Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

some short and convenient time; whereby the A.D. 1640 cause of these and other great grievances might be taken away, the authors and counsellers of them be brought to such legal trial and condign punishment as the nature of the offence required, and the war be composed without bloodshed, in such a manner as might conduce to the honour and safety of his majesty's person, the content of his people, and the continuance of both his kingdoms against the common enemy of the reformed religion.

This petition was dated August the 28th, 1640, and was presented to the king, at York, by Lord Mandeville and Lord Edward Howard. * The king immediately called a cabinet council, wherein the petition was declared to be mutinous, and it was resolved to proceed against those two lords for mutiny. When the council was up, and the king gone, Duke Hamilton, remaining behind with the Earl of Strafford, asked him " whether he was sure the army would stand by them?” Lord Strafford, in a surprise, answered, “ he was afraid not, and protested he did not think of that before.” The duke replied, “If we are not sure of the army, our heads may be in danger in

* Lord Shaftesbury's manuscript.

on

don sends a

the same purpose.

A.D. 1640. stead of theirs ;” whereupon they both agreed

to go to the king, and the resolution was laid

aside. City of Lon. The city of London, likewise, resolved to prepetition to sent a petition to the same purpose, which the

privy council being informed of, wrote a letter, dated September the 11th, to the lord mayor and aldermen to prevent it; but, notwithstanding this, the city persisted, and sent some of the aldermen and common council to the king at York to present their petition. The wishes of the nation were as fervent as they were general for a new parliament, and for putting an end to the war with the Scotch. When the king called the Yorkshire gentry together, September the 10th, and proposed to them that they should pay the train-bands for two months, they took the proposition into immediate considera

tion; and the next day delivered an answer, Similar re- That they had agreed to the payment; but, at the quest of the Yorkshire same time, they beseeched the king to consider

how to compose the difference with the Scotch, that the country might enjoy peace, and not run more and more into danger; and they desired him to think of summoning a parliament, the only way to confirm a peace betwixt both

gentry.

kingdoms. They proposed to the Earl of Straf- A.D. 1640. ford to present their answer to the king ; but he desiring them to leave out their advice about calling a parliament, they refused to do this, and therefore delivered their answer themselves.

CHAPTER IV.

Summary view of Charles the First's reign continued, till the

time when Sir Anthony Ashley Cooper began to distinguish himself in the management of public affairs.

A.D. 1640. The king now laboured under the greatest diffiMeeting of culties. He could no longer struggle with or the long parliament. supply his wants : his own army was discon

tented, and the Scotch army successful; while both of them were very burthensome to the public. He was, therefore, obliged to give way to the universal call of the nation, and to summon a parliament. This parliament met on the 3rd of November 1640. Petitions relating to grievances were immediately presented to the commons from every part of the country ; and these petitions were so numerous, that the whole house was divided and subdivided into above forty committees to hear and examine them. The canons and constitutions made by the convocation were condemned by the unanimous

[ocr errors]

proceedings

liament.

voice of the house, as containing in them mat- A.D. 1640 ters repugnant to the king's prerogative, to the Spirited fundamental laws and statutes of the realm, to of the parthe rights of parliament, to the property' and liberty of the subjects, and tending to sedition.

The writs for ship-money, and the extra-judicial opinions of the judges concerning it, were also unanimously condemned, as being contrary to the laws of the realm, the right of property, the liberty of the subject, to former resolutions in parliament, and the petition of rights. No one was at this time more forward, or ve- Zeal of Mr.

Hyde. hement in representing the public grievances, than Mr. Hyde, who was afterwards Earl of Clarendon. In his impeachment of three of the judges," he said, “ the great resolution in shipmoney was a crime of a prodigious nature;”

* Though the judges had been highly criminal in supporting the arbitrary conduct of the court, those were much more so who had obliged them to it by threats or solicitations. Mr. Hyde was one of a committee who were appointed, December the 7th, to go forth with to the judges, to know how they were threat ened or solicited, and in what

manner and by whom, to give any opinion or judgment concerning ship-money.

It is apparent, likewise, that the judges had not gone such lengths in sacrificing the laws as had been expected and insisted on. For when Felton, who had stabbed the Duke of Buckingham in 1628, was brought before the council, and pressed to acknowledge

« ZurückWeiter »