History of England, Part II From the Accession of Henry VIII to the Revolution of 1689

Tout, T. F. --Powell, F. York


CHAPTER I James I. and the beginnings of the Struggle. 1603-1625.


1. On , James, King of Scots, was proclaimed King of England amidst general rejoicing. He was a man of good height, with a fair delicate skin, blue rolling eyes, and a tongue too large [2]  for his mouth. Some weakness in his legs James . made him walk with a shambling circular gait, and sit very awkwardly on horseback. He was careless in his dress, wearing his favourite clothes till they were almost in rags, and his ungainly figure looked the more clumsy since he quilted his doublet as a protection against assassination. He never washed his hands, but rubbed his fingers lightly with the wetted end of a napkin. He lived simply on roast meat and fruit, and never ate bread. Fond as he was of sweet wine, his strong head was never disturbed by it. He spent most of his time in the country, busied with hunting, hard study and gossiping with his favourites. His wife, Anne of Denmark, the sister of Christian IV., had long yellow hair, and a white skin "far more amiable than the features it covered." She was a well-meaning frivolous woman, fond of masques and balls. As she grew older she leant towards the Roman Catholics.

James was good-natured and affectionate, an indulgent husband and father, and a faithful friend. He was, however, hot-tempered, nervous, cowardly and without any sense of dignity or decorum. Possessed of plenty of ability, he often took shrewd views of men and things, and had been so well taught by the famous scholar, George Buchanan that he had become the most learned prince in Europe. He wrote clever but pedantic books about politics and theology, and a furious "counterblast" against the new habit of smoking tobacco, which he detested. He honestly loved peace, and moderate courses; but he was weak and unstable, and never turned his gifts to proper account. He was extraordinarily vain and conceited, and easily moved by flattery. He seemed quite a foreigner, with his rough northern ways, and harsh Scottish tongue. He was now thirty-seven years old, with fixed habits.

James was proud of his statecraft, and had a high notion


of the divine right of kings, thinking it almost blasphemy in subjects to go against the will of the Lord's Anointed. He was always talking foolishly about the absolute power of the crown, and saying that the liberties of the people depended on his favour. But while he was magnifying the monarchy in theory, the actual authority that had wielded slipped unnoticed from his hands. Yet James had the wisdom to see that his right course was to follow as closely as he could on 's footsteps. But he never really understood wherein the secret of 's strength had rested. Above all he did not see that his interests and those of his subjects were really the same, and, unlike Queen , he took no pains to understand his people, or carry out their wishes. He was quite out of touch with public opinion. Under his rule the old Tudor harmony between king and people came to an end. The personal defects of the king soon embittered and precipitated the inevitable conflict between them. A strong parliamentary opposition, half political, half religious, grew up in antagonism to the royal authority. The result was the great struggle between Crown and Parliament, which lasted nearly all through the seventeenth century, and did not end until the triumph of the Commons was secured by the driving out of the Stewarts from the throne. The first act of this long and fierce contest was fought out under James, but as yet both parties to it were unconscious of where it would take them.

2 The Council and ministers of were kept in office, and with their help James strove to rule England as the old queen had done. Sir Robert Cecil remained Secretary, and in [4]  was made Earl of Salisbury. He was so small a man that James called him his "pigmy" and "little beagle," and his enemies spoke of his "wry neck, crooked back and splay foot." He was stiff and official in his ways, but courteous, clear-headed and hard-working. So strong a hold did he keep on power that foreign ambassadors described James as a phantom king who left all the real work of government to his ministers. So long as he lived, Cecil kept up the traditions of Elizabethan statecraft. He was jealous of opposition, and coldly discouraged the rising ambition of his cousin, Francis Bacon (), the brilliant Chancery barrister, whom he thought a mere visionary. In the same way he looked upon the gallant Sir Walter Raleigh () as an unscrupulous adventurer.


He preferred to trust men of narrower mould, such as the Attorney-General, Sir Edward Coke (), the greatest of the common lawyers, but the hardest, most pedantic and ungenial of men.

The discontented of every sort joined together in a series of plots against Cecil. The selfish and cowardly Henry Brooke, Lord Cobham, formed what was called the Main Plot against him, and even [5]  talked of deposing in favour of the Lady Arabella Stewart, the daughter of Darnley's younger brother, and an Englishwoman born. Quite independent of Cobham's design was the Bye Plot, or the Treason of the Priests. This was a foolish scheme of the Roman Catholic secular priest, William Watson, to seize James and keep him a prisoner until he gave freedom to the Catholics, and made the conspirators his chief advisers. But the Jesuits, who hated their rivals, the secular priests, got hold of the story and revealed it to the ministers. Before long the Main Plot was also discovered and Cobham arrested. Thereupon he made a lying confession which implicated his friend, the reckless and discontented Raleigh. The conspirators were tried and condemned. The guilty priests were executed, but nearly all the laymen were pardoned at the foot of the scaffold. Among those convicted was Raleigh, whose condemnation had only been secured by very doubtful measures. Attorney-General Coke conducted the prosecution with coarse brutality. " Thou hast a Spanish heart," he cried, "and thyself art a spider of hell. There never lived a viler viper than thou." Raleigh, though telling lies freely to screen himself, behaved in the main with dignity. Though the sentence passed against him was not carried out, he was never formally pardoned. He remained many years in the Tower with the death sentence still hanging over his head, and amusing himself with experiments in chemistry, and by inditing in sonorous prose his History of the World. The Lady Arabella, who was quite innocent of all treason, was treated kindly by James until, in , she married William Seymour, who was dangerous to the King as the grandson of Catharine Grey, and an inheritor of her claims to the throne by the will of . She was then thrown into prison, where she died raving mad in .

