
refused to put the question upon a remonstrance moved in the house. By
the new writs for ship-money, properly so denominated, since the
former had only demanded the actual equipment of vessels, for which
inland counties were of course obliged to compound, the sheriffs were
directed to assess every landholder and other inhabitant according to
their judgment of his means, and to enforce the payment by

This extraordinary demand startled even those who had hitherto sided
with the court. Some symptoms of opposition were shown in different
places, and actions brought against those who had collected the money.
But the greater part yielding to an overbearing power, exercised with
such rigour that no one in this king's reign who had ventured on the
humblest remonstrance against any illegal act had escaped without
punishment. Indolent and improvident men satisfied themselves that the
imposition was not very heavy, and might not be repeated. Some were
content to hope that their contribution, however unduly exacted, would
be faithfully applied to public ends. Others were overborne by the
authority of pretended precedents, and could not yet believe that the
sworn judges of the law would pervert it to its own destruction. The
ministers prudently resolved to secure, not the law, but its
interpreters, on their side. The judges of assize were directed to
inculcate on their circuits the necessary obligation of forwarding the
king's service by complying with his writ. But, as the measure grew
more obnoxious, and strong doubts of its legality came more to
prevail, it was thought expedient to publish an extra-judicial opinion
of the twelve judges, taken at the king's special command, according
to the pernicious custom of that age. They gave it as their unanimous
opinion that, when the good and safety of the kingdom in general is
concerned and the whole kingdom in danger, his majesty might, by writ
under the great seal, command all his subjects, at their charge, to
provide and furnish such number of ships, with men, munition, and
victuals, and for such time as he should think fit, for the defence
and safeguard of the kingdom; and that by law he might compel the
doing thereof, in case of refusal or refractoriness; and that he was
the sole judge both of the danger, and when and how the same was to be
prevented and avoided.

This premature declaration of the judges, which was publicly read by
the lord-keeper Coventry in the star-chamber, did not prevent a few
intrepid persons from bringing the question solemnly before them, that
the liberties of their country might at least not perish silently, nor
those who had betrayed them avoid the responsibility of a public
avowal of their shame. The first that resisted was the gallant Richard
Chambers, who brought an action against the lord-mayor for imprisoning
him on account of his refusal to pay his assessment on the former
writ. The magistrate pleaded the writ as a special justification; when
Berkley, one of the judges of the king's bench, declared that there
was a rule of law and a rule of government, that many things which
could not be done by the first rule might be done by the other, and
would not suffer counsel to argue against the lawfulness of
ship-money.[31] The next were Lord Say and Mr. Hampden, both of whom
appealed to the justice of their country; but the famous decision
which has made the latter so illustrious, put an end to all attempts
at obtaining redress by course of law.

_Hampden's refusal to pay._--Hampden, it seems hardly necessary to
mention, was a gentleman of good estate in Buckinghamshire, whose
assessment to the contribution for ship-money demanded from his county
amounted only to twenty shillings.[32] The cause, though properly
belonging to the court of exchequer, was heard, on account of its
magnitude, before all the judges in the exchequer-chamber.[33] The
precise question, so far as related to Mr. Hampden, was, Whether the
king had a right, on his own allegation of public danger, to require
an inland county to furnish ships, or a prescribed sum of money by way
of commutation, for the defence of the kingdom? It was argued by St.
John and Holborne in behalf of Hampden; by the solicitor-general
Littleton and the attorney-general Banks, for the crown.[34]

_Arguments on the case._--The law and constitution of England, the
former maintained, had provided in various ways for the public safety
and protection against enemies. First, there were the military
tenures, which bound great part of the kingdom to a stipulated service
at the charge of the possessors. The cinque ports also, and several
other towns, some of them not maritime, held by a tenure analogous to
this; and were bound to furnish a quota of ships or men, as the
condition of their possessions and privileges. These for the most part
are recorded in Domesday-book, though now in general grown obsolete.
Next to this specific service, our constitution had bestowed on the
sovereign his certain revenues, the fruits of tenure, the profits of
his various minor prerogatives; whatever, in short, he held in right
of his crown, was applicable, so far as it could be extended, to the
public use. It bestowed on him, moreover, and perhaps with more
special application to maritime purposes, the customs on importation
of merchandise. These indeed had been recently augmented far beyond
ancient usage. "For these modern impositions," says St. John, "of the
legality thereof I intend not to speak: for in case his majesty may
impose upon merchandise what himself pleaseth, there will be less
cause to tax the inland counties; and in case he cannot do it, it will
be strongly presumed that he can much less tax them."

But as the ordinary revenues might prove quite unequal to great
exigencies, the constitution has provided another means, as ample and
sufficient as it is lawful and regular, parliamentary supply. To this
the kings of England have in all times had recourse; yet princes are
not apt to ask as a concession what they might demand of right. The
frequent loans and benevolences which they have required, though not
always defensible by law, are additional proofs that they possessed no
general right of taxation. To borrow on promise of repayment, to
solicit, as it were, alms from their subjects, is not the practice of
sovereigns whose prerogatives entitle them to exact money. Those loans
had sometimes been repaid, expressly to discharge the king's
conscience. And a very arbitrary prince, Henry VIII., had obtained
acts of parliament to release him from the obligation of repayment.

These merely probable reasonings prepare the way for that conclusive
and irresistible argument that was founded on statute law. Passing
slightly over the charter of the Conqueror, that his subjects shall
hold their lands free from all unjust tallage, and the clause in
John's Magna Charta, that no aid or scutage should be assessed but by
consent of the great council (a provision not repeated in that of
Henry III.), the advocates of Hampden relied on the 25 E. I., commonly
called the Confirmatio Chartarum, which for ever abrogated all
taxation without consent of parliament; and this statute itself, they
endeavoured to prove, was grounded on requisitions very like the
present, for the custody of the sea, which Edward had issued the year
before. Hence it was evident that the saving contained in that act for
the accustomed aids and prises could not possibly be intended, as the
opposite counsel would suggest, to preserve such exactions as
ship-money; but related to the established feudal aids, and to the
ancient customs on merchandise. They dwelt less however (probably
through fear of having this exception turned against them) on this
important statute than on one of more celebrity, but of very equivocal
genuineness, denominated, De Tallagio non Concedendo; which is nearly
in the same words as the Confirmatio Chartarum, with the omission of
the above-mentioned saving. More than one law, enacted under Edward
III., re-asserts the necessity of parliamentary consent to taxation.
It was indeed the subject of frequent remonstrance in that reign, and
the king often infringed this right. But the perseverance of the
Commons was successful, and ultimately rendered the practice
conformable to the law. In the second year of Richard II., the realm
being in imminent danger of invasion, the privy council convoked an
assembly of peers and other great men, probably with a view to avoid
the summoning of a parliament. This assembly lent their own money, but
declared that they could not provide a remedy without charging the
Commons, which could not be done out of parliament, advising that one
should be speedily summoned. This precedent was the more important, as
it tended to obviate that argument from peril and necessity, on which
the defenders of ship-money were wont to rely. But they met that
specious plea more directly. They admitted that a paramount overruling
necessity silences the voice of law; that in actual invasion, or its
immediate prospect, the rights of private men must yield to the safety
of the whole; that not only the sovereign, but each man in respect of
his neighbour might do many things, absolutely illegal at other
seasons; and this served to distinguish the present case from some
strong acts of prerogative exerted by Elizabeth in 1588, when the
liberties and religion of the people were in the most apparent
jeopardy. But here there was no overwhelming danger; the nation was at
peace with all the world: could the piracies of Turkish corsairs, or
even the insolence of rival neighbours, be reckoned among those
instant perils, for which a parliament would provide too late?

To the precedents alleged on the other side, it was replied, that no
one of them met the case of an inland county; that such as were before
the 25 E. I. were sufficiently repelled by that statute, such as
occurred under Edward III. by the later statutes, and by the
remonstrances of parliament during his reign; and there were but very
few afterwards. But that, in a matter of statute law, they ought not
to be governed by precedents, even if such could be adduced. Before
the latter end of Edward I.'s reign, St. John observes, "all things
concerning the king's prerogative and the subject's liberties were
upon uncertainties." "The government," says Holborne truly, "was more
of force than law." And this is unquestionably applicable, in a lesser
degree, to many later ages.

Lastly, the petition of right, that noble legacy of a slandered
parliament, reciting and confirming the ancient statutes, had
established that no man thereafter be compelled to make or yield any
gift, loan, benevolence, tax, or such-like charge, without common
consent by act of parliament. This latest and most complete
recognition must sweep away all contrary precedent, and could not,
without a glaring violation of its obvious meaning, be stretched into
an admission of ship-money.

The king's counsel, in answer to these arguments, appealed to that
series of records which the diligence of Noy had collected. By far the
greater part of these were commissions of array. But several, even of
those addressed to inland towns (and, if there were no service by
tenure in the case, it does not seem easy to distinguish these in
principle from counties), bore a very strong analogy to the present.
They were, however, in early times. No sufficient answer could be
offered to the statutes that had prohibited unparliamentary taxation.
The attempts made to elude their force were utterly ineffectual, as
those who are acquainted with their emphatic language may well
conceive. But the council of Charles the First, and the hirelings who
ate their bread, disdained to rest their claim of ship-money (big as
it was with other and still more novel schemes) on obscure records, or
on cavils about the meaning of statutes. They resorted rather to the
favourite topic of the times, the intrinsic, absolute authority of the
king. This the attorney-general Banks placed in the very front of his
argument. "This power," says he, "is innate in the person of an
absolute king, and in the persons of the kings of England. All
magistracy it is of nature, and obedience and subjection it is of
nature. This power is not any ways derived from the people, but
reserved unto the king when positive laws first began. For the king of
England, he is an absolute monarch; nothing can be given to an
absolute prince but what is inherent in his person. He can do no
wrong. He is the sole judge, and we ought not to question him. Where
the law trusts, we ought not to distrust. The acts of parliament," he
observed, "contained no express words to take away so high a
prerogative; and the king's prerogative, even in lesser matters, is
always saved, wherever express words do not restrain it."

But this last argument appearing too modest for some of the judges who
pronounced sentence in this cause, they denied the power of parliament
to limit the high prerogatives of the Crown. "This imposition without
parliament," says Justice Crawley, "appertains to the king originally,
and to the successor _ipso facto_, if he be a sovereign in right of
his sovereignty from the Crown. You cannot have a king without these
royal rights, no, not by act of parliament." "Where Mr. Holborne,"
says Justice Berkley, "supposed a fundamental policy in the creation
of the frame of this kingdom, that in case the monarch of England
should be inclined to exact from his subjects at his pleasure, he
should be restrained, for that he could have nothing from them, but
upon a common consent in parliament; he is utterly mistaken herein.
The law knows no such king-yoking policy. The law is itself an old and
trusty servant of the king's; it is his instrument or means which he
useth to govern his people by: I never read nor heard that _lex_ was
_rex_; but it is common and most true, that _rex_ is _lex_." Vernon,
another judge, gave his opinion in few words: "That the king, _pro
bono publico_, may charge his subjects for the safety and defence of
the kingdom, notwithstanding any act of parliament, and that a statute
derogatory from the prerogative doth not bind the king; and the king
may dispense with any law in cases of necessity." Finch, the adviser
of the ship-money, was not backward to employ the same argument in
its behalf. "No act of parliament," he told them, "could bar a king of
his regality, as that no land should hold of him, or bar him of the
allegiance of his subjects or the relative on his part, as trust and
power to defend his people; therefore acts of parliament to take away
his royal power in the defence of his kingdom are void; they are void
acts of parliament to bind the king not to command the subjects, their
persons, and goods, and I say, their money too; for no acts of
parliament make any difference."

Seven of the twelve judges, namely, Finch, chief justice of the common
pleas, Jones, Berkley, Vernon, Crawley, Trevor, and Weston, gave
judgment for the Crown. Brampston, chief justice of the king's bench,
and Davenport, chief baron of the exchequer, pronounced for Hampden,
but on technical reasons, and adhering to the majority on the
principal question. Denham, another judge of the same court, being
extremely ill, gave a short written judgment in favour of Hampden. But
Justices Croke and Hutton, men of considerable reputation and
experience, displayed a most praiseworthy intrepidity in denying,
without the smallest qualification, the alleged prerogative of the
Crown and the lawfulness of the writ for ship-money. They had
unfortunately signed, along with the other judges, the above-mentioned
opinion in favour of the right. For this they made the best apology
they could, that their voice was concluded by the majority. But in
truth it was the ultimate success that sometimes attends a struggle
between conscience and self-interest or timidity.[35]

The length to which this important cause was protracted, six months
having elapsed from the opening speech of Mr. Hampden's counsel to the
final judgment, was of infinite disservice to the Crown. During this
long period, every man's attention was directed to the exchequer-chamber.
The convincing arguments of St. John and Holborne, but still more the
division on the bench, increased their natural repugnance to so
unusual and dangerous a prerogative.[36] Those who had trusted to the
faith of the judges were undeceived by the honest repentance of some,
and looked with indignation on so prostituted a crew. That respect for
courts of justice, which the happy structure of our judicial
administration has in general kept inviolate, was exchanged for
distrust, contempt, and desire of vengeance. They heard the speeches
of some of the judges with more displeasure than even their final
decision. Ship-money was held lawful by Finch and several other
judges, not on the authority of precedents, which must in their nature
have some bounds, but on principles subversive of any property or
privilege in the subject. Those paramount rights of monarchy, to which
they appealed to-day in justification of ship-money, might to-morrow
serve to supersede other laws, and maintain new exertions of despotic
power. It was manifest, by the whole strain of the court lawyers, that
no limitations on the king's authority could exist but by the king's
sufferance. This alarming tenet, long bruited among the churchmen and
courtiers, now resounded in the halls of justice. But ship-money, in
consequence, was paid with far less regularity and more reluctance
than before.[37] The discontent that had been tolerably smothered was
now displayed in every county; and though the council did not flinch
in the least from exacting payment, nor willingly remit any part of
its rigour towards the uncomplying, it was impossible either to punish
the great body of the country gentlemen and citizens, or to restrain
their murmurs by a few examples. Whether in consequence of this
unwillingness or for other reasons, the revenue levied in different
years under the head of ship-money is more fluctuating than we should
expect from a fixed assessment; but may be reckoned at an average sum
of £200,000.[38]

_Proclamations._--It would doubtless be unfair to pass a severe
censure on the government of Charles the First for transgressions of
law, which a long course of precedents might render dubious, or at
least extenuate. But this common apology for his administration, on
which the artful defence of Hume is almost entirely grounded, must be
admitted cautiously, and not until we have well considered how far
such precedents could be brought to support it. This is particularly
applicable to his proclamations. I have already pointed out the
comparative novelty of these unconstitutional ordinances, and their
great increase under James. They had not been fully acquiesced in; the
Commons had remonstrated against their abuse; and Coke, with other
judges, had endeavoured to fix limits to their authority, very far
within that which they arrogated. It can hardly, therefore, be said
that Charles's council were ignorant of their illegality; nor is the
case at all parallel to that of general warrants, or any similar
irregularity into which an honest government may inadvertently be led.
They serve at least to display the practical state of the
constitution, and the necessity of an entire reform in its spirit.

_Various arbitrary proceedings._--The proclamations of Charles's reign
are far more numerous than those of his father. They imply a
prerogative of intermeddling with all matters of trade, prohibiting or
putting under restraint the importation of various articles, and the
home growth of others, or establishing regulations for manufactures.[39]
Prices of several minor articles were fixed by proclamation, and in
one instance this was extended to poultry, butter, and coals.[40] The
king declares by a proclamation that he had incorporated all tradesmen
and artificers within London and three miles round; so that no person
might set up any trade without having served a seven years'
apprenticeship, and without admission into such corporation.[41] He
prohibits in like manner any one from using the trade of a maltster or
that of a brewer, without admission into the corporations of maltsters
or brewers erected for every county.[42] I know not whether these
projects were in any degree founded on the alleged pretext of
correcting abuses, or were solely designed to raise money by means of
these corporations. We find, however, a revocation of the restraint on
malting and brewing soon after. The illegality of these proclamations
is most unquestionable.

The rapid increase of London continued to disquiet the court. It was
the stronghold of political and religious disaffection. Hence the
prohibitions of erecting new houses, which had begun under Elizabeth,
were continually repeated.[43] They had indeed some laudable objects
in view; to render the city more healthy, cleanly, and magnificent,
and by prescribing the general use of brick instead of wood, as well
as by improving the width and regularity of the streets, to afford the
best security against fires, and against those epidemical diseases
which visited the metropolis with unusual severity in the early years
of this reign. The most jealous censor of royal encroachments will
hardly object to the proclamations enforcing certain regulations of
police in some of those alarming seasons.

It is probable, from the increase which we know to have taken place in
London during this reign, that licences for building were easily
obtained. The same supposition is applicable to another class of
proclamation, enjoining all persons who had residences in the country
to quit the capital and repair to them.[44] Yet, that these were not
always a dead letter, appears from an information exhibited in the
star-chamber against seven lords, sixty knights, and one hundred
esquires, besides many ladies, for disobeying the king's proclamation,
either by continuing in London, or returning to it after a short
absence.[45] The result of this prosecution, which was probably only
intended to keep them in check, does not appear. No proclamation could
stand in need of support from law, while this arbitrary tribunal
assumed a right of punishing misdemeanours. It would have been a
dangerous aggravation of any delinquent's offence to have questioned
the authority of a proclamation, or the jurisdiction of the council.

The security of freehold rights had been the peculiar boast of the
English law. The very statute of Henry VIII., which has been held up
to so much infamy, while it gave the force of law to his
proclamations, interposed its barrier in defence of the subject's
property. The name of freeholder, handed down with religious honour
from an age when it conveyed distinct privileges, and as it were a
sort of popular nobility, protected the poorest man against the
Crown's and the lord's rapacity. He at least was recognised as the
_liber homo_ of Magna Charta, who could not be disseised of his
tenements and franchises. His house was his castle, which the law
respected, and which the king dared not enter. Even the public good
must give way to his obstinacy; nor had the legislature itself as yet
compelled any man to part with his lands for a compensation which he
was loath to accept. The council and star-chamber had very rarely
presumed to meddle with his right; never perhaps where it was
acknowledged and ancient. But now this reverence of the common law for
the sacredness of real property was derided by those who revered
nothing as sacred but the interests of the Church and Crown. The privy
council, on a suggestion that the demolition of some houses and shops
in the vicinity of St. Paul's would show the cathedral to more
advantage, directed that the owners should receive such satisfaction
as should seem reasonable; or on their refusal the sheriff was
required to see the buildings pulled down, "it not being thought fit
the obstinacy of those persons should hinder so considerable a
work."[46] By another order of council, scarcely less oppressive and
illegal, all shops in Cheapside and Lombard Street, except those of
goldsmiths, were directed to be shut up, that the avenue to St. Paul's
might appear more splendid; and the mayor and aldermen were repeatedly
threatened for remissness in executing this mandate of tyranny.[47]

In the great plantation of Ulster by James, the city of London had
received a grant of extensive lands in the county of Derry, on certain
conditions prescribed in their charter. The settlement became
flourishing, and enriched the city. But the wealth of London was
always invidious to the Crown, as well as to the needy courtiers. On
an information filed in the star-chamber for certain alleged breaches
of their charter, it was not only adjudged to be forfeited to the
king, but a fine of £70,000 was imposed on the city. They paid this
enormous mulct; but were kept out of their lands till restored by the
long parliament.[48] In this proceeding Charles forgot his duty
enough to take a very active share, personally exciting the court to
give sentence for himself.[49] Is it then to be a matter of surprise
or reproach, that the citizens of London refused him assistance in the
Scottish war, and through the ensuing times of confusion, harboured an
implacable resentment against a sovereign who had so deeply injured

We may advert in this place to some other stretches of power, which no
one can pretend to justify, though in general they seem to have
escaped notice amidst the enormous mass of national grievances. A
commission was issued in 1635, to the recorder of London and others,
to examine all persons going beyond seas, and tender to them an oath
of the most inquisitorial nature.[50] Certain privy-councillors were
empowered to enter the house of Sir Robert Cotton, and search his
books, records, and papers, setting down such as ought to belong to
the Crown.[51] This renders probable what we find in a writer who had
the best means of information, that Secretary Windebank, by virtue of
an order of council, entered Sir Edward Coke's house while he lay on
his death-bed, took away his manuscripts, together with his last will,
which was never returned to his family.[52] The high commission court
were enabled, by the king's "supreme power ecclesiastical," to examine
such as were charged with offences cognisable by them on oath, which
many had declined to take, according to the known maxims of English

It would be improper to notice as illegal or irregular the practice of
granting dispensations in particular instances, either from general
acts of parliament or the local statutes of colleges. Such a
prerogative, at least in the former case, was founded on long usage
and judicial recognition. Charles, however, transgressed its admitted
boundaries, when he empowered others to dispense with them as there
might be occasion. Thus, in a commission to the president and council
of the North, directing them to compound with recusants, he in effect
suspends the statute which provides that no recusant shall have a
lease of that portion of his lands which the law sequestered to the
king's use during his recusancy; a clause in this patent enabling the
commissioners to grant such leases notwithstanding any law or statute
to the contrary. This seems to go beyond the admitted limits of the
dispensing prerogative.[54]

The levies of tonnage and poundage without authority of parliament,
the exaction of monopolies, the extension of the forests, the
arbitrary restraints of proclamations, above all, the general exaction
of ship-money, form the principal articles of charge against the
government of Charles, so far as relates to its inroads on the
subject's property. These were maintained by a vigilant and unsparing
exercise of jurisdiction in the court of star-chamber. I have, in
another chapter, traced the revival of this great tribunal, probably
under Henry VIII., in at least as formidable a shape as before the
now-neglected statutes of Edward III. and Richard II., which had
placed barriers in its way. It was the great weapon of executive power
under Elizabeth and James; nor can we reproach the present reign with
innovation in this respect, though in no former period had the
proceedings of this court been accompanied with so much violence and
tyranny. But this will require some fuller explication.

_Star-chamber jurisdiction._--I hardly need remind the reader that the
jurisdiction of the ancient Concilium regis ordinarium, or court of
star-chamber, continued to be exercised, more or less frequently,
notwithstanding the various statutes enacted to repress it; and that
it neither was supported by the act erecting a new court in the third
of Henry VII., nor originated at that time. The records show the
star-chamber to have taken cognisance both of civil suits and of
offences throughout the time of the Tudors. But precedents of usurped
power cannot establish a legal authority in defiance of the
acknowledged law. It appears that the lawyers did not admit any
jurisdiction in the council, except so far as the statute of Henry
VII. was supposed to have given it. "The famous Plowden put his hand
to a demurrer to a bill," says Hudson, "because the matter was not
within the statute; and, although it was then over-ruled, yet Mr.
Serjeant Richardson, thirty years after, fell again upon the same
rock, and was sharply rebuked for it."[55] The chancellor, who was
the standing president of the court of star-chamber, would always find
pretences to elude the existing statutes, and justify the usurpation
of this tribunal.

The civil jurisdiction claimed and exerted by the star-chamber was
only in particular cases, as disputes between alien merchants and
Englishmen, questions of prize or unlawful detention of ships, and in
general such as now belong to the court of admiralty; some
testamentary matters, in order to prevent appeals to Rome, which might
have been brought from the ecclesiastical courts; suits between
corporations, "of which," says Hudson, "I dare undertake to show above
a hundred in the reigns of Henry VII. and Henry VIII., or sometimes
between men of great power and interest, which could not be tried with
fairness by the common law."[56] For the corruption of sheriffs and
juries furnished an apology for the irregular, but necessary,
interference of a controlling authority. The ancient remedy, by means
of attaint, which renders a jury responsible for an unjust verdict,
was almost gone into disuse, and, depending on the integrity of a
second jury, not always easy to be obtained; so that in many parts of
the kingdom, and especially in Wales, it was impossible to find a jury
who would return a verdict against a man of good family, either in a
civil or criminal proceeding.

The statutes, however, restraining the council's jurisdiction, and the
strong prepossession of the people as to the sacredness of freehold
rights, made the star-chamber cautious of determining questions of
inheritance, which they commonly remitted to the judges; and from the
early part of Elizabeth's reign, they took a direct cognisance of any
civil suits less frequently than before; partly, I suppose, from the
increased business of the court of chancery, and the admiralty court,
which took away much wherein they had been wont to meddle; partly from
their own occupation as a court of criminal judicature, which became
more conspicuous as the other went into disuse.[57] This criminal
jurisdiction is that which rendered the star-chamber so potent and so
odious an auxiliary of a despotic administration.

The offences principally cognisable in this court were forgery,
perjury, riot, maintenance, fraud, libel, and conspiracy.[58] But
besides these, every misdemeanour came within the proper scope of its
enquiry; those especially of public importance, and for which the law,
as then understood, had provided no sufficient punishment. For the
judges interpreted the law in early times with too great narrowness
and timidity; defects which, on the one hand, raised up the
over-ruling authority of the court of chancery, as the necessary means
of redress to the civil suitor who found the gates of justice barred
against him by technical pedantry; and on the other, brought this
usurpation and tyranny of the star-chamber upon the kingdom by an
absurd scrupulosity about punishing manifest offences against the
public good. Thus corruption, breach of trust, and malfeasance in
public affairs, or attempts to commit felony, seem to have been
reckoned not indictable at common law, and came in consequence under
the cognisance of the star-chamber.[59] In other cases its
jurisdiction was merely concurrent; but the greater certainty of
conviction, and the greater severity of punishment, rendered it
incomparably more formidable than the ordinary benches of justice. The
law of libel grew up in this unwholesome atmosphere, and was moulded
by the plastic hands of successive judges and attorneys-general.
Prosecutions of this kind, according to Hudson, began to be more
frequent from the last years of Elizabeth, when Coke was
attorney-general; and it is easy to conjecture what kind of
interpretation they received. To hear a libel sung or read, says that
writer, and to laugh at it, and make merriment with it, has ever been
held a publication in law. The gross error that it is not a libel if
it be true, has long since, he adds, been exploded out of this

Among the exertions of authority practised in the star-chamber which
no positive law could be brought to warrant, he enumerates
"punishments of breach of proclamations before they have the strength
of an act of parliament; which this court hath stretched as far as
ever any act of parliament did. As in the 41st of Elizabeth, builders
of houses in London were sentenced, and their houses ordered to be
pulled down, and the materials to be distributed to the benefit of the
parish where the building was; which disposition of the goods soundeth
as a great extremity, and beyond the warrant of our laws; and yet,
surely, very necessary, if anything would deter men from that horrible
mischief of increasing that head which is swoln to a great hugeness

The mode of process was sometimes of a summary nature; the accused
person being privately examined, and his examination read in the
court, if he was thought to have confessed sufficient to deserve
sentence, it was immediately awarded without any formal trial or
written process. But the more regular course was by information filed
at the suit of the attorney-general, or in certain cases, of a private
relator. The party was brought before the court by writ of subpoena;
and having given bond with sureties not to depart without leave, was
to put in his answer upon oath, as well to the matters contained in
the information, as to special interrogatories. Witnesses were
examined upon interrogatories, and their dispositions read in court.
The course of proceeding on the whole seems to have nearly resembled
that of the chancery.[62]

_Punishments inflicted by the star-chamber._--It was held competent
for the court to adjudge any punishment short of death. Fine and
imprisonment were of course the most usual. The pillory, whipping,
branding, and cutting off the ears, grew into use by degrees. In the
reign of Henry VII. and Henry VIII., we are told by Hudson, the fines
were not so ruinous as they have been since, which he ascribes to the
number of bishops who sat in the court, and inclined to mercy; "and I
can well remember," he says, "that the most reverend Archbishop
Whitgift did ever constantly maintain the liberty of the free charter,
that men ought to be fined, _salvo contenemento_. But they have been
of late imposed according to the nature of the offence, and not the
estate of the person. The slavish punishment of whipping," he proceeds
to observe, "was not introduced till a great man of the common law,
and otherwise a worthy justice, forgot his place of session, and
brought it in this place too much in use."[63] It would be difficult
to find precedents for the aggravated cruelties inflicted on Leighton,
Lilburne, and others; but instances of cutting off the ears may be
found under Elizabeth.[64]

The reproach, therefore, of arbitrary and illegal jurisdiction does
not wholly fall on the government of Charles. They found themselves in
possession of this almost unlimited authority. But doubtless, as far
as the history of proceedings in the star-chamber are recorded, they
seem much more numerous and violent in the present reign than in the
two preceding. Rushworth has preserved a copious selection of cases
determined before this tribunal. They consist principally of
misdemeanours, rather of an aggravated nature; such as disturbances of
the public peace, assaults accompanied with a good deal of violence,
conspiracies, and libels. The necessity, however, for such a paramount
court to restrain the excesses of powerful men no longer existed,
since it can hardly be doubted that the common administration of the
law was sufficient to give redress in the time of Charles the First;
though we certainly do find several instances of violence and outrage
by men of a superior station in life, which speak unfavourably for the
state of manners in the kingdom. But the object of drawing so large a
number of criminal cases into the star-chamber seems to have been
twofold: first, to inure men's minds to an authority more immediately
connected with the Crown than the ordinary courts of law, and less
tied down to any rules of pleading or evidence; secondly, to eke out a
scanty revenue by penalties and forfeitures. Absolutely regardless of
the provision of the Great Charter, that no man shall be amerced even
to the full extent of his means, the councillors of the star-chamber
inflicted such fines as no court of justice, in the present reduced
value of money, would think of imposing. Little objection indeed seems
to lie, in a free country, and with a well-regulated administration of
justice, against the imposition of weighty pecuniary penalties, due
consideration being had of the offence and the criminal. But, adjudged
by such a tribunal as the star-chamber, where those who inflicted the
punishment reaped the gain, and sat, like famished birds of prey, with
keen eyes and bended talons, eager to supply for a moment, by some
wretch's ruin, the craving emptiness of the exchequer, this scheme of
enormous penalties became more dangerous and subversive of justice,
though not more odious, than corporal punishment. A gentleman of the
name of Allington was fined £12,000 for marrying his niece. One who
had sent a challenge to the Earl of Northumberland was fined £5000;
another for saying the Earl of Suffolk was a base lord, £4000 to him,
and a like sum to the king. Sir David Forbes, for opprobrious words
against Lord Wentworth, incurred £5000 to the king, and £3000 to the
party. On some soap-boilers, who had not complied with the
requisitions of the newly incorporated company, mulcts were imposed of
£1500 and £1000. One man was fined and set in the pillory for
engrossing corn, though he only kept what grew on his own land, asking
more in a season of dearth than the overseers of the poor thought
proper to give.[65] Some arbitrary regulations with respect to prices
may be excused by a well-intentioned, though mistaken, policy. The
charges of inns and taverns were fixed by the judges. But, even in
those, a corrupt motive was sometimes blended. The company of
vintners, or victuallers, having refused to pay a demand of the lord
treasurer, one penny a quart for all wine drank in their houses, the
star-chamber, without information filed or defence made, interdicted
them from selling or dressing victuals till they submitted to pay
forty shillings for each tun of wine to the king.[66] It is evident
that the strong interest of the court in these fines must not only
have had a tendency to aggravate the punishment, but to induce
sentences of condemnation on inadequate proof. From all that remains
of proceedings in the star-chamber, they seem to have been very
frequently as iniquitous as they were severe. In many celebrated
instances, the accused party suffered less on the score of any imputed
offence than for having provoked the malice of a powerful adversary,
or for notorious dissatisfaction with the existing government. Thus
Williams, Bishop of Lincoln, once lord-keeper, the favourite of King
James, the possessor for a season of the power that was turned against
him, experienced the rancorous and ungrateful malignity of Laud; who,
having been brought forward by Williams into the favour of the court,
not only supplanted by his intrigues, and incensed the king's mind
against his benefactor, but harassed his retirement by repeated
persecutions.[67] It will sufficiently illustrate the spirit of these
times to mention that the sole offence imputed to the Bishop of
Lincoln in the last information against him in the star-chamber was,
that he had received certain letters from one Osbaldiston, master of
Westminster School, wherein some contemptuous nickname was used to
denote Laud.[68] It did not appear that Williams had ever divulged
these letters. But it was held that the concealment of a libellous
letter was a high misdemeanour. Williams was therefore adjudged to pay
£5000 to the king, and £3000 to the archbishop, to be imprisoned
during pleasure, and to make a submission; Osbaldiston to pay a still
heavier fine, to be deprived of all his benefices, to be imprisoned
and make submission; and moreover to stand in the pillory before his
school in Dean's-yard, with his ears nailed to it. This man had the
good fortune to conceal himself, but the Bishop of Lincoln, refusing
to make the required apology, lay above three years in the Tower,
till released at the beginning of the long parliament.

It might detain me too long to dwell particularly on the punishments
inflicted by the court of star-chamber in this reign. Such historians
as have not written in order to palliate the tyranny of Charles, and
especially Rushworth, will furnish abundant details, with all those
circumstances that portray the barbarous and tyrannical spirit of
those who composed that tribunal. Two or three instances are so
celebrated that I cannot pass them over. Leighton, a Scots divine,
having published an angry libel against the hierarchy, was sentenced
to be publicly whipped at Westminster and set in the pillory, to have
one side of his nose slit, one ear cut off, and one side of his cheek
branded with a hot iron, to have the whole of this repeated the next
week at Cheapside, and to suffer perpetual imprisonment in the
Fleet.[69] Lilburne, for dispersing pamphlets against the bishops, was
whipped from the Fleet prison to Westminster, there set in the
pillory, and treated afterwards with great cruelty.[70] Prynne, a
lawyer of uncommon erudition and a zealous puritan, had printed a
bulky volume, called _Histriomastix_, full of invectives against the
theatre, which he sustained by a profusion of learning. In the course
of this, he adverted to the appearance of courtesans on the Roman
stage, and by a satirical reference in his index seemed to range all
female actors in the class.[71] The queen, unfortunately, six weeks
after the publication of Prynne's book, had performed a part in a mask
at court. This passage was accordingly dragged to light by the malice
of Peter Heylin, a chaplain of Laud, on whom the archbishop devolved
the burthen of reading this heavy volume in order to detect its
offences. Heylin, a bigoted enemy of everything puritanical, and not
scrupulous as to veracity, may be suspected of having aggravated, if
not misrepresented, the tendency of a book much more tiresome than
seditious. Prynne, however, was already obnoxious, and the
star-chamber adjudged him to stand twice in the pillory, to be branded
in the forehead, to lose both his ears, to pay a fine of £5000, and to
suffer perpetual imprisonment. The dogged puritan employed the leisure
of a gaol in writing a fresh libel against the hierarchy. For this,
with two other delinquents of the same class, Burton a divine, and
Bastwick a physician, he stood again at the bar of that terrible
tribunal. Their demeanour was what the court deemed intolerably
contumacious, arising in fact from the despair of men who knew that no
humiliation would procure them mercy.[72] Prynne lost the remainder of
his ears in the pillory; and the punishment was inflicted on them all
with extreme and designed cruelty, which they endured, as martyrs
always endure suffering, so heroically as to excite a deep impression
of sympathy and resentment in the assembled multitude.[73] They were
sentenced to perpetual confinement in distant prisons. But their
departure from London, and their reception on the road, were marked by
signal expressions of popular regard; and their friends resorting to
them even in Launceston, Chester, and Carnarvon castles, whither they
were sent, an order of council was made to transport them to the isles
of the Channel. It was the very first act of the long parliament to
restore these victims of tyranny to their families. Punishments by
mutilation, though not quite unknown to the English law, had been of
rare occurrence; and thus inflicted on men whose station appeared to
render the ignominy of whipping and branding more intolerable, they
produced much the same effect as the still greater cruelties of Mary's
reign, in exciting a detestation for that ecclesiastical dominion
which protected itself by means so atrocious.

_Character of Laud._--The person on whom public hatred chiefly fell,
and who proved in a far more eminent degree than any other individual
the evil genius of this unhappy sovereign, was Laud. His talents,
though enabling him to acquire a large portion of theological
learning, seem to have been by no means considerable. There cannot be
a more contemptible work than his Diary; and his letters to Strafford
display some smartness, but no great capacity. He managed indeed his
own defence, when impeached, with some ability; but on such occasions,
ordinary men are apt to put forth a remarkable readiness and energy.
Laud's inherent ambition had impelled him to court the favour of
Buckingham, of Williams, and of both the kings under whom he lived,
till he rose to the see of Canterbury on Abbot's death, in 1633. No
one can deny that he was a generous patron of letters, and as warm in
friendship as in enmity. But he had placed before his eyes the
aggrandisement, first of the church, and next of the royal
prerogative, as his end and aim in every action. Though not literally
destitute of religion, it was so subordinate to worldly interest, and
so blended in his mind with the impure alloy of temporal pride, that
he became an intolerant persecutor of the puritan clergy, not from
bigotry, which in its usual sense he never displayed, but systematic
policy. And being subject, as his friends call it, to some infirmities
of temper, that is, choleric, vindictive, harsh, and even cruel to a
great degree, he not only took a prominent share in the severities of
the star-chamber, but, as his correspondence shows, perpetually
lamented that he was restrained from going further lengths.[74]

Laud's extraordinary favour with the king, through which he became a
prime adviser in matters of state, rendered him secretly obnoxious to
most of the council, jealous, as ministers must always be, of a
churchman's overweening ascendancy. His faults, and even his virtues,
contributed to this odium. For being exempt from the thirst of lucre,
and, though in the less mature state of his fortunes a subtle
intriguer, having become frank through heat of temper and
self-confidence, he discountenanced all schemes to serve the private
interest of courtiers at the expense of his master's exhausted
treasury, and went right onward to his object, the exaltation of the
Church and Crown. He aggravated the invidiousness of his own
situation, and gave an astonishing proof of his influence, by placing
Juxon, Bishop of London, a creature of his own, in the greatest of all
posts, that of lord high-treasurer. Though Williams had lately been
lord-keeper of the seal, it seemed more preposterous to place the
treasurer's staff in the hands of a churchman, and of one so little
distinguished even in his own profession, that the archbishop
displayed his contempt of the rest of the council, especially
Cottington, who aspired to it, by such a recommendation.[75] He had
previously procured the office of secretary of state for Windebank.
But, though overawed by the king's infatuated partiality, the faction
adverse to Laud were sometimes able to gratify their dislike, or to
manifest their greater discretion, by opposing obstacles to his
impetuous spirit.

_Lord Strafford._--Of these impediments, which a rash and ardent man
calls lukewarmness, indolence, and timidity, he frequently complains
in his correspondence with the lord-deputy of Ireland--that Lord
Wentworth, so much better known by the title of Earl of Strafford,
which he only obtained the year before his death, that we may give it
him by anticipation, whose doubtful fame and memorable end have made
him nearly the most conspicuous character of a reign so fertile in
recollections. Strafford had in his early years sought those local
dignities to which his ambition probably was at that time limited, the
representation of the county of York and the post of _custos
rotulorum_, through the usual channel of court favour. Slighted by the
Duke of Buckingham, and mortified at the preference shown to the head
of a rival family, Sir John Saville, he began to quit the cautious and
middle course he had pursued in parliament, and was reckoned among the
opposers of the administration after the accession of Charles.[76] He
was one of those who were made sheriffs of their counties, in order to
exclude them from the parliament of 1626. This inspired so much
resentment, that he signalised himself as a refuser of the arbitrary
loan exacted the next year, and was committed in consequence to
prison. He came to the third parliament with a determination to make
the court sensible of his power, and possibly with some real zeal for
the liberties of his country. But patriotism unhappily, in his
self-interested and ambitious mind, was the seed sown among thorns. He
had never lost sight of his hopes from the court; even a temporary
reconciliation with Buckingham had been effected in 1627, which the
favourite's levity soon broke; and he kept up a close connection with
the treasurer Weston. Always jealous of a rival, he contracted a
dislike for Sir John Eliot, and might suspect that he was likely to be
anticipated by that more distinguished patriot in royal favours.[77]
The hour of Wentworth's glory was when Charles assented to the
petition of right, in obtaining which, and in overcoming the king's
chicane and the hesitation of the Lords, he had been pre-eminently
conspicuous. From this moment he started aside from the path of true
honour; and being suddenly elevated to the peerage and a great post,
the presidency of the council of the North, commenced a splendid but
baleful career, that terminated at the scaffold.[78] After this fatal
apostasy he not only lost all solicitude about those liberties which
the petition of right had been designed to secure, but became their
deadliest and most shameless enemy.

The council of the North was erected by Henry VIII. after the
suppression of the great insurrection of 1536. It had a criminal
jurisdiction in Yorkshire and the four more northern counties, as to
riots, conspiracies, and acts of violence. It had also, by its
original commission, a jurisdiction in civil suits, where either of
the parties were too poor to bear the expenses of a process at common
law; in which case the council might determine, as it seems, in a
summary manner, and according to equity. But this latter authority had
been held illegal by the judges under Elizabeth.[79] In fact, the
lawfulness of this tribunal in any respect was, to say the least,
highly problematical. It was regulated by instructions issued from
time to time under the great seal. Wentworth spared no pains to
enlarge the jurisdiction of his court. A commission issued in 1632,
empowering the council of the North to hear and determine all
offences, misdemeanours, suits, debates, controversies, demands,
causes, things, and matters whatsoever therein contained, within
certain precincts, namely, from the Humber to the Scots frontier.
They were specially appointed to hear and determine divers offences,
according to the course of the star-chamber, whether provided for by
act of parliament or not; to hear complaints according to the rules of
the court of chancery, and stay proceedings at common law by
injunction; to attach persons by their serjeant in any part of the

These inordinate powers, the soliciting and procuring of which,
especially by a person so well versed in the laws and constitution,
appears to be of itself a sufficient ground for impeachment, were
abused by Strafford to gratify his own pride, as well as to intimidate
the opposers of arbitrary measures. Proofs of this occur in the
prosecution of Sir David Foulis, in that of Mr. Bellasis, in that of
Mr. Maleverer, for the circumstances of which I refer the reader to
more detailed history.[81]

Without resigning his presidency of the northern council, Wentworth
was transplanted in 1633 to a still more extensive sphere, as
lord-deputy of Ireland. This was the great scene on which he played
his part; it was here that he found abundant scope for his commanding
energy and imperious passions. The Richelieu of that island, he made
it wealthier in the midst of exactions, and, one might almost say,
happier in the midst of oppressions. He curbed subordinate tyranny;
but his own left a sting behind it that soon spread a deadly poison
over Ireland. But of his merits and his injustice towards that nation
I shall find a better occasion to speak. Two well-known instances of
his despotic conduct in respect to single persons may just be
mentioned; the deprivation and imprisonment of the lord chancellor
Loftus for not obeying an order of the privy council to make such a
settlement as they prescribed on his son's marriage--a stretch of
interference with private concerns which was aggravated by the
suspected familiarity of the lord-deputy with the lady who was to reap
advantage from it;[82] and, secondly, the sentence of death passed by
a council of war on Lord Mountnorris, in Strafford's presence, and
evidently at his instigation, on account of some very slight
expressions which he had used in private society. Though it was never
the deputy's intention to execute this judgment of his slaves, but to
humiliate and trample upon Mountnorris, the violence and indecency of
his conduct in it, his long persecution of the unfortunate prisoner
after the sentence, and his glorying in the act at all times, and even
on his own trial, are irrefragable proofs of such vindictive
bitterness as ought, if there were nothing else, to prevent any good
man from honouring his memory.[83]

_Correspondence between Laud and Strafford._--The haughty and
impetuous primate found a congenial spirit in the lord-deputy. They
unbosom to each other, in their private letters, their ardent thirst
to promote the king's service by measures of more energy than they
were permitted to exercise. Do we think the administration of Charles
during the interval of parliaments rash and violent? They tell us it
was over-cautious and slow. Do we revolt from the severities of the
star-chamber? To Laud and Strafford they seemed the feebleness of
excessive lenity. Do we cast on the Crown lawyers the reproach of
having betrayed their country's liberties? We may find that, with
their utmost servility, they fell far behind the expectations of the
court, and their scruples were reckoned the chief shackles on the
half-emancipated prerogative.

The system which Laud was longing to pursue in England, and which
Strafford approved, is frequently hinted at by the word Thorough. "For
the state," says he, "indeed, my lord, I am for Thorough; but I see
that both thick and thin stays somebody, where I conceive it should
not, and it is impossible to go thorough alone."[84] "I am very glad"
(in another letter) "to read your lordship so resolute, and more to
hear you affirm that the footing of them that go thorough for our
master's service is not upon fee, as it hath been. But you are withal
upon so many Ifs, that by their help you may preserve any man upon
ice, be it never so slippery. As first, if the common lawyers may be
contained within their ancient and sober bounds; if the word Thorough
be not left out, as I am certain it is; if we grow not faint; if we
ourselves be not in fault; if we come not to a _peccatum ex te_
Israel; if others will do their parts as thoroughly as you promise for
yourself, and justly conceive of me. Now I pray, with so many and such
Ifs as these, what may not be done, and in a brave and noble way? But
can you tell when these Ifs will meet, or be brought together?
Howsoever, I am resolved to go on steadily in the way which you have
formerly seen me go; so that (to put in one _if_ too) if anything fail
of my hearty desires for the king and the church's service, the fault
shall not be mine."[85] "As for my marginal note" (he writes in
another place), "I see you deciphered it well" (they frequently
corresponded in cipher), "and I see you make use of it too; do so
still, thorough and thorough. Oh that I were where I might go so too!
but I am shackled between delays and uncertainties! you have a great
deal of honour for your proceedings; go on a God's name." "I have
done," he says some years afterwards, "with expecting of Thorough on
this side."[86]

It is evident that the remissness of those with whom he was joined in
the administration, in not adopting or enforcing sufficiently
energetic measures, is the subject of the archbishop's complaint.
Neither he nor Strafford loved the treasurer Weston, nor Lord
Cottington, both of whom had a considerable weight in the council. But
it is more difficult to perceive in what respects the Thorough system
was disregarded. He cannot allude to the church, which he absolutely
governed through the high-commission court. The inadequate
punishments, as he thought them, imposed on the refractory, formed a
part, but not the whole, of his grievance. It appears to me that the
great aim of these two persons was to effect the subjugation of the
common lawyers. Some sort of tenderness for those constitutional
privileges, so indissolubly interwoven with the laws they
administered, adhered to the judges, even while they made great
sacrifices of their integrity at the instigation of the Crown. In the
case of habeas corpus, in that of ship-money, we find many of them
display a kind of half-compliance, a reservation, a distinction, an
anxiety to rest on precedents, which, though it did not save their
credit with the public, impaired it at court. On some more fortunate
occasions, as we have seen, they even manifested a good deal of
firmness in resisting what was urged on them. Chiefly, however, in
matter of prohibitions issuing from the ecclesiastical courts, they
were uniformly tenacious of their jurisdiction. Nothing could expose
them more to Laud's ill-will. I should not deem it improbable that he
had formed, or rather adopted from the canonists, a plan, not only of
rendering the spiritual jurisdiction independent, but of extending it
to all civil causes, unless perhaps in questions of freehold.[87]

The presumption of common lawyers, and the difficulties they threw in
the way of the church and Crown, are frequent themes with the two
correspondents. "The church," says Laud, "is so bound up in the forms
of the common law, that it is not possible for me or for any man to do
that good which he would, or is bound to do. For your lordship sees,
no man clearer, that they which have gotten so much power in and over
the church will not let go their hold; they have indeed fangs with a
witness, whatsoever I was once said in passion to have."[88] Strafford
replies: "I know no reason but you may as well rule the common lawyers
in England as I, poor beagle, do here; and yet that I do, and will do,
in all that concerns my master, at the peril of my head. I am
confident that the king, being pleased to set himself in the business,
is able, by his wisdom and ministers, to carry any just and honourable
action through all imaginary opposition, for real there can be none;
that to start aside for such panic fears, fantastic apparitions as a
Prynne or an Eliot shall set up, were the meanest folly in the whole
world; that the debts of the Crown being taken off, you may govern as
you please; and most resolute I am that work may be done without
borrowing any help forth of the king's lodgings, and that it is as
downright a _peccatum ex te_ Israel as ever was, if all this be not
affected with speed and ease."[89]--Strafford's indignation at the
lawyers breaks out on other occasions. In writing to Lord Cottington,
he complains of a judge of assize who had refused to receive the
king's instructions to the council of the North in evidence, and
beseeches that he may be charged with this great misdemeanour before
the council-board. "I confess," he says, "I disdain to see the gownmen
in this sort hang their noses over the flowers of the crown."[90] It
was his endeavour in Ireland, as well as in Yorkshire, to obtain the
right of determining civil suits. "I find," he says, "that my Lord
Falkland was restrained by proclamation not to meddle in any cause
between party and party, which did certainly lessen his power
extremely: I know very well the common lawyers will be passionately
against it, who are wont to put such a prejudice upon all other
professions, as if none were to be trusted or capable to administer
justice but themselves; yet how well this suits with monarchy, when
they monopolise all to be governed by their year-books, you in England
have a costly experience; and I am sure his majesty's absolute power
is not weaker in this kingdom, where hitherto the deputy and
council-board have had a stroke with them."[91] The king indulged him
in this, with a restriction as to matters of inheritance.

The cruelties exercised on Prynne and his associates have generally
been reckoned among the great reproaches of the primate. It has
sometimes been insinuated that they were rather the act of other
counsellors than his own. But his letters, as too often occurs, belie
this charitable excuse. He expresses in them no sort of humane
sentiment towards these unfortunate men, but the utmost indignation at
the oscitancy of those in power, which connived at the public
demonstrations of sympathy. "A little more quickness," he says, "in
the government would cure this itch of libelling. But what can you
think of Thorough when there shall be such slips in business of
consequence? What say you to it, that Prynne and his fellows should be
suffered to talk what they pleased while they stood in the pillory,
and win acclamations from the people? etc. By that which I have above
written, your lordship will see that the Triumviri will be far enough
from being kept dark. It is true that, when this business is spoken
of, some men speak as your lordship writes, that it concerns the king
and government more than me. But when anything comes to be acted
against them, be it but the execution of a sentence, in which lies the
honour and safety of all justice, yet there is little or nothing done,
nor shall I ever live to see it otherwise."[92]

The lord deputy fully concurred in this theory of vigorous government.
They reasoned on such subjects as Cardinal Granville and the Duke of
Alva had reasoned before them. "A prince," he says in answer, "that
loseth the force and example of his punishments, loseth withal the
greatest part of his dominion. If the eyes of the Triumviri be not
sealed so close as they ought, they may perchance spy us out a shrewd
turn, when we least expect it. I fear we are hugely mistaken, and
misapply our charity thus pitying of them, where we should indeed much
rather pity ourselves. It is strange indeed," he observes in another
place, "to see the frenzy which possesseth the vulgar now-a-days, and
that the just displeasure and chastisement of a state should produce
greater estimation, nay reverence, to persons of no consideration
either for life or learning, than the greatest and highest trust and
employments shall be able to procure for others of unspotted
conversation, of most eminent virtues and deepest knowledge: a
grievous and overspreading leprosy! but where you mention a remedy,
sure it is not fitted for the hand of every physician; the cure under
God must be wrought by one Æsculapius alone, and that in my weak
judgment to be effected rather by corrosives than lenitives: less than
Thorough will not overcome it; there is a cancerous malignity in it,
which must be cut forth, which long since rejected all other means,
and therefore to God and him I leave it."[93]

The honourable reputation that Strafford had earned before his
apostasy stood principally on two grounds; his refusal to comply with
a requisition of money without consent of parliament, and his
exertions in the petition of right which declared every such exaction
to be contrary to law. If any therefore be inclined to palliate his
arbitrary proceedings and principles in the executive administration,
his virtue will be brought to a test in the business of ship-money. If
he shall be found to have given countenance and support to that
measure, there must be an end of all pretence to integrity or
patriotism. But of this there are decisive proofs. He not only made
every exertion to enforce its payment in Yorkshire during the years
1639 and 1640, for which the peculiar dangers of that time might
furnish some apology, but long before, in his correspondence with
Laud, speaks thus of Mr. Hampden, deploring, it seems, the supineness
that had permitted him to dispute the Crown's claim with impunity.
"Mr. Hampden is a great brother [i.e. a puritan], and the very genius
of that people leads them always to oppose, as well civilly as
ecclesiastically, all that ever authority ordains for them; but in
good faith, were they right served, they should be whipt home into
their right wits, and much beholden they should be to any one that
would thoroughly take pains with them in that kind."[94] "In truth I
still wish, and take it also to be a very charitable one, Mr. H. and
others to his likeness were well whipt into their right senses; if
that the rod be so used as that it smarts not, I am the more

Hutton, one of the judges who had been against the Crown in this case,
having some small favour to ask of Strafford, takes occasion in his
letter to enter on the subject of ship-money, mentioning his own
opinion in such a manner as to give the least possible offence, and
with all qualifications in favour of the Crown; commending even Lord
Finch's argument on the other side.[96] The lord deputy, answering his
letter after much delay, says, "I must confess, in a business of so
mighty importance, I shall the less regard the forms of pleading, and
do conceive, as it seems my Lord Finch pressed that the power of
levies of forces at sea and land for the very, not feigned, relief and
safety of the public, is a property of sovereignty, as, were the Crown
willing, it could not divest it thereof: Salus populi suprema lex;
nay, in cases of extremity even above acts of parliament," etc.

It cannot be forgotten that the loan of 1626, for refusing which
Wentworth had suffered imprisonment, had been demanded in a season of
incomparably greater difficulty than that when ship-money was levied:
at the one time war had been declared against both France and Spain,
at the other the public tranquillity was hardly interrupted by some
bickerings with Holland. In avowing therefore the king's right to levy
money in cases of exigency, and to be the sole judge of that exigency,
he uttered a shameless condemnation of his former virtues. But lest
any doubt should remain of his perfect alienation from all principles
of limited monarchy, I shall produce still more conclusive proofs. He
was strongly and wisely against the war with Spain, into which
Charles's resentment at finding himself the dupe of that power in the
business of the Palatinate nearly hurried him in 1637. At this time
Strafford laid before the king a paper of considerations dissuading
him from this course, and pointing out particularly his want of
regular troops.[97] "It is plain indeed," he says, "that the opinion
delivered by the judges, declaring the lawfulness of the assessment
for the shipping, is the greatest service that profession hath done
the Crown in my time. But unless his majesty hath the like power
declared to raise a land army upon the same exigent of state, the
Crown seems to me to stand but upon one leg at home, to be
considerable but by halves to foreign powers. Yet this sure methinks
convinces a power for the sovereign to raise payments for land forces,
and consequently submits to his wisdom and ordinance the transporting
of the money or men into foreign states. Seeing then that this piece
well fortified for ever vindicates the royalty at home from under the
conditions and restraints of subjects, renders us also abroad even to
the greatest kings the most considerable monarchy in Christendom;
seeing again, this is a business to be attempted and won from the
subject in time of peace only, and the people first accustomed to
these levies, when they may be called upon, as by way of prevention
for our future safety, and keep his majesty thereby also moderator of
the peace of Christendom, rather than upon the bleeding evil of an
instant and active war; I beseech you, what piety to alliances is
there, that should divert a great and wise king forth of a path, which
leads so manifestly, so directly, to the establishing his own throne,
and the secure and independent seating of himself and posterity in
wealth, strength, and glory, far above any their progenitors, verily
in such a condition as there were no more hereafter to be wished them
in this world but that they would be very exact in their care for the
just and moderate government of their people, which might minister
back to them again the plenties and comforts of life, that they would
be most searching and severe in punishing the oppressions and wrongs
of their subjects, as well in the case of the public magistrate as of
private persons, and lastly to be utterly resolved to exercise this
power only for public and necessary uses; to spare them as much and
often as were possible; and that they never be wantonly vitiated or
misapplied to any private pleasure or person whatsoever? This being
indeed the very only means to preserve, as may be said, the chastity
of these levies, and to recommend their beauty so far forth to the
subject, as being thus disposed, it is to be justly hoped, they will
never grudge the parting with their monies....

"Perhaps it may be asked, where shall so great a sum be had? My answer
is, procure it from the subjects of England, and profitably for them
too. By this means preventing the raising upon them a land army for
defence of the kingdom, which would be by many degrees more
chargeable; and hereby also insensibly gain a precedent, and settle an
authority and right in the Crown to levies of that nature, which
thread draws after it many huge and great advantages, more proper to
be thought on at some other seasons than now."

It is however remarkable that, with all Strafford's endeavours to
render the king absolute, he did not intend to abolish the use of
parliaments. This was apparently the aim of Charles; but, whether from
remains of attachment to the ancient forms of liberty surviving amidst
his hatred of the real essence, or from the knowledge that a
well-governed parliament is the best engine for extracting money from
the people, this able minister entertained very different views. He
urged accordingly the convocation of one in Ireland, pledging himself
for the experiment's success. And in a letter to a friend, after
praising all that had been done in it, "Happy it were," he proceeds,
"if we might live to see the like in England, everything in its
season; but in some cases it is as necessary there be a time to
forget, as in others to learn; and howbeit the peccant (if I may
without offence so term it) humour be not yet wholly purged forth, yet
do I conceive it in the way, and that once rightly corrected and
prepared, we may hope for a parliament of a sound constitution indeed;
but this must be the work of time, and of his majesty's excellent
wisdom; and this time it becomes us all to pray for and wait for, and
when God sends it, to make the right use of it."[98]

These sentiments appear honourable and constitutional. But let it not
be hastily conceived that Strafford was a friend to the necessary and
ancient privileges of those assemblies to which he owed his rise. A
parliament was looked upon by him as a mere instrument of the
prerogative. Hence he was strongly against permitting any mutual
understanding among its members, by which they might form themselves
into parties, and acquire strength and confidence by previous concert.
"As for restraining any private meetings either before or during
parliament, saving only publicly in the house, I fully rest in the
same opinion, and shall be very watchful and attentive therein, as a
means which may rid us of a great trouble, and prevent many stones of
offence, which otherwise might by malignant spirits be cast in among
us."[99] And acting on this principle, he kept a watch on the Irish
parliament, to prevent those intrigues which his experience in England
had taught him to be the indispensable means of obtaining a control
over the Crown. Thus fettered and kept in awe, no one presuming to
take a lead in debate from uncertainty of support, parliaments would
have become such mockeries of their venerable name as the joint
contempt of the court and nation must soon have annihilated. Yet so
difficult is it to preserve this dominion over any representative
body, that the king judged far more discreetly than Strafford in
desiring to dispense entirely with their attendance.

The passages which I have thus largely quoted will, I trust, leave
no doubt in any reader's mind that the Earl of Strafford was party
in a conspiracy to subvert the fundamental laws and liberties of
his country. For here are not, as on his trial, accusations of
words spoken in heat, uncertain as to proof, and of ambiguous
interpretation; nor of actions variously reported, and capable of some
explanation; but the sincere unbosoming of the heart in letters never
designed to come to light. And if we reflect upon this man's
cool-blooded apostasy on the first lure to his ambition, and on his
splendid abilities, which enhanced the guilt of that desertion, we
must feel some indignation at those who have palliated all his
iniquities, and even ennobled his memory with the attributes of
patriot heroism. Great he surely was, since that epithet can never be
denied without paradox to so much comprehension of mind, such ardour
and energy, such courage and eloquence; those commanding qualities of
soul, which, impressed upon his dark and stern countenance, struck his
contemporaries with mingled awe and hate, and still live in the
unfading colours of Vandyke.[100] But it may be reckoned as a
sufficient ground for distrusting any one's attachment to the English
constitution, that he reveres the name of the Earl of Strafford.

_Conduct of Laud in the church prosecution of puritans._--It was
perfectly consonant to Laud's temper and principles of government to
extirpate, as far as in him lay, the lurking seeds of disaffection to
the Anglican church. But the course he followed could in nature have
no other tendency than to give them nourishment. His predecessor Abbot
had perhaps connived to a limited extent at some irregularities of
discipline in the puritanical clergy, judging not absurdly that their
scruples at a few ceremonies, which had been aggravated by a vexatious
rigour, would die away by degrees, and yield to that centripetal
force, that moral attraction towards uniformity and obedience to
custom, which Providence has rendered one of the great preservatives
of political society. His hatred to popery and zeal for Calvinism,
which undoubtedly were narrow and intolerant, as well as his avowed
disapprobation of those churchmen who preached up arbitrary power,
gained for this prelate the favour of the party denominated puritan.
In all these respects, no man could be more opposed to Abbot than his
successor. Besides reviving the prosecutions for nonconformity in
their utmost strictness, wherein many of the other bishops vied with
their primate, he most injudiciously, not to say wickedly endeavoured,
by innovations of his own, and by exciting alarms in the susceptible
consciences of pious men, to raise up new victims whom he might
oppress. Those who made any difficulty about his novel ceremonies, or
even who preached on the Calvinistic side, were harassed by the high
commission court as if they had been actual schismatics.[101] The most
obnoxious, if not the most indefensible, of these prosecutions were
for refusing to read what was called the Book of Sports; namely, a
proclamation, or rather a renewal of that issued in the late reign,
that certain feasts or wakes might be kept, and a great variety of
pastimes used on Sundays after evening service.[102] This was
reckoned, as I have already observed, one of the tests of puritanism.
But whatever superstition there might be in that party's judaical
observance of the day they called the sabbath, it was in itself
preposterous, and tyrannical in its intention, to enforce the reading
in churches of this licence or rather recommendation of festivity. The
precise clergy refused in general to comply with the requisition, and
were suspended or deprived in consequence. Thirty of them were
excommunicated in the single diocese of Norwich; but as that part of
England was rather conspicuously puritanical, and the bishop, one
Wren, was the worst on the bench, it is highly probable that the
general average fell short of this.[103]

Besides the advantage of detecting a latent bias in the clergy, it is
probable that the high church prelates had a politic end in the Book
of Sports. The morose gloomy spirit of puritanism was naturally odious
to the young and to men of joyous tempers. The comedies of that age
are full of sneers at their formality. It was natural to think that,
by enlisting the common propensities of mankind to amusement on the
side of the established church, they might raise a diversion against
that fanatical spirit which can hardly long continue to be the
prevailing temperament of a nation. The church of Rome, from which no
ecclesiastical statesman would disdain to take a lesson, had for many
ages perceived, and acted upon the principle, that it is the policy of
governments to encourage a love of pastime and recreation in the
people; both because it keeps them from speculating on religious and
political matters, and because it renders them more cheerful, and less
sensible to the evils of their condition; and it may be remarked by
the way, that the opposite system, so long pursued in this country,
whether from a puritanical spirit, or from the wantonness of petty
authority, has no such grounds of policy to recommend it. Thus much at
least is certain, that when the puritan party employed their authority
in proscribing all diversions, in enforcing all the Jewish rigour
about the sabbath, and gave that repulsive air of austerity to the
face of England of which so many singular illustrations are recorded,
they rendered their own yoke intolerable to the youthful and gay; nor
did any other cause perhaps so materially contribute to bring about
the Restoration. But mankind love sport as little as prayer by
compulsion; and the immediate effect of the king's declaration was to
produce a far more scrupulous abstinence from diversions on Sundays
than had been practised before.

The resolution so evidently taken by the court, to admit of no half
conformity in religion, especially after Laud had obtained an
unlimited sway over the king's mind, convinced the puritans that
England could no longer afford them an asylum. The state of Europe was
not such as to encourage their emigration, though many were well
received in Holland. But, turning their eyes to the newly-discovered
regions beyond the Atlantic Ocean, they saw a secure place of refuge
from present tyranny, and a boundless prospect for future hope. They
obtained from the Crown the charter of Massachusetts Bay in 1629.
About three hundred and fifty persons, chiefly or wholly of the
independent sect, sailed with the first fleet. So many followed in the
subsequent years, that these New England settlements have been
supposed to have drawn near half a million of money from the mother
country before the civil wars.[104] Men of a higher rank than the
first colonists, and now become hopeless alike of the civil and
religious liberties of England, men of capacious and commanding minds,
formed to be the legislators and generals of an infant republic, the
wise and cautious Lord Say, the acknowledged chief of the independent
sect, the brave, open, and enthusiastic Lord Brook, Sir Arthur
Haslerig, Hampden, ashamed of a country for whose rights he had fought
alone, Cromwell, panting with energies that he could neither control
nor explain, and whose unconquerable fire was still wrapt in smoke to
every eye but that of his kinsman Hampden, were preparing to embark
for America, when Laud, for his own and his master's curse, produced
an order of council to stop their departure.[105] Besides the
reflections which such an instance of destructive infatuation must
suggest, there are two things not unworthy to be remarked: first, that
these chiefs of the puritan sect, far from entertaining those schemes
of overturning the government at home that have been imputed to them,
looked only in 1638 to escape from imminent tyranny; and, secondly,
that the views of the archbishop were not so much to render the Church
and Crown secure from the attempts of disaffected men, as to gratify a
malignant humour by persecuting them.

_Favour shown to catholics--Tendency to their religion._--These severe
proceedings of the court and hierarchy became more odious on account
of their suspected leaning, or at least notorious indulgence, towards
popery. With some fluctuations, according to circumstances or changes
of influence in the council, the policy of Charles was to wink at the
domestic exercise of the catholic religion, and to admit its
professors to pay compositions for recusancy which were not regularly
enforced.[106] The catholics willingly submitted to this mitigated
rigour, in the sanguine expectation of far more prosperous days. I
shall, of course, not censure this part of his administration. Nor can
we say that the connivance at the resort of catholics to the queen's
chapel in Somerset House, though they used it with much ostentation,
and so as to give excessive scandal, was any more than a just sense of
toleration would have dictated.[107] Unfortunately, the prosecution of
other sectaries renders it difficult to ascribe such a liberal
principle to the council of Charles the First. It was evidently true,
what the nation saw with alarm, that a proneness to favour the
professors of this religion, and to a considerable degree the religion
itself, was at the bottom of a conduct so inconsistent with their
system of government. The king had been persuaded, in 1635, through
the influence of the queen, and probably of Laud,[108] to receive
privately, as an accredited agent from the court of Rome, a secular
priest, named Panzani, whose ostensible instructions were to effect a
reconciliation of some violent differences that had long subsisted
between the secular and regular clergy of his communion. The chief
motive however of Charles was, as I believe, so far to conciliate the
pope as to induce him to withdraw his opposition to the oath of
allegiance, which had long placed the catholic laity in a very
invidious condition, and widened a breach which his majesty had some
hopes of closing. For this purpose he offered any reasonable
explanation which might leave the oath free from the slightest
appearance of infringing the papal supremacy. But it was not the
policy of Rome to make any concession, or even enter into any treaty,
that might tend to impair her temporal authority. It was better for
her pride and ambition that the English catholics should continue to
hew wood and draw water, their bodies the law's slaves, and their
souls her own, than, by becoming the willing subjects of a protestant
sovereign, that they should lose that sense of dependency and habitual
deference to her commands in all worldly matters, which states wherein
their faith stood established had ceased to display. She gave
therefore no encouragement to the proposed explanations of the oath of
allegiance, and even instructed her nuncio Con, who succeeded Panzani,
to check the precipitance of the English catholics in contributing men
and money towards the army raised against Scotland, in 1639.[109]
There might indeed be some reasonable suspicion that the court did not
play quite fairly with this body, and was more eager to extort what it
could from their hopes than to make any substantial return.

The favour of the administration, as well as the antipathy that every
parliament had displayed towards them, not unnaturally rendered the
catholics, for the most part, asserters of the king's arbitrary
power.[110] This again increased the popular prejudice. But nothing
excited so much alarm as the perpetual conversions to their faith.
These had not been quite unusual in any age since the Reformation,
though the balance had been very much inclined to the opposite side.
They became however under Charles the news of every day; protestant
clergymen in several instances, but especially women of rank, becoming
proselytes to a religion so seductive to the timid reason and sensible
imagination of that sex. They whose minds have never strayed into the
wilderness of doubt, vainly deride such as sought out the beaten path
their fathers had trodden in old times; they whose temperament gives
little play to the fancy and sentiment, want power to comprehend the
charm of superstitious illusions, the satisfaction of the conscience
in the performance of positive rites, especially with privation or
suffering, the victorious self-gratulation of faith in its triumph
over reason, the romantic tenderness that loves to rely on female
protection, the graceful associations of devotion with all that the
sense or the imagination can require--the splendid vestment, the
fragrant censer, the sweet sounds of choral harmony, and the
sculptured form that an intense piety half endows with life. These
springs were touched, as the variety of human character might require,
by the skilful hands of Romish priests, chiefly jesuits, whose numbers
in England were about 250,[111] concealed under a lay garb, and
combining the courteous manners of gentlemen with a refined experience
of mankind, and a logic in whose labyrinths the most practical
reasoner was perplexed. Against these fascinating wiles the puritans
opposed other weapons from the same armoury of human nature; they
awakened the pride of reason, the stern obstinacy of dispute, the
names, so soothing to the ear, of free enquiry and private judgment.
They inspired an abhorrence of the adverse party that served as a
barrier against insidious approaches. But far different principles
actuated the prevailing party in the church of England. A change had
for some years been wrought in its tenets, and still more in its
sentiments, which, while it brought the whole body into a sort of
approximation to Rome, made many individuals shoot as it were from
their own sphere, on coming within the stronger attraction of another.

The charge of inclining towards popery, brought by one of our
religious parties against Laud and his colleagues with invidious
exaggeration, has been too indignantly denied by another. Much indeed
will depend on the definition of that obnoxious word; which one may
restrain to an acknowledgment of the supremacy in faith and discipline
of the Roman see; while another comprehends in it all those tenets
which were rejected as corruptions of Christianity at the Reformation;
and a third may extend it to the ceremonies and ecclesiastical
observances which were set aside at the same time. In this last and
most enlarged sense, which the vulgar naturally adopted, it is
notorious that all the innovations of the school of Laud were so many
approaches, in the exterior worship of the church, to the Roman model.
Pictures were set up or repaired; the communion-table took the name of
an altar; it was sometimes made of stone; obeisances were made to it;
the crucifix was sometimes placed upon it; the dress of the
officiating priests became more gaudy; churches were consecrated with
strange and mystical pageantry.[112] These petty superstitions, which
would of themselves have disgusted a nation accustomed to despise as
well as abhor the pompous rites of the catholics, became more alarming
from the evident bias of some leading churchmen to parts of the Romish
theology. The doctrine of a real presence, distinguishable only by
vagueness of definition from that of the church of Rome, was generally
held.[113] Montagu, Bishop of Chichester, already so conspicuous, and
justly reckoned the chief of the Romanising faction, went a
considerable length towards admitting the invocation of saints;
prayers for the dead, which lead at once to the tenet of purgatory,
were vindicated by many; in fact, there was hardly any distinctive
opinion of the church of Rome, which had not its abettors among the
bishops, or those who wrote under their patronage. The practice of
auricular confession, which an aspiring clergy must so deeply regret,
was frequently inculcated as a duty. And Laud gave just offence by a
public declaration, that in the disposal of benefices he should, in
equal degrees of merit, prefer single before married priests.[114]
They incurred scarcely less odium by their dislike of the Calvinistic
system, and by what ardent men construed into a dereliction of the
protestant cause, a more reasonable and less dangerous theory on the
nature and reward of human virtue, than that which the fanatical and
presumptuous spirit of Luther had held forth as the most fundamental
principle of his Reformation.

It must be confessed that these English theologians were less
favourable to the papal supremacy than to most other distinguishing
tenets of the catholic church. Yet even this they were inclined to
admit in a considerable degree, as a matter of positive, though not
divine institution; content to make the doctrine and discipline of the
fifth century the rule of their bastard reform. An extreme reverence
for what they called the primitive church had been the source of their
errors. The first reformers had paid little regard to that authority.
But as learning, by which was then meant an acquaintance with
ecclesiastical antiquity, grew more general in the church, it
gradually inspired more respect for itself; and men's judgment in
matters of religion came to be measured by the quantity of their
erudition.[115] The sentence of the early writers, including the fifth
and perhaps sixth centuries, if it did not pass for infallible, was of
prodigious weight in controversy. No one in the English church seems
to have contributed so much towards this relapse into superstition as
Andrews, Bishop of Winchester, a man of eminent learning in this kind,
who may be reckoned the founder of the school wherein Laud was the
most prominent disciple.[116]

A characteristic tenet of this party was, as I have already observed,
that episcopal government was indispensably requisite to a Christian
church.[117] Hence they treated the presbyterians with insolence
abroad, and severity at home. A brief to be read in churches for the
sufferers in the Palatinate having been prepared, wherein they were
said to profess the same religion as ourselves, Laud insisted on this
being struck out.[118] The Dutch and Walloon churches in England,
which had subsisted since the Reformation, and which various motives
of policy had led Elizabeth to protect, were harassed by the primate
and other bishops for their want of conformity to the Anglican
ritual.[119] The English ambassador, instead of frequenting the
Hugonot church at Charenton, as had been the former practice, was
instructed to disclaim all fraternity with their sect, and set up in
his own chapel the obnoxious altar and the other innovations of the
hierarchy.[120] These impolitic and insolent proceedings gave the
foreign protestants a hatred of Charles, which they retained through
all his misfortunes.

This alienation from the foreign churches of the reformed persuasion
had scarcely so important an effect in begetting a predilection for
that of Rome, as the language frequently held about the Anglican
separation. It became usual for our churchmen to lament the
precipitancy with which the Reformation had been conducted, and to
inveigh against its principal instruments. The catholic writers had
long descanted on the lust and violence of Henry, the pretended
licentiousness of Anne Boleyn, the rapacity of Cromwell, the pliancy
of Cranmer; sometimes with great truth, but with much of invidious
misrepresentation. These topics, which have no kind of operation on
men accustomed to sound reasoning, produce an unfailing effect on
ordinary minds. Nothing incurred more censure than the dissolution of
the monastic orders, or at least the alienation of their endowments;
acts accompanied, as we must all admit, with great rapacity and
injustice, but which the new school branded with the name of
sacrilege. Spelman, an antiquary of eminent learning, was led by
bigotry or subserviency to compose a wretched tract called the
"History of Sacrilege," with a view to confirm the vulgar superstition
that the possession of estates alienated from the church entailed a
sure curse on the usurper's posterity. There is some reason to suspect
that the king entertained a project of restoring all impropriated
hereditaments to the church.

It is alleged by one who had much access to Laud, that his object in
these accommodations was to draw over the more moderate catholics to
the English church, by extenuating the differences of her faith, and
rendering her worship more palatable to their prejudices.[121] There
was, however, good reason to suspect, from the same writer's account,
that some leading ecclesiastics entertained schemes of a complete
re-union;[122] and later discoveries have abundantly confirmed this
suspicion. Such schemes have doubtless been in the minds of men not
inclined to offer every sacrifice; and during this very period Grotius
was exerting his talents (whether judiciously or otherwise we need not
enquire) to make some sort of reconciliation and compromise appear
practicable. But we now know that the views of a party in the English
church were much more extensive, and went almost to an entire
dereliction of the protestant doctrine.

The catholics did not fail to anticipate the most favourable
consequences from this turn in the church. The _Clarendon State
Papers_, and many other documents, contain remarkable proofs of their
sanguine and not unreasonable hopes. Weston, the lord treasurer, and
Cottington, were already in secret of their persuasion; though the
former did not take much pains to promote their interests. No one,
however, showed them such decided favour as Secretary Windebank,
through whose hands a correspondence was carried on with the court of
Rome by some of its agents.[123] They exult in the peaceful and
flourishing state of their religion in England as compared with former
times. The recusants, they write, were not molested; and if their
compositions were enforced, it was rather from the king's want of
money than any desire to injure their religion. Their rites were
freely exercised in the queen's chapel and those of ambassadors, and,
more privately, in the houses of the rich. The church of England was
no longer exasperated against them; if there was ever any prosecution,
it was to screen the king from the reproach of the puritans. They drew
a flattering picture of the resipiscence of the Anglican party; who
are come to acknowledge the truth in some articles, and differ in
others rather verbally than in substance, or in points not
fundamental; who hold all other protestants to be schismatical, and
confess the primacy of the holy see, regretting the separation already
made, and wishing for re-union; who profess to pay implicit respect
to the fathers, and can best be assailed on that side.[124]

These letters contain, no doubt, a partial representation; that is,
they impute to the Anglican clergy in general, what was only true of a
certain number. Their aim was to inspire the court of Rome with more
favourable views of that of England, and thus to pave the way for a
permission of the oath of allegiance, at least with some modification
of its terms. Such flattering tales naturally excited the hopes of the
Vatican, and contributed to the mission of Panzani, who was instructed
to feel the pulse of the nation, and communicate more unbiassed
information to his court than could be expected from the English
priests. He confirmed, by his letters, the general truth of the former
statements, as to the tendency of the Anglican church, and the
favourable dispositions of the court. The king received him secretly,
but with much courtesy; the queen and the catholic ministers,
Cottington and Windebank, with unreserved confidence. It required all
the adroitness of an Italian emissary from the subtlest of courts to
meet their demonstrations of friendship without too much committing
his employers. Nor did Panzani altogether satisfy the pope, or at
least his minister, Cardinal Barberini, in this respect.[125]

During the residence of Panzani in England, an extraordinary
negotiation was commenced for the reconciliation of the church of
England with that of Rome; and, as this fact, though unquestionable,
is very little known, I may not be thought to digress in taking
particular notice of it. Windebank and Lord Cottington were the first
movers in that business; both calling themselves to Panzani catholics,
as in fact they were, but claiming all those concessions from the see
of Rome which had been sometimes held out in the preceding century.
Bishop Montagu soon made himself a party, and had several interviews
with Panzani. He professed the strongest desire for a union, and added
that he was satisfied both the archbishops, the Bishop of London, and
several others of that order, besides many of the inferior clergy,
were prepared to acknowledge the spiritual supremacy of the holy see;
there being no method of ending controversies but by recurring to some
centre of ecclesiastical unity. For himself, he knew no tenet of the
Roman church to which he would not subscribe, unless it were that of
transubstantiation, though he had some scruples as to communion in one
kind. But a congress of moderate and learned men, chosen on each side,
might reduce the disputed points into small compass, and confer upon

This overture being communicated to Rome by its agent, was of course,
too tempting to be disregarded, though too ambiguous to be snatched
at. The re-union of England to the catholic church, in itself a most
important advantage, might, at that particular juncture, during the
dubious struggle of the protestant religion in Germany, and its still
more precarious condition in France, very probably reduce its
adherents throughout Europe to a proscribed and persecuted sect.
Panzani was therefore instructed to flatter Montagu's vanity, to
manifest a great desire for reconciliation, but not to favour any
discussion of controverted points, which had always proved fruitless,
and which could not be admitted till the supreme authority of the holy
see was recognised. As to all usages founded on positive law, which
might be disagreeable to the English nation, they should receive as
much mitigation as the case would bear. This, of course, alluded to
the three great points of discipline, or ecclesiastical
institution--the celibacy of the clergy, the exclusion of the laity
from the eucharistical cup, and the Latin liturgy.

In the course of the bishop's subsequent interviews, he again
mentioned his willingness to acknowledge the pope's supremacy; and
assured Panzani that the archbishop was entirely of his mind, but with
a great mixture of fear and caution.[126] Three bishops only, Morton,
Hall, and Davenant, were obstinately bent against the church of Rome;
the rest might be counted moderate.[127] The agent, however, took care
to obtain from another quarter a more particular account of each
bishop's disposition, and transmitted to Rome a report, which does not
appear. Montagu displayed a most unguarded warmth in all this treaty;
notwithstanding which, Panzani suspected him of still entertaining
some notions incompatible with the catholic doctrine. He behaved with
much greater discretion than the bishop; justly, I suppose,
distrusting the influence of a man who showed so little capacity for a
business of the utmost delicacy. It appears almost certain that
Montagu made too free with the name of the archbishop, and probably of
many others; and it is well worthy of remark, that the popish party
did not entertain any sanguine hopes of the king's conversion. They
expected doubtless that, by gaining over the hierarchy, they should
induce him to follow; but he had evidently given no reason to imagine
that he would precede. A few casual words, not perhaps exactly
reported, might sometimes elate their hopes, but cannot excite in us,
who are better able to judge than his contemporaries, any reasonable
suspicion of his constancy. Yet it is not impossible that he might at
one time conceive a union to be more practicable than it really

The court of Rome omitted no token of civility or good will to
conciliate our king's favour. Besides expressions of paternal kindness
which Urban lavished on him, Cardinal Barberini gratified his
well-known taste by a present of pictures. Charles showed a due sense
of these courtesies. The prosecutions of recusants were absolutely
stopped, by cashiering the pursuivants who had been employed in the
odious office of detecting them. It was arranged that reciprocal
diplomatic relations should be established, and consequently that an
English agent should constantly reside at the court of Rome, by the
nominal appointment of the queen, but empowered to conduct the various
negotiations in hand. Through the first person who held this station,
a gentleman of the name of Hamilton, the king made an overture on a
matter very near to his heart, the restitution of the Palatinate. I
have no doubt that the whole of his imprudent tampering with Rome had
been considerably influenced by this chimerical hope. But it was
apparent to every man of less unsound judgment than Charles, that
except the young elector would renounce the protestant faith, he could
expect nothing from the intercession of the pope.

After the first preliminaries, which she could not refuse to enter
upon, the court of Rome displayed no eagerness for a treaty which it
found, on more exact information, to be embarrassed with greater
difficulties than its new allies had confessed.[129] Whether this
subject continued to be discussed during the mission of Con, who
succeeded Panzani, is hard to determine; because the latter's memoirs,
our unquestionable authority for what has been above related, cease to
afford us light. But as Con was a very active intriguer for his court,
it is by no means unlikely that he proceeded in the same kind of
parley with Montagu and Windebank. Yet whatever might pass between
them was intended rather with a view to the general interests of the
Roman church, than to promote a reconciliation with that of England,
as a separate contracting party. The former has displayed so
systematic a policy to make no concession to the reformers, either in
matters of belief, wherein, since the council of Trent, she could in
fact do nothing, or even, as far as possible, in points of discipline,
as to which she judged, perhaps rightly, that her authority would be
impaired by the precedent of concession without any proportionate
advantage: so unvarying in all cases has been her determination to
yield nothing except through absolute force, and to elude force itself
by every subtlety that it is astonishing how honest men on the
opposite side (men, that is, who seriously intended to preserve any
portion of their avowed tenets, not such as Montagu or Heylin,) could
ever contemplate the possibility of reconciliation. Upon the present
occasion, she manifested some alarm at the boasted approximation of
the Anglicans. The attraction of bodies is reciprocal; and the English
catholics might, with so much temporal interest in the scale, be
impelled more rapidly towards the established church than that church
towards them. "Advise the clergy," say the instructions to the nuncio
in 1639, "to desist from that foolish, nay rather illiterate and
childish, custom of distinction in the protestant and puritan
doctrine; and especially this error is so much the greater, when they
undertake to prove that protestantism is a degree nearer to the
catholic faith than the other. For since both of them be without the
verge of the church, it is needless hypocrisy to speak of it, yea, it
begets more malice than it is worth."[130]

This exceeding boldness of the catholic party, and their success in
conversions, which were, in fact, less remarkable for their number
than for the condition of the persons, roused the primate himself to
some apprehension. He preferred a formal complaint to the king in
council against the resort of papists to the queen's chapel, and the
insolence of some active zealots about the court.[131] Henrietta, who
had courted his friendship, and probably relied on his connivance, if
not support, seems never to have forgiven this unexpected attack. Laud
gave another testimony of his unabated hostility to popery by
republishing with additions his celebrated conference with the jesuit
Fisher, a work reckoned the great monument of his learning and
controversial acumen. This conference had taken place many years
before, at the desire and in the presence of the Countess of
Buckingham, the duke's mother. Those who are conversant with literary
and ecclesiastical anecdote must be aware that nothing was more usual
in the seventeenth century than such single combats under the eye of
some fair lady whose religious faith was to depend upon the victory.
The wily and polished jesuits had great advantages in these duels,
which almost always, I believe, ended in their favour. After fatiguing
their gentle arbitress for a time with the tedious fencing of text and
citation, till she felt her own inability to award the palm, they came
with their prejudices already engaged, to the necessity of an
infallible judge; and as their adversaries of the English church had
generally left themselves vulnerable on this side, there was little
difficulty in obtaining success. Like Hector in the spoils of
Patroclus, our clergy had assumed to themselves the celestial armour
of authority; but found that, however it might intimidate the
multitude, it fitted them too ill to repel the spear that had been
wrought in the same furnace. A writer of this school in the age of
Charles the First, and incomparably superior to any of the churchmen
belonging to it, in the brightness and originality of his genius, Sir
Thomas Brown, whose varied talents wanted nothing but the controlling
supremacy of good sense to place him in the highest rank of our
literature, will furnish a better instance of the prevailing bias than
merely theological writings. He united a most acute and sceptical
understanding with strong devotional sensibility, the temperament so
conspicuous in Pascal and Johnson, and which has a peculiar tendency
to seek the repose of implicit faith. "Where the Scripture is silent,"
says Brown in his _Religio Medici_, "the church is my text; where it
speaks, 'tis but my comment." That jesuit must have been a disgrace to
his order, who would have asked more than such a concession to secure
a proselyte--the right of interpreting whatever was written, and of
supplying whatever was not.

_Chillingworth._--At this time, however, appeared one man in the field
of religious debate, who struck out from that insidious tract, of
which his own experience had shown him the perils. Chillingworth, on
whom nature had bestowed something like the same constitutional
temperament as that to which I have just adverted, except that the
reasoning power having a greater mastery, his religious sensibility
rather gave earnestness to his love of truth than tenacity to his
prejudices, had been induced, like so many others, to pass over to the
Roman church. The act of transition, it may be observed, from a system
of tenets wherein men had been educated, was in itself a vigorous
exercise of free speculation, and might be termed the suicide of
private judgment. But in Chillingworth's restless mind there was an
inextinguishable scepticism that no opiates could subdue; yet a
scepticism of that species which belongs to a vigorous, not that which
denotes a feeble understanding. Dissatisfied with his new opinions, of
which he had never been really convinced, he panted to breathe the
freer air of protestantism, and after a long and anxious investigation
returned to the English church. He well redeemed any censure that
might have been thrown on him, by his great work in answer to the
jesuit Knott, entitled _The Religion of Protestants a Safe Way to
Salvation_. In the course of his reflections he had perceived the
insecurity of resting the reformation on any but its original basis,
the independency of private opinion. This, too, he asserted with a
fearlessness and consistency hitherto little known, even within the
protestant pale; combining it with another principle, which the zeal
of the early reformers had rendered them unable to perceive, and for
want of which the adversary had perpetually discomfited them, namely,
that the errors of conscientious men do not forfeit the favour of God.
This endeavour to mitigate the dread of forming mistaken judgments in
religion runs through the whole work of Chillingworth, and marks him
as the founder, in this country, of what has been called the
latitudinarian school of theology. In this view, which has practically
been the most important one of the controversy, it may pass for an
anticipated reply to the most brilliant performance on the opposite
side, _The History of the Variations of Protestant Churches_; and
those who, from a delight in the display of human intellect, or from
more serious motives of inquiry, are led to these two master-pieces,
will have seen, perhaps, the utmost strength that either party, in the
great schism of Christendom, has been able to put forth.

This celebrated work, which gained its author the epithet of immortal,
is now, I suspect little studied even by the clergy. It is, no doubt,
somewhat tedious, when read continuously, from the frequent recurrence
of the same strain of reasoning, and from his method of following,
sentence by sentence, the steps of his opponent; a method which, while
it presents an immediate advantage to controversial writers, as it
heightens their reputation at the expense of their adversary, is apt
to render them very tiresome to posterity. But the closeness and
precision of his logic, which this mode of incessant grappling with
his antagonist served to display, are so admirable, perhaps, indeed,
hardly rivalled in any book beyond the limits of strict science, that
the study of Chillingworth might tend to chastise the verbose and
indefinite declamation so characteristic of the present day. His
style, though by no means elegant or imaginative, has much of a
nervous energy that rises into eloquence. He is chiefly, however,
valuable for a true liberality and tolerance; far removed from
indifference, as may well be thought of one whose life was consumed in
searching for truth, but diametrically adverse to those pretensions
which seem of late years to have been regaining ground among the
Anglican divines.

_Hales._--The latitudinarian principles of Chillingworth appear to
have been confirmed by his intercourse with a man, of whose capacity
his contemporaries entertained so high an admiration, that he acquired
the distinctive appellation of the ever-memorable John Hales. This
testimony of so many enlightened men is not to be disregarded, even if
we should be of opinion that the writings of Hales, though abounding
with marks of an unshackled mind, do not quite come up to the promise
of his name. He had, as well as Chillingworth, borrowed from Leyden,
perhaps a little from Racow, a tone of thinking upon some doctrinal
points as yet nearly unknown, and therefore highly obnoxious in
England. More hardy than his friend, he wrote a short treatise on
schism, which tended, in pretty blunt and unlimited language, to
overthrow the scheme of authoritative decisions in any church,
pointing at the imposition of unnecessary ceremonies and articles of
faith, as at once the cause and the apology of separation. This having
been circulated in manuscript, came to the knowledge of Laud, who sent
for Hales to Lambeth, and questioned him as to his opinions on that
matter. Hales, though willing to promise that he would not publish the
tract, receded not a jot from his free notions of ecclesiastical
power; which he again advisedly maintained in a letter to the
archbishop, now printed among his works. The result was equally
honourable to both parties; Laud bestowing a canonry of Windsor on
Hales, which, after so bold an avowal of his opinion, he might accept
without the slightest reproach. A behaviour so liberal forms a
singular contrast to the rest of this prelate's history. It is a
proof, no doubt, that he knew how to set such a value on great
abilities and learning, as to forgive much that wounded his pride. But
besides that Hales had not made public this treatise on schism, for
which I think he could not have escaped the high commission court, he
was known by Laud to stand far aloof from the Calvinistic sectaries,
having long since embraced in their full extent the principles of
Episcopius, and to mix no alloy of political faction with the
philosophical hardiness of his speculations.[132]

These two remarkable ornaments of the English church, who dwelt apart
like stars, to use the fine expression of a living poet, from the
vulgar bigots of both her factions, were accustomed to meet, in the
society of some other eminent persons, at the house of Lord Falkland
near Burford. One of those, who, then in a ripe and learned youth,
became afterwards so conspicuous a name in our annals and our
literature, Mr. Hyde, the chosen bosom-friend of his host, has dwelt
with affectionate remembrance on the conversations of that mansion.
His marvellous talent of delineating character, a talent, I think,
unrivalled by any writer (since, combining the bold outline of the
ancient historians with the analytical minuteness of De Retz and St.
Simon, it produces a higher effect than either), is never more
beautifully displayed than in that part of the memoirs of his life,
where Falkland, Hales, Chillingworth, and the rest of his early
friends, pass over the scene.

For almost thirty ensuing years, Hyde himself becomes the companion of
our historical reading. Seven folio volumes contain his _History of
the Rebellion_, his _Life_, and the _Letters_, of which a large
portion are his own. We contract an intimacy with an author who has
poured out to us so much of his heart. Though Lord Clarendon's chief
work seems to me not quite accurately styled a history, belonging
rather to the class of memoirs,[133] yet the very reasons of this
distinction, the long circumstantial narrative of events wherein he
was engaged, and the slight notice of those which he only learned from
others, render it more interesting, if not more authentic. Conformably
to human feelings, though against the rules of historical composition,
it bears the continual impress of an intense concern about what he
relates. This depth of personal interest, united frequently with an
eloquence of the heart and imagination that struggles through an
involved, incorrect, and artificial diction, makes it, one would
imagine, hardly possible for those most alien from his sentiments to
read his writings without some portion of sympathy. But they are on
this account not a little dangerous to the soundness of our historical
conclusions; the prejudices of Clarendon, and his negligence as to
truth, being full as striking as his excellencies, and leading him not
only into many erroneous judgments, but into frequent inconsistencies.

_Animadversions on Clarendon's account of this period._--These
inconsistencies are nowhere so apparent as in the first or
introductory book of his history, which professes to give a general
view of the state of affairs before the meeting of the long
parliament. It is certainly the most defective part of his work. A
strange mixture of honesty and disingenuousness pervades all he has
written of the early years of the king's reign; retracting, at least
in spirit, in almost every page what has been said in the last, from a
constant fear that he may have admitted so much against the government
as to make his readers impute too little blame to those who opposed
it. Thus, after freely censuring the exactions of the Crown, whether
on the score of obsolete prerogative or without any just pretext at
all, especially that of ship-money, and confessing that "those
foundations of right, by which men valued their security, were never,
to the apprehension and understanding of wise men, in more danger of
being destroyed," he turns to dwell on the prosperous state of the
kingdom during this period, "enjoying the greatest calm and the
fullest measure of felicity that any people in any age for so long
time together have been blessed with," till he works himself up to a
strange paradox, that "many wise men thought it a time wherein those
two adjuncts, which Nerva was edified for uniting, Imperium et
Libertas, were as well reconciled as is possible."

Such wisdom was not, it seems, the attribute of the nation. "These
blessings," he says, "could but enable, not compel, us to be happy; we
wanted that sense, acknowledgement, and value of our own happiness
which all but we had, and took pains to make, when we could not find,
ourselves miserable. There was, in truth, a strange absence of
understanding in most, and a strange perverseness of understanding in
the rest; the court full of excess, idleness, and luxury; the country
full of pride, mutiny, and discontent; every man more troubled and
perplexed at that they called the violation of the law, than delighted
or pleased with the observation of all the rest of the charter; never
imputing the increase of their receipts, revenue, and plenty, to the
wisdom, virtue, and merit of the Crown, but objecting every small
imposition to the exorbitancy and tyranny of the government."[134]

This strange passage is as inconsistent with other parts of the same
chapter, and with Hyde's own conduct at the beginning of the
parliament, as it is with all reasonable notions of government.[135]
For if kings and ministers may plead in excuse for violating one law,
that they have not transgressed the rest (though it would be difficult
to name any violation of law that Charles had not committed); if this
were enough to reconcile their subjects, and to make dissatisfaction
pass for a want or perversion of understanding, they must be in a very
different predicament from all others who live within the pale of
civil society, whose obligation to obey its discipline is held to be
entire and universal. By this great writer's own admissions, the
decision in the case of ship-money had shaken every man's security for
the enjoyment of his private inheritance. Though as yet not weighty
enough to be actually very oppressive, it might, and, according to the
experience of Europe, undoubtedly would, become such by length of time
and peaceable submission.

We may acknowledge without hesitation, that the kingdom had grown
during this period into remarkable prosperity and affluence. The rents
of land were very considerably increased, and large tracts reduced
into cultivation. The manufacturing towns, the sea-ports, became more
populous and flourishing. The metropolis increased in size with a
rapidity that repeated proclamations against new buildings could not
restrain. The country houses of the superior gentry throughout England
were built on a scale which their descendants, even in days of more
redundant affluence, have seldom ventured to emulate. The kingdom was
indebted for this prosperity to the spirit and industry of the people,
to the laws which secure the Commons from oppression, and which, as
between man and man, were still fairly administered, to the opening of
fresh channels of trade in the eastern and western worlds (rivulets,
indeed, as they seem to us, who float in the full tide of modern
commerce, yet at that time no slight contributions to the stream of
public wealth); but above all, to the long tranquillity of the
kingdom, ignorant of the sufferings of domestic, and seldom much
affected by the privations of foreign, war. It was the natural course
of things, that wealth should be progressive in such a land. Extreme
tyranny, such as that of Spain in the Netherlands, might, no doubt,
have turned back the current. A less violent, but long-continued
despotism, such as has existed in several European monarchies, would,
by the corruption and incapacity which absolute governments engender,
have retarded its advance. The administration of Charles was certainly
not of the former description. Yet it would have been an excess of
loyal stupidity in the nation to have attributed their riches to the
wisdom or virtue of the court, which had injured the freedom of trade
by monopolies and arbitrary proclamations, and driven away industrious
manufacturers by persecution.

