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*^ By M/i<GUIZOT, 



VOL. I. 


^ublisl)fr ill ©rtrinarj) to l^cr JKlnfcstp. 




TnE history of the English Revolution, its origin and 
consequences, extends over a period of sixty-three 
years, — from the accession of Charles I., in 1625, to 
the fall of James II., in 1688 ; and is naturally 
divided, by the great events which it includes, into 
four periods. The first of these comprehends the 
reign of Charles L, his conflict with the Long Parlia- 
ment, his defeat and death ; the second contains the 
history of the Commonwealth, under the Long 
Parliament and Cromwell ; the third is marked by 
the Restoration of the Monarchy, after the brief 
Protectorate of Richard Cromwell ; and the fourth 
comprises the reign of Charles II. and James II., and 
the final fall of the royal race of Stuart. 

Each of these four periods will form the subject of 
a special Work by M. Guizot. The first of these is 
now republished ; the second has also appeared ; and 


the other two arc in progress. Together, the four 
works will constitute a complete picture of the most 
important epoch in our history. 

The present edition has been carefully revised and 
corrected by its illustrious author, who has also made 
some important additions to the Appendix. With 
regard to the translation, the references have, for the 
first time, been carefully verified ; and the quotations 
are given, in every instance, from the original autho- 
rities. This may, therefore, be fairly stated to be the 
only correct, complete, and authorized English edition 
of a work which an eminent writer in the Edinburgh 
Review has characterized as " The best history, both 
in thought and composition, of the times of Charl^is 
the First." 

Andrew R. Scoble. 

Lincoln's Inn, 

June, 1854. 


Some years since, I published a collection of original 
Memoirs relating to the English Revolution : I now 
publish its history. Until the occurrence of the 
French Revolution, it was the greatest event in the 
annals of modern Europe. 

I have no fear that its importance will be under- 
rated : the French Revolution exceeded it in magni- 
tude, but did not lessen its intrinsic greatness ; both 
victories were won in the same war, and tended to 
the furtherance of the same cause ; and instead of 
eclipsing each other, they become magnified by com- 
parison. I am more fearful that mistakes may be 
made as to their true character, and that their proper 
place will not be assigned to them, in the world's 

If we are to put faith in an opinion which is very 
prevalent at the present day, it would seem that these 
two Revolutions were extraordinary events, which 


emanated from unheard-of principles, and aimed at 
unprecedented designs ; which forced society out of its 
ancient and natural course ; which, like whirlwinds or 
earthquakes, were mysterious phenomena guided by 
laws unknown to men, and bursting forth suddenly, 
like providential coups d'etat, possibly to destroy, and 
possibly to revivify the earth. Both friends and 
enemies, panegyrists and detractors, employ the same 
language on this point : according to the former, these 
glorious crises brought truth, liberty, and justice to 
light, for the first time ; before their occurrence, 
absurdity, iniquity, and tyranny prevailed, and the 
human race is indebted to them alone for its deliver- 
ance from those evils ; according to the latter, these 
deplorable catastrophes interrupted a long era of 
wisdom, virtue, and hai)piness ; their authors pro- 
claimed principles, set up pretensions, and committed 
crimes previously unparalleled ; the two nations, in a 
fit of madness, deviated from their accustomed path, 
and an abyss opened immediately beneath their 

Thus, whether they are extolled or deplored, 
blessed or execrated, all agree in forgetting every 
other consideration in presence of these revolutions, 
in isolating them completely from the past, in ren- 
dering them responsible for the destiny of the world, 
and ill loading them alone with curses or with 


It is time to have done with such puerile and false 

Far from having broken off the natural course of 
events in Europe, neither the English nor the French 
Revolution asserted, attempted, or effected anything 
which had not been already asserted, attempted, or 
effected a hundred times before their occurrence. 
They proclaimed the illegitimacy of absolute power : 
but free consent to laws and taxes, and the right of 
armed resistance, were among the constituent prin- 
ciples of the feudal system ; and the Church had 
often repeated these words of St. Isidore, to be found 
in the canons of the fourth Council of Toledo : " He is 
king who rules his people justly ; if he does other- 
wise, he shall be no longer king." They attacked 
privilege, and laboured to introduce more equality into 
the social system : but, throughout all Europe, kings 
have done the same ; and to our own day, the pro- 
gress of civil equality has been based on the laws, 
and measured by the progress of royalty. They 
demanded that public employments should be thrown 
open to all citizens, and be bestowed on merit alone, 
and that the government should consent to this com- 
petition ; but this is the fundamental principle of the 
internal constitution of the Church ; and the Church 
has not only carried it into effect, but has openly 
professed it. Whether we consider the general 
doctrines of the two revolutions, or the applications 


which they made of them — whether we contemplate 
the government of the State or civil legislation, 
property or persons, libertj" or power — we shall find 
nothing of their own invention, nothing which is not 
to be met with, and which did not at least originate, 
in more regular times. 

Nor is this all : the principles, designs, and efforts 
which are exclusively attributed to the French and 
English Revolutions, not only preceded them by 
several centuries, but are the same principles and 
efforts to which society in Europe is indebted for all 
its progress. Was it by its disorders and privileges, 
by its brute force, and its subjugation of other men 
beneath its yoke, that the feudal aristocracy con- 
tributed to the development of nations ? No : but it 
struggled against royal tyranny ; it availed itself of 
the right of resistance, and maintained the maxims 
of liberty. And why have nations blessed their 
kings? For their pretensions to divine right, their 
assumptions of absolute power, their lavish ex- 
penditure, or their luxurious courts ? No : but 
kings attacked the feudal system and aristocratic 
privilege ; they introduced unity into legislation and 
into the administration of affairs ; they promoted the 
development of equality. And whence have the 
clergy derived their strength ? In what way have 
they helped forward civilization ? By separating 
themselves from the people, by affecting to dread 


human reason, and by sanctioning tyranny in the 
name of Heaven ? No : but by assembling the great 
and the little, the rich and the poor, the strong and 
the weak, beneath the roof of the same church, and 
under the same law of God ; by honouring and 
cultivating learning, instituting schools, favouring the 
diffusion of knowledge, and rewarding activity of 
mind. Consult the history of the masters of the 
world; analyze the influence of the various classes 
that have determined its fate ; wherever any good 
is manifest, whenever the continued gratitude of 
mankind bears witness to a service rendered to 
humanity — a step has been taken towards the object 
aimed at by the French and English Revolutions ; we 
are in presence of one of the principles which they 
endeavoured to render victorious. 

Let us then cease to portray these revolutions as 
monstrous apparitions in the history of Europe ; let 
us hear no more of their unprecedented pretensions 
and infernal inventions ; they helped civilization to 
advance along the road which it has been pursuing 
for fourteen centuries ; they professed the maxims, 
and pushed forward the labours to which man has, in 
all ages, been indebted for the development of his 
nature and the improvement of his condition ; they 
did that which has in turn constituted the chief merit 
and glory of clergy, noliles, and kings. 

I do not think men can long persist in condemning 


them absolutely, because they are laden with errors, 
calamities, and crimes : in this particular, we must 
make every concession to their adversaries, and even 
surpass them in severity, looking at their accusations 
only to supply their omissions, and then requiring 
them, in their turn, to prepare a list of the errors, 
crimes, and evils of those times and governments 
which they have taken under their patronage. I 
doubt whether they would accept the challenge. 

If it be asked in what respect these two revolutions 
are distinguished from every other epoch : what is the 
reason that, while they merely continued the common 
work of all ages, they deserved their name, and 
positively changed the face of the world ? This is my 
answer — 

Various powers have successively held swaj^ in 
European society, and marched in turn at the head of 
civilization. After the fall of the Roman Empire and 
the invasion of the barbarians, amidst the dissolution 
of all social ties and the destruction of all recognized 
powers, the predominance everywhere fell to daring 
and brutal force ; the conquering aristocracy took pos- 
session of everything, persons and lands, people and 
country. In vain did a few great men, Charlemagne 
in France, and Alfred in England, endeavour to 
reduce this chaos to the unity of a monarchical 
system. All unity was impossible. The feudal 
hierarchy was the only form which society would 


consent to accept. This hierarchy prevailed uni- 
versally, in the Church as well as in the State ; the 
bishops and abbots became barons; the king was 
the chief seigneur. In spite of the rude and unstable 
character of this organization, Europe was indebted 
to it for its first steps out of l)arl3arism. It was 
among the proprietors of fiefs — in their mutual 
relations, laws, customs, feelings, and ideas — that 
European civilization commenced. 

The fief-holders were a great burden on the people. 
The clergy alone endeavoured to claim for all a little 
reason, justice, and humanity. Those who had no 
place in the feudal hierarchy could find no asylum but 
the churches, and no protectors but the priests. This 
protection, though insufficient, was nevertheless an 
immense boon, for it was the only one. The priests, 
moreover, alone offered any sustenance for the moral 
nature of man, for that unconquerable necessity of 
thinking, knowing, hoping, and believing, which 
overcomes all obstacles, and survives all misfortunes. 
The Church soon acquired prodigious power througli- 
out all Europe. Royalt}'^, then in its infancy, lent 
it fresh strength by borrowing its assistance. The 
predominance passed from the hands of the conquering 
aristocracy into those of the clergy. 

With the assistance of the Church, and by its own 
inherent strength, the royal power increased, and 
raised itself above its rivals ; but the clergy had no 


sooner assisted it, than they attempted to subjugate 
it. In this new emergency, the royal power invoked 
the help, sometimes of the now less formidable barons, 
but more frequently of the people : the townsmen, 
who were already strong enough to be valuable allies, 
though not sufficiently powerful to require a high 
price for their services. By their aid, the royal power 
triumphed in its second conflict, and became in its 
turn the dominant power, invested with the confidence 
of the nations. 

Such is the history of old Europe : the feudal 
aristocracy, the clergy, and the royal power, alter- 
nately possessed it, and successively presided over 
its destiny and progress. To their coexistence and 
conflict it was long indebted for all the liberty, 
prosperity, and enlightenment it had obtained ; in a 
word, for the development of its civilization. 

In England in the seventeenth centur}^, and in 
France in the eighteenth, all conflict between these 
three powers had ceased ; they were living together 
in peace and tranquillity. We might almost say that 
they had lost their historical character, and even their 
recollection of the labours which had formerly given 
them strength and renown. The aristocracy no 
longer defended public liberties, it did not even 
defend its own ; the royal power no longer laboured 
to abolish aristocratic privilege, it seemed even to 
have become favourable to the possessors of that 


jirivilege in return for their servility ; and the clergy, 
the spiritual power, was afraid of the human mind, 
and, being unable to lead it, endeavoured to arrest its 
progress by menaces. Meanwhile, civilization pursued 
its course, and daily became more general and active. 
Abandoned by their old leaders, surprised at their 
apathy and ill temper, and indignant at finding that 
less was done for them as their desires and strength 
grew greater, the people began to think that it was 
their duty to attend to their own interests ; and 
assuming the entire responsibility of their affairs, 
about which no one seemed any longer to care, they 
simultaneously demanded liberty from the crown, 
equality from the aristocracy, and intellectual freedom 
from the clergy. Then revolutions broke forth. 

They effected, for the benefit of a new power, a 
change which Europe had already witnessed on several 
occasions : they gave society leaders who were willing 
and able to guide it in its progress. On this 
ground alone, the aristocracy, the church, and the 
king, had in turn possessed the preponderance. The 
people now seized it in virtue of the same right, by 
the same means, and in the name of the same 

Such is the real work, the true character, of both 
the English and French Revolutions. After having 
considered them as absolutely alike, it has been said 
that they were similar only in appearance. The 


English Revolution, wc are told, was political rather 
than social ; the French Revolution attempted to 
change both society and the government together ; — 
the one sought to establish liberty, the other 
equality ; — the one was rather religious than political, 
and merely substituted one set of dogmas for another, 
and one church for another church ; the other was 
pre-eminently philosophical, and asserted the complete 
independence of reason. The comparison is ingeni- 
ous, and not altogether void of truth ; but it is almost 
as superficial and frivolous as the opinion which it 
assumes to supersede. Just as great differences are 
visible beneath the external resemblance of the two 
revolutions, so an even deeper resemblance is concealed 
beneath their differences. From the very causes 
which produced its ebullition more than a century 
before the Revolution in France, the English Revolu- 
tion, it is true, retained a deeper impress of the old 
social condition of the country ; there, free institu- 
tions, born amid barbarism, had survived even the 
despotism which they had been unable to prevent ; 
the feudal aristocracy, in part, at least, had made 
common cause with the people. The royal power, 
even in the days of its predominance, had never been 
fully or undisturbedly absolute ; the national Church 
had itself commenced the work of religious reform, and 
stimulated the minds of the people to boldness of 
inquiry and speculation. Evi.ry where, in the laws. 


manners, and creed of the nation, the Revolution 
found its work half effected; and from the govern- 
ment which it aspired to change, it derived, at the 
same time, both succour and obstruction, useful allies 
and powerful adversaries. Thus it presented a 
singular combination of elements apparently the most 
diverse ; it was at once aristocratic and popular, 
religious and philosophical, invoking laws and theories 
by turns ; sometimes announcing a new yoke for 
consciences, sometimes proclaiming their entire 
liberty ; now narrowly confined within the limits of 
fact, and now indulging in the most daring specula- 
tions, — it was, in a word, placed between the old and 
new state of society, rather as a bridge to connect 
than as an abyss to separate them. 

In the French Revolution, on the other hand, the 
most terrible unity prevailed ; the spirit of innovation 
held undivided sway over its proceedings ; the ancien 
regime, far from taking its proper place and part in the 
movement, sought only to defend itself against it, and 
succeeded scarcely for a moment in the attempt, for it 
was equally destitute of strength and virtue. On the 
day on which the Revolution broke out, one fact alone 
remained positive and influential, and that was the 
general civilization of the country. In this great but 
solitary result were concentred all the old institutions, 
all the old manners, beliefs, and recollections — indeed, 
the whole life of the nation. The many active and 

VOL. I. b 


glorious centuries which had elapsed had produced 
nothing but France. Hence arose the immensity of 
the results of the Eevolution, and the portentous 
magnitude of its errors ; — it possessed absolute power. 
The difference is certainly great, and well worth}'' 
of consideration ; it is particularly striking when we 
consider the two Revolutions in themselves as isolated 
events, when we detach them from general history, 
and endeavour to distinguish their peculiar phsyiog- 
nomy and individual character. But, if they resume 
their place in the course of time, — if we examine 
what they have done for the development of 
European civilization — we shall see the resemblance 
reappear, and rise above all diversities. Originating 
in the same causes, by the decay of the feudal 
aristocracy, the Church, and the royal power, they 
laboured to effect the same work, — to secure the 
domination of the people in public affairs They 
struggled for liberty against absolute power, for 
equality against privilege, for progressive and general 
interests against stationary and individual interests. 
Their positions were different, and their strength 
unequal ; what the one clearly perceived, the other 
saw only imperfectly; in the career which the one 
followed to the end, the other soon stopped short ; on 
the same field of battle, the one found victory and the 
other defeat ; the one erred from cynicism, the other 
from hypocrisy ; the one was marked by great 


prudence, the other by great power ; but they varied 
only in the means they employed, and the success 
they achieved ; they were the same in tendency and 
in origin ; their desires, efforts, and progress aimed 
at the same object; all that the one attempted or 
accomplished, the other also effected or attempted. 
Although guilty of religious persecution, the English 
Revolution unfurled the banner of liberty of con- 
science ; in spite of its aristocratic alliances, it 
established the predominance of the Commons ; as its 
chief occupation was with civil order, it demanded a 
simpler legislative system, parliamentary reform, the 
abolition of entails and of the right of primogeniture ; 
and although deceived in many premature expecta- 
tions, it liberated English society, to an immense 
extent, from the monstrous inequality of the feudal 
regime ; — in a word, such is the analogy between the 
two Revolutions, that the first would never have been 
properly understood unless the second had occurred. 

In our own days, indeed, the history of the English 
Revolution has assumed an altered aspect. Hume' 
had succeeded in forming the opinion of Europe re- 
garding it ; and notwithstanding the support of Mira- 
beau, the declamations of Mrs. Macaulay^ had been 

' Hume's History of England under the House of Stuart was pub- 
lished in 1754-6. 

* Mrs, Macaulay's work was to have been a History of England from 
the accession of James I. to that of the Brunswick line, but it termi- 
nates with the fall of James II. It was published in England in 1763- 


unable to shake his authority. Suddenly, however, 
the minds of men regained their independence, and a 
host of works have attested not only that this epoch of 
English history was again becoming the object of 
strong sympathy, but that the narratives and opinions 
of Hume had ceased to satisfy the imagination and 
reason of the public. A great orator, Charles James 
Fox,^ and many distinguished writers, Laing,^ Mac- 
Diarmid,^ Brodie,* Lingard,^ and Godwin,® hastened 
to satisfy the newly-awakened curiosity. The move- 
ment, originating in France, could not fail to produce 
its effects in that country also ; M. Yillemain's His- 
toire de Cromwell, and M. Mazure's Histoii^e de la 
Revolution de 1688, evidently prove that, among our- 
selves, Hume has ceased to be a sufficient authority ; 
and I was able to publish a voluminous collection of 
original Memoirs^ relating to the period, without 

1783. Two volumes of a translation of this work were published in 
France, in 1791, under the name of Mirabeau. 

' Fox's History of the Early Part of the Reign of James II. was 
pubhshed in London in 1808. 

* Laing's History of Scotland, from the Union of the Crowns to the 
Union of the Kingdoms, in four volumes. 

^ MacDiarmid's Lives of British Statesmen, in two volumes ; the 
second volume contains the lives of Strafford and Clarendon. 

"* Brodie's History of the British Empire from the Accession of 
Charles I. to the Restoration of Charles II., in four volumes. 

* Lingard's History of England ; the ninth and tenth volumes relate 
to the reigns of James I. and Charles I. 

® Godwin's History of the Commonwealth of England, in four 
'' This collection consists of twenty-five volumes. 


wearying the attention or exhausting the curiosity of 
my readers. 

It would ill become me, in this place, to enter upon 
a detailed examination of these works ; but I do not 
hesitate to affirm that, but for the French Revolution, 
but for the strong light which it has cast on the strug- 
gle between the house of Stuart and the people of 
England, they would not possess the new merits 
which distinguish them from previous histories. In 
proof of this, I need only point to the difference which 
is to be remarked between those works which Great 
Britain has produced, and those which had their origin 
in France. With whatever patriotic interest the au- 
thors of the former may be inspired by the Revolution 
of 1640, even when they range themselves under the 
standard of one particular party, historical criticism 
presides over their labours ; they apply themselves 
chiefly to an accurate investigation of facts, to a care- 
ful comparison and discussion of evidence ; what they 
relate is to them an old history with which they are 
well acquainted, not a drama in which they bear a 
part — a past era, already far distant, which they 
spare no pains to understand thoroughly, but in the 
midst of which they do not live. Mr. Brodie shares 
all the prejudices, suspicions, and dislikes of the 
sternest Puritans, on reference to Charles I. and the 
Cavaliers, and notices none of the faults and errors of 
his Puritanic friends. It would seem likely that such 
partiality would produce a most animated narrative, 


in which the party which awakened so much sympathy 
in the writer's soul would be portrayed with truth 
and warmth. This is not the case ; notwithstanding 
the vehemence of his prejudices, Mr. Brodie studies 
but does not see, discusses but does not paint-, he 
admires the popular party without bringing it into 
bold relief, and his work is a learned and useful dis- 
sertation, not a moral and living history. Mr. Lin- 
gard shares in none of the opinions and partialities of 
Mr. Brodie ; he leans neither to the King nor to the 
Parliament ; he pleads no cause, and makes no special 
effort to refute the errors of his predecessors ; he 
boasts of not having opened Hume's history since he 
began his own •, he has written, he says, with the help 
of original documents only, placing himself always in 
presence of the period he had to describe, and with a 
firm resolution to set aside all systematic schemes. Is 
his history lifelike, in consequence of this impartiality ? 
No ; Mr. Lingard's impartiality is mere indifference ; 
a Catholic priest, it matters little to him whether 
Anglicans or Presbyterians are triumphant : his indif- 
ference has, therefore, proved as incapable as Mr. 
Brodie's passion to penetrate beyond the external and 
material forms of events ; and the chief merit of his 
work is, that he has carefully investigated facts, col- 
lected them with considerable completeness, and ar- 
ranged them with skill. Mr. Malcolm Laing has 
shown greater sagacity in discovering the political 
character of the Revolution ; lie shows very plainly, 


that, without clearly comprehending its purpose, it 
aspired, from the very outset, to change the seat of 
power, to bring it down to the House of Commons, 
and to substitute parliamentary for regal government ; 
and that, short of this result, it could not rest in 
peace. But the moral aspect of the period, the reli- 
gious enthusiasm, the popular passions, the party in- 
trigues, the personal rivalries, all the scenes in which 
human nature displays itself, unrestrained by either 
laws or manners, find no record in his work ; it is like 
a report from a clear-headed judge, who has seen only 
the written depositions, but before whom neither the 
actors nor the witnesses have appeared in person. I 
might thus pass in review all the works relating to 
this subject, with which English literature has recently 
been enriched ; they would all present the same cha- 
racter — an unmistakable revival of interest in this 
great crisis of the national life, a more attentive 
study of the facts relating to it, a stronger feeling 
of its merits, and a fresher appreciation of its causes 
and consequences : but nothing more than the ordi- 
nary results of meditation and study — an erudite or 
philosophical work. I should look in vain for that 
natural sympathy between the author and his sub- 
ject, which imparts light and life to history ; and if 
Hampden or Clarendon were to return to existence, 
I think they would find it difficult to recognize, 
in these works, the times in which ihey lived and 


AVhen I open M. A^illcmain's Histoire de Cromwell, 
I find myself in presence of a very different spectacle ; 
it is less complete, less learned, and less accurate 
tlian many of those works which I have just men- 
tioned ; but it everywhere displa^ys a quick and lively 
comprehension of revolutionary opinions, passions and 
vicissitudes, of public tendencies, individual cha- 
racters, and the indomitable nature and changing 
forms of parties ; the reason of the historian embraces 
all the positions and ideas with which he has to deal ; 
his imagination is kindled by all real and sincere im- 
pressions ; his impartiality, though perhaps somewhat 
too sceptical, is nevertheless frequently more animated 
than even the passion of the exclusive advocates of 
one cause ; and although the Revolution appears, in 
his book, confined within the narrow limits of a 
biography, it is there portrayed more clearly and 
vividly than in any other work. 

This arises from the fact that, independently of any 
advantages of talent, M. Yillemain also had those of 
position : he considered and judged the English Re- 
volution from the midst of the French Revolution : in 
the events and men that passed before his own eyes, 
he found the key to those he had to describe ; he has 
transfused the life of his own age into the times 
which he wished to resuscitate. 

I must not pursue these observations to a greater 
length : I have only ventured them in order to show 
more clearly what a dcej) analogy there is between 


the two epochs, and also to explain why a Frenchman 
may believe that the history of the English Revoln- 
tion has not yet been written in a fully satisfactory 
manner, and that he may be permitted to attempt to 
supply the deficiency. I have carefully studied 
nearly all the old and new books relating to the sub- 
ject ; I had no fear that their perusal would modify 
the sincerity of my impressions or the independence 
of my judgment ; there is, I think, excessive timidity 
in so readily believing that an auxiliary may become a 
master, or excessive pride in thus absolutely refusing 
all assistance. Nevertheless — and this will, I think, 
be at once perceived — original documents have been 
my chief guides. I have nothing to say, in this place, 
with regard to my collection of Memoirs : in the 
notices which I prefixed to them on their publication, 
I endeavoured thoroughly to explain their character 
and merits ; and those which I have not included in 
my collection, though I have referred to them in my 
history, do not seem to me of sufficient importance to 
require further comment. Collections of official acts 
and papers are very numerous, and though they have 
often been laid under contribution, still abound in 
unknown treasures ; I have made frequent use of the 
State Papers of Rushworth and Thurloe, of the Journals 
of both Houses, of the old Parliamentary History as 
well as the more recent work of Mr. Cobbett, of the 
State Trials, and of a great number of other works of 
the same kind which it would be tedious to enumerate. 

VOL. I. c 


1 have also found many curious facts in contemporary 
pamphlets, published in France as well as in England ; 
for tlie French people took a far greater interest in 
the English Revolution than is commonly imagined ; 
many treatises were published on both sides, and the 
Frondeurs frequently availed themselves of its example 
to check Mazarin and the Court. I must not forget to 
add, as an act of justice to a man and a work now 
too much neglected, that I have very often consulted 
Rapin's History of England with great advantage, 
and that, notwithstanding the inferiority of the author's 
talent, he better understood and has more completely 
described the English Revolution than most of his 

Finally, let me here give expression to my grati- 
tude to all those persons, both in France and England, 
who have bestowed their anticipatory favour on my 
work, and lent me the most valuable assistance. 
Among others, I am indebted to the kindness of Sir 
James Mackintosh — a kindness as inexhaustible as his 
genius and learning — for suggestions and counsels 
which no other man could have given me ; and one of 
my own countrymen, remarkable for his knowledge of 
the history and condition of England, M. Gallois, has 
lavished on me, with a readiness which I have some 
right to construe as friendship, the multifarious trea- 
sures of his library and conversation. 



Preliminary Essay on the Causes op the Success of the 
English Revolution 



Accession of Charles I. — State of Public Feeling in England — 
Convocation of the First Parhament — Spirit of Liberty mani- 
fested by it — Its Dissolution — First Attempts at Arbitrary 
Government — Their ill Success — Second Parliament — Impeach- 
ment of the Duke of Buckingham — Dissolution of the Parha- 
ment — Bad Administration of Buckingham — Third Parhament 
— Petition of Rights — Pi'orogation of the Parliament — Assassi- 
nation of the Duke of Buckingham — Second Session of the 
Third Parhament — Fresh Causes of Pubhc Dissatisfaction — 
The King's Anger — Dissolution of the Third Parliament . .123 


Designs of the King and his Council — Prosecution of the Par- 
liamentary Leaders — Apparent Apathy of England — Struggle 
between the Ministers and the Court — The Queen — Strafford — 
Laud — Disunion and Unpopularity of the Government — Civil 
and Religious Tyranny — Its effects upon the various Classes 
»of the Nation — Trial of Prynne, Burton, and Bastwick — Trial of 
Hampden — Insurrection in Scotland —First War with the Scots 
— Peace of Berwick — Short Parliament of 1640 — Second War 
with the Scots — Its iU Success — Convocation of the Long Par- 
liament . . . . . . . . . . .176 




Opening of Parliament — Its Assumj^tion of Power — State of Poli- 
tical and Religions Parties — Concessions made by the King — 
Negotiations between the King and the Parliamentary Leaders 
— Conspiracy in the Army — Trial and Execution of Strafford — 
The King's Journey to Scotland — Insurrection in Ireland — 
Debate on the Remonstrance — The King's return to London — 
Progress of the Eevolution — lUots — Afiair of the Five Mem- 
bers — The King leaves London — Departure of the Queen to the 
Continent — Aftair of the Militia— Negotiations — The King takes 
up his Piesidence at York — Both Parties prepare for War — The 
King is refused admission into Hull — Vain attempts at recon- 
ciliation — Formation of the two Armies ..... 258 

Appendix 383 




The English Eevoliition was successful. It succeeded 
t^vice. Its authors were the founders of constitutional 
monarchy in England ; their descendants founded, in 
America, the Eepubhc of the United States. These 
great events are now clouded by no obscurities ; 
they have received the elucidation, together with the 
sanction, of time. Sixty years ago, France entered 
upon the path which England opened ; and, only yes- 
terday as it were, Europe dashed headlong into the 
same course. I am desirous to explain the causes 
which have secured — in England to constitutional 
monarchy, and in America to republicanism — that 
solid success which France and Europe have hitherto 
vainly sought to obtain through those mysterious and 
trying revolutions, which, as they are well or ill 
endured, elevate or mislead nations for ages. 

VOL. I. B 


It was in the name of faitli and of religious liberty 
that, in the sixteenth century, the movement com- 
menced, which ever since that period, with the excep- 
tion of a few temporary lulls, has agitated and swayed 
the world. The tempest arose first in the human 
soul, and attacked the Church before it reached the 

It has been said that Protestantism was in reahty 
more a poHtical than a rehgious revolution ; an insur- 
rection of worldly interests against the estabhshed 
order of the Church, rather than the outburst of a 
conviction with regard to the eternal interests of man. 
To say this is to judge merely from appearances ; and 
this error has led those spiritual or temporal powers, 
which have allowed themselves to be misled by it? 
into a course of conduct fatal to their safety. Anxious 
to repress the revolutionary element in Protestantism, 
they have misunderstood its religious element. The 
spirit of revolt is undoubtedly very powerful ; but it 
is not capable of performing such mighty achievements 
by its own unassisted strength. It was not simply to 
cast off a yoke, it was also to profess and practise a 
faith, that the Reformation of the sixteenth century 
was begun and persevered in. After the lapse of 
tliree centuries, this is gloriously demonstrated by a 
sovereign, incontestable fact. England and Holland, 
the two most Protestant countries of Europe, are the 
countries in which, at the present day, the Cliristian 
faith possesses the greatest vitality and influence. A 
man must be strangely ignorant of human nature to 
believe that religious fervour would have thus sus- 


tained and perpetuated itself, after the triumphant 
issue of the insurrection, if the movement had not 
been really and essentially religious. 

The German revolution, in the sixteenth century, 
was not political, but rehgious. The French revolu- 
tion in the eighteenth was not religious, but political. 
It was the fortune of England in the seventeenth 
century, to be governed by the spirit of religious faith 
as well as by the spirit of political hberty, and to enter 
upon the two revolutions at the same time. All the 
great passions of human nature were thus brought 
into duly-controlled activity ; and the hopes and aspir- 
ations of eternity remained to men even when they 
beheld the failure of all their earthly aspirations and 

The English reformers, especially those whose object 
was merely political, did not consider a revolution 
necessary. The laws, the traditions, the precedents, 
the whole past annals of their country, were dear and 
sacred in their eyes ; and they found in them a found- 
ation for their pretensions, as well as a sanction for 
their ideas. It was in the name of the Great Charter, 
and of the innumerable statutes which had been passed 
during four centuries in confirmation of it, that they 
demanded their liberties. For four centuries, not a 
generation of Englishmen had passed away without 
uttering the name, and witnessing the assemblage, of 
Parliament. The great barons and the people, the 
country gentlemen and the burgesses, met together 
in 1640, not to contend for new acquisitions, but to 
regain their common inheritance ; they came to repos- 

B 2 


sess themselves of their ancient and positive rights, 
and not to pursue the infinite and unknown combin- 
ations and specidations of the human mind. 

The rehgious reformers did not enter into the Long 
Parhament of Charles I. with such legal pretensions. 
The Episcopal Church of England, as it had been con- 
stituted, first by the capricious and cruel despotism of 
Henry YIII., and then by the clever and persevering 
despotism of Elizabeth, was not at all to their taste. 
In their eyes it was an incomplete and ineffective 
reform, continually menaced by the danger of a relapse 
into the Catholic Church, from which it was not 
sufficiently far removed ; and they contemplated the 
thorough remodelling and reconstitution of the Chris- 
tian Church of their country. They displayed their 
revolutionary spirit much more ardently and openly 
than the party who were intent upon mere political 
reform. Nevertheless the rehgious innovators them- 
selves did not yield altogether to the suggestions of 
their imaginations. They had an anchor to which 
they held, a compass upon which they relied. The 
Gospel was their Great Charter, overlaid, it is true, by 
their interpretations and commentaries, but anterior 
and superior to their will : they sincerely respected it, 
and humbled themselves, in spite of their pride, before 
the law which they had not made. 

To these pledges of moderation, which the two 
impending revolutions thus found in the dispositions 
of their respective partisans. Providence added yet 
another favour. They were not condemned, at their 
very outset, to the wickedness and dailger of sponta- 


neously attacking, without clear and pressing neces- 
sity, a peaceful and inoffensive ruler. In England, 
in tlie seventeenth century, the royal power was the 
aggressor. Charles I., fall of haughty pretensions, 
though devoid of great ambition, and rather that he 
might not fall in the opinion of contemporary monarchs 
than from any "wish to rule his people with an iron 
sway, twice attempted to introduce the maxims and 
practices of absolute monarchy ; first, in presence 
of the Parliament, and under the influence of a vain 
and frivolous favourite,^ whose presumptuous incom- 
petency shocked the good sense and wounded the 
honour even of the most obscure citizens ; and next, 
by refusing to have any Parliament, and governing 
alone, by means of an able, energetic, ambitious, and 
imperious minister^ — a man who was devoted to his 
sovereign without being well understood or well sus- 
tained by him, and who learned too late, that, to save 
kings, it is not sufficient to sacrifice oneself nobly in 
their service. 

Against this aggressive despotism, which was more 
enterprising than powerful, and which attacked, in the 
Church as well as in the State, both the ancient rights 
and the new liberties demanded by the country, the 
people did not contemplate the employment of any- 
thing beyond lawful resistance, and put full trust in 
the Parhament. There the resistance was as unani- 
mous as it was legitimate. Men the most different in 
their origin and character — nobles, gentlemen, or bur- 

' George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham. 
' Thomas Wentworth, Earl of Strafford. 


gesses, connected or unconnected with the Court, 
friends or enemies of the Established Church — all 
exclaimed with one accord against so many grievances 
and abuses ; and the abuses fell, and the grievances 
disappeared, just as the aged walls of a deserted 
fortress crumble away at the first strokes of an 

In this outbreak of the national anger and hopes, 
some more prudent minds, some more scrupulous con- 
sciences, discovered cause for uneasiness. Vengeance 
not only disfigures, but really perverts, justice ; and 
passion, proud of its rights, goes farther than it 
ought, and even than it intended. Strafford was justly 
accused and unjustly judged. The politicians, who 
did not desire the ruin of the Episcopal Church, 
allowed the bishops to be outraged and humihated, as 
though they were men who had fallen to rise no more. 
The ill-directed blows which deprived the Crown of its 
usurpations and illegitimate pretensions, interfered also 
with its just prerogatives. Grave incidents revealed, 
and courageous voices proclaimed, the revolutionary 
spirit that was concealed beneath these reforms. 
Rising revolutions have never failed to intimate 
and foreshadow their future course ; but the neces- 
sity and the splendour of victory banished at once 
the consciousness of fault and the presentiment of 

When the work of reform was accomplished — when 
the grievances which had excited the unanimous repro- 
bation of the country were redressecL — when the powers 
which were the authors of these grievances, and the men 


who were the instruments of these powers, were over- 
tlirown, — the scene changed. A new question pre- 
sented itself — how shall these conquests be retained ? 
What assurance is there that England will henceforth be 
governed by the laws, and according to the principles, 
which it has just re-established ? 

The political reformers began to feel perplexed. 
Above them was the King, who conspired against 
them whilst he yielded to their demands. If the 
King resumed, in the government, that power which 
was still secured to him, he would make use of it 
against reform and reformers. Around them were 
their allies — the religious innovators, Presbyterians 
and other sectaries — ^who were not satisfied with mere 
pohtical reforms, and who, in their hatred of the Esta- 
bhshed Church, aspired, not only to shake ofi* its yoke, 
but to destroy it, and bring it into subjection to them- 
selves. For the security of their work — for their own 
security — the chiefs resolved to remain in arms. If 
they had proposed a disarmament, their soldiers would 
not have permitted it. 

One course alone could, in their eyes, insure their 
safety. The Parliament must retain the sovereign 
power it had just assumed, and the King must be ren- 
dered permanently incapable of governing in opposition 
to the wishes of the Parliament, and of the House of 
Commons in the Parliament. 

This is the result at wliich constitutional monarchy 
has arrived in England ; this is the end at which its 
partisans have been aiming for the last two centuries. 
But, in the seventeenth century, they possessed neither 


the knowledge nor the pohtical virtues necessary for 
this mode of government. 

There is in the heart of man such a union of arro- 
gance and weakness that he aspires, at the same 
time, to all the glory and all the repose that vic- 
tory can impart. It is a small thing for him to sur- 
mount obstacles ; he wishes to suppress them altogether, 
that they may give him no further trouble ; and tri- 
umph itself does not content him, unless he can enjoy 
it in all the confidence of complete security. Con- 
stitutional monarchy does not give satisfaction to these 
evil tendencies of human nature. To none of the powers 
which it calls into being does it accord the pleasures of 
undivided and undisturbed dominion. On all, even on 
the victor, it imposes the unceasing labour of forced 
alHances, mutual concessions, frequent compromises, 
indirect influences, and an incessantly-renewed contest, 
with incessantly-recurring chances of success or defeat. 
It is at this price that constitutional monarchy defi- 
nitively guarantees the triumph of the interests and 
feeUngs of the country, which is itself bound to mode- 
ration in its desires, and to vigilance and patience in its 

Neither the King nor the ParHament of England, 
in the seventeenth century, understood these condi- 
tions of their common government, and consequently 
would not submit to them. The King was anxious to 
retain his power ; the House of Commons aimed at 
becoming, directly and infallibly, the sovereign ruler of 
the country. This alone could satisfy their pride and 
calm their fears. 


To attain this end — to retain and exercise the sove- 
reign authority which it had seized — the House of 
Commons could be contented no longer with the refor- 
mation of abuses and the restoration of legal rights. 
It must thoroughly and radically alter the ancient laws 
of the land, and concentrate all powers in its own 

When matters had reached this point, a great divi- 
sion took place among the reformers. Some, influenced 
by greater foresight or more timidity, embraced the 
defence of legal order and of the menaced monarchy ; 
others, more bold or less scrupulous, entered upon the 
path of revolution. 

At this moment originated the two great parties, 
which, developing themselves successively under dif- 
ferent names and aspects, have for two centuries swayed 
the destinies of England — the party devoted to the 
maintenance of the established order of things, and 
the party favourable to the progress of popular in- 
fluence — the Tories and the Wliigs, the Conservatives 
and the Innovators. 

In the Parliament, the struggle was severe but brief. 
The monarchical party attempted to organize itself 
aromid the King, and to govern in his name. These 
first attempts at constitutional government failed, 
almost before they had begun. They failed through 
the fault of the King, who was inconsistent, frivo- 
lous, obstinate, and as insincere to his advisers as 
to his enemies ; through the inexperience of his coun- 
sellors themselves, who were alternately too exclusive 
and too weak, and incessantly baffled and betrayed in 


the palace as well as in the Parliament ; and through 
the distrust and pretensions of the revolutionary party, 
who were determined not to rest so long as the abso- 
lute power, which they sought to destroy, had not passed 
into their own hands. 

One day, in connexion with a fresh remonstrance, 
which it was proposed should be presented to the King 
against the old grievances (as though they had not 
been already redressed), the numerical strength of the 
two parties in the House was clearly tested. The de- 
bate became so violent, that even vdthin the precincts of 
the Commons' House itself, the members were on the 
point of coming to blows. Eleven votes gave the vic- 
tory to the revolutionary party. Fifty days after this 
division, the King left his palace of WliitehaU as a 
fugitive, and re-entered it only when on his way to 
the scaffold. The House of Commons immediately 
ordered that the menaced kingdom should be placed in 
a state of defence without delay. The Parhamentary 
struggle ceased — the Civil War began. 

At this solemn moment, patriotic regrets and 
gloomy forebodings were felt by members of both 
parties, especially by the King's adherents, who were 
less confident in their strength, and perhaps, also, in 
the justice of their cause. But this was not the general 
feeling. The desire and hope of success predominated 
in most hearts. The spirit of resistance to illegality 
and oppression has been one of the most noble and 
salutary characteristics of the English people through- 
out the whole course of their history. Docile, and 
even favoui-able to authority, when it acts in virtue 


of the law, they boldly maintain against it that 
which they consider to be the law of the land and 
their own right. In the midst of their dissensions, 
this same feeling animated both parties. The revolu- 
tionary party were struggling against the illegalities 
and oppressions, which, in past times, England had 
suffered from the King, and which she had to fear 
from him in the future. The monarchical party were 
struggling against the illegalities and oppressions, 
which, at that time, the Parliament was inflicting 
on the country. Respect for right and law, although 
daily misunderstood and violated, was universally 
felt by all minds, and concealed from their view the 
wrongs and evils that civil war was about to shower 
upon them. 

The habits of neither party were very repugnant 
to civil war. The Cavaliers were impetuous and 
daring, still given to that love of combat, and that 
taste for an appeal to force, which characterised the 
feudal times. The Pmitans were stern and tenacious, 
inspired by the passions and traditions of the He- 
brew people, who defended and avenged their God 
by punishing His enemies. Both were familiar with 
the sacrifice of life, and bloodshed excited in them 
no horror. 

Another more hidden cause provoked and stimu- 
lated the movement. The political and religious 
parties were not alone engaged in the struggle. 
Their contest concealed a social question — the struggle 
between the different classes for influence and power. 
Not that these classes were, in England, so tho- 


roughly separated and hostile to each other as they 
have been in other countries. The great barons had 
maintained the liberties of the people at the same time 
that they asserted their own freedom ; and the people 
had not forgotten it. The country gentlemen and 
the burgesses had sat together in Parliament, for 
three centuries, in the name of the Commons of 
England. But, during the last century, great 
changes had taken place in the relative strength of 
the different classes of society, without an analogous 
change having been effected in the Government. The 
commercial activity and religious ardour of the middle 
classes had given a prodigious impplse to their wealth 
and intelligence. It was remarked with surprise, in 
one of the first Parhaments of the reign of Charles I., 
that the House of Commons was three times as rich 
as the House of Lords. The high aristocracy no 
longer possessed, and no longer imparted to royalty, 
around which it still rallied, the same preponderance 
in the nation. The burgesses, the country gentlemen, 
the farmers, and the small landed proprietors (then a 
very numerous class), did not exercise an influence 
upon public affairs proportionate to their importance 
in the country. Their political importance had not 
increased with their wealth and social elevation. 
Hence, among them, and in the ranks beneath them, 
there arose a proud and powerful spirit of ambition, 
ready to seize upon any opportunity for developing 
itself. Civil war opened a wide field to their energy 
and hopes. At its outset, it did not present the 
appearance of an exclusive and jealous social classifica- 


tioii; many country gentlemen, and several of the 
most considerable of the nobility, appeared at the 
head of the popular party. Nevertheless, the mass of 
the nobles on the one hand, and of the burgesses and 
people on the other, ranged themselves, the former 
around the Crown, the latter around the Parhament — 
and certain unmistakable symptoms already revealed 
the existence of a great social movement in the midst 
of a great political struggle ; and showed that the 
effervescence of an ascendant democracy was forcing 
its way through the ranks of an enfeebled and divided 

Each party found in the state of society — I might 
even say, in the laws of the country — natural and 
almost legitimate means for sustaining by arms their 
rights and pretensions. Ever since the reign of Queen 
Ehzabeth, the House of Commons had zealously ap- 
phed itself to the abolition of the last tottering insti- 
tutions of the feudal system. But there still re- 
mained deep traces of it ; and the habits, the feelings, 
and sometimes even the rules of this system, still 
determined the relations of the possessors of fiefs, 
either with the King their suzerain, or with a part of 
the population grouped aromid them, either in their 
castles or upon their estates. These people arose at 
their bidding, to engage in festivals or combats, just 
as they themselves obeyed the summons of the King, 
when he claimed their services. It was one of those 
epochs of transformation in which ancient laws, 
honoured though out of date, still control the actions 
of the men whom they no longer govern. Devotedness 


had taken the place of servitude ; the fidehty of the 
vassal had become the loyalty of the subject ; and the 
Cavaliers, rich or poor, rallied around the King, ready 
to fight and to die for him, and followed by a troop or 
a handful of servants, ready to fight and to die for 

On their side, the burgesses, the artizans, the towns- 
folk, had also, under other forms, their means of inde- 
pendent action, and even of war. Organized into 
municipal or trading corporations, they met together 
freely to discuss their affairs ; they levied taxes, called 
out militia, administered justice, employed police, and, 
in short, dehberated and acted like petty sovereigns 
within the circuit of their walls, or the frequently 
obscure limits of their charters. And the extension 
of trade and manufactm-es, their riches, their con- 
nexions, and their credit, gave to these corporations a 
power which they frequently employed in the service 
of their cause, with the boldness of new-born and 
inexperienced pride. 

Neither in the country nor in the towns did royalty 
possess the support of a central and undivided ad- 
ministration. Financial, military, and even judicial 
affairs, were more or less completely in the hands of 
local and almost independent authorities ; here, the 
county proprietors ; there, municipal bodies or dif- 
ferent corporations ; and all these appropriated to 
themselves the administrative power, in the interest 
of their political cause, sometimes to serve the central 
government, whether King or Parliament, sometimes 
to resist it. 


And where these means were not sufficient — where 
the action extended beyond the sphere of the ancient 
and recognized local authorities — the traditional spirit 
of association, which was still powerful in the country, 
quickly established, between the counties and cities, 
between the different parts of the kingdom, or the 
different classes of society, practical and efficient bonds 
of union, in virtue of which, new, free, and extem- 
poraneous associations levied taxes and troops, formed 
committees, and elected leaders, charged to furnish 
and direct their quota of co-operation in the general 
cause they had embraced. 

It was in an association of this kind — that of the five 
eastern counties, which united in support of the Par- 
liament — that Cromwell gave the first indications of 
his strength, and laid the first foundations of his 

In a society thus organized and disposed, civil war 
was neither revolting nor impracticable. It soon over- 
spread the whole country — in some localities excited 
by the agents of the King or of the Parliament — in 
others, spontaneously entered into by the citizens ; 
and it was maintained by both parties with an energy 
frequently sorrowful, but always unliesitating, as the 
exercise of a right and the performance of a duty. 
Both parties were profoundly convinced of the justice 
and greatness of their cause. Both made, in its ser- 
vice, those efforts and sacrifices which elevate, even if 
they mislead, the minds of men, and which give to 
passion the appearance, and sometimes the merit, of 
virtue. Nor was virtue itself wanting to either party. 


Though violent and licentious for the most part, the 
Cavaliers had in their ranks some of the finest examples 
of the lofty and generous manners characteristic of 
ancient families, full of disinterested loyalty and cour- 
teous dignity. The Puritans, though stern and proud, 
rendered an inestimable service to their country, for 
they established the austerity of private life, and the 
sanctity of the domestic hearth. The two parties con- 
tended with each other with stubborn animosity ; but, 
even in the heat of the conflict, they did not renounce 
the sentiments which distinguish times of order and 
peace. There were no sanguinary riots, no judicial 
massacres. There was civil war, ardent, obstinate, full 
of violence and evil, but without cynical or barbarous 
excesses, and restrained, by the general manners of the 
people, within certain limits of justice and humanity. 