3. Foreign affairs, the Puritans, the Roman Catholics and Parliament, were the chief difficulties of the new


monarch. In , James, who hated war, made peace with by the Treaty of London, on terms which left [7]  him free to help our allies, the Seven United Provinces, who continued the fight against their old tyrants till the Twelve Years' Truce of . Robert Cecil kept up friendly dealings with, and showed watchful distrust of . In , England joined Henry IV.,the famous king who had restored the French monarchy, to prevent the establishment of a Roman Catholic prince as Duke of Cleves. It seemed as if a general war of Protestant and Catholic were likely to break out in ; but the murder of Henry IV. by a Catholic fanatic deprived the German Protestants of the hope of French help, and peace was restored. Louis XIII. (), the new king, was a boy; and his mother, Mary de' Medici, was a great friend of the Spaniards. Salisbury continued our alliance with the German Protestants.

4. The state of the English Church was still critical. Despite the activity of Whitgift, many of the clergy still [8]  held Puritan opinions. The Scottish Church, in which James had been brought up, almost realised the ideals of Calvin, and the Puritans hoped that a Presbyterian and Calvinistic king would sympathise with their ways of thinking, and allow their views to prevail by carrying out a further reformation of the church. On James's way to London, the Millenary Petition (so called because it expressed the opinions of a thousand Puritans) was presented to him, begging for a relaxation of the [9]  ceremonies, which they looked on as rags of Popery. James ordered a conference of the two Church parties to meet at Hampton Court on . The Puritan clergy, led by Reynolds, asked for a revision of the Prayer Book, a new translation of the Bible, and the enforcement of Calvinist doctrines. Bishop Bancroft, of London, almost the first Protestant bishop to teach that a Church without bishops was no true Church at all, was the spokesman of the friends of the Elizabethan Settlement. He reminded the Puritans of the "Ancient Canon that schismatics were not to be listened to when they spoke against their bishops"; but the king, who delighted in theological argument, showed a better temper, and agreed to order a revised translation of the Bible. Yet James knew very well that his interest lay in supporting the Elizabethan Settlement, and he hated the Scottish system of church government which


he regarded as hostile to his power. As soon as he saw that the Puritans wanted to set up the Scottish system, the king flew into a passion. "A Scottish Presbytery," he cried, "agreeth as well with monarchy, as God with the devil. Stay for me seven years, and then if you find me pursy and fat, I will perhaps harken unto you, but until I am lazy let that alone." James thus declared his adhesion to the church policy of , and the Puritans went away dissatisfied. All that resulted from the conference were some small changes in the Prayer Book that pleased nobody, and the noble Authorised Version of the Bible, which was finally published in .

A few months afterwards Bancroft became archbishop of Canterbury, on Whitgift's death, and turned out three hundred Puritan ministers from their livings. [10]  Bancroft's successor, George Abbot () , inclined towards Puritan views. But the whole current of Church opinion set in strongly against them. Led by the holy ascetic Lancelot Andrewes, bishop of Ely and then of Winchester, a new school of churchmanship grew up which laid stress on the continuity of the Church with the Church of the Middle Ages, insisted on the necessity of the Apostolical Succession and of Episcopal Ordination, held high views of Sacramental Grace, and found in an elaborate ritual and in the symbolism of the Middle Ages the best stimulants to devotion. They followed the Dutch professor Arminius (from whom they were called Arminians) in rejecting the cold Calvinism which all parties had held under . Strong in his principle of "No Bishop, No King," James himself, in later life, leant towards their views, regarding the servile bishops as the best check upon his unruly subjects, and the Church as the safest prop of the throne. In , Abbot, whose influence had long been waning, had the misfortune to shoot a keeper as he was hunting deer in Bramshill Park. Friends of the new ways, such as the learned and indefatigable William Laud, and the scheming Welshman John Williams, refused to be consecrated as bishops by the homicide, and for the rest of his life Abbot remained under a cloud. Meanwhile, the Puritans were driven to despair; many left the Church altogether and joined the Brownist separatists, who were so harshly treated that some of them sought freedom to worship God in the wildernesses of America. But the mass of the Puritans


remained discontented Conformists, hoping against hope for better days to come.

5. James had declared that he would not persecute the Roman Catholics so long as they remained good subjects, [12]  and made himself unpopular with the rigid Protestants by trying to suspend the cruel recusancy laws. But the Romanists, like the Puritans, wished not for toleration, but for supremacy: and James became alarmed at the numerous conversions to Popery. Severe penalties were therefore imposed on the friends of the old faith, and several priests were executed. In despair, the more desperate recusants turned to treason. Robert Catesby, a Warwickshire gentleman of birth and property, whose handsome face, eager enthusiasm, and winning manners made him a born leader of men, formed a conspiracy to blow up the king and Parliament with gunpowder. Thomas Percy, a kinsman and steward of the Earl of Northumberland, Thomas Winter, and John Wright fell eagerly into his scheme. They brought from Guy Fawkes, a Yorkshireman, who had fled from England through his zeal for the Pope, and had served as a soldier of fortune in the armies of the king of . Fawkes' coolness and courage made him a fit instrument to carry out their desperate design. The conspirators now hired a coal-cellar underneath the House of Lords, where they piled up a great heap of powder barrels hidden under faggots with the object of blowing up King, Lords, and Commons on 5 November , the day of the meeting of Parliament. Money falling short, they added to their band three rich young gentlemen-Tresham, Rokewood, and Digby. A great gathering of Catholic gentry of the Midlands was to be collected on the pretence of a hunt at Dunchurch. It was hoped that the assembly would rise in revolt when the news of the explosion spread, seize the Princess , James's little daughter, who was living at Combe Abbey near Coventry, and proclaim her as queen.

