History of England, Part II From the Accession of Henry VIII to the Revolution of 1689
Tout, T. F. --Powell, F. York
CHAPTER II. The Personal Government of Charles I. 1625-1638.
1. Charles, , was twenty-five years old when he became king. He was tall, dark-skinned, and handsome, with a long, fine face, large black eyes, thick eyebrows, a pointed beard, and  black curly hair. In childhood he had been " weak in his joints and especially his ankles," but as a man he was strong and vigorous, an expert in the tilt yard, playing a good game at tennis, and shooting well both with the gun and
|crossbow. He looked noble on horseback and loved hunting as much as his father. He was well educated and took a great interest in theology. He was very attentive and devout at prayer and sermons, and strongly attached to the Church of England. He was also fond of music, painting, and sculpture, having the Italian taste for ancient statues, and making a good collection of pictures. He was temperate, chaste, and serious, driving away from his Court the fools and parasites that had delighted his father, and ever maintaining his personal dignity. But his ability was not great. Reserved, shy, and cold, he wanted sympathy, insight, and imagination. He was slow of speech and never cured himself of a slight stammer. He neither thought nor expressed himself clearly, and lived constantly in a dream world of his own. He was wanting in directness, straightforwardness, and force, and was both vacillating and incurably obstinate. He understood the temper of his subjects even less than his father, and was quite unfit to act as king in a troubled time of transition. He boasted that he could not "defend a bad nor yield in a good cause," and, conscious that he meant well himself, he always regarded his enemies as influenced by the worst motives. He was seldom straightforward, and his thoughts were so confused that he could never be tied down by any promise or fixed to any course of policy. He developed a hopeless habit of prevarication, and no trust could be placed in his word. He was completely ruled by Buckingham, in whom he had an unbounded confidence. In May he married Henrietta Maria, the youngest daughter of Henry IV. Queen Mary was a quick-witted girl of fifteen, " nimble and quick, black-eyed, brown-haired, and in a word a brave lady." But she was frivolous, light, and pleasure-loving, and soon developed a taste for underhand intrigue that did her husband's cause much harm.|
2. The foreign policy of the new reign was already marked out for it. Charles still earnestly desired to restore  his brother-in-law, the Elector Palatine, and to be avenged of the affronts put upon him by . For the former object he required an alliance with the German Protestants, who now continued the Thirty Years' War with the help of Christian of  Denmark, Charles's uncle. With this purpose Buckingham went to the Hague and made a treaty with Denmark and the United Provinces, by which large subsidies were again promised to the Danes. Charles
|had no funds, and, despite the treaty, sent but scanty help in men or money to King Christian, who in was entirely defeated by the Catholics at the Battle of Lutter, and was forced to give up the struggle in by the Peace of Liibeck, in which he abandoned northern to the Emperor and the Catholic League. Thus the cause of the Elector Palatine was for a time hopelessly lost, and the outlook looked black for the German Protestants.|
The second main object of Charles's policy, the attack on , involved a close alliance with, where the ideas of the brilliant Cardinal Richelieu were already obtaining an ascendency over the  sluggish mind of Louis XIII. Richelieu wished to carry on Henry IV.'s policy, and make a strong despotic but national state at home, and break down the power of the Austro-Spanish house abroad. He therefore welcomed the alliance with the English, the Dutch, and the German Protestants. But the Huguenots, the French Calvinists, had obtained by the Edict of Nantes not only religious toleration, but political powers that made them dangerous to the French monarchy. They were constantly in rebellion, and were in close union with the discontented nobles. Before the Crown could become really supreme, before could safely join in a great European war, Richelieu thought that it was necessary to put down their rebellion, and destroy their political power. Anxious to get French help against as soon as possible, Charles foolishly lent Louis XIII. some English ships, though knowing that they might be used to coerce the Huguenot stronghold of La Rochelle. But the crews deserted in a body, and only a single English seaman consented to serve a foreign and Popish master.