If we were to draw our knowledge from no other book than Lord
Clarendon's _History_, it would still be impossible to avoid the
inference, that misconduct on the part of the Crown, and more
especially of the church, was the chief, if not the sole, cause of
these prevailing discontents. At the time when Laud unhappily became
Archbishop of Canterbury, "the general temper and humour of the
kingdom," he tells us, "was little inclined to the papist, and less to
the puritan. There were some late taxes and impositions introduced,
which rather angered than grieved the people, who were more than
repaired by the quiet peace and prosperity they enjoyed; and the
murmurs and discontent that was, appeared to be against the excess of
power exercised by the Crown, and supported by the judges in
Westminster Hall. The church was not repined at, nor the least
inclination to alter the government and discipline thereof, or to
change the doctrine. Nor was there at that time any considerable
number of persons of any valuable condition throughout the kingdom,
who did wish either; and the cause of so prodigious a change in so few
years after was too visible from the effects." This cause, he is
compelled to admit, in a passage too diffuse to be extracted, was the
passionate and imprudent behaviour of the primate. Can there be a
stronger proof of the personal prepossessions, which for ever distort
the judgment of this author, than that he should blame the remissness
of Abbot, who left things in so happy a condition; and assert that
Laud executed the trust of solely managing ecclesiastical affairs,
"infinitely to the service and benefit" of that church which he
brought to destruction? Were it altogether true, what is doubtless
much exaggerated, that in 1633 very little discontent at the measures
of the court had begun to prevail, it would be utterly inconsistent
with experience and observation of mankind to ascribe the almost
universal murmurs of 1639 to any other cause than bad government. But
Hyde, attached to Laud and devoted to the king, shrunk from the
conclusion that his own language would afford; and his piety made him
seek in some mysterious influences of Heaven, and in a judicial
infatuation of the people, for the causes of those troubles which the
fixed and uniform dispensations of Providence were sufficient to

_Scots troubles, and distress of the government._--It is difficult to
pronounce how much longer the nation's signal forbearance would have
held out, if the Scots had not precipitated themselves into rebellion.
There was still a confident hope that parliament must soon or late be
assembled; and it seemed equally impolitic and unconstitutional to
seek redress by any violent means. The patriots, too, had just cause
to lament the ambition of some whom the court's favour subdued, and
the levity of many more whom its vanities allured. But the unexpected
success of the tumultuous rising at Edinburgh against the service-book
revealed the impotence of the English government. Destitute of money,
and neither daring to ask it from a parliament nor to extort it by any
fresh demand from the people, they hesitated whether to employ force
or to submit to the insurgents. In the exchequer, as Lord
Northumberland wrote to Strafford, there was but the sum of £200; with
all the means that could be devised, not above £110,000 could be
raised; the magazines were all unfurnished, and the people were so
discontented by reason of the multitude of projects daily imposed upon
them, that he saw reason to fear a great part of them would be readier
to join with the Scots than to draw their swords in the king's
service.[137] "The discontents at home," he observes some months
afterwards, "do rather increase than lessen, there being no course
taken to give any kind of satisfaction. The king's coffers were never
emptier than at this time; and to us that have the honour to be near
about him, no way is yet known how he will find means either to
maintain or begin a war without the help of his people."[138]
Strafford himself dissuaded a war in such circumstances, though hardly
knowing what other course to advise.[139] He had now awaked from the
dreams of infatuated arrogance, to stand appalled at the perils of his
sovereign, and his own. In the letters that passed between him and
Laud after the Scots troubles had broken out, we read their hardly
concealed dismay, and glimpses of "the two-handed engine at the door."
Yet pride forbade them to perceive or confess the real causes of this
portentous state of affairs. They fondly laid the miscarriage of the
business of Scotland on failure in the execution, and an "over-great
desire to do all quietly."[140]

In this imminent necessity, the king had recourse to those who had
least cause to repine at his administration. The catholic gentry, at
the powerful interference of their queen, made large contributions
towards the campaign of 1639. Many of them volunteered their personal
service. There was, indeed, a further project, so secret that it is
not mentioned, I believe, till very lately, by any historical writer.
This was to procure 10,000 regular troops from Flanders, in exchange
for so many recruits to be levied for Spain in England and Ireland.
These troops were to be for six months in the king's pay. Colonel
Gage, a catholic, and the negotiator of this treaty, hints that the
pope would probably contribute money, if he had hopes of seeing the
penal laws repealed; and observes, that with such an army the king
might both subdue the Scots, and at the same time keep his parliament
in check, so as to make them come to his conditions.[141] The treaty,
however, was never concluded. Spain was far more inclined to revenge
herself for the bad faith she imputed to Charles, than to lend him any
assistance. Hence, when, in the next year, he offered to declare war
against Holland, as soon as he should have subdued the Scots, for a
loan of 1,200,000 crowns, the Spanish ambassador haughtily rejected
the proposition.[142]

The pacification, as it was termed, of Berwick in the summer of 1639
has been represented by several historians as a measure equally
ruinous and unaccountable. That it was so far ruinous, as it formed
one link in the chain that dragged the king to destruction, is most
evident; but it was both inevitable and easy of explanation. The
treasury, whatever Clarendon and Hume may have said, was perfectly
bankrupt.[143] The citizens of London, on being urged by the council
for a loan, had used as much evasion as they dared.[144] The writs for
ship-money were executed with greater difficulty, several sheriffs
willingly acquiescing in the excuses made by their counties.[145] Sir
Francis Seymour, brother to the Earl of Hertford, and a man, like his
brother, of very moderate principles, absolutely refused to pay it,
though warned by the council to beware how he disputed its
legality.[146] Many of the Yorkshire gentry, headed by Sir Marmaduke
Langdale, combined to refuse its payment.[147] It was impossible to
rely again on catholic subscriptions, which the court of Rome, as I
have mentioned above, instigated perhaps by that of Madrid, had
already tried to restrain. The Scots were enthusiastic, nearly
unanimous, and entire masters of their country. The English nobility,
in general, detested the archbishop, to whose passion they ascribed
the whole mischief, and feared to see the king become despotic in
Scotland. If the terms of Charles's treaty with his revolted subjects
were unsatisfactory and indefinite, enormous in concession, and yet
affording a pretext for new encroachments, this is no more than the
common lot of the weaker side.

There was one possible, though not under all the circumstances very
likely, method of obtaining the sinews of war; the convocation of
parliament. This many, at least, of the king's advisers appear to have
long desired, could they but have vanquished his obstinate reluctance.
This is an important observation: Charles, and he perhaps alone,
unless we reckon the queen, seems to have taken a resolution of
superseding absolutely and for ever the legal constitution of England.
The judges, the peers, Lord Strafford, nay, if we believe his dying
speech, the primate himself, retained enough of respect for the
ancient laws, to desire that parliaments should be summoned, whenever
they might be expected to second the views of the monarch. They felt
that the new scheme of governing by proclamations and writs of
ship-money could not, and ought not to be permanent in England. The
king reasoned more royally, and indeed much better. He well perceived
that it was vain to hope for another parliament so constituted as
those under the Tudors. He was ashamed (and that pernicious woman at
his side would not fail to encourage the sentiment) that his brothers
of France and Spain should have achieved a work, which the sovereign
of England, though called an absolute king by his courtiers, had
scarcely begun. All mention therefore of calling parliament grated on
his ear. The declaration published at the dissolution of the last,
that he should account it presumption for any to prescribe a time to
him for calling parliaments, was meant to extend even to his own
counsellors. He rated severely Lord-Keeper Coventry for a suggestion
of this kind.[148] He came with much reluctance into Wentworth's
proposal of summoning one in Ireland, though the superior control of
the Crown over parliaments in that kingdom was pointed out to him.
"The king," says Cottington, "at the end of 1638, will not hear of a
parliament; and he is told by a committee of learned men, that there
is no other way."[149] This repugnance to meet his people, and his
inability to carry on the war by any other methods, produced the
ignominious pacification at Berwick. But, as the Scots, grown bolder
by success, had after this treaty almost thrown off all subjection,
and the renewal of the war, or loss of the sovereignty over that
kingdom, appeared necessary alternatives, overpowered by the
concurrent advice of his council, and especially of Strafford, he
issued writs for that which met in April 1640.[150] They told him
that, making trial once more of the ancient and ordinary way, he would
leave his people without excuse, if that should fail; and have
wherewithal to justify himself to God and the world, if he should be
forced contrary to his inclinations to use extraordinary means, rather
than through the peevishness of some factious spirits to suffer his
state and government to be lost.[151]

_Parliament of April 1640._--It has been universally admitted that the
parliament which met on the 13th of April 1640 was as favourably
disposed towards the king's service, and as little influenced by their
many wrongs, as any man of ordinary judgment could expect.[152] But
though cautiously abstaining from any intemperance, so much as to
reprove a member for calling ship-money an abomination (no very
outrageous expression), they sufficiently manifested a determination
not to leave their grievances unredressed. Petitions against the
manifold abuses in church and state covered their table; Pym, Rudyard,
Waller, Lord Digby, and others more conspicuous afterwards, excited
them by vigorous speeches; they appointed a committee to confer with
the Lords, according to some precedents of the last reign, on a long
list of grievances, divided into ecclesiastical innovations,
infringements of the propriety of goods, and breaches of the
privilege of parliament. They voted a request of the peers, who,
Clarendon says, were more entirely at the king's disposal, that they
would begin with the business of supply, and not proceed to debate on
grievances till afterwards, to be a high breach of privilege.[153]
There is not the smallest reason to doubt that they would have
insisted on redress in all those particulars, with at least as much
zeal as any former parliament, and that the king, after obtaining his
subsidies, would have put an end to their remonstrances, as he had
done before.[154] In order to obtain the supply he demanded, namely,
twelve subsidies to be paid in three years, which, though unusual, was
certainly not beyond his exigencies, he offered to release his claim
to ship-money, in any manner they should point out. But this the
Commons indignantly repelled. They deemed ship-money the great crime
of his administration, and the judgment against Mr. Hampden, the
infamy of those who pronounced it. Till that judgment should be
annulled, and those judges punished, the national liberties must be as
precarious as ever. Even if they could hear of a compromise with so
flagrant a breach of the constitution, and of purchasing their
undoubted rights, the doctrine asserted in Mr. Hampden's case by the
Crown lawyers, and adopted by some of the judges, rendered all
stipulations nugatory. The right of taxation had been claimed as an
absolute prerogative so inherent in the Crown, that no act of
parliament could take it away. All former statutes, down to the
petition of right, had been prostrated at the foot of the throne; by
what new compact were the present parliament to give a sanctity more
inviolable to their own?[155]

It will be in the recollection of my readers, that while the Commons
were deliberating whether to promise any supply before the redress of
grievances, and in what measure, Sir Henry Vane, the secretary, told
them that the king would accept nothing less than the twelve subsidies
he had required; in consequence of which the parliament was dissolved
next day. Clarendon, followed by several others, has imputed treachery
in this to Vane, and told us that the king regretted so much what he
had done, that he wished, had it been practicable, to recall the
parliament after its dissolution. This is confirmed, as to Vane, by
the queen herself, in that interesting narrative which she
communicated to Madame de Motteville.[156] Were it not for such
authorities, seemingly independent of each other, yet entirely
tallying, I should have deemed it more probable that Vane, with whom
the solicitor-general Herbert had concurred, acted solely by the
king's command. Charles, who feared and hated all parliaments, had not
acquiesced in the scheme of calling the present, till there was no
other alternative; an insufficient supply would have left him in a
more difficult situation than before, as to the use of those
extraordinary means, as they were called, which his disposition led
him to prefer: the intention to assail parts of his administration
more dear to him than ship-money, and especially the ecclesiastical
novelties, was apparent. Nor can we easily give him credit for this
alleged regret at the step he had taken, when we read the declaration
he put forth, charging the Commons with entering on examination of his
government in an insolent and audacious manner, traducing his
administration of justice, rendering odious his officers and ministers
of state, and introducing a way of bargaining and contracting with the
king, as if nothing ought to be given him by them, but what he should
purchase either by quitting somewhat of his royal prerogative, or by
diminishing and lessening his revenue.[157] The unconstitutional
practice of committing to prison some of the most prominent members,
and searching their houses for papers, was renewed. And having broken
loose again from the restraints of law, the king's sanguine temper
looked to such a triumph over the Scots in the coming campaign, as no
prudent man could think probable.

This dissolution of parliament in May 1640 appears to have been a very
fatal crisis for the king's popularity. Those who, with the loyalty
natural to Englishmen, had willingly ascribed his previous
misgovernment to evil counsels, could not any longer avoid perceiving
his mortal antipathy to any parliament that should not be as
subservient as the cortes of Castile. The necessity of some great
change became the common theme. "It is impossible," says Lord
Northumberland, at that time a courtier, "that things can long
continue in the condition they are now in; so general a defection in
this kingdom hath not been known in the memory of any!"[158] Several
of those who thought most deeply on public affairs now entered into a
private communication with the Scots insurgents. It seems probable
from the well-known story of Lord Saville's forged letter, that there
had been very little connection of this kind until the present
summer.[159] And we may conjecture that during this ominous interval,
those great projects, which were displayed in the next session,
acquired consistence and ripeness by secret discussions in the houses
of the Earl of Bedford and Lord Say. The king meanwhile experienced
aggravated misfortune and ignominy in his military operations.
Ship-money indeed was enforced with greater rigour than before,
several sheriffs and the lord mayor of London being prosecuted in the
star-chamber for neglecting to levy it. Some citizens were imprisoned
for refusing a loan. A new imposition was laid on the counties, under
the name of coat-and-conduct-money, for clothing and defraying the
travelling charges of the new levies.[160] A state of actual invasion,
the Scots having passed the Tweed, might excuse some of these
irregularities, if it could have been forgotten that the war itself
was produced by the king's impolicy, and if the nation had not been
prone to see friends and deliverers rather than enemies in the
Scottish army. They were, at the best indeed, troublesome and
expensive guests to the northern counties which they occupied; but
the cost of their visit was justly laid at the king's door. Various
arbitrary resources having been suggested in the council, and
abandoned as inefficient and impracticable, such as the seizing the
merchants' bullion in the mint, or issuing a debased coin; the unhappy
king adopted the hopeless scheme of convening a great council of all
the peers at York, as the only alternative of a parliament.[161] It
was foreseen that this assembly would only advise the king to meet his
people in a legal way. The public voice could no longer be suppressed.
The citizens of London presented a petition to the king, complaining
of grievances, and asking for a parliament. This was speedily followed
by one signed by twelve peers of popular character.[162] The lords
assembled at York almost unanimously concurred in the same advice, to
which the king, after some hesitation, gave his assent. They had more
difficulty in bringing about a settlement with the Scots; the English
army, disaffected and undisciplined, had already made an inglorious
retreat; and even Strafford, though passionately against a treaty, did
not venture to advise an engagement.[163] The majority of the peers
however over-ruled all opposition; and in the alarming posture of his
affairs, Charles had no resource but the dishonourable pacification of
Rippon. Anticipating the desertion of some who had partaken in his
counsels, and conscious that others would more stand in need of his
support than be capable of affording any, he awaited in fearful
suspense the meeting of parliament.


[1] "It hath so happened," he says, "by the disobedient and seditious
carriage of those said ill-affected persons of the House of Commons,
that we and our regal authority and commandment have been so highly
contemned as our kingly office cannot bear, nor any former age can
parallel." Rymer, xix. 30.

[2] Rymer, xix. 62.

[3] Whitelock's _Memorials_, p. 14. Whitelock's father was one of the
judges of the king's bench; his son takes pains to exculpate him from
the charge of too much compliance, and succeeded so well with the long
parliament that when they voted Chief-Justice Hyde and Justice Jones
guilty of delay in not bailing these gentlemen, they voted also that
Croke and Whitelock were not guilty of it. The proceedings, as we now
read them, hardly warrant this favourable distinction. _Parl. Hist._
ii. 869, 876.

[4] Strode's act is printed in Hatsell's _Precedents_, vol. i. p. 80,
and in several other books, as well as in the great edition of
_Statutes of the Realm_. It is worded, like many of our ancient laws,
so confusedly, as to make its application uncertain; but it rather
appears to me not to have been intended as a public act.

[5] _State Trials_, vol. iii. from Rushworth.

[6] Hatsell, pp. 212, 242.

[7] Rushworth.

[8] Rushworth; _State Trials_, iii. 373; Whitelock, p. 12. Chambers
applied several times for redress to the long parliament on account of
this and subsequent injuries, but seems to have been cruelly
neglected, while they were voting large sums to those who had suffered
much less, and died in poverty.

[9] I have remarked in former passages that the rack was much
employed, especially against Roman catholics, under Elizabeth. Those
accused of the gunpowder conspiracy were also severely tortured; and
others in the reign of James. Coke, in the Countess of Shrewsbury's
case, 1612 (_State Trials_, ii. 773), mentions it as a privilege of
the nobility, that "their bodies are not subject to torture in causâ
criminis læsæ majestatis." Yet, in his third Institute, p. 35, he
says, the rack in the Tower was brought in by the Duke of Exeter,
under Henry VI., and is, therefore, familiarly called the Duke of
Exeter's daughter; and after quoting Fortescue to prove the practice
illegal, concludes--"There is no law to warrant tortures in this land,
nor can they be justified by any prescription, being so lately brought
in." Bacon observes, in a tract written in 1603: "In the highest cases
of treason, torture is used for discovery, and not for evidence."--i.
393. See also Miss Aikin's _Memoirs of James I._ ii. 158.

[10] _State Trials_, iii. 359. This was a very important
determination, and put an end to such tyrannical persecution of Roman
catholics for bare expressions of opinion as had been used under
Elizabeth and James.

[11] Rushworth (Abridged), ii. 253; Strafford's _Letters_, ii. 74.

[12] Whitelock, 16; Kennet, 63. We find in Rymer, xix. 279, a
commission, dated May 6, 1631, enabling the privy-council at all times
to come, "to hear and examine all differences which shall arise
betwixt any of our courts of justice, especially between the civil and
ecclesiastical jurisdictions," etc. This was in all probability
contrived by Laud, or some of those who did not favour the common law.
But I do not find that anything was done under this commission, which,
I need hardly say, was as illegal as most of the king's other

[13] 2 Inst. 593. The regulations contained in the statute de
militibus, 1 Ed. II., though apparently a temporary law, seem to have
been considered by Coke as permanently binding. Yet in this statute
the estate requiring knighthood, or a composition for it, is fixed at
£20 per annum.

[14] According to a speech of Mr. Hyde in the long parliament, not
only military tenants, but all others, and even lessees and merchants,
were summoned before the council on this account. _Parl. Hist._ ii.
948. This was evidently illegal; especially if the Statutum de
militibus was in force, which by express words exempts them. See Mr.
Brodie's _Hist. of British Empire_, ii. 282. There is still some
difficulty about this, which I cannot clear up, nor comprehend why the
title, if it could be had for asking, was so continually declined;
unless it were, as Mr. B. hints, that the fees of knighthood greatly
exceeded the composition. Perhaps none who could not prove their
gentility were admitted to the honour, though the fine was extorted
from them. It is said that the king got £100,000 by this resource.
Macauley, ii. 107.

[15] Rushworth Abr. ii. 102.

[16] Strafford's _Letters_, i. 335.

[17] _Id._ pp. 463, 467.

[18] _Id._ ii. 117. It is well known that Charles made Richmond Park
by means of depriving many proprietors not only of common rights, but
of their freehold lands. Clarendon, i. 176. It is not clear that they
were ever compensated; but I think this probable, as the matter
excited no great clamour in the long parliament. And there is in
Rymer, xx. 585, a commission to Cottington and others, directing them
to compound with the owners of lands within the intended enclosures.
Dec. 12, 1634.

[19] Kennet, 64; Rushworth's Abridg. ii. 132; Strafford's _Letters_,
i. 446; Rymer, xix. 323; Laud's _Diary_, 51.

[20] Rymer, xx. 340.

[21] Kennet, 74, 75. _Strafford Letters_, i. 358. Some petty sea-ports
in Sussex refused to pay ship-money; but finding that the sheriff had
authority to distrain on them, submitted. The deputy-lieutenants of
Devonshire wrote to the council in behalf of some towns a few miles
distant from the sea, that they might be spared from this tax, saying
it was a novelty. But they were summoned to London for this, and
received a reprimand for their interference. _Id._ 372.

[22] _Clarendon State Papers_, i. 49, and ii. Append. p. xxvi.

[23] This curious intrigue, before unknown, I believe, to history, was
brought to light by Lord Hardwicke. _State Papers_, ii. 54.

[24] See _Clarendon State Papers_, i. 490, for a proof of the manner
in which, through the Hispano-popish party in the cabinet, the house
of Austria hoped to dupe and dishonour Charles.

[25] _Clarendon State Papers_, i. 109, _et post_. Five English ships
out of twenty were to be at the charge of the King of Spain. Besides
this agreement, according to which the English were only bound to
protect the ships of Spain within their own seas, or the limits
claimed as such, there were certain secret articles, signed Dec. 16,
1634; by one of which Charles bound himself, in case the Dutch should
not make restitution of some Spanish vessels taken by them within the
English seas, to satisfy the court of Spain himself out of ships and
goods belonging to the Dutch; and by the second, to give secret
instructions to the commanders of his ships, that when those of Spain
and Flanders should encounter their enemies at open sea, far from his
coasts and limits, they should assist them if over-matched, and should
give the like help to the prizes which they should meet, taken by the
Dutch, that they might be freed and set at liberty; taking some
convenient pretext to justify it, that the Hollanders might not hold
it an act of hostility. But no part of this treaty was to take effect
till the Imperial ban upon the Elector Palatine should be removed.
_Id._ 215.

[26] _Clarendon State Papers_, i. 721, 761.

[27] _Strafford Papers_, ii. 52, 53, 60, 66. Richlieu sent d'Estrades
to London, in 1637, according to Père Orleans, to secure the
neutrality of England in case of his attacking the maritime towns of
Flanders conjointly with the Dutch. But the ambassador was received
haughtily, and the neutrality refused; which put an end to the scheme,
and so irritated Richlieu, that he sent a priest named Chamberlain to
Edinburgh the same year, in order to foment troubles in Scotland.
_Revol. d'Anglet._ iii. 42. This is confirmed by d'Estrades himself.
See note in _Sidney Papers_, ii. 447, and Harris's _Life of Charles_,
189; also Lingard, x. 69. The connection of the Scotch leaders with
Richlieu in 1639 is matter of notorious history. It has lately been
confirmed and illustrated by an important note in Mazure, _Hist. de la
Revolution en 1688_, ii. 402. It appears by the above-mentioned note
of M. Mazure, that the celebrated letter of the Scots lords, addressed
"Au Roy," was really sent, and is extant. There seems reason to think
that Henrietta joined the Austrian faction about 1639; her mother
being then in England, and very hostile to Richlieu. This is in some
degree corroborated by a passage in a letter of Lady Carlisle. _Sidney
Papers_, ii. 614.

[28] _Sidney Papers_, ii. 613.

[29] _Clarendon State Papers_, ii. 16.

[30] See the instructions in Rushworth, ii. 214.

[31] Rushworth, 253. The same judge declared afterwards, in a charge
to the grand jury of York, that ship-money was an inseparable flower
of the Crown, glancing at Hutton and Croke for their opposition to it.
_Id._ 267.

[32] As it is impossible to reconcile the trifling amount of this
demand with Hampden's known estate, the tax being probably not much
less than sixpence in the pound, it has been conjectured that his
property was purposely rated low. But it is hard to perceive any
motive for this indulgence; and it seems more likely that a nominal
sum was fixed upon in order to try the question; or that it was only
assessed on a part of his estate.

[33] There seems to have been something unusual, if not irregular, in
this part of the proceeding. The barons of the exchequer called in the
other judges, not only by way of advice but direction, as the chief
baron declares. _State Trials_, 1203. And a proof of this is, that the
court of exchequer being equally divided, no judgment could have been
given by the barons alone.

[34] _State Trials_, iii. 826-1252.

[35] Croke, whose conduct on the bench in other political questions
was not without blemish, had resolved to give judgment for the king,
but was withheld by his wife, who implored him not to sacrifice his
conscience for fear of any danger or prejudice to his family, being
content to suffer any misery with him, rather than to be an occasion
for him to violate his integrity. Whitelock, p. 25. Of such
high-minded and inflexible women our British history produces many

[36] Laud writes to Lord Wentworth, that Croke and Hutton had both
gone against the king very sourly. "The accidents which have followed
upon it already are these: First, the faction are grown very bold.
Secondly, the king's monies come in a great deal more slowly than they
did in former years, and that to a very considerable sum. Thirdly, it
puts thoughts into wise and moderate men's heads, which were better
out; for they think if the judges, which are behind, do not their
parts both exceeding well and thoroughly, it may much distemper this
extraordinary and great service." _Strafford Letters_, ii. 170.

[37] It is notoriously known that pressure was borne with much more
cheerfulness before the judgment for the king, than ever it was
before. Clarendon, p. 122.

[38] Rushworth Abr. ii. 341; _Clarendon State Papers_, i. 600. It is
said by Heylin that the clergy were much spared in the assessment of
ship-money. _Life of Laud_, 302.

[39] Rymer, _passim_.

[40] _Id._ xix. 512. It may be curious to mention some of these. The
best turkey was to be sold at 4_s._ 6_d._; the best goose at 2_s._
4_d._; the best pullet, 1_s._ 8_d._; three eggs for a penny; fresh
butter at 5_d._ in summer, at 6_d._ in winter. This was in 1634.

[41] _Id._ xx. 113.

[42] _Id._ 157.

[43] Rymer, xviii. 33, _et alibi_. A commission was granted to the
Earl of Arundel and others, May 30, 1625, to enquire what houses,
shops, etc., had been built for ten years past, especially since the
last proclamation, and to commit the offenders. It recites the care of
Elizabeth and James to have the city built in an uniform manner with
brick, and also to clear it from under-tenants and base people who
live by begging and stealing. _Id._ xviii. 97.

[44] Rymer, xix. 375.

[45] Rushworth Abr. ii. 232.

[46] Rushworth, ii. 79.

[47] _Id._ p. 313.

[48] Rushworth Abr. iii. 123; Whitelock, p. 35; _Strafford Letters_,
i. 374, _et alibi_. See what Clarendon says, p. 293 (ii. 151, edit.
1826). The second of these tells us, that the city offered to build
for the king a palace in St. James's park by way of composition, which
was refused. If this be true, it must allude to the palace already
projected by him, the magnificent designs for which by Inigo Jones are
well known. Had they been executed, the metropolis would have
possessed a splendid monument of Palladian architecture; and the
reproach sometimes thrown on England, of wanting a fit mansion for its
monarchs, would have been prevented. But the exchequer of Charles the
First had never been in such a state as to render it at all probable
that he could undertake so costly a work.

[49] _Strafford Letters_, i. 340.

[50] Rymer, xix. 699.

[51] _Id._ 198.

[52] Roger Coke's _Detection of the Court of England_, i. 309. He was
Sir Edward's grandson.

[53] Rymer, xx. 190.

[54] _Id._ xix. 740. See also 82.

[55] Hudson's "Treatise of the Court of Star-chamber," p. 51. This
valuable work, written about the end of James's reign, is published in
_Collectanea Juridica_, vol. ii. There is more than one manuscript of
it in the British Museum.

In another treatise, written by a clerk of the council about 1590
(Hargrave MSS. ccxvi. 195), the author says: "There was a time when
there grew a controversy between the star-chamber and the King's Bench
for their jurisdiction in a cause of perjury concerning tithes, Sir
Nicholas Bacon, that most grave and worthy counsellor, then being
lord-keeper of the great seal, and Sir Robert Catlyn, knight, then
lord chief justice of the bench. To the deciding thereof were called
by the plaintiff and defendant a great number of the learned
counsellors of the law: they were called into the inner star-chamber
after dinner, where before the lords of the council they argued the
cause on both sides, but could not find the court of greater antiquity
by all their books than Henry VII. and Richard III. On this I fell in
cogitation how to find some further knowledge thereof." He proceeds to
inform us, that by search into records he traced its jurisdiction much
higher. This shows, however, the doubts entertained of its
jurisdiction in the queen's time. This writer, extolling the court
highly, admits that "some of late have deemed it to be new, and put
the same in print, to the blemish of its beautiful antiquity." He then
discusses the question (for such it seems it was), whether any peer,
though not of the council, might sit in the star-chamber; and decides
in the negative. "Ao. 5to. of her majesty," he says, in the case
of the Earl of Hertford, "there were assembled a great number of the
noble barons of this realm, not being of the council, who offered
there to sit; but at that time it was declared unto them by the
lord-keeper that they were to give place; and so they did, and divers
of them tarried the hearing of the cause at the bar."

This note ought to have been inserted in Chapter I., where the
antiquity of the star-chamber is mentioned, but was accidentally

[56] P. 56.

[57] P. 62. Lord Bacon observes, that the council in his time did not
meddle with _meum_ and _tuum_ as formerly; and that such causes ought
not to be entertained. Vol. i. 720; vol. ii. 208. "The king," he says,
"should be sometimes present, yet not too often." James was too often
present, and took one well-known criminal proceeding, that against Sir
Thomas Lake and his family, entirely into his own hands.

[58] P. 82.

[59] P. 108.

[60] Pp. 100, 102.

[61] P. 107. The following case in the queen's reign goes a great way:
An information was preferred in the star-chamber against Griffin and
another for erecting a tenement in Hog-lane, which he divided into
several rooms, wherein were inhabiting two poor tenants, that only
lived and were maintained by the relief of their neighbours, etc. The
attorney-general, and also the lord mayor and aldermen, prayed some
condign punishment on Griffin and the other, and that the court would
be pleased to set down and decree some general order in this and other
like cases of new building and division of tenements. Whereupon the
court, generally considering the great growing evils and
inconveniences that continually breed and happen by this new erected
building and divisions made and divided contrary to her majesty's said
proclamation, commit the offenders to the Fleet, and fine them £20
each; but considering that if the houses be pulled down, other
habitations must be found, did not, as requested, order this to be
done for the present, but that the tenants should continue for their
lives without payment of rent, and the landlord is directed not to
molest them, and after the death or departure of the tenants the
houses to be pulled down. Harl. MSS. N. 299, fol. 7.

[62] Harl. MSS. p. 142, etc. It appears that the court of star-chamber
could not sentence to punishment on the deposition of an eye-witness
(Rushw. Abr. ii. 114): a rule which did not prevent their receiving
the most imperfect and inconclusive testimony.

[63] P. 36, 224. Instead of "the slavish punishment of whipping," the
printed book has "the slavish speech of whispering," which of course
entirely alters the sense, or rather makes nonsense. I have followed a
MS. in the Museum (Hargrave, N. 250), which agrees with the abstract
of this treatise by Rushworth, ii. 348.

[64] Vallenger, author of seditious libels, was sentenced in the
queen's reign to stand twice in the pillory, and lose both his ears.
Harl. MSS. 6265, fol. 373. So also the conspirators who accused
Archbishop Sandys of adultery. _Id._ 376. And Mr. Pound, a Roman
catholic gentleman, who had suffered much before for his religion, was
sentenced by that court, in 1603, to lose both his ears, to be fined
£1000, and imprisoned for life, unless he declared who instigated him
to charge Serjeant Philips with injustice in condemning a neighbour of
his to death. Winwood, ii. 36.

[65] The scarcity must have been very great this season (1631), for he
refused £2 18_s._ for the quarter of rye. Rushworth, ii. 110.

[66] Rushworth, 340. Garrard, the correspondent of Wentworth, who sent
him all London news, writes about this: "The attorney-general hath
sent to all taverns to prohibit them to dress meat; somewhat was
required of them, a halfpenny a quart for French wine, and a penny for
sack and other richer wines, for the king: the gentlemen vintners grew
sullen, and would not give it, so they are all well enough served."
_Strafford Letters_, i. 507.

[67] Hacket's _Life of Williams_; Rushworth Abr. ii. 315, _et post_;
Brodie ii. 363.

[68] Osbaldiston swore that he did not mean Laud; an undoubted

[69] Mr. Brodie (_Hist. of Brit. Emp._ vol. ii. p. 309) observes, that
he cannot find in Leighton's book (which I have never seen) the
passage constantly brought forward by Laud's apologists, wherein he is
supposed to have recommended the assassination of the bishops. He
admits, indeed, as does Harris, that the book was violent; but what
can be said of the punishment?

[70] Rushworth; _State Trials_.

[71] _Id._ Whitelock, p. 18; Harris's _Life of Charles_, p. 262. The
unfortunate words in the index, "Women actors notorious whores," cost
Prynne half his ears; the remainder he saved by the hangman's mercy
for a second harvest. When he was brought again before the
star-chamber, some of the lords turned up his hair, and expressed
great indignation that his ears had not been better cropped. _State
Trials_, 717. The most brutal and servile of these courtiers seems to
have been the Earl of Dorset, though Clarendon speaks well of him. He
was also impudently corrupt, declaring that he thought it no crime for
a courtier that lives at great expense in his attendance, to receive a
reward to get a business done by a great man in favour. Rush. Abr. ii.
246. It is to be observed that the star-chamber tribunal was almost as
infamous for its partiality and corruption as its cruelty. See proofs
of this in the same work. P. 241.

[72] The intimidation was so great, that no counsel dared to sign
Prynne's plea; yet the court refused to receive it without such
signature. Rushworth, ii. 277; _Strafford Letters_, ii. 74.

[73] _Id._ 85; Rushw. 295; _State Trials_. Clarendon, who speaks in a
very unbecoming manner of this sentence, admits that it excited
general disapprobation. P. 73.

[74] Laud's character is justly and fairly drawn by May, neither in
the coarse caricature style of Prynne, nor with the absurdly
flattering pencil of Clarendon. "The Archbishop of Canterbury was a
main agent in this fatal work; a man vigilant enough, of an active or
rather of a restless mind; more ambitious to undertake than politic to
carry on; of a disposition too fierce and cruel for his coat; which
notwithstanding he was so far from concealing in a subtle way, that he
increased the envy of it by insolence. He had few vulgar and private
vices, as being neither taxed of covetousness, intemperance, or
incontinence; and in a word a man not altogether so bad in his
personal character, as unfit for the state of England." _Hist. of
Parliament_, 19.

[75] The following entry appears in Laud's Diary (March 6, 1636):
"Sunday, William Juxon, lord bishop of London, made lord
high-treasurer of England: no churchman had it since Hen. VII.'s time.
I pray God bless him to carry it so that the church may have honour,
and the king and the state service and contentment by it. And now, if
the church will not hold themselves up under God, I can do no more."

Those who were far from puritanism could not digest this strange
elevation. James Howell writes to Wentworth: "The news that keeps
greatest noise here at this present, is that there is a new
lord-treasurer; and it is news indeed, it being now twice time out of
mind since the white robe and the white staff marched together; we
begin to live here in the church triumphant; and there wants but one
more to keep the king's conscience, which is more proper for a
churchman than his coin, to make it triumvirate." _Straff. Letters_,
i. 522. Garrard, another correspondent expresses his surprise, and
thinks Strafford himself, or Cottington, would have done better. P.
523. And afterwards (vol. ii. p. 2), "The clergy are so high here
since the joining of the white sleeves with the white staff, that
there is much talk of having as secretary a bishop, Dr. Wren, Bishop
of Norwich, and as chancellor of the exchequer, Dr. Bancroft, Bishop
of Oxford; but this comes only from the young fry of the clergy;
little credit is given to it, but it is observed, they swarm mightily
about the court." The tone of these letters shows that the writer
suspected that Wentworth would not be well pleased at seeing a
churchman set over his head. But in several of his own letters he
positively declares his aversion to the office, and perhaps with
sincerity. Ambition was less predominant in his mind than pride, and
impatience of opposition. He knew, that as lord-treasurer he would be
perpetually thwarted and undermined by Cottington and others of the
council. They, on the other hand, must have dreaded that such a
colleague might become their master. Laud himself, in his
correspondence with Strafford, never throws out the least hint of a
wish that he should succeed Weston, which would have interfered with
his own views.

It must be added that Juxon redeemed the scandal of his appointment by
an unblemished probity, and gave so little offence in this invidious
greatness, that the long parliament never attacked him, and he
remained in his palace at Fulham without molestation till 1647.

[76] _Strafford's Letters_, i. 33, etc. The letters of Wentworth in
this period of his life show a good deal of ambition and resentment,
but no great portion of public spirit. This collection of the
Strafford letters forms a very important portion of our historical
documents. Hume had looked at them very superficially, and quotes them
but twice. They furnished materials to Harris and Macaulay; but the
first is little read at present, and the second not at all. In a
recent and deservedly popular publication, Macdiarmid's _Lives of
British Statesmen_, the work of a young man of letters, who did not
live to struggle through the distresses of that profession, the
character of Strafford is drawn from the best authorities, and with
abundant, perhaps excessive candour. Mr. Brodie has well pointed out
that he has obtained more credit for the early period of his
parliamentary life than he deserves, by being confounded with Mr.
Wentworth, member for Oxford. Vol. ii. p. 249. Rushworth has even
ascribed to Sir Thomas Wentworth the speeches of this Mr. Wentworth in
the second parliament of Charles, from which it is notorious that the
former had been excluded.

[77] Hacket tells us, in his elegant style, that "Sir John Eliot of
the west, and Sir Thomas Wentworth of the north, both in the prime of
their age and wits, both conspicuous for able speakers, clashed so
often in the house, and cudgelled one another with such strong
contradictions, that it grew from an emulation between them to an
enmity. The lord-treasurer Weston picked out the northern cock, Sir
Thomas, to make him the king's creature, and set him upon the first
step of his rising; which was wormwood in the taste of Eliot, who
revenged himself upon the king in the Bill of Tonnage, and then fell
upon the treasurer, and declaimed against him, that he was the author
of all the evils under which the kingdom was oppressed." He proceeds
to inform us, that Bishop Williams offered to bring Eliot over, for
which Wentworth never forgave him. _Life of Williams_, p. 82. The
magnanimous fortitude of Eliot forbids us to give credit to any
surmise unfavourable to his glory, upon such indifferent authority;
but several passages in Wentworth's letters to Laud show his malice
towards one who had perished in the great cause which he had so basely

[78] Wentworth was brought over before the assassination of
Buckingham. His patent in Rymer bears date 22nd July 1628, a month
previous to that event.

[79] Fourth Inst. c. 49. See also 13 Reports, 31.

[80] Rymer, xix. 9; Rushworth, ii. 127.

[81] Rushworth; Strafford's Trial, etc.; Brodie, ii. 319; _Straff.
Letters_, i. 145. In a letter to Lord Doncaster, pressing for a severe
sentence on Foulis, who had been guilty of some disrespect to himself
as president of the North, Wentworth shows his abhorrence of liberty
with all the bitterness of a renegado; and urges the "seasonable
correcting an humour and liberty I find reign in these parts, of
observing a superior command no farther than they like themselves, and
of questioning any profit of the Crown, called upon by his majesty's
ministers, which might enable it to subsist of itself, without being
necessitated to accept of such conditions, as others might easily
think to impose upon it." Sept. 1632. _Somers Tracts_, iv. 198.

[82] Rushworth Abr. iii. 85; Clarendon, i. 390 (1826). The original
editors left out some words which brought this home to Strafford. And
if the case was as there seems every reason to believe, I would ask
those who talk of this man's innocence, whether in any civilised
country, a more outrageous piece of tyranny has been committed by a
governor than to compel a nobleman of the highest station to change
the disposition of his private estate, because that governor carried
on an adulterous intercourse with the daughter-in-law of the person
whom he treated thus imperiously?

[83] _Clarendon Papers_, i. 449, 543, 594; Rushworth Abridg. iii. 43;
_Clar. Hist._ i. 386 (1826); _Strafford Letters_, i. 497, _et post_.
This proceeding against Lord Mountnorris excited much dissatisfaction
in England; those of the council who disliked Strafford making it a
pretext to inveigh against his arrogance. But the king, invariably on
the severe and arbitrary side, justified the measure, which silenced
the courtiers. P. 512. Be it added, that the virtuous Charles took a
bribe of £6000 for bestowing Mountnorris's office on Sir Adam Loftus,
not out of distress through the parsimony of parliament, but to
purchase an estate in Scotland. _Id._ 511.

Hume, in extenuating the conduct of Strafford as to Mountnorris's
trial, says, that, "_sensible of the iniquity of the sentence_, he
procured his majesty's free pardon to Mountnorris." There is not the
slightest evidence to warrant the words in italics; on the contrary,
he always justified the sentence, and had most manifestly procured it.
The king, in return to a moving petition of Lady Mountnorris,
permitted his release from confinement, "on making such a submission
as my lord-deputy shall approve."

[84] _Strafford Letters_, i. 111.

[85] P. 155.

[86] _Strafford Letters_, p. 329. In other letters they complain of
what they call the Lady Mora, which seems to be a cant word for the
inefficient system of the rest of the council, unless it is a personal
nickname for Weston.

[87] The bishops, before the Reformation, issued process from their
courts in their own names. By the statute of 1 Edw. VI. c. 2, all
ecclesiastical jurisdiction is declared to be immediately from the
Crown; and it is directed that persons exercising it shall use the
king's arms in their seal, and no other. This was repealed under Mary;
but her act is itself repealed by 1 Jac. I. c. 25, § 48. This seems to
revive the act of Edward. The spiritual courts, however, continued to
issue process in the bishop's name, and with his seal. On some
difficulty being made concerning this, it was referred by the
star-chamber to the twelve judges, who gave it under their hands that
the statute of Edward was repealed, and that the practice of the
ecclesiastical courts in this respect was agreeable to law. Neal, 589;
Kennet, 92; Rushw. Abr. iii. 340. Whitelock says (p. 22), that the
bishops all denied that they held their jurisdiction from the king,
for which they were liable to heavy penalties. This question is of
little consequence; for it is still true that ecclesiastical
jurisdiction, according to the law, emanates from the Crown; nor does
anything turn on the issuing of process in the bishop's name, any more
than on the holding courts-baron in the name of the lord. In Ireland,
unless I am mistaken, the king's name is used in ecclesiastical
proceedings. Laud, in his famous speech in the star-chamber, 1637, and
again on his trial, asserts episcopal jurisdiction (except what is
called in foro contentioso) to be of divine right; a doctrine not
easily reconcilable with the Crown's supremacy over _all_ causes under
the statute of Elizabeth; since any spiritual censure may be annulled
by a lay tribunal, the commission of delegates; and how this can be
compatible with a divine authority in the bishop to pronounce it,
seems not easy to prove. Laud, I have no doubt, would have put an end
to this badge of subordination to the Crown. The judges in Cawdrey's
Case (5 Reports) held a very different language; nor would Elizabeth
have borne this assumption of the prelates as tamely as Charles, in
his poor-spirited bigotry, seems to have done. Stillingfleet, though
he disputes at great length the doctrine of Lord Coke, in his fifth
Report, as to the extent of the royal supremacy before the first of
Elizabeth, fully admits that since the statute of that year, the
authority for keeping courts, in whose name soever they may be held,
is derived from the king. Vol. iii. 768, 778.

This arrogant contempt of the lawyers manifested by Laud and his
faction of priests led to the ruin of the great churchmen and of the
church itself--by the hands, chiefly, of that powerful body they had
insulted, as Clarendon has justly remarked.

[88] P. 111.

[89] P. 173.

[90] P. 129.

[91] P. 201. See also p. 223.

[92] Vol. ii. p. 100.

[93] _Id._ ii. 136.

[94] P. 138.

[95] P. 158.

[96] P. 178.

[97] P. 60.

[98] Vol. i. p. 420.

[99] P. 246; see also p. 370.

[100] The unfavourable physiognomy of Strafford is noticed by writers
of that time. _Somers Tracts_, iv. 231. It did not prevent him from
being admired by the fair sex, especially at his trial, where, May
says, they were all on his side. The portraits by Vandyke at Wentworth
and Petworth are well known; the latter appears eminently

[101] See the cases of Workman, Peter Smart, etc., in the common
histories: Rushworth, Rapin, Neal, Macauley, Brodie, and even Hume, on
one side; and for what can be said on the other, Collier, and Laud's
own defence on his trial. A number of persons, doubtless inclining to
the puritan side, had raised a sum of money to buy up impropriations,
which they vested in trustees for the purpose of supporting lecturers;
a class of ministers to whom Laud was very averse. He caused the
parties to be summoned before the star-chamber, where their
association was dissolved, and the impropriations already purchased
were confiscated to the Crown. Rushworth Abr. ii. 17; Neal, i. 556.

[102] This originated in an order made at the Somerset assizes by
Chief Justice Richardson, at the request of the justices of peace, for
suppressing these feasts, which had led to much disorder and
profaneness. Laud made the privy council reprove the judge, and direct
him to revoke the order. Kennet, p. 71; Rushw. Abr. ii. 166. Heylin
says, the gentlemen of the county were against Richardson's order,
which is one of his habitual falsehoods. See Rushw. Abr. ii. 167. I
must add, however, that the proclamation was perfectly legal, and
according to the spirit of the late act (1 Car. I. c. 1) for the
observance of the Lord's day. It has been rather misrepresented by
those who have not attended to its limitations, as Neal and Mr.
Brodie. Dr. Lingard, ix. 422, has stated the matter rightly.

[103] Neal, 569; Rushworth Abr. ii. 166; Collier, 758; Heylin's _Life
of Laud_, 241, 290. The last writer extenuates the persecution by
Wren; but it is evident by his own account that no suspension or
censure was taken off till the party conformed and read the

[104] Neal, p. 546. I do not know how he makes his computation.

[105] A proclamation, dated May 1, 1638, reciting that the king was
informed that many persons went yearly to New England in order to be
out of the reach of ecclesiastical authority, commands that no one
shall pass without a licence, and a testimonial of conformity from the
minister of his parish. Rymer, xx. 223. Laud, in a letter to Strafford
(ii. 169), complains of men running to New England, when there was a
want of them in Ireland. And why did they so, but that any trackless
wilderness seemed better than his own or his friend's tyranny? In this
letter he laments that he is left alone in the envious and thorny part
of the work, and has no encouragement.

[106] In thirteen years, ending with 1640, but £4080 was levied on
recusants by process from the exchequer, according to Commons'
Journals, 1 Dec. 1640. But it cannot be denied that they paid
considerable sums by way of composition, though less probably than in
former times. Lingard, ix. 424, etc., note G. Weston is said by
Clarendon to have offended the catholics by enforcing penalties to
raise the revenue. One priest only was executed for religion, before
the meeting of the long parliament. Butler, iv. 97. And though, for
the sake of appearance, proclamations for arresting priests and
recusants sometimes came forth, they were always discharged in a short
time. The number pardoned in the first sixteen years of the king is
said to have amounted, in twenty-nine counties only, to 11,970. Neal,
604. Clarendon, i. 261, confirms the systematic indulgence shown to
catholics, which Dr. Lingard seems, reluctantly and by silence, to

[107] Strafford Letters, i. 505, 524; ii. 2, 57.

[108] Heylin, 286. The very day of Abbot's death, an offer of a
cardinal's hat was made to Laud, as he tell us in his Diary, "by one
that avowed ability to perform it." This was repeated some days
afterwards (Aug. 4th and 17th, 1633). It seems very questionable
whether this came from authority. The new primate made a strange
answer to the first application, which might well encourage a second;
certainly not what might have been expected from a steady protestant.
If we did not read this in his own Diary, we should not believe it.
The offer at least proves that he was supposed capable of acceding to

[109] _Clarendon State Papers_, ii. 44. It is always important to
distinguish dates. By the year 1639, the court of Rome had seen the
fallacy of those hopes she had previously been led to entertain, that
the king and church of England would return to her fold. This might
exasperate her against him, as it certainly did against Laud; besides
which, I should suspect the influence of Spain in the conclave.

[110] Proofs of this abound in the first volume of the collection just
quoted, as well as in other books. The catholics were not indeed
unanimous in the view they took of the king's prerogative, which
became of importance in the controversy as to the oath of allegiance;
one party maintaining that the king had a right to put his own
explanation on that oath, which was more to be regarded than the sense
of parliament; while another denied that they could conscientiously
admit the king's interpretation against what they knew to have been
the intention of the legislature who imposed it. A Mr. Courtney, who
had written on the latter side, was imprisoned in the Tower, on
pretext of recusancy, but really for having promulgated so obnoxious
an opinion. P. 258, _et alibi_; _Memoirs of Panzani_, p. 140. The
jesuits were much against the oath, and, from whatever cause, threw
all the obstacles they could in the way of a good understanding
between the king and the pope. One reason was their apprehension that
an article of the treaty would be the appointment of a catholic bishop
in England; a matter about which the members of that church have been
quarrelling ever since the reign of Elizabeth, but too trifling for
our notice in this place. More than half Panzani's _Memoirs_ relate to

[111] _Id._ p. 207. This is a statement by Father Leander; in another
place (p. 140), they are reckoned at 360. There were about 180 other
regulars, and five or six hundred secular priests.

[112] Kennet, 73; Harris's _Life of Charles_, 220; Collier, 772;
Brodie, ii. 224 note; Neal, p. 572, etc. Laud, in his defence at his
trial, denies or extenuates some of the charges. There is, however,
full proof of all that I have said in my text. The famous consecration
of St. Catharine's Creed church in 1631 is mentioned by Rushworth,
Welwood, and others. Laud said in his defence, that he borrowed the
ceremonies from Andrews, who had found them in some old liturgy.

[113] In Bishop Andrews's answer to Bellarmine, he says: Præsentiam
credimus non minus quam vos veram; de modo præsentiæ nil temere
definimus. And soon afterwards: Nobis vobiscum de objecto convenit, de
modo lis omnis est. De hoc est, fide firmâ tenemus quod sit, de hoc
modo est, ut sit Per, sive In, sive Cum, sive Sub, sive Trans, nullum
inibi verbum est. I quote from Casaubon's _Epistles_, p. 393. This is,
reduced to plain terms: We fully agree with you that Christ's body is
actually present in the sacramental elements, in the same sense as you
use the word; but we see no cause for determining the precise mode,
whether by transubstantiation or otherwise.

The doctrine of the church of England, as evidenced by its leading
ecclesiastics, underwent a change in the reign of James through
Andrews, Casaubon, and others, who deferred wholly to antiquity. In
fact, as I have elsewhere observed, there can be but two opinions,
neglecting subordinate differences, on this famous controversy. It is
clear to those who have attended to the subject, that the Anglican
reformers did not hold a local presence of Christ's human body in the
consecrated bread itself, independent of the communicant, or, as the
technical phrase was, extra usum: and it is also clear, that the
divines of the latter school did so. This question is rendered
intricate at first sight, partly by the strong figurative language
which the early reformers employed in order to avoid shocking the
prejudices of the people; and partly by the incautious and even absurd
use of the word _real presence_ to mean _real absence_; which is
common with modern theologians.

[114] Heylin's _Life of Laud_, p. 212. He probably imbibed this, like
many other of his prejudices, from Bishop Andrews, whose epitaph in
the church of St. Saviour's in Southwark speaks of him as having
received a superior reward in heaven on account of his celibacy;
coelebs migravit ad aureolam coelestem. _Biog. Britannica._
Aureola, a word of no classical authority, means, in the style of
popish divinity, which the author of this epitaph thought fit to
employ, the crown of virginity. See Du Cange _in voc._

[115] See "Life of Hammond," in Wordsworth's _Eccles. Biography_, vol.
v. 343. It had been usual to study divinity in compendiums, chiefly
drawn up in the sixteenth century. King James was a great favourer of
antiquity, and prescribed the study of the fathers in his Instructions
to the Universities in 1616.

[116] Andrews gave scandal in the queen's reign by preaching at court,
"that contrition, without confession and absolution and deeds worthy
of repentance, was not sufficient; that the ministers had the two keys
of power and knowledge delivered unto them; that whose sins soever
they remitted upon earth, should be remitted in heaven.--The court is
full of it, for such doctrine was not usually taught there." _Sidney
Letters_, ii. 185. Harrington also censures him for an attempt to
bring in auricular confession. _Nugæ Antiquæ_, ii. 192. In his own
writings against Perron, he throws away a great part of what have
always been considered the protestant doctrines.

[117] Hall, Bishop of Exeter, a very considerable person, wrote a
treatise on the _Divine Institution of Episcopacy_, which, according
to an analysis given by Heylin and others of its leading positions, is
so much in the teeth of Hooker's _Ecclesiastical Polity_, that it
might pass for an answer to it. Yet it did not quite come up to the
primate's standard, who made him alter some passages which looked too
like concessions. Heylin's _Life of Laud_, 374; Collier, 789. One of
his offences was the asserting the pope to be Antichrist, which
displeased the king as well as primate, though it had been orthodox
under James.

[118] Collier, 764; Neal, 582; Heylin, 288.

[119] Collier, 753; Heylin, 260.

[120] Clarendon, iii. 366; _State Papers_, i. 338. "Lord Scudamore,
the English ambassador, set up an altar, etc., in the Laudean style.
His successor, Lord Leicester, spoke to the archbishop about going to
Charenton; and telling him Lord Scudamore did never go thither, Laud
answered, 'He is the wiser.' Leicester requested his advice what he
should do, in order to sift his disposition, being himself resolved
how to behave in that matter. But the other would only say that he
left it to his discretion. Leicester says, he had many reasons to
think that for his going to Charenton the archbishop did him all the
ill offices he could to the king, representing him as a puritan, and
consequently in his method an enemy to monarchical government, though
he had not been very kind before. The said archbishop, he adds, would
not countenance Blondel's book against the usurped power of the pope."
Blencowe's _Sydney Papers_, 261.

"To think well of the reformed religion," says Northumberland, in
1640, "is enough to make the archbishop an enemy; and though he cannot
for shame do it in public, yet in private he will do Leicester all the
mischief he can." Collins's _Sydney Papers_, ii. 623.

Such was the opinion entertained of Laud, by those who could not
reasonably be called puritans, except by such as made that word a
synonym for protestant. It would be easy to add other proofs. The
prosecution in the star-chamber against Sherfield, recorder of
Salisbury, for destroying some superstitious pictures in a church, led
to a display of the aversion many of the council entertained for
popery, and their jealousy of the archbishop's bias. They were with
difficulty brought to condemn Sherfield, and passed a sentence at last
very unlike those to which they were accustomed. Rushworth; _State
Trials_. Hume misrepresents the case.

[121] Heylin's _Life of Laud_, 390.

[122] Heylin's _Life of Laud_, 388. The passage is very remarkable,
but too long to be extracted in a work not directly ecclesiastical. It
is rather ambiguous; but the _Memoirs_ of Panzani afford the key.

[123] The Spanish ambassador applies to Windebank, 1633, to have a
case of books restored, that had been carried from the custom-house to
Archbishop Abbot.--"Now he is dead, I make this demand upon his
effects and library, that they may be restored to me; as his majesty's
order at that time was ineffectual, as well as its appearing that
there was nothing contraband or prohibited." A list of these books
follows, and is curious. They consisted of English popish tracts by
wholesale, intended, of course, for circulation. _Clar. State Papers_,

[124] _Id._ 197, etc.

[125] _Clarendon State Papers_, 249. The _Memoirs of Panzani_, after
furnishing some materials to Dodd's _Church History_, were published
by Mr. Berington, in 1794. They are, however, become scarce, and have
not been much quoted. It is plain that they were not his own work, but
written by some dependant, or person in his confidence. Their truth,
as well as authenticity, appears to me quite beyond controversy; they
coincide, in a remarkable manner, with all our other information; the
names and local details are particularly accurate for the work of a
foreigner; in short, they contain no one fact of any consequence which
there is reason to distrust. Some account of them may be found in
Butler's _Engl. Cath._ vol. iv.

A small tract, entitled "The Pope's Nuncio," printed in 1643, and said
to be founded on the information of the Venetian ambassador, is, as I
conceive, derived in some direct or indirect manner from these
_Memoirs_. It is republished in the _Somers Tracts_, vol. iv.

Mr. Butler has published, for the first time, a long and important
extract from Panzani's own reports to the pope concerning the state of
the catholic religion in England. _Mem. of Catholics_, iv. 55. He
reckons them at 150,000; many of them, however, continuing so
outwardly to live as not to be known for such, among whom are many of
the first nobility. From them the neighbouring catholics have no means
of hearing mass or going to the sacraments. Others, more bold, give
opportunity, more or less, to their poorer neighbours to practise
their duty. Besides these, there are others, who, apprehensive of
losing their property or places, live in appearance as protestants,
take the oaths of supremacy and allegiance, frequent the churches, and
speak occasionally against catholics; yet in their hearts are such,
and sometimes keep priests in their houses, that they may not be
without help, if necessary. Among them he includes some of the first
nobility, secular and ecclesiastical, and many of every rank. While he
was in London, almost all the nobility who died, though reputed
protestants, died catholics. The bishops are protestants, except four,
Durham, Salisbury, Rochester, and Oxford, who are puritans. The latter
are most numerous among the people, and are more hated by moderate
protestants than are the catholics. A great change is apparent in
books and sermons, compared with former times; auricular confession
praised, images well spoken of, and altars. The pope is owned as
patriarch of the West; and wishes are expressed for re-union. The
queen has a public chapel besides her private one, where service is
celebrated with much pomp; also the ambassadors; and there are others
in London. The laws against recusants are much relaxed; though
sometimes the king, being in want of money, takes one-third of their
incomes by way of composition. The catholics are yet molested by the
pursuivants, who enter their houses in search of priests, or sacred
vessels; and though this evil was not much felt while he was in
London, they might be set at work at any time. He determined,
therefore, to obtain, if possible, a general order from the king to
restrain the pursuivants; and the business was put into the hands of
some counsellors, but not settled at his departure. The oath of
allegiance divided the ecclesiastics, the major part refusing to take
it. After a good deal about the appointment of a catholic bishop in
England, he mentions Father Davenport or Sancta Clara's book, entitled
_Deus, Natura, Gratia_, with which the king, he says, had been
pleased, and was therefore disappointed at finding it put in the Index
Expurgatorius at Rome.--This book, which made much noise at the time,
was an attempt to show the compatibility of the Anglican doctrines
with those of the catholic church; the usual trick of popish
intriguers. See an abstract of it in Stillingfleet's Works, vol. v. p.

[126] If we may believe Heylin, the queen prevailed on Laud to use his
influence with the king that Panzani might come to London, promising
to be his friend. _Life of Laud_, 286.

[127] P. 246. It may seem extraordinary that he did not mention
Williams; but I presume he took that political bishop's zeal to be
insincere. Williams had been, while in power, a great favourer of the
toleration of papists. If, indeed, a story told of him, on Endymion
Porter's authority, in a late work, be true, he was at that time
sufficiently inclined to have accepted a cardinal's hat, and made
interest for it. Blencowe's _Sydney Papers_, p. 262. One bishop,
Goodman of Gloucester, was undoubtedly a Roman catholic, and died in
that communion. He refused, for a long time, to subscribe the canons
of 1640, on account of one that contained a renunciation of popery;
but yielded at length for fear of suspension, and charged Montagu with
having instigated his refusal, though he subscribed himself. Nalson,
i. 371; Rushw. Abr. iii. 168; Collier, 793; Laud's defence on his

[128] Henrietta Maria, in her communication to Madame de Motteville,
has the following passage, which is not undeserving of notice, though
she may have been deceived: "Le Roi Jacques ... composa deux livres
pour la défense de la fausse religion d'Angleterre, et fit réponse à
ceux que le Cardinal du Perron écrivit contre lui. En défendant le
mensonge, il conçut de l'amour pour la vérité, et souhaita de se
retirer de l'erreur. Ce fut en voulant accorder les deux religions, la
nôtre et la sienne; mais il mourut avant que d'exécuter ce louable
dessein. Le Roi Charles Stuard, son fils, quand il vint à la couronne,
se trouva presque dans les mêmes sentimens. Il avoit auprès de lui
l'archevêque de Cantorberi, qui, dans son coeur étant très-bon
catholique, inspira au roi son maître un grand désir de rétablir la
liturgie, croyant que s'il pouvoit arriver à ce point, il y auroit si
peu de différence de la foi orthodoxe à la leur, qu'il seroit aisé peu
à peu d'y conduire le roi. Pour travailler à ce grand ouvrage, que ne
paroissoit au roi d'Angleterre que le rétablissement parfait de la
liturgie, et qui est le seul dessein qui ait été dans le coeur de ce
prince, l'archevêque de Cantorberi lui conseilla de commencer par
l'Ecosse, comme plus éloignée du coeur du royaume; lui disant, que
leur remuement seroit moins à craindre. Le roi, avant que de partir,
voulant envoyer cette liturgie en Ecosse, l'apporta un soir dans la
chambre de la reine, et la pria de lire ce livre, lui disant, qu'il
seroit bien aise qu'elle le vît, afin qu'elle sût combien ils
approchoient de créance." _Mém. de Motteville_, i. 242. A
well-informed writer, however, says Charles was a protestant, and
never liked the catholic religion. P. Orleans, _Révolut. d'Anglet._
iii. 35. He says the same of Laud, but refers to Vittorio Siri for an
opposite story.

[129] Cardinal Barberini wrote word to Panzani, that the proposal of
Windebank, that the church of Rome should sacrifice communion in one
kind, the celibacy of the clergy, etc., would never please; that the
English ought to look back on the breach they had made, and their
motives for it, and that the whole world was against them on the
first-mentioned points. P. 173. This is exactly what any one might
predict, who knew the long discussions on the subject with Austria and
France at the time of the council of Trent.

[130] "Begets more malice" is obscure--perhaps it means "irritates the
puritans more." _Clar. Papers_, ii. 44.

[131] Heylin, p. 338; Laud's Diary, Oct. 1637; _Strafford Letters_, i.
426. Garrard, a dependent friend whom Strafford retained, as was usual
with great men, to communicate the news of the court, frequently
descants on the excessive boldness of the papists. "Laud," he says
(vol. ii. p. 74), "does all he can to beat down the general fear
conceived of bringing on popery." So in p. 165 and many other places.

It is manifest, by a letter of Laud to Strafford in 1638, that he was
not satisfied with the systematic connivance at recusancy. _Id._ 171.
The explanation of the archbishop's conduct with respect to the Roman
catholics seems to be, that, with a view of gaining them over to his
own half-way protestantism, and also ingratiating himself with the
queen, he had for a time gone along with the tide, till he found there
was a real danger of being carried farther than he intended. This
accounts for the well-known story told by Evelyn, that the jesuits at
Rome spoke of him as their bitterest enemy. He is reported to have
said, that they and the puritans were the chief obstacles to a
re-union of the churches. There is an obscure story of a plot carried
on by the pope's legate Con and the English jesuits against Laud, and
detected in 1640 by one Andrew Habernfield, which some have treated as
a mere fiction. Rushworth, iii. 232.

[132] Heylin, in his _Life of Laud_, p. 340, tells this story, as if
Hales had recanted his opinions, and owned Laud's superiority over him
in argument. This is ludicrous, considering the relative abilities of
the two men. And Hales's letter to the archbishop, which is full as
bold as his treatise on schism, proves that Heylin's narrative is one
of his many wilful falsehoods; for, by making himself a witness to the
pretended circumstances, he has precluded the excuse of error.

[133] It appears by the late edition at Oxford (1826) that Lord
Clarendon twice altered his intention as to the nature of his work,
having originally designed to write the history of his time, which he
changed to memorials of his own life, and again returned to his first
plan. The consequence has been, that there are two manuscripts of the
_History_ and of the _Life_, which in a great degree are transcripts
one from the other, or contain the same general fact with variations.
That part of the _Life_, previous to 1660, which is not inserted in
the _History of the Rebellion_, is by no means extensive.

The genuine text of the _History_ has only been published in 1826. A
story, as is well known, obtained circulation within thirty years
after its first appearance, that the manuscript had been materially
altered or interpolated. This was positively denied, and supposed to
be wholly disproved. It turns out, however, that, like many other
anecdotes, it had a considerable basis of truth, though with various
erroneous additions, and probably wilful misrepresentations. It is
nevertheless surprising that the worthy editor of the original
manuscript should say, "that the genuineness of the work has rashly,
and for party purposes, been called in question;" when no one, I
believe, has ever disputed its genuineness; and the anecdote to which
I have alluded, and to which, no doubt, he alludes, has been by his
own industry (and many thanks we owe him for it) perfectly confirmed
in substance. For though he endeavours, not quite necessarily, to
excuse or justify the original editors (who seem to have been Sprat
and Aldrich, with the sanction probably of Lords Clarendon and
Rochester, the historian's sons), for what they did, and even
singularly asserts, that "the present collation satisfactorily proves
that they have in no one instance added, suppressed, or altered any
historical fact" (Advert. to edit. 1826, p.v.); yet it is certain
that, besides the perpetual impertinence of mending the style, there
are several hundred variations which affect the sense, introduced from
one motive or another, and directly contrary to the laws of literary
integrity. The long passages inserted in the appendixes to several
volumes of this edition contain surely historical facts that had been
suppressed. And, even with respect to subordinate alterations, made
for the purpose of softening traits of the author's angry temper, or
correcting his mistakes, the general effect of taking such liberties
with a work is to give it an undue credit in the eyes of the public,
and to induce men to believe matters upon the writer's testimony,
which they would not have done so readily, if his errors had been
fairly laid before them. Clarendon indeed is so strangely loose in
expression as well as incorrect in statement, that it would have been
impossible to remove his faults of this kind without writing again
half the history; but it is certain that great trouble was very unduly
taken to lighten their impression upon the world.

[134] _Id. ibid._

[135] May thus answers, by a sort of prophetic anticipation, this
passage of Clarendon: "Another sort of men," he says, "and especially
lords and gentlemen, by whom the pressures of the government were not
much felt, who enjoyed their own plentiful fortunes, with little or
insensible detriment, looking no farther than their present safety and
prosperity, and the yet undisturbed peace of the nation, whilst other
kingdoms were embroiled in calamities, and Germany sadly wasted by a
sharp war, did nothing but applaud the happiness of England, and
called those ungrateful factious spirits, who complained of the breach
of laws and liberties; that the kingdom abounded with wealth, plenty,
and all kinds of elegancies more than ever; that it was for the honour
of a people, that the monarch should live splendidly, and not be
curbed at all in his prerogative, which would bring him into greater
esteems with other princes, and more enable him to prevail in
treaties; that what they suffered by monopolies was insensible and not
grievous, if compared with other states; that the Duke of Tuscany sat
heavier upon his people in that very kind; that the French king had
made himself an absolute lord, and quite depressed the power of
parliaments, which had been there as great as in any kingdom, and yet
that France flourished, and the gentry lived well; that the Austrian
princes, especially in Spain, laid heavy burdens upon their subjects.
Thus did many of the English gentry, by way of comparison, in ordinary
discourse, plead for their own servitude.

"The courtiers would begin to dispute against parliaments, in their
ordinary discourse, that they were cruel to those whom the king
favoured, and too injurious to his prerogative; that the late
parliament stood upon too high terms with the king, and that they
hoped the king should never need any more parliaments. Some of the
greatest statesmen and privy-counsellors would ordinarily laugh at the
ancient language of England, when the word liberty of the subject was
named. But these gentlemen, who seemed so forward in taking up their
own yoke, were but a small part of the nation (though a number
considerable enough to make a reformation hard) compared with those
gentlemen who were sensible of their birth-rights and the true
interest of the kingdom; on which side the common people in the
generality, and the country freeholders stood, who would rationally
argue of their own rights, and those oppressions that were laid upon
them." _Hist. of Parliament_, p. 12 (edit. 1812).

[136] It is curious to contrast the inconsistent and feeble apologies
for the prerogative we read in Clarendon's _History_, with his speech
before the Lords, on impeaching the judges for their decision in the
case of ship-money. In this he speaks very strongly as to the
illegality of the proceedings of the judges in Rolls and Vassal's
cases, though in his _History_ he endeavours to insinuate that the
king had a right to tonnage and poundage; he inveighs also against the
decision in Bates's case, which he vindicates in his _History_.
_Somers Tracts_, iv. 302. Indeed the whole speech is irreconcilable
with the picture he afterwards drew of the prosperity of England, and
of the unreasonableness of discontent.

The fact is, that when he sat down in Jersey to begin his _History_,
irritated, disappointed, afflicted at all that had passed in the last
five years, he could not bring his mind back to the state in which it
had been at the meeting of the long parliament; and believed himself
to have partaken far less in the sense of abuses and desire to redress
than he had really done. There may, however, be reason to suspect that
he had, in some respects, gone farther in the first draught of his
_History_ than appears at present; that is, I conceive, that he erased
himself some passages or phrases unfavourable to the court. Let the
reader judge from the following sentence in a letter to Nicholas
relating to his work, dated Feb. 12, 1647: "I will offer no excuse for
the entertaining of Con, who came after Panzani, and was succeeded by
Rosetti; which was a business of so much folly, or worse, that I have
mentioned it in my prolegomena (of those distempers and exorbitances
in government which prepared the people to submit to the fury of this
parliament), as an offence and scandal to religion, in the same degree
that ship-money was to liberty and property." _State Papers_, ii. 336.
But when we turn to the passage in the _History of the Rebellion_, p.
268, where this is mentioned, we do not find a single expression
reflecting on the court, though the catholics themselves are censured
for imprudence. This may serve to account for several of Clarendon's
inconsistencies; for nothing renders an author so inconsistent with
himself, as corrections made in a different temper of mind from that
which actuated him in the first composition.

[137] _Strafford Letters_, ii. 186.

[138] _Id._ 267.

[139] _Id._ 191.

[140] _Id._ ii. 250. "It was ever clear in my judgment," says
Strafford, "that the business of Scotland, so well laid, so pleasing
to God and man, had it been effected, was miserably lost in the
execution; yet it could never have so fatally miscarried, if there had
not been a failure likewise in this direction, occasioned either by
over-great desires to do all quietly without noise, by the state of
the business misrepresented, by opportunities and seasons slipped, or
by some such like." Laud answers in the same strain: "Indeed, my lord,
the business of Scotland, I can be bold to say without vanity, was
well laid, and was a great service to the crown as well as to God
himself. And that it should so fatally fail in the execution is a
great blow as well to the power as honour of the king," etc. He lays
the blame in a great degree on Lord Traquair. P. 264.

[141] _Clarendon State Papers_, ii. 19.

[142] _Id._ ii. 84, and Appendix xxvi.

[143] Hume says that Charles had an accumulated treasure of £200,000
at this time. I know not his authority for the particular sum: but
Clarendon pretends that "the revenue had been so well improved, and so
wisely managed, that there was money in the exchequer proportionable
for the undertaking any noble enterprise." This is, at the best,
strangely hyperbolical; but, in fact, there was an absolute want of
everything. Ship-money would have been a still more crying sin than it
was, if the produce had gone beyond the demands of the state; nor was
this ever imputed to the court. This is one of Lord Clarendon's
capital mistakes; for it leads him to speak of the treaty of Berwick
as a measure that might have been avoided, and even, in one place, to
ascribe it to the king's excessive lenity and aversion to shedding
blood; wherein a herd of superficial writers have followed him.

[144] _Clarendon State Papers_, ii. 46, 54. Lest it should seem
extraordinary that I sometimes contradict Lord Clarendon on the
authority of his own collection of papers, it may be necessary to
apprise the reader, that none of these, anterior to the civil war, had
come in his possession till he had written this part of his _History_.

[145] The grand jury of Northampton presented ship-money as a
grievance. But the privy-council wrote to the sheriff, that they would
not admit his affected excuses; and if he neglected to execute the
writ, a quick and exemplary reparation would be required of him.
Rushw. Abr. iii. 93.

[146] _Id._ 47. The king writes in the margin of Windebank's letter,
informing him of Seymour's refusal: "You must needs make him an
example, not only by distress, but, if it be possible, an information
in some court, as Mr. Attorney shall advise."

[147] _Strafford Letters_, ii. 308.

[148] "The king hath so rattled my lord-keeper, that he is now the
most pliable man in England, and all thoughts of parliaments are quite
out of his pate." Cottington to Strafford, 29th Oct. 1633, vol. i. p.

[149] Vol. ii. p. 246. "So by this time," says a powerful writer, "all
thoughts of ever having a parliament again was quite banished; so many
oppressions had been set on foot, so many illegal actions done, that
the only way to justify the mischiefs already done was to do that one
greater; to take away the means which were ordained to redress them,
the lawful government of England by parliaments." May, _History of
Parliaments_, p. 11.

[150] _Sidney Papers_, ii. 623; _Clarendon Papers_, ii. 81.

[151] _Id. Ibid._ The attentive reader will not fail to observe,
that this is the identical language of the famous advice imputed to
Strafford, though used on another occasion.

[152] May; Clarendon. The latter says, upon the dissolution of this
parliament: "It could never be hoped that so many sober and
dispassionate men would ever meet again in that place, or fewer who
brought ill purposes with them." This, like so many other passages in
the noble historian, is calculated rather to mislead the reader. All
the principal men who headed the popular party in the long parliament
were members of this; and the whole body, so far as their subsequent
conduct shows, was not at all constituted of different elements from
the rest: for I find, by comparison of the list of this parliament, in
Nalson's Collections, with that of the long parliament, in the
_Parliamentary History_, that eighty, at most, who had not sat in the
former, took the covenant; and that seventy-three, in the same
circumstances, sat in the king's convention at Oxford. The difference,
therefore, was not so much in the men, as in the times; the bad
administration and bad success of 1640, as well as the dissolution of
the short parliament, having greatly aggravated the public

The court had never augured well of this parliament. "The elections,"
as Lord Northumberland writes to Lord Leicester at Paris (_Sidney
Papers_, ii. 641), "that are generally made of knights and burgesses
in this kingdom, give us cause to fear that the parliament will not
sit long; for such as have dependence upon the court are in divers
places refused, and the most refractory persons chosen."

There are some strange things said by Clarendon of the ignorance of
the Commons as to the value of twelve subsidies, which Hume, who loves
to depreciate the knowledge of former times, implicitly copies. But
they cannot be true of that enlightened body, whatever blunders one or
two individuals might commit. The rate at which every man's estate was
assessed to a subsidy was perfectly notorious; and the burden of
twelve subsidies to be paid in three years, was more than the charge
of ship-money they had been enduring.

[153] Journals; _Parl. Hist._; Nalson; Clarendon.

[154] The king had long before said that "parliaments are like cats;
they grow curst with age."

[155] See Mr. Waller's speech on Crawley's impeachment. Nalson, ii.

[156] _Mem. de Motteville_, i. 238-278; P. Orleans, _Rev. de
l'Angleterre_, tome iii., says the same of Vane; but his testimony may
resolve itself into the former. It is to be observed, that ship-money
which the king offered to relinquish, brought in £200,000 a year, and
that the proposed twelve subsidies would have amounted, at most, to
£840,000, to be paid in three years. Is it surprising that, when the
house displayed an intention not to grant the whole of this, as
appears by Clarendon's own story, the king and his advisers should
have thought it better to break off altogether? I see no reason for
imputing treachery to Vane, even if he did not act merely by the
king's direction. Clarendon says he and Herbert persuaded the king
that the house "would pass such a vote against ship-money as would
blast that revenue and other branches of the receipt; which others
believed they would not have the confidence to have attempted, and
very few that they would have had the credit to have compassed." P.
245. The word _they_ is as inaccurate, as is commonly the case with
this writer's language. But does he mean that the house would not have
passed a vote against ship-money? They had already entered on the
subject, and sent for records; and he admits himself, that they were
resolute against granting subsidies as a consideration for the
abandonment of that grievance. Besides, Hyde himself not only inveighs
most severely in his _History_ against ship-money, but was himself one
of the managers of the impeachment against six judges for their
conduct in regard to it; and his speech before the House of Lords on
that occasion is extant. Rushw. Abr. ii. 477. But this is merely one
instance of his eternal inconsistency.

[157] _Parl. Hist._; Rushworth; Nalson.

[158] June 4, 1640. _Sidney Papers_, ii. 654.

[159] A late writer has spoken of this celebrated letter, as resting
on very questionable authority. Lingard, x. 43. It is, however,
mentioned as a known fact by several contemporary writers, and
particularly by the Earl of Manchester, in his unpublished Memorials,
from which Nalson has made extracts; and who could neither be
mistaken, nor have any apparent motive, in this private narrative, to
deceive. Nalson, ii. 427.

[160] Rymer, xx. 432; Rushworth Abr. iii. 163, etc.; Nalson, i. 389,

[161] Lord Clarendon seems not to have well understood the secret of
this Great Council, and supposes it to have been suggested by those
who wished for a parliament; whereas the _Hardwicke Papers_ show the
contrary. P. 116 and 118. His notions about the facility of composing
the public discontent are strangely mistaken: "Without doubt," he
says, "that fire at that time, which did shortly after burn the whole
kingdom, might have been covered under a bushel." But the whole of
this introductory book of his _History_ abounds with proofs that he
had partly forgotten, partly never known, the state of England before
the opening of the long parliament. In fact, the disaffection, or at
least discontent, had proceeded so far in 1640, that no human skill
could have averted a great part of the consequences. But Clarendon's
partiality to the king, and to some of his advisers, leads him to see
in every event particular causes, or an overruling destiny, rather
than the sure operation of impolicy and misgovernment.

[162] These were Hertford, Bedford, Essex, Warwick, Paget, Wharton,
Say, Brook, Kimbolton, Saville, Mulgrave, Bolingbroke. Nalson, 436,

[163] This appears from the minutes of the council (_Hardwicke
Papers_), and contradicts the common opinion. Lord Conway's disaster
at Newburn was by no means surprising; the English troops, who had
been lately pressed into service, were perfectly mutinous; some
regiments had risen and even murdered their officers on the road.
Rymer, 414, 425.



_Character of the long parliament._--We are now arrived at that
momentous period in our history, which no Englishman ever regards
without interest, and few without prejudice; the period from which the
factions of modern times trace their divergence; which, after the
lapse of almost two centuries, still calls forth the warm emotions of
party-spirit, and affords a test of political principles; at that
famous parliament, the theme of so much eulogy and of so much
reproach; that synod of inflexible patriots with some, that conclave
of traitorous rebels with others; that assembly, we may more truly
say, of unequal virtue and chequered fame, which, after having
acquired a higher claim to our gratitude, and effected more for our
liberties, than any that had gone before or that has followed, ended
by subverting the constitution it had strengthened, and by sinking in
its decrepitude, and amidst public contempt, beneath a usurper it had
blindly elevated to power. It seems agreeable to our plan, first to
bring together those admirable provisions by which this parliament
restored and consolidated the shattered fabric of our constitution,
before we advert to its measures of more equivocal benefit, or its
fatal errors; an arrangement not very remote from that of mere
chronology, since the former were chiefly completed within the first
nine months of its session, before the king's journey to Scotland in
the summer of 1641.

It must, I think, be admitted by every one who concurs in the
representation given in this work, and especially in the last chapter,
of the practical state of our government, that some new securities of
a more powerful efficacy than any which the existing laws held forth
were absolutely indispensable for the preservation of English
liberties and privileges. These, however sacred in name, however
venerable by prescription, had been so repeatedly transgressed, that
to obtain their confirmation, as had been done in the petition of
right, and that as the price of large subsidies, would but expose the
Commons to the secret derision of the court. The king, by levying
ship-money in contravention of his assent to that petition, and by
other marks of insincerity, had given too just cause for suspicion
that, though very conscientious in his way, he had a fund of casuistry
at command that would always release him from any obligation to
respect the laws. Again, to punish delinquent ministers was a
necessary piece of justice; but who could expect that any such
retribution would deter ambitious and intrepid men from the splendid
lures of power? Whoever, therefore, came to the parliament of November
1640 with serious and steady purposes for the public weal, and most, I
believe, except mere courtiers, entertained such purposes according to
the measure of their capacities and energies, must have looked to some
essential change in the balance of government, some important
limitations of royal authority, as the primary object of his

Nothing could be more obvious than that the excesses of the late
unhappy times had chiefly originated in the long intermission of
parliaments. No lawyer would have dared to suggest ship-money with the
terrors of a House of Commons before his eyes. But the king's known
resolution to govern without parliaments gave bad men more confidence
of impunity. This resolution was not likely to be shaken by the
unpalatable chastisement of his servants and redress of abuses, on
which the present parliament was about to enter. A statute as old as
the reign of Edward III. had already provided that parliaments should
be held "every year, or oftener, if need be."[164] But this enactment
had in no age been respected. It was certain that in the present
temper of the administration, a law simply enacting that the interval
between parliaments should never exceed three years, would prove
wholly ineffectual. In the famous act therefore for triennial
parliaments, the first fruits of the Commons' laudable zeal for
reformation, such provisions were introduced as grated harshly on the
ears of those who valued the royal prerogative above the liberties of
the subject, but without which the act itself might have been
dispensed with. Every parliament was to be _ipso facto_ dissolved at
the expiration of three years from the first day of its session,
unless actually sitting at the time, and, in that case, at its first
adjournment or prorogation. The chancellor or keeper of the great seal
to be sworn to issue writs for a new parliament within three years
from the dissolution of the last, under pain of disability to hold his
office, and further punishment; in case of his failure to comply with
this provision, the peers were enabled and enjoined to meet at
Westminster, and to issue writs to the sheriffs; the sheriffs
themselves, should the peers not fulfil this duty, were to cause
elections to be duly made; and, in their default, at a prescribed time
the electors themselves were to proceed to choose their
representatives. No future parliament was to be dissolved or adjourned
without its own consent, in less than fifty days from the opening of
its session. It is more reasonable to doubt whether even these
provisions would have afforded an adequate security for the periodical
assembling of parliament, whether the supine and courtier-like
character of the peers, the want of concert and energy in the electors
themselves, would not have enabled the government to set the statute
at nought, than to censure them as derogatory to the reasonable
prerogative and dignity of the Crown. To this important bill the king,
with some apparent unwillingness, gave his assent.[165] It effected,
indeed, a strange revolution in the system of his government. The
nation set a due value on this admirable statute, the passing of which
they welcomed with bonfires and every mark of joy.

After laying this solid foundation for the maintenance of such laws as
they might deem necessary, the house of commons proceeded to cut away
the more flagrant and recent usurpations of the Crown. They passed a
bill declaring ship-money illegal, and annulling the judgment of the
exchequer chamber against Mr. Hampden.[166] They put an end to another
contested prerogative, which, though incapable of vindication on any
legal authority, had more support from a usage of fourscore years, the
levying of customs on merchandise. In an act granting the king tonnage
and poundage, it is declared and enacted that it is, and hath been,
the ancient right of the subjects of this realm, that no subsidy,
custom, impost, or other charge whatsoever, ought or may be laid or
imposed upon any merchandise exported or imported by subjects,
denizens or aliens, without common consent in parliament.[167] This is
the last statute that has been found necessary to restrain the Crown
from arbitrary taxation, and may be deemed the complement of those
numerous provisions which the virtue of ancient times had extorted
from the first and third Edwards.

Yet these acts were hardly so indispensable, nor wrought so essential
a change in the character of our monarchy, as that which abolished the
star-chamber. Though it was evident how little the statute of Henry
VII. could bear out that overweening power it had since arrogated,
though the statute-book and parliamentary records of the best ages
were irrefragable testimonies against its usurpations; yet the course
of precedents under the Tudor and Stuart families were so invariable
that nothing more was at first intended than a bill to regulate that
tribunal. A suggestion, thrown out, as Clarendon informs us, by one
not at all connected with the more ardent reformers, led to the
substitution of a bill for taking it altogether away.[168] This
abrogates all exercise of jurisdiction, properly so called, whether of
a civil or criminal nature, by the privy-council, as well as the
star-chamber. The power of examining and committing persons charged
with offences is by no means taken away; but, with a retrospect to the
language held by the judges and Crown lawyers in some cases that have
been mentioned, it is enacted that every person committed by the
council or any of them, or by the king's special command, may have his
writ of habeas corpus; in the return to which, the officer in whose
custody he is shall certify the true cause of his commitment, which
the court, from whence the writ has issued, shall within three days
examine, in order to see whether the cause thus certified appear to be
just and legal or not, and do justice accordingly by delivering,
bailing, or remanding the party. Thus fell the great court of
star-chamber; and with it the whole irregular and arbitrary practice
of government, that had for several centuries so thwarted the
operation and obscured the light of our free constitution, that many
have been prone to deny the existence of those liberties which they
found so often infringed, and to mistake the violations of law for its

With the court of star-chamber perished that of the high-commission, a
younger birth of tyranny, but perhaps even more hateful, from the
peculiar irritation of the times. It had stretched its authority
beyond the tenor of the act of Elizabeth, whereby it had been created,
and which limits its competence to the correction of ecclesiastical
offences according to the known boundaries of ecclesiastical
jurisdiction, assuming a right, not only to imprison, but to fine the
laity, which was generally reckoned illegal.[169] The statute
repealing that of Elizabeth, under which the high-commission existed,
proceeds to take away from the ecclesiastical courts all power of
inflicting temporal penalties, in terms so large, and doubtless not
inadvertently employed, as to render their jurisdiction nugatory. This
part of the act was repealed after the restoration; and like the other
measures of that time, with little care to prevent the recurrence of
those abuses which had provoked its enactments.[170]

A single clause in the act that abolished the star-chamber was
sufficient to annihilate the arbitrary jurisdiction of several other
irregular tribunals, grown out of the despotic temper of the Tudor
dynasty:--the court of the president and council of the North, long
obnoxious to the common lawyers, and lately the sphere of Strafford's
tyrannical arrogance;[171] the court of the president and council of
Wales and the Welsh marches, which had pretended, as before mentioned,
to a jurisdiction over the adjacent counties of Salop, Worcester,
Hereford, and Gloucester; with those of the duchy of Lancaster and
county palatine of Chester. These, under various pretexts, had usurped
so extensive a cognisance as to deprive one-third of England of the
privileges of the common law. The jurisdiction, however, of the two
latter courts in matters touching the king's private estate has not
been taken away by the statute. Another act afforded remedy for some
abuses in the stannary-courts of Cornwall and Devon.[172] Others
retrenched the vexatious prerogative of purveyance, and took away that
of compulsory knighthood.[173] And one of greater importance put an
end to a fruitful source of oppression and complaint, by determining
for ever the extent of royal forests, according to their boundaries in
the twentieth year of James, annulling all the preambulations and
inquests by which they had subsequently been enlarged.[174]

I must here reckon, among the beneficial acts of this parliament, one
that passed some months afterwards, after the king's return from
Scotland, and perhaps the only measure of that second period on which
we can bestow unmixed commendation. The delays and uncertainties of
raising troops by voluntary enlistment, to which the temper of the
English nation, pacific though intrepid, and impatient of the strict
control of martial law, gave small encouragement, had led to the usage
of pressing soldiers for service, whether in Ireland, or on foreign
expeditions. This prerogative seeming dangerous and oppressive, as
well as of dubious legality, it is recited in the preamble of an act
empowering the king to levy troops by this compulsory method for the
special exigency of the Irish rebellion, that "by the laws of this
realm, none of his majesty's subjects ought to be impressed or
compelled to go out of his country to serve as a soldier in the wars,
except in case of necessity of the sudden coming in of strange enemies
into the kingdom, or except they be otherwise bound by the tenure of
their lands or possessions."[175] The king, in a speech from the
throne, adverted to this bill while passing through the houses, as an
invasion of his prerogative. This notice of a parliamentary proceeding
the Commons resented as a breach of their privilege; and having
obtained the consent of the Lords to a joint remonstrance, the king,
who was in no state to maintain his objection, gave his assent to the
bill. In the reigns of Elizabeth and James, we have seen frequent
instances of the Crown's interference as to matters debated in
parliament. But from the time of the long parliament, the law of
privilege, in this respect, has stood on an unshaken basis.[176]

These are the principal statutes which we owe to this parliament. They
give occasion to two remarks of no slight importance. In the first
place, it will appear, on comparing them with our ancient laws and
history, that they made scarce any material change in our constitution
such as it had been established and recognised under the house of
Plantagenet: the law for triennial parliaments even receded from those
unrepealed provisions of the reign of Edward III., that they should be
assembled annually. The court of star-chamber, if it could be said to
have a legal jurisdiction, traced it only to the Tudor period; its
recent excesses were diametrically opposed to the existing laws, and
the protestations of ancient parliaments. The court of ecclesiastical
commission was an offset of the royal supremacy, established at the
Reformation. The impositions on merchandise were both plainly illegal,
and of no long usage. That of ship-money was flagrantly, and by
universal confession, a strain of arbitrary power without pretext of
right. Thus, in by far the greater part of the enactments of 1641, the
monarchy lost nothing that it had anciently possessed; and the balance
of our constitution might seem rather to have been restored to its
former equipoise, than to have undergone any fresh change.

But those common liberties of England which our forefathers had, with
such commendable perseverance, extorted from the grasp of power,
though by no means so merely theoretical and nugatory in effect as
some would insinuate, were yet very precarious in the best periods,
neither well defined, nor exempt from anomalous exceptions, or from
occasional infringement. Some of them, such as the statute for annual
sessions of parliament, had gone into disuse. Those that were most
evident, could not be enforced; and the new tribunals that, whether by
law or usurpation, had reared their heads over the people, had made
almost all public and personal rights dependent on their arbitrary
will. It was necessary, therefore, to infuse new blood into the
languid frame, and so to renovate our ancient constitution that the
present æra should seem almost a new birth of liberty. Such was the
aim, especially, of those provisions which placed the return of
parliaments at fixed intervals beyond the power of the Crown to elude.
It was hoped that by their means, so long as a sense of public spirit
should exist in the nation (and beyond that time it is vain to think
of liberty), no prince, however able and ambitious, could be free from
restraint for more than three years; an interval too short for the
completion of arbitrary projects, and which few ministers would
venture to employ in such a manner as might expose them to the wrath
of parliament.

It is to be observed, in the second place, that by these salutary
restrictions, and some new retrenchments of pernicious or abused
prerogative, the long parliament formed our constitution such nearly
as it now exists. Laws of great importance were doubtless enacted in
subsequent times, particularly at the Revolution; but none of them,
perhaps, were strictly necessary for the preservation of our civil and
political privileges; and it is rather from 1641 than any other epoch,
that we may date their full legal establishment. That single statute
which abolished the star-chamber, gave every man a security which no
other enactments could have afforded, and which no government could
essentially impair. Though the reigns of the two latter Stuarts,
accordingly, are justly obnoxious, and were marked by several illegal
measures, yet, whether we consider the number and magnitude of their
transgressions of law, or the practical oppression of their
government, these princes fell very short of the despotism that had
been exercised, either under the Tudors, or the two first of their own

From this survey of the good works of the long parliament, we must
turn our eyes with equal indifference to the opposite picture of its
errors and offences; faults which, though the mischiefs they produced
were chiefly temporary, have yet served to obliterate from the
recollection of too many the permanent blessings we have inherited
through its exertions. In reflecting on the events which so soon
clouded a scene of glory, we ought to learn the dangers that attend
all revolutionary crises, however justifiable or necessary; and that,
even when posterity may have cause to rejoice in the ultimate result,
the existing generation are seldom compensated for their present loss
of tranquillity. The very enemies of this parliament confess that they
met in November 1640 with almost unmingled zeal for the public good,
and with loyal attachment to the Crown. They were the chosen
representatives of the commons of England, in an age more eminent for
steady and scrupulous conscientiousness in private life, than any,
perhaps, that had gone before or has followed; not the demagogues or
adventurers of transient popularity, but men well-born and wealthy,
than whom there could perhaps never be assembled five hundred more
adequate to redress the grievances, or to fix the laws of a great
nation. But they were misled by the excess of two passions, both just
and natural in the circumstances wherein they found themselves,
resentment and distrust; passions eminently contagious, and
irresistible when they seize on the zeal and credulity of a popular
assembly. The one betrayed them into a measure certainly severe and
sanguinary, and in the eyes of posterity exposed to greater reproach
than it deserved, the attainder of Lord Strafford, and some other
proceedings of too much violence; the other gave a colour to all their
resolutions, and aggravated their differences with the king till there
remained no other arbitrator but the sword.

_Impeachment of Strafford._--Those who know the conduct and character
of the Earl of Strafford, his abuse of power in the north, his far
more outrageous transgressions in Ireland, his dangerous influence
over the king's counsels, cannot hesitate to admit, if indeed they
profess any regard to the constitution of this kingdom, that to bring
so great a delinquent to justice according to the known process of law
was among the primary duties of the new parliament. It was that which
all, with scarce an exception but among his own creatures (for most of
the court were openly or in secret his enemies),[177] ardently
desired; yet which the king's favour and his own commanding genius
must have rendered a doubtful enterprise. He came to London, not
unconscious of the danger, by his master's direct injunctions. The
first days of the session were critical; and any vacillation or delay
in the Commons might probably have given time for some strong exertion
of power to frustrate their designs. We must therefore consider the
bold suggestion of Pym, to carry up to the Lords an impeachment for
high treason against Strafford, not only as a master-stroke of that
policy which is fittest for revolutions, but as justifiable by the
circumstances wherein they stood. Nothing short of a commitment to the
Tower would have broken the spell that so many years of arbitrary
dominion had been working. It was dissipated in the instant that the
people saw him in the hands of the usher of the black rod; and with
his power fell also that of his master; so that Charles, from the very
hour of Strafford's impeachment, never once ventured to resume the
high tone of command congenial to his disposition, or to speak to the
Commons but as one complaining of a superior force.[178]

_Discussion of its justice._--The articles of Strafford's impeachment
relate principally to his conduct in Ireland. For though he had begun
to act with violence in the court of York, as lord-president of the
North, and was charged with having procured a commission investing him
with exorbitant power, yet he had too soon left that sphere of
dominion for the lieutenancy of Ireland, to give any wide scope for
prosecution, but in Ireland it was sufficiently proved that he had
arrogated an authority beyond what the Crown had ever lawfully
enjoyed, and even beyond the example of former viceroys of that
island, where the disordered state of society, the frequency of
rebellions, and the distance from all control, had given rise to such
a series of arbitrary precedents, as would have almost excused any
ordinary stretch of power.[179] Notwithstanding this, however, when
the managers came to state and substantiate their articles of
accusation, though some were satisfied that there was enough to
warrant the severest judgment, yet it appeared to many dispassionate
men that, even supposing the evidence as to all of them to be legally
convincing, they could not, except through a dangerous latitude of
construction, be aggravated into treason. The law of England is silent
as to conspiracies against itself. St. John and Maynard struggled in
vain to prove that a scheme to overturn the fundamental laws and to
govern by a standing army, though as infamous as any treason, could be
brought within the words of the statute of Edward III., as a
compassing of the king's death. Nor, in fact, was there any conclusive
evidence against Strafford of such a design. The famous words imputed
to him by Sir Henry Vane, though there can be little reason to
question that some such were spoken, seem too imperfectly
reported,[180] as well as uttered too much in the heat of passion, to
furnish a substantive accusation; and I should rather found my
conviction of Strafford's systematic hostility to our fundamental laws
on his correspondence since brought to light, as well as on his
general conduct in administration, than on any overt acts proved on
his impeachment. The presumption of history, to whose mirror the
scattered rays of moral evidence converge, may be irresistible, when
the legal inference from insulated actions is not only technically,
but substantially, inconclusive. Yet we are not to suppose that the
charges against this minister appeared so evidently to fall short of
high treason, according to the apprehension of that age, as in later
times has usually been taken for granted. Accustomed to the unjust
verdicts obtained in cases of treason by the court, the statute of
Edward having been perpetually stretched by constructive
interpretations, neither the people nor the lawyers annexed a definite
sense to that crime. The judges themselves, on a solemn reference by
the House of Lords for their opinion, whether some of the articles
charged against Strafford amounted to treason, answered unanimously,
that upon all which their lordships had voted to be proved, it was
their opinion the Earl of Strafford did deserve to undergo the pains
and penalties of high treason by law.[181] And, as an apology, at
least, for this judicial opinion, it may be remarked that the
fifteenth article of the impeachment, charging him with raising money
by his own authority, and quartering troops on the people of Ireland,
in order to compel their obedience to his unlawful requisitions (upon
which, and one other article, not on the whole matter, the peers voted
him guilty), does in fact approach very nearly, if we may not say
more, to a substantive treason within the statute of Edward III., as
a levying war against the king, even without reference to some Irish
acts of parliament upon which the managers of the impeachment relied.
It cannot be extravagant to assert that if the colonel of a regiment
were to issue an order commanding the inhabitants of the district
where it is quartered to contribute certain sums of money, and were to
compel the payment by quartering troops on the houses of those who
refused, in a general and systematic manner, he would, according to a
warrantable construction of the statutes, be guilty of the treason
called levying war on the king; and that, if we could imagine him to
do this by an order from the privy council or the war office, the case
would not be at all altered. On the other hand, a single act of which
violence might be (in technical language) trespass, misdemeanour, or
felony, according to circumstances; but would want the generality,
which, as the statute has been construed, determines its character to
be treason. It is however manifest that Strafford's actual enforcement
of his order, by quartering soldiers, was not by any means proved to
be so frequently done as to bring it within the line of treason; and
the evidence is also open to every sort of legal objection. But in
that age, the rules of evidence, so scrupulously defined since, were
either very imperfectly recognised, or continually transgressed. If
then Strafford could be brought within the letter of the law, and was
also deserving of death for his misdeeds towards the commonwealth, it
might be thought enough to justify his condemnation, although he had
not offended against what seemed to be the spirit and intention of the
statute. This should, at least, restrain us from passing an
unqualified censure on those who voted against him, comprehending
undoubtedly the far more respectable portion of the Commons, though
only twenty-six peers against nineteen formed the feeble majority on
the bill of attainder.[182] It may be observed that the House of
Commons acted in one respect with a generosity which the Crown had
never shown in any case of treason, by immediately passing a bill to
relieve his children from the penalties of forfeiture and corruption
of blood.

It is undoubtedly a very important problem in political ethics,
whether great offences against the commonwealth may not justly incur
the penalty of death by a retrospective act of the legislature, which
a tribunal restrained by known laws is not competent to inflict. Bills
of attainder had been by no means uncommon in England, especially
under Henry VIII.; but generally when the crime charged might have
been equally punished by law. They are less dangerous than to stretch
the boundaries of a statute by arbitrary construction. Nor do they
seem to differ at all in principle from those bills of pains and
penalties, which, in times of comparative moderation and tranquillity,
have sometimes been thought necessary to visit some unforeseen and
anomalous transgression beyond the reach of our penal code. There are
many, indeed, whose system absolutely rejects all such retrospective
punishment, either from the danger of giving too much scope to
vindictive passion, or on some more abstract principle of justice.
Those who may incline to admit that the moral competence of the
sovereign power to secure itself by the punishment of a heinous
offender, even without the previous warning of law, is not to be
denied, except by reasoning, which would shake the foundation of his
right to inflict punishment in ordinary cases, will still be sensible
of the mischief which any departure from stable rules, under the
influence of the most public-spirited zeal, is likely to produce. The
attainder of Strafford could not be justifiable, unless it were
necessary; nor necessary, if a lighter penalty would have been
sufficient for the public security.