As Nov. 5 drew near the newer conspirators became uneasy at the Catholic lords being involved in the fate of their heretic colleagues. Catesby's fanatic zeal made light of the difficulty, but Tresham warned his brother-in-law, Lord Monteagle, not to attend Parliament. Monteagle sent on his letter to Cecil, who gave the plotters full time to concert their schemes, and finally, on Nov. 4, carefully searched the cellars, discovered the powder, and took


Fawkes prisoner. The bold desperado boasted that he was about to blow the Scots back again to , but torture of the severest sort soon forced from him the names of his accomplices Meanwhile Catesby and the rest rode in hot haste to Warwickshire, hoping still to carry out the other part of this plot. But the huntsmen at Dunchurch refused to rise in revolt, and the little band of thirty conspirators fled to Holbeach, near Stourbridge, in Staffordshire. An accidental explosion of the powder got to defend the house hurt some, and frightened the rest as a judgment of God. The Sheriff of Worcestershire came up with the forces of the shire and surrounded the house. Thoroughly cowed and disheartened, the plotters prepared themselves by prayer for their last fight. Catesby and Percy stood back to back, and, fighting desperately, were shot down by the same bullet. Catesby crawled on his knees to a picture of the Virgin and died kissing and embracing it. Fawkes and his comrades in London were executed as traitors, glorying in their deed. Some Jesuit priests, including Henry Garnett, the Provincial (or head) of the order in England, were incriminated in the plot. For nearly a week they hid in a hole in Hindlip Hall near Worcester, " chiefly supported by broth conveyed by a reed through a little hole in a chimney that backed another chimney in a gentlewoman's chamber." But want of air drew them "like ghosts" to surrender. At their trial Garnett admitted that he had been told of the conspiracy under the seal of confession, but protested that he abhorred the murderous design. In May he suffered the penalties of treason. Catholic Europe believed that a small picture of the martyr, surrounded by rays of glory, had been miraculously formed on a husk of straw on his scaffold. The day of the deliverance from the Gunpowder Treason was made a national holiday, and the stern laws against the recusants were enforced with a new rigour.

6. James's want of success in dealing with the Puritans and the Roman Catholics foreshadowed his failure to understand the temper of his Parliaments. In the House of Lords the new Tudor nobility had now acquired a sufficient standing to be able to act with [13]  independence and dignity, but they were generally outvoted by the cringing bishops and the swarm of courtier lords who owed their existence to James's reckless prodigality in the distribution of peerages and honours. However, the sturdy squires and merchants of


the House of Commons had now learnt to take a wiser and broader view of the national interests than the packed parliaments of the Tudors, and not all the creations of new boroughs, that represented nobody but the court and ministers, could prevent the overwhelming preponderance of the real representatives of the freeholders and men of substance throughout the land. Strongly conservative in their love of English ways and hatred of sweeping changes, the Commons cherished the liveliest devotion to the well-ordered liberty which was the traditional birthright of all Englishmen, and were learning to look back, past the despotism of the Tudors, to the palmy days of constitutional freedom under the Edwards and Henrys. They now found in the adroit and subtle lawyers of London spokesmen and leaders, who were more than a match for the courtiers, and before long the country gentry themselves began to stand forth as orators and statesmen. Even before 's death, the monopoly quarrel had shown that the House of Commons no longer re-echoed the policy of the Crown as in Tudor times. James tried to take up the same high line with his Commons as had done, but the man and the time combined to render his efforts futile. The Commons had deferred to the wishes of the old queen, but no ties of gratitude or interest prevented their now taking up a more decided attitude. They were determined to vindicate their rights against the king, and watched even his most harmless actions with suspicion. James, on the other hand, was full of well-meant plans of great reforms, which they cared nothing about. He expected as implicit an obedience as had exacted. But while always realised that she and her subjects were members of the same body politic, with common interests and ambitions, James fell into a fatal habit of bargaining with his people, like a sharp huckster cheapening his wares.

James's First Parliament met in March , and continued its sessions until . Francis Bacon was prominent among the guiding spirits of its earlier debates. A long wrangle at once broke out between king and Commons about privilege of Parliament. James had [15]  claimed that the Court of Chancery should decide all disputed elections. The Commons replied that their House alone was competent to deal with questions affecting its own composition, and succeeded in compelling James to give way.


They then pressed for reforms in the Church, though protesting that they " had not come in any Puritan or Brownist spirit to work the subversion of the state ecclesiastical as it now stands." In the same spirit they demanded the regulation of the abuses of the feudal customs of Purveyance and Wardship.'[16]  James paid little attention to their complaints, and annoyed them by declaring that their privileges depended on his good pleasure, and could be revoked at his will. They gave him no subsidy, but plenty of wholesome advice. They drew up a straightforward and manly Apology for their conduct. " If your Majesty," they said, "will consider our petitions for ease of those burdens under which your whole people have long time mourned, then you may be assured to be possessed of our hearts for ever." " I wish you would use your liberty with more modesty" was James's petulant answer. "If I should show favour except there be obedience, I were no wise man." When Parliament separated in July the great struggle had begun all along the line.