In Charles sent Sir Edward Cecil (afterwards Lord Wimbledon), a grandson of the first Lord Burghley, and a nephew of Robert Cecil, with a land and  sea force against Cadiz, hoping that he would cut off the yearly treasure fleet on its way from America to . The men were raw levies, ill paid and mutinous, and the ships largely merchantmen pressed into the service. The soldiers landed near Cadiz, and drank themselves dead drunk with a store of wine that they discovered. They returned to the ships without venturing to face the enemy, and at once set sail. The Spanish treasure fleet now got safely into Cadiz, whereupon Cecil returned to England. The boasted revival of the exploits of the Elizabethan heroes ended in a lamentable failure.
|Want of funds prevented any further serious attacks on the Spaniards.|
The good understanding with soon came to an end. When Charles married his French wife, he had rashly promised to deal gently with the Popish recusants, though the strong Protestant zeal of his Parliaments made it quite impossible for him to alter the law in their favour. The French complained that Charles had broken his word. They also resented Charles's action in driving Queen Mary's French attendants out of the country, because they incited her to quarrel with her husband and dislike English ways. Moreover, Richelieu had given up hopes of immediately taking part in the German war, and had turned his main energies towards crushing the Huguenots. Violently changing his policy, Charles took up the cause of the French Protestants, and resolved to defend La Rochelle, which was now threatened with a siege by Richelieu. In July Buckingham sailed with a great fleet to its relief. He landed on the island of Rhe, not far off  from the beleaguered town, but he failed to capture the fort of St. Martin, the chief town of the little island. His badly fed and disorderly troops could not endure the long and fatiguing campaign. After the French had poured reinforcements into Rhe, the rash and inexperienced commander was forced to abandon his positions. He got back to England in November, having lost nearly 4000 men. Next year another fleet was despatched, after Buckingham's death, under the Earl of Lindsay, but it failed to break through the strong moles and palisades which barred the approach to La Rochelle harbour, and was forced to return. The Protestant capital was  now forced to surrender, and Charles lost his last hope when the civil war in was thus brought to an end by the utter defeat of the Huguenots and the destruction of their political power. The king's pretentious foreign policy had been a hopeless failure. A vigorous policy abroad implied union at home, and every movement of Charles was hindered by the hostility of his Parliaments.
3. The struggle of king and Parliament became more embittered than ever with the new reign. Things were  rapidly getting to a deadlock from which there was no escape save by the triumph of either the one or the other. In June Charles's First Parliament assembled, but, despite the king's urgent appeals
|for money to enable him to carry out his Protestant foreign policy, the Commons would only grant two subsidies (about L140,000), and proposed to renew for one year only the customs duties called Tonnage and Poundage, which since Henry IV.'s time had always been given to the king for life. The plague was now raging in the narrow streets and foul alleys of London, and the session for safety's sake was transferred to Oxford. There the Commons renewed their complaints. They were indignant that Papists were let off lightly and bad Protestants received with favour. They declared that they had no sympathy with Charles's risky and enterprising foreign schemes, and finally pointed to Buckingham as the real source of troubles. " It is not fit," declared Phelips, the outspoken leader of the Commons, "to repose the safety of the kingdom upon those that have not parts answerable to their places." Charles dissolved the Parliament in anger to save a formal attack on his favourite. He thought, and with good reason, that the Commons had played him false in refusing to support the war which their predecessors had advocated. Their best answer was that they could not make lavish grants until the ministry had their confidence. But such a plea took away from the king his hitherto undisputed right of ruling the country as he thought fit. The claims of the Commons went back to the days when Henry IV.'s Council was nominated in Parliament, and anticipated the modern cabinet system, which a century later resulted from the triumph of the Parliament. It could hardly be expected that Charles would give up his power without a struggle. His stiffness and pride even made it impossible for him to lessen the hostility of Parliament by partial concessions. He thought both his interests and his honour were involved in upholding Buckingham against his people.|
Though Charles had dismissed one Parliament, his finan- cial necessities at once compelled him to summon another one. The Second Parliament of Charles met  in February , after the failure of the Cadiz expedition had brought home to wise men the folly of n going to war when out of the confidence of the bearers of the nation's purse. The plain-speaking leaders of the previous Parliament were made sheriffs to keep them out of the House, but a new leader was found in Sir John Eliot, a fervid, high-minded, and eloquent young Cornish squire, who had hitherto been an enthusiastic friend of Buckingham on personal grounds, but had at last lost all confidence
|in his former idol. Eliot compared Buckingham to Sejanus, the wicked favourite of the Roman Emperior Tiberius, and easily induced the Commons to impeach him before the Lords, though many of the charges now brought against him were untrue or exaggerated. Charles made matters worse by a foolish attempt to keep Bristol, Buckingham's enemy, out of the House of Lords, and by throwing Eliot into prison while Parliament was still sitting. Succeeding in neither of these measures, he dissolved Parliament in June, protesting that he would allow the Commons freedom to offer counsel, but no liberty of controlling his government.|
