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A.D. 1640. Alderman Geere to the Gatehouse; and the at
torney-general was ordered to proceed against
them in the star-chamber. Violent
The king, to satisfy his necessities, chose to have recourse to any violent methods rather than recede from his unconstitutional demands, and receive supplies from his people. The expedients to which he was now driven were all of them unjustifiable, and some of them contemptible. He seized the bullion in the mint, which was brought from abroad to be coined there. This gave a great alarm to the Spanish merchants and others, who alleged that it would for ever after prevent the bringing of bullion into the Tower; and would prove of great prejudice to the king's reputation, and to the public, by the loss of the coinage. To gain a little ready money, he bought all the pepper lying under the Old Exchange upon trust, and sold it out at a much less value. It was proposed in council to debase the coin by mixing copper with the silver, and to coin three hundred thousand pounds, of which the fourth part only should be silver, and the other should be copper ; and that this should be current money to pay the army, which was marching to New-. castle against the Scotch.
The Scotch army, at the latter end of August, A.D. 1640. entered into England, upon a certain knowledge of the general discontent of the people, and upon a supposed invitation from several of the English nobility. Lord Saville, afterwards Earl of Sussex, had written a letter, * which he had subscribed himself, and to which, at the same time, he had added the forged names of twelve or fourteen of the most eminent among the English nobility, to invite and encourage that army to enter into England. This letter was sent into Scotland by Mr. Henry Darley t, who remained there as agent from the said English lords, until he had gained his point. When the English and Scotch lords met together, the letter caused great disputes among them; and at last, Lord Saville, being reconciled to the court, confessed to the king the whole affair. 28
* Lord Shaftesbury's manu- mitted close prisoner to the script.
castle at York. Rushworth. + He was afterwards com
* This accusation against Lord Saville before rested upon the authority of Nalson (vol. ii. p. 428) and Clarendon (vol. ii. p. 803). The former, indeed, gives a very circumstantial account of the discovery of the fraud, and of the erasure of the forged names; and he adds a ridiculous story that, upon discovering the forgery, the Scots were about to retreat to their own country,
A.D. 1640. The English army, which was so expensive to Temper of the king, and so burthensome * to the subject,
proved of no service. They allowed themselves to be routed by the Scotch at Newborne upon Tyne in a dishonourable manner; and openly imputed their defeat to a dissatisfaction with the cause for which they fought. Many of the officers and private soldiers, in their march to the rendezvous, did not hesitate to declare their dislike for the war, and that they would not fight to maintain the pride and power of the bishops;
. * A petition, signed by a king's commands about his
and throw themselves upon the king's mercy. Both these
a resolution which, if we may judge from the ill A.D. 1640. success that afterwards happened, seems to have been seriously formed and acted upon.
This dissatisfaction did not appear only in Petition of the army. A petition, * subscribed by the Earls lords. of Bedford, Essex, Hertford, Warwick, Bristol, and Mulgrave, by Lord Say and Seal, Lord Edward Howard, Lord Bolingbroke, Lord Mandeville, Lord Brooke, and Lord Paget, was sent to the king. The petitiont consisted of seven articles.
Firstly. The war with Scotland, whereby the king's revenue was much wasted, his subjects burthened with coat and conduct money, billeting of soldiers, and other military charges ; and divers rapines and disorders committed by the soldiers, and the whole kingdom become full of fear and discontent.
Secondly. The sundry innovations in matters of religion; the oath and canons lately imposed upon the clergy, and others his majesty's subjects.
• The thanks of the house the honour of the petitioners, of commons, and likewise of their petition should be rethe house of lords, were order- corded in their journals, and ed in the subsequent parlia- should be esteemed as the act ment to be given to these peers of that house. for this petition ; and the lords + Whitlocke, p. 34. Parin parliament resolved that, for liam. Hist. v. viii. p. 491.
A.D. 1640. Thirdly. The great increase of popery, and
employing of popish recusants, and others ill affected to the religion by law established, in places of power and trust, and especially in the commanding of men and arms, both in the field and divers counties in the realm.
Fourthly. The great mischief which might fall upon this kingdom if the intentions, which had been credibly reported, of bringing in of Irish forces should take effect.
Fifthly. The urging of ship-money, and prosecution of some sheriffs in the star-chamber for not levying of it.
Sixthly. The heavy charges of merchandise, to the discouragement of trade; the multitude of monopolies and other patents, whereby the commodities and manufactures of the kingdom are much burthened, to the great and universal grievance of the people.
Seventhly. The great grief of the subjects by the intermission of parliaments; in the late and former dissolving of such as had been called; with the hopeful effects which, otherwise, they might have procured.
For a remedy of which grievances, they besought the king to summon a parliament within