The session of was mostly taken up in framing fresh laws against the Popish recusants, who were made the scapegoats of the Gunpowder Plot. The later [17]  sessions brought the relations of King and Commons from bad to worse. In , James's scheme for a further union with was finally laid before Parliament. Though James was now king of both kingdoms, the two realms were still as two foreign countries in their relations to each other. The king wisely saw that the personal Union of the Crowns needed to be supplemented by a political union of the kingdoms. He was the more eager for this as his position in was so much weaker than in England, and he wished to rule with equal power in his old and in his new inheritance. He looked forward to the time when there would be "one Parliament, one law, one Church, and one nation." Bacon seconded his plans with so much ardour, that he was at last admitted to favour as Solicitor-General.


But the slow imagination of the country gentry saw nothing of the brilliant visions of the king and the philosopher, and believed that they were scheming to upset the old Constitution for the benefit of the greedy and poverty-stricken Northerners with whom England had been so long at enmity. So strong was this feeling, that all James ventured to ask for was, that Englishmen and Scotsmen should no longer be aliens in each other's country, and that freedom of trade between the two nations should be established. But all that he could get was the repeal of the harsh laws that treated Scotsmen as enemies. Despairing of Parliament, he turned to the judges, who, in Calvin's Case (properly Colvill's Case), decided that the post native that is, Scots born after James became King of England-were, by virtue of their allegiance to the English King, in the same position as natural born Englishmen (), thus declaring the ante nati-Scots born before -foreigners.

James was heavily in debt, and sorely in want of money. But he found difficulties even in raising the revenue which had collected without the least [19]  trouble. In , John Bate, a Turkey merchant, refused to pay a duty on currants that had been arbitrarily imposed by , urging that no one was bound to consent to a tax exacted without the consent of Parliament. The judges of the Court of Exchequer, before whom the matter was brought, decided in favour of the king's right to raise export and import duties, because they were levied, so they argued, not mainly to get revenue, but by virtue of the king's undoubted right to regulate trade. In , Salisbury became Lord High Treasurer, and resolved to make a desperate effort to set the king's finances straight. He took advantage of this decision to issue a Book of lates which, without Parliamentary authority, brought in a large number of increased customs duties, known as the New Impositions, from which a revenue of 70,000 a year was expected. So hard did the Treasurer work, that he cut down the king's debt from a million to three hundred thousand pounds. But he could not persuade James to live soberly or cease lavishing his gold and lands on his favourites. The result was that recourse was again necessary to Parliament.

In , Salisbury laid his demands before the Commons, who answered him by drawing up a whole catalogue of grievances. They complained of the New


Impositions, of the abuses of feudal tenures, of the king's mildness to Popish recusants, and of a law-book called the Interpreter, the writer of which, Dr. Cowell, taught that the king was above the [20]  Parliament, and that " subsidies were granted by Parliament in consideration of the king's goodness inwaiving his absolute power to make laws without their consent." James threw over Cowell, and Salisbury proposed an elaborate scheme called the Great Contract, by which the king was to give up the obsolete and vexatious feudal revenue in return for the payment of his debts and a fixed addition of 200,000 a year to his income. But both parties haggled so long about details, that no definite result could be arrived at. At last James dissolved Parliament in Feb. , and angrily declared that he had not "a sincere patience," and would accept no supply " if they were to sauce it with taunts and disgraces." To relieve his distress, he now offered the new hereditary title of Baronet to all gentlemen of position who would advance him £1080. Less than a hundred persons were found to buy so cheap a dignity. It is to James's credit that the sums thus lent were generally paid back. A few years later, however, James sold two peerages for £10,000 a piece.

In , want of money forced James to summon his Second Parliament. Afraid of a repetition of his earlier troubles, the king entered into negotiations with a number of prominent members of the [21]  former House of Commons, who advised him to make concessions, and promised that if he did so, they would strive to influence the elections in favour of ministerial candidates, while they undertook to manage the House, and persuade it to meet readily the royal necessities. From this curious bargain these gentlemen were nicknamed the Undertakers. But they entirely failed in their attempts, and public opinion rose indignant that so narrow a clique should venture to speak on behalf of the Commons of England. Parliament repudiated its ancient leaders, and drew up a long list of complaints, conspicuous among which were the New Impositions. Hot disputes at once arose, and James became so irritated that he dissolved the Parliament before a single act had been passed or any supply granted. For this reason the wits called it the Addled Parliament.

7. Weary of King James's weakness, Englishmen looked


with hope towards his children. James's eldest son, Henry, (b. ), already showed signs of taking [23]  up a line of his own. He was a slow-minded, headstrong, but capable youth, fond of all manly sports, and eager for renown as a soldier. He was passionately attached to his sister, the Lady (b. ), a bright, winning girl, who, in , had married Frederick V., Elector Palatine of the Rhine, the leader of the South German Calvinists. This very popular match was a great triumph for the Protestant party, and the crowning work of Salisbury's political life. Before it could be completed, the Lord Treasurer died, worn out before his time by the cares of State. Before the year was out, a sudden attack of typhoid fever carried off Prince Henry, to the universal sorrow of the nation. His younger brother Charles (b. ) was made in .