4. The breach with now followed, and Charles was obliged to provide money for the expedition to Rhe by levying aforced loan. The legality of such an impost was very doubtful, for it was agreed that  regular taxes could only be levied after Parliamentary grant, and an Act of Richard III. prohibited even a benevolence, that is, a compulsory gift to the king. But the Crown lawyers argued that, despite the statute against benevolences, there was no law that forbade the king from borrowing his subjects' money. All sorts of oppressive means were taken to enforce the loan, such as billeting soldiers on the obstinate, enforcing martial law on peaceful citizens, and shutting up the incurably intractable in prison. Among this last class were Eliot and most of the leaders of the Commons. To test the lawfulness of Charles's action five of the prisoners, Sir Thomas Darnell, Sir John Corbet, Sir Walter Erle, Sir John Heveningham, and Sir Edward Hampden obtained a writ of habeas corpus from the King's Bench. By this writ every gaoler was compelled to produce in court the body of any captive entrusted to his charge, and to specify the offence for which he had been committed, so that if the prisoner were detained unlawfully the judges could order his release. In this case the gaoler returned to the writ that the five knights were kept in custody by the special command of the king. The five knights' lawyers urged that they should be tried or let out on bail, as Magna Carta denied such power to the Crown, while the king's attorney showed that such commitments had been very usual. The timid and perplexed judges sent the five knights back to prison, thus practically deciding in the king's favour, but they shirked declaring the general principle that the king could imprison his subjects at his discretion. A little later Charles set the five captives free. He had at length realised that his only
|hope of relieving La Rochelle was by summoning another Parliament.|
5. Charles's Third Parliament met on . Sir Thomas Wentworth, member for , became spokesman of the prevailing discontent. Wentworth was anxious to uphold the king's authority,  but he had no confidence in Buckingham, and wished to drive him from power. He now made an effort to mediate between the king and Commons. It was maintained in Parliament that Charles had no legal right to send men to prison without trial or bail, or to raise loans or to billet soldiers on householders. Wentworth contented himself with bringing forward a bill which abolished for the future the powers claimed by the king in these matters. But Charles would not give up the power of imprisonment, though willing, as he said, "to maintain all his subjects in the just freedom of their persons and safety of their estates." Wentworth now stepped aside, and was succeeded by more thoroughgoing opponents of the crown, such as Eliot, Coke, John Pym, and the famous antiquary and lawyer John Selden, " the chief of learned men reputed in this land." Coke now proposed that Wentworth's bill should be restated in a more drastic form, and that in addition all martial law should be declared illegal. He brought forward the Petition of Right.
The Petition easily passed the Commons, and, after some debate, was accepted by the Lords. Charles did not venture openly to reject it, but sent back a long and evasive answer that meant nothing. The House was indignant. Selden moved that Buckingham's impeachment should be renewed. The Lords pressed the king for a clear reply. At last, on 7th June, Charles gave the royal assent to the Petition. It was a great victory for the Commons, for the Petition of Right was worthy to be put beside Magna Carta itself as a landmark in the history of English liberty. In their gratitude they voted Charles five subsidies (about
|£350,000), but within a few days new disputes arose. The Commons impeached the Arminian clergyman Dr. Main-waring, and renewed their attack on Buckingham. The king had levied Tonnage and Poundage since his accession without any parliamentary grant. This the Commons now declared to be a breach of the Petition of Right. Charles, in disgust, prorogued Parliament.|
In , Parliament again assembled, and busied itself with calling some of the Arminian clergy to account  for having brought back Popish ceremonies to the churches. It then again took up the question of Tonnage and Poundage. Charles had seized the goods of a merchant named Rolle, who was a member of the House of Commons, on account of his refusal to pay the hated tax. John Pym wished to raise the whole question of the legality of the imposition. But the Commons, on Eliot's motion, took a narrower ground, and declared that the attack on Rolle was a breach of the privilege of Parliament. Charles would not allow the custom-house officers to answer for their conduct before the House. The dispute waxed hotter than ever. A short adjournment did not turn the Commons from their purpose. On 2nd March, the Speaker Finch announced that the king decreed that the House should adjourn. A great shout of "No ! arose. Eliot rose to speak, and, as Finch was leaving the chair, two stout members, Denzil Holles and Benjamin Valentine, held him down struggling in his chair, while Eliot moved three resolutions, branding as enemies of the kingdom those who brought in innovations in religion or advised the levying of Tonnage and Poundage without a Parliamentary grant, or voluntarily paid those duties. A scene of wild confusion followed. Hot and reckless speeches were uttered. The doors were locked, though an usher was knocking at them with a message from the king. The Speaker refused to put Eliot's resolutions. At last Holles put them himself, and loud shouts of "Aye !" declared them carried. The Commons then streamed out to hear their prorogation. On 10th March Parliament was dissolved, and for eleven years no new one was summoned.
