Page images
PDF
EPUB

the danger of the statute, then to that statute which requires his trial within six months, he refers himself.

The managers went on to the second charge against the archbishop, which was bis design to subvert the fundamental temporal laws of the kingdom, and to introduce an arbitrary government against law and the liberty of the subject. In maintenance whereof they alledged his ille'gal pressures of tonnage and poundage witbout act of parliament, ship-money, coat and conduct money, soap6 money, &c. and his commitment of divers persons to pris6 on for non-payment; for a proof of which there appeared, among others, three aldermen, viz. aldermen Atkins, . Chambers, and Adams."

The archbishop confessed, that as to the business of shipmoney, he was zealous in that affair, yet not with an intens to violate the law, for though this was before judgment given for the king, it was after the judges had declared the legality of it under their hands, and he thought he might safely follow such guides. He was likewise of opinion, that tonnage and poundage, coat and conduct-money were lawsul on the king's part; that he was led into this opinion by the express judgment of some lords present, and by the silence of others; none of the great lawyers at the table contradicting it; however, that it was the common act of the council-table, and therefore all were as culpable as bimself; and he was sure this could not amount to treason, except it were against the three aldermen, Atkins, Chambers, and Adams.t

They objected further, 6 sundry depopulations, and pulling down houses; that for the repair of St. Paul's above sixty dwelling- houses had been pulled down, by order of council, without any satisfaction to the tenants, 6 because they did not accept of the committee's composi

tion.—'That he bad obliged a brewer near the court not 6 to burn sea-coal, under penalty of having his brew house pulled down, and that by a like order of council many 6 shopkeepers were forcibly turned out of their houses in Cheapside, to make way for goldsmiths, who were forbid to open shop in any other places of the city. When a

Laud's History, p. 232, 233, 234.

4 commission was issued under the broad seal to bimself, to

compound with delinquents of this kind, Mr. Talboys was • fined fifty pounds for non-compliance; and when he • pleaded the statute of the 39th of Elizabeth, the archbisha * op replied, Do you plead law here? either abide the 07der, or take your trial at the star-chamber. When Mr. < Wakern had one bundred pounds allowed him for the

pulling down his house, he was soon after fined one bun• dred pounds in the high commission court, for profana* tion; of which he paid thirty."

This the archbishop admitted, and replied to the rest, that he humbly and heartily thanked God, that he was counted worthy to suffer for the repair of St. Paul's, which had cost bim out of his own purse above twelve hundred pounds. As to the grievances complained of, there was a composition allotted for the sufferers, by a committee named by the lords, not by him, which amounted to eight or nine thousand pounds, before they could come at the church to repair it; so that if any thing was amiss, it must be imputed to the lords of the council, who are one body, and whatsoever is done by the major part is the act of the whole; that, however, here was some recompence made them, whereas in King James's time, when a commission was issned for demolishing these very houses, no care was taken for satisfaction of any private man's interest; and I cannot forbear to add (says the archbishop,) that the bishop, and dean and chapter, did ill in giving way to these buildings, to increase their rents by a sacrilegious revenue ; there being no law to build on consecrated ground. When it was replied to this, " that the king's commission was no - legal warrant for pulling down houses, without authority

of parliament,” he answered, that houses more remote from the church of St. Paul's had been pulled down by the king's commission only in King Edward the third's time. As to the brew-house, the archbishop owned that ke had said to the proprietor, that he must seal a bond of two thousand pounds to brew no more with sea-coal ; but it was at the council-table, when he was delivering the sense of the board, which office was usually pnt upon him if

* Laud's History, p. 233, 211, 146, 267.

present; so that this or any other hardship he might suffer oug t not to be imputed to him, but to the whole council; and he was very sure it could not amount to treason, except it were treason against a brew-house. The like answer be made to the charge about the goldsmiths shops, namely, that it was the order of council, and was thought to be for the beauty and grandeur of the city, and he did apprehend the council had a right to command in things of decency, and for the saf ty of the subject, and where there was no law to the contrary. As to the words which be spoke to Mr. Talboys, they were not designed to derogate from the law, but to shew, that we sat not there as judges of the law, but to offer bis majesty's grace, by way of composition to them who would accept it, and therefore be had his option, whether he would agree to the fine we imposed upon him, or take his trial elsewhere. The commons replied with great reason, that no commission from the king could justify the pulling down men's houses, or oblige them to part with their estates without act of parliament.