Salisbury had always had to contend against a Spanish party in the Council led by the brother and younger [24]  son of the Norfolk executed by , Henry Howard, Earl of Northampton, and Thomas, Earl of , the Lord Thomas Howard of the Azores fleet in [see page 127]. The Howards now hoped to succeed to Salisbury's power, and reverse his policy. James had no faith in them, and preferred to be his own minister, and rule directly with the help of clerks and subordinates. "I would rather have a comfortable man of ordinary parts," he used to say, "than the rarest man in the world that will not be obedient." But he hated trouble, and wanted some one who would look after details and serve his interests, but who was too ignorant or insignificant to have a settled policy of his own. He resolved, therefore, to take into his confidence some docile youth who would amuse his leisure, act as his private secretary, and save him from saying no to importunate [25]  suitors. He chose for his purpose Robert Ker or Carr (). Sprung from the fierce Border family of the Kers of Ferniehurst, the favourite was a "straight-limbed, well-favoured, strong-shouldered, and smooth-faced fellow"; but his merits, however, did not extend beyond his good looks, and his "rich and rare parts," even in James's partial eyes, were "powdered and mixed with strange streams of unquietness, passion, fury, insolent pride, and settled obstinacy." Carr first attracted James's notice in , when he broke his arm at a tilting match in the king's presence. He soon became


James's constant companion. In , he was enriched by Raleigh's forfeited manor of Sherborne, though the king had the grace to give Raleigh's family some sort of compensation for their loss. In , he was made Viscount Rochester, being the first Scotsman to take his seat in the House of Lords. After , he became the allpowerful favourite.

If James leant on Carr, Carr himself was so ignorant of his new part, that he depended very much on the advice of Sir Thomas Overbury, an ambitious and overbearing [26]  but high-minded man of letters. So little indeed could Carr do for himself, that , he is said even to have got Overbury to write his love-letters for him to the Ladys Howard, the daughter of , but married in early childhood to Robert Devereux, , the son of 's favourite. Lady was violently in love with the handsome Scot, and sought to procure a divorce from her husband. Her kinsfolk, the Howards, supported her strongly, hoping that if she were free to marry Rochester, she would win him and the king over to the Catholic policy. In , through James's influence, the marriage of Lady was declared invalid, but a new obstacle now presented itself to her union with the favourite. Overbury pleaded strongly against the match. Such was his hold over Rochester, that it was thought safest to get him out of the way. He refused to go beyond sea as an ambassador, and, as a last resource, was shut up in the Tower for this disobedience to the king's commands.

Lady , a woman without shame or scruple, was furious against Overbury, and resolved to take his life. She formed a regular plot with professional poisoners, who sent the prisoner tarts and jellies mixed with deadly drugs. Overbury soon fell sick, but still lingered despite the efforts of the gang. At last an apothecary's boy managed to kill him outright. His death was set down to natural causes, and in Dec. , Rochester, now made Earl of Somerset, was wedded to the murderess of his old comrade. For nearly two years the Howard faction triumphed. But their enemies, led by Archbishop Abbot, were ever on the watch, and Somerset grew so insolent with power, that even James began to be weary of his fits of temper. Yet his influence at court remained considerable till the confession of the apothecary's boy revealed to a horrified world the tragedy of Overbury's death. The whole hideous story was soon brought to


light. The instruments of the crime were tried, convicted, and executed. Lady Somerset pleaded guilty before the House of Lords, and was sentenced to death (). Somerset, however, protested his ignorance, though adjudged by his peers to be an accessory before the fact, and therefore equally liable to the penalties of murder. James spared the fallen pair their lives, and after seven years' imprisonment, they were released from the Tower, and spent the rest of their days in obscurity. Puritan England stood aghast at the horrors which had been worked almost in the presence of the sovereign. It was even whispered that the king himself was closely implicated in the tale of crime. But James was innocent of all save credulity, weakness, and folly.

James soon found a new favourite in George Villiers (), the younger son of a well-born but poor [28]  Leicestershire knight, and a youth of " straight and goodly stature,lovely complexion, andhand- some features." Proud, high-spirited, good-humoured, quickwitted, and gracious in his manner, Villiers was in every way more attractive than the shallow, morose Border laird, though he was badly educated, vain, fickle and arrogant. His weak head was soon turned by his success, and, though not dishonest, he often stooped to questionable courses. James loved him like a son, and called him "Steenie," while Villiers addressed his sovereign as "dear dad and gossip." Wealth, honours, titles, offices, were heaped upon the fortunate young man. Created a peer in , he became Earl of Buckingham in , and Duke in . He was appointed Lord High Admiral with a charge to watch over and improve the declining navy. The gravest churchmen and the wisest councillors became humble suitors for his favour. Laud attached himself closely to the giddy worldling, hoping that his influence would win over the king from his Calvinism and make him heartily support the struggling Arminian cause. Bacon, slowly mounting the ladder of preferment after his cousin's death, was profuse in tendering his good advice. Bacon had at last won a good name at Court. He had fought the battle of the prerogative in his long [29]  contest with his old rival Coke, who was now Lord Chief Justice, and struggling manfully to uphold the majesty of the Common Law against the subtle aggressions of the Crown. In , Coke was dismissed from his office. In , Bacon was made Lord Keeper of the Great Seal. He was soon raised to the


higher title of Lord Chancellor, and created Viscount St. Albans. Foremost among the other advisers of the king was the quick-witted Lionel Cranfield, who had started life as a London apprentice, but had won favour at Court by his zeal, activity, and knowledge of business, and was now entrusted with the impossible task of setting James's finances in order, as Lord High Treasurer and Earl of . He was self-seeking and knew nothing of politics, but he did some good in getting rid of abuses and maladministration.