This therefore becomes a preliminary question, upon which the whole
mainly turns. It is one which does not seem to admit of a
demonstrative answer; but with which we can perhaps deal better than
those who lived at that time. Their distrust of the king, their
apprehension that nothing less than the delinquent minister's death
could ensure them from his return to power, rendered the leaders of
parliament obstinate against any proposition of a mitigated penalty.
Nor can it be denied that there are several instances in history,
where the favourites of monarchs, after a transient exile or
imprisonment, have returned, on some fresh wave of fortune, to mock or
avenge themselves upon their adversaries. Yet the prosperous condition
of the popular party, which nothing but intemperate passion was likely
to impair, rendered this contingency by no means probable; and it is
against probable dangers that nations should take precautions, without
aiming at more complete security than the baffling uncertainties of
events will permit. Such was Strafford's unpopularity, that he could
never have gained any sympathy, but by the harshness of his
condemnation and the magnanimity it enabled him to display. These have
half redeemed his forfeit fame, and misled a generous posterity. It
was agreed on all hands that any punishment which the law could award
to the highest misdemeanours, duly proved on impeachment, must be
justly inflicted. "I am still the same," said Lord Digby, in his
famous speech against the bill of attainder, "in my opinions and
affections, as unto the Earl of Strafford; I confidently believe him
to be the most dangerous minister, the most insupportable of free
subjects, that can be charactered. I believe him to be still that
grand apostate to the commonwealth, who must not expect to be pardoned
in this world till he be despatched to the other. And yet, let me tell
you, Mr. Speaker, my hand must not be to that despatch."[183] These
sentiments, whatever we may think of the sincerity of him who uttered
them, were common to many of those who desired most ardently to see
that uniform course of known law, which neither the court's lust of
power nor the clamorous indignation of a popular assembly might turn
aside. The king, whose conscience was so deeply wounded by his
acquiescence in this minister's death, would gladly have assented to
a bill inflicting the penalty of perpetual banishment; and this,
accompanied, as it ought to have been, by degradation from the rank
for which he had sold his integrity, would surely have exhibited to
Europe an example sufficiently conspicuous of just retribution. Though
nothing perhaps could have restored a tolerable degree of confidence
between Charles and the parliament, it is certain that his resentment
and aversion were much aggravated by the painful compulsion they had
put on him, and that the schism among the constitutional party began
from this, among other causes, to grow more sensible, till it
terminated in civil war.[184]

But, if we pay such regard to the principles of clemency and
moderation, and of adherence to the fixed rules of law, as to pass
some censure on this deviation from them in the attainder of Lord
Strafford, we must not yield to the clamorous invectives of his
admirers, or treat the prosecution as a scandalous and flagitious
excess of party vengeance. Look round the nations of the globe, and
say in what age or country would such a man have fallen into the hands
of his enemies, without paying the forfeit of his offences against the
commonwealth with his life. They who grasp at arbitrary power, they
who make their fellow-citizens tremble before them, they who gratify a
selfish pride by the humiliation and servitude of mankind, have always
played a deep stake; and the more invidious and intolerable has been
their pre-eminence, their fall has been more destructive, and their
punishment more exemplary. Something beyond the retirement or the
dismissal of such ministers has seemed necessary to "absolve the
gods," and furnish history with an awful lesson of retribution. The
spontaneous instinct of nature has called for the axe and the gibbet
against such capital delinquents. If then we blame, in some measure,
the sentence against Strafford, it is not for his sake, but for that
of the laws on which he trampled, and of the liberty which he
betrayed. He died justly before God and man, though we may deem the
precedent dangerous, and the better course of a magnanimous lenity
unwisely rejected; and in condemning the bill of attainder, we cannot
look upon it as a crime.

_Act against dissolution of parliament without its consent._--The same
distrustful temper, blamable in nothing but its excess, drew the House
of Commons into a measure more unconstitutional than the attainder of
Strafford, the bill enacting that they should not be dissolved without
their own consent. Whether or not this had been previously meditated
by the leaders is uncertain; but the circumstances under which it was
adopted display all the blind precipitancy of fear. A scheme for
bringing up the army from the north of England to overawe parliament
had been discoursed of, or rather in a great measure concerted, by
some young courtiers and military men. The imperfection and
indefiniteness of the evidence obtained respecting this plot
increased, as often happens, the apprehensions of the Commons. Yet,
difficult as it might be to fix its proper character between a loose
project and a deliberate conspiracy, this at least was hardly to be
denied, that the king had listened to and approved a proposal of
appealing from the representatives of his people to a military
force.[185] Their greatest danger was a sudden dissolution. The
triennial bill afforded indeed a valuable security for the future. Yet
if the present parliament had been broken with any circumstances of
violence, it might justly seem very hazardous to confide in the right
of spontaneous election reserved to the people by that statute, which
the Crown would have three years to defeat. A rapid impulse, rather
than any concerted resolution, appears to have dictated this hardy
encroachment on the prerogative. The bill against the dissolution of
the present parliament without its own consent was resolved in a
committee on the fifth of May, brought in the next day, and sent to
the Lords on the seventh. The upper house, in a conference the same
day, urged a very wise and constitutional amendment, limiting its
duration to the term of two years. But the Commons adhering to their
original provisions, the bill was passed by both houses on the
eighth.[186] Thus, in the space of three days from the first
suggestion, an alteration was made in the frame of our polity, which
rendered the House of Commons equally independent of their sovereign
and their constituents; and, if it could be supposed capable of being
maintained in more tranquil times, would, in the theory at least of
speculative politics, have gradually converted the government into
something like a Dutch aristocracy. The ostensible pretext was, that
money could not be borrowed on the authority of resolutions of
parliament, until some security was furnished to the creditors, that
those whom they were to trust should have a permanent existence. This
argument would have gone a great way, and was capable of an answer;
since the money might have been borrowed on the authority of the whole
legislature. But the chief motive, unquestionably, was a just
apprehension of the king's intention to overthrow the parliament, and
of personal danger to those who had stood most forward from his
resentment after a dissolution. His ready acquiescence in this bill,
far more dangerous than any of those at which he demurred, can only be
ascribed to his own shame and the queen's consternation at the
discovery of the late plot; and thus we trace again the calamities of
Charles to their two great sources; his want of judgment in affairs,
and of good faith towards his people.

_Innovations meditated in the church._--The parliament had met with as
ardent and just an indignation against ecclesiastical as temporal
grievances. The tyranny, the folly, and rashness of Charles's bishops
were still greater than his own. It was evidently an indispensable
duty to reduce the overbearing ascendancy of that order, which had
rendered the nation, in regard to spiritual dominion, a great loser by
the Reformation. They had been so blindly infatuated, as even in the
year 1640, amidst all the perils of the times, to fill up the measure
of public wrath by enacting a series of canons in convocation. These
enjoined, or at least recommended, some of the modern innovations,
which, though many excellent men had been persecuted for want of
compliance with them, had not got the sanction of authority. They
imposed an oath on the clergy, commonly called the _et cætera_ oath,
binding them to attempt no alteration in the government of the church
by bishops, deans, archdeacons, etc. This oath was by the same
authority enjoined to such of the laity as held ecclesiastical
offices.[187] The king, however, on the petition of the council of
peers at York, directed it not to be taken. The House of Commons
rescinded these canons with some degree of excess on the other side;
not only denying the right of convocation to bind the clergy, which
had certainly been exercised in all periods, but actually impeaching
the bishops for a high misdemeanour on that account.[188] The Lords,
in the month of March, appointed a committee of ten earls, ten
bishops, and ten barons, to report upon the innovations lately brought
into the church. Of this committee Williams was chairman. But the
spirit which now possessed the Commons was not to be exorcised by the
sacrifice of Laud and Wren, or even by such inconsiderable alterations
as the moderate bishops were ready to suggest.[189]

There had always existed a party, though by no means co-extensive with
that bearing the general name of puritan, who retained an insuperable
aversion to the whole scheme of episcopal discipline, as inconsistent
with the ecclesiastical parity they believed to be enjoined by the
apostles. It is not easy to determine what proportion these bore to
the community. They were certainly at the opening of the parliament by
far the less numerous, though an active and increasing party. Few of
the House of Commons, according to Clarendon and the best contemporary
writers, looked to a destruction of the existing hierarchy.[190] The
more plausible scheme was one which had the sanction of Usher's
learned judgment, and which Williams was said to favour, for what was
called a moderate episcopacy; wherein the bishop, reduced to a sort of
president of his college of presbyters, and differing from them only
in rank, not in species (_gradu, non ordine_), should act, whether in
ordination or jurisdiction, by their concurrence.[191] This
intermediate form of church-government would probably have contented
the popular leaders of the Commons, except two or three, and have
proved acceptable to the nation. But it was hardly less offensive to
the Scottish presbyterians, intolerant of the smallest deviation from
their own model, than to the high-church episcopalians; and the
necessity of humouring that proud and prejudiced race of people, who
began already to show that an alteration in the church of England
would be their stipulated condition for any assistance they might
afford to the popular party, led the majority of the House of Commons
to give more countenance than they sincerely intended to a bill,
preferred by what was then called the root and branch party, for the
entire abolition of episcopacy. This party, composed chiefly of
presbyterians, but with no small admixture of other sectaries,
predominated in the city of London. At the instigation of the Scots
commissioners, a petition against episcopal government with 15,000
signatures was presented early in the session (Dec. 11, 1640), and
received so favourably as to startle those who bore a good affection
to the church.[192] This gave rise to the first difference that was
expressed in parliament: Digby speaking warmly against the reference
of this petition to a committee, and Falkland, though strenuous for
reducing the prelates' authority, showing much reluctance to abolish
their order.[193] A bill was however brought in by Sir Edward Dering,
an honest but not very enlightened or consistent man, for the utter
extirpation of episcopacy, and its second reading carried on a
division by 139 to 108.[194] This, no doubt, seems to show the
anti-episcopal party to have been stronger than Clarendon admits. Yet
I suspect that the greater part of those who voted for it did not
intend more than to intimidate the bishops. Petitions very numerously
signed, for the maintenance of episcopal government, were presented
from several counties;[195] nor is it, I think, possible to doubt
that the nation sought only the abridgment of that coercive
jurisdiction and temporal power, by which the bishops had forfeited
the reverence due to their function, as well as that absolute
authority over presbyters, which could not be reconciled to the
customs of the primitive church.[196] This was the object both of the
act abolishing the high commission, which, by the largeness of its
expressions, seemed to take away all coercive jurisdiction from the
ecclesiastical courts, and of that for depriving the bishops of their
suffrages among the peers; which, after being once rejected by a large
majority of the Lords in June 1641, passed into a law in the month of
February following, and was the latest concession that the king made
before his final appeal to arms.[197]

This was hardly perhaps a greater alteration of the established
constitution than had resulted from the suppression of the monasteries
under Henry; when, by the fall of the mitred abbots, the secular peers
acquired a preponderance in number over the spiritual which they had
not previously enjoyed. It was supported by several persons,
especially Lord Falkland, by no means inclined to subvert the
episcopal discipline; whether from a hope to compromise better with
the opposite party by this concession, or from a sincere belief that
the bishops might be kept better to the duties of their function by
excluding them from civil power. Considered generally, it may be
reckoned a doubtful question in the theory of our government, whether
the mixture of this ecclesiastical aristocracy with the House of Lords
is advantageous or otherwise to the public interests, or to those of
religion. Their great revenues, and the precedence allotted them, seem
naturally to place them on this level; and the general property of the
clergy, less protected than that of other classes against the cupidity
of an administration or a faction, may perhaps require this peculiar
security. In fact, the disposition of the English to honour the
ministers of the church, as well as to respect the ancient
institutions of their country, has usually been so powerful, that the
question would hardly have been esteemed dubious, if the bishops
themselves (I speak of course with such limitations as the nature of
the case requires) had been at all times sufficiently studious to
maintain a character of political independence, or even to conceal a
spirit of servility, which the pernicious usage of continual
translations from one see to another, borrowed, like many other parts
of our ecclesiastical law, from the most corrupt period of the church
of Rome, has had so manifest a tendency to engender.

The spirit of ecclesiastical, rather than civil, democracy, was the
first sign of the approaching storm that alarmed the Hertfords and
Southamptons, the Hydes and Falklands. Attached to the venerable
church of the English reformation, they were loth to see the rashness
of some prelates avenged by her subversion, or a few recent
innovations repressed by incomparably more essential changes. Full of
regard for established law, and disliking the puritan bitterness,
aggravated as it was by long persecution, they revolted from the
indecent devastation committed in churches by the populace, and from
the insults which now fell on the conforming ministers. The Lords
early distinguished their temper as to those points by an order on the
16th of January for the performance of divine service according to
law, in consequence of the tumults that had been caused by the heated
puritans under pretence of abolishing innovations. Little regard was
shown to this order;[198] but it does not appear that the Commons went
farther on the opposite side than to direct some ceremonial novelties
to be discontinued, and to empower one of their members, Sir Robert
Harley, to take away all pictures, crosses, and superstitious figures
within churches or without.[199] But this order, like many of their
other acts, was a manifest encroachment on the executive power of the

_Schism in the constitutional party._--It seems to have been about the
time of the summer recess, during the king's absence in Scotland, that
the apprehension of changes in church and state far beyond what had
been dreamed of at the opening of parliament, led to a final schism
in the constitutional party.[201] Charles, by abandoning his former
advisers, and yielding, with just as much reluctance as displayed the
value of the concession, to a series of laws that abridged his
prerogative, had recovered a good deal of the affection and confidence
of some, and gained from others that sympathy which is seldom withheld
from undeserving princes in their humiliation. Though the ill-timed
death of the Earl of Bedford in May had partly disappointed an
intended arrangement for bringing the popular leaders into office, yet
the appointments of Essex, Holland, Say, and St. John from that party
were apparently pledges of the king's willingness to select his
advisers from their ranks; whatever cause there might be to suspect
that their real influence over him would be too inconsiderable.[202]
Those who were still excluded, and who distrusted the king's
intentions as well towards themselves as the public cause, of whom Pym
and Hampden, with the assistance of St. John, though actually
solicitor-general, were the chief, found no better means of keeping
alive the animosity that was beginning to subside, than by framing
the Remonstrance on the state of the kingdom, presented to the king
in November 1641. This being a recapitulation of all the grievances
and misgovernment that had existed since his accession, which his
acquiescence in so many measures of redress ought, according to the
common courtesy due to sovereigns, to have cancelled, was hardly
capable of answering any other purpose than that of re-animating
discontents almost appeased, and guarding the people against the
confidence they were beginning to place in the king's sincerity. The
promoters of it might also hope from Charles's proud and hasty temper
that he would reply in such a tone as would more exasperate the
Commons. But he had begun to use the advice of judicious men,
Falkland, Hyde, and Colepepper, and reined in his natural violence so
as to give his enemies no advantage over him.

The jealousy, which nations ought never to lay aside, was especially
required towards Charles, whose love of arbitrary dominion was much
better proved than his sincerity in relinquishing it. But if he were
intended to reign at all, and to reign with any portion either of the
prerogatives of an English king, or the respect claimed by every
sovereign, the Remonstrance of the Commons could but prolong an
irritation incompatible with public tranquillity. It admits indeed of
no question, that the schemes of Pym, Hampden, and St. John, already
tended to restrain the king's personal exercise of any effective
power, from a sincere persuasion that no confidence could ever be
placed in him, though not to abolish the monarchy, or probably to
abridge in the same degree the rights of his successor. Their
Remonstrance was put forward to stem the returning tide of loyalty,
which not only threatened to obstruct the further progress of their
endeavours, but, as they would allege, might, by gaining strength,
wash away some at least of the bulwarks that had been so recently
constructed for the preservation of liberty. It was carried in a full
house by the small majority of 159 to 148.[203] So much was it deemed
a trial of strength, that Cromwell declared after the division that,
had the question been lost, he would have sold his estate, and retired
to America.

_Suspicions of the king's sincerity._--It may be thought rather
surprising that, with a House of Commons so nearly balanced as they
appeared on this vote, the king should have new demands that
annihilated his authority made upon him, and have found a greater
majority than had voted the Remonstrance ready to oppose him by arms;
especially as that paper contained little but what was true, and might
rather be censured as an ill-timed provocation than an encroachment on
the constitutional prerogative. But there were circumstances, both of
infelicity and misconduct, which aggravated that distrust whereon
every measure hostile to him was grounded. His imprudent connivance at
popery, and the far more reprehensible encouragement given to it by
his court, had sunk deep in the hearts of his people. His ill-wishers
knew how to irritate the characteristic sensibility of the English on
this topic. The queen, unpopular on the score of her imputed arbitrary
counsels, was odious as a maintainer of idolatry.[204] The lenity
shown to convicted popish priests, who, though liable to capital
punishment, had been suffered to escape with sometimes a very short
imprisonment, was naturally (according to the maxims of those times)
treated as a grievance by the Commons, who petitioned for the
execution of one Goodman and others in similar circumstances, perhaps
in the hope that the king would attempt to shelter them. But he
dexterously left it to the house whether they should die or not; and
none of them actually suffered.[205] Rumours of pretended conspiracies
by the catholics were perpetually in circulation, and rather
unworthily encouraged by the chiefs of the Commons. More substantial
motives for alarm appeared to arise from the obscure transaction in
Scotland, commonly called the Incident, which looked so like a
concerted design against the two great leaders of the constitutional
party, Hamilton and Argyle, that it was not unnatural to anticipate
something similar in England.[206] In the midst of these
apprehensions, as if to justify every suspicion and every severity,
burst out the Irish rebellion with its attendant massacre. Though
nothing could be more unlikely in itself, or less supported by proof,
than the king's connivance at this calamity, from which every man of
common understanding could only expect, what actually resulted from
it, a terrible aggravation of his difficulties, yet, with that
distrustful temper of the English, and their jealous dread of popery,
he was never able to conquer their suspicions that he had either
instigated the rebellion, or was very little solicitous to suppress
it; suspicions indeed, to which, however ungrounded at this particular
period, some circumstances that took place afterwards gave an apparent

It was, perhaps, hardly practicable for the king, had he given less
real excuse for it than he did, to lull that disquietude which so many
causes operated to excite. The most circumspect discretion of a prince
in such a difficult posture cannot restrain the rashness of eager
adherents, or silence the murmurs of a discontented court. Those
nearest Charles's person, and who always possessed too much of his
confidence, were notoriously and naturally averse to the recent
changes. Their threatening but idle speeches, and impotent
denunciations of resentment, conveyed with malignant exaggeration
among the populace, provoked those tumultuous assemblages, which
afforded the king no bad pretext for withdrawing himself from a
capital where his personal dignity was so little respected.[208] It is
impossible, however, to deny that he gave by his own conduct no
trifling reasons for suspicion, and last of all by the appointment of
Lunsford to the government of the Tower; a choice for which, as it
would never have been made from good motives, it was natural to seek
the worst.[209] But the single false step which rendered his affairs
irretrievable by anything short of civil war, and placed all
reconciliation at an insuperable distance, was his attempt to seize
the five members within the walls of the house; an evident violation,
not of common privilege, but of all security for the independent
existence of parliament in the mode of its execution, and leading to a
very natural though perhaps mistaken surmise, that the charge itself
of high treason made against these distinguished leaders, without
communicating any of its grounds, had no other foundation than their
parliamentary conduct. And we are in fact warranted by the authority
of the queen herself to assert that their aim in this most secret
enterprise was to strike terror into the parliament, and regain the
power that had been wrested from their grasp.[210] It is unnecessary
to dwell on a measure so well known, and which scarce any of the
king's advocates have defended. The only material subject it affords
for reflection is, how far the manifest hostility of Charles to the
popular chiefs might justify them in rendering it harmless by wresting
the sword out of his hands. No man doubtless has a right, for the sake
only of his own security, to subvert his country's laws, or to plunge
her into civil war. But Hampden, Hollis, and Pym might not absurdly
consider the defence of English freedom bound up in their own,
assailed as they were for its sake and by its enemies. It is observed
by Clarendon that "Mr. Hampden was much altered after this accusation;
his nature and courage seeming much fiercer than before." And it is
certain that both he and Mr. Pym were not only most forward in all the
proceedings which brought on the war, but among the most implacable
opponents of all overtures towards reconciliation; so that although
both dying in 1643, we cannot pronounce with absolute certainty as to
their views, there can be little room to doubt that they would have
adhered to the side of Cromwell and St. John, in the great separation
of the parliamentary party.

The noble historian confesses that not Hampden alone, but the
generality of those who were beginning to judge more favourably of the
king, had their inclinations alienated by this fatal act of
violence.[211] It is worthy of remark that each of the two most
striking encroachments on the king's prerogative sprung directly from
the suspicions roused of an intention to destroy their privileges: the
bill perpetuating the parliament having been hastily passed on the
discovery of Percy's and Jermyn's conspiracy, and the present attempt
on the five members inducing the Commons to insist peremptorily on
vesting the command of the militia in persons of their own nomination;
a security, indeed, at which they had been less openly aiming from the
time of that conspiracy, and particularly of late.[212] Every one
knows that this was the grand question upon which the quarrel finally
rested; but it may be satisfactory to show more precisely than our
historians have generally done, what was meant by the power of the
militia, and what was the exact ground of dispute in this respect
between Charles I. and his parliament.

_Historical sketch of the military force in England._--The military
force which our ancient constitution had placed in the hands of its
chief magistrate and those deriving authority from him, may be classed
under two descriptions; one principally designed to maintain the
king's and the nation's rights abroad, the other to protect them at
home from attack or disturbance. The first comprehends the tenures by
knight's service, which, according to the constant principles of a
feudal monarchy, bound the owners of lands thus held from the Crown,
to attend the king in war, within or without the realm, mounted and
armed, during the regular term of service. Their own vassals were
obliged by the same law to accompany them. But the feudal service was
limited to forty days, beyond which time they could be retained only
by their own consent, and at the king's expense. The military tenants
were frequently called upon in expeditions against Scotland, and last
of all in that of 1640; but the short duration of their legal service
rendered it of course nearly useless in continental warfare. Even when
they formed the battle, or line of heavy armed cavalry, it was
necessary to complete the army by recruits of foot-soldiers, whom
feudal tenure did not regularly supply, and whose importance was soon
made sensible by their skill in our national weapon, the bow. What
was the extent of the king's lawful prerogative for two centuries or
more after the conquest as to compelling any of his subjects to serve
him in foreign war, independently of the obligations of tenure, is a
question scarcely to be answered; since, knowing so imperfectly the
boundaries of constitutional law in that period, we have little to
guide us but precedents; and precedents, in such times, are apt to be
much more records of power than of right. We find certainly several
instances under Edward I. and Edward II., sometimes of proclamations
to the sheriffs, directing them to notify to all persons of sufficient
estate that they must hold themselves ready to attend the king
whenever he should call on them, sometimes of commissions to
particular persons in different counties, who are enjoined to choose
and array a competent number of horse and foot for the king's
service.[213] But these levies being of course vexatious to the
people, and contrary at least to the spirit of those immunities which,
under the shadow of the great charter, they were entitled to enjoy,
Edward III., on the petition of his first parliament, who judged that
such compulsory service either was, or ought to be rendered illegal,
passed a remarkable act, with the simple brevity of those times: "That
no man from henceforth shall be charged to arm himself, otherwise than
he was wont in the time of his progenitors the kings of England; and
that no man be compelled to go out of his shire, but where necessity
requireth, and sudden coming of strange enemies into the realm; and
then it shall be done as hath been used in times past for the defence
of the realm."[214]

This statute, by no means of inconsiderable importance in our
constitutional history, put a stop for some ages to these arbitrary
conscriptions. But Edward had recourse to another means of levying men
without his own cost, by calling on the counties and principal towns
to furnish a certain number of troops. Against this the parliament
provided a remedy by an act in the 25th year of his reign: "That no
man shall be constrained to find men at arms, hoblers, nor archers,
other than those who hold by such service, if it be not by common
consent and grant in parliament." Both these statutes were recited
and confirmed in the fourth year of Henry IV.[215]

The successful resistance thus made by parliament appears to have
produced the discontinuance of compulsory levies for foreign warfare.
Edward III. and his successors, in their long contention with France,
resorted to the mode of recruiting by contracts with men of high rank
or military estimation, whose influence was greater probably than that
of the Crown towards procuring voluntary enlistments. Their pay, as
stipulated in such of those contracts as are extant, was extremely
high; but it secured the service of a brave and vigorous yeomanry.
Under the house of Tudor, in conformity to their more despotic scheme
of government, the salutary enactments of former times came to be
disregarded; Henry VIII. and Elizabeth sometimes compelling the
counties to furnish soldiers: and the prerogative of pressing men for
military service, even out of the kingdom, having not only become as
much established as undisputed usage could make it, but acquiring no
slight degree of sanction by an act passed under Philip and Mary,
which, without repealing or adverting to the statutes of Edward III.
and Henry IV., recognises, as it seems, the right of the Crown to levy
men for service in war, and imposes penalties on persons absenting
themselves from musters commanded by the king's authority to be held
for that purpose.[216] Clarendon, whose political heresies sprang in a
great measure from his possessing but a very imperfect knowledge of
our ancient constitution, speaks of the act that declared the pressing
of soldiers illegal, though exactly following, even in its language,
that of Edward III., as contrary to the usage and custom of all times.

It is scarcely perhaps necessary to observe that there had never been
any regular army kept up in England. Henry VII. established the yeomen
of the guard in 1485, solely for the defence of his person, and rather
perhaps, even at that time, to be considered as the king's domestic
servants, than as soldiers. Their number was at first fifty, and seems
never to have exceeded two hundred. A kind of regular troops, however,
chiefly accustomed to the use of artillery, was maintained in the
very few fortified places where it was thought necessary or
practicable to keep up the show of defence; the Tower of London,
Portsmouth, the castle of Dover, the fort of Tilbury, and, before the
union of the crowns, Berwick and some other places on the Scottish
border. I have met with very little as to the nature of these
garrisons. But their whole number must have been insignificant, and
probably at no time equal to resist any serious attack.

We must take care not to confound this strictly military force,
serving, whether by virtue of tenure or engagement, wheresoever it
should be called, with that of a more domestic and defensive character
to which alone the name of militia was usually applied. By the
Anglo-Saxon laws, or rather by one of the primary and indispensable
conditions of political society, every freeholder, if not every
freeman, was bound to defend his country against hostile invasion. It
appears that the alderman or earl, while those titles continued to
imply the government of a county, was the proper commander of this
militia. Henry II., in order to render it more effective in cases of
emergency, and perhaps with a view to extend its service, enacted, by
consent of parliament, that every freeman, according to the value of
his estate or movables, should hold himself constantly furnished with
suitable arms and equipments.[217] By the statute of Winchester, in
the 13th year of Edward I., these provisions were enforced and
extended. Every man, between the ages of fifteen and sixty, was to be
assessed, and sworn to keep armour according to the value of his lands
and goods; for fifteen pounds and upwards in rent, or forty marks in
goods, a hauberk, an iron breastplate, a sword, a knife, and a horse;
for smaller property, less expensive arms. A view of this armour was
to be taken twice in the year, by constables chosen in every
hundred.[218] These regulations appear by the context of the whole
statute to have more immediate regard to the preservation of internal
peace, by suppressing tumults and arresting robbers, than to the
actual defence of the realm against hostile invasion; a danger not at
that time very imminent. The sheriff, as chief conservator of public
peace and minister of the law, had always possessed the right of
summoning the _posse comitatûs_; that is, of calling on all the king's
liege subjects within his jurisdiction for assistance, in case of any
rebellion or tumultuous rising, or when bands of robbers infested the
public ways, or when, as occurred very frequently, the execution of
legal process was forcibly obstructed. It seems to have been in the
policy of that wise prince, to whom we are indebted for so many signal
improvements in our law, to give a more effective and permanent energy
to this power of the sheriff. The provisions, however, of the statute
of Winton, so far as they obliged every proprietor to possess suitable
arms, were of course applicable to national defence. In seasons of
public danger, threatening invasion from the side of Scotland or
France, it became customary to issue commissions of array, empowering
those to whom they were addressed to muster and train all men capable
of bearing arms in the counties to which their commission extended,
and hold them in readiness to defend the kingdom. The earliest of
these commissions that I find in Rymer is of 1324, and the latest of

The obligation of keeping sufficient arms according to each man's
estate was preserved by a statute of Philip and Mary, which made some
changes in the rate and proportion as well as the kind of arms.[219]
But these ancient provisions were abrogated by James in his first
parliament.[220] The nation, become for ever secure from invasion on
the quarter where the militia service had been most required, and
freed from the other dangers which had menaced the throne of
Elizabeth, gladly saw itself released from an expensive obligation.
The government again may be presumed to have thought that weapons of
offence were safer in its hands than in those of its subjects.
Magazines of arms were formed in different places, and generally in
each county:[221] but, if we may reason from the absence of documents,
there was little regard to military array and preparation; save that
the citizens of London mustered their trained bands on holidays, an
institution that is said to have sprung out of a voluntary
association, called the artillery company, formed in the reign of
Henry VIII. for the encouragement of archery, and acquiring a more
respectable and martial character at the time of the Spanish

The power of calling into arms, and mustering the population of each
county, given in earlier times to the sheriff or justices of the peace
or to special commissioners of array, began to be entrusted, in the
reign of Mary, to a new officer, entitled the lord lieutenant. This
was usually a peer, or at least a gentleman of large estate within the
county, whose office gave him the command of the militia, and rendered
him the chief vicegerent of his sovereign, responsible for the
maintenance of public order. This institution may be considered as a
revival of the ancient local earldom; and it certainly took away from
the sheriff a great part of the dignity and importance which he had
acquired since the discontinuance of that office. Yet the lord
lieutenant has so peculiarly military an authority, that it does not
in any degree control the civil power of the sheriff as the executive
minister of the law. In certain cases, such as a tumultuous
obstruction of legal authority, each might be said to possess an equal
power; the sheriff being still undoubtedly competent to call out the
_posse comitatûs_ in order to enforce obedience. Practically, however,
in all serious circumstances, the lord lieutenant has always been
reckoned the efficient and responsible guardian of public

From an attentive consideration of this sketch of our military law, it
will strike the reader that the principal question to be determined
was, whether, in time of peace, without pretext of danger of invasion,
there were any legal authority that could direct the mustering and
training to arms of the able-bodied men in each county, usually
denominated the militia. If the power existed at all, it manifestly
resided in the king. The notion that either or both houses of
parliament, who possess no portion of executive authority, could take
on themselves one of its most peculiar and important functions, was so
preposterous that we can scarcely give credit to the sincerity of any
reasonable person who advanced it. In the imminent peril of hostile
invasion, in the case of intestine rebellion, there seems to be no
room for doubt that the king who could call on his subjects to bear
arms for their country and laws, could oblige them to that necessary
discipline and previous training, without which their service would be
unavailing. It might also be urged that he was the proper judge of the
danger. But that, in a season of undeniable tranquillity, he could
withdraw his subjects from their necessary labours against their
consent, even for the important end of keeping up the use of military
discipline, is what, with our present sense of the limitations of
royal power it might be difficult to affirm. The precedents under
Henry VIII. and Elizabeth were numerous; but not to mention that many,
perhaps most of these, might come under the class of preparations
against invasion, where the royal authority was not to be doubted,
they could be no stronger than those other precedents for pressing and
mustering soldiers, which had been declared illegal. There were at
least so many points uncertain, and some wherein the prerogative was
plainly deficient, such as the right of marching the militia out of
their own counties, taken away, if it had before existed, by the act
just passed against pressing soldiers, that the concurrence of the
whole legislature seemed requisite to place so essential a matter as
the public defence on a secure and permanent footing.[223]

_Encroachments of the parliament._--The aim of the houses, however, in
the bill for regulating the militia, presented to Charles in February
1642, and his refusal to pass which led by rapid steps to the civil
war, was not so much to remove those uncertainties by a general
provision (for in effect they left them much as before), as to place
the command of the sword in the hands of those they could
control;--nominating in the bill the lords lieutenant of every county,
who were to obey the orders of the two houses, and to be irremovable
by the king for two years. No one can pretend that this was not an
encroachment on his prerogative.[224] It can only find a justification
in the precarious condition, as the Commons asserted it to be, of
those liberties they had so recently obtained, in their just
persuasion of the king's insincerity, and in the demonstrations he had
already made of an intention to win back his authority at the sword's
point.[225] But it is equitable, on the other hand, to observe that
the Commons had by no means greater reason to distrust the faith of
Charles, than he had to anticipate fresh assaults from them on the
power he had inherited, on the form of religion which alone he thought
lawful, on the counsellors who had served him most faithfully, and on
the nearest of his domestic ties. If the right of self-defence could
be urged by parliament for this demand of the militia, must we not
admit that a similar plea was equally valid for the king's refusal?
However arbitrary and violent the previous government of Charles may
have been, however disputable his sincerity at present, it is vain to
deny, that he had made the most valuable concessions, and such as had
cost him very dear. He had torn away from his diadem what all monarchs
would deem its choicest jewel, that high attribute of uncontrollable
power, by which their flatterers have in all ages told them they
resemble and represent the Divinity. He had seen those whose counsels
he had best approved, rewarded with exile or imprisonment, and had
incurred the deep reproach of his own heart by the sacrifice of
Strafford. He had just now given a reluctant assent to the extinction
of one estate of parliament, by the bill excluding bishops from the
house of peers. Even in this business of the militia, he would have
consented to nominate the persons recommended to him as lieutenants,
by commissions revocable at his pleasure; or would have passed the
bill rendering them irremovable for one year, provided they might
receive their orders from himself and the two houses jointly.[226] It
was not unreasonable for the king to pause at the critical moment
which was to make all future denial nugatory, and enquire whether the
prevailing majority designed to leave him what they had not taken
away. But he was not long kept in uncertainty upon this score. The
nineteen propositions tendered to him at York in the beginning of
June, and founded upon addresses and declarations of a considerably
earlier date,[227] went to abrogate in spirit the whole existing
constitution, and were in truth so far beyond what the king could be
expected to grant, that terms, more intolerable were scarcely proposed
to him in his greatest difficulties, not at Uxbridge, nor at
Newcastle, nor even at Newport.

These famous propositions import that the privy council and officers
of state should be approved by parliament, and take such an oath as
the two houses should prescribe; that during the intervals of
parliament, no vacancy in the council should be supplied without the
assent of the major part, subject to the future sanction of the two
houses; that the education and marriages of the king's children should
be under parliamentary control; the votes of popish peers to be taken
away; the church government and liturgy be reformed as both houses
should advise; the militia and all fortified places put in such hands
as parliament should approve; finally, that the king should pass a
bill for restraining all peers to be made in future from sitting in
parliament, unless they be admitted with the consent of both houses. A
few more laudable provisions, such as that the judges should hold
their offices during good behaviour, which the king had long since
promised,[228] were mixed up with these strange demands. Even had the
king complied with such unconstitutional requisitions, there was one
behind, which, though they had not advanced it on this occasion, was
not likely to be forgotten. It had been asserted by the House of
Commons in their last remonstrance, that, on a right construction of
the old coronation oath, the king was bound to assent to all bills
which the two houses of parliament should offer.[229] It has been
said by some that this was actually the constitution of Scotland,
where the Crown possessed a counterbalancing influence; but such a
doctrine was in this country as repugnant to the whole history of our
laws, as it was incompatible with the subsistence of the monarchy in
anything more than a nominal pre-eminence.

_Discussion of the respective claims of the two parties to
support._--In weighing the merits of this great contest, in judging
whether a thoroughly upright and enlightened man would rather have
listed under the royal or parliamentary standard, there are two
political postulates, the concession of which we may require: one,
that civil war is such a calamity as nothing but the most
indispensable necessity can authorise any party to bring on; the
other, that the mixed government of England by King, Lords, and
Commons, was to be maintained in preference to any other form of
polity. The first of these can hardly be disputed; and though the
denial of the second would certainly involve no absurdity, yet it may
justly be assumed where both parties avowed their adherence to it as a
common principle. Such as prefer a despotic or a republican form of
government will generally, without much further enquiry, have made
their election between Charles the First and the parliament. We do not
argue from the creed of the English constitution to those who have
abandoned its communion.

_Faults of both._--There was so much in the conduct and circumstances
of both parties in the year 1642, to excite disapprobation and
distrust, that a wise and good man could hardly unite cordially with
either of them. On the one hand, he would entertain little doubt of
the king's desire to overthrow by force or stratagem whatever had been
effected in parliament, and to establish a plenary despotism; his
arbitrary temper, his known principles of government, the natural
sense of wounded pride and honour, the instigations of a haughty
woman, the solicitations of favourites, the promises of ambitious men,
were all at work to render his new position as a constitutional
sovereign, even if unaccompanied by fresh indignities and
encroachments, too grievous and mortifying to be endured. He had
already tampered in a conspiracy to overawe, if not to disperse, the
parliament; he had probably obtained large promises, though very
little to be trusted, from several of the presbyterian leaders in
Scotland during his residence there in the summer of 1641; he had
attempted to recover his ascendancy by a sudden blow in the affair of
the five members; he had sent the queen out of England, furnished with
the Crown-jewels, for no other probable end than to raise men and
procure arms in foreign countries;[230] he was now about to take the
field with an army, composed in part of young gentlemen disdainful of
a puritan faction that censured their licence, and of those soldiers
of fortune, reckless of public principle, and averse to civil control,
whom the war in Germany had trained, and partly of the catholics, a
wealthy and active body devoted to the Crown, from which alone they
had experienced justice or humanity, and from whose favour and
gratitude they now expected the most splendid returns. Upon neither of
these parties could a lover of his country and her liberties look
without alarm; and though he might derive more hope from those better
spirits who had withstood the prerogative in its exorbitance, as they
now sustained it in its decline, yet it could not be easy to foretell
that they would preserve sufficient influence to keep steady the
balance of power, in the contingency of any decisive success of the
royal arms.

But, on the other hand, the House of Commons presented still less
favourable prospects. We should not indeed judge over severely some
acts of a virtuous indignation in the first moments of victory,[231]
or those heats of debate, without some excesses of which a popular
assembly is in danger of falling into the opposite extreme of
phlegmatic security. But, after every allowance has been made, he must
bring very heated passions to the records of those times, who does not
perceive in the conduct of that body a series of glaring violations,
not only of positive and constitutional, but of those higher
principles which are paramount to all immediate policy. Witness the
ordinance for disarming recusants passed by both houses in August
1641, and that in November, authorising the Earl of Leicester to raise
men for the defence of Ireland without warrant under the great seal;
both manifest encroachments on the executive power;[232] and the
enormous extension of privilege, under which every person accused on
the slightest testimony of disparaging their proceedings, or even of
introducing new-fangled ceremonies in the church, a matter wholly out
of their cognisance, was dragged before them as a delinquent, and
lodged in their prison.[233] Witness the outrageous attempts to
intimidate the minority of their own body in the commitment of Mr.
Palmer, and afterwards of Sir Ralph Hopton, to the Tower, for such
language used in debate as would not have excited any observation in
ordinary times;--their continual encroachments on the rights and
privileges of the Lords, as in their intimation that, if bills thought
by them necessary for the public good should fall in the upper house,
they must join with the minority of the Lords in representing the same
to the king;[234] or in the impeachment of the Duke of Richmond for
words, and those of the most trifling nature, spoken in the upper
house;[235]--their despotic violation of the rights of the people, in
imprisoning those who presented or prepared respectful petitions in
behalf of the established constitution,[236] while they encouraged
those of a tumultuous multitude at their bar in favour of
innovation;[237]--their usurpation at once of the judicial and
legislative powers in all that related to the church, particularly by
their committee for scandalous ministers, under which denomination,
adding reproach to injury, they subjected all who did not reach the
standard of puritan perfection to contumely and vexation, and
ultimately to expulsion from their lawful property.[238] Witness the
impeachment of the twelve bishops for treason, on account of their
protestation against all that should be done in the House of Lords
during their compelled absence through fear of the populace; a protest
not perhaps entirely well expressed, but abundantly justifiable in its
argument by the plainest principles of law.[239] These great abuses of
power, becoming daily more frequent, as they became less excusable,
would make a sober man hesitate to support them in a civil war,
wherein their success must not only consummate the destruction of the
Crown, the church, and the peerage, but expose all who had dissented
from their proceedings, as it ultimately happened, to an oppression
less severe perhaps, but far more sweeping, than that which had
rendered the star-chamber odious.

But it may reasonably also be doubted whether, in staking their own
cause on the perilous contingencies of war, the House of Commons did
not expose the liberties for which they professedly were contending,
to a far greater risk than they could have incurred even from peace
with an insidious court. For let any one ask himself what would have
been the condition of the parliament, if by the extension of that
panic which in fact seized upon several regiments, or by any of those
countless accidents which determine the fate of battles, the king had
wholly defeated their army at Edgehill? Is it not probable, nay, in
such a supposition, almost demonstrable, that in those first days of
the civil war, before the parliament had time to discover the extent
of its own resources, he would have found no obstacle to his triumphal
entry into London? And, in such circumstances, amidst the defection
of the timid and lukewarm, the consternation of the brawling
multitude, and the exultation of his victorious troops, would the
triennial act itself, or those other statutes which he had very
reluctantly conceded, have stood secure? Or, if we believe that the
constitutional supporters of his throne, the Hertfords, the Falklands,
the Southamptons, the Spencers, would still have had sufficient
influence to shield from violent hands that palladium which they had
assisted to place in the building, can there be a stronger argument
against the necessity of taking up arms for the defence of liberties,
which, even in the contingency of defeat, could not have been

There were many indeed at that time, as there have been ever since,
who, admitting all the calamities incident to civil war, of which this
country reaped the bitter fruits for twenty years, denied entirely
that the parliament went beyond the necessary precautions for
self-defence, and laid the whole guilt of the aggression at the king's
door. He had given, it was said, so many proofs of a determination to
have recourse to arms, he had displayed so insidious an hostility to
the privileges of parliament, that, if he should be quietly allowed to
choose and train soldiers, under the name of a militia, through hired
servants of his own nomination, the people might find themselves
either robbed of their liberties by surprise, or compelled to struggle
for them in very unfavourable circumstances. The Commons, with more
loyal respect perhaps than policy, had opposed no obstacle to his
deliberate journey towards the north, which they could have easily
prevented,[240] though well aware that he had no other aim but to
collect an army; was it more than ordinary prudence to secure the
fortified town of Hull with its magazine of arms from his grasp, and
to muster the militia in each county under the command of lieutenants
in whom they could confide, and to whom, from their rank and personal
character, he could frame no just objection?

These considerations are doubtless not without weight, and should
restrain such as may not think them sufficient from too strongly
censuring those, who, deeming that either civil liberty or the ancient
constitution must be sacrificed, persisted in depriving Charles the
First of every power, which, though pertaining to a king of England,
he could not be trusted to exercise. We are, in truth, after a lapse
of ages, often able to form a better judgment of the course that ought
to have been pursued in political emergencies than those who stood
nearest to the scene. Not only we have our knowledge of the event to
guide and correct our imaginary determinations; but we are free from
those fallacious rumours, those pretended secrets, those imperfect and
illusive views, those personal prepossessions, which in every age warp
the political conduct of the most well-meaning. The characters of
individuals, so frequently misrepresented by flattery or party rage,
stand out to us revealed by the tenor of their entire lives, or by the
comparison of historical anecdotes, and that more authentic
information which is reserved for posterity. Looking as it were from
an eminence, we can take a more comprehensive range, and class better
the objects before us in their due proportions and in their bearings
on one another. It is not easy for us even now to decide, keeping in
view the maintenance of the entire constitution, from which party in
the civil war greater mischief was to be apprehended; but the election
was, I am persuaded, still more difficult to be made by
contemporaries. No one, at least, who has given any time to the study
of that history, will deny that among those who fought in opposite
battalions at Edgehill and Newbury, or voted in the opposite
parliaments of Westminster and Oxford, there were many who thought
much alike on general theories of prerogative and privilege, divided
only perhaps by some casual prejudices, which had led these to look
with greater distrust on courtly insidiousness, and those with greater
indignation at popular violence. We cannot believe that Falkland and
Colepepper differed greatly in their constitutional principles from
Whitelock and Pierpoint, or that Hertford and Southamption were less
friends to a limited monarchy than Essex and Northumberland.

There is, however, another argument sometimes alleged of late, in
justification of the continued attacks on the king's authority; which
is the most specious, as it seems to appeal to what are now
denominated the Whig principles of the constitution. It has been said
that, sensible of the maladministration the nation had endured for so
many years (which, if the king himself were to be deemed by
constitutional fiction ignorant of it, must at least be imputed to
evil advisers), the House of Commons sought only that security which,
as long as a sound spirit continues to actuate its members, it must
ever require--the appointment of ministers in whose fidelity to the
public liberties it could better confide; that by carrying frankly
into effect those counsels which he had unwisely abandoned upon the
Earl of Bedford's death, and bestowing the responsible offices of the
state on men approved for patriotism, he would both have disarmed the
jealousy of his subjects and ensured his own prerogative, which no
ministers are prone to impair.

Those who are struck by these considerations may not, perhaps, have
sufficiently reflected on the changes which the king had actually made
in his administration since the beginning of the parliament. Besides
those already mentioned, Essex, Holland, Say, and St. John, he had, in
the autumn of 1641, conferred the post of secretary of state on Lord
Falkland, and that of master of the rolls on Sir John Colepepper; both
very prominent in the redress of grievances and punishment of
delinquent ministers during the first part of the session, and whose
attachment to the cause of constitutional liberty there was no sort of
reason to distrust. They were indeed in some points of a different way
of thinking from Pym and Hampden, and had doubtless been chosen by the
king on that account. But it seems rather beyond the legitimate bounds
of parliamentary opposition to involve the kingdom in civil war,
simply because the choice of the Crown has not fallen on its leaders.
The real misfortune was, that Charles did not rest in the advice of
his own responsible ministers, against none of whom the House of
Commons had any just cause of exception. The theory of our
constitution in this respect was very ill-established; and, had it
been more so, there are perhaps few sovereigns, especially in
circumstances of so much novelty, who would altogether conform to it.
But no appointment that he could have made from the patriotic bands of
parliament would have furnished a security against the intrigues of
his bed-chamber or the influence of the queen.

The real problem that we have to resolve, as to the political justice
of the civil war, is not the character, the past actions, or even the
existing designs, of Charles; not even whether he had as justly
forfeited his crown as his son was deemed to have done for less
violence and less insincerity; not even, I will add, whether the
liberties of his subjects could have been absolutely secure under his
government; but whether the risk attending his continuance upon the
throne with the limited prerogatives of an English sovereign were
great enough to counterbalance the miseries of protracted civil war,
the perils of defeat, and the no less perils, as experience showed,
of victory. Those who adopt the words spoken by one of our greatest
orators, and quoted by another, "There was ambition, there was
sedition, there was violence; but no man shall persuade me that it was
not the cause of liberty on one side, and of tyranny on the other,"
have for themselves decided this question.[241] But, as I know (and
the history of eighteen years is my witness) how little there was on
one side of such liberty as a wise man would hold dear, so I am not
yet convinced that the great body of the royalists, the peers and
gentry of England, were combating for the sake of tyranny. I cannot
believe them to have so soon forgotten their almost unanimous
discontent at the king's arbitrary government in 1640, or their
general concurrence in the first salutary measures of the parliament.
I cannot think that the temperate and constitutional language of the
royal declarations and answers to the House of Commons in 1642, known
to have proceeded from the pen of Hyde, and as superior to those on
the opposite side in argument as they were in eloquence, was intended
for the willing slaves of tyranny. I cannot discover in the extreme
reluctance of the royalists to take up arms, and their constant
eagerness for an accommodation (I speak not of mere soldiers, but of
the greater and more important portion of that party), that zeal for
the king's re-establishment in all his abused prerogatives which some
connect with the very names of a royalist or a cavalier.[242]

It is well observed by Burnet, in answer to the vulgar notion that
Charles I. was undone by his concessions, that, but for his
concessions, he would have had no party at all. This is, in fact, the
secret of what seems to astonish the parliamentary historian, May, of
the powerful force that the king was enabled to raise, and the
protracted resistance he opposed. He had succeeded, according to the
judgment of many real friends of the constitution, in putting the
House of Commons in the wrong. Law, justice, moderation, once ranged
against him, had gone over to his banner. His arms might reasonably be
called defensive, if he had no other means of preserving himself from
the condition, far worse than captivity, of a sovereign compelled to a
sort of suicide upon his own honour and authority. For, however it may
be alleged that a king is bound in conscience to sacrifice his power
to the public will, yet it could hardly be inexcusable not to have
practised this disinterested morality; especially while the voice of
his people was by no means unequivocal, and while the major part of
one house of parliament adhered openly to his cause.[243]

It is indeed a question perfectly distinguishable from that of the
abstract justice of the king's cause, whether he did not too readily
abandon his post as a constitutional head of the parliament; whether,
with the greater part of the peers, and a very considerable minority
in the Commons, resisting in their places at Westminster all violent
encroachments on his rights, he ought not rather to have sometimes
persisted in a temperate though firm assertion of them, sometimes had
recourse to compromise and gracious concession, instead of calling
away so many of his adherents to join his arms as left neither numbers
nor credit with those who remained. There is a remarkable passage in
Lord Clarendon's life, not to quote Whitelock and other writers less
favourable to Charles, where he intimates his own opinion that the
king would have had a fair hope of withstanding the more violent
faction, if, after the queen's embarkation for Holland in February
1642, he had returned to Whitehall; admitting, at the same time, the
hazards and inconveniences to which this course was liable.[244] That
he resolved on trying the fortune of arms, his noble historian
insinuates to have been the effect of the queen's influence, with
whom, before her departure, he had concerted his future proceedings.
Yet, notwithstanding the deference owing to contemporary opinions, I
cannot but suspect that Clarendon has, in this instance as in some
other passages, attached too great an importance to particular
individuals, measuring them rather by their rank in the state, than by
that capacity and energy of mind, which, in the levelling hour of
revolution, are the only real pledges of political influence. He
thought it of the utmost consequence to the king that he should gain
over the Earls of Essex and Northumberland, both, or at least the
former, wavering between the two parties, though voting entirely with
the Commons. Certainly the king's situation required every aid, and
his repulsive hardness towards all who had ever given him offence
displayed an obstinate unconciliating character, which deprived him of
some support he might have received. But the subsequent history of
these two celebrated earls, and indeed of all the moderate adherents
to the parliament, will hardly lead us to believe that they could have
afforded the king any protection. Let us suppose that he had returned
to Whitehall, instead of proceeding towards the north. It is evident
that he must either have passed the bill for the militia, or seen the
ordinances of both houses carried into effect without his consent. He
must have consented to the abolition of episcopacy, or at least have
come into some compromise which would have left the bishops hardly a
shadow of their jurisdiction and pre-eminence. He must have driven
from his person those whom he best loved and trusted. He would have
found it impossible to see again the queen, without awakening distrust
and bringing insult on them both. The royalist minority of parliament,
however considerable in numbers, was lukewarm and faint-hearted. That
they should have gained strength so as to keep a permanent superiority
over their adversaries, led as they were by statesmen so bold and
profound as Hampden, Pym, St. John, Cromwell, and Vane, is what, from
the experience of the last twelve months, it was unreasonable to
anticipate. But, even if the Commons had been more favourably
inclined, it would not have been in their power to calm the mighty
waters that had been moved from their depths. They had permitted the
populace to mingle in their discussions, testifying pleasure at its
paltry applause, and encouraging its tumultuous aggressions on the
minority of the legislature. What else could they expect than that, so
soon as they ceased to satisfy the city apprentices, or the trained
bands raised under their militia bill, they must submit to that
physical strength which is the ultimate arbiter of political

Thus, with evil auspices, with much peril of despotism on the one
hand, with more of anarchy on the other, amidst the apprehensions and
sorrows of good men, the civil war commenced in the summer of 1642. I
might now perhaps pass over the period that intervened, until the
restoration of Charles II., as not strictly belonging to a work which
undertakes to relate the progress of the English constitution. But
this would have left a sort of chasm that might disappoint the reader;
and as I have already not wholly excluded our more general political
history, without a knowledge of which the laws and government of any
people must be unintelligible, it will probably not be deemed an
unnecessary digression, if I devote one chapter to the most
interesting and remarkable portion of British history.


[164] 4 E. 3, c. 14. It appears by the Journals, 30th Dec. 1640, that
the Triennial Bill was originally for the yearly holding of
parliaments. It seems to have been altered in the committee; at least
we find the title changed, Jan. 19.

[165] _Parl. Hist._ 702, 717; Stat. 16 Car. I, c. 1.

[166] C. 14.

[167] C. 8. The king had professed, in Lord-Keeper Finch's speech on
opening the parliament of April 1640, that he had only taken tonnage
and poundage _de facto_, without claiming it as a right, and had
caused a bill to be prepared, granting it to him from the commencement
of his reign. _Parl. Hist._ 533. See preface to Hargrave's _Collection
of Law Tracts_, p. 195, and Rymer, xx. 118, for what Charles did with
respect to impositions on merchandise. The long parliament called the
farmers to account.

[168] 16 Car. I, c. 10. The abolition of the star-chamber was first
moved (March 5th, 1641) by Lord Andover, in the House of Lords, to
which he had been called by writ. Both he and his father, the Earl of
Berkshire, were zealous royalists during the subsequent war. _Parl.
Hist._ 722. But he is not, I presume, the person to whom Clarendon
alludes. This author insinuates that the act for taking away the
star-chamber passed both houses without sufficient deliberation, and
that the peers did not venture to make any opposition; whereas there
were two conferences between the houses on the subject, and several
amendments and provisos made by the Lords, and agreed by the Commons.
Scarce any bill, during this session, received so much attention. The
king made some difficulty about assenting to the bills taking away the
star-chamber and high-commission courts, but soon gave way. _Parl.
Hist._ 853.

[169] Coke has strongly argued the illegality of fining and
imprisoning by the high commission. 4th Inst. 324. And he omitted this
power in a commission he drew, "leaving us," says Bishop Williams,
"nothing but the old rusty sword of the church, excommunication."
Cabala, p. 103. Care was taken to restore this authority in the reign
of Charles.

[170] 16 Car. I, c. 11.

[171] Hyde distinguished himself as chairman of the committee which
brought in the bill for abolishing the court of York. In his speech on
presenting this to the Lords, he alludes to the tyranny of Strafford,
not rudely, but in a style hardly consistent with that of his
_History_. _Parl. Hist._ 766. The editors of this, however, softened a
little what he did say in one or two places; as where he uses the word
_tyranny_, in speaking of Lord Mountnorris's case.

[172] C. 15.

[173] C. 19, 20.

[174] C. 16.

[175] C. 28.

[176] Journals, 16th Dec.; _Parl. Hist._ 968; Nalson, 750. It is
remarkable that Clarendon, who is sufficiently jealous of all that he
thought encroachment in the Commons, does not censure their explicit
assertion of this privilege. He lays the blame of the king's
interference on St. John's advice; which is very improbable.

[177] "A greater and more universal hatred," says Northumberland in a
letter to Leicester, Nov. 13, 1640 (_Sidney Papers_, ii. 663), "was
never contracted by any person than he has drawn upon himself. He is
not at all dejected, but believes confidently to clear himself in the
opinion of all equal and indifferent-minded hearers, when he shall
come to make his defence. The king is in such a straight that I do not
know how he will possibly avoid, without endangering the loss of the
whole kingdom, the giving way to the remove of divers persons, as well
as other things that will be demanded by the parliament. After they
have done questioning some of the great ones, they intend to endeavour
the displacing of Jermyn, Newcastle, and Walter Montague."

[178] Clarendon, i. 305. No one opposed the resolution to impeach the
lord lieutenant, save that Falkland suggested the appointment of a
committee, as more suitable to the gravity of their proceedings. But
Pym frankly answered that this would ruin all; since Strafford would
doubtless obtain a dissolution of the parliament, unless they could
shut him out from access to the king.

_The Letters of Robert Baillie_, Principal of the University of
Glasgow (two vols. Edinburgh, 1775), abound with curious information
as to this period, and for several subsequent years. Baillie was one
of the Scots commissioners deputed to London at the end of 1640, and
took an active share in promoting the destruction of episcopacy. His
correspondence breathes all the narrow and exclusive bigotry of the
presbyterian school. The following passage is so interesting that,
notwithstanding its length, it may find a place here:--

"The lieutenant of Ireland came but on Monday to town late, on Tuesday
rested, on Wednesday came to parliament, but ere night he was caged.
Intolerable pride and oppression cries to Heaven for a vengeance. The
lower house closed their doors; the speaker kept the keys till his
accusation was concluded. Thereafter Mr. Pym went up, with a number at
his back, to the higher house; and, in a pretty short speech, did, in
the name of the lower house, and in the name of the commons of all
England, accuse Thomas Earl of Strafford, lord lieutenant of Ireland,
of high treason; and required his person to be arrested till probation
might be heard; so Mr. Pym and his back were removed. The Lords began
to consult on that strange and unexpected motion. The word goes in
haste to the lord lieutenant, where he was with the king; with speed
he comes to the house; he calls rudely at the door; James Maxwell,
keeper of the black rod, opens: his lordship, with a proud glooming
countenance, makes towards his place at the board head: but at once
many bid him void the house; so he is forced, in confusion, to go to
the door till he was called. After consultation, being called in, he
stands, but is commanded to kneel, and on his knees to hear the
sentence. Being on his knees, he is delivered to the keeper of the
black rod, to be prisoner till he was cleared of these crimes the
House of Commons had charged him with. He offered to speak, but was
commanded to be gone without a word. In the outer room, James Maxwell
required him, as prisoner, to deliver his sword. When he had got it,
he cries with a loud voice, for his man to carry my lord lieutenant's
sword. This done, he makes through a number of people towards his
coach; all gazing, no man capping to him, before whom, that morning,
the greatest of England would have stood discovered, all crying, 'What
is the matter?' He said, 'A small matter, I warrant you.' They
replied, 'Yes, indeed, high treason is a small matter.' Coming to the
place where he expected his coach, it was not there; so he behoved to
return that same way, through a world of gazing people. When at last
he had found his coach, and was entering, James Maxwell told him,
'Your lordship is my prisoner, and must go in my coach;' so he behoved
to do."--P. 217.

[179] The trial of Strafford is best to be read in Rushworth or
Nalson. The account in the new edition of the _State Trials_, I know
not whence taken, is curious, as coming from an eye-witness, though
very partial to the prisoner; but it can hardly be so accurate as the
others. His famous peroration was printed at the time in a loose
sheet. It is in the _Somers Tracts_. Many of the charges seem to have
been sufficiently proved, and would undoubtedly justify a severe
sentence on an impeachment for misdemeanours. It was not pretended by
the managers, that more than two or three of them amounted to treason;
but it is the unquestionable right of the Commons to blend offences of
a different degree in an impeachment.

It has been usually said that the Commons had recourse to the bill of
attainder, because they found it impossible to support the impeachment
for treason. But St. John positively denies that it was intended to
avoid the judicial mode of proceeding. Nalson, ii. 162. And, what is
stronger, the Lords themselves voted upon the articles judicially, and
not as if they were enacting a legislative measure. As to the famous
proviso in the bill of attainder, that the judges should determine
nothing to be treason, by virtue of this bill, which they would not
have determined to be treason otherwise (on which Hume and many others
have relied, to show the consciousness of parliament that the measure
was not warranted by the existing law), it seems to have been
introduced in order to quiet the apprehensions of some among the
peers, who had gone great lengths with the late government, and were
astonished to find that their obedience to the king could be turned
into treason against him.

[180] They were confirmed, in a considerable degree, by the evidence
of Northumberland and Bristol, and even of Usher and Juxon. Rushw.
Abr. iv. 455, 559, 586; Baillie, 284. But are they not also exactly
according to the principles always avowed and acted upon by that
minister, and by the whole phalanx of courtiers, that a king of
England does very well to ask his people's consent in the first
instance, but, if that is frowardly refused, he has a paramount right
to maintain his government by any means?

It may be remarked, that Clarendon says: "the law was clear that less
than two witnesses ought not to be received in a case of treason." Yet
I doubt whether any one had been allowed the benefit of that law; and
the contrary had been asserted repeatedly by the judges.

[181] Lords' Journals, May 6; _Parl. Hist._ 757. This opinion of the
judges which is not mentioned by Clarendon, Hume, and other common
historians, seems to have cost Strafford his life. It was relied on by
some bishops, especially Usher, whom Charles consulted whether he
should pass the bill of attainder, though Clarendon puts much worse
casuistry into the mouth of Williams. Parr's _Life of Usher_, p. 45;
Hacket's _Life of Williams_, p. 160. Juxon is said to have stood alone
among five bishops, in advising the king to follow his conscience.
Clarendon, indeed, does not mention this; though he glances at Usher
with some reproach (p. 451); but the story is as old as the _Icon
Basilike_, in which it is alluded to.

[182] The names of the fifty-nine members of the Commons, who voted
against the bill of attainder, and which were placarded as
Straffordians, may be found in the _Parliamentary History_, and
several other books. It is remarkable that few of them are
distinguished persons; none so much so as Selden, whose whole
parliamentary career, notwithstanding the timidity not very fairly
imputed to him, was eminently honourable and independent. But we look
in vain for Hyde, Falkland, Colepepper, or Palmer. The first,
probably, did not vote; the others may have been in the majority of
204, by whom the bill was passed. Indeed, I have seen a MS. account of
the debate, where Falkland and Colepepper appear to have both spoken
for it. As to the Lords, we have, so far as I know, no list of the
nineteen who acquitted Strafford. It did not comprehend Hertford,
Bristol, or Holland, who were absent (Nalson, 316), nor any of the
popish lords, whether through fear or any private influence. Lord
Clare, his brother-in-law, and Lord Saville, a man of the most
changeable character, were his prominent advocates during the trial;
though Bristol, Hertford, and even Say, desired to have had his life
spared (Baillie, 243, 247, 271, 292); and the Earl of Bedford,
according to Clarendon, would have come into this. But the sudden and
ill-timed death of that eminent peer put an end to the negotiation for
bringing the parliamentary leaders into office, wherein it was a main
object with the king to save the life of Strafford; entirely, as I am
inclined to believe, from motives of conscience and honour, without
any views of ever again restoring him to power. Charles had no
personal attachment to Strafford; and the queen's dislike of him
(according to Clarendon and Burnet, though it must be owned, that
Madame de Motteville does not confirm this), or at least his general
unpopularity at court, would have determined the king to lay him

It is said by Burnet that the queen prevailed on Charles to put that
strange postscript to his letter to the Lords, in behalf of Strafford,
"If he must die, it were charity to reprieve him till Saturday;" by
which he manifestly surrendered him up, and gave cause to suspect his
own sincerity. Doubts have been thrown out by Carte as to the
genuineness of Strafford's celebrated letter, requesting the king to
pass the bill of attainder. They do not appear to be founded on much
evidence; but it is certain, by the manner in which he received the
news, that he did not expect to be sacrificed by his master.

[183] _Parliamentary History_, ii. 750.

[184] See some judicious remarks on this by May (p. 64), who generally
shows a good deal of impartiality at this period of history. The
violence of individuals, especially when of considerable note,
deserves to be remarked, as characteristic of the temper that
influenced the house, and as accounting for the disgust of moderate
men. "Why should he have law himself?" said St. John, in arguing the
bill of attainder before the peers, "who would not that others should
have any? We indeed give laws to hares and deer, because they are
beasts of chase; but we give none to wolves and foxes, but knock them
on the head wherever they are found, because they are beasts of prey."
Nor was this a mere burst of passionate declamation, but urged as a
serious argument for taking away Strafford's life without sufficient
grounds of law or testimony. Rushworth Abr. iv. 61; Clarendon, i. 407.
Strode told the house that, as they had charged Strafford with high
treason, it concerned them to charge as conspirators in the same
treason all who had before, or should hereafter, plead in that cause.
Baillie, 252. This monstrous proposal seems to please the presbyterian
bigot. "If this hold," he observes, "Strafford's council will be

[185] Clarendon and Hume, of course, treat this as a very trifling
affair, exaggerated for factious purposes. But those who judge from
the evidence of persons unwilling to accuse themselves or the king,
and from the natural probabilities of the case, will suspect, or,
rather, be wholly convinced, that it had gone much farther than these
writers admit. See the accounts of this plot in Rushworth and Nalson,
or in the _Parliamentary History_. The strongest evidence, however, is
furnished by Henrietta, whose relation of the circumstances to Madame
de Motteville proves that the king and herself had the strongest hopes
from the influence of Goring and Wilmot over the army, by means of
which they aimed at saving Strafford's life; though the jealousy of
those ambitious intriguers, who could not both enjoy the place to
which each aspired, broke the whole plot. _Mem. de Motteville_, i.
253. Compare with this passage, Percy's letter, and Goring's
deposition (Nalson, ii. 286, 294), for what is said of the king's
privity by men who did not lose his favour by their evidence. Mr.
Brodie has commented in a long note (iii. 189) on Clarendon's apparent
misrepresentations of this business. But what has escaped the
acuteness of this writer is, that the petition to the king and
parliament drawn up for the army's subscription, and asserted by
Clarendon to have been the only step taken by those engaged in the
supposed conspiracy (though not, as Mr. Brodie too rashly conjectures,
a fabrication of his own), is most carelessly referred by him to that
period or to the agency of Wilmot and his coadjutors; having been, in
fact, prepared about the July following, at the instigation of Daniel
O'Neale, and some others of the royalist party. This is manifest, not
only from the allusions it contains to events that had not occurred in
the months of March and April, when the plot of Wilmot and Goring was
on foot, especially the bill for triennial parliaments, but from
evidence given before the House of Commons in October 1641, and which
Mr. Brodie has published in the appendix to his third volume, though,
with an inadvertence of which he is seldom guilty, overlooking its
date and purport. This, however, is of itself sufficient to display
the inaccurate character of Clarendon's history; for I can scarcely
ascribe the present incorrectness to design. There are, indeed, so
many mistakes as to dates and other matters in Clarendon's account of
this plot, that, setting aside his manifest disposition to suppress
the truth, we can place not the least reliance on his memory as to
those points which we may not be well able to bring to a test.

[186] Journals; _Parliamentary Hist._ 784; May, 67; Clarendon.
According to Mrs. Hutchinson (p. 97) this bill originated with Mr.
Pierpoint. If we should draw any inference from the Journals, Sir John
Colepepper seems to have been the most prominent of its supporters.
Mr. Hyde and Lord Falkland were also managers of the conference with
the Lords. But in Sir Ralph Verney's manuscript notes, I find Mr.
Whitelock mentioned as being ordered by the house to prepare the bill;
which seems to imply that he had moved it, or at least been very
forward in it. Yet all these were moderate men.

[187] Neal (p. 632) has printed these canons imperfectly. They may be
found at length in Nalson, i. 542. It is remarkable that the seventh
canon expressly denies a corporal presence in the eucharist, which is
quite contrary to what Laud had asserted in his speech in the
star-chamber. His influence does not seem to have wholly predominated
in this particular canon, which is expressed with a moderation of
which he was incapable.

[188] Clarendon; _Parl. Hist._ 678, 896; Neal, 647, 720. These votes
as to the canons, however, were carried _nem. con._ Journals, 16th
Dec. 1640.

[189] Neal, 709. Laud and Wren were both impeached Dec. 18: the latter
entirely for introducing superstitions. _Parl. Hist._ 861. He lay in
the Tower till 1659.

[190] Neal says that the major part of the parliamentarians at the
beginning of the war were for moderated episcopacy (ii. 4), and
asserts the same in another place (i. 715) of the puritans, in
contradiction of Rapin. "How this will go," says Baillie, in April
1641, "the Lord knows; all are for the creating of a kind of
presbytery, and for bringing down the bishops in all things spiritual
and temporal, so low as can be with any subsistence; but their utter
abolition, which is the only aim of the most godly, is the knot of the
question."--i. 245.

[191] Neal, 666, 672, 713; Collier, 805; Baxter's _Life_, p. 62. The
ministers' petition, as it was called, presented Jan. 23, 1641, with
the signatures of 700 beneficed clergymen, went to this extent of
reformation. Neal, 679.

[192] _Parl. Hist._ 673; Clarendon, i. 356; Baillie's _Letters_, 218,
etc. Though sanguine as to the progress of his sect, he admits that it
was very difficult to pluck up episcopacy by the roots; for this
reason they did not wish the house to give a speedy answer to the city
petition. P. 241. It was carried by 36 or 37 voices, he says, to refer
it to the committee of religion. P. 245. No division appears on the

The whole influence of the Scots commissioners was directed to this
object; as not only Baillie's _Letters_, but those of Johnstone of
Wariston (Dalrymple's _Memorials of James and Charles I._, ii. 114,
etc.) show. Besides their extreme bigotry, which was the predominant
motive, they had a better apology for interfering with church-government
in England, with which the archbishop had furnished them: it was the
only sure means of preserving their own.

[193] Rushworth; Nalson.

[194] _Parl. Hist._ 814, 822, 828. Clarendon tells us, that being
chairman of the committee to whom this bill was referred, he gave it
so much interruption, that no progress could be made before the
adjournment. The house came, however, to a resolution, that the taking
away the offices of archbishops, bishops, chancellors, and
commissaries out of this church and kingdom, should be one clause of
the bill. June 12. Commons' Journals.

[195] Lord Hertford presented one to the Lords, from Somersetshire,
signed by 14,350 freeholders and inhabitants. Nalson, ii. 727. The
Cheshire petition, for preserving the Common Prayer, was signed by
near 10,000 hands. _Id._ 758. I have a collection of those petitions
now before me, printed in 1642, from thirteen English and five Welsh
counties, and all very numerously signed. In almost every instance, I
observe, they thank the parliament for putting a check to innovations
and abuses, while they deprecate the abolition of episcopacy and the
liturgy. Thus it seems that the presbyterians were very far from
having the nation on their side. The following extract from the
Somersetshire petition is a good sample of the general tone: "For the
present government of the church we are most thankful to God,
believing it in our hearts to be the most pious and the wisest that
any people or kingdom upon earth hath been withal since the apostles'
days; though we may not deny but, through the frailty of men, and
corruption of times, some things of ill consequence, and other
needless, are stolen or thrust into it; which we heartily wish may be
reformed, and the church restored to its former purity. And, to the
end it may be the better preserved from present and future innovation,
we wish the wittingly and maliciously guilty, of what condition soever
they be, whether bishops or inferior clergy, may receive condign
punishment. But, for the miscarriage of governors, to destroy the
government, we trust it shall never enter into the hearts of this wise
and honourable assembly."

[196] The house came to a vote on July 17, according to Whitelock (p.
46) in favour of Usher's scheme, that each county should be a diocese,
and that there should be a governing college or presbytery, consisting
of twelve, under the presidency of a bishop: Sir E. Dering spoke in
favour of this, though his own bill went much farther. Nalson, ii.
294; Neal, 703. I cannot find the vote in the journals; it passed,
therefore, I suppose, in the committee, and was not reported to the

[197] _Parl. Hist._ 774, 794, 817, 910, 1087. The Lords had previously
come to resolutions, that bishops should sit in the House of Lords,
but not in the privy council, nor be in any commission of the peace.
_Id._ 814.

The king was very unwilling to give his consent to the bill excluding
the bishops from parliament, and was, of course, dissuaded by Hyde
from doing so. He was then at Newmarket on his way to the north, and
had nothing but war in his head. The queen, however, and Sir John
Colepepper, prevailed on him to consent. Clarendon, _History_, ii. 247
(1826); _Life_, 51. The queen could not be expected to have much
tenderness for a protestant episcopacy; and it is to be said in favour
of Colepepper's advice, who was pretty indifferent in ecclesiastical
matters, that the bishops had rendered themselves odious to many of
those who wished well to the royal cause. See the very remarkable
conversation of Hyde with Sir Edward Verney, who was killed at the
battle of Edgehill, where the latter declares his reluctance to fight
for the bishops, whose quarrel he took it to be, though bound by
gratitude not to desert the king. Clarendon's _Life_, p. 68.

This author represents Lord Falkland as having been misled by Hampden
to take an unexpected part in favour of the first bill for excluding
the bishops from parliament. "The house was so marvellously delighted
to see the two inseparable friends divided in so important a point,
that they could not contain from a kind of rejoicing; and the more
because they saw Mr. Hyde was much surprised with the contradiction,
as in truth he was, having never discovered the least inclination in
the other towards such a compliance."--i. 413. There is, however, an
earlier speech of Falkland in print, against the London petition;
wherein, while objecting to the abolition of the order, he intimates
his willingness to take away their votes in parliament, with all other
temporal authority. _Speeches of the Happy Parliament_, p. 188
(published in 1641). Johnstone of Wariston says there were but four or
five votes against taking away civil places and seats in parliament
from the bishops. Dalrymple's _Memorials_, ii. 116. But in the
journals of the Commons (10th March 1640-1) it is said to be resolved,
after a long and mature debate, that the legislative power of bishops
is a hindrance to their function.

[198] "The higher house," says Baillie, "have made an order, which was
read in the churches, that none presume of their own head to alter any
customs established by law: this procured ordinance does not
discourage any one."--P. 237. Some rioters, however, who had pulled
down rails about the altar, etc., were committed by order of the Lords
in June. Nalson, ii. 275.

[199] _Parl. Hist._ 868. By the hands of this zealous knight fell the
beautiful crosses at Charing and Cheap, to the lasting regret of all
faithful lovers of antiquities and architecture.

[200] _Parl. Hist._ 907; Commons' Journals, Sept. 1, 1641. It was
carried at the time on a division by 55 to 37, that the committee
"should propound an addition to this order for preventing all contempt
and abuse of the book of Common Prayer, and all tumultuous disorders
that might arise in the church thereupon." This is a proof that the
church party were sometimes victorious in the house. But they did not
long retain this casual advantage. For, the Lords having sent down a
copy of their order of 16th January above mentioned, requesting the
Commons' concurrence, they resolved (Sept. 9) "that the house do not
consent to this order; it being thought unreasonable at this time to
urge the severe execution of the said laws." They contented themselves
with "expecting that the Commons of this realm do, in the meantime,
quietly attend the reformation intended, without any tumultuous
disturbance of the worship of God and peace of the realm." _See_
Nalson, ii. 484.

[201] May, p. 75. See this passage, which is very judicious. The
disunion, however, had in some measure began not long after the
meeting of parliament; the court wanted, in December 1640, to have
given the treasurer's staff to Hertford, whose brother was created a
peer by the title of Lord Seymour. Bedford was the favourite with the
Commons for the same office, and would doubtless have been a fitter
man at the time, notwithstanding the other's eminent virtues. _Sidney
Letters_, ii. 665, 666. See also what Baillie says of the introduction
of seven lords, "all commonwealth's men," into the council, though, as
generally happens, he is soon discontented with some of them. P. 246,
247. There was even some jealousy of Say, as favouring Strafford.

[202] Whitelock, p. 46. Bedford was to have been lord treasurer, with
Pym, whom he had brought into parliament for Tavistock, as his
chancellor of the exchequer; Hollis secretary of state. Hampden is
said, but not perhaps on good authority, to have sought the office of
governor to the Prince of Wales; which Hume, not very candidly, brings
as a proof of his ambition. It seems probable that, if Charles had at
that time (May 1641) carried these plans into execution, and ceased to
listen to the queen, or to those persons about his bed-chamber, who
were perpetually leading him astray, he would have escaped the
exorbitant demands which were afterwards made upon him, and even saved
his favourite episcopacy. But, after the death of the Earl of Bedford,
who had not been hostile to the church, there was no man of rank in
that party whom he liked to trust; Northumberland having acted, as he
thought, very ungratefully, Say being a known enemy to episcopacy, and
Essex, though of the highest honour, not being of a capacity to retain
much influence over the leaders of the other house. Clarendon
insinuates that, even as late as March 1642, the principal patriots,
with a few exceptions, would have been content with coming themselves
into power under the king, and on this condition would have left his
remaining prerogative untouched (ii. 326). But it seems more probable
that, after the accusation of the five members, no measure of this
kind would have been of any service to Charles.

[203] Commons' Journals, 22nd November. On a second division the same
night, whether the remonstrance should be printed, the popular side
lost it by 124 to 101. But on 15th December the printing was carried
by 135 to 83. Several divisions on important subjects about this time
show that the royalist minority was very formidable. But the
attendance, especially on that side, seems to have been irregular; and
in general, when we consider the immense importance of these debates,
we are surprised to find the house so deficient in numbers as many
divisions show it to have been. Clarendon frequently complains of the
supineness of his party; a fault invariably imputed to their friends
by the zealous supporters of established authority, who forget that
sluggish, lukewarm, and thoughtless tempers must always exist, and
that such will naturally belong to their side. I find in the short
pencil notes taken by Sir Ralph Verney, with a copy of which I have
been favoured by Mr. Serjeant D'Oyly, the following entry on the 7th
of August, before the king's journey to Scotland: "A remonstrance to
be made how we found the kingdom and the church, and how the state of
it now stands." This is not adverted to in Nalson, nor in the Journals
at this time. But Clarendon says, in a suppressed passage (vol. ii.
Append. 591) that "at the beginning of the parliament, or shortly
after, when all men were inflamed with the pressures and illegalities
which had been exercised upon them, a committee was appointed to
prepare a remonstrance of the state of the kingdom, to be presented to
his majesty, in which the several grievances might be recited; which
committee had never brought any report to the house; most men
conceiving, and very reasonably, that the quick and effectual progress
his majesty made for the reparation of those grievances, and
prevention of the like for the future, had rendered that work
needless. But as soon as the intelligence came of his majesty being on
his way from Scotland towards London, that committee was, with great
earnestness and importunity, called upon to bring in the draft of such
remonstrance," etc. I find a slight notice of this origin of the
remonstrance in the Journals, Nov. 17, 1640.

In another place, also suppressed in the common editions, Clarendon
says: "This debate held many hours, in which the framers and
contrivers of the declaration said very little, or answered any
reasons that were alleged to the contrary; the only end of passing it,
which was to incline the people to sedition, being a reason not to be
given; but called still for the question, presuming their number, if
not their reason, would serve to carry it; and after two in the
morning (for so long the debate continued, if that can be called a
debate, when those only of one opinion argued), etc., it was put to
the question." What a strange memory this author had! I have now
before me Sir Ralph Verney's MS. note of the debate, whence it appears
that Pym, Hampden, Hollis, Glyn, and Maynard, spoke in favour of the
remonstrance; nay, as far as these brief memoranda go, Hyde himself
seems not to have warmly opposed it.

[204] The letters of Sir Edward Nicholas, published as a supplement to
Evelyn's _Diary_, show how generally the apprehensions of popish
influence were entertained. It is well for superficial pretenders to
lay these on calumny and misrepresentation; but such as have read our
historical documents, know that the royalists were almost as jealous
of the king in this respect as the puritans. See what Nicholas says to
the king himself, pp. 22, 25, 29. Indeed he gives several hints to a
discerning reader, that he was not satisfied with the soundness of the
king's intentions, especially as to O'Neale's tampering with the army,
p. 77. Nicholas, however, became afterwards a very decided supporter
of the royal cause; and in the council at Oxford, just before the
treaty of Uxbridge, was the only one who voted according to the king's
wish, not to give the members at Westminster the appellation of a
parliament. P. 90.

[205] The king's speech about Goodman, Baillie tells us, gave great
satisfaction to all; "with _much humming_ was it received."--P. 240.
Goodman petitioned the house that he might be executed, rather than
become the occasion of differences between the king and parliament.
This was earlier in time, and at least equal in generosity, to Lord
Strafford's famous letter; or perhaps rather more so, since, though it
turned out otherwise, he had greater reason to expect that he should
be taken at his word. It is remarkable, that the king says in his
answer to the Commons, that no priest had been executed merely for
religion, either by his father or Elizabeth, which, though well meant,
was quite untrue. _Parl. Hist._ 712; Butler, ii. 5.

[206] See what Clarendon says of the effect produced at Westminster by
the Incident, in one of the suppressed passages. Vol. ii. Append, p.
575, edit. 1826.

[207] Nalson, ii. 788, 792, 804; Clarendon, ii. 84. The queen's
behaviour had been extraordinarily imprudent from the very beginning.
So early as Feb. 17, 1641, the French ambassador writes word: "La
reine d'Angleterre dit publiquement qu'il y a une trève arrestée pour
trois ans entre la France et l'Espagne, et que ces deux couronnes vont
unir leurs forces pour la défendre et pour venger les catholiques."
Mazure, _Hist. de la Révol. en 1688_, ii. 419. She was very desirous
to go to France, doubtless to interest her brother and the queen in
the cause of royalty. Lord Holland, who seems to have been the medium
between the parliamentary chiefs and the French court, signified how
much this would be dreaded by the former; and Richelieu took care to
keep her away; of which she bitterly complained. This was in February.
Her majesty's letter, which M. Mazure has been malicious enough to
print verbatim, is a curious specimen of orthography. _Id._ p. 416.
Her own party were equally averse to this step, which was chiefly the
effect of cowardice; for Henrietta was by no means the high-spirited
woman that some have fancied. It is well known that a few months
afterwards she pretended to require the waters of Spa for her health;
but was induced to give up her journey.

[208] Clarendon, ii. 81. This writer intimates that the Tower was
looked upon by the court as a bridle upon the city.

[209] Nalson, ii. 810, and other writers, ascribe this accusation of
Lord Kimbolton in the peers, and of the five members, as they are
commonly called, Pym, Hollis, Hampden, Haslerig, and Strode, to secret
information obtained by the king in Scotland of their former intrigues
with that nation. This is rendered in some measure probable by a part
of the written charge preferred by the attorney-general before the
House of Lords, and by expressions that fell from the king; such as,
"it was a treason which they should all thank him for discovering."
Clarendon, however, hardly hints at this; and gives, at least, a hasty
reader to understand that the accusation was solely grounded on their
parliamentary conduct. Probably he was aware that the act of oblivion
passed last year afforded a sufficient legal defence to the charge of
corresponding with the Scots in 1640. In my judgment, they had an
abundant justification in the eyes of their country for intrigues
which, though legally treasonable, had been the means of overthrowing
despotic power. The king and courtiers had been elated by the applause
he received when he went into the city to dine with the lord mayor on
his return from Scotland; and Madame de Motteville says plainly, that
he determined to avail himself of it in order to seize the leaders in
parliament (i. 264).

Nothing could be more irregular than the mode of Charles's proceedings
in this case. He sends a message by the serjeant-at-arms to require of
the speaker that five members should be given up to him on a charge of
high treason; no magistrate's or counsellor's warrant appeared; it was
the king acting singly, without the intervention of the law. It is
idle to allege, like Clarendon, that privilege of parliament does not
extend to treason; the breach of privilege, and of all constitutional
law, was in the mode of proceeding. In fact, the king was guided by
bad private advice, and cared not to let any of his privy council know
his intention, lest he should encounter opposition.

The following account of the king's coming to the house on this
occasion is copied from the pencil notes of Sir R. Verney. It has been
already printed by Mr. Hatsell (_Precedents_, iv. 106), but with no
great correctness. What Sir R. V. says of the transactions of Jan. 3
is much the same as we read in the Journals. He thus proceeds:
"Tuesday, January 4, 1641. The five gentlemen which were to be accused
came into the house, and there was information that they should be
taken away by force. Upon this, the house sent to the lord mayor,
aldermen, and common council to let them know how their privileges
were like to be broken, and the city put into danger, and advised them
to look to their security.

"Likewise some members were sent to the inns of court to let them know
how they heard they were tampered withal to assist the king against
them, and therefore they desired them not to come to Westminster.

"Then the house adjourned till one of the clock.

"As soon as the house met again, it was moved, considering there was
an intention to take these five members away by force, to avoid all
tumult, let them be commanded to absent themselves; upon this the
house gave them leave to absent themselves, but entered no order for
it. And then the five gentlemen went out of the house.

"A little after the king came with all his guard, and all his
pensioners, and two or three hundred soldiers and gentlemen. The king
commanded the soldiers to stay in the hall, and sent us word he was at
the door. The speaker was commanded to sit still with the mace lying
before him, and then the king came to the door, and took the palsgrave
in with him, and commanded all that came with him upon their lives not
to come in. So the doors were kept open, and the Earl of Roxburgh
stood within the door, leaning upon it. Then the king came upwards
towards the chair with his hat off, and the speaker stepped out to
meet him; then the king stepped up to his place, and stood upon the
step, but sat not down in the chair.

"And after he had looked a great while, he told us he would not break
our privileges, but treason had no privilege; he came for those five
gentlemen, for he expected obedience yesterday, and not an answer.
Then he called Mr. Pym and Mr. Hollis by name, but no answer was made.
Then he asked the speaker if they were here, or where they were? Upon
this the speaker fell on his knees, and desired his excuse, for he was
a servant to the house, and had neither eyes nor tongue to see or say
anything, but what they commanded him: then the king told him he
thought his own eyes were as good as his, and then said his birds were
flown, but he did expect the house should send them to him; and if
they did not, he would seek them himself, for their treason was foul,
and such a one as they would all thank him to discover: then he
assured us they should have a fair trial; and so went out, pulling off
his hat till he came to the door.

"Upon this the house did instantly resolve to adjourn till to-morrow
at one of the clock, and in the interim they might consider what to

"Wednesday, 5th Jan. 1641.--The house ordered a committee to sit at
Guildhall in London, and all that would come had voices. This was to
consider and advise how to right the house in point of privilege
broken by the king's coming yesterday with a force to take members out
of our house. They allowed the Irish committee to sit, but would
meddle with no other business till this were ended; they acquainted
the Lords in a message with what they had done, and then they
adjourned the house till Tuesday next."

The author of these memoranda in pencil, which extend, at intervals of
time, from the meeting of the parliament to April 1642, though
mistaken by Mr. Hatsell for Sir Edmund Verney, member for the county
of Bucks, and killed at the battle of Edgehill, has been ascertained
by my learned friend, Mr. Serjeant D'Oyly, to be his brother Sir
Ralph, member for Aylesbury. He continued at Westminster, and took the
covenant; but afterwards retired to France, and was disabled to sit by
a vote of the house, Sept. 22, 1645.

[210] _Mém. de Motteville_, i. 264. Clarendon has hardly been
ingenuous in throwing so much of the blame of this affair on Lord
Digby. Indeed, he insinuates in one place, that the queen's
apprehension of being impeached, with which some one in the confidence
of the parliamentary leaders (either Lord Holland or Lady Carlisle)
had inspired her, led to the scheme of anticipating them (ii. 232). It
has been generally supposed that Lady Carlisle gave the five members a
hint to absent themselves. The French ambassador, however, Montereuil,
takes the credit to himself. "J'avois prévenu mes amis, et ils
s'étoient mis en sûreté." Mazure, p. 429. It is probable that he was
in communication with that intriguing lady.

[211] Pp. 159, 180.

[212] The earliest proof that the Commons gave of their intention to
take the militia into their hands was immediately upon the discovery
of Percy's plot, 5th May 1641, when an order was made that the members
of each county, etc., should meet to consider in what state the places
for which they serve are in respect of arms and ammunition, and
whether the deputy lieutenants and lord lieutenants are persons well
affected to the religion and the public peace, and to present their
names to the house, and who are the governors of forts and castles in
their counties. Commons' Journals. Not long afterwards, or at least
before the king's journey to Scotland, Sir Arthur Haslerig, as
Clarendon informs us, proposed a bill for settling the militia in such
hands as they should nominate, which was seconded by St. John, and
read once, "but with so universal a dislike, that it was never called
upon a second time." Clarendon, i. 488. I can find nothing of this in
the Journals, and believe it to be one of the anachronisms into which
this author has fallen, in consequence of writing at a distance from
authentic materials. The bill to which he alludes must, I conceive, be
that brought in by Haslerig long after (7th Dec. 1641), not, as he
terms it, for settling the militia, but for making certain persons,
leaving their names in blank, "lords general of all the forces within
England and Wales, and lord admiral of England." The persons intended
seem to have been Essex, Holland, and Northumberland. The Commons had
for some time planned to give the two former earls a supreme command
over the trained bands north and south of Trent (Journals, Nov. 15 and
16); which was afterwards changed into the scheme of lord lieutenants
of their own nomination for each county. The bill above mentioned
having been once read, it was moved that it be rejected, which was
negatived by 158 to 125. Commons' Journals, 7th Dec. Nalson, ii. 719,
has made a mistake about these numbers. The bill, however, was laid
aside, a new plan having been devised. It was ordered (31st Dec. 1641)
"that the house be resolved into a committee on Monday next (Jan. 3),
to take into consideration the militia of the kingdom." That Monday
(Jan. 3) was the famous day of the king's message about the five
members; and on Jan. 13 a declaration for putting the kingdom in a
state of defence passed the Commons, by which "all officers,
magistrates, etc., were enjoined to take care that no soldiers be
raised, nor any castles or arms given up, _without his majesty's
pleasure, signified by both houses of parliament_." Commons' Journals;
_Parl. Hist._ 1035. The Lords at the time refused to concur in this
declaration, which was afterwards changed into the ordinance for the
militia; but 32 peers signed a protest (_Id._ 1049), and the house not
many days afterwards came to an opposite vote, joining with the
Commons in their demand of the militia. _Id._ 1072, 1091.

[213] Rymer, sub Edw. I. et II. _passim_. Thus, in 1297, a writ to the
sheriff of Yorkshire directs him to make known to all, qui habent 20
libratas terræ et reditus per annum, tam illis qui non tenent de nobis
in capite quam illis qui tenent, ut de equis et armis sibi provideant
et se probarent indilatè; ita quod sint prompti et parati ad veniendum
ad nos et eundum cum propriâ personâ nostrâ, pro defensione ipsorum et
totius regni nostri prædicti quandocunque pro ipsis duxerimus
demandandum. ii. 864.

[214] Stat. 1 Edw. III. c. 5.

[215] 25 Edw. III. c. 8. 4 H. IV. c. 13.

[216] 4 and 5 Philip and Mary, c. 3. The Harleian manuscripts are the
best authority for the practice of pressing soldiers to serve in
Ireland or elsewhere, and are full of instances. The Mouldys and
Bullcalfs were in frequent requisition. See vols. 309, 1926, 2219, and
others. Thanks to Humphrey Wanley's diligence, the analysis of these
papers in the catalogue will save the enquirer the trouble of reading,
or the mortification of finding he cannot read, the terrible scrawl in
which they are generally written.

[217] Wilkins's _Leges Anglo-Saxonicæ_, p. 333; Lyttleton's _Henry
II._, iii. 354.

[218] Stat. 13 E. I.

[219] 5 Philip and Mary, c. 2.

[220] 1 Jac. c. 25, § 46. An order of council, in Dec. 1638, that
every man having lands of inheritance to the clear yearly value of
£200 should be chargeable to furnish a light-horse man, every one of
£300 estate to furnish a lance, at the discretion of the lord
lieutenant, was unwarranted by any existing law, and must be reckoned
among the violent stretches of the prerogative at that time. Rushw.
Abr. ii. 500.

[221] Rymer, xix. 310.

[222] Grose's _Military Antiquities_, i. 150. The word artillery was
used in that age for the long-bow.

[223] Whitelock maintained, both on this occasion, and at the treaty
of Uxbridge, that the power of the militia resided in the king and two
houses jointly. Pp. 55, 129. This, though not very well expressed, can
only mean that it required an act of parliament to determine and
regulate it.

[224] See the list of those recommended, _Parl. Hist._ 1083. Some of
these were royalists; but on the whole, three-fourths of the military
force of England would have been in the hands of persons, who, though
men of rank, and attached to the monarchy, had given Charles no reason
to hope that they would decline to obey any order which the parliament
might issue, however derogatory or displeasing to himself.

[225] "When this bill had been with much ado accepted, and first read,
there were few men who imagined it would ever receive further
countenance; but now there were very few who did not believe it to be
a very necessary provision for the peace and safety of the kingdom. So
great an impression had the late proceedings made upon them, that with
little opposition it passed the Commons, and was sent up to the
Lords." Clarend. ii. 180.

[226] Clarendon, ii. 375; _Parl. Hist._ 1077, 1106, etc. It may be
added, that the militia bill, as originally tendered to the king by
the two houses, was ushered in by a preamble asserting that there had
been a most dangerous and desperate design on the House of Commons,
the effect of the bloody counsels of the papists, and other
ill-affected persons, who had already raised a rebellion in Ireland.
Clar. p. 336. Surely he could not have passed this, especially the
last allusion, without recording his own absolute dishonour: but it
must be admitted, that on the king's objection they omitted this
preamble, and also materially limited the powers of the lords
lieutenant to be appointed under the bill.

[227] A declaration of the grievances of the kingdom, and the remedies
proposed, dated April 1, may be found in the _Parliamentary History_,
p. 1155. But that work does not notice that it had passed the Commons
on Feb. 19, before the king had begun to move towards the north.
Commons' Journals. It seems not to have pleased the House of Lords,
who postponed its consideration, and was much more grievous to the
king than the nineteen propositions themselves. One proposal was to
remove all papists from about the queen; that is, to deprive her of
the exercise of her religion, guaranteed by her marriage contract. To
this objection Pym replied that the House of Commons had only to
consider the law of God and the law of the land; that they must resist
idolatry, lest they incur the divine wrath, and must see the laws of
this kingdom executed; that the public faith is less than that they
owe to God, against which no contract can oblige, neither can any bind
us against the law of the kingdom. _Id._ 1162.

[228] _Parl. Hist._ 702.

[229] Clarendon, p. 452. Upon this passage in the remonstrance a
division took place, when it was carried by 103 to 61. _Parl. Hist._
1302. The words in the old form of coronation oath, as preserved in a
bill of parliament under Henry IV., concerning which this
grammatico-political contention arose, are the following: "Concedis
justas leges et consuetudines esse tenendas, et promittis per te eas
esse protegendas, et ad honorem Dei corroborandas, _quas vulgus
elegerit_, secundum vires tuas?" It was maintained by one side that
_elegerit_ should be construed in the future tense, while the other
contended for the præterperfect. But even if the former were right, as
to the point of Latin construction, though consuetudines seems
naturally to imply a past tense, I should by no means admit the
strange inference that the king was bound to sanction all laws
proposed to him. His own assent is involved in the expression, "quas
vulgus elegerit," which was introduced, on the hypothesis of the word
being in the future tense, as a security against his legislation
without consent of the people in parliament. The English coronation
oath, which Charles had taken, excludes the future: Sir, will you
grant to hold and keep the laws and rightful customs, _which the
commonalty of this your kingdom have_?

[230] See what is said as to this by P. Orleans, iii. 87, and by
Madame de Motteville, i. 268. Her intended journey to Spa, in July
1641, which was given up on the remonstrance of parliament, is highly
suspicious. The house, it appears, had received even then information
that the Crown jewels were to be carried away. Nalson, ii. 391.

[231] The impeachments of Lord Finch and of Judge Berkeley for high
treason are at least as little justifiable in point of law as that of
Strafford. Yet, because the former of these was moved by Lord
Falkland, Clarendon is so far from objecting to it, that he imputes as
a fault to the parliamentary leaders their lukewarmness in the
prosecution, and insinuates that they were desirous to save Finch. See
especially the new edition of Clarendon, vol. i. Appendix. But they
might reasonably think that Finch was not of sufficient importance to
divert their attention from the grand apostate, whom they were
determined to punish. Finch fled to Holland; so that then it would
have been absurd to take much trouble about his impeachment: Falkland,
however, opened it to the Lords, 14 Jan. 1641, in a speech containing
full as many extravagant propositions as any of St. John's. Berkeley,
besides his forwardness about ship-money, had been notorious for
subserviency to the prerogative. The house sent the usher of the black
rod to the court of King's Bench, while the judges were sitting, who
took him away to prison; "which struck a great terror," says
Whitelock, "in the rest of his brethren then sitting in Westminster
Hall, and in all his profession." The impeachment against Berkeley for
high treason ended in his paying a fine of £10,000. But what appears
strange and unjustifiable is, that the houses suffered him to sit for
some terms as a judge, with this impeachment over his head. The only
excuse for this is, that there were a great many vacancies on that

[232] Journals, Aug. 30 and Nov. 9. It may be urged in behalf of these
ordinances, that the king had gone into Scotland against the wish of
the two houses, and after refusing to appoint a _custos regni_ at
their request. But if the exigency of the case might justify, under
those circumstances, the assumption of an irregular power, it ought to
have been limited to the period of the sovereign's absence.

[233] _Parl. Hist._ 678, _et alibi_; Journals, _passim_. Clarendon, i.
475, says this began to pass all bounds after the act rendering them
indissoluble. "It had never," he says, "been attempted before this
parliament to commit any one to prison, except for some apparent
breach of privilege, such as the arrest of one of their members, or
the like." Instances of this, however, had occurred before, of which I
have mentioned in another place the grossest, that of Floyd, in 1621.
The Lords, in March 1642, condemned one Sandford, a tailor, for
cursing the parliament, to be kept at work in Bridewell during his
life, besides some minor inflictions. Rushworth. A strange order was
made by the Commons, Dec. 10, 1641, that, Sir William Earl having
given information of some dangerous words spoken by certain persons,
the speaker shall issue a warrant to apprehend _such persons as Sir
William Earl should point out_.

[234] The entry of this in the journals is too characteristic of the
tone assumed in the Commons to be omitted. "This committee (after
naming some of the warmest men) is appointed to prepare heads for a
conference with the Lords, and to acquaint them what bills this house
hath passed and sent up to their lordships, which much concern the
safety of the kingdom, but have had no consent of their lordships unto
them; and that, this house being the representative body of the whole
kingdom, and their lordships being but as particular persons, and
coming to parliament in a particular capacity, that if they shall not
be pleased to consent to the passing of those acts and others
necessary to the preservation and safety of the kingdom, that then
this house, together with such of the lords that are more sensible of
the safety of the kingdom, may join together and represent the same
unto his majesty." This was on December 3, 1641, before the argument
from necessity could be pretended, and evidently contains the germ of
the resolution of February 1649, that the House of Lords was useless.