I hasten to do this justice to the two parties, for 
the virtues of parties are fragile and short-lived when 
they have to withstand the blast and contend against 
the tempests of revolutions. From day to day, in 
proportion as the civil war was prolonged, right was 
less respected, and just and generous sentiments dimi- 
nished in influence. The natural consequences of a 
state of revolution displayed themselves in both parties, 
in the continually-increasing disregard of the habits 
and ideas of law and morality. The King stood in 
need of money : the Cavaliers commenced an unre- 
strained pillage. The taxes levied by the Parhament 
were not sufiicient for the necessities of the war ; so it 
established in all the counties a system of confiscation, 
more or less disguised, which enabled it to take pos- 


session of the revenues, and frequently of the lands, of 
the Malignants, as the antagonists of the Parliament 
were called, and thus to provide a daily source of 
wealth to its partisans. In this general and continuous 
disorder, in the midst of abuses of force and extremi- 
ties of misfortune, bad passions were incessantly called 
into exercise, and opportmiities were offered for the 
gratification of all evil desires. Hatred and vengeance 
took possession of energetic minds ; and feeble souls 
fell into fear and baseness. The Parhament, which 
pretended to act in the name of the law, and to serve 
the King, even while fighting against him, was con- 
strained, in its most violent actions, to use false and 
hypocritical language. Among the Eoyalists, many, 
mistrusting the reserve of the King, called upon to 
make sacrifices which exceeded their strength, and 
daily becoming more uncertain of the success of their 
cause, felt loyalty die away in their hearts, and either 
submitted in despair, or made good their losses by plun- 
der. Falsehood, violence, avarice, pusillanimity, sel- 
fishness under all its forms, rapidly increased amongst 
the men engaged in the contest ; and the people, who 
either took no part in it, or acted only at a distance, 
exposed to the detestable influence of the spectacle of 
a revolution, gradually lost, or else retained a dim and 
doubtful recollection of, their ideas of right and duty, 
of justice and virtue. 

At the same time, the people suffered severely in 
their material interests. War, everywhere present, and 
everywhere undisciplined, ravaged town and country, 
destroyed the subsistence, and defeated the hopes and 

VOL. I. c 


labours of the people. The financial measures of the 
Parliament, taken advantage of by local enmities 
and intrigues, disturbed and depreciated the value of 
landed property. There was no security for present 
business or future laboui-s. Domestic hfe was injured 
and overthrown, even in families the most averse to 
political contests. And as alarm always travels faster 
and further than suffering, the country, overwhehned 
with lamentable distress, was a prey to an anxiety 
even more general and deplorable than its distress. 

Much time did not elapse before the people made 
known their complaints and wishes. The war was stiU 
at its height, when the cry of Peace ! peace I resounded 
at the doors of the Parhament. Frequent petitions 
demanded it. Numerous assemblages presented them 
— assemblages so numerous and excited, that it was 
necessary to employ force to disperse them. In the 
House of Commons, notwithstanding the almost entire 
secession of the first Eoyahst party, a new Eoyalist 
party formed itself in the name of peace, and eagerly 
seized every opportunity for proclaiming its necessity, 
and for commencing negociations with the King. At- 
tempts at negociation were frequently made, but failed, 
through the intrigues of those who, in both camps, 
were opposed to peace, because of the concessions 
which it entailed, and tlu'ough the incompetency or 
weakness of those who, though desirous of peace, were 
afraid to admit its conditions. The civil war con- 
tinued, but the party which originated it was dismem- 
bered. The struggle for and against the Revolution 
had recommenced in the Parhament. 


Out of doors, especially in the country, the people 
were not satisfied with asking Parliament for peace ; 
they tried to impose it themselves, locally at least, on 
both parties. Associations were formed, armed bodies 
put themselves in motion, declaring that they would 
no longer permit their lands to be ravaged, either by 
Parliamentarians or by Eoyahsts, and attacked indis- 
criminately any party of either army that they chanced 
to meet. This was a sort of armed neutrality in the 
midst of civil war ; a fatile attempt, truly, but one 
which showed how greatly the desperate conflicts of 
the two parties had already wounded the feelings, and 
injured the interests of the country. 

So long as the war was furious and its issue doubtful, 
these sufferings and inclinations of the people, though 
causing a pacific reaction, had but little effect in in- 
ducing them to return to their allegiance. They 
accused the King of obstinacy and falsehood. They 
complained bitterly of his secret intrigues with the 
Queen and the Cathohcs, who were passionately hated 
and feared. They ascribed to him, as much as to the 
ParHament, the evils and the continuance of the civil 

When the war was at an end, when the King was 
a prisoner in the hands of the Parliament, the pacific 
reaction became more decidedly and more generally 
Royalist. The King could do nothing, and bore his 
misfortunes with dignity. The Parhament could do 
everything, and did not put an end to the calamities 
of the country. On the Parliament now devolved all 
responsibility. To it were addressed all the discon- 

c 2 


tents, tlie disappointed hopes, the suspicions, the 
hatreds, the curses of the present, and the terrors of 
the future. 

Urged hy the national feeling, enlightened by the 
imminent peril, the political reformers (the first leaders 
of the Revolution in Parliament), and in their train a 
party of religious innovators (the Presbyterians, who, 
though enemies of the Episcopal Church, were friends 
to the monarchy), made a last effort to bring about 
peace with the King, and to terminate at once the 
war and the Revolution. 

They were sincere, even passionate in their desire, 
but still full of the revolutionary pretensions which 
had already, on several occasions, rendered peace im- 
possible. By the conditions which the}^ imposed on the 
King, they requested liim to sanction the destruction 
of the monarchy and of the Church ; in other words, 
to complete, with his own hands, the ruin of the edifice 
which constituted his safety and possessed his faith. 

They had proclaimed in principle and brought into 
practice the direct sovereignty of the House of Com- 
mons ; and constrained, in their turn, to resist the 
popular current, they were astonished at not finding 
strength and support, but meeting even with distrust 
and hostility, from the high aristocracy and the Churcli 
which they had decried and demolished. 

Even if they had succeeded in concluding a peace 
with the King, that peace would have been ineffectual. 
It was too late to arrest the progress of the Revolution, 
and too soon to bring it to its true and national end. 
God was only then beginning to exercise His justice. 


and to teach His lessons. As soon as the first leaders 
of the movement essayed to repair the mischief they 
had done, the truly revolutionary party arose, and, 
treating their newly-obtained wisdom with brutal con- 
tempt, di'ove them from Parhament, condemned the 
King to death, and proclaimed the Commonwealth. 

Two centuries have elapsed since the English Com- 
monwealth put Charles T. to death, and almost immedi- 
ately after, fell itself upon the soil which it had stained 
with his blood. The French Republic more recently 
presented to the world a similar spectacle. And we 
hear it still said that these great crimes were acts of 
a great policy, demanded by the necessity of founding 
those repubHcs which scarcely survived them a day ! 

Thus do human folly and perversity pretend to 
cover themselves with the veil of greatness. Neither 
the truth of history nor the interest of mankind can 
suffer this falsehood. 

The spirit of faith and of religious liberty had de- 
generated in some sects into an arrogant and quarrel- 
some fanaticism, which was intractable to all authority, 
and found satisfaction only in unbridled independence 
and spiritual pride. By the civil war these sectaries 
had become soldiers, at once disputatious and devoted, 
enthusiastic and disciplined. Sprung, for the most 
part, from the lower classes and professions, they 
greedily enjoyed the pleasure of commanding and 
giving orders, of beheving themselves and calhng 
themselves the chosen and powerful instruments of the 
will and justice of God. By appealing sometimes to 
reHgious enthusiasm, sometimes to military discipline. 


and sometimes to democratic feeling, Cromwell had 
gained the confidence of these men, and become their 
leader. After having, it is said, spent his youth in the 
excesses of a fiery temperament, in the outbursts of 
an ardent and restless piety, and m the service of 
the interests or desires of the people among whom he 
lived, as soon as the field of politics and war opened 
before him, he dashed zealously into it, as the only 
career in which he could display Ms energies to his 
own satisfaction. The most impetuous of sectaries, 
the most active of revolutionists, the most able of 
soldiers ; equally ready and ardent to speak, to pray, to 
conspire, and to fight ; unreserved, with the frankness of 
conscious power, and, at need, a liar of such inexhaust- 
ible boldness as to fill even his enemies with surprise 
and embarrassment ; impassioned and coarse, venture- 
some and prudent, mystical and practical ; boundless in 
the flights of his imagination, unscrupulous when his 
necessities required ; resolved to succeed at any price ; 
he was more prompt than any one else to discern and 
seize the means of success, and inspired all, both friends 
and enemies, with the conviction that no one would 
succeed so well, or go so far as he. 

To such a party, led by such a man, the Common- 
wealth was welcome. It gave satisfaction to their 
passions, an opening to their hopes, and security to 
the interests which civil war had created for them. It 
delivered the country into the hands of the army by 
the genius of its leader, and gave the empire to 
Cromwell by the disciplined aid of his soldiers. 

The respect which I feel for their sincerity, their 


genius, and their misfortunes, prevents me from ex- 
pressing all that I think of some celebrated men, who 
were also Republicans, but rather by their political 
system, and according to the models of antiquity, than 
from religious fanaticism. I refer to Sidney, Yane, 
Ludlow, Harrington, Hutchinson, and Milton. These 
were men of elevated minds and proud hearts, nobly 
ambitious for their country and for humanity ; but so 
injudicious and so foolishly arrogant, that they learned 
nothing either from success or from defeat. Credulous 
as children, obstinate as old men, incessantly blinded 
by their hopes to their dangers and their faults, at 
the very time when, by their own anarchical tyranny, 
they were preparing the way for a stronger and more 
sensible despotism, they believed they were founding 
the freest and most glorious of governments. 

Excepting those sects that were organized into regi- 
ments, and those cliques that formed the Parhament, no 
one in England was anxious for a republic. It offended 
the traditions, the manners, the laws, the old affections, 
the ancient venerations, the regular interests, the good 
order, the reason, and the moral sense of the country. 

Irritated and disquieted by this manifest aversion 
of the public to their designs, the sectaries and Crom- 
well thought that to found a government so obnoxious, 
it was necessary at the very outset, by a terrible and 
irretrievable blow, to prove its strength and affirm its 
right. They determined to consecrate the repubHc on 
the scaffold of Charles I. 

But even the ablest of revolutionists is shortsighted. 
Intoxicated by passion, or governed by the necessity 


of the moment, they never foresee that that which 
effects their triumph to-day, will to-morrow cause 
their defeat. The execution of Charles I. dehvered 
England, in a state of stupor, into the hands of Crom- 
well and the republicans. But the republicans and 
Cromwell, stricken to death by the same blow, were 
thenceforth nothing more than a violent and ephe- 
meral government, marked with that seal of supreme 
iniquity wliich devotes to certain ruin the strongest 
and most brilliant powers. 

The judges of Charles I. left no means untried to 
free their action from tliis fatal character, and to re- 
present it as a judgment of Grod, which they were 
commissioned to perform. Charles had aimed at 
absolute power, and carried on civil war. Many rights 
had been violated, and much blood shed, by his orders 
or with liis sanction. On liim was cast all the respon- 
sibihty of the anarchy and the war. He was called 
upon to account for all the liberties that had been 
oppressed, and all the blood that had been spilt — a 
nameless crime, which death alone could expiate. But 
the conscience of a people cannot be so far misled, even 
when it is under the influence of distraction and terror. 
Others beside the King had been guilty of oppression 
and bloodshed. If the King had violated the rights of 
his subjects, — the rights of royalty, equally ancient, 
equally by law established, equally necessary to the 
maintenance of pubhc liberty, had also been violated, 
attacked, and invaded. He had engaged in war ; but 
in his own defence. No one was ignorant that, at 
the time when he determined on wai', it was being 


prepared against him, in order to compel him, after 
all his concessions, to deliver np the rights and the 
power which he still retained, — the last remnants of the 
legal government of the country. And now that the 
King was conquered, he was judged and condemned 
without law, and contrary to all law, for acts which no 
law had ever contemplated or characterised as crimes, 
which the conscience of neither King nor people had 
ever thought of considering as subject to the juris- 
diction of men, and punishable by their hands. What 
indignation, what universal horror, would have been 
felt if the meanest subject of the realm had been thus 
treated, and put to death for crimes defined after the 
execution of the sentence, by pretended judges, for- 
merly his enemies, now his rivals, and about to be his 
heirs ! And that which no one would have dared to do 
to the obscurest Englishman, was clone to the King of 
England — to the supreme head of the Church as well 
as of the State — to the representative and the symbol 
of authority, order, law, justice, — indeed, everything 
wliich, in human society, approaches and suggests 
the idea of the attributes of Gfocl ! 

There is no fanaticism, however blind, and no pohcy, 
however perverse, wliich, at the moment of their 
triumph, have not beheld the appearance, m the 
ranks of their own pai'ty, of some starthng admonition, 
some solemn and unexpected protest of the human 
conscience. Two Republicans, one of whom was 
on the list of the King's judges, and both of whom 
were amongst the most illustrious members of the 
national party, Vane and Sidney, from conscientious 


scruples, or from prudence, refused to take any part in 
the trial, and left London that they might not even 
witness it. And when the sovereign authority, the 
House of Commons, nominated the Eepublican Council 
of State, out of the forty-one members of whom it was 
composed, twenty -two absolutely refused to take the 
oath which contained an approval of the sentence of 
the King ; and the regicide Republicans, with Crom- 
well at their head, were obliged to accept as their col- 
leagues men who would not, on any terms, pass for 
their accomplices. 

The new Government met at first with only passive 
resistance ; but it met with this universally. 

Six out of the twelve principal judges absolutely 
refused to continue to discharge the duties of their 
office, and the other six only consented to sit on con- 
dition that they should continue to administer justice 
according to the ancient laws of the country. The 
Eepublican Parliament acceded to their conditions. 

Orders had been issued that the Commonwealth should 
be proclaimed in the City of London. The Lord Mayor 
refused to do so : he was dismissed and imprisoned. 
But, notwithstanding the election of a new Lord 
Mayor, three months elapsed before the proclamation 
was attempted; and when at length it took place, 
several of the aldermen absented themselves from the 
ceremony. Troops were called in to keep order, but 
even this precaution did not completely suffice to repress 
the insults of the populace. The Common Council 
of the City was reorganized ; many of the members 
elected refused to sit, and it was found necessary to 


diminish the number which legally constituted a 
quorum. It was even thought that the Government 
would be obhged to abolish the franchises of the City. 

When the Republican coinage was about to be struck, 
the Master of the Mint declared that he would have no 
hand in the matter, and resigned his office. 

An oath of fidelity to the Commonwealth, couched in 
as simple and inoflfensive terms as possible, was admi- 
nistered to all civil functionaries and beneficed clergy- 
men. Thousands tlu-ew up their ofiices or livings 
rather than take it. More than a year after the esta- 
blishment of the Commonwealth, the Assembly of the 
Presbyterian Clergy, which met in London, formally 
declared that the oath ought not to be taken. It was 
imposed on the Universities of. Oxford and Cambridge, 
and the most eminent members of those corporations, 
both professors and heads of houses, relinquished their 

Orders were given throughout all England for 
effacing from public buildings and monuments the 
insignia of royalty. It was carried into effect in 
scarcely any locality. It was renewed several times, 
without any better success ; and the Eepublic, after 
it had existed for more than two years, found itself 
compelled to reiterate the same injunction in all parts 
of the country, and to charge the various parishes with 
the responsibihty and expenses of its execution. 

Finally, it was not until nearly two years after the 
condemnation of the King, that the Eepubhcan Parlia- 
ment dared formally to vote that the authors, judges, 
and executors of that action, had done their duty, 



thereby approving the whole proceeding, and ordering 
its insertion on the journals of the House. 

Never did a people, conquered by a revolutionary 
faction, and submitting without insurrection to its 
defeat, more clearly refuse to give its conquerors its 
adhesion and co-operation. 

The passive resistance of the country to the govern- 
ment of the Republic, was soon augmented by the 
attacks of its avowed enemies. 

The first proceeded from the Eepublicans themselves. 
In the seventeenth century, as in the nineteenth, this 
name included ideas, designs, and parties of a pro- 
foundly different character. Behind the political 
reformers came the reformers of social order, and 
behind them, the destroyers of all order and of all 
society. To the passions and pretensions of religious 
fanaticism and fierce democracy, which became more 
blind and unbridled in proportion to the meanness of 
the social condition of their advocates, the Republic of 
Sidney and of Milton was not sufficient. The Levellers 
arose — the Communists appeared. The Republic had 
hardly existed six months, and yet, in the neighbour- 
hood of London and the Parhament, four insurrections 
of sectarian soldiers, provoked and sustained by a 
ceaseless succession of pamphlets, sermons, and popular 
processions, had revealed its internal dissensions, and 
endangered the stability of its Government. 

The Royalist party was more slow to revolt. Its 
continual defeats, the execution of the King, the 
violent compression with which it was kept down, 
had thrown it into a state of stupor. The dissensions 


of its conquerors, and tlie evident ill-will of the people 
towards the new Grovernment, soon restored it to life 
and hope. In two years, seven conspiracies and insur- 
rections, set on foot either by pure or by Presbyterian 
Royahsts, both of whom were equally hostile to the 
Eepublic, proved to its leaders that, in putting the 
King to death, they had not slain the empire of King- 

A secret understanding was soon established between 
the Royalist conspirators and the Republican plotters, 
between the Cavaliers and the Levellers. They con- 
spired in concert. A common hatred sm-mounts all 
minor differences of opinion. 

And whilst England was struggling in this furious 
anarchy, Scotland and Ireland, both royalist, though 
with different motives and from different feehngs, 
openly rejected the Republic, proclaimed Charles Stuart 
king, invited and received, on their soil and at their 
head, the one Charles himself, the other his represen- 
tatives, and engaged in a war for his restoration. 

In this dislocation of the three kingdoms, — in the 
midst of these opposing, yet united, plots, which were 
only defeated to be revived, and which by turns raised 
and cast down, in every part of the country, the hopes 
and the fears, the ambitions and the intrigues, of all 
parties, — the bonds of society became relaxed, and the 
sinews of power speedily gave way. In county or pa- 
rochial administrations, in local or general finances, in 
public employments, in private fortunes, in all tlie 
relations of civil life, there was an end to order and 
security. On the highways, in the neighbourhood of 


towns, thieves and robbers appeared in great numbers, 
going about in gangs, justifying their crimes by their 
political passions, asking those whom they stopped, 
whether or not they had taken the oath of fidelity to 
the Republic, and maltreating or releasing them ac- 
cording to their answer. To disperse these marauders 
it was necessary to station troops at various points, 
and to keep several regiments of cavalry continually in 
motion ; and these means of repression, although ener- 
getically applied, succeeded only very imperfectly, for 
the disorganization of society gave birth to more dis- 
orders than the republican government was able to put 

Assailed by so many and such pressing dangers, the 
leaders of the republican Parliament did not relax in 
their exertions. They possessed the energy and the 
perseverance — some of faith, others of selfishness ; their 
noblest hopes and their most vulgar interests, their 
honour and existence, were staked on their enterprise. 
They devoted themselves to it with determined corn-age, 
but, to insure its triumph, they blindly employed those 
vicious means which may temporarily save a cause, but 
must eventually ruin it. 

From the very outset, they carried political tyranny 
almost to its last limits ; for they decreed that whoever, 
in the course of the civil war, had embraced the cause 
of the King, or had proved himself hostile to the Par- 
liament, could neither be elected a member of the Par- 
liament, nor occupy any office of importance in the 
State. And shortly afterwards, the same disability 
was extended to every municipal function, and even to 


the simple right of voting at elections : thus placing, 
with a single stroke, all the adversaries of the Re- 
public in the condition of Helots, excluded from the 
possession of any rights or any political existence in 
their own country. 

The oath of fidelity had, at first, been exacted only 
from civil or ecclesiastical functionaries, and their 
refusal had entailed no other consecjuence than the loss 
of their offices. The great number of refusals irritated 
and disquieted the conquerors. To gratify their irrita- 
tion, and in the vain hope of freeing* themselves from 
thefr disquietude, they imposed the oath on every Eng- 
lishman of eighteen years old and upwards ; and who- 
ever refused to take it was no longer allowed to appear 
before a court of justice even in support of his own 
interests ; so that political dissent entailed civil disa- 

Sequestration and confiscation of property were em- 
ployed against the vanquished with the most intoler- 
able and revolting injustice ; by no fixed or general prin- 
ciple, but by partial and fluctuating measures, which 
were alternately aggravated or extenuated, to suit the 
exigencies of the moment, the avidity of a powerful 
enemy, or some unforeseen circumstance ; and by lists 
of names, sometimes very extended, sometimes very 
limited and arbitrary ; so that none of those who felt 
themselves in danger could know beforehand, or with 
any certainty, what was his position, and what would 
be his fate. 

Since the cessation of the war, one weapon only 
remained to the vanquished, whether Eoyalists or 


Levellers, — publicity l)y means of tlie press. They 
used it boldly, as the dominant party had previously 
done, during the whole course of their struggle with 
the King. They might reasonably think they had a 
right to do so ; for Mr. Mabbott, the last censor under 
the monarchy, had given in his resignation, through 
a desire to act no longer as an instrument in perpetu- 
ating «iuch an abuse ; and Milton, the first secretary 
of the republican Council of State, had eloquently 
asserted the liberty of the press, as an essential right of 
a free people, 't'he Republican Government did not 
appoint any new censor ; but it passed a law with 
regard to the use of the press, with which the most 
anxious vigilance might be contented. Four cities 
alone in England — London, York, Oxford, and Cam- 
bridge — were allowed the privilege of printing. No 
newspaper or periodical work could appear without the 
permission of the Government ; printers were com- 
pelled to find sureties ; and not only were those who 
had taken part in any seditious pubhcation prosecuted 
and punished, but every purchaser of a seditious 
writing incurred a fine if he did not, within twenty- 
four hours, give up the work to the nearest magistrate, 
and inform him of its dangerous character. 

One liberty at least, namely, liberty of conscience, 
might have been expected to meet with a better fate 
under the Commonwealth. At the very origin of the 
contest, the republican sectaries had inscribed it on their 
standard. Not only had they found it necessary to 
claim it for themselves, but their principles imperiously 
demanded it, for they rejected all general and compul- 


scry government of the Church, and recognized the 
right of each separate congregation to govern itself. 
But by one of the most sad perversities of our nature, 
human inconsistency, in matters of conscience and 
faith, displays itself most fully, precisely where it is 
most iniquitous and offensive. The very party — the 
very men who, for half a century, had devoted them- 
selves, with admirable constancy, to the cause of 
religious liberty, and who looked upon this liberty as 
the only true basis of Cliristian society — these very 
men, having attained to power, absolutely deprived of 
all religious freedom three great classes of persons, the 
Catholics, the Episcopalians, and the Freethinkers. 
To the persecution of the Catholics no bounds were 
set. Their faith and worship were rigorously pro- 
scribed : the laymen were punished with civil disability 
and the confiscation of their property ; the priests with 
imprisonment, exile, and even death. The Protestant 
Episcopalian Church, which had been overthrown and 
dispersed by the Presbyterian Parliament, found its 
hardships increased under the Pepubhcan Parhament ; 
upon her the Sectaries had to satiate their vengeance 
and distrust ; and they went so far as to interdict, even 
in private families, the presence of her ministers, and 
the use of her liturgy and prayers. As for the Free- 
thinkers, who were more numerous at this time than 
is commonly imagined, — if any one were met with who, 
through imprudence or hatred of all hypocrisy, boldly 
expressed liis thoughts, he was prosecuted, imprisoned, 
excluded from Parliament, deprived of even the most 
obscure employment. The Presbyterians, as enemies 

VOL. I. D 


of the Episcopalians,, enjoyed a certain kind of tolera- 
tion ; but it was limited, always precarious, and often 
disturbed by tbe suspicions or violence of tlie Sectaries, 
who equally disliked their ecclesiastical organization 
and their leaning towards monarchy. In vain did 
some men of generous minds, in the Republican Par- 
liament, strive to diminish this excessive severity : 
they soon felt and admitted their weakness. Religious 
liberty really existed, under the Commonwealth, only 
for those victorious and republican sects whose union 
in the same political cause led them to forget or 
tolerate their disagreements in matters of faith. 

To defend and maintain a pohtical tyranny of 
such extent and severity, a judicial tyranny was 
indispensable. The Republican Parhament exercised 
this unscrupulously. The trial of the King — that 
monstrous derogation from all the principles and forms 
of justice — became the model of political prosecutions. 
To punish the mutinies of the Levelling soldiers, 
martial law sufficed ; but when a royalist insurrection 
or conspiracy was discovered, a High Court of Justice, 
the members of which were nominated by the Parlia- 
ment itself, was immediately instituted — a true Special 
Commission, which was bound by none of the rules of 
the law, and afforded the accused none of its guaran- 
tees. Lest the perusal of its proceedings should excite 
the anger or the compassion of the country, their 
publication was absolutely interdicted. These courts 
were made use of, not only to condemn the important 
men who were brought under tlieir jurisdiction, but 
also to punish obscure individuals who could not well 


have been tried elsewhere. Before the proclamation 
of the Republic, some of the Thames boatmen had 
demanded that peace should be made with the King. 
After his execution, the Parliament sent their petition, 
with their names, to the new High Court which had 
just been estabhshed for the purpose of trying five of 
the royalist leaders : thus striking the humble with 
terror, whilst it erected a scaffold for the great. Some- 
times these High Courts could not be employed, as 
they would have occasioned too much public feeling, 
too much ostentation, or too much delay. The Re- 
pubhcan Parhament itself acted as judge in such 
cases, inflicting, by a vote, enormous fines, the pillory, 
or exile, sometimes for the purpose of crushing a 
powerful enemy, sometimes to serve the passions or 
conceal the faults of one of its own leaders. Wlien 
no other means could be found for prosecuting and 
condemning men whom they feared — those early poli- 
tical reformers, whom the Republicans could conquer 
only by expelling them from Parliament — they were 
arbitrarily detained, and confined in remote prisons. 
The Cavaliers, Catholics, soldiers of fortune, and all 
suspected persons, were banished indiscriminately from 
London. And if any Royalist writer, instead of con- 
spiring in secret, loudly denounced to the country, by 
means of the press, the real or supposed misdeeds of 
the Repubhcan leaders, he was arrested and tlu'own 
into the Tower, where he was left to die untried. 

So much oppression, in the midst of so much anar- 
chy, seemed all the more odious and intolerable, 
because it proceeded from men who had just before 

D 2 


exacted so much from the King, and promised so 
much themselves, in the name of liberty — from men a 
large number of whom were previously unknown and 
obscm'e, who rose from those ranks of society among 
which the people were not accustomed to seek their 
rulers, and who had no other title to the empire 
which they so violently exercised but their personal 
merit — a title contested until it has raised itself 
above all comparison — and the physical force wliich 
they had at their disposal — a title which offends and 
ahenates even those who submit to it, so long as their 
conqueror has not completely subdued and debased them. 
Notwithstanding the double intoxication of power 
and of danger, many of the Republican leaders were 
instinctively conscious of their position, and of the 
feehngs of the jDublic towards them. All-powerful as 
they were, they felt themselves isolated, and often dis- 
dained. No power can tranquillize a man in isolation, 
or render him insensible to disdain. They ardently 
desired to acquire other titles to power than civil war 
and regicide, and to raise themselves, by some great 
national action, • to the level of their fortune. They 
privately contemplated and matured many alterations 
in the civil law, the administration of justice, and 
taxation ; but the most important, of very doubtful 
merit in themselves, were at once rejected by the most 
considerable men of the party, on the plea that, far 
from exalting the Republic, they would tend only to 
sink it yet deeper into the ranks of the Levellers and 
Sectaries. Evidently, no measure of internal govern- 
ment could serve the pui'pose of the Republican leaders. 


Their attention was, therefore, turned abroad. Few 
efforts were needed, and no risk was incurred, in main- 
taining, in their relations with foreign powers, the 
dignity and interests of their country. The time of 
wars on behalf of religious belief had ended ; the period 
of wars in support of political ideas had not yet arrived. 
None of the great European Grovernments, though all 
detested the new Republic, thought of attacking it; 
all, on the contrary, sought its friendship, either to 
prevent it from joining their rivals, or to obtain its 
alliance against them. Simple neutrality assured peace 
to England, entire independence as regarded its internal 
affairs, and great influence in the affairs of the Conti- 
nent. The leaders of the Republican Parliament 
wanted more than this. They were in presence of 
three powerful States — France, Spain, and Holland : 
the first two were Catholic and Monarchical, natural 
enemies, more or less avowedly or secretly, of the new 
Republic ; the last was Protestant and Republican, 
drawn towards England by all the sympatliies of faith 
and liberty. An idea arose, and rapidly gained ground, 
in these bold and agitated minds. Wli}^ should not 
Holland and England unite in one single and great 
Republic, which would soon cause their common poli- 
tical and rehgious principles to predominate in Europe ? 
There was something in this to charm the most pious, 
and to occupy the most ambitious. What gratitude 
would not the English people feel towards the men 
who had thus increased their greatness, — who had thus 
gratified at once their conscience and their vanity ! At 
this price the monarchy would be forgotten, the Com- 


monwealtli would be lastingly established, and the 
Eepublican Parliament would become a Senate of 

The scheme was attempted. The Eepubhcan leaders 
entered into it most heartily ; some used indirect in- 
fluences to propagate the idea in every direction ; others 
engaged in solemn embassies, and endeavoured to lay 
the foundations of future miion between the two na- 
tions. But the dreams of revolutions are still vainer 
in regard to the external relations than to the internal 
government of the State. It pleased the Enghsh Ee- 
publicans to forget that, in this fusion, the Republic of 
Holland w^ould be absorbed by the Republic of England, 
and that the former would not be very hkely to consent 
to such an absorption. The Dutch Republicans would 
not even hear it hinted at. Tried by a century of 
laborious success, they were too proud to sacrifice their 
country, and too prudent to link their destiny, to this 
Utopia of a young and tottering Repubhc. Fui'ther, 
the cause of the Enghsh Royalists was viewed with 
favour in Holland, not only by the House of Orange, 
but also by a large number of the people, whose justice 
and good sense revolted at the murder of Charles I., 
and the follies committed by the Sectaries. The just 
pride of Holland dispelled in an instant the chimera 
which the ambitious pride of the Enghsh Parliament 
had engendered. But such attempts are not made 
with impunity, even if they fail of their object. From 
this resulted deep distrust and jealousy between the 
two nations, who were already naturally rivals ; and 
between their chiefs, wounded self-love and bitter 


dislike. A war speedily ensued; so that the grand 
diplomatic conceptions of the Protestant and Repub- 
Hcan ParHament of England ended in a rupture and 
violent conflict with the only Protestant and Eepub- 
lican State among its neighbours on the Continent. 

Thus, abroad as well as at home, the EngHsh Ee- 
publicans, by the system of policy which they pursued, 
lamentably and effectually behed their ideas and hopes. 
They had promised liberty ; they practised tyranny. 
They had promised union and triumph to the cause of 
Protestantism in Em'ope ; they produced warfare 
amongst its adlierents. 

In vain did this Government continue to exist, gain 
battles, and overcome its enemies : it did not consolidate 
itself. In the midst of success and general submission, 
the Commonwealth and its leaders daily sank lower and 
loAver in pubhc estimation. 

A man, the principal author of the death of Charles I. 
and of the establishment of the Commonwealth — Crom- 
well — had foreseen this result, and now prepared to 
profit by it. The King dead, and the Repubhc pro- 
claimed, a prodigious, though natural, change took 
place in Cromwell. Actuated hitherto, by his passions 
as a sectary and by his ambition, to resist the ene- 
mies of his faith and the obstacles to his fortune, he 
had zealously apphed himself to their destruction. As 
soon as the work of destruction was consummated, 
another necessity presented itself to his mind. The 
Revolution was effected ; a government must be recon- 
stituted. Providence, which rarely gives to one man 
a double power, had qualified Cromwell for performing 


both these parts. The Eevolutionist disappeared — the 
Dictator took his place. 

At the same time that his sound and vigorous mind 
was struck by this pressing necessity of the new condi- 
tion of the country, Cromwell perceived that the 
government which it was proposed to estabhsh could 
not succeed ; that neither the institutions nor the men 
were suited to the times. In the institutions there 
was no unity, no stability, no vitality ; intestine war 
and permanent uncertainty would ever exist at the 
seat of power. The men were influenced by narrow 
or chimerical views, mean or blind passions ; the revo- 
lutionary struggle would be perpetuated between the 
governing power and the country. As rulers, the Re- 
publican Parhament and its leaders were soon measured 
and condemned by the good sense of Cromwell. A 
strong and regular government could never proceed 
from such a source. 

Thenceforward one thouo-ht filled Cromwell's mind. 
He was careful to associate himself neither with the 
policy nor the destiny of these institutions and these 
men ; to keep himself aloof from their faults and 
reverses ; to separate from the Parhament, whilst he 
served it. 

But separation was not enough ; he must increase 
his power whilst others grew feeble. Cromwell foresaw 
tlie downfal of the Parliament and of its leaders ; de- 
termined not to fall with them, he aspired to elevate 
himself in their place. 

Men who are great in action do not entirely de- 
termine on their plan of procedure by anticipation. 


Tlieir genius lies in their instinct and ambition. 
Every day, in every circumstance, they see things as 
they really are. They perceive the course which cir- 
cumstances point out, and the opportunities which 
that coui'se presents. They enter upon it earnestly, 
and march onwards, always guided by the same light, 
so long as a path opens before them. Cromwell 
marched on to the dictatorship without clearly know- 
ing to what he should attain, or what it would cost ; 
but he still went on. 

He desired some occupation, which would isolate and 
remove him from the ruling power : such an occupation 
was offered him by the Parliament of its own free will. 
In London, Cromwell incommoded and disquieted the 
rulers. They requested him to take the command 
of the army intended for the subjugation of Ireland, 
which had risen up in arms for Charles Stuart, or, 
rather, against the Parliament. Cromwell required 
great pressing. Much had to be granted him : first 
for liis friends, his patronage of whom was zealous and 
munificent; then for himself, as he insisted on large 
and certain means of success, well-provided troops, 
brilliant honours^ and uncontested authority. All his 
wishes were gratified, so urgent were they to get rid 
of him. His departure was solemn and magnificent. 
Many sermons were preached, and prayers were ofiered 
to God for his success, which was predicted on all 
hands. Cromwell himself spoke and prayed in public, 
seeking and finding in the Bible allusions full of 
encouragement with regard to the war he was about 
to wage. He left London accompanied by a numerous 


retinue, and with a brilliant staff of officers. At 
Bristol, whence he embarked, the people flocked from the 
surrounding' country to see liim. He neglected nothing, 
and nothing was wanting, to excite the attention and 
engage the minds of the people, at the moment that 
he was withdrawing himself from their sight. 

His object was to gain England by vanquishing 
Ireland. He was there in presence of a hostile race 
and rehgion — the one despised, the other detested, by 
the Enghsh people. He carried on a war of extermi- 
nation, massacring, pillaging, expelling the Irish ; 
hesitating as little at cruelty in the camp as at false- 
hood in the Parliament, covering all by the plea of 
necessity, and wilhng to believe in its vahdity, so that 
he might more quickly arrive at success. 

The splendour of his victories and the renown of his 
name soon disquieted the Parhament. Cromwell was 
the all-absorbing theme of conversation ; the people 
spoke of him with unbounded admiration, and able 
men discussed his conduct and future career. In Scot- 
land, at the moment that he left to join the army in 
Ireland, the report spread that he intended to lead it, 
not against Dubhn, but against Edinburgh, and the 
whole population were thrown into consternation. 
Others affirmed that, on his return from Ireland, he 
intended to quit England and go to Prance — in what 
capacity or with what object was ahke unknown. 
Pamphlets were seized, entitled, *' The Character of 
King Cromwell." He had attained tliat point of 
celebrity at which the most frivolous circumstances, 
tlie slic^htest movements, in connexion with a man on 


the way to greatness, passionately excite the curiosity 
of the people and the solicitude of his rivals. The 
Parliamentary leaders thought they could take advan- 
tage of his having led his army into winter quarters 
at Dublin to recall him to London. He did not obey, 
did not even answer, the summons ; but speedily 
resumed the campaign, pm^sued his work of destruction 
in Ireland, and finally consented to return to England, 
only when the exposure of the Commonwealth to fresh 
and most pressing dangers, opened to himself new 
prospects of independence and aggrandizement. 

Scotland had recalled Charles Stuart. Republicanism 
and Monarchy were again about to meet as foes. The 
Commonwealth stood in need of a tried champion 
against the King. The Parliament endeavoured to ob- 
tain two such ; Fairfax and Cromwell. Fairfax refused. 
The Parliament nominated Cromwell alone ; reluctant, 
but compelled, for the preservation of the Common- 
wealth, to give him another kingdom to conquer. 

Cromwell waged war and conducted himself in Scot- 
land on a totally different plan to that which he had 
pursued in Ireland. He was just as moderate, patient, 
and conciliatory towards the Scotch Protestants, as he 
had been violent, harsh, and unmerciful towards the 
Irish Catholics. On every side of the royalist party in 
Scotland, and even in its very ranks, there were deep 
dissensions ; many of the Presbyterians were more 
fanatical than royalist, and served the King with infi- 
nite distrust, and under strict conditions ; while the 
Sectaries were as ardent and democratic as the Eno-lish 
Sectaries, full of sympathy for Cromwell and his soldiers. 


and more disposed to assist than to figlit tliem. Crom- 
well took advantage of this state of things, and, while 
anxious to engage with the royal army, was full of 
consideration for the country, made separate treaties 
with the chiefs whom he knew were undecided or 
inclined towards him ; entered into correspondence, into 
conference, into religious controversy with the Scottish 
theologians, — well skilled to please, and leaving a deep 
and favourable impression of himself where he did not 
manage to convince or conciliate. He thus advanced 
into Scotland, gaining ground every day by his arms 
and his arguments, and detaching from the King 
counties, towns, and chieftains. Charles felt that he 
was hard pressed, hemmed in, and in imminent danger. 
With the impetuosity of youth he formed a sudden, 
splendid, and desperate resolution ; he put himself, 
with liis whole army, rapidly in march towards Eng- 
land, Icjaving Scotland to Cromwell, and determined to 
try the fortune of royalty in the heart of the Republic. 
Not a month had elapsed from the time when 
Charles and the Scottish army had first set foot upon 
English ground, before Cromwell, had reached, con- 
quered, and dispersed them at Worcester, where 
Charles had just been proclaimed King. Charles 
wandered from hiding-jDlace to hiding-place, in various 
disguises, seeking a ship to convey liim away from 
England; and Cromwell returned in triumph to London, 
welcomed by the members of Parliament, by the State 
Council, by the Common Council of the City, and by 
an immense crowd, who all united in proclaiming him 
their deliverer. 


The joy which succeeds great fear suppresses for a 
moment all jealousy and hatred. The Parhament 
loaded Cromwell with favours ; voted him a large 
grant of land ; assigned him Hampton Court Palace 
for his residence ; and even the most distrustful 
lavished on him marks of gratitude and deference. 
The enthusiasm of the republican people was more 
sincere and more valuable. Those revolutions which 
have overthrown ancient dignities are always anxious 
and proud to create new ones. It is their security, it 
is their pride, to consecrate their power in glorious 
images ; and it seems to them that they thus make 
reparation to the society which they have defrauded. 
Hence arises that instinct which, in spite of democratic 
passions, urges popular parties to those pompous de- 
monstrations, those unmeasured flatteries, and that 
idolatry of language with which they delight to in- 
toxicate the great men whom they behold ascending 
upon the ruins wliich they have made. Sectaries and 
philosophers, citizens and soldiers, Parliament and 
people, — all, wiUingly or from compulsion, united to 
magnify Cromwell, as though they magnified them- 
selves with him ; and the republicans of the City of 
London, who came before him to harangue him on 
his return within their walls, rejoiced in telling him, 
" You were destined to bind kings with chains, and 
nobles with fetters of iron." Blind that they were, not 
to perceive that these fetters would soon be fixed upon 
themselves ! 

Cromwell received this homage and these dignities 
vdth a humility which, though assumed, was not alto- 


gether destitute of sincerity. " To God alone belongs 
the glory," said lie repeatedly : " I am only his weak 
and unworthy instrument." He knew how well this 
language was adapted to please his country and his 
party. He exaggerated and reiterated it over and 
over again, to humour the men whose confidence and 
devotedness he thus increased. But it was also the 
expression of his own deep-seated convictions. God, 
His power. His providence, His continual action in 
the affairs of the world, and upon the souls of men — 
these were not, in Cromwell's eyes, lifeless abstractions 
or antiquated traditions ; they were most earnestly 
beheved by Mm. His faith was not very consistent 
or influential, as it neither governed nor restrained his 
actions in the temptations of Hfe and under the neces- 
sities of success, but it subsisted in the inmost recesses 
of his soul, and inspired his words when the import- 
ance of an event or of his own position strongly affected 
him. Besides, it is not a hard task to speak humbly 
and to call oneself the instrument of God, when God 
makes His instrument the master of a nation. Neither 
the power nor the pride of Cromwell was at all di- 
minished by his humility. 

Thus, as he rose in importance, did his ambition 
increase and soar above his position. Although his 
language was so humble, assumptions of sovereignty 
sometimes appeared in his conduct. On the battle- 
field of Worcester he proposed, with his own hand, to 
confer the honour of knighthood on two of his bravest 
generals, Lambert and Fleetwood, and angrily aban- 
doned his intention on being told that this was a pre- 


rogative of royalty. On the day on which he returned 
in triumph to London, in the midst of the acclamations 
of the populace, his countenance wore such an expres- 
sion upon the road, that Hugh Peters, the sectarian 
preacher, a man who knew him well, observed on seeing 
him pass, " Cromwell will make himself King." He 
had just saved the Commonwealth, and brought two 
kingdoms into submission to its sway. No great work 
remained for liim to do at a distance, and by force 
of arms. He remained in London, powerful and quiet, 
incessantly visited by his officers and soldiers, the centre 
of all discontents and of all hopes. The republican 
Parliament, on the other hand, had become a mutilated 
assembly, in which scarcely sixty or eighty members 
daily sat ; some few seriously and honestly devoted 
themselves to public affairs, the state of the navy, the 
war with Holland, and the projected reform of the 
laws ; but the greater part remained little in their 
greatness, the slaves of paltry passions and disgraceful 
interests, monopolizing public employments for them- 
selves or their relatives, rendering their power subser- 
vient to their fortune, their hatreds, and their paltry 
quarrels ; a faction which increased in egotism, iso- 
lation, and unpopularity — which gave to the country 
neither rest, nor liberty, nor settlement, but which, 
nevertheless, was resolved to retain the supreme power ; 
as if the safety of England depended upon the exist- 
ence of so miserable a Government. 

Cromwell hesitated and waited long. At the 
moment of his triumph, on resuming his seat in Par- 
liament, he had commenced the struggle. Two great 


and popular questions were his weapons of attack — 
a general amiiesty, which should declare that the civil 
war was at an end, and an electoral law which should 
regulate the method and fix the time for assembling 
a new Parhament. These two measures had been 
long proposed : but they had remained buried in com- 
mittees, and were only dragged out of their obscurity 
to lull popular clamour at critical seasons. By the 
influence of Cromwell, they were seriously brought 
forward and discussed. The amnesty was reluctantly 
voted at the end of five months, after numerous at- 
tempts at restrictions (especially of a pecuniary nature), 
which were always successfully opposed by Cromwell 
himself, who was too sensible to give way to any use- 
less animosity, and was desirous of gaining clients 
and personal friends in all parties. But the decisive 
measure, the electoral law, remained in suspense. 
Cromwell urged its consideration, but with no great 
earnestness, and rather to exhibit the stubborn ego- 
tism of the Parliamentary leaders than to bring it 
promptly to a final issue. He was himself very 
much perplexed. By what plausible means could he 
constrain the Parhament to dissolve? What would 
be the result of fresh elections ? And would fresh 
elections suffice to restore and establish the Govern- 
ment ? Had the experiment of the Republic succeeded ? 
Was not the Monarchy more in conformity with the 
laws, the customs, the feelings, and the permanent 
interests of the country? If its restoration were de- 
sired and needed, how should it be restored ? — and in 
what measure ? — and what Monarchy ? Cromwell put 


these questions not only in his private conversations 
with a few important men, but also in the conferences 
in which he brought together the officers of the army 
and the members of Parliament. The result did not 
give him satisfaction : the officers persisted in remain- 
ing Republicans ; the politicians who were inclined to 
a Monarchy would admit of no other than the old 
one, and advised Cromwell to negociate its re-esta- 
blishment. He then broke off the conversation, to 
return to the charge at some future opportunity ; ap- 
parently supple, but really indomitable in his ambition ; 
frank even to temerity when anxious to lead men to 
engage in his plans ; deceitful even to effrontery when 
he wished to conceal them. He always derived from 
these intrigues the advantage of compromising the 
army more and more in his struggle with the Parlia- 
ment. The sectarian spirit was still powerful in the 
army, and the military spirit had become strongly 
developed also. The passions of the fanatic and the 
interests of the soldier combined with and sustained 
each other mutually. Cromwell was unremitting in 
his endeavours to excite them against the Parliament. 
What an iniquity it was that the wages of the con- 
querors should be so ill paid, and that men who had 
neither fought nor suffered should alone reap the fruits 
of victory ! Wliat an insult to God it was that the 
counsels of his saints were so little heeded ! Petitions, 
presented by the General Council of Officers, in the 
name of the army, haughtily demanded the payment 
of their arrears, the reformation of the abuses of the 
Government, and the satisfaction of the hopes of the 

VOL. I. E 


people of Grod. The threatened Parliament defended 
itself, became irritated, and attempted to retahate. It 
pressed the disbanding of a considerable portion of the 
army ; it put up for sale that very palace of Hampton 
Court which it had assigned to Cromwell for a resi- 
dence. This state of things continued for eighteen 
months. Both parties felt that a crisis was ap- 
proaching. Wlio would triumph ? Suddenly the Par- 
liament resolved on hastening that dissolution of itself 
which was desired. It entered into an earnest dis- 
cussion of, and voted, the electoral law. But this law 
was precisely intended to retain the supreme power in 
those very hands from which it ought to be with- 
drawn. The actual members of the EepubHcan Par- 
liament remained, without re-election, members of 
the new Parliament. The elections were intended to 
fill up the vacancies in the Assembly, and complete the 
total number fixed by the law; and that nothing 
might be wanting to the security of the combination, 
the old members alone were to form the committee 
appointed to investigate the new elections, and to 
admit or reject the elected. 

This was not a dissolution of the Parliament ; it was 
only giving it a new lease. Cromwell no longer hesi- 
tated. Abruptly breaking off a conference of officers 
assembled at his house at Whitehall, he proceeded to 
the House of Commons, silently took his seat in the 
midst of the debate, and at the moment when the 
electoral law was about to be put to the vote, he sud- 
denly rose, and, with refined brutality, profiting by the 
discredit into which the leaders of the Parliament had 


fallen, to load them with the gi'ossest insults, and, 
grossly insulting them, to vilify them still more, he 
told them that they were no longer of any use — drove 
them from the Hall, as intruders too long tolerated, by 
a company of soldiers, and thus suddenly put an end 
to the Long Parliament. 

No one resisted, no one raised his voice in remon- 
strance : not but that the expelled Parliament had 
friends, ardent and faitliful, although few in number ; 
but they had against them brute force and public 
opinion. All other parties, whether they approved 
this act of Cromwell or not, rejoiced in it as an act of 
justice and dehverance. Intimidated or impotent, the 
vanquished silently submitted ; and those revolutionary 
leaders who had, for nine years, carried on civil war, 
expelled three-fourths of their colleagues from Parlia- 
ment, condemned their King to death, and tyrannically 
changed the constitution of their country, were now 
forced to admit that the government of a nation is an 
infinitely greater and more difficult task than they had 
imagined it to be before they themselves sank under it. 
The Republic had been estabhshed in the name of 
liberty; but, under the government of the Republican 
Parhament, hberty had been nought but a vain word, 
covering the tyranny of a faction. After the expulsion 
of the Parhament, the Republic, in its turn, became a 
vain word, retained like a falsehood which is still useful, 
though it has ceased to deceive, and the despotism of 
a single individual was, for five years, the government 
of England. 