Eliot, Holles, and Valentine were brought before the King's Bench charged with riot and sedition. They refused to plead before an inferior tribunal, claiming  their privilege as members of the High Court of Parliament. But the judges laid down that as riot and sedition were offences, and as there was no
|Parliament any longer in existence which could punish them, their own court had jurisdiction in the case. The accused still refused to plead, and were sent to the Tower, where, in , Eliot died of consumption. Charles vindictively refused him a grave among his ancestors at Port Eliot.|
6. Between the first and second session of Charles's third Parliament, Buckingham had been murdered. The popular cry against him had risen higher and higher.  Ballads were sung in the street denouncing him as a monster of crime and folly. A quack-doctor, named Lambe, was brutally murdered by a mob of London apprentices, for no other crime than his intimacy with the favourite. Buckingham's friends exhorted him to wear a shirt of mail under his clothes, but he refused, saying, "there are no Roman spirits left." In August , he went down to Portsmouth to hasten the preparations for the new expedition to relieve La Rochelle. On 23rd August, he was struck down by the knife of a fanatic named Felton. The crime was the result of private spite, not of political animosity. Felton had served as a lieutenant in the expedition to Rhe, and had been refused promotion and denied his pay by the duke. But he became a hero in the eyes of the mob. When he was hurried off to the Tower, the crowd shouted, "God bless thee, little David! The Lord comfort thee !" A minister wrote an eulogistic poem on the murderer-
Felton was hanged at Tyburn: Buckingham's body was buried " in as poor and confused manner as hath been seen at , an armed guard protecting the slain tyrant's corpse from the insults of the mob." Charles called him a martyr, and bitterly regretted his loss. Henceforth, the king was his own minister, and Buckingham's removal, instead of improving the relations between king and people, took away the last barrier between Charles and the indignation of his subjects.
7. A new epoch in Charles's reign begins with . On the one hand the king was deprived of the support of Buckingham, while on the other, the last stormy session of his third Parliament had shown conclusively that king and Commons could no longer live side by side on the old terms. Charles's claim to rule the country as he liked
|was now answered by the counter claim of Parliament to withhold supplies, if his ministers or policy were not to their liking. This meant that the Commons practically claimed supremacy in the state,  for, though they professed to respect the king's ancient and undoubted prerogatives, yet they insisted that whenever there was a difference of opinion between them and the monarch, Charles should give way to the representatives of the nation. Despite their constant protest that they claimed nothing but the time-honoured liberties of the people, this was really a new and revolutionary pretension. Charles had, therefore, a good deal to say for himself. He too, like the Commons, could point to a long series of precedents in his favour. He too, like the Commons, could honestly protest that he desired to uphold the ancient constitution, and abhorred all innovation. His case was in a way stronger than that of the Commons. While he only attacked details, the Commons were really striving to change the spirit of the whole system. However, the profession of both parties, that they were but looking back on an ideal past, shirked the real question, which was what was best for the future. What neither king nor Commons could see was, that the nation had outgrown the traditional institutions of the country, and that new necessities required a new adjustment of power. There were only two issues possible. Either Charles must make himself what Richelieu had made Louis XIII., an absolute king; or Parliament must make itself the strongest thing in the state and the ultimate source of power. Both parties still refused to realise what lay before them. In the eleven years of personal government which now followed, Charles still professed to be ruling as a constitutional and lawful king in the spirit of the Tudors. But this attempt led him to a series of mean tricks and quibbles, almost worse than an open defiance of the law. He never learned, with all his experience, that he could never hope to succeed as long as he continued to set his interests on one side and those of the nation on the other. Even Louis XIII. owed his power to being at bottom the head and representative of the French nation. Charles never tried to formulate a policy, or to form a national royalist party. He never even set on his side the growing love of old ways in the Church and the sturdy English love of individual liberty, which were beginning to resent the Puritan narrowness and the religious intolerance|
|of the Commons. Charles fought for his own hand alone, and with incurable blindness and obstinacy plunged headlong into the courses which finally brought about his ruin.|
8. Charles was henceforward his own prime minister, his dull, suspicious nature admitting no one to his full and complete confidence. His rule of eleven years  was a long catalogue of failure. His first difficulty was to make the revenue balance his expenses, now that all hope of Parlia- . mentary aid was gone. For this he trusted largely to Lord Treasurer Weston, who, in , became Earl of Portland. Weston was a man of "imperious nature, yet always in a terrible fright and apprehension, a man of big looks and mean and abject spirit." Despite the action of Parliament in , he continued to levy Tonnage and Poundage. He revived an old law that inflicted heavy fines on all gentlemen who held by military service an estate of land worth £40 a year and had neglected to get themselves dubbed knights. He evaded the Monopolies Act of by setting up a Soap Company, to which he gave the exclusive right of selling soap, as corporations were excluded from the operation of the Act. By prudence and economy the Treasurer restored some sort of order to the finances, and his general policy of letting things alone prevented great discontent among the people. After his death, in , his pettifogging system of reviving obsolete legal claims for the sake of a paltry benefit to the exchequer was pushed forward more boldly. Fresh customs duties were imposed and fresh monopolist corporations set up. Commissioners were ordered to examine the limits of the royal forests, and inflict heavy fines on those who had encroached upon them. Yet all these devices did not give Charles an adequate revenue, while they made the king and his policy more and more odious to the people.