8. James's foreign policy still fluctuated wildly. His steady object was to maintain peace and the balance of power, and, in particular, to prevent religious wars. He thought the best security for the peace of [30]  Europe was a hearty alliance between himself as the leader of the Protestants and as the chief Catholic power. One party at his Council, headed by the Howards, was altogether in the pay of . Another, led by the Puritan Archbishop Abbot, sighed for a renewal of an aggressive war against the great enemy of the Gospel. English public opinion inclined to this simple policy, which the king was broad-minded enough to reject. But James, with all his honesty of purpose and all his statecraft, often made himself the tool of the Spanish faction. Yet he was shrewd enough to see both sides, though his deplorable weakness in action led to the extraordinary result that he was always trying to carry out two foreign policies at once.

Buckingham at first opposed the Howards' party, but was gradually led to become friendly with by the astute Spanish ambassador Gondomar. In , an old plan for marrying Prince Charles to the Infanta Maria, daughter of Philip III., was again taken up. Yet, at the same time, king and Council eagerly accepted a rash proposal of Raleigh quite incompatible with a Spanish alliance. This was a scheme for a voyage, in quest of gold, to Guiana, which Sir Walter had discovered in , though it was within the sphere which the Spaniards claimed as their own, and in which they had established settlements.

9. More than twenty years had now passed since Raleigh came back from his first voyage to Guiana. Yet in his long solitude in the Tower the mind of the adventurer still teemed with plans for revisiting the shores of the great river Orinoco, and [31]  seeking out afresh the strange El Dorado, the city of marvels and the home of fabulous wealth, where the descendants of the Incas were still imagined to rule in savage state, and


were eager to share the treasures of their gold mines with the daring Englishmen who would save them from Spanish tyranny. Raleigh offered to lead an expedition to a mine far removed from Spanish settlements, and was, in , released from the Tower and allowed to fit out a little fleet, though he was so poor that he could hardly furnish his ships with provisions, and the adventure was so doubtful that tried mariners shrunk from the risk. In March , Raleigh set sail in the Destiny for the Spanish Main, having solemnly promised that he would molest no Spaniards, but peacefully seek out the promised mine. The voyage was long and difficult. Some of the ships turned back, others were destroyed by tempests. Sickness raged among the sailors, and when at last the remnant of ten ships cast anchor in the mouth of the Orinoco, Raleigh himself was prostrate with fever, and the dispirited crews had lost all hope of success. But the high soul of the admiral rose superior to his troubles. " We can make the adventure," he declared, " and if we perish, it shall be no honour to England or gain to his Majesty to lose one hundred as valiant gentlemen as England hath in it." He recked little of his promises, and sought to kindle the cupidity of his followers by appeals to the old buccaneer spirit. "There is no peace beyond the line," was his cry. 'If the mine fail, there is still the Mexican treasure fleet."

Raleigh remained at the mouth of the Orinoco, while his faithful lieutenant, Thomas Keymis, led five ships and 400 men up the river in quest of the mine. For three weeks the little fleet struggled bravely up the swift current of the mighty stream. But as they neared the place where they believed they would find the mine, the new Spanish settlement of San Thome blocked the upper reaches of the river. Keymis attacked and burnt the little town after a sharp conflict, in which Raleigh's son was slain. But the Spaniards still lurked in the thick woods, and Keymis found that his prospects of further advance were very doubtful. At last the seamen themselves would fight no longer, and Keymis was forced to return to the admiral with tidings of hopeless failure. " You have undone me by your obstinacy," was his stern reproof to his luckless subordinate. Keymis went to his cabin and ran a dagger through his heart. Raleigh prepared for further assaults on the Spaniards; but the "rabble of idle rascals" (so he scornfully called his crews), insisted on an immediate return to England. In June , the Destiny was back at Plymouth, and the admiral was at once arrested. Gondomar demanded that he should be sent to take his trial in for piracy, and James was in no humour to uphold him any longer. At last the king resolved that the easiest way to get out of his difficulty would be to order Raleigh's execution under the old charges of treason for which he had been convicted in . On the last of the race of Drake and Gilbert fell under the headsman's axe, showing the greatest courage and constancy on the scaffold. Protestant England looked upon him as a hero, recking little of his violent deeds, and believing that he was sacrificed to gratify the Popish tyrant of .

10. A great religious war now began to devastate , and soon spread over all central Europe. In , the Thirty Years' War broke out with the revolt of the Protestant nobles of Bohemia from their Catholic king


the Emperor Mathias. Next year Mathias died, but the Bohemians refused to recognise as their new king his cousin, Ferdinand of Styria, a rigid Catholic, who was now head of the German branch of the Austrian [33]  house, and the Emperor Ferdinand II. They chose instead Frederick, the Elector Palatine, as their Protestant king, hoping that his father-in-law, King James, and his other powerful kinsfolk, would be ready to help him. Frederick was the leader of the discontented Calvinists of Southern , who had long watched with dismay the progress of the Catholic Reaction that was fast winning back their neighbours' lands to Popery, and had long been eager to appeal to the sword. They now declared in favour of Frederick's claims to Bohemia. The war became a general struggle of the more active German Protestants, who had united in the Evangelical Union, and the Romanist princes who had formed the Catholic League. But most of the Lutherans of the North held aloof, leaving the brunt of the fighting to fall on the Calvinists.