The resolution was moved by Mr. Pym; and on Mr. Godolphin's objecting,
very sensibly, that if they went to the king with the lesser part of
the Lords, the greater part of the Lords might go to the king with the
lesser part of them, he was commanded to withdraw (Verney MS.); and an
order appears on the journals, that on Tuesday next the house would
take into consideration the offence now given by words spoken by Mr.
Godolphin. Nothing further, however, seems to have taken place.

[235] This was carried Jan. 27, 1642, by a majority of 223 to 123, the
largest number, I think, that voted for any question during the
parliament. Richmond was an eager courtier, and perhaps an enemy to
the constitution, which may account for the unusual majority in favour
of his impeachment, but cannot justify it. He had merely said, on a
proposition to adjourn, "Why should we not adjourn for six months?"

[236] _Parl. Hist._ 1147, 1150, 1188; Clarendon, ii. 284, 346.

[237] Clarendon, 322. Among other petitions presented at this time,
the noble author inserts one from the porters of London. Mr. Brodie
asserts of this, that "it is nowhere to be found or alluded to, so far
as I recollect, except in Clarendon's _History_; and I have no
hesitation in pronouncing it a forgery by that author, to disgrace the
petitions which so galled him and his party. The journals of the
Commons give an account of every petition; and I have gone over them
_with the utmost care_, in order to ascertain whether such a petition
ever was presented, and yet cannot discover a trace of it."--iii. 306.
This writer is much too precipitate and passionate. No sensible man
will believe Clarendon to have committed so foolish and useless a
forgery; and as to Mr. B.'s diligent perusal of the journals, this
petition is fully noticed, though not inserted at length, on the 3rd
of February.

[238] Nalson, ii. 234, 245.

[239] The bishops had so few friends in the House of Commons, that in
the debate arising out of this protest, all agreed that they should be
charged with treason, except one gentleman, who said he thought them
only mad, and proposed that they should be sent to Bedlam instead of
the Tower. Even Clarendon bears rather hard on the protest; chiefly,
as is evident, because it originated with Williams. In fact, several
of these prelates had not courage to stand by what they had done, and
made trivial apologies. _Parl. Hist._ 996. Whether the violence was
such as to form a complete justification for their absenting
themselves, is a question of fact which we cannot well determine.
Three bishops continued at their posts, and voted against the bill for
removing them from the House of Lords. See a passage from Hall's "Hard
Measure," in Wordsworth's _Eccles. Biogr._ v. 317. The king always
entertained a notion that this act was null in itself; and in one of
his proclamations from York, not very judiciously declares his
intention to preserve the privileges of the _three_ estates of
parliament. The Lords admitted the twelve bishops to bail; but, with
their usual pusillanimity, recommitted them on the Commons'
expostulation. _Parl. Hist._ 1092.

[240] May, p. 187, insinuates that the civil war should have been
prevented by more vigorous measures on the part of the parliament. And
it might probably have been in their power to have secured the king's
person before he reached York. But the majority were not ripe for such
violent proceedings.

[241] These words are ascribed to Lord Chatham, in a speech of Mr.
Grattan, according to Lord John Russell, in his _Essay on the History
of the English Government_, p. 55.

[242] Clarendon has several remarkable passages, chiefly towards the
end of the fifth book of his _History_, on the slowness and timidity
of the royalist party before the commencement of the civil war. The
peers at York, forming, in fact, a majority of the upper house, for
there were nearly forty of them, displayed much of this. Want of
political courage was a characteristic of our aristocracy at this
period, bravely as many behaved in the field. But I have no doubt that
a real jealousy of the king's intentions had a considerable effect.

They put forth a declaration, signed by all their hands, on the 15th
of June 1642, professing before God their full persuasion that the
king had no design to make war on the parliament, and that they saw no
colour of preparations or counsels that might reasonably beget a
belief of any such designs; but that all his endeavours tended to the
settlement of the protestant religion, the just privileges of
parliament, the liberty of the subject, etc. This was an ill-judged,
and even absurd piece of hypocrisy, calculated to degrade the
subscribers; since the design of raising troops was hardly concealed,
and every part of the king's conduct since his arrival at York
manifested it. The commission of array, authorising certain persons in
each county to raise troops, was in fact issued immediately after this
declaration. It is rather mortifying to find Lord Falkland's name, not
to mention others, in this list; but he probably felt it impossible to
refuse his signature, without throwing discredit on the king; and no
man engaged in a party ever did, or ever can, act with absolute
sincerity; or at least he can be of no use to his friends, if he does
adhere to this uncompromising principle.

The commission of array was ill-received by many of the king's
friends, as not being conformable to law. Clarendon, iii. 91.
Certainly it was not so; but it was justifiable as the means of
opposing the parliament's ordinance for the militia, at least equally
illegal. This, however, shows very strongly the cautious and
constitutional temper of many of the royalists, who could demur about
the legality of a measure of necessity, since no other method of
raising an army would have been free from similar exception. The same
reluctance to enter on the war was displayed in the propositions for
peace, which the king, in consequence of his council's importunity,
sent to the two houses through the Earl of Southampton, just before he
raised his standard at Nottingham.

[243] According to a list made by the House of Lords, May 25, 1642,
the peers with the king at York were thirty-two; those who remained at
Westminster, forty-two. But of the latter, more than ten joined the
others before the commencement of the war, and five or six afterwards;
two or three of those at York returned. During the war there were at
the outside thirty peers who sat in the parliament.

[244] _Life of Clarendon_, p. 56.




Factions that, while still under some restraint from the forms at
least of constitutional law, excite our disgust by their selfishness
or intemperance, are little likely to redeem their honour when their
animosities have kindled civil warfare. If it were difficult for an
upright man to enlist with an entire willingness under either the
royalist or the parliamentarian banner, at the commencement of
hostilities in 1642, it became far less easy for him to desire the
complete success of one or the other cause, as advancing time
displayed the faults of both in darker colours than they had
previously worn. Of the parliament--to begin with the more powerful
and victorious party--it may be said, I think, with not greater
severity than truth, that scarce two or three public acts of justice,
humanity, or generosity, and very few of political wisdom or courage,
are recorded of them from their quarrel with the king to their
expulsion by Cromwell.

Notwithstanding the secession from parliament before the commencement
of the war, of nearly all the peers who could be reckoned on the
king's side, and of a pretty considerable part of the Commons, there
still continued to sit at Westminster many sensible and moderate
persons, who thought that they could not serve their country better
than by remaining at their posts, and laboured continually to bring
about a pacification by mutual concessions. Such were the Earls of
Northumberland, Holland, Lincoln, and Bedford, among the peers;
Selden, Whitelock, Hollis, Waller, Pierrepont, and Rudyard, in the
Commons. These however would have formed but a very ineffectual
minority, if the war itself, for at least twelve months, had not taken
a turn little expected by the parliament. The hard usage Charles
seemed to endure in so many encroachments on his ancient prerogative
awakened the sympathies of a generous aristocracy, accustomed to
respect the established laws, and to love monarchy, as they did their
own liberties, on the score of its prescriptive title; averse also to
the rude and morose genius of puritanism, and not a little jealous of
those upstart demagogues who already threatened to subvert the
graduated pyramid of English society. Their zeal placed the king at
the head of a far more considerable army than either party had
anticipated.[245] In the first battle, that of Edgehill, though he did
not remain master of the field, yet all the military consequences were
evidently in his favour.[246] In the ensuing campaign of 1643, the
advantage was for several months entirely his own; nor could he be
said to be a loser on the whole result, notwithstanding some reverses
that accompanied the autumn. A line drawn from Hull to Southampton
would suggest no very incorrect idea of the two parties, considered as
to their military occupation of the kingdom, at the beginning of
September 1643; for if the parliament, by the possession of Glocester
and Plymouth, and by some force they had on foot in Cheshire, and
other midland parts, kept their ground on the west of this line, this
was nearly compensated by the Earl of Newcastle's possession at that
time of most of Lincolnshire, which lay within it. Such was the
temporary effect, partly indeed of what may be called the fortune of
war, but rather of the zeal and spirit of the royalists, and of their
advantage in a more numerous and intrepid cavalry.[247]

It has been frequently supposed, and doubtless seems to have been a
prevailing opinion at the time, that if the king, instead of sitting
down before Glocester at the end of August, had marched upon London,
combining his operations with Newcastle's powerful army, he would have
brought the war to a triumphant conclusion.[248] In these matters men
judge principally by the event. Whether it would have been prudent in
Newcastle to have left behind him the strong garrison of Hull under
Fairfax, and an unbroken though inferior force, commanded by Lord
Willoughby and Cromwell in Lincolnshire, I must leave to military
critics; suspecting however that he would have found it difficult to
draw away the Yorkshire gentry and yeomanry, forming the strength of
his army, from their unprotected homes. Yet the parliamentary forces
were certainly, at no period of the war, so deficient in numbers,
discipline, and confidence; and it may well be thought that the king's
want of permanent resources, with his knowledge of the timidity and
disunion which prevailed in the capital, rendered the boldest and most
forward game his true policy.

_Efforts by the moderate party for peace._--It was natural that the
moderate party in parliament should acquire strength by the untoward
fortune of its arms. Their aim, as well as that of the constitutional
royalists, was a speedy pacification; neither party so much
considering what terms might be most advantageous to their own side,
as which way the nation might be freed from an incalculably protracted
calamity. On the king's advance to Colnbrook in November 1642, the two
houses made an overture for negotiation, on which he expressed his
readiness to enter. But, during the parley, some of his troops
advanced to Brentford, and a sharp action took place in that town. The
parliament affected to consider this such a mark of perfidy and
blood-thirstiness as justified them in breaking off the treaty; a step
to which they were doubtless more inclined by the king's retreat, and
their discovery that his army was less formidable than they had
apprehended. It is very probable, or rather certain, even from
Clarendon's account, that many about the king, if not himself, were
sufficiently indisposed to negotiate; yet, as no cessation of arms had
been agreed upon, or even proposed, he cannot be said to have waived
the unquestionable right of every belligerent, to obtain all possible
advantage by arms, in order to treat for peace in a more favourable
position. But, as mankind are seldom reasonable in admitting such
maxims against themselves, he seems to have injured his reputation by
this affair of Brentford.

_Treaty at Oxford._--A treaty, from which many ventured to hope much,
was begun early in the next spring at Oxford, after a struggle which
had lasted through the winter within the walls of parliament.[249] But
though the party of Pym and Hampden at Westminster were not able to
prevent negotiation against the strong bent of the House of Lords, and
even of the city, which had been taught to lower its tone by the
interruption of trade, and especially of the supply of coals from
Newcastle; yet they were powerful enough to make the houses insist on
terms not less unreasonable than those contained in their nineteen
propositions the year before.[250] The king could not be justly
expected to comply with these; but, had they been more moderate, or if
the parliament would have in some measure receded from them, we have
every reason to conclude, both by the nature of the terms he proposed
in return, and by the positive testimony of Clarendon, that he would
not have come sincerely into any scheme of immediate accommodation.
The reason assigned by that author for the unwillingness of Charles to
agree on a cessation of arms during the negotiation, though it had
been originally suggested by himself (and which reason would have been
still more applicable to a treaty of peace), is one so strange that it
requires all the authority of one very unwilling to confess any
weakness or duplicity of the king to be believed. He had made a solemn
promise to the queen on her departure for Holland the year before,
"that he would receive no person who had disserved him into any favour
or trust, without her privity and consent; and that, as she had
undergone many reproaches and calumnies at the entrance into the war,
so he would never make any peace but by her interposition and
mediation, that the kingdom might receive that blessing only from
her."[251] Let this be called, as the reader may please, the
extravagance of romantic affection, or rather the height of
pusillanimous and criminal subserviency, we cannot surely help
acknowledging that this one marked weakness in Charles's character,
had there been nothing else to object, rendered the return of cordial
harmony between himself and his people scarce within the bounds of
natural possibility. In the equally balanced condition of both forces
at this particular juncture, it may seem that some compromise on the
great question of the militia was not impracticable, had the king been
truly desirous of accommodation; for it is only just to remember that
the parliament had good reason to demand some security for themselves,
when he had so peremptorily excluded several persons from amnesty.
Both parties, in truth, were standing out for more than, either
according to their situation as belligerents, or even perhaps
according to the principles of our constitution, they could reasonably
claim; the two houses having evidently no direct right to order the
military force, nor the king, on the other hand, having a clear
prerogative to keep on foot an army which is not easily
distinguishable from a militia without consent of parliament. The most
reasonable course apparently would have been for the one to have
waived a dangerous and disputed authority, and the other to have
desisted from a still more unconstitutional pretension; which was done
by the bill of rights in 1689. The kingdom might have well dispensed,
in that age, with any military organisation; and this seems to have
been the desire of Whitelock, and probably of other reasonable men.
But unhappily when swords are once drawn in civil war, they are seldom
sheathed till experience has shown which blade is the sharper.

_Impeachment of the queen._--Though this particular instance of the
queen's prodigious ascendancy over her husband remained secret till
the publication of Lord Clarendon's life, it was in general well
known, and put the leaders of the Commons on a remarkable stroke of
policy, in order to prevent the renewal of negotiations. On her
landing in the north, with a supply of money and arms, as well as with
a few troops she had collected in Holland, they carried up to the
Lords an impeachment for high treason against her. This measure (so
obnoxious was Henrietta) met with a less vigorous opposition than
might be expected, though the moderate party was still in considerable
force.[252] It was not only an insolence, which a king, less uxorious
than Charles, could never pardon; but a violation of the primary laws
and moral sentiments that preserve human society, to which the queen
was acting in obedience. Scarce any proceeding of the long parliament
seems more odious than this; whether designed by way of intimidation,
or to exasperate the king, and render the composure of existing
differences more impracticable.

_Waller's plot._--The enemies of peace were strengthened by the
discovery of what is usually called Waller's plot, a scheme for making
a strong demonstration of the royalist party in London, wherein
several members of both houses appear to have been more or less
concerned. Upon the detection of this conspiracy, the two houses of
parliament took an oath not to lay down arms, so long as the papists
now in arms should be protected from the justice of parliament; and
never to adhere to, or willingly assist, the forces raised by the
king, without the consent of both houses. Every individual member of
the Peers and Commons took this oath; some of them being then in
secret concert with the king, and others entertaining intentions, as
their conduct very soon evinced, of deserting to his side.[253] Such
was the commencement of a system of perjury, which lasted for many
years, and belies the pretended religion of that hypocritical age.
But we may always look for this effect from oppressive power, and the
imposition of political tests.

The king was now in a course of success, which made him rather hearken
to the sanguine courtiers of Oxford, where, according to the
invariable character of an exiled faction, every advantage or reverse
brought on a disproportionate exultation or despondency, than to those
better counsellors who knew the precariousness of his good fortune. He
published a declaration, wherein he denied the two houses at
Westminster the name of a parliament; which he could no more take from
them, after the bill he had passed, than they could deprive him of his
royal title, and by refusing which he shut up all avenues to an equal
peace.[254] This was soon followed by so extraordinary a political
error as manifests the king's want of judgment, and the utter
improbability that any event of the war could have restored to England
the blessings of liberty and repose.

_Secession of some peers to the king's quarters._--Three peers of the
moderate party, the Earls of Holland, Bedford, and Clare, dissatisfied
with the preponderance of a violent faction in the Commons, left their
places at Westminster, and came into the king's quarters. It might be
presumed from general policy as well as from his constant declarations
of a desire to restore peace, that they would have been received with
such studied courtesy as might serve to reconcile to their own mind a
step which, when taken with the best intentions, is always equivocal
and humiliating. There was great reason to believe that the Earl of
Northumberland, not only the first peer then in England as to family
and fortune, but a man highly esteemed for prudence, was only waiting
to observe the reception of those who went first to Oxford, before he
followed their steps. There were even well-founded hopes of the Earl
of Essex, who, though incapable of betraying his trust as commander of
the parliament's army, was both from personal and public motives
disinclined to the war-party in the Commons. There was much to expect
from all those who had secretly wished well to the king's cause, and
from those whom it is madness to reject or insult, the followers of
fortune, the worshippers of power, without whom neither fortune nor
power can long subsist. Yet such was the state of Charles's
council-board at Oxford that some were for arresting these proselyte
earls; and it was carried with difficulty, after they had been
detained some time at Wallingford, that they might come to the court.
But they met there with so many and such general slights that, though
they fought in the king's army at Newbury, they found their position
intolerably ignominious; and after about three months, returned to the
parliament with many expressions of repentance, and strong testimonies
to the evil counsels of Oxford.[255]

The king seems to have been rather passive in this strange piece of
impolicy, but by no means to have taken the line that became him, of
repressing the selfish jealousy or petty revengefulness of his court.
If the Earl of Holland was a man, whom both he and the queen, on the
score of his great obligations to them, might justly reproach with
some ingratitude, there was nothing to be objected against the other
two, save their continuance at Westminster, and compliance in votes
that he disliked. And if this were to be visited by neglect and
discountenance, there could, it was plain, be no reconciliation
between him and the parliament. For who could imagine that men of
courage and honour, while possessed of any sort of strength and any
hopes of preserving it, would put up with a mere indemnity for their
lives and fortunes, subject to be reckoned as pardoned traitors who
might thank the king for his clemency, without presuming to his
favour? Charles must have seen his superiority consolidated by
repeated victories, before he could prudently assume this tone of
conquest. Inferior in substantial force, notwithstanding his transient
advantages, to the parliament, he had no probability of regaining his
station, but by defections from their banner; and these, with
incredible folly, he seemed to decline; far unlike his illustrious
father-in-law, who had cordially embraced the leaders of a rebellion
much more implacable than the present. For the Oxford counsellors and
courtiers who set themselves against the reception of the three
earls, besides their particular animosity towards the Earl of
Holland,[256] and that general feeling of disdain and distrust which,
as Clarendon finely observes, seems by nature attached to all
desertion and inconstancy, whether in politics or religion (even among
those who reap the advantage of it, and when founded upon what they
ought to reckon the soundest reasons), there seems grounds to suspect
that they had deeper and more selfish designs than they cared to
manifest. They had long beset the king with solicitations for titles,
offices, pensions; but these were necessarily too limited for their
cravings. They had sustained, many of them, great losses; they had
performed real or pretended services for the king; and it is probable
that they looked to a confiscation of enemies' property for their
indemnification or reward. This would account for an averseness to all
overtures for peace, as decided, at this period, among a great body of
the cavaliers as it was with the factions of Pym or Vane.

_The anti-pacific party gain the ascendant at Westminster._--These
factions were now become finally predominant at Westminster. On the
news that Prince Rupert had taken Bristol, the last and most serious
loss that the parliament sustained, the Lords agreed on propositions
for peace to be sent to the king, of an unusually moderate tone.[257]
The Commons, on a division of 94 to 65, determined to take them into
consideration; but the lord mayor Pennington having procured an
address of the city against peace, backed by a tumultuous mob, a small
majority was obtained against concurring with the other house.[258]
It was after this that the Lords above-mentioned, as well as many of
the Commons, quitted Westminster. The prevailing party had no thoughts
of peace, till they could dictate its conditions. Through Essex's
great success in raising the siege of Glocester, the most
distinguished exploit in his military life, and the battle of Newbury
wherein the advantage was certainly theirs, they became secure against
any important attack on the king's side, the war turning again to
endless sieges and skirmishes of partisans. And they now adopted two
important measures, one of which gave a new complexion to the quarrel.

Littleton, the lord keeper of the great seal, had carried it away with
him to the king. This of itself put a stop to the regular course of
the executive government, and to the administration of justice within
the parliament's quarters. No employments could be filled up, no writs
for election of members issued, no commissions for holding the assizes
completed without the indispensable formality of affixing the great
seal. It must surely excite a smile, that men who had raised armies,
and fought battles against the king, should be perplexed how to get
over so technical a difficulty. But the great seal in the eyes of
English lawyers, has a sort of mysterious efficacy, and passes for the
depository of royal authority in a higher degree than the person of
the king.

_The parliament makes a new great seal._--The Commons prepared an
ordinance in July for making a new great seal, in which the Lords
could not be induced to concur till October. The royalists, and the
king himself, exclaimed against this as the most audacious treason,
though it may be reckoned a very natural consequence of the state in
which the parliament was placed; and in the subsequent negotiations,
it was one of the minor points in dispute whether he should authorise
the proceedings under the great seal of the two houses, or they
consent to sanction what had been done by virtue of his own.

The second measure of parliament was of greater moment and more fatal
consequences. I have already mentioned the stress laid by the bigoted
Scots presbyterians on the establishment of their own church
government in England. Chiefly perhaps to conciliate this people, the
House of Commons had entertained the bill for abolishing episcopacy;
and this had formed a part of the nineteen propositions that both
houses tendered to the king.[259] After the action at Brentford they
concurred in a declaration to be delivered to the Scots commissioners,
resident in London, wherein, after setting forth the malice of the
prelatical clergy in hindering the reformation of ecclesiastical
government, and professing their own desire willingly and
affectionately to pursue a closer union in such matters between the
two nations, they request their brethren of Scotland to raise such
forces as they should judge sufficient for the securing the peace of
their own borders against ill-affected persons there; as likewise, to
assist them in suppressing the army of papists and foreigners, which,
it was expected, would shortly be on foot in England.[260]

This overture produced for many months no sensible effect. The Scots,
with all their national wariness, suspected that, in spite of these
general declarations in favour of their church polity, it was not much
at heart with most of the parliament, and might be given up in a
treaty, if the king would concede some other matters in dispute.
Accordingly, when the progress of his arms, especially in the north,
during the ensuing summer, compelled the parliament to call in a more
pressing manner, and by a special embassy, for their aid, they
resolved to bind them down by such a compact as no wavering policy
should ever rescind. They insisted therefore on the adoption of the
solemn league and covenant, founded on a similar association of their
own, five years before, through which they had successfully resisted
the king, and overthrown the prelatic government. The covenant
consisted in an oath to be subscribed by all sorts of persons in both
kingdoms, whereby they bound themselves to preserve the reformed
religion in the church of Scotland, in doctrine, worship, discipline,
and government, according to the word of God and practice of the best
reformed churches; and to endeavour to bring the churches of God in
the three kingdoms to the nearest conjunction and uniformity in
religion, confession of faith, form of church-government, directory
for worship, and catechising: to endeavour, without respect of
persons, the extirpation of popery, prelacy (that is, church
government by archbishops, bishops, their chancellors and
commissaries, deans and chapters, archdeacons, and all other
ecclesiastical officers depending on that hierarchy), and whatsoever
should be found contrary to sound doctrine and the power of godliness
to preserve the rights and privileges of the parliaments, and the
liberties of the kingdoms, and the king's person and authority, in the
preservation and defence of the true religion and liberties of the
kingdoms: to endeavour the discovery of incendiaries and malignants,
who hinder the reformation of religion, and divide the king from his
people, that they may be brought to punishment: finally, to assist and
defend all such as should enter into this covenant, and not suffer
themselves to be withdrawn from it, whether to revolt to the opposite
party, or to give in to a detestable indifference or neutrality. In
conformity to the strict alliance thus established between the two
kingdoms, the Scots commissioners at Westminster were intrusted,
jointly with a committee of both houses, with very extensive powers to
administer the public affairs.[261]

_The parliament subscribes to the covenant._--Every member of the
Commons who remained at Westminster, to the number of 228, or perhaps
more, and from 20 to 30 Peers that formed their upper house,[262]
subscribed this deliberate pledge to overturn the established church;
many of them with extreme reluctance, both from a dislike of the
innovation, and from a consciousness that it raised a most formidable
obstacle to the restoration of peace; but with a secret reserve, for
which some want of precision in the language of this covenant
(purposely introduced by Vane, as is said, to shelter his own schemes)
afforded them a sort of apology.[263] It was next imposed on all civil
and military officers, and upon all the beneficed clergy.[264] A
severe persecution fell on the faithful children of the Anglican
church. Many had already been sequestered from their livings, or even
subjected to imprisonment, by the parliamentary committee for
scandalous ministers, or by subordinate committees of the same kind
set up in each county within their quarters; sometimes on the score of
immoralities or false doctrine, more frequently for what they termed
malignity, or attachment to the king and his party.[265] Yet wary men
who meddled not with politics, might hope to elude this inquisition.
But the covenant, imposed as a general test, drove out all who were
too conscientious to pledge themselves by a solemn appeal to the Deity
to resist the polity which they generally believed to be of his
institution. What number of the clergy were ejected (most of them but
for refusing the covenant, and for no moral offence or imputed
superstition) it is impossible to ascertain. Walker, in his
_Sufferings of the Clergy_, a folio volume published in the latter end
of Anne's reign, with all the virulence and partiality of the
high-church faction in that age, endeavoured to support those who had
reckoned it at 8000; a palpable over-statement upon his own showing,
for he cannot produce near 2000 names, after a most diligent
investigation. Neal, however, admits 1600, probably more than
one-fifth of the beneficed ministers in the kingdom.[266] The
biographical collections furnish a pretty copious martyrology of men
the most distinguished by their learning and virtues in that age. The
remorseless and indiscriminate bigotry of presbyterianism might boast
that it had heaped disgrace on Walton, and driven Lydiat to beggary;
that it trampled on the old age of Hales, and embittered with insult
the dying moments of Chillingworth.

_Impeachment and execution of Laud._--But the most unjustifiable act
of these zealots, and one of the greatest reproaches of the long
parliament, was the death of Archbishop Laud. In the first days of the
session, while the fall of Strafford struck every one with
astonishment, the Commons had carried up an impeachment against him
for high treason, in fourteen articles of charge; and he had lain ever
since in the Tower, his revenues, and even private estate sequestered,
and in great indigence. After nearly three years' neglect, specific
articles were exhibited against him in October 1643, but not proceeded
on with vigour till December 1644; when, for whatever reason, a
determination was taken to pursue this unfortunate prelate to death.
The charges against him, which Wild, Maynard, and other managers of
the impeachment, were to aggravate into treason, related partly to
those papistical innovations which had nothing of a political
character about them, partly of the violent proceedings in the
star-chamber and high-commission courts, wherein Laud was very
prominent as a counsellor, but certainly without any greater legal
responsibility than fell on many others. He defended himself, not
always prudently or satisfactorily, but with courage and ability;
never receding from his magnificent notions of spiritual power, but
endeavouring to shift the blame of the sentences pronounced by the
council on those who concurred with him. The imputation of popery he
repelled by a list of the converts he had made; but the word was
equivocal, and he could not deny the difference between his
protestantism and that of our reformation. Nothing could be more
monstrous than the allegation of treason in this case. The judges, on
a reference by the Lords, gave it to be understood, in their timid
way, that the charges contained no legal treason.[267] But, the
Commons having changed their impeachment into an ordinance for his
execution, the Peers were pusillanimous enough to comply. It is said
by Clarendon that only seven Lords were in the house on this occasion:
but the Journals unfortunately bear witness to the presence of
twenty.[268] Laud had amply merited punishment for his tyrannical
abuse of power; but his execution at the age of seventy, without the
slightest pretence of political necessity, was a far more
unjustifiable instance of it than any that was alleged against him.

_Decline of the king's affairs in 1644._--Pursuant to the
before-mentioned treaty, the Scots army of 21,000 men marched into
England in January 1644. This was a very serious accession to
Charles's difficulties, already sufficient to dissipate all hopes of
final triumph, except in the most sanguine minds. His successes, in
fact, had been rather such as to surprise well-judging men than to
make them expect any more favourable termination of the war than by a
fair treaty. From the beginning it may be said that the yeomanry and
trading classes of towns were generally hostile to the king's side,
even in those counties which were in his military occupation; except
in a few, such as Cornwall, Worcester, Salop, and most of Wales, where
the prevailing sentiment was chiefly royalist;[269] and this
disaffection was prodigiously increased through the licence of his
ill-paid and ill-disciplined army. On the other hand, the gentry were,
in a great majority, attached to his cause, even in the parts of
England which lay subject to the parliament. But he was never able to
make any durable impression on what were called the associated
counties, extending from Norfolk to Sussex inclusively, within which
no rising could be attempted with any effect:[270] while, on the other
hand, the parliament possessed several garrisons, and kept up
considerable forces in that larger portion of the kingdom where he
might be reckoned superior. Their resources were far greater; and the
taxes imposed by them, though exceedingly heavy, more regularly paid,
and less ruinous to the people, than the sudden exactions, half
plunder, half contribution, of the ravenous cavaliers. The king lost
ground during the winter. He had built hopes on bringing over troops
from Ireland; for the sake of which he made a truce, then called the
cessation, with the rebel catholics. But this reinforcement having
been beaten and dispersed by Fairfax at Namptwich, he had the
mortification of finding that this scheme had much increased his own
unpopularity, and the distrust entertained of him even by his
adherents, without the smallest advantage. The next campaign was
marked by the great defeat of Rupert and Newcastle at Marston Moor,
and the loss of the north of England; a blow so terrible as must have
brought on his speedy ruin, if it had not been in some degree
mitigated by his strange and unexpected success over Essex in the
west, and by the tardiness of the Scots in making use of their
victory. Upon the result of the campaign of 1644, the king's affairs
were in such bad condition that nothing less than a series of
victories could have reinstated them; yet not so totally ruined as to
hold out much prospect of an approaching termination to the people's

_Factions at Oxford._--There had been, from the very commencement of
the war, all that distraction in the king's councils at Oxford, and
all those bickerings and heart-burnings among his adherents, which
naturally belong to men embarked in a dangerous cause with different
motives and different views. The military men, some of whom had served
with the Swedes in Germany, acknowledged no laws but those of war; and
could not understand that, either in annoying the enemy or providing
for themselves, they were to acknowledge any restraints of the civil
power. The lawyers, on the other hand, and the whole constitutional
party laboured to keep up, in the midst of arms, the appearances at
least of legal justice, and that favourite maxim of Englishmen, the
supremacy of civil over military authority, rather more strictly
perhaps than the nature of their actual circumstances would admit. At
the head of the former party stood the king's two nephews, Rupert and
Maurice, the younger sons of the late unfortunate elector palatine,
soldiers of fortune (as we may truly call them), of rude and imperious
characters, avowedly despising the council and the common law, and
supported by Charles, with all his injudiciousness and incapacity for
affairs, against the greatest men of the kingdom. Another very
powerful and obnoxious faction was that of the catholics, proud of
their services and sacrifices, confident in the queen's protection,
and looking at least to a full toleration as their just reward. They
were the natural enemies of peace, and little less hated at Oxford
than at Westminster.[271]

_Royalist lords and commoners summoned to Oxford._--At the beginning
of the winter of 1643 the king took the remarkable step of summoning
the peers and commoners of his party to meet in parliament at Oxford.
This was evidently suggested by the constitutionalists with the
intention of obtaining a supply by more regular methods than forced
contribution, and of opposing a barrier to the military and popish
interests.[272] Whether it were equally calculated to further the
king's cause may admit of some doubt. The royalist convention indeed,
which name it ought rather to have taken than that of parliament, met
in considerable strength at Oxford. Forty-three peers, and one hundred
and eighteen commoners, subscribed a letter to the Earl of Essex,
expressing their anxiety for a treaty of peace; twenty-nine of the
former, and fifty-seven of the latter, it is said, being then absent
on the king's service, or other occasions.[273] Such a display of
numbers, nearly double in one house, and nearly half in the other, of
those who remained at Westminster, might have an effect on the
nation's prejudices, and at least redeem the king from the charge of
standing singly against his parliament. But they came in no spirit of
fervid loyalty, rather distrustful of the king, especially on the
score of religion, averse to some whom he had injudiciously raised to
power, such as Digby and Cottington, and so eager for pacification as
not perhaps to have been unwilling to purchase it by greater
concessions than he could prudently make.[274] Peace however was by
no means brought nearer by their meeting; the parliament, jealous and
alarmed at it, would never recognise their existence; and were so
provoked at their voting the Lords and Commons at Westminster guilty
of treason, that, if we believe a writer of high authority, the two
houses unanimously passed a vote on Essex's motion, summoning the king
to appear by a certain day.[275] But the Scots commissioners had force
enough to turn aside such violent suggestions, and ultimately obtained
the concurrence of both houses in propositions for a treaty.[276] They
had begun to find themselves less likely to sway the councils of
Westminster than they had expected, and dreaded the rising ascendancy
of Cromwell. The treaty was opened at Uxbridge in January 1645. But
neither the king nor his adversaries entered on it with minds
sincerely bent on peace: they, on the one hand, resolute not to swerve
from the utmost rigour of a conqueror's terms, without having
conquered; and he, though more secretly, cherishing illusive hopes of
a more triumphant restoration to power than any treaty could be
expected to effect.[277]

The three leading topics of discussion among the negotiators at
Uxbridge were, the church, the militia, and the state of Ireland.
Bound by their unhappy covenant, and watched by their Scots
colleagues, the English commissioners on the parliament side demanded
the complete establishment of a presbyterian polity, and the
substitution of what was called the directory for the Anglican
liturgy. Upon this head there was little prospect of a union. The king
had deeply imbibed the tenets of Andrews and Laud, believing an
episcopal government indispensably necessary to the valid
administration of the sacraments, and the very existence of a
christian church. The Scots, and a portion of the English clergy, were
equally confident that their presbyterian form was established by the
apostles as a divine model, from which it was unlawful to depart.[278]
Though most of the laity in this kingdom entertained less narrow
opinions, the parliamentary commissioners thought the king ought
rather to concede such a point than themselves, especially as his
former consent to the abolition of episcopacy in Scotland weakened a
good deal the force of his plea of conscience; while the royalists,
even could they have persuaded their master, thought episcopacy,
though not absolutely of divine right (a notion which they left to the
churchmen), yet so highly beneficial to religion, and so important to
the monarchy, that nothing less than extreme necessity, or at least
the prospect of a signal advantage, could justify its abandonment.
They offered however what in an earlier stage of their dissensions
would have satisfied almost every man, that limited scheme of
episcopal hierarchy, above-mentioned as approved by Usher, rendering
the bishop among his presbyters much like the king in parliament, not
free to exercise his jurisdiction, nor to confer orders without their
consent, and offered to leave all ceremonies to the minister's
discretion. Such a compromise would probably have pleased the English
nation, averse to nothing in their established church except its
abuses; but the parliamentary negotiators would not so much as enter
into discussion upon it.[279]

They were hardly less unyielding on the subject of the militia. They
began with a demand of naming all the commanders by sea and land,
including the lord lieutenant of Ireland and all governors of
garrisons, for an unlimited time. The king, though not very willingly,
proposed that the command should be vested in twenty persons, half to
be named by himself, half by the parliament, for the term of three
years, which he afterwards extended to seven; at the expiration of
which time it should revert to the Crown. But the utmost concession
that could be obtained from the other side was to limit their
exclusive possession of this power to seven years, leaving the matter
open for an ulterior arrangement by act of parliament at their
termination.[280] Even if this treaty had been conducted between two
belligerent states, whom rivalry or ambition often excite to press
every demand which superior power can extort from weakness, there yet
was nothing in the condition of the king's affairs which should compel
him thus to pass under the yoke, and enter his capital as a prisoner.
But we may also remark that, according to the great principle, that
the English constitution, in all its component parts, was to be
maintained by both sides in this contest, the question for parliament
was not what their military advantages or resources for war entitled
them to ask, but what was required for the due balance of power under
a limited monarchy. They could rightly demand no further concession
from the king than was indispensable for their own and the people's
security; and I leave any one who is tolerably acquainted with the
state of England at the beginning of 1645, to decide whether their
privileges and the public liberties incurred a greater risk, by such
an equal partition of power over the sword, as the king proposed, than
his prerogative and personal freedom would have encountered by
abandoning it altogether to their discretion. I am far from thinking
that the acceptance of the king's propositions at Uxbridge would have
restored tranquillity to England. He would still have repined at the
limitations of monarchy, and others would have conspired against its
existence. But of the various consequences which we may picture to
ourselves as capable of resulting from a pacification, that which
appears to me the least likely is, that Charles should have
re-established that arbitrary power which he had exercised in the
earlier period of his reign. Whence, in fact, was he to look for
assistance? Was it with such creatures of a court as Jermyn or
Ashburnham, or with a worn-out veteran of office, like Cottington, or
a rash adventurer, like Digby, that he could outwit Vane, or overawe
Cromwell, or silence the press and the pulpit, or strike with panic
the stern puritan and the confident fanatic? Some there were, beyond
question, both soldiers and courtiers, who hated the very name of a
limited monarchy, and murmured at the constitutional language which
the king, from the time he made use of the pens of Hyde and Falkland,
had systematically employed in his public declarations.[281] But it is
as certain that the great majority of his Oxford parliament, and of
those upon whom he must have depended, either in the field or in
council, were apprehensive of any victory that might render him
absolute, as that Essex and Manchester were unwilling to conquer at
the expense of the constitution.[282] The catholics indeed, generally
speaking, would have gone great lengths in asserting his authority.
Nor is this any reproach to that body, by no means naturally less
attached to their country and its liberties than other Englishmen, but
driven by an unjust persecution to see their only hope of emancipation
in the nation's servitude. They could not be expected to sympathise in
that patriotism of the seventeenth century, which, if it poured warmth
and radiance on the protestant, was to them as a devouring fire. But
the king could have made no use of the catholics as a distinct body
for any political purpose, without uniting all other parties against
him. He had already given so much offence, at the commencement of the
war, by accepting the services which the catholic gentry were forward
to offer, that instead of a more manly justification, which the temper
of the times, he thought, did not permit, he had recourse to the
useless subterfuges of denying or extenuating the facts, and even to a
strangely improbable recrimination; asserting, on several occasions,
that the number of papists in the parliament's army was much greater
than in his own.[283]

It may still indeed be questioned whether, admitting the propositions
tendered to the king to have been unreasonable and insecure, it might
not yet have been expedient, in the perilous condition of his affairs,
rather to have tried the chances of peace than those of war. If he
could have determined frankly and without reserve to have relinquished
the church, and called the leaders of the presbyterian party in both
houses to his councils, it is impossible to prove that he might not
both have regained his power over the militia in no long course of
time, and prevailed on the parliament to consent to its own
dissolution. The dread that party felt of the republican spirit rising
amongst the independents, would have induced them to place in the
hands of any sovereign they could trust, full as much authority as our
constitution permits. But no one who has paid attention to the history
of that period, will conclude that they could have secured the king
against their common enemy, had he even gone wholly into their own
measures.[284] And this were to suppose such an entire change in his
character, and ways of thinking, as no external circumstances could
produce. Yet his prospects from a continuance of hostilities were so
unpromising that most of the royalists would probably have hailed his
almost unconditional submission at Uxbridge. Even the steady Richmond
and Southampton, it is said, implored him to yield, and deprecated his
misjudging confidence in promises of foreign aid, or in the successes
of Montrose.[285] The more lukewarm or discontented of his adherents
took this opportunity of abandoning an almost hopeless cause; between
the breach of the treaty of Uxbridge and the battle of Naseby, several
of the Oxford peers came over to the parliament, and took an
engagement never to bear arms against it. A few instances of such
defection had occurred before.[286]

_Miseries of the war._--It remained only, after the rupture of the
treaty at Uxbridge, to try once more the fortune of war. The people,
both in the king's and parliament's quarters, but especially the
former, heard with dismay that peace could not be attained. Many of
the perpetual skirmishes and captures of towns which made every man's
life and fortune precarious, have found no place in general history;
but may be traced in the journal of Whitelock, or in the Mercuries and
other fugitive sheets, great numbers of which are still extant. And it
will appear, I believe, from these that scarcely one county in England
was exempt, at one time or other of the war, from becoming the scene
of this unnatural contest. Compared indeed with the civil wars in
France in the preceding century, there had been fewer acts of
enormous cruelty, and less atrocious breaches of public faith. But
much blood had been wantonly shed, and articles of capitulation had
been very indifferently kept. "Either side," says Clarendon, "having
somewhat to object to the other, the requisite honesty and justice of
observing conditions was mutually, as it were by agreement, for a long
time violated."[287] The royalist army, especially the cavalry,
commanded by men either wholly unprincipled, or at least regardless of
the people, and deeming them ill affected, the princes Rupert and
Maurice, Goring and Wilmot, lived without restraint of law or military
discipline, and committed every excess even in friendly quarters.[288]
An ostentatious dissoluteness became characteristic of the cavalier,
as a formal austerity was of the puritan; one spoiling his neighbour
in the name of God, the other of the king. The parliament's troops
were not quite free from these military vices, but displayed them in a
much less scandalous degree, owing to their more religious habits and
the influence of their presbyterian chaplains, to the better example
of their commanders, and to the comparative, though not absolute,
punctuality of their pay.[289] But this pay was raised through
unheard-of assessments, especially an excise on liquors, a new name in
England, and through the sequestration of the estates of all the
king's adherents; resources of which he also had availed himself,
partly by the rights of war, partly by the grant of his Oxford

A war so calamitous seemed likely to endure till it had exhausted the
nation. With all the parliament's superiority, they had yet to subdue
nearly half the kingdom. The Scots had not advanced southward, content
with reducing Newcastle and the rest of the northern counties. These
they treated almost as hostile, without distinction of parties, not
only exacting contributions, but committing, unless they are much
belied, great excesses of indiscipline; their presbyterian gravity not
having yet overcome the ancient national propensities.[291] In the
midland and western parts the king had just the worse, without having
sustained material loss; and another summer might pass away in marches
and counter-marches, in skirmishes of cavalry, in tedious sieges of
paltry fortifications, some of them mere country houses, which nothing
but an amazing deficiency in that branch of military science could
have rendered tenable.

_Essex and Manchester suspected of lukewarmness._--This protraction of
the war had long given rise to no unnatural discontent with its
management, and to suspicions, first of Essex, then of Manchester and
others in command, as if they were secretly reluctant to complete the
triumph of their employers. It is indeed not impossible that both
these peers, especially the former, out of their desire to see peace
restored on terms compatible with some degree of authority in the
Crown, and with the dignity of their own order, did not always press
their advantages against the king, as if he had been a public
enemy.[292] They might have thought that, having drawn the sword
avowedly for the preservation of his person and dignity as much as for
the rights and liberties of the people, they were no farther bound by
their trust than to render him and his adherents sensible of the
impracticability of refusing their terms of accommodation.

_Self-denying ordinance._--There could however be no doubt that
Fairfax and Cromwell were far superior, both by their own talents for
war and the discipline they had introduced into their army, to the
earlier parliamentary commanders, and that, as a military arrangement,
the self-denying ordinance was judiciously conceived. This, which took
from all members of both houses their commands in the army, or civil
employments, was, as is well known, the first great victory of the
independent party which had grown up lately in parliament under Vane
and Cromwell.[293] They carried another measure of no less importance,
collateral to the former; the new-modelling, as it was called, of the
army; reducing it to twenty-one or twenty-two thousand men;
discharging such officers and soldiers as were reckoned unfit, and
completing their regiments by more select levies. The ordinance, after
being once rejected by the Lords, passed their house with some
modifications in April.[294] But many joined them on this occasion for
those military reasons which I have mentioned, deeming almost any
termination of the war better than its continuance. The king's
rejection of their terms at Uxbridge had disgusted some of the more
moderate men, such as the Earl of Northumberland and Pierrepont; who,
deeming reconciliation impracticable, took from this time a different
line of politics from that they had previously followed, and were
either not alive to the danger of new-modelling the army, or willing
to hope that it might be disbanded before that danger could become
imminent. From Fairfax too, the new general, they saw little to fear
and much to expect; while Cromwell, as a member of the House of
Commons, was positively excluded by the ordinance itself. But, through
a successful intrigue of his friends, this great man, already not less
formidable to the presbyterian faction than to the royalists, was
permitted to continue lieutenant-general.[295] The most popular
justification for the self-denying ordinance, and yet perhaps its real
condemnation, was soon found at Naseby; for there Fairfax and Cromwell
triumphed not only over the king and the monarchy, but over the
parliament and the nation.

It does not appear to me that a brave and prudent man, in the
condition of Charles the First, had, up to that unfortunate day, any
other alternative than a vigorous prosecution of the war, in hope of
such decisive success as, though hardly within probable calculation,
is not unprecedented in the changeful tide of fortune. I cannot
therefore blame him either for refusing unreasonable terms of
accommodation, or for not relinquishing altogether the contest. But,
after his defeat at Naseby, his affairs were, in a military sense, so
irretrievable that in prolonging the war with as much obstinacy as the
broken state of his party would allow, he displayed a good deal of
that indifference to the sufferings of the kingdom and of his own
adherents, which has been sometimes imputed to him. There was, from
the hour of that battle, one only safe and honourable course
remaining. He justly abhorred to reign, if so it could be named, the
slave of parliament, with the sacrifice of his conscience and his
friends. But it was by no means necessary to reign at all. The sea was
for many months open to him; in France, or still better in Holland, he
would have found his misfortunes respected, and an asylum in that
decent privacy which becomes an exiled sovereign. Those very hopes
which he too fondly cherished, and which lured him to destruction,
hopes of regaining power through the disunion of his enemies, might
have been entertained with better reason, as with greater safety, in a
foreign land. It is not perhaps very probable that he would have been
restored; but his restoration in such circumstances seems less
desperate than through any treaty that he could conclude in captivity
at home.

Whether any such thoughts of abandoning a hopeless contest were ever
entertained by the king during this particular period, it is
impossible to pronounce; we should infer the contrary from all his
actions. It must be said that many of his counsellors seem to have
been as pertinacious as himself, having strongly imbibed the same
sanguine spirit, and looking for deliverance, according to their
several fancies, from the ambition of Cromwell or the discontent of
the Scots. But, whatever might have been the king's disposition, he
would not have dared to retire from England. That sinister domestic
rule, to which he had so long been subject, controlled every action.
Careless of her husband's happiness, and already attached probably to
one whom she afterwards married, Henrietta longed only for his
recovery of a power which would become her own.[296] Hence, while she
constantly laid her injunctions on Charles never to concede anything
as to the militia or the Irish catholics, she became desirous, when no
other means presented itself, that he should sacrifice what was still
nearer to his heart, the episcopal church-government. The queen-regent
of France, whose sincerity in desiring the king's restoration there
can be no ground to deny,[297] was equally persuaded that he could
hope for it on no less painful conditions. They reasoned of course
very plausibly from the great precedent of flexible consciences, the
reconciliation of Henrietta's illustrious father to the catholic
church. As he could neither have regained his royal power, nor
restored peace to France without this compliance with his subjects'
prejudices, so Charles could still less expect, in circumstances by no
means so favourable, that he should avoid a concession, in the eyes of
almost all men but himself, of incomparably less importance.

_The king throws himself into the hands of the Scots._--It was in
expectation of this sacrifice, that the French envoy, Montreuil,
entered on his ill-starred negotiation for the king's taking shelter
with the Scots army. And it must be confessed that several of his best
friends were hardly less anxious that he should desert a church he
could not protect.[298] They doubted not, reasoning from their own
characters, that he would ultimately give way. But that Charles,
unchangeably resolved on this head,[299] should have put himself in
the power of men fully as bigoted as himself (if he really conceived
that the Scots presbyterians would shed their blood to re-establish
the prelacy they abhorred), was an additional proof of that delusion
which made him fancy that no government could be established without
his concurrence; unless indeed we should rather consider it as one of
those desperate courses, into which he who can foresee nothing but
evil from every calculable line of action will sometimes plunge at a
venture, borrowing some ray of hope from the uncertainty of its

It was an inevitable effect of this step, that the king surrendered
his personal liberty, which he never afterwards recovered. Considering
his situation, we may at first think the parliament tolerably
moderate, in offering nearly the same terms of peace at Newcastle
which he had rejected at Uxbridge; the chief difference being, that
the power of the militia which had been demanded for commissioners
nominated and removable by the two houses during an indefinite period,
was now proposed to reside in the two houses for the space of twenty
years; which rather more unequivocally indicated their design of
making the parliament perpetual.[301] But in fact they had so abridged
the royal prerogative by their former propositions, that, preserving
the decent semblance of monarchy, scarce anything further could be
exacted. The king's circumstances were however so altered that, by
persisting in his refusal of those propositions, he excited a natural
indignation at his obstinacy in men who felt their own right (the
conqueror's right), to dictate terms at pleasure. Yet this might have
had a nobler character of firmness, if during all the tedious parleys
of the last three years of his life, he had not, by tardy and partial
concessions, given up so much of that for which he contended, as
rather to appear like a pedlar haggling for the best bargain, than a
sovereign unalterably determined by conscience and public spirit. We
must, however, forgive much to one placed in such unparalleled
difficulties. Charles had to contend, during his unhappy residence at
Newcastle, not merely with revolted subjects in the pride of conquest,
and with bigoted priests, as blindly confident in one set of doubtful
propositions as he was in the opposite, but with those he had trusted
the most, and loved the dearest. We have in the _Clarendon State
Papers_ a series of letters from Paris, written, some by the queen,
others jointly by Colepepper, Jermyn, and Ashburnham, or the two
former, urging him to sacrifice episcopacy, as the necessary means of
his restoration. We have the king's answers, that display, in an
interesting manner, the struggles of his mind under this severe
trial.[302] No candid reader, I think, can doubt that a serious sense
of obligation was predominant in Charles's persevering fidelity to the
English church. For, though he often alleges the incompatibility of
presbyterianism with monarchy, and says very justly, "I am most
confident that religion will much sooner regain the militia than the
militia will religion,"[303] yet these arguments seem rather intended
to weigh with those who slighted his scruples, than the paramount
motives of his heart. He could hardly avoid perceiving that, as
Colepepper told him in his rough style, the question was, whether he
would choose to be a king of presbytery or no king. But the utmost
length which he could prevail on himself to go was to offer the
continuance of the presbyterian discipline, as established by the
parliament, for three years, during which a conference of divines
might be had, in order to bring about a settlement. Even this he would
not propose without consulting two bishops, Juxon and Duppa, whether
he could lawfully do so. They returned a very cautious answer,
assenting to the proposition as a temporary measure, but plainly
endeavouring to keep the king fixed in his adherence to the episcopal

Pressed thus on a topic, so important above all others in his eyes,
the king gave a proof of his sincerity by greater concessions of power
than he had ever intended. He had some time before openly offered to
let the parliament name all the commissioners of the militia for seven
years, and all the officers of state and judges to hold their places
for life.[305] He now empowered a secret agent in London, Mr. William
Murray, privately to sound the parliamentary leaders, if they would
consent to the establishment of a moderated episcopacy after three or
five years, on condition of his departing from the right of the
militia during his whole life.[306] This dereliction of the main
ground of contest brought down the queen's indignation on his head.
She wrote several letters, in an imperious and unfeeling tone,
declaring that she would never set her foot in England as long as the
parliament should exist.[307] Jermyn and Colepepper assumed a style
hardly less dictatorial in their letters,[308] till Charles withdrew
the proposal, which Murray seems never to have communicated.[309] It
was indeed the evident effect of despair and a natural weariness of
his thorny crown. He now began to express serious thoughts of making
his escape,[310] and seems even to hint more than once at a
resignation of his government to the Prince of Wales. But Henrietta
forbade him to think of an escape, and alludes to the other with
contempt and indignation.[311] With this selfish and tyrannical woman,
that life of exile and privacy which religion and letters would have
rendered tolerable to the king, must have been spent in hardly less
bitterness than on a dishonoured throne. She had displayed in France
as little virtue as at home; the small resources which should have
been frugally dispensed to those who had lost all for the royal cause
were squandered upon her favourite and her French servants.[312] So
totally had she abandoned all regard to English interest, that Hyde
and Capel, when retired to Jersey, the governor of which, Sir Edward
Carteret, still held out for the king, discovered a plan formed by the
queen and Jermyn to put that island into the hands of France.[313]
They were exceedingly perplexed at this discovery, conscious of the
impossibility of defending Jersey, and yet determined not to let it be
torn away from the sovereignty of the British Crown. No better
expedient occurred than, as soon as the project should be ripe for
execution, to despatch a message "to the Earl of Northumberland or
some other person of honour," asking for aid to preserve the island.
This was of course, in other words, to surrender it into the power of
the parliament, which they would not name even to themselves. But it
was evidently more consistent with their loyalty to the king and his
family, than to trust the good faith of Mazarin. The scheme, however,
was abandoned; for we hear no more of it.

It must, however, be admitted at the present day, that there was no
better expedient for saving the king's life, and some portion of
royal authority for his descendants (a fresh renunciation of
episcopacy perhaps only excepted), than such an abdication; the time
for which had come before he put himself into the hands of the Scots.
His own party had been weakened, and the number of his well-wishers
diminished, by something more than the events of war. The last
unfortunate year had, in two memorable instances, revealed fresh
proofs of that culpable imprudence, speaking mildly, which made wise
and honest men hopeless of any permanent accommodation. At the battle
of Naseby, copies of some letters to the queen, chiefly written about
the time of the treaty of Uxbridge, and strangely preserved, fell into
the hands of the enemy, and were instantly published.[314] No other
losses of that fatal day were more injurious to his cause. Besides
many proofs of a contemptible subserviency to one justly deemed
irreconcilable to the civil and religious interests of the kingdom,
and many expressions indicating schemes and hopes inconsistent with
any practicable peace, and especially a design to put an end to the
parliament,[315] he gave her power to treat with the English
catholics, promising to take away all penal laws against them as soon
as God should enable him to do so, in consideration of such powerful
assistance, as might deserve so great a favour, and enable him to
effect it.[316] Yet it was certain that no parliament, except in
absolute duress, would consent to repeal these laws. To what sort of
victory therefore did he look? It was remembered that, on taking the
sacrament at Oxford some time before, he had solemnly protested that
he would maintain the protestant religion of the church of England,
without any connivance at popery. What trust could be reposed in a
prince capable of forfeiting so solemn a pledge? Were it even supposed
that he intended to break his word with the catholics, after obtaining
such aid as they could render him, would his insincerity be less

_Discovery of Glamorgan's treaty._--These suspicions were much
aggravated by a second discovery that took place soon afterwards, of a
secret treaty between the Earl of Glamorgan and the confederate Irish
catholics, not merely promising the repeal of the penal laws, but the
establishment of their religion in far the greater part of
Ireland.[318] The Marquis of Ormond, as well as Lord Digby who
happened to be at Dublin, loudly exclaimed against Glamorgan's
presumption in concluding such a treaty, and committed him to prison
on a charge of treason. He produced two commissions from the king,
secretly granted without any seal or the knowledge of any minister,
containing the fullest powers to treat with the Irish, and promising
to fulfil any conditions into which he should enter. The king,
informed of this, disavowed Glamorgan; and asserted in a letter to the
parliament that he had merely a commission to raise men for his
service, but no power to treat of anything else, without the privity
of the lord lieutenant, much less to capitulate anything concerning
religion or any property belonging either to church or laity.[319]
Glamorgan however was soon released, and lost no portion of the king's
or his family's favour.

This transaction has been the subject of much historical controversy.
The enemies of Charles, both in his own and later ages, have
considered it as a proof of his indifference at least to the
protestant religion, and of his readiness to accept the assistance of
Irish rebels on any conditions. His advocates for a long time denied
the authenticity of Glamorgan's commissions. But Dr. Birch
demonstrated that they were genuine; and, if his dissertation could
have left any doubt, later evidence might be adduced in
confirmation.[320] Hume, in a very artful and very unfair statement,
admitting the authenticity of these instruments, endeavours to show
that they were never intended to give Glamorgan any power to treat
without Ormond's approbation. But they are worded in the most
unconditional manner, without any reference to Ormond. No common
reader can think them consistent with the king's story. I do not,
however, impute to him any intention of ratifying the terms of
Glamorgan's treaty. His want of faith was not to the protestant, but
to the catholic. Upon weighing the whole of the evidence, it appears
to me that he purposely gave Glamorgan, a sanguine and injudicious
man, whom he could easily disown, so ample a commission as might
remove the distrust that the Irish were likely to entertain of a
negotiation wherein Ormond should be concerned; while by a certain
latitude in the style of the instrument, and by his own letters to the
lord lieutenant about Glamorgan's errand, he left it open to assert,
in case of necessity, that it was never intended to exclude the
former's privity and sanction. Charles had unhappily long been in the
habit of perverting his natural acuteness to the mean subterfuges of
equivocal language.

By these discoveries of the king's insincerity, and by what seemed his
infatuated obstinacy in refusing terms of accommodation, both nations
became more and more alienated from him; the one hardly restrained
from casting him off, the other ready to leave him to his fate.[321]

_The king delivered up by the Scots._--This ill opinion of the king
forms one apology for that action which has exposed the Scots nation
to so much reproach--their delivery of his person to the English
parliament. Perhaps if we place ourselves in their situation, it will
not appear deserving of quite such indignant censure. It would have
shown more generosity to have offered the king an alternative of
retiring to Holland; and from what we now know, he probably would not
have neglected the opportunity. But the consequence might have been
his solemn deposition from the English throne; and, however we may
think such banishment more honourable than the acceptance of degrading
conditions, the Scots, we should remember, saw nothing in the king's
taking the covenant, and sweeping away prelatic superstitions, but the
bounden duty of a christian sovereign, which only the most perverse
self-will induced him to set at nought.[322] They had a right also to
consider the interests of his family, which the threatened
establishment of a republic in England would defeat. To carry him back
with their army into Scotland, besides being equally ruinous to the
English monarchy, would have exposed their nation to the most serious
dangers. To undertake his defence by arms against England, as the
ardent royalists desired, and doubtless the determined republicans no
less, would have been, as was proved afterwards, a mad and culpable
renewal of the miseries of both kingdoms.[323] He had voluntarily come
to their camp; no faith was pledged to him; their very right to retain
his person, though they had argued for it with the English parliament,
seemed open to much doubt. The circumstance, unquestionably, which has
always given a character of apparent baseness to this transaction, is
the payment of £400,000 made to them so nearly at the same time that
it has passed for the price of the king's person. This sum was part of
a larger demand on the score of arrears of pay, and had been agreed
upon long before we have any proof or reasonable suspicion of a
stipulation to deliver up the king.[324] That the parliament would
never have actually paid it on any other consideration, there can be,
I presume, no kind of doubt; and of this the Scots must have been
fully aware. But whether there were any such secret bargain as has
been supposed, or whether they would have delivered him up, if there
had been no pecuniary expectation in the case, is what I cannot
perceive sufficient grounds to pronounce with confidence; though I am
much inclined to believe the affirmative of the latter question. And
it is deserving of particular observation, that the party in the House
of Commons which sought most earnestly to obtain possession of the
king's person, and carried all the votes for payment of money to the
Scots, was that which had no further aim than an accommodation with
him, and a settlement of the government on the basis of its
fundamental laws, though doubtless on terms very derogatory to his
prerogative; while those who opposed each part of the negotiation were
the zealous enemies of the king, and, in some instances, at least, of
the monarchy. The Journals bear witness to this.[325]

_Growth of the independents and republicans._--Whatever might have
been the consequence of the king's accepting the propositions of
Newcastle, his chance of restoration upon any terms was now in all
appearance very slender. He had to encounter enemies more dangerous
and implacable than the presbyterians. That faction, which from small
and insensible beginnings had acquired continued strength, through
ambition in a few, through fanaticism in many, through a despair in
some of reconciling the pretensions of royalty with those of the
people, was now rapidly ascending to superiority. Though still weak in
the House of Commons, it had spread prodigiously in the army,
especially since its new-modelling at the time of the self-denying
ordinance.[326] The presbyterians saw with dismay the growth of their
own and the constitution's enemies. But the royalists, who had less to
fear from confusion than from any settlement that the Commons would be
brought to make, rejoiced in the increasing disunion; and fondly
believed, like their master, that one or other party must seek
assistance at their hands.[327]

_Opposition to the presbyterian government._--The independent party
comprehended, besides the members of that religious denomination,[328]
a countless brood of fanatical sectaries, nursed in the lap of
presbyterianism, and fed with the stimulating aliment she furnished,
till their intoxicated fancies could neither be restrained within the
limits of her creed nor those of her discipline.[329] The presbyterian
zealots were systematically intolerant. A common cause made toleration
the doctrine of the sectaries. About the beginning of the war, it had
been deemed expedient to call together an assembly of divines,
nominated by the parliament, and consisting not only of clergymen,
but, according to the presbyterian usage, of lay members, peers as
well as commoners, by whose advice a general reformation of the church
was to be planned.[330] These were chiefly presbyterian; though a
small minority of independents, and a few moderate episcopalians,
headed by Selden,[331] gave them much trouble. The general imposition
of the covenant, and the substitution of the directory for the common
prayer (which was forbidden to be used even in any private family, by
an ordinance of August 1645), seemed to assure the triumph of
presbyterianism; which became complete, in point of law, by an
ordinance of February 1646, establishing for three years the Scots
model of classes, synods, and general assemblies throughout
England.[332] But in this very ordinance there was a reservation which
wounded the spiritual arrogance of that party. Their favourite tenet
had always been the independency of the church. They had rejected,
with as much abhorrence as the catholics themselves, the royal
supremacy, so far as it controlled the exercise of spiritual
discipline. But the House of Commons were inclined to part with no
portion of that prerogative which they had wrested from the Crown.
Besides the independents, who were still weak, a party called
Erastians,[333] and chiefly composed of the common lawyers, under the
guidance of Selden, the sworn foe of every ecclesiastical usurpation,
withstood the assembly's pretensions with success. They negatived a
declaration of the divine right of presbyterian government. They voted
a petition from the assembly, complaining of a recent ordinance as an
encroachment on spiritual jurisdiction, to be a breach of privilege.
The presbyterian tribunals were made subject to the appellant control
of parliament; as those of the Anglican church had been to that of the
Crown. The cases wherein spiritual censures could be pronounced, or
the sacrament denied, instead of being left to the clergy, were
defined by law.[334] Whether from dissatisfaction on this account, or
some other reason, the presbyterian discipline was never carried into
effect, except to a certain extent in London and in Lancashire. But
the beneficed clergy throughout England, till the return of Charles
II., were chiefly, though not entirely, of that denomination.[335]

This party was still so far predominant, having the strong support of
the city of London and its corporation,[336] with almost all the peers
who remained in their house, that the independents and other sectaries
neither opposed this ordinance for its temporary establishment, nor
sought anything farther than a toleration for their own worship. The
question, as Neal well observes, was not between presbytery and
independency, but between presbytery with a toleration, and without
one.[337] Not merely from their own exclusive bigotry, but from a
political alarm by no means ungrounded, the presbyterians stood firmly
against all liberty of conscience. But in this again they could not
influence the House of Commons to suppress the sectaries, though no
open declaration in favour of indulgence was as yet made. It is still
the boast of the independents that they first brought forward the
great principles of religious toleration (I mean as distinguished from
maxims of political expediency) which had been confined to a few
philosophical minds; to Sir Thomas More, in those days of his better
judgment when he planned his republic of Utopia, to Thuanus, or
L'Hospital. Such principles are indeed naturally congenial to the
persecuted; and it is by the alternate oppression of so many different
sects, that they have now obtained their universal reception. But the
independents also assert that they first maintained them while in
power; a far higher praise, which however can only be allowed them by
comparison. Without invidiously glancing at their early conduct in New
England,[338] it must be admitted that the continuance of the penal
laws against catholics, the prohibition of the episcopalian worship,
and the punishment of one or two anti-trinitarians under Cromwell, are
proofs that the tolerant principle had not yet acquired perfect
vigour. If the independent sectaries were its earliest advocates, it
was the Anglican writers, the latitudinarian school of Chillingworth,
Hales, Taylor, Locke, and Hoadley, that rendered it victorious.[339]

The king, as I have said, and his party cherished too sanguine hopes
from the disunion of their opponents.[340] Though warned of it by the
parliamentary commissioners at Uxbridge, though in fact it was quite
notorious and undisguised, they seem never to have comprehended that
many active spirits looked to the entire subversion of the monarchy.
The king in particular was haunted by a prejudice, natural to his
obstinate and undiscerning mind, that he was necessary to the
settlement of the nation; so that, if he remained firm, the whole
parliament and army must be at his feet. Yet during the negotiations
at Newcastle there was daily an imminent danger that the majority of
parliament, irritated by his delays, would come to some vote excluding
him from the throne. The Scots presbyterians, whatever we may think of
their behaviour, were sincerely attached, if not by loyal affection,
yet by national pride, to the blood of their ancient kings. They
thought and spoke of Charles as of a headstrong child, to be
restrained and chastised, but never cast off.[341] But in England he
had absolutely no friends among the prevailing party; many there were
who thought monarchy best for the nation, but none who cared for the

This schism nevertheless between the parliament and the army was at
least in appearance very desirable for Charles, and seemed to afford
him an opportunity which a discreet prince might improve to great
advantage, though it unfortunately deluded him with chimerical
expectations.[342] At the conclusion of the war, which the useless
obstinacy of the royalists had protracted till the beginning of
1647,[343] the Commons began to take measures for breaking the force
of their remaining enemy. They resolved to disband a part of the army,
and to send the rest into Ireland.[344] They formed schemes for
getting rid of Cromwell, and even made some demur about continuing
Fairfax in command.[345] But in all measures that exact promptitude
and energy, treachery and timidity are apt to enfeeble the resolutions
of a popular assembly. Their demonstrations of enmity were however so
alarming to the army, who knew themselves disliked by the people, and
dependent for their pay on the parliament, that as early as April,
1647, an overture was secretly made to the king, that they would
replace him in his power and dignity. He cautiously answered, that he
would not involve the kingdom in a fresh war, but should ever feel the
strongest sense of this offer from the army.[346] Whether they were
discontented at the coldness of this reply, or, as is more probable,
the offer had only proceeded from a minority of the officers, no
further overture was made, till not long afterwards the bold
manoeuvre of Joyce had placed the king's person in their power.

_The parliament yield to the army._--The first effect of this military
violence was to display the parliament's deficiency in political
courage. It contained, we well know, a store of energetic spirits, not
apt to swerve from their attachments. But, where two parties are
almost equally balanced, the defection, which external circumstances
must produce among those timid and feeble men from whom no assembly
can be free, even though they should form but a small minority, will
of course give a character of cowardice and vacillation to counsels,
which is imputed to the whole. They immediately expunged, by a
majority of 96 to 79, a vote of reprehension passed some weeks before,
upon a remonstrance from the army which the presbyterians had highly
resented, and gave other proofs of retracing their steps. But the
army was not inclined to accept their submission in full discharge of
the provocation. It had schemes of its own for the reformation and
settlement of the kingdom, more extensive than those of the
presbyterian faction. It had its own wrongs also to revenge. Advancing
towards London, the general and council of war sent up charges of
treason against eleven principal members of that party, who obtained
leave to retire beyond sea. Here may be said to have fallen the
legislative power and civil government of England; which from this
hour till that of the restoration had never more than a momentary and
precarious gleam of existence, perpetually interrupted by the sword.

Those who have once bowed their knee to force, must expect that force
will be for ever their master. In a few weeks after this submission of
the Commons to the army, they were insulted by an unruly, tumultuous
mob of apprentices, engaged in the presbyterian politics of the city,
who compelled them by actual violence to rescind several of their late
votes.[347] Trampled upon by either side, the two speakers, several
peers, and a great number of the lower house, deemed it somewhat less
ignominious, and certainly more politic, to throw themselves on the
protection of the army. They were accordingly soon restored to their
places, at the price of a more complete and irretrievable subjection
to the military power than they had already undergone. Though the
presbyterians maintained a pertinacious resistance within the walls of
the house, it was evident that the real power of command was gone from
them, and that Cromwell with the army must either become arbiters
between the king and parliament, or crush the remaining authority of

_Mysterious conduct of Cromwell._--There are few circumstances in our
history which have caused more perplexity to inquirers than the
conduct of Cromwell and his friends towards the king in the year 1647.
Those who look only at the ambitious and dissembling character of that
leader, or at the fierce republicanism imputed to Ireton, will hardly
believe that either of them could harbour anything like sincere
designs of restoring him even to that remnant of sovereignty which the
parliament would have spared. Yet, when we consider attentively the
public documents and private memoirs of that period, it does appear
probable that their first intentions towards the king were not
unfavourable, and so far sincere that it was their project to make use
of his name rather than totally to set him aside. But whether by
gratifying Cromwell and his associates with honours, and throwing the
whole administration into their hands, Charles would have long
contrived to keep a tarnished crown on his head, must be very

_Imprudent hopes of the king._--The new gaolers of this unfortunate
prince began by treating him with unusual indulgence, especially in
permitting his episcopal chaplains to attend him. This was deemed a
pledge of what he thought an invaluable advantage in dealing with the
army, that they would not insist upon the covenant, which in fact was
nearly as odious to them as to the royalists, though for very
different reasons. Charles, naturally sanguine, and utterly incapable
in every part of his life of taking a just view of affairs, was
extravagantly elated by these equivocal testimonies of good-will. He
blindly listened to private insinuations from rash or treacherous
friends, that the soldiers were with him, just after his seizure by
Joyce. "I would have you to know, sir," he said to Fairfax, "that I
have as good an interest in the army as yourself;" an opinion as
injudiciously uttered as it was absurdly conceived.[349] These strange
expectations account for the ill reception which in the hasty
irritation of disappointment he gave to the proposals of the army,
when they were actually tendered to him at Hampton Court, and which
seems to have eventually cost him his life. These proposals appear to
have been drawn up by Ireton, a lawyer by education, and a man of much
courage and capacity. He had been supposed, like a large proportion of
the officers, to aim at a settlement of the nation under a
democratical polity. But the army, even if their wishes in general
went so far, which is hardly evident, were not yet so decidedly
masters as to dictate a form of government uncongenial to the ancient
laws and fixed prejudices of the people. Something of this tendency is
discoverable in the propositions made to the king, which had never
appeared in those of the parliament. It was proposed that parliaments
should be biennial; that they should never sit less than a hundred and
twenty days, nor more than two hundred and forty; that the
representation of the Commons should be reformed, by abolishing small
boroughs and increasing the number of members for counties, so as to
render the House of Commons, as near as might be, an equal
representation of the whole. In respect of the militia and some other
points, they either followed the parliamentary propositions of
Newcastle, or modified them favourably for the king. They excepted a
very small number of the king's adherents from the privilege of paying
a composition for their estates, and set that of the rest considerably
lower than had been fixed by the parliament. They stipulated that the
royalists should not sit in the next parliament. As to religion, they
provided for liberty of conscience, declared against the imposition of
the covenant, and by insisting on the retrenchment of the coercive
jurisdiction of bishops and the abrogation of penalties for not
reading the common prayer, left it to be implied that both might
continue established.[350] The whole tenor of these propositions was
in a style far more respectful to the king, and lenient towards his
adherents, than had ever been adopted since the beginning of the war.
The sincerity indeed of these overtures might be very questionable,
if Cromwell had been concerned in them; but they proceeded from those
elective tribunes called Agitators, who had been established in every
regiment to superintend the interests of the army.[351] And the terms
were surely as good as Charles had any reason to hope. The severities
against his party were mitigated. The grand obstacles to all
accommodation, the covenant and presbyterian establishment, were at
once removed; or, if some difficulty might occur as to the latter, in
consequence of the actual possession of benefices by the presbyterian
clergy, it seemed not absolutely insuperable. For the changes
projected in the constitution of parliament, they were not necessarily
injurious to the monarchy. That parliament should not be dissolved
until it had sat a certain time, was so salutary a provision, that the
triennial act was hardly complete without it.

It is, however, probable, from the king's extreme tenaciousness of his
prerogative, that these were the conditions that he found it most
difficult to endure. Having obtained, through Sir John Berkley, a
sight of the propositions before they were openly made, he expressed
much displeasure; and said that, if the army were inclined to close
with him, they would never have demanded such hard terms. He seems to
have principally objected, at least in words, to the exception of
seven unnamed persons from pardon, to the exclusion of his party from
the next parliament, and to the want of any articles in favour of the
church. Berkley endeavoured to show him that it was not likely that
the army, if meaning sincerely, should ask less than this. But the
king, still tampering with the Scots, and keeping his eyes fixed on
the city and parliament, at that moment came to an open breach with
the army, disdainfully refused the propositions when publicly tendered
to him, with such expressions of misplaced resentment and preposterous
confidence as convinced the officers that they could neither
conciliate nor trust him.[352] This unexpected haughtiness lost him
all chance with those proud and republican spirits; and, as they
succeeded about the same time in bridling the presbyterian party in
parliament, there seemed no necessity for an agreement with the king,
and their former determinations of altering the frame of government
returned with more revengeful fury against his person.[353]

_Charles's flight from Hampton Court._--Charles's continuance at
Hampton Court, there can be little doubt, would have exposed him to
such imminent risk that, in escaping from thence, he acted on a
reasonable principle of self-preservation. He might probably, with due
precautions, have reached France or Jersey. But the hastiness of his
retreat from Hampton Court giving no time, he fell again into the
toils, through the helplessness of his situation, and the unfortunate
counsels of one whom he trusted.[354] The fortitude of his own mind
sustained him in this state of captivity and entire seclusion from his
friends. No one, however sensible to the infirmities of Charles's
disposition, and the defects of his understanding, can refuse
admiration to that patient firmness and unaided acuteness which he
displayed throughout the last and most melancholy year of his life. He
had now abandoned all expectation of obtaining any present terms for
the church or Crown. He proposed, therefore, what he had privately
empowered Murray to offer the year before, to confirm the presbyterian
government for three years, and to give up the militia during his
whole life, with other concessions of importance.[355] To preserve the
church lands from sale, to shield his friends from proscription, to
obtain a legal security for the restoration of the monarchy in his
son, were from henceforth the main objects of all his efforts. It was,
however, far too late, even for these moderate conditions of peace.
Upon his declining to pass four bills, tendered to him as
preliminaries of a treaty, which on that very account, besides his
objections to part of their contents, he justly considered as unfair,
the parliament voted that no more addresses should be made to him, and
that they would receive no more messages.[356] He was placed in close
and solitary confinement; and at a meeting of the principal officers
at Windsor it was concluded to bring him to trial, and avenge the
blood shed in the war by an awful example of punishment; Cromwell and
Ireton, if either of them had been ever favourable to the king,
acceding at this time to the severity of the rest.

Yet in the midst of this peril and seeming abandonment, his affairs
were really less desperate than they had been; and a few rays of light
broke for a time through the clouds that enveloped him. From the hour
that the Scots delivered him up at Newcastle, they seem to have felt
the discredit of such an action, and longed for the opportunity of
redeeming their public name. They perceived more and more that a
well-disciplined army, under a subtle chief inveterately hostile to
them, were rapidly becoming masters of England. Instead of that
covenanted alliance, that unity in church and state they had expected,
they were to look for all the jealousy and dissension that a complete
discordance in civil and spiritual polity could inspire. Their
commissioners, therefore, in England, Lanerk, always a moderate
royalist, and Lauderdale, a warm presbyterian, had kept up a secret
intercourse with the king at Hampton Court. After his detention at
Carisbrook, they openly declared themselves against the four bills
proposed by the English parliament; and at length concluded a private
treaty with him, by which, on certain terms quite as favourable as he
could justly expect, they bound themselves to enter England with an
army, in order to restore him to his freedom and dignity.[357] This
invasion was to be combined with risings in various parts of the
country; the presbyterian and royalist, though still retaining much of
animosity towards each other, concurring at least in abhorrence of
military usurpation; and the common people having very generally
returned to that affectionate respect for the king's person, which
sympathy for his sufferings, and a sense how little they had been
gainers by the change of government, must naturally have excited.[358]

_The presbyterians regain the ascendant._--The unfortunate issue of
the Scots expedition under the Duke of Hamilton, and of the various
insurrections throughout England, quelled by the vigilance and good
conduct of Fairfax and Cromwell, is well known. But these formidable
manifestations of the public sentiment in favour of peace with the
king on honourable conditions, wherein the city of London, ruled by
the presbyterian ministers, took a share, compelled the House of
Commons to retract its measures. They came to a vote, by 165 to 99,
that they would not alter the fundamental government by King, Lords,
and Commons;[359] they abandoned their impeachment against seven
peers, the most moderate of the upper house, and the most obnoxious to
the army,[360] they restored the eleven members to their seats:[361]
they revoked their resolution against a personal treaty with the
king, and even that which required his assent by certain preliminary
articles.[362] In a word, the party for distinction's sake called
Presbyterian, but now rather to be denominated constitutional,
regained its ascendancy. This change in the counsels of parliament
brought on the treaty of Newport.

_Treaty of Newport._--The treaty of Newport was set on foot and
managed by those politicians of the House of Lords, who, having long
suspected no danger to themselves but from the power of the king, had
discovered, somewhat of the latest, that the Crown itself was at
stake, and that their own privileges were set on the same cast.
Nothing was more remote from the intentions of the Earl of
Northumberland or Lord Say, than to see themselves pushed from their
seats by such upstarts as Ireton and Harrison; and their present
mortification afforded a proof how men reckoned wise in their
generation become the dupes of their own selfish, crafty, and
pusillanimous policy. They now grew anxious to see a treaty concluded
with the king. Sensible that it was necessary to anticipate, if
possible, the return of Cromwell from the north, they implored him to
comply at once with all the propositions of parliament, or at least to
yield in the first instance as far as he meant to go.[363] They had
not, however, mitigated in any degree the rigorous conditions so often
proposed; nor did the king during this treaty obtain any reciprocal
concession worth mentioning in return for his surrender of almost all
that could be demanded. Did the positive adherence of the parliament
to all these propositions, in circumstances so perilous to themselves,
display less unreasonable pertinacity than that so often imputed to
Charles? Or if, as was the fact, the majority which the presbyterians
had obtained was so precarious that they dared not hazard it by
suggesting any more moderate counsels, what rational security would
the treaty have afforded him, had he even come at once into all their
requisitions? His real error was to have entered upon any treaty, and
still more to have drawn it out by tardy and ineffectual
capitulations. There had long been only one course either for safety
or for honour, the abdication of his royal office; now probably too
late to preserve his life, but still more honourable than the treaty
of Newport. Yet though he was desirous to make his escape to France, I
have not observed any hint that he had thoughts of resigning the
crown; whether from any mistaken sense of obligation, or from an
apprehension that it might affect the succession of his son.

There can be no more erroneous opinion than that of such as believe
that the desire of overturning the monarchy produced the civil war,
rather than that the civil war brought on the former. In a peaceful
and ancient kingdom like England, the thought of change could not
spontaneously arise. A very few speculative men, by the study of
antiquity, or by observation of the prosperity of Venice and Holland,
might be led to an abstract preference of republican politics; some
fanatics might aspire to a Jewish theocracy; but at the meeting of the
Long Parliament, we have not the slightest cause to suppose that any
party, or any number of persons among its members, had formed what
must then have appeared so extravagant a conception.[364] The
insuperable distrust of the king's designs, the irritation excited by
the sufferings of the war, the impracticability, which every attempt
at negotiation displayed, of obtaining his acquiescence to terms
deemed indispensable, gradually created a powerful faction, whose
chief bond of union was a determination to set him aside.[365] What
further scheme they had planned is uncertain; none probably in which
any number were agreed: some looked to the Prince of Wales, others
perhaps, at one time, to the elector palatine;[366] but necessity
itself must have suggested to many the idea of a republican
settlement. In the new-modelled army of 1645, composed of independents
and enthusiasts of every denomination, a fervid eagerness for changes
in the civil polity, as well as in religion, was soon found to
predominate. Not checked, like the two houses, by attachment to forms,
and by the influence of lawyers, they launched forth into varied
projects of reform, sometimes judicious, or at least plausible,
sometimes wildly fanatical. They reckoned the king a tyrant whom, as
they might fight against, they might also put to death, and whom it
were folly to provoke, if he were again to become their master. Elated
with their victories, they began already in imagination to carve out
the kingdom for themselves; and remembered that saying so congenial to
a revolutionary army, that the first of monarchs was a successful
leader, the first of nobles were his followers.[367]

_Gradual progress of a republican party._--The knowledge of this
innovating spirit in the army gave confidence to the violent party in
parliament, and increased its numbers by the accession of some of
those to whom nature has given a fine sense for discerning their own
advantage. It was doubtless swollen through the king's letters, and
his pertinacity in clinging to his prerogative. And the complexion of
the House of Commons was materially altered by the introduction at
once of a large body of fresh members. They had at the beginning
abstained from issuing writs to replace those whose death or expulsion
had left their seats vacant. These vacancies, by the disabling votes
against all the king's party,[368] became so numerous that it seemed a
glaring violation of the popular principles to which they appealed, to
carry on the public business with so maimed a representation of the
people. It was however plainly impossible to have elections in many
parts of the kingdom, while the royal army was in strength; and the
change, by filling up nearly two hundred vacancies at once, was likely
to become so important that some feared that the cavaliers, others
that the independents and republicans, might find their advantage in
it.[369] The latter party were generally earnest for new elections;
and carried their point against the presbyterians in September 1645,
when new writs were ordered for all the places which were left
deficient of one or both representatives.[370] The result of these
elections, though a few persons rather friendly to the king came into
the house, was on the whole very favourable to the army. The
self-denying ordinance no longer being in operation, the principal
officers were elected on every side; and, with not many exceptions,
recruited the ranks of that small body, which had already been marked
by implacable dislike of the king, and by zeal for a total
new-modelling of the government.[371] In the summer of 1646, this
party had so far obtained the upper hand that, according to one of our
best authorities, the Scots commissioners had all imaginable
difficulty to prevent his deposition. In the course of the year 1647,
more overt proofs of a design to change the established constitution
were given by a party out of doors. A petition was addressed "to the
supreme authority of this nation, the Commons assembled in
parliament." It was voted upon a division, that the house dislikes
this petition, and cannot approve of its being delivered; and
afterwards, by a majority of only 94 to 86, that it was seditious and
insolent, and should be burned by the hangman.[372] Yet the first
decisive proof, perhaps, which the journals of parliament afford of
the existence of a republican party, was the vote of 22nd Sept. 1647,
that they would once again make application to the king for those
things which they judged necessary for the welfare and safety of the
kingdom. This was carried by 70 to 23.[373] Their subsequent
resolution of Jan. 4, 1648, against any further addresses to the king,
which passed by a majority of 141 to 91, was a virtual renunciation of
allegiance. The Lords, after a warm debate, concurred in this vote.
And the army had in November 1647, before the king's escape from
Hampton Court published a declaration of their design for the
settlement of the nation under a sovereign representative assembly,
which should possess authority to make or repeal laws, and to call
magistrates to account.

We are not certainly to conclude that all who, in 1648, had made up
their minds against the king's restoration, were equally averse to all
regal government. The Prince of Wales had taken so active, and, for a
moment, so successful a share in the war of that year, that his
father's enemies were become his own. Meetings however were held,
where the military and parliamentary chiefs discussed the schemes of
raising the Duke of York, or his younger brother the Duke of
Glocester, to the throne. Cromwell especially wavered, or pretended to
waver, as to the settlement of the nation; nor is there any evidence,
so far as I know, that he had ever professed himself adverse to
monarchy, till, dexterously mounting on the wave which he could not
stem, he led on those zealots who had resolved to celebrate the
inauguration of their new commonwealth with the blood of a victim

_Scheme among the officers of bringing Charles to trial._--It was
about the end of 1647, as I have said, that the principal officers
took the determination, which had been already menaced by some of the
agitators, of bringing the king, as the first and greatest delinquent,
to public justice.[375] Too stern and haughty, too confident of the
rightfulness of their actions, to think of private assassination, they
sought to gratify their pride by the solemnity and notoriousness, by
the very infamy and eventual danger, of an act unprecedented in the
history of nations. Throughout the year 1648, this design, though
suspended, became familiar to the people's expectation.[376] The
commonwealth's men and the levellers, the various sectaries (admitting
a few exceptions) grew clamorous for the king's death. Petitions were
presented to the Commons, praying for justice on all delinquents, from
the highest to the lowest.[377] And not long afterwards, the general
officers of the army came forward with a long remonstrance against any
treaty, and insisting that the capital and grand author of their
troubles be speedily brought to justice, for the treason, blood, and
mischief, whereof he had been guilty.[378] This was soon followed by
the vote of the presbyterian party, that the answers of the king to
the propositions of both houses are a ground for the house to proceed
upon for the settlement of the peace of the kingdom,[379] by the
violent expulsion, or as it was called, seclusion of all the
presbyterian members from the house, and the ordinance of a wretched
minority, commonly called the Rump, constituting the high court of
justice for the trial of the king.[380]

A very small number among those who sat in this strange tribunal upon
Charles the First were undoubtedly capable of taking statesman-like
views of the interests of their party, and might consider his death a
politic expedient for consolidating the new settlement. It seemed to
involve the army, which had openly abetted the act, and even the
nation by its passive consent, in such inexpiable guilt towards the
royal family, that neither common prudence nor a sense of shame would
permit them to suffer its restoration. But by far the greater part of
the regicides such considerations were either overlooked or kept in
the background. Their more powerful motive was that fierce fanatical
hatred of the king, the natural fruit of long civil dissension,
inflamed by preachers more dark and sanguinary than those they
addressed, and by a perverted study of the Jewish scriptures. They had
been wrought to believe, not that his execution would be justified by
state-necessity or any such feeble grounds of human reasoning, but
that it was a bounden duty, which with a safe conscience they could
not neglect. Such was the persuasion of Ludlow and Hutchinson, the
most respectable names among the regicides; both of them free from all
suspicion of interestedness or hypocrisy, and less intoxicated than
the rest by fanaticism. "I was fully persuaded," says the former,
"that an accommodation with the king was unsafe to the people of
England, and unjust and wicked in the nature of it. The former,
besides that it was obvious to all men, the king himself had proved,
by the duplicity of his dealing with the parliament, which manifestly
appeared in his own papers, taken at the battle of Naseby and
elsewhere. Of the latter I was convinced by the express words of God's
law; 'that blood defileth the land, and the land cannot be cleansed of
the blood that is shed therein, but by the blood of him that shed it.'
(Numbers, c. xxxv. v. 33.) And therefore I could not consent to leave
the guilt of so much blood on the nation, and thereby to draw down the
just vengeance of God upon us all, when it was most evident that the
war had been occasioned by the invasion of our rights and open breach
of our laws and constitution on the king's part."[381] "As for Mr.
Hutchinson," says his high-souled consort, "although he was very much
confirmed in his judgment concerning the cause, yet being here called
to an extraordinary action, whereof many were of several minds, he
addressed himself to God by prayer, desiring the Lord, that, if
through any human frailty, he were led into any error or false
opinion in those great transactions, he would open his eyes, and not
suffer him to proceed, but that he would confirm his spirit in the
truth, and lead him by a right-enlightened conscience; and finding no
check, but a confirmation in his conscience, that it was his duty to
act as he did, he, upon serious debate, both privately and in his
addresses to God, and in conferences with conscientious, upright,
unbiassed persons, proceeded to sign the sentence against the king.
Although he did not then believe but it might one day come to be again
disputed among men, yet both he and others thought they could not
refuse it without giving up the people of God, whom they had led forth
and engaged themselves unto by the oath of God, into the hands of
God's and their enemies; and therefore he cast himself upon God's
protection, acting according to the dictates of a conscience which he
had sought the Lord to guide; and accordingly the Lord did signalise
his favour afterward to him."[382]

_Question of Charles's execution discussed._--The execution of Charles
the First has been mentioned in later ages by a few with unlimited
praise, by some with faint and ambiguous censure, by most with
vehement reprobation. My own judgment will possibly be anticipated by
the reader of the preceding pages. I shall certainly not rest it on
the imaginary sacredness and divine origin of royalty, nor even on the
irresponsibility with which the law of almost every country invests
the person of its sovereign. Far be it from me to contend that no
cases may be conceived, that no instances may be found in history,
wherein the sympathy of mankind and the sound principles of political
justice would approve a public judicial sentence as the due reward of
tyranny and perfidiousness. But we may confidently deny that Charles
the First was thus to be singled out as a warning to tyrants. His
offences were not, in the worst interpretation, of that atrocious
character which calls down the vengeance of insulted humanity,
regardless of positive law. His government had been very arbitrary;
but it may well be doubted whether any, even of his ministers, could
have suffered death for their share in it, without introducing a
principle of barbarous vindictiveness. Far from the sanguinary
misanthropy of some monarchs, or the revengeful fury of others, he had
in no instance displayed, nor does the minute scrutiny since made into
his character entitle us to suppose, any malevolent dispositions
beyond some proneness to anger, and a considerable degree of
harshness in his demeanour.[383] As for the charge of having caused
the bloodshed of the war, upon which, and not on any former
misgovernment, his condemnation was grounded, it was as ill
established as it would have been insufficient. Well might the Earl of
Northumberland say, when the ordinance for the king's trial was before
the Lords, that the greatest part of the people of England were not
yet satisfied whether the king levied war first against the houses, or
the houses against him.[384] The fact, in my opinion, was entirely
otherwise. It is quite another question whether the parliament were
justified in their resistance to the king's legal authority. But we
may contend that, when Hotham, by their command, shut the gates of
Hull against his sovereign, when the militia was called out in
different counties by an ordinance of the two houses, both of which
preceded by several weeks any levying of forces for the king, the
bonds of our constitutional law were by them and their servants
snapped asunder; and it would be the mere pedantry and chicane of
political casuistry to enquire, even if the fact could be better
ascertained, whether at Edgehill, or in the minor skirmishes that
preceded, the first carbine was discharged by a cavalier or a
roundhead. The aggressor in a war is not the first who uses force, but
the first who renders force necessary.

But, whether we may think this war to have originated in the king's
or the parliament's aggression, it is still evident that the former
had a fair case with the nation, a cause which it was no plain
violation of justice to defend. He was supported by the greater part
of the Peers, by full one-third of the Commons, by the principal body
of the gentry, and a large proportion of other classes. If his
adherents did not form, as I think they did not, the majority of the
people, they were at least more numerous, beyond comparison, than
those who demanded or approved of his death. The steady deliberate
perseverance of so considerable a body in any cause takes away the
right of punishment from the conquerors, beyond what their own safety
or reasonable indemnification may require. The vanquished are to be
judged by the rules of national, not of municipal, law. Hence, if
Charles, after having by a course of victories or the defection of the
people prostrated all opposition, had abused his triumph by the
execution of Essex or Hampden, Fairfax or Cromwell, I think that later
ages would have disapproved of their deaths as positively, though not
quite as vehemently, as they have of his own. The line is not easily
drawn, in abstract reasoning, between the treason which is justly
punished, and the social schism which is beyond the proper boundaries
of law; but the civil war of England seems plainly to fall within the
latter description. These objections strike me as unanswerable, even
if the trial of Charles had been sanctioned by the voice of the nation
through its legitimate representatives, or at least such a fair and
full convention as might, in great necessity, supply the place of
lawful authority. But it was, as we all know, the act of a bold but
very small minority, who having forcibly expelled their colleagues
from parliament, had usurped, under the protection of a military
force, that power which all England reckoned illegal. I cannot
perceive what there was in the imagined solemnity of this proceeding,
in that insolent mockery of the forms of justice, accompanied by all
unfairness and inhumanity in its circumstances, which can alleviate
the guilt of the transaction; and if it be alleged that many of the
regicides were firmly persuaded in their consciences of the right and
duty of condemning the king, we may surely remember that private
murderers have often had the same apology.

_The character of Charles._--In discussing each particular transaction
in the life of Charles, as of any other sovereign, it is required by
the truth of history to spare no just animadversion upon his faults;
especially where much art has been employed by the writers most in
repute to carry the stream of public prejudice in an opposite
direction. But when we come to a general estimate of his character, we
should act unfairly not to give their full weight to those peculiar
circumstances of his condition in this worldly scene, which tend to
account for and extenuate his failings. The station of kings is, in a
moral sense, so unfavourable, that those who are least prone to
servile admiration should be on their guard against the opposite error
of an uncandid severity. There seems no fairer method of estimating
the intrinsic worth of a sovereign, than to treat him as a subject,
and to judge, so far as the history of his life enables us, what he
would have been in that more private and happier condition, from which
the chance of birth has excluded him. Tried by this test, we cannot
doubt that Charles the First would have been not altogether an amiable
man, but one deserving of general esteem; his firm and conscientious
virtues the same, his deviations from right far less frequent, than
upon the throne. It is to be pleaded for this prince that his youth
had breathed but the contaminated air of a profligate and servile
court, that he had imbibed the lessons of arbitrary power from all who
surrounded him, that he had been betrayed by a father's culpable
blindness into the dangerous society of an ambitious, unprincipled
favourite. To have maintained so much correctness of morality as his
enemies confess, was a proof of Charles's virtuous dispositions; but
his advocates are compelled also to own that he did not escape as
little injured by the poisonous adulation to which he had listened. Of
a temper by nature, and by want of restraint, too passionate, though
not vindictive; and, though not cruel, certainly deficient in
gentleness and humanity, he was entirely unfit for the very difficult
station of royalty, and especially for that of a constitutional king.
It is impossible to excuse his violations of liberty on the score of
ignorance, especially after the petition of right; because his
impatience of opposition from his council made it unsafe to give him
any advice that thwarted his determination. His other great fault was
want of sincerity--a fault that appeared in all parts of his life, and
from which no one who has paid the subject any attention will pretend
to exculpate him. Those indeed who know nothing but what they find in
Hume may believe, on Hume's authority, that the king's contemporaries
never dreamed of imputing to him any deviation from good faith; as if
the whole conduct of the parliament had not been evidently founded
upon a distrust, which on many occasions they very explicitly
declared. But, so far as this insincerity was shown in the course of
his troubles, it was a failing which untoward circumstances are apt to
produce, and which the extreme hypocrisy of many among his adversaries
might sometimes palliate. Few personages in history, we should
recollect, have had so much of their actions revealed, and commented
upon, as Charles; it is perhaps a mortifying truth that those who have
stood highest with posterity, have seldom been those who have been
most accurately known.

The turn of his mind was rather peculiar, and laid him open with some
justice to very opposite censures--for an extreme obstinacy in
retaining his opinion, and for an excessive facility in adopting that
of others. But the apparent incongruity ceases, when we observe that
he was tenacious of ends, and irresolute as to means; better fitted to
reason than to act; never swerving from a few main principles, but
diffident of his own judgment in its application to the course of
affairs. His chief talent was an acuteness in dispute; a talent not
usually much exercised by kings, but which the strange events of his
life called into action. He had, unfortunately for himself, gone into
the study most fashionable in that age, of polemical theology; and,
though not at all learned, had read enough of the English divines to
maintain their side of the current controversies with much dexterity.
But this unkingly talent was a poor compensation for the continual
mistakes of his judgment in the art of government and the conduct of
his affairs.[385]

_Icon Basiliké._--It seems natural not to leave untouched in this
place, the famous problem of the _Icon Basiliké_, which has been
deemed an irrefragable evidence both of the virtues and the talents of
Charles. But the authenticity of this work can hardly be any longer a
question among judicious men. We have letters from Gauden and his
family, asserting it as his own in the most express terms, and making
it the ground of a claim for reward. We know that the king's sons were
both convinced that it was not their father's composition, and that
Clarendon was satisfied of the same. If Gauden not only set up a false
claim to so famous a work, but persuaded those nearest to the king to
surrender that precious record, as it had been reckoned, of his dying
sentiments, it was an instance of successful impudence which has
hardly a parallel. But I should be content to rest the case on that
internal evidence, which has been so often alleged for its
authenticity. The _Icon_ has to my judgment all the air of a
fictitious composition. Cold, stiff, elaborate, without a single
allusion that bespeaks the superior knowledge of facts which the king
must have possessed, it contains little but those rhetorical
common-places which would suggest themselves to any forger. The
prejudices of party, which exercise a strange influence in matters of
taste, have caused this book to be extravagantly praised. It has
doubtless a certain air of grave dignity, and the periods are more
artificially constructed than was usual in that age (a circumstance
not in favour of its authenticity); but the style is encumbered with
frigid metaphors, as is said to be the case in Gauden's acknowledged
writings; and the thoughts are neither beautiful, nor always exempt
from affectation. The king's letters during his imprisonment,
preserved in the _Clarendon State Papers_, and especially one to his
son, from which an extract is given in the _History of the Rebellion_,
are more satisfactory proofs of his integrity than the laboured
self-panegyrics of the _Icon Basiliké_.[386]


_Commonwealth_--_Abolition of the monarchy, and of the house of
lords._--The death of Charles the First was pressed forward rather
through personal hatred and superstition, than out of any notion of
its necessity to secure a republican administration. That party was
still so weak, that the Commons came more slowly, and with more
difference of judgment than might be expected, to an absolute
renunciation of monarchy. They voted indeed that the people are, under
God, the original of all just power; and that whatever is enacted by
the Commons in parliament hath the force of law, although the consent
and concurrence of the king or House of Peers be not had thereto;
terms manifestly not exclusive of the nominal continuance of the two
latter. They altered the public style from the king's name to that of
the parliament, and gave other indications of their intentions; but
the vote for the abolition of monarchy did not pass till the seventh
of February, after a debate, according to Whitelock, but without a
division. None of that clamorous fanaticism showed itself, which,
within recent memory, produced, from a far more numerous assembly, an
instantaneous decision against monarchy. Wise men might easily
perceive that the regal power was only suspended through the force of
circumstances, not abrogated by any real change in public opinion.