Despotism, in a powerful nation, which has taken 

E 2 


refuge in it in a fit of perplexity or lassitude, can sub- 
sist only on two conditions — order and greatness. 
Cromwell, having obtained the mastery, displayed aU 
the resources of his genius to make these the charac- 
teristics of his government. A stranger to the jealous 
passions, the narrow and inflexible prejudices which 
influence the rule of faction, he was anxious that all, 
without distinction of origin or part}^ Cavaliers and 
Presbyterians as well as Republicans, provided they ab- 
stained from political intrigues, should find protection 
and security, as far as regarded the interests of civil life. 
The law which imposed the oath of fidelity on every 
English subject, under pain of civil disability, was 
abrogated. The administration of justice became once 
more regular and habitually impartial. Cromwell, as 
a revolutionary general, had contrived to obtain infor- 
mation and adherents from all parties. Cromwell, as 
Protector of the Commonwealth, strove to rally round 
his Government the higher classes of society. Too sen- 
sible to destroy his own power and give himself over to 
his enemies, a superior instinct admonished him, at the 
same time, that so long as the ruling power is not ac- 
cepted and sustained by the men who are its natural 
alHes, by their position, their interests, and their habits, 
nothing can be completely arranged or solidly esta- 
blished. This fiery leader of popular innovators proved 
himself to be full of respect for those institutions which 
time had consecrated. In their aversion to polite learn- 
ing, and aristocratic or royal foundations, the Sectaries 
wished to destroy the Universities of Oxford and Cam- 
bridge. Cromwell saved them. Great by nature, and 


now great by position, he speedily acquired a taste for 
everything that is elevated and great by tradition, by 
intellect, by learning, and by renown. He felt an 
interest in attracting such towards him, and dehghted 
in protecting it against mean and vulgar animosities. 
And in carrying out this policy — in maintaining order 
and the laws for the benefit of all — in universally 
restoring authority and respect — he employed that 
same army with which he had overthrown so many 
ancient dignities ; though its rigid discipline and entire 
devotedness to him hardly sufficed to repress, even 
imperfectly, the vehement passions of former days. 

In the foreign relations of England, Cromwell, free 
from the trammels of party, was guided by juster views 
with regard to the interests of his country and his own 
position, and obtained a much more complete success. 

Peace was the basis of his policy. Upon his acces- 
sion to power, he set to work to restore or insure it 
everywhere — with Holland, Portugal, and Denmark. 
Laying aside those dreams of Republican and Protestant 
fusion which he had himself so lately conceived or 
fomented, and forgetting all religious and party ani- 
mosities ; anxious to settle disputes, to adjust differ- 
ences ; sometimes susceptible and haughty, that he 
might well establish the dignity of his young govern- 
ment, but always sensible, making no extravagant 
demands, and entertaining no chimerical ambition, he 
sought abroad nothing that was not indispensable to 
his essential interest, the security and authority of 
his power at home. 

Consequently, when peace was once obtained, the 


second basis of his policy was neutrality. In Europe, 
it was then the crisis of the struggle between the 
House of Austria and the House of Bourbon — between 
declining Spain and rapidly-ascending France. Both 
made earnest and sometimes disgraceful efforts to draw 
Eno-land into their alliance. Cromwell listened to 
both, giving to each just enough hope to enable him 
to obtain from them what was important to his govern- 
ment, but embarking in neither cause. All circum- 
stances carefully considered, he judged that, on the 
side of Spain, he had less to hope, less to fear, and 
much more to gain. He contemplated giving to the 
power and commerce of England a firm foundation in 
the New World. He broke the neutrality ; but with so 
much tact and caution, that, whilst his war with Spain 
secured him beyond seas the conquest of Jamaica, he 
gained, by his alliance with France, the possession of 
Dunkirk, one of the keys of the European Continent, 
and yet did not take a sufficiently active part in the 
conflict between the two powers to compromise the 
independence of the foreign policy of his country. 

It was the constant character of that policy, under 
his government, to be neither systematic nor violent, 
and not to meddle with the aflairs of others more than 
his own really required. The Stuarts had taken refuge 
in France. The court treated them with favour, 
although timidly. The attempts at civil war made by 
the Fronde disturbed the kingdom. The Protestants 
were kept in a state of mieasiness and discontent, if not 
of persecution. The opportunity seemed favom-able, 
and the temptation was strong, for Cromwell to inter- 


fere against his enemies, and in behalf of the religious 
and political cause which had raised him to greatness. 
The Prince of Conde, the leader of the insurgents, and 
the city of Bordeaux, their stronghold, earnestly 
besought him to do so ; and sent envoys to him, with 
urg-ent entreaties and offers, to obtain his assistance. 
Cromwell received them, gave them reason to hope, 
sent in his turn ag-ents into France to sound the inten- 
tions and ascertain the strength of the Protestants and 
Frondeurs, and thus greatly disquieted Mazarin ; then, 
finding that the French malcontents had no real 
strength, no able guidance, no chance of success, he 
dismissed every desire of ambition and passion, de- 
clined the offers he had received, quenched the hopes 
he had awakened, and entered into a treaty with 
Mazarin, turning to his own account the alarm which 
his previous conduct had caused that statesman. 

When a less tempting, though less dangerous, op- 
portunity presented itself elsewhere for sustaining 
oppressed Protestantism, Cromwell eagerly seized it. 
To protect against the Duke of Savoy some poor pea- 
sants who had been expelled from their native valleys, 
he multiphed declarations, embassies, subsidies of 
money, and threats ; called on the court of France to 
interfere, unless it wished that he should interfere 
himself; induced the United Provinces and the Swiss 
Cantons to unite in his proceedings ; obtained Ms end 
by the mere agitation he had excited ; and thus gave 
extraordinary satisfaction to the religious sentiments 
of England, without entangling it in a costly and 
doubtful contest. 


Whenever important, though secondary, Enghsh 
interests were at stake, demanding protection or repa- 
ration, Cromwell gave them energetic support, whilst 
he carefully kept them separate from general and excit- 
ing questions. He sent Admu-al Blake into the Medi- 
terranean with a strong squadron, with orders to sail 
wherever England had any claims or complaints to 
make ; and Blake presented himself successively before 
Leghorn, Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli, arranging the 
various disputes that had arisen, without exaggerating 
their importance, and never retiring until he had ob- 
tained, voluntarily or forcibly, redress of the grievances 
of his country. 

So many efforts and successes were not without their 
fruit ; but they did not effect the real and ultimate object 
of the conqueror. This government, which was so active 
without temerity — so skilled in flattering the national 
passions without servility ; which abroad increased the 
importance of the country without compromising its 
safety, and maintained order at home with the soldiers 
of revolution, produced only this effect — Cromwell was 
obeyed, feared, and admired, but did not estabhsh him- 
self in the affections of the people. England submitted 
to his genius and his power, but did not accept liis do- 
minion. Consummate in the art of drawing men over to 
his side, he daily detached adherents from the old par- 
ties, inducing them sometimes to serve him actively, 
sometimes to cease acting as his enemies. He obtained, 
in as great a degree as it has ever been obtained by 
any other ruler of nations, all that support which good 
sense, weariness, personal interest, weakness, cowardice, 


baseness, and treason can give to power ; but the old 
parties still continued to exist — Cavaliers, Presbyte- 
rians, and Eepublicans — subdued yet vigorous, and 
devoid neither of hope nor activity. During the 
course of the five years that Cromwell ruled, and 
without mentioning a multitude of obscure plots, 
fifteen conspiracies and insurrections, originated by 
Eoyalists, or Eepublicans, or both, placed his govern- 
ment in peril or his life in danger. He repressed 
them energetically, without cruelty and without pity ; 
rigorous or merciful according to circumstances ; pro- 
ceeding sometimes legally and sometimes despotically ; 
employing juries and High Courts of Justice, an inde- 
fatigable poHce and a devoted army, secret arrests and 
pubHc executions, banishment and imprisonment ; sell- 
ing the vanquished insurgents for slaves in the colonies ; 
and resorting to every expedient that he thought likely 
to strike his enemies with impotence or with terror. 
Nothing succeeded against him ; every plot was de- 
feated and every insurrection quelled. The country 
took no part in them, and remained quiet, though it 
beheved neither in the rightfulness nor in the perma- 
nency of this ever-conquering power. Cromwell did 
not reign in the minds of men as a recognised and 
definitive sovereign. At the height of his power he 
was nothing more, in the opinion of the people, than 
an irresistible but temporary master, without a rival, 
but without stabihty. 

He himself saw this more clearly than any one else. 
It was the great feature of his character to see all things, 
even his own position, as they really were. Never was a 


great man more alive to hope and more free from 

Wliilst overthrowing constitutional monarchy, he 
had learned that it was the only form of government 
that was suited to England, and could permanently 
exist. Once master of the ruins of the edifice, a 
constant thought took possession of his mind — to 
restore the constitution, and place himself at its head. 

It was his desire and constant endeavour to have a 
Parliament which would help him to govern. He 
convoked four Parliaments in five years, sometimes 
choosing, in concert with his officers, the assembly 
which he hypocritically denominated by that name ; 
sometimes causing it to be elected according to the 
new system, which the republican Long ParHament 
was on the point of adopting when he drove it from 
power ; always treating these assembhes, at their com- 
mencement, with great solemnity and deference; using, 
for the purpose of obtaining a majority on his own side, 
the most disgraceful artifices and the most unheard-of 
violence ; and careful, at the very moment that he 
broke with them, not to give them reason to imagine 
that he wished to dispense with their co-operation. 

The enterprise itself was chimerical. The Poyalists 
did not enter into his Parliaments. The Presbyterians 
constituted a very small minority. The difiierent frac- 
tions of the Eepublican party formed almost the only 
members, and these were deeply irritated and at va- 
riance with one another. Cromwell's partisans were 
ill adapted to triumph by Parliamentary tactics and 
discussion. His enemies, much more skilled in this 


species of warfare, displayed all their resources to do 
him injury. He found himself there in presence of the 
men whom he had dethroned, — men sincerely hostile to 
his tyranny, obstinate in their anarchical ideas and 
habits, and as ungovernable as incapable of governing. 
He himself furnished them, at every instant, with new 
grievances and fresh weapons, for he had not learnt, on 
becoming the absolute master, to respect rights and to 
endure resistance and contradiction. Taught by his 
great instinct, that, in his despotic isolation, he was 
establishing nothing, not even his own power, he 
summoned a Parliament to assist him in the formation 
of a diu'able government; but when the Parliament 
came together, deprived of the natural strength of the 
conservative party, and ruled by men who were able 
only to destroy, Cromwell soon could endure neither 
their freedom nor their foolish bhndness, and broke the 
instrument which he felt was necessary, but which it 
irritated him to find always unmanageable. 

Once he thought that he had at last succeeded in 
collecting together a Parliament that would under- 
stand and carry out his plans. He hastened to make 
known to it the idea which filled his mind, — the com- 
plete restoration of the Enghsh monarchy, a King 
and two Houses of Parliament. The proposition was 
made and discussed in the Parhament, and publicly 
negociated for more than two months between the 
Parliament and the Protector. Cromwell displayed in 
the negociation that strange amalgamation of ardour 
and reserve, of vast ability and gross hypocrisy, which 
he had derived at once from art and nature. His pru- 


dence was almost equal to liis ambition. He did not 
wisli to ascend the throne at the cost of a schism in 
his party, the already narrow and tottering basis of his 
government. He desired to become King without 
exposing the Protector to danger. Not only must 
the crown be offered him, but all the important men 
by whom he was surrounded, sectaries and politicians, 
officers and magistrates, must be equally decided and 
implicated in offering it to him. Long ago, before the 
institution of the Protectorate, before the expulsion of 
the Long Parliament, he had sounded and prepared 
them for this occurrence. Now that he was engaged 
in the final attempt, his efforts to influence them were 
infinite and indefatigable ; sometimes directly, some- 
times indirectly, he appealed in turn to their interest, 
their friendship, and their reason ; he strove to make 
them understand that the new institutions which they 
had created, and their positions as well as his own, 
must remain feeble and precarious so long as they 
were not grafted upon that frame of government on 
which all the laws of England were founded, and with 
which all its habits of obedience and respect were con- 
nected. He persuaded, or influenced, or bribed, so 
many persons, even among the staunchest republican 
officers, that he had reason to believe, and actually did 
believe, liimself certain of success. The proposition was 
carried in the Parliament. The crown was officially 
offered him. He deferred his answer. He wished to 
overcome all remaining opposition. It was in his 
immediate circle, among the generals who were most 
closely attached to his person, that lie now met with 


opposition. It was insurmountable, founded on true 
republican feeling, on sliame at thus belying tlieir 
whole previous lives, and on the rancour of humi- 
liated rivals. Cromwell flattered himself that, after 
all, this was only the humour of a few men. He had 
determined to take no notice of it, and to place upon 
his head that crown which had been put into his 
hands, when he learned that, at that very hour, a 
petition, drawn up by one of his chaplains, and signed 
by a large number of officers, was being solemnly 
presented to Parhament, in the name of the army, 
urging them to fidelity to the good old cause, and 
opposing the restoration of royalty. Cromwell imme- 
diately summoned the Parliament to Whitehall, and, 
expressing surprise that a protest had thus been en- 
tered against his answer before it had been given, 
formally refused the title of King. 

It was in vain that, enlightened by his genius as to 
the inherent defects of his authority, he strove to esta- 
blish it on foundations consecrated by law and by anti- 
quity. Grod was not willing that the same man who had 
caused the execution of the King, and trampled under 
foot the liberties of the country, should receive the 
honours and rewards wliich would accrue from the re- 
establishment of Kingship and a Parliament. Power- 
ful to repress anarchy, CromweU, while struggling 
against the difficulties of his situation, constantly 
fell into despotism. He had restored impartiality in 
the administration of affairs ; and yet, pressed by the 
imperative necessity of supplying the expenses of his 
government, he subjected all the Koyalists to the 


most iniquitous exactions, and placed the whole 
country under the rule of military tyranny, as the 
only means of enforcing them. He gloried in having 
restored regularity and dignity to the administration 
of justice ; nevertheless, when illustrious advocates 
defended prisoners against his prosecutions, and 
upright magistrates refused to violate the laws by con- 
demning them, he maltreated, dismissed, and im- 
prisoned both advocates and magistrates, with an 
arbitrariness^ unexampled even in the worst times of 
despotism. To attempt to restore legal monarchy 
without renouncing revolutionary violence was too 
ambitious a design. Cromwell already enjoyed a 
rare privilege, — he had passed from the revolution to 
the Dictatorship ; but he was not permitted to trans- 
form the Dictatorship into a government of justice 
and of liberty. 

But his prudence in this perilous trial was not 
altogether lost. He had not paused until the last 
moment ; but he had paused then. England, which 
had seen him retreat, and the Eepublicans who had 
compelled him to do so, still needed and feared him. 
His position remained unaltered ; and the Protector 
was none the less powerful because he had failed to 
make himself King. He did not, however, abandon 
his design. He even took measures for securing the 
assembling of a new Parliament ; doubtless promising 
himself that, as he had already overcome the Parlia- 
ment by means of the army, so he would one day 
overcome the army by the Parliament. But the hand 
which was to overcome himself already weighed heavily 


upon him. His health had been for some time im- 
paired. Family calamities — the death of a beloved 
daughter — aggravated his disease. He wasted away 
rapidly. He did not wish to die. All the trials he had 
passed through successfully, all the great things that he 
had already done and that he had yet to do, the neces- 
sity of his presence, the power of his will — every thing- 
combined to persuade him that he had not yet reached 
the end of his life. To his most intimate and con- 
fidential friends he said, " I am sure I shall not die 
to-day ; I know that Grod will not have me die yet." 
God had intended Cromwell to be a striking example 
of what a great man can do, and of what he cannot do. 
His destiny was accomplished. By his genius alone 
he had rendered himself the master of his country and 
of the revolution he had effected in his country : he 
remained, to the last moment of his life, in the full 
possession of his greatness ; and he died, unsuccessfully 
wasting his genius and his power in an attempt to 
restore what he had destroyed — a Parliament and a 

In the anarchy which followed his death, England 
enjoyed one of those rare advantages of fortune, of 
which it is hard to say whether they proceed from 
God alone, or are partly brought about by human 
wisdom. The anarchy had no factitious, nor incom- 
plete, nor precipitate conclusion. All the ambitions, 
all the pretensions, all the elements of chaos and 
political strife, which Cromwell had held in check, 
reappeared tumidtuously upon that scene which he 
alone had lately filled. His son Richard was pro- 


claimed Protector without opposition, and recognised 
without hesitation by the various foreign powers. 
But scarcely had he attempted to govern, before a 
crowd of councillors gathered around him, who soon 
became his enemies and rivals. These were the 
Council-General of Officers ; a new and more popular 
Council of the Army ; a new Parliament, which Eichard 
hastened to convoke ; the old mutilated Long Parlia- 
ment (or, as the people called it, the Rump Parlia- 
ment), which declared that to it alone belonged the 
legitimate power, because it had received from Charles 
I., that King whom it had put to death, the right to 
continue sitting until it should be dissolved by its own 
act ; and, lastly, the original Long Parliament, recruited 
by the members whom it had expelled from its body 
before the death of the King, and who were now forced 
to resume their seats. All these phantoms aspired to 
replace the master spirit who lately had cowed them 
all; and England beheld them, during more than 
twenty months, appear, disappear, reappear confusedly, 
evoking or expelling one another, coalescing and fight- 
ing by turns, wliile not one of them possessed for a 
single day the consistency and force of a government. 
And during tliis interregnum of twenty months, in 
the midst of this ridiculous contest of chimerical 
pretenders, that competitor alone did not appear 
who was, in the opinion of all England, either from 
hope or fear, the only one whose claims were of 
any importance. One or two insignificant move- 
ments, wliich merely demanded the convocation of a 
free Parliament, and in which the name of Charles 


Stuart was not even mentioned, were attempted l)y 
his partisans, and immediately repressed without effort. 

It was the memory of Cromwell which still kept 
the Eoyalist party in fear and inaction. He had so 
frequently defeated their hopes, and so severely 
punished their insurrections and conspiracies, that 
they no longer dared to expect any success. Besides, 
their continued reverses had taught them good sense. 
They had learned not to measure their strength hy 
their desires ; and to understand that, if Charles Stuart 
were to regain the crowTi, it could only he restored to 
him hy the general consent and action of the people 
of England, and not by an insuiTection of Cavaliers. 

Eichard Cromwell himself desired and purposed to 
put an end to the general agony, as well as to his own, 
by treating with the King. He was wanting neither 
in sense nor honesty, though he possessed neither 
ambition nor greatness of soul. He had taken his 
share in the destiny of his father with feelings of sub- 
mission rather than of confidence. As far as he was 
personally concerned, he did not believe in the recur- 
rence of equal success, and did not feel himself capable 
of bearing such a burden. But, on the other hand, lie 
was incapable of forming a decided resolution in refer- 
ence to such mighty interests. He was vacillating 
and weak, overwhelmed .with debt, and anxious to 
escape from his precarious position. He remained the 
puppet of a fortune, the vanity of which he felt, and 
the instrument of men less sensible than himself. 

The crisis was at hand. All the powers, all the 
men that had either effected the Eevolution, or been 

VOL. I. F 


elevated by it, had been put to proof again and 
again. No external obstacle, no national resistance, 
shackled them in their attempts at government. Not 
one, hovv^ever, had succeeded. They had destroyed 
each other. They had all exhausted, in these fruitless 
contests, the little credit and strength they had been 
able to preserve. Their nullity was patent. Never- 
theless, England remained at their mercy. The 
nation had lost, in these long and lamentable alterna- 
tions of anarchy and despotism, the habit of ruling, 
and the courage to rule, its own destinies. Cromwell's 
army still existed, incapable of creating a Government, 
but overthrowing all those that did not please it. A 
man of the army, who stood high in the esteem and 
confidence of the soldiery — who was a stranger to 
political parties, and who had faithfully served the 
Parliament, Cromwell, and even Eichard Cromwell at 
his accession — Monk, foresaw what would be the 
necessary termination of this anarchy, and undertook 
to conduct his wearied country to the goal without a 
conflict or a convulsion. He was distinguished by 
no great quality, except good sense and courage ; he 
had no thirst for glory, no craving after power; he 
possessed no high principles, and entertained no lofty 
designs, either for his country or for himself ; but he 
had a profound aversion to disorder, and to those 
unrestrained iniquities which popular parties cover 
with fair professions. He was attached, without osten- 
tation, but with devotedness and modesty, to his 
duties as a soldier and an Englishman. He was no 
cliarlatan, no deckiimer, but discreet even to taciturnity. 


and absolutely indifferent to falsehood. He lied, with 
imperturbable audacity and patience, to bring about 
what he considered to be the only essential interest of 
England, namely, the pacific restoration of the only 
Grovernment that could be stable and regular. All 
things else were, in his eyes, doubtful questions and 
party disputes. He succeeded in his design. All the 
fractions of the great monarchical party suspended 
their ancient animosities, their blind impatience, and 
their conflicting pretensions, in order to support him. 
The Restoration took place as a natural and unavoidable 
event, without costing either victors or vanquished a 
drop of blood ; and Charles II., re-entering London in 
the midst of immense acclamations, could say with 
truth : " It is certainly my fault that I did not come 
back before, for I have seen nobody to-day who did not 
protest that he had always wished for my return." 

Never did Government, old, new, or restored, find 
itself in a position of greater regularity, strength, and 

Charles II. was re-established on his throne without 
assistance from abroad, without a struggle at home, 
without any efibrt even of his own party, — by the mere 
reaction of the English nation, which was now at 
length dehvered from oppression, anarchy, and revolu- 
tionary fluctuations, and which expected from him 
alone the restoration of legal order and security. 

The monarchy was re-established after the complete 
exhaustion and the definitive ruin of its enemies and 
its rivals. The Commonwealth and the Protectorate 
had appeared and reappeared under all the forms, and 

F 2 


in all the combinations, that they could possibly 
assume. All the powers, all the institutions that had 
issued from the Revolution, were effete and despised. 
The battle-field was deserted — even the phantoms of the 
revolutionary combatants and pretenders had vanished. 
And not only was royalty again established, but, at 
the same time that the King reascended his throne, 
the great landed proprietors, the country gentlemen, 
and all those influential citizens who had supported the 
royahst cause, resumed their places in the government 
of the country. The Republic and Cromwell had shut 
them out from all share in the administration of public 
affairs, tlirough dislike of their persons and principles. 
By resuming their former stations, they filled up a great 
gap in the social organization of the land. It is the 
common error of revolutionists to beheve that they will 
be able to replace all that they destroy, and that they 
can supply all the wants of the State. The English 
republicans had aboHshed the House of Lords, and 
driven the royalist party from the political arena ; 
but they succeeded neither in filling their places 
themselves, nor in sustaining authority against the 
ppirit of anarchy, nor in maintaining the liberties of 
the nation against despotism. At the same time that 
it raised up hereditary monarchy, the Restoration ren- 
dered back their rank and influence to landed property, 
family traditions, and the most ancient and distin- 
guished portion of the territorial aristocracy of t\\e 
country. Authority thus regained at once its principle 
of stability and its natural allies ; and political societ}', 
which for eleven years had been flijctuating and muti- 


lated, recovered all its strength, and stood once more 
upon its ancient foundations. 

The government of rehgious society, the Episcopal 
Church, was restored at the same time with royalty. 
Certainly, the origin of the Anglican Church, which 
was called into existence by the voice, and brought 
up under the shadow, of the temporal power, has 
been a great source of weakness to her, when compared 
with the purely spiritual origin and the strong indepen- 
dence of the Catholic Church. But from this weakness 
England has derived the great advantage, that all con- 
tests between the government of the Church and that 
of the State have ceased. The Anglican Church, closely 
united to the throne, and deriving from it her primitive 
strength, has been constantly and loyally devoted to it ; 
and, notwithstanding the stains on her origin, and the 
infirmities of her conduct, she has been wanting neither 
in fervency of faith, purity of life, nor courage and 
success in the accomplishment of her mission. She has 
had her heroes and her martyrs, unflinching on the 
scaffold and at the stake, though often weak and com- 
plaisant towards kings. When she was re-established, 
in 1660, together with Charles II., she had just under- 
gone, during a period of fifteen years, all sorts of 
revolutionary persecution, spoliation, the suppression 
of her worship, insult, imprisonment, poverty. She 
had endured aU with dignity and constancy ; she rose 
again, greeted by the ardent devotion of the royalist 
party, and the general respect of the people. She 
placed at the service of royalty an approved fidelity, 
and an authority increased by her misfortunes. 


The dispositions of the EngHsh people corresponded 
with those of the Church ; not that the sects which she 
had long oppressed, and which had recently oppressed 
her in their turn, ceased to be ardently opposed to her ; 
not that the odious or ridiculous excesses of fanaticism 
and hypocrisy everywhere gave place to a wise and 
true piety. A reaction of impiety, of frivolity, of 
licentiousness, and of cynicism, was not long in deve- 
loping itself. But it rarely penetrated below the 
higher and more superficial regions of society. In the 
midst of the scandals of the court and of the classes 
not far removed from the contagion of its example, 
England remained full of sincere and fervent Chris- 
tians : some attached or brought back to the Anglican 
Church by a recollection of the evils, and an aversion 
to the disorders, which her fall had entailed ; others 
belonging to the dissenting sects which the Church 
began again to persecute, with cruelty enough to in- 
flame their zeal, but not to terminate their existence. 
But, notwithstanding their mutual struggles and aver- 
sions, the Church and the Dissenters exercised a 
salutary influence upon each other ; they reciprocally 
excited or renewed within each other a respect of God 
and of his laws, a constant solicitude for the eternal 
interests of man, and greater fervour and activity of 

Thus, in the mass of the population, there was no 
want of a moral foundation for the restored monarchy : 
and the King found about the throne, among the classes 
whose habits of hfe draw tliem near to power, that 
political support of whicli he stood in need. 


Two formidable enemies, the spirit of revolution and 
the spirit of reaction, alone could neutralize so many 
propitious circumstances, and compromise the monarchy 

The spirit of revolution long survives its defeat, even 
after its impotence has been fully proved. Of the two 
revolutionary parties which had swayed England, the 
Eepublic and Cromwell, the latter disappeared so com- 
pletely that the sons of the Protector were able to die 
in peace and quietness in their own country. The 
republican party continued to exist, without attempting 
anything, almost without hoping anything, for its own 
cause ; but ardently mingled in all the disaffections 
and plots against the established Government ; and 
incessantly furnished insurgents and martj'^rs from 
among the persecuted sects, especially in Scotland. 
Even among the parties whose opposition was legal, 
and who were strangers to every republican regret and 
desire, revolutionary ideas and habits retained a power- 
ful influence ; the minds of the most enlightened were 
imbued with theories, and their hearts susceptible of 
passions, incompatible with the patient struggles and 
necessary compromises of constitutional monarchy : the 
most moderate considered the chances, and ventured to 
the verge of new revolutions with a facility inconsistent 
with all legal order and stability. The revolutionary 
poison, deadened, but not destroyed, still circulated in 
the veins of a great part of the English nation, and 
kept it in a state of political intemperance which was 
replete with obstacles and dangers to the ruling power. 

The spirit of reaction, that disease of conquering 


parties, lent powerful assistance to the spirit of revolu- 
tion ; not that we must admit all the reproaches with 
which history loads the Cavahers and the Church of 
England on this score. Revolutions which have been 
long unsubdued, when at length arrested m their course, 
have the arrogance to demand that the miquities which 
they have committed shall remain unchanged, and that 
their conquerors shall content themselves henceforth 
with repressing their power to do further mischief; 
every reparation of the evils they have caused, they call 
reaction. Amongst the measures adopted by Charles II. 
for the purpose of redressing the wrongs which the 
royahsts, both laymen and ecclesiastics, had suffered 
during the Revolution, many were merely a natural and 
necessary restoration of violated rights. But these 
restorations have limits indicated by good sense to the 
pohcy of governments, and to the interest of the parties 
themselves. Injustice cannot be repaired by injustice ; 
revolutions cannot be terminated by deeds of provoca- 
tion and vengeance. Every reparation that assumes 
such a character loses its justice, and become a serious 
danger to the cause that it pretends to serve. Under 
Charles II., the rehgious reaction, especially, fell into 
these deplorable excesses ; it was not the mere redress 
of the grievances and misfortunes of the Anglican 
Church; it was a vindictive persecution of the dis- 
senting sects — a breach of faith towards the most 
moderate of those sects, to whom the King, at the 
moment of his return, had solemnly promised liberty 
of conscience. Charles on several occasions attempted 
to keep his word, and to secure the Dissenters some 


toleration. Persecution was repugnant to his good 
sense, to the kindness of his disposition, to his in- 
difference in matters of rehgion, and to his secret incli- 
nation in favour of the Catholics. But his feehle and 
listless desires for justice soon yielded to the obstinacy 
of ecclesiastical animosities, and the turbulence of 
popular passions. Blinded or overpowered, almost all 
the Eoyalist party, both in and out of Parhament, 
took a share in the work of persecution. After 1660 
the lay reaction was brief and hmited ; the religious 
reaction, though temporarily restrained, soon burst 
forth with violence, continued increasing in severity, 
and caused most of the dangers and faults, and, I 
might add, the crimes, into which Charles II. and 
his Grovernment fell. 

But these faults and dangers, although serious and 
lamentable, really contained nothing that vitally 
menaced the security of monarchy and society in 
England. Taking a general view of affairs, the spirit 
of revolution no longer possessed, and the spirit of 
reaction did not govern, England. Ever since the 
great revolutionary crisis of 1640-1660, the English 
people have had this good fortime and this merit, that 
they have profited by experience, and never given 
themselves up to extreme parties. In the midst of 
the most ardent pohtical struggles, and even of the 
violences into which they have sometimes followed, 
and sometimes forced, their leaders, they have always, 
in critical and decisive circumstances, been guided by 
that strong good sense which consists in recognising 
the good things wliich it is essential to preserve, and 


invariably defending them ; in bearing the inconve- 
niences by which they are accompanied, or renouncing 
any desires which might endanger them. Ever since 
the reign of Charles II. this good sense, which is the 
political intelligence of free peoples, has presided over 
the destinies of England. Three great results, as yet 
confused and incomplete, but irrevocable and sufficient 
for the wishes and welfare of the English nation, 
survived the revolution through which it had just 

In the first place, the King could never again sepa- 
rate himself from the Parliament. The cause of mo- 
narchy was gained ; but that of absolute monarchy 
was lost. Theologians and philosophers, Hke Filmer 
and Hobbes, might advocate the dogma, or maintain 
the principle, of absolute power ; and their ideas, as ex- 
pressed in books or private conversations, might obtain 
the favour or excite the anger of speculative tliinkers 
or pohtical partisans. In the practical opinion of the 
nation, the question was settled ; royahsts and revolu- 
tionists alike looked upon the close union and the 
mutual control of the Crown and the Parliament, as 
both right and necessary to the country. 

Secondly, the House of Commons was, in fact, made 
preponderant in the Parliament. The question of its 
direct sovereignty was no longer mooted, but con- 
demned and decried as a revolutionary principle. The 
Crown and the House of Lords had resumed possession 
of their rights and their rank ; but they had been 
too thoroughly conquered and humiliated to regain 
their ancient superiority, even after the fall of their 


enemies : and neither the faults nor the reverses of 
the House of Commons could entirely obhterate the 
recollection of its terrible victories. The royalist 
party, which now had the mastery, inherited the 
essential conquests of the Long ParUament, in its 
relations to the Crown and the administration of the 
State. The confusion was necessarily long, and fre- 
quently violent, before the different parties, Wliigs 
and Tories, Government and Opposition, learned to 
make a good use of these conquests ; to understand 
their real meaning and extent ; and to maintain, 
between the great powers of the State, that laborious 
harmony which is at once the merit and the diffi- 
culty of constitutional government. But throughout 
the trials of this apprenticesliip, and notwithstanding 
the frequent occurrence of opposing appearances or 
forms, the preponderant influence of the House of 
Commons in public affiiirs, was, from the reign of 
Charles II., a fact which daily became more and more 
evident and unmistakable. 

Side by side with, or rather above, these two political 
facts, we may place that religious fact which was con- 
summated by the Revolution — I mean the complete 
and definitive triumph of protestantism in England. 
Never, certainly, had the English Protestants been 
more fiercely at variance ; and Bossuet might reason- 
ably indulge m the supreme pleasure of contemplat- 
ing and depicting their divisions and contests. But 
the unity of a common faith and passion continued to 
animate these divergent sects : in the midst of their 
own quarrels, they all professed the same Gospel, and 


combated Catholicism with the same zeal ; and liberty 
of conscience, though incessantly disregarded and sup- 
pressed by them and among them, was, as against the 
Church of Rome, equally dear to all, and inahenably 
acquired by all. 

These were, after all, the only concessions which the 
English nation demanded of that ancient monarchy, 
whose return it hailed with such transport ; for it 
was determined patiently to overlook the faults of 
any Grovernment which should preserve it from new 
revolutions, and secure to it these three results of the 
revolution through which it had just passed. 

But this was precisely what neither Charles II. nor 
James II. was able or willing to accomphsh. 

In politics, Charles II. was too sensible and too 
indifferent to assume or exercise absolute power. He 
cared for nothing but his pleasure, loved power only 
because it enabled him the better to enjoy life, and 
willingly consented to concessions and compromises to 
escape the dangers of extreme struggles, or to spare 
himself the annoyance of them. But in his heart, 
absolute monarchy alone possessed his esteem and 
suited his taste. He had been not only a witness, 
but a victim of the defect^ and inconveniences of the 
institutions of his country ; and he had closely con- 
templated the splendour of the com-t of Louis XIV., 
and the strength of his government. These had ob- 
tained his admiration and confidence ; and hence arose 
his proneness to fall into venal dependence upon 
Louis XIV., whom he regarded as the leader of the 
kings' party, and consequently did not feel all the 


shame which ought to have overwhelmed him wlien 
he betrayed to him for gold the policy and liberties 
of his country. 

In religion, Charles was at once a sceptic and a 
Catholic, believing in nothing, and as corrupt in mind 
as in manners ; but he thought that, after all, if there 
were any truth in religion, that truth was to be found 
in the Catholic Church, which afforded kings the 
greatest security against the perils of power, and 
most surely preserved men from those of eternity. 

Thus, althougli during liis Hfe he did not act as an 
absolute and Catholic sovereign, Charles was in his 
heart a Catholic and an absolutist, who sympathised 
with the kings of the Continent, and not with the 
faith and policy of the nation over which he ruled. 

James II. was a Catholic and an absolutist from 
conviction, and his conduct was consistent with his 
creed ; nay more, he was blindly enterprising, with all 
the obstinacy of a narrow and barren mind, and the 
harshness of a cold and insensible heart. 

Such were the two princes whom the Restoration 
bestowed on the English nation, which joyfully hailed 
the return of monarchy and cursed the revolution, but 
instinctively resolved not to surrender its great results. 

The history of England, during the whole course of 
the Restoration, is nothing but the history of the deep- 
seated discord which, though slowly developed, broke 
out at length between these two kings and their 
people ; and of the persevering efforts made by the 
English nation to escape from the consequences of this 
discord — namel}^ a new revolution. 


For England, during this epoch, was essentially con- 
servative. Ardent factions and selfish ambition agi- 
tated the country by their intrigues, their plots, and 
their insurrections; and she was more than once led 
by their efforts, or by her own passions, into move- 
ments which were apparently revolutionary. But far 
from seconding the men who sought to overtlirow the 
monarchy of the Stuarts, she paused and retreated as 
soon as she perceived that she was tending thither- 
wards. The conspirators and insurgents who appeared 
during the reign of Charles II. were only minorities 
at variance with the country, even when it seemed to 
favour them. As the restored monarch committed 
greater faults and allowed his tendencies and designs 
to become more clearly perceptible, the pubhc discon- 
tent increased, and the chances of a rupture between 
the prince and the country became stronger ; but the 
country, instead- of availing itself of those chances, 
struggled to evade them. To maintain the house of 
Stuart upon the throne, without abandoning its laws 
or its faith, the English nation, during a period of 
twenty-six years, made all the sacrifices and efforts 
that the most patient and persevering conservatism 
could require. 

All the phases through which the English Govern- 
ment passed during this epoch, the conduct and destiny 
of all the parties and ministries which then exercised 
the supreme power, were but different forms and 
striking proofs of tliis great fact. 

By the natural tendency of things, the old 
lloyalist party, the faithful counsellors of Charles I. 


during his misfortunes, and of Charles II. in his 
exile, were the first who obtained possession of power. 
Clarendon was their leader — a man of strong, upright, 
and penetrating mind ; a sincere friend of legal and 
moral order ; courageously attached to the constitution 
of his country, and passionately devoted to her Church; 
full of respect for the written or traditional rights of 
the people, as well as of the monarch, but detesting 
the Revolution to such a degree, that he regarded every 
novelty with suspicion and antipathy. As Prime 
Mmister he was more haughty than high-minded ; he 
was devoid of largeness of thought and sympathetic 
generosity of character ; and he ostentatiously paraded 
his greatness, whilst he rigorously exercised his power. 
Towards the King, who regarded him with esteem, 
confidence, and some degree of attachment, he was, 
by turns, austere and humble ; passing from remon- 
strance to complaisance ; speaking and maintaining 
the truth like an honest man, but uneasy at having 
spoken it ; and seeking for support against the Court, 
without venturing to obtain his strength from the Par- 
liament. His aim was to make the Crown respect 
the ancient laws of the country, and to keep the 
House of Commons within the limits of its ancient 
sphere of action ; and he flattered himself that it 
would be possible to restrain the royal prerogative 
within the bounds of legality, without imposing upon 
it any necessary responsibility towards the Parhament. 
He failed in this chimerical attempt to establish, in 
a country just emerging from a revolution, a govern- 
ment which should be neither arbitrary nor limited ; 


and he fell, after seven years of preponderance, hated 
by the Commons for his monarchical arrogance, by the 
dissenting sects for his Episcopalian intolerance, and 
by the Court for his disdainful severity ; pursued by 
the blind anger of the people, who laid to his charge 
every public calamity, as well as all the abuses of power; 
and disgracefully abandoned by the King, who looked 
upon him only as an inconvenient censor and a com- 
promising minister. 

The fall of Clarendon has been attributed to the 
defects in his character, and to certain faults or fail- 
ures in his policy, both at home and abroad. To judge 
thus is to underrate the greatness of the causes which 
decide the fate of eminent men. Providence, which 
imposes on them a task so difficult, does not treat 
them with such stern severity as not to pardon them a 
few weaknesses ; neither does it lightly overthrow 
them because they have committed particular errors, 
and met with certain failures. Other great ministers 
— Richelieu, Mazarin, Walpole — have had defects, 
committed faults, and suff'ered defeats as grave as 
those of Clarendon. But they understood their time ; 
the views and efforts of their policy were in har- 
mony with its necessities, and with the general state 
and tendency of the public mind. Clarendon, on the 
contrary, misunderstood the age in which he lived ; he 
mistook the meaning of the great events in which he 
had borne a part ; he considered the occurrences of 
1040-1000 as a mere revolt, after suppressing which 
nothing remained to be done but to re-establish order 
and the laws — not as a revolution wliich, b}' plunging 


English society into fatal errors, had guided it into 
new paths and imposed new rules of conduct on the 
restored monarchy. Among the great results which 
this revolution, even though vanquished, had be- 
queathed to England, Clarendon accepted the necessary 
sanction of Parhament with sincerity, and the triumph 
of Protestantism with joy. But he obstinately rejected 
and opposed the growing influence of the House of 
Commons in the government of the country, and 
would neither recognise nor practise the means by 
which this new political element might be made con- 
ducive to the security and strength of the monarchy. 
This was one of those errors for which neither the 
rarest talents nor the most distinguished virtues can 
atone, and which, in the pitiless destiny of public 
men, give a fatal effect to faults or failures which, 
under other circumstances, would be of little or no 

After the honest counsellors of the late King came 
the profligates of the new court, with Buckingham 
and Shaftesbury at their head ; the one licentious, 
witty, frivolous, and presumptuous ; the other ambi- 
tious, crafty, and bold; both equally corrupt and well 
versed in the art of corrupting ; both ready to go 
over from the Court to the multitude, and from the 
Government to the Opposition, whenever such conduct 
would replenish their coffers or gratify their vanity. 
They undertook to give satisfaction to the Parliament, 
to the Dissenters, and to all the popular feehngs which 
the stern and isolated pohcy of Clarendon had irritated. 
But a desire to please and willingness to yield are not 

VOL. I. G 


sufficient to insure the stability of a government. 
The rash and immoral successors of Clarendon had no 
suspicion of the embarrassments and dangers they 
were about to bring upon the government and on 
themselves, by making the House of Commons their 
main support. In order that a popular assembly 
may be an habitual means of strong and regular go- 
vernment, it must itself be strongly organized and 
governed ; and this can only be the case so long as it 
contains great parties united by common principles, 
and proceeding with order and regularity, under re- 
cognised leaders, towards a determinate object. Now, 
such parties can be formed and kept in being only when 
powerful interests, and firm and lasting convictions, 
rally and retain men together. A certain amount of faith 
in ideas, and of fidelity towards persons, is the vital 
condition of great political parties, just as great political 
parties are a necessary condition of free government. 
Nothing of this kind existed, or was Hkely to be called 
into existence, under Charles II., when the Ministry, 
called the Cabal, attempted to govern in concert with 
the House of Commons, and according to its wishes. 
After so many convulsions and miscalculations, especially 
in the regions which were nearest to power, men were a 
prey to doubt and distrust, to continual indecision, and 
to a spirit of personality which was sometimes shame- 
lessly impatient, and sometimes pusillanimously pru- 
dent. The House of Commons was filled with the 
remnants of revolutionary parties ; but it contained no 
political parties capable or worthy of maintaining a 
government. And such men as Shaftesbmy and 


Buckingham were incapable and unworthy of forming 
such parties ; they knew only how to seek and gain 
partisans for themselves from all camps and by all 
means. Their policy was shamelessly incoherent and 
contradictory ; sometimes the}^ closely united England 
with Holland, sometimes they abandoned Holland to 
Louis XIV., according as they happened to need 
the favour of the zealous English Protestants or that 
of the great French King. They granted toleration 
to the Dissenters from an apparent respect for the 
rights of conscience, but in reality from complaisance 
to the King, who wished to j)rotect the Catholics ; and 
subsequently, under the pressure of the irritated 
House of Commons, they besought the King to sanc- 
tion the adoption of the most rigorous measures 
against both Catholics and Dissenters. Their pohcy, 
both at home and abroad, was a series of experiments 
and contradictions ; their most equitable measures 
were only measures of corruption and deceitfuhiess, 
insolently adopted or abandoned, according to circum- 
stances, and equally deficient in stability and sincerity. 
The public, both in and out of Parliament, 
sometimes allowed itself to be duped by these arti- 
fices. Nothing can equal the eagerness with which 
popular passions believe everything wdiich pleases 
them, and find excuses for all who serve them. The 
profligate members of the Cabal obtained some tem- 
porary popularity ; but it departed as quickly as it 
came. Their licentious lives, the well-known cor- 
ruption of their manners, the versatility of their con- 
duct, and the worthlessness of their promises, shocked 

G 2 


the moral sense of the country, which retained, in 
the midst of all these scandals and miscalculations, 
a solid foundation of faith and virtue. It would, 
most certainly, have done more than express its 
indignation if it had known that its King, with the 
connivance of his principal counsellors, had concluded 
secret treaties with Louis XIV., by which he engaged 
to declare himself a CathoHc as soon as he could do so 
with any safety ; whilst, in the mean time, he had sold 
the indej)endence of the pohcy and institutions of 
his kingdom for a few millions of money. England 
long remained ignorant of these disgraceful trans- 
actions ; but, when distrust is deep-rooted, public 
ignorance often has presentiments by which nations 
are frequently misled, and sometimes marvellously 
enlightened. Without knowing to how great a de- 
gree the ministers of the Cabal had degraded and 
betrayed their country, the House of Commons not 
only refused to act with them, Ijut at length violently 
attacked them ; and they fell under the blows of a 
power Avhich their self-interested flattery had aggran- 
dized, but without having made any progress in 
organizing political parties in the Parlian;ient, or in 
regulating their action in the Government. 

Their successor, Sir Thomas Osborne, Earl of Danby, 
possessed much more political wisdom, and exercised 
much more influence upon the development of the par- 
liamentary system of his country. Though he had en- 
tered public life under the auspices of the ministers of 
the Cabal, and had been early associated in some of their 
evil practices, he differed essentially from them ; for he 


came from the country, and not from the court. A 
simple Yorkshire gentleman, the country gentlemen 
were truly his party, and the House of Commons his 
political fatherland. He earnestly sustained the cause 
of the Crown and its prerogative, but he united it 
with, instead of isolating it from, the Parliament. He 
applied himself by all sorts of means, good and bad, by 
persuading minds and purchasing suffrages, to the 
formation of a compact and permanent party in the 
House of Commons, and to the estabhshment of that 
intimate connection between the administration and 
his party which alone can render a government strong 
and efficacious, by uniting its diverse elements in 
one set of opinions and one course of pohtical action. 
Further, Danby understood and shared the national 
feelings of England with regard to religion and foreign 
policy ; he was anxious to secure the safety of Pro- 
testantism, and a good understanding between the 
Enghsh Government and the States that were de- 
voted to that cause. He induced Charles II. first to 
conclude a peace, and then an alliance with Holland, 
and to give his niece Mary in marriage to Prince 
Wilham of Orange. Danby thus secured abroad a 
saviour of the faith and liberties of his country, whilst 
he commenced the solid formation at home of that 
great Crown and Church party, which, ever since that 
epoch, has given such strength to the English mo- 
narchy, and so powerfully contributed to its stability. 

And, by a happy combination of opposite conse- 
quences, whilst the good judgment and ability of 
Danby were organizing the Tory party, his faults 


occasioned an energetic and salutary development of 
Wliig principles. To the honour of the Whigs be it 
spoken, that they took their origin, and first displayed 
their greatness, in the defence of the liberties and 
the political morality of their country. Their party 
rose into being under the invocation of generous prm- 
ciples and feelings. It was in its struggles against 
Danby and his army of Cavaliers, transformed into 
Tories, that it began to assume its distinctive cha- 
racter and dignity. These struggles were still very 
disorderly and confused ; .but in them were clearly 
manifested two great parliamentary parties, both of 
which aspired to the government of the country, that 
they might put into practice lines of pohcy really 
diverse, in virtue of principles not essentially opposite, 
but profoundly different. 

After lasting four years, this struggle ended in the 
fall of Danby — in the dissolution of that Eoyalist 
Long Parliament which, for eighteen years, had up- 
held the cause of monarchy, with a singular mixture 
of devotedness, servility, and independence ; and in 
the formation of a great Wliig ministry, in which the 
leaders of the party. Temple, Kussell, Essex, HolHs, 
Cavendish, and Powlet, with the aid of Halifax, the 
leader of the wavering moderates, and of Shaftesbury, 
the bold renegade from the court (who had now be- 
come the favourite of the people), undertook to reform 
and conduct the government. 

The crisis was momentous. For the first time, 
and in spite of the prolonged resistance of the 
Crown, the Parliamentary Opposition liad obtained 


possession of the supreme power, in the name of public 
opinion and of a majority in the House of Commons. 
Would they be able to retain and exercise it ? Would 
they give satisfaction to the real wislies of the country 
without shaking" the foundations of that monarchy 
which their accession had disturbed. 