The managers objected further to the archbishop, “ sev6eral illegal commitments, and exhorbitant fines and cen•sures in the star-chamber, and high commission court, as

in the cases of Prynne, Burton, Bastuick, Huntly, and 6 others; and that when the persons aggrieved brought prohibitions, he threatened to lay them by the heels, say. ing, Does the king grant us power, and are we then proShibited ? Let us go and complain, I will break the back of prohibitions, or they shall break mine. Accordingly sev. 6 eral persons were actually imprisoned for delivering pro. «hibitions, as was testified by many witnesses; nay, Mr.

Wheeler swore, he heard the archbishop in a sermon say, that they which granted prohibitions to the disturbance of the church's right, God will prohibit their entrance into the kingdom of heaven."

The archbishop replied, that the fines, imprisonments, and other censures complained of, were the acts of the sev. eral courts that directed them, and not his. That the reason why several persons were imprisoned for prohibitions, was because they delivered them in court in an unmannerly way, throwing them on the table, or banding

them over the heads of others on a stick, to the affront of the court; notwithstanding wbich as many prohibitions bad been admitted in his time as in his predecessors; and after all, he apprehended these prohibitions were a very great grievance to the church ; nor was there the same reason for them now, as before the reformation, while the bisivops' courts were kept under a foreign power, whereas now all power exercised in spiritual courts, as well as in temporal, is for the king. As to the words in bis sermon, though he did not remember thein, yet be saw no great bara in them. And here the archbishop put the lords in mind, that nothing had been done of late in the star-chanber, or council-table, more than had been done in king James and queen Elizabeth's times.

Nor is there any one witness that says, what he did was with a design to overthrow the laws, or introduce arbitrary government; no, that is only the construction of the managers, for which, and something else in their proceedings, I am confident, suys he they shall answer at another bar.||

The managers objected further, “ the arehbishop's tak: Sing undue gifts, and among others, his receiving two buts

of sack, in a cause of some Chester men, whom it was in • bis power to relieve, by mitigating the fine set on them in

the bigh commission, and taking several large sums of . money by way of composition for fines in the high-commission court, making use of the method of commutation, by virtue of a patent obtained from the king, which took away all opportunity from bis majesty of doing justice, and shewing mercy to bis poor subjects, and invested the 6 archbishop with the final determination."

His grace beard this part of his charge with great resentment and impatience. If I would have had any thing to do in the base, dirty business of bribery, (says he) I Reeded not be in such want as I am now. As to the sack, * he protested, as he should answer it to God, that he knew nothing of it, and offered to confirm it by his oath, if it

|| Laud's History, p. 270, 271, 273, 274. • Dr. Grey charges Mr. Neal with not giving the whole truth here, and with being cautious not to produce too many things in favor of the archbishop. The Editor, not having " Laud's History," cannot ascertain the truth or candor of this charge. Ed.

might be admitted. He declared, that when his steward told him of Mr. Stone's design, he absolutely forbad his receiving it, or any thing from any man who had business before him; but Mr. Stone, watching a time when bis steward was out of town, and the archbishop at court, brought the sack, telling the yeoman of the wine-cellar, that he had leave to lay it in. Afterwards, when his steward acquainted him that the sack was brought in ke commanded it should be carried back ; but Mr. Stone intreated that he might not be so disgraced, and protested he did not do it on the accout of the Chester business, though after this he went home and put it on their account ; for which they complained to the house of commons, and produced Mr. Stone for their witness. The archbisbop observes, that Mr. Browne, in summing up his charge, did him justice in this particular, for neither to the lords nor commons did he so much as mention it.

As to the other sums of money which he received by way of composition or otherwise, for fines in the high commission, he said, that he had the broad seal from the king, for applying them to the repairing the west end of St. Paul's, for the space of ten years, which broad seal was then in the hands of Mr. Holford, and was on record to be seen. And all fines in the high commission belonging to the crown, his majesty had a right to give them to what use he pleased; that as for himself, he thought it his duty to get as much money for so good a work as he could, even by way of commutation for certain crimes ; which method of pecuniary commutations was according to law, and the aucient custo:n and practice of this kingdom, especially where men of quality were offenders, and he had applied no part of them to his own benefit or advantage.

It was next objected, “ that he had made divers alteraÓtions in the king's coronation oath, and introduced several unwarrantable innovations with relation to that august

ceremony; as particularly, that he had inserted those • words into the oath, agreeable to the king's prerogative, • with about twenty other alterations of less moment, which they apprehended to be a matter of most dangerous con6 sequence. That he had revived certain old popish cere6 movies, disused since the reformation, as the placivg a

« PreviousContinue »