The House of Lords, still less able than the Crown to withstand the
inroads of democracy, fell by a vote of the Commons at the same time.
It had continued during the whole progress of the war to keep up as
much dignity as the state of affairs would permit; tenacious of small
privileges, and offering much temporary opposition in higher matters,
though always receding in the end from a contention wherein it could
not be successful. The Commons, in return, gave them respectful
language, and discountenanced the rude innovators who talked against
the rights of the peerage. They voted, on occasion of some rumours,
that they held themselves obliged, by the fundamental laws of the
kingdom and their covenant, to preserve the peerage with the rights
and privileges belonging to the House of Peers, equally with their
own.[387] Yet this was with a secret reserve that the Lords should be
of the same mind as themselves. For, the upper house having resented
some words dropped from Sir John Evelyn at a conference concerning the
removal of the king to Warwick Castle, importing that the Commons
might be compelled to act without them, the Commons vindicating their
member as if his words did not bear that interpretation, yet added, in
the same breath, a plain hint that it was not beyond their own views
of what might be done; "hoping that their lordships did not intend by
their inference upon the words, even in the sense they took the same,
so to bind up this house to one way of proceeding as that in no case
whatsoever, though never so extraordinary, though never so much
importing the honour and interest of the kingdom, the Commons of
England might not do their duty, for the good and safety of the
kingdom, in such a way as they may, if they cannot do it in such a way
as they would and most desire."[388]

After the violent seclusion of the constitutional party from the House
of Commons, on the 6th of December 1648, very few, not generally more
than five, peers continued to meet. Their number was suddenly
increased to twelve on the 2nd of January; when the vote of the
Commons that it is high treason in the King of England for the time
being to levy war against parliament, and the ordinance constituting
the high court of justice, were sent up for their concurrence. These
were unanimously rejected with more spirit than some, at least, of
their number might be expected to display. Yet, as if apprehensive of
giving too much umbrage, they voted at their next meeting to prepare
an ordinance, making it treasonable for any future king of England to
levy war against the parliament--a measure quite as unconstitutional
as that they had rejected. They continued to linger on the verge of
annihilation during the month, making petty orders about writs of
error, from four to six being present: they even met on the 30th of
January. On the 1st of February, six peers forming the house, it was
moved, "that they would take into consideration the settlement of the
government of England and Ireland, in this present conjuncture of
things upon the death of the king;" and ordered that these Lords
following (naming those present and three more) be appointed to join
with a proportionable number of the House of Commons for that purpose.
Soon after, the speaker acquainted the house that he had that morning
received a letter from the Earl of Northumberland, with a paper
enclosed, of very great concernment; and for the present the house
ordered that it should be sealed up with the speaker's seal. This
probably related to the impending dissolution of their house; for they
found next day that their messengers sent to the Commons had not been
admitted. They persisted, however, in meeting till the 6th, when they
made a trifling order, and adjourned "till ten o'clock to-morrow."[389]
That morrow was the 25th of April 1660. For the Commons, having the
same day rejected, by a majority of forty-four to twenty-nine, a
motion that they would take the advice of the House of Lords in the
exercise of the legislative power, resolved that the House of Peers
was useless and dangerous, and ought to be abolished.[390] It should
be noticed that there was no intention of taking away the dignity of
peerage; the Lords, throughout the whole duration of the commonwealth,
retained their titles, not only in common usage, but in all legal and
parliamentary documents. The Earl of Pembroke, basest among the base,
condescended to sit in the House of Commons as knight for the county
of Berks; and was received, notwithstanding his proverbial meanness
and stupidity, with such excessive honour as displayed the character
of those low-minded upstarts, who formed a sufficiently numerous
portion of the house to give their tone to its proceedings.[391]

Thus by military force, with the approbation of an inconceivably small
proportion of the people, the king was put to death; the ancient
fundamental laws were overthrown; and a mutilated House of Commons,
wherein very seldom more than seventy or eighty sat, was invested with
the supreme authority. So little countenance had these late
proceedings even from those who seemed of the ruling faction, that,
when the executive council of state, consisting of forty-one, had been
nominated, and a test was proposed to them, declaring their
approbation of all that had been done about the king and the kingly
office, and about the House of Lords, only nineteen would subscribe
it, though there were fourteen regicides on the list.[392] It was
agreed at length, that they should subscribe it only as to the future
proceedings of the Commons. With such dissatisfaction at
head-quarters, there was little to hope from the body of the
nation.[393] Hence, when an engagement was tendered to all civil
officers and beneficed clergy, containing only a promise to live
faithful to the commonwealth, as it was established without a king or
House of Lords (though the slightest test of allegiance that any
government could require), it was taken with infinite reluctance, and,
in fact, refused by very many; the presbyterian ministers especially
showing a determined averseness to the new republican organisation.[394]

This, however, was established (such is the dominion of the sword) far
beyond the control of any national sentiment. Thirty thousand veteran
soldiers guaranteed the mock parliament they had permitted to reign.
The sectaries, a numerous body, and still more active than numerous,
possessed, under the name of committees for various purposes appointed
by the House of Commons, the principal local authorities, and
restrained by a vigilant scrutiny the murmurs of a disaffected
majority. Love, an eminent presbyterian minister, lost his head for a
conspiracy, by the sentence of a high court of justice, a tribunal
that superseded trial by jury.[395] His death struck horror and
consternation into that arrogant priesthood, who had begun to fancy
themselves almost beyond the scope of criminal law. The cavaliers were
prostrate in the dust; and, anxious to retrieve something from the
wreck of their long sequestered estates, had generally little appetite
to embark afresh in a hopeless cause; besides that the mutual
animosities between their party and the presbyterians were still too
irreconcilable to admit of any sincere co-operation. Hence, neither
made any considerable effort in behalf of Charles on his march, or
rather flight, into England; a measure, indeed, too palpably
desperate for prudent men who had learned the strength of their
adversaries; and the great victory of Worcester consummated the
triumph of the infant commonwealth, or rather of its future master.

_Schemes of Cromwell._--A train of favouring events, more than any
deep-laid policy, had now brought sovereignty within the reach of
Cromwell. His first schemes of ambition may probably have extended no
farther than a title and estate, with a great civil and military
command in the king's name. Power had fallen into his hands because
they alone were fit to wield it; he was taught by every succeeding
event his own undeniable superiority over his contemporaries in
martial renown, in civil prudence, in decision of character, and in
the public esteem, which naturally attached to these qualities.
Perhaps it was not till after the battle of Worcester that he began to
fix his thoughts, if not on the dignity of royalty, yet on an
equivalent right of command. Two remarkable conversations, in which
Whitelock bore a part, seem to place beyond controversy the nature of
his designs. About the end of 1651, Whitelock himself, St. John,
Widdrington, Lenthall, Harrison, Desborough, Fleetwood, and Whalley,
met Cromwell, at his own request, to consider the settlement of the
nation. The four former were in favour of monarchy, Whitelock
inclining to Charles, Widdrington and others to the Duke of Glocester;
Desborough and Whalley were against a single person's government, and
Fleetwood uncertain. Cromwell, who had evidently procured this
conference in order to sift the inclinations of so many leading men,
and to give some intimation of his own, broke it up with remarking,
that, if it might be done with safety and preservation of their rights
as Englishmen and Christians, a settlement of somewhat with
monarchical power in it would be very effectual.[396] The observation
he here made of a disposition among the lawyers to elect the Duke of
Glocester, as being exempt by his youth from the prepossessions of the
two elder brothers, may, perhaps, have put Cromwell on releasing him
from confinement, and sending him to join his family beyond sea.[397]

Twelve months after this time, in a more confidential discourse with
Whitelock alone, the general took occasion to complain both of the
chief officers of the army and of the parliament; the first, as
inclined to factious murmurings, and the second, as ingrossing all
offices to themselves, divided into parties, delaying business, guilty
of gross injustice and partiality, and designing to perpetuate their
own authority. Whitelock, confessing part of this, urged that having
taken commissions from them as the supreme power, it would be
difficult to find means to restrain them. "What," said Cromwell, "if a
man should take upon him to be king?" "I think," answered Whitelock,
"that remedy would be worse than the disease." "Why," rejoined the
other, "do you think so?" He then pointed out that the statute of
Henry VII. gave a security to those who acted under a king, which no
other government could furnish; and that the reverence paid by the
people to that title would serve to curb the extravagances of those
now in power. Whitelock replied that their friends having engaged in a
persuasion, though erroneous, that their rights and liberties would be
better preserved under a commonwealth than a monarchy, this state of
the question would be wholly changed by Cromwell's assumption of the
title, and it would become a private controversy between his family
and that of the Stuarts. Finally, on the other's encouragement to
speak fully his thoughts, he told him "that no expedient seemed so
desirable as a private treaty with the king, in which he might not
only provide for the security of his friends, and the greatness of his
family, but set limits to monarchical power, keeping the command of
the militia in his own hands." Cromwell merely said, "that such a step
would require great consideration;" but broke off with marks of
displeasure, and consulted Whitelock much less for some years

These projects of usurpation could not deceive the watchfulness of
those whom Cromwell pretended to serve. He had on several occasions
thrown off enough of his habitual dissimulation to show the
commonwealth's men that he was theirs only by accident, with none of
their fondness for republican polity.

_Unpopularity of the parliament._--The parliament in its present wreck
contained few leaders of superior ability; but a natural instinct
would dictate to such an assembly the distrust of a popular general,
even if there had been less to alarm them in his behaviour.[399] They
had no means, however, to withstand him. The creatures themselves of
military force, their pretensions to direct or control the army could
only move scorn or resentment. Their claim to a legal authority, and
to the name of representatives of a people who rejected and abhorred
them, was perfectly impudent. When the house was fullest, their
numbers did not much exceed one hundred; but the ordinary divisions,
even on subjects of the highest moment, show an attendance of but
fifty or sixty members. They had retained in their hands,
notwithstanding the appointment of a council of state, most of whom
were from their own body, a great part of the executive government,
especially the disposal of offices.[400] These they largely shared
among themselves or their dependents; and in many of their votes gave
occasion to such charges of injustice and partiality as, whether true
or false, will attach to a body of men so obviously self-interested.[401]
It seems to be a pretty general opinion that a popular assembly is
still more frequently influenced by corrupt and dishonest motives in
the distribution of favours, or the decision of private affairs, than
a ministry of state; whether it be that it is more probable that a man
of disinterestedness and integrity may in the course of events rise to
the conduct of government than that such virtues should belong to a
majority; or that the clandestine management of court corruption
renders it less scandalous and more easily varnished, than the
shamelessness of parliamentary iniquity.

The republican interest in the nation was almost wholly composed of
two parties, both off-shoots deriving strength from the great stock of
the army; the levellers, of whom Lilburne and Wildman are the most
known, and the anabaptists, fifth monarchy-men, and other fanatical
sectaries, headed by Harrison, Hewson, Overton, and a great number of
officers. Though the sectaries seemed to build their revolutionary
schemes more on their own religious views than the levellers, they
coincided in most of their objects and demands.[402] An equal
representation of the people in short parliaments, an extensive
alteration of the common law, the abolition of tithes, and indeed of
all regular stipends to the ministry, a full toleration of religious
worship, were reformations which they concurred in requiring, as the
only substantial fruits of their arduous struggle.[403] Some among the
wilder sects dreamed of overthrowing all civil institutions. These
factions were not without friends in the Commons. But the greater part
were neither inclined to gratify them, by taking away the provision
of the church, nor much less to divest themselves of their own
authority. They voted indeed that tithes should cease as soon as a
competent maintenance should be otherwise provided for the
clergy.[404] They appointed a commission to consider the reformation
of the law, in consequence of repeated petitions against many of its
inconveniences and abuses; who, though taxed of course with
dilatoriness by the ardent innovators, suggested many useful
improvements, several of which have been adopted in more regular
times, though with too cautious delay.[405] They proceeded rather
slowly and reluctantly to frame a scheme for future parliaments; and
resolved that they should consist of 400, to be chosen in due
proportion by the several counties, nearly upon the model suggested by
Lilburne, and afterwards carried into effect by Cromwell.[406] It was
with much delay and difficulty, amidst the loud murmurs of their
adherents, that they could be brought to any vote in regard to their
own dissolution. It passed on November 17, 1651, after some very close
divisions, that they should cease to exist as a parliament on November
3, 1654.[407] The republicans out of doors, who deemed annual, or at
least biennial, parliaments essential to their definition of liberty,
were indignant at so unreasonable a prolongation. Thus they forfeited
the good-will of the only party on whom they could have relied.
Cromwell dexterously aggravated their faults; he complained of their
delaying the settlement of the nation; he persuaded the fanatics of
his concurrence in their own schemes; the parliament, in turn,
conspired against his power, and, as the conspiracies of so many can
never be secret, let it be seen that one or other must be destroyed;
thus giving his forcible expulsion of them the pretext of
self-defence. They fell with no regret, or rather with much joy of the
nation, except a few who dreaded more from the alternative of military
usurpation or anarchy than from an assembly which still retained the
names and forms so precious in the eyes of those who adhere to the
ancient institutions of their country.[408]

_Little parliament._--It was now the deep policy of Cromwell to render
himself the sole refuge of those who valued the laws, or the regular
ecclesiastical ministry, or their own estates, all in peril from the
mad enthusiasts who were in hopes to prevail.[409] These he had
admitted into that motley convention of one hundred and twenty
persons, sometimes called Barebone's parliament, but more commonly the
little parliament, on whom his council of officers pretended to
devolve the government, mingling them with a sufficient proportion of
a superior class whom he could direct.[410] This assembly took care
to avoid the censure which their predecessors had incurred, by passing
a good many bills, and applying themselves with a vigorous hand to the
reformation of what their party deemed the most essential grievances,
those of the law and of the church. They voted the abolition of the
Court of Chancery, a measure provoked by its insufferable delay, its
engrossing of almost all suits, and the uncertainty of its decisions.
They appointed a committee to consider of a new body of the law,
without naming any lawyer upon it.[411] They nominated a set of
commissioners to preside in courts of justice, among whom they with
difficulty admitted two of that profession;[412] they irritated the
clergy by enacting that marriages should be solemnised before justices
of the peace;[413] they alarmed them still more, by manifesting a
determination to take away their tithes, without security for an
equivalent maintenance.[414] Thus having united against itself these
two powerful bodies, whom neither kings nor parliaments in England
have in general offended with impunity, this little synod of
legislators was ripe for destruction. Their last vote was to negative
a report of their own committee, recommending that such as should be
approved as preachers of the gospel, should enjoy the maintenance
already settled by law; and that the payment of tithes, as a just
property, should be enforced by the magistrates. The house having, by
the majority of two, disagreed with this report,[415] the speaker, two
days after, having secured a majority of those present, proposed the
surrender of their power into the hands of Cromwell, who put an end to
the opposition of the rest, by turning them out of doors.

It can admit of no doubt that the despotism of a wise man is more
tolerable than that of political or religious fanatics; and it rarely
happens that there is any better remedy in revolutions which have
given the latter an ascendant. Cromwell's assumption, therefore, of
the title of Protector was a necessary and wholesome usurpation,
however he may have caused the necessity; it secured the nation from
the mischievous lunacy of the anabaptists, and from the more
cool-blooded tyranny of that little oligarchy which arrogated to
itself the name of commonwealth's men. Though a gross and glaring
evidence of the omnipotence of the army, the instrument under which he
took his title, accorded to him no unnecessary executive authority.
The sovereignty still resided in the parliament; he had no negative
voice on their laws. Until the meeting of the next parliament, a power
was given him of making temporary ordinances; but this was not, as
Hume, on the authority of Clarendon and Warwick, has supposed, and as
his conduct, if that were any proof of the law, might lead us to
infer, designed to exist in future intervals of the legislature.[416]
It would be scarcely worth while, however, to pay much attention to a
form of government which was so little regarded, except as it marks
the jealousy of royal power, which those most attached to Cromwell,
and least capable of any proper notions of liberty, continued to

In the ascent of this bold usurper to greatness, he had successively
employed and thrown away several of the powerful factions who
distracted the nation. He had encouraged the levellers and persecuted
them; he had flattered the long parliament and betrayed it; he had
made use of the sectaries to crush the commonwealth; he had spurned
the sectaries in his last advance to power. These, with the royalists
and the presbyterians, forming, in effect, the whole people, though
too disunited for such a coalition as must have overthrown him, were
the perpetual, irreconcilable enemies of his administration. Master of
his army, which he well knew how to manage, surrounded by a few deep
and experienced counsellors, furnished by his spies with the
completest intelligence of all designs against him, he had no great
cause of alarm from open resistance.

_Parliament called by Cromwell._--But he was bound by the instrument
of government to call a parliament; and in any parliament his
adversaries must be formidable. He adopted in both those which he
summoned, the reformed model already determined; limiting the number
of representatives to 400, to be chosen partly in the counties,
according to their wealth or supposed population, by electors
possessing either freeholds, or any real or movable property to the
value of £200; partly by the more considerable boroughs, in whose
various rights of election no change appears to have been made.[417]
This alteration, conformable to the equalising principles of the age,
did not produce so considerable a difference in the persons returned
as it perhaps might at present.[418] The court-party, as those
subservient to him were called, were powerful through the subjection
of the electors to the army. But they were not able to exclude the
presbyterian and republican interests; the latter headed by Bradshaw,
Haslerig, and Scott, eager to thwart the power which they were
compelled to obey.[419] Hence they began by taking into consideration
the whole instrument of government; and even resolved themselves into
a committee to debate its leading article, the protector's authority.
Cromwell, his supporters having lost this question on a division of
141 to 136, thought it time to interfere. He gave them to understand
that the government by a single person and a parliament, was a
fundamental principle, not subject to their discussion; and obliged
every member to a recognition of it, solemnly promising neither to
attempt nor to concur in any alteration of that article.[420] The
Commons voted, however, that this recognition should not extend to the
entire instrument, consisting of forty-two articles; and went on to
discuss them with such heat and prolixity, that after five months, the
limited term of their session, the protector, having obtained the
ratification of his new scheme neither so fully nor so willingly as he
desired, particularly having been disappointed by the great majority
of 200 to 60, which voted the protectorate to be elective, not
hereditary, dissolved the parliament with no small marks of

_Intrigues of the king and his party._--The banished king, meanwhile,
began to recover a little of that political importance which the
battle of Worcester had seemed almost to extinguish. So ill supported
by his English adherents on that occasion, so incapable with a better
army than he had any prospect of ever raising again, to make a stand
against the genius and fortune of the usurper, it was vain to expect
that he could be restored by any domestic insurrection, until the
disunion of the prevailing factions should offer some more favourable
opportunity. But this was too distant a prospect for his court of
starving followers. He had from the beginning looked around for
foreign assistance. But France was distracted by her own troubles;
Spain deemed it better policy to cultivate the new commonwealth; and
even Holland, though engaged in a dangerous war with England, did not
think it worth while to accept his offer of joining her fleet, in
order to try his influence with the English seamen.[422] Totally
unscrupulous as to the means by which he might reign, even at the
moment that he was treating to become the covenanted king of Scotland,
with every solemn renunciation of popery, Charles had recourse to a
very delicate negotiation, which deserves remark, as having led, after
a long course of time, but by gradual steps, to the final downfall of
his family. With the advice of Ormond, and with the concurrence of
Hyde, he attempted to interest the pope (Innocent X.) on his side, as
the most powerful intercessor with the catholic princes of
Europe.[423] For this purpose it was necessary to promise toleration
at least to the catholics. The king's ambassadors to Spain in 1650,
Cottington and Hyde, and other agents despatched to Rome at the same
time, were empowered to offer an entire repeal of the penal laws.[424]
The king himself, some time afterwards, wrote a letter to the pope,
wherein he repeated this assurance. That court, however, well aware of
the hereditary duplicity of the Stuarts, received his overtures with
haughty contempt. The pope returned no answer to the king's letter;
but one was received after many months from the general of the
jesuits, requiring that Charles should declare himself a catholic,
since the goods of the church could not be lavished for the support of
an heretical prince.[425] Even after this insolent refusal, the
wretched exiles still clung, at times, to the vain hope of succour,
which as protestants and Englishmen they could not honourably
demand.[426] But many of them remarked too clearly the conditions on
which assistance might be obtained; the court of Charles, openly or in
secret, began to pass over to the catholic church; and the contagion
soon spread to the highest places.

In the year 1654, the royalist intrigues in England began to grow more
active and formidable through the accession of many discontented
republicans.[427] Though there could be no coalition, properly
speaking, between such irreconcilable factions, they came into a sort
of tacit agreement, as is not unusual, to act in concert for the only
purpose they entertained alike, the destruction of their common enemy.
Major Wildman, a name not very familiar to the general reader, but
which occurs perpetually, for almost half a century, when we look into
more secret history, one of those dark and restless spirits who
delight in the deep game of conspiracy against every government, seems
to have been the first mover of this unnatural combination. He had
been early engaged in the schemes of the levellers, and was exposed to
the jealous observation of the ruling powers. It appears most probable
that his views were to establish a commonwealth, and to make the
royalists his dupes. In his correspondence however with Brussels, he
engaged to restore the king. Both parties were to rise in arms against
the new tyranny; and the nation's temper was tried by clandestine
intrigues in almost every county.[428] Greater reliance however was
placed on the project of assassinating Cromwell. Neither party were by
any means scrupulous on this score: if we have not positive evidence
of Charles's concurrence in this scheme, it would be preposterous to
suppose that he would have been withheld by any moral hesitation. It
is frequently mentioned without any disapprobation by Clarendon in his
private letters;[429] and, as the royalists certainly justified the
murders of Ascham and Dorislaus, they could not in common sense or
consistency have scrupled one so incomparably more capable of
defence.[430] A Mr. Gerard suffered death for one of these plots to
kill Cromwell; justly sentenced, though by an illegal tribunal.[431]

_Insurrectionary movements in 1655._--In the year 1655, Penruddock, a
Wiltshire gentleman, with a very trifling force, entered Salisbury at
the time of the assizes; and, declaring for the king, seized the judge
and the sheriff.[432] This little rebellion, meeting with no
resistance from the people, but a supineness equally fatal, was soon
quelled. It roused Cromwell to secure himself by an unprecedented
exercise of power. In possession of all the secrets of his enemies, he
knew that want of concert or courage had alone prevented a general
rising, towards which indeed there had been some movements in the
midland counties.[433] He was aware of his own unpopularity, and the
national bias towards the exiled king. Juries did not willingly
convict the sharers in Penruddock's rebellion.[434] To govern
according to law may sometimes be an usurper's wish, but can seldom be
in his power. The protector abandoned all thought of it. Dividing the
kingdom into districts, he placed at the head of each a major-general
as a sort of military magistrate, responsible for the subjection of
his prefecture. These were eleven in number, men bitterly hostile to
the royalist party, and insolent towards all civil authority.[435]
They were employed to secure the payment of a tax of 10 per cent.,
imposed by Cromwell's arbitrary will on those who had ever sided with
the king during the late war, where their estates exceeded £100 per
annum. The major-generals, in their correspondence printed among
Thurloe's papers, display a rapacity and oppression beyond their
master's. They complain that the number of those exempted is too
great; they press for harsher measures; they incline to the
unfavourable construction in every doubtful case; they dwell on the
growth of malignancy and the general disaffection.[436] It was not
indeed likely to be mitigated by this unparalleled tyranny. All
illusion was now gone as to the pretended benefits of the civil war.
It had ended in a despotism, compared to which all the illegal
practices of former kings, all that had cost Charles his life and
crown, appeared as dust in the balance. For what was ship-money, a
general burthen, by the side of the present decimation of a single
class, whose offence had long been expiated by a composition and
defaced by an act of indemnity? or were the excessive punishments of
the star-chamber so odious as the capital executions inflicted without
trial by peers, whenever it suited the usurper to erect his high court
of justice? A sense of present evils not only excited a burning desire
to live again under the ancient monarchy, but obliterated, especially
in the new generation, that had no distinct remembrance of them, the
apprehension of its former abuses.[437]

_Cromwell's arbitrary government._--If this decimation of the
royalists could pass for an act of severity towards a proscribed
faction, in which the rest of the nation might fancy themselves not
interested, Cromwell did not fail to show that he designed to exert an
equally despotic command over every man's property. With the advice of
his council, he had imposed, or, as I conceive (for it is not clearly
explained), continued, a duty on merchandise beyond the time limited
by law. A Mr. George Cony having refused to pay this tax, it was
enforced from him, on which he sued the collector. Cromwell sent his
counsel, Maynard, Twisden, and Wyndham, to the Tower, who soon
petitioned for liberty, and abandoned their client. Rolle, the chief
justice, when the cause came on, dared not give judgment against the
protector; yet, not caring to decide in his favour, postponed the case
till the next term, and meanwhile retired from the bench. Glyn, who
succeeded him upon it, took care to have this business accommodated
with Cony, who, at some loss of public reputation, withdrew his suit.
Sir Peter Wentworth, having brought a similar action, was summoned
before the council, and asked if he would give it up. "If you command
me," he replied to Cromwell, "I must submit;" which the protector did,
and the action was withdrawn.[438]

Though it cannot be said that such an interference with the privileges
of advocates or the integrity of judges was without precedents in the
times of the Stuarts, yet it had never been done in so public or
shameless a manner. Several other instances wherein the usurper
diverted justice from its course, or violated the known securities of
Englishmen, will be found in most general histories; not to dwell on
that most flagrant of all, the erection of his high court of justice,
by which Gerard and Vowel in 1654, Slingsby and Hewit in 1658, were
brought to the scaffold.[439] I cannot therefore agree in the praises
which have been showered upon Cromwell for the just administration of
the laws under his dominion. That, between party and party, the
ordinary civil rights of men were fairly dealt with, is no
extraordinary praise; and it may be admitted that he filled the
benches of justice with able lawyers, though not so considerable as
those of the reign of Charles the Second; but it is manifest that, so
far as his own authority was concerned, no hereditary despot, proud in
the crimes of a hundred ancestors, could more have spurned at every
limitation than this soldier of a commonwealth.[440]

_Cromwell summons another parliament._--Amidst so general a hatred,
trusting to the effect of an equally general terror, the protector
ventured to summon a parliament in 1656. Besides the common
necessities for money, he had doubtless in his head that remarkable
scheme which was developed during its session.[441] Even the despotic
influence of his major-generals, and the political annihilation of the
most considerable body of the gentry, then labouring under the
imputation of delinquency for their attachment to the late king, did
not enable him to obtain a secure majority in the assembly; and he was
driven to the audacious measure of excluding above ninety members,
duly returned by their constituents, from taking their seats. Their
colleagues wanted courage to resist this violation of all privilege;
and, after referring them to the council for approbation, resolved to
proceed with public business. The excluded members, consisting partly
of the republican, partly of the presbyterian factions, published a
remonstrance in a very high strain, but obtained no redress.[442]

_Cromwell designs to take the crown._--Cromwell, like so many other
usurpers, felt his position too precarious, or his vanity ungratified,
without the name which mankind have agreed to worship. He had, as
evidently appears from the conversations recorded by Whitelock, long
since aspired to this titular, as well as to the real, pre-eminence;
and the banished king's friends had contemplated the probability of
his obtaining it with dismay.[443] Affectionate towards his family, he
wished to assure the stability of his son's succession, and perhaps to
please the vanity of his daughters. It was indeed a very reasonable
object with one who had already advanced so far. His assumption of the
crown was desirable to many different classes; to the lawyers, who,
besides their regard for the established constitution, knew that an
ancient statute would protect those who served a _de facto_ king in
case of a restoration of the exiled family; to the nobility, who
perceived that their legislative right must immediately revive; to the
clergy, who judged the regular ministry more likely to be secure under
a monarchy; to the people, who hoped for any settlement that would put
an end to perpetual changes; to all of every rank and profession who
dreaded the continuance of military despotism, and demanded only the
just rights and privileges of their country. A king of England could
succeed only to a bounded prerogative, and must govern by the known
laws; a protector, as the nation had well felt, with less nominal
authority, had all the sword could confer. And, though there might be
little chance that Oliver would abate one jot of a despotism for which
not the times of the Tudors could furnish a precedent, yet his life
was far worn, and under a successor it was to be expected that future
parliaments might assert again all those liberties for which they had
contended against Charles.[444] A few of the royalists might perhaps
fancy that the restoration of the royal title would lead to that of
the lawful heir; but a greater number were content to abandon a nearly
desperate cause, if they could but see the more valuable object of
their concern, the form itself of polity, re-established.[445] There
can be, as it appears to me, little room for doubt that if Cromwell
had overcome the resistance of his generals, he would have transmitted
the sceptre to his descendants with the acquiescence and tacit
approbation of the kingdom. Had we been living ever since under the
rule of his dynasty, what tone would our historians have taken as to
his character and that of the house of Stuart?

The scheme however of founding a new royal line failed of
accomplishment, as is well known, through his own caution, which
deterred him from encountering the decided opposition of his army.
Some of his contemporaries seem to have deemed this abandonment, or
more properly suspension, of so splendid a design rather derogatory to
his firmness.[446] But few men were better judges than Cromwell of
what might be achieved by daring. It is certainly not impossible that,
by arresting Lambert, Whalley, and some other generals, he might have
crushed for the moment any tendency to open resistance. But the
experiment would have been infinitely hazardous. He had gone too far
in the path of violence to recover the high road of law by any short
cut. King or protector, he must have intimidated every parliament, or
sunk under its encroachments. A new-modelled army might have served
his turn; but there would have been great difficulties in its
formation. It had from the beginning been the misfortune of his
government that it rested on a basis too narrow for its safety. For
two years he had reigned with no support but the independent sectaries
and the army. The army or its commanders becoming odious to the
people, he had sacrificed them to the hope of popularity, by
abolishing the civil prefectures of the major-generals,[447] and
permitting a bill for again decimating the royalists to be thrown out
of the house.[448] Their disgust and resentment, excited by an artful
intriguer, who aspired at least to the succession of the
protectorship, found scope in the new project of monarchy, naturally
obnoxious to the prejudices of true fanatics, and who still fancied
themselves to have contended for a republican liberty. We find that
even Fleetwood, allied by marriage to Cromwell, and not involved in
the discontent of the major-generals, in all the sincerity of his
clouded understanding, revolted from the invidious title, and would
have retired from service had it been assumed. There seems therefore
reason to think that Cromwell's refusal of the crown was an inevitable
mortification. But he undoubtedly did not lose sight of the object for
the short remainder of his life.[449]

The fundamental charter of the English commonwealth under the
protectorship of Cromwell, had been the instrument of government,
drawn up by the council of officers in December 1653, and approved
with modifications by the parliament of the next year. It was now
changed to the petition and advice, tendered to him by the present
parliament in May 1657, which made very essential innovations in the
frame of polity. Though he bore, as formerly, the name of lord
protector, we may say, speaking according to theoretical
classification, and without reference to his actual exercise of power,
which was nearly the same, that the English government in the first
period should be ranged in the order of republics, though with a chief
magistrate at its head; but that from 1657 it became substantially a
monarchy, and ought to be placed in that class, notwithstanding the
unimportant difference in the style of its sovereign. The petition and
advice had been compiled with a constant respect to that article,
which conferred the royal dignity on the protector;[450] and when this
was withdrawn at his request, the rest of the instrument was
preserved with all its implied attributions of sovereignty. The style
is that of subjects addressing a monarch; the powers it bestows, the
privileges it claims, are supposed, according to the expressions
employed, the one to be already his own, the other to emanate from his
will. The necessity of his consent to laws, though nowhere mentioned,
seems to have been taken for granted. An unlimited power of appointing
a successor, unknown even to constitutional kingdoms, was vested in
the protector. He was inaugurated with solemnities applicable to
monarchs; and what of itself is a sufficient test of the monarchical
and republican species of government, an oath of allegiance was taken
by every member of parliament to the protector singly, without any
mention of the commonwealth.[451] It is surely, therefore, no paradox
to assert that Oliver Cromwell was _de facto_ sovereign of England,
during the interval from June 1657, to his death in September 1658.

The zealous opponents of royalty could not be insensible that they had
seen it revive in everything except a title, which was not likely to
remain long behind.[452] It was too late however to oppose the first
magistrate's personal authority. But there remained one important
point of contention, which the new constitution had not fully settled.
It was therein provided that the parliament should consist of two
houses; namely, the Commons, and what they always termed, with an
awkward generality, the other house. This was to consist of not more
than seventy, nor less than forty persons, to be nominated by the
protector, and, as it stood at first, to be approved by the Commons.
But before the close of the session, the court party prevailed so far
as to procure the repeal of this last condition;[453] and Cromwell
accordingly issued writs of summons to persons of various parties, a
few of the ancient peers, a few of his adversaries, whom he hoped to
gain over, or at least to exclude from the Commons, and of course a
majority of his steady adherents. To all these he gave the title of
Lords; and in the next session their assembly denominated itself the
Lords' house.[454] This measure encountered considerable difficulty.
The republican party, almost as much attached to that vote which had
declared the House of Lords useless, as to that which had abolished
the monarchy, and well aware of the intimate connection between the
two, resisted the assumption of this aristocratic title, instead of
that of the other house, which the petition and advice had sanctioned.
The real peers feared to compromise their hereditary right by sitting
in an assembly where the tenure was only during life; and disdained
some of their colleagues, such as Pride and Hewson, low-born and
insolent men, whom Cromwell had rather injudiciously bribed with this
new nobility; though, with these few exceptions, his House of Lords
was respectably composed. Hence, in the short session of January 1658,
wherein the late excluded members were permitted to take their seats,
so many difficulties were made about acknowledging the Lords' house by
that denomination, that the protector hastily and angrily dissolved
the parliament.[455]

It is a singular part of Cromwell's system of policy, that he would
neither reign with parliaments nor without them; impatient of an
opposition which he was sure to experience, he still never seems to
have meditated the attainment of a naked and avowed despotism. This
was probably due to his observation of the ruinous consequences that
Charles had brought on himself by that course, and his knowledge of
the temper of the English, never content without the exterior forms of
liberty, as well as to the suggestions of counsellors who were not
destitute of concern for the laws. He had also his great design yet to
accomplish, which could only be safely done under the sanction of a
parliament. A very short time, accordingly, before his death, we find
that he had not only resolved to meet once more the representatives of
the nation, but was tampering with several of the leading officers to
obtain their consent to an hereditary succession. The majority however
of a council of nine, to whom he referred this suggestion, would only
consent that the protector for the time being should have the power of
nominating his successor; a vain attempt to escape from that regal
form of government which they had been taught to abhor.[456] But a
sudden illness, of a nature seldom fatal except to a constitution
already shattered by fatigue and anxiety, rendered abortive all these
projects of Cromwell's ambition.

_Cromwell's death, and character._--He left a fame behind him
proportioned to his extraordinary fortunes and to the great qualities
which sustained them; still more perhaps the admiration of strangers
than of his country, because that sentiment was less alloyed by
hatred, which seeks to extenuate the glory that irritates it. The
nation itself forgave much to one who had brought back the renown of
her ancient story, the traditions of Elizabeth's age, after the
ignominious reigns of her successors. This contrast with James and
Charles in their foreign policy gave additional lustre to the era of
the protectorate. There could not but be a sense of national pride to
see an Englishman, but yesterday raised above the many, without one
drop of blood in his veins which the princes of the earth could
challenge as their own, receive the homage of those who acknowledged
no right to power, and hardly any title to respect, except that of
prescription. The sluggish pride of the court of Spain, the
mean-spirited cunning of Mazarin, the irregular imagination of
Christina, sought with emulous ardour the friendship of our
usurper.[457] He had the advantage of reaping the harvest which he had
not sown, by an honourable treaty with Holland, the fruit of
victories achieved under the parliament. But he still employed the
great energies of Blake in the service for which he was so eminently
fitted; and it is just to say that the maritime glory of England may
first be traced from the era of the commonwealth in a track of
continuous light. The oppressed protestants in catholic kingdoms,
disgusted at the lukewarmness and half-apostasy of the Stuarts, looked
up to him as their patron and mediator.[458] Courted by the two rival
monarchies of Europe, he seemed to threaten both with his hostility;
and when he declared against Spain, and attacked her West India
possessions with little pretence certainly of justice, but not by any
means, as I conceive, with the impolicy sometimes charged against him,
so auspicious was his star that the very failure and disappointment of
that expedition obtained a more advantageous possession for England
than all the triumphs of her former kings.

Notwithstanding this external splendour, which has deceived some of
our own, and most foreign writers, it is evident that the submission
of the people to Cromwell was far from peaceable or voluntary. His
strong and skilful grasp kept down a nation of enemies that must
naturally, to judge from their numbers and inveteracy, have
overwhelmed him. It required a dexterous management to play with the
army, and without the army he could not have existed as sovereign for
a day. Yet it seems improbable that, had Cromwell lived, any
insurrection or conspiracy, setting aside assassination, could have
overthrown a possession so fenced by systematic vigilance, by
experienced caution, by the respect and terror that belonged to his
name. The royalist and republican intrigues had gone on for several
years without intermission; but every part of their designs was open
to him; and it appears that there was not courage or rather temerity
sufficient to make any open demonstration of so prevalent a

The most superficial observers cannot have overlooked the general
resemblances in the fortunes and character of Cromwell, and of him
who, more recently and upon an ampler theatre, has struck nations with
wonder and awe. But the parallel may be traced more closely than
perhaps has hitherto been remarked. Both raised to power by the only
merit which a revolution leaves uncontroverted and untarnished, that
of military achievements, in that reflux of public sentiment, when the
fervid enthusiasm of democracy gives place to disgust at its excesses
and a desire of firm government. The means of greatness the same to
both, the extinction of a representative assembly, once national, but
already mutilated by violence, and sunk by its submission to that
illegal force into general contempt. In military science or the renown
of their exploits, we cannot certainly rank Cromwell by the side of
him, for whose genius and ambition all Europe seemed the appointed
quarry; but it may be said that the former's exploits were as much
above the level of his contemporaries, and more the fruits of an
original uneducated capacity. In civil government, there can be no
adequate parallel between one who had sucked only the dregs of a
besotted fanaticism, and one to whom the stores of reason and
philosophy were open. But it must here be added that Cromwell, far
unlike his antitype, never showed any signs of a legislative mind, or
any desire to fix his renown on that noblest basis, the amelioration
of social institutions. Both were eminent masters of human nature, and
played with inferior capacities in all the security of powerful minds.
Though both, coming at the conclusion of a struggle for liberty,
trampled upon her claims, and sometimes spoke disdainfully of her
name, each knew how to associate the interests of those who had
contended for her with his own ascendancy, and made himself the
representative of a victorious revolution. Those who had too much
philosophy or zeal for freedom to give way to popular admiration for
these illustrious usurpers, were yet amused with the adulation that
lawful princes showered on them, more gratuitously in one instance,
with servile terror in the other. Both too repaid in some measure this
homage of the pretended great by turning their ambition towards those
honours and titles which they knew to be so little connected with
high desert. A fallen race of monarchs, which had made way for the
greatness of each, cherished hopes of restoration by their power till
each, by an inexpiable act of blood, manifested his determination to
make no compromise with that line. Both possessed a certain coarse
good nature and affability that covered the want of conscience,
honour, and humanity; quick in passion, but not vindictive, and averse
to unnecessary crimes. Their fortunes in the conclusion of life were
indeed very different; one forfeited the affections of his people,
which the other, in the character at least of their master, had never
possessed; one furnished a moral to Europe by the continuance of his
success, the other by the prodigiousness of his fall. A fresh
resemblance arose afterwards, when the restoration of those royal
families, whom their ascendant had kept under, revived ancient
animosities, and excited new ones; those who from love of democratical
liberty had borne the most deadly hatred to the apostates who had
betrayed it, recovering some affection to their memory, out of
aversion to a common enemy. Our English republicans have, with some
exceptions, displayed a sympathy for the name of Cromwell; and I need
not observe how remarkably this holds good in the case of his mighty

_Cromwell's son succeeds him_--The death of a great man, even in the
most regular course of affairs, seems always to create a sort of pause
in the movement of society; it is always a problem to be solved only
by experiment, whether the mechanism of government may not be
disordered by the shock, or have been deprived of some of its moving
powers. But what change could be so great as that from Oliver Cromwell
to his son! from one beneath the terror of whose name a nation had
cowered and foreign princes grown pale, one trained in twenty eventful
years of revolution, the first of his age in the field or in council,
to a young man fresh from a country life, uneducated, unused to
business, as little a statesman as a soldier, and endowed by nature
with capacities by no means above the common. It seems to have been a
mistake in Oliver that with the projects he had long formed in his
eldest son's favour, he should have taken so little pains to fashion
his mind and manners for the exercise of sovereign power, while he had
placed the second in a very eminent and arduous station; or that, if
he despaired of Richard's capacity, he should have trusted him to
encounter those perils of disaffection and conspiracy which it had
required all his own vigilance to avert. But, whatever might be his
plans, the sudden illness which carried him from the world left no
time for completing them. The Petition and Advice had simply empowered
him to appoint a successor, without prescribing the mode. It appeared
consonant to law and reason that so important a trust should be
executed in a notorious manner, and by a written instrument; or, if a
verbal nomination might seem sufficient, it was at least to be
expected that this should be authenticated by solemn and indisputable
testimony. No proof however was ever given of Richard's appointment by
his father, except a recital in the proclamation of the privy council,
which, whether well founded or otherwise, did not carry conviction to
the minds of the people; and this, even if we call it but an
informality, aggravated the numerous legal and natural deficiencies of
his title to the government.[461]

This very difference however in the personal qualifications of the
father and the son, procured the latter some friends whom the former
had never been able to gain. Many of the presbyterian party began to
see the finger of God, as they called it, in his peaceable accession,
and to think they owed subjection to one who came in neither by
regicide, nor hypocrisy, nor violence.[462] Some cool-headed and
sincere friends of liberty entertained similar opinions. Pierrepont,
one of the wisest men in England, who had stood aloof from the
protector's government till the scheme of restoring monarchy came into
discussion, had great hopes, as a writer of high authority informs us,
of settling the nation in the enjoyment of its liberties under the
young man; who was "so flexible," says that writer, "to good counsels,
that there was nothing desirable in a prince which might not have been
hoped in him, but a great spirit and a just title; the first of which
sometimes doth more hurt than good in a sovereign; the latter would
have been supplied by the people's deserved approbation." Pierrepont
believed that the restoration of the ancient family could not be
effected without the ruin of the people's liberty, and of all who had
been its champions; so that no royalist, he thought, who had any
regard to his country, would attempt it: while this establishment of
monarchy in Richard's person might reconcile that party, and compose
all differences among men of weight and of zeal for the public
good.[463] He acted accordingly on those principles; and became, as
well as his friend St. John, who had been discountenanced by Oliver, a
steady supporter of the young protector's administration. These two,
with Thurloe, Whitelock, Lord Broghill, and a very few more, formed a
small phalanx of experienced counsellors around his unstable throne.
And I must confess that their course of policy in sustaining Richard's
government appears to me the most judicious that, in the actual
circumstances, could have been adopted. Pregnant as the restoration of
the exiled family was with incalculable dangers, the English monarchy
would have revived with less lustre in the eyes of the vulgar, but
with more security for peace and freedom, in the line of Cromwell.
Time would have worn away the stains of ignoble birth and criminal
usurpation; and the young man, whose misfortune has subjected him to
rather an exaggerated charge of gross incapacity, would probably have
reigned as well as most of those who are born in the purple.[464]

But this termination was defeated by the combination of some who knew
not what they wished, and of some who wished what they could never
attain. The general officers who had been well content to make
Cromwell the first of themselves, or greater than themselves by their
own creation, had never forgiven his manifest design to reign over
them as one of a superior order, and owing nothing to their pleasure.
They had begun to cabal during his last illness. Though they did not
oppose Richard's succession, they continued to hold meetings, not
quite public, but exciting intense alarm in his council. As if
disdaining the command of a clownish boy, they proposed that the
station of lord general should be separated from that of protector,
with the power over all commissions in the army, and conferred on
Fleetwood; who, though his brother-in-law, was a certain instrument in
their hands. The vain ambitious Lambert, aspiring, on the credit of
some military reputation, to wield the sceptre of Cromwell, influenced
this junto; while the commonwealth's party, some of whom were, or had
been, in the army, drew over several of these ignorant and fanatical
soldiers. Thurloe describes the posture of affairs in September and
October, while all Europe was admiring the peaceable transmission of
Oliver's power, as most alarming; and it may almost be said that
Richard had already fallen when he was proclaimed the lord protector
of England.[465]

_A parliament called._--It was necessary to summon a parliament on the
usual score of obtaining money. Lord Broghill had advised this measure
immediately on Oliver's death,[466] and perhaps the delay might be
rather prejudicial to the new establishment. But some of the council
feared a parliament almost as much as they did the army. They called
one, however, to meet Jan. 27, 1659, issuing writs in the ordinary
manner to all boroughs which had been accustomed to send members, and
consequently abandoning the reformed model of Cromwell. This Ludlow
attributes to their expectation of greater influence among the small
boroughs; but it may possibly be ascribed still more to a desire of
returning by little and little to the ancient constitution, by
eradicating the revolutionary innovations. The new parliament
consisted of courtiers, as the Cromwell party were always denominated,
of presbyterians, among whom some of cavalier principles crept in, and
of republicans; the two latter nearly balancing, with their united
weight, the ministerial majority.[467] They began with an oath of
allegiance to the protector, as presented by the late parliament,
which, as usual in such cases, his enemies generally took without
scruple.[468] But upon a bill being offered for the recognition of
Richard as the undoubted lord protector and chief magistrate of the
commonwealth, they made a stand against the word recognise, which was
carried with difficulty, and caused him the mortification of throwing
out the epithet undoubted.[469] They subsequently discussed his
negative voice in passing bills, which had been purposely slurred over
in the Petition and Advice; but now everything was disputed. The
thorny question as to the powers and privileges of the other house
came next into debate. It was carried by 177 to 113, to transact
business with them. To this resolution an explanation was added, that
it was not thereby intended to exclude such peers as had been faithful
to the parliament, from their privilege of being duly summoned to be
members of that house. The court supporting this absurd proviso, which
confounded the ancient and modern systems of government, carried it by
the small majority of 195 to 188.[470] They were stronger in rejecting
an important motion, to make the approbation of the Commons a
preliminary to their transacting business with the persons now sitting
in the other house as a house of parliament, by 183 voices to 146. But
the opposition succeeded in inserting the words "during the present
parliament," which left the matter still unsettled.[471] The sitting
of the Scots and Irish members was also unsuccessfully opposed. Upon
the whole, the court party, notwithstanding this coalition of very
heterogeneous interests against them, were sufficiently powerful to
disappoint the hopes which the royalist intriguers had entertained. A
strong body of lawyers, led by Maynard, adhered to the government,
which was supported also on some occasions by a part of the
presbyterian interest, or, as then called, the moderate party; and
Richard would probably have concluded the session with no loss of
power, if either he or his parliament could have withstood the more
formidable cabal of Wallingford House. This knot of officers,
Fleetwood, Desborough, Berry, Sydenham, being the names most known
among them, formed a coalition with the republican faction, who
despaired of any success in parliament. The dissolution of that
assembly was the main article of this league. Alarmed at the notorious
caballing of the officers, the Commons voted that, during the sitting
of the parliament, there should be no general council, or meeting of
the officers of the army without leave of the protector and of both
houses.[472] Such a vote could only accelerate their own downfall.
Three days afterwards, the junto of Wallingford House insisted with
Richard that he should dissolve parliament; to which, according to the
advice of most of his council, and perhaps by an overruling necessity,
he gave his consent.[473] This was immediately followed by a
declaration of the council of officers, calling back the Long
Parliament, such as it had been expelled in 1653, to those seats which
had been filled meanwhile by so many transient successors.[474]

It is not in general difficult for an armed force to destroy a
government; but something else than the sword is required to create
one. The military conspirators were destitute of any leader whom they
would acknowledge, or who had capacity to go through the civil labours
of sovereignty; Lambert alone excepted, who was lying in wait for
another occasion. They might have gone on with Richard, as a pageant
of nominal authority. But their new allies, the commonwealth's men,
insisted upon restoring the Long Parliament.[475] It seemed now the
policy, as much as duty, of the officers to obey that civil power they
had set up. For to rule ostensibly was, as I have just observed, an
impracticable scheme. But the contempt they felt for their pretended
masters, and even a sort of necessity arising out of the blindness and
passion of that little oligarchy, drove them to a step still more
ruinous to their cause than that of deposing Richard, the expulsion
once more of that assembly, now worn out and ridiculous in all men's
eyes, yet seeming a sort of frail protection against mere anarchy, and
the terror of the sword. Lambert, the chief actor in this last act of
violence, and indeed many of the rest, might plead the right of
self-defence. The prevailing faction in the parliament, led by
Haslerig, a bold and headstrong man, perceived that, with very
inferior pretensions, Lambert was aiming to tread in the steps of
Cromwell; and, remembering their negligence of opportunities, as they
thought, in permitting the one to overthrow them, fancied that they
would anticipate the other. Their intemperate votes cashiering
Lambert, Desborough, and other officers, brought on, as every man of
more prudence than Haslerig must have foreseen, an immediate
revolution that crushed once more their boasted commonwealth.[476]
They revived again a few months after, not by any exertion of the
people, who hated alike both parties, in their behalf, but through the
disunion of their real masters, the army, and vented the impotent and
injudicious rage of a desperate faction on all who had not gone every
length on their side, till scarce any man of eminence was left to
muster under the standard of Haslerig and his little knot of

_Impossibility of establishing a republic._--I can by no means agree
with those who find in the character of the English nation some
absolute incompatibility with a republican constitution of government.
Under favouring circumstances, it seems to me not at all incredible
that such a polity might have existed for many ages in great
prosperity, and without violent convulsion. For the English are, as a
people, little subject to those bursts of passion which inflame the
more imaginative multitude of southern climates, and render them both
apt for revolutions, and incapable of conducting them. Nor are they
again of that sluggish and stationary temper, which chokes all desire
of improvement, and even all zeal for freedom and justice, through
which some free governments have degenerated into corrupt oligarchies.
The most conspicuously successful experiment of republican
institutions (and those far more democratical than, according to the
general theory of politics, could be reconciled with perfect
tranquillity) has taken place in a people of English original; and
though much must here be ascribed to the peculiarly fortunate
situation of the nation to which I allude, we can hardly avoid giving
some weight to the good sense and well-balanced temperament, which
have come in their inheritance with our laws and our language. But
the establishment of free commonwealths depends much rather on
temporary causes, the influence of persons and particular events, and
all those intricacies in the course of Providence which we term
accident, than on any general maxims that can become the basis of
prior calculation. In the year 1659, it is manifest that no idea could
be more chimerical than that of a republican settlement in England.
The name, never familiar or venerable in English ears, was grown
infinitely odious; it was associated with the tyranny of ten years,
the selfish rapacity of the Rump, the hypocritical despotism of
Cromwell, the arbitrary sequestrations of committee-men, the
iniquitous decimations of military prefects, the sale of British
citizens for slavery in the West Indies, the blood of some shed on the
scaffold without legal trial, the tedious imprisonment of many with
denial of the habeas corpus, the exclusion of the ancient gentry, the
persecution of the Anglican church, the bacchanalian rant of
sectaries, the morose preciseness of puritans, the extinction of the
frank and cordial joyousness of the national character. Were the
people again to endure the mockery of the good old cause, as the
commonwealth's men affected to style the interests of their little
faction, and be subject to Lambert's notorious want of principle, or
to Vane's contempt of ordinances (a godly mode of expressing the same
thing), or to Haslerig's fury, or to Harrison's fanaticism, or to the
fancies of those lesser schemers, who in this utter confusion and
abject state of their party, were amusing themselves with plans of
perfect commonwealths, and debating whether there should be a senate
as well as a representation; whether a given number should go out by
rotation; and all those details of political mechanism so important in
the eyes of theorists?[478] Every project of this description must
have wanted what alone could give it either the pretext of legitimate
existence, or the chance of permanency, popular consent; the
republican party, if we exclude those who would have had a protector,
and those fanatics who expected the appearance of Jesus Christ, was
incalculably small; not, perhaps, amounting in the whole nation to
more than a few hundred persons.

_Intrigues of the royalists._--The little court of Charles at Brussels
watched with trembling hope these convulsive struggles of their
enemies. During the protectorship of Oliver, their best chance
appeared to be, that some of the numerous schemes for his
assassination might take effect. Their correspondence indeed,
especially among the presbyterian or neutral party, became more
extensive;[479] but these men were habitually cautious: and the
Marquis of Ormond, who went over to England in the beginning of 1658,
though he reported the disaffection to be still more universal than he
had expected, was forced to add that there was little prospect of a
rising until foreign troops should be landed in some part of the
country; an aid which Spain had frequently promised, but, with an
English fleet at sea, could not very easily furnish.[480] The death of
their puissant enemy brightened the visions of the royalists. Though
the apparent peaceableness of Richard's government gave them some
mortification, they continued to spread their toils through zealous
emissaries, and found a very general willingness to restore the
ancient constitution under its hereditary sovereign. Besides the
cavaliers, who, though numerous and ardent, were impoverished and
suspected, the chief presbyterians, Lords Fairfax and Willoughby, the
Earls of Manchester and Denbigh, Sir William Waller, Sir George Booth,
Sir Ashley Cooper, Mr. Popham of Somerset, Mr. Howe of Glocester, Sir
Horatio Townshend of Norfolk, with more or less of zeal and activity,
pledged themselves to the royal cause.[481] Lord Fauconberg, a
royalist by family, who had married a daughter of Cromwell, undertook
the important office of working on his brothers-in-law, Richard and
Henry, whose position, in respect to the army and republican party,
was so hazardous. It seems, in fact, that Richard, even during his
continuance in power, had not refused to hear the king's agents,[482]
and hopes were entertained of him: yet at that time even he could not
reasonably be expected to abandon his apparent interests. But soon
after his fall from power, while his influence, or rather that of his
father's memory, was still supposed considerable with Montagu, Monk,
and Lockhart, they negotiated with him to procure the accession of
those persons, and of his brother Henry, for a pension of £20,000 a
year, and a title.[483] It soon appeared however that those prudent
veterans of revolution would not embark under such a pilot, and that
Richard was not worth purchasing on the lowest terms. Even Henry
Cromwell, with whom a separate treaty had been carried on, and who is
said to have determined at one time to proclaim the king at Dublin,
from want of courage, or, as is more probable, of seriousness in what
must have seemed so unnatural an undertaking, submitted quietly to the
vote of parliament that deprived him of the command of Ireland.[484]

_Conspiracy of 1659._--The conspiracy, if indeed so general a concert
for the restoration of ancient laws and liberties ought to have so
equivocal an appellation, became ripe in the summer of 1659. The
royalists were to appear in arms in different quarters; several
principal towns to be seized: but as the moment grew nigh, the courage
of most began to fail. Twenty years of depression and continual
failure mated the spirits of the cavaliers. The shade of Cromwell
seemed to hover over and protect the wreck of his greatness. Sir
George Booth, almost alone, rose in Cheshire; every other scheme,
intended to be executed simultaneously, failing through the increased
prudence of those concerned, or the precautions taken by the
government on secret intelligence of the plots; and Booth, thus
deserted, made less resistance to Lambert than perhaps was in his
power.[485] This discomfiture, of course, damped the expectations of
the king's party. The presbyterians thought themselves ill-used by
their new allies, though their own friends had been almost equally
cautious.[486] Sir Richard Willis, an old cavalier, and in all the
secrets of their conspiracy, was detected in being a spy both of
Cromwell and of the new government; a discovery which struck
consternation into the party, who could hardly trust any one else with
greater security.[487] In a less favourable posture of affairs, these
untoward circumstances might have ruined Charles's hopes; they served,
as it was, to make it evident that he must look to some more
efficacious aid than a people's good wishes for his restoration.

The royalists in England, who played so deep a stake on the king's
account, were not unnaturally desirous that he should risk something
in the game, and continually pressed that either he or one of his
brothers would land on the coast. His standard would become a
rallying-point for the well-affected, and create such a demonstration
of public sentiment as would overthrow the present unstable
government. But Charles, not by nature of a chivalrous temper, shrunk
from an enterprise which was certainly very hazardous, unless he could
have obtained a greater assistance of troops from the Low Countries
than was to be hoped.[488] He was as little inclined to permit the
Duke of York's engaging in it, on account of the differences that had
existed between them, and his knowledge of an intrigue that was going
forward in England, principally among the catholics, but with the
mischievous talents of the Duke of Buckingham at its head, to set up
the duke instead of himself.[489] He gave, however, fair words to his
party, and continued for some time on the French coast, as if waiting
for his opportunity. It was in great measure, as I suspect, to rid
himself of this importunity, that he set out on his long and very
needless journey to the foot of the Pyrenees. Thither the two monarchs
of France and Spain, wearied with twenty years of hostility without a
cause and without a purpose, had sent their minister to conclude the
celebrated treaty which bears the name of those mountains. Charles had
long cherished hopes that the first fruits of their reconciliation
would be a joint armament to place him on the English throne: many of
his adherents almost despaired of any other means of restoration. But
Lewis de Haro was a timid statesman, and Mazarin a cunning one: there
was little to expect from their generosity; and the price of
assistance might probably be such as none but desperate and
unscrupulous exiles would offer, and the English nation would with
unanimous indignation reject. It was well for Charles that he
contracted no public engagement with these foreign powers, whose
co-operation must either have failed of success, or have placed on his
head a degraded and unstable crown. The full toleration of popery in
England, its establishment in Ireland, its profession by the sovereign
and his family, the surrender of Jamaica, Dunkirk, and probably the
Norman Islands, were conditions on which the people might have thought
the restoration of the Stuart line too dearly obtained.

It was a more desirable object for the king to bring over, if
possible, some of the leaders of the commonwealth. Except Vane,
accordingly, and the decided republicans, there was hardly any man of
consequence whom his agents did not attempt, or, at least, from whom
they did not entertain hopes. There stood at this time conspicuous
above the rest, not all of them in ability, but in apparent power of
serving the royal cause by their defection, Fleetwood, Lambert, and
Monk. The first had discovered, as far as his understanding was
capable of perceiving anything, that he had been the dupe of more
crafty men in the cabals against Richard Cromwell, whose complete fall
from power he had neither designed nor foreseen. In pique and
vexation, he listened to the overtures of the royalist agents, and
sometimes, if we believe their assertions, even promised to declare
for the king.[490] But his resolutions were not to be relied upon, nor
was his influence likely to prove considerable; though from his post
of lieutenant-general of the army, and long accustomed precedence, he
obtained a sort of outward credit far beyond his capacity. Lambert was
of a very different stamp; eager, enterprising, ambitious, but
destitute of the qualities that inspire respect or confidence. Far
from the weak enthusiasm of Fleetwood, he gave offence by displaying
less show of religion than the temper of his party required, and still
more by a current suspicion that his secret faith was that of the
church of Rome, to which the partiality of the catholics towards him
gave support.[491] The crafty unfettered ambition of Lambert rendered
it not unlikely that--finding his own schemes of sovereignty
impracticable, he would make terms with the king; and there were not
wanting those who recommended the latter to secure his services by the
offer of marrying his daughter;[492] but it does not appear that any
actual overtures were made on either side.

_Interference of Monk._--There remained one man of eminent military
reputation, in the command of a considerable insulated army, to whom
the royalists anxiously looked with alternate hope and despondency.
Monk's early connections were with the king's party, among whom he had
been defeated and taken prisoner by Fairfax at Namptwich. Yet even in
this period of his life he had not escaped suspicions of disaffection,
which he effaced by continuing in prison till the termination of the
war in England. He then accepted a commission from the parliament to
serve against the Irish; and now falling entirely into his new line of
politics, became strongly attached to Cromwell, by whom he was left in
the military government, or rather viceroyalty of Scotland, which he
had reduced to subjection, and kept under with a vigorous hand.
Charles had once, it is said, attempted to seduce him by a letter from
Cologne, which he instantly transmitted to the protector.[493] Upon
Oliver's death, he wrote a very sensible letter to Richard Cromwell,
containing his advice for the government. He recommends him to obtain
the affections of the moderate presbyterian ministers, who have much
influence over the people, to summon to his House of Lords the wisest
and most faithful of the old nobility and some of the leading gentry,
to diminish the number of superior officers in the army, by throwing
every two regiments into one, and to take into his council as his
chief advisers Whitelock, St. John, Lord Broghill, Sir Richard Onslow,
Pierrepont, and Thurloe.[494] The judiciousness of this advice is the
surest evidence of its sincerity, and must leave no doubt on our minds
that Monk was at that time very far from harbouring any thoughts of
the king's restoration.

But when, through the force of circumstances and the deficiencies in
the young protector's capacity, he saw the house of Cromwell for ever
fallen, it was for Monk to consider what course he should follow, and
by what means the nation was to be rescued from the state of anarchy
that seemed to menace it. That very different plans must have passed
through his mind before he commenced his march from Scotland, it is
easy to conjecture; but at what time his determination was finally
taken, we cannot certainly pronounce.[495] It would be the most
honourable supposition to believe that he was sincere in those solemn
protestations of adherence to the commonwealth which he poured forth,
as well during his march as after his arrival in London; till
discovering, at length, the popular zeal for the king's restoration,
he concurred in a change which it would have been absurd, and perhaps
impracticable, to resist. This however seems not easily reconcilable
to Monk's proceedings in new-modelling his army, and confiding power,
both in Scotland and England, to men of known intentions towards
royalty; nor did his assurances of support to the republican party
become less frequent or explicit at a time when every one must believe
that he had taken his resolution, and even after he had communicated
with the king. I incline therefore, upon the whole, to believe that
Monk, not accustomed to respect the Rump Parliament, and incapable,
both by his temperament and by the course of his life, of any
enthusiasm for the name of liberty, had satisfied himself as to the
expediency of the king's restoration from the time that the Cromwells
had sunk below his power to assist them; though his projects were
still subservient to his own security, which he was resolved not to
forfeit by any premature declaration or unsuccessful enterprise. If
the coalition of cavaliers and presbyterians, and the strong bent of
the entire nation, had not convinced this wary dissembler that he
could not fail of success, he would have continued true to his
professions as the general of a commonwealth, content with crushing
his rival Lambert, and breaking that fanatical interest which he most
disliked. That he aimed at such a sovereignty as Cromwell had usurped
has been the natural conjecture of many, but does not appear to me
either warranted by any presumptive evidence, or consonant to the good
sense and phlegmatic temper of Monk.

At the moment when, with a small but veteran army of 7000 men, he took
up his quarters in London, it seemed to be within his arbitrament
which way the scale should preponderate. On one side were the wishes
of the nation, but restrained by fear; on the other, established
possession, maintained by the sword, but rendered precarious by
disunion and treachery. It is certainly very possible that, by keeping
close to the parliament, Monk might have retarded, at least for a
considerable time, the great event which has immortalised him. But it
can hardly be said that the king's restoration was rather owing to him
than to the general sentiments of the nation and almost the necessity
of circumstances, which had already made every judicious person
anticipate the sole termination of our civil discord which they had
prepared. Whitelock, who, incapable of refusing compliance with the
ruling power, had sat in the committee of safety established in
October 1659 by the officers who had expelled the parliament, has
recorded a curious anecdote, whence we may collect how little was
wanting to prevent Monk from being the great mover in the restoration.
He had for some time, as appears by his journal, entertained a
persuasion that the general meditated nothing but the king's return,
to which he was doubtless himself well inclined, except from some
apprehension for the public interest, and some also for his own. This
induced him to have a private conference with Fleetwood, which he
enters as of the 22nd December 1659, wherein, after pointing out the
probable designs of Monk, he urged him either to take possession of
the Tower, and declare for a free parliament, in which he would have
the assistance of the city, or to send some trusty person to Breda,
who might offer to bring in the king upon such terms as should be
settled. Both these propositions were intended as different methods of
bringing about a revolution, which he judged to be inevitable. "By
this means," he contended, "Fleetwood might make terms with the king
for preservation of himself and his friends, and of that cause, in a
good measure, in which they had been engaged; but, if it were left to
Monk, they and all that had been done would be left to the danger of
destruction. Fleetwood then asked me, 'If I would be willing to go
myself upon this employment?' I answered, 'that I would go, if
Fleetwood thought fit to send me.' And after much other discourse to
this effect, Fleetwood seemed fully satisfied to send me to the king,
and desired me to go and prepare myself forthwith for the journey; and
that in the meantime Fleetwood and his friends would prepare the
instructions for me, so that I might begin my journey this evening or
to-morrow morning early.

"I going away from Fleetwood, met Vane, Desborough, and Berry in the
next room, coming to speak with Fleetwood, who thereupon desired me to
stay a little; and I suspected what would be the issue of their
consultation, and within a quarter of an hour Fleetwood came to me and
in much passion said to me, 'I cannot do it, I cannot do it.' I
desired his reason why he could not do it. He answered, 'Those
gentlemen have remembered me; and it is true, that I am engaged not to
do any such thing without my Lord Lambert's consent.' I replied, 'that
Lambert was at too great a distance to have his consent to this
business, which must be instantly acted.' Fleetwood again said, 'I
cannot do it without him.' Then I said, 'You will ruin yourself and
your friends.' He said, 'I cannot help it.' Then I told him I must
take my leave, and so we parted."[496]

Whatever might have been in the power of Monk, by adhering to his
declarations of obedience to the parliament, it would have been too
late for him, after consenting to the restoration of the secluded
members to their seats on February 21, 1660, to withstand the
settlement which it seems incredible that he should not at that time
have desired. That he continued, for at least six weeks afterwards,
in a course of astonishing dissimulation, so as to deceive, in a great
measure, almost all the royalists, who were distrusting his intentions
at the very moment when he made his first and most private tender of
service to the king through Sir John Grenville about the beginning of
April, might at first seem rather to have proceeded from a sort of
inability to shake off his inveterate reservedness, than from
consummate prudence and discretion. For any sudden risings in the
king's favour, or an intrigue in the council of state, might easily
have brought about the restoration without his concurrence; and, even
as it was, the language held in the House of Commons before their
dissolution, the votes expunging all that appeared on their journals
against the regal government and the House of Lords,[497] and, above
all, the course of the elections for the new parliament, made it
sufficiently evident that the general had delayed his assurances of
loyalty till they had lost a part of their value. It is however a full
explanation of Monk's public conduct, that he was not secure of the
army, chiefly imbued with fanatical principles, and bearing an
inveterate hatred towards the name of Charles Stuart. A correspondent
of the king writes to him on the 28th of March: "the army is not yet
in a state to hear your name publicly."[498] In the beginning of that
month, many of the officers, instigated by Haslerig and his friends,
had protested to Monk against the proceedings of the house, insisting
that they should abjure the king and House of Lords. He repressed
their mutinous spirit, and bade them obey the parliament, as he should
do.[499] Hence he redoubled his protestations of abhorrence of
monarchy, and seemed for several weeks, in exterior demonstrations,
rather the grand impediment to the king's restoration, than the one
person who was to have the credit of it.[500] Meanwhile he silently
proceeded in displacing the officers whom he could least trust, and
disposing the regiments near to the metropolis, or at a distance,
according to his knowledge of their tempers; the parliament having
given him a commission as lord general of all the forces in the three
kingdoms.[501] The commissioners appointed by parliament for raising
the militia in each county were chiefly gentlemen of the presbyterian
party; and there seemed likely to be such a considerable force under
their orders as might rescue the nation from its ignominious servitude
to the army. In fact, some of the royalists expected that the great
question would not be carried without an appeal to the sword.[502] The
delay of Monk in privately assuring the king of his fidelity is still
not easy to be explained, but may have proceeded from a want of
confidence in Charles's secrecy, or that of his counsellors. It must
be admitted that Lord Clarendon, who has written with some minuteness
and accuracy this important part of his history, has more than
insinuated (especially as we now read his genuine language, which the
ill faith of his original editors had shamefully garbled) that Monk
entertained no purposes in the king's favour till the last moment; but
a manifest prejudice that shows itself in all his writings against the
general, derived partly from offence at his extreme reserve and
caution during this period, partly from personal resentment of Monk's
behaviour at the time of his own impeachment, greatly takes off from
the weight of the noble historian's judgment.[503]

_Difficulties about the restoration._--The months of March and April
1660 were a period of extreme inquietude, during which every one spoke
of the king's restoration as imminent, yet none could distinctly
perceive by what means it would be effected, and much less how the
difficulties of such a settlement could be overcome.[504] As the
moment approached, men turned their attention more to the obstacles
and dangers that lay in their way. The restoration of a banished
family, concerning whom they knew little, and what they knew not
entirely to their satisfaction, with ruined, perhaps revengeful,
followers; the returning ascendancy of a distressed party, who had
sustained losses that could not be repaired without fresh changes of
property, injuries that could not be atoned without fresh severities;
the conflicting pretensions of two churches, one loth to release its
claim, the other to yield its possession; the unsettled dissensions
between the crown and parliament, suspended only by civil war and
usurpation; all seemed pregnant with such difficulties that prudent
men could hardly look forward to the impending revolution without some
hesitation and anxiety.[505] Hence Pierrepont, one of the wisest
statesmen in England, though not so far implicated in past
transactions as to have much to fear, seems never to have overcome his
repugnance to the recall of the king; and I am by no means convinced
that the slowness of Monk himself was not in some measure owing to his
sense of the embarrassments that might attend that event. The
presbyterians, generally speaking, had always been on their guard
against an unconditional restoration. They felt much more of hatred to
the prevailing power than of attachment to the house of Stuart; and
had no disposition to relinquish, either as to church or state
government, those principles for which they had fought against Charles
the First. Hence they began, from the very time that they entered into
the coalition, that is, the spring and summer of 1659, to talk of the
treaty of Newport, as if all that had passed since their vote of 5th
December 1648, that the king's concessions were a sufficient ground
whereon to proceed to the settlement of the kingdom, had been like an
hideous dream, from which they had awakened to proceed exactly in
their former course.[506] The council of state, appointed on the 23rd
of February, two days after the return of the secluded members,
consisted principally of this party. And there can, I conceive, be no
question that, if Monk had continued his neutrality to the last, they
would, in conjunction with the new parliament, have sent over
propositions for the king's acceptance. Meetings were held of the
chief presbyterian lords, Manchester, Northumberland, Bedford, Say,
with Pierrepont (who finding it too late to prevent the king's return,
endeavoured to render it as little dangerous as possible), Hollis,
Annesley, Sir William Waller, Lewis, and other leaders of that party.
Monk sometimes attended on these occasions, and always urged the most
rigid limitations.[507] His sincerity in this was the less suspected,
that his wife, to whom he was notoriously submissive, was entirely
presbyterian, though a friend to the king; and his own preference of
that sect had always been declared in a more consistent and
unequivocal manner than was usual to his dark temper.

These projected limitations, which but a few weeks before Charles
would have thankfully accepted, seemed now intolerable; so rapidly do
men learn, in the course of prosperous fortune, to scorn what they
just before hardly presumed to expect. Those seemed his friends, not
who desired to restore him, but who would do so at the least sacrifice
of his power and pride. Several of the council, and others in high
posts, sent word that they would resist the imposition of unreasonable
terms.[508] Monk himself redeemed his ambiguous and dilatory
behaviour by taking the restoration, as it were, out of the hands of
the council, and suggesting the judicious scheme of anticipating their
proposals by the king's letter to the two houses of parliament. For
this purpose he had managed, with all his dissembling pretences of
commonwealth principles, or, when he was (as it were) compelled to lay
them aside, of insisting on rigorous limitations, to prevent any
overtures from the council, who were almost entirely presbyterian,
before the meeting of parliament, which would have considerably
embarrassed the king's affairs.[509] The elections meantime had taken
a course which the faction now in power by no means regarded with
satisfaction. Though the late House of Commons had passed a resolution
that no person who had assisted in any war against the parliament
since 1642, unless he should since have manifested his good affection
towards it, should be capable of being elected; yet this, even if it
had been regarded, as it was not, by the people, would have been a
feeble barrier against the royalist party, composed in a great measure
of young men who had grown up under the commonwealth, and of those
who, living in the parliamentary counties during the civil war, had
paid a reluctant obedience to its power.[510] The tide ran so
strongly for the king's friends, that it was as much as the
presbyterians could effect, with the weight of government in their
hands, to obtain about an equality of strength with the cavaliers in
the convention parliament.[511]

It has been a frequent reproach to the conductors of this great
revolution, that the king was restored without those terms and
limitations which might secure the nation against his abuse of their
confidence; and this, not only by contemporaries who had suffered by
the political and religious changes consequent on the restoration, or
those who, in after times, have written with some prepossession
against the English church and constitutional monarchy, but by the
most temperate and reasonable men; so that it has become almost
regular to cast on the convention parliament, and more especially on
Monk, the imputation of having abandoned public liberty, and brought
on, by their inconsiderate loyalty or self-interested treachery, the
misgovernment of the two last Stuarts, and the necessity of their
ultimate expulsion. But, as this is a very material part of our
history, and those who pronounce upon it have not always a very
distinct notion either of what was or what could have been done, it
may be worth while to consider the matter somewhat more analytically;
confining myself, it is to be observed, in the present chapter, to
what took place before the king's personal assumption of the
government on the 29th of May 1660. The subsequent proceedings of the
convention parliament fall within another period.

We may remark, in the first place, that the unconditional restoration
of Charles the Second is sometimes spoken of in too hyperbolical
language, as if he had come in as a sort of conqueror, with the laws
and liberties of the people at his discretion. Yet he was restored to
nothing but the bounded prerogatives of a king of England; bounded by
every ancient and modern statute, including those of the long
parliament, which had been enacted for the subjects' security. If it
be true, as I have elsewhere observed, that the long parliament, in
the year 1641, had established, in its most essential parts, our
existing constitution, it can hardly be maintained that fresh
limitations and additional securities were absolutely indispensable,
before the most fundamental of all its principles, the government by
King, Lords, and Commons, could be permitted to take its regular
course. Those who so vehemently reprobate the want of conditions at
the restoration would do well to point out what conditions should have
been imposed, and what mischiefs they can probably trace from their
omission.[512] They should be able also to prove that, in the
circumstances of the time, it was quite as feasible and convenient to
make certain secure and obligatory provisions the terms of the king's
restoration, as seems to be taken for granted.

_Plan of reviving the treaty of Newport inexpedient._--The chief
presbyterians appear to have considered the treaty of Newport, if not
as fit to be renewed in every article, yet at least as the basis of
the compact into which they were to enter with Charles the
Second.[513] But were the concessions wrested in this treaty from his
father, in the hour of peril and necessity, fit to become the
permanent rules of the English constitution? Turn to the articles
prescribed by the long parliament in that negotiation. Not to mention
the establishment of a rigorous presbytery in the church, they had
insisted on the exclusive command of all forces by land and sea for
twenty years, with the sole power of levying and expending the monies
necessary for their support; on the nomination of the principal
officers of state and of the judges during the same period; and on the
exclusion of the king's adherents from all trust or political power.
Admit even that the insincerity and arbitrary principles of Charles
the First had rendered necessary such extraordinary precautions, was
it to be supposed that the executive power should not revert to his
successor? Better it were, beyond comparison, to maintain the
perpetual exclusion of his family than to mock them with such a
titular crown, the certain cause of discontent and intrigue, and to
mingle premature distrust with their professions of affection. There
was undoubtedly much to apprehend from the king's restoration; but it
might be expected that a steady regard for public liberty in the
parliament and the nation would obviate that danger without any
momentous change of the constitution; or that, if such a sentiment
should prove unhappily too weak, no guarantees of treaties or statutes
would afford a genuine security.

_Difficulty of framing conditions._--If, however, we were to be
convinced that the restoration was effected without a sufficient
safeguard against the future abuses of royal power, we must still
allow, on looking attentively at the circumstances, that there were
very great difficulties in the way of any stipulations for that
purpose. It must be evident that any formal treaty between Charles and
the English government, as it stood in April 1660, was inconsistent
with their common principle. That government was, by its own
declarations, only _de facto_, only temporary; the return of the
secluded members to their seats, and the votes they subsequently
passed, held forth to the people that everything done since the force
put on the house in December 1648 was by an usurpation; the
restoration of the ancient monarchy was implied in all recent
measures, and was considered as out of all doubt by the whole kingdom.
But between a king of England and his subjects no treaty, as such,
could be binding; there was no possibility of entering into
stipulations with Charles, though in exile, to which a court of
justice would pay the slightest attention, except by means of acts of
parliament. It was doubtless possible that the council of state might
have entered into a secret agreement with him on certain terms, to be
incorporated afterwards into bills, as at the treaty of Newport. But
at that treaty his father, though in prison, was the acknowledged
sovereign of England; and it is manifest that the king's recognition
must precede the enactment of any law. It is equally obvious that the
contracting parties would no longer be the same, and that the
conditions that seemed indispensable to the council of state, might
not meet with the approbation of parliament. It might occur to an
impatient people, that the former were not invested with such legal or
permanent authority as could give them any pretext for bargaining with
the king, even in behalf of public liberty.

But, if the council of state, or even the parliament on its first
meeting, had resolved to tender any hard propositions to the king, as
the terms, if not of his recognition, yet of his being permitted to
exercise the royal functions, was there not a possibility that he
might demur about their acceptance, that a negotiation might ensue to
procure some abatement, that, in the interchange of couriers between
London and Brussels, some weeks at least might be whiled away?
Clarendon, we are sure, inflexible and uncompromising of his master's
honour, would have dissuaded such enormous sacrifices as had been
exacted from the late king. And during this delay, while no legal
authority would have subsisted, so that no officer could have
collected the taxes or executed process without liability to
punishment, in what a precarious state would the parliament have
stood! On the one hand, the nation almost maddened with the
intoxication of reviving loyalty, and rather prone to cast at the
king's feet the privileges and liberties it possessed than to demand
fresh security for them, might insist upon his immediate return, and
impair the authority of parliament. On the other hand, the army,
desperately irreconcilable to the name of Stuart, and sullenly
resenting the hypocrisy that had deluded them, though they knew no
longer where to seek a leader, were accessible to the furious
commonwealth's men, who, rushing as it were with lighted torches along
their ranks, endeavoured to rekindle a fanaticism that had not quite
consumed its fuel.[514] The escape of Lambert from the Tower had
struck a panic into all the kingdom; some such accident might again
furnish a rallying point for the disaffected, and plunge the country
into an unfathomable abyss of confusion. Hence, the motion of Sir
Matthew Hale, in the convention parliament, to appoint a committee who
should draw up propositions to be sent over for the king's acceptance,
does not appear to me well timed and expedient; nor can I censure Monk
for having objected to it.[515] The business in hand required greater
despatch. If the king's restoration was an essential blessing, it was
not to be thrown away in the debates of a committee. A wary,
scrupulous, conscientious English lawyer, like Hale, is always wanting
in the rapidity and decision necessary for revolutions, though he may
be highly useful in preventing them from going too far.

It is, I confess, more probable that the king would have accepted
almost any conditions tendered to him; such at least would have been
the advice of most of his counsellors; and his own conduct in Scotland
was sufficient to show how little any sense of honour or dignity would
have stood in his way. But on what grounds did his English friends,
nay some of the presbyterians themselves, advise his submission to
the dictates of that party? It was in the expectation that the next
free parliament, summoned by his own writ, would undo all this work of
stipulation, and restore him to an unfettered prerogative. And this
expectation there was every ground, from the temper of the nation, to
entertain. Unless the convention parliament had bargained for its own
perpetuity, or the privy council had been made immovable, or a
military force, independent of the Crown, had been kept up to overawe
the people (all of them most unconstitutional and abominable
usurpations), there was no possibility of maintaining the conditions,
whatever they might have been, from the want of which so much mischief
is fancied to have sprung. Evils did take place, dangers did arise,
the liberties of England were once more impaired; but these are far
less to be ascribed to the actors in the restoration than to the next
parliament, and to the nation who chose it.

I must once more request the reader to take notice that I am not here
concerned with the proceedings of the convention parliament after the
king's return to England, which, in some respects, appear to me
censurable; but discussing the question, whether they were guilty of
any fault in not tendering bills of limitation on the prerogative, as
preliminary conditions of his restoration to the exercise of his
lawful authority. And it will be found, upon a review of what took
place in that interregnum from their meeting together on the 25th of
April 1660, to Charles's arrival in London on the 29th of May, that
they were less unmindful than has been sometimes supposed, of
provisions to secure the kingdom against the perils which had seemed
to threaten it in the restoration.

On the 25th of April, the Commons met and elected Grimston, a moderate
presbyterian, as their speaker, somewhat against the secret wish of
the cavaliers, who, elated by their success in the elections, were
beginning to aim at superiority, and to show a jealousy of their late
allies.[516] On the same day, the doors of the House of Lords were
found open; and ten peers, all of whom had sat in 1648, took their
places as if nothing more than a common adjournment had passed in the
interval.[517] There was, however, a very delicate and embarrassing
question, that had been much discussed in their private meetings. The
object of these, as I have mentioned, was to impose terms on the king,
and maintain the presbyterian ascendancy. But the peers of this party
were far from numerous, and must be outvoted, if all the other lawful
members of the house should be admitted to their privileges. Of these
there were three classes. The first was of the peers who had come to
their titles since the commencement of the civil war, and whom there
was no colour of justice, nor any vote of the house to exclude. To
some of these accordingly they caused letters to be directed; and the
others took their seats without objection on the 26th and 27th of
April, on the latter of which days thirty-eight peers were
present.[518] The second class was of those who had joined Charles the
First, and had been excluded from sitting in the house by votes of the
long parliament. These it had been in contemplation among the
presbyterian junto to keep out; but the glaring inconsistency of such
a measure with the popular sentiment, and the strength that the first
class had given to the royalist interest among the aristocracy,
prevented them from insisting on it. A third class consisted of those
who had been created since the great seal was taken to York in 1642;
some by the late king, others by the present in exile; and these,
according to the fundamental principle of the parliamentary side, were
incapable of sitting in the house. It was probably one of the
conditions on which some meant to insist, conformably to the articles
of the treaty of Newport, that the new peers should be perpetually
incapable; or even that none should in future have the right of
voting, without the concurrence of both houses of parliament. An order
was made therefore on May 4 that no lords created since 1642 should
sit. This was vacated by a subsequent resolution of May 31.

A message was sent down to the Commons on April 27, desiring a
conference on the great affairs of the kingdom. This was the first
time that word had been used for more than eleven years. But the
Commons, in returning an answer to this message, still employed the
word nation. It was determined that the conference should take place
on the ensuing Tuesday, the first of May.[519] In this conference,
there can be no doubt that the question of further securities against
the power of the Crown would have been discussed. But Monk, whether
from conviction of their inexpedience or to atone for his ambiguous
delay, had determined to prevent any encroachment on the prerogative.
He caused the king's letter to the council of state, and to the two
houses of parliament, to be delivered on that very day. A burst of
enthusiastic joy testified their long repressed wishes; and, when the
conference took place, the Earl of Manchester was instructed to let
the Commons know that the Lords do own and declare that, according to
the ancient and fundamental laws of this kingdom, the government is
and ought to be by King, Lords, and Commons. On the same day, the
Commons resolved to agree in this vote; and appointed a committee to
report what pretended acts and ordinances were inconsistent with

It is however so far from being true that this convention gave itself
up to a blind confidence in the king, that their journals during the
month of May bear witness to a considerable activity in furthering
provisions which the circumstances appeared to require. They appointed
a committee, on May 3rd, to consider of the king's letter and
declaration, both holding forth, it will be remembered, all promises
of indemnity, and everything that could tranquillise apprehension, and
to propose bills accordingly, especially for taking away military
tenures. One bill was brought into the house, to secure lands
purchased from the trustees of the late parliament; another, to
establish ministers already settled in benefices; a third, for a
general indemnity; a fourth, to take away tenures in chivalry and
wardship; a fifth, to make void all grants of honour or estate, made
by the late or present king since May 1642. Finally, on the very 29th
of May, we find a bill read twice and committed, for the confirmation
of privilege of parliament, magna charta, the petition of right, and
other great constitutional statutes.[521] These measures, though some
of them were never completed, proved that the restoration was not
carried forward with so thoughtless a precipitancy and neglect of
liberty as has been asserted.

There was undoubtedly one very important matter of past controversy,
which they may seem to have avoided, the power over the militia. They
silently gave up that momentous question. Yet it was become, in a
practical sense, incomparably more important that the representatives
of the Commons should retain a control over the land forces of the
nation than it had been at the commencement of the controversy. War
and usurpation had sown the dragon's teeth in our fields; and, instead
of the peaceable trained bands of former ages, the citizen soldiers
who could not be marched beyond their counties, we had a veteran army
accustomed to tread upon the civil authority at the bidding of their
superiors, and used alike to govern and obey. It seemed prodigiously
dangerous to give up this weapon into the hands of our new sovereign.
The experience of other countries as well as our own demonstrated that
public liberty could never be secure, if a large standing army should
be kept on foot, or any standing army without consent of parliament.
But this salutary restriction the convention parliament did not think
fit to propose; and in this respect I certainly consider them as
having stopped short of adequate security. It is probable that the
necessity of humouring Monk, whom it was their first vote to
constitute general of all the forces in the three kingdoms,[522] with
the hope, which proved not vain, that the king himself would disband
the present army whereon he could so little rely, prevented any
endeavour to establish the control of parliament over the military
power, till it was too late to withstand the violence of the
cavaliers, who considered the absolute prerogative of the Crown in
that point the most fundamental article of their creed.

_Conduct of Monk._--Of Monk himself it may, I think, be said that, if
his conduct in this revolution was not that of a high-minded patriot,
it did not deserve all the reproach that has been so frequently thrown
on it. No one can, without forfeiting all pretensions to have his own
word believed, excuse his incomparable deceit and perjury; a
masterpiece, no doubt, as it ought to be reckoned by those who set at
nought the obligations of veracity in public transactions, of that
wisdom which is not from above. But, in seconding the public wish for
the king's restoration, a step which few perhaps can be so much in
love with fanatical and tyrannous usurpation as to condemn, he seems
to have used what influence he possessed, an influence by no means
commanding, to render the new settlement as little injurious as
possible to public and private interests. If he frustrated the scheme
of throwing the executive authority into the hands of a presbyterian
oligarchy, I, for one, can see no great cause for censure; nor is it
quite reasonable to expect that a soldier of fortune, inured to the
exercise of arbitrary power, and exempt from the prevailing religious
fanaticism which must be felt or despised, should have partaken a
fervent zeal for liberty, as little congenial to his temperament as it
was to his profession. He certainly did not satisfy the king even in
his first promises of support, when he advised an absolute indemnity,
and the preservation of actual interests in the lands of the Crown and
church. In the first debates on the bill of indemnity, when the case
of the regicides came into discussion, he pressed for the smallest
number of exceptions from pardon. And, though his conduct after the
king's return displayed his accustomed prudence, it is evident that,
if he had retained great influence in the council, which he assuredly
did not, he would have maintained as much as possible of the existing
settlement in the church. The deepest stain on his memory is the
production of Argyle's private letters on his trial in Scotland; nor
indeed can Monk be regarded, upon the whole, as an estimable man,
though his prudence and success may entitle him, in the common
acceptation of the word, to be reckoned a great one.


[245] May, p. 165.

[246] Both sides claimed the victory. May, who thinks that Essex, by
his injudicious conduct after the battle, lost the advantage he had
gained in it, admits that the effect was to strengthen the king's
side. "Those who thought his success impossible began to look upon him
as one who might be a conqueror, and many neuters joined him."--P.
176. Ludlow is of the same opinion as to Essex's behaviour and its
consequences: "Our army, after some refreshment at Warwick, returned
to London, not like men that had obtained a victory, but as if they
had been beaten."--P. 52. This shows that they had not in fact
obtained much of a victory; and Lord Wharton's report to parliament
almost leads us to think the advantage, upon the whole, to have been
with the king. _Parl. Hist._ ii. 1495.

[247] May, 212; Baillie, 373, 391.

[248] May, Baillie, Mrs. Hutchinson, are as much of this opinion as
Sir Philip Warwick and other royalist writers. It is certain that
there was a prodigious alarm, and almost despondency, among the
parliamentarians. They immediately began to make entrenchments about
London, which were finished in a month. May, p. 214. In the _Somers
Tracts_, iv. 534, is an interesting letter from a Scotsman then in
London, giving an account of these fortifications, which, considering
the short time employed about them, seem to have been very
respectable, and such as the king's army, with its weak cavalry and
bad artillery, could not easily have carried. Lord Sunderland, four
days before the battle of Newbury wherein he was killed, wrote to his
wife, that the king's affairs had never been in a more prosperous
condition; that sitting down before Gloscester had prevented _their
finishing the war that year_, "which nothing could keep us from doing,
if we had a month's more time." _Sidney Letters_, ii. 671. He alludes
in the same letters to the divisions in the royal party.

[249] _Parl. Hist._ iii. 45, 48. It seems natural to think that, if
the moderate party were able to contend so well against their
opponents, after the desertion of a great many royalist members who
had joined the king, they would have maintained a decisive majority,
had these continued in their places. But it is to be considered, on
the other hand, that the king could never have raised an army, if he
had not been able to rally the peers and gentry round his banner, and
that in his army lay the real secret of the temporary strength of the
pacific party.

[250] _Parl. Hist._ iii. 68, 94; Clarendon; May; Whitelock. If we
believe the last (p. 68), the king, who took as usual a very active
part in the discussions upon this treaty, would frequently have been
inclined to come into an adjustment of terms; if some of the more
war-like spirits about him (glancing apparently at Rupert) had not
over persuaded his better judgment. This, however, does not accord
with what Clarendon tells us of the queen's secret influence, nor
indeed with all we have reason to believe of the king's disposition
during the war.

[251] _Life of Clarendon_, p. 79. This induced the king to find
pretexts for avoiding the cessation, and was the real cause of his
refusal to restore the Earl of Northumberland to his post of lord
admiral during this treaty of Oxford, which was urged by Hyde. That
peer was, at this time, and for several months afterwards, inclining
to come over to the king; but, on the bad success of Holland and
Bedford in their change of sides, he gave into the opposite course of
politics, and joined the party of Lords Say and Wharton, in determined
hostility to the king.

Dr. Lingard has lately thrown doubts upon this passage in Clarendon,
but upon grounds which I do not clearly understand. _Hist. of Engl._
x. 208, note. That no vestige of its truth should appear, as he
observes, in the private correspondence between Charles and his
consort (if he means the letters taken at Naseby, and I know no
other), is not very singular; as the whole of that correspondence is
of a much later date.

[252] I cannot discover in the Journals any division on this
impeachment. But Hollis inveighs against it in his memoirs as one of
the flagrant acts of St. John's party; and there is an account of the
debate on this subject in the _Somers Tracts_, v. 500; whence it
appears that it was opposed by Maynard, Waller, Whitelock, and others;
but supported by Pym, Strode, Long, Glynn, and by Martin with his
usual fury and rudeness. The first of these carried up the impeachment
to the House of Lords.

This impeachment was not absolutely lost sight of for some time. In
January 1644, the Lords appointed a committee to consider what mode of
proceeding for bringing the queen to trial was most agreeable to a
parliamentary way, and to peruse precedents. _Parl. Hist._ 194.

[253] _Parl. Hist._ 129.

[254] _Parl. Hist._ 133, June 20; Clarendon, iv. 155. He published,
however, a declaration soon after the taking of Bristol, containing
full assurances of his determination to govern by the known laws.
_Parl. Hist._ 144.

[255] Clarend. iv. 192, 262; Whitelock, 70. They met with a worse
reception at Westminster than at Oxford, as indeed they had reason to
expect. A motion that the Earl of Holland should be sent to the Tower
was lost in the Commons by only one voice. _Parl. Hist._ 180. They
were provoked at his taking his seat without permission. After long
refusing to consent, the Lords agreed to an ordinance (June 29, 1644)
that no peer or commoner who had been in the king's quarters, should
be admitted again to sit in either house. _Parl. Hist._ 271. This
severity was one cause of Essex's discontent, which was increased when
the Commons refused him leave to take Holland with him on his
expedition into the west that summer. Baillie, i. 426; Whitelock, 87.
If it be asked why this Roman rigour was less impolitic in the
parliament than in the king, I can only answer, that the stronger and
the weaker have different measures to pursue. But relatively to the
pacification of the kingdom, upon such terms as fellow-citizens ought
to require from each other, it was equally blamable in both parties,
or rather more so in that possessed of the greater power.

[256] It is intimated by Clarendon that some at Oxford, probably
Jermyn and Digby, were jealous of Holland's recovering the influence
he had possessed with the queen, who seems to have retained no
resentment against him. As to Bedford and Clare, they would probably
have been better received, if not accompanied by so obnoxious an
intriguer of the old court. This seems to account for the unanimity
which the historian describes to have been shown in the council
against their favourable reception. Light and passionate tempers, like
that of Henrietta, are prone to forget injuries; serious and
melancholic ones, like that of Charles, never lose sight of them.

[257] Baillie deplores at this time "the horrible fears and confusions
in the city, the king everywhere being victorious. In the city, a
strong and insolent party for him."--P. 391. "The malignants stirred a
multitude of women of the meaner and more infamous rank to come to the
door of both houses, and cry tumultuously for peace on any terms. This
tumult could not be suppressed but by violence, and killing some three
or four women, and hurting some of them, and imprisoning many."--P.

[258] Lords and Commons' Journals; _Parl. Hist._ 156, etc.; Clarendon,
iv. 183; Hollis's _Memoirs_. Hollis was a teller for the majority on
this occasion; he had left the war-like party some months (Baillie, i.
356); and his name is in the journals repeatedly, from November 1642,
as teller against them, though he is charged with having said the year
before, that he abhorred the name of accommodation. Hutchinson, p.
296. Though a very honest, and to a certain extent, an able man, he
was too much carried away by personal animosities; and as these
shifted, his principles shifted also.

[259] The resolution, that government by archbishops, bishops, etc.,
was inconvenient, and ought to be taken away, passed both houses
unanimously September 10, 1642; _Parl. Hist._ ii. 1465. But the
ordinance to carry this fully into effect was not made till October
1646. Scobell's _Ordinances_.

[260] _Parl. Hist._ iii. 15.

[261] This committee, appointed in February 1644, consisted of the
following persons, the most conspicuous, at that time, of the
parliament: the Earls of Northumberland, Essex, Warwick, and
Manchester; Lords Say, Wharton, and Roberts; Mr. Pierrepont, the two
Sir Henry Vanes, Sir Philip Stapylton, Sir William Waller, Sir Gilbert
Gerrard, Sir William Armyn, Sir Arthur Haslerig; Messrs. Crew, Wallop,
St. John, Cromwell, Brown, and Glynn. _Parl. Hist._ iii. 248.

[262] _Somers Tracts_, iv. 533. The names marked in the _Parliamentary
History_ as having taken the covenant, are 236.

The Earl of Lincoln alone, a man of great integrity and moderation,
though only conspicuous in the Journals, refused to take the covenant,
and was excluded in consequence from his seat in the house: but on his
petition next year, though, as far as appears, without compliance, was
restored, and the vote rescinded. _Parl. Hist._ 393. He regularly
protested against all violent measures; and we still find his name in
the minority on such occasions after the Restoration.

Baillie says, the desertion of about six peers at this time to the
king, was of great use to the passing of the covenant in _a legal
way_. Vol. i. p. 390.

[263] Burnet's _Mem. of Duke of Hamilton_, p. 239. I am not quite
satisfied as to this, which later writers seem to have taken from
Burnet. It may well be supposed that the ambiguity of the covenant was
not very palpable; since the Scots presbyterians, a people not easily
cozened, were content with its expression. According to fair and
honest rules of interpretation, it certainly bound the subscribers to
the establishment of a church-government conformed to that of
Scotland; namely, the presbyterian, exclusive of all mixture with any
other. But Selden, and the other friends of moderate episcopacy who
took the covenant, justified it, I suppose, to their consciences, by
the pretext that, in renouncing the jurisdiction of bishops, they
meant the unlimited jurisdiction without concurrence of any
presbyters. It was not, however, an action on which they could reflect
with pleasure. Baxter says that Gataker, and some others of the
assembly, would not subscribe the covenant, but on the understanding
that they did not renounce primitive episcopacy by it. _Life of
Baxter_, p. 48. These controversial subtleties elude the ordinary
reader of history.

[264] After the war was ended, none of the king's party were admitted
to compound for their estates, without taking the covenant. This
Clarendon, in one of his letters, calls "making haste to buy damnation
at two years' purchase." Vol. ii. p. 286.

[265] Neal, ii. 19, etc., is fair enough in censuring the committees,
especially those in the country. "The greatest part [of the clergy]
were cast out for malignity [attachment to the royal cause];
superstition and false doctrine were hardly ever objected; yet the
proceedings of the sequestrators were not always justifiable; for,
whereas a court of judicature should rather be counsel for the
prisoner than the prosecutor, the commissioners considered the king's
clergy as their most dangerous enemies, and were ready to lay hold of
all opportunities to discharge them their pulpits."--P. 24. But if we
can rely at all on White's _Century of Malignant Ministers_ (and I do
not perceive that Walker has been able to controvert it), there were a
good many cases of irregular life in the clergy, so far at least as
haunting alehouses; which, however, was much more common, and
consequently less indecent, in that age than at present. See also
Baxter's _Life_, p. 74; whose authority, though open to some
exceptions on the score of prejudice, is at least better than

The king's party were not less oppressive towards ministers whom they
reckoned puritan; which unluckily comprehended most of those who were
of strict lives, especially if they preached calvinistically, unless
they redeemed that suspicion by strong demonstrations of loyalty.
Neal, p. 21; Baxter's _Life_, p. 42. And, if they put themselves
forward on this side, they were sure to suffer most severely for it on
the parliament's success; an ordinance of April 1, 1643, having
sequestered the private estates of all the clergy who had aided the
king. Thus the condition of the English clergy was every way most
deplorable; and in fact they were utterly ruined.