The Wliigs did not succeed in solving this problem. 
Either through want of experience, or the influence of 
the false political theories with which the revolutionary 
Long Parliament had been imbued, their ideas with 
regard to the organizatiora^nd conditions of constitu- 
tional government were confused, unpractical, uncer- 
tain, and contradictory. They were actuated by 
monarchical as well as republican prejudices. They 
essayed to constitute the Cabinet on broad foundations, 
to make it, as it were, a sort of intermediary body, 
capable of restraining the Crown by means of the 
Parliament, and the Parliament by means of the 
Crown — an attempt which proved abortive at its 
birth. They carried the spirit of opposition into the 
exercise of power, and, whilst serving royalty, they 
were more anxious to curb than to sustain its au- 

They lived among the remnants of the anarchical 
factions which had survived the Eevolution, and which 
never ceased their secret attacks upon the monarchy. 
Nearly a nonentity among the higher classes, the 
republican party was too weak and impotent to 
achieve success even amongst the masses ; but it 
possessed some desperate agitators and conspirators, 
ready to place their abilities and their lives at the 


service of any one who would afford them, either 
immediately or prospectively, some satisfaction of their 
turbulent and vindictive passions. The Whigs were 
constantly, if not in connivance, at least in contact, 
with these professional revolutionists, whom they 
wished to make their soldiers, but who, in their turn, 
hoped to convert their employers into their instru- 
ments, and continually compromised them, at first 
with the King, and then with the country, which 
was loyal though discontented, and decidedly opposed 
to all fresh revolutions. 

To compensate for these errors in their conduct or 
these vices of their position, the Whigs had a resource 
of which they made ample and deplorable use — con- 
cessions to the passions of the people. England, at 
this time, was possessed by a general and overpowering 
terror and hatred of Popery. Warned by a legitimate 
instinct that, in this respect, they had been betrayed 
by their King, the English transgressed the limits of 
aU reason, justice, and humanity. The political and 
judicial persecution of the Catholics was, during three 
years, the joint crime of a people who were furious 
in their faith, and of a King who was cowardly in his 
infidelity. The Whigs, as well as the Tories, shared 
or yielded to this frenzy. It was, moreover, their 
ill fortune to attain to power just when the first 
paroxysms of the national fury against the Cathohcs 
were beginning to subside, and were giving place 
to a reactionary movement in favour of good sense 
and impartial justice. They thus had to endure, 
in greater measure than tlieir rivals, the consequences 


of this reaction, and the weight of the secret anger of 
the King, who took pleasure in revenging himself 
on them for iniquities which he had not had the 
courage to oppose. 

Their position with regard to the foreign affairs of 
the country was not at all less complex or more sure. 
Whilst they inveighed against the servile intimacy of 
the King with the Court of France, several of their 
leaders received favours and pensions from Louis XIV. ; 
some from corruption, for the popular party had its 
profligates as well as the Gourt ; others, though men 
of lofty patriotism and honour, in the chimerical hope 
of employing the means of influence which they de- 
rived from a foreign monarch, in securing the liber- 
ties of their country. It is a dangerous attempt to look 
abroad for means of acting secretly upon the internal 
affairs of a country ; even the ablest politicians run a 
great risk of thus serving the interests of the foreigner 
rather than their own ; and Louis XIV. derived much 
more advantage, in the prosecution of his policy, from 
his relations with some Whig leaders, than they did 
from the secret support which he afforded them in pro- 
curing the overthrow of Danby, and the dissolution 
of the Long Parliament of Cavaliers. 

In the midst of this embarrassing and perilous situa- 
tion, the Wliigs undertook to change the order of suc- 
cession to the thi'one, and to exclude the legitimate 
successor therefrom, by Act of Parliament. This was 
anticipating a revolution, in virtue of well-founded 
though remote conjectures, and before its absolute 
necessity had been demonstrated by actual and evident 


facts. The Whigs, doubtless, thought that, in such 
a matter, it was wiser to prevent than to wait ; and 
that it would be better to accomplish immediately, 
by way of legal dehberation, that which would have to 
be done at some future time by force, and perhaps at 
the cost of a civil war : — a very superficial view of the 
matter, which proves that they had but a sKght know- 
ledge of human nature, and of the great conditions of 
social order. It is far worse to discuss a revolution 
than to effect one ; and the State is much more shaken 
when its fmidamental laws are attacked, in the name 
of human reason, than when they are infringed under 
the pressure of necessity. The Whigs called upon the 
Parhament to set aside, by its mere vote, and before 
James II. had acceded to the tlu'one, his hereditary 
right to the crown ; that is, in principle, to subordinate 
the foundation of the monarchy to the will of the 
Parliament. PubHc instinct warned England that this 
would be to destroy the monarchy itself; the monar- 
chical spirit was roused immediately, and the Cabinet 
itself was divided. The Whigs lost all their alHes 
among the more moderate Tories, and found them- 
selves reduced to the mere strength of their own party. 
They also found themselves in presence of an obstacle 
which they had hardly expected to encounter — the con- 
science of Charles II. Even that egotistical Prince did 
not think he was entitled to dispose of the rights of his 
brother ; and he defended them at all risks. To the 
honour of the English nation, popular passion paused 
before respect for lawful authority ; the Bill of Exclu- 
sion, after having been adopted by the House of Com- 


mons, was thrown out by the Lords, and no attempt 
was made to carry the matter further, and to triumph 
by other means. 

But the question still remained unsettled. The 
House of Commons, which had voted the exclusion 
of James II., was dissolved. In that wliicli suc- 
ceeded it, the bill was again proposed and carried. 
The two great parties which had been progressively 
formed in the course of the reign were determined, the 
Whigs to get rid of the future monarch, and the Tories 
to maintain the monarchy intact. Charles II. also took 
his resolution. He dissolved the House of Commons, 
dismissed the Whig ministry, formed a cabinet of 
Tories alone, and governed for four years without a 
Parhament. Gloomy years were these, which England 
passed in fearful anticipation of the approaching tem- 
pest. Having resumed the opposition, the Whigs 
conspired, in different degrees, and with different ends ; 
some to regain possession of power by legal means ; 
others to compel the King, if need be, by insurrection 
and civil war, to yield to what they considered was 
the right and the will of the country ; some few, the 
inferior and desperate adherents of the party, were 
anxious to get rid, at any price — even by assassination 
— of the King and his brother — the only obstacles 
to the success of their cause. These plots, sometimes 
exaggerated, sometimes combined by an incomplete 
system of pubhcity, and by trials conducted with 
subtle iniquity, threw the country into distracting 
uneasiness. The conservative party were indignant 
and alarmed tor tlie security of the throne and of the 


established order of things : the popular party became 
more and more irritated at beholding the failure of 
all their atten^pts, and the execution of their noblest 
leaders upon the scaffold. Monarchical reaction and 
destructive hostility increased together. The charters 
of the towns and other principal corporations, the last 
rampart of the popular party, were judicially attacked 
and abolished. The conspii-ators, in their impotence 
and peril, left the country, and went to Holland to 
conjure the Prince of Orange to save the Protestant 
faith and the liberties of England. Evidently, of 
those three great results of the Revolution which 
England was anxious to preserve, the two political 
results — the influence of the Parliament in the 
government, and the preponderance of the House of 
Commons in the Parliament — were not only sus- 
pended, but endangered ; the religious result — the 
predominance of Protestantism — still remained intact ; 
for it was the Anglican Church herself who invariably 
sustained the Crown, and anathematized every attempt 
at resistance. Strong in tliis support, the high 
Tories, led by Rochester, daily ralHed more closely 
around James, forgetting his devotion to the Catholic 
Church, in order that they might see in him only 
the lawful representative and inheritor of the mo- 
narchy. But a third party formed around Hahfax, 
opposing violent measures, demanding the convocation 
of a Parliament, and predicting extreme dangers if 
this course were not pursued. Charles hesitated and 
delayed, promising the high Tories to persevere 
resolutely in sustaining his brother's rights ; the 


moderate Tories, to respect the constitution of the 
country ; and the Church, firmly to maintain the 
Protestant estabhshment. Perplexed and fatigued, he 
employed all his remaining address and prudence in 
eluding the necessity of choosing between these pro- 
mises. He died before events compelled him to decide; 
but, when he reached the end of his earthly career^ and 
the threshold of eternal life, the disquietude of the dying 
man overcame the precaution of the King ; he rejected 
all the entreaties of the Anglican bishops, sent for a 
Benedictine monk who was concealed in his palace, 
and died in the bosom of the Catholic Church — at 
his last hour confirming his country in suspicions 
which he had always indignantly repudiated, and 
strengthening his brother's resolution to remain a 
member of that Church, out of the pale of which, 
notwithstanding his sceptical indifference, Charles 
himself did not dare to die. 

During his reign of four years, James II. had no 
other thought. He did not aspire to absolute 
power from the impulses of a strong and dominant 
nature, or in order to satisfy a lofty ambition, but 
from an unintelligent and intractable fanaticism. The 
principle which forms the basis of the constitution 
of the Eomish Church, the inMlibility and in- 
dependence of the supreme power, was a maxim of his 
government as well as an article of his faith. In his 
rigid and narrow mind, spiritual and temporal order 
were blindly confounded ; and he thought himself 
entitled, as a king, to exact from his subjects, in the 
State, the same absolute submission which, as a 


Catholic, he was himself, in the Church, bound to 

Ever since his infancy, he had beheld those who 
shared his faith cruelly oppressed ; and he himself had 
suffered persecution on account of his faith. When 
he became King, he looked upon the deliverance of 
the Catholic Church in England as his peculiar duty 
and mission ; and he could discover no other means 
of accomplishing her deliverance than by restoring 
her to dominion. 

Such is the lamentable connection of human errors 
and iniquities ! They evoke and engender one 
another. Instead of at once recognising and respecting 
their mutual rights, both Protestants and Catholics 
sought only to persecute and enslave each other in 

Either in the sincere hope of succeeding, or in 
order to be able to shield himself from all future 
reproach, James attempted at first to govern consti- 
tutionally. On the very day on which he ascended 
the throne, he promised to maintain the estabHshed 
laws of the Church as well as of the State. Shortly 
afterwards he convoked a Parliament, and solemnly 
renewed to it his promises. 

Some important, though isolated, actions soon belied 
his professions. He contiaued to levy taxes which had 
not been voted by the Parliament : and whilst, on the 
one hand, to please the Anglican Church, he redoubled 
the severity of the enactments against the Dissenters, 
on the other, he began to suspend the execution of the 
laws against the Catholics, and to make great innova- 


tions in the political and religious constitution of the 

His language caused still more disquietude than his 
actions. Whilst asserting the legahty of his inten- 
tions, he always hinted at his right to absolute power, 
and his resolution to exercise it, if his subjects were 
not grateful for, and contented with, his moderation. 

Attempts are made, sometimes by kings, and some- 
times by peoples — the former in the name of divine 
right, the latter in that of the sovereignty of the people 
—to intimidate one another by enumerating the mortal 
wounds wliicli each has it in its power to inflict on the 
other. This pretension is as insane as it is insolent ; 
since it enervates and endangers, sometimes the govern- 
ment, and sometimes the liberties, of the country. It 
equally befits both kings and peoples, in then- reci- 
procal relations, to assert only their legal rights, and 
to bury in profound silence the mysteries and menaces 
of despotic violence and popular revolutions. 

The promises of James, and his attempts at con- 
stitutional government, were received by the country 
with favom', almost with enthusiasm. The more lively 
men's fears are, the more earnest are their hopes. The 
Tories held sway in the ParHament. The Anglican 
Church strove to bind the King to the engagements 
which he had made towards her, by proving herself 
still more monarchical and devoted to his person. The 
Dissenters thought they perceived some likelihood of 
obtaining toleration and liberty. Both good and bad 
inchnations, both honest and disgraceful motives, 
concurred to assure the King of the patient and 


almost servile submission of the country. At the 
Court and in the Parhament, the great majority of 
men of importance were so sceptical and corrupt as 
to be ready to push their fortune by an}" conceivable 
sacrifice of their opinions and honour. In the nation, 
a strong feehng of lassitude still remained, which com- 
bined with monarcliical tendencies and religious disci- 
pHne to prevent any explosion of discontent and alarms. 
James was no longer young ; his daughters, the sole 
heiresses of the throne, were devoted to the Protestant 
faith ; it would be better, thought the people, to 
submit for a short time to evils, which could not 
possibly last long, than to risk any new revolution. 

The more violent factions, the conspirators by pro- 
fession, the men of desperate ambition, the proscribed 
refugees in Holland, were neither so resigned nor so 
patient. In spite of the counsels of the Prince of 
Orange, who protected and restrained them at the 
same time, they attempted two simultaneous insur- 
rections — one in Scotland, headed by the Earl of 
Argyle, the other in England, under the command 
of the Duke of Monmouth. The people were agi- 
tated by these movements : a marked sympathy for 
the insurgents speedily pervaded the lower classes, 
but did not display itself openly. The Whig party 
did not sustain the rebeUion ; the Tories vigorously 
assisted the King to suppress it. Both attempts 
failed ; the two leaders were publicly beheaded ; their 
fate excited the compassion of the people, but neither 
their persons nor their intentions corresponded with 
tlie national feeling. 


But an appearance of success fs fatal to weak 
princes when engaged in conflict with their people. 
James, victorious over his enemies and obeyed by 
his subjects, gave free course to the vices of his na- 
ture. He took pleasure in the harsh and even 
cruel exercise of power ; and he found in Jeffreys a 
bold and cynical minister of his vengeance. The 
judicial severities practised against the partisans of 
Argyle and Monmouth, with a gross contempt for the 
guarantees of law and the feelings of humanity, excited 
deep indignation and disgust amongst all classes of 
the people, whether they approved of the rebellion or 
not. At the same time, James gave free course to 
his designs ; he attacked the Anglican Church in its 
vital privileges, and his most faithful Protestant servants 
in the inmost recesses of their consciences. The Uni- 
versities of Oxford and Cambridge received orders to 
nominate Catholics to preside over Protestant esta- 
blishments. Eochester was told by the King himself, 
that, if he did not turn Catholic, he should be deprived 
of all his employments. Menaces so evidently illegal 
and extreme met with opposition even among the 
Catholics themselves. Two parties, one of which was 
as sincere and prudent as the other was intriguing 
and violent, contended for influence over the King ; 
and with a view to restrain or excite his zeal, daily 
pointed out to him either the dangers into which 
he was rushing, or the object which he aspired to attain. 
Nothing was wanting to enlighten James ; neither 
loyalty and long patience on the part of the Protestants, 
nor moderation and wise counsels from the Catholics 

VOL. I. H 


themselves. All Mled to overcome his blind and 
sincere stubbornness. He officially summoned a Jesuit, 
Father Petre, into his Privy Council ; and he ordered the 
Anglican clergy to read from all the pulpits in the king- 
dom the declaration by which, in virtue of his kingly 
power alone, he abolished the Acts of Parliament 
against Dissenters and Catholics. The Archbishop of 
Canterbury and six bishops refused to execute this 
order, and presented a petition to the King against it ; 
he had them arrested, conducted to the Tower, and 
tried before the Coui't of King's Bench as authors of 
a seditious Hbel. 

At this very time, contrary to all expectation, and 
amidst the natural though unfounded suspicions of 
all England, a son was born to King James. The 
dominant party were loud in their joy, promising 
themselves to train and govern the son as they had 
the father ; and this state of things, wliich had hitherto 
been tolerated only because its speedy termination 
was expected, became likely to be prolonged for an 
indefinite period. 

No outbreak occurred ; the comitry remained quiet ; 
but the leaders of the country changed their resolu- 
tions. Driven to extremity, the Anglican Chm-ch 
commenced a passive resistance ; and the political 
parties, both Wliigs and Tories, united in taking a 
more decisive step. Experience had taught the Whigs 
that they alone could neither rally the nation nor 
establish a Government : their conspiracies had failed 
as utterly as their cabinets. They had the rare wis- 
dom to admit that they were not sufficient in them- 


selves to cany out their plans, and that close union 
with their ancient adversaries could alone insure their 
success. The Tories, in their turn, had learned that 
every principle has its Hmits, every engagement its 
conditions, and every duty its reciprocal obligations. 
For forty years they had advocated the maxim of non- 
resistance to the Crown, and acted with scrupulous 
fidelity towards their kings. Called to undergo a new 
trial, they felt that their country also had a claim to 
their fidehty, and that they were not bound servilely 
to surrender their liberties and faith to an insensate 
prince, for the mere purpose of remaining consistent 
in their language. Glorious names, eminent men of 
both parties — Russell, Sidney, and Cavendish, Danby, 
Shrewsbury, and Lumley — concerted together, and 
united their forces. Halifax, the leader of the third 
party, when sounded by them, declined taking any 
active part in their plans, but did not endeavour to 
dissuade them from their purpose. And on the 30th 
of June, 1688, at the very moment when the solemn 
acquittal of the seven bishops filled London with joyous 
acclamations, Admiral Herbert, disguised as a com- 
mon sailor, started for Holland, bearing to the Prince 
of Orange, on the part and under the signature of the 
six leaders of the two parties, and of Compton, Bishop 
of London, a formal invitation to come to the assistance 
of the faith and laws of England, and a solemn promise 
to sustain him, at any risk, with all their strength. 

WiUiam was only waiting for this. " Now or 
never !" said he to his confidant, Dykevelt, when he 
heard of the trial of the seven bishops, and of their 

H 2 


bold resistance. As soon as lie received the message, 
with a skihul and daring mixture of frankness and 
reserve, he pubHcly announced his design, and pre- 
pared to execute it. He was not going, he said, to 
make a conquest and usurp a crown ; he was going, 
at the request of the English themselves, to interfere 
between them and their King, and to protect the me- 
naced laws of England and the endangered Protestant 
faith. He discussed the expediency of the enterprise 
with the States-Greneral of Holland, and demanded 
their consent and support. He not only informed 
the Protestant princes of his pm'pose, but also com- 
municated it to the Emperor of Germany and the King 
of Spain ; the former of whom considered liim as the 
champion of Protestantism, while the latter regarded 
him as the defender of the European balance of power. 
Never was such an enterprise so boldly avowed, dis- 
cussed, explained, and justified beforehand. All 
Europe knew of it, and understood it. Conspiracy 
and personal ambition disappeared in the greatness of 
the cause and of the event. And in less than four 
months after the arrival of the Wliig and Tory mes- 
sage, William left for England, at the head of a 
squadron and an army, bearing with him the secret 
approval and good wishes of nearly all the Kings of' 
Europe, both Protestant and Catholic, and even of 
Pope Innocent XL himself, who deeply resented the 
hauglity arrogance of Louis XIV., and heartily des- 
pised the foolish temerity of James II. 

James alone did not understand or believe his 
danger. In vain did lie receive from Louis XIV. 


accurate information and offers of effectual assistance ; 
in vain did his ovrn agents, at the Hague and at 
Paris, make him acquainted with the progress of the 
preparations for the enterprise. He declined all pro- 
posals and refused all information. Actuated by some 
small remnant of EngHsh and royal pride, he deter- 
mined not to be publicly sustained by the soldiers of 
the foreign king, whose gifts he had secretly accepted 
without a blush. His fear he concealed in the inmost 
recesses of his soul ; and he discarded all thoughts of 
danger from a presentiment of his inability to escape 
fi'om it. 

This presentiment did not deceive him. More than 
six weeks elapsed between the arrival of WiUiam on 
the shores of England and his triumphant entrance into 
London ; he advanced slowly through the country, 
equally prepared for resistance and welcome. Resist- 
ance he nowhere met with ; not an effort was at- 
tempted, not a drop of blood was shed, in the defence 
of James. As abject in the presence of danger as he 
had lately been obstinate in refusing to provide against 
it, he attempted to regain by weakness what he had 
lost by his temerity : he retracted all that he had 
done, granted aU that he had refused, restored to the 
towns their charters, to the universities their pri- 
vileges, to the bishops his favour, dismissed Father 
Petre from his council, and attempted to negociate 
with WiUiam. His concessions were as vain as his 
temerity had been powerless. Shut up in his palace, 
he daily heard of some fresh defection of his generals, 
or of his counsellors. His daughter, the Princess 


Anne, deserted liim, and joined the Prince of Orange. 
Whitehall became a solitude, and threatened soon to 
become a prison. James fled in his turn ; but was 
recognized in his flight, and brought back to London 
by an unintelligent multitude. After passing a few- 
more days in useless perplexity, he fled again, and for 
ever. On the 18th of December, 1688, about three 
hours after he had left London, six English and 
Scotch regiments entered the town with banners 
displayed, in the name of the Prince of Orange. 
William himself^ avoiding, as much from taste as from 
prudence, every appearance of triumph, arrived in the 
evening at St. James's Palace ; and five weeks after- 
wards, on the 22nd of January, 1689, a Parliament 
— extraordinarily convoked under the name of a Con- 
vention — met at Westminster, to sanction and regu- 
late the new order of things. 

Then burst forth all the innumerable party diifer- 
ences which the common danger had hitherto re- 
strained. All the monarchical scruples of the Tories 
came to life again, and all the revolutionary tendencies 
of the Wliigs reappeared. The most timid of the Tories 
said that it would be wise to recall King James, after 
having obtained from him certain guarantees. The 
most fiery of the Whigs spoke of founding a Republic, 
to be governed by a Council of State, of which the 
Prince of Orange should be President. Between these 
extreme propositions floated the moderate opinions, 
which were also diverse and unsettled. Many Whigs, 
whose intentions were monarchical, but who were still 
imbued with the maxims of the republican Long 


Parliament, wished that King James should be for- 
mally deposed, and that the Crown should not he 
offered to William until they had, by sovereign laws, 
organised a republican Monarchy. On their side, 
the Tories, who were devoted to the Church, de- 
manded that, whilst declaring King James incapable 
of governing, the foundations of the Monarchy should 
be respected, and that they should confine themselves 
to instituting a Eegency. Others, more bold, but 
subtly scrupulous in their monarchical principles, 
agreed with the Whigs in thinking that James, by 
his conduct and flight, had abdicated the government ; 
but they maintained that, by this act alone, the 
throne, wliich could not be vacant for a single day, 
reverted of right to his eldest daughter, the Princess 
Mary; and that all they had to do was to proclaim 
her Queen. As soon as these various schemes were 
made known, they were explained, criticised, and 
ardently discussed by the public at large, as well as 
by the Parhament; the minds of the people were 
excited; parties became clearly defined; ambitious 
men unfurled the standard under which they hoped 
to attain to fortune ; and divisions sprang up between 
the Lords and the Commons. The revolution was 
jeopardised almost before it was completed. 

But the same political good sense which had united 
the leaders of the different parties in resistance, 
directed them in the fu-st proceedings of their go- 
vernment. They banished all absolute theories, and 
practically useless questions ; reduced the acts and 
terms, by which the new power was to be founded, to 


what was strictly necessary to give it a solid basis ; 
aud made it their only endeavour to conclude their 
business promptly, and bring the great interests of 
the country to the same opinion with themselves. 
WiUiani seconded the wisdom of the party leaders, at 
first by his reserve, and afterwards by his firmness. 
He allowed free course to every system and every pro- 
ject ; exhibiting neither displeasure nor favom-, and 
keeping himself aloof from all debates. But when he 
felt that the crisis was approaching, he called together 
the most important members of both Houses, and 
declared to them, in simple, brief, and unanswerable 
terms, that he was full of respect for the rights and 
liberties of the Parliament ; but that he too had hber- 
ties and rights, and that he would never accept a 
mutilated power, nor a throne upon which his wife 
would sit above him. The step was decisive. The two 
Houses came to an agreement ; a declaration was 
adopted, which proclaimed at once the vacancy of the 
throne, the essential rights of the English people, 
and the elevation of William and Mary, Prince and 
Princess of Orange, to the tlu'one of England ; and 
on the 13th of February, 1689, in the principal quar- 
ters of London, the acclamations of the pubhc greeted 
the official proclamation of the Act of Parliament. 

It is the salvation of a nation, in the critical con- 
junctures of its fate, to understand and put into prac- 
tice, by alternate submission and action, the counsels 
which God has given it in the past events of its life. 
England had learned, from her former trials, that a 
revolution is in itself an immense and incalculable dis- 


order, which plunges society into great calamities, great 
crimes, and great dangers, and which a rational people 
may be one day compelled to suffer, but which they 
ought to dread and repel, until it has become an 
unavoidable necessity. England remembered this in 
her new trials. She endured much; she long en- 
deavoured to escape another revolution, and only 
resigned herself to it at the last extremity, when she 
could find no other means of preserving her faith, 
her rights, and her honour. It is the glory of the 
English Eevolution of 1688 that it was an act of 
pure and necessary defence ; and this was the first 
cause of its success. 

Defensive in its principle, this Revolution was at the 
same time precise and limited in its object. In the 
great convulsions of society, men are sometimes 
attacked by a fever of universal, sovereign, impious 
ambition. They think they have the right and 
the power to lay their hands on everything, and to 
reform the world according to their own pleasure. 
Nothing can be more insensate or presumptuous 
than these vague impulses of the hmnan creature, 
who, treating as a chaos the grand system of which 
he forms an item, strives to make himself a creator, 
and succeeds only in introducing the confusion of 
his own dreams into everything that he touches. 
England, in 1688, did not fall into tliis error; 
she did not aspire to alter the foundations of society 
and the destinies of humanity ; she reclaimed and 
maintained the faith, law^s, and positive rights, 
which contained her highest pretensions and dearest 


thoughts. She accomplished a Eevolutiou which was 
both lofty and modest — which gave to the country 
new leaders and new guarantees ; but wliich, wdien 
this object was once attained, felt satisfied and stayed 
its course, wishing for nothing less and aiming at 
nothing more. 

This Revolution was accompHshed, not by popular 
tumults, but by organized political parties : parties 
organized long before the revolution, with a view to 
securing regular government, and not in a revolu- 
tionary spmt. Neither the Tory party, nor even 
that of the Wliigs, notwithstanding the revolutionary 
elements which it contained, had been formed to 
overthrow estabhshed institutions. They were parties 
occupied with legal politics, not with conspiracy and 
insurrection. They were led to change the govern- 
ment of the country; they were not called into 
existence for that purpose ; and they returned to 
the path of order without effort, after having left 
it for a moment, not from habit or taste, but from 

And the merit and burden of the Revolution must 
not be ascribed to one only of those great parties 
which had been so long opposed to each other ; 
they combined together and acted in concert to bring 
it about. It was a work of common importance and 
necessity which they shared between them ; and it 
must be considered neither as a victory nor a defeat. 
"Wliigs and Tories saw it approach, and received it 
with different feehngs ; but all admitted its urgency 
and took part in it. 


It has often been said in France, and even in Eng- 
land, that the Ee volution of 1688 was essentially aris- 
tocratic, and not popular ; that it was brought about 
by the machinations and for the benefit of the higher 
classes, and not by the impulse, or for the advantage, 
of the whole people. 

This is a remarkable example, among many others, 
of the confasion of ideas, and forgetfulness of facts, 
wliicli so often regulate men's judgments of great 
events. The Revolution of 1688 brought about two 
of the most popidar political results which are to be 
found in history ; it proclaimed and guaranteed, on 
the one hand, the personal and universal rights of 
all citizens ; and, on the other, the active and decisive 
participation of the country in its own government. 
Every democracy that is ignorant that this is all 
that it needs or ought to claim, disregards its greatest 
interests, and will be able neither to establish a 
government, nor to preserve its own liberties. 

The character of the Revolution of 1688, in a moral 
point of view, was still more popular ; it was effected 
in the name and by the force of the religious con- 
victions of the people, with a view to insure their 
security and predominance. In no other country, 
and at no other time, has the faith of the masses 
exercised a greater influence over the fate of their 

But, though popular in its principle and results, the 
Revolution of 1688 was aristocratic in its execution; 
it was planned, prepared, and brought to a conclusion 
by men of importance, the faithful representatives of 


the interests and feelings of tlie nation. England has 
been favoured with this rare blessing, that strong 
and intimate connections were early formed, and have 
long subsisted, between the different classes of society. 
Her aristocracy and democracy have managed to live and 
prosper together, mutually sustaining and restraining 
one another. Her leaders have never been isolated 
from her people, and her people have never stood in 
need of leaders. In 1688, especially, the English 
nation experienced the advantages of this happy har- 
mony of classes in her social order. To preserve 
her faith, laws, and liberties, she was reduced to the 
formidable necessity of a revolution, and she brought 
it about by men friendly to order and government, 
and not by revolutionaries. The same influences that 
attempted the work also restrained it within proper 
bounds, and took care to establish it upon firm 
foundations. The great characteristic of the Revolu- 
tion of J G88, and the pledge of its future success, was 
this : — the cause of the English jDCople triumphed 
by the hands of the English aristocracy. 

The greatest possible union and power were, at this 
epoch, absolutely requisite ; for such is the natural vice 
of all revolutions, that the most necessary, legiti- 
mate, and potent change must cause great troubles to 
the society that it saves, and must long remain itself 
in a disturbed and precarious state. Two or three 
years had scarcely elapsed, before King William, the 
saviour of England, had become exceedingly unpopu- 
lar. His simple ])ut haughty demeanour, his cold 
silence, his manifest distaste for the habits of the 


English aristocracy, the exclusive intimacy and abun- 
dant favours which he bestowed on some old Dutch 
friends, all combined to render him a foreigner, and 
not a very agreeable one, in the midst of his new 
people. He was, as regarded civil and religious liberty, 
much more enlightened than the Enghsh, and not at 
all inchned to become the instrument of the rigours 
of episcopal intolerance, or of the animosities of aris- 
tocratic parties. He had little regard for the exigen- 
cies of constitutional government, and but ill under- 
stood the working of parliamentary parties, which were 
still confused and imperfectly organized ; he was soon 
shocked at their egotism, and jealous of their sway, 
and he defended liis own power against them, some- 
times with more vigour than discernment. In his 
government, as well as in his thoughts, the general 
policy of Em*ope was his great, and almost his only 
consideration ; he had aspired to the tlu'one of England 
chiefly that he might have all her forces at his disposi- 
tion in his struggle against the European domination 
of Louis XIV. ; and the Protestant passions of the 
English people were fully in accordance with his design. 
But WiUiam compromised England in the combina- 
tions and wars of the Continent to a greater extent 
than was suited to the habits, tastes, or interests of 
the nation. She was weary at finding herself unceas- 
ingly engaged in foreign efforts and dangers by that 
very prince whom she had summoned to deliver her 
from dangers at home ; and William, in his turn, was 
indignant at finding in that very people, and those xery 
parties, whom he had delivered upon their own soil, so 


little (levotedness and ardom- for the great cause with 
which their safety and liberties were, in his eyes, 
so evidently connected. Hence arose between the 
King and the Parliament those misunderstandings, 
disao-reements, and conflicts, which disturbed and 
shook the new government. William knew his 
strength, and used it haughtily. He even went so far 
as to say that he would abdicate, and return again to 
Holland, if he were not better understood and sus- 
tained. When the danger became pressing, the Parha- 
ment, the political parties, the Church, and the people, 
felt how necessary William was to them, and over- 
whelmed him with the liveliest demonstrations of 
gratitude. But their mutual dishkes soon revived. 
The parties returned to their rivalries ; the people to 
their prejudices and their ignorance ; the King to his 
European pohcy, his war necessities, and his captious 
tenacity of power. The Jacobites recovered their 
hopes. Though defeated in Ireland and Scotland, and 
discovered and condemned in England, they neverthe- 
less renewed their attempts at civil war and conspiracy. 
Even in William's council King James had correspon- 
dents, who thought this connection with the exiled 
monarch might, at some future time, be of advantage. 
During the whole course of this reign, notwithstand- 
ing the easy success of the Revolution, the firm cha- 
racter of the King, and the sincere loyalty of the 
country, the government established in 1688 was con- 
tinually attacked and continually tottering. 

The same evil continued under Queen Anne. The 
Whigs and Tories, more and more widely disunited, 


carried on a desperate conflict for the supremacy. In 
the European struggle for tlie Spanish succession, the 
two parties at first were equally favourable to King 
William's policy of intervention and continental war. 
Carried away by a spirit of routine and by success, the 
Whigs wanted to push the war immeasurably beyond 
the bounds of necessity. The Tories espoused the cause 
of peace, which was earnestly longed for by the English 
people, and favoured by the Queen ; and, by the 
Treaty of Utrecht, they put an end to the critical and 
precarious position of Europe. But the Tories were 
closely connected with the Jacobites ; in spite of her 
fidelity to Protestantism, family feeluigs were strong in 
the heart of Queen Anne ; intrigues at home were 
mingled with complications abroad ; the banished 
Stuarts began to think they had yet a chance ; the 
Grovernment of 1688 was again jeopardized. The 
death of Queen Anne, and the peaceful accession of 
the House of Hanover, restored its stability. Under 
the reigns of Greorge I. and George II. the minds of 
men took another course ; foreign pohcy ceased to be 
their principal occupation ; the home government, the 
maintenance of peace, questions of finance, colonies, 
and commerce, and the development and struggles 
of the parhamentary system, became the dominant 
objects of interest to both the government and the 
pubHc. Questions of revolution and of dynasty, how- 
ever, were not extinct : the English nation did not 
feel any affection for German kings, who could not 
speak then- language and could not live comfortably 
amongst them ; who eagerly seized any pretext to leave 


the country and visit their former petty principality ; 
and incessantly involved their new subjects in conti- 
nental affairs of no importance or interest. The 
domestic quarrels of the royal family, and the grossly 
licentious manners of the Court, offended the country. 
The unstable dominion, the selfish rivalries, the fac- 
titious passions, the exaggerations and the intrigues of 
the parliamentary parties shocked its honesty and good 
sense. In Scotland, in Ireland, and even in England, 
Jacobite conspiracies and insurrections were of continual 
occurrence ; and, though always defeated, they always 
found zealous adherents, and no longer excited any 
great fear or hatred in the country. In the midst of 
these continual attacks upon the established order of 
things, indifference, inertness, a critical humour, and 
disaffection, became the general feelings of the country ; 
and the public seemed to separate itself from a power 
for which it no longer cared. Fifty- seven years after 
the national outburst wliich had placed William III. 
on the throne, the grandson of James II., at the head 
of some Scotch Higlilanders, penetrated almost unre- 
sisted, into the very centre of England ; and people 
everywhere began to ask themselves whether he 
would not, in a few days, enter London itself as 
easily as William had done when he drove out this 
Pretender's grandfather. 

But England and her government were no longer 
at the mercy of a fit of popular ill humour, or the 
defeat of a few regiments, or the daring enterprise 
of a few factious individuals. The same social 
forces which, in 1688, had caused the Revolution, 


in 1745 defended and saved the government wliicli it 
had founded. Wlien the danger became evident, the 
enemies of that government were encountered by the 
strong organization of aristocratic parties, the good 
sense of a disciphned democracy, and the faith of a 
Clmstian people. The T\liig leaders, and many of 
the most eminent Tories, considered that their pohtical 
honour and fortune were, in a measure, bound up with 
this cause. The parties were faithful to their leaders. 
The middle classes forgot their discontents, their dis- 
affection, and the little personal sympathy that they 
felt for the government, and wholly devoted themselves 
to the maintenance of their own welfare, and their 
country's essential interests. The Church and the 
Dissenters appeared animated by the same devoted- 
ness. Before this intelligent union of the aristocracy 
and the people, of the political and religious feelings 
of the country, the success of the Jacobites vanished 
as rapidly as it had arisen. The greatest danger in- 
curred by the new monarchy of England was also the 
last. From that time to this, some few secret designs, 
some plots that were frustrated as soon as they were 
conceived, have occasionally shown that it still had 
enemies. But the government established in 1688 had 
to pass through seventy years of laborious and painful 
trials before it was able to surmount the natural vices 
of every revolution, to restore peace to society, and to 
obtain an undisputed sway. In 1760, when Greorge III. 
ascended the throne, this work was accomplished, by 
what means and at what cost I have already explained. 
George III. had reigned for sixteen years when, at 

VOL. I. I 


the distance of more than three thousand miles from 
his capital, upwards of two milhons of his suhjects 
broke the bond that united them to his throne, pro- 
claimed their independence, and undertook to found 
the Eepubhc of the United States of America. A 
struggle of seven years sufficed to induce England to 
recognise their independence, and treat with the new 
State upon equal terms. Sixty-seven years have 
elapsed since that time ; and without effort, mthout 
any extraordinary occurrences, by the simple develop- 
ment of their institutions and of peaceful prosperity, 
the United States have taken a glorious place among 
the great nations of the earth. Never was such 
speedy greatness purchased so cheaply at its origin, 
and disturbed so little in its progress. 

It is not merely to the absence of any powerful 
rival, and to the immense tracts of country open 
before them, that the United States are indebted for 
this rare good fortune. Causes, less fortuitous and 
more moral, have also contributed to the rapidity and 
tranquillity of their rise to greatness. 

They entered into Hfe under the banner of law and 
justice. In their case also, the revolution which 
commenced their history was primarily an act of 
defence. They claimed the recognition of guarantees 
and principles which were inscribed in their charters ; 
and which the Parliament of England, that now 
refused them, had already triumphantly claimed and 
asserted in the mother-country, with much more vio- 
lence and disorder than the resistance of the colonies 
had entailed. 


Properly speaking, they did not attempt a revolu- 
tion. Their enterprise was undoubtedly great and 
perilous ; to obtain their independence, they had to 
carry on a war against a powerful enemy, and to 
found a central government, in the place of the distant 
power whose yoke they were casting off. But they 
had no revolution to effect in their local and private 
institutions ; each of the colonies already possessed a 
free government, as regarded its internal affairs ; and, 
on becoming a State, it had to make but few changes 
in the maxims and organization of its existing govern- 
ment. There was no old social order to be feared, 
detested, and destroyed ; attachment to ancient laws 
and customs, and affectionate respect for the past, were, 
on the contrary, the general feehngs of the people ; 
the colonial system, under the patronage of a distant 
monarchy, was easily transformed into a republican 
government, under the bond of a federal administra- 

Of all systems of government, a RepubHc is most 
certainly that to which the general and spontaneous 
assent of the country is most necessary. We may 
imagine, and we have seen, monarchies founded by 
violence ; but to impose a Republic on a nation, to 
estabhsh a popular government in opposition to the 
instinct and wishes of a people, is repugnant to 
common sense and to justice. The English colonies 
in America had no such difficulty to sm-mount in be- 
coming the Republic of the United States ; they were 
voluntarily republican; and in adopting the repub- 
lican form of government, they merely accomplished 

I 2 


the national wish, and developed, instead of abolishing, 
their previously-existing institutions. 

Their social order was disturbed no more than 
their political system. There was no struggle between 
the different classes : no violent displacement of social 
influences. Although the crown of England still had 
partisans in the colonies, the same spirit and the same 
intentions prevailed at every degree of the social scale. 
The rich and influential famihes were, generally speak- 
ing, most firm in their resolution to obtain independ- 
ence, and to found a new order of things. Tlie 
people followed them, and the change was effected 
under their cUrection. 

Rehgious opinions underwent no greater revolution 
than society had don€. The philosophical ideas of 
the eighteenth century, its moral scepticism and reli- 
gious incredulity, doubtless penetrated and became 
current in the United States of America ; but they 
did not completely imbue even those minds which 
they infected ; they were not fully adopted in their 
fundamental principles and final consequences ; the 
moral gravity and practical good sense of the old 
Puritans stiU retained their hold upon those Ame- 
ricans who were admirers of the French philosophers : 
and the mass of the American people remained faithful 
to simple Christianity, as mucli attached to their 
doctrines as to their hberties, submissive to God 
and to the Gospel whilst up in arms against the 
King and Parliament of England, and governed, 
whilst struggling for their independence, by that 
same faith which had led their ancestors to that land. 


to lay the foundations upon which the new State was 

The ideas and passions wliich, under the name of 
democracy, agitate and disorganize society at the pre- 
sent day, are current and powerful in the United States 
of America ; there they ferment with all the conta- 
gious errors and destructive vices that they contain. 
But hitherto they have been efficiently restrained and 
purified by the religious faith, the excellent political 
traditions, and the strong habits of obedience to law, 
wliich govern the people. At the same time that prin- 
ciples of anarchy audaciously display themselves upon 
this vast theatre, principles of order and conservatism 
subsist with powerful energy, in society as well as in 
individuals; their presence and influence are everywhere 
recognised, even by that party which denominates itself 
the democratic party par excellence ; they moderate and 
regulate it, and often preserve it unconsciously from 
its own fiery intemperance. These are the tutelar 
principles which presided over the origin of the 
American revolution, and insured its success. May 
Heaven grant that, in the formidable struggle which 
they now have everywhere to sustain, they may con- 
tinue to prevail among that powerful j^eople, and 
remain always at hand to guard it from the preci- 
pices which border so closely on its path ! 

Three great men, Cromwell, William III., and 
Washington, remain m history as the leaders and 
representatives of those critical events which decided 
the fate of two mighty nations. For extent and 
energy of natm-al talents, Cromwell is, perhaps, the 


most remarkable of the three. His mind was marvel- 
lously prompt, firm, supple, inventive, and perspi- 
cacious ; he possessed a vigour of character which no 
obstacle could discourage, and no conflict could tire. 
He pursued his plans with an ardour as inexhaustible 
as his patience, sometimes taking the longest and 
most circuitous roads, and sometimes the shortest 
and most precipitous paths. He excelled equally in 
winning and in ruhng men in personal andfamihar in- 
tercourse ; and he was equally skilled in organizing 
and conducting an army or a party. He had the 
instinct of popularity and the gift of authority, and 
he was able, with the same boldness, to let loose or to 
quell factions. But born in the midst of a revolution, 
and carried onwards by successive convulsions to su- 
preme power, his genius was, from first to last, essen- 
tially revolutionary; he had learned to understand 
the necessity of order and government, but he was 
unable either to respect or practise moral and perma- 
nent laws. In consequence of the imperfection of 
his nature, or the viciousness of his position, he 
wanted regularity and calmness in the exercise of 
power ; had immediate recourse to extreme measures, 
like a man continually assailed by mortal dangers ; 
and perpetuated or aggravated, by the violence of his 
remedies, the \aolent evils that he sought to cure. The 
foundation of a government is a task that requires 
measures of a more regular character, and more in 
conformity to the eternal laws of moral order. Crom- 
well was able to conquer the revolution that he had 
made but he could not succeed in establishing it. 


Though less powerful, perhaps, than CromweD, by 
nature, William III. and Washington succeeded in the 
enterprise in which he failed ; they fixed the destiny 
and established the government of their respective 
countries. This may be accounted for by the fact that, 
even in the midst of revolution, they never accepted 
or practised a revolutionary policy ; they never were 
placed in the fatal situation of using anarchical vio- 
lence as a stepping-stone to power, and then employ- 
ing despotic violence to maintain it. They found 
themselves placed, or they placed themselves, at the 
very outset, in the regular ways, and under the perma- 
nent conditions, of government. 

William was an ambitious prince : it is puerile to 
believe that, until the appeal was made to him in 1688, 
he had remained free from all desire of ascending the 
throne of England, and ignorant of the schemes which 
had long been on foot for raising him to it. William 
followed the progress of the scheme, step by step, 
without taking any part in it, but without discoun- 
tenancing it ; giving its authors no direct encourage- 
ment, but affording them all the protection in his 
power. His ambition had also the honour of being 
associated with the triumjDli of a great and just cause — 
the cause of religious Hberty and of the balance of 
power in Europe. No man ever made a great poli- 
tical design more thoroughly the ruhng idea and ex- 
clusive object of his life than Wilham did. He was 
ardently devoted to the work which he had to ac- 
complish ; and he considered his own aggrandisement 
as merely a means to that end. In hh designs upon 


the crown of England lie did not attempt to succeed 
by violence or disorder ; liis mind was too lofty and 
too well-regulated to be ignorant of the radical vicious- 
ness of such success, or to submit to its yoke. But 
when the career was opened to him by England her- 
self, he gave no more heed to the scruples of the pri- 
vate individual ; he was anxious that his cause should 
prevail, and that he should win the honour of the 

A glorious mixture of abihty and faith, of ambition 
and patriotism, Washington had no private ambition ; 
his country had need of him ; he became great to serve 
her, from duty rather than from choice, and some- 
times even with a painful effort. His experiences of 
public life were bitter ; and he preferred the independ- 
ence of private hfe and tranquillity of mind to the 
exercise of power. But he unhesitatingly undertook 
the task imposed upon him by his comitry, and, in 
performing it, he allowed no concessions to be made, 
either towards his country or himself, for the purpose 
of hghtening its burden. Born to govern, though he 
took no pleasure in it, he told the American people 
what he thought was the truth, and maintained, in 
governing them, what he thought w^as wise, with a 
simple but immoveable firmness, and a sacrifice of 
popularity which was all the more meritorious because 
it was not compensated by the pleasures of domination. 
The servant of an infant republic, in which the demo- 
cratic spirit prevailed, he obtained its confidence and 
secured its triumph by sustaining its interests against 
its inclinations, and by ]:)ractising that modest and 


severe, reserved and independent policy, which seems 
to belong only to the leader of an aristocratic senate, 
placed at the head of an ancient State. His success 
was remarkable, and does equal honour to Washington 
and to his country. 

Wliether we consider the destiny of nations, or that 
of great men ; whether we contemplate a monarchy or 
a repubhc, an aristocratic or a democratic society, the 
same light shines down upon us from the facts with 
wliich we become acquainted. Definitive success can 
be obtained only by holding the same principles, and 
pursuing the same paths. The revolutionary spirit is 
equally fatal to the dignities which it calls into being 
and to those which it overthrows. The pohcy which 
preserves a State is, also, the only policy that can ter- 
minate and consolidate a Eevolution. 






On the 17th of March, 1625, Charles the First 
ascended the throne of England ; and a few days after- 
ward, on the 2nd of April, he convoked a Parliament. 
The House of Commons met on the 1 8th of June, and 
scarcely had it assembled, when Sir Benjamin Rudyard, 
a worthy man, who, during the previous reign, had 
been reckoned among the adversaries of the Court, rose 


and moved that henceforward no pains should be 
spared to maintain perfect harmony between the king 
and his people : " For," he said, " what may we expect 
from him, being king? his good natural disposition, 
his freedom from vice, his travels abroad, and his being 
bred in Parliaments, promise greatly." ^ 

AU England, indeed, indulged in joy and hope ; — 
and not merely in those vague expectations, and those 
tumultuous rejoicings, which invariably herald the 
commencement of a new reign ; but in serious, general, 
and apparently well-founded satisfaction and anticipa- 
tions. Charles was a prince of grave and virtuous 
habits, and of acknowledged piety ; he was studious, 
learned, and frugal, with but little inclination to pro- 
digality, reserved, but not ill-tempered, and dignified 
without arrogance. In his household he maintained 
the utmost decorum and regularity ; all his actions be- 
tokened a lofty, upright, and justice-loving character ; 
his manners and deportment won him the respect of 
his courtiers and pleased the people ; and his virtues 
commanded the esteem of all good men. Tired of the 
ignoble conduct, the talkative and familiar pedantry, 
and the inert and pusillanimous policy of James I., 
England promised herself happiness and liberty, now 
that she was at length governed by a king whom she 
could honour. 

Neither Charles nor the English people were aware 
how far they were already estranged from each other ; 
nor did they know that causes had long been at work, 

' June 22, 1625 ; Parliamentary History, vol. li. col. 5. 


and were daily becoming more active, which would 
soon render it impossible for them to understand or to 
agree with one another. 