James was much perplexed by these new troubles. He loved his daughter and her husband, but he hated war; and, above all, an aggressive religious war. He studied the constitution of Bohemia, but he could not persuade himself that Frederick had any right to the throne. " The Palatine," said Buckingham, "is mounted on a high horse, but he must be pulled off to listen to his father-in-law." This was soon brought about, for, in , Ferdinand won the battle of the White Hill, near Prague, and soon afterwards drove Frederick out of Bohemia. English Protestant zeal was warmly in favour of the spirited Elector. Volunteers took up arms on his behalf, and even James became indignant when a Spanish army occupied parts of the Palatinate; for the same reasoning which led him not to countenance the aggressions of Frederick led him to heartily dislike the aggression of the Catholics on his son's lawful dominions. He permitted the English volunteers, under Sir Horace Vere, to garrison the fortresses of the Elector, and prepared for war. But he had no money, and still shirked strong measures. By the end of , the Catholics had conquered the Palatinate, and its ruler was a homeless fugitive.

11. James's great object was henceforth the restoration of his son-in-law to his hereditary dominions. He now hoped to carry this out by means of his Spanish alliance. But


the long negotiations for the marriage of Prince Charles to the Infanta had broken down in , on James at [35]  last finding out that there was no chance of making the match, unless he was prepared to allow full freedom of worship to the Roman Catholics. In , however, again had need of James, and Gondomar, who had left England after the rupture of the negotiations, came back to renew his proposals for a marriage treaty. James was now quite eager for the scheme, believing that he could persuade the new Spanish king, Philip IV. (who had succeeded his father ir. ) to use his influence on the Emperor to give up the Palatinate and restore peace on the old conditions. was really playing her own game, and using James as a tool. The religious difficulty protracted the negotiations, and wished for the match chiefly because she hoped to make England Roman Catholic, though she was also anxious to prevent James from siding with the United Provinces, with whom she was again at open war since .

In , John Digby, Earl of Bristol, the most far-seeing English diplomatist of the age, was sent to Madrid to urge the suit, but the negotiations still hung fire. Buckingham, who ruled Charles as absolutely as he had ruled his father James, persuaded the prince that the best way to break through the diplomatic cobweb was to go to and woo the Infanta in person. In Feb. , Charles set out on his chivalrous mission accompanied by Buckingham. But the Infanta had resolved that she would wed no heretic, and the Spanish Court set about converting Charles to the Catholic religion. Charles, however, had been taught by Laud to be a sound Protestant, and never wavered in his faith. The Spaniards now postponed completing the negotiations on the ground that the Pope had not yet granted the dispensations necessary for the marriage. Thus Charles was kept many months at Madrid waiting for dispensations, which the king and his minister Olivarez had secretly urged the Pope to refuse. Impatient at the delay, Charles attempted to carry on his suit in person, regardless of the stiff etiquette of the Spanish Court. "The Infanta was in the orchard, and there being a high partition wall between, the prince got on the top of the wall and sprung down a great height, and so made towards her; but she, spying him first of all the rest, gave a shriek and ran back." Finally, Charles was told that he might marry the Infanta if he liked, but that


she must remain in , until he had actually got the hoped-for freedom for the English Catholics. Charles now saw that he was being tricked, and hurried back to England, furious at the slight put upon him, and eager to go to war to restore his sister to the Palatinate. Bristol tried to keep open the negotiations, but was soon recalled in disgrace.

12. Buckingham got the credit of the breach with , and for a short time he and the prince were really popular. They now set their hopes on an alliance with [36]  France, which was again strongly opposed , to . It was agreed that Charles should marry Henrietta Maria, the daughter of Henry IV. and the sister of his successor, the young King Louis XIII. (); but a promise of favour to the recusants was contained in the treaty that chilled the rising enthusiasm of the English people. Great preparations were made to fight the Spaniards. An alliance with the Dutch was set on foot. Subsidies were promised to James's brother-in-law, Christian IV. of Denmark, who had undertaken to support the distressed Protestant cause. Twelve thousand soldiers were levied in England to serve under the Protestant adventurer, Count Mansfeld, in an attempt to win back the Palatinate. But there was no order nor method in this sudden burst of energy. Adequate supplies were still wanting, and Mansfeld's troops, hurried up the Rhine in the cold season in open boats and without provisions or shelter, died off like flies, before reaching the seat of war. The French proved but self-seeking allies, and all things remained in confusion.