[266] Neal, p. 93. He says it was not tendered, by favour, to some of
the clergy who had not been active against the parliament, and were
reputed Calvinists. P. 59. Sanderson is said to be one instance. This
historian, an honest and well-natured man at bottom, justly censures
its imposition.

[267] "All the judges answered that they could deliver no opinion in
this case, in point of treason by the law; because they could not
deliver any opinion in point of treason, but what was particularly
expressed to be treason in the statute of 25 E. III., and so referred
it wholly to the judgment of this house." Lords' Journals, 17th
December 1644.

[268] Lords' Journals, 4th January. It is not said to be done _nem.

[269] "The difference in the temper of the common people of both sides
was so great that they who inclined to the parliament left nothing
unperformed that might advance the cause; whereas they who wished well
to the king thought they had performed their duty in doing so, and
that they had done enough for him, in that they had done nothing
against him." Clarendon, pp. 3, 452. "Most of the gentry of the county
(Nottinghamshire)," says Mrs. Hutchinson, "were disaffected to the
parliament; most of the middle sort, the able substantial freeholders
and the other commons, who had not their dependence upon the malignant
nobility and gentry, adhered to the parliament."--P. 81. This I
conceive to have been the case in much the greater part of England.
Baxter, in his _Life_, p. 30, says just the same thing in a passage
worthy of notice. But the Worcestershire populace, he says, were
violent royalists, p. 39. Clarendon observes in another place (iii.
41), "There was in this county (Cornwall), as throughout the kingdom,
a wonderful and superstitious reverence towards the name of a
parliament, and a prejudice to the power of the court." He afterwards
(p. 436) calls "an implicit reverence to the name of a parliament, the
fatal disease of the whole kingdom." So prevalent was the sense of the
king's arbitrary government, especially in the case of ship-money.
Warburton remarks, that he never expressed any repentance, or made any
confession in his public declarations, that his former administration
had been illegal. Notes on Clarendon, p. 566. But this was not,
perhaps, to be expected; and his repeated promises to govern according
to law might be construed into tacit acknowledgments of past errors.

[270] The associated counties, properly speaking, were at first
Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Hertford, Cambridge; to which some others
were added. Sussex, I believe, was not a part of the association; but
it was equally within the parliamentary pale, though the gentry were
remarkably loyal in their inclinations. The same was true of Kent.

[271] Clarendon, _passim_; May, 160; Baillie, i. 416. See, in the
_Somers Tracts_, v. 495, a dialogue between a gentleman and a citizen,
printed at Oxford, 1643. Though of course a royalist pamphlet, it
shows the disunion that prevailed in that unfortunate party, and
inveighs against the influence of the papists, in consequence of which
the Marquis of Hertford is said to have declined the king's service.
Rupert is praised, and Newcastle struck at. It is written, on the
whole, in rather a lukewarm style of loyalty. The Earl of Holland and
Sir Edward Dering gave out as their reason for quitting the king's
side, that there was great danger of popery. This was much
exaggerated; yet Lord Sunderland talks the same language. _Sidney
Papers_, ii. 667. Lord Falkland's dejection of spirits, and constant
desire of peace, must chiefly be ascribed to his disgust with the
councils of Oxford, and the greater part of those with whom he was

     E quel che più ti graverà le spalle
     Sarà la compagnia malvagia e ria,
     Nella quel tu cadrai in questa valle.

We know too little of this excellent man, whose talents, however, and
early pursuits do not seem to have particularly qualified him for
public life. It is evident that he did not plunge into the loyal cause
with all the zeal of his friend Hyde; and the king doubtless had no
great regard for the counsels of one who took so very different a view
of some important matters from himself. _Life of Clarendon_, 48. He
had been active against Strafford, and probably had a bad opinion of
Laud. The prosecution of Finch for high treason he had himself moved.
In the Ormond _Letters_, i. 20, he seems to be struck at by one
writing from Oxford, June 1, 1643: "God forbid that the best of men
and kings be so used by some bad hollow-hearted counsellors, who
affect too much the parliamentary way. Many spare not to name them;
and I doubt not but you have heard their names."

[272] It appears by the late edition of Clarendon, iv. 351, that he
was the adviser of calling the Oxford parliament. The former editors
omitted his name.

[273] _Parl. Hist._ 218. The number who took the covenant in September
1643, appears by a list of the long parliament in the same work (vol.
ii.) to be 236; but twelve of these are included in both lists, having
gone afterwards into the king's quarters. The remainder, about 100,
were either dead since the beginning of the troubles, or for some
reason absented themselves from both assemblies. Possibly the list of
those who took the covenant is not quite complete; nor do I think the
king had much more than about sixty peers on his side. The parliament,
however, could not have produced thirty. Lords' Journals, Jan. 22,
1644. Whitelock, p. 80, says that two hundred and eighty appeared in
the House of Commons, Jan. 1644, besides one hundred absent in the
parliament's service; but this cannot be quite exact.

[274] Rushworth Abr. v. 266, and 296; where is an address to the king,
intimating, if attentively considered, a little apprehension of popery
and arbitrary power. Baillie says, in one of his letters, "The first
day the Oxford parliament met, the king made a long speech; but many
being ready to give in papers for the removing of Digby, Cottington,
and others from court, the meeting was adjourned for some days."--i.
429. Indeed, the restoration of Cottington, and still more of
Windebank, to the king's councils, was no pledge of protestant or
constitutional measures. This opposition, so natural to parliaments in
any circumstances, disgusted Charles. In one of his letters to the
queen, he congratulates himself on being "freed from the place of all
mutinous motions, his mongrel parliament." It may be presumed that
some of those who obeyed the king's summons to Oxford were influenced
less by loyalty than a consideration that their estates lay in parts
occupied by his troops; of course the same is applicable to the
Westminster parliament.

[275] Baillie, 441. I can find no mention of this in the Journals;
but, as Baillie was then in London, and in constant intercourse with
the leaders of parliament, there must have been some foundation for
his statement, though he seems to have been inaccurate as to the fact
of the vote.

[276] _Parl. Hist._ 299, _et post_; Clarendon, v. 16; Whitelock, 110,
etc.; Rushw. Abr. v. 449, etc.

[277] It was impossible for the king to avoid this treaty. Not only
his Oxford parliament, as might naturally be expected, were openly
desirous of peace, but a great part of the army had, in August 1644,
while opposed to that of Essex in the west, taken the extraordinary
step of sending a letter to that general, declaring their intentions
for the rights and liberties of the people, privileges of parliament,
and protestant religion against popish innovations; and that on the
faith of subjects, the honour and reputation of gentlemen and
soldiers, they would with their lives maintain that which his majesty
should publicly promise in order to a bloodless peace; they went on to
request that Essex, with six more, would meet the general (Earl of
Brentford) with six more, to consider of all means possible to
reconcile the unhappy differences and misunderstandings that have so
long afflicted the kingdom. Sir Edward Walker's _Historical
Discourses_, 59. The king was acquainted with this letter before it
was sent, but after some hands had been subscribed to it. He
consented, but evidently with great reluctance, and even indignation;
as his own expressions testify in this passage of Walker, whose
manuscript here, as in many other places, contains interlineations by
Charles himself. It was doubtless rather in a mutinous spirit, which
had spread widely through the army, and contributed to its utter ruin
in the next campaign. I presume it was at the king's desire that the
letter was signed by the general, as well as by Prince Maurice, and
all the colonels, I believe, in his army, to take off the appearance
of a faction; but it certainly originated with Wilmot, Percy, and some
of those whom he thought ill affected. See Clarendon, iv. 527, _et
post_; Rushw. Abr. v. 348, 358.

[278] The king's doctors, Steward and Sheldon, argued at Uxbridge that
episcopacy was _jure divino_; Henderson and others that presbytery was
so. Whitelock, 132. These churchmen should have been locked up like a
jury, without food or fire, till they agreed.

If we may believe Clarendon, the Earl of Loudon offered in the name of
the Scots, that if the king would give up episcopacy, they would not
press any of the other demands. It is certain, however, that they
would never have suffered him to become the master of the English
parliament; and, if this offer was sincerely made, it must have been
from a conviction that he could not become such.

[279] Rushworth, Whitelock, Clarendon. The latter tells in his life,
which reveals several things not found in his history, that the king
was very angry with some of his Uxbridge commissioners, especially Mr.
Bridgman, for making too great concessions with respect to episcopacy.
He lived, however, to make himself much greater.

[280] Whitelock, 133.

[281] The creed of this party is set forth in the _Behemoth_ of
Hobbes; which is, in other words, the application of those principles
of government which are laid down in the _Leviathan_, to the
constitution and state of England in the civil war. It is republished
in Baron Maseres's _Tracts_, ii. 565, 567. Sir Philip Warwick, in his
_Memoirs_, 198, hints something of the same kind.

[282] Warburton, in the notes subjoined to the late edition of
Clarendon, vii. 563, mentions a conversation he had with the Duke of
Argyle and Lord Cobham (both soldiers, and the first a distinguished
one) as to the conduct of the king and the Earl of Essex after the
battle of Edgehill. They agreed it was inexplicable on both sides by
any military principle. Warburton explained it by the unwillingness to
be _too victorious_, felt by Essex himself, and by those whom the king
was forced to consult. Father Orleans, in a passage with which the
bishop probably was acquainted, confirms this; and his authority is
very good as to the secret of the court. Rupert, he says, proposed to
march to London. "Mais l'esprit Anglois, qui ne se dement point même
dans les plus attachés a la royauté, l'esprit Anglois, dis-je,
toujours entêté de ces libertéz si funestes au repos de la nation,
porta la plus grande partie du conseil à s'opposer à ce dessein. Le
prétexte fut qu'il étoit dangereux pour le roy de l'entreprendre, et
pour la ville que le Prince Robert l'exécutâst, jeune comme il étoit,
emporté, et capable d'y mettre le feu. La vraie raison étoit qu'ils
craignoient que, si le roy entroit dans Londres les armes à la main,
il ne prétendist sur la nation une espèce de droit de conquête, qui le
rendist trop absolu." _Révolut. d'Angleterre_, iii. 104.

[283] Rushworth Abr. iv. 550. At the very time that he was publicly
denying his employment of papists, he wrote to Newcastle, commanding
him to make use of all his subjects' services, without examining their
consciences, except as to loyalty. Ellis's _Letters_, iii. 291, from
an original in the Museum. No one can rationally blame Charles for
anything in this, but his inveterate and useless habit of falsehood.
See Clarendon, iii. 610.

It is probable that some foreign catholics were in the parliament's
service. But Dodd says, with great appearance of truth, that no one
English gentleman of that persuasion was in arms on their side.
_Church History of Engl._ iii. 28. He reports as a matter of hearsay,
that, out of about five hundred gentlemen who lost their lives for
Charles in the civil war, one hundred and ninety-four were catholics.
They were, doubtless, a very powerful faction in the court and army.
Lord Spencer (afterwards Earl of Sunderland), in some remarkable
letters to his wife from the king's quarters at Shrewsbury, in
September 1642, speaks of the insolency of the papists with great
dissatisfaction. _Sidney Papers_, ii. 667.

[284] It cannot be doubted, and is admitted in a remarkable
conversation of Hollis and Whitelock with the king at Oxford in
November 1644, that the exorbitant terms demanded at Uxbridge were
carried by the violent party, who disliked all pacification.
Whitelock, 113.

[285] Baillie, ii. 91. He adds, "That which has been the great snare
to the king is the unhappy success of Montrose in Scotland." There
seems indeed great reason to think that Charles, always sanguine, and
incapable of calculating probabilities, was unreasonably elated by
victories from which no permanent advantage ought to have been
expected. Burnet confirms this on good authority. Introduction to
_Hist. of his Times_, 51.

[286] Whitelock, 109, 137, 142; Rushw. Abr. v. 163. The first _rat_
(except indeed the Earls of Holland and Bedford, who were rats with
two tails) was Sir Edward Dering, who came into the parliament's
quarters, Feb. 1644. He was a weak man of some learning, who had
already played a very changeable part before the war.

[287] A flagrant instance of this was the plunder of Bristol by
Rupert, in breach of the capitulation. I suspect that it was the
policy of one party to exaggerate the cruelties of the other; but the
short narratives dispersed at the time give a wretched picture of
slaughter and devastation.

[288] Clarendon and Whitelock _passim_; Baxter's _Life_, pp. 44, 55.
This license of Maurice's and Goring's armies in the west first led to
the defensive insurrection, if so it should be called, of the
club-men; that is, of yeomen and country people, armed only with
clubs, who hoped, by numbers and concert, to resist effectually the
military marauders of both parties, declaring themselves neither for
king nor parliament, but for their own liberty and property. They were
of course regarded with dislike on both sides; by the king's party
when they first appeared in 1644, because they crippled the royal
army's operations, and still more openly by the parliament next year,
when they opposed Fairfax's endeavour to carry on the war in the
counties bordering on the Severn. They appeared at times in great
strength; but the want of arms and discipline made it not very
difficult to suppress them. Clarendon, v. 197; Whitelock, 137; _Parl.
Hist._ 379, 390.

The king himself, whose disposition was very harsh and severe, except
towards the few he took into his bosom, can hardly be exonerated from
a responsibility for some acts of inhumanity (see Whitelock, 67, and
_Somers Tracts_, iv. 502, v. 369; Maseres's _Tracts_, i. 144, for the
ill-treatment of prisoners); and he might probably have checked the
outrages which took place at the storming of Leicester, where he was
himself present. Certainly no imputation of this nature can be laid at
the door of the parliamentary commanders; though some of them were
guilty of the atrocity of putting their Irish prisoners to death, in
obedience, however, to an ordinance of parliament. _Parl. Hist._ iii.
295; Rushworth's Abridgement, v. 402. It passed October 24, 1644, and
all remissness in executing it was to be reckoned a favouring of the
Irish rebellion. When we read, as we do perpetually, these violent and
barbarous proceedings of the parliament, is it consistent with honesty
or humanity to hold up that assembly to admiration, while the faults
on the king's side are studiously aggravated? The partiality of
Oldmixon, Harris, Macauley, and now of Mr. Brodie and Mr. Godwin, is
full as glaring, to say the very least, as that of Hume.

[289] Clarendon and Baxter.

[290] The excise was first imposed by an ordinance of both houses in
July 1643 (Husband's _Collection of Ordinances_, p. 267), and
afterwards by the king's convention at Oxford. See a view of the
financial expedients adopted by both parties in Lingard, x. 243. The
plate brought in to the parliament's commissioners at Guildhall, in
1642, for which they allowed the value of the silver, and one shilling
per ounce more, is stated by Neal at £1,267,326, an extraordinary
proof of the wealth of London; yet I do not know his authority, though
it is probably good. The university of Oxford gave all they had to the
king; but could not of course vie with the citizens.

The sums raised within the parliament's quarters from the beginning of
the war to 1647 are reckoned in a pamphlet of that year, quoted in
Sinclair's _Hist. of the Revenue_, i. 283, at £17,512,400. But, on
reference to the tract itself, I find this written at random. The
contributions, however, were really very great; and, if we add those
to the king, and the loss by waste and plunder, we may form some
judgment of the effects of the civil war.

[291] The independents raised loud clamours against the Scots army;
and the northern counties naturally complained of the burthen of
supporting them as well as of their excesses. Many passages in
Whitelock's journal during 1645 and 1646 relate to this. Hollis
endeavours to deny or extenuate the charges; but he is too prejudiced
a writer, and Baillie himself acknowledges a great deal. Vol. ii. pp.
138, 142, 146.

[292] The chief imputation against Manchester was for not following up
his victory in the second battle of Newbury, with which Cromwell
openly taxed him; see Ludlow, i. 133. There certainly appears to have
been a want of military energy on this occasion; but it is said by
Baillie (ii. 76) that all the general officers, Cromwell not excepted,
concurred in Manchester's determination. Essex had been suspected from
the time of the affair at Brentford, or rather from the battle of
Edgehill (Baillie and Ludlow); and his whole conduct, except in the
celebrated march to relieve Gloucester, confirmed a reasonable
distrust either of his military talents, or of his zeal in the cause.
"He loved monarchy and nobility," says Whitelock, p. 108, "and dreaded
those who had a design to destroy both." Yet Essex was too much a man
of honour to enter on any private intrigues with the king. The other
peers employed under the parliament, Stamford, Denbigh, Willoughby,
were not successful enough to redeem the suspicions that fell upon
their zeal.

All our republican writers, such as Ludlow and Mrs. Hutchinson in that
age, Mrs. Macauley and Mr. Brodie more of late, speak acrimoniously of
Essex. "Most will be of opinion," says Mr. B. (_History of British
Empire_, iii. 565), "that as ten thousand pounds a year out of the
sequestered lands were settled upon him for his services, he was
rewarded infinitely beyond his merits." The reward was doubtless
magnificent; but the merit of Essex was this, that he made himself the
most prominent object of vengeance in case of failure, by taking the
command of an army to oppose the king in person at Edgehill: a command
of which no other man in his rank was capable, and which could not, at
that time, have been intrusted to any man of inferior rank without
dissolving the whole confederacy of the parliament.

It is to be observed, moreover, that the two battles of Newbury, like
that of Edgehill, were by no means decisive victories on the side of
the parliament; and that it is not clear whether either Essex or
Manchester could have pushed the king much more than they did. Even
after Naseby, his party made a pretty long resistance, and he was as
much blamed as they for not pressing his advantages with vigour.

[293] It had been voted by the Lords a year before, Dec. 12, 1643,
"That the opinion and resolution of this house is from henceforth not
to admit the members of either house of parliament into any place or
office, excepting such places of great trust as are to be executed by
persons of eminency and known integrity, and are necessary for the
government and safety of the kingdom." But a motion to make this
resolution into an ordinance was carried in the negative. Lords'
Journals; _Parl. Hist._ 187. The first motion had been for a
resolution without this exception, that no place of profit should be
executed by the members of either house.

[294] Whitelock, pp. 118, 120. It was opposed by him, but supported by
Pierrepont, who carried it up to the Lords. The Lords were chiefly of
the presbyterian party; though Say, Wharton, and a few more, were
connected with the independents. They added a proviso to the ordinance
raising forces to be commanded by Fairfax, that no officer refusing
the covenant should be capable of serving, which was thrown out in the
lower house. But another proviso was carried in the Commons by 82 to
63, that the officers, though appointed by the general, should be
approved by both houses of parliament. Cromwell was one of the tellers
for the minority. Commons' Journals, Feb. 7 and 13, 1645.

In the original ordinance the members of both houses were excluded
during the war; but in the second, which was carried, the measure was
not made prospective. This, which most historians have overlooked, is
well pointed out by Mr. Godwin. By virtue of this alteration, many
officers were elected in the course of 1645 and 1646; and the effect,
whatever might be designed, was very advantageous to the republican
and independent factions.

[295] Whitelock, p. 145.

[296] Whether there are sufficient grounds for concluding that
Henrietta's connection with Jermyn was criminal, I will not pretend to
decide; though Warburton has settled the matter in a very summary
style. See one of his notes on Clarendon, vol. vii. p. 636. But I
doubt whether the bishop had authority for what he there says, though
it is likely enough to be true. See also a note of Lord Dartmouth on
Burnet, i. 63.

[297] Clarendon speaks often in his _History_, and still more
frequently in his private letters, with great resentment of the
conduct of France, and sometimes of Holland, during our civil wars. I
must confess that I see nothing to warrant this. The States-General,
against whom Charles had so shamefully been plotting, interfered as
much for the purpose of mediation as they could with the slightest
prospect of success, and so as to give offence to the parliament
(Rushworth Abridged, v. 567; Baillie, ii. 78; Whitelock, 141, 148;
Harris's _Life of Cromwell_, 246); and as to France, though Richelieu
had instigated the Scots malcontents, and possibly those of England,
yet after his death, in 1642, no sort of suspicion ought to lie on the
French government; the whole conduct of Anne of Austria having been
friendly, and both the mission of Harcourt in 1643, and the present
negotiations of Montreuil and Bellievre, perfectly well intended. That
Mazarin made promises of assistance which he had no design, nor
perhaps any power, to fulfil, is true; but this is the common trick of
such statesmen, and argues no malevolent purpose. But Hyde, out of his
just dislike of the queen, hated all French connections; and his
passionate loyalty made him think it a crime, or at least a piece of
base pusillanimity, in foreign states, to keep on any terms with the
rebellious parliament. The case was altered, after the retirement of
the regent Anne from power: Mazarin's latter conduct was, as is well
known, exceedingly adverse to the royal cause.

The account given by Mr. D'Israeli of Tabran's negotiations in the
fifth volume of his _Commentaries on the Reign of Charles I._, though
it does not contain anything very important, tends to show Mazarin's
inclination towards the royal cause in 1644 and 1645.

[298] Colepepper writes to Ashburnham, in February 1646, to advance
the Scots' treaty with all his power. "It is the only way left to save
the Crown and the kingdom; all other tricks will deceive you.... It is
no time to dally on distinctions and criticisms. All the world will
laugh at them when a crown is in question." _Clar. Papers_, ii. 207.

The king had positively declared his resolution not to consent to the
establishment of presbytery. This had so much disgusted both the Scots
and English presbyterians (for the latter had been concerned in the
negotiation), that Montreuil wrote to say he thought they would rather
make it up with the independents than treat again. "De sorte qu'il ne
faut plus marchander, et que V. M. se doit hâter d'envoyer aux deux
parlemens son consentiment aux trois propositions d'Uxbridge; ce
qu'étant fait, elle sera en sureté dans l'armée d'Ecosse" (15th Jan.
1646) P. 211.

[299] "I assure you," he writes to Capel, Hopton, etc., Feb. 2, 1646,
"whatever paraphrases or prophecies may be made upon my last message
(pressing the two houses to consent to a personal treaty), I shall
never part with the church, the essentials of my crown, or my
friends."--P. 206. Baillie could not believe the report that the king
intended to take refuge in the Scots army, as "there would be no
shelter there for him, unless he would take the covenant, and follow
the advice of his parliament. Hard pills to be swallowed by a wilful
and an unadvised prince." Vol. ii. p. 203.

[300] Not long after the king had taken shelter with the Scots, he
wrote a letter to Ormond, which was intercepted, wherein he assured
him of his expectation that their army would join with his, and act in
conjunction with Montrose, to procure a happy peace and the
restoration of his rights. Whitelock, page 208. Charles had bad luck
with his letters, which fell, too frequently for his fame and
interests, into the hands of his enemies. But who, save this most
ill-judging of princes, would have entertained an idea that the Scots
presbyterian army would co-operate with Montrose, whom they abhorred,
and very justly, for his treachery and cruelty, above all men living?

[301] _Parl. Hist._ 499; Whitelock, 215, 218. It was voted, 17th June,
that after these twenty years, the king was to exercise no power over
the militia without the previous consent of parliament, who were to
pass a bill at any time respecting it, if they should judge the
kingdom's safety to be concerned, which should be valid without the
king's assent. Commons' Journals.

[302] P. 248. "Show me any precedent," he says in another place,
"wherever presbyterian government and regal was together without
perpetual rebellions, which was the cause that necessitated the king
my father to change that government in Scotland. And even in France,
where they are but on tolerance, which in likelihood shall cause
moderation, did they ever sit still so long as they had power to
rebel? And it cannot be otherwise; for the ground of their doctrine is
anti-monarchical."--P. 260. See also p. 273.

[303] "The design is to unite you with the Scots nation and the
presbyterians of England against the anti-monarchical party, the
independents.... If by conscience it is intended to assert that
episcopacy is _jure divino_ exclusive, whereby no protestant, or
rather Christian church, can be acknowledged for such without a
bishop, we must therein crave leave wholly to differ. And if we be in
an error, we are in good company, there not being, as we have cause to
believe, six persons of the protestant religion of the other
opinion.... Come, the question in short is, whether you will choose to
be a king of presbytery, or no king, and yet presbytery or perfect
independency to be?"--P. 263. They were, however, as much against his
giving up the militia, or his party, as in favour of his abolishing

Charles was much to be pitied throughout all this period; none of his
correspondents understood the state of affairs so well as himself; he
was with the Scots, and saw what they were made of, while the others
fancied absurdities through their own private self-interested views.
It is very certain that by sacrificing episcopacy he would not have
gained a step with the parliament; and as to reigning in Scotland
alone, suspected, insulted, degraded, this would perhaps just have
been possible for himself; but neither Henrietta nor her friends would
have found an asylum there.

[304] Juxon had been well treated by the parliament, in consequence of
his prudent abstinence from politics, and residence in their quarters.
He dates his answer to the king from his palace at Fulham. He was,
however, dispossessed of it not long after by virtue of the ordinance
directing the sale of bishops' lands. Nov. 16, 1646. _Parl. Hist._
528. A committee was appointed (Nov. 2, 1646) to consider of a fitting
maintenance to be allowed the bishops, both those who had remained
under the parliament, and those who had deserted it. Journals. I was
led to this passage by Mr. Godwin, _Hist. of Commonwealth_, ii. 250.
Whether anything farther was done, I have not observed. But there is
an order in the Journals, 1st May 1647, that whereas divers of the
late tenants of Dr. Juxon, late Bishop of London, have refused to pay
the rents or other sums of money due to him as Bishop of London at or
before the 1st of November last, the trustees of bishops' lands are
directed to receive the same, and pay them over to Dr. Juxon. Though
this was only justice, it shows that justice was done at least in this
instance, to a bishop. Juxon must have been a very prudent and
judicious man, though not learned; which probably was all the better.

[305] Jan. 29, 1646. _Parl. Hist._ 436. Whitelock says, "Many sober
men and lovers of peace were earnest to have complied with what the
king proposed; but the major part of the house was contrary, and the
new-elected members joined those who were averse to compliance."--P.

[306] _Clar. Papers_, p. 275.

[307] _Id._ 294, 297, 300. She had said as much before (_King's
Cabinet Opened_, p. 28); so that this was not a burst of passion.
"Conservez vous la militia," she says in one place (p. 271), "et
n'abandonnez jamais; et _par cela tout reviendra_." Charles, however,
disclaimed all idea of violating his faith in case of a treaty (p.
273); but observes as to the militia, with some truth, that "the
retaining of it is not of so much consequence--I am far from saying,
none--as is thought, without the concurrence of other things; because
the militia here is not, as in France and other countries, a formed
powerful strength; but it serves more to hold off ill than to do much
good. And certainly, if the pulpits teach not obedience (which will
never be, if presbyterian government be absolutely settled), the Crown
will have little comfort of the militia."--P. 296.

[308] P. 301.

[309] P. 313.

[310] Pp. 245, 247, 278, 314. In one place he says, that he will go to
France _to clear his reputation to the queen_. P. 265. He wrote in
great distress of mind to Jermyn and Colepepper, on her threatening to
retire from all business into a monastery, in consequence of his
refusal to comply with her wishes. P. 270. See also Montreuil's memoir
in Thurloe's _State Papers_, i. 85, whence it appears that the king
had thoughts of making his escape in Jan. 1647.

[311] "For the proposition to Bellievre (a French agent at Newcastle
after Montreuil's recall), I hate it. If any such thing should be made
public, you are undone; your enemies will make a malicious use of it.
Be sure you never own it again in any discourse, otherwise than as
intended as a foil, or an hyperbole, or any other ways except in sober
earnest," etc. P. 304. The queen and her counsellors, however, seem
afterwards to have retracted in some measure what they had said about
his escape; and advised that if he could not be suffered to go into
Scotland, he would try Ireland or Jersey. P. 312.

Her dislike to the king's escape showed itself, according to
Clarendon, vi. 192, even at a time when it appeared the only means to
secure his life, during his confinement in the Isle of Wight. Some may
suspect that Henrietta had consoled herself too well with Lord Jermyn
to wish for her husband's return.

[312] P. 344.

[313] P. 279.

[314] Clarendon and Hume inveigh against the parliament for this
publication; in which they are of course followed by the whole rabble
of Charles's admirers. But it could not reasonably be expected that
such material papers should be kept back; nor were the parliament
under any obligation to do so. The former writer insinuates that they
were garbled; but Charles himself never pretended this (see Supplement
to Evelyn's _Diary_, p. 101); nor does there seem any foundation for
the surmise. His own friends garbled them, however, after the
restoration; some passages are omitted in the edition of King
Charles's Works; so that they can only be read accurately in the
original publication, called _The King's Cabinet Opened_, a small
tract in quarto; or in the modern compilations, such as the
_Parliamentary History_, which have copied it. Ludlow says he has been
informed that some of the letters taken at Naseby were suppressed by
those intrusted with them, who since the king's restoration have been
rewarded for it. _Memoirs_, i. 156. But I should not be inclined to
believe this.

There is, however, an anecdote which may be mentioned in this place: A
Dr. Hickman, afterwards Bishop of Derry, wrote in 1690, the following
letter to Sprat, Bishop of Rochester, a copy of which, in Dr. Birch's
handwriting, may be found in the British Museum. It was printed by him
in the Appendix to the _Inquiry into the Share K. Charles I. had in
Glamorgan's Transactions_, and from thence by Harris, in his _Life of
Charles I._, p. 144.

"MY LORD,--Last week Mr. Bennet [a bookseller] left with me a
manuscript of letters from King Charles I. to his queen; and said it
was your lordship's desire and Dr. Pelling's, that my Lord Rochester
should read them over, and see what was fit to be left out in the
intended edition of them. Accordingly, my lord has read them over, and
upon the whole matter says he is very much amazed at the design of
printing them, and thinks that the king's enemies could not have done
him a greater discourtesy. He showed me many passages which detract
very much from the reputation of the king's prudence, and something
from his integrity; and in short he can find nothing throughout the
whole collection, but what will lessen the character of the king and
offend all those who wish well to his memory. He thinks it very unfit
to expose any man's conversation and familiarity with his wife, but
especially that king's; for it was apparently his blind side, and his
enemies gained great advantage by showing it. But my lord hopes his
friends will spare him; and therefore he has ordered me not to deliver
the book to the bookseller, but put it into your lordship's hands; and
when you have read it, he knows you will be of his opinion. If your
lordship has not time to read it all, my lord has turned down some
leaves where he makes his chief objections. If your lordship sends any
servant to town, I beg you would order him to call here for the book,
and that you would take care about it."

Though the description of these letters answers perfectly to those in
the _King's Cabinet Opened_, which certainly "detract much from the
reputation of Charles's prudence, and something from his integrity,"
it is impossible that Rochester and the others could be ignorant of so
well-known a publication; and we must consequently infer that some
letters injurious to the king's character have been suppressed by the
caution of his friends.

[315] The king had long entertained a notion, in which he was
encouraged by the attorney-general Herbert, that the act against the
dissolution of the parliament without its own consent was void in
itself. _Life of Clarendon_, p. 86. This high monarchical theory of
the nullity of statutes in restraint of the prerogative was never
thoroughly eradicated till the Revolution, and in all contentions
between the Crown and parliament destroyed the confidence, without
which no accommodation could be durable.

[316] "There is little or no appearance but that this summer will be
the hottest for war of any that hath been yet; and be confident that,
in making peace, I shall ever show my constancy in adhering to bishops
and all our friends, not forgetting to put a short period to this
perpetual parliament." _King's Cabinet Opened_, p. 7. "It being
presumption, and no piety, so to trust to a good cause as not to use
all lawful means to maintain it, I have thought of one means more to
furnish thee with for my assistance, than hitherto thou hast had: it
is, that I give thee power to promise in my name, to whom thou
thinkest most fit, that I will take away all the penal laws against
the Roman catholics in England as soon as God shall enable me to do
it; so as by their means, or in their favours, I may have so powerful
assistance as may deserve so great a favour, and enable me to do it.
But if thou ask what I call that assistance, I answer that when thou
knowest what may be done for it, it will be easily seen, if it deserve
to be so esteemed. I need not tell thee what secrecy this business
requires; yet this I will say, that this is the greatest point of
confidence I can express to thee; for it is no thanks to me to trust
thee in anything else but in this, which is the only point of
difference in opinion betwixt us: and yet I know thou wilt make as
good a bargain for me, even in this, as if thou wert a protestant."
_Id. ibid._ "As to my calling those at London a parliament, I shall
refer thee to Digby for particular satisfaction; this in general--if
there had been but two, besides myself, of my opinion, I had not done
it; and the argument that prevailed with me was, that the calling did
no ways acknowledge them to be a parliament, upon which condition and
construction I did it, and no otherwise, and accordingly it is
registered in the council books, with the council's unanimous
approbation." _Id._ p. 4. The one counsellor who concurred with the
king was Secretary Nicholas, Supplement to Evelyn's _Memoirs_, p. 90.

[317] The queen evidently suspected that he might be brought to
abandon the catholics. _King's Cabinet Opened_, pp. 30, 31. And, if
fear of her did not prevent him, I make no question that he would have
done so, could he but have carried his other points.

[318] _Parl. Hist._ 428; _Somers Tracts_, v. 542. It appears by
several letters of the king, published among those taken at Naseby,
that Ormond had power to promise the Irish a repeal of the penal laws
and the use of private chapels as well as a suspension of Poyning's
law. _King's Cabinet Opened_, pp. 16, 19; Rushw. Abr. v. 589.
Glamorgan's treaty granted them all the churches with the revenues
thereof, of which they had at any time since October 1641 been in
possession; that is, the re-establishment of their religion: they, on
the other hand, were to furnish a very large army to the king in

[319] Rushw. Abr. v. 582, 594. This, as well as some letters taken on
Lord Digby's rout at Sherborn about the same time, made a prodigious
impression. "Many good men were sorry that the king's actions agreed
no better with his words; that he openly protested before God with
horrid imprecations that he endeavoured nothing so much as the
preservation of the protestant religion and rooting out of popery; yet
in the meantime, underhand, he promised to the Irish rebels an
abrogation of the laws against them, which was contrary to his late
expressed promises in these words, 'I will never abrogate the laws
against the papists.' And again he said, 'I abhor to think of bringing
foreign soldiers into the kingdom,' and yet he solicited the Duke of
Lorrain, the French, the Danes, and the very Irish, for assistance."
May's "Breviate of Hist. of Parliament" in Maseres's _Tracts_, i. 61.
Charles had certainly never scrupled (I do not say that he ought to
have done so) to make application in every quarter for assistance; and
began in 1642 with sending a Col. Cochran on a secret mission to
Denmark, in the hope of obtaining a subsidiary force from that
kingdom. There was at least no danger to the national independence
from such allies. "We fear this shall undo the king for ever, that no
repentance shall ever obtain a pardon of this act, if it be true, from
his parliaments." Baillie, ii. 185. Jan. 20, 1646. The king's
disavowal had some effect; it seems as if even those who were
prejudiced against him could hardly believe him guilty of such an
apostasy, as it appeared in their eyes. P. 175. And, in fact, though
the catholics had demanded nothing unreasonable either in its own
nature or according to the circumstances wherein they stood, it threw
a great suspicion on the king's attachment to his own faith, when he
was seen to abandon altogether, as it seemed, the protestant cause in
Ireland, while he was struggling so tenaciously for a particular form
of it in Britain. Nor was his negotiation less impolitic than
dishonourable. Without depreciating a very brave and injured people,
it may be said with certainty that an Irish army could not have had
the remotest chance of success against Fairfax and Cromwell; the
courage being equal on our side, the skill and discipline incomparably
superior. And it was evident that Charles could never reign in England
but on a protestant interest.

[320] Birch's _Inquiry into the Share which King Charles I. had in the
Transactions of the Earl of Glamorgan_, 1747. Four letters of Charles
to Glamorgan, now in the British Museum (Sloane MSS. 4161), in Birch's
handwriting, but of which he was not aware at the time of that
publication, decisively show the king's duplicity. In the first, which
was meant to be seen by Digby, dated Feb. 3, 1646, he blames him for
having been drawn to consent to conditions much beyond his
instructions. "If you had advised with my lord lieutenant, as you
promised me, all this had been helped;" and tells him he had commanded
as much favour to be shown him as might possibly stand with his
service and safety. On Feb. 28 he writes by a private hand, Sir John
Winter, that he is every day more and more confirmed in the trust that
he had of him. In a third letter, dated April 5, he says, in a cipher,
to which the key is given, "you cannot be but confident of my making
good all instructions and promises to you and nuncio." The fourth
letter is dated April 6, and is in these words: "Herbert, as I doubt
not but you have too much courage to be dismayed or discouraged at the
usage like you have had, so I assure you that my estimation of you is
nothing diminished by it, but rather begets in me a desire of revenge
and reparation to us both (for in this I hold myself equally
interested with you), whereupon not doubting of your accustomed care
and industry in my service, I assure you of the continuance of my
favour and protection to you, and that in deeds more than in words I
shall show myself to be your most assured constant friend. C. R."

These letters have lately been republished by Dr. Lingard, _Hist. of
Eng._ x. note B, from Warner's _Hist. of the Civil War in Ireland_.
The cipher may be found in the _Biographia Britannica_, under the
article Bales. Dr. L. endeavours to prove that Glamorgan acted all
along with Ormond's privity; and it must be owned that the expression
in the king's last letter about revenge and reparation, which Dr. L.
does not advert to, has a very odd appearance.

The controversy is, I suppose, completely at an end; so that it is
hardly necessary to mention a letter from Glamorgan, then Marquis of
Worcester, to Clarendon after the restoration, which has every
internal mark of credibility, and displays the king's unfairness.
_Clar. State Pap._ ii. 201, and Lingard, _ubi supra_. It is remarkable
that the transaction is never mentioned in the _History of the
Rebellion_. The noble author was, however, convinced of the
genuineness of Glamorgan's commission, as appears by a letter to
Secretary Nicholas. "I must tell you, I care not how little I say in
that business of Ireland, since those strange powers and instructions
given to your favourite Glamorgan, which appear to be so inexcusable
to justice, piety, and prudence. And I fear there is very much in that
transaction of Ireland, both before and since that you and I were
never thought wise enough to be advised with in. Oh! Mr. Secretary,
those stratagems have given me more sad hours than all the misfortunes
in war which have befallen the king, and look like the effect of God's
anger towards us." _Id._ p. 237. See also a note of Mr. Laing, _Hist.
of Scotland_, iii. 557, for another letter of the king to Glamorgan,
from Newcastle, in July 1646, not less explicit than the foregoing.

[321] Burnet's _Mem. of Dukes of Hamilton_, 284. Baillie's letters,
throughout 1646, indicate his apprehension of the prevalent spirit,
which he dreaded as implacable, not only to monarchy, but to
presbytery and the Scots nation. "The leaders of the people seem
inclined to have no shadow of a king, to have liberty for all
religions, a lame Erastian presbytery, to be so injurious to us as to
chase us hence with the sword."--148. March 31, 1646. "The common word
is, that they will have the king prisoner. Possibly they may grant to
the prince to be a duke of Venice. The militia must be absolutely, for
all time to come, in the power of the parliament, alone," etc.--200.
On the king's refusal of the propositions sent to Newcastle, the Scots
took great pains to prevent a vote against him. 226. There was still,
however, danger of this. 236, Oct. 13, and p. 243. His intrigues with
both parties, the presbyterians and independents, were now known; and
all sides seem to have been ripe for deposing them. 245. These letters
are a curious contrast to the idle fancies of a speedy and triumphant
restoration, which Clarendon himself as well as others of less
judgment seem to have entertained.

[322] "Though he should swear it," says Baillie, "no man will believe
that he sticks upon episcopacy for any conscience."--ii. 205. And
again: "It is pity that base hypocrisy, when it is pellucid, shall
still be entertained. No oaths did ever persuade me, that episcopacy
was ever adhered to on any conscience."--224. This looks at first like
mere bigotry. But, when we remember that Charles had abolished
episcopacy in Scotland, and was ready to abolish protestantism in
Ireland, Baillie's prejudices will appear less unreasonable. The
king's private letters in the _Clarendon Papers_ have convinced me of
his mistaken conscientiousness about church government; but of this
his contemporaries could not be aware.

[323] Hollis maintains that the violent party were very desirous that
the Scots should carry the king with them, and that nothing could have
been more injurious to his interests. If we may believe Berkley, who
is much confirmed by Baillie, the presbyterians had secretly engaged
to the Scots that the army should be disbanded, and the king brought
up to London with honour and safety. "Memoirs of Sir J. Berkley," in
Maseres's _Tracts_, i. 358; Baillie, ii. 257. This affords no bad
justification of the Scots for delivering him up.

"It is very like," says Baillie, "if he had done any duty, though he
had never taken the covenant, but permitted it to have been put in an
act of parliament in both kingdoms, and given so satisfactory an
answer to the rest of the propositions, as easily he might, and
sometimes I know he was willing, certainly Scotland had been for him
as one man: and the body of England, upon many grounds, was upon a
disposition to have so cordially embraced him, that no man, for his
life, durst have muttered against his present restitution. But
remaining what he was in all his maxims, a full Canterburian, both in
matters of religion and state, he still inclined to a new war; and for
that end resolved to go to Scotland. Some great men there pressed the
equity of Scotland's protecting of him on any terms. This untimeous
excess of friendship has ruined that unhappy prince; for the better
party finding the conclusion of the king's coming to Scotland, and
thereby their own present ruin, and the ruin of the whole cause, the
making the malignants masters of church and state, the drawing the
whole force of England upon Scotland for their perjurious violation of
their covenant, they resolved by all means to cross that design."--P.

[324] The votes for payment of the sum of £400,000 to the Scots are on
Aug. 21, 27, and Sept. 1; though it was not fully agreed between the
two nations till Dec. 8. Whitelock, 220, 229. But Whitelock dates the
commencement of the understanding as to the delivery of the king about
Dec. 24. P. 231. See Commons' Journals. Baillie, ii. 246, 253;
Burnet's _Memoirs of Hamiltons_, 293, etc.; Laing, iii. 362; and Mr.
Godwin's _History of the Commonwealth_, ii. 258; a work in which great
attention has been paid to the order of time.

[325] Journals, Aug. and Sept.; Godwin, _ubi supra_; Baillie, ii.

[326] Baillie, who, in Jan. 1644, speaks of the independents as rather
troublesome than formidable, and even says: "No man, I know, in either
of the houses of any note is for them" (437); and that "Lord Say's
power and reputation is none at all;" admits, in a few months, the
alarming increase of independency and sectarianism in the Earl of
Manchester's army; more than two parts in three of the officers and
soldiers being with them, and those the most resolute and confident;
though they had no considerable force either in Essex's or Waller's
army, nor in the assembly of divines or the parliament, ii. 5, 19, 20.
This was owing in a great degree to the influence, at that period, of
Cromwell over Manchester. "The man," he says, "is a very wise and
active head, universally well beloved, as religious and stout; being a
known independent, and most of the soldiers who love new ways put
themselves under his command."--60.

[327] The independent party, or at least some of its most eminent
members, as Lord Say and Mr. St. John, were in a secret correspondence
with Oxford, through the medium of Lord Saville, in the spring of
1645, if we believe Hollis, who asserts that he had seen their
letters, asking offices for themselves. _Mem. of Hollis_, sect. 43.
Baillie refers this to an earlier period, the beginning of 1644 (i.
427); and I conceive that Hollis has been incorrect as to the date.
The king, however, was certainly playing a game with them in the
beginning of 1646, as well as with the presbyterians, so as to give
both parties an opinion of his insincerity. _Clarendon State Papers_,
214; and see two remarkable letters written by his order to Sir Henry
Vane, 226, urging an union, in order to overthrow the presbyterian

[328] The principles of the independents are set forth candidly, and
even favourably, by Collier, 829; as well as by Neal, ii. 98. For
those who are not much acquainted with ecclesiastical distinction, it
may be useful to mention the two essential characteristics of this
sect, by which they differed from the presbyterians. The first was,
that all churches or separate congregations were absolutely
independent of each other as to jurisdiction or discipline; whence
they rejected all synods and representative assemblies as possessing
authority; though they generally admitted, to a very limited degree,
the alliance of churches for mutual counsel and support. Their second
characteristic was the denial of spiritual powers communicated in
ordination by apostolical succession; deeming the call of a
congregation a sufficient warrant for the exercise of the ministry.
See Orme's _Life of Owen_, for a clear view and able defence of the
principles maintained by this party. I must add, that Neal seems to
have proved that the independents, as a body, were not systematically
adverse to monarchy.

[329] Edwards's _Gangræna_, a noted book in that age, enumerates one
hundred and seventy-six heresies, which, however, are reduced by him
to sixteen heads; and these seem capable of further consideration.
Neal, 249. The house ordered a general fast, Feb. 1647, to beseech God
to stop the growth of heresy and blasphemy. Whitelock, 236; a
presbyterian artifice to alarm the nation.

[330] _Parl. Hist._ ii. 1479. They did not meet till July 1, 1643.
Rushw. Abr. v. 123; Neal, 42; Collier, 823. Though this assembly
showed abundance of bigotry and narrowness, they were by no means so
contemptible as Clarendon represents them (ii. 423); and perhaps equal
in learning, good sense, and other merits, to any lower house of
convocation that ever made a figure in England.

[331] Whitelock, 71; Neal, 103. Selden, who owed no gratitude to the
episcopal church, was from the beginning of its dangers a steady and
active friend, displaying, whatever may have been said of his
timidity, full as much courage as could reasonably be expected from a
studious man advanced in years. Baillie, in 1641, calls him "the
avowed proctor of the bishops" (i. 245); and when provoked by his
Erastian opposition in 1646, presumes to talk of his "insolent
absurdity" (ii. 96). Selden sat in the assembly of divines; and by his
great knowledge of the ancient languages and of ecclesiastical
antiquities, as well as by his sound logic and calm clear judgment,
obtained an undeniable superiority, which he took no pains to conceal.

[332] Scobell; Rushw. Abr. v. 576; _Parl. Hist._ iii. 444; Neal, 199.
The latter says, this did not pass the Lords till June 6. But this is
not so. Whitelock very rightly opposed the prohibition of the use of
the common prayer, and of the silencing episcopal ministers, as
contrary to the principle of liberty of conscience avowed by the
parliament, and like what had been complained of in the bishops. 226,
239, 281. But, in Sept. 1647, it was voted that the indulgence in
favour of tender consciences should not extend to tolerate the common
prayer. _Id._ 274.

[333] The Erastians were named from Erastus, a German physician in the
sixteenth century. The denomination is often used in the present age
ignorantly, and therefore indefinitely; but I apprehend that the
fundamental principle of his followers was this: That in a
commonwealth where the magistrate professes Christianity, it is not
convenient that offences against religion and morality should be
punished by the censures of the church, especially by excommunication.
Probably he may have gone farther, as Selden seems to have done (Neal,
194), and denied the right of exclusion from church communion, even
without reference to the temporal power; but the limited proposition
was of course sufficient to raise the practical controversy. The
Helvetic divines, Gualter and Bullinger, strongly concurred in this
with Erastus; "Contendimus disciplinam esse debere in ecclesiâ, sed
satis esse, si ea administretur a magistratu." Erastus, _de
Excommunicatione_, p. 350; and a still stronger passage in p. 379. And
it is said, that Archbishop Whitgift caused Erastus's book to be
printed at his own expense. See one of Warburton's notes on Neal.
Calvin, and the whole of his school, held, as is well known, a very
opposite tenet. See _Erasti Theses de Excommunicatione_, 4to, 1579.

The ecclesiastical constitution of England is nearly Erastian in
theory, and almost wholly so in practice. Every sentence of the
spiritual judge is liable to be reversed by a civil tribunal, the
court of delegates, by virtue of the king's supremacy over all causes.
And, practically, what is called church discipline, or the censures of
ecclesiastical governors for offences, has gone so much into disuse,
and what remains is so contemptible, that I believe no one, except
those who derive a little profit from it, would regret its abolition.

"The most part of the House of Commons," says Baillie, ii. 149,
"especially the lawyers, whereof there are many, and divers of them
very able men, are either half or whole Erastians, believing no church
government to be of divine right, but all to be a human constitution
depending on the will of the magistrate." "The pope and king," he says
in another place (196), "were never more earnest for the headship of
the church than the plurality of this parliament." See also p. 183;
and Whitelock, 169.

[334] _Parl. Hist._ 459 _et alibi_; Rushw. Abr. v. 578 _et alibi_;
Whitelock, 165, 169, 173, 176 _et post_; Baillie's _Letters_,
_passim_; Neal, 23, etc., 191 _et post_; Collier, 841. The assembly
attempted to sustain their own cause by counter votes; and, the
minority of independents and Erastians having withdrawn, it was
carried with a single dissent of Lightfoot, that Christ had
established a government in his church independent of the civil
magistrate. Neal, 223.

[335] Neal, 228. Warburton says, in his note on this passage, that
"the presbyterian was _to all intents and purposes_ the established
religion during the time of the commonwealth." But, as coercive
discipline and synodical government are no small intents and purposes
of that religion, this assertion requires to be modified, as it has
been in my text. Besides which, there were many ministers of the
independent sect in benefices, some of whom probably had never
received ordination. "Both baptists and independents," says a very
well informed writer of the latter denomination, "were in the practice
of accepting the livings, that is, the temporalities of the church.
They did not, however, view themselves as parish ministers, and bound
to administer all the ordinances of religion to the parish population.
They occupied the parochial edifices, and received a portion of the
tithes for their maintenance; but in all other respects acted
according to their own principles." Orme's _Life of Owen_, 136. This
he thinks would have produced very serious evils, if not happily
checked by the Restoration. "During the commonwealth," he observes
afterwards (245), "no system of church government can be considered as
having been properly or fully established. The presbyterians, if any,
enjoyed this distinction."

[336] The city began to petition for the establishment of presbytery,
and against toleration of sectaries, early in 1646; and not long after
came to assume what seemed to the Commons too dictatorial a tone. This
gave much offence, and contributed to drive some members into the
opposite faction. Neal, 193, 221, 241; Whitelock, 207, 240.

[337] Vol. ii. 268. See also 207, and other places. This is a remark
that requires attention; many are apt to misunderstand the question.
"For this point (toleration) both they and we contend," says Baillie,
"tanquam pro aris et focis."--ii. 175. "Not only they praise your
magistrate" (writing to a Mr. Spang in Holland), "who for policy gives
some secret tolerance to divers religions, wherein, as I conceive,
your divines preach against them as great sinners, but avow that by
God's command the magistrate is discharged to put the least
discourtesy on any man, Jew, Turk, Papist, Socinian, or whatever, for
his religion."--18. See also 61, and many other passages. "The army"
(says Hugh Peters in a tract, entitled "A Word for the Army, and Two
Words to the People," 1647) "never hindered the state from a state
religion, having only wished to enjoy now what the puritans begged
under the prelates; when we desire more, blame us, and shame us." In
another, entitled "Vox Militaris," the author says: "We did never
engage against this platform, nor for that platform, nor ever will,
except better informed; and therefore, if the state establisheth
presbytery, we shall never oppose it."

The question of toleration, in its most important shape, was brought
at this time before parliament, on occasion of one Paul Best who had
written against the doctrine of the trinity. According to the common
law, heretics, on being adjudged by the spiritual court, were
delivered over to be burned under the writ de hæretico comburendo.
This punishment had been inflicted five times under Elizabeth; on
Wielmacker and Ter Wort, two Dutch anabaptists, who, like many of that
sect, entertained Arian tenets, and were burned in Smithfield in 1575;
on Matthew Hammond in 1579, Thomas Lewis in 1583, and Francis Ket in
1588; all burned by Scambler, Bishop of Norwich. It was also inflicted
on Bartholomew Legat and Edward Wightman, under James, in 1614; the
first burned by King, Bishop of London, the second by Neile of
Litchfield. A third, by birth a Spaniard, incurred the same penalty;
but the compassion of the people showed itself so strongly at Legat's
execution that James thought it expedient not to carry the sentence
into effect. Such is the venomous and demoralising spirit of bigotry,
that Fuller, a writer remarkable for good nature and gentleness,
expresses his indignation at the pity which was manifested by the
spectators of Legat's sufferings. _Church Hist._ part ii. p. 62. In
the present case of Paul Best, the old sentence of fire was not
suggested by any one; but an ordinance was brought in, Jan. 1646, to
punish him with death. Whitelock, 190. Best made, at length, such an
explanation as was accepted (Neal, 214); but an ordinance to suppress
blasphemies and heresies as capital offences was brought in. Commons'
Journals, April 1646. The independents gaining strength, this was long
delayed; but the ordinance passed both houses, May 2, 1648. _Id._ 303.
Neal (338) justly observes, that it shows the governing presbyterians
would have made a terrible use of their power, had they been supported
by the sword of the civil magistrate. The denial of the trinity,
incarnation, atonement, or inspiration of any book of the Old or New
Testament, was made felony. Lesser offences, such as anabaptism, or
denying the lawfulness of presbyterian government, were punishable by
imprisonment till the party should recant. It was much opposed,
especially by Whitelock. The writ de hæretico comburendo, as is well
known, was taken away by act of parliament in 1677.

[338] "In all New England, no liberty of living for a presbyterian.
Whoever there, were they angels for life and doctrine, will essay to
set up a different way from them [the independents], shall be sure of
present banishment." Baillie, ii. 4, also 17. I am surprised to find a
late writer of that country (Dwight's _Travels in New England_)
attempt to extenuate at least the intolerance of the independents
towards the quakers, who came to settle there; and which, we see,
extended also to the presbyterians. But Mr. Orme, with more judgment,
observes that the New England congregations did not sufficiently
adhere to the principle of independency, and acted too much as a body;
to which he ascribes their persecution of the quakers and others.
_Life of Owen_, 335. It is certain that the congregational scheme
leads to toleration, as the national church scheme is adverse to it,
for manifold reasons which the reader will discover.

[339] Though the writings of Chillingworth and Hales are not directly
in behalf of toleration, no one could relish them without imbibing its
spirit in the fullest measure. The great work of Jeremy Taylor, on the
_Liberty of Prophesying_, was published in 1647; and, if we except a
few concessions to the temper of the times, which are not reconcilable
to its general principles, has left little for those who followed him.
Mr. Orme admits that the remonstrants of Holland maintained the
principles of toleration very early (p. 50); but refers to a tract by
Leonard Busher, an independent, in 1614, as "containing the most
enlightened and scriptural views of religious liberty."--P. 99. He
quotes other writings of the same sect under Charles I.

[340] Several proofs of this occur in the _Clarendon State Papers_. A
letter, in particular, from Colepepper to Digby, in Sept. 1645, is so
extravagantly sanguine, considering the posture of the king's affairs
at that time, that, if it was perfectly sincere, Colepepper must have
been a man of less ability than has generally been supposed. Vol. ii.
p. 188. Neal has some sensible remarks on the king's mistake in
supposing that any party which he did not join must in the end be
ruined. P. 268. He had not lost this strange confidence after his very
life had become desperate; and told Sir John Bowring, when he advised
him not to spin out the time at the treaty of Newport, that "any
interests would be glad to come in with him." See Bowring's _Memoirs_
in Halifax's _Miscellanies_, 132.

[341] Baillie's letters are full of this feeling, and must be reckoned
fair evidence, since no man could be more bigoted to presbytery, or
more bitter against the royalist party. I have somewhere seen Baillie
praised for his mildness. His letters give no proof of it. Take the
following specimens: "Mr. Maxwell of Ross has printed at Oxford so
desperately malicious an invective against our assemblies and
presbyteries, that, however I could hardly consent to the hanging of
Canterbury or of any jesuit, yet I could give my sentence freely
against that unhappy man's life."--ii. 99. "God has struck Coleman
with death; he fell in an ague, and after three or four days expired.
It is not good to stand in Christ's way."--P. 199.

Baillie's judgment of men was not more conspicuous than his
moderation. "Vane and Cromwell are of horrible hot fancies to put all
in confusion, but not of any deep reach. St. John and Pierrepont are
more stayed, but not great heads."--P. 258. The drift of all his
letters is, that every man who resisted the _jus divinum_ of
presbytery was knave or fool, if not both. They are, however,
eminently serviceable as historical documents.

[342] "Now for my own particular resolution," he says in a letter to
Digby, March 26, 1646, "it is this. I am endeavouring to get to
London, so that the conditions may be such as a gentleman may own, and
that the rebels may acknowledge me king; being not without hope that I
shall be able so to draw either the presbyterians or independents to
side with me for extirpating the one or the other, that I shall be
really king again." Carte's _Ormond_, iii. 452; quoted by Mr. Brodie,
to whom I am indebted for the passage. I have mentioned already his
overture about this time to Sir Henry Vane through Ashburnham.

[343] Clarendon, followed by Hume and several others, appears to say
that Ragland Castle in Monmouthshire, defended by the Marquis of
Worcester, was the last that surrendered; namely, in August 1646. I
use the expression _appears to say_, because the last edition, which
exhibits his real text, shows that he paid this compliment to
Pendennis Castle in Cornwall, and that his original editors (I suppose
to do honour to a noble family), foisted in the name of Ragland. It is
true, however, of neither. The North Welsh castles held out
considerably longer; that of Harlech was not taken till April 1647,
which put an end to the war. Whitelock.

Clarendon, still more unyielding than his master, extols the long
resistance of his party, and says that those who surrendered at the
first summons obtained no better terms than they who made the stoutest
defence; as if that were a sufficient justification for prolonging a
civil war. In fact, however, they did the king some harm; inasmuch as
they impeded the efforts made in parliament to disband the army.
Several votes of the Commons show this; see the Journals of 12th May
and 31st July 1646.

[344] The resolution to disband Fairfax's regiment next Tuesday at
Chelmsford passed 16th May 1647, by 136 to 115; Algernon Sidney being
a teller of the noes. Commons' Journals. In these votes the house,
that is, the presbyterian majority, acted with extreme imprudence; not
having provided for the payment of the army's arrears at the time they
were thus disbanding them. Whitelock advised Hollis and his party not
to press the disbanding; and on finding them obstinate, drew off, as
he tells us, from that connection, and came nearer to Cromwell. P.
248. This, however, he had begun to do rather earlier. Independently
of the danger of disgusting the army, it is probable that, as soon as
it was disbanded, the royalists would have been up in arms. For the
growth of this discontent, day by day, peruse Whitelock's Journal for
March and the three following months, as well as the _Parliamentary

[345] It was only carried by 159 to 147, March 5, 1647, that the
forces should be commanded by Fairfax. But on the 8th, the house voted
without a division, that no officer under him should be above the rank
of a colonel, and that no member of the house should have any command
in the army. It is easy to see at whom this was levelled. Commons'
Journals. They voted at the same time that the officers should all
take the covenant, which had been rejected two years before; and, by a
majority of 136 to 108, that they should all conform to the government
of the church established by both houses of parliament.

[346] _Clar. State Papers_, ii. 365. The army, in a declaration not
long after the king fell into their power, June 24, use these
expressions: "We clearly profess that we do not see how there can be
any peace to this kingdom firm or lasting, without a due provision for
the rights, quiet, and immunity of his majesty, his royal family, and
his late partakers."--_Parl. Hist._ 647.

[347] Hollis censures the speakers of the two houses and others who
fled to the army from this mob; the riot being "a sudden tumultuous
thing of young idle people without design." Possibly this might be the
case; but the tumult at the door of the house, 26th July, was such
that it could not be divided. Their votes were plainly null, as being
made under duress. Yet the presbyterians were so strong in the Commons
that a resolution to annul all proceedings during the speaker's
absence was lost by 97 to 95, after his return; and it was only voted
to repeal them. A motion to declare that the houses, from 26th July to
6th August, had been under a force, was also lost by 78 to 75.
Journals, 9th and 17th August. The Lords, however, passed an ordinance
to this effect; and after once more rejecting it, the Commons agreed
on August 20, with a proviso that no one should be called in question
for what had been done.

[348] These transactions are best read in the Commons' Journals, and
_Parliamentary History_, and next to those, in Whitelock. Hollis
relates them with great passion; and Clarendon, as he does everything
else that passed in London, very imperfectly. He accounts for the Earl
of Manchester and the Speaker Lenthal's retiring to the army by their
persuasion that the chief officers had nearly concluded a treaty with
the king, and resolved to have their shares in it. This is a very
unnecessary surmise. Lenthal was a poor-spirited man, always
influenced by those whom he thought the strongest, and in this
instance, according to Ludlow (p. 206) persuaded with difficulty by
Haslerig to go to the army. Manchester indeed had more courage and
honour; but he was not of much capacity, and his parliamentary conduct
was not systematic. But upon the whole it is obvious, on reading the
list of names (_Parl. Hist._ 757), that the king's friends were rather
among those who staid behind, especially in the Lords, than among
those who went to the army. Seven of eight peers who continued to sit
from 26th July to 6th of August 1647, were impeached for it afterwards
(_Parl. Hist._ 764), and they were all of the most moderate party. If
the king had any previous connection with the city, he acted very
disingenuously in his letter to Fairfax, Aug. 3, while the contest was
still pending; wherein he condemns the tumults, and declares his
unwillingness that his friends should join with the city against the
army, whose proposals he had rejected the day before with an
imprudence of which he was now sensible. This letter, as actually sent
to Fairfax, is in the _Parliamentary History_, 734, and may be
compared with a rough draught of the same, preserved in _Clarendon
Papers_, 373, from which it materially differs, being much sharper
against the city.

[349] Fairfax's "Memoirs" in Maseres's _Collection of Tracts_, vol. i.
p. 447. "By this," says Fairfax, who had for once found a man less
discerning of the times than himself, "I plainly saw the broken reed
he leaned on. The agitators had brought the king into an opinion that
the army was for him." Ireton said plainly to the king, "Sir, you have
an intention to be the arbitrator between the parliament and us; and
we mean to be so between your majesty and the parliament."--Berkley's
"Memoirs," _ibid._ p. 360.

This folly of the king, if Mrs. Hutchinson is well informed, alienated
Ireton, who had been more inclined to trust him than is commonly
believed. "Cromwell," she says, "was at that time so incorruptibly
faithful to his trust and the people's interest, that he could not be
drawn in to practise even his own usual and natural dissimulation on
this occasion. His son-in-law Ireton, that was as faithful as he, was
not so fully of the opinion, till he had tried it, and found to the
contrary, but that the king might have been managed to comply with the
public good of his people, after he could no longer uphold his own
violent will; but upon some discourses with him, the king uttering
these words to him, 'I shall play my game as well as I can,' Ireton
replied, 'If your majesty have a game, you must give us also the
liberty to play ours.' Colonel Hutchinson privately discoursing with
his cousin about the communications he had had with the king, Ireton's
expressions were these: 'He gave us words, and we paid him in his own
coin, when we found he had no real intention to the people's good, but
to prevail, by our factions, to regain by art what he had lost in
fight.'"--P. 274.

It must be said for the king that he was by no means more sanguine or
more blind than his distinguished historian and minister. Clarendon's
private letters are full of strange and absurd expectations. Even so
late as October 1647, he writes to Berkley in high hopes from the
army, and presses him to make no concessions except as to persons. "If
they see you will not yield, they must; for sure they have as much or
more need of the king than he of them."--P. 379. The whole tenor,
indeed, of Clarendon's correspondence demonstrates that,
notwithstanding the fine remarks occasionally scattered through his
history, he was no practical statesman, nor had any just conception,
at the time, of the course of affairs. He never flinched from one
principle, not very practicable or rational in the circumstances of
the king; that nothing was to be receded from which had ever been
desired. This may be called magnanimity; but no foreign or domestic
dissension could be settled, if all men were to act upon it, or if all
men, like Charles and Clarendon, were to expect that Providence would
interfere to support what seems to them the best, that is, their own
cause. The following passage is a specimen: "Truly I am so unfit to
bear a part in carrying on this new contention [by negotiation and
concession], that I would not, to preserve myself, wife, and children
from the lingering death of want by famine (for a sudden death would
require no courage), consent to the lessening any part, which I take
to be in the function of a bishop, or the taking away the smallest
prebendary in the church, or to be bound not to endeavour to alter any
such alteration."--_Id._ vol. iii. p. 2, Feb. 4, 1648.

[350] _Parl. Hist._ 738. Clarendon talks of these proposals as worse
than any the king had ever received from the parliament; and Hollis
says they "dissolved the whole frame of the monarchy." It is hard to
see, however, that they did so in a greater degree than those which he
had himself endeavoured to obtain as a commissioner at Uxbridge. As to
the church, they were manifestly the best that Charles had ever seen.
As to his prerogative and the power of the monarchy, he was so
thoroughly beaten, that no treaty could do him any substantial
service; and he had, in truth, only to make his election, whether to
be the nominal chief of an aristocratical or a democratical republic.
In a well-written tract, called "Vox Militaris," containing a defence
of the army's proceedings and intentions, and published apparently in
July 1647, their desire to preserve the king's rights, according to
their notion of them, and the general laws of the realm, is strongly

[351] The precise meaning of this word seems obscure. Some have
supposed it to be a corruption of adjutators, as if the modern term
adjutant meant the same thing. But I find agitator always so spelled
in the pamphlets of the time.

[352] Berkley's _Memoirs_, 366. He told Lord Capel about this time
that he expected a war between Scotland and England; that the Scots
hoped for the assistance of the presbyterians; and that he wished his
own party to rise in arms on a proper conjuncture, without which he
could not hope for much benefit from the others. Clarendon, v. 476.

[353] Berkley, 368, etc. Compare the letter of Ashburnham, published
in 1648, and reprinted in 1764, but probably not so full as the MS. in
the Earl of Ashburnham's possession; also the Memoirs of Hollis,
Huntingdon, and Fairfax, which are all in Maseres's Collection; also
Ludlow, Hutchinson, Clarendon, Burnet's _Memoirs of Hamilton_, and
some despatches in 1647 and 1648, from a royalist in London, printed
in the appendix to the second volume of the _Clarendon Papers_. This
correspondent of Secretary Nicholas believes Cromwell and Ireton to
have all along planned the king's destruction, and set the levellers
on, till they proceeded so violently, that they were forced to
restrain them. This also is the conclusion of Major Huntingdon, in his
Reasons for laying down his Commission. But the contrary appears to me
more probable.

Two anecdotes, well known to those conversant in English history, are
too remarkable to be omitted. It is said by the editor of Lord
Orrery's _Memoirs_, as a relation which he had heard from that noble
person, that in a conversation with Cromwell concerning the king's
death, the latter told him, he and his friends had once a mind to have
closed with the king, fearing that the Scots and presbyterians might
do so; when one of their spies, who was of the king's bedchamber, gave
them information of a letter from his majesty to the queen, sewed up
in the skirt of a saddle, and directing them to an inn where it might
be found. They obtained the letter accordingly, in which the king
said, that he was courted by both factions, the Scots presbyterians
and the army; that those which bade fairest for him should have him;
but he thought he should rather close with the Scots than the other.
Upon this, finding themselves unlikely to get good terms from the
king, they from that time vowed his destruction. Carte's _Ormond_, ii.

A second anecdote is alluded to by some earlier writers, but is
particularly told in the following words, by Richardson, the painter,
author of some anecdotes of Pope, edited by Spence. "Lord Bolingbroke
told us, June 12, 1742 (Mr. Pope, Lord Marchmont, and myself), that
the second Earl of Oxford had often told him that he had seen, and had
in his hands, an original letter that Charles the First wrote to his
queen, in answer to one of hers that had been intercepted, and then
forwarded to him; wherein she had reproached him for having made those
villains too great concession, viz. that Cromwell should be lord
lieutenant of Ireland for life without account; that that kingdom
should be in the hands of the party, with an army there kept which
should know no head but the lieutenant; that Cromwell should have a
garter, etc.: That in this letter of the king's it was said, that she
should leave him to manage, who was better informed of all
circumstances than she could be; but she might be entirely easy as to
whatever concessions he should make them; for that he should know in
due time how to deal with the rogues, who, instead of a silken garter,
should be fitted with a hempen cord. So the letter ended; which answer
as they waited for, so they intercepted accordingly; and it determined
his fate. This letter Lord Oxford said he had offered £500 for."

The authenticity of this latter story has been constantly rejected by
Hume and the advocates of Charles in general; and, for one reason
among others, that it looks like a misrepresentation of that told by
Lord Orrery, which both stands on good authority, and is perfectly
conformable to all the memoirs of the time. I have, however, been
informed, that a memorandum nearly conformable to Richardson's
anecdote is extant, in the handwriting of Lord Oxford.

It is possible that this letter is the same with that mentioned by
Lord Orrery; and in that case was written in the month of October.
Cromwell seems to have been in treaty with the king as late as
September; and advised him, according to Berkley, to reject the
proposals of the parliament in that month. Herbert mentions an
intercepted letter of the queen (_Memoirs_, 60); and even his story
proves that Cromwell and his party broke off with Charles from a
conviction of his dissimulation. See Laing's note, iii. 562; and the
note by Strype, therein referred to, on Kennet's _Complete Hist. of
England_, iii. 170; which speaks of a "constant tradition" about this
story, and is more worthy of notice, because it was written before the
publication of Lord Orrery's _Memoirs_, or of the _Richardsoniana_.

[354] Ashburnham gives us to understand that the king had made choice
of the Isle of Wight, previously to his leaving Hampton Court, but
probably at his own suggestion. This seems confirmed by the king's
letter in Burnet's _Mem. of Dukes of Hamilton_, 326. Clarendon's
account is a romance, with little mixture probably of truth.
Ashburnham's _Narrative_, published in 1830, proves that he suggested
the Isle of Wight, in consequence of the king's being forced to
abandon a design he had formed of going to London, the Scots
commissioners retracting their engagement to support him.

[355] _Parl. Hist._ 799.

[356] Jan. 15. This vote was carried by 141 to 92. _Id._ 831. And see
Append. to 2nd vol. of _Clar. State Papers_. Cromwell was now vehement
against the king, though he had voted in his favour on Sept. 22.
Journals, and Berkley, 372. A proof that the king was meant to be
wholly rejected is, that at this time, in the list of the navy, the
expression "his majesty's ship," was changed to "the parliament's
ship." Whitelock, 291.

The four bills were founded on four propositions (for which I refer to
Hume or the _Parliamentary History_, not to Clarendon, who has
mis-stated them) sent down from the Lords. The lower house voted to
agree with them by 115 to 106; Sidney and Evelyn tellers for the ayes,
Martin and Morley for the noes. The increase of the minority is
remarkable, and shows how much the king's refusal of the terms offered
him in September, and his escape from Hampton Court, had swollen the
commonwealth party; to which, by the way, Colonel Sidney at this time
seems not to have belonged. Ludlow says, that party hoped the king
would not grant the four bills (i. 224). The Commons published a
declaration of their reasons for making no further addresses to the
king, wherein they more than insinuate his participation in the murder
of his father by Buckingham. _Parl. Hist._ 847.

[357] Clarendon, whose aversion to the Scots warps his judgment, says
that this treaty contained many things dishonourable to the English
nation. _Hist._ v. 532. The king lost a good deal in the eyes of this
uncompromising statesman, by the concessions he made in the Isle of
Wight. _State Papers_, 387. I cannot, for my own part, see anything
derogatory to England in the treaty; for the temporary occupation of a
few fortified towns in the north can hardly be called so. Charles,
there is some reason to think, had on a former occasion made offers to
the Scots far more inconsistent with his duty to this kingdom.

[358] Clarendon; May, "Breviate of the Hist. of the Parliament," in
Maseres's _Tracts_, i. 113; Whitelock, 307, 317, etc. In a conference
between the two houses, July 25, 1648, the Commons gave as a reason
for insisting on the king's surrender of the militia as a preliminary
to a treaty, that such was the disaffection to the parliament on all
sides, that without the militia they could never be secure. Rush. Abr.
vi. 444. "The chief citizens of London," says May, 122, "and others
called presbyterians, though the presbyterian Scots abominated this
army, wished good success to these Scots no less than the malignants
did. Whence let the reader judge of the times." The fugitive sheets of
this year, such as the "Mercurius Aulicus," bear witness to the
exulting and insolent tone of the royalists. The chuckle over Fairfax
and Cromwell, as if they had caught a couple of rats in a trap.

[359] April 28, 1648; _Parl. Hist._ 883.

[360] June 6. These peers were the Earls of Suffolk, Middlesex, and
Lincoln, Lords Willoughby of Parham, Berkley, Hunsdon, and Maynard.
They were impeached for sitting in the house during the tumults from
26th of July to 6th of August 1647. The Earl of Pembroke, who had also
continued to sit, merely because he was too stupid to discover which
party was likely to prevail, escaped by truckling to the new powers.

[361] June 8.

[362] See _Parl. Hist._ 823, 892, 904, 921, 924, 959, 996, for the
different votes on this subject, wherein the presbyterians gradually
beat the independent or republican party, but with very small and
precarious majorities.

[363] Clarendon, vi. 155. He is very absurd in imagining that any of
the parliamentary commissioners would have been satisfied with "an act
of indemnity and oblivion."

That the parliament had some reason to expect the king's firmness of
purpose to give way, in spite of all his haggling, will appear from
the following short review of what had been done. 1. At Newmarket, in
June 1642, he absolutely refused the nineteen propositions tendered to
him by the Lords and Commons. 2. In the treaty of Oxford, March 1643,
he seems to have made no concession, not even promising an amnesty to
those he had already excluded from pardon. 3. In the treaty of
Uxbridge, no mention was made on his side of exclusion from pardon; he
offered to vest the militia for seven years in commissioners jointly
appointed by himself and parliament, so that it should afterwards
return to him, and to limit the jurisdiction of the bishops. 4. In the
winter of 1645, he not only offered to disband his forces, but to let
the militia be vested for seven years in commissioners to be appointed
by the two houses, and afterwards to be settled by bill; also to give
the nomination of officers of state and judges _pro hâc vice_ to the
houses. 5. He went no farther in substance till May 1647; when he
offered the militia for ten years, as well as great limitations of
episcopacy, and the continuance of presbyterian government for three
years; the whole matter to be afterwards settled by bill on the advice
of the assembly of divines, and twenty more of his own nomination. 6.
In his letter from Carisbrook, Nov. 1647, he gave up the militia for
his life. This was in effect to sacrifice almost everything as to
immediate power; but he struggled to save the church lands from
confiscation, which would have rendered it hardly practicable to
restore episcopacy in future. His further concessions in the treaty of
Newport, though very slowly extorted, were comparatively trifling.

What Clarendon thought of the treaty of Newport may be imagined. "You
may easily conclude," he writes to Digby, "how fit a counsellor I am
like to be, when the best that is proposed is that which I _would not
consent unto to preserve the kingdom from ashes_. I can tell you worse
of myself than this; which is, that there may be some reasonable
expedients which possibly might in truth restore and preserve all, in
which I could bear no part."--P. 459. See also p. 351 and 416. I do
not divine what he means by this. But what he could not have approved
was, that the king had no thoughts of dealing sincerely with the
parliament in this treaty, and gave Ormond directions to obey all his
wife's commands, but not to obey any further orders he might send, nor
to be startled at his great concessions respecting Ireland, for they
would come to nothing. Carte's _Papers_, i. 185. See Mr. Brodie's
remarks on this, iv. 143-146. He had agreed to give up the government
of Ireland for twenty years to the parliament. In his answer to the
propositions at Newcastle, sent in May 1647, he had declared that he
would give full satisfaction with respect to Ireland. But he thus
explains himself to the queen: "I have so couched that article that,
if the Irish give me cause, I may interpret it enough to their
advantage. For I only say that I will give them (the two houses) full
satisfaction as to the management of the war, nor do I promise to
continue the war; so that, if I find reason to make a good peace
there, my engagement is at an end. Wherefore make this my
interpretation known to the Irish." _Clar. State Papers._ "What
reliance," says Mr. Laing, from whom I transcribe this passage (which
I cannot find in the book quoted), "could parliament place at the
beginning of the dispute, or at any subsequent period, on the word or
moderation of a prince, whose solemn and written declarations were so
full of equivocation?" _Hist. of Scotland_, iii. 409. It may here be
added that, though Charles had given his parole to Colonel Hammond,
and had the sentinels removed in consequence, he was engaged during
most part of his stay at Carisbrook in schemes for an escape. See Col.
Cooke's "Narrative," printed with Herbert's _Memoirs_; and in Rushw.
Abr. vi. 534. But his enemies were apprised of this intention, and
even of an attempt to escape by removing a bar of his window, as
appears by the letters from the committee of Derby House, Cromwell,
and others, to Col. Hammond, published in 1764.

[364] Clarendon mentions an expression that dropped from Henry Martin
in conversation, not long after the meeting of the parliament: "I do
not think one man wise enough to govern us all." This may doubtless be
taken in a sense perfectly compatible with our limited monarchy. But
Martin's republicanism was soon apparent; he was sent to the Tower in
August 1643, for language reflecting on the king. _Parl. Hist._ 161. A
Mr. Chillingworth had before incurred the same punishment for a like
offence, December 1, 1641. Nalson, ii. 714. Sir Henry Ludlow, father
of the regicide, was also censured on the same account. As the
opposite faction grew stronger, Martin was not only restored to his
seat, but the vote against him was expunged. Vane, I presume, took up
republican principles pretty early; perhaps also Haslerig. With these
exceptions, I know not that we can fix on any individual member of
parliament the charge of an intention to subvert the constitution till
1646 or 1647.

[365] Pamphlets may be found as early as 1643 which breathe this
spirit; but they are certainly rare till 1645 and 1646. Such are
"Plain English," 1643; "The Character of an Anti-malignant," 1645;
"Last Warning to all the Inhabitants of London," 1647.

[366] Charles Louis, elector palatine, elder brother of the Princes
Rupert and Maurice, gave cause to suspect that he was looking towards
the throne. He left the king's quarters where he had been at the
commencement of the war, and retired to Holland; whence he wrote, as
well as his mother, the Queen of Bohemia, to the parliament,
disclaiming and renouncing Prince Rupert, and begging their own
pensions might be paid. He came over to London in August 1644, took
the covenant, and courted the parliament. They showed, however, at
first, a good deal of jealousy of him; and intimated that his affairs
would prosper better by his leaving the kingdom. Whitelock, 101; Rush.
Abr. xv. 359. He did not take this hint, and obtained next year an
allowance of £8000 per annum. _Id._ 145. Lady Ranelagh, in a letter to
Hyde, March 1644, conjuring him by his regard for Lord Falkland's
memory to use all his influence to procure a message from the king for
a treaty, adds: "Methinks what I have informed my sister, and what she
will inform you, of the posture of the prince elector's affairs are in
here, should be a motive to hasten away this message." _Clar. State
Papers_, ii. 167. Clarendon himself, in a letter to Nicholas, Dec. 12,
1646 (where he gives his opinion that the independents look more to a
change of the king and his line than of the monarchy itself, and would
restore the full prerogative of the Crown to one of their own choice),
proceeds in these remarkable words: "And I pray God they have not such
a nose of wax ready for their impression. This it is makes me tremble
more than all their discourses of destroying monarchy; and that
towards this end, they find assistance from those who from their
hearts abhor their confusions." P. 308. These expressions seem more
applicable by far to the elector than to Cromwell. But the former was
not dangerous to the parliament, though it was deemed fit to treat him
with respect. In March 1647, we find a committee of both houses
appointed to receive some intelligence which the prince elector
desired to communicate to the parliament of great importance to the
protestant religion. Whitelock, 241. Nothing farther appears about
this intelligence; which looks as if he was merely afraid of being
forgotten. He left England in 1649, and died in 1680.

[367] Baxter's _Life_, 50. He ascribes the increase of enthusiasm in
the army to the loss of its presbyterian chaplains, who left it for
their benefices, on the reduction of the king's party and the
new-modelling of the troops. The officers then took on them to act as
preachers. _Id._ 54; and Neal, 183. I conceive that the year 1645 is
that to which we must refer the appearance of a republican party in
considerable numbers, though not yet among the House of Commons.

[368] These passed against the royalist members separately, and for
the most part in the first months of the war.

[369] "The best friends of the parliament were not without fears what
the issue of the new elections might be; for though the people durst
not choose such as were open enemies to them, yet probably they would
such as were most likely to be for a peace on any terms, corruptly
preferring the fruition of their estates and sensual enjoyments before
the public interest," etc. Ludlow, i. 168. This is a fair confession
how little the commonwealth party had the support of the nation.

[370] C. Journals; Whitelock, 168. The borough of Southwark had just
before petitioned for a new writ, its member being dead or disabled.

[371] That the House of Commons, in December 1645, entertained no
views of altering the fundamental constitution, appears from some of
their resolutions as to conditions of peace: "That Fairfax should have
an earldom, with £5000 a year; Cromwell and Waller baronies, with half
that estate; Essex, Northumberland, and two more be made dukes;
Manchester and Salisbury marquises, and other peers of their party be
elevated to higher ranks; Haslerig, Stapylton, and Skippon to have
pensions." _Parl. Hist._ 403; Whitelock, 182. These votes do not speak
much for the magnanimity and disinterestedness of that assembly,
though it may suit political romancers to declaim about it.

[372] Commons' Journals, May 4 and 18, 1647. This minority were not,
in general, republican; but were unwilling to increase the irritation
of the army by so strong a vote.

[373] Commons' Journals; Whitelock, 271; _Parl. Hist._ 781. They had
just been exasperated by his evasion of their propositions. _Id._ 778.
By the smallness of the numbers, and the names of the tellers, it
seems as if the presbyterian party had been almost entirely absent;
which may be also inferred from other parts of the Journals. See
October 9, for a long list of absentees. Haslerig and Evelyn, both of
the army faction, told the Ayes, Martin and Sir Peter Wentworth the
Noes. The house had divided the day before on the question for going
into a committee to take this matter into consideration, 84 to 34;
Cromwell and Evelyn telling the majority, Wentworth and Rainsborough
the minority. I suppose it is from some of these divisions that Baron
Maseres has reckoned the republican party in the house not to exceed

It was resolved on Nov. 6, 1647, that the King of England, for the
time being, was bound in justice and by the duty of his office, to
give his assent to all such laws as by the Lords and Commons in
parliament shall be adjudged to be for the good of the kingdom, and by
them tendered unto him for his assent. But the previous question was
carried on the following addition: "And in case the laws, so offered
unto him, shall not thereupon be assented unto by him, that
nevertheless they are as valid to all intents and purposes as if his
assent had been thereunto had and obtained, which they do insist upon
as an undoubted right."--Com. Jour.

[374] Ludlow says that Cromwell, "finding the king's friends grow
strong in 1648, began to court the commonwealth's party. The latter
told him he knew how to cajole and give them good words, when he had
occasion to make use of them; whereat, breaking out into a rage, he
said they were a proud sort of people, and only considerable in their
own conceits."--P. 240. Does this look as if he had been reckoned one
of them?

[375] Clarendon says that there were many consultations among the
officers about the best mode of disposing of the king; some were for
deposing him, others for poison or assassination, which, he fancies,
would have been put in practice, if they could have prevailed on
Hammond. But this is not warranted by our better authorities.

It is hard to say at what time the first bold man dared to talk of
bringing the king to justice. But in a letter of Baillie to Alexander
Henderson, May 19, 1646, he says, "If God have hardened him, so far as
I can perceive, this people will strive to have him in their power,
and make an example of him; _I abhor to think what they speak of
execution_!"--ii. 20. Published also in Dalrymple's _Memorials of
Charles I._, p. 166. Proofs may also be brought from pamphlets by
Lilburne and others in 1647, especially towards the end of that year;
and the remonstrance of the Scots parliament, dated Aug. 13, alludes
to such language. Rushw. Abr. vi. 245. Berkley indeed positively
assures us, that the resolution was taken at Windsor in a council of
officers, soon after the king's confinement at Carisbrook; and this
with so much particularity of circumstance that, if we reject his
account, we must set aside the whole of his memoirs at the same time.
Maseres's _Tracts_, i. 383. But it is fully confirmed by an
independent testimony, William Allen, himself one of the council of
officers and adjutant-general of the army, who, in a letter addressed
to Fleetwood, and published in 1659, declares that after much
consultation and prayer at Windsor Castle, in the beginning of 1648,
they had "come to a very clear and joint resolution that it was their
duty to call Charles Stuart, that man of blood, to an account for the
blood he had shed, and mischief he had done to his utmost, against the
Lord's cause and people in these poor nations." This is to be found in
_Somers Tracts_, vi. 499. The only discrepancy, if it is one, between
him and Berkley, is as to the precise time, which the other seems to
place in the end of 1647. But this might be lapse of memory in either
party; nor is it clear, on looking attentively at Berkley's narration,
that he determines the time. Ashburnham says, "For some days before
the king's remove from Hampton Court, there was scarcely a day in
which several alarms were not brought him by and from several
considerable persons, both well affected to him and likely to know
much of what was then in agitation, of the resolution which a violent
party in the army had to take away his life. And that such a design
there was, there were strong insinuations to persuade." See also his
_Narrative_, published in 1830.

[376] _Somers Tracts_, v. 160, 162.

[377] Sept. 11. _Parl. Hist._ 1077; May's "Breviate" in Maseres's
_Tracts_, vol. i. p. 127; Whitelock, 335.

[378] Nov. 17. _Parl. Hist._ 1077; Whitelock, p. 355. A motion, Nov.
30, that the house do now proceed on the remonstrance of the army, was
lost by 125 to 58 (printed, 53 in _Parl. Hist._). Commons' Journals.
So weak was still the republican party. It is indeed remarkable that
this remonstrance itself is rather against the king, than absolutely
against all monarchy; for one of the proposals contained in it is that
kings should be chosen by the people, and have no negative voice.

[379] The division was on the previous question, which was lost by 129
to 83.

[380] No division took place on any of the votes respecting the king's

[381] Ludlow, i. 267.

[382] Hutchinson, p. 303.

[383] The king's manners were not good. He spoke and behaved to ladies
with indelicacy in public. See Warburton's _Notes on Clarendon_, vii.
629, and a passage in Milton's _Defensio pro populo Anglicano_, quoted
by Harris and Brodie. He once forgot himself so far as to cane Sir
Henry Vane for coming into a room of the palace reserved for persons
of higher rank. Carte's _Ormond_, i. 366, where other instances are
mentioned by that friendly writer. He had in truth none who loved him,
till his misfortunes softened his temper, and excited sympathy.

An anecdote, strongly intimating the violence of Charles's temper, has
been rejected by his advocates. It is said that Burnet, in searching
the Hamilton papers, found that the king, on discovering the
celebrated letter of the Scots covenanting lords to the King of
France, was so incensed that he sent an order to Sir William Balfour,
lieutenant-governor of the Tower, to cut off the head of his prisoner,
Lord Loudon; but that the Marquis of Hamilton, to whom Balfour
immediately communicated this, urged so strongly on the king that the
city would be up in arms on this violence, that with reluctance he
withdrew the warrant. This story is told by Oldmixon, _Hist. of the
Stuarts_, p. 140. It was brought forward on Burnet's authority, and
also on that of the Duke of Hamilton, killed in 1712, by Dr. Birch, no
incompetent judge of historical evidence; it seems confirmed by an
intimation given by Burnet himself in his _Memoirs of the Duke of
Hamilton_, p. 161. It is also mentioned by Scott of Scotstarvet, a
contemporary writer. Harris, p. 350, quotes other authorities, earlier
than the anecdote told by Burnet; and upon the whole, I think the
story deserving credit, and by no means so much to be slighted as the
Oxford editor of Burnet has thought fit to do.

[384] Clement Walker, _Hist. of Independency_, Part II. p. 55.

[385] Clarendon, Collier, and the high church writers in general, are
very proud of the superiority they fancy the king to have obtained in
a long argumentation held at Newcastle with Henderson, a Scots
minister, on church authority and government. This was conducted in
writing, and the papers afterwards published. They may be read in the
King's Works, and in Collier, p. 842. It is more than insinuated that
Henderson died of mortification at his defeat. He certainly had not
the excuse of the philosopher who said he had no shame in yielding to
the master of fifty legions. But those who take the trouble to read
these papers, will probably not think one party so much the stronger
as to shorten the other's days. They show that Charles held those
extravagant tenets about the authority of the church and of the
fathers, which are irreconcilable with protestantism in any country
where it is not established, and are likely to drive it out where it
is so.

[386] The note on this passage, which, on account of its length, was
placed at the end of the volume in the two first editions, is
withdrawn in this, as relating to a matter of literary controversy,
little connected with the general objects of this work. It is needless
to add, that the author entertains not the smallest doubt about the
justness of the arguments he had employed.--_Note to the Third

[387] _Parl. Hist._ 349. The council of war more than once, in the
year 1647, declared their intention of preserving the rights of the
peerage. Whitelock, 288, and Sir William Waller's _Vindication_, 192.

[388] Commons' Journal, 13th and 19th May 1646.

[389] Lords' Journals.

[390] Commons' Journals. It had been proposed to continue the House of
Lords as a court of judicature, or as a court of consultation, or in
some way or other to keep it up. The majority, it will be observed,
was not very great; so far was the democratic scheme from being
universal even within the house. Whitelock, 377. Two divisions had
already taken place; one on Jan. 9, when it was carried by thirty-one
to eighteen, that "a message from the Lords should be received;"
Cromwell strongly supporting the motion, and being a teller for it;
and again on Jan. 18, when, the opposite party prevailing, it was
negatived by twenty-five to eighteen, to ask their assent to the vote
of the 4th instant, that the sovereignty resides in the Commons; which
doubtless, if true, could not require the Lords' concurrence.

[391] Whitelock, 396. They voted that Pembroke, as well as Salisbury
and Howard of Escrick, who followed the ignominious example, should be
added to all committees.

[392] Commons' Journals; Whitelock. It had been referred to a
committee of five members, Lisle, Holland, Robinson, Scott, and
Ludlow, to recommend thirty-five for a council of state; to whose
nominations the house agreed, and added their own. Ludlow, i. 288.
They were appointed for a year; but in 1650 the house only left out
two of the former list, besides those who were dead. Whitelock, 441.
In 1651 the change was more considerable. _Id._ 488.

[393] Six judges agreed to hold on their commissions, six refused.
Whitelock, who makes a poor figure at this time on his own showing,
consented to act still as commissioner of the great seal. Those who
remained in office affected to stipulate that the fundamental laws
should not be abolished; and the house passed a vote to this effect.
Whitelock, 378.

[394] Whitelock, 444 _et alibi_. Baxter's _Life_, 64. A committee was
appointed, April 1649, to enquire about ministers who asperse the
proceedings of parliament in their pulpits. Whitelock, 395.

[395] _State Trials_, v. 43. Baxter says that Love's death hurt the
new commonwealth more than would be easily believed, and made it
odious to all the religious party in the land, except the sectaries.
_Life of B._, 67. But "oderint dum metuant" is the device of those who
rule in revolutions. Clarendon speaks, on the contrary, of Love's
execution triumphantly. He had been distinguished by a violent sermon
during the treaty of Uxbridge, for which the parliament, on the
complaint of the king's commissioners, put him in confinement.
Thurloe, i. 65; _State Trials_, 201; though the noble historian, as
usual, represents this otherwise. He also misstates Love's dying

[396] Whitelock, 516.

[397] The parliament had resolved, 24th July 1650, that Henry Stuart,
son of the late king, and the Lady Elizabeth, daughter of the late
king, be removed forthwith beyond the seas, out of the limits of this
commonwealth. Yet this intention seems to have been soon changed; for
it is resolved, Sept. 11, to give the Duke of Glocester £1500 per
annum for his maintenance, so long as he should behave himself
inoffensively. Whether this proceeded from liberality, or from a vague
idea that they might one day make use of him, is hard to say.
Clarendon mentions the scheme of making the Duke of Glocester king, in
one of his letters (iii. 38, 11th Nov. 1651); but says, "Truly I do
believe that Cromwell might as easily procure himself to be chosen
king as the Duke of Glocester; for, as none of the king's party would
assist the last, so I am persuaded both presbyterians and independents
would have much sooner the former than any of the race of him whom
they have murthered."

[398] _Id._ p. 548. Lord Orrery told Burnet that he had once mentioned
to Cromwell a report that he was to bring in the king, who should
marry his daughter, and observed, that he saw no better expedient.
Cromwell, without expressing any displeasure, said, "the king cannot
forgive his father's blood;" which the other attempted to answer.
Burnet, i. 95. It is certain, however, that such a compromise would
have been dishonourable for one party, and infamous for the other.

[399] Cromwell, in his letter to the parliament, after the battle of
Worcester, called it a _crowning mercy_. This, though a very
intelligible expression, was taken in an invidious sense by the

[400] Journals, _passim_.

[401] One of their most scandalous acts was the sale of the Earl of
Craven's estate. He had been out of England during the war, and could
not therefore be reckoned a delinquent. But evidence was offered that
he had seen the king in Holland; and upon this charge, though he
petitioned to be heard, and, as is said, indicted the informer for
perjury, whereof he was convicted, they voted by 33 to 31 that his
lands should be sold; Haslerig, the most savage zealot of the whole
faction, being a teller for the ayes, Vane for the noes. Journals, 6th
March 1651, and 22nd June 1652. _State Trials_, v. 323. On the 20th of
July in the same year, it was referred to a committee to select thirty
delinquents, whose estates should be sold for the use of the navy.
Thus, long after the cessation of hostility, the royalists continued
to stand in jeopardy, not only collectively but personally, from this
arbitrary and vindictive faction. Nor were these qualities displayed
against the royalists alone: one Josiah Primatt, who seems to have
been connected with Lilburne, Wildman, and the levellers, having
presented a petition complaining that Sir Arthur Haslerig had
violently dispossessed him of some collieries, the house, after voting
every part of the petition to be false, adjudged him to pay a fine of
£3000 to the commonwealth, £2000 to Haslerig, and £2000 more to the
commissioners for compositions. Journals, 15th Jan. 1651-2. There had
been a project of erecting an university at Durham, in favour of which
a committee reported (18th June 1651), and for which the chapter lands
would have made a competent endowment. Haslerig, however, got most of
them into his own hands; and thus frustrated, perhaps, a design of
great importance to education and literature in this country. For had
an university once been established, it is just possible, though not
very likely, that the estates would not have reverted, on the king's
restoration, to their former, but much less useful possessors.

[402] Mrs. Hutchinson speaks very favourably of the levellers, as they
appeared about 1647, declaring against the factions of the
presbyterians and independents, and the ambitious views of their
leaders, and especially against the unreasonable privileges claimed by
the houses of parliament collectively and personally. "Indeed, as all
virtues are mediums and have their extremes, there rose up after in
that house a people who endeavoured the levelling of all estates and
qualities, which those sober levellers were never guilty of desiring;
but were men of just and sober principles, of honest and religious
ends, and were therefore hated by all the designing self-interested
men of both factions. Colonel Hutchinson had a great intimacy with
many of these; and so far as they acted according to the just, pious,
and public spirit which they professed, owned them and protected them
as far as he had power. These were they who first began to discover
the ambition of Lieut.-Gen. Cromwell and his idolaters, and to suspect
and dislike it."--P. 285.

[403] Whitelock, 399, 401. The levellers rose in arms at Banbury and
other places; but were soon put down, chiefly through the energy of
Cromwell, and their ringleaders shot.

[404] It was referred to a committee, 29th April 1652, to consider how
a convenient and competent maintenance for a godly and able ministry
may be settled, in lieu of tithes. A proposed addition, that tithes be
paid as before till such maintenance be settled, was carried by 27 to

[405] Journals, 19th Jan. 1652. Hale was the first named on this
commission, and took an active part; but he was associated with some
furious levellers, Desborough, Tomlinson, and Hugh Peters, so that it
is hard to know how far he concurred in the alterations suggested.
Many of them, however, seem to bear marks of his hand. Whitelock, 475,
517, 519, 820, _et alibi_. There had been previously a committee for
the same purpose in 1650. See a list of the acts prepared by them in
_Somers Tracts_, vi. 177; several of them are worthy of attention.
Ludlow indeed blames the commission for slowness; but their delay
seems to have been very justifiable, and their suggestions highly
valuable. It even appears that they drew up a book containing a
regular digest or code, which was ordered to be printed. Journals,
20th Jan. 1653.

[406] A committee was named, 15th May 1649, to take into consideration
the settling of the succession of future parliaments and regulating
their elections. Nothing more appears to have been done till Oct.
11th, when the committee was ordered to meet next day, and so _de die
in diem_, and to give an account thereof to the house on Tuesday come
fortnight; all that came to have voices, but the special care thereof
commended to Sir Henry Vane, Colonel Ludlow, and Mr. Robinson. We find
nothing farther till Jan. 3rd, 1650, when the committee is ordered to
make its report the next Wednesday. This is done accordingly, Jan. 9,
when Sir H. Vane reports the resolutions of the committee, one of
which was, that the number in future parliaments should be 400. This
was carried, after negativing the previous question in a committee of
the whole house. They proceeded several days afterwards on the same
business. See also Ludlow, pp. 313, 435.

[407] Two divisions had taken place, Nov. 14 (the first on the
previous question), on a motion, that it is convenient to declare a
certain time for the continuance of this parliament, 50 to 46, and 49
to 47. On the last division, Cromwell and St. John were tellers for
the ayes.

[408] Whitelock was one of these; and being at that time out of
Cromwell's favour, inveighs much against this destruction of the power
from which he had taken his commission. Pp. 552, 554. St. John appears
to have concurred in the measure. In fact, there had so long been an
end of law that one usurpation might seem as rightful as another. But,
while any House of Commons remained, there was a stock left from which
the ancient constitution might possibly germinate. Mrs. Macauley,
whose lamentations over the Rump did not certainly proceed from this
cause, thus vents her wrath on the English nation: "An acquiescence
thus universal in the insult committed on the guardians of the infant
republic, and the first step towards the usurpation of Cromwell, fixes
an indelible stain on the character of the English, as a people basely
and incorrigibly attached to the sovereignty of individuals, and of
natures too ignoble to endure an empire of equal laws."--Vol. v. p.