At this period, two revolutions, the one visible and 
strikingly apparent, the other internal and unnoticed, 
but not the less certain, were in process of accomplish- 
ment — the first, in European kingship ; and the second, 
in the social condition and manners of the English 

On the Continent, at this time, royalty, throwing 
aside its ancient trammels, was everywhere becoming 
almost absolute. In France, in Spain, and in most of 
the States of the Germanic Empire, it had crushed the 
feudal aristocracy, and ceased to protect the liberties 
of the commons, as it no longer needed to oppose them 
to other enemies. The great nobles, as if they had 
even lost all consciousness of their defeat, thronged 
round the thrones, and seemed almost to take pride in 
the splendour of their conquerors. The burgher class, 
naturally timid and locally scattered, rejoiced in the 
new order of things, which was productive to them of 
unexampled prosperity, and laboured to obtain wealth 
and enlightenment, without aspiring as yet to any 
share in the government of the State. On all sides, 
the splendour of courts, the prompt despatch of ad- 
ministrative business, and the extent and regularity 
of wars, proclaimed the preponderance of the royal 
power. The maxims of divine right and kingly sove- 
reignty universally prevailed, and were feebly contested 
even where they were not positively admitted. In a 
word, the progress of civilization, literature, and the 


arts, under the fostering influence of peace and internal 
prosperity, adorned and beautified this triumph of 
pure monarchy — inspiring princes with j)resumptuous 
confidence, and people with admiring complacency. 

The royal power in England had not remained 
unafiected by this European movement. Since the 
accession of the House of Tudor, in 1485, it had 
ceased to fear the opposition of those proud barons, 
who, though too weak to contend individually against 
theu' king, had in former times succeeded, by coahtion, 
either in maintaining their rights, or in forcibly ob- 
taining a share in the exercise of the royal authority. 
Mutilated, impoverished, and enfeebled by their own 
excesses, and most of all by the wars of the two Eoses, 
this aristocracy, so long indomitable, yielded almost 
unresistingly, first to the haughty tyranny of 
Henry VIIL, and afterwards to the able government 
of Elizabeth. On becoming the head of the Church, 
and the possessor of her immense estates, Henry, by 
distributing them Hberally among famihes, whose 
fortunes he founded, or whose decayed grandeur he 
thus restored, began the metamorphosis of his barons 
into courtiers. During the reign of Elizabeth, this 
transformation was completed. A woman and a 
Queen, a brilliant Court both gratified her tastes and 
augmented her authority. The nobihty hastened 
thither with enthusiasm, and without too greatly 
exciting public discontent ; it was a rare temptation 
to be able to devote themselves to the ser\dce of a 
popular sovereign, and to seek, by means of intrigues, 
and in the midst of festivities, the favour of a Queen 


who possessed the aifection of the country. The 
maxims, forms, and phraseology, and frequently 
even the practices, of pure monarchy, were tolerated 
in a government which was usefal and glorious to the 
nation ; the love of the people screened the servihty 
of the courtiers ; and towards a woman, whose every 
peril was a public danger, unbounded devotion seemed 
to be a law to the gentleman, and a duty to the 
Protestant and citizen. 

The Stuarts could not fail to continue in the course 
which, since the accession of the House of Tudor, the 
monarchy of England had pursued. Of Scotch birth, 
and sprung from the blood of Guise, James I., both 
by his family recollections and the habits of liis 
country, was attached to Trance, and accustomed to 
seek his allies and models upon the Continent, where 
an Enghsh prince ordinarily could see none but enemies. 
He, therefore, soon showed that he was more deeply 
imbued than EHzabeth, or even Henry VIII., had 
been with those maxims which were then establisliing 
pure monarchy in Europe : he professed them with all 
the pride of a theologian and the complacency of a 
king ; and, by the pomposity of his declarations, con- 
tinually protested against the timidity of his actions 
and the Hmits set to his power. When compelled, as 
he sometimes was, to defend, by more direct and simple 
arguments, the measures of liis government, such as 
arbitrary imprisonments or illegal taxes, James would 
adduce the example of the King of France or Spain. 
" The King of England," said his ministers to the 
House of Commons, " must not be in a worse condition 


than his equals."^ And such, even in England, was 
the influence of the revolution which had recently 
taken place in royal power on the Continent, that the 
adversaries of the Court were embarrassed by tliis 
language, — feeling almost convinced that the dignity 
of princes required that they should enjoy the same 
rights, and yet unable to reconcile this necessary 
equality among crowned heads with the liberties of 
their country. 

Brought up from childhood in these pretensions and 
maxims, Prince Charles, when he became a man, was 
exposed still more nearly to then' contagious influence. 
The Infemta of Spain was promised to him ; and the 
Duke of Buckingham suggested that he should proceed 
incognito to Madrid, to sue in person for her love and 
hand. So cliivabous an idea fired the young man's 
imagination : the only difficulty was to obtain the 
King's consent. James refused, grew angry, wept, 
and yielded at length to his favourite, rather than to 
his son." Charles arrived at Madrid, in March, 1623, 
and was received with great honom-s. There he saw, 
in all its splendour, monarchy majestic and supreme, 
obtaining from its servants almost idolatrous devotion, 
and from its subjects almost religious respect ; rarely 
receiving contradiction and always certain, in the end, 
to soar above all opposition by the simple exercise of 
its will. The marriage of Charles to the Infanta was 
broken off; but, in her stead, he married Henrietta 

' Journals of the House of Commons, vol. i. pp. 467, 481, 492. 
2 Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. i. pp 19 — 33. 


Maria, a princess of France ; ' for, beyond these two 
courts, his father persisted in regarding every alliance 
unworthy of the dignity of his throne. The influence 
of this union upon the English prince was in no 
respect different from that to which he had already 
been subjected in Spain ; and the royalty of Paris or 
Madrid became, in his e3^es, the true type of the 
natural and legitimate condition of a king. 

Thus the English monarchy — as tar at least as the 
monarch, his counsellors, and court, were concerned — 
was following the same direction as the monarchies of 
the Continent. Here, also, every event disclosed the 
symptoms and effects of the revolution which had 
been consummated in other countries, and which, in 
its most modest pretensions, allowed tlie liberties of 
the subject to exist only as subordinate rights — con- 
cessions of the sovereign's generosity. 

But whilst, on tlie Continent, this revolution found 
the people still incapable of resisting it, and perhaps 
even disposed to welcome it, in England, a counter- 
revolution, quietly pervading society, had already 
undermined the ground beneath the feet of pure 
monarchy, and prepared its ruin in the midst of its 

When, at the accession of the Tudors, the aris- 
tocracy bowed and humbled themselves before the 
throne, the English commons were not in a position 

' This marriage, though negotiated in 1024, was not definitively con- 
cluded until the month of May, 1625, and it was celebrated in England 
in the month of .Tune following. 

VOL. I. K 


to take their place in the struggle of liberty against 
power; they would not even have ventured to aspire 
to the lionour of the contest. In the fourteenth 
century, at the time when they made their most rapid 
progress, their ambition was limited to obtaining a 
recognition of their first rights, and to securing a few 
incomplete and unstable guarantees : their imagination 
never soared so high as to suppose that it was their 
right to participate in the sovereign power, and to 
interpose, in a permanent and decisive manner, in the 
government of the country : such lofty privileges 
could be possessed, they thought, by the barons alone. 

In the sixteenth century, when worn out and 
ruined, like the barons, by the civil wars, the Commons 
stood most of all in need of order and repose : this 
was secured to them by the royal power, imperfectly, 
it is true, but nevertheless with more certainty and 
regularity than they had ever known before. They 
accepted the benefit with eager gratitude. Separated 
from their ancient leaders, and left almost alone in 
presence of the throne and of those barons who had 
formerly been their alhes, their language became 
humble, and their conduct timid ; so that the King 
was justified in beheving that henceforward the people 
would be as submissive as the nobles. 

But the people in England was not, as on the 
Continent, an ill-assorted coalition of burghers and 
peasants, who had been emancipated by slow degrees, 
and who were still bent beneath the yoke of their 
ancient servitude. As early as the fourteenth ccn- 


tury, the most numerous portion of the feudal 
aristocracy — all those possessors of small fiefs who were 
not rich and influential enough to share the supreme 
power with the great barons, but who were proud of 
the same origin, and long possessed the same rights — 
had taken their place among the Commons of England. 
Thus becoming the leaders of the nation, they had 
more than once supplied it with a strength and bold- 
ness which the burgher class alone would have been in- 
capable of manifesting. Though weakened and de- 
pressed, Hke aU the rest of the nation, by the lengthened 
disasters of civil discord, they speedily recovered their 
pride and importance under the reign of peace. 
WTnlst the chief nobility thronged to court to repair 
their losses, and received from the King borrowed 
dignities, as corrupting as they were precarious, and 
which, without restoring to them their former fortunes, 
separated them more and more widely from the 
country ; the simple gentlemen, the freeholders, and 
the citizens, whose only anxiety was to turn their 
lands or capital to good account, increased in wealth 
and credit, became daily more closely united among 
themselves, drew the entire people under their influence, 
and without noise, without political design, without 
even a consciousness of what they were doing, concen- 
trated in their own hands all those social forces which 
are the true sources of power. 

In the towns, commerce and industry were gaining 
rapid development. The city of London acquired 
immense wealth ; the King, the Court, and almost all 
the great nobles of the realm, became its debtors, and 

K 2 


though always insolent, were always necessitous. The 
mercantile marine, the nursery of the royal navy, was 
numerous and active in every sea ; and the sailors 
fully shared in the interests and dispositions of the 

In the country districts, things followed the same 
course : property became more extensively divided. 
The feudal laws placed obstacles in the way of the 
sale and partition of fiefs : these were indu'ectly 
abolished, at least in part, by a statute of Henry VII. ; 
the nobility received this as a boon, and hastened to 
avail themselves of it. They alienated, in like manner' 
most of the vast domains distributed among them by 
Henry VIII. -The King encouraged these sales, in 
order to increase the number of possessors of eccle- 
siastical property ; and the courtiers were obliged to 
have recourse to them, for no abuses could suffice to 
meet their necessities. At a later period, EHzabeth, 
in order to avoid asking for subsidies, which are 
always burdensome even to the power that obtains 
them, sold a large quantity of the Crown lands. 
Nearly all these properties were purchased either by 
the country gentlemen who lived on their estates, by 
the freeholders who cultivated their patrimonial farms, 
or by citizens who retired from trade ; for they alone 
had acquired, by labour and economy, the means of 
paying for what the prince and his courtiers were 
unable to keep.^ Agriculture prospered ; the counties 
and towns were teeming with a rich, active, and 
independent population ; and the movement which 

' Clarendon's History of the Relit'llion, vol. i. p. 13.3. 


had transferred into tlieir hands a large part of the 
public fortune was so rapid that, in 1628, when the 
Parliament opened, the House of Commons was three 
times as wealthy as the House of Lords. ^ 

In proportion as this revolution progressed the 
Commons bea'an again to manifest their aversion to 
tyranny. Now that they possessed more property, 
greater security became indispensable. Eights which 
had long been exercised by the prince without exciting 
complaint, and which still continued to be exercised 
without hindrance, now began to appear very much 
Hke abuses, for a much larger number of persons felt 
their weight. Men inquired whether the King had 
always possessed these rights, and whether he ought 
ever to have possessed them. By degrees the memory 
of the people reverted to thoughts of their ancient 
liberties, of the efforts by which the great charter had 
been won, and of the maxims which that charter con- 
secrated. The courtiers spoke disdainfully of these 
old times as rude and barbarous ; but the people re- 
garded them with respect and affection as free and 
bold. Their glorious achievements had become almost 
useless, but yet they were not utterly lost. The Par- 
liament had not ceased to assemble, and kings, finding 
it tractable and docile, had even employed it very 
frequently as an instrument of their power. Under 

'^ Hume, in his History of England, vol. iv. p. 413, quotes Sanderson 
and Walker, two historians of little authority, in support of this asser- 
tion. I have been unable to discover, in contemporary writers whose 
testimony merits greater confidence, any such precise valuation of the 
comparative wealth of the two Houses ; but we have every proof that 
the House of Commons was far richer than the House of Lords. 


Henry VIII., Mary, and Elizabeth, juries had be- 
haved with complaisance, and even with servility ; but 
the institution still existed. The towns had retained 
their charters, and the corporations their franchises. 
Thus, though it was long since they had ventured 
upon resistance, the Commons possessed the means of 
resistance to a large extent ; they were far less de- 
ficient in free institutions than in the power and will 
to profit by them. Power was restored to them by 
that revolution which had so wonderfully increased 
their material greatness ; and that good will might not 
be wanting, all that was required was another revolu- 
tion which should impart to them moral greatness, 
embolden their ambition, elevate their ideas, and lead 
them to regard resistance as a duty and dominion as a 
necessity. This was accomplished by the religious 

The Reformation was proclaimed in England by a 
despot, and inaugurated by acts of tyranny. Wliile 
yet in its infancy it persecuted its partisans as well as 
its enemies. With one hand Henry VIII. erected 
scaffolds for the Catholics, and with the other he 
heaped up faggots to burn those Protestants who 
refused to subscribe to the creed and approve of the 
constitution which the new Church had received from 

There were, therefore, from the outset, two reforma- 
tions — that effected by the King, and that adopted by 
the people ; the one uncertain and servile, caring more 
for its temporal interests than for matters of faith, 
alarmed at the movement which had given it birth, 


and striving to borrow from Catholicism all that it 
could decently retain after separating from it; the 
other spontaneous and ardent, contemning worldly 
considerations, wiUing to accept the consequences of 
its principles ; in short, a true moral revolution, under- 
taken in the name and love of faith. 

Though temporarily united by common sufferings 
during the reign of Queen Mary, and by common joy 
at the accession of Elizabeth, these two reformations 
could not fail ere long to disagree with and attack 
each other. And such was their situation that the 
State was naturally involved in their disputes. By 
separating from the independent head of the universal 
Church, the AngHcan Church had lost all her indi- 
vidual strength, and her right and power became 
dependent upon the power and right of the Sovereign 
of the State. She was thus devoted to the cause of 
civil despotism, and compelled to profess its maxims in 
order to legitimate her origin, and to serve its inte- 
rests in order to save her own. The Nonconformists, 
on theu' side, when attacking their religious adver- 
saries, found themselves compelled also to attack their 
temporal sovereign, and, in order to effect the reforma- 
tion of the Church, to assert the Hberties of the citizen. 
The King had taken the place of the Pope ; the An- 
glican clergy, heirs of the Cathohc priesthood, acted 
always in the King's name ; in every ecclesiastical 
question, whether it related to a dogma, a ceremony, 
or a prayer, the erection of an altar, or the shape of a 
sm'pHce, the royal power was as much concerned as 


the episcopal authority, and the civil government as 
much interested as Church discipline and faith. 

Before the perilous necessity of a double conflict 
with both Church and King, of a simultaneous re- 
formation of both religion and the State, the Noncon- 
formists at first hesitated. Popery and everything that 
resembled it was hateful and unlawful in their sight ; 
but the royal authority, even though despotic, had not 
yet become so. Henry VIII. had begun the Reforma- 
tion, Elizabeth had saved it. The boldest Puritans 
wavered before measuring the right and fixing the 
limits of a power to which they were so deeply in- 
debted ; and if a few ventured to advance against this 
sanctuary, the astonished nation was thankful to them 
for their hardihood, but did not follow them. 

The necessity was, however, pressing ; the Reforma- 
tion must either retrograde, or must lay hands upon 
the government, which alone obstructed its progress. 
Men's minds grew gradually bolder ; energy of con- 
science led to fearlessness of thought and plan ; 
religious faith stood in need of political rights ; and 
the people began to inquire why they did not enjoy 
them, who had usurped them, by what right they had 
been thus usurped, and what was to be done to recover 
them. The obscure citizen who, not long before, 
would have bowed with respect at the mere name of 
Elizabeth, and would never, perhaps, have looked 
more boldly towards the throne if he had discovered 
a connexion between the tyranny of the liishops -dud 
that of the Queen, sternly questioned them both as to 


their pretensions, when compelled to do so in defence 
of his faith. It was especially among the country 
gentlemen, the freeholders, the citizens, and the com- 
mon people, that this determination prevailed to inves- 
tigate and resist abuses in the government, as well as 
errors of doctrine, for it was among these classes that 
the rehgious reformation was fermenting and struggling 
to advance. Caring less about their creed, the courtiers 
and many of the inferior nobility, had remained satis- 
fied with the innovations of Henry VIII. or his suc- 
cessors, and supported the Anglican Church from 
conviction, indifference, selfishness, or loyalty. Less 
concerned in the interests, and at the same time more 
exposed to the attacks of power, the English Com-, 
mons henceforward assumed a different attitude, and 
adopted other ideas, in regard to their relations with 
royalty. From day to day their timidity disappeared, 
and their ambition rose higher. The views of the 
citizen, of the freeholder, and even of the peasant, 
soared far above his actual condition. He was a 
Clrristian ; in his family, or among liis friends, he 
boldly studied the mysteries of divine power ; what 
earthly power, he asked, could be so high that he must 
abstain from considering it ? In the sacred Scriptures, 
he read the laws of God ; to render obedience to them, 
he was forced to resist other laws ; it therefore became 
necessary for him to ascertain where human legislation 
ought to terminate. But when a man seeks to learn 
the limits of a master's rights, he will soon extend his 
inquiries to their origin. Accordingly, the nature of 
the royal power and of all powers, their ancient limits, 


their recent usurpations, and the conditions and sources 
of their legitimacy became, thoughout all England, a 
subject of examination and conversation ; of examina- 
tion, at first very modest, and undertaken rather from 
necessity than taste ; of conversations long held in 
secret, and which, even when introduced, no one dared 
at first to carry very far, but which emancipated men's 
minds from thraldom, and inspired them with a bokl- 
ness previously unknown. Elizabeth, though popular 
and respected, was herself conscious of the eflfects of 
this growing tendency,^ and vigorously resisted it, 
taking care, however, not to incur needless risk. 
Matters became far worse under the rule of James I. 
.A feeble and contemptible prince, he wished to be 
thought a despot ; but the dogmatic display of his 
impotent pretensions only provoked new acts of bold- 
ness, which he exasperated, but could not repress. 
The mind of the people took a free flight, whicli no 
assumptions could check ; the monarch was an object 
of ridicule, his favourites a subject of indignation. On 
the throne, and at Court, arrogance was destitute of 
power, and even of dignity ; the prevalence of the 
basest corruption inspired serious men with the deepest 
feelings of disgust, and exposed even the highest ranks 
to degrading insults from the people. To look such 
abuses in the face and calmly measure their extent was 
no longer the exclusive privilege of exalted minds ; 
such audacity now became popiJar. The opposition 
soon began to manifest as much haughtiness and 
greater confidence than the supreme power ; and it 

' Sec vVppoiidix I. 


was not the opposition of the great barons, or of the 
House of Peers, but of the House of Commons — 
wliich was resolved to take that position in the State, 
and to exercise that influence over the government, to 
which it was justly entitled, but which it had never yet 
possessed. Their indifference to the pompous menaces 
of the sovereign, and their dignified but respectful 
language, made it evident that a great change had taken 
place, that they now thought high-mindedly, and were 
resolved to act with authority ; and the secret con- 
sciousness of this moral revolution had soon spread so 
widely that, in 1G21, when awaiting a Committee 
which the House had deputed to address to him a 
severe remonstrance, James said, with an irony which 
was assuredly less painful than it ought to have been, 
" Set twelve chairs ; here are twelve kings come to me."' 

In fact, it was almost a senate of kings, which an 
absolute monarch summoned around his throne, when 
Charles I. convoked the Parliament. Neither the 
prince nor the people, and especially the latter, had as 
yet clearly ascertained the basis, or measured the 
extent of their pretensions. They came together with 
plans and sincere hopes of union ; but, in reality, their 
disunion was already consummated, for both thought 
as sovereigns. 

As soon as the session was opened, the House of 
Commons turned its attention to the whole range of 
the government ; foreign and domestic affau's, negocia- 
tions and alliances, the use made of past subsidies, the 

' Eapin's History of England, vol. viii. p. 183 ; Keunet's Complete 
History of England, vol. ii. p. 743. 


employment of future grants, the state of religion, tlie 
repression of Popery — nothing seemed to fall beyond 
their cognizance. On the 11th of August, 1G25, they 
complained that the royal navy afforded insufficient 
protection to English commerce ;^ and on the 6th of 
July, they censured Dr. Montague, one of the King's 
chaplains, for defending the Romish church, and 
preaching the duty of passive obedience.^ They ex- 
pected the redress of all their grievances from the King- 
alone, but manifested their determination to interfere 
in all matters requu'ing examination, by inquiries, 
petitions, and the constant expression of their opinion. 

They made but few complaints against the govern- 
ment of Charles ; it was only just beginning. How- 
ever, so extensive and animated an examination of 
public affairs could not fail to be regarded by the 
monarch as an encroachment on his prerogatives : so 
much liberty of speech offended him. On the 6th of 
August, 1625, a member of the Court party, Mr. 
Edward Clarke, attempted to complain of this in the 
House, saying " that there had been speeches there, 
with invective bitterness, and very unseasonable for 
the time." He was called immediately to the bar by 
general acclamation, and ordered to explain himself; 
and, as he would not withdraw his statement, the 
House was on the point of expelling him.^ 

Their speech, indeed, was bold, though conveyed in 
humble terms. " We do not desire, as 5 Henry IV. 
or 29 Henry VI., the removing from about the King 

' Pai'liamentary History, ^ ol. ii. col. 35. 
'■^ Ibid., col. (;. ^ Il)id., col. 13. 


of evil counsellors. We do not request a choice by 
name, as 14 Edward III., 3, 5, 11 Eichard II., 8 
Henry IV., or 31 Henry VI. ; nor to swear tliem in 
Parliament as 35 Edward I., 9 Edward II., or 5 
Eichard II. ; or to line them out their directions of 
rule, as 43 Henry III. and 8 Henry VI. ; or desire 
that wliicli Henry III. did promise in his forty-second 
year, se acta omnia per assensum magnatum de concilio 
suo electorum, et sine eorum assensu nihil. We only in 
loyal duty offer up our humble desires that, since his 
Majesty hath, with advised judgment, elected so wise, 
rehgious, and worthy servants to attend him in that 
high employment, he will be pleased to advise with 
them together, a way of remedy for those disasters in 
state, led in by long security and happy peace, and 
not with young and single council." ' Thus spoke 
Sir Eobert Cotton, a man illustrious for his learning, 
eloquence, and moderation, on the 6th of August, 
1625 ; and the House, while protesting with him that 
it had no intention to imitate the boldness of the 
ParHament of bygone days, rejoiced to hear these 
instances recalled to mind. 

The King began to feel displeased ; however, he 
made no complaint. Such language, though trouble- 
some, did not as yet appear to be dangerous. Besides, 
he was in want of subsidies. The last Parliament had 
ardently desired war with Spain ; and the present one 
could not reasonably refuse to carry it on. Charles 
insisted that the means for so doing should be fur- 

' Howell's Cottoni Postliuma, p. 281 ; Parliamentary History, vol. ii. 
cols. 14—17. 


nished him without delay ; and promised to redress all 
just grievances. 

But the House would no longer trust to promises, 
even when made by a King who had never yet broken 
liis word, and whom they regarded with esteem. 
Princes inherit the faults as well as the thrones of 
their predecessors. Charles thought that his subjects 
should fear nothing from him, because he had done 
them no harm ; the people were of opinion that all 
past evils should be remedied, so that they might 
have notliing to fear for the future. The Commons 
granted at first only a slender subsidy, and the cus- 
toms' duties were voted only for a year : this last vote 
appeared an insult, and the Upper House refused to 
sanction it. Less confidence, the Court inferred, was felt 
in King Charles than in his predecessors, who had 
always obtained the customs' duties for the entire 
dm*ation of their reign. And yet the King had just 
explained, with rare sincerity, the state of the finances 
of the realm ; and had refused no document, and no 
explanation, that had been demanded. The urgency 
of his necessities was evident; and there was little 
wisdom, thought the Lords, in so soon displeasing, 
with no apparent motives, a young prince who had 
manifested every disposition to maintain a good under- 
standing with the Parliament. 

The House of Commons did not declare that they 
would not grant larger subsidies ; but continued their 
examination of grievances, resolved (without however, 
announcing their resolution) to obtain, in the first in- 
stance, their redress. The King was indignant that 


they should venture thus to lay down the law to him, 
and suppose that he would either yield to force, or 
find himself unable to continue the government. It 
was neither more nor less than a usurpation of that 
sovereignty which belonged to himself alone, and 
which in no case should be compromised. The Parlia- 
ment was dissolved on the 12th of August. 

Thus, notwithstanding their mutual good will, the 
prince and the people had met only to come into col- 
hsion ; they separated, without either side feeling 
itself weak or beheving itself in the wrong — equally 
certain of the legitimacy of their pretensions, and 
equally determined to persist in maintaining them. 
The Commons protested that they were devoted to the 
King, but that they would not sacrifice their liberties 
to their devotion. The King declared that he respected 
the liberties of his subjects, but that he would con- 
trive to govern alone. 

He began tliis experiment at once. Orders of Coun- 
cil were addressed to the Lords-Lieutenants of the 
counties, enjoining them to raise, by way of loan, the 
money which the King needed.^ They were instructed 
to apply for it to the wealthy citizens, and to transmit 
to court the names of those who refused, or even de- 
layed, to advance the necessarj; sums. Affection and 
fear were thus rehed upon to produce the desired re- 
sult. At the same time, a fleet put to sea to attempt 
an expedition against Cadiz, the bay of which city was 
crowded with richly-freighted vessels. In the mean- 
while, to give some satisfaction to the people, the 

' Old Parliamentary History, vol. vi. p. 407. 


clergy received orders to proceed with severity against 
all Papists ; they were forbidden to travel more than 
five miles from their dwellings without special per- 
mission ; they were commanded to recall from the 
Continent their children whom they had sent thither 
for education ; and they were disarmed. The Com- 
mons had demanded their own liberties ; in return, 
they were allowed a Httle tyranny over their enemies. 
Tliis contemptible expedient did not satisfy them ; 
and, moreover, the very persecution of the Papists 
wore an equivocal and suspicious character ; for the 
King either sold them indulgences, or secretly granted 
them pardons. The loan supplied the treasury w4tli 
but scanty funds ; the expedition against Cadiz failed ; 
the people attributed this reverse to the incompetency of 
the admiral and the drunkenness of the troops ; and the 
government was accused of knowing neither how to 
select its commanders, nor how to preserve the disci- 
pline of its soldiers. Six months had scarcely elapsed 
before a new Parliament was judged necessary : it met 
on the Gth of February, 1626. Eancorous feehngs 
had not yet taken very deep root in the young King's 
heart ; and his despotism was at once confident and 
timid. He believed that the Commons would be de- 
lighted to meet again so soon ; and perhaps even he 
hoped that the firmness which he had displayed would 
be productive of greater complaisance on their part. 
Besides, he had taken measures to exclude the most 
popular speakers from the new Parliament. The Earl 
of Bristol, a personal enemy of the Duke of Bucking- 
ham, received no summons to attend. Sir Edvvard 


Coke, Sir Eobert Philips, Sir Thomas Wentworth, Sir 
Francis Sejmioiir, and others,^ were appointed sheriffs 
of their counties, and could not therefore be elected as 
their representatives. No doubt was entertained that, 
in their absence, the House of Commons would prove 
more tractable ; for, it was said, the people loved the 
King, only a few factious persons led them astray. 

But the Commons also thought that the King was 
being led astray, and that, to restore him to his people, 
it would be enough to deprive liim of his favoui'ite. 
The first Parliament had confined itself to exacting 
from the throne, by delay in granting subsidies, the 
redress of public grievances ; the second Parhament 
resolved to attack the author of all these grievances, 
though he stood next to the throne. The Duke of 
Buckingham was impeached on the 21st of February, 

Buckingham was one of those men who seem born 
to shine in courts, and to displease nations. Hand- 
some, presumptuous, magnificent, daringly frivolous, 
sincere and warm in his attachments, frank and 
haughty in his enmities, equally incapable of virtue 
and hypocrisy, he governed with no political design, 
caring neither for the interests of the country, nor even 
for those of the ruling power, but solely intent upon 
increasing his own greatness, and upon the pleasure 
of swaying his sovereign by the brilliancy of his 
qualities. At one moment he had endeavoured to 
make himself popular, and he had succeeded in the 

• Seven in all ; the three others, of less celebrity, were Sir Grey 
Palmer, Sir William Fleetwood, and Mr. Edward Alford. 

VOL. I. L 


attempt ; the rupture of Charles's marriage with the 
Infanta of Spain had been his work. But public 
favour was to him only a means of using royal favour 
as he pleased ; so that when he became unpopular 
again, he scarcely perceived it, so proud was he of 
having preserved that ascendancy over Charles which 
he had so insolently exercised over James I. No 
talent sustained his ambition ; frivolous passions were 
the only object of his intrigues ; to seduce a woman, 
or to ruin a rival, he would compromise, with arrogant 
imprudence, the safety of his king or the welfare of 
his country. The rule of such a man was regarded, 
by a people who daily became more serious, as an 
insult as well as a calamity ; and the duke continued 
to appropriate to himself the highest offices in the 
State, ^ without appearing, even in the eyes of the mul- 
titude, anything more than an inglorious upstart, a 
rash and incapable favourite. 

The attack of the Commons was violent. It was 
difficult to prove any legal crimes against Buckingham ; 
so the House voted, on the 22nd of April, 1626, that 
" common fame was a sufficient ground to proceed 

' He was Duke, Marquis, and Earl of Buckingham, Earl of Coventry, 
Viscount Villiers, Baron of Whaddon, Great Admiral of England and 
Ireland, &c.. General Governor of the Seas and Ships of the same ; 
Lieu tenant-General, Admiral, Captain- General, and Governor of his 
Majesty's Fleet and Army ; Master of the Horse ; Lord "Warden, Chan- 
cellor, and Admiral of the Cinque Ports ; Constable of Dover Castle, 
Justice in Eyre of the Forest of Cliaces on this side the Trent, Con- 
stable of the Castle of Windsor, Gentleman of the Bedchamber, Knight 
of the Garter, Privy Councillor, &c. The value of the Crown lands 
engrossed by him was estimated at 284,395Z. sterling, besides other ad- 
vantages. — Brodie's History of the BritishEmpire, vol. ii. p. .122. 


upon,"' and collected together aU the heads of accusa- 
tion suggested by public rumour. The duke vindi- 
cated himself from most of these charges satisfactorily, 
but fruitlessly. It was his bad government which the 
House was anxious to reform ; and though innocent 
of theft, assassination, or treason, Buckingham was 
not the less pernicious. The boldness of the Commons 
gave fresh courage to Court feuds. In March, 1626, 
the Earl of Bristol complained of not having been 
summoned to attend Parliament.^ Buckingham, who 
feared him, wished to keep him out of the way. The 
House of Lords acknowledged the Earl's right, and 
Charles sent him a summons, but, at the same time, 
commanded him to remain on his estates. The Earl 
appealed again to the House, beseeching it to examine 
whether the liberties of all the peers of the realm did 
not require that he should come and take his seat. 
The King immediately had him impeached of high 
treason.^ In self-defence, Bristol, in his turn, im- 
peached Buckingham,^ and Charles found his favourite 
pursued at once by the representatives of the people 
and by an old courtier. 

Such a state as this was too menacing to his autho- 
rity and too offensive to his pride. His opponents 
had been unable to convict Buckingham of any crime . 
their hostihty must therefore be directed against him 
as the King's friend and minister. He said to the 

' Parliamentary History, vol. ii. cols. 52 — 55. 

* Ibid., vol. ii. cols. 72—78. 

^ On the 1st of May, 1626. Ibid., vol. ii. cols. 79—86. 

* Ibid., vol. ii. cols. 86—88 

L 2 


Commons : "I must let you know that I will not 
allow any of my servants to be questioned amongst 
you, much less such as are of eminent place, and near 
unto me. The old question was, ' Wliat shall be done to 
the man whom the King will honour ?' But now it hath 
been the labour of some to seek what may be done against 

him whom the King thinks fit to honour 

I wish you would hasten my supply, or else it will be 
worse for yourselves ; for, if any iU happen, I think I 
shall be the last that shall feel it."' At the same 
time he forebade the judges to answer the questions 
which the Upper House had submitted to them in 
reference to an incident in the Earl of Bristol's trial, ^ 
fearing that their opinion might turn in his favour. 

The judges were silent, but the House of Commons 
pursued its course. On the 3rd of May, eight of its 
members were appointed to manage the impeachment 
of Buckingham, in a conference with the Upper 
House. ^ When the conference was over, the King 
committed two of the managers, Sir Dudley Digges 
and Sir John Eliot, to the Tower, for insolent lan- 
guage." Irritated by this proceeding, the House 
declared that it would suspend all business until they 
were set at liberty.^ In vain did the friends of the 
court endeavour to alarm the House with regard to 

* Parliamentary History, vol. ii. col. 50. 

* Ibid., vol. ii. col. 105. 

^ Journals of the House of Commons, vol. i. p. 854. These eight 
managers were Sir Dudley Digges, Mr. Herbert, Mr. Selden, Mr. Glan- 
ville, Mr. Pyne, Mr. Whitby, Mr. Wandesford, and Sir John Ehot. 

•* Parliamentary History, vol. ii. col. 103. 

* Ibid., vol ii. col. 119. 


the fate of the ParHament itself;' their menace ap- 
peared only an insult, and they were obliged to apolo- 
gise for having insinuated that the King might pro- 
bably be tempted to govern alone, like the princes of 
the Continent. The two prisoners were quickly dis- 
charged from the Tower. ^ 

On its part the House of Peers demanded the hber- 
ation of Lord Arundel, whom the King had impri- 
soned during the session, and Charles yielded in this 
case also.^ 

Tired of finding himself defeated by adversaries 
whom he had called together and might at any time 
disperse ; urged by his anxious favourite ; after 
having tried a few acts of complaisance, wliicli were 
always welcomed with delight, but which prevented no 
movement of reform ; and hearing at length that the 
House of Commons was preparing a general remon- 
strance — Charles determined to deliver himself from a 
position which humiliated him in the eyes of Europe 
and in his own opinion. The report spread that the 
Parliament was soon to be dissolved. The Upper 
House, which w^as beginning to seek for popular 
favour, hastened to address a petition to the King to 
divert him from this design, and all the peers accom- 
panied the committee which had been appointed to 
present it. " No, not a minute !" exclaimed Charles, 
in reply to their request for a longer sitting.* The 

' May 13, 1626. Parliamentary History, vol. ii, col. 120. 

* Ibid., vol. ii. col. 122, 124. 

3 June 8, 1626. Ibid., vol. ii. cols. 125—132. 

■* June 15, 1626. Ibid., vol. ii. col. 193. 


dissolution of Parliament was immediately pronounced, 
and the reasons for it set forth in a royal declaration. 
The projected remonstrance of the Commons was 
pubhcly burnt, and all who possessed copies of it were 
ordered to commit them to the flames.^ Lord Arundel 
was placed under arrest again in his own house ; Lord 
Bristol was sent to the Tower -^ the Duke of Buck- 
ingham thought himself saved ; and Charles felt him- 
self a King. 

His joy was as short-lived as his foresight had been 
limited; for absolute power has also its necessities. 
Engaged in a ruinous war against Spain and Austria, 
Charles had not an army at his disposal which he could 
employ to vanquish his enemies and his subjects at the 
same time. His land troops were few in number, ill- 
disciphned, and exceedingly expensive ; Puritanism 
prevailed among the sailors ; and he did not dare to 
rely upon the militia, who were more under the in- 
fluence of the citizens and county gentlemen than 
under that of the King. He had put his opponents 
out of the way, but not his embarrassments and obsta- 
cles; and the reckless pride of Buckingham now 
plunged him into fresh difficulties. To revenge himself 
upon Cardinal Richelieu, who would not allow him to 
return to Paris to follow up his daring successes with 
Anne of Austria, he induced his master to enter into 
a war with France. The interests of Protestantism 
served as his pretext -. it was indispensable to raise the 
siege of La Rochelle, and to prevent the ruin of the 

' Parliamentary History, vol. ii. col. 207. 
'' Ibid., vol. ii. col. 193. 


French reformers. It was hoped that, in such a cause 
as this, the people would arm with passionate zeal, or 
at least allow themselves to be easily oppressed. 

A general loan was ordered, of the same amount as 
the subsidies which the Parliament had promised, but 
not voted. The commissioners were instructed to in- 
terrogate all recalcitrants regarding the reasons of 
their refusal ; and to learn who had induced them to 
refuse, what arguments had been used to persuade 
them to do so, and what was the object in view. This 
was at once an attack upon the fortunes, and an inqui- 
sition into the opinions, of the people. Regiments 
were sent into the counties, and quartered upon the 
inhabitants. The ports and maritime districts received 
orders to furnish ships fully armed and equipped for 
war ; tliis was the first attempt at ship-money. Twenty 
were demanded of the City of London : the citizens 
replied that Queen Elizabeth had not required so many 
to repel the invincible Armada of Philip II. ; but they 
were told in answer that " the precedents in former 
times were obedience and not direction."^ To justify 
this language, passive obedience was preached in every 
dhection. The Archbishop of Canterbury, George 
Abbot, a popular prelate, refused to authorise the sale 
of such sermons in his diocese ; he was suspended and 

The King had presumed too much upon the passions 
of the people ; but they would not allow themselves 
to be persuaded to forget their liberty in the service 

* Whitelocke's Memorials, p. 7. 
^ Ibid., p. 8. 


of their faith. Moreover, they greatly distrusted the 
sincerity of this sudden zeal ; if they were left free, 
and if the Parliament were called together, they were 
willing to grant much more vigorous help to the Pro- 
testants on the Continent. Many citizens refused to 
take any part in the loan : those of the recusants who 
were obscure and weak were forced to enlist into the 
army or the fleet ; the others were either cast into 
prisons, or despatched on distant missions which it 
was impossible to decline. The public discontent, 
though it did not break out into sedition, was not 
satisfied with mere murmurs of complaint. Five gen- 
tlemen, who had been imprisoned by virtue of an 
order in council, claimed of the Court of King's 
Bench, as the right of every Englishman, to be dis- 
charged on bail.^ An imperious King and an irritated 
people were equally anxious that the case should be 
decided. The King required that the judges should 
lay it down as a principle, that no man arrested by his 
order should be admitted to bail ; the people desired 
to know whether the defenders of their hberties were 
to be deprived of all security. The Court rejected the 
application of the prisoners, on the 28th of November, 
1627, and sent them back to prison, but without laying 
down the general principle which the King demanded.^ 
Thus already the magistrates, under the influence of a 
double fear, dared not prove themselves either servile 

^ Their names were Sir Thomas Darnel, Sir John Corbet, Sir Walter 
Earle, Sir John Heveningham, and Sir Edmund Hampden. This last- 
named gentleman must not be mistaken for his cousin, John Hampden, 
afterwards so celebrated. 

^ Cobbett's State Trials, vol. iii. cols. 1 — 59. 


or just; and to escape from their dilemma, they re- 
fused their sanction to despotism, and to hberty their 

In their jealous ardour for the maintenance of all 
their rights, the people took under their protection even 
the soldiers who acted as the instruments of tyranny. 
Complaints were made of their excesses on every side, 
and martial law was brought into operation to repress 
them. It was immediately thought improper that such 
arbitrary power should be exercised without the con- 
sent of Parliament, and that Englishmen, whether 
soldiers or otherwise, whether employed in harassing 
or in protecting their follow-citizens, should be de- 
prived of the securities furnished by law. 

In the midst of this still impotent but increasingly 
aggressive irritation, news arrived that the expedition 
wliich had been sent to succour La Rochelle, and which 
Buckingham commanded in person, had altogether 
failed on the 28th of October, 1627. The incompe- 
tency of the general had occasioned this reverse. He 
had been able neither to take possession of the isle of 
Rhe, nor to re-embark without losing the flower of his 
troops, both officers and men. It was long since 
England had paid so dearly for so much shame. ^ In 
both town and country a multitude of families, be- 
loved and respected by the people, were in mourning. 
The popular indignation knew no bounds. The hus- 
bandman left his fields, and the apprentice his work- 

' This disaster is described with great energy in a letter from HoUis 
to Sir Thomas Wentworth, on the 19th of November, 1627. Strafford's 
Letters and Despatches, vol. i. pp. 41, 42. 


shop, to inquire whether his employer, gentleman or 
citizen, had not lost a son or a brother, and he re- 
turned to relate to his neighbours the disasters which 
had taken place, and the grief which he had witnessed, 
cursing Buckingham and accusing the King. Losses 
of another nature served still more to exasperate the 
public mind ; the enemy's fleets disturbed and dimi- 
nished English commerce ; trading vessels remained 
in the ports ; and hosts of idle sailors talked of the 
reverses of the royal navy, and the causes of their own 
inaction. From day to day the gentr}^, the citizens, 
and the people became more closely united in one 
common feehng of angry dissatisfaction. 

On his return, and notwithstanding his arrogance, 
Buckingham felt the weight of public dislike, and the 
necessity of escaping from it ; and moreover it had be- 
come indispensable to find some expedient for extri- 
cating the government from its embarrassed position 
and procuring resources. All that could be done or 
devised to obtain money by tyrannical means had been 
tried and found unavaiHng. Sir Robert Cotton, as 
the most moderate of the popular leaders, was called 
to the councils of the King. He spoke with wdsdom 
and candour, insisting upon the just grievances of the 
nation, and the necessity of redressing them in order 
to obtain its support, and quoted the advice of Lord 
Burleigh to Queen Elizabeth : — •" Win their hearts, 
and you may have their hands and purses."^ He 
suofirested that a new Parliament should be called : 
and with a view to reconcile the Duke of Buckingham 

' Parliamentary History, vol. ii. col. 214. 


with the public, it was agreed that, in the meeting of 
council at which this resolution was officially adopted, 
the proposition should be made by him. The King 
yielded to Sir Robert's advice. 

Immediately the prisons were tin-own open ; the 
men who had been confined in them on account 
of their resistance to tyranny were now abruptly 
liberated.^ Though insulted yesterday, they were 
powerful to-day. Public favour received them with 
transports of joy ; twenty. seven of them were elected 
members of the new ParHament, which met on the 
17th of March, 1G28. 

" Grentlemen," said the King, on opening the session, 
"every man must now do according to his conscience; 
wherefore if you (which Grod forbid !) should not do 
your duties in contributing what the State at this 
time needs, I must, in discharge of my conscience, use 
those other means which God hath put into my hands 
to save that which the follies of some particular men 
may otherwise hazard to lose. Take not this as a 
threatening (for I scorn to threaten any but my 
equals), but an admonition from him that, both out of 
nature and duty, hath most care of your preservations 
and prosperities, and who hopes that your demeanours 
at this time will be such as shall not only make me 
approve your former counsels, but lay on me such 
obhgations as shall bind me, by way of thankfulness, 
to meet often with you."^ 

The Lord Keeper, speaking after the King, added : 

' To the number of seventy-eight. Rushworth, vol. i. p. 473. 
^ Parhameutary History, vol. ii. col. 218. 


" His Majesty hath chosen this mode (of raising siip- 
pHes), not as the only way, but as the fittest ; not 
as destitute of others, but as most agreeable to the 
goodness of his own most gracious disposition, and to 
the desire and weal of his people. If this be deferred, 
necessity and the sword of the enemy will make way 
to the others. Remember His Majesty's admonition ; 
I say, remember it."^ 

Thus Charles endeavoured, by his language, to belie 
his position ; a haughty solicitor, bowing under the 
weight of his reverses and mistakes, he threatened to 
display that absolute and independent majesty which 
is superior to all faults and all defeats. He was so 
infatuated by this idea that he never entertained the 
thought that his royalty could suffer any attack ; and, 
full of genuine arrogance, he thought it due to his 
honour and his rank to reserve to himself the rights 
and tone of tyranny, even while he was seeking the 
aid of liberty. 

The Commons were not at all alarmed by these 
threats ; their minds were occupied by an idea no less 
lofty and no less unyielding. They were resolved 
solemnly to assert their liberties, to compel the ruling 
power to acknowledge them as primitive and inde- 
pendent, and no longer to suffer a right to pass for a 
concession, or an abuse to be termed a right. Neither 
leaders nor soldiers were wanting to carry out this 
great design. The entire people thronged around the 
Parliament. Within its walls, its counsels were guided 
by men of consummate ability and boldness. Sir 

' Parliamentary History, vol. ii. col. 221. 


Edward Coke/ the glory of the bench, and not less illus- 
trious for his firmness than for his learning ; Sir Thomas 
Wentworth, afterwards Earl of Strafford,^ yo^^iig' ar- 
dent, and eloquent, born to command, and whose ambi- 
tion was then contented with the admiration of his 
country ; Denzil Hollis,^ a younger son of Lord Clare, 
a companion of Charles's cliildhood, but a sincere 
friend of liberty, and too proud to serve under a 
favourite ; John Pym,^ a learned lawyer, especially 
versed in the knowledge of the rights and usages of 
Parliament, a man of cool and daring character, ca- 
pable of proceeding with caution even when at the 
head of popular passions ; and many others, destined 
to meet with most various fates in that future which 
not one of them anticipated, and to serve hostile 
causes, though now united by common principles and 
aspirations. To this formidable coalition the court 
could only oppose the force of habit, the capricious 
temerity of Buckingham, and the obstinate pride of 
the King. 

The first communications between the prince and 
the Parhament were of a friendly character. In spite 
of liis menaces, Charles felt that he would have to 
yield; and the Commons, though determined to re- 

' Born at Mileham, Norfolk, on the 1st of February, 1551 ; he was 
then seventy-seven years of age. 

- Born in Chancery Lane, London, on the 13th of April, 1593 ; he 
was then- thirty-five years of age. 

^ Born at Haughton, Nottinghamshire, in 1597 ; he was then thirty- 
one years of age. 

•* Born in Somersetshire, in 1584 ; he was then forty-four years of 


possess themselves of all their rights, fully intended, at 
the same time, to give proof of their devotedness to 
their sovereign. Charles took no offence at their free- 
dom of speech, and, indeed, their speeches were as loyal 
as they were free. " I humbly beseech the House," 
said Sir Benjamin Eudyard, on the 22nd of March, 
1628, "to be curiously wary and careful to avoid all 
manner of contestation, personal or real. The hearts 
of kings are great, as are their fortunes ; then are they 
fitted to yield when they are yielded unto. Let us 
give the King a way to come off like himself; for I do 
verily believe that he doth, with longing, expect the 
occasion. Let our whole labour and endeavours be to 
get the King on our side, for then shall we obtain 
whatsoever we can reasonably expect or desire."^ All 
minds did not entertain such pacific thoughts ; there 
were sterner men who less clearly foresaw the evils of 
fresh rupture, and who better understood the incor- 
rigible nature of absolute power. All, however, ap- 
peared to be actuated by the same desu-es ; and the 
House, pursuing its investigation into the nation's 
grievances at the same time as its consideration of the 
King's necessities, unanimously voted, on the 4th of 
April, after a fortnight's session, subsidies of con- 
siderable amount, but without, however, immediately 
converting their vote into a law. 

The joy of Charles was extreme ; he at once con- 
voked his council,^ and informed it of the vote, of the 
House. " I liked Parliament at first," he said, " yet 

' Parliamentary History, vol. ii. col. 23.5. 
^ On the nth of April, 1628. 


since, I know not how, I had grown to a distaste of 
them ; but now I am where I was before ; for I love 
them, and shall rejoice to meet with my people often. 
This day I have gained more reputation in Christen- 
dom than if I had won many battles." Equal joy 
was manifested by the Council ; Buckingham thought 
himself bound, like Charles, openly to express his de- 
light; and he congratulated the King on his happy 
agreement with his Parliament. '' This," he said, " is 
not a gift of five subsidies alone, but the opening of a 
mine of subsidies that lieth in their hearts. Now, Sir, to 
open my heart and to ease my grief, please you to pardon 
me a word more. I must confess I have long lived in 
pain ; sleep hath given me no rest, favours and fortunes 
no content ; such have been my secret sorrows to be 
thought the man of separation, that divided the King 
from his people, and them from him. But I hope it 
shall appear they were some mistaken minds that 
would have made me the evil spirit that walketh be- 
tween a good master and loyal people, by iU offices ; 
whereas, by your Majesty's favour, I shall ever en- 
deavour to prove myself a good spirit, breathing no- 
thing but the best services to them all."' 

