« ZurückWeiter »
“ who allayed their passions,” that unanimity was preserved, and that they did succeed in “ much advancing " the King's business from the very low state it was in “ when they were first trusted.” On taking office Lord Falkland and Sir John Culpepper became at once obnoxious to the governing majority in the House of Commons; a letter, pretended to be intercepted from one Roman Catholic to another, was produced in the House of Commons attributing the appointment of Lord Falkland and the Chancellor of the Exchequer to Roman Catholic interest, and made it the ground of attack. Lord Falkland was too well known as a firm opponent to the doctrine of that Church to deem it worth while to notice this libel, nor did he even suffer from the imputation ; and no doubt the selection of men of unimpeachable character and known abilities to take part in the direction of the State was calculated to inspire confidence, and was, as Lord Clarendon describes, “very grateful to all those both within " and without the House who wished well to the King “ and the kingdom.”
Amongst those who offered their early congratulations to Lord Falkland as Secretary of State were the Master and Fellows of St. John's College, Cambridge, the answer to which has been preserved. Whatever might
i Clar., 'Life,' vol. i. p. 98.
? Hist. Reb., vol. ii. p. 97. 3 For the President (Dr. BEALE) of St. John's College in Cambridge, with SIR,
my humble service. I lately received a letter from yourself, and others of your noble society, wherein, as many titles were given me to which I had none, so that which I should most willingly have acknowledged, and inight with
be the opinion of the Fellows of St. John's, it must be acknowledged that congratulations from Dr. Beale bore high testimony to the estimation in which Lord Falkland's character and abilities were held. Dr. Beale had little reason to regard Lord Falkland as a supporter of those views in Church Government which he had professed. His doctrines had been called in question before Parliament (May 1st, 1640); complaints had been made of some passages in a sermon preached by him at St. Mary's, Cambridge, March 27, 1635. The extracts were delivered by Mr. Pym, read in the House of Commons, and referred to a committee. The dissolution of Parliament, four days afterwards, stopped all further proceedings; but the “encouraging of Dr. Beale” is amongst the things charged by Lord Falkland against the Bishops.
most justice claim, you were not pleased to vouchsafe me, that is, that of a St. John's man. I confess I am both proud and ashamed of that; and the latter in respect that the fruits are unproportionable to the seed-plot. Yet, Sir, as little learning as I brought from you, and as little as I have since increased and watered what I did bring, I am sure I still carry about with me an indelible character of that affection and duty to that society, and an extraordinary longing for some occasion of expressing that affection and that duty. I shall desire you to express this to them, and to add this, that, as I never shall forget myself to be a member of your body, so I shall be ready to catch at all means of declaring myself not only to the body, but every member of it,
A very humble Servant, January 16, 1641.
FALKLAND. -Biog. Brit., art. . Carey.' Lord Falkland playfully alludes to the circumstance of his having been a member of St. John's College, Oxford.
See above, page 56, and Appendix L.
Final breach between the King and the Houses of Parliament — Unsuc
cessful attempts at Reconciliation - Lord Falkland attends the King at Greenwich upon a Message from Parliament — Lord Falkland, by the King's command, requires Lord Essex and Lord Holland to deliver up the Insignia of their Offices — Lord Falkland advises Mr. Hyde to hasten to York — The Houses present nineteen Propositions to the King
– Lord Falkland prepares an Answer, and afterwards joins the King at York — The King's Declaration that he engages in a War against Parliament only in self-defence — Similar Declaration of his chief Supporters — View with which these Declarations were made — Petitions to the King against War.
The current of events now rushed on with the fearful rapidity to which the conduct of the King respecting the five members had given the impetus, and there was no shutting the floodgates upon a torrent that could not be stemmed. His new counsellors must have felt their only hope lay in waiting till its violence was somewhat spent, or its force somewhat weakened by diversion ; that diversion might have been looked for in the dissensions between the Lords and Commons, had not the King, by invading the privileges of both Houses, united them in common hostility against himself. The King removed from Hampton Court to Windsor on the 12th of January, and Lord Clarendon describes his “sad condition, as fallen in ten days from “ a height and greatness that his enemies feared, to such 66 a lowness that his own servants durst hardly avow
“ their waiting on hiin.” The Lord Chamberlain and First Gentleman of the Bedchamber, Lords Essex and Holland, asked permission of the Committee in the City to obey the King's summons, and were refused leave of absence from Parliament to fulfil their duties of personal attendance on the sovereign. On the 15th Sir Edward Herbert was impeached for preferring the articles against the five members. Almost every power hitherto exercised by the King was now claimed by the Parliament. It was proposed that the forts, castles, and garrisons should be placed only in the hands of such as the Parliament could confide in. Sir John Hotham and his son were sent to Hull, the elder as governor, without awaiting the consent of the King.? The King's retractation respecting the proceedings against the five members was unnoticed by the City Committee, and the matter for a fresh remonstrance was then prepared,' in which, amongst a long series of remedies proposed for present evils, it was suggested that all privy councillors and others of trust should be displaced, and such as were not replaced by the Parliament should be forbid all personal access to the King or Queen ; that no person should be made a peer but by the consent of both Houses; that all who had been made peers or appointed to any place or office during this Parliament should be put out of office, or be excluded from the House of Peers, unless both Houses assented to their appointinent or creation. It was known that the pretensions contained in this remonstrance would
Clarendon's · Hist. of the Rebellion,' vol. ii. p. 182. • Ibid., p. 181.
3 Ibid., p. 185.
not be palatable to the Lords, and in this disunion a new ray of hope was opened to the counsellors of the King; it was resolved to send from Windsor such a message to both Houses as might at least “ divide those “ who desired the public peace from the ministers of “confusion.” Accordingly, on the 20th of January the King's proposition and message was delivered to both Houses; it was so well received by the Lords, that they called upon the Commons to unite with them in returning thanks to His Majesty for his gracious offers, but the Commons were not to be appeased. On February 2nd they petitioned the King to know the proofs against the five members, that they might be brought to trial or declared innocent. On February 7th came an offer from Windsor, couched in gracious terms, of such a free and general pardon as should be approved by Parliament. The Commons treated the offer with contempt, and again with the Lords petitioned the King “ that the informers against the five members " might be discovered;" and sentence was afterwards passed against Sir Edward Herbert (April 23rd) for accusing the said meinbers. It is impossible to accord to the House of Commons at this period the praise of evincing that desire for peace which ought to be the object, and which can alone be offered in justification, of armed resistance against either the oppressions of civil authority or the aggressions of foreign powers.
It would far exceed the limits of biography to follow closely the course of that prolonged war with the pen,
· Clarendon's 'Hist. of the Rebellion,' vol. ii. p. 191. . Parl. Hist., vol. ii. p. 1077. 3 Rushworth, vol. iv. p. 493.