[409] Harrison, when Ludlow asked him why he had joined Cromwell to
turn out the parliament, said, he thought Cromwell would own and
favour a set of men who acted on higher principles than those of civil
liberty; and quoted from Daniel "that the saints shall take the
kingdom and possess it." Ludlow argued against him; but what was
argument to such a head? _Mem. of Ludlow_, p. 565. Not many months
after, Cromwell sent his coadjutor to Carisbrook Castle.

[410] Hume speaks of this assembly as chiefly composed of the lowest
mechanics. But this was not the case. Some persons of inferior rank
there were, but a large proportion of the members were men of good
family, or, at least, military distinction, as the list of the names
in the _Parliamentary History_ is sufficient to prove; and Whitelock
remarks, "it was much wondered at by some that these gentlemen, many
of them being persons of fortune and knowledge, would at this summons,
and from those hands, take upon them the supreme authority of this
nation."--P. 559. With respect to this, it may be observed, that those
who have lived in revolutions find it almost necessary, whether their
own interest or those of their country are their aim, to comply with
all changes, and take a greater part in supporting them, than men of
inflexible consciences can approve. No one felt this more than
Whitelock; and his remark in this place is a satire upon all his
conduct. He was at the moment dissatisfied, and out of Cromwell's
favour, but lost no time in regaining it.

[411] Journals, August 19. This was carried by 46 to 38 against
Cromwell's party. Yet Cromwell, two years afterwards, published an
ordinance for regulating and limiting the jurisdiction of chancery;
which offended Whitelock so much that he resigned the great seal, not
having been consulted in framing the regulations. This is a rare
instance in his life; and he vaunts much of his conscience
accordingly, but thankfully accepted the office of commissioner of the
treasury instead. Pp. 621, 625. He does not seem, by his own account,
to have given much satisfaction to suitors in equity (p. 548); yet the
fault may have been theirs, or the system's.

[412] 4th October.

[413] This had been proposed by the commission for amendment of the
law appointed in the long parliament. The great number of dissenters
from the established religion rendered it a very reasonable measure.

[414] Thurloe, i. 369; iii. 132.

[415] Journals, 2nd and 10th Dec. 1653; Whitelock. See the sixth
volume of the _Somers Tracts_, p. 266, for a long and rather able
vindication of this parliament by one of its members. Ludlow also
speaks pretty well of it (p. 471); and says, truly enough, that
Cromwell frightened the lawyers and clergy, by showing what the
parliament meant to do with them, which made them in a hurry to have
it destroyed. See also _Parl. Hist._ 1412, 1414.

[416] See the instrument of government in Whitelock, p. 571; or
_Somers Tracts_, vi. 257. Ludlow says, that some of the officers
opposed this; but Lambert forced it down their throats. P. 276.
Cromwell made good use of this temporary power. The union of Scotland
with England was by one of these ordinances, April 12 (Whitelock,
586); and he imposed an assessment of £120,000 monthly, for three
months, and £90,000 for the next three, instead of £70,000, which had
been paid before (_Id._ 591), besides many other ordinances of a
legislative nature. "I am very glad," says Fleetwood (Feb. 1655,
Thurloe, iii. 183), "to hear his highness has declined the legislative
power, which by the instrument of government, in my opinion, he could
not exercise after this last parliament's meeting." And the parliament
of 1656, at the Protector's desire, confirmed all ordinances made
since the dissolution of the long parliament. Thurloe, vi. 243.

[417] I infer this from the report of a committee of privileges on the
election for Lynn, Oct. 20, 1656. See also Journals, Nov. 26, 1654.

[418] It is remarkable that Clarendon seems to approve this model of a
parliament, saying, "it was then generally looked upon as an
alteration fit to be more warrantably made, and in a better time."

[419] Bordeaux, the French ambassador, says, "some were for Bradshaw
as speaker, but the Protector's party carried it for Lenthall. By this
beginning one may judge what the authority of the lord protector will
be in this parliament. However it was observed that as often as he
spoke in his speech of liberty or religion, the members did seem to
rejoice with acclamations of joy." Thurloe, v. 588. But the election
of Lenthall appears by Guibbon Goddard's Journal, lately published in
the Introduction to Burton's _Diary_, to have been unanimous.

[420] Journals, 14th and 18th Sept.; _Parl. Hist._ 1445, 1459;
Whitelock, 605, etc.; Ludlow, 499; Goddard's Journal, 32.

[421] This division is not recorded in the Journals, in consequence, I
suppose, of its having been resolved in a committee of the whole
house. But it is impossible to doubt the fact, which is referred to
Oct. 19 by a letter of Bourdeaux, the French ambassador (Thurloe, ii.
681), who observes, "Hereby it is easily discerned that the nation is
nowise affected to his family, nor much to himself. Without doubt he
will strengthen his army, and keep that in a good posture." It is also
alluded to by Whitelock, 609. They resolved to keep the militia in the
power of the parliament, and that the Protector's negative should
extend only to such bills as might alter the instrument; and in other
cases, if he did not pass bills within twenty days, they were to
become laws without his consent. Journals, Nov. 10, 1654; Whitelock,
608. This was carried against the court by 109 to 85.

Ludlow insinuates that this parliament did not sit out its legal term
of five months; Cromwell having interpreted the months to be lunar
instead of calendar. Hume has adopted this notion; but it is
groundless, the month in law being always of twenty-eight days, unless
the contrary be expressed. This seems, however, not to have been
generally understood at the time; for Whitelock says that Cromwell's
dissolution of the parliament, because he found them not so pliable to
his purposes as he expected, caused much discontent in them and
others; but that he valued it not, esteeming himself above those
things. P. 618. He gave out that the parliament were concerned in the
conspiracy to bring in the king.

[422] Exiles are seldom scrupulous: we find that Charles was willing
to propose to the States, in return for their acknowledging his title,
"such present and lasting advantages to them by this alliance as may
appear most considerable to that nation and to their posterity, and a
valuable compensation for whatever present advantages the king can
receive by it." _Clarendon State Papers_, iii. 90. These intrigues
would have justly made him odious in England.

[423] Ormond wrote strongly to this effect, after the battle of
Worcester, convinced that nothing but foreign assistance could restore
the king. "Amongst protestants there is none that hath the power, and
amongst the catholics it is visible." Carte's _Letters_, i. 461.

[424] _Clarendon State Papers_, ii. 481 _et sæpe alibi_. The
protestant zeal of Hyde had surely deserted him; and his veracity in
one letter gave way also. See vol. iii. p. 158. But the great
criminality of all these negotiations lay in this, that Charles was by
them soliciting such a measure of foreign aid as would make him at
once the tyrant of England and the vassal of Spain; since no free
parliament, however royalist, was likely to repeal all the laws
against popery. "That which the king will be ready and willing to do,
is to give his consent for the repeal of all the penal laws and
statutes which have been made in the prejudice of catholics, and to
put them into the same condition as his other subjects." Cottington to
Father Bapthorpe. _Id._ 541. These negotiations with Rome were soon
known; and a tract was published by the parliament's authority,
containing the documents. Notwithstanding the delirium of the
restoration, this had made an impression which was not afterwards

[425] _Clarendon State Papers_, iii. 181.

[426] "The pope very well knows," says Hyde to Clement, an agent at
the court of Rome, 2nd April 1656, "how far the king is from thoughts
of severity against his catholic subjects; nay, that he doth desire to
put them into the same condition with his other subjects, and that no
man shall suffer in any consideration for being a Roman catholic."
_Id._ 291.

[427] Clarendon's _History of the Rebellion_, b. 14; _State Papers_,
iii. 265, 300, etc. Whitelock observes at this time, "Many sober and
faithful patriots did begin to incline to the king's restoration;" and
hints, that this was his opinion, which excited Cromwell's jealousy of
him. P. 620.

[428] Clarendon's _History_, vii. 129; _State Papers_, iii. 265, etc.
These levellers were very hostile to the interference of Hyde and
Ormond, judging them too inflexibly attached to the ancient
constitution; but this hostility recommended them to others of the
banished king's court who showed the same sentiments.

[429] Pp. 315, 324, 343; Thurloe, i. 360, 510. In the same volume (p.
248) we find even a declaration from the king, dated at Paris, 3rd May
1654, offering £500 per annum to any one who should kill Cromwell, and
pardon to any one who should leave that party, except Bradshaw,
Lenthall, and Haslerig. But this seems unlikely to be authentic:
Charles would not have avowed a design of assassination so openly; and
it is strange that Lenthall and Haslerig, especially the former,
should be thus exempted from pardon, rather than so many regicides.

[430] See what Clarendon says of Ascham's death. _State Papers_, ii.
542. In another place he observes: "It is a worse and a baser thing
that any man should appear in any part beyond sea under the character
of an agent from the rebels, and not have his throat cut." _Id._ iii.

[431] _State Trials_, 518; Thurloe, ii. 416. Some of the malecontent
commonwealth men were also eager to get rid of Cromwell by
assassination; Wildman, Saxby, Titus. Syndercome's story is well
known; he was connected in the conspiracy with those already
mentioned. The famous pamphlet by Titus, "Killing no Murder," was
printed in 1657. _Clarendon State Papers_, 315, 324, 343.

[432] A very reprehensible passage occurs in Clarendon's account of
this transaction (vol. vii. p. 140), where he blames and derides the
insurgents for not putting Chief Justice Rolle and others to death,
which would have been a detestable and useless murder.

[433] Whitelock, 618, 620; Ludlow, 513; Thurloe, iii. 264, and through
more than half the volume, _passim_. In the preceding volume we have
abundant proofs how completely master Cromwell was of the royalist
schemes. The "sealed knot" of the king's friends in London is
mentioned as frequently as we find it in the _Clarendon Papers_ at the
same time.

[434] Thurloe, iii. 371, etc. "Penruddock and Grove," Ludlow says,
"could not have been justly condemned, if they had as sure a
foundation in what they declared for, as what they declared against.
But certainly it can never be esteemed by a wise man to be worth the
scratch of a finger to remove a single person acting by an arbitrary
power, in order to set up another with the same unlimited
authority."--P. 518. This is a just and manly sentiment. Woe to those
who do not recognise it! But is it fair to say that the royalists were
contending to set up an unlimited authority?

[435] They were originally ten, Lambert, Desborough, Whalley, Goffe,
Fleetwood, Skippon, Kelsey, Butler, Worseley, and Berry. Thurloe, iii.
701. Barkstead was afterwards added. "The major-generals," says
Ludlow, "carried things with unheard-of insolence in their several
precincts, decimating to extremity whom they pleased, and interrupting
the proceedings at law upon petitions of those who pretended
themselves aggrieved; threatening such as would not yield a ready
submission to their orders with transportation to Jamaica, or some
other plantations in the West Indies," etc.--P. 559.

[436] Thurloe, vol. iv. _passim_. The unpopularity of Cromwell's
government appears strongly in the letters of this collection.
Duckinfield, a Cheshire gentleman, writes: "Charles Stuart hath 500
friends in these adjacent counties for every one friend to you amongst
them." Vol. iii. 294.

[437] It may be fair towards Cromwell to give his own apology for the
decimation of the royalists, in a declaration, published 1655. "It is
a trouble to us to be still rubbing upon the old sore, disobliging
those whom we hoped time and patience might make friends; but we can
with comfort appeal to God, and dare also to their own consciences,
whether this way of proceeding with them hath been the matter of our
choice, or that which we have sought an occasion for; or whether,
contrary to our own inclinations and the constant course of our
carriage towards them, which hath been to oblige them by kindness to
forsake their former principles, which God hath so often and so
eminently bore witness against, we have not been constrained and
necessitated hereunto, and without the doing whereof we should have
been wanting to our duty to God and these nations.

"That character of difference between them and the rest of the people
which is now put upon them is occasioned by themselves, not by us.
There is nothing they have more industriously laboured in than this;
to keep themselves distinguished from the well-affected of this
nation: To which end they have kept their conversation apart; as if
they would avoid the very beginnings of union, have bred and educated
their children by the sequestered and ejected clergy, and very much
confined their marriages and alliances within their own party, as if
they meant to entail their quarrel, and prevent the means to reconcile
posterity; which with the great pains they take upon all occasions to
lessen and suppress the esteem and honour of the English nation in all
their actions and undertakings abroad, striving withal to make other
nations distinguish their interest from it, gives us ground to judge
that they have separated themselves from the body of the nation; and
therefore we leave it to all mankind to judge whether we ought not to
be timely jealous of that separation, and to proceed so against them
as they may be at the charge of those remedies which are required
against the dangers they have bred."

[438] Ludlow, 528; Clarendon, etc. Clarendon relates the same story,
with additional circumstances of Cromwell's audacious contempt for the
courts of justice, and for the very name of magna charta.

[439] _State Trials_, vi.; Whitelock advised the protector to proceed
according to law against Hewit and Slingsby; "but his highness was too
much in love with the new way."--P. 673.

[440] The late editor of the _State Trials_, v. 935, has introduced a
sort of episodical dissertation on the administration of justice
during the commonwealth, with the view, as far as appears, of setting
Cromwell in a favourable light. For this purpose he quotes several
passages of vague commendation from different authors, and among
others one from Burke, written in haste, to serve an immediate
purpose, and evidently from a very superficial recollection of our
history. It has been said that Cromwell sought out men of character
from the party most opposite to his designs. The proof given is the
appointment of Hale to be a puisné judge. But Hale had not been a
royalist, that is, an adherent of Charles, and had taken the
engagement as well as the covenant. It was no great effort of virtue
to place an eminent lawyer and worthy man on the bench. And it is to
be remembered that Hale fell under the usurper's displeasure for
administering justice with an impartiality that did not suit his
government; and ceased to go the circuit, because the criminal law was
not allowed to have its course.

[441] Thurloe writes to Montague (Carte's _Letters_, ii. 110) that he
cannot give him the reasons for calling this parliament, except in
cipher. He says in the same place of the committal of Ludlow, Vane,
and others, "There was a necessity not only for peace sake to do this,
but to let the nation see those that govern are in good earnest, and
intend not to quit the government wholly into the hands of the
parliament, as some would needs make the world believe."--P. 112. His
first direct allusion to the projected change is in writing to Henry
Cromwell, 9th Dec. 1656. _Thurl. Papers_, v. 194. The influence
exerted by his legates, the major-generals, appears in Thurloe, v. 299
_et post_. But they complained of the elections. _Id._ 302, 341, 371.

[442] Whitelock, 650; _Parl. Hist._ 1486. On a letter to the speaker
from the members who had been refused admittance at the door of the
lobby, Sept. 18, the house ordered the clerk of the commonwealth to
attend next day with all the indentures. The deputy clerk came
accordingly, with an excuse for his principal, and brought the
indentures; but on being asked why the names of certain members were
not returned to the house, answered that he had no certificate of
approbation for them. The house on this sent to inquire of the council
why these members had not been approved. They returned for answer,
that whereas it is ordained by a clause in the instrument of
government that the persons who shall be elected to serve in
parliament shall be such and no other than such as are persons of
known integrity, fearing God, and of good conversation; that the
council, in pursuance of their duty, and according to the trust
reposed in them, have examined the said returns, and have not refused
to approve any who have appeared to them to be persons of integrity,
fearing God, and of good conversation; and those who are not approved,
his highness hath given order to some persons to take care that they
do not come into the house. Upon this answer, an adjournment was
proposed, but lost by 115 to 80: and it being moved that the persons,
who have been returned from the several counties, cities, and boroughs
to serve in this parliament, and have not been approved, be referred
to the council for approbation, and that the house do proceed with the
great affairs of the nation; the question was carried by 125 to 29.
Journals, Sept. 22.

[443] _Clar. State Papers_, iii. 201, etc.

[444] The whole conference that took place at Whitehall, between
Cromwell and the committee of parliament on this subject, was
published by authority, and may be read in the _Somers Tracts_, vi.
349. It is very interesting. The lawyers did not hesitate to support
the proposition, on the ground of the more definite and legal
character of a king's authority. "The king's prerogative," says Glyn,
"is known by law; he (King Charles) did expatiate beyond the duty;
that's the evil of the man: but in Westminster Hall the king's
prerogative was under the courts of justice, and is bounded as well as
any acre of land, or anything a man hath, as much as any controversy
between party and party: and therefore the office being lawful in its
nature, known to the nation, certain in itself, and confined and
regulated by the law, and the other office not being so, that was a
great ground of the reason why the parliament did so much insist upon
this office and title, not as circumstantial, but as essential."--P.
359. See also what Lenthall says (p. 356) against the indefiniteness
of the protector's authority.

Those passages were evidently implied censures of the late course of
government. Cromwell's indistinct and evasive style in his share of
this debate betrays the secret inclinations of his heart. He kept his
ultimate intentions, however, very secret; for Thurloe's professes his
ignorance of them, even in writing to Henry Cromwell. Vol. vi. p. 219
_et post_. This correspondence shows that the prudent secretary was
uneasy at the posture of affairs, and the manifest dissatisfaction of
Fleetwood and Desborough, which had a dangerous influence on others
less bound to the present family; yet he had set his heart on this
mode of settlement, and was much disappointed at his master's ultimate

[445] Clarendon's _Hist._ vii. 194. It appears by Clarendon's private
letters that he had expected to see Cromwell assume the title of king
from the year 1654. Vol. iii. pp. 201, 223, 224. If we may trust what
is here called an intercepted letter (p. 328), Mazarin had told
Cromwell that France would enter into a strict league with him, if he
could settle himself in the throne, and make it hereditary; to which
he answered, that he designed shortly to take the crown, restore the
two houses, and govern by the ancient laws. But this may be

[446] Clar. vii. 203.

[447] Ludlow, p. 581. The major-generals, or at least many of them,
joined the opposition to Cromwell's royalty. _Id._ p. 586; _Clar.
State Papers_, 332.

[448] This appears from the following passage in a curious letter of
Mr. Vincent Gookin to Henry Cromwell, 27th Jan. 1657. "To-morrow the
bill for decimating the cavaliers comes again into debate. It is
debated with much heat by the major-generals, and as hotly almost by
the anti-decimators. I believe the bill will be thrown out of the
house. In my opinion those that speak against the bill have much to
say in point of moral justice and prudence; but that which makes me
fear the passing of the bill is, that thereby his highness's
government will be more founded in force, and more removed from that
natural foundation which the people in parliament are desirous to give
him; supposing that he will become more theirs than now he is, and
will in time find the safety and peace of the nation to be as well
maintained by the laws of the land as by the sword. And truly, sir, if
any others have pretensions to succeed him by their interest in the
army, the more of force upholds his highness living, the greater when
he is dead will be the hopes and advantages for such a one to effect
his aim, who desires to succeed him. Lambert is much for decimations."
Thurloe, vi. 20. He writes again, "I am confident it is judged by some
that the interest of the godly cannot be preserved but by the
dissolution of this, if not all, parliaments; and their endeavours in
it have been plainly discovered to the party most concerned to know
them; which will, I believe, suddenly occasion a reducing of the
government to kingship, to which his highness is not averse. Pierpoint
and St. John have been often, but secretly, at Whitehall, I know, to
advise thereof."--P. 37. Thurloe again to the same Henry Cromwell, on
February 3, that the decimation bill was thrown out by a majority of
forty: "Some gentlemen do think themselves much trampled upon by this
vote, and are extremely sensible thereof; and the truth is, it hath
wrought such a heat in the house, that I fear little will be done for
the future." _Id._ p. 38. No such bill appears, _eo nomine_, in the
journals. But a bill for regulating the militia forces was thrown out,
Jan. 29, by 124 to 88, Col. Cromwell (Oliver's cousin) being a teller
for the majority. Probably there was some clause in this renewing the
decimation of the royalists.

[449] Whitelock, who was consulted by Cromwell on this business, and
took an active part as one of the committee of conference appointed by
the House of Commons, intimates that the project was not really laid
aside. "He was satisfied in his private judgment that it was fit for
him to take upon him the title of king, and matters were prepared in
order thereunto; but afterwards, by solicitation of the commonwealth's
men, and fearing a mutiny and defection of a great part of the army,
in case he should assume that title and office, his mind changed, and
many of the officers of the army gave out great threatenings against
him in case he should do it; he therefore thought it best to attend
some better season and opportunity in this business, and refused it at
this time with great seeming earnestness."--P. 656. The chief advisers
with Cromwell on this occasion, besides Whitelock, were Lord Broghill,
Pierrepont, Thurloe, and Sir Charles Wolseley. Many passages in
Thurloe (vol. vii.) show that Cromwell preserved to the last his views
on royalty.

[450] Whitelock, 657. It had been agreed, in discussing the petition
and advice in parliament, to postpone the first article requesting the
protector to assume the title of king, till the rest of the _charter_
(to use a modern but not inapplicable word) had been gone through. One
of the subsequent articles, fixing the revenue at £1,300,000 per
annum, provides that no part thereof should be raised by a land-tax,
"and this not to be altered without the consent of the _three estates
in parliament_." A division took place, in consequence, no doubt, of
this insidious expression, which was preserved by 97 to 50. Journals,
13th March. The first article was carried, after much debate on March
24, by 123 to 62. It stood thus: "Resolved, That your highness will be
pleased to assume the name, style, dignity, and office of king of
England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the respective dominions and
territories thereunto belonging; and to exercise the same according to
the laws of these nations." On Cromwell's first demurring to the
proposal, it was resolved to adhere to the petition and advice by the
small majority of 78 to 65. This was perhaps a sufficient warning that
he should not proceed.

[451] Journals, 21st June. This oath, which effectually declared the
parliament to be the protector's subjects, was only carried by 63 to
55. Lambert refused it, and was dismissed the army in consequence,
with a pension of £2000 per annum, instead of his pay, £10 a day. So
well did they cater for themselves. Ludlow, 593. Broderick wrote to
Hyde, June 30, 1657, that there was a general tranquillity in England,
all parties seeming satisfied with the compromise; Fleetwood and
Desborough more absolutely Cromwell's friends than before, and Lambert
very silent. _Clar. State Papers_, 349.

[452] Thurloe, vi. 310.

[453] Compare Journals, 11th March with 24th June.

[454] Whitelock, 665. They were to have a judicial power, much like
that of the real House of Lords. Journals, March.

[455] Whitelock; _Parl. Hist._ The former says this was done against
his advice. These debates about the other house are to be traced in
the Journals, and are mentioned by Thurloe, vi. 107, etc.; and Ludlow,
597. Not one of the true peers, except Lord Eure, took his seat in
this house; and Haslerig, who had been nominated merely to weaken his
influence, chose to retain his place in the Commons. The list of these
pretended lords in Thurloe, vi. 668, is not quite the same as that in

[456] This junto of nine debated how they might be secure against the
cavaliers. One scheme was an oath of abjuration; but this it was
thought they would all take: another was to lay a heavy tax on them:
"a moiety of their estates was spoken of; but this, I suppose, will
not down with all the nine, and least of all will it be swallowed by
the parliament, who will not be persuaded to punish both nocent and
innocent without distinction." 22nd June, Thurloe, vol. vii. p. 198.
And again, p. 269: "I believe we are out of danger of our junto, and I
think also of ever having such another. As I take it, the report was
made to his highness upon Thursday. After much consideration, the
major part voted that succession in the government was indifferent
whether it were by election or hereditary; but afterwards some would
needs add that it was desirable to have it continued elective; that
is, that the chief magistrate should always name his successor; and
that of hereditary avoided; and I fear the word 'desirable' will be
made 'necessary,' if ever it come upon the trial. His highness finding
he can have no advice from those he most expected it from, saith he
will take his own resolutions, and that he can no longer satisfy
himself to sit still, and make himself guilty of the loss of all the
honest party and of the nation itself."

[457] Harris, p. 348, has collected some curious instances of the
servility of crowned heads to Cromwell.

[458] See Clarendon, vii. 297. He saved Nismes from military execution
on account of a riot, wherein the Huguenots seem to have been much to
blame. In the treaty between England and France, 1654, the French, in
agreeing to the secret article about the exclusion of the royalists,
endeavoured to make it reciprocal, that the commissioners of rebels in
France should not be admitted in England. This did not seem very
outrageous--but Cromwell objected that the French protestants would be
thus excluded from imploring the assistance of England, if they were
persecuted; protesting, however, that he was very far from having any
thought to draw them from their obedience, as had been imputed to him,
and that he would arm against them, if they should offer frivolously
and without a cause to disturb the peace of France. Thurloe, iii. 6.
In fact, the French protestants were in the habit of writing to
Thurloe, as this collection testifies, whenever they thought
themselves injured, which happened frequently enough. Cromwell's noble
zeal in behalf of the Vaudois is well known. See this volume of
Thurloe, p. 412, etc. Mazarin and the catholic powers in general
endeavoured to lye down that massacre; but the usurper had too much
protestant spirit to believe them. _Id._ 536.

[459] Ludlow, 607; Thurloe, i. and ii. _passim_.

[460] Mrs. Macauley, who had nothing of compromise or conciliation in
her temper, and breathed the entire spirit of Vane and Ludlow, makes
some vigorous and just animadversions on the favour shown to Cromwell
by some professors of a regard for liberty. The dissenting writers,
such as Neal, and in some measure Harris, were particularly open to
this reproach. He long continued (perhaps the present tense is more
appropriate) to be revered by the independents. One who well knew the
manners he paints, has described the secret idolatry of that sect to
their hero-saint. See Crabbe's _Tale of the Frank Courtship_.

Slingsly Bethell, an exception perhaps to the general politics of this
sect, published in 1667 a tract, entitled "The World's Mistake in
Oliver Cromwell," with the purpose of decrying his policy and
depreciating his genius. Harleian Miscellany, i. 280. But he who goes
about to prove the world mistaken in its estimate of a public
character has always a difficult cause to maintain. Bethell, like Mrs.
Macauley and others, labours to set up the Rump parliament against the
soldier who kicked them; and asserts that Cromwell, having found
£500,000 in ready money, with the value of £700,000 in stores, and the
army in advance of their pay (subject, however, to a debt of near
£500,000); the customs and excise bringing in nearly a million
annually, left a debt which, in Richard's parliament, was given in at
£1,900,000, though he believes this to have been purposely exaggerated
in order to procure supplies. I cannot say how far these sums are
correct; but it is to be kept in mind, that one great resource of the
parliament, confiscation, sequestration, composition, could not be
repeated for ever. Neither of these governments, it will be found on
inquiry, were economical, especially in respect to the emoluments of
those concerned in them.

[461] Whitelock, 674; Ludlow, 611, 624. Lord Fauconberg writes in
cipher to Henry Cromwell, on Aug. 30, that "Thurloe has seemed
resolved to press him in his intervals to such a nomination (of a
successor); but whether out of apprehensions to displease him if
recovering, or others hereafter, if it should not succeed, he has not
yet done it, nor do I believe will." Thurloe, however, announces on
Sept. 4, that "his highness was pleased before his death to declare my
Lord Richard successor. He did it on Monday; and the Lord hath so
ordered it, that the council and army hath received him with all
manner of affection. He is this day proclaimed, and hitherto there
seems great face of peace; the Lord continue it." _Thurloe State
Papers_, vii. 365, 372. Lord Fauconberg afterwards confirms the fact
of Richard's nomination. P. 375; and see 415.

[462] "Many sober men that called his father no better than a
traitorous hypocrite, did begin to think that they owed him [R. C.]
subjection," etc. Baxter, 100.

[463] Hutchinson, 343. She does not name Pierrepont, but I have little
doubt that he is meant.

[464] Richard's conduct is more than once commended in the
correspondence of Thurloe, pp. 491, 497; and in fact he did nothing
amiss during his short administration.

[465] Thurloe, vii. 320 _et post_, _passim_, in letters both from
himself and Lord Fauconberg. Thus, immediately on Richard's accession,
the former writes to Henry Cromwell, "It hath pleased God hitherto to
give his highness your brother a very easy and peaceable entrance upon
his government. There is not a dog that wags his tongue, so great a
calm we are in.... But I must needs acquaint your excellency that
there are some secret murmurings in the army, as if his highness were
not general of the army as his father was," etc. P. 374. Here was the
secret: the officers did not like to fall back under the civil power,
by obeying one who was not a soldier. This soon displayed itself
openly; and Lord Fauconberg thought the game was over as early as
Sept. 28. P. 413. It is to be observed that Fauconberg was secretly a
royalist, and might hope to bring over his brother-in-law.

[466] _Id._ 573.

[467] Lord Fauconberg says, "the commonwealth men in the parliament
were very numerous, and beyond measure bold, but more than doubly
overbalanced by the sober party; so that, though this make their
results slow, we see no great cause as yet to fear."--P. 612. And Dr.
Barwick, a correspondent of Lord Clarendon, tells him the republicans
were the minority, but all speakers, zealous and diligent--it was
likely to end in a titular protector without militia or negative
voice. P. 615.

According to a letter from Allen Broderick to Hyde (_Clar. St. Pap._
iii. 443) there were 47 republicans, from 100 to 140 neuters or
moderates (including many royalists), and 170 court lawyers, or

[468] Ludlow tells us, that he contrived to sit in the house without
taking the oath, and that some others did the same. P. 619.

[469] Whitelock, _Parl. Hist._ 1530, 1541.

[470] The numbers are differently, but, I suppose, erroneously stated
in Thurloe, vii. 640. It is said, in a pamphlet of the time, that this
clause was introduced to please the cavaliers, who acted with the
court; _Somers Tracts_, vi. 482. Ludlow seems also to think that these
parties were united in this parliament (p. 629); but this seems not
very probable, and is contrary to some things we know. Clarendon had
advised that the royalists should try to get into parliament, and
there to oppose all raising of money, and everything else that might
tend to settle the government. _Clar. State Papers_, 411. This of
course was their true game.

It is said that, Richard pressing the Earl of Northumberland to sit in
the other house, he declined, urging that when the government was such
as his predecessors had served under, he would serve him with his life
and fortune. _Id._ 433.

[471] _Parl. Hist._; Journals, 27 Jan., 14, 18 Feb., 1, 8, 21, 23, 28
March. The names of the tellers in these divisions show the
connections of leading individuals: we find indifferently presbyterian
and republican names for the minority, as Fairfax, Lambert, Nevil,
Haslerig, Townshend, Booth.

[472] There seems reason to believe that Richard would have met with
more support both in the house and among the nation, if he had not
been oppressed by the odium of some of his father's counsellors. A
general indignation was felt at those who had condemned men to death
in illegal tribunals, whom the republicans and cavaliers were
impatient to bring to justice. He was forced also to employ and to
screen from vengeance his wise and experienced secretary Thurloe,
master of all the secret springs that had moved his father's
government, but obnoxious from the share he had taken in illegal and
arbitrary measures. Petitions were presented to the house from several
who had been committed to the Tower upon short written orders, without
any formal warrant, or expressed cause of commitment. In the case of
one of these, Mr. Portman, the house resolved that his apprehension,
imprisonment, and detention in the Tower was illegal and unjust.
Journals, 26 Feb. A still more flagrant tyranny was that frequently
practised by Cromwell of sending persons disaffected to him as slaves
to the West Indies. One Mr. Thomas petitioned the House of Commons,
complaining that he had been thus sold as a slave. A member of the
court side justified it on the score of his being a malignant.
Major-General Browne, a secret royalist, replied that he was
nevertheless an Englishman and free-born. Thurloe had the presumption
to say that he had not thought to live to see the day, when such a
thing as this, so justly and legally done by lawful authority, should
be brought before parliament. Vane replied that he did not think to
have seen the day, when free-born Englishmen should be sold for slaves
by such an arbitrary government. There were, it seems, not less than
fifty gentlemen, sold for slaves at Barbadoes. _Clarendon State
Papers_, p. 447. The royalists had planned to attack Thurloe for some
of these unjustifiable proceedings, which would have greatly
embarrassed the government. _Ibid_, 423, 428. They hoped that Richard
would be better disposed towards the king, if his three advisers, St.
John, Thurloe, and Pierrepont, all implacable to their cause, could be
removed. But they were not strong enough in the house. If Richard,
however, had continued in power, he must probably have sacrificed
Thurloe to public opinion; and the consciousness of this may have led
this minister to advise the dissolution of the parliament, and perhaps
to betray his master, from the suspicion of which he is not free.

It ought to be remarked what an outrageous proof of Cromwell's tyranny
is exhibited in this note. Many writers glide favourably over his
administration, or content themselves with treating it as an
usurpation, which can furnish no precedent, and consequently does not
merit particular notice; but the effect of this generality is, that
the world forms an imperfect notion of the degree of arbitrary power
which he exerted; and I believe there are many who take Charles the
First, and even Charles the Second, for greater violators of the laws
than the protector. Neal and Harris are full of this dishonest
bigotry. Since this note was first printed, the publication of
Burton's _Diary_ has confirmed its truth, which had rashly been called
in question by a passionate and prejudiced reviewer. See Vol. iv. p.
253, etc.

[473] Richard advised with Broghill, Fiennes, Thurloe, and others of
his council, all of whom, except Whitelock, who informs us of this,
were in favour of the dissolution. This caused, he says, much trouble
to honest men; the cavaliers and republicans rejoiced at it; many of
Richard's council were his enemies. P. 177. The army at first intended
to raise money by their own authority; but this was deemed impossible,
and it was resolved to recall the Long Parliament. Lambert and
Haslerig accordingly met Lenthall, who was persuaded to act again as
speaker; though, if Ludlow is right, against his will, being now
connected with the court, and in the pretended House of Lords. The
parliament now consisted of 91 members. _Parl. Hist._ 1547. Harris
quotes a manuscript journal of Montagu, afterwards Earl of Sandwich,
wherein it is said that Richard's great error was to dissolve the
parliament, and that he might have over-ruled the army, if he would
have employed himself, Ingoldsby, Lord Fauconberg, and others, who
were suspected to be for the king. _Life of Charles II._ 194. He
afterwards (p. 203) quotes Calamy's _Life of Howe_ for the assertion
that Richard stood out against his council, with Thurloe alone, that
the parliament should not be dissolved. This is very unlikely.

[474] This was carried against the previous question by 163 to 87.
Journals Abr. III. Some of the protector's friends were alarmed at so
high a vote against the army, which did in fact bring the matter to a
crisis. Thurloe, vii. 659 _et post_.

[475] The army according to Ludlow, had not made up their minds how to
act after the dissolution of the parliament, and some were inclined to
go on with Richard; but the republican party, who had coalesced with
that faction of officers who took their denomination from Wallingford
House, their place of meeting, insisted on the restoration of the old
parliament; though they agreed to make some provision for Richard.
_Memoirs_, pp. 635-646. Accordingly it was voted to give him an income
of £10,000 per annum. Journals, July 16.

[476] Journals, Sept. 23 _et post_; Whitelock, 683; _Parl. Hist._
1562; Thurloe, vii. 703 _et post_. Ludlow's account of this period is
the most interesting part of his _Memoirs_. The chief officers, it
appears from his narrative, were soon disgusted with their republican
allies, and "behaved with all imaginable perverseness and insolence"
in the council of state, whenever they came there, which was but
seldom, scrupling the oath to be true to the commonwealth against
Charles Stuart or any other person. P. 657. He censures, however, the
violence of Haslerig, "a man of a disobliging temper, sour and morose
of temper, liable to be transported with passion, and in whom
liberality seemed to be a vice. Yet to do him justice, I must
acknowledge that I am under no manner of doubt concerning the
rectitude and sincerity of his intentions."--P. 718. Ludlow gave some
offence to the hot-headed republicans by his half compliance with the
army; and much disapproved the proceedings they adopted after their
second restoration in December 1659, against Vane and others. P. 800.
Yet, though nominated on the committee of safety, on the expulsion of
the parliament in October, he never sat on it, as Vane and Whitelock

[477] Journals, and other authorities above cited.

[478] The Rota Club, as it was called, was composed, chiefly at least,
of these dealers in new constitutions, which were debated in due form.
Harrington was one of the most conspicuous.

[479] Thurloe, vi. 579; _Clarendon State Papers_, 391, 395.

[480] Carte's _Letters_, ii. 118. In a letter of Ormond to Hyde about
this time, he seems to have seen into the king's character, and speaks
of him severely: "I fear his immoderate delight in empty, effeminate,
and vulgar conversations, is become an irresistible part of his
nature," etc. _Clarendon State Papers_, iii. 387.

[481] _Clarendon Papers_, 391, 418, 460 _et post_. Townshend, a young
man who seems to have been much looked up to, was not, in fact, a
presbyterian, but is reckoned among them as not being a cavalier,
having come of age since the wars, and his family neutral.

[482] This curious fact appears for the first time, I believe, in the
_Clarendon State Papers_, unless it is anywhere intimated in Carte's
collection of the Ormond letters. In the former collection we find
several allusions to it; the first is in a letter from Rumbold, a
royalist emissary, to Hyde, dated Dec. 2, 1658, p. 421; from which I
collect Lord Fauconberg's share in this intrigue; which is also
confirmed by a letter of Mordaunt to the king, in p. 423. "The Lord
Falconbridge protests that Cromwell is so remiss a person that he
cannot play his own game, much less another man's, and is thereby
discouraged from acting in business, having also many enemies who
oppose his gaining either power or interest in the army or civil
government, because they conceive his principles contrary to theirs.
He says, Thurloe governs Cromwell, and St. John and Pierrepont govern
Thurloe; and therefore is not likely he will think himself in danger
till these tell him so, nor seek a diversion of it but by their
councils." Feb. 10, 1659. These ill-grounded hopes of Richard's
accession to their cause appear in several other letters, and even
Hyde seems to have given in to them. 434, 454, etc. Broderick, another
active emissary of the royalists, fancied that the three
above-mentioned would restore the king if they dared (477); but this
is quite unlikely.

[483] P. 469. This was carried on through Colonel Henry Cromwell, his
cousin. It is said that Richard had not courage to sign the letters to
Monk and his other friends, which he afterwards repented. 491. The
intrigues still went on with him for a little longer. This was in May

[484] _Clarendon State Papers_, 434, 500 _et post_; Thurloe, vi. 686.
See also an enigmatical letter to Henry Cromwell, 629, which certainly
hints at his union with the king; and Carte's _Letters_, ii. 293.

[485] _Clarendon State Papers_, 552, 556, etc.

[486] Clarendon confesses (_Life_, p. 20) that the cavaliers disliked
this whole intrigue with the presbyterians, which was planned by
Mordaunt, the most active and intelligent agent that the king
possessed in England. The former, doubtless, perceived that by
extending the basis of the coalition, they should lose all chance of
indemnity for their own sufferings: besides which, their timidity and
irresolution are manifest in all the Clarendon correspondence at this
period. See particularly 491, 520.

[487] Willis had done all in his power to obstruct the rising.
Clarendon was very slow in believing this treachery, of which he had
at length conclusive proofs. 552, 562.

[488] _Id._ 514, 530, 536, 543.

[489] _Clarendon Papers_, 425, 427, 458, 462, 475, 526, 579. It is
evident that the catholics had greater hopes from the duke than from
the king, and considered the former as already their own. A remarkable
letter of Morley to Hyde, April 24, 1659, p. 458, shows the suspicions
already entertained of him by the writer in point of religion; and
Hyde is plainly not free from apprehension that he might favour the
scheme of supplanting his brother. The intrigue might have gone a
great way, though we may now think it probable that their alarm
magnified the danger. "Let me tell you," says Sir Antony Ashley Cooper
in a letter to Hyde, "that Wildman is as much an enemy now to the king
as he was before a seeming friend; yet not upon the account of a
commonwealth, for his ambition meets with every day repulses and
affronts from that party; but upon a finer spun design of setting up
the interest of the Duke of York against the king; in which design I
fear you will find confederated the Duke of Bucks, who perhaps may
draw away with him Lord Fairfax, the presbyterians, levellers, and
many catholics. I am apt to think these things are not transacted
without the privity of the queen; and I pray God that they have not an
ill influence upon your affairs in France."--475. Buckingham was
surmised to have been formally reconciled to the church of Rome. 427.
Some supposed that he, with his friend Wildman, were for a republic.
But such men are for nothing but the intrigue of the moment. These
projects of Buckingham to set up the Duke of York are hinted at in a
pamphlet by Shaftesbury or one of his party, written about 1680.
_Somers Tracts_, viii. 342.

[490] Hyde writes to the Duke of Ormond: "I pray inform the king that
Fleetwood makes great professions of being converted, and of a
resolution to serve the king upon the first opportunity." Oct. 11,
1659. Carte's _Letters_, ii. 231. See _Clarendon State Papers_, 551
(Sept. 2) and 577. But it is said afterwards, that he had "not courage
enough to follow the honest thoughts which some time possess him"
(592, Oct. 31), and that Manchester, Popham, and others, tried what
they could do with Fleetwood; but "though they left him with good
resolutions, they were so weak as not to continue longer than the next
temptation."--635 (Dec. 27).

[491] _Id._ 588; Carte's _Letters_, ii. 225.

[492] Lord Hatton, an old royalist, suggested this humiliating
proposition in terms scarcely less so to the heir of Cerdic and
Fergus. "The race is a _very good gentleman's family_, and kings have
condescended to marry subjects. The lady is pretty, of an
extraordinary sweetness of disposition, and very virtuously and
ingenuously disposed; the father is a person, set aside of his unhappy
engagement, of very great parts and noble inclinations."--_Clarendon
State Papers_, 592. Yet, after all, Miss Lambert was hardly more a
mis-alliance than Hortense Mancini, whom Charles had asked for in

[493] _Biogr. Brit._ art. Monk. The royalists continued to entertain
hopes of him, especially after Oliver's death. _Clarendon Papers_,
iii. 393, 395, 396. In a sensible letter of Colepepper to Hyde, Sept.
20, 1658, he points out Monk as able alone to restore the king, and
not absolutely averse to it, either in his principles or affections;
kept hitherto by the vanity of adhering to his professions, and by his
affection to Cromwell, the latter whereof is dissolved both by the
jealousies he entertained of him, and by his death, etc. _Id._ 412.

[494] Thurloe, vii. 387. Monk wrote about the same time against the
Earl of Argyle, as not a friend to the government. 584. Two years
afterwards he took away his life as being too much so.

[495] If the account of his chaplain, Dr. Price, republished in
Maseres' _Tracts_, vol. ii., be worthy of trust, Monk gave so much
encouragement to his brother, a clergyman, secretly despatched to
Scotland by Sir John Grenvil, his relation, in June 1659, as to have
approved Sir George Booth's insurrection, and to have been on the
point of publishing a declaration in favour of it. P. 718. But this is
flatly in contradiction of what Clarendon asserts, that the general
not only sent away his brother with no hopes, but threatened to hang
him if he came again on such an errand. And, in fact, if anything so
favourable as what Price tells us had occurred, the king could not
fail to have known it. See _Clarendon State Papers_, iii. 543. This
throws some suspicion on Price's subsequent narrative (so far as it
professes to relate the general's intentions); so that I rely far less
on it than on Monk's own behaviour, which seems irreconcilable with
his professions of republican principles. It is, however, an obscure
point of history, which will easily admit of different opinions.

The story told by Locke, on Lord Shaftesbury's authority, that Monk
had agreed with the French ambassador to take on himself the
government, wherein he was to have the support of Mazarin, and that
his wife, having overheard what was going forward, sent notice to
Shaftesbury, who was thus enabled to frustrate the intrigue (Locke's
Works, iii. 456), seems to have been confirmed lately by Mr.
D'Israeli, in an extract from the manuscript memoirs of Sir Thomas
Browne (_Curiosities of Literature_, N. S. vol. ii.), but in terms so
nearly resembling those of Locke, that it seems to be an echo. It is
certain, as we find by Phillips's continuation of Baker's _Chronicle_
(said to be assisted, in this part, by Sir Thomas Clarges, Monk's
brother-in-law), that Bourdeaux, the French ambassador, did make such
overtures to the general, who absolutely refused to enter upon them;
but, as the writer admits, received a visit from the ambassador on
condition that he should propose nothing in relation to public
matters. I quote from Kennet's _Register_, 85. But, according to my
present impression, this is more likely to have been the foundation of
Shaftesbury's story, who might have heard from Mrs. Monk the
circumstance of the visit, and conceived suspicions upon it, which he
afterwards turned into proofs. It was evidently not in Monk's power to
have usurped the government, after he had let the royalist
inclinations of the people show themselves; and he was by no means of
a rash character. He must have taken his resolution when the secluded
members were restored to the house (Feb. 21); and this alleged
intrigue with Mazarin could hardly have been so early.

It may be added that in one of the pamphlets about the time of the
exclusion bill, written by Shaftesbury himself or one of his party
(_Somers Tracts_, viii. 338), he is hinted to have principally brought
about the restoration; "without whose courage and dexterity some men,
the most highly rewarded, had done otherwise than they did." But this
still depends on his veracity.

[496] Whitelock, 690.

[497] The engagement was repeated March 13. This was of itself
tantamount to a declaration in favour of the king; though perhaps the
previous order of March 5, that the solemn league and covenant should
be read in churches, was still more so. Prynne was the first who had
the boldness to speak for the king, declaring his opinion that the
parliament was dissolved by the death of Charles the First; he was
supported by one or two more. _Clar. Papers_, 696; Thurloe, vii. 854;
Carte's _Letters_, ii. 312. Prynne wrote a pamphlet advising the peers
to meet and issue writs for a new parliament, according to the
provisions of the triennial act; which in fact was no bad expedient.
_Somers Tracts_, vi. 534.

A speech of Sir Harbottle Grimston before the close of the parliament,
March 1660, is more explicit for the king's restoration than anything
which I have seen elsewhere; and as I do not know that it has been
printed, I will give an extract from the Harleian MS. 1576.

He urges it as necessary to be done by them, and not left for the next
parliament, who all men believed would restore him. "This is so true
and so well understood, that we all believe that whatsoever our
thoughts are, this will be the opinion of the succeeding parliament,
whose concerns as well as affections will make them active for his
introduction. And I appeal then to your own judgments whether it is
likely that those persons, as to their particular interest more
unconcerned, and probably less knowing in the affairs of the nation,
can or would obtain for any those terms or articles as we are yet in a
capacity to procure both for them and us. I must confess sincerely
that it would be as strange to me as a miracle, did I not know that
God infatuates whom he designs to destroy, that we can see the king's
return so unavoidable, and yet be no more studious of serving him, or
at least ourselves, in the managing of his recall.

"The general, that noble personage to whom under God we do and must
owe all the advantages of our past and future changes, will be as far
from opposing us in the design, as the design is removed from the
disadvantage of the nation. He himself is, I am confident, of the same
opinion; and if he has not yet given notice of it to the house, it is
not that he does not look upon it as the best expedient; but he only
forbears to oppose it, that he might not seem to necessitate us, and
by an over early discovery of his own judgment be thought to take from
us the freedom of ours."

In another place he says, "That the recalling of our king is this only
way (for composure of affairs), is already grown almost as visible as
true; and, were it but confessed of all of whom it is believed, I
should quickly hear from the greatest part of this house what now it
hears alone from me. Had we as little reason to fear as we have too
much, that, if we bring not in the king, he either already is, or
shortly may be, in a capacity of coming in unsent for; methinks the
very knowledge of this right were enough to keep just persons, such as
we would be conceived to be, from being accessary to his longer
absence. We are already, and but justly, reported to have been the
occasion of our prince's banishment; we may then, with reason and
equal truth, for ought I know, be thought to have been the contrivers
of it; unless we endeavour the contrary, by not suffering the mischief
to continue longer which is in our power to remove."

Such passages as these, and the general tenor of public speeches,
sermons, and pamphlets in the spring of 1660, show how little Monk can
be justly said to have restored Charles II.; except so far that he did
not persist in preventing it so long as he might have done.

[498] _Clarendon State Papers_, 711.

[499] _Id._ 696.

[500] _Id._ 678 _et post_. He wrote a letter (Jan. 21) to the gentry
of Devon, who had petitioned the speaker for the re-admission of the
secluded members, objecting to that measure as likely to bring in
monarchy, very judicious, and with an air of sincerity that might
deceive any one; and after the restoration of these secluded members,
he made a speech to them (Feb. 21), strongly against monarchy; and
that so ingenuously, upon such good reasons, so much without invective
or fanaticism, that the professional hypocrites, who were used to
their own tone of imposture, were deceived by his. Cromwell was a mere
bungler to him. See these in Harris's _Charles II._ 296, or _Somers
Tracts_, vi. 551. It cannot be wondered at that the royalists were
exasperated at Monk's behaviour. They published abusive pamphlets
against him in February, from which Kennet, in his _Register_, p. 53,
gives quotations. "Whereas he was the common hopes of all men, he is
now the common hatred of all men, as a traitor more detestable than
Oliver himself, who, though he manacled the citizens' hands, yet never
took away the doors of the city," and so forth. It appears by the
letters of Mordaunt and Broderick to Hyde, and by those of Hyde
himself in the _Clarendon Papers_, that they had no sort of confidence
in Monk till near the end of March; though Barwick, another of his
correspondents, seems to have had more insight into the general's
designs (Thurloe, 852, 860, 870), who had expressed himself to a
friend of the writer, probably Clobery, fully in favour of the king,
before March 19.

[501] Clar. 699, 705; Thurloe, vii. 860, 870.

[502] A correspondent of Ormond writes, March 16: "This night the
fatal long parliament hath dissolved itself. All this appears well;
but I believe we shall not be settled upon our ancient foundations
without a war, for which all prepare vigorously and openly."--Carte's
_Letters_, ii. 513. It appears also from a letter of Massey to Hyde,
that a rising in different counties was intended. Thurloe, 854.

[503] After giving the substance of Monk's speech to the house,
recommending a new parliament, but insisting on commonwealth
principles, Clarendon goes on; "There was no dissimulation in this, in
order to cover and conceal his good intentions to the king; for
without doubt he had not to this hour entertained any purpose or
thought to serve him, but was really of the opinion he expressed in
his paper, that it was a work impossible; and desired nothing but that
he might see a commonwealth established on such a model as Holland
was, where he had been bred, and that himself might enjoy the
authority and place which the Prince of Orange possessed in that

[504] The _Clarendon_ and _Thurloe Papers_ are full of more proofs of
this than can be quoted, and are very amusing to read, as a
perpetually shifting picture of hopes and fears, and conjectures right
or wrong. Pepys's _Diary_ also, in these two months, strikingly shows
the prevailing uncertainty as to Monk's intentions, as well as the
general desire of having the king brought in. It seems plain that, if
he had delayed a very little longer, he would have lost the whole
credit of the restoration. All parties began to crowd in with
addresses to the king in the first part of April, before Monk was
known to have declared himself. Thurloe, among others, was full of his
offers, though evidently anxious to find out whether the king had an
interest with Monk. P. 898. The royalists had long entertained hopes,
from time to time, of this deep politician; but it is certain he never
wished well to their cause, and with St. John and Pierrepont, had been
most zealous, to the last moment that it seemed practicable, against
the restoration. There had been, so late as February 1660, or even
afterwards, a strange plan of setting up again Richard Cromwell,
wherein not only these three, but Montagu, Jones, and others were
thought to be concerned, erroneously no doubt as to Montagu.
_Clarendon State Papers_, 693; Carte's _Letters_, ii. 310, 330. "One
of the greatest reasons they alledged was, that the king's party,
consisting altogether of indigent men, will become powerful by little
and little to force the king, whatever be his own disposition, to
break any engagement he can now make; and, since the nation is bent on
a single person, none will combine all interests so well as Richard."
This made Monk, it is said, jealous of St. John, and he was chosen at
Cambridge to exclude him. In a letter of Thurloe to Downing at the
Hague, April 6, he says, "that many of the presbyterians are alarmed
at the prospect, and thinking how to keep the king out without joining
the sectaries."--vii. 887. This could hardly be achieved but by
setting up Richard. Yet that, as is truly said in one of the letters
quoted, was ridiculous. None were so conspicuous and intrepid on the
king's side as the presbyterian ministers. Reynolds preached before
the lord mayor, Feb. 28, with manifest allusion to the restoration;
Gauden (who may be reckoned on that side, as conforming to it), on the
same day much more explicitly. Kennet's _Register_, 69. Sharp says, in
a letter to a correspondent in Scotland, that he, Ash, and Calamy had
a long conversation with Monk, March 11, "and convinced him a
commonwealth was impracticable, and to our sense sent him off that
sense he hath hitherto maintained, and came from him as being
satisfied of the necessity of dissolving this house, and calling a new
parliament."--_Id._ p. 81. Baxter thinks the presbyterian ministers,
together with Clarges and Morrice, turned Monk's resolution, and
induced him to declare for the king. _Life_, p. 2. This is a very
plausible conjecture, though I incline to think Monk more disposed
that way by his own judgment or his wife's. But she was influenced by
the presbyterian clergy. They evidently deserved of Charles what they
did not meet with.

[505] The royalists began too soon with threatening speeches, which
well nigh frustrated their object. _Id._ 721, 722, 727; Carte's
_Letters_, 318; Thurloe, 887. One Dr. Griffith published a little book
vindicating the late king in his war against the parliament, for which
the ruling party were by no means ripe; and, having justified it
before the council, was committed to the Gate-house early in April.
_Id. ibid._ These imprudences occasioned the king's declaration from
Breda. _Somers Tracts_, vi. 562. Another also was published, April 25,
1660, signed by several peers, knights, divines, etc., of the royalist
party, disclaiming all private passions and resentments. Kennet's
_Register_, 120; Clar. vii. 471. But these public professions were
weak disguises, when belied by their current language. See Baxter,
217. Marchmont Needham, in a tract entitled, "Interest will not lye"
(written in answer to an artful pamphlet ascribed to Fell, afterwards
Bishop of Oxford, and reprinted in Maseres's _Tracts_, "The Interest
of England stated"), endeavoured to alarm all other parties,
especially the presbyterians, with representations of the violence
they had to expect from that of the king. See Harris's _Charles II._

[506] Proofs of the disposition among this party to revive the treaty
of the Isle of Wight occur perpetually in the Thurloe and Clarendon
Papers, and in those published by Carte. The king's agents in England
evidently expected nothing better; and were, generally speaking, much
for his accepting the propositions. "The presbyterian lords," says Sir
Allen Broderic to Hyde, "with many of whom I have spoken, pretend
that, should the king come in upon any such insurrection, abetted by
those of his own party, he would be more absolute than his father was
in the height of his prerogative. Stay therefore, say they, till we
are ready; our numbers so added will abundantly recompense the delay,
rendering what is now extremely doubtful morally certain, and
establishing his throne upon the true basis, liberty and property."
July 16, 1659. _Clar. State Papers_, 527.

[507] Clarendon, _Hist. of Rebellion_, vii. 440; _State Papers_, 705,
729. "There is so insolent a spirit among some of the nobility," says
Clarendon, about the middle of February, "that I really fear it will
turn to an aristocracy; Monk inclining that way too. My opinion is
clear, that the king ought not to part with the church, crown, or
friends' lands, lest he make my lord of Northumberland his equal, nay,
perhaps his superior."--P. 680.

[508] Downing, the minister at the Hague, was one of these. His
overtures to the king were as early as Monk's, at the beginning of
April; he declared his wish to see his majesty restored on good terms,
though many were desirous to make him a doge of Venice. Carte's
_Letters_, ii. 320. See also a remarkable letter of the king to Monk
(dated May 21; but I suspect he used the new style, therefore read May
11), intimating what a service it would be to prevent the imposition
of any terms. Clar. 745. And another from him to Morrice of the same
tenor, May 20 (N. S.), 1660, and hinting that his majesty's friends in
the house had complied with the general in all things, according to
the king's directions, departing from their own sense, and restraining
themselves from pursuing what they thought most for his service.
Thurloe, vii. 912. This perhaps referred to the indemnity and other
provisions then pending in the Commons, or rather to the delay of a
few days before the delivery of Sir John Grenvil's message.

[509] "Monk came this day (about the first week of April) to the
council, and assured them that, notwithstanding all the appearance of
a general desire of kingly government, yet it was in nowise his sense,
and that he would spend the last drop of his blood to maintain the
contrary."--Extract of a letter from Thurloe to Downing. Carte's
_Letters_, ii. 322. "The council of state are utterly ignorant of
Monk's treating with the king; and surely, as the present temper of
the council of state is now, and may possibly be also of the
parliament, by reason of the presbyterian influence upon both, I
should think the first chapman will not be the worst, who perhaps will
not offer so good a rate in conjunction with the company, as may give
to engross the commodity." Clar. 722, April 6. This sentence is a clue
to all the intrigue. It is said soon afterwards (p. 726, April 11)
that the presbyterians were much troubled at the course of the
elections, which made some of the council of state again address
themselves to Monk for his consent to propositions they would send to
the king; but he absolutely refused, and said he would leave all to a
free parliament, as he had promised the nation. Yet, though the
elections went as well as the royalists could reasonably expect, Hyde
was dissatisfied that the king was not restored without the
intervention of the new parliament; and this may have been one reason
of his spleen against Monk. Pp. 726, 731.

[510] A proposed resolution, that those who had been on the king's
side, _or their sons_, should be disabled from voting at elections,
was lost by 93 to 56, the last effort of the expiring Rump. Journals,
13 March. The electors did not think themselves bound by this
arbitrary exclusion of the cavaliers from parliament; several of whom
(though not perhaps a great number within the terms of the resolution)
were returned. Massey, however, having gone down to stand for
Glocester, was put under arrest by order of the council of state.
Thurloe, 887. Clarendon, who was himself not insensible to that kind
of superstition, had fancied that anything done at Glocester by Massey
for the king's service would make a powerful impression on the people.

[511] It is a curious proof of the state of public sentiment that,
though Monk himself wrote a letter to the electors of Bridgenorth,
recommending Thurloe, the cavalier party was so powerful, that his
friends did not even produce the letter, lest it should be treated
with neglect. Thurloe, vii. 895.

[512] "To the king's coming in without conditions may be well imputed
all the errors of his reign." Thus says Burnet. The great political
error, if so it should be termed, of his reign, was a conspiracy with
the king of France, and some wicked advisers at home, to subvert the
religion and liberty of his subjects; and it is difficult to perceive
by what conditions this secret intrigue could have been prevented.

[513] _Clarendon Papers_, p. 729. They resolved to send the articles
of that treaty to the king, leaving out the preface. This was about
the middle of April.

[514] _Life of Clarendon_, p. 10.

[515] "This," says Burnet somewhat invidiously, "was the great service
that Monk did; for as to the restoration itself, the tide ran so
strong, that he only went into it dexterously enough to get much
praise and great rewards."--P. 123.

[516] Grimston was proposed by Pierrepont, and conducted to the chair
by him, Monk, and Hollis. Journals; _Parl. Hist._ The cavaliers
complained that this was done before they came into the house, and
that he was partial. Mordaunt to Hyde, April 27. _Clarendon State
Papers_, 734.

[517] These were the Earls of Manchester, Northumberland, Lincoln,
Denbigh, and Suffolk; Lords Say, Wharton, Hunsdon, Grey, Maynard.
Lords' Journals, April 25.

[518] _Id._ Lords' Journals.

[519] "It was this day (April 27) moved in the House of Commons to
call in the king; but it was deferred till Tuesday next by the king's
friends' consent, and then it is generally believed something will be
done in it. The calling in of the king is now not doubted; but there
is a party among the old secluded members, that would have the treaty
grounded upon the Isle of Wight propositions; and the old lords are
thought generally of that design. But it is believed the House of
Commons will use the king more gently. The general hath been highly
complimented by both houses, and, without doubt, the giving the king
easy or hard conditions dependeth totally upon him; for, if he appear
for the king, the affections of the people are so high for him, that
no other authority can oppose him." H. Coventry to Marquis of Ormond.
Carte's _Letters_, ii. 328. Mordaunt confirms this. Those who moved
for the king were Colonel King and Mr. Finch, both decided cavaliers.
It must have been postponed by the policy of Monk. What could
Clarendon mean by saying (_History of Rebellion_, vii. 478) that "none
had the courage, how loyal soever their wishes were, to mention his
majesty?" This strange way of speaking has misled Hume, who copies it.
The king was as generally talked of as if he were on the throne.

[520] Lords' and Commons' Journals. _Parl. Hist._ iv. 24.

[521] Commons' Journals.

[522] Lords' Journals, May 2. Upon the same day, the house went into
consideration how to settle the militia of this kingdom. A committee
of twelve lords was appointed for this purpose, and the Commons were
requested to appoint a proportionate number to join therein. But no
bill was brought in till after the king's return.



_Popular joy at the restoration._--It is universally acknowledged that
no measure was ever more national, or has ever produced more
testimonies of public approbation, than the restoration of Charles II.
Nor can this be attributed to the usual fickleness of the multitude.
For the late government, whether under the parliament or the
protector, had never obtained the sanction of popular consent, nor
could have subsisted for a day without the support of the army. The
king's return seemed to the people the harbinger of a real liberty,
instead of that bastard commonwealth which had insulted them with its
name; a liberty secure from enormous assessments, which, even when
lawfully imposed, the English had always paid with reluctance, and
from the insolent despotism of the soldiery. The young and lively
looked forward to a release from the rigours of fanaticism, and were
too ready to exchange that hypocritical austerity of the late times
for a licentiousness and impiety that became characteristic of the
present. In this tumult of exulting hope and joy, there was much to
excite anxious forebodings in calmer men; and it was by no means safe
to pronounce that a change so generally demanded, and in most respects
so expedient, could be effected without very serious sacrifices of
public and particular interests.

_Proceedings of the convention parliament._--Four subjects of great
importance, and some of them very difficult, occupied the convention
parliament from the time of the king's return till their dissolution
in the following December; a general indemnity and legal oblivion of
all that had been done amiss in the late interruption of government;
an adjustment of the claims for reparation which the Crown, the
church, and private royalists had to prefer; a provision for the
king's revenue, consistent with the abolition of military tenures; and
the settlement of the church. These were, in effect, the articles of a
sort of treaty between the king and the nation, without some
legislative provisions as to which, no stable or tranquil course of
law could be expected.

_Act of indemnity._--The king, in his well-known declaration from
Breda, dated the 14th of April, had laid down, as it were, certain
bases of his restoration, as to some points which he knew to excite
much apprehension in England. One of these was a free and general
pardon to all his subjects, saving only such as should be excepted by
parliament. It had always been the king's expectation, or at least
that of his chancellor, that all who had been immediately concerned in
his father's death should be delivered up to punishment;[523] and, in
the most unpropitious state of his fortunes, while making all
professions of pardon and favour to different parties, he had
constantly excepted the regicides.[524] Monk, however, had advised in
his first messages to the king, that none, or at most not above four,
should be excepted on this account;[525] and the Commons voted that
not more than seven persons should lose the benefit of the indemnity,
both as to life and estate.[526] Yet, after having named seven of the
late king's judges, they proceeded in a few days to add several more,
who had been concerned in managing his trial, or otherwise forward in
promoting his death.[527] They went on to pitch upon twenty persons,
whom, on account of their deep concern in the transactions of the last
twelve years, they determined to affect with penalties, not extending
to death, and to be determined by some future act of parliament.[528]
As their passions grew warmer, and the wishes of the court became
better known, they came to except from all benefit of the indemnity
such of the king's judges as had not rendered themselves to justice
according to the late proclamation.[529] In this state the bill of
indemnity and oblivion was sent up to the Lords.[530] But in that
house, the old royalists had a more decisive preponderance than among
the Commons. They voted to except all who had signed the death-warrant
against Charles the First, or sat when sentence was pronounced, and
five others by name, Hacker, Vane, Lambert, Haslerig, and Axtell. They
struck out, on the other hand, the clause reserving Lenthall and the
rest of the same class for future penalties. They made other
alterations in the bill to render it more severe;[531] and with these,
after a pretty long delay, and a positive message from the king,
requesting them to hasten their proceedings (an irregularity to which
they took no exception, and which in the eyes of the nation was
justified by the circumstances), they returned the bill to the

The vindictive spirit displayed by the upper house was not agreeable
to the better temper of the Commons, where the presbyterian or
moderate party retained great influence. Though the king's judges
(such at least as had signed the death-warrant) were equally guilty,
it was consonant to the practice of all humane governments to make a
selection for capital penalties; and to put forty or fifty persons to
death for that offence, seemed a very sanguinary course of proceeding,
and not likely to promote the conciliation and oblivion so much cried
up. But there was a yet stronger objection to this severity. The king
had published a proclamation, in a few days after his landing,
commanding his father's judges to render themselves up within
fourteen days, on pain of being excepted from any pardon or indemnity,
either as to their lives or estates. Many had voluntarily come in,
having put an obvious construction on this proclamation. It seems to
admit of little question, that the king's faith was pledged to those
persons, and that no advantage could be taken of any ambiguity in the
proclamation, without as real perfidiousness as if the words had been
more express. They were at least entitled to be set at liberty, and to
have a reasonable time allowed for making their escape, if it were
determined to exclude them from the indemnity.[532] The Commons were
more mindful of the king's honour and their own than his nearest
advisers.[533] But the violent royalists were gaining ground among
them, and it ended in a compromise. They left Hacker and Axtell, who
had been prominently concerned in the king's death, to their fate.
They even admitted the exceptions of Vane and Lambert; contenting
themselves with a joint address of both houses to the king, that, if
they should be attainted, execution as to their lives might be
remitted. Haslerig was saved on a division of 141 to 116, partly
through the intercession of Monk, who had pledged his word to him.
Most of the king's judges were entirely excepted; but with a proviso
in favour of such as had surrendered according to the proclamation,
that the sentence should not be executed without a special act of
parliament.[534] Others were reserved for penalties not extending to
life, to be inflicted by a future act. About twenty enumerated
persons, as well as those who had pronounced sentence of death in any
of the late illegal high courts of justice, were rendered incapable of
any civil or military office. Thus after three months' delay, which
had given room to distrust the boasted clemency and forgiveness of the
victorious royalists, the act of indemnity was finally passed.

_Execution of regicides._--Ten persons suffered death soon afterwards
for the murder of Charles the First; and three more who had been
seized in Holland, after a considerable lapse of time.[535] There can
be no reasonable ground for censuring either the king or the
parliament for their punishment; except that Hugh Peters, though a
very odious fanatic, was not so directly implicated in the king's
death as many who escaped; and the execution of Scrope, who had
surrendered under the proclamation, was an inexcusable breach of
faith.[536] But nothing can be more sophistical than to pretend that
such men as Hollis and Annesley, who had been expelled from parliament
by the violence of the same faction who put the king to death, were
not to vote for their punishment, or to sit in judgment on them,
because they had sided with the Commons in the civil war.[537] It is
mentioned by many writers, and in the Journals, that when Mr.
Lenthall, son of the late speaker, in the very first days of the
convention parliament, was led to say that those who had levied war
against the king were as blamable as those who had cut off his head,
he received a reprimand from the chair, which the folly and dangerous
consequence of his position well deserved; for such language, though
it seems to have been used by him in extenuation of the regicides, was
quite in the tone of the violent royalists.[538]

_Restitution of crown and church lands._--A question, apparently far
more difficult, was that of restitution and redress. The Crown lands,
those of the church, the estates in certain instances of eminent
royalists, had been sold by the authority of the late usurpers; and
that not at very low rates, considering the precariousness of the
title. This naturally seemed a material obstacle to the restoration of
ancient rights, especially in the case of ecclesiastical corporations,
whom men are commonly less disposed to favour than private persons.
The clergy themselves had never expected that their estates would
revert to them in full propriety; and would probably have been
contented, at the moment of the king's return, to have granted easy
leases to the purchasers. Nor were the House of Commons, many of whom
were interested in these sales, inclined to let in the former owners
without conditions. A bill was accordingly brought into the house at
the beginning of the session to confirm sales, or to give indemnity to
the purchasers. I do not find its provisions more particularly stated.
The zeal of the royalists soon caused the Crown lands to be
excepted.[539] But the house adhered to the principle of composition
as to ecclesiastical property, and kept the bill a long time in
debate. At the adjournment in September, the chancellor told them, his
majesty had thought much upon the business, and done much for the
accommodation of many particular persons, and doubted not but that,
before they met again, a good progress would be made, so that the
persons concerned would be much to blame if they received not full
satisfaction; promising also to advise with some of the Commons as to
that settlement.[540] These expressions indicate a design to take the
matter out of the hands of parliament. For it was Hyde's firm
resolution to replace the church in the whole of its property, without
any other regard to the actual possessors than the right owners
should severally think it equitable to display. And this, as may be
supposed, proved very small. No further steps were taken on the
meeting of parliament after the adjournment; and by the dissolution
the parties were left to the common course of law. The church, the
Crown, the dispossessed royalists, re-entered triumphantly on their
lands; there were no means of repelling the owners' claim, nor any
satisfaction to be looked for by the purchasers under so defective a
title. It must be owned that the facility with which this was
accomplished, is a striking testimony to the strength of the new
government, and the concurrence of the nation. This is the more
remarkable, if it be true, as Ludlow informs us, that the chapter
lands had been sold by the trustees appointed by parliament at the
clear income of fifteen or seventeen years' purchase.[541]

_Discontent of the royalists._--The great body however of the
suffering cavaliers, who had compounded for their delinquency under
the ordinances of the Long Parliament, or whose estates had been for a
time in sequestration, found no remedy for these losses by any process
of law. The act of indemnity put a stop to any suits they might have
instituted against persons concerned in carrying these illegal
ordinances into execution. They were compelled to put up with their
poverty, having the additional mortification of seeing one class,
namely, the clergy, who had been engaged in the same cause, not alike
in their fortune, and many even of the vanquished republicans
undisturbed in wealth which, directly or indirectly, they deemed
acquired at their own expense.[542] They called the statute an act of
indemnity for the king's enemies, and of oblivion for his friends.
They murmured at the ingratitude of Charles, as if he were bound to
forfeit his honour and risk his throne for their sakes. They conceived
a deep hatred of Clarendon, whose steady adherence to the great
principles of the act of indemnity is the most honourable act of his
public life. And the discontent engendered by their disappointed hopes
led to some part of the opposition afterwards experienced by the king,
and still more certainly to the coalition against the minister.

_Settlement of the revenue._--No one cause had so eminently
contributed to the dissensions between the Crown and parliament in the
two last reigns, as the disproportion between the public revenues
under a rapidly increasing depreciation in the value of money, and the
exigencies, at least on some occasions, of the administration. There
could be no apology for the parsimonious reluctance of the Commons to
grant supplies, except the constitutional necessity of rendering them
the condition of redress of grievances; and in the present
circumstances, satisfied, as they seemed at least to be, with the
securities they had obtained, and enamoured of their new sovereign, it
was reasonable to make some further provision for the current
expenditure. Yet this was to be meted out with such prudence as not to
place him beyond the necessity of frequent recurrence to their aid. A
committee was accordingly appointed "to consider of settling such a
revenue on his majesty as may maintain the splendour and grandeur of
his kingly office, and preserve the Crown from want, and from being
undervalued by his neighbours." By their report it appeared that the
revenue of Charles I. from 1637 to 1641 had amounted on an average to
about £900,000, of which full £200,000 arose from sources either not
warranted by law or no longer available. The house resolved to raise
the present king's income to £1,200,000 per annum; a sum perhaps
sufficient in those times for the ordinary charges of government. But
the funds assigned to produce this revenue soon fell short of the
parliament's calculation.[543]

_Abolition of military tenures. Excise granted instead._--One ancient
fountain that had poured its stream into the royal treasury, it was
now determined to close up for ever. The feudal tenures had brought
with them at the conquest, or not long after, those incidents, as they
were usually called, or emoluments of signiory, which remained after
the military character of fiefs had been nearly effaced; especially
the right of detaining the estates of minors holding in chivalry,
without accounting for the profits. This galling burthen, incomparably
more ruinous to the tenant than beneficial to the lord, it had long
been determined to remove. Charles, at the treaty of Newport, had
consented to give it up for a fixed revenue of £100,000; and this was
almost the only part of that ineffectual compact which the present
parliament were anxious to complete. The king, though likely to lose
much patronage and influence, and what passed with lawyers for a high
attribute of his prerogative, could not decently refuse a commutation
so evidently advantageous to the aristocracy. No great difference of
opinion subsisting as to the expediency of taking away military
tenures, it remained only to decide from what resources the
commutation revenue should spring. Two schemes were suggested; the
one, a permanent tax on lands held in chivalry (which, as
distinguished from those in socage, were alone liable to the feudal
burthens); the other, an excise on beer and some other liquors. It is
evident that the former was founded on a just principle; while the
latter transferred a particular burthen to the community. But the
self-interest which so unhappily predominates even in representative
assemblies, with the aid of the courtiers who knew that an excise
increasing with the riches of the country was far more desirable for
the Crown than a fixed land-tax, caused the former to be carried,
though by the very small majority of two voices.[544] Yet even thus,
if the impoverishment of the gentry, and dilapidation of their estates
through the detestable abuses of wardship, was, as cannot be doubted,
very mischievous to the inferior classes, the whole community must be
reckoned gainers by the arrangement, though it might have been
conducted in a more equitable manner. The statute 12 Car. II. c. 24.
takes away the court of wards, with all wardships and forfeitures for
marriage by reason of tenure, all primer seisins, and fines for
alienation, aids, escuages, homages, and tenures by chivalry without
exception, save the honorary services of grand sergeanty; converting
all such tenures into common socage. The same statute abolishes those
famous rights of purveyance and pre-emption, the fruitful theme of so
many complaining parliaments; and this relief of the people from a
general burthen may serve in some measure as an apology for the
imposition of the excise. This act may be said to have wrought an
important change in the spirit of our constitution, by reducing what
is emphatically called the prerogative of the Crown, and which, by its
practical exhibition in these two vexatious exercises of power,
wardship, and purveyance, kept up in the minds of the people a more
distinct perception, as well as more awe, of the monarchy, than could
be felt in later periods, when it has become, as it were, merged in
the common course of law, and blended with the very complex mechanism
of our institutions. This great innovation however is properly to be
referred to the revolution of 1641, which put an end to the court of
star-chamber, and suspended the feudal superiorities. Hence, with all
the misconduct of the two last Stuarts, and all the tendency towards
arbitrary power that their government often displayed, we must
perceive that the constitution had put on, in a very great degree, its
modern character during that period; the boundaries of prerogative
were better understood; its pretensions, at least in public, were less
enormous; and not so many violent and oppressive, certainly not so
many illegal, acts were committed towards individuals as under the two
first of their family.

_Army disbanded._--In fixing upon £1,200,000 as a competent revenue
for the Crown, the Commons tacitly gave it to be understood that a
regular military force was not among the necessities for which they
meant to provide. They looked upon the army, notwithstanding its
recent services, with that apprehension and jealousy which becomes an
English House of Commons. They were still supporting it by monthly
assessments of £70,000, and could gain no relief by the king's
restoration till that charge came to an end. A bill therefore was sent
up to the Lords before their adjournment in September, providing money
for disbanding the land forces. This was done during the recess; the
soldiers received their arrears with many fair words of praise, and
the nation saw itself, with delight and thankfulness to the king,
released from its heavy burthens and the dread of servitude.[545] Yet
Charles had too much knowledge of foreign countries, where monarchy
flourished in all its plenitude of sovereign power under the guardian
sword of a standing army, to part readily with so favourite an
instrument of kings. Some of his counsellors, and especially the Duke
of York, dissuaded him from disbanding the army, or at least advised
his supplying its place by another. The unsettled state of the kingdom
after so momentous a revolution, the dangerous audacity of the
fanatical party, whose enterprises were the more to be guarded
against, that they were founded on no such calculation as reasonable
men would form, and of which the insurrection of Venner in November
1660 furnished an example, did undoubtedly appear a very plausible
excuse for something more of a military protection to the government
than yeomen of the guard and gentlemen pensioners. General Monk's
regiment, called the Coldstream, and one other of horse, were
accordingly retained by the king in his service; another was formed
out of troops brought from Dunkirk; and thus began, under the name of
guards, the present regular army of Great Britain.[546] In 1662 these
amounted to about 5000 men; a petty force according to our present
notions, or to the practice of other European monarchies in that age,
yet sufficient to establish an alarming precedent, and to open a new
source of contention between the supporters of power and those of

So little essential innovation had been effected by twenty years'
interruption of the regular government in the common law or course of
judicial proceedings, that, when the king and House of Lords were
restored to their places, little more seemed to be requisite than a
change of names. But what was true of the state could not be applied
to the church. The revolution there had gone much farther, and the
questions of restoration and compromise were far more difficult.

_Clergy restored to their benefices._--It will be remembered that such
of the clergy as steadily adhered to the episcopal constitution had
been expelled from their benefices by the long parliament under
various pretexts, and chiefly for refusing to take the covenant. The
new establishment was nominally presbyterian. But the presbyterian
discipline and synodical government were very partially introduced;
and, upon the whole, the church, during the suspension of the ancient
laws, was rather an assemblage of congregations than a compact body,
having little more unity than resulted from their common dependency on
the temporal magistrate. In the time of Cromwell, who favoured the
independent sectaries, some of that denomination obtained livings; but
very few, I believe, comparatively, who had not received either
episcopal or presbyterian ordination. The right of private patronage
to benefices, and that of tithes, though continually menaced by the
more violent party, subsisted without alteration. Meanwhile the
episcopal ministers, though excluded from legal toleration along with
papists, by the instrument of government under which Cromwell
professed to hold his power, obtained, in general, a sufficient
indulgence for the exercise of their function.[547] Once, indeed, on
discovery of the royalist conspiracy in 1655, he published a severe
ordinance, forbidding every ejected minister or fellow of a college to
act as domestic chaplain or schoolmaster. But this was coupled with a
promise to show as much tenderness as might consist with the safety of
the nation towards such of the said persons as should give testimony
of their good affection to the government; and, in point of fact, this
ordinance was so far from being rigorously observed, that episcopalian
conventicles were openly kept in London.[548] Cromwell was of a really
tolerant disposition, and there had perhaps, on the whole, been no
period of equal duration wherein the catholics themselves suffered so
little molestation as under the protectorate.[549] It is well known
that he permitted the settlement of Jews in England, after an
exclusion of nearly three centuries, in spite of the denunciations of
some bigoted churchmen and lawyers.

_Hopes of the presbyterians from the king._--The presbyterian clergy,
though co-operating in the king's restoration, experienced very just
apprehensions of the church they had supplanted; and this was in fact
one great motive of the restrictions that party was so anxious to
impose on him. His character and sentiments were yet very imperfectly
known in England; and much pains were taken on both sides, by short
pamphlets, panegyrical or defamatory, to represent him as the best
Englishman and best protestant of the age, or as one given up to
profligacy and popery.[550] The caricature likeness was, we must now
acknowledge, more true than the other; but at that time it was fair
and natural to dwell on the more pleasing picture. The presbyterians
remembered that he was what they called a covenanted king; that is,
that, for the sake of the assistance of the Scots, he had submitted to
all the obligations, and taken all the oaths, they thought fit to
impose.[551] But it was well known that, on the failure of those
prospects, he had returned to the church of England, and that he was
surrounded by its zealous adherents. Charles, in his declaration from
Breda, promised to grant liberty of conscience, so that no man should
be disquieted or called in question for differences of opinion in
matters of religion which do not disturb the peace of the kingdom, and
to consent to such acts of parliament as should be offered for him for
confirming that indulgence. But he was silent as to the church
establishment; and the presbyterian ministers, who went over to
present the congratulations of their body, met with civil language,
but no sort of encouragement to expect any personal compliance on the
king's part with their mode of worship.

_Projects for a compromise._--The moderate party in the convention
parliament, though not absolutely of the presbyterian interest, saw
the danger of permitting an oppressed body of churchmen to regain
their superiority without some restraint. The actual incumbents of
benefices were, on the whole, a respectable and even exemplary class,
most of whom could not be reckoned answerable for the legal defects of
their title. But the ejected ministers of the Anglican church, who had
endured for their attachment to its discipline and to the Crown so
many years of poverty and privation, stood in a still more favourable
light, and had an evident claim to restoration. The Commons
accordingly, before the king's return, prepared a bill for confirming
and restoring ministers; with the twofold object of replacing in their
benefices, but without their legal right to the intermediate profits,
the episcopal clergy who by ejection or forced surrender had made way
for intruders, and at the same time of establishing the possession,
though originally usurped, of those against whom there was no claimant
living to dispute it, as well as of those who had been presented on
legal vacancies.[552] This act did not pass without opposition of the
cavaliers, who panted to retaliate the persecution that had afflicted
their church.[553]

This legal security however for the enjoyment of their livings gave no
satisfaction to the scruples of conscientious men. The episcopal
discipline, the Anglican liturgy and ceremonies having never been
abrogated by law, revived of course with the constitutional monarchy;
and brought with them all the penalties that the act of uniformity and
other statutes had inflicted. The nonconforming clergy threw
themselves on the king's compassion, or gratitude, or policy, for
relief. The independents, too irreconcilable to the established church
for any scheme of comprehension, looked only to that liberty of
conscience which the king's declaration from Breda had held
forth.[554] But the presbyterians soothed themselves with hopes of
retaining their benefices by some compromise with their adversaries.
They had never, generally speaking, embraced the rigid principles of
the Scottish clergy, and were willing to admit what they called a
moderate episcopacy. They offered, accordingly, on the king's request
to know their terms, a middle scheme, usually denominated Bishop
Usher's Model; not as altogether approving it, but because they could
not hope for anything nearer to their own views. This consisted,
first, in the appointment of a suffragan bishop for each rural
deanery, holding a monthly synod of the presbyters within his
district; and, secondly, in an annual diocesan synod of suffragans and
representatives of the presbyters, under the presidency of the bishop,
and deciding upon all matters before them by plurality of
suffrages.[555] This is, I believe, considered by most competent
judges as approaching more nearly than our own system to the usage of
the primitive church, which gave considerable influence and
superiority of rank to the bishop, without destroying the
aristocratical character and co-ordinate jurisdiction of the
ecclesiastical senate.[556] It lessened also the inconveniences
supposed to result from the great extent of some English dioceses.
But, though such a system was inconsistent with that parity which the
rigid presbyterians maintained to be indispensable, and those who
espoused it are reckoned, in a theological division, among
episcopalians, it was, in the eyes of equally rigid churchmen, little
better than a disguised presbytery, and a real subversion of the
Anglican hierarchy.[557]

The presbyterian ministers, or rather a few eminent persons of that
class, proceeded to solicit a revision of the liturgy, and a
consideration of the numerous objections which they made to certain
passages, while they admitted the lawfulness of a prescribed form.
They implored the king also to abolish, or at least not to enjoin as
necessary, some of those ceremonies which they scrupled to use, and
which in fact had been the original cause of their schism; the
surplice, the cross in baptism, the practice of kneeling at the
communion, and one or two more. A tone of humble supplication pervades
all their language, which some might invidiously contrast with their
unbending haughtiness in prosperity. The bishops and other Anglican
divines, to whom their propositions were referred, met the offer of
capitulation with a scornful and vindictive smile. They held out not
the least overture towards a compromise.

The king however deemed it expedient, during the continuance of a
parliament, the majority of whom were desirous of union in the church,
and had given some indications of their disposition,[558] to keep up
the delusion a little longer, and prevent the possible consequences of
despair. He had already appointed several presbyterian ministers his
chaplains, and given them frequent audiences. But during the recess of
parliament he published a declaration, wherein, after some compliments
to the ministers of the presbyterian opinion, and an artful expression
of satisfaction that he had found them no enemies to episcopacy or a
liturgy, as they had been reported to be, he announces his intention
to appoint a sufficient number of suffragan bishops in the larger
dioceses; he promises that no bishop should ordain or exercise any
part of his spiritual jurisdiction without advice and assistance of
his presbyters; that no chancellors or officials of the bishops should
use any jurisdiction over the ministry, nor any archdeacon without the
advice of a council of his clergy; that the dean and chapter of the
diocese, together with an equal number of presbyters, annually chosen
by the clergy, should be always advising and assisting at all
ordinations, church censures, and other important acts of spiritual
jurisdiction. He declared also that he would appoint an equal number
of divines of both persuasions to revise the liturgy; desiring that in
the meantime none would wholly lay it aside, yet promising that no one
should be molested for not using it till it should be reviewed and
reformed. With regard to ceremonies, he declared that none should be
compelled to receive the sacrament kneeling, nor to use the cross in
baptism, nor to bow at the name of Jesus, nor to wear the surplice,
except in the royal chapel and in cathedrals, nor should subscription
to articles not doctrinal be required. He renewed also his declaration
from Breda, that no man should be called in question for differences
of religious opinion, not disturbing the peace of the kingdom.[559]

Though many of the presbyterian party deemed this modification of
Anglican episcopacy a departure from their notions of an apostolic
church, and inconsistent with their covenant, the majority would
doubtless have acquiesced in so extensive a concession from the ruling
power. If faithfully executed, according to its apparent meaning, it
does not seem that the declaration falls very short of their own
proposal, the scheme of Usher.[560] The high churchmen indeed would
have murmured, had it been made effectual. But such as were nearest
the king's councils well knew that nothing else was intended by it
than to scatter dust in men's eyes, and prevent the interference of
parliament. This was soon rendered manifest, when a bill to render the
king's declaration effectual was vigorously opposed by the courtiers,
and rejected on a second reading by 183 to 157.[561] Nothing could
more forcibly demonstrate an intention of breaking faith with the
presbyterians than this vote. For the king's declaration was repugnant
to the act of uniformity and many other statutes, so that it could not
be carried into effect without the authority of parliament, unless by
means of such a general dispensing power as no parliament would
endure.[562] And it is impossible to question that a bill for
confirming it would have easily passed through this House of Commons,
had it not been for the resistance of the government.

_Convention parliament dissolved._--Charles now dissolved the
convention parliament, having obtained from it what was immediately
necessary, but well aware that he could better accomplish his objects
with another. It was studiously inculcated by the royalist lawyers
that as this assembly had not been summoned by the king's writ, none
of its acts could have any real validity, except by the confirmation
of a true parliament.[563] This doctrine being applicable to the act
of indemnity left the kingdom in a precarious condition till an
undeniable security could be obtained, and rendered the dissolution
almost necessary. Another parliament was called of very different
composition from the last. Possession and the standing ordinances
against royalists had enabled the secluded members of 1648, that is,
the adherents of the long parliament, to stem with some degree of
success the impetuous tide of loyalty in the last elections, and put
them almost upon an equality with the court. But, in the new assembly,
cavaliers, and the sons of cavaliers, entirely predominated; the great
families, the ancient gentry, the episcopal clergy, resumed their
influence; the presbyterians and sectarians feared to have their
offences remembered; so that we may rather be surprised that about
fifty or sixty who had belonged to the opposite side found places in
such a parliament, than that its general complexion should be
decidedly royalist. The presbyterian faction seemed to lie prostrate
at the feet of those on whom they had so long triumphed, without any
force of arms or civil convulsion, as if the king had been brought in
against their will. Nor did the cavaliers fail to treat them as
enemies to monarchy, though it was notorious that the restoration was
chiefly owing to their endeavours.[564]

_Different complexion of the new parliament._--The new parliament gave
the first proofs of their disposition by voting that all their members
should receive the sacrament on a certain day according to the rites
of the church of England, and that the solemn league and covenant
should be burned by the common hangman.[565] They excited still more
serious alarm by an evident reluctance to confirm the late act of
indemnity, which the king at the opening of the session had pressed
upon their attention. Those who had suffered the sequestrations and
other losses of a vanquished party, could not endure to abandon what
they reckoned a just reparation. But Clarendon adhered with equal
integrity and prudence to this fundamental principle of the
restoration; and, after a strong message from the king on the subject,
the Commons were content to let the bill pass with no new
exceptions.[566] They gave indeed some relief to the ruined
cavaliers, by voting £60,000 to be distributed among that class; but
so inadequate a compensation did not assuage their discontents.

_Condemnation of Vane._--It has been mentioned above, that the late
House of Commons had consented to the exception of Vane and Lambert
from indemnity on the king's promise that they should not suffer
death. They had lain in the Tower accordingly, without being brought
to trial. The regicides who had come in under the proclamation were
saved from capital punishment by the former act of indemnity. But the
present parliament abhorred this lukewarm lenity. A bill was brought
in for the execution of the king's judges in the Tower; and the
attorney-general was requested to proceed against Vane and
Lambert.[567] The former was dropped in the House of Lords; but those
formidable chiefs of the commonwealth were brought to trial. Their
indictments alleged as overt acts of high treason against Charles II.
their exercise of civil and military functions under the usurping
government; though not, as far as appears, expressly directed against
the king's authority, and certainly not against his person. Under such
an accusation, many who had been the most earnest in the king's
restoration might have stood at the bar. Thousands might apply to
themselves, in the case of Vane, the beautiful expressions of Mrs.
Hutchinson, as to her husband's feelings at the death of the
regicides, that he looked on himself as judged in their judgment and
executed in their execution. The stroke fell upon one, the reproach
upon many.

The condemnation of Sir Henry Vane was very questionable even
according to the letter of the law. It was plainly repugnant to its
spirit. An excellent statute enacted under Henry VII., and deemed by
some great writers to be only declaratory of the common law, but
occasioned, no doubt, by some harsh judgments of treason which had
been pronounced during the late competition of the house of York and
Lancaster, assured a perfect indemnity to all persons obeying a king
for the time being, however defective his title might come to be
considered, when another claimant should gain possession of the
throne. It established the duty of allegiance to the existing
government upon a general principle; but in its terms it certainly
presumed that government to be a monarchy. This furnished the judges
upon the trial of Vane with a distinction, of which they willingly
availed themselves. They proceeded however beyond all bounds of
constitutional precedents and of common sense, when they determined
that Charles the Second had been king _de facto_ as well as _de jure_
from the moment of his father's death, though, in the words of their
senseless sophistry, "kept out of the exercise of his royal authority
by traitors and rebels." He had indeed assumed the title during his
exile, and had granted letters patent for different purposes, which it
was thought proper to hold good after his restoration; thus presenting
the strange anomaly, and as it were contradiction in terms, of a king
who began to govern in the twelfth year of his reign. But this had not
been the usage of former times. Edward IV., Richard III., Henry VII.,
had dated their instruments either from their proclamation, or at
least from some act of possession. The question was not whether a
right to the Crown descended according to the laws of inheritance; but
whether such a right, divested of possession, could challenge
allegiance as a bounden duty by the law of England. This is expressly
determined in the negative by Lord Coke in his third Institute, who
maintains a king "that hath right, and is out of possession," not to
be within the statute of treasons. He asserts also that a pardon
granted by him would be void; which by parity of reasoning must extend
to all his patents.[568] We may consider therefore the execution of
Vane as one of the most reprehensible actions of this bad reign. It
not only violated the assurance of indemnity, but introduced a
principle of sanguinary proscription, which would render the return of
what is called legitimate government, under any circumstances, an
intolerable curse to a nation.[569]

The king violated his promise by the execution of Vane, as much as the
judges strained the law by his conviction. He had assured the last
parliament, in answer to their address, that, if Vane and Lambert
should be attainted by law he would not suffer the sentence to be
executed. Though the present parliament had urged the attorney-general
to bring these delinquents to trial, they had never, by an address to
the king, given him a colour for retracting his promise of mercy. It
is worthy of notice that Clarendon does not say a syllable about
Vane's trial; which affords a strong presumption that he thought it a
breach of the act of indemnity. But we have on record a remarkable
letter of the king to his minister, wherein he expresses his
resentment at Vane's bold demeanour during his trial, and intimates a
wish for his death, though with some doubts whether it could be
honourably done.[570] Doubts of such a nature never lasted long with
this prince; and Vane suffered the week after. Lambert, whose
submissive behaviour had furnished a contrast with that of Vane, was
sent to Guernsey; and remained a prisoner for thirty years. The
royalists have spoken of Vane with extreme dislike; yet it should be
remembered that he was not only incorrupt, but disinterested,
inflexible in conforming his public conduct to his principles, and
averse to every sanguinary or oppressive measure: qualities not very
common in revolutionary chiefs, and which honourably distinguished him
from the Lamberts and Haslerigs of his party.[571]

_Acts replacing the Crown in its prerogatives._--No time was lost, as
might be expected from the temper of the Commons, in replacing the
throne on its constitutional basis after the rude encroachments of the
long parliament. They declared that there was no legislative power in
either or both houses without the king; that the league and covenant
was unlawfully imposed; that the sole supreme command of the militia,
and of all forces by sea and land, had ever been by the laws of
England the undoubted right of the Crown; that neither house of
parliament could pretend to it, nor could lawfully levy any war
offensive or defensive against his majesty.[572] These last words
appeared to go to a dangerous length, and to sanction the suicidal
doctrine of absolute non-resistance. They made the law of high treason
more strict during the king's life in pursuance of a precedent in the
reign of Elizabeth.[573] They restored the bishops to their seats in
the House of Lords; a step which the last parliament would never have
been induced to take, but which met with little opposition from the
present.[574] The violence that had attended their exclusion seemed a
sufficient motive for rescinding a statute so improperly obtained,
even if the policy of maintaining the spiritual peers were somewhat
doubtful. The remembrance of those tumultuous assemblages which had
overawed their predecessors in the winter of 1641, and at other times,
produced a law against disorderly petitions. This statute provides
that no petition or address shall be presented to the king or either
house of parliament by more than ten persons; nor shall any one
procure above twenty persons to consent or set their hands to any
petition for alteration of matters established by law in church or
state, unless with the previous order of three justices of the county,
or the major part of the grand jury.[575]

_Corporation act._--Thus far the new parliament might be said to have
acted chiefly on a principle of repairing the breaches recently made
in our constitution, and of re-establishing the just boundaries of the
executive power; nor would much objection have been offered to their
measures, had they gone no farther in the same course. The act for
regulating corporations is much more questionable, and displayed a
determination to exclude a considerable portion of the community from
their civil rights. It enjoined all magistrates and persons bearing
offices of trust in corporations to swear that they believed it
unlawful, on any pretence whatever, to take arms against the king, and
that they abhorred the traitorous position of bearing arms by his
authority against his person, or against those that are commissioned
by him. They were also to renounce all obligation arising out of the
oath called the solemn league and covenant; in case of refusal, to be
immediately removed from office. Those elected in future were, in
addition to the same oaths, to have received the sacrament within one
year before their election according to the rites of the English
church.[576] These provisions struck at the heart of the presbyterian
party, whose strength lay in the little oligarchies of corporate
towns, which directly or indirectly returned to parliament a very
large proportion of its members. Yet it rarely happens that a
political faction is crushed by the terrors of an oath. Many of the
more rigid presbyterians refused the conditions imposed by this act;
but the majority found pretexts for qualifying themselves.

_Repeal of the triennial act._--It could not yet be said that this
loyal assembly had meddled with those safeguards of public liberty
which had been erected by their great predecessors in 1641. The laws
that Falkland and Hampden had combined to provide, those bulwarks
against the ancient exorbitance of prerogative, stood unscathed;
threatened from afar, but not yet betrayed by the garrison. But one of
these, the bill for triennial parliaments, wounded the pride of
royalty, and gave scandal to his worshippers; not so much on account
of its object, as of the securities provided against its violation. If
the king did not summon a fresh parliament within three years after a
dissolution, the peers were to meet and issue writs of their own
accord; if they did not within a certain time perform this duty, the
sheriffs of every county were to take it on themselves; and, in
default of all constituted authorities the electors might assemble
without any regular summons to choose representatives. It was manifest
that the king must have taken a fixed resolution to trample on a
fundamental law, before these irregular tumultuous modes of redress
could be called into action; and that the existence of such provisions
could not in any degree weaken or endanger the legal and limited
monarchy. But the doctrine of passive obedience had now crept from the
homilies into the statute-book; the parliament had not scrupled to
declare the unlawfulness of defensive war against the king's person;
and it was but one step more to take away all direct means of
counteracting his pleasure. Bills were accordingly more than once
ordered to be brought in for repealing the triennial act; but no
further steps were taken till the king thought it at length necessary
in the year 1664 to give them an intimation of his desires.[577] A
vague notion had partially gained ground that no parliament, by virtue
of that bill, could sit for more than three years. In allusion to
this, he told them, on opening the session of 1664, that he "had often
read over that bill; and, though there was no colour for the fancy of
the determination of the parliament, yet he would not deny that he had
always expected them to consider the wonderful clauses in that bill,
which passed in a time very uncareful for the dignity of the Crown or
the security of the people. He requested them to look again at it. For
himself, he loved parliaments; he was much beholden to them; he did
not think the Crown could ever be happy without frequent parliaments.
But assure yourselves," he concluded, "if I should think otherwise I
would never suffer a parliament to come together by the means
prescribed by that bill."[578]

So audacious a declaration, equivalent to an avowed design, in certain
circumstances, of preventing the execution of the laws by force of
arms, was never before heard from the lips of an English king; and
would in any other times have awakened a storm of indignation from the
Commons. They were however sufficiently compliant to pass a bill for
the repeal of that which had been enacted with unanimous consent in
1641, and had been hailed as the great palladium of constitutional
monarchy. The preamble recites the said act to have been "in
derogation of his majesty's just rights and prerogative inherent in
the imperial Crown of this realm for the calling and assembling of
parliaments." The bill then repeals and annuls every clause and
article in the fullest manner; yet, with an inconsistency not unusual
in our statutes, adds a provision that parliaments shall not in future
be intermitted for above three years at the most. This clause is
evidently framed in a different spirit from the original bill, and may
be attributed to the influence of that party in the house, which had
begun to oppose the court, and already showed itself in considerable
strength.[579] Thus the effect of this compromise was, that the law of
the long parliament subsisted as to its principle, without those
unusual clauses which had been enacted to render its observance
secure. The king assured them, in giving his assent to the repeal,
that he would not be a day more without a parliament on that account.
But the necessity of those securities, and the mischiefs of that false
and servile loyalty which abrogated them, became manifest at the close
of the present reign; nearly four years having elapsed between the
dissolution of Charles's last parliament and his death.