Cooke, the Secretary of State, reported to the House, 
on the 7th of April, the King's satisfaction, and the 
favour which he was ready in all things to show 
to the Parliament. The Commons were deligrhted at 
this ; but Cooke, with the imprudent servility of a 
courtier, alluded also to the Duke of Buckingham, 

* Parliamentary History, vol. ii. cols. 274, 275. 


and to his speech in the Council. At this the House 
was offended. " I observe," said Sir John Eliot, " in 
the close of Mr. Secretary's relation, mention made of 
another in addition to his Majesty. I know not by 
what fatality or infortunity it has crept in. Is it that 
any man conceives the mention of others, of what 
quahty soever, can add encouragement or affection to 
us, in our duties and loyalties towards his Majesty? 
or give them greater latitude or extent than naturally 
they have ? Or is it supposed that the power or in- 
terest of any man can add more readiness to his Ma- 
jesty in his gracious inclination towards us, than his 
own goodness gives him ? I cannot believe it. I con- 
fess, for my own particular, I shall readily commend, 
nay, thank that man whose endeavours are applied to 
such offices as may be advantageable for the public ; 
yet in this manner, so contrary to the customs of our 
fathers, and the honour of our times, as I cannot, with- 
out scandal, apprehend it, so I cannot, without some 
character or exception, pass it. And, therefore, I 
desire that such interposition may be let alone ; and 
that all his Majesty's regards and goodnesses towards 
the House may spring alone from his confidence of 
our loyalty and affection. Now let us proceed to those 
services that concern him ; which I doubt not, in the 
end, wiU render us so real unto him, that we shall need 
no other help to endear us to his favour.'" 

This just pride was regarded by Charles as insolence, 
while to Buckingham it appeared a certain presage of 

' Parliamentary History, vol. ii. cols. 275, 276. 


fresh dangers ; but neither the one nor the other made 
any manifestation of their secret feelings, and tlip 
House pursued its labours. 

It had opened a conference with the Upper House 
to determine, in concert with it, the just rights of the 
subject, and to demand of the King a new and solemn 
ratification of those rights.' On being informed of the 
intentions displayed at these conferences, by the com- 
missioners of the Commons, Charles took great um- 
brage at their proceedings. On the 13th of April, the 
House was urged by his Ministers to hasten the defi- 
nitive vote of the subsidies ; and Secretary Cooke 
added : "I must with some grief tell you that notice 
is taken, as if this House pressed not only upon the 
abuse of power, but upon power itself. This toucheth 
the King, and us who are supported by that power. 
Let the King hear of any abuses of power ; he will 
willingly hear us ; and let us not bend ourselves against 
the extension of his royal power, but contain ourselves 
within those bounds, that we meddle only with pres- 
sures and abuses of power ; and we shall liave the 
best satisfaction that ever King gave,"* 

The House of Peers, on their part, moved by feel- 
ings of servility or timidity, advised the Commons to 
content themselves with demanding from the King a 
declaration stating that Magna Charta, with the sta- 
tutes which had been passed in confirmation of it, was 
still in full force ; that the liberties of the English 
people subsisted as in past times ; and that the King 

' This conference began on the 3rd of April, 1 628. 
■•^ Parhamentary History, vol. ii. cols. 278, 279. 



would use the prerogative, inherent in his sovereignty, 
solely for the advantage of his subjects. These propo- 
sitions were laid before the Conference on the 23rd of 

On the 28th of April, the King assembled both 
Houses in a solemn sitting, and assured them that " he 
held the statute of Magna Charta, and the other six 
statutes insisted upon for the subject's liberty, to be 
all in force ; that he would maintain all his subjects 
in the just freedom of their persons, and safety of their 
estates ; that he would govern according to the laws 
and statutes of the realm ; and that they would find as 
much security in his royal word and promise, as in the 
strength of any law they could make."^ 

The Commons allowed themselves to be neither 
intimidated nor seduced ; recent abuses had defied 
the authority, and exceeded the provisions, of the 
ancient laws ; it had become necessary to obtain new 
and explicit securities, invested with the sanction of 
the entire Parliament. It was of no advantage 
vaguely to renew promises which had been so often 
violated, and statutes which had been so long for- 
gotten. Without any waste of words, the House, 
respectfully but resolutely, drew up the famous biU, 
known as the Petition of Right, adopted it, and trans- 
mitted it to the Upper House for its assent, on the 
8th of May, 1628. 

The Lords had nothing to say against a bill which 
merely asserted acknowledged liberties, or repressed 

' Parliamentary History, vol. ii. cols. 329, 330. 
- Ibid., vol. ii. col. 332. 


abuses which were held in universal reprobation. 
The King, however, returned to the charge, again 
demanding that they should rely upon his word, and 
offering to confirm Magna Charta and the ancient 
statutes, by a new bill. He sent advice after advice 
to the Lords, and message after message to the 
Commons ; though deeply irritated, he was prudent 
and moderate in his language, merely declaring his fixed 
resolution neither to suffer any curtailment of his 
prerogatives, nor ever to abuse the rights which he 

The perplexity of the peers was great. How could 
they secure the liberties of the people without 
depriving the King of absolute power ? This was the 
question at issue. An amendment was attempted ; 
and the bill was adopted, on the 17th of May, with 
this addition : — " We humbly present this Petition to 
yom' Majesty, not only with a care of preserving our 
own Hberties, but with due regard to leave entire that 
sovereign power wherewith your Majesty is trusted, 
for the protection, safety, and happiness of your 

When the bill thus amended came back to the 
Commons, — " Let us look into the records," said Mr. 
Alford, " and see what they are. What is ' sovereign 
power ? ' Bodin saith that it is free from any condi- 
tions. By this we shaU acknowledge a regal as well 
as a legal power. Let us give that to the King the 
law gives him, and no more." "I am not able," said 

' Parliamentary History, vol. ii. col. 355. 

M 2 


Mr. Pym, " to speak to this question, for I know not 
what it is. All oui- Petition is for the laws of 
England ; and this power seems to be another distinct 
power from the power of the law. I know how to 
add sovereign to the King's person, but not to his 
power ; and we cannot ' leave ' to him a ' sovereign 
power;' for we never were possessed of it." " If we 
do admit of this addition," said Sir Thomas Went- 
worth, " we shall leave the subject worse than we 
found him. Oiu* laws are not acquainted with ' sove- 
reign power.' We desire no new thing, nor do we 
offer to trench on liis Majesty's prerogative ; but we 
may not recede from this Petition, either in part or in 
whole." ^ 

The House of Commons maintained its ground ; 
the public became urgent ; and the Peers, too timid 
openly to demand liberty, were also too timid to give 
a direct sanction to tyranny. They withdrew their 
amendment : out of regard for them, an unmeaning- 
phrase was substituted in its stead ; and the Petition 
of Right, as adopted by both Houses, was solemnly 
presented to the King, who, overcome by their perse- 
verance, at length consented to receive it, on the 2Sth 
of May, 16.28. 

His answer, given on the 2nd of June, was vague 
and evasive -^ he did not sanction the bill, but merely 
reiterated those promises with which the House had 
already refused to be satisfied. 

' 18th of May, 1G28 ; Parliamentary History, vol. ii. cols. 356—359. 
■' Ibid., vol. ii. cols. 374—377. 


Victory seemed likely to escape tlie Commons. On 
their return to the House tlie next day/ they resumed 
the attack. Sir John Eliot vehemently recapitulated 
all the grievances of the nation ; and the serjeant was 
ordered to stand at the door, and prevent any member 
from leaving the House, on pain of being committed 
to the Tower. It was determined that a general 
remonstrance should be presented to the King ; and 
the committee of subsidies was directed to prepare it. 

Fear already filled many minds — that honest fear 
which is occasioned by the prospect of a great dis- 
turbance, and which, without stopping to inquire who 
is in the right, or what ought to be. done, wishes to 
pause as soon as it perceives any symptoms of 
passionate haste. Sir John Eliot was accused of 
being actuated by personal animosities ; Sir Thomas 
Wentworth was charged with imprudence : while Sir 
Edward Coke, it was said, had always been obstinate 
and factious." The King imagined that this state of 
feeling would furnish him with the means of delay, if 
not of final victory. He sent a message to the 
Commons, on the 5th of June, forbidding them to 
interfere henceforward in affairs of State. ^ 

The whole House was tlu'own into consternation ; 
this was too much to be borne ; even the most 
moderate regarded it as an insult. Silence prevailed 
for some time ; at length Sir John Ehot said : — " Our 
sins are so exceeding great, that unless we speedily 

' Parliamentary History, vol. ii. col. 380. 
' Ibid., vol, ii. col. 385. 
3 Ibid., vol. ii. col. 401. 


turn to God, God will remove himself further from us. 
Ye know with what affection and integrity we have 
proceeded hitherto to have gained his Majesty's heart. 
I doubt a misrepresentation to his Majesty hath drawn 
this mark of his displeasure upon us. I observe, in 
the message, it is said as if we cast some aspersions on 
his Majesty's ministers. I am confident no minister, 
how dear soever, can " 

At these words, the Speaker rose hastily from his 
chair, and said, with tears in his eyes : — " There 
is a command laid upon me to interrupt any that 
should go about to lay an aspersion upon the minis- 
ters of State." Upon this, Sir John Ehot resumed 
his seat. 

" Unless we may speak of these things in Parha- 
ment," said Sir Dudley Digges, " let us arise and 
begone, or sit still and do nothing." Hereupon a deep 
silence again prevailed. 

"We must now speak," cried Sir Nathaniel Rich, 
at length, " or for ever hold our peace ; for us to be 
silent, when King and kingdom are in this calamity, 
is not fit. The question is, whetlier we shall secure 
ourselves by silence — yea or no ? I know it is more 
for our own security, but it is not for the security of 
tliose for whom we serve : let us think on them. Some 
instruments desire a change ; we fear for his Majesty's 
safety, and the safety of the kingdom. I do not say 
we now see it ; and shall we now sit still and do 
nothing, and so be scattered ? Let us go to the 
Lords and show our dangers, that we may then go to 
the King together, with our representation thereof." 


Suddenly the House passed from stupor to rage ; 
all the Members rose from their seats, all began to 
speak at once, and the utmost confusion prevailed. 
" The King is as good a prince as ever reigned," said 
Mr. Kirton ; " it is the enemies to the Commonwealth 
that have so prevailed with him : therefore, let us aim 
now to discover them ; and I doubt not but that God 
will send us hearts, hands, and swords, to cut all His 
and our enemies' throats." " It is not the King," said 
old Sir Edward Coke, " but the Duke that saith : 'We 
require you not to meddle with State-government, or 
the members thereof.' " A general cry arose — " 'Tis 
he ! 'tis he ! " The Speaker had left his chair ; the 
disorders continued to increase in the House, and the 
minds of the Members momently became more 
inflamed; no one attempted to calm the storm, for 
the prudent men had nothing to say. Anger is 
sometimes legitimate, even in the eyes of those who 
never grow angry. ^ 

Wliilst the House, amidst all this tumult, was 
meditating the most violent resolutions, the Speaker 
went out secretly and with all haste, to inform the 
King of the evil and the danger.^ Fear passed from 
the House to the Court. On the very next day, a 
milder message was sent to explain that which had 
caused so much irritation -^ but words could not 
suffice. The House continued in great agitation; 
mention was made of certain German troops which 

' Parliamentary History, vol. ii. cols. 402 — 404. 
^ Ibid., vol. ii. col. 405. 
3 Ibid., vol. ii. col. 406. 


had already been levied by Buckingham, and were 
shortly expected to disembark ; and one member 
asserted that, on the previous evening, twelve Grerman 
officers had arrived in London, and that two English 
vessels had received orders to bring over the soldiers.' 
The subsidies were still in suspense. Charles and his 
favourite were afraid any longer to brave an irrita- 
tion which daily grew more violent. They had no 
doubt that the full sanction of the Petition of Right 
would be sufficient to restore perfect tranquillity. On 
the 7th of June, the King repaired to the House of 
Peers, where the Commons had also assembled. They 
had been mistaken, he said, in supposing that there 
had been any ambiguity in his first answer, and he 
was now ready to give them one which would banish 
all suspicion. The Petition was then read over again, 
and Charles answered by the usual formula : — Soit 
droit fait comme il est desire.^ 

The Commons returned in triumph ; they had at 
length extorted a solemn recognition of the liberties 
of the English people. It now became necessary to 
give all possible publicity to this recognition ; and it 
was agreed that the Petition of Eight should be 
printed with the King's last answer, distributed all 
over the country, and registered, not only in both 
Houses of Parliament, but also in the Courts at 
Westminster. The bill of subsidies was finally 
adopted. Charles thought his trials were now at an 

' Parliamentary History, vol, ii. col. 408 ; Rushworth, vol. i. p. 612. 
* Ibid., vol. ii. col. 4O0. 


end. " I have done my part," he said, " wherefore if 
this Parliament hath not a happy conclusion, the sin 
is yours ; I am free of it."^ 

But an evil of long standing cannot be so quickly 
cured, and the ambition of an irritated people is never 
satisfied with its first success. Evidently, the sanction 
of the Bill of Eights could not be sufficient : it con- 
summated merely the reform of principles, which was 
of no avail unless accompanied by a reform of prac- 
tices •; and to insure this, it was necessary to change 
the King's advisers. Buckingham still maintained his 
position, and the King continued to levy the customs' 
duties without the sanction of Parliament. En- 
lightened by experience with regard to the danger of 
delay, blinded by passion to the peril of too abrupt 
and harsh requirements, and animated as much by 
pride and hatred as by an instinctive feeling of the 
necessity of the step, the Commons resolved to lose no 
time in dealing their final blows. Within a week, 
two new remonstrances were drawn up — one against 
the Duke of Buckingham, on the 13th of June — the 
other, on the 21st, to estabhsh that tonnage and 
poundage, like all other taxes, could not be levied 
without the authority of law.^ 

The King lost aU patience, and, determined to 
obtain at least a little respite, he went down to the 
House of Lords, summoned the Commons to attend 
him, and prorogued the Parliament, on the 20th of 

' Parliamentary History, vol. ii. col. 409. 
^ Ibid., vol. ii. cols. 420, 4.31. 


Two months after, on the 23rd of August, the Duke 
of Bucking-ham was assassinated. Sewn up in the hat 
of Felton, his murderer, a paper was found, in which 
reference was made to the last Remonstrance of the 
House. ^ Felton made no attempt to escape or to 
defend himself; he merely said that he regarded the 
duke as an enemy of the kingdom, shook his head 
when asked if he had any accomplices, and met his 
death with calmness ; confessing, however, that he 
had done wrong.^ 

Charles was made anxious by so great a crime, and 
indignant at the joy which the populace displayed at 
the murder. After the close of the session, he had 
attempted to gratify the wishes of the people by 
discountenancing the preachers of passive obedience, 
and by authorizing severe proceedings against the 
Papists, who were offered up as victims to promote 
reconciliations between the King and the country. 
The assassination of Buckingham, from which the 
people expected to gain deliverance, made the King 
recur to measures of tyranny. He restored to favour 
the opponents of the Parliament ; Dr. Montague, who 
had been prosecuted by the House of Commons, was 
promoted to the bishopric of Chichester; Dr. Man- 
waring, who had been condemned by the House of 
Peers, received a rich benefice ; and Bishop Laud,^ 
already famous for his passionate attachment to the 

' See Appendix II. 

^ Clarendon, vol. i. pp. 51—53 ; State Trials, vol. iii. pp. 3G7— 372. 
^ Born at Reading, on the 7th of October, 1573. He was at this 
time fifty-four years of age, and filled the sec of Bath and Wells. 


authority of Church and Kmg, was translated to the 
see of London. The King's pubhc actions were in 
conformity with these court favours ; tonnage and 
poundage continued to be strictly levied, and ex- 
ceptional tribunals constantly suspended the regular 
course of law. Now that he had quietly returned to 
a career of despotism, Charles might even promise 
himself greater success than he had previously met 
with. He had detached from the popular party the 
most brilliant of its leaders, and the most eloquent of its 
orators. Sir Thomas Wentworth, was created a baron, 
and became a member of the privy council, in spite of 
the reproaches and even threats of his former friends. 
" Though you have left us, I wiU not leave you whilst 
your head is on your shoulders/' said Pym to him 
when he bade him farewell / but Wentworth, haughty 
and ambitious, hastened passionately forward on the 
path to greatness, far from foreseeing how ominous 
to liberty his career would one day prove. Other 
defections followed his \ and Charles, surrounded by 
new advisers, more serious, more capable, and less 
unpopular than Buckingham had been, awaited, 
without apprehension, the approach of the second 
session of Parhament. It met on the 20th of 
January, 1629. 

On the day following its meeting, the House of 
Commons desired to ascertain what effect had been 
given to the Bill of Eights. They learned that, in- 

> Rose's Biographical Dictionary, art. " Wentworth." 
^ Sir Dudley Digges, Sir Edward Littleton, Noy, Wandesford, and 


stead of the King's second answer, the first, tlie eva- 
sive and rejected answer, had been appended to it. 
The King's printer, Norton, confessed that, on tlie 
day following the prorogation, he had received orders 
to make this alteration of the legal text, and to sup- 
press all the copies which contained the true answer — 
that of which Charles had boasted, when he said, " I 
have done my part ; I am free of it." 

The Commons sent for the papers, verified the 
alteration, and said no more about it — feeling, as it 
were, ashamed to expose too pubhcly such a disgrace- 
ful breach of faith ; but their silence was no promise of 

All sorts of attacks were renewed against toleration 
of the Papists, the favour accorded to false doctrines, 
the depravation of morals, the unfair distribution of 
dignities and employments, the proceedings of the 
irregular courts, and the contempt shown for the 
Kberty of the subject.' 

So great was the irritation of the House that one 
day^ it listened, with much silence and considerable 
favour, to an unknown and ill-dressed man, of coarse 
appearance, who, speaking for the first time, de- 
nounced, in furious and uncouth kinguage, the indul- 
gence shown by one of the bishops to an obscure 
preacher — a flat Papist, he said. This man was Oliver 

' Parliamentary History, vol. ii. cols. 435 — 4.37. 

^ Ibid., vol. ii. cols. 438, 443, 466, 473. 

3 On the lltli of February, 1629. 

* Parliamentary History, vol. ii. col. 404 ; Warwick's Memoirs, p. 247. 


Charles strove in vain to extort from the Commons 
the concession of the customs' duties, which, to him, 
was the sole object of their present meeting. He em- 
ployed sometimes threats, and sometimes persuasion ; 
admitting that he enjoyed these taxes, like all others, 
by the pure gift of his people, and that it was the privi- 
lege of Parliament alone to establish them ; but insist- 
ing, at the same time, that they should be granted to 
him, as they had been to most of his predecessors, for 
the whole duration of his reign.' The Commons were 
inflexible : this was the only weapon which remained 
to them, by which they could defend themselves 
against the encroachments of absolute power. Whilst 
apologizmg for their delay, they persisted in it, and 
continued to set forth their grievances — but without 
any fixed aim, without asserting any clear and definite 
pretensions, as during the previous session — a prey to 
violent but vague disquietude, and agitated by the 
consciousness of an evil which they knew not how to 
cure. The King grew tired of this state of suspense ; 
his demands were refused without any petition having 
been made to him, without any application having 
been addressed to him, which he could either grant or 
reject ; the delay seemed to be originated by pure male- 
volence, and with no other object than to trammel his 
government. It was announced that he intended to 
adjourn both Houses. On the 2nd of March, Sir John 
Ehot hastily proposed a new remonstrance against the 
levying of tonnage and poundage. The Speaker, 

' Parliamentary History, vol. ii. cols. 442, 44.3. 


alleging the King's command, refused to put the mo- 
tion to the vote. The House insisted ; he left the 
chair ; but Hollis, Valentine, and several other members 
forced him back to his seat, notwithstanding the efforts 
of the Court party to deliver him from their hands. 
" Grod's wounds," said Hollis, " you shall sit still, till 
it pleases the House to rise." " I will not say I will 
not," cried the Speaker, " but I dare not." But 
passion had now lost all check, and he was compelled 
to resume his seat. The King, on being informed of 
the tumult, sent orders to the Sergeant-at-arms to 
withdraw with the mace, and thus legally suspend all 
further debate ; but the Sergeant was detained as weU 
as the Speaker ; the keys of the door were taken from 
him, and given in charge to Sir Miles Hobart, one of the 
members. The King sent a second messenger to pro- 
claim the dissolution of the Parliament ; but he found 
the doors locked on the inside, and could not gain 
admittance. Charles, in a fury, sent for the captain 
of his guard, and commanded him to break open the 
doors. But, in the meanwhile, the Commons had 
retired, after having adopted a protestation which 
rendered the levying of tonnage and poundage duties 
illegal, and declared all who should levy or even pay 
them traitors to their country.^ 

All reconcihation was now impossible. The King 
went down to the House of Lords : "I never came 
here," he said, "upon so unpleasing an occasion — it 
being for the dissolution of the Parliament. It is 

' Parliamentary History, vol. ii. cols. 487—491. 


odIj the disobedient carriage of tlie Lower House that 
hath caused this dissolution at this time. Yet I must 
needs say that they do mistake me wonderfully that 
think I lay the fault equally upon all the Lower 
House ; for, as I know there are as many as dutiful 
and loyal subjects as any are in the world, so I know 
that it was only some vipers amongst them that had 
cast this mist of difference before their eyes. To con- 
clude, my lords ; as those evil-affected persons must 
look for their rewards, so you that are here of the 
Higher House may justly claim from me that protec- 
tion and favour, that a good King oweth to his loyal 
and faithful subjects."^ 

The dissolution of the Parliament was then pro- 
nounced. Soon after, a declaration appeared to the 
effect that : — " Whereas, for several ill ends, the calling 
again of a Parliament is divulged ; howsoever his 
Majesty hath showed, by his frequent meeting with 
his people, his love to the use of Parhament ; yet, this 
late abuse having for the present di-iven liis Majesty 
unwilling out of that course, he shall account it pre- 
sumption for any one to prescribe any time to his 
Majesty for Parliaments ; the calling, contriving and 
dissolving of them being always in the King's own 



Charles kept his word : henceforward his only 
anxiety was to govern alone. 

• Parliamentary History, vol. ii. col. 492. 

* Ibid., vol. ii. col. 525. 






Nothing is so dangerous as to take a system of govern- 
ment as it were on trial, and to think that it may at 
any time be exchanged for another, if necessity should 
require. Charles the First had committed this fault. 
He had attempted to govern in concert with the Parlia- 
ment ; but at the same time he had felt persuaded, and 
had constantly declared, that, if the Parhament were too 
untractable, he would easily dispense with its co-opera- 
tion. He entered upon a career of despotism with the 
same thoughtlessness, announcing his intention to 
follow it up, but inwardly thinking that, after all, if 
his necessities became too pressing, he could have 
recourse to Parliament whenever he pleased. 

This was also the opinion of his ablest advisers. 
Neither Charles himself, nor any one of his adherents. 


then entertained the slightest idea of irrevocabljr 
aboKshing the ancient laws, and the great national 
council of England. More imprudent than audacious, 
and more insolent than perverse, their words, and even 
their actions, exceeded the limits of their intentions. 

The King, they said to themselves, had behaved 
with justice and kindness towards his people ; he had 
conceded much, and had freely granted more. But no 
concessions had satisfied the House of Commons ; they 
had required that the King should acknowledge his 
dependence upon them, and place himself under their 
tutelage ; and this he could not do without ceasing to 
be King. If the prince and his Parliament could not 
come to an agreement, it behoved the Parliament to 
yield, for the prince alone was sovereign. As the 
House would not give way, the King must govern 
without its assistance : the necessity was evident ; 
sooner or later the people would understand it ; and 
then, when the Parliament had become wiser, nothing 
would prevent the King from calling it together again, 
in case of need. 

More short-sighted even than the council, the Court 
regarded the dissolution merely as a deliverance. 
Whilst the House of Commons was in session, the 
courtiers were a prey to great uneasiness ; no man 
dared boldly to push his fortune, or openly to enjoy 
his credit. The embarrassments of the supreme power 
trammelled the intrigues, and cast gloom over the 
festivities, of Wliitehall. The King was anxious, and 
the Queen intimidated. Wben Parliament was dis- 
solved, this disquietude and constraint disappeared ; 

VOL. J. N 


frivolous grandeur recovered its magnificence, and 
domestic ambition regained its liberty. The Court 
asked for nothing more ; and cared little to inquire 
whether, in order to gratify its desires, a change must 
be effected in the government of the country. 

The people judged otherwise. The dissolution was, 
in their eyes, a certain symptom of a deep-laid plot, 
of a resolute determination, to abolish Parliaments. 
No sooner had the House of Commons been dissolved, 
than at Hampton Court, at Wliitehall, and wherever 
the court was wont to reside, the Papists, whether 
secret or avowed, the advocates and servants of absolute 
power, and the men of intrigue and pleasm-e, who pro- 
fessed indifference to all creeds, mutually congratu- 
lated themselves upon their triumph; whilst in the 
Tower, and in the principal prisons of London and the 
counties, the assertors of public rights, treated at once 
with contempt and severity, were confined and im- 
peached for what they had said or done within the 
inviolable sanctuary of Parliament.^ They claimed 
their privileges, and demanded to be released on bail ; 
the judges hesitated to reply ; but, in September, 1629, 
the King sent a message to the judges, and the requests 
of the prisoners were refused.^ Their courage did not 
fail them in these trying circumstances ; most of them 
refused to confess themselves guilty of any misdeed, 

' The members of the House of Commons who were arrested and 
prosecuted were Denzil Holhs, Sir Miles Hobart, Sir John Ehot, Sir 
Peter Hayman, John Selden, WiUiam Coriton, Walter Long, WilUam 
Stroud, and Benjamin Valentine. — i^tate Trials, vol. iii. col. 236. 

'■^ Parliamentary History, vol. ii. cols. 515, 516. 


or to pay the fines to which they were condemned. 
Tliey preferred to remain in prison. Sir John Eliot 
was destined to die there. 

Wliile these proceedings lasted, the public anger 
continued to increase, and did not fear to manifest 
itself. It was a sort of prolongation of the Parliament, 
vanquished and dispersed, but still struggling, before 
the judges of the land, in the persons of its leaders. 
The firmness of the accused maintained the ardour of 
the people, who watched them as tliey passed and 
repassed from the Tower to Westminster, and accom- 
panied them with acclamations and good wishes. The 
visible anxiety of the judges seemed to justify some 
expectations of victory. " All is lost !" it was said ; 
and yet men continued to hope and fear, as in the 
midst of the conflict. 

But these great trials came to an end. Under the 
influence of alarm or persuasion, some of the accused 
paid their flnes, were condemned to live at a distance 
of at least ten miles from the royal residence, and 
retired into their counties to conceal their weakness. 
The noble steadfastness of the others was buried in 
the depths of dungeons. The people, who neither saw 
or heard anything further of them, became silent 
and passive in their turn. The royal power, meeting 
vdth no more opponents, believed itself master of the 
country from which it had just consummated its 
separation. Charles hastened to make peace with 
France (on the 14th of April, 1629), and with Spain 
(on the 5th of November, 1680) ; and found himself 

N 2 


at leno-tli without rivals at home and without foes 

For some time, government was easy. The citizens 
devoted themselves entirely to the advancement of 
their private interests ; no great question, no violent 
emotion, any longer agitated the gentry in their comity 
meetings, the burgesses in their municipal assemblies, 
the sailors in the seaports, or the apprentices in their 
workshops. Not that the nation was languishing in 
apathy ; its activity had merely taken another course ; 
and it might be said that it was trying to forget, in 
the occupations of industry, the reverses which the 
cause of hberty had just sustained. More haughty 
than ardent, the despotism of Charles interfered but 
little with it in its new condition ; that prince medi- 
tated no vast designs, and felt no imperious desu'e to 
achieve great and perilous glory ; it was enough for 
him to enjoy his power and rank with befitting 
majesty. Peace rendered it unnecessary for him to 
exact heavy sacrifices from the people, and the people 
devoted themselves to the pursuits of agriculture, 
commerce, and study, without being daily impeded in 
their efforts, and endangered in their interests, by the 
interference of an ambitious and restless tyranny. 
Public prosperity, therefore, became rapidly developed ; 
order reigned throughout the nation ; and this florndsh- 
iiig and regular state of things gave to power the 
appearance of wisdom, and to the country the appear- 
ance of content.^ 

' Clarendon's Ilistoiy of the Rebellion, vol. i. pp. 1.31 — 1-35. 


It was in the vicinity of the throne, and among its 
immediate servants, that the new troubles of the 
government originated. As soon as the struggle 
between the King and people appeared to have termi- 
nated, two parties began to contend for the mastery 
of the rising despotism ; the Queen and the ministers 
the Court and the council. 

As soon as she arrived in England, the Queen had 
made no attempt to conceal the ennui with which she 
was inspired by her new country. Its rehgion, insti- 
tutions, customs, and language, all displeased her ; she 
had even, shortly after their union, treated her husband 
with peevish insolence ; and Charles, driven to extremi- 
ties by the passionate outbursts of her ill-temper, 
found himself one day compelled to send back to the 
Continent some of the servants whom she had brought 
over with her.' The pleasure of reigning could alone 
console her for not living in France ; and she reckoned 
upon enjoying this pleasure to the full, as soon as she 
ceased to fear the opposition of Parliament. Of an 
agreeable and lively disposition, she soon acquired 
over a young King of such exceeding purity of manners 
as Charles, an ascendancy to which he submitted with 
a sort of gratitude, as if he were affected by her con- 
senting to acquiesce in her lot as his wife. But the 
happiness of domestic life, so dear to the serious cha- 
racter of Charles, could not satisfy the frivolous, rest- 
less, and ungentle disposition of Henrietta Maria ; she 
required an acknowledged empire, an arrogant sway, the 

' In July, 16L'(). See the Appendix to Ludlow's Memoirs. 


honour of being informed of everything, of regulating 
everything — such power, in fine, as a capricious woman 
longs to exercise. Around her rallied, on one side, 
the Papists, and on the other, all the frivolous and 
ambitious intriguers, and the young courtiers who had 
gone to Paris to learn the secret of pleasing her. All 
these professed to expect from her alone, the latter 
their fortune, and the former the triumph, or at least, 
the dehverance of their faith. It was in her apart- 
ments that the English Catholics and the emissaries 
of Rome met to discuss their most secret projects ; and 
there her favourites paraded the ideas, manners, and 
fashions of the Continental courts.^ Everything about 
her was foreign, and offensive to the faith and habits 
of the country ; every day her adherents revealed 
designs and pretensions, which could not be satisfied 
without recom'se to illegal measures or abusive favours. 
The Queen took a share in these intrigues, promised 
that they should succeed, exacted compliance from the 
King, and even required that, to honour her, as she 
said, in the eyes of the people, he should consult her 
on every occasion, and do nothing without her con- 
currence. If the King refused to grant her requests, 
she angrily accused him of knowing neither how to 
love her, nor how to reign ; and then Charles, delighted 
to find her so anxious to maintain his power, or 
solicitous to be assured of his love, sought only to 
dissipate her grief or appease her anger. 

Even the most servile counsellors would have found 

' May's Histoiy of the Long Parliament, p. 14. 


it difficult to submit unresistingly to this capricious 
empire. Charles had two who were deficient neither 
in intelligence nor in independence, and who, though 
devoted to the preservation of his power, were never- 
theless desirous of serving him in a different way to 
that dictated by the whims of a woman and the pre- 
tensions of a Court. 

In deserting his party to attach himself to the 
King, Strafford^ had not been called upon to sacrifice 
any very settled principles, or basely to betray his con- 
science. Ambitious and passionate, he had been a 
patriot out of hatred to Buckingham, from a desire 
for glory, and in order to give splendid proof of his 
talents and powers, rather than from any deep and 
virtuous conviction of duty. To act, to rise, to rule, 
was his aim, or rather the necessity of his nature. 
When he entered the service of the Crown, he took its 
power to heart, as he had previously done the liberties 
of his country, seriously and proudly — as an able and 
unyielding minister, not as a trifling and obsequious 
courtier. Of a mind too vast to confine itself within 
the narrow cu'cle of domestic intrigues, and of a pride 
too headstrong to bend to the etiquette of a palace, 
he devoted himself to public business with ardent 
zeal, braving all rivalry as he crushed all resistance, 
eager to extend and consolidate the royal authority, 
now that it had become his own, but diligent at the 
same time to restore order, to repress abuses, to set 

• At this period liis title was Lord Wentwortli, for he was not created 
Earl of Strafford until the 12th of January, 1640. 


aside those private interests which he judged ille- 
gitimate, and to serve those general interests of which 
he felt no dread. Impetuous despot though he was, 
all love of his country, all care for its prosperity and 
glory, were not extinct in his heart ; and he understood 
on what conditions, and by what means, absolute power 
must be bought. To establish an administration 
wliich, though arbitrary, should be powerful, consistent, 
and laborious, disdaining the rights of the people but 
attentive to promote the public welfare, exempt from 
all petty abuses and aU useless irregularity, subordi- 
nating to its will and inspiring with its views the 
great as well as the small, the Court as well as the 
nation — this was his aim, the principle which guided 
his conduct, and the character which he strove to im- 
press upon the government of the King. 

Archbishop Laud,' the friend of Strafford, with fewer 
worldly passions and more disinterested ardour, brought 
into the council the same aspirations and the same 
designs. Austere in his manners, and simple in his 
life, power, whether lie acted as its servant or exercised 
it himself, inspired him with the most fanatical devo- 
tion. To prescribe and to punish were in his eyes to 
establish order; and order always seemed to him identical 
with justice. His activity was unwearied, but narrow 
in its range, violent, and harsh. Equally incapable of 
conciliating interests and respecting rights, he indis- 
criminately attacked both liberties and abuses, oppos- 
ing to the latter his stern probity, and to the former a 
))liiid animosity; he was abrupt aud irritable with 

' He was made Arelibisliop of Cautcrlmry in August, lfj;}3. 


courtiers as well as citizens, seeking no friendship, an- 
ticipating and admitting no resistance — persuaded, in 
short, that power in pure hands was sufficient for 
every necessity, and constantly a prey to some fixed 
idea which swayed him with all the vehemence of 
passion and all the authority of duty. 

Such councillors were well suited to the new posi- 
tion of Charles. Standing aloof from the Court, they 
were less anxious to please it than to serve their 
master ; and they had neither the pompous insolence, 
nor the indolent pretensions of favourites. They were 
persevering and bold, capable both of labour and 
devotion. No sooner had the government of Ireland 
been confided to Strafford than that kingdom, which 
until then had only been an embarrassment and a 
burden to the Crown, became a source of wealth and 
strength. Its pubhc debts were paid ; the revenue, 
which had formerly been irregularly levied and shame- 
lessly dilapidated, was now administered in an orderly 
manner, and soon rose above the expenditure ; the 
nobles ceased to oppress the people with impunity, 
and aristocratic or religious factions were no longer 
allowed to tear each other to pieces in full liberty. The 
army, which Strafford had found weak, badly clothed, 
and worse disciplined, was recruited, thoroughly drilled, 
and properly paid ; so that it ceased to pillage the in- 
habitants. Favom-ed by order, commerce prospered, 
manufactures were established, and agriculture made 
great progress. In a word, Ireland was governed 
arbitrarily and harshly, often even with odious vio- 
lence, but in a manner conducive to the advancement 


of general civilization and of the royal j^ower — instead 
of being as formerly a prey to tlie rapacity of revenue 
officers, and subject to the domination of a selfish and 
ignorant aristocracy.^ 

Possessing in England, with regard to civil afiairs, 
an authority less extensive and less concentrated than 
that of Strafford in Ireland, and endowed moreover 
with less ability than his friend, Laud did not fail to 
pursue an analogous course of conduct. As commis- 
sioner of the treasury, he not only repressed all dilapi- 
dations, but he applied himself to gain a thorough 
knowledge of the different branches of the public 
revenue, and to devise means by which its collection 
might be rendered less burdensome to the people. 
Vexatious hindrances and serious abuses had been in- 
troduced into the administration of the customs, to 
the profit of private interests ; Laud listened to the 
representations of the merchants, employed liis leisure 
time in conversation with them, made himself ac- 
quainted with the general interests of commerce, and 
freed it from such trammels as were of no advantage 
to the treasury.^ In March, 1636, the office of Lord 
High Treasurer was given at his suggestion to Juxon,^ 
Bishop of London, a laborious and moderate man, who 
put a stop to a host of disorders from which the crown 
had suffered as much as the citizens. To serve, as he 
thought, tlie King and the Church, Laud did not 

' See Appendix III. for a letter written by Strafford himself, in which 
the character of his administration is explained. 

''■ Clarendon's Life, vol. i. pp. 22 — 30. 

^ Born at Chichester, in Sussex, in the year 1582 ; died Archbishop 
of Canterbury, on the 4th of June, 1663. 


scruple to oppress the people and to give the most 
iniquitous advice ; but when neither King nor Church 
were in question, he desired to do good, sought after 
truth, and upheld the right, without any fear for him- 
self or any regard for other interests. 

A government of this kind, honest and diligent, but 
arbitrary and tyrannical if necessary, and void of all 
idea of responsibility, was not enough to satisfy the 
country ; but, on the other hand, it was a great deal 
too much to please the Court. With a Court, favourites 
have a chance of success ; though they may meet with 
enemies they also gain partisans, and, in the conflict of 
personal interests, a clever intriguer may successfully 
use those whom he serves as a foil to those whom he 
ofiends. Such had been Buckingham. But whoever 
desires to govern either despotically or legally, for the 
general advantage of either prince or people, must ex- 
pect to incur the hatred of aU mere com'tiers. They 
directed against Strafibrd and Laud an opposition as 
violent and more annoying than that ofiered by the 
nation. On Strafford's first appearance at Wliitehall,^ 
a mocking smile had greeted the sudden elevation and 
somewhat unpolished demeanour of the country gentle- 
man, who was best known as a leader of the opposition 
in Parliament. The austere manners, theological pe- 
dantry, and inattentive abruptness of Laud were no less 
disliked. Both these men were haughty, wanting in 
deference, and not to be tampered with ; they despised 
intrigues, counselled economy, and talked of many afiliirs 

' Howell's Letters, No. 34 ; Strafford's Letters, vol. i. p. 7'J ; Biogra- 
phia Britannica, art. " Wentworth." 


and necessities of which a Court does not care to hear. 
The Queen held them in aversion, for they limited her 
influence over the King ; the high aristocracy hated 
them hecause of tlieir power ; and ere long the entire 
Court combined with the people to attack them, and 
joined in every complaint against their tyranny. 

Charles did not desert them ; he had full confidence 
in their devotedness and ability ; their ideas were 
quite in accordance with his own, and he entertained 
for the fervent piety of Laud a mingled feeling of 
affection and respect. But, while retaining them in 
his service, in spite of the Court, Charles was utterly 
unable to subject the Court to theu' government. 
Though grave in his sentiments and outward life, his 
character was really too frivolous and shallow to com- 
prehend the difficulties of absolute power, and tlie 
necessity of sacrificing everything to it. Such were, 
in his eyes, the prerogatives of royalty, that it seemed 
to him that nothing ought to cost him an effort. In 
the council, he applied himself to public business with 
regularity and attention, but when this duty was dis- 
charged, affairs of State did not occupy his mind to 
any great extent ; and the necessity of governing had 
less sway over him than the pleasure of reigning. The 
good or bad temper of the Queen, the habits of the 
Court, and the privileges of the officers of the palace, 
appeared to him important considerations which the 
political interests of his crown could not require liim 
to forget. He thus occasioned his ministers a con- 
tinual succession of petty embarrassments, from wliicli 
lie made no attempt to extricate them, thinking that 


he had discharged his duty towards them, and towards 
himself, by maintaining them in office. They were 
intrusted with the exercise of absolute power, and yet 
they became powerless, whenever they required any 
domestic sacrifice, or any measure contrary to the 
forms and usages of Whitehall. During the whole 
time of his government in Ireland, Strafford was 
obliged to be continually offering explanations and 
apologies ; now, he had spoken lightly of the Queen, 
and now, some influential family complained of his 
haughty bearing. He was incessantly called upon to 
justify his language, his manners, or liis character ; to 
send answers from Dublin to the opinions expressed 
and the reports spread about him at Whitehall, and 
he did not always obtain a credence which, by freeing 
him from anxiety with regard to these hidden dangers, 
would have enabled him fearlessly to display the 
authority which was still left him.^ 

Thus, notwithstanding the energy and zeal of his 
principal advisers, notwithstanding the tranquil state 
of the country, and notwithstanding the dignity of 
the King's bearing and the proud confidence of his 
language, his government was neither powerful nor 
respected. Eent by internal dissensions, swayed alter- 
nately by contrary influences, sometimes arrogantly 
shaking off the yoke of the laws, and sometimes yield- 
ing to the most trifling obstacles, its conduct was 
governed by no fixed plan, and it forgot, at every mo- 
ment, its own designs. It had abandoned the cause 

' Strafford's Letters and Desjiatches, vol i. pp. 128, 1.38, 142, 144; 
vol. ii. pp. 42, 105, 126. 


of Protestantism on the continent of Europe, and had 
even forbidden Lord Scudamore, the English ambas- 
sador at Paris, to attend divine service in the chapel 
of the Reformers, as it was not considered to be in 
sufficient conformity with the rites of the Anglican 
Church.' And yet, in 1631, leave was given to the 
Marquis of Hamilton to raise a body of six thousand 
men in Scotland, and to go and fight at their head 
beneath the banners of Grustavus Adolphus ; for it was 
not foreseen that they would there imbibe the opinions 
and creed of those very Pm'itans whom the Church of 
England so utterly proscribed. The faith of Charles 
in the reformed religion, as established by Henry YIII. 
and Elizabeth, was sincere ; and yet, either out of ten- 
derness to his wife, or from a spirit of moderation and 
justice, or from an instinctive consciousness of the 
adaptation of Eomanism to absolute power, he fre- 
quently granted the Catholics not only a liberty which 
was then illegal, but an almost openly avowed favour.^ 
Archbishop Laud, who was quite as sincere as his 
master, wrote against the Court of Eome, and even 
preached violent sermons against the rites practised in 
the Queen's chapel ; and at the same time he showed 
himself so favourable to the system of the E-omish 
Church, that the Pope thought himself justified in 
ofiering him a Cardinal's hat in August, 1633.^ Li 
the conduct of civil afiairs, the same uncertainty and 
inconsistency prevailed. No definite plan was to be 

' Neal's History of the Pui'itans, vol. ii. p. 234. 

'"^ Clarendon's History of the EebelHon, vol. i, p. lOl. 

^ Laud's Diary, p. 49 ; Whitelocke, p. 18. 


discerned — no powerfnl liand made itself felt. Des- 
potism was pompously paraded, and, when occasion 
required, rigorously exercised ; but its decisive establish- 
ment would have necessitated too many efforts, too 
much perseverance : this was not even contemplated, 
so that its pretensions daily grew greater than its 
means. The treasury was administered with order 
and probity ; the King was not extravagant ; but 
pecuniary difficulties continued, just as if the King 
had been guilty of the most lavish prodigality, and the 
treasury subject to the most extensive peculation ; 
just as Charles had haughtily refused to yield to Par- 
liament, in order to obtain from it revenues sufficient 
to meet his expenses, so he would have thought it a 
degradation to reduce his expenses to a level with his 
income.* To maintain the splendour of the throne, 
to continue the Court festivities, and to keep up the 
ancient usages of the Crown, were in his eyes condi- 
tions, rights, and almost duties of royalty ; and though 
he was sometimes ignorant of the abuses resorted to 
for the supply of these wants, yet, when he was aware 
of them, he had not the courage to reform them. 
Thus, though relieved by peace from all extraordinary 
burdens, he found it impossible to meet the wants of 
his government. The commerce of England was in a 

' The j)ensions -which, during the reign of Ehzabeth, amounted to 
18,000Z., rose, under James I., to 80,000^. ; and in 1626, a little more 
than a year after the accession of Charles I., they already amounted to 
120,000L The expenses of the king's household had, in the same in- 
terval, increased from 45,000^. to 80,000?. ; those of the wardrobe had 
doubled, and those of the privy purse tripled. — Jivshnorfh's Hisforiad 
Collections, vol, i. p. 207. 


prosperous condition, and lier merchant Heet, wliich 
daily grew more numerous and active, urgently soli- 
cited the protection of the royal navy. Charles con- 
fidently promised it, and even made, from time to 
time, serious efforts to keep his word ;' but, generally 
speaking, the merchantmen sailed without convoy, 
because the King's vessels had no rigging, and the 
sailors' wages were in arrear. The Barbary pirates 
entered the British Channel as far even as the Straits 
of Dover ; they infested the coasts of Great Britain, 
disembarked, sacked the villages, and carried off thou- 
sands of captives. Captain Eainsborough, who was 
despatched to Morocco, in 1637, to destroy one of 
their haunts, found there three hundred and seventy 
slaves, English or Irish ; and such was the impotence 
or imprudence of the administration, that Strafford 
was obliged to fit out a ship, at his o\^^l expense, to 
preserve the port of Dublin itself from their ravages.^ 
Such glaring incapacity, and the dangers which it 
entailed, did not escape the observation of experienced 
men. The foreign ministers resident in London 
reported it to their masters ; and ere long, notwith- 
standing the well-known prosperity of England, it 
became the general opinion in Europe that the go- 
vernment of Charles was feeble, imprudent, and inse- 
cure. At Paris, at Madrid, and at the Hague, his 
ambassadors were more than once treated slightingly 

' Warwick'.s Memoirs, p. 157 ; Rushworth, vol. i. part ii. pp. 257, 

^ Strafford's Letters, vol. i. pp. 68, 87, 90; vol. ii. pp. 80, 115,118 ; 
Waller's Poems. 


and contemptuously.' Strafford, Laud, and a few 
otlier members of the council, were not ignorant of 
the evil, and sought to remedy it. Strafford espe- 
cially, the boldest and ablest of them all, struggled 
vigorously against every obstacle : he was alarmed 
for the future, and was anxious that the King, by 
regulating liis affairs with consistency and prudence, 
should assure himself of a fixed revenue, well-provided 
arsenals, strong fortresses, and an efficient army.^ For 
his own part, he had not feared to convoke the Par- 
liament of Ireland, in 1634; and either from the 
terror which he inspired, or the services which he 
had rendered the country, he had made it the most 
tractable as w^ell as the most useful instrument of his 
power. But Charles forbade him to call it together 
again; both the Queen and himself dreaded the mere 
name of Parliament, and the fears of his master alone 
prevented Strafford from obtaining for tyranny the 
appearance and support of law. He argued the point 
for a time, but without success ; and at length he 
yielded. Energetic himself, he had to yield to weak- 
ness ; and his foresight was rendered unavaiHng by 
being placed in the service of the bhnd. Some mem- 

• The writings of the time — among others, the letters collected by 
Howell — supply numberless examples of this. I will quote one only : — 
When Sir Thomas Edmonds went to France, in 1629, to conclude the 
treaty of peace, the gentleman who was sent to meet him at St. Denis, 
to conduct him to Paris, said to him jeeringly, "that his Excellency 
must not think it strange that he had so few French gentlemen to 
accompany him to the court, as there had been so many killed at the 
Isle of Rh6," a bitterly-ironical allusion to the utter defeat of the 
English expedition to that island under the command of the Duke of 
Buckingham. — Ilmvell's Letters^, p. 225. 