9. Among the many expedients employed for increasing the revenue the most famous was a plan, first suggested in , by the Attorney-General Noy, that the port towns should be called upon either to  provide the king with ships, or in their place to pay a money composition called Ship Money, with which the king might build ships for himself. There were plenty of ancient precedents for such an imposition, and Charles had an urgent need of increasing the royal navy to carry out his schemes of foreign policy, and asserting his claim to the sovereignty of the seas. The sums levied were generally
|paid, and in inland as well as maritime districts were required to contribute Ship Money. Though Charles contended that it was merely a money composition in lieu of an ancient obligation to build ships to defend the realm, it became practically a new tax, levied without any Parliamentary authority in the very teeth of the Petition of Right.|
Among the writs for Ship Money issued in was one directed to the Sheriff of Buckinghamshire, ordering him to raise £4500 from his county, being the cost of a ship of 450 tons. Payment was  resisted by John Hampden (), the wealthy and well-born squire of Great Hampden in the same county, a man already conspicuous as a steady opponent of the royal pretensions both in his own neighbourhood and in the House of Commons, the close friend of the martyred Eliot, and a gentleman of culture, learning, high principle, ability, and refinement. His opposition to Ship Money made him a popular hero. But it availed little for the present. In , a majority of the judges issued their decision that the new exaction was a lawful tax. Of the twelve judges who sat in the Exchequer Chamber, seven delivered their judgment in favour of Ship Money. But five judges declared (two for technical reasons) in favour of Hampden. "This decision proved of more advantage to the gentleman condemned than to the king's service," for the grounds and reasons left no man anything that he could call his own. For the future Ship Money was paid with extreme unwillingness. Sluggish public opinion at length grew disgusted with Charles's mean and pitiful financial policy.
10. Despite the ingenuity of Portland and the lawyers, Charles remained so poor that he despaired of carrying on the spirited foreign policy which he had upheld since . The dissolutiom  tion of left him still at war both with and . It was a critical moment in the history of Protestantism. Flushed with his triumph over Christian of Denmark, the Emperor Ferdinand had issued in his Edict of Restitution, demanding the surrender to the Roman Church of the ecclesiastical possessions that since the Reformation had been in the hands of the German Protestants. Despite their unwillingness to fight, the Lutherans of the North were now forced to take up arms to resist the threatened attack on their religion and possessions. Charles was compelled to hold aloof from the great struggle. In  he patched up peace with, which now again under Richelieu's guidance was preparing to help the German Protestants. In Charles was forced to make peace with as well, thus practically
|abandoning his brother-in-law's hereditary dominions to their fate. Henceforward Charles watched with the utmost interest the progress of the great struggle in , striving by negotiations and remonstrances to secure the restoration of the Elector Palatine, but mortified to find that no one listened to the appeals of a king without resources to enforce his wishes by the sword.|
In Gustavus Adolphus, the hero king of Sweden, took up the Protestant cause when Protestantism in was threatened with extinction. Within two years he had secured a magnificent triumph; but his death in again made  balance more doubtful. Frederick of the Palatinate, whom Gustavus had brought back to Heidelberg, died about the same time, and his widow and family were soon again homeless wanderers. Charles treated them with great kindness, sending what money he could to help his sister, and bringing up her three sons, Charles, Rupert, and Maurice at the English Court. After Richelieu at last openly entered upon the war, which went on its weary course until , when the Treaties of Westphalia restored the old balance between the religious confessions of , but only at the price of the hopeless break-up  of German unity and the transference of some of the fairest of German territories to the dominion of the foreigner. The preponderance of was established on the ruin of , and her new monarch, Louis XIV. (), and his shrewd minister the Italian Cardinal Mazarin, were enabled to carry out the work begun by Richelieu for the sluggish Louis XIII. One result of the treaty was that Frederick's son Charles got back part of his Electorate. 11. Religion occupied the foremost place in the minds of
Englishmen of the seventeenth century. The strife of the two great religious parties into which England  was now divided complicated and obscured the plain and simple issue between Charles and his Parliaments. Side by side with the political revival of the claims of Parliament there had grown up a strong religious reaction from the dominant Calvinism of the previous generation. The House of Commons had identified itself with the Calvinists. Charles made a close alliance with the Arminians, and sought to both strengthen his power and carry out the religious ideas he thought best by favouring as much as he could the extension of their views. Alarmed at the fierce intolerance of the Commons, the Arminian clergy were forced to make common cause with the crown.