13. After the dismissal of the Addled Parliament, James had got on as best he could for seven years without Parliamentary grants or fresh law-making. His [37]  foreign troubles at last compelled him to have recourse to Parliament. In , a new Parliament assembled, eager to support the Protestant cause in , but profoundly distrustful of the king. James asked for a large supply, " it being best," as he [38]  said, "to treat of peace sword in hand." The Commons, led by the former Chief Justice, Sir Edward Coke, postponed voting money until all abuses had been investigated. Monopolies had now become as pressing an evil as in the later days of , being granted very freely by in the hopes of encouraging trade, and often getting turned from their proper purpose by the greed and dishonesty


of the manufacturers. But James was not guilty, as the Commons believed him to be, of a systematic plan for robbing the nation by means of these monopolies, though many of them were undoubted grievances. Especially bitter were the complaints against the monopoly for licensing inns and regulating ale-houses, which the greedy monopolists, led by Sir Giles Mompesson, had used so selfishly that drunkenness and disorder were encouraged. The monopoly for making gold and silver thread was also bitterly denounced, though it was in intention an attempt to set up by protection a new manufacture in England. The Commons were furious. They sent Sir Francis Mitchell, who had a large share in the ale house patent, to the Tower, and drove Mompesson from the country. Buckingham prudently threw over the monopolists. James revoked most of the patents, and the storm for a time was stilled.

Lord Chancellor Bacon, a conspicuous friend of the monopolies, was next singled out for attack. Some aggrieved [40]  suitors charged the Chancellor with receiving bribes, though deciding the cases against the would-be corrupters. The Commons sent up the complaints to the Lords for investigation, thus practically, though not formally, reviving the old system of Impeachment, in which, as in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, the Commons, as a grand jury of the nation, solemnly charged an offender before the House of Lords acting asjudges. Bacon scorned to defend himself. He protested that he had never given corrupt judgments, but he admitted that in accordance with the bad custom of the day, he had received presents from suitors, both before and after he had decided their cases. He was expelled from his office, fined, and imprisoned, though James released him almost at once from the Tower, and ultimately forgave him the fine. He remained henceforth in retirement, a disappointed and broken-spirited man, consoling his enforced leisure by working out part of the great plans of literature and philosophy, for which he had hitherto wanted leisure. He died in , "leaving his name and memory to men's charitable speeches, and to foreign nations and the next ages." The monopolists, Mompesson and Mitchell, were formally impeached and condemned in much the same way.

Fairly good feeling had existed up to this point between king and Parliament. James had abandoned the monopolists and Bacon. The Commons voted a subsidy, and separated in June for the vacation, after making a


solemn declaration in favour of the Elector Palatine, "sounded forth with the voices of them all, lifting their hats in their hands as high as they could hold them." In November the Houses again assembled, only to hear that James's diplomatic efforts had been fruitless, and that money was required to defend the Palatinate. But they could not see how James could be in earnest as the Protestant champion, while he was still seeking in for a Popish bride for his heir. They, therefore, petitioned James to wed the prince to a Protestant. James angrily ordered them not to presume to offer advice on subjects on which it was not asked. The Commons drew up a protest insisting that they had the right to offer advice on any subject. James went down to the House, tore out the protest from the Commons' Journals, and soon afterwards dissolved the Parliament, sending Coke and other leading members to the Tower. 14. James's fourth and last Parliament met in , after the failure of the Spanish marriage treaty. The Commons were as eager as Buckingham and the prince [41]  to fight the Spaniards, but the king desired a land war in , while the Commons were for a naval war against . All parties agreed to impeach and disgrace the Treasurer , nominally for corruption, really for opposing the war. A declaratory act against monopolies (that is, an act which maintained that they were already illegal) was also passed. But even under the most favourable conditions, the want of harmony of king and Commons still made itself felt. On , the old king died of a fever, leaving everything unsettled.


[2] Accession, character and policy of James I.

[3] 1603--1615

[4] Robert Cecil, 1563-1612.

[5] The Main and the Bye Plots,1603.

[6] 1603--1621

[7] Foreign Policy, 1603-1612.

[8] The Church and the Puritans.

[9] The Hampton Court Conference,1604.

[10] Beginnings of Arminianism.

[11] [1605--1606

[12] The popish Recusants and the Gunpowder Plot, 1605.

[13] The King and the Parliament.

[14] 1604--1608

[15] The First Parliament of James, 1604-11.The Session of1604

[16] Purveyance was the ancient right of the crown to take from subjects such provisions and goods as were necessary for the use of the king and his court, pa ing for them at the king's discretion. Wardship was the right of the crown to act as guardian for feudal tenants who came to their estates under age; the king receiving the profits of the estate as the reward of his trouble. Many attempts had been made to regulate both customs during the Middle Ages, but both were very liable to abuse.

[17] The Proposed Union with Scotland, 1608.

[18] 1608--1614.]

[19] Bate's Case, 1606 and the New Impositions,1608.

[20] The Great Contract, 1610, and the Breach between Kingand Commons1611.

[21] The Addled Parliament,1614.

[22] [1612--1613

[23] TheRoyalFamily and Court.

[24] The Favourites

[25] Robert Carr.

[26] Murder of Overbury and Fall of Somerset 1613-1616.

[27] 1614- -1617

[28] Rise of Buckingham, 1613-1617.

[29] Bacon, Lord Chancellor, 1618.

[30] Foreign Policy.

[31] Raleigh's last Voyage andDeath, 1617-1618.

[32] [1617--1620

[33] The Bohemian Revolution1618 and the Thirty Years'War, 1618-1648

[34] 1620--1621

[35] The Spanish Marriage,1620-1624.

[36] The Breach with Spain1624-1625.

[37] The Last TwoParliaments of Jame I.

[38] The Parliament of 1621.

[39] 1621- -1625

[40] The Fall of Bacon

[41] The Parliamentof 1624.