Clarendon, the principal adviser, as yet, of the king since his
restoration (for Southampton rather gave reputation to the
administration than took that superior influence which belonged to his
place of treasurer), has thought fit to stigmatise the triennial bill
with the epithet of infamous. So wholly had he divested himself of the
sentiments he entertained at the beginning of the long parliament that
he sought nothing more ardently than to place the Crown again in a
condition to run into those abuses and excesses against which he had
once so much inveighed. "He did never dissemble," he says, "from the
time of his return with the king, that the late rebellion could never
be extirpated and pulled up by the roots till the king's regal and
inherent power and prerogative should be fully avowed and vindicated,
and till the usurpations in both houses of parliament, since the year
1640, were disclaimed and made odious; and many other excesses, which
had been affected by both before that time under the name of
privileges, should be restrained or explained. For all which
reformation the kingdom in general was very well disposed, when it
pleased God to restore the king to it. The present parliament had done
much, and would willingly have prosecuted the same method, if they had
had the same advice and encouragement."[580] I can only understand
these words to mean that they might have been led to repeal other
statutes of the long parliament, besides the triennial act, and that
excluding the bishops from the House of Peers; but more especially, to
have restored the two great levers of prerogative, the courts of
star-chamber and high-commission. This would indeed have pulled up by
the roots the work of the long parliament, which, in spite of such
general reproach, still continued to shackle the revived monarchy.
There had been some serious attempts at this in the House of Lords
during the session of 1661-2. We read in the Journals[581] that a
committee was appointed to prepare a bill for repealing all acts made
in the parliament begun the 3rd day of November 1640, and for
re-enacting such of them as should be thought fit. This committee some
time after[582] reported their opinion, "that it was fit for the good
of the nation, that there be a court of like nature to the late court
called the star-chamber; but desired the advice and directions of the
house in these particulars following: Who should be judges? What
matters should they be judges of? By what manner of proceedings should
they act?" The house, it is added, thought it not fit to give any
particular directions therein, but left it to the committee to proceed
as they would. It does not appear that anything further was done in
this session; but we find the bill of repeal revived next year.[583]
It is however only once mentioned. Perhaps it may be questionable
whether, even amidst the fervid loyalty of 1661, the House of Commons
would have concurred in re-establishing the star-chamber. They had
taken marked precautions in passing an act for the restoration of
ecclesiastical jurisdiction, that it should not be construed to
restore the high-commission court, or to give validity to the canons
of 1640, or to enlarge in any manner the ancient authority of the
church.[584] A tribunal still more formidable and obnoxious would
hardly have found favour with a body of men, who, as their behaviour
shortly demonstrated, might rather be taxed with passion and
vindictiveness towards a hostile faction, than a deliberate
willingness to abandon their English rights and privileges.

The striking characteristic of this parliament was a zealous and
intolerant attachment to the established church, not losing an atom of
their aversion to popery in their abhorrence of protestant dissent. In
every former parliament since the reformation, the country party (if I
may use such a word, by anticipation, for those gentlemen of landed
estates who owed their seats to their provincial importance, as
distinguished from courtiers, lawyers, and dependents on the
nobility), had incurred with rigid churchmen the reproach of
puritanical affections. They were implacable against popery, but
disposed to far more indulgence with respect to nonconformity than the
very different maxims of Elizabeth and her successors would permit.
Yet it is obvious that the puritan Commons of James I. and the high
church Commons of Charles II. were composed, in a great measure, of
the same families, and entirely of the same classes. But, as the
arrogance of the prelates had excited indignation, and the sufferings
of the scrupulous clergy begotten sympathy in one age, so the reversed
scenes of the last twenty years had given to the former, or their
adherents, the advantage of enduring oppression with humility and
fortitude, and displayed in the latter, or at least many of their
number, those odious and malevolent qualities which adversity had
either concealed or rendered less dangerous. The gentry, connected for
the most part by birth or education with the episcopal clergy, could
not for an instant hesitate between the ancient establishment, and one
composed of men whose eloquence in preaching was chiefly directed
towards the common people, and presupposed a degree of enthusiasm in
the hearer which the higher classes rarely possessed. They dreaded the
wilder sectaries, foes to property, or at least to its political
influence, as much as to the regal constitution; and not unnaturally,
though without perfect fairness, confounded the presbyterian or
moderate nonconformist in the motley crowd of fanatics, to many of
whose tenets he at least more approximated than the church of England

_Presbyterians deceived by the king._--There is every reason to
presume, as I have already remarked, that the king had no intention
but to deceive the presbyterians and their friends in the convention
parliament by his declaration of October 1660.[585] He proceeded,
after the dissolution of that assembly, to fill up the number of
bishops, who had been reduced to nine, but with no further mention of
suffragans, or of the council of presbyters, which had been announced
in that declaration.[586] It does indeed appear highly probable that
this scheme of Usher would have been found inconvenient and even
impracticable; and reflecting men would perhaps be apt to say that the
usage of primitive antiquity, upon which all parties laid so much
stress, was rather a presumptive argument against the adoption of any
system of church-government, in circumstances so widely different,
than in favour of it. But inconvenient and impracticable provisions
carry with them their own remedy; and the king might have respected
his own word, and the wishes of a large part of the church, without
any formidable danger to episcopal authority. It would have been,
however, too flagrant a breach of promise (and yet hardly greater than
that just mentioned) if some show had not been made of desiring a
reconciliation on the subordinate details of religious ceremonies and
the liturgy. This produced a conference held at the Savoy, in May
1661, between twenty-one Anglican and as many presbyterian divines:
the latter were called upon to propose their objections; it being the
part of the others to defend. They brought forward so long a list as
seemed to raise little hope of agreement. Some of these objections to
the service, as may be imagined, were rather captious and
hypercritical; yet in many cases they pointed out real defects. As to
ceremonies, they dwelt on the same scruples as had from the beginning
of Elizabeth's reign produced so unhappy a discordance, and had become
inveterate by so much persecution. The conference was managed with
great mutual bitterness and recrimination; the one party stimulated by
vindictive hatred and the natural arrogance of power; the other
irritated by the manifest design of breaking the king's faith, and
probably by a sense of their own improvidence in ruining themselves by
his restoration. The chief blame, it cannot be dissembled, ought to
fall on the churchmen. An opportunity was afforded of healing, in a
very great measure, that schism and separation which, if they are to
be believed, is one of the worst evils that can befall a christian
community. They had it in their power to retain, or to expel, a vast
number of worthy and laborious ministers of the gospel, with whom they
had, in their own estimation, no essential ground of difference. They
knew the king, and consequently themselves, to have been restored with
(I might almost say by) the strenuous co-operation of those very men
who were now at their mercy. To judge by the rules of moral wisdom, or
of the spirit of Christianity (to which, notwithstanding what might be
satirically said of experience, it is difficult not to think we have a
right to expect that a body of ecclesiastics should pay some
attention), there can be no justification for the Anglican party on
this occasion. They have certainly one apology, the best very
frequently that can be offered for human infirmity; they had sustained
a long and unjust exclusion from the emoluments of their profession,
which begot a natural dislike towards the members of the sect that had
profited at their expense, though not, in general, personally
responsible for their misfortunes.[587]

The Savoy conference broke up in anger, each party more exasperated
and more irreconcilable than before. This indeed has been the usual
consequence of attempts to bring men to an understanding on religious
differences by explanation or compromise. The public is apt to expect
too much from these discussions; unwilling to believe either that
those who have a reputation for piety can be wanting in desire to find
the truth, or that those who are esteemed for ability can miss it. And
this expectation is heightened by the language rather too strongly
held by moderate and peaceable divines, that little more is required
than an understanding of each other's meaning, to unite conflicting
sects in a common faith. But as it generally happens that the disputes
of theologians, though far from being so important as they appear to
the narrow prejudices and heated passions of the combatants, are not
wholly nominal, or capable of being reduced to a common form of words,
the hopes of union and settlement vanish upon that closer enquiry
which conferences and schemes of agreement produce. And though this
may seem rather applicable to speculative controversies than to such
matters as were debated between the church and the presbyterians at
the Savoy conference, and which are in their nature more capable of
compromise than articles of doctrine; yet the consequence of
exhibiting the incompatibility and reciprocal alienation of the two
parties in a clearer light was nearly the same.

A determination having been taken to admit of no extensive
comprehension, it was debated by the government whether to make a few
alterations in the liturgy, or to restore the ancient service in every
particular. The former advice prevailed, though with no desire or
expectation of conciliating any scrupulous persons by the amendments
introduced.[588] These were by no means numerous, and in some
instances rather chosen in order to irritate and mock the opposite
party than from any compliance with their prejudices. It is indeed
very probable, from the temper of the new parliament, that they would
not have come into more tolerant and healing measures.

_Act of uniformity._--When the act of uniformity was brought into the
House of Lords, it was found not only to restore all the ceremonies
and other matters to which objection had been taken, but to contain
fresh clauses more intolerable than the rest to the presbyterian
clergy. One of these enacted that not only every beneficed minister,
but fellow of a college, or even schoolmaster, should declare his
unfeigned assent and consent to all and everything contained in the
book of common prayer.[589] These words, however capable of being
eluded and explained away, as such subscriptions always are, seemed to
amount, in common use of language, to a complete approbation of an
entire volume, such as a man of sense hardly gives to any book, and
which, at a time when scrupulous persons were with great difficulty
endeavouring to reconcile themselves to submission, placed a new
stumbling-block in their way, which, without abandoning their
integrity, they found it impossible to surmount.

The malignity of those who chiefly managed church affairs at this
period displayed itself in another innovation tending to the same end.
It had been not unusual, from the very beginnings of our reformation,
to admit ministers ordained in foreign protestant churches to
benefices in England. No re-ordination had ever been practised with
respect to those who had received the imposition of hands in a regular
church; and hence it appears that the church of England, whatever
tenets might latterly have been broached in controversy, did not
consider the ordination of presbyters invalid. Though such ordinations
as had taken place during the late troubles, and by virtue of which a
great part of the actual clergy were in possession, were evidently
irregular, on the supposition that the English episcopal church was
then in existence; yet, if the argument from such great convenience
as men call necessity was to prevail, it was surely worth while to
suffer them to pass without question for the present, enacting
provisions, if such were required, for the future. But this did not
fall in with the passion and policy of the bishops, who found a
pretext for their worldly motives of action in the supposed divine
right and necessity of episcopal succession; a theory naturally more
agreeable to arrogant and dogmatical ecclesiastics than that of
Cranmer, who saw no intrinsic difference between bishops and priests;
or of Hooker, who thought ecclesiastical superiorities, like civil,
subject to variation; or of Stillingfleet, who had lately pointed out
the impossibility of ascertaining beyond doubtful conjecture the real
constitution of the apostolical church, from the scanty, inconclusive
testimonies that either Scripture or antiquity furnish. It was
therefore enacted in the statute for uniformity, that no person should
hold any preferment in England, without having received episcopal
ordination. There seems to be little or no objection to this
provision, if ordination be considered as a ceremony of admission into
a particular society; but, according to the theories which both
parties had embraced in that age, it conferred a sort of mysterious
indelible character, which rendered its repetition improper.[590]

_Ejection of nonconformist clergy._--The new act of uniformity
succeeded to the utmost wishes of its promoters. It provided that
every minister should, before the feast of St. Bartholomew, 1662,
publicly declare his assent and consent to everything contained in the
book of common prayer, on pain of being _ipso facto_ deprived of his
benefice.[591] Though even the long parliament had reserved a fifth
of the profits to those who were ejected for refusing the covenant, no
mercy could be obtained from the still greater bigotry of the present;
and a motion to make that allowance to nonconforming ministers was
lost by 94 to 87.[592] The Lords had shown a more temperate spirit,
and made several alterations of a conciliating nature. They objected
to extending the subscription required by the act to schoolmasters.
But the Commons urged in a conference the force of education, which
made it necessary to take care for the youth. The upper house even
inserted a proviso, allowing the king to dispense with the surplice
and the sign of the cross; but the Commons resolutely withstanding
this and every other alteration, they were all given up.[593] Yet next
year, when it was found necessary to pass an act for the relief of
those who had been prevented involuntarily from subscribing the
declaration in due time, a clause was introduced, declaring that the
assent and consent to the book of common prayer required by the said
act should be understood only as to practice and obedience, and not
otherwise. The Duke of York and twelve lay peers protested against
this clause, as destructive to the church of England as now
established; and the Commons vehemently objecting to it, the partisans
of moderate councils gave way as before.[594] When the day of St.
Bartholomew came, about 2000 persons resigned their preferments rather
than stain their consciences by compliance--an act to which the more
liberal Anglicans, after the bitterness of immediate passions had
passed away, have accorded that praise which is due to heroic virtue
in an enemy. It may justly be said that the episcopal clergy had set
an example of similar magnanimity in refusing to take the covenant.
Yet, as that was partly of a political nature, and those who were
ejected for not taking it might hope to be restored through the
success of the king's arms, I do not know that it was altogether so
eminent an act of self-devotion as the presbyterian clergy displayed
on St. Bartholomew's day. Both of them afford striking contrasts to
the pliancy of the English church in the greater question of the
preceding century, and bear witness to a remarkable integrity and
consistency of principle.[595]

No one who has any sense of honesty and plain dealing can pretend that
Charles did not violate the spirit of his declarations, both that from
Breda, and that which he published in October 1660. It is idle to say
that those declarations were subject to the decision of parliament, as
if the Crown had no sort of influence in that assembly, nor even any
means of making its inclinations known. He had urged them to confirm
the act of indemnity, wherein he thought his honour and security
concerned: was it less easy to obtain, or at least to ask for, their
concurrence in a comprehension or toleration of the presbyterian
clergy? Yet, after mocking those persons with pretended favour, and
even offering bishoprics to some of their number, by way of purchasing
their defection, the king made no effort to mitigate the provisions of
the act of uniformity; and Clarendon strenuously supported them
through both houses of parliament.[596] This behaviour in the minister
sprung from real bigotry and dislike of the presbyterians; but Charles
was influenced by a very different motive, which had become the secret
spring of all his policy. This requires to be fully explained.

_Hopes of the catholics._--Charles, during his misfortunes, had made
repeated promises to the pope and the great catholic princes of
relaxing the penal laws against his subjects of that religion--promises
which he well knew to be the necessary condition of their assistance.
And, though he never received any succour which could demand the
performance of these assurances, his desire to stand well with France
and Spain, as well as a sense of what was really due to the English
catholics, would have disposed him to grant every indulgence which
the temper of his people should permit. The laws were highly severe,
in some cases sanguinary; they were enacted in very different times,
from plausible motives of distrust, which it would be now both absurd
and ungrateful to retain. The catholics had been the most strenuous of
the late king's adherents, the greatest sufferers for their loyalty.
Out of about 500 gentlemen who lost their lives in the royal cause,
one-third, it has been said, were of that religion.[597] Their estates
had been selected for confiscation, when others had been admitted to
compound. It is however certain that after the conclusion of the war,
and especially during the usurpation of Cromwell, they declined in
general to provoke a government which showed a good deal of connivance
towards their religion by keeping up any connection with the exiled
family.[598] They had, as was surely very natural, one paramount
object in their political conduct, the enjoyment of religious liberty;
whatever debt of gratitude they might have owed to Charles I. had been
amply paid; and perhaps they might reflect that he had never scrupled,
in his various negotiations with the parliament, to acquiesce in any
prescriptive measures suggested against popery. This apparent
abandonment however of the royal interests excited the displeasure of
Clarendon, which was increased by a tendency some of the catholics
showed to unite with Lambert, who was understood to be privately of
their religion, and by an intrigue carried on in 1659, by the
machinations of Buckingham with some priests, to set up the Duke of
York for the Crown. But the king retained no resentment of the general
conduct of this party; and was desirous to give them a testimony of
his confidence, by mitigating the penal laws against their religion.
Some steps were taken towards this by the House of Lords in the
session of 1661; and there seems little doubt that the statutes at
least inflicting capital punishment would have been repealed without
difficulty, if the catholics had not lost the favourable moment by
some disunion among themselves, which the never-ceasing intrigues of
the Jesuits contrived to produce.[599]

There can be no sort of doubt that the king's natural facility, and
exemption from all prejudice in favour of established laws, would have
led him to afford every indulgence that could be demanded to his
catholic subjects, many of whom were his companions or his
counsellors, without any propensity towards their religion. But it is
morally certain that, during the period of his banishment, he had
imbibed, as deeply and seriously as the character of his mind would
permit, a persuasion that, if any scheme of Christianity were true, it
could only be found in the bosom of an infallible church; though he
was never reconciled, according to the formal profession which she
exacts, till the last hours of his life. The secret however of his
inclinations, though disguised to the world by the appearance, and
probably sometimes more than the appearance, of carelessness and
infidelity, could not be wholly concealed from his court. It appears
the most natural mode of accounting for the sudden conversion of the
Earl of Bristol to popery, which is generally agreed to have been
insincere. An ambitious intriguer, holding the post of secretary of
state, would not have ventured such a step without some grounds of
confidence in his master's wishes; though his characteristic
precipitancy hurried him forward to destroy his own hopes. Nor are
there wanting proofs that the protestantism of both the brothers was
greatly suspected in England before the restoration.[600] These
suspicions acquired strength after the king's return, through his
manifest intention not to marry a protestant; and still more through
the presumptuous demeanour of the opposite party, which seemed to
indicate some surer grounds of confidence than were yet manifest. The
new parliament in its first session had made it penal to say that the
king was a papist or popishly affected; whence the prevalence of that
scandal may be inferred.[601]

_Resisted by Clarendon and the parliament._--Charles had no assistance
to expect, in his scheme of granting a full toleration to the Roman
faith, from his chief adviser Clarendon. A repeal of the sanguinary
laws, a reasonable connivance, perhaps in some cases a dispensation--to
these favours he would have acceded. But, in his creed of policy, the
legal allowance of any but the established religion was inconsistent
with public order, and with the king's ecclesiastical prerogative.
This was also a fixed principle with the parliament, whose implacable
resentment towards the sectaries had not inclined them to abate in the
least of their abhorrence and apprehension of popery. The church of
England, distinctly and exclusively, was their rallying-point; the
Crown itself stood only second in their affections. The king therefore
had recourse to a more subtle and indirect policy. If the terms of
conformity had been so far relaxed as to suffer the continuance of the
presbyterian clergy in their benefices, there was every reason to
expect from their known disposition a determined hostility to all
approaches towards popery, and even to its toleration. It was
therefore the policy of those who had the interests of that cause at
heart, to permit no deviation from the act of uniformity, to resist
all endeavours at a comprehension of dissenters within the pale of the
church, and to make them look up to the king for indulgence in their
separate way of worship. They were to be taught that, amenable to the
same laws as the Romanists, exposed to the oppression of the same
enemies, they must act in concert for a common benefit.[602] The
presbyterian ministers, disheartened at the violence of the
parliament, had recourse to Charles, whose affability and fair
promises they were loth to distrust; and implored his dispensation for
their nonconformity. The king, naturally irresolute, and doubtless
sensible that he had made a bad return to those who had contributed so
much towards his restoration, was induced, at the strong solicitation
of Lord Manchester, to promise that he would issue a declaration
suspending the execution of the statute for three months. Clarendon,
though he had been averse to some of the rigorous clauses inserted in
the act of uniformity, was of opinion that, once passed, it ought to
be enforced without any connivance; and told the king likewise that it
was not in his power to preserve those who did not comply with it from
deprivation. Yet, as the king's word had been given, he advised him
rather to issue such a declaration than to break his promise. But, the
bishops vehemently remonstrating against it, and intimating that they
would not be parties to a violation of the law, by refusing to
institute a clerk presented by the patron on an avoidance for want of
conformity in the incumbent, the king gave way, and resolved to make
no kind of concession. It is remarkable that the noble historian does
not seem struck at the enormous and unconstitutional prerogative which
a proclamation suspending the statute would have assumed.[603]

_Declaration for indulgence._--Instead of this very objectionable
measure, the king adopted one less arbitrary, and more consonant to
his own secret policy. He published a declaration in favour of liberty
of conscience, for which no provision had been made, so as to redeem
the promises he had held forth at his accession. Adverting to these,
he declared that, "as in the first place he had been zealous to settle
the uniformity of the church of England in discipline, ceremony, and
government, and should ever constantly maintain it; so as for what
concerns the penalties upon those who, living peaceably, do not
conform themselves thereto, he should make it his special care, so far
as in him lay, without invading the freedom of parliament, to incline
their wisdom next approaching sessions to concur with him in making
some such act for that purpose as may enable him to exercise with a
more universal satisfaction that power of dispensing, which he
conceived to be inherent in him."[604]

The aim of this declaration was to obtain from parliament a mitigation
at least of all penal statutes in matters of religion, but more to
serve the interests of catholic than of protestant nonconformity.[605]
Except however the allusion to the dispensing power, which yet is
very moderately alleged, there was nothing in it, according to our
present opinions, that should have created offence. But the Commons,
on their meeting in February 1663, presented an address, denying that
any obligation lay on the king by virtue of his declaration from
Breda, which must be understood to depend on the advice of parliament,
and slightly intimating that he possessed no such dispensing
prerogative as was suggested. They strongly objected to the whole
scheme of indulgence, as the means of increasing sectaries, and rather
likely to occasion disturbance than to promote peace.[606] They
remonstrated, in another address, against the release of Calamy, an
eminent dissenter, who, having been imprisoned for transgressing the
act of uniformity, was irregularly set at liberty by the king's
personal order.[607] The king, undeceived as to the disposition of
this loyal assembly to concur in his projects of religious liberty,
was driven to more tedious and indirect courses in order to compass
his end. He had the mortification of finding that the House of Commons
had imbibed, partly perhaps in consequence of this declaration, that
jealous apprehension of popery, which had caused so much of his
father's ill fortune. On this topic the watchfulness of an English
parliament could never be long at rest. The notorious insolence of the
Romish priests, who, proud of the court's favour, disdained to respect
the laws enough to disguise themselves, provoked an address to the
king, that they might be sent out of the kingdom; and bills were
brought in to prevent the further growth of popery.[608]

Meanwhile, the same remedy, so infallible in the eyes of legislators,
was not forgotten to be applied to the opposite disease of protestant
dissent. Some had believed, of whom Clarendon seems to have been, that
all scruples of tender conscience in the presbyterian clergy being
faction and hypocrisy, they would submit very quietly to the law, when
they found all their clamour unavailing to obtain a dispensation from
it. The resignation of 2000 beneficed ministers at once, instead of
extorting praise, rather inflamed the resentment of their bigoted
enemies; especially when they perceived that a public and perpetual
toleration of separate worship was favoured by part of the court.

_Act against conventicles._--Rumours of conspiracy and insurrection,
sometimes false, but gaining credit from the notorious discontent both
of the old commonwealth's party, and of many who had never been on
that side, were sedulously propagated, in order to keep up the
animosity of parliament against the ejected clergy;[609] and these are
recited as the pretext of an act passed in 1664 for suppressing
seditious conventicles (the epithet being in this place wantonly and
unjustly insulting), which inflicted on all persons above the age of
sixteen, present at any religious meeting in other manner than is
allowed by the practice of the church of England, where five or more
persons besides the household should be present, a penalty of three
months' imprisonment for the first offence, of six for the second, and
of seven years' transportation for the third, on conviction before a
single justice of peace.[610] This act, says Clarendon, if it had
been vigorously executed, would no doubt have produced a thorough
reformation.[611] Such is ever the language of the supporters of
tyranny; when oppression does not succeed, it is because there has
been too little of it. But those who suffered under this statute
report very differently as to its vigorous execution. The gaols were
filled, not only with ministers who had borne the brunt of former
persecutions, but with the laity who attended them; and the hardship
was the more grievous, that the act being ambiguously worded, its
construction was left to a single magistrate, generally very adverse
to the accused.

It is the natural consequence of restrictive laws to aggravate the
disaffection which has served as their pretext; and thus to create a
necessity for a legislature that will not retrace its steps, to pass
still onward in the course of severity. In the next session
accordingly held at Oxford in 1665, on account of the plague that
ravaged the capital, we find a new and more inevitable blow aimed at
the fallen church of Calvin. It was enacted that all persons in holy
orders who had not subscribed the act of uniformity, should swear that
it is not lawful, upon any pretence whatsoever, to take arms against
the king; and that they did abhor that traitorous position of taking
arms by his authority against his person, or against those that are
commissioned by him, and would not at any time endeavour any
alteration of government in church or state. Those who refused this
oath were not only made incapable of teaching in schools, but
prohibited from coming within five miles of any city, corporate town,
or borough sending members to parliament.[612]

This infamous statute did not pass without the opposition of the Earl
of Southampton, lord treasurer, and other peers. But Archbishop
Sheldon, and several bishops, strongly supported the bill, which had
undoubtedly the sanction also of Clarendon's authority.[613] In the
Commons, I do not find that any division took place; but an
unsuccessful attempt was made to insert the word "legally" before
commissioned; the lawyers, however, declared that this word must be
understood.[614] Some of the nonconforming clergy took the oath upon
this construction. But the far greater number refused. Even if they
could have borne the solemn assertion of the principles of passive
obedience in all possible cases, their scrupulous consciences revolted
from a pledge to endeavour no kind of alteration in church and state;
an engagement, in its extended sense, irreconcilable with their own
principles in religion, and with the civil duties of Englishmen. Yet
to quit the towns where they had long been connected, and where alone
they had friends and disciples, for a residence in country villages,
was an exclusion from the ordinary means of subsistence. The church of
England had doubtless her provocations; but she made the retaliation
much more than commensurate to the injury. No severity, comparable to
this cold-blooded persecution, had been inflicted by the late powers,
even in the ferment and fury of a civil war. Encouraged by this easy
triumph, the violent party in the House of Commons thought it a good
opportunity to give the same test a more sweeping application. A bill
was brought in imposing this oath upon the whole nation; that is, I
presume (for I do not know that its precise nature is anywhere
explained), on all persons in any public or municipal trust. This
however was lost on a division by a small majority.[615]

It has been remarked that there is no other instance in history, where
men have suffered persecution on account of differences, which were
admitted by those who inflicted it to be of such small moment. But,
supposing this to be true, it only proves, what may perhaps be alleged
as a sort of extenuation of these severe laws against nonconformists,
that they were merely political, and did not spring from any
theological bigotry. Sheldon indeed, their great promoter, was so free
from an intolerant zeal that he is represented as a man who considered
religion chiefly as an engine of policy. The principles of religious
toleration had already gained considerable ground over mere bigotry;
but were still obnoxious to the arbitrary temper of some politicians,
and wanted perhaps experimental proof of their safety to recommend
them to the caution of others. There can be no doubt that all laws
against dissent and separation from an established church, those even
of the inquisition, have proceeded in a greater or less degree from
political motives; and these appear to me far less odious than the
disinterested rancour of superstition. The latter is very common among
the populace, and sometimes among the clergy. Thus the presbyterians
exclaimed against the toleration of popery, not as dangerous to the
protestant establishment, but as a sinful compromise with idolatry;
language which, after the first heat of the reformation had abated,
was never so current in the Anglican church.[616] In the case of these
statutes against nonconformists under Charles II., revenge and fear
seem to have been the unmixed passions that excited the church party
against those, whose former superiority they remembered, and whose
disaffection and hostility it was impossible to doubt.[617]

_Dissatisfaction increases._--A joy so excessive and indiscriminating
had accompanied the king's restoration, that no prudence or virtue in
his government could have averted that reaction of popular sentiment,
which inevitably follows the disappointment of unreasonable hope.
Those who lay their account upon blessings, which no course of
political administration can bestow, live, according to the poet's
comparison, like the sick man, perpetually changing posture in search
of the rest which nature denies; the dupes of successive revolutions,
sanguine as children with the novelties of politics, a new
constitution, a new sovereign, a new minister, and as angry with the
playthings when they fall short of their desires. What then was the
discontent that must have ensued upon the restoration of Charles II.?
The neglected cavalier, the persecuted presbyterian, the disbanded
officer, had each his grievance; and felt that he was either in a
worse situation than he had formerly been, or at least than he had
expected to be. Though there were not the violent acts of military
power which had struck every man's eyes under Cromwell, it cannot be
said that personal liberty was secure, or that the magistrates had not
considerable power of oppression, and that pretty unsparingly
exercised towards those suspected of disaffection. The religious
persecution was not only far more severe than it was ever during the
commonwealth, but perhaps more extensively felt than under Charles I.
Though the monthly assessments for the support of the army ceased soon
after the restoration, several large grants were made by parliament,
especially during the Dutch war; and it appears, that in the first
seven years of Charles II. the nation paid a greater sum in taxes than
in any preceding period of the same duration. If then the people
compared the national fruits of their expenditure, what a contrast
they found, how deplorable a falling off in public honour and dignity
since the days of the magnanimous usurper![618] They saw with
indignation, that Dunkirk, acquired by Cromwell, had been chaffered
away by Charles (a transaction justifiable perhaps on the mere balance
of profit and loss, but certainly derogatory to the pride of a great
nation); that a war, needlessly commenced, had been carried on with
much display of bravery in our seamen and their commanders, but no
sort of good conduct in the government; and that a petty northern
potentate, who would have trembled at the name of the commonwealth,
had broken his faith towards us out of mere contempt of our

_Private life of the king._--These discontents were heightened by the
private conduct of Charles, if the life of a king can in any sense be
private, by a dissoluteness and contempt of moral opinion, which a
nation, still in the main grave and religious, could not endure. The
austere character of the last king had repressed to a considerable
degree the common vices of a court which had gone to a scandalous
excess under James. But the cavaliers in general affected a profligacy
of manners, as their distinction from the fanatical party, which
gained ground among those who followed the king's fortunes in exile,
and became more flagrant after the restoration. Anecdotes of court
excesses, which required not the aid of exaggeration, were in daily
circulation through the coffee-houses; those who cared least about the
vice, not failing to inveigh against the scandal. It is in the nature
of a limited monarchy that men should censure very freely the private
likes of their princes, as being more exempt from that immoral
servility which blinds itself to the distinctions of right and wrong
in elevated rank. And as a voluptuous court will always appear
prodigal, because all expense in vice is needless, they had the
mortification of believing that the public revenues were wasted on the
vilest associates of the king's debauchery. We are however much
indebted to the memory of Barbara, Duchess of Cleveland, Louisa,
Duchess of Portsmouth, and Mrs. Eleanor Gwyn. We owe a tribute of
gratitude to the Mays, the Killigrews, the Chiffinches, and the
Grammonts. They played a serviceable part in ridding the kingdom of
its besotted loyalty. They saved our forefathers from the
star-chamber, and the high-commission court; they laboured in their
vocation against standing armies and corruption; they pressed forward
the great ultimate security of English freedom, the expulsion of the
house of Stuart.[619]

_Opposition in parliament._--Among the ardent loyalists who formed the
bulk of the present parliament, a certain number of a different class
had been returned, not sufficient of themselves to constitute a very
effective minority, but of considerable importance as a nucleus, round
which the lesser factions that circumstances should produce, might be
gathered. Long sessions, and a long continuance of the same
parliament, have an inevitable tendency to generate a systematic
opposition to the measures of the Crown, which it requires all
vigilance and management to hinder from becoming too powerful. The
sense of personal importance, the desire of occupation in business (a
very characteristic propensity of the English gentry), the various
inducements of private passion and interest, bring forward so many
active spirits, that it was, even in that age, as reasonable to expect
that the ocean should always be tranquil, as that a House of Commons
should continue long to do the king's bidding, with any kind of
unanimity or submission. Nothing can more demonstrate the
incompatibility of the tory scheme, which would place the virtual and
effective, as well as nominal, administration of the executive
government in the sole hands of the Crown, with the existence of a
representative assembly, than the history of this long parliament of
Charles II. None has ever been elected in circumstances so favourable
for the Crown, none ever brought with it such high notions of
prerogative; yet in this assembly a party soon grew up, and gained
strength in every successive year, which the king could neither direct
nor subdue. The methods of bribery, to which the court had largely
recourse, though they certainly diverted some of the measures, and
destroyed the character, of this opposition, proved in the end like
those dangerous medicines which palliate the instant symptoms of a
disease that they aggravate. The leaders of this parliament were, in
general, very corrupt men; but they knew better than to quit the power
which made them worth purchase. Thus the House of Commons matured and
extended those rights of enquiring into and controlling the management
of public affairs, which had caused so much dispute in former times;
and, as the exercise of these functions became more habitual, and
passed with little or no open resistance from the Crown, the people
learned to reckon them unquestionable or even fundamental; and were
prepared for that more perfect settlement of the constitution on a
more republican basis, which took place after the revolution. The
reign of Charles II., though displaying some stretches of arbitrary
power, and threatening a great deal more, was, in fact, the
transitional state between the ancient and modern schemes of the
English constitution; between that course of government where the
executive power, so far as executive, was very little bounded except
by the laws, and that where it can only be carried on, even within its
own province, by the consent and co-operation, in a great measure, of
the parliament.

_Appropriation of supplies._--The Commons took advantage of the
pressure which the war with Holland brought on the administration, to
establish two very important principles on the basis of their sole
right of taxation. The first of these was the appropriation of
supplies to limited purposes. This indeed was so far from an absolute
novelty, that it found precedents in the reigns of Richard II. and
Henry IV.; a period when the authority of the House of Commons was at
a very high pitch. No subsequent instance, I believe, was on record
till the year 1624, when the last parliament of James I., at the
king's own suggestion, directed their supply for the relief of the
Palatinate to be paid into the hands of commissioners named by
themselves. There were cases of a similar nature in the year 1641,
which, though of course they could no longer be upheld as precedents,
had accustomed the house to the idea that they had something more to
do than simply to grant money, without any security or provision for
its application. In the session of 1665, accordingly, an enormous
supply, as it then appeared, of £1,250,000, after one of double that
amount in the preceding year, having been voted for the Dutch war, Sir
George Downing, one of the tellers of the exchequer, introduced into
the subsidy bill a proviso, that the money raised by virtue of that
act should be applicable only to the purposes of the war.[620]
Clarendon inveighed with fury against this, as an innovation
derogatory to the honour of the Crown; but the king himself, having
listened to some who persuaded him that the money would be advanced
more easily upon this better security for speedy repayment, insisted
that it should not be thrown out.[621] That supplies, granted by
parliament, are only to be expended for particular objects specified
by itself, became, from this time, an undisputed principle, recognised
by frequent and at length constant practice. It drew with it the
necessity of estimates regularly laid before the House of Commons;
and, by exposing the management of the public revenues, has given to
parliament, not only a real and effective control over an essential
branch of the executive administration, but, in some measure, rendered
them partakers in it.[622]

_Commission of public accounts._--It was a consequence of this right
of appropriation, that the House of Commons should be able to satisfy
itself as to the expenditure of their monies in the services for which
they were voted. But they might claim a more extensive function, as
naturally derived from their power of opening and closing the public
purse, that of investigating the wisdom, faithfulness, and economy
with which their grants had been expended. For this too there was some
show of precedents in the ancient days of Henry IV.; but what
undoubtedly had most influence was the recollection, that during the
late civil war, and in the times of the commonwealth, the house had
superintended, through its committees, the whole receipts and issues
of the national treasury. This had not been much practised since the
restoration. But in the year 1666, the large cost and indifferent
success of the Dutch war begetting vehement suspicions, not only of
profuseness but of diversion of the public money from its proper
purposes, the house appointed a committee to inspect the accounts of
the officers of the navy, ordnance, and stores, which were laid before
them, as it appears, by the king's direction. This committee after
some time, having been probably found deficient in powers, and
particularly being incompetent to administer an oath, the house
determined to proceed in a more novel and vigorous manner; and sent up
a bill, nominating commissioners to inspect the public accounts, who
were to possess full powers of enquiry, and to report with respect to
such persons as they should find to have broken their trust. The
immediate object of this enquiry, so far as appears from Lord
Clarendon's mention of it, was rather to discover whether the
treasurers had not issued money without legal warrant than to enter
upon the details of its expenditure. But that minister, bigoted to his
Tory creed of prerogative, thought it the highest presumption for a
parliament to intermeddle with the course of government. He spoke of
this bill as an encroachment and usurpation that had no limits, and
pressed the king to be firm in his resolution never to consent to
it.[623] Nor was the king less averse to a parliamentary commission of
this nature, as well from a jealousy of its interference with his
prerogative, as from a consciousness which Clarendon himself suggests,
that great sums had been issued by his orders, which could not be put
in any public account; that is (for we can give no other
interpretation), that the monies granted for the war, and appropriated
by statute to that service, had been diverted to supply his wasteful
and debauched course of pleasures.[624] It was the suspicion, or
rather private knowledge of this criminal breach of trust, which had
led to the bill in question. But such a slave was Clarendon to his
narrow prepossessions, that he would rather see the dissolute excesses
which he abhorred suck nourishment from that revenue which had been
allotted to maintain the national honour and interests, and which, by
its deficiencies thus aggravated, had caused even in this very year
the navy to be laid up, and the coasts to be left defenceless, than
suffer them to be restrained by the only power to which thoughtless
luxury would submit. He opposed the bill therefore in the House of
Lords, as he confesses, with much of that intemperate warmth which
distinguished him, and with a contempt of the lower house and its
authority, as imprudent in respect to his own interests as it was
unbecoming and unconstitutional. The king prorogued parliament while
the measure was depending; but in hopes to pacify the House of
Commons, promised to issue a commission under the great seal for the
examination of public accountants;[625] an expedient which was not
likely to bring more to light than suited his purpose. But it does not
appear that this royal commission, though actually prepared and
sealed, was ever carried into effect; for in the ensuing session, the
great minister's downfall having occurred in the meantime, the House
of Commons brought forward again their bill, which passed into a law.
It invested the commissioners therein nominated with very extensive
and extraordinary powers, both as to auditing public accounts, and
investigating the frauds that had taken place in the expenditure of
money, and employment of stores. They were to examine upon oath, to
summon inquests if they thought fit, to commit persons disobeying
their orders to prison without bail, to determine finally on the
charge and discharge of all accountants; the barons of the exchequer,
upon a certificate of their judgment, were to issue process for
recovering money to the king's use, as if there had been an immediate
judgment of their own court. Reports were to be made of the
commissioners' proceedings from time to time to the king and to both
houses of parliament. None of the commissioners were members of either
house. The king, as may be supposed, gave way very reluctantly to this
interference with his expenses. It brought to light a great deal of
abuse and misapplication of the public revenues, and contributed
doubtless in no small degree to destroy the house's confidence in the
integrity of government, and to promote a more jealous watchfulness of
the king's designs.[626] At the next meeting of parliament, in October
1669, Sir George Carteret, treasurer of the navy, was expelled the
house for issuing money without legal warrant.

_Decline of Clarendon's power._--Sir Edward Hyde, whose influence had
been almost annihilated in the last years of Charles I. through the
inveterate hatred of the queen and those who surrounded her, acquired
by degrees the entire confidence of the young king, and baffled all
the intrigues of his enemies. Guided by him, in all serious matters,
during the latter years of his exile, Charles followed his counsels
almost implicitly in the difficult crisis of the restoration. The
office of chancellor and the title of Earl of Clarendon were the
proofs of the king's favour; but in effect, through the indolence and
ill-health of Southampton, as well as their mutual friendship, he was
the real minister of the Crown.[627] By the clandestine marriage of
his daughter with the Duke of York, he changed one brother from an
enemy to a sincere and zealous friend, without forfeiting the esteem
and favour of the other. And, though he was wise enough to dread the
invidiousness of such an elevation, yet for several years it by no
means seemed to render his influence less secure.[628]

Both in their characters, however, and turn of thinking, there was so
little conformity between Clarendon and his master, that the
continuance of his ascendancy can only be attributed to the power of
early habit over the most thoughtless tempers. But it rarely happens
that kings do not ultimately shake off these fetters, and release
themselves from the sort of subjection which they feel in acting
always by the same advisers. Charles, acute himself and cool-headed,
could not fail to discover the passions and prejudices of his
minister, even if he had wanted the suggestion of others who, without
reasoning on such broad principles as Clarendon, were perhaps his
superiors in judging of temporary business. He wished too, as is
common, to depreciate a wisdom, and to suspect a virtue, which seemed
to reproach his own vice and folly. Nor had Clarendon spared those
remonstrances against the king's course of life, which are seldom
borne without impatience or resentment. He was strongly suspected by
the king as well as his courtiers (though, according to his own
account, without any reason) of having promoted the marriage of Miss
Stewart with the Duke of Richmond.[629] But above all he stood in the
way of projects, which, though still probably unsettled, were floating
in the king's mind. No one was more zealous to uphold the prerogative
at a height where it must overtop and chill with its shadow the
privileges of the people. No one was more vigilant to limit the
functions of parliament, or more desirous to see them confiding and
submissive. But there were landmarks which he could never be brought
to transgress. He would prepare the road for absolute monarchy, but
not introduce it; he would assist to batter down the walls, but not to
march into the town. His notions of what the English constitution
ought to be, appear evidently to have been derived from the times of
Elizabeth and James I., to which he frequently refers with
approbation. In the history of that age, he found much that could not
be reconciled to any liberal principles of government. But there were
two things which he certainly did not find; a revenue capable of
meeting an extraordinary demand without parliamentary supply, and a
standing army. Hence he took no pains, if he did not even, as is
asserted by Burnet, discourage the proposal of others, to obtain such
a fixed annual revenue for the king on the restoration, as would have
rendered it very rarely necessary to have recourse to parliament,[630]
and did not advise the keeping up any part of the army. That a few
troops were retained, was owing to the Duke of York. Nor did he go the
length that was expected in procuring the repeal of all the laws that
had been enacted in the long parliament.[631]

These omissions sank deep in Charles's heart, especially when he found
that he had to deal with an unmanageable House of Commons, and must
fight the battle for arbitrary power; which might have been achieved,
he thought, without a struggle by his minister. There was still less
hope of obtaining any concurrence from Clarendon in the king's designs
as to religion. Though he does not once hint at it in his writings,
there can be little doubt that he must have suspected his master's
inclinations towards the church of Rome. The Duke of York considered
this as the most likely cause of his remissness in not sufficiently
advancing the prerogative.[632] He was always opposed to the various
schemes of a general indulgence towards popery, not only from his
strongly protestant principles and his dislike of all toleration, but
from a prejudice against the body of the English catholics, whom he
thought to arrogate more on the ground of merit than they could claim.
That interest, so powerful at court, was decidedly hostile to the
chancellor; for the Duke of York, who strictly adhered to him, if he
had not kept his change of religion wholly secret, does not at least
seem to have hitherto formed any avowed connection with the popish

_Loss of the king's favour_--_Coalition against Clarendon_.--This
estrangement of the king's favour is sufficient to account for
Clarendon's loss of power; but his entire ruin was rather accomplished
by a strange coalition of enemies, which his virtues, or his errors
and infirmities, had brought into union. The cavaliers hated him on
account of the act of indemnity, and the presbyterians for that of
uniformity. Yet the latter were not in general so eager in his
prosecution as the others.[634] But he owed great part of the
severity with which he was treated to his own pride and ungovernable
passionateness, by which he had rendered very eminent men in the House
of Commons implacable, and to the language he had used as to the
dignity and privileges of the house itself.[635] A sense of this
eminent person's great talents as well as general integrity and
conscientiousness on the one hand, an indignation at the king's
ingratitude, and the profligate counsels of those who supplanted him,
on the other, have led most writers to overlook his faults in
administration, and to treat all the articles of accusation against
him as frivolous or unsupported. It is doubtless impossible to justify
the charge of high treason, on which he was impeached; but there are
matters that never were or could be disproved; and our own knowledge
enables us to add such grave accusations as must show Clarendon's
unfitness for the government of a free country.[636]

1. _Illegal imprisonments._--It is the fourth article of his
impeachment, that he "had advised and procured divers of his majesty's
subjects to be imprisoned against law, in remote islands, garrisons,
and other places, thereby to prevent them from the benefit of the law,
and to produce precedents for the imprisoning any other of his
majesty's subjects in like manner." This was undoubtedly true. There
was some ground for apprehension on the part of the government from
those bold spirits who had been accustomed to revolutions, and drew
encouragement from the vices of the court and the embarrassments of
the nation. Ludlow and Algernon Sidney, about the year 1665, had
projected an insurrection, the latter soliciting Louis XIV. and the
pensionary of Holland for aid.[637] Many officers of the old army,
Wildman, Creed, and others, suspected, perhaps justly, of such
conspiracies, had been illegally detained in prison for several years,
and only recovered their liberty on Clarendon's dismissal.[638] He had
too much encouraged the hateful race of informers, though he admits
that it had grown a trade by which men got money, and that many were
committed on slight grounds.[639] Thus Colonel Hutchinson died in the
close confinement of a remote prison, far more probably on account of
his share in the death of Charles I., from which the act of indemnity
had discharged him, than any just pretext of treason.[640] It was
difficult to obtain a habeas corpus from some of the judges in this
reign. But to elude that provision by removing men out of the kingdom,
was such an offence against the constitution as may be thought enough
to justify the impeachment of any minister.

2. The first article, and certainly the most momentous, asserts,
"That the Earl of Clarendon hath designed a standing army to be
raised, and to govern the kingdom thereby, and advised the king to
dissolve this present parliament, to lay aside all thoughts of
parliaments for the future, to govern by a military power, and to
maintain the same by free quarter and contribution." This was
prodigiously exaggerated; yet there was some foundation for a part of
it. In the disastrous summer of 1667, when the Dutch fleet had
insulted our coasts, and burned our ships in the Medway, the exchequer
being empty, it was proposed in council to call together immediately
the parliament, which then stood prorogued to a day at the distance of
some months. Clarendon, who feared the hostility of the House of
Commons towards himself, and had pressed the king to dissolve it,
maintained that they could not legally be summoned before the day
fixed; and, with a strange inconsistency, attaching more importance to
the formalities of law than to its essence, advised that the counties
where the troops were quartered should be called upon to send in
provisions, and those where there were no troops to contribute money,
which should be abated out of the next taxes. And he admits that he
might have used the expression of raising contributions, as in the
late civil war. This unguarded and unwarrantable language, thrown out
at the council-table where some of his enemies were sitting, soon
reached the ears of the Commons, and, mingled up with the usual
misrepresentations of faction, was magnified into a charge of high

3. _Sale of Dunkirk._--The eleventh article charged Lord Clarendon
with having advised and effected the sale of Dunkirk to the French
king, being part of his majesty's dominions, for no greater value than
the ammunition, artillery, and stores were worth. The latter part is
generally asserted to be false. The sum received is deemed the utmost
that Louis would have given, who thought he had made a hard bargain.
But it is very difficult to reconcile what Clarendon asserts in his
defence, and much more at length in his Life (that the business of
Dunkirk was entirely decided before he had anything to do in it, by
the advice of Albemarle and Sandwich), with the letters of d'Estrades,
the negotiator in this transaction on the part of France. In these
letters, written at the time to Louis XIV., Clarendon certainly
appears not only as the person chiefly concerned, but as representing
himself almost the only one of the council favourable to the measure,
and having to overcome the decided repugnance of Southampton,
Sandwich, and Albemarle.[642] I cannot indeed see any other
explanation than that he magnified the obstacles in the way of this
treaty, in order to obtain better terms; a management, not very
unusual in diplomatical dealing, but, in the degree at least to which
he carried it, scarcely reconcilable with the good faith we should
expect from this minister. For the transaction itself, we can hardly
deem it honourable or politic. The expense of keeping up Dunkirk,
though not trifling, would have been willingly defrayed by parliament;
and could not well be pleaded by a government which had just
encumbered itself with the useless burthen of Tangier. That its
possession was of no great direct value to England must be confessed;
but it was another question whether it ought to have been surrendered
into the hands of France.

4. This close connection with France is indeed a great reproach to
Clarendon's policy, and was the spring of mischiefs to which he
contributed, and which he ought to have foreseen. What were the
motives of these strong professions of attachment to the interests of
Louis XIV. which he makes in some of his letters, it is difficult to
say, since he had undoubtedly an ancient prejudice against that
nation and its government. I should incline to conjecture that his
knowledge of the king's unsoundness in religion led him to keep at a
distance from the court of Spain, as being far more zealous in its
popery, and more connected with the Jesuit faction, than that of
France; and this possibly influenced him also with respect to the
Portuguese match, wherein, though not the first adviser, he certainly
took much interest; an alliance as little judicious in the outset, as
it proved eventually fortunate.[643] But the capital misdemeanour that
he committed in this relation with France was the clandestine
solicitation of pecuniary aid for the king. He first taught a lavish
prince to seek the wages of dependence in a foreign power, to elude
the control of parliament by the help of French money.[644] The
purpose for which this aid was asked, the succour of Portugal, might
be fair and laudable; but the precedent was most base, dangerous, and
abominable. A king who had once tasted the sweets of dishonest and
clandestine lucre would, in the words of the poet, be no more capable
afterwards of abstaining from it, than a dog from his greasy offal.

_Clarendon's faults as a minister._--These are the errors of
Clarendon's political life; which, besides his notorious concurrence
in all measures of severity and restraint towards the nonconformists,
tend to diminish our respect from his memory, and to exclude his name
from that list of great and wise ministers, where some are willing to
place him near the head. If I may seem to my readers less favourable
to so eminent a person than common history might warrant, it is at
least to be said that I have formed my decision from his own recorded
sentiments, or from equally undisputable sources of authority. The
publication of his life, that is, of the history of his
administration, has not contributed to his honour. We find in it
little or nothing of that attachment to the constitution for which he
had acquired credit, and some things which we must struggle hard to
reconcile with his veracity, even if the suppression of truth is not
to be reckoned an impeachment of it in an historian.[645] But the
manifest profligacy of those who contributed most to his ruin, and the
measures which the court took soon afterwards, have rendered his
administration comparatively honourable, and attached veneration to
his memory. We are unwilling to believe that there was anything to
censure in a minister, whom Buckingham persecuted, and against whom
Arlington intrigued.[646]

A distinguished characteristic of Clarendon had been his firmness,
called indeed by most pride and obstinacy, which no circumstances, no
perils, seemed likely to bend. But his spirit sunk all at once with
his fortune. Clinging too long to office, and cheating himself against
all probability with a hope of his master's kindness when he had lost
his confidence, he abandoned that dignified philosophy which ennobles
a voluntary retirement, that stern courage which innocence ought to
inspire; and hearkening to the king's treacherous counsels, fled
before his enemies into a foreign country. Though the impeachment, at
least in the point of high treason, cannot be defended, it is
impossible to deny that the act of banishment, under the circumstances
of his flight, was capable, in the main, of full justification. In an
ordinary criminal suit, a process of outlawry goes against the accused
who flies from justice; and his neglect to appear within a given time
is equivalent, in cases of treason or felony, to a conviction of the
offence; can it be complained of, that a minister of state, who dares
not confront a parliamentary impeachment, should be visited with an
analogous penalty? But, whatever injustice and violence may be found
in this prosecution, it established for ever the right of impeachment,
which the discredit into which the long parliament had fallen exposed
to some hazard; the strong abettors of prerogative, such as Clarendon
himself, being inclined to dispute this responsibility of the king's
advisers to parliament. The Commons had, in the preceding session,
sent up an impeachment against Lord Mordaunt, upon charges of so
little public moment, that they may be suspected of having chiefly had
in view the assertion of this important privilege.[647] It was never
called in question from this time; and indeed they took care during
the remainder of this reign, that it should not again be endangered by
a paucity of precedents.[648]

_Cabal ministry._--The period between the fall of Clarendon in 1667,
and the commencement of Lord Danby's administration in 1673, is
generally reckoned one of the most disgraceful in the annals of our
monarchy. This was the age of what is usually denominated the Cabal
administration, from the five initial letters of Sir Thomas Clifford,
first commissioner of the treasury, afterwards Lord Clifford and high
treasurer, the Earl of Arlington, secretary of state, the Duke of
Buckingham, Lord Ashley, chancellor of the exchequer, afterwards Earl
of Shaftesbury and lord chancellor, and lastly, the Duke of
Lauderdale. Yet, though the counsels of these persons soon became
extremely pernicious and dishonourable, it must be admitted that the
first measures after the banishment of Clarendon, both in domestic and
foreign policy, were highly praiseworthy. Bridgeman, who succeeded the
late chancellor in the custody of the great seal, with the assistance
of Chief Baron Hale and Bishop Wilkins, and at the instigation of
Buckingham, who, careless about every religion, was from humanity or
politic motives friendly to the indulgence of all, laid the
foundations of a treaty with the nonconformists, on the basis of a
comprehension for the presbyterians, and a toleration for the
rest.[649] They had nearly come, it is said, to terms of agreement, so
that it was thought time to intimate their design in a speech from
the throne. But the spirit of 1662 was still too powerful in the
Commons; and the friends of Clarendon, whose administration this
change of counsels seemed to reproach, taking a warm part against all
indulgence, a motion that the king be desired to send for such persons
as he should think fit to make proposals to him in order to the
uniting of his protestant subjects, was negatived by 176 to 70.[650]
They proceeded, by almost an equal majority, to continue the bill of
1664, for suppressing seditious conventicles; which failed however for
the present, in consequence of the sudden prorogation.[651]

_Triple alliance._--But whatever difference of opinion might at that
time prevail with respect to this tolerant disposition of the new
government, there was none as to their great measure in external
policy, the triple alliance with Holland and Sweden. A considerable
and pretty sudden change had taken place in the temper of the English
people towards France. Though the discordance of national character,
and the dislike that seems natural to neighbours, as well as in some
measure the recollections of their ancient hostility, had at all times
kept up a certain ill-will between the two, it is manifest that before
the reign of Charles II. there was not that antipathy and inveterate
enmity towards the French in general, which it has since been deemed
an act of patriotism to profess. The national prejudices, from the
accession of Elizabeth to the restoration, ran far more against Spain;
and it is not surprising that the apprehensions of that ambitious
monarchy, which had been very just in the age of Philip II., should
have lasted longer than its ability or inclination to molest us. But
the rapid declension of Spain, after the peace of the Pyrenees, and
the towering ambition of Louis XIV., master of a kingdom intrinsically
so much more formidable than its rival, manifested that the balance of
power in Europe, and our own immediate security, demanded a steady
opposition to the aggrandisement of one monarchy, and a regard to the
preservation of the other. These indeed were rather considerations for
statesmen than for the people; but Louis was become unpopular both by
his acquisition of Dunkirk at the expense, as it was thought, of our
honour, and much more deservedly by his shuffling conduct in the Dutch
war, and union in it with our adversaries. Nothing therefore gave
greater satisfaction in England than the triple alliance, and
consequent peace of Aix la Chapelle, which saved the Spanish
Netherlands from absolute conquest, though not without important

_Intrigue with France._--Charles himself meanwhile by no means partook
in this common jealousy of France. He had, from the time of his
restoration, entered into close relations with that power, which a
short period of hostility had interrupted without leaving any
resentment in his mind. It is now known that, while his minister was
negotiating at the Hague for the triple alliance, he had made
overtures for a clandestine treaty with Louis, through his sister the
Duchess of Orleans, the Duke of Buckingham, and the French ambassador
Rouvigny.[653] As the King of France was at first backward in meeting
these advances, and the letters published in regard to them are very
few, we do not find any precise object expressed beyond a close and
intimate friendship. But a few words in a memorial of Rouvigny to
Louis XIV. seem to let us into the secret of the real purpose. "The
Duke of York," he says, "wishes much for this union; the Duke of
Buckingham the same: they use no art, but say that nothing else can
re-establish the affairs of this court."[654]

_King's desire to be absolute._--Charles II. was not of a temperament
to desire arbitrary power, either through haughtiness and conceit of
his station, which he did not greatly display, or through the love of
taking into his own hands the direction of public affairs, about which
he was in general pretty indifferent. He did not wish, as he told Lord
Essex, to sit like a Turkish sultan, and sentence men to the
bowstring, but could not bear that a set of fellows should enquire
into his conduct.[655] His aim, in fact, was liberty rather than
power; it was that immunity from control and censure, in which men of
his character place a great part of their happiness. For some years he
had cared probably very little about enhancing his prerogative,
content with the loyalty, though not quite with the liberality, of his
parliament. And had he not been drawn, against his better judgment,
into the war with Holland, this harmony might perhaps have been
protracted a good deal longer. But the vast expenditure of that war,
producing little or no decisive success, and coming unfortunately at a
time when trade was not very thriving, and when rents had considerably
fallen, exasperated all men against the prodigality of the court, to
which they might justly ascribe part of their burthens, and, with the
usual miscalculations, believed that much more of them was due. Hence
the bill appointing commissioners of public account, so ungrateful to
the king, whose personal reputation it was likely to affect, and whose
favourite excesses it might tend to restrain.

He was almost equally provoked by the licence of his people's tongues.
A court like that of Charles is the natural topic of the idle, as well
as the censorious. An administration so ill-conducted could not escape
the remarks of a well-educated and intelligent city. There was one
method of putting an end to these impertinent comments, or of
rendering them innoxious; but it was the last which he would have
adopted. Clarendon informs us that the king one day complaining of the
freedom, as to political conversation, taken in coffee-houses, he
recommended either that all persons should be forbidden by
proclamation to resort to them, or that spies should be placed in them
to give information against seditious speakers.[656] The king, he
says, liked both expedients; but thought it unfair to have recourse to
the latter till the former had given fair warning, and directed him to
propose it to the council; but here, Sir William Coventry objecting,
the king was induced to abandon the measure, much to Clarendon's
disappointment, though it probably saved him an additional article in
his impeachment. The unconstitutional and arbitrary tenor of this
great minister's notions of government is strongly displayed in this
little anecdote. Coventry was an enlightened, and, for that age, an
upright man, whose enmity Clarendon brought on himself by a marked
jealousy of his abilities in council.

Those who stood nearest to the king were not backward to imitate his
discontent at the privileges of his people and their representatives.
The language of courtiers and court-ladies is always intolerable to
honest men, especially that of such courtiers as surrounded the throne
of Charles II. It is worst of all amidst public calamities, such as
pressed very closely on one another in a part of his reign; the awful
pestilence of 1665, the still more ruinous fire of 1666, the fleet
burned by the Dutch in the Medway next summer. No one could reproach
the king for outward inactivity or indifference during the great fire.
But there were some, as Clarendon tells us, who presumed to assure
him, "that this was the greatest blessing that God had ever conferred
on him, his restoration only excepted; for the walls and gates being
now burned and thrown down of that rebellious city, which was always
an enemy to the Crown, his majesty would never suffer them to repair
and build them up again, to be a bit in his mouth and a bridle upon
his neck; but would keep all open, that his troops might enter upon
them whenever he thought it necessary for his service; there being no
other way to govern that rude multitude but by force."[657] This kind
of discourse, he goes on to say, did not please the king. But here we
may venture to doubt his testimony; or, if the natural good temper of
Charles prevented him from taking pleasure in such atrocious
congratulations, we may be sure that he was not sorry to think the
city more in his power.

It seems probable that this loose and profligate way of speaking gave
rise, in a great degree, to the suspicion that the city had been
purposely burned by those who were more enemies to religion and
liberty than to the court. The papists stood ready to bear the infamy
of every unproved crime; and a committee of the House of Commons
collected evidence enough for those who were already convinced, that
London had been burned by that obnoxious sect. Though the house did
not proceed farther, there can be no doubt that the enquiry
contributed to produce that inveterate distrust of the court, whose
connections with the popish faction were half known, half conjectured,
which gave from this time an entirely new complexion to the
parliament. Prejudiced as the Commons were, they could hardly have
imagined the catholics to have burned the city out of mere
malevolence; but must have attributed the crime to some far-spreading
plan of subverting the established constitution.[658]

The retention of the king's guards had excited some jealousy, though
no complaints seem to have been made of it in parliament; but the
sudden levy of a considerable force in 1667, however founded upon a
very plausible pretext from the circumstances of the war, lending
credit to these dark surmises of the court's sinister designs, gave
much greater alarm. The Commons, summoned together in July, instantly
addressed the king to disband his army as soon as peace should be
made. We learn from the Duke of York's private memoirs that some of
those who were most respected for their ancient attachment to liberty,
deemed it in jeopardy at this crisis. The Earls of Northumberland and
Leicester, Lord Hollis, Mr. Pierrepont, and others of the old
parliamentary party, met to take measures together. The first of these
told the Duke of York that the nation would not be satisfied with the
removal of the chancellor, unless the guards were disbanded, and
several other grievances redressed. The duke bade him be cautious what
he said, lest he should be obliged to inform the king; but
Northumberland replied that it was his intention to repeat the same to
the king, which he did accordingly the next day.[659]

This change in public sentiment gave warning to Charles that he could
not expect to reign with as little trouble as he had hitherto
experienced; and doubtless the recollection of his father's history
did not contribute to cherish the love he sometimes pretended for
parliaments. His brother, more reflecting and more impatient of
restraint on royal authority, saw with still greater clearness than
the king, that they could only keep the prerogative at its desired
height by means of intimidation. A regular army was indispensable; but
to keep up an army in spite of parliament, or to raise money for its
support without parliament, were very difficult undertakings. It
seemed necessary to call in a more powerful arm than their own; and,
by establishing the closest union with the King of France, to obtain
either military or pecuniary succours from him, as circumstances
might demand. But there was another and not less imperious motive for
a secret treaty. The king, as has been said, though little likely,
from the tenor of his life, to feel very strong and lasting
impressions of religion, had at times a desire to testify publicly his
adherence to the Romish communion. The Duke of York had come more
gradually to change the faith in which he was educated. He describes
it as the result of patient and anxious enquiry; nor would it be
possible therefore to fix a precise date for his conversion, which
seems to have been not fully accomplished till after the
Restoration.[660] He however continued in conformity to the church of
England; till, on discovering that the catholic religion exacted an
outward communion, which he had fancied not indispensable, he became
more uneasy at the restraint that policy imposed on him. This led to a
conversation with the king, of whose private opinions and disposition
to declare them he was probably informed, and to a close union with
Clifford and Arlington, from whom he had stood aloof on account of
their animosity against Clarendon. The king and duke held a
consultation with those two ministers, and with Lord Arundel of
Wardour, on the 25th of January 1669, to discuss the ways and methods
fit to be taken for the advancement of the catholic religion in these
kingdoms. The king spoke earnestly, and with tears in his eyes. After
a long deliberation, it was agreed that there was no better way to
accomplish this purpose than through France; the house of Austria
being in no condition to give any assistance.[661]

_Secret treaty of 1670._--The famous secret treaty, which, though
believed on pretty good evidence not long after the time, was first
actually brought to light by Dalrymple about half a century since,
began to be negotiated very soon after this consultation.[662] We
find allusions to the king's projects in one of his letters to the
Duchess of Orleans, dated 22nd March 1669.[663] In another of June 6,
the methods he was adopting to secure himself in this perilous
juncture appear. He was to fortify Plymouth, Hull, and Portsmouth, and
to place them in trusty hands. The fleet was under the duke, as lord
admiral; the guards and their officers were thought in general well
affected;[664] but his great reliance was on the most christian king.
He stipulated for £200,000 annually, and for the aid of 6000 French
troops.[665] In return for such important succour, Charles undertook
to serve his ally's ambition and wounded pride against the United
Provinces. These, when conquered by the French arms, with the
co-operation of an English navy, were already shared by the royal
conspirators. A part of Zealand fell to the lot of England, the
remainder of the Seven Provinces to France, with an understanding that
some compensation should be made to the Prince of Orange. In the event
of any new rights to the Spanish monarchy accruing to the most
christian king, as it is worded (that is, on the death of the King of
Spain, a sickly child), it was agreed that England should assist him
with all her force by sea and land, but at his own expense; and should
obtain, not only Ostend and Minorca, but, as far as the King of France
could contribute to it, such parts of Spanish America as she should
choose to conquer.[666] So strange a scheme of partitioning that vast
inheritance was never, I believe, suspected till the publication of
the treaty; though Bolingbroke had alluded to a previous treaty of
partition between Louis and the Emperor Leopold, the complete
discovery of which has been but lately made.[667]

_Differences between Charles and Louis as to the mode of the execution
of the treaty._--Each conspirator, in his coalition against the
protestant faith and liberties of Europe, had splendid objects in
view; but those of Louis seemed by far the more probable of the two,
and less liable to be defeated. The full completion of their scheme
would have re-united a great kingdom to the catholic religion, and
turned a powerful neighbour into a dependent pensioner. But should
this fail (and Louis was too sagacious not to discern the chances of
failure), he had pledged to him the assistance of an ally in
subjugating the republic of Holland, which, according to all human
calculation, could not withstand their united efforts; nay, even in
those ulterior projects which his restless and sanguine ambition had
ever in view, and the success of which would have realised, not indeed
the chimera of an universal monarchy, but a supremacy and dictatorship
over Europe. Charles, on the other hand, besides that he had no other
return to make for the necessary protection of France, was impelled by
a personal hatred of the Dutch, and by the consciousness that their
commonwealth was the standing reproach of arbitrary power, to join
readily in the plan for its subversion. But, looking first to his own
objects, and perhaps a little distrustful of his ally, he pressed that
his profession of the Roman catholic religion should be the first
measure in prosecution of the treaty; and that he should immediately
receive the stipulated £200,000, or at least a part of the money.
Louis insisted that the declaration of war against Holland should
precede. This difference occasioned a considerable delay; and it was
chiefly with a view of bringing round her brother on this point, that
the Duchess of Orleans took her famous journey to Dover in the spring
of 1670. Yet, notwithstanding her influence, which passed for
irresistible, he persisted in adhering to the right reserved to him in
the draft of the treaty, of choosing his own time for the declaration
of his religion, and it was concluded on this footing at Dover, by
Clifford, Arundel, and Arlington, on the 22nd of May 1670, during the
visit of the Duchess of Orleans.[668]

A mutual distrust, however, retarded the further progress of this
scheme; one party unwilling to commit himself till he should receive
money, the other too cautious to run the risk of throwing it away.
There can be no question but that the King of France was right in
urging the conquest of Holland as a preliminary of the more delicate
business they were to manage in England; and, from Charles's
subsequent behaviour, as well as his general fickleness and love of
ease, there seems reason to believe that he would gladly have receded
from an undertaking of which he must every day have more strongly
perceived the difficulties. He confessed, in fact, to Louis's
ambassador, that he was almost the only man in his kingdom who liked a
French alliance.[669] The change of religion, on a nearer view,
appeared dangerous for himself, and impracticable as a national
measure. He had not dared to intrust any of his protestant ministers,
even Buckingham, whose indifference in such points was notorious, with
this great secret; and, to keep them the better in the dark, a mock
negotiation was set on foot with France, and a pretended treaty
actually signed, the exact counterpart of the other, except as to
religion. Buckingham, Shaftesbury, and Lauderdale were concerned in
this simulated treaty, the negotiation for which did not commence till
after the original convention had been signed at Dover.[670]

The court of France having yielded to Charles the point about which he
had seemed so anxious, had soon the mortification to discover that he
would take no steps to effect it. They now urged that immediate
declaration of his religion, which they had for very wise reasons not
long before dissuaded. The King of England hung back, and tried so
many excuses, that they had reason to suspect his sincerity; not that
in fact he had played a feigned part from the beginning, but his zeal
for popery having given way to the seductions of a voluptuous and
indolent life, he had been led, with the good sense he naturally
possessed, to form a better estimate of his resources and of the
opposition he must encounter. Meanwhile the eagerness of his ministers
had plunged the nation into war with Holland; and Louis, having
attained his principal end, ceased to trouble the king on the subject
of religion. He received large sums from France during the Dutch

This memorable transaction explains and justifies the strenuous
opposition made in parliament to the king and Duke of York, and may be
reckoned the first act of a drama which ended in the revolution. It is
true that the precise terms of this treaty were not authentically
known; but there can be no doubt that those who from this time
displayed an insuperable jealousy of one brother, and a determined
enmity to the other, had proofs, enough for moral conviction, of their
deep conspiracy with France against religion and liberty. This
suspicion is implied in all the conduct of that parliamentary
opposition, and is the apology of much that seems violence and
faction, especially in the business of the popish plot and the bill of
exclusion. It is of importance also to observe that James II. was not
misled and betrayed by false or foolish counsellors, as some would
suggest, in his endeavours to subvert the laws, but acted on a plan,
long since concerted, and in which he had taken a principal share.

It must be admitted that neither in the treaty itself nor in the few
letters which have been published by Dalrymple, do we find any
explicit declaration, either that the catholic religion was to be
established as the national church, or arbitrary power introduced in
England. But there are not wanting strong presumptions of this design.
The king speaks, in a letter to his sister, of finding means to put
the proprietors of church lands out of apprehension.[672] He uses the
expression, "rétablir la religion catholique;" which, though not quite
unequivocal, seems to convey more than a bare toleration, or a
personal profession by the sovereign.[673] He talks of a negotiation
with the court of Rome to obtain the permission of having mass in the
vulgar tongue and communion in both kinds, as terms that would render
his conversion agreeable to his subjects.[674] He tells the French
ambassador, that not only his conscience, but the confusion he saw
every day increasing in his kingdom, to the diminution of his
authority, impelled him to declare himself a catholic; which, besides
the spiritual advantage, he believed to be the only means of restoring
the monarchy. These passages, as well as the precautions taken in
expectation of a vigorous resistance from a part of the nation, appear
to intimate a formal re-establishment of the catholic church; a
measure connected, in the king's apprehension, if not strictly with
arbitrary power, yet with a very material enhancement of his
prerogative. For the profession of an obnoxious faith by the king, as
an insulated person, would, instead of strengthening his authority,
prove the greatest obstacle to it; as, in the next reign, turned out
to be the case. Charles, however, and the Duke of York deceived
themselves into a confidence that the transition could be effected
with no extraordinary difficulty. The king knew the prevailing laxity
of religious principles in many about his court, and thought he had
reason to rely on others as secretly catholic. Sunderland is mentioned
as a young man of talent, inclined to adopt that religion.[675] Even
the Earl of Orrery is spoken of as a catholic in his heart.[676] The
duke, who conversed more among divines, was led to hope, from the
strange language of the high-church party, that they might readily be
persuaded to make what seemed no long step, and come into easy terms
of union.[677] It was the constant policy of the Romish priests to
extenuate the differences between the two churches, and to throw the
main odium of the schism on the Calvinistic sects. And many of the
Anglicans, in their abhorrence of protestant nonconformists, played
into the hands of the common enemy.

_Fresh severities against dissenters._--The court, however,
entertained great hopes from the depressed condition of the
dissenters, whom it was intended to bribe with that toleration under a
catholic regimen, which they could so little expect from the church of
England. Hence the Duke of York was always strenuous against schemes
of comprehension, which would invigorate the protestant interest and
promote conciliation. With the opposite view of rendering a union
among protestants impracticable, the rigorous episcopalians were
encouraged underhand to prosecute the nonconformists.[678] The Duke of
York took pains to assure Owen, an eminent divine of the independent
persuasion, that he looked on all persecution as an unchristian thing,
and altogether against his conscience.[679] Yet the court promoted a
renewal of the temporary act, passed in 1664 against conventicles,
which was reinforced by the addition of an extraordinary proviso, That
all clauses in the act should be construed most largely and
beneficially for suppressing conventicles, and for the justification
and encouragement of all persons to be employed in the execution
thereof.[680] Wilkins, the most honest of the bishops, opposed this
act in the House of Lords, notwithstanding the king's personal
request that he would be silent.[681] Sheldon and others, who, like
him, disgraced the church of England by their unprincipled policy or
their passions, not only gave it their earnest support at the time,
but did all in their power to enforce its execution.[682] As the
king's temper was naturally tolerant, his co-operation in this severe
measure would not easily be understood, without the explanation that a
knowledge of his secret policy enables us to give. In no long course
of time the persecution was relaxed, the imprisoned ministers set at
liberty, some of the leading dissenters received pensions, and the
king's declaration of a general indulgence held forth an asylum from
the law under the banner of prerogative.[683] Though this is said to
have proceeded from the advice of Shaftesbury, who had no concern in
the original secret treaty with France, it was completely in the
spirit of that compact, and must have been acceptable to the king.

But the factious, fanatical, republican party (such were the usual
epithets of the court at the time, such have ever since been applied
by the advocates or apologists of the Stuarts), had gradually led away
by their delusions that parliament of cavaliers; or, in other words,
the glaring vices of the king, and the manifestation of designs
against religion and liberty, had dispossessed them of a confiding
loyalty, which, though highly dangerous from its excess, had always
been rather ardent than servile. The sessions had been short, and the
intervals of repeated prorogations much longer than usual; a policy
not well calculated for that age, where the growing discontents and
suspicions of the people acquired strength by the stoppage of the
regular channel of complaint. Yet the House of Commons, during this
period, though unmanageable on the one point of toleration, had
displayed no want of confidence in the king nor any animosity towards
his administration; notwithstanding the flagrant abuses in the
expenditure, which the parliamentary commission of public accounts had
brought to light, and the outrageous assault on Sir John Coventry; a
crime notoriously perpetrated by persons employed by the court, and
probably by the king's direct order.[684]

_Dutch war._--The war with Holland at the beginning of 1672, so
repugnant to English interests, so unwarranted by any provocation, so
infamously piratical in its commencement, so ominous of further
schemes still more dark and dangerous, finally opened the eyes of all
men of integrity. It was accompanied by the shutting up of the
exchequer, an avowed bankruptcy at the moment of beginning an
expensive war,[685] and by the declaration of indulgence, or
suspension of all penal laws in religion; an assertion of prerogative
which seemed without limit. These exorbitances were the more
scandalous, that they happened during a very long prorogation. Hence
the court so lost the confidence of the House of Commons, that, with
all the lavish corruption of the following period, it could never
regain a secure majority on any important question. The superiority of
what was called the country party is referred to the session of
February 1673, in which they compelled the king to recall his
proclamation suspending the penal laws, and raised a barrier against
the encroachments of popery in the test act.

_Declaration of indulgence._--The king's declaration of indulgence
had been projected by Shaftesbury, in order to conciliate or lull to
sleep the protestant dissenters. It redounded, in its immediate
effect, chiefly to their benefit; the catholics already enjoying a
connivance at the private exercise of their religion, and the
declaration expressly refusing them public places of worship. The plan
was most laudable in itself, could we separate the motives which
prompted it, and the means by which it was pretended to be made
effectual. But in the declaration the king says, "We think ourselves
obliged to make use of that supreme power in ecclesiastical matters,
which is not only inherent in us, but hath been declared and
recognised to be so by several statutes and acts of parliament." "We
do," he says, not long afterwards, "declare our will and pleasure to
be, that the execution of all and all manner of penal laws in matters
ecclesiastical, against whatsoever sort of nonconformists or
recusants, be immediately suspended, and they are hereby suspended."
He mentions also his intention to license a certain number of places
for the religious worship of nonconforming protestants.[686]

It was generally understood to be an ancient prerogative of the Crown
to dispense with penal statutes in favour of particular persons, and
under certain restrictions. It was undeniable, that the king might, by
what is called a "noli prosequi," stop any criminal prosecution
commenced in his courts, though not an action for the recovery of a
pecuniary penalty, which, by many statutes, was given to the common
informer. He might of course set at liberty, by means of a pardon, any
person imprisoned, whether upon conviction or by a magistrate's
warrant. Thus the operation of penal statutes in religion might in a
great measure be rendered ineffectual, by an exercise of undisputed
prerogatives; and thus, in fact, the catholics had been enabled, since
the accession of the house of Stuart, to withstand the crushing
severity of the laws. But a pretension, in explicit terms, to suspend
a body of statutes, a command to magistrates not to put them in
execution, arrogated a sort of absolute power, which no benefits of
the indulgence itself (had they even been less insidiously offered)
could induce a lover of constitutional privileges to endure.[687]
Notwithstanding the affected distinction of temporal and
ecclesiastical matters, it was evident that the king's supremacy was
as much capable of being bounded by the legislature in one as in the
other, and that every law in the statute-book might be repealed by a
similar proclamation. The House of Commons voted that the king's
prerogative, in matters ecclesiastical, does not extend to repeal acts
of parliament; and addressed the king to recall his declaration.
Whether from a desire to protect the nonconformists in a toleration
even illegally obtained, or from the influence of Buckingham among
some of the leaders of opposition, it appears from the debates that
many of those, who had been in general most active against the court,
resisted this vote, which was carried by 168 to 116. The king, in his
answer to this address, lamented that the house should question his
ecclesiastical power, which had never been done before. This brought
on a fresh rebuke; and, in a second address they positively deny the
king's right to suspend any law. "The legislative power," they say,
"has always been acknowledged to reside in the king and two houses of
parliament." The king, in a speech to the House of Lords, complained
much of the opposition made by the Commons; and found a majority of
the former disposed to support him, though both houses concurred in an
address against the growth of popery. At length, against the advice of
the bolder part of his council, but certainly with a just sense of
what he most valued, his ease of mind, Charles gave way to the public
voice, and withdrew his declaration.[688]

There was indeed a line of policy indicated at this time, which,
though intolerable to the bigotry and passion of the house, would best
have foiled the schemes of the ministry; a legislative repeal of all
the penal statutes both against the catholic and the protestant
dissenter, as far as regarded the exercise of their religion. It must
be evident to any impartial man that the unrelenting harshness of
parliament, from whom no abatement, even in the sanguinary laws
against the priests of the Romish church, had been obtained, had
naturally, and almost irresistibly, driven the members of that
persuasion into the camp of prerogative, and even furnished a pretext
for that continual intrigue and conspiracy, which was carried on in
the court of Charles II., as it had been in that of his father. A
genuine toleration would have put an end to much of this; but, in the
circumstances of that age, it could not have been safely granted
without an exclusion from those public trusts, which were to be
conferred by a sovereign in whom no trust could be reposed.

The act of supremacy, in the first year of Elizabeth, had imposed on
all, accepting temporal as well as ecclesiastical offices, an oath
denying the spiritual jurisdiction of the pope. But, though the
refusal of this oath, when tendered, incurred various penalties, yet
it does not appear that any were attached to its neglect, or that the
oath was a previous qualification for the enjoyment of office, as it
was made by a subsequent act of the same reign for sitting in the
House of Commons. It was found also by experience that persons
attached to the Roman doctrine sometimes made use of strained
constructions to reconcile the oath of supremacy to their faith. Nor
could that test be offered to peers, who were accepted by a special

_Test act._--For these several reasons a more effectual security
against popish counsellors, at least in notorious power, was created
by the famous test act of 1673, which renders the reception of the
sacrament according to the rites of the church of England, and a
declaration renouncing the doctrine of transubstantiation, preliminary
conditions without which no temporal office of trust can be
enjoyed.[689] In this fundamental article of faith, no compromise or
equivocation would be admitted by any member of the church of Rome.
And, as the obligation extended to the highest ranks, this reached the
end for which it was immediately designed; compelling, not only the
lord-treasurer Clifford, the boldest and most dangerous of that party,
to retire from public business, but the Duke of York himself, whose
desertion of the protestant church was hitherto not absolutely
undisguised, to quit the post of lord admiral.[690]

It is evident that a test might have been framed to exclude the Roman
catholic as effectually as the present, without bearing like this on
the protestant nonconformist. But, though the preamble of the bill,
and the whole history of the transaction, show that the main object
was a safeguard against popery, it is probable that a majority of both
houses liked it the better for this secondary effect of shutting out
the presbyterians still more than had been done by previous statutes
of this reign. There took place however a remarkable coalition between
the two parties; and many who had always acted as high-church men and
cavaliers, sensible at last of the policy of their common adversaries,
renounced a good deal of the intolerance and bigotry that had
characterised the present parliament. The dissenters, with much
prudence or laudable disinterestedness, gave their support to the test
act. In return, a bill was brought in, and, after some debate, passed
to the lords, repealing in a considerable degree the persecuting laws
against their worship.[691] The upper house, perhaps insidiously,
returned it with amendments more favourable to the dissenters, and
insisted upon them, after a conference.[692] A sudden prorogation very
soon put an end to this bill, which was as unacceptable to the court
as it was to the zealots of the church of England. It had been
intended to follow it up by another, excluding all who should not
conform to the established church from serving in the House of

It may appear remarkable that, as if content with these provisions,
the victorious country party did not remonstrate against the shutting
up of the exchequer, nor even wage any direct war against the king's
advisers. They voted, on the contrary, a large supply, which, as they
did not choose explicitly to recognise the Dutch war, was expressed to
be granted for the king's extraordinary occasions.[694] This
moderation, which ought at least to rescue them from the charges of
faction and violence, has been censured by some as servile and
corrupt; and would really incur censure, if they had not attained the
great object of breaking the court measures by other means. But the
test act, and their steady protestation against the suspending
prerogative, crushed the projects and dispersed the members of the
cabal. The king had no longer any minister on whom he could rely, and,
with his indolent temper, seems from this time, if not to have
abandoned all hope of declaring his change of religion, yet to have
seen both that and his other favourite projects postponed without much
reluctance. From a real predilection, from the prospect of gain, and
partly, no doubt, from some distant views of arbitrary power and a
catholic establishment, he persevered a long time in clinging secretly
to the interests of France; but his active co-operation in the schemes
of 1669 was at an end. In the next session of October 1673, the
Commons drove Buckingham from the king's councils; they intimidated
Arlington into a change of policy; and, though they did not succeed in
removing the Duke of Lauderdale, compelled him to confine himself
chiefly to the affairs of Scotland.[695]


[523] _Life of Clarendon_, p. 69.

[524] _Clar. State Papers_, iii. 427, 529. In fact, very few of them
were likely to be of use; and the exception made his general offers
appear more sincere.

[525] _Clar. Hist. of Rebellion_, vii. 447. Ludlow says that Fairfax
and Northumberland were positively against the punishment of the
regicides (vol. iii. p. 10); and that Monk vehemently declared at
first against any exceptions, and afterwards prevailed on the house to
limit them to seven. P. 16. Though Ludlow was not in England, this
seems very probable, and is confirmed by other authority as to Monk.
Fairfax, who had sat one day himself on the king's trial, could hardly
with decency concur in the punishment of those who went on.

[526] Journals, May 14.

[527] June 5, 6, 7. The first seven were Scott, Holland, Lisle,
Barkstead, Harrison, Say, Jones. They went on to add Coke, Broughton,

[528] These were Lenthall, Vane, Burton, Keble, St. John, Ireton,
Haslerig, Sydenham, Desborough, Axtell, Lambert, Pack, Blackwell,
Fleetwood, Pyne, Dean, Creed, Nye, Goodwin, and Cobbet; some of them
rather insignificant names. Upon the words that "twenty and no more"
be so excepted, two divisions took place, 160 to 131, and 153 to 135;
the presbyterians being the majority. June 8. Two other divisions took
place on the names of Lenthall, carried by 215 to 126, and of
Whitelock, lost by 175 to 134. Another motion was made afterwards
against Whitelock by Prynne. Milton was ordered to be prosecuted
separately from the twenty; so that they already broke their
resolution. He was put in custody of the serjeant-at-arms, and
released, December 17. Andrew Marvell, his friend, soon afterwards
complained that fees to the amount of 150 pounds had been extorted
from him; but Finch answered that Milton had been Cromwell's
secretary, and deserved hanging. _Parl. Hist._ p. 162. Lenthall had
taken some share in the restoration, and entered into correspondence
with the king's advisers a little before. _Clar. State Papers_, iii.
711, 720. Kennet's _Register_, 762. But the royalists never could
forgive his having put the question to the vote on the ordinance for
trying the late king.

[529] June 30. This was carried without a division. Eleven were
afterwards excepted by name, as not having rendered themselves. July

[530] July 11.

[531] The worst and most odious of their proceedings, quite unworthy
of a christian and civilised assembly, was to give the next relations
of the four peers who had been executed under the commonwealth,
Hamilton, Holland, Capel, and Derby, the privilege of naming each one
person (among the regicides) to be executed. This was done in the
three last instances; but Lord Denbigh, as Hamilton's kinsman,
nominated one who was dead; and, on this being pointed out to him,
refused to fix on another. Journal, Aug. 7; Ludlow, iii. 34.

[532] Lord Southampton, according to Ludlow, actually moved this in
the House of Lords, but was opposed by Finch, iii. 43.

[533] Clarendon uses some shameful chicanery about this (_Life_, p.
69); and with that inaccuracy, to say the least, so habitual to him,
says, "the parliament had published a proclamation, that all who did
not render themselves by a day named should be judged as guilty, and
attainted of treason." The proclamation was published by the king, on
the suggestion indeed of the Lords and Commons, and the expressions
were what I have stated in the text. _State Trials_, v. 959; _Somers
Tracts_, vii. 437. It is obvious that by this mis-representation he
not only throws the blame of ill faith off the king's shoulders, but
puts the case of those who obeyed the proclamation on a very different
footing. The king, it seems, had always expected that none of the
regicides should be spared. But why did he publish such a
proclamation? Clarendon, however, seems to have been against the other
exceptions from the bill of indemnity, as contrary to some expressions
in the declaration from Breda, which had been inserted by Monk's
advice; and thus wisely and honourably got rid of the twenty
exceptions, which had been sent up from the Commons. P. 133. The lower
house resolved to agree with the Lords as to those twenty persons, or
rather sixteen of them, by 197 to 102, Hollis and Morrice telling the

[534] Stat. 12 Car. II. c. 11.

[535] These were, in the first instance, Harrison, Scott, Scrope,
Jones, Clement, Carew, all of whom had signed the warrant, Cook, the
solicitor at the high court of justice, Hacker and Axtell, who
commanded the guard on that occasion, and Peters. Two years
afterwards, Downing, ambassador in Holland, prevailed on the states to
give up Barkstead, Corbet, and Okey. They all died with great
constancy, and an enthusiastic persuasion of the righteousness of
their cause. _State Trials._

Pepys says in his _Diary_, 13th October 1660, of Harrison, whose
execution he witnessed, that "he looked as cheerful as any man could
do in that condition."

[536] It is remarkable, that Scrope had been so particularly favoured
by the convention parliament, as to be exempted, together with
Hutchinson and Lascelles, from any penalty or forfeiture by a special
resolution. June 9. But the Lords put in his name again, though they
pointedly excepted Hutchinson; and the Commons, after first resolving
that he should only pay a fine of one year's value of his estate, came
at last to agree in excepting him from the indemnity as to life. It
appears that some private conversation of Scrope had been betrayed,
wherein he spoke of the king's death as he thought.

As to Hutchinson, he had certainly concurred in the restoration,
having an extreme dislike to the party who had turned out the
parliament in Oct. 1659, especially Lambert. This may be inferred from
his conduct, as well as by what Ludlow says, and Kennet in his
_Register_, p. 169. His wife puts a speech into his mouth as to his
share in the king's death, not absolutely justifying it, but, I
suspect, stronger than he ventured to use. At least, the Commons voted
that he should not be excepted from the indemnity, "on account of his
signal repentance," which could hardly be predicated of the language
she ascribes to him. Compare Mrs. Hutchinson's _Memoirs_, p. 367, with
Commons' Journals, June 9.

[537] Horace Walpole, in his _Catalogue of Noble Authors_, has thought
fit to censure both these persons for their pretended inconsistency.
The case is, however, different as to Monk and Cooper; and perhaps it
may be thought, that men of more delicate sentiments than either of
these possessed, would not have sat upon the trial of those with whom
they had long professed to act in concert, though innocent of their

[538] Commons' Journals, May 12, 1660.

[539] _Parl. Hist._ iv. 80.

[540] _Id._ iv. 129.

[541] _Memoirs_, p. 229. It appears by some passages in the _Clarendon
Papers_, that the church had not expected to come off so brilliantly;
and, while the restoration was yet unsettled, would have been content
to give leases of their lands. Pp. 620, 723. Hyde, however, was
convinced that the church would be either totally ruined, or restored
to a great lustre; and herein he was right, as it turned out. P. 614.

[542] _Life of Clarendon_, 99. L'Estrange, in a pamphlet printed
before the end of 1660, complains that the cavaliers were neglected,
the king betrayed, the creatures of Cromwell, Bradshaw, and St. John
laden with offices and honours. Of the indemnity he says, "That act
made the enemies to the constitution masters in effect of the booty of
three nations, bating the Crown and church lands, all which they might
now call their own; while those who stood up for the laws were
abandoned to the comfort of an irreparable but honourable ruin." He
reviles the presbyterian ministers still in possession; and tells the
king that misplaced lenity was his father's ruin. Kennet's _Register_,
p. 233. See too, in _Somers Tracts_, vii. 517, "The Humble
Representation of the Sad Condition of the King's Party." Also p. 557.

[543] Commons' Journals, 4 September 1660. Sir Philip Warwick,
chancellor of the exchequer, assured Pepys that the revenue fell short
by a fourth of the £1,200,000 voted by parliament. See his _Diary_,
March 1, 1664. Ralph, however, says, the income in 1662 was
£1,120,593, though the expenditure was £1,439,000. P. 88. It appears
probable that the hereditary excise did not yet produce much beyond
its estimate. _Id._ p. 20.

[544] 21 Nov. 1660, 151 to 149. _Parl. Hist._

[545] The troops disbanded were fourteen regiments of horse and
eighteen of foot in England: one of horse and four of foot in
Scotland, besides garrisons. Journals, Nov. 7.

[546] Ralph, 35; _Life of James_, 447; Grose's _Military Antiquities_,
i. 61.

[547] Neal, 429, 444.

[548] _Id._ 471; Pepy's _Diary_, ad init. Even in Oxford, about 300
episcopalians used to meet every Sunday with the connivance of Dr.
Owen, dean of Christ Church. Orme's _Life of Owen_, 188. It is
somewhat bold in Anglican writers to complain, as they now and then
do, of the persecution they suffered at this period, when we consider
what had been the conduct of the bishops before, and what it was
afterwards. I do not know that any member of the church of England was
imprisoned under the commonwealth, except for some political reason;
certain it is that the gaols were not filled with them.

[549] The penal laws were comparatively dormant, though two priests
suffered death, one of them before the protectorate. Butler's _Mem. of
Catholics_, ii. 13. But in 1655 Cromwell issued a proclamation for the
execution of these statutes; which seems to have been provoked by the
persecution of the Vaudois. Whitelocke tells us he opposed it. 625. It
was not acted upon.

[550] Several of these appear in _Somers Tracts_, vol. vii. The king's
nearest friends were of course not backward in praising him, though a
little at the expense of their consciences. "In a word," says Hyde to
a correspondent in 1659, "if being the best protestant and the best
Englishman of the nation can do the king good at home, he must prosper
with and by his own subjects." _Clar. State Papers_, 541. Morley says
he had been to see Judge Hale, who asked him questions about the
king's character and firmness in the protestant religion. _Id._ 736.
Morley's exertions to dispossess men of the notion that the king and
his brother were inclined to popery, are also mentioned by Kennet in
his _Register_, 818: a book containing very copious information as to
this particular period. Yet Morley could hardly have been without
strong suspicions as to both of them.

[551] He had written in cipher to Secretary Nicholas, from St.
Johnston's, Sept. 3, 1650, the day of the battle of Dunbar, "Nothing
could have confirmed me more to the church of England than being here,
seeing their hypocrisy." Supplement to Evelyn's _Diary_, 133. The
whole letter shows that he was on the point of giving his new friends
the slip; as indeed he attempted soon after, in what was called the
Start. Laing, iii. 463.

[552] 12 Car. II. c. 17. It is quite clear that an usurped possession
was confirmed by this act, where the lawful incumbent was dead; though
Burnet intimates the contrary.

[553] _Parl. Hist._ 94. The chancellor, in his speech to the houses at
their adjournment in September, gave them to understand that this bill
was not quite satisfactory to the court, who preferred the
confirmation of ministers by particular letters patent under the great
seal; that the king's prerogative of dispensing with acts of
parliament might not grow into disuse. Many got the additional
security of such patents; which proved of service to them, when the
next parliament did not think fit to confirm this important statute.
Baxter says (p. 241), some got letters patent to turn out the
possessors, where the former incumbents were dead. These must have
been to benefices in the gift of the Crown; in other cases, letters
patent could have been of no effect. I have found this confirmed by
the Journals, Aug. 27, 1660.

[554] Upon Venner's insurrection, though the sectaries, and especially
the independents, published a declaration of their abhorrence of it, a
pretext was found for issuing a proclamation to shut up the
conventicles of the anabaptists and quakers, and so worded as to reach
all others. Kennet's _Register_, 357.

[555] Collier, 869, 871; Baxter, 232, 238. The bishops said, in their
answer to the presbyterians' proposals, that the objections against a
single person's administration in the church were equally applicable
to the state. Collier, 872. But this was false, as they well knew, and
designed only to produce an effect at court; for the objections were
not grounded on reasoning, but on a presumed positive institution.
Besides which, the argument cut against themselves: for, if the
English constitution, or something analogous to it, had been
established in the church, their adversaries would have had all they
_now_ asked.

[556] Stillingfleet's _Irenicum_; King's _Inquiry into the
Constitution of the Primitive Church_. The former work was published
at this time, with a view to moderate the pretensions of the Anglican
party, to which the author belonged, by showing: 1. That there are no
sufficient data for determining with certainty the form of
church-government in the apostolical age, or that which immediately
followed it. 2. That, as far as we may probably conjecture, the
primitive church was framed on the model of the synagogue; that is, a
synod of priests in every congregation having one of their own number
for a chief or president. 3. That there is no reason to consider any
part of the apostolical discipline as an invariable model for future
ages, and that much of our own ecclesiastical polity cannot any way
pretend to primitive authority. 4. That this has been the opinion of
all the most eminent theologians at home and abroad. 5. That it would
be expedient to introduce various modifications, not on the whole much
different from the scheme of Usher. Stillingfleet, whose work is a
remarkable instance of extensive learning and mature judgment at the
age of about twenty-three, thought fit afterwards to retract it in a
certain degree; and towards the latter part of his life, gave into
more high-church politics. It is true that the _Irenicum_ must have
been composed with almost unparalleled rapidity for such a work; but
it shows, as far as I can judge, no marks of precipitancy. The
biographical writers put its publication in 1659; but this must be a
mistake; no one can avoid perceiving that it could not have passed the
press on the 24th of March 1660, the latest day which could, according
to the old style, have admitted the date of 1659, as it contains
allusions to the king's restoration.

[557] Baxter's _Life_; Neal.

[558] They addressed the king to call such divines as he should think
fit, to advise with concerning matters of religion. July 20, 1660.
Journals and _Parl. Hist._

[559] _Parl. Hist._; Neal, Baxter, Collier, etc. Burnet says that
Clarendon had made the king publish this declaration; "but the bishops
did not approve of this; and, after the service they did that lord in
the Duke of York's marriage, he would not put any hardship on those
who had so signally obliged him." This is very invidious. I know no
evidence that the declaration was published at Clarendon's suggestion,
except indeed that he was the great adviser of the Crown; yet in some
things, especially of this nature, the king seems to have acted
without his concurrence. He certainly speaks of the declaration as if
he did not wholly relish it (_Life_, 75), and does not state it
fairly. In _State Trials_, vi. 11, it is said to have been drawn up by
Morley and Henchman for the church, Reynolds and Calamy for the
dissenters; if they disagreed, Lords Anglesea and Hollis to decide.

[560] The chief objection made by the presbyterians, as far as we
learn from Baxter, was, that the consent of presbyters to the bishops'
acts was not promised by the declaration, but only their advice; a
distinction apparently not very material in practice, but bearing
perhaps on the great point of controversy, whether the difference
between the two were in order or in degree. The king would not come
into the scheme of consent; though they pressed him with a passage out
of the _Icon Basilike_, where his father allowed of it. _Life of
Baxter_, 276. Some alterations, however, were made in consequence of
their suggestions.

[561] _Parl. Hist._ 141, 152. Clarendon, 76, most strangely observes
on this: "Some of the leaders brought a bill into the house for the
making that declaration a law, which was suitable to their other acts
of ingenuity to keep the church for ever under the same indulgence and
without any settlement; which being quickly perceived, there was no
further progress in it." The bill was brought in by Sir Matthew Hale.

[562] Collier, who of course thinks this declaration an encroachment
on the church, as well as on the legislative power, says, "For this
reason it was overlooked at the assizes and sessions in several places
in the country, where the dissenting ministers were indicted for not
conforming pursuant to the laws in force." P. 876. Neal confirms this,
586, and Kennet's _Register_, 374.

[563] _Life of Clarendon_, 74. A plausible and somewhat dangerous
attack had been made on the authority of this parliament from an
opposite quarter, in a pamphlet written by one Drake, under the name
of Thomas Philips, entitled "The Long Parliament Revived," and
intended to prove that by the act of the late king, providing that
they should not be dissolved but by the concurrence of the whole
legislature, they were still in existence; and that the king's demise,
which legally puts an end to a parliament, could not affect one that
was declared permanent by so direct an enactment. This argument seems
by no means inconsiderable; but the times were not such as to admit of
technical reasoning. The convention parliament, after questioning
Drake, finally sent up articles of impeachment against him; but the
Lords, after hearing him in his defence, when he confessed his fault,
left him to be prosecuted by the attorney-general. Nothing more,
probably, took place