William Laud (), a Reading clothier's son, had from the first been the great adviser of Charles in Church matters. He had in early life fought against Calvinism at Oxford, where he became President of St. John's College, and was famous for his theological and Oriental learning. He had attached himself
|closely to the fortunes of Buckingham, and was made in Bishop of St. David's. King James had grave misgivings in promoting him. "He hath," said the shrewd old king, "a restless spirit which cannot see when things are well, but loves to toss and change and bring matters to a pitch of reformation floating in his own brain." But Laud won great fame by his conference with the Jesuit Fisher, by which he confirmed Buckingham and Buckingham's mother in the Protestant faith. He was soon removed from his remote Welsh see to the bishopric of Bath and Wells. In he became Bishop of London, and in succeeded Abbot (whose power had long been on the wane) as Archbishop of Canterbury. He was a man of clear head, extraordinary command over details, and unbounded activity; pushing, zealous, and indefatigable. Though thoroughly religious and high minded, he had a trace of pettiness and bigotry withal, and, like Charles himself, lived too much in an ideal world of his own for him to understand the temper of other people. He worked with unwearied activity towards reforming the lax discipline of the Church, hunting out abuses, depriving the scandalous clergy of their livings, and striving to elevate the religious life of the whole nation. More broad and tolerant than the Puritans in his dislike of controversy about doctrines, and in his sympathy for men who differed in some ways from his views, he desired to bring the Church of England together by maintaining a rigid unity of ceremonies. "I laboured, nothing more," he himself said, "than that the external public worship of God-too much slighted in most parts of this kingdom - might be preserved, and that with as much decency and uniformity as might be, being still of opinion that unity cannot long continue in the Church when uniformity is shut out of the Church door." Mainly for this object he revived the old custom of holding a metropolitical visitation of the whole of the Province of Canterbury (). He forced the afternoon lecturers (set up in many churches as advocates of Calvinism) to wear surplices and read the Common Prayer before preaching. He removed the altars, which since 's time had been movable tables in the middle of the church, and fixed them to the east end, railed off from the rest of the church, and taught the people to bow to them on entering the building. He forced the congregations of foreign Protestants to use the Prayer Book. He revived King James's Declaration of Sports, permitting the|
|people to enjoy "lawful games" (such as archery and dancing) after service on Sunday. He reformed the Church Courts and sought to bring every offence against morals before them. Clergy and laity alike felt the weight of his hand. He worked much good, but also much evil; for his Church Courts were an intolerable tyranny, and by identifying the cause of the Church with the cause of Charles, he heaped up hatred for himself and nearly wrecked the Church altogether. His system of " Thorough " allowed no place for Puritanism within the Church and no toleration for it outside it. The first few years of Charles's personal government had passed away without any general outburst of feeling against it, Before long Laud's tactless activity excited the fiercest opposition. But for the present the Court of High Commission, the mouthpiece of the king's supremacy over the Church, was ready at Laud's service to crush out opposition to the imperious archbishop.|
12. Charles had but few means to enforce obedience to his rule. Without a strong police or a standing army, he had no force under his control that  . could repress riot or rebellion, but the early opponents to his authority were mere isolated individuals who could be coerced by his lawyers and tribunals. The Common-Law courts had often helped the king, when Parliament had failed to support him; but their rigid respect for the letter of the law, and their distrust of all innovations, made them very unfit instruments for pressing Charles's later policy. Accordingly the king trusted more and more to those novel courts which had been set up in Tudor times to maintain law and order against an overpowerful nobility and a riotous population. These bodies had long outlived their use, and were now turned to subverting the liberty of the subject, and upholding the royal prerogative. Chief among these was the Star Chamber, and the Council of the North, a sort of local Star Chamber that sat at York. The Star Chamber now made itself odious by its severity and secrecy. In it ordered Alexander Leighton, a Scots minister who had turned physician, to be imprisoned "in a nasty dog-hole, full of rats and mice," flogged and cropped of his ears for writing a book against bishops called Sion's Plea against Prelacy. In it condemned to a heavy fine Henry Sherfeld, formerly member of parliament for Salisbury, for dashing his stick through a painted window in a church, that " obscured the light and caused much superstition. " In the same year it sentenced William Prynne, a