^ Straftbrd's Letters, vol. ii. pp. 01, 62, 66. 

VOL. 1. O 


bers of the council even, who thought as he did, but 
who were either more selfish, or perceived more clearly 
the uselessness of their efforts, retired as soon as it 
became necessary to run risk in supporting him, and 
left him alone with Laud, exposed to all the intrigues 
and animosities of the court. 

When tyranny is thus frivolous and unskilful, it 
daily needs additional tyranny to maintain it. The 
despotism of Charles was, if not the most cruel, at least 
the most iniquitous and abusive that England had ever 
suffered. Without being able to allege in excuse any 
public necessity, without dazzling the minds of the 
people by any great results, in order merely to satisfy 
base cravings, and to accomplish unmeaning desires, 
it disregarded and offended the ancient rights as well 
as the new aspirations of the country — caring neither 
for the laws nor the opinions of the land, nor even for 
the concessions and promises of the King liimself ; 
making trial, at haphazard, and as occasion required, 
of all kinds of oppression — and in a word, adopting the 
most foolhardy resolutions and the most illegal mea- 
sures, not to secure the triumph of a consistent and 
formidable system, but to sustain, by temporary expe- 
dients, a power which was always in embarrassment. 
Shrewd lawyers, incessantly searching old registers in 
order to discover some instance of a forgotten iniquity, 
laboriously disinterred the abuses of past times, and 
erected them into rights of the throne. Immediately, 
other agents, less learned but more bold, converted 
these pretended rights into new and real vexations ; 
and if any opposition were made, servile judges were 


always ready to declare that, in fact, the Crown had 
formerly possessed such prerogatives. Was the com- 
plaisance of the judges ever thought uncertain, or was 
it thought necessary to show a little regard for their 
reputation? — irregular tribunals, such as the Star 
Chamber, the Com-t at York,^ and a number of other 
jurisdictions independent of the common law, were ap- 
pointed to take their place; and the complicity of 
illegal magistrates was used in support of tyranny, 
whenever the servility of legal magistrates was found 
insufficient. Thus were re-established many taxes 
which had fallen into desuetude, and others were in- 
vented which had previously been unknown ; thus re- 
appeared those innumerable monopolies which had been 
introduced and abandoned by Elizabeth, revived and 
abandoned by James I., constantly rejected by Parlia- 
ment, and temporarily abolished by Charles himself, 
and which, by granting to contractors or privileged 
courtiers the exclusive sale of most articles of consump- 
tion,^ caused the people to suffer, and irritated them 
still more by the unjust and irregular distribution of 

' Instituted by Henry VIIL, in 1537, in consequence of the troubles 
excited, in the northern counties, by the suppression of the lesser 
monasteries, for the purpose of admiiaistering justice and maintaining 
order in those counties, independently of the Courts at Westminster. 
The jurisdiction of the Northern Court, though at first rather limited, 
became much more extended and arbitrary during the reigns of James I. 
and Charles I. 

^ Here is a list, though incomj)lete, of the commodities then subject 
to monopoly : salt, soaj), coal, iron, wine, leather, starch, feathers, cards 
and dice, felt, lace, tobacco, barrels, beer, distilled liquors, the weighing 
of hay and straw in London and Westminster, red herrings, butter, 
potash, linens, paper rags, hops, buttons, catgut, spectacles, combs, 
saltpetre, gunpowder, &c. 

o 2 


their profits. The extension of the royal forests, that 

abuse against which the barons of old England had so 

often risen in arms, was carried on to such a degree 

that the forest of Rockingham alone increased from 

six to sixty miles in circuit ; and at the same time the 

slightest encroachment of private individuals were 

narrowly watclied, and punished by enormous fines.* 

Commissions were sent through the provinces to call 

in question, here the titles of the possessors of domains 

which had formerly belonged to the Crown, there the 

rate of the emoluments attached to certain offices, and 

elsewhere the right of citizens to build new houses, or 

that of agriculturists to change their corn-fields into 

meadow-land ; and their endeavour was not to reform 

abuses, but to sell their impunity at the highest 

possible price.^ Privileges and abuses of all kinds 

were a continual subject of disgraceful bargains between 

the King and those to whom he granted them. The 

severity of the judges was even trafficked in : on the 

slightest pretext, they infficted fines of unprecedented 

magnitude, which struck terror into those who were 

liable to be threatened with such prosecutions, and 

determined them to ransom themselves beforehand by 

the payment of large sums. It might have been said 

that the judicial tribunals had no other business than 

to supply the wants of the prince, or to ruin the adver- 

' For an offence of this kind, Lord Salisbury was fined 20,000/. ; Lord 
Westmoreland 19,000/. ; Sir Christopher Hatton 12,0007. ; Lord New- 
port 3000/.; and Sir Lewis Watson 40o0/. See Strafford's Letters, 
vol. ii., p. 117, and Parliamentary History, vol. ii., col. 642. 

* May's History of the Long Parhament, p. 17 ; Rushworth, vol. ii. 
part 2, p. 91d. 


saries of liis power/ If discontent seemed to prevail 
in any particular county, so generally as to render it 
difficult to practise such proceedings, the militia was 
disarmed, and troops were sent thither, whom the in- 
habitants were bound, not only to lodge and feed, but 
also to equip. For not having paid what they did not 
owe, men were put into prison, and could obtain their 
liberty only by paying a portion of the amount, which 
varied according to the fortune, the credit, or the 
adroitness of the prisoners. Taxes, imprisonments, 
convictions, severities, and favours, all were arbitrary ; 
and this arbitrary rule extended every day, over the 
rich because it brought profit, and over the poor because 
it involved no danger. Indeed, when complaints be- 
came so violent as to alarm the courts the magistrates 
against whom they were raised, purchased impunity in 
their tm-n. In a fit of insensate despotism, for a few 
inconsiderate words, Strafibrd had caused Lord Mount- 
norris to be condemned to death ; and althougli the 
sentence had not been carried mto execution, the mere 
report of the trial had excited a general feeling of re- 
probation against him botli in England and Ireland, 
and even in the royal council. To appease this feeling, 
he sent 6000Z. to London, to be distributed among the 
principal councillors. " I fell upon the right way," 
wrote Lord Cottington, an old and practised courtier 
to whom he had intrusted this matter, " which was, 
to give the money to him that really could do the 

1 By adding together the fines inflicted for the King's profit during 
this period, in the principal Crown prosecutions, we find a sum-total of 
more than 200,000/. See Appendix IV. 


business, which was the King himself;"^ and Strafford 
obtained, at this price, not only exemption from all 
pursuit, but permission to divide, as he pleased, among 
his favourites, the spoils of the man whom, at his 
pleasure, he had caused to be condemned. 

Such was the effect of Charles's necessities : his fears 
carried him to far greater excesses. In spite of his 
presumptuous levity, he sometimes felt himself weak, 
and sought for support. He made some attempt to 
restore to the high aristocracy the strength which they 
had ceased to possess. Under the pretext of prevent- 
ing dissipation, the country gentlemen received orders 
to live on their estates ; for their affluence to London 
was greatly feared.^ The Star Chamber took under its 
protection the dignity of the nobles. A want of re- 
S23ect, an inadvertency, a joke, the most trifling acts in 
which the superiority of their rank and privileges 
seemed to be lost sight of, were punished with extreme 
rigour, and always by enormous fines, which were as 
profitable to the King as to the offended party. ^ The 
object was to make the courtiers a powerful and re- 
spected class ; but these attempts were soon given up, 
either because their futihty was perceived, or because 
recollections of the ancient barons still inspired the 

' Strafford's Letters, vol. i., p. 511. 

* More than two hundred gentlemen were proceeded against on the 
same day, the 20th of March, 1035, and by the same indictment, for 
having disobeyed this injunction. — Ivushworth, vol. i., part ii., p. 288. 

•' A man named Greville was fined 4000Z. to the king, and as much in 
damages to Lord Suffolk, for having called him " a base lord ;" and one 
Pettager was fined 20001., and sentenced to be flogged, for having said 
the same of the Earl of Kingston. — llushworth, vol. ii., part 2, pp. 43, 72, 
of Ap})cndix ; Clarendon's Life, vol. i., p. 81. 


King with some distrust of their descendants. Several 
of them, in fact, ranged themselves among the malcon- 
tents, and these alone had any influence in the country. 
The simple gentry were still humihated, whenever 
opportunity offered, before the great lords ; but it had 
become necessary to seek elsewhere a body wliich, 
though already strong in itself, had nevertheless much 
to receive from the Crown, and might, by being 
admitted to a share of absolute power, contribute 
efficiently to its support. The Anglican clergy had 
long soKcited this mission ; they were now called to 
fulfil it. 

Originating, as it did, in the sole will of the tem- 
poral sovereign, the Anglican Church had thereby, as 
we have seen, lost all independence : it no longer had a 
divine mission, and had ceased to exist of its own right. 
Isolated from the people, who did not elect them, and 
separated from the Pope and the universal Church, 
which had formerly been their support, the bishops 
and superior clergy were merely the delegates of the 
prince, the first of his servants ; a false position for a 
body whose functions it is to represent that which is 
most independent and elevated in man — religious faith. 
At an early period, the Anglican Church had become 
sensible of tliis defect in its nature ; but the dangers to 
wliich it had been exposed, and its dread of the strong 
hands of Henry VIII. and EKzabeth, had prevented 
it from making any efforts to hberate itself from 
tlu-aldom. Attacked simultaneously by both CathoHcs 
and Nonconformists, and firmly established neither in 
its professions nor in its doctrines, it devoted itself 


unreservedly to the service of the temporal power, 
iickuowledging its own dependence, and admitting the 
absolute supremacy of the throne, which, at that time, 
could alone save it from its enemies. 

Towards the end of the reign of EHzabeth, some 
few weak and isolated symptoms began to betoken 
rather loftier pretensions on the part of the Anglican 
clergy. Dr. Bancroft, chaplain to the Archbishop of 
Canterbury, in a sermon preached on the 12th of 
January, 1588, maintained that episcopacy was not of 
human institution, that it had been the government of 
the Chui'ch ever since the apostolic times, and that the 
bishops held their power not of the temporal sovereign, 
but of God alone. ^ The new clergy were beginning to 
think themselves more firmly established, and were 
attempting a first step towards their emancipation : 
but the attempt, timidly ventured, was haughtily 
repulsed. Ehzabeth asserted the plenitude of her 
spiritual supremacy, repeating to the bishops that 
they were nothing but by her will; and the Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury contented himself with saying, 
that he wished, rather than believed, that the doctor 
was right. ^ The people sided heartily with the Queen ; 
their only desire was to carry the Reformation still 
further, and they well knew that, if the bishops aspired 
to independence, it was not in order to free faith from 
temporal authority, but to oppress it by their own 

No decision was arrived at under James I : that 

' Neal's History of the Puritans, vol. i., p. 390. 
* Ibid., p. 397. 


selfish and wily monarch cared little to aggravate the 
evil, provided that he could escape from present danger. 
He maintained his own supremacy, but granted so 
much favour to the bishops, took such care to 
strengthen their authority, and treated their enemies 
so roughly, that tlieir confidence and power increased 
every day. While zealously proclaiming the divine 
right of the throne, they soon began to speak fre- 
quently of their own ; and the doctrine which 
Bancroft had timidly insinuated became an opinion 
openly professed by all the superior clergy, maintained 
in numerous treatises, and preached from the pulpit of 
almost every church. Bancroft himself was created 
Archbishop of Canterbury in December, 1604. 
Whenever the King made a parade of his prerogative, 
the clergy bowed with respect ; but after these acts of 
momentary humility, they resumed their pretensions, 
exhibiting them chiefly in their deahngs with the 
people so as to gain excuse more readily from the King, 
devoting themselves with increasing fervour to the 
cause of absolute monarchy, and patiently awaiting 
the day when they would be so necessary to it, that it 
would be compelled to recognize their independence 
in order to secure their support. 

When Charles, after having quarrelled with the 
Parliament, stood alone in the midst of his kingdom, 
seeking in every direction for the means of governing, 
the Anglican clergy believed that this day was come. 
They had recovered immense wealth, and held it in 
undisputed possession. The Papists no longer in- 
spired them with any alarm. The primate of the 


church, Laud, possessed the entire confidence of the 
King, and had the undivided direction of ecclesiastical 
afiairs. Among the other ministers, none professed, 
as Lord Burleigh had done under Elizabeth, to dread 
and oppose the encroachments of the clergy. The 
court was either indifferent or secretly papistical. 
Learned men shed a lustre over the Church. The 
universities, especially that of Oxford, were devoted to 
her maxims. One adversary only remained — the 
people, who daily grew more discontented that the 
Reformation had been left incomplete, and more ardent 
to consummate it. But this adversary was also the 
opponent of the throne; it demanded at the same 
time, and in order to secure one by the other, both 
evangelical faith and political hberty. The same peril 
menaced the sovereignty of the crown and the suj^re- 
macy of the bishops. The King, who was sincerely 
pious, manifested a disposition to beheve that he was 
not the only potentate who held his power from God, 
and that the authority of the bishops had neither a 
less lofty origin nor a less sacred character. Never 
had so many favourable circumstances seemed to com- 
bme to place the clergy in a position to achieve 
independence of the crown and dominion over the 

Laud set to work with his accustomed violence. It 
was first of all necessary to put an end, withui the 
Church, to all dissent ; and to impart to its doctrine, 
disciphne, and worship, the force of the strictest uni- 
formity. He suffered no obstacle to interfere with the 
accomplishment of this design. Power was concen- 


trated exclusively in tlie hands of the bishops. The 
Court of High Commission, in which they took cogni- 
zance of and decided ujDon all matters relating to 
religion, daily became more harsh and arbitrary in its 
jurisdiction, its formalities, and the penalties which it 
inflicted. The complete adoption of the Anglican 
canons, and the mmute observance of the hturgy or 
rites employed in the cathedrals, were rigorously en- 
forced upon all ecclesiastics. The Nonconformists held 
numerous livings : they were summarily ejected from 
them. The people thronged to hear their sermons : 
they were forbidden to preach.^ Driven from their 
churches, deprived of their incomes, they travelled 
from town to town teaching and preaching to the 
faithful, who collected around them, in taverns, private 
houses, or open fields; but persecution followed and 
reached them wherever they went. Many wealthy 
families among the country nobles or prosperous 
citizens, who held the same opinions as they did, 
received them into their houses as chaplains, or as 
tutors for their children ; but persecution penetrated 
even into the privacy of these families, and drove forth 
the chaplains or tutors whom they had chosen.^ The 
proscribed ministers left England, and went into 
France, Holland, and Grermany, to found churches in 
conformity with their faith ; but despotism crossed 
the seas, and requu^ed these churches to adopt the 
Anglican ritual.^ Many French, Dutch, and German 
manufacturers had introduced their various branches 

' Neal's History of the Puritans, vol. ii., p. 179. 
' Ibid., p. 179. ^ Ibid., p. 205. 


of industry into England, and had obtained charters 
which secured to them the free exercise of their 
national worship : these charters were revoked, and 
most of the foreigners abandoned their adopted country 
in consequence ; the diocese of Norwich alone lost 
tliree thousand of these industrious immigrants.^ Thus 
deprived of every asylum, and stripped of every em- 
ployment, seeking refuge in flight or concealment, the 
Nonconformists still wrote to defend or propagate their 
doctrines : the censorship prohibited the publication of 
their new books, and sought after and suppressed the 
old ones.^ It was even absolutely forbidden to treat, 
either in the pulpit or elsewhere, of those questions 
regarding which the public mind was in the strongest 
agitation f for the controversy was general and deep- 
seated, about dogmas as well as about discipHne, on 
the mysteries of human destiny as well as on the pro- 
prieties of public worship ; and the Anglican Church 
would neither tolerate departure from its ceremonies, 
nor admit discussion of its opinions. The people 
grieved that they could no longer listen to the pastors 
whom they loved, nor hear of those things which en- 
grossed their thoughts. To quiet their alarms, and to 
save themselves from being separated from their flocks, 
many moderate or timid Nonconformist ministers 
ofiered to submit in part, and demanded in return 
various concessions, such as not being obliged to wear 

» Rushworth, part ii., vol. i., p. 272 ; May's History of the Long Par- 
liament, p. 81 ; Neal's History of the Puritans, vol. ii., p, 232. 

* Decree of the Star Chamber, 11th July, 1637 ; Ivushworth, part ii., 
vol. ii., p. 306 ; Neal's History of the Puritans, vol. ii., p. 165. 

3 Neal's History of the Puritans, vol. ii., p. 163. 


a surplice, or to give to the communion-table the form 
or position of an altar. They were told in reply, some- 
times that the practices appointed were important, and 
it was therefore their duty to obey; and sometimes 
that they were insignificant, and it therefore became 
them to yield. Driven to extremities, they resisted 
absolutely, and insult awaited them, as well as con- 
demnation, before the Ecclesiastical Court. The treat- 
ment which they received from the bishops and judges 
was most disgraceful ; they were insultingly addressed 
in the second person singular, called fools, idiots, rogues 
and knaves, and ordered to be silent, whenever they 
opened their mouths to defend or excuse themselves.^ 
Even if they renounced preaching, writing, and ap- 
pearing in public, tyranny did not give up persecuting 
them ; it proceeded against them with an obstinacy 
and ingenuity which no foresight could have antici- 
pated, and no weakness could avert. Mr. Workman, 
a minister at Gloucester, had asserted that ornaments 
and pictures in churches were a remnant of idolatry ; 
he was imprisoned for the assertion. A short time 
before, the city of Gloucester had granted him an 
annuity of twenty pounds for life ; the annuity was 
stopped, and the mayor and other principal officers 
were prosecuted and condemned to pay a heavy fine for 
having granted it. On leaving his prison, Workman 
opened a httle school ; Laud ordered it to be closed. 
That he might have means of subsistence, the poor 
minister became a physician; Laud forbade him to 

» Rushworth, part ii., vol. i., pp. 233, 240 ; Neal's History of the 
Puritans, vol. i., p. 256. 


practise. Workman went mad, and shortly afterwards 

Meanwhile the pomps of Catholic worship were 
stored with all haste in the churches which had thus 
been deprived of their pastors : whilst persecution scat- 
tered the flock, the walls of the building were magni- 
ficently adorned. They were consecrated with much 
display -^ but in order to fill them with a congregation, 
it was found necessary to employ force. Laud took 
pleasure in minutely regulating the details of new 
ceremonies, sometimes borrowed from Popery, and 
sometimes invented by his ostentatious though austere 
imagination. On the part of the Nonconformists, every 
innovation, even the slightest derogation from the 
canons or liturgy, was punished as a crime ; and yet 
Laud was continually innovating mthout consulting 
anybody, supported only by the King's sanction, and 
sometimes even acting upon his own sole authority.^ 
He altered the internal arrangement of churches and 
the forms of worship ; imperiously prescribed practices 
which had previously been unknown ; nay, even made 
changes in that liturgy which Parhaments had sanc- 
tioned ; and the object, or at least the result, of all 
these alterations was to render the Church of England 
more Hke the Church of Pome. The Hberty which 
the Papists enjoyed, and the hopes which, either 
from imprudence or policy, they openly manifested, 
confirmed the people in their most sinister apprehen- 
sions. Books were published to prove that the doc- 

' Neal'a History of the rmitiuis, vol. ii., p. 204. 
•^ Ibid., p. 190. ■■' Ibid., p. 220. 


trine of tlie English bishops might very easily be 
reconciled to that of the Church of Rome ; and these 
books, although not authorized, were dedicated either 
to the King or to Laud, and pubhcly tolerated/ Many 
theologians, friends of Laud, such as Bishop Montague 
and Dr. Cosins, professed similar views, and did so with 
impunity, whilst preachers who were beloved by the 
people, vainly exhausted all the resources of courage 
and concession to obtain some liberty to speak and 
write. Accordingly the behef in the approaching 
triumph of Popery daily gained credit ; and the cour- 
tiers, who had the best opportunities of judgmg, shared 
this behef with the general mass of the nation. The 
daughter of the Duke of Devonshire became a Catholic. 
Laud inquired what reasons had induced her to take 
this step : " I am not fond of being in a crowd," she 
replied ; "I see that your Grace and many others are 
on the way to Rome, so I wish to go there alone, and 
before you." 

The splendour and exclusive dominion of episcopacy 
being thus estabhshed, at least as Laud flattered him- 
self, his next endeavour was to secure its independence. 
It might have been anticipated, that in such a design 
he would have found the King less docile to liis coun- 
sels ; but this was not the case. The divine right 
of the bishops became, in a short time, the official doc- 
trine, not only of the superior clergy, but of the King 
himself. Dr. Hall, Bishop of Exeter, developed it in 
a treatise which Laud took the trouble to revise, and 
from which he eliminated every vague or timid plu'ase, 

' Whitelocke's Memorials, p. 22. 


every semblance of doubt or concession.' From books, 
this doctrine soon passed into acts. The bishops held 
their Ecclesiastical Courts no longer in the name and by- 
virtue of delegation from the King, but in their own 
name alone. The episcopal seal alone was affixed to their 
acts ; a direct oath of conformity was required from the 
srovernors of the factories abroad : and it was declared 
that the superintendence of the universities belonged 
of right to the metropolitan.^ The supremacy of the 
temporal prince was not formally abolished, but it 
might have been said that it only subsisted to serve as 
a veil to usurpations which must eventually destroy it. 
Wliile thus gradually emancipating itself from the 
royal control, the Church, at the same time, encroached 
upon civil affairs : her jurisdiction was extended at the 
expense of the ordinary tribunals, and never before had 
so many ecclesiastics held seats in the King's council, 
or occupied the great offices of State. Now and then 
the lawyers, whose personal interests were in danger, 
protested against these encroachments ;^ but Charles 
paid no attention to their complaints ; and so great 
was the confidence of Laud, that, when he had obtained 
for Bishop Juxon the white staff of Lord Treasurer, he 
exclaimed in a trans]3ort of joy, " Now if the Church 
will not hold up themselves under God, I can do no 



When matters had reached this pass, the people 

> Neal's History of the Puritans, vol. ii., p. 292. 
* Ibid., vol. ii., p. 244 ; Whitelocke's Memorials, p. 22. 
=* Clarendon's History of the Rebelhou, vol. ii., p. 246 ; Neal's His- 
tory of the Puritans, vol. ii., p. 24,3. 

■• Laud's Diary, p. 53 ; under date of March G, IGiJfi. 


were not alone in their irritation. The high nobihty, 
in part at least, took the alarm. ^ In the assumptions 
of the Church, they perceived something far worse than 
mere tyranny — a positive revolution, which, not content 
with crushing all popular reform, distorted and im- 
perilled that first Reformation wliich had been effected 
by the king and adopted by the barons. The latter 
had learned to proclaim the supremacy and divine 
right of the throne, which, at least, emancipated them 
from all other sway ; but now they were called upon 
to admit with equal readiness the divine right of the 
bishops, and to humble themselves in their turn before 
that Church whose abasement they had applauded, and 
in whose spoils they had shared. They were required 
to manifest servihty, wliich is even more jealous of its 
prerogatives than liberty of its rights ; whilst others, 
hitherto their inferiors, were permitted to assume inde- 
pendence. They felt that their rank, and perhaps even 
their property, was in danger. Arrogance on the part 
of the clergy was an offence to which they had long 
been unaccustomed ; but now they heard it said that a 
day would soon come when a simple clerk would be 
held in as much account as the proudest gentleman in 
the kingdom \- they saw the bishops and their crea- 
tures appointed to nearly all public offices, and enjoy- 
ing nearly all the favours of the crown ; thus usurping 
the only compensation which had been left to the 
nobihty in exchange for their ancient splendour, 
hberties, and power. Charles, moreover, though sincere 
in his devotion to the clergy, had reckoned upon gain- 

' Neal's History of the Puritans, vol. ii., p. 250. ^ Ibid., p. 251. 
VOL. I. P 


ing by their elevation, a staunch support against the 
ill will of the people ; but ere long, the disposition to 
censure the conduct and to suspect the intentions of 
the government became universal; discontent spread 
from the workshops of the City to the drawing-rooms of 

This discontent was manifested among the higher 
classes, by a distaste for the court, and a freedom of 
mind previously unprecedented. Many of the most re- 
spected of the nobility retired to their estates, wishing 
to express their disapprobation by their removal from 
court. In London, and around the throne, a spu'it of 
independence and inquiry penetrated into societies 
which had hitherto been characterized only by servility 
or frivolousness. Since the reign of Elizabeth, a taste 
for literature and science had ceased to be the exclusive 
possession of professed students ; the society of distin- 
guished men of every kind, philosophers, authors, 
poets, or artists, and the pleasures of witty or scholarly 
conversation, had been sought after by the court as an 
additional adornment, and by men of the world as 
a noble pastime ; but no pohtical opposition was 
connected with such associations ; it was even the 
fashion, whether these meetings were held in a famous 
tavern or in a nobleman's house, to devote them to 
casting ridicule upon the morose humour and fanatical 
resistance of the rehgious Nonconformists, already 
known under the name of Puritans. Festivities, 
theatrical performances, hterary discussions, an agree- 
able interchange of flatteries and services, were the 
only thoughts which occupied the attention of a society 


of which the tlirone was usually the centre, and always 
the protector. This ceased to be the case in the reign 
of Charles the First ; meetings of literary men and 
men of the world continued to be held, but graver 
questions were treated at them, and discussed far from 
the ken of power, which would have taken offence at 
their discussion. Public affairs, religious questions, 
and problems in moral science, formed the ordinary 
topics of these conversations ; they were brilliant and 
animated, and were eagerly attended by young men who 
had returned from their travels, or who were studying 
law in the Inns of Court, indeed, by all men of serious 
and active minds, whose rank or fortune allowed them 
sufficient leisure. Selden lavished on them the treasures 
of his erudition ; Chillingworth explained to them his 
doubts on matters of faith ; Lord Falkland, then a young 
man, opened to them his house, and his gardens were 
compared to those of the Academy.^ At these meetings 
neither sects nor parties were formed, but free and 
strong opinions. Unfettered by interest, pledged to no 
design, and drawn together solely by the pleasure of 
enlarging their ideas by communication, and of mutu- 
ally inspiring one another with generous sentiments, 
the men who thus assembled carried on their discus- 
sions without constraint, and cared only to seek for 
justice and truth. Some, specially inclining to philo- 
sophic meditations, busied themselves with inquiring 
what forms of government best respected the dignity 
of man ; others, lawyers by profession, allowed no 
illegal act of the King or his council to pass uncri- 

' Clarendon's Life, vol. i., pp. 42-50. 

p 2 


ticised ; others, theologians by calling or taste, carefuUy 
studied the creeds and worship of the first ages of 
Christianity, and compared them with those of the 
Church which Laud was endeavouring to establish. 
They were united neither by common passions and 
dangers, nor by any very definite principles and objects ; 
but all agreed and vied with one another in detesting 
tyranny, in despising the coui't, in regretting the Par- 
liament, and in longing for a reform wliich they had 
but sHght expectations of obtaining, but by which 
each, in the freedom of his mental aspirations, hoped 
to attain the term of all his sorrows, and the accom- 
plishment of all his wishes. 

Further from the court, among men of less elevated 
condition or less cultivated minds, feehngs were more 
stern, and ideas more narrow, but more definite. Here, 
opinions were bound up with interests, and passions 
with opinions. The anger of the inferior nobility and 
gentry was directed most especially agamst political 
tyranny. The decay of the higher aristocracy and of 
the feudal system had greatly diminished distinctions 
of rank among gentlemen ; all regarded themselves 
as descendants of those barons who had extorted 
the grant of Magna Charta, and were indignant at 
seeing their rights, persons, and property subjected 
to the caprice of the King or his advisers, when their 
ancestors, as they proudly affirmed, had once made war 
against the sovereign, and dictated to him the law. 
No philosophical theory, no nice distinction between 
democracy, aristocracy, and royalty, occupied their 
minds , the House of Commons alone reigned in 


their thoughts ; in their eyes, it represented the nobi- 
lity as weU as the people, the ancient coalition of the 
barons as well as the entire nation ; it alone had, in 
bygone days, defended public liberties — it alone was 
capable of regaining them ; it alone was thought of 
when the Parliament was named, and the legitimacy 
and necessity of its omnipotence was the idea whicli 
gradually took firm hold of all minds. With regard 
to the Church, most of the gentry entertained no sys- 
tematic views or destructive designs respecting the 
form of its government; episcopacy inspired them 
with no repugnance ; but the bishops were odious to 
them, chiefly as the abettors and supporters of tyranny. 
The Reformation had proclaimed the emancipation of 
civil society, and had abolished the usm'pations of the 
spiritual power in temporal matters. The Anglican 
clergy wished to resume what Rome had lost. That 
this ambition should be repressed, that the Pope 
should have no successors in England, and that the 
bishops, excluded from the government of the State, 
should confine themselves to administering the reh- 
gious affairs of their dioceses, in accordance with the 
laws of the land — was the general wish of the country 
nobility, who were not indisposed to approve of the 
episcopal constitution of the Chm'ch, provided that it 
assumed neither political power nor divine right. 

In the towns, the superior class of citizens, and in the 
country, a very large number of gentlemen, and nearly 
all the small freehold proprietors, carried their irrita- 
tion and their views of reform, in religious matters 
especially, much farther than this. They were swayed 


by a passionate attachment to the Reformation, by an 
ardent longing to adopt all the consequences of its 
principles, and by a profound hatred of everything 
that still retained any resemblance to Popery, or sug- 
gested recollections of it to their memory. It was 
beneath the usurpation of the Romish hierarchy, they 
said, that the primitive Church, with the simphcity 
of its worship and the pui-ity of its faith, had suc- 
cumbed. Accordingly, the master-spirits of the Re- 
formation, the new apostles Zwingle, Calvin, and 
Knox, had hastened to abohsh that tyrannical constitu- 
tion with its idolatrous ceremonies. They had taken 
the Gospel for their rule, and the primitive Church for 
their model. England alone persisted in walking in 
the ways of Popery ; was the yoke of the bishops less 
heavy, their conduct more evangelical, and their pride 
less arrogant than that of the Romish prelates ? Like 
them, they cared only to rule and to enrich themselves ; 
like them, they dreaded frequent preaching, austerity 
of manners, and liberty of prayer ; Hke them, they 
aimed at subjecting the aspirations of Christian souls 
to minute and unchangeable forms ; like them, they 
substituted the worldly splendour of rites and cere- 
monies, for the life-giving word of the Lord. If on the 
sacred day of the Sabbath, true Christians wished to 
devote themselves, in retirement, to pious exercises, 
the noise of games and dancing, and the disorders 
of drunkenness, in every street and square, insulted 
their devotion And the bishops were not satisfied 
with permitting the people to indulge in these profane 
pastimes ; they advised and almost commanded them. 


for fear that the people should acquire a taste for holier 
pleasures.^ Was there, among their flock, a man 
whose timorous conscience took alarm at some of the 
practices of the Church? they imperiously enjoined 
upon him the observance of its most trivial rules : was 
another attached to the laws? they tormented him 
with their continual innovations ; the humble they 
crushed, and they irritated the high-minded to revolt. 
In everything they exhibited the maxims, practices, 
and pretensions of the enemies of the true faith. And 
why was this abandonment of Gospel precepts, this 
oppression of the most zealous behevers ? To maintain a 
power which the gospel conferred on no one, and which 
the first behevers had not known. If the episcopate 
were abolished ; if the Church, resuming its proper 
character, were henceforth governed by ministers pos- 
sessing equal attributes, simple preachers of evangehc 
doctrines, and regulating in concert, by common deli- 
beration, the discipline of the Christian community, 
then it would be truly the Church of Christ ; then 
there would be no more idolatry, no more tyranny ; 
and the Reformation, consummated at length, would 
no longer have to stand in fear of Popery, which now 
was at the door, ready to invade the house of God, 
whose keeper seemed to be making ready to give it 

When the people, in whose breasts, ever since the 
origin of the Reformation, these thoughts had been 

' Neal's History of the Puritans, vol. ii., p. 212 ; Rushworth, part ii., 
vol. i., pp. 191-196. 

^ Rushworth, part iii., vol. i., pp. 172-188. 


darkly fermenting, saw them adopted by a number of 
rich, respected, and influential men, their own direct 
and natural patrons, they began to feel a confidence in 
them and in themselves, which, mthout breaking out 
into sedition, speedily changed the aspect and con- 
dition of the country. As early as 1582 and 1616, a 
few Nonconformists, separating formally from the 
Anglican Church, had constituted themselves, under 
the names, afterwards so celebrated, of Brownists and 
Independents, into small dissenting sects, which re- 
jected all general government of the Church, and 
proclaimed the right of each congregation of behevers 
to regulate its own mode of worship, upon purely 
republican principles.^ Since that period, several 
private congregations had been estabhshed on this 
model, but they were few in number, not rich, and 
almost as alien to the nation as to the Church. Ex- 
posed, without any means of defence, to persecution, 
whenever discovered, these sectaries fled the country, 
and generally retired to Holland. But soon regretful 
longings for their native land sprang up to struggle, 
in their hearts, with the craving for hberty ; and then, 
communicating by message with the friends whom 
they had left behind, they arranged to go together in 
search of a new country, in regions almost unknown, 
but which at least belonged to England, and wliere 
Englishmen were the only settlers. The more wealthy 
sold their property, bought a small vessel, a supply 
of provisions and implements of husbandry, and, under 
the guidance of a minister of their faith, went to rejoin 

' Neal's History of the Puritans, vol. i., p. 301 ; vol. ii., pp. 42, 92. 


their friends in Holland, tlience to proceed with them 
to North America, where some attempts at colonization 
were just beginning to be made. It rarely happened 
that the vessel was large enough to carry all who desired 
to be passengers. All repaired to the sea-shore, to the 
place where the sliip lay at anchor ; and there on the 
sand, under the cliffs, the minister of that part of the 
congregation which was to remain behind preached a 
farewell sermon, and the pastor of those about to 
leave anwered by another sermon ; they prayed long 
together, embraced each other for the last time before 
embarking, and, whilst the one party set sail, the 
others returned sadly home to await, among an mi- 
sympathising people, the opportunity and means of 
rejoining their bretlii-en.^ Several successive expe- 
ditions of this kind took place without any hindrance, 
on account of the obscurity of the fugitives. But all 
at once, in 1637, the King perceived that they were 
becoming numerous and frequent, that wealthy citizens 
engaged in them, and carried away with them large 
sums of money ; already it was said, property to the 
amount of more than twelve milHons had been thus 
taken out of the country.^ Tyranny then weighed no 
longer upon a few weak and obscure sectaries alone ; 
their opinions had spread, and tlieu' sentiments pre- 
vailed among even those classes which did not share 
in their opinions. From various causes, the govern- 
ment had become so odious, that thousands of men, 
differing in rank, fortune, and design, quitted their 

' Neal's History of the Puritans, vol. ii., pp. 110-112. 
■' Ibid., p. 186. 


native land. An order in council, issued on the 1st of 
May, 1C37, prohibited these emigrations.' At that 
moment, eight vessels, ready to depart, lay at anclior 
in the Thames : in one of these Pym, Haslerig, 
Hampden, and Cromwell were abeady embarked.^ 

They were wrong to fly from tyranny, for the people 
were beginning to brave it. Discontent had been 
succeeded by fermentation. Neither the re-establish- 
ment of legal order, nor even the abolition of episcopal 
rule, were now the limits of aU men's aims. Under 
the shadow of the great party which was planning 
this twofold reform, a host of bolder sects and more 
audacious opinions had sprung up. On every side, 
small congregations were detaching themselves from 
the Church, taking for their distinctive symbol some- 
times a particular interpretation of some dogma, some- 
times the rejection of some practice, and very often 
the destruction of all ecclesiastical government, the 
absolute independence of believers, and sole reliance on 
the inspiration of the Holy Spu-it. Passion every- 
where overcame fear. In spite of Laud's active inqui- 
sition, sectaries of all sorts met together for worship, 
in towns, in some cellar ; in the country, under the 
roof of a barn, or in the midst of a wood. The dreari- 
ness of the place, the danger and difficulty of meeting, 
all combined to excite the imagination of both preachers 
and hearers ; and they spent long hours, and often 
entire nights, together, in praying and singing, seeking 

' Rushwortli, part ii., vol. i., p. 409. 

■^ Neal's History of the I'uritans, vol. ii., p. 287 ; Walpole's Catalogue 
of Royal and Noble Authors, vol. i., p. 20G. 


the Lord and cursing their enemies. The irrationality 
of their doctrines, and the small number of their 
partizans, were of httle importance to the safety and 
even to the credit of these fanatical associations ; they 
were sheltered and protected by the general feeling of 
resentment which had taken hold upon the country. 
Ere long, and whatever might be their names, creeds, 
or designs, the confidence of the Nonconformists in 
public favour became so great that they did not 
hesitate to distinguish themselves by their dress and 
manners ; thus professing their opinions under the 
very eyes of their persecutors. In their black clothes, 
with their hau' cropped close, and their heads covered 
with high-crowned and broad-brimmed hats, they 
were everywhere regarded with respect by the mul- 
titude, who gave them the name of Saints. Their 
credit increased to such a degree that, notwithstanding 
the virulence with which they were persecuted, even 
hypocrisy declared in their favour. Bankrupt mer- 
chants, workmen out of employment, men ruined by 
their debauchery and debts — in a word, all who were 
desirous to raise themselves in the esteem of the 
pubKc, assumed the dress, looks, and language of the 
saints, and at once obtained welcome and protection 
from the passionate creduhty of the people. "^ In 
pohtical matters, the effervescence, though less general 
and less disorderly, continued to extend. Among the 
inferior classes, in consequence either of their im- 
proved circumstances or of thek rehgious behef, 
notions and desires of equality, to wliich they had 

' Memoirs of Mrs. Hutchinson, p. 81. 


previous!}^ been strangers, were beginning to circulate. 
In a higher sphere of society, men of powerful and 
lofty mind, detesting the Court, despising the impotence 
of the ancient laws, and yielding with passionate 
eagerness to their unfettered thoughts, dreamed, in 
their soHtary studies or in their secret conversations, 
of simpler and more efficient institutions. Others, 
agitated by intentions less pure, destitute of all re- 
ligious faith, cynical in their manners, and thrown by 
their humour or by chance among the discontented 
party, aspired to any catastrophe which should give 
scope to their ambition, or at least emancipate them 
from all check. Fanaticism and hcentiousness, sin- 
cerity and hypocrisy, respect and contempt for old 
institutions, lawful wants and intemperate desires, all 
concurred to ferment the national anger ; all combined 
to attack a power whose tyranny animated all classes 
of men with the same feehngs of hatred, whilst its 
imprudence and weakness allowed activity and hope 
to the pettiest factions and the wildest dreams. 

For some time the King and liis council remained 
in ignorance of the progress of public indignation ; 
keeping aloof from the nation, and meeting with no 
effective resistance, the Government, in spite of its 
embarrassments, was haughty and self-confident. 
In order to justify its conduct, it frequently spoke in 
emphatic language of the bad spirit that was abroad ; 
but its momentary alarm did not awaken its prudence, 
and while fearing, it disdained, its enemies. Even 
the necessity of aggravating its oppressive policy from 
day to day did not enlighten it ; and it congratulated 


itself on its strength, in proportion as the increasing 
danger compelled it to act with greater severity. 

Meanwhile, in 1636, England was inundated with 
pamphlets against the favour shown to Papists, against 
the disorderly lives of the courtiers, and most of all, 
against the tyranny of Laud and the bishops. Al- 
ready the Star Chamber had more than once severely 
punished such publications ; but they had never before 
been so numerous and violent, so widely diffused or 
so eagerly welcomed. They were distributed in the 
streets of towns, in the fields of the country ; bold 
smugglers brought thousands of copies fi'om Holland, 
and sold them at a great profit; they were even 
commented upon in the chiu'ches, which Laud had 
not yet succeeded in completely purging of Puritan 
preachers. Irritated at the inefficiency of its seve- 
rities, the Council resolved to act with increased 
rigour. A lawyer, a minister, and a physician — 
Prynne, Burton, and Bastvvick — were brought before 
the Star-Chamber at the same time. The Government 
wished at first to prosecute them for liigh treason, 
which would have entailed capital punishment ; but 
the judges declared that it would be impossible to strain 
either the law or their writings so far, and the Gro- 
vernment was obhged to be content with trying them 
for petty treason or felony.^ 

The iniquity of the trial was on a par with the 
barbarity of the sentence. The accused were required 
to furnish their defence without delay, or else they 
would be held to have admitted the facts alleged 

' Rushworth, part ii., vol. i., p. 324. 


against them. They replied they could not write a 
defence, for they had been refused paper, pens, and ink. 
They were supplied with these requisites, and en- 
joined to get their defence signed hy counsel ; but for 
several days, admission into the prison was refused to 
the counsel whom they had chosen. When at length 
he was admitted into their presence, he refused to 
sign their defence, as he feared to compromise himself 
with the court ; and no other barrister would under- 
take the case. They then requested permission to 
present their defence signed by themselves. The 
Court rejected their application, repeating that, with- 
out a barrister's signature, it would hold the facts to be 
admitted. " My lords," said Prynne, " you require 
impossibilities." The Court merely reiterated its 
former declaration. The trial opened with a brutal 
insult to one of the prisoners. Four years previously, 
for another pamplilet, Prynne had been sentenced to 
lose his ears. " I had thought," said Lord Finch, 
looking at him, " Mr. Prynne had no ears ; but me- 
thinks he hath ears." For the better satisfaction of 
the curiosity of the judges, an usher of the Court was 
commanded to tm-n up his hair, and show his muti- 
lated ears ; " upon the sight whereof the lords were 
displeased they had been formerly no more cut off," 
and burst into invectives against him. " I hope your 
honours will not be offended," said Prynne, "pray 
God give you ears to hear."' 

They were sentenced to the pillory, to lose their 
ears, to pay a fine of 5000/. a-piece, and to be im- 

' State Trials, vol. iii., cols. 715-717. 


prisoned for life. On the clay on wliicli the sentence 
was executed, the 30th of June, 1637, an immense 
crowd thronged to the place of punislmient ; the exe- 
cutioner wished to keep them off; " Let them come, 
and spare not," said Burton, " that they may learn to 
suffer." The man was moved, and did not insist.^ 
" Sir," said a woman to Burton, " by this sermon, 
God may convert many unto him." He answered, 
" God is able to do it indeed."^ A young man turned 
pale as he looked at liini : " Son, son," said Biu'ton 
to him, " what is the matter, you look so pale ? I 
have as much comfort as my heart can hold, and if 
I had need of more, I should have it."^ Every mo- 
ment the crowd pressed nearer and nearer around the 
sufferers. Some one gave Bastwick a bunch of flowers ; 
a bee settled on it : " Do ye not see this poor bee," 
he said, " she hath found out this very place to suck 
sweetness from these flowers, and cannot I suck sweet- 
ness m this very place from Christ."^ " Had we 
respected our liberties," said Prynne, " we had not 
stood here at this time : it was for the general good 
and hberties of you all, that we have now thus far 
engaged our own liberties in this cause. For did you 
know how deeply they have intrenched on your 
liberties, if you knew but into what times you are 
cast, it would make you look about you, and see how 
far your liberty doth lawfully extend, and so maintain 
it. Therefore, Christian people, I beseech you all, 
stand firm and be zealous for the cause of God and 

' state Trials, vol. iii., col. 751. ^ Ibid., col. 753. 

^ Ibid., col. 762. * Ibid., col. 751. 


his true religion, to the shedding of your dearest 
blood, otherwise you will bring yourselves and all 
your posterities into perpetual bondage and slavery."^ 
At these words, the place resounded with solemn 

Several months after this, on the 18th of April, 
1638, scenes of a similar character occurred around 
the scaffold, on which, for the same offence, Lilburne 
was suffering equally cruel treatment. The enthu- 
siasm of both the victim and the people appeared even 
more ardent. Tied to a cart's tail, and whipped by 
the hangman through the streets of Westminster, 
Lilburne never ceased to exhort the multitude that 
thronged after liim. When fastened in the pillory, 
he continued to speak ; he was ordered to be silent, 
but in vain; he was gagged, but taking pamphlets 
from his pockets, he threw them among the people, 
who seized them eagerly ; his hands were then tied. 
Silent and motionless, the crowd that had listened to 
him remained to look at him. Some of his judges were 
at a window, as if curious to see how far his perseverance 
would carry him ; it tired out their curiosity." 

As yet the martyrs had been only men of the 
people ; not one of them was distinguished either 
by his name, his fortune, or his talents ; several of 
them, indeed, before their trial, had been held of small 
account in their professions ; and the opinions which 
they had maintained were, in many respects, those of 
the fanatical sects which found most favour with the 

' State Trials, vol. iii., cols. 748, 749. 
* Ibid., cols. 1315-1368. 


masses. Proud of their courage, they soon began to 
accuse the higher classes of weakness and apathy : 
" Honour," it was said, " that did use to reside in the 
head, is now, hke the gout, got into the foot."^ This 
was far from being the case ; the comitry gentlemen 
and wealthy citizens were no less irritated than the 
people ; but, with greater prudence and less passion, 
they were waiting for some great occasion and some 
well-founded prospect of success. The public outcry 
roused them to action, and inspired them with con- 
fidence. Tlie moment had in fact arrived, when the 
nation, agitated throughout its entire extent, needed 
nothing but well-known, serious, and influential 
leaders, who would head the resistance, not as mere 
sectaries or adventurers, but in the name of the rights 
and interests of the whole country. 

John Hampden, a gentleman of Buckinghamshire,^ 
gave the signal for this national resistance. Before him 
several had attempted it without success. They had 
refused to pay the tax known by the name of Ship- 
money, demanding that the question should be brought 
before the Court of King's Bench, and that they should 
be admitted to maintain, in solemn legal process, the 
unlawfulness of the tax, and the lawfulness of their 
refusal to pay it ; but the court had always succeeded in 
eluding such an investigation.^ Hampden obtained it. 
Although in 162G and 1628, he had sat in Parhament 
on the Opposition benches, he had not incurred the 

' This saying is quoted in a letter from Lord Haughton to Sir Thomas 
Wentworth, dated May 19, 1627. StrafFord's Letters, vol. i., p. 38. 
^ Born in London in the year 1594. 
^ Rushworth, part ii., vol, i., pp. 323, 414. 
VOL. I. Q 


particular suspicion of the court. Since the last dis- 
solution he had lived quietly, sometimes residing on 
liis estates, sometimes travelling in England and Scot- 
land ; everywhere attentively observing the state of 
men's minds, and forming nuriierous connections, but 
never making his opinions known by murmurs or 
complaints. The possessor of a large fortune, he made 
an honourable but unostentatious use of it ; grave and 
simple in his manners, but without any affectation of 
austerity, remarkable even for his affability and the 
serenity of his temper, he was respected by all liis 
neighbours, whatever might be their political views, 
and was regarded as a sensible man opposed to the 
prevalent system, but neither fanatical nor factious. 
The magistrates of the county, therefore, though they 
did not fear him, treated him with the utmost consi- 
deration. In 1686, on their assessment of the ship- 
money, they rated liim at the small sum of twenty 
shillings, intending doubtless to favour him, and hoping 
also that the moderate amount of the tax would pre- 
vent so prudent a man from disputing it. Hampden 
refused to pay, but without uproar or irritation, his 
sole object being to obtain, in his person, a solemn 
judgment upon the rights of his country. In prison, 
his behaviour was equally cahn and reserved, he merely 
requested to be brought to trial, and pointed out that 
the King was no less interested than himself in having 
such a question settled by the laws. The King, full 
of confidence at having recently^ obtained from the 

' On the 14th of February, 1637. Rushworth^ part ii., vol. i., pp. 
352-355 ; State Trials, vol. iii., cols. 825-832. 


judges a declaration that, in case of urgent necessity, 
for the safety of the kingdom, ship-money might 
legally be levied, allowed himself at length to be per- 
suaded to grant Hampden the honour of fighting the 
case. Hampden's counsel supported him with as much 
prudence as he had himself displayed, speaking of the 
King and his prerogatives with profound respect, 
avoiding all noisy declamation, and all questionable 
principles, and relying solely upon the laws and history 
of the country. One of them, Mr. Holborne, even 
checked himself several times, begging the Court to 
pardon the energy of his argument, and to inform him 
if he overstepped the limits prescribed by law and 
decorum. Tlie Crown lawyers themselves praised Mr. 
Hampden for his moderation.' In fine, dmdng the 
thirteen days that the trial lasted, and amid all the 
public irritation excited by the case, the fundamental 
laws of the country were discussed without its being 
possible to address any charge of passion, or to attri- 
bute any suspicion of seditious designs, to the de- 
fenders of the public Hberties.^ 

On the 12th of June, 1637, Hampden was con- 
demned ; only four judges voted in his fiwoui*.^ The 

' Clarendon's History of tlie Eebellion, vol. i., p. 235. 

