« PreviousContinue »
A.D. 1633. necessary instances, as could not but give offence
in a country where so much the greater part of A.D. 1634. the people were presbyterians. When the pro
vosts of Powis presented plate to him, one of them was not admitted to kiss his hand, because he was not a churchman; and when the nobility and gentry at Fife had prepared an entertainment for him, he refused to go to it, because many of them were presbyterians. He afterwards endeavoured by force to establish an hierarchy, and introduce the liturgy among them : and this drew upon him a war with that nation,
which he was not able to support. Arbitrary As the discontinuance of parliaments in Engin England. land drove the king to any resources for raising
money, it gave encouragement to every kind Ship-mo of projectors. But of all the inventions for sup
plying the king, the writs for ship-money gave the greatest and most general dissatisfaction. A writ was sent in 1634 to the city of London, *
* By this, dated October 20, following, one man-of-war of 1634, they were commanded nine hundred tons, one of and enjoined, upon their faith eight bundred, four of five and allegiance, and under the hundred, and one of three forfeiture of all which they hundred, furnished with men, could forfeit, to carry to Ports- victuals, and all warlike promouth, before the 1st of March visions.-Rushworth.
to prepare a certain number of men-of-war for A.D. 1634. the king's use. Writs, likewise, were sent into the several counties for assessing the people ; and, for five years together, this scheme produced two hundred thousand pounds a year. The writ was presented by the grand jury of Northampton as a grievance; upon which the clerk of the peace and freemen of the jury were ordered to attend, A.D. 1639. and give an account of their conduct; and the privy council sent a letter to Sir Christopher Yelverton, high sheriff of Northampton, reprimanding him in very haughty terms for officiously sending them the petition of the grand jury, and for representing the difficulties which he found in the execution of the king's writs. Upon the general sense which the people had of the injustice of this tax, Mr. Hampden had Mr. Hampin the year 1637, at his own expense, withstood conduct. the exaction of it, by which he acquired at that time a great and just reputation with the pub
24 This was only an extension of the demand that had been made eight years before. The king had then by his own authority called upon the maritime parts of his kingdom to supply him with a fleet; he now went a step farther, and taxed the whole of the kingdom for the ostensible purpose of building and maintaining one. Precedents are dangerous things in the hand of such a monarch as Charles.
A.D. 1639. lic; and notwithstanding the opprobrious cha
racter given him by one historian, and the insidious attempts of others to detract from the merit and motives of his conduct, he has transmitted his name to posterity as a true asserter of the liberties of his country, and will be held in veneration so long as the least spark of Eng
lish freedom is cherished in the breast. Lord Cla. Lord Clarendon, speaking of the tranquillity presentation of the nation during this intermission of parliaof things, considered. ment, says, “ That for twelve years they enjoyed
the fullest measure of felicity that any people in any age for so long time together had been blessed with; yet be allows there were extraordinary grievances. A proclamation, he admits, was published to inhibit all men to speak of another parliament; supplemental acts of state were made to supply defects of laws; tonnage and poundage, and other duties, which the parliament had refused, collected by order of council; new and greater impositions laid upon trade ; obsolete laws revived and rigorously executed; unjust projects of all kinds, many ridiculous, many scandalous, all very grievous, were set on foot; and, for the better support of these extraordinary ways, and to protect the agents, and to discountenance and
suppress all bold inquirers and opposers, the A.D. 1639. council-table and star-chamber enlarged their jurisdiction to a vast extent: that any disrespect to acts of state or to the persons * of statesmen was in no time more penal; and those foun
* Mr. Bellasis, Lord Fau- stance: “The jealousy grows conberg's son, was committed great and sharp between the to the Gate-house for not Leviathan and the little medpulling off his hat to Lord Sling Hocus Pocus.” And in Wentworth, lord president of another letter, “My dear lord, the north. Many instances of I cannot be quiet but I must extraordinary severity were write to your lordship: the shown to persons who had sport is grown tragical; anyspoken even slightly of the thing would be given for a Archbishop of Canterbury, sound and thorough charge to who was jealous to the great push at, and confound the est degree of his dignity, and little urchin." These letters earnest for punishing the least were found in a box in the offenders against it. One re. Bishop of Lincoln's palace at markable instance was in the Bugden, some years after their Rev. Mr. Lambert Osbaldston, being written, and at a time a prebend and master of West- when he was in the Tower : minster school. He and the there could be no purpose, Bishop of Lincoln were charged therefore, of divulging them. by information in the star- Mr. Osbaldston denied that he chamber, February 14, 1638-9, meant the treasurer and the to have plotted together to archbishop by those words; divulge false news and lies, and they were applied to them and to breed a difference be- only by an innuendo. The sentween Lord Treasurer Weston tence, however, was, that the and the archbishop. The Bishop of Lincoln should be charge was grounded upon fined five thousand pounds to some passages in two letters the king, and should pay three written by Mr. Osbaldston in thousand pounds damages to January 1633-4; as for in- the archbishop, should be imVOL. I.
A.D. 1639. dations of right, by which men valued their
security, to the apprehension of wise men, never more in danger to be destroyed.” .
If it is true that the foundations of right were in such danger, it was necessary for patriots to exert themselves; and it is evident that the opposition made by the subsequent parliaments of April and November 1640, proceeded from an honest zeal and firm resolution to strengthen those foundations, to prop the bulwarks of the consti
prisoned during the king's ears nailed to the pillory. Mr. pleasure, and make his sub- Osbaldston, who stood in a mission : That Mr. Osbaldston crowd in the court during the should be fined five thousand trial, when he found what cenpounds to the king, should pay sure would be passed upon five thousand pounds damages him, went away immediately to the archbishop, should be to his own house, and there deprived of all spiritual digni. left the following note on a ties and promotions, should be desk: “If the archbishop io. imprisoned during the king's quire after me, tell him I am pleasure, and make his submis- gone beyond Canterbury:" sion : that he should stand in whereupon messengers were the pillory in Dean's Yard be sent to the port towns to apfore his own school, with his prehend him; but he lay hid
25 Laud had established a most efficient censorship of the press. Selden was bold enough to publish his elaborate treatise upon tithes during the archbishop's day of power. In this work he treats the divine origin claimed for that institution with very little ceremony; but the high commission court soon convinced him of his error, and Selden made haste to retract his heretical tenet.