|learned lawyer and antiquary, but a narrow minded and intolerant theologian, to lose his ears in the pillory, pay a heavy fine, and be shut up during the king's pleasure for having libelled Queen Mary (who was fond of acting in masques), by his violent attack on the drama in his pon- derous volume called Histriomastix, or The Scourge of Stage Players. In Prynne was a second time sentenced along with Dr. Thomas Bastwick, a physician who had written against bishops, and Henry Burton, a Puritan clergyman, who had lost his living for calling bishops "caterpillars" and "antichristian mushrumps." All three stood in the pillory together, after which the hangman cut off the stumps of Prynne's ears and the whole ears of his comrades. Their progress to the pillory was a triumphal procession, the people strewing herbs and flowers in their path, and roaring and weeping at their mutilation. They were then confined in distant prisons.|
By such acts Charles and Laud gained a temporary triumph. Nor did they spare greater offenders. Laud's old rival, Bishop Williams of Lincoln, was fined £10,000 and shut up in the Tower on a charge of betraying the king's secrets. But to clergymen of Laud's own school every honour was paid. His successor as President of St. John's, Dr. Juxon, was made Bishop of London and Lord High Treasurer. The highest offices of state were conferred on clergymen who would uphold the Church and the prerogative.
13. Sir Thomas Wentworth was now the great ally of Laud in carrying out the system of Thorough. After his  abortive attempt at mediation in he gave up the Parliament for the court. In Wentworth was created a peer and made President of the Council of the North. He was no mere apostate, for he had always desired a strong government which would carry out great reforms to suit the needs of the nation, and, like Bacon, he hoped for a more liberal policy from an enlightened king, with a Council of statesmen, than from the mob of intolerant country gentlemen that thronged the benches of the Commons. Wentworth was the strongest and ablest of Charles's advisers, and, had the king given him unlimited confidence, might well have played the part of an English Richelieu. But he was often thwarted by the factions of Charles's weak and irresolute cabinet. He was a man of " tall stature, but stooped much in the neck. His countenance was cloudy whilst he moved or
|sat thinking, but when he spoke he had a lightsome and pleasant air." "His apparel was plain and his fashion humble enough." Yet his "natural roughness" and the "terror of his bended brows" overawed opposition. He was harsh, stern, overbearing, and unscrupulous, and the one formidable enemy of the popular cause. 14. In , Wentworth was made Lord Deputy of . Here he set himself resolutely to work to establish peace, order, and sound government. Despite the completion of the Conquest of and  the Plantation of Ulster, the island was still . full of disorder. Wentworth put down the civil wars which still went on between the native chiefs, cleared the seas of pirates, and dealt out even justice to every class of Irishmen. He encouraged agriculture, especially the growth of flax, and started the linen manufacture. He reformed the lax state of the Protestant Church, while conniving at the celebration of mass by the priests of the Catholic majority. Protestantism in began a real existence under prelates like James Ussher, the learned, moderate, and upright Archbishop of Armagh (); the holy William Bedell, Bishop of Kilmore (), who learned the Irish tongue and procured the translation of the Old Testament into that language, and James Bramhall, the Deputy's chaplain, a strong and learned Laudian, and Bishop of Derry after . In , Wentworth half-threatened, halfcoaxed the Irish Parliament into granting a large supply, with which he set on foot a numerous and well-disciplined army. The promises of redress of grievances by which the money had been obtained he shamelessly broke. He disgusted the ruling classes by such harsh and cruel acts as the condemnation of Lord Mountmorris to death for mutiny. He disliked the wild and disorderly ways of the native Irish, and spread terror among them by projecting a Plantation of Connaught, which would have driven them from their last retreats. He grasped clearly that strong government (such as England now administers in India) was the best remedy for 's woes, and he made more rich and prosperous than she had ever been before. But he trampled on the feelings and rights of every class and creed. Celtic native and English colonist, Catholic and Protestant, joined together in fierce, silent hatred of their masterful governor. Yet for the moment the reign of Thorough was fully set up.|
15. The union of the Scottish and English Crowns in
|, had involved many fateful results to the smaller and weaker country. The dignity, wealth, and power of the English monarchy stood in such vivid contrast  to the insignificance and helplessness of a King of Scots, that it was inevitable that James should endeavour to make his authority as strong in as it was in England. He failed in his attempt to bring about a complete union of the kingdoms. For this, English opinion was not as yet ripe. He therefore set to work to remodel the institutions of after the fashion of those of England. He hoped in this way to make himself as powerful in as he believed that he was in his new kingdom.|
The Highlands of , ruled by the clan chieftains, were quite outside the royal power. Even in the Lowlands the king was kept in check by a powerful, self-strenuous  seeking, and tumultuous nobility, and a strong, , and popular clergy, who represented the new that the Reformation had produced. James's first object was to cut down the power of the Church, which, with its democratic leanings and love of absolute freedom from state control, stood in the strongest contrast to the law-abiding and king-respecting Church of England. "No bishop, no king," was James's generalisation from his Scottish experience. His great object was to restore Episcopacy in Presbyterian as the essential preliminary to the strengthening of the royal power. He had already, in , set up nominal bishops in the Kirk. But these were mere state officials sitting in Parliament, without consecration, duties, or estates. Bit by bit James clothed these phantoms with power. In , he drove Andrew Melville, the head of the Presbyterian opposition, into banishment, restored the bishops to their temporal lordships and estates, and set up Constant Moderators (in lieu of elective chairmen) in every Presbytery, putting in bishops when he could to hold these offices. In James persuaded a packed General Assembly at Glasgow to accept the bishops as moderators in each diocesan synod and as the ordainers of the clergy. The Scots bishops now got Episcopal consecration from England, and for the first time became realities in the Church, though simply as something added to the pre-existing Presbyterian system. In James visited . He told the Scots Parliament that the Scots were barbarians, and ought to learn the good customs of the English, since they had already adopted
|from their neighbours the vices of smoking and wearing fine clothes. In , he forced the General Assembly at Perth to accept the Five Articles of Perth, which directed that the Communion should be received in a kneeling posture, and that the chief Church festivals, such as Christmas and Easter, should be religiously observed. This was the limit of James's success.|
Despite bishops and the Perth Articles, the Scottish Church was still Calvinistic and Puritan. ., with the advice of Laud, resolved to carry on the anti-Puritan policy a good deal further. In  , he went to Edinburgh to be crowned King of Scots. He was accompanied by Laud. At his coronation the Scots bishops wore "white rochets and copes of gold," and "bowed the knee" before a crucifix "curiously wrought on the tapestry at the back of the altar." Charles set up a new bishopric in Edinburgh, having as its Cathedral the noble collegiate Church of St. Giles. He ordered the clergy to wear "whites," that is surplices, during divine service. He desired now to set up a liturgy instead of the long prayers without book that the Scots loved. Laud, ever eager for uniformity, wished to bring in the English Prayer Book, while the Scots bishops wanted an independent form of prayer of their own. At last, in , a compromise was arranged. A special Scots Prayer Book was drawn up, based almost altogether on the English services, except that in those very points for which Puritans disliked the English book, the doctrines of Laud's school were brought out with greater emphasis. But the attempt to impose on Scotsmen the " mass book" of " black Prelacy" brought about a storm that was not to abate until it had laid low the mighty fabric of despotism that Charles had striven to build up in all the three kingdoms.
 Character and Policy ofCharles I.
 Foreign Policy,1625-1629.
 Danish Period ofthe Thirty Years War, 1625-1629.
 Alliance withFrance, 1625.
 The Spanish War and the CadizVoyage, 1625
 Breach withFrance, 1626.
 Expedition to Rhe, 1627.
 Fall of La Rochelle, 1628
 The Parliament of 1625.
 The Parliamentof 1626.
 The General Loan and Darnell's Case,1626-1627.
 The Parliament of 1628-1629.
 Tonnage and Poundage, 1629.
 Imprisonmentand Death of Eliot, 1629-1632.
 Murder of Buckingham,1628.
 The Period of Arbitrary Rule 1629-1640.Beginnings of the Revolution
 Treasurer Weston andthe Finances,1629-1635
 ShipMoney, 1634.
 Hampden' resistance toShip Money,1635-1638.
 Foreign Policy, 1629-1648.
 Peace withFrance and Spain, 1629-1630.
 The Thirty the Years' War, Swedish Period,1630-1634.
 French Period,1634-1648
 Puritans and Arminians.
 Laud's Enforcement of Conformity,1633-1640.
 The Star Chamber and its Victims
 Wentworth's rule in Ireland,1632-1640
 Scotland under James I.,1603-1625
 The Restoration of Episcopacy,1600-1610.
 Charles I. and Scotland,1625-1637.