2 State Trials, vol. iii., cols. 846-1254. 

8 These were Sir Humphrey Davenport, Sir John Denham, Sir 
Richard Hutton, and Sir George Crooke. Contrary to the general 
assertion, Dr. Lingard states that five judges pronounced in favour of 
Hampden (History of England, vol. x., p. 33). His error evidently 
arises from his having counted as two votes, the two opinions given in 
Hampden's favour by Justice Crooke, which are both inserted in the 
report of the trial. State Trials, vol. iii., cols. 1127-1181. In 1645, the 
son of Justice Hutton lost his life at Sherborne, fighting for the royal 
cause. Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. v., p. 21)3. 



King congratulated himself upon this judgment, as a 
triumphantly decisive sanction of arbitrary power. 
The people took the same view of it, and hoped nothing 
further from either the magistrates or the laws ; but 
Charles was wrong to rejoice, for the people, in losing 
hope, had regained their courage. Discontent, which 
had until then been incoherent and various, now became 
unanimous : gentlemen, citizens, farmers, tradesmen, 
Presbyterians, sectaries — the whole nation felt itself 
stricken by this decision.^ The name of Hampden 
was. in all mouths ; it was uttered everywhere with 
affection and pride, for his destiny was the type, and 
his conduct the glory, of his country. The friends 
and servants of the Court scarcely dared to maintain 
the legality of their victory. The judges excused 
themselves, almost confessing their cowardice, in order 
to obtain forgiveness. Peaceful citizens were sorrow- 
fully silent ; men of bolder minds openly expressed 
their indignation, with feelings of secret joy. Ere 
long, both in London and in the counties, the disaf- 
fected had found leaders, who met together to form 
plans for future action. Measures were taken in every 
direction for acting in concert, and affording mutual 
support in case of need. In a word, a party sprang 
into existence which carefully concealed itself, but was 
publicly avowed by the nation. The King and his 
council were still rejoicing over their last triumph, 
when their adversaries had already found an opportu- 
nity and the means of action. 

' Clarendon's History of the Kebellion, vol. i., p. 121 ; May's History 
of the Long ParHament, p. 84 ; Hacket's Life of Bishop Williams, 
part ii., p. 127. 


About a month after the condemnation of Hamp- 
den, on the 23rd of July, 1637, a violent sedition 
broke out at Edinburgh. It was occasioned by the 
arbitrary and sudden introduction of a new liturgy. 
Ever since his accession, in imitation of his father's 
example, Charles had never ceased his endeavours to 
destroy the repubhcan constitution which the Church 
of Scotland had borrowed from Calvinism, and to re- 
estabhsh the Scottish episcopate, some shadow of which 
still subsisted, in all the plenitude of its ancient autlio- 
rity and splendour. Fraud, severity, menace, and cor- 
ruption, every means had been employed to obtain 
success in this design. Despotism had ever proved 
itself phant and patient ; it had appealed sometimes to 
the ambition of the clergy, and sometimes to the in- 
terest of the small landowners, promising the latter an 
easy ransom from the burden of tithes, and offering to 
the former the high dignities of the Church and the 
great offices of State ; proceeding steadily towards its 
object, but resting satisfied with slow and tortuous 
progress. From time to time, the alarm of the people 
became more active, and the national clergy resisted ; 
their religious meetings were then suspended, and tlie 
boldest preachers banished. The Parliament, though 
often servile, sometimes hesitated to do the monarch's 
bidding ; difficulties were then thrown in the way of 
the elections, the debates were stifled, and even the 
votes were falsified.^ In all these struggles the victory 
invariably remained on the side of the Crown ; and the 

' Burnet's History of his Own Time, vol. i., pp. 33-35 ; Malcolm 
Laing's History of Scotland, vol. iii., pp. 110-112. 


Church of Scotland thus passed by degrees under the 
yoke of a hierarchy and disciphne ahiiost identical with 
those of the Church of England, and which gave sanc- 
tion equally to the absolute power and the divine right 
of both bishops and King. In 1636 the work seemed 
almost complete ; the episcopal bench had recovered 
their jurisdiction. Spottiswood, the Archbishop of St. 
Andrews, was Chancellor of the kingdom ; Maxwell, 
the Bishop of Eoss, was on the point of becoming 
High Treasurer, and of fourteen prelates, nine had seats 
in the Privy Council, and possessed the preponderance 
in that assembly.^ Charles and Laud deemed that the 
time had come for consummating their design by sud- 
denly imposing upon the Scottish Church, without 
consulting either the clergy or the people, a canonical 
code and a form of worship in accordance with its new 

But the Reformation in Scotland had not, as in 
England, originated in the will of the Prince and the 
servility of the Court. Popular in its commencement, 
it had, by its own inherent strength, and in spite of 
all obstacles, ascended to the throne, instead of 
descending from it. No difference of system, posi- 
tion, or interests, had, from the outset, divided its 
partizans ; and during the course of a long struggle, 
they had grown accustomed not only to brave, but also 
to exercise power. The Scottish preachers could boast 
of having roused the nation to rebellion, maintained a 
civil war, detlironed a Queen, and ruled their King 

' Clarendon's History of the Kcbellion, vol. i., pp. 152-ir;5 ; Laing's 
History of Scotland, vol, iii., p. 122. 


until the day when, called to occupy a foreign throne, 
he had escaped from their sway. Strong in this 
unity, and in the recollection of all these victories, 
they boldly mingled, in their sermons as in their 
thoughts, politics with religion, and the affairs of the 
country with controversies on matters of faith ; and, 
from the pulpit, they censured the conduct of the 
ministers of the crown just as freely as they blamed the 
peccadilloes of their own parisliioners. Under their 
tuition, the people had learned similar boldness of 
thought and language ; owing the triumph of the 
Reformation to themselves alone, they cherished it, 
not only as their creed, but as the work of their hands. 
They held as a fundamental maxim the spiritual inde- 
pendence of the Church, and not the religious supre- 
macy of the monarch, and beheved themselves 
sufficiently strong, as well as rightfully entitled, to 
defend against popery, royalty, and prelacy, that 
which their unaided efforts had established in spite of 
all opposition. The preponderance which their kings 
acquired by their elevation to the throne of England 
damped their courage for awhile ; and hence the 
success obtained by James against those Presbyterian 
doctrines and institutions in which, as simple King of 
Scotland, he had been forced to acquiesce. Kings 
easily allow themselves to be deceived by the apparent 
servility of nations. Because Scotland was intimidated, 
Charles believed it vanquished. By the aid of his 
supremacy and of prelacy, he was able, in England, to 
keep down the popular reformation, which had always 
been combated with success by his predecessors : he 


thought he would be able to destroy it in Scotland, 
where it liad reigned supreme, where it alone was 
legally constituted, and where the supremacy of the 
throne was acknowledged by the bishops only, who 
liad scarcely gained a footing in the land, and who 
possessed no other support than that afforded them by 
the King. 

The attempt had an issue which has often, on similar 
occasions, struck the servants of despotism with asto- 
nishment and grief: it failed just when its success 
aj)peared to be certain. 

The restoration of prelacy, the abolition of ancient 
laws, the suspension or corruption of political or reli- 
gious assemblies, everything in fact which could be 
done out of the sight of the people, had been success- 
fully accomplished. But as soon as it became 
necessary to consummate the work by altering the form 
of public worship — on the very day on which, for the 
first time, the new liturgy was introduced in the 
cathedral of Edinbm'gh, — all was overthrown. In a 
few weeks, a sudden and universal insurrection brought 
to Edinburgh,' from all parts of the kingdom, an 
immense multitude, — landowners, farmers, citizens, 
artizans, and peasants — who came to protest against 
the innovation with which their mode of worship was 
threatened, and to support their protest by their 
presence. They thronged the houses and streets, 
encamped at the gates and beneath the walls of the 
city, besieged the hall of the privy council, who vainly 
sought assistance of the town-council, as it was in the 

' Rushworth, part ii., vol. i., p. 404. 


same predicament, insulted the bishops when they 
appeared in pubhc, and finally drew up, in the High 
Street, an accusation of tyranny and idolatry against 
them, which was signed by numbers of ministers and 
gentlemen, and even by several powerful lords. ^ The 
King, without giving any answer to their complaints, 
sent orders to the petitioners to withdraw; they 
obeyed less from submission than from necessity ; and 
returned, a month afterwards, more numerous than 
ever. This time, no disorder occurred ; their passion 
was grave and silent ; the upper classes had engaged 
in the quarrel ; in a fortnight, a regular organization 
of the resistance was proposed, adopted, and com- 
menced operations ; a superior council, elected from 
the different ranks of citizens, was appointed to carry 
on the general enterprise, and in every county and 
every town, subordinate councils executed its instruc- 
tions. The insurrection had disappeared, but held 
itself in readiness to reappear at the summons of the 
government which it had chosen for its guidance. 

Charles gave an answer at length,^ but it was to 
confirm the litm-gy, and to forbid the petitioners to 
assemble, on pain of high treason. The Scottish 
Council was directed to keep the royal proclamation 
secret until the moment of its pubhcation. But before 
it reached Edinbm-gh, the leaders of the insurgents 
were already acquainted with its contents. They 
immediately convoked the people to support their re- 

' Neal's History of the Puritans, vol. ii., p. 274 ; Laing's History of 
Scotland, vol. iii,, pp. 136-138. 

^ Rushworth, part ii., vol. ii., p. 408. 


presentatives. The Council, to anticipate them, pub- 
lished the proclamation without delay. At the same 
moment, and on the very footsteps of the King's 
heralds, two peers of the realm, the Lords Hume 
and Lindsay, published and placarded, in the name of 
their fellow-citizens, a protest which they had signed. 
Other gentlemen discharged the same office wherever 
the King's proclamation was read and placarded. 
Growing daily more excited, more menaced, and more 
united, the insurgents resolved at length to bind them- 
selves together by a solemn compact similar to those 
which, on several occasions since the origin of the 
Eeformation, Scotland had adopted for the pm-pose of 
openly and boldly declaring and maintaining her rights, 
her faith, and her desires. Alexander Henderson, the 
most influential among the ministers, and Archibald 
Jolmston, a celebrated lawyer, afterwards Lord War- 
ristoun, drew up this compact under the popular name 
of the Covenant ; and it was revised and aj^proved by 
the Lords Balmerino, Loudoun, and Rothes. In addi- 
tion to a minute and oft-repeated confession of faith, it 
contained a formal rejection of the new canons and the 
new liturgy, and an oath of national union to defend, 
against all perils, the sovereign, the religion, the laws 
and the hberties of the country. No sooner was the 
Covenant proposed than it was received with unani- 
mous feelings of joy and satisfaction. Messengers, 
who relieved each other from village to village, con- 
veyed it with inconceivable rapidity, into the remotest 
districts of the kingdom, just as the fiery cross used to 
be carried over the mountains to summon to war all 


the vassals of the same chieftain.^ Gentlemen, minis- 
ters, citizens, labom-ers, women and children, all 
assembled in crowds in the public streets and in the 
places of worship, to swear fidelity to the Covenant. 
Even the Highlanders, carried away by the national 
enthusiasm, forgot for a moment their passionate 
loyalty and bitter animosities, to ally themselves with 
their country's cause. In less than six weeks, the whole 
of Scotland was confederated under the law of the 
Covenant. The government officers, a few thousand 
Catholics, and the city of Aberdeen, alone refused to 
take part in the movement. 

So much boldness astonished Charles. He had been 
told of insane riots by a vile rabble ; the town-council 
of Edinburgh had even come forward humbly to 
solicit his clemency, promising the prompt punisli- 

' When a chieftain designed to summon his clan on any sudden and 
important emergency, he killed a goat, made a cross of some hght wood, 
seared its extremities in the fire, and then extinguished them in the 
blood of the animal. This cross was called the Fiery Cross or Cross of 
Shame, because disobedience to what the symbol implied inferred 
infamy. It was dehvered to a swift and trusty messenger, who ran full 
speed with it to the next hamlet, where he presented it to the principal 
person, with a single word, naming the place of rendezvous. He who 
received the symbol was bound to send it forward, with equal despatch, 
to the next village ; and thus it passed, with incredible celerity, through 
all the district which owed allegiance to the chief, and also among his 
allies and neighbours, if the danger were common to them. At sight 
of the fiery cross, every man, from sixteen years old to sixty, capable 
of bearing arms, was obliged instantly to repair, in his best arms and 
accoutrements, to the place of rendezvous. He who failed to appear 
suffered the extremities of fire and sword, which were emblematically 
denounced by the signal itself. During the civil war of 1745, the fiery 
cross often made its circuit in Scotland ; and upon one occasion, it 
passed through the whole district of Breadalbaue, a tract of thirty- two 
miles, in three houi's. This practice was in vogue among nearly all the 
ancient Scandinavian nations. 


ment of the factious ; and his Scottish courtiers daily 
boasted that they should learn, from their correspond- 
ents, that all was quiet, or nearly so/ Indignant at 
the powerlessness of his will, he resolved to have re- 
course to force ; but no means of coercion were in readi- 
ness : it was therefore necessary to gain time. The 
Marquis of Hamilton was sent to Scotland, with orders 
to flatter the rebels with some slight hopes, but neither 
to pledge the King's word, nor come to any definite 
arrangement. Twenty thousand Covenanters, who 
had assembled at Edinburgh for a solemn fast, went 
out to meet Hamilton ; seven hundred ministers, in 
their Geneva cloaks, were standing on an eminence by 
the road-side, singing a psalm as he passed.^ The 
party were desirous of giving the Marquis an exalted 
idea of their strength; and Hamilton, as much with a 
view to save his own credit with his nation as to obey 
the instructions of his sovereign, was incHned to treat 
them with respect. But the concessions which he 
offered were judged insufficient and delusive : a royal 
Covenant, wliich he attempted to substitute for the 
popular one, was rejected with derision. After much 
useless parley, and several journeys between Edinburgh 
and London, he suddenly received orders from the King 
to grant all the demands of the insurgents, — the aboli- 
tion of the canons, the hturgy, and the Court of High 
Commission ; and to promise them an Assembly of 
the Kirk and a Parliament, at which all questions 
should be freely discussed, and in which the bishops 

' Clarendon's Histoi-y of the llebellion, vol. i., p. 193. 
'^ May's History of the Long Parliament, p. 40. 


might even be impeached. The Scotch rejoiced, but 
their joy was mingled with surprise ; and their dis- 
trust was increased when they noticed the care taken 
to remove all pretext for the continuance of their con- 
federation. The General Assembly met at Glasgow : 
but it soon perceived that Hamilton's only object was to 
trammel its proceedings, and to introduce nullifying 
clauses into its acts. Such were, in fact, the instruc- 
tions which he had received from the King.^ The 
Assembly, however, continued its work, and was about 
to bring the bishops to trial when Hamilton suddenly 
pronounced its dissolution. At the same moment, 
news arrived that Charles was preparing for war, and 
that a body of troops, levied in Ireland by the exer- 
tions of Strafibrd, was on the point of embarking for 
Scotland.''' Hamilton returned to London ; but the 
Assembly refused to separate, pursued its deliberations, 
condemned all the royal innovations, maintained the 
Covenant, and abohshed episcopacy. Several noblemen 
who had until then remained aloof, among others the 
Earl of Argyle, a man of great influence and renowned 
for his prudence, openly embraced the national cause : 
Scottish traders crossed the sea to purchase arms and 
ammunition ; the Covenant was sent to the Scottish 
troops who were serving on the Continent : and one of 
their best officers, Alexander Lesley, was invited to 
return to Scotland, to take the command of the insur- 
gents in case of need. Finally, in the name of the 
Scottish people, a declaration was addressed to the 

* See Appendix V. 

2 Strafford's Letters, vol. ii., pp. 233, 278, 279. 



people of England, to acquaint them with the just 
grievances of their brethren in Christ, and to repel the 
calumnies with which then- common enemies sought 
to discredit their cause. 

The Court received this declaration with ridicule ; 
the insolence of the insurgents was mentioned with 
contempt ; and many complaints were made of the 
annoyance of having to fight them, — for what glory or 
advantage could accrue from a war with a nation so 
poor, uncultivated, and obscure ? ^ Although a Scotch- 
man himself, Charles hoped that the inveterate hatred 
and contempt of the English for Scotland would neu- 
tralize the effect of the complaints of the Covenanters 
upon the public mind. But when nations are united 
by religious faith, the territorial boundaries which 
separate them become speedily effaced. In the cause 
of the Scottish Covenanters, the English malcontents 
easily recognized their own cause, ■ Secret communica- 
tions were rapidly established between the two king- 
doms. The declarations of the insurgents were dis- 
tributed in every dii-ection ; their grievances, their 
proceedings, and their hopes, became the topic of 
popular conversations ; in a short time, they had gained 
friends and agents in London, in all the counties, in 
the army, and even at Court. As soon as it was be- 
lieved that they were firmly resolved to resist, and 
that public opinion in England appeared to lend them 
its support, there were not wanting Scottish, and even 
English, courtiers who, to injure some rival, or to 
revenge some slight, or to be prepared for all con- 

' May's History of the Long Parliament, p. 46. 


tingencies, hastened secretly to render them good ser- 
vice, sometimes by sending them useful information, 
sometimes by exaggerating their numbers, extolling 
their discipline, and affecting great anxiety on the 
King's account because of difficulties or dangers which 
a little complaisance would easily remove. The royal 
army which was marching towards Scotland was met 
on its route by a thousand reports calculated to mti- 
midate or discourage it ; the general, the Earl of Essex, 
was advised to be on his guard, to waft for reinforce- 
ments ; the enemy, it was said, were far superior to him 
in numbers : they had been seen at such-and-such a 
place, near the border; they occupied every strong- 
hold ; even Berwick would be in their hands before he 
could arrive there. The Earl, a strict and faithful 
officer, though but little favourable to the designs of 
the Court, continued his march, entered Berwick with- 
out obstacle, and soon ascertained that the troops of 
the insurgents were neither so numerous nor so well 
prepared as had been stated. But these reports, as 
eagerly received as they were assiduously diffused, did 
not the less disturb all minds. ^ The distm-bance in- 
creased when the King arrived at York. He repaired 
tliither with extraordinary pomp, still infatuated with 
ideas of the irresistible ascendancy of the royal majesty, 
and flattering himself that he would only need to dis- 
play it, to make the rebels return to their duty. As 
if to counterbalance that international appeal which 
Scotland had made to England, he addressed, on his 
side, an appeal to the nobility of his realm, summoning 

» Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. i., p. 204. 


them, according to feudal usage, to render liim, on this 
occasion, the service which he was entitled to claim. 
The lords and a host of gentlemen flocked to York as 
to a festival. The city and camp presented the ap- 
pearance of a court and tournament, but by no means 
of an army and a war. The vanity of Charles was 
delighted by all this display ; but intrigue, disorder, 
and want of discipline prevailed around him.^ The 
Scots on the border were in familiar intercourse with 
his soldiers. He wished to exact from the lords an 
oath that, on no pretext whatever, they would have 
any communication with the rebels. Lord Brook and 
Lord Say refused to take the oath, and Charles dared 
do no more than order them to leave his Court. Lord 
Holland entered the Scottish territory; but at sight 
of a body of troops which Lesley had skilfully dis- 
posed, and which the Earl, without reconnoitring very 
carefully, considered more numerous than his own, he 
precipitately retreated.^ General and soldiers, all 
hesitated to engage in so unpopular a war. The Scotch, 
who were minutely informed of this state of things, 
turned it to their advantage. They wrote to the 
leaders of the army, to Lord Essex, Lord Arundel, 
and Lord Holland, in modest and flattering terms, 
expressing their entire confidence in the good feeling 
of the lords and people of England, and entreating 
them to intercede with the King to do them justice 
and restore them to his favour.^ Ere long, sure of 

1 Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. i., p. 206. 

^ Eushworth, part ii., vol. ii., p. 935. 

* Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. i., p. 208. 


being well supported, they addressed the King himself, 
with humble respect, though without abandoning any 
of their pretensions.^ Charles was embarrassed: and 
his natural sluggishness of disposition made him as 
prompt to tire of obstacles as he was careless to pre- 
vent them. Conferences were opened.^ The King 
was haughty, but anxious to end the matter : the 
Scots were obstinate, but not insolent. The pride of 
Charles was satisfied with their humility of speech ; 
and on the 18th of June, 1G39, by the advice of Laud 
himself, who was troubled, it is said, at the approach 
of danger, a pacification was concluded at Berwick, by 
the terms of which both armies were to be disbanded, 
and an Assembly and Scottish Parliament to be speedily 
convoked ; but no clear and precise treaty was made 
to terminate those differences which had given rise to 
the war. 

The war, however, was only deferred, and of this 
both parties were equally conscious. The Scots, on 
dismissing their troops, kept the officers on half-pay, 
and directed them to liold themselves in constant 
readiness to resume active operations.^ Charles, on 
his part, had scarcely disbanded his army before he 
began secretly to levy another. A month after the 
pacification, he summoned Strafibrd to London, to 
consult him, he said, regarding some military plans ; 
and he added, " I have much more, and indeed too 
much, cause to desire your counsel and attendance for 
some time ; which I think not fit to express by letter, 

' Kushworth, vol. ii., part 2, p. 932. ^ Ibid., p. 940. 

^ Whitelocke's Memorials, p. 30. 

VOL. I. R 


more than this, the Scots Covenant begins to spread 
too far."^ Strafford hastened to obey the summons. 
It had long been his most ardent desire to be employed 
at his master's side, the only post at which his ambi- 
tion could hope to achieve sufficient power and glory. 
He returned, resolved to display all his energy against 
the adversaries of the Crown, speaking of the Scots 
with profound contempt, asserting that irresolution 
alone had caused failure hitherto, and yet manifesting 
so much confidence in the King's firmness that he 
anticipated to find in it irresistible support. He found 
the Court agitated by petty intrigues : the Earl of Essex 
had been treated with coolness, notwithstanding his ex- 
cellent conduct during the late campaign, and had retired 
in dudgeon ; the officers mutually accused each other of 
incapacity or weakness ; the Queen's favourites eagerly 
profited by the general embarrassment to push their 
fortunes and ruin their rivals ; the King was melan- 
choly and despondent.^ Strafford soon felt himself ill 
at ease, and unable to obtain the adoption of all the 
measures which he judged necessary, or even to secure 
the accomplishment of those which had been adopted. 
The intrigues of the courtiers were turned against him. 
He was unable to prevent the elevation of one of his 
personal enemies, Sir Harry Vane, to the rank of 
Secretary of State, by the Queen's influence.^ The 
public, who had watched his arrival with anxiety, 
uncertain of the use which he would make of his 

' Strafford's Letters, vol. ii., pp. 281, 372. 

^ Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. i., p. 221. 

^ Ibid., vol. i., pp. 221-223. 


influence, were not long in learning that he advocated 
the most stringent measures, and pursued him with 
their maledictions/ Meanwhile, the danger became 
pressing. A dispute had arisen between the King and 
the Scots as to the tenor of the treaty of Berwick, of 
which scarcely any part had been committed to writing, 
and Charles ordered the burning, by the common 
hangman, of a paper which, according to the Cove- 
nanters, expressed its true conditions ; but he was 
careful to pubhsh nothing himself in disproof of their 
statement, for, during the negociations, he had allowed 
them to hope for much that he had no intention of 
performing.^ Irritated at this breach of faith, and 
exhorted by their friends in England to trust to no 
royal professions, the Assembly and Parhament of Scot- 
land, far from abandoning any of their pretensions, put 
forward new and still bolder claims. The Parliament 
demanded that the King should be bound to (convoke 
it once in every three years, and that the independence 
of elections and debates should be secured, in order that 
political Hberty, firmly guaranteed, might watch over 
the maintenance of the faith.^ The phrases, " encroach- 
ment on prerogative," " invaded sovereignty," and so 
forth, now resounded more loudly than ever at Court and 
in Council. " Were they right served," said Straflbrd, 
" these fellows should be whipped home into their right 
wits."* War was resolved upon. But how was it to 

' May's History of the Loug Parliament, p. 53. 

^ Ibid., p. 52 ; Clareudon's History of the Rebellion, vol. i., p. 223 ; 
Rushworth, vol. ii., part 2, p. 965 ; Whitelocke, p. 31. 
^ Rushworth, vol. ii., part 2, pp. 992-1015. 
* Strafford's Letters, vol. ii., pp. 138, 158. 

R 2 


be supported? Wliat new and plausible motives 
could be given for it to the nation ? The public 
treasury was empty, the King's private purse was 
exhausted, and public opinion was already powerful 
enough to render it expedient, if not to follow its 
advice, at least to consult it. The desired pretext soon 
presented itself. Ever since the commencement of the 
troubles, Cardinal Richeheu, who was dissatisfied with 
the English Court, at which Spanish influence pre- 
vailed, had been in communication with the Scots ; he 
maintained an agent among them, had sent them sup- 
plies of money and arms, and had promised them more 
effectual assistance in case of need. A letter of the 
principal leaders of the Covenanters was intercepted, 
addressed, Au Roy, and evidently intended for the 
King of Erance, whose support they sohcited.^ 
Charles and his Council did not doubt that this appeal 
to a foreign prince, as it was high treason in the sight 
of the law, would inspire all England with an indigna- 
tion equal to their own ; it was enougli, they thought, 
to convince all minds of the legitimacy of the war. In 
this confidence, which served to veil the stern pressure 
of necessity, the convocation of a Parliament was deter- 
mined on ; and in the meantime, Strafford returned to 
Ireland, to obtain subsidies and soldiers from the Par- 
liament of that kingdom also. 

' Clarendon's History of the Eebellion, vol. i., p. 228 ; Whitelocke, 
p. 32. Sec in particular the documents published on this subject by 
M. Mazure, in the Appendix to his Histoire de la Revolution de 1688, 
vol. iii., p. 402. They prove conclusively, in opposition to Hume, 
Laing, and Brodie, that this letter of the Scottish leaders was really sent 
to the King of France, and reached him, although Charles succeeded in 
intercepting a co[)y of it. 


At the news that a Parliament was convoked, Eng- 
land was astonished : it had ceased to hope for reform 
by legal means, and yet that was the only kind of re- 
form it had ever contemplated. However great its 
discontent may have been, all violent designs were 
foreign to the ideas of the nation. The sectaries, the 
populace in some places, and a few men who were 
already compromised as leaders of nascent parties, 
alone nourished darker passions and more extended 
plans. The public had approved and sustained them 
in their resistance, but without associating itself with 
their other projects — without even supposing that they 
entertained them. Long reverses had led many good 
citizens to doubt, if not the legitimacy, at least the 
expediency, of the ardour and obstinacy of recent Par- 
liaments. They called to mind, without blame, but 
with regret, the harshness of their language, and the 
violence of the scenes which had agitated them ; and 
they determined to use greater prudence in future. 
Under the influence of this general feeling, the elec- 
tions returned a House of Commons opposed to the 
Coui-t, determined to redress public grievances, and 
containing all the men whose opposition had made 
them popular, but composed for the most part of 
peaceable citizens, free from all party pledges, dis- 
trustful of political passions, secret combinations, and 
precipitate resolutions, and flattering themselves that 
they would reform all abuses, without either aHenating 
the King, or endangering the peace of the country. 

After a rather long delay, which occasioned some 
displeasure, the Parliament met. Charles directed the 


letter of the Scots to the King of France to be read to 
them, enlarged upon the treasonable character of such 
correspondence, announced liis intention to declare war, 
and demanded subsidies. The House of Commons 
paid very httle attention to the letter, and appeared to 
regard it as an miimportant incident in comparison 
with the great interests regarding which they had to 
treat/ The King took offence at the backwardness of 
the House in resenting this affront ; and the House, 
on their side, complained of a certain want of respect 
and etiquette in the treatment of their Speaker, on the 
occasion of his presentation to the King.- The Coui-t, 
after passing eleven years without a Parliament, found 
it difficult to lay aside its disdainful levity ; and not- 
withstanding its pacific intentions, the House, on 
assuming its session at Westminster, had very justly 
assumed the dignity of a public power, wliich, after 
eleven years of neglect, had been recalled from motives 
of necessity. The difference ere long became more 
serious. The King desired that the House should vote 
subsidies before proceeding to an investigation of griev- 
ances, promising to allow it to sit afterwards, and to 
listen favourably to its representations. Long dis- 
cussions arose on this point ; but they were unaccom- 
panied with violence, although the sittings of the 
House were attended with zealous assiduity, and pro- 
longed to a much later period than usual.^ A few 
bitter words, wliich escaped from some comparatively 

' Parliamentary History, vol. ii., cols. 534, 542, 

* Ibid., cols. 535, 542. 

^ Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. ii., p. 23b. 


unknown members, were instantly repressed, and the 
speeches of several servants of the Crown, who were 
esteemed for their private virtues, met with a favour- 
able reception.^ But the House manifested a firm 
resolution to discuss the grievances of the nation before 
granting any subsidies. In vain was it told that the 
war was pressing : it cared little about the war, 
although, out of respect for the King, it did not 
openly say so. Charles had recourse to the inter- 
vention of the House of Peers. They voted that, in 
their opinion, the grant of subsidies should precede 
the discussion of grievances, and proposed a conference 
with the Commons to exhort them to adopt this course 
of proceeding.^ The Commons agreed to the conference, 
but voted in their turn, on their return to their House, 
that the resolution of the Peers was a breach of privi- 
lege, as they had no right to discuss the question of 
subsidies until it had been settled in the Commons.^ 
The party leaders, Pym, Hampden, and St. John, 
availed themselves of this incident to irritate the 
House, whose intentions were more moderate than 
was consistent with either its principles or its position. 
It became agitated and impatient, restraining its 
strength, but determined to maintain its right. Time 
passed on ; the King was brought to believe that 
tliis Parliament would be as untractable as its pre- 
decessors. Already irritated, he sent a message to the 
House, that if it would grant him twelve subsidies, 

' Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. i., p. 237. 

^ Parliamentary History, vol. ii., col. 560 ; Clarendon, vol. i., p. 238. 

' Clarendon, vol. i., p. 238; Parliamentary History, vol. ii., col. 563. 


payable in three years, he would pledge himself never 
again to levy ship-money without the consent of Par- 
liament.' The sum appeared enormous: it was more, 
it was said, than all the money in the kingdom. Be- 
sides, it was not enough that the King should give up 
levying ship-money : it was necessary that the ille- 
gality of that tax should be declared as a principle, 
both retrospectively and prospectively. However, the 
House did not wish to break with the King : it was 
shown that the value of the twelve subsidies did not 
amount to anything like the sum which had at first 
been mentioned ; and notwithstanding its repugnance 
to suspend the examination of national grievances, to 
prove its loyalty it took the message into consider- 
tion. It was on the point of deciding that subsidies 
should be granted, without fixmg the amount, when 
Sir Harry Vane, the Secretary of State, rose and said 
that, unless the entire message were admitted, it was 
not worth while to dehberate, for the King would 
accept nothing less than that which he had demanded. 
Herbert, the Solicitor-Greneral, confirmed Vane's state- 
ment.^ Surprise and anger took possession of the 
House ; even the most moderate were struck with con- 
sternation. It was late ; and the debate was adjom-ned 
to the following day. But on that day, at the moment 
when the Commons were about to assemble, the King 
summoned them to the Upper House, and, three weeks 
after its convocation, the Parliament was dissolved. 

' Parliamentary History, vol. ii., cols. 570, 571 ; Clareudon's History 
of the Rebellion, vol. i. p. 239. 

* Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. i., p. 239. 


An hour after tlie dissolution, Edward Hyde/ after- 
wards Earl of Clarendon, met St. John, a friend of 
Hampden, and one of the leaders of the Opposition 
party. Hyde was melancholy : St. John, on the con- 
trary, though " he had naturally a great cloud in his 
face, and was very seldom known to smile," then wore a 
most cheerful aspect. He asked Hyde, " What 
troubled him ?" Hyde answered, " That the same 
that troubled him, he believed, troubled most good 
men; that in such a time of confasion, so wise a 
Parliament, which alone could have fomid remedy for 
it, was so unseasonably dismissed." St. John replied, 
" That all was well ; and that it must be worse before 
it could be better ; and that that Parliament could 
never have done what was necessary to be done."^ 

On the evening of the same day, Charles was filled 
with regret ; the disposition of the House had, he said, 
been falsely represented to him, and Vane had never 
been authorized by him to state that, unless the twelve 
subsidies were granted, he would accept nothing. On 
the following day also, his anxiety continued ; and, 
calling together a few sensible men, he inquired of 
them whether the dissolution might not be revoked. 
This measure was deemed impossible : and Charles re- 
turned to a despotic course, a Httle more anxious, but 
just as reckless and haughty as he had been before his 
attempt to abandon it.^ 

The urgency of the crisis seemed to restore some 

' Bom on the 16tli of February, 1608, at Dinton, in Wiltshire. 
^ Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. i. p. 246. 
^ Ibid., vol. i., p. 247. 


energy to his ministers, and some success to his mea- 
sures. Strafford had returned from Ireland, suffering 
from a violent attack of gout, threatened with a pleu- 
risy, and utterly unable to move.^ But he had obtained 
from the Irish Parliament all that he had demanded, 
subsidies, soldiers, offers, and promises ; and as soon as 
he was able to leave his bed, he set to work again with 
liis accustomed vigour and devotedness. In less than 
three weeks, voluntary contributions, suggested by his 
example, poured into the Exchequer more than three 
hundred thousand pounds sterling ; the greater part of 
which sum was furnished by the Papists.^ To this 
were added all the vexatious means then in use for 
raising money, such as forced loans, ship-money, and 
the sale of monopohes : the issue of base coin was even 
suggested.^ In the eyes of the King and his servants, 
necessity excused everything; but necessity is never 
the limit of tyranny. Charles now recommenced his 
useless habits of persecution and vengeance against 
unruly members of Parliament ; Sir Henry Bellasis 
and Sir John Hotham were imprisoned for their free- 
dom of speech ; the house and papers of Lord Brooke 
were searched ; and Mr. Carew was sent to the Tower 
for having refused to give up the petitions which he 
had received during the session, as chairman of the 
Committee appointed to examine them."* All the 

* Strafford's Letters, vol. ii., p. 403. 

* Neal's History of the Puritans, vol. ii., p. 290, 

^ May's History of the Long Parhament, p. 62 ; Whitelocke's Me- 
morials, p. 34. 

* Parliamentary History, vol. ii., col. 584 ; Rushworth, vol. ii., part 2, 
p. 1196. 


clergy were required to swear that they would never 
consent to any alteration in the government of the 
Church; and tliis oath terminated by an &c., which 
occasioned many a smile of distrust and indignation.^ 
Never had the language of the Court been more harsh 
and arrogant : some gentlemen of Yorkshire had re- 
fused to comply with an arbitrary requisition; the 
Council proposed to prosecute them : "I cannot sufii- 
ciently wonder," said Strafford, " that my Lords should 
think of any other satisfaction than sending for them 
up, and laying them by the heels."^ He knew the 
extent of the evil better than any one ; but passion in 
him stifled alike all prudence and all fear : it seemed 
as though he were striving to communicate to the 
King, the Council, and the Court, that feverish energy 
which renders man blind both to liis strength and to 
his danger. He fell ill again, and was on the very 
point of death ; but liis bodily weakness only served to 
increase the violence of his counsels ; and though 
scarcely able to stand, he set out with the King to 
join the army which had already been collected on the 
borders of Scotland, and of which he was to take the 

On his way, he learned that the Scots, taking the 
offensive, had entered England; and, on arriving at 
York, he found that they had defeated at Newburn, 
almost without resistance, the first English troops that 

• The test of this paragraph is as follows : " I do swear .... that 
I will never give my consent to alter the government of this Church, by 
archbishops, bishops, deans, and archdeacons, &c." NeaPs History of 
the Puritans, vol. ii., p. 302 ; Rushworth, vol. ii., part 2, p. 118G. 

^ Strafford's Letters, vol. ii., p. 409. 


had fallen in their way. Neither of these occurrences 
had been brought to pass by the Scots alone. During 
the pacification, their commissioners in London had 
contracted an intimate alliance with the leaders of the 
disaifected, who had advised them, if the war should 
recommence, to invade England suddenly, and had pro- 
mised them the support of a numerous party. A mes- 
senger was even sent into Scotland, bearing in a hollow 
staff an engagement, at the foot of which, to inspire the 
Scots with greater confidence, Lord Saville, the only 
avowed leader of the plot, had counterfeited the signa- 
tures of six of the most powerful English nobles. A 
passionate hatred of Strafford had alone instigated Lord 
Saville, a man of very contemptible character, to engage 
in this audacious intrigue ; but there is every reason to 
believe that more influential and sincere patriots had 
also taken part in it.' They were under no mistake as 
to the disposition of the people. Scarcely was the 
Parliament dissolved, before the general aversion to 
the war with Scotland was publicly manifested. In 
London, placards roused the apprentices to rise and 
tear in pieces Archbishop Laud, the author of so many 
evils. A furious band attacked his palace, and he was 
obliged to fly for refuge to Whitehall. St. Paul's 
Cathedral, where the Court of High Commission held 
its sittings, was forced by another band, with shouts 
of " No bishops ! no High Commission !"^ In the 
counties, violence alone could procure recruits for the 

' Burnet's History of his Own Time, vol. i. pp. 48, 49 ; Whitelocke's 
Memorials, p. 32 ; Hai'dwicke, State Papers, vol. ii. p. 187. 

^ Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. i. p. 252 ; Wlutelockc, 
p. 34. 


royal army. To escape enlistment, many maimed 
themselves, and some even committed suicide ;' those 
who obeyed unresistingly were insulted in the streets, 
and treated as cowards by their families and friends. 
On joining their regiments, they found the same 
feelings as they had brought. Several officers, sus- 
pected of Popery, were killed by their soldiers.^ Wlien 
the army came up with the Scots, the insubordination 
and murmuring increased ; they saw the Covenant 
written on their banners, and floating in the air ; 
they heard the drum calling the troops to divine 
worship, and the camp resounding, at sunrise, with 
singing and prayer. At this sight, and on hearing 
the accounts of the pious ardour and friendly feelings 
of the Scots towards the Enghsli people, they were 
moved by turns with sorrow and indignation, cursed 
the impious war, and felt themselves ah*eady con- 
quered, for they believed they were fighting against 
their brethren and their God.^ On reacliing the 
banks of the Tyne, the Scots, without any demon- 
strations of hostility, requested permission to cross 
the river. An English sentinel fired, a few cannon 
answered the signal, a slight action ensued, the 
English army dispersed, and Strafford took command 
of it only to fall back upon York ; leaving the Scots 
to occupy, unopposed, the country and towns which 
lay between that city and the frontiers of the two 

' Strafford's Letters, voL ii. p. 351. 
^ Rushworth, vol. ii. jmrt 2, pp. 1191-119.5. 
^ Heylin's Life of Laud, p. 454. 

■* Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. i. pp. 254 — 256 ; Rush- 
worth, vol. ii. part ii. p. 1236. 


From this time forth, Strafford himself was con- 
quered. In vain did he endeavour, sometimes by 
kindness and sometimes by threats, to inspire the 
troops with other feehngs; his advances to the 
officers were constrained, and ill concealed his con- 
tempt or anger, whilst his severities irritated, but did 
not intimidate, the soldiers. Petitions soon arrived 
from several counties to beseech the King to make 
peace. The Lords Howard and Wharton ventured to 
present one : Strafford had them arrested, convoked a 
council of war, and proposed that they should be shot 
in presence of the army as abettors of the revolt. 
The council remained silent, but at length Hamilton 
asked Strafford if he was sure of the army. As if 
struck by a sudden revelation, Strafford turned away 
his head, and made no answer.' Nevertheless, his 
indomitable pride still sustained his hopes : " If I 
may have the countenance and trust of my master," 
he wrote, "I hope to contain the Scottish here in 
their due obedience, or if they should stir, to give 
them such a heat in their clothes, as they never had 
since their coming forth of Scotland. "^ But Charles, in 
fact, avoided him already, dreading the energy of his 
counsels. That unhappy prince had fallen into a 
state of profound despondency ; every day brought 
him some fresh proof of his impotence ; money was 
wanting, and no successful means of levying it re- 
mained : the soldiers mutinied or deserted in troops : 
the people were everywhere in agitation, impatient for 
the catastrophe which they felt was imminent : cor- 

' Burnet's History of his Owu Time, vol. i. p. 51. 
'' Strafford Papers, vol. ii. pp. 325—328. 


respondence with the Scots was carried on around the 
King's person, in his camp, and even in his very 
household. The Scots, still prudent in their actions 
and humble in their language, conducted themselves 
with moderation in the counties which they had 
invaded, loaded their prisoners with attentions, and 
renewed on every opportunity their protestations of 
pacific designs, and of fidelity and devotion to the 
King ; sure of victory, they demanded only such a 
peace as could not fail to ratify it. With the word 
peace, that of Parliament began to be united. At this 
dreaded name, Charles, seized with fear, determined, 
by whose advice is not known, to convoke at York the 
great council of peers of the realm, ^ a feudal assembly 
which had fallen into desuetude for four centuries, but 
which formerly, in the days when the Commons were 
weak, had often alone shared the sovereign power. 
Without correctly understanding what this assembly 
was, or what it might prove, it was hoped that it 
would manifest greater complaisance and regard 
for the King's honour : and the question was mooted 
whether it would not be possible for it to vote 
subsidies without the interference of the Commons.^ 
But before this great council met, two petitions, one 
from the city of London,^ and the other signed by 
twelve peers eminent for their rank and influence/ 

' Eushworth, vol. ii. part ii. p. 1257. 

^ Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. i. p. 200. 

^ Riishwortli, vol. ii. part ii. p. 1263. 

■* Ibid, p. 1260; the twelve peers were Lords Essex, Bedford, Hert- 
ford, Warwick, Bristol, Mulgrave, Say and Seal, Howard, Bolingbroke, 
Maudeville, Brooke, and Paget. 


solicited, in express terms, the convocation of a 
constitutional Parliament. This was enouo-h to 
overcome the resistance of a King who was no longer 
able to do anything. In the midst of these un- 
certainties, Strafford, to satisfy his resentment as much 
as to justify the wisdom of his advice, had attacked 
the Scots, and gained some advantage over them ; he 
was blamed for having compromised the King by this 
conduct, and received orders to remain quiet in his 
quarters.^ The peers met, Charles announced to 
them his intention to convoke a Parliament, and 
merely requested their advice in treating with the 
Scots." Negociations were opened. Sixteen peers,^ all 
inclined to the popular party, were appointed to 
conduct them. It was at first stipulated that the two 
armies should remain on foot, and that the King 
should pay the Scottish troops as well as his own. A 
loan of two hundred thousand pounds was requested 
of the city of London for this purpose, and the peers 
pledged themselves, as well as the Kmg, that it should 
be properly expended.* After having signed the 
preliminary articles at Eipon, Charles, anxious to find 

' Clarendon's History of the Eebellion, vol. i. p. 280. Lingard and 
Brodie deny this fact, in reliance on inductions from contemporary 
official documents ; but their reasons do not appear to me sufficient to 
rebut the testimony of Clarendon, whose narrative is formal and cir- 
cumstantial, and who had no motive for disguising the truth in this 

* Kush worth, vol. ii. part ii. p. 1275. 

'■' The Lords Bedford, Hertford, Essex, Salisbury, Warwick, Bristol, 
Holland, Berkshire, Mandeville, Wharton, Paget, Brooke, Pawlet, Howard, 
Saville, and Dunsmoro. 

'' Kushworth, vol. ii. part ii. p. 1279. 


rest in the Queen's society, from all these causes of 
embarrassment and disgust, transferred the negociation 
to London,^ where the Parliament was about to meet. 
The Scottish Commissioners repaired thither with 
alacrity, certain of finding powerful allies. The 
elections were in progress throughout England : the 
nation engaged in them with the utmost ardour ; the 
Court, melancholy and dispirited, attempted in vain to 
exercise some influence over them ; its candidates were 
feebly sustained, and were almost everywhere rejected; 
it could not even succeed in procuring the election of 
Sir Thomas Gardiner, whom the King wished to have 
for Speaker.^ The meeting of Parhament was fixed 
for the 3rd of November. Many persons advised 
Laud to choose another day : that, they said, was a 
day of evil omen ; for, under Henry VIII., the Par- 
hament which met on that* day had begim by the ruin 
of Cardinal Wolsey, and ended by the destruction of 
the monasteries.^ Laud disregarded these presages, 
not from confidence, but as if tired of the contest, and 
abandoning himself, as well as his master, to the 
chances of a future, which all, whether victors or 
vanquished, were equally far from foreseeing. 

' Rusliworth, vol. ii. part ii. pp. 1286 — 1305. 

* Clareudou'a History of the Rebellion, vol. i. p. 296 ; Whiteloote 
p. 36. 

^ Whitelocke's Memorials, p. 36. 

VOL. I. 







On the day appointed, the King opened Parliament. 
He proceeded to Westminster without pomp, almost 
without retinue, not on horseback and along the 
streets, as was customary, but by the Thames, in a 
plain barge, avoiding the public gaze, like a captive 
following the triumph of his conqueror. His speecli 
was vague and embarrassed. He promised the redress 
of all grievances, but persisted in calling the Scots 
rebels, and demanding their expulsion from the king- 
dom, as if the war were still unfinished. The House 
of Commons listened to him with cold respect. Never, 
at the opening of a session, had it appeared so nume- 


reus ; never had the countenances of its members worn 
so proud an aspect in presence of their sovereign.' 

No sooner had the King left the House, than his 
servants, who were but few in number, quickly per- 
ceived, from the tone of the conversations of the 
various groups of members, that the public irritation 
far exceeded their utmost apprehensions. The disso- 
lution of the last Parliament had exasperated even the 
most moderate men. None now spoke of conciliation 
or compromise. The time had come, it was said, 
for putting forth the whole power of the House, and 
uprooting all abuses so effectually, that there would be 
no fear of their springing up again. Thus, with 
strength very unequal, plans equally aspiring found 
themselves in presence. For eleven years, the King 
and the Church had proclaimed their absolute and 
independent sovereignty by divine right; they had 
made every effort to induce the nation to acquiesce in 
it, voluntarily or otherwise. Unable to succeed in 
their purpose, and yet still professing the same maxims, 
they had come, in their impotence, to seek assistance 
from an assembly, which, without setting it up as a 
principle, or ostentatiously displaying it, had also a 
firm belief in its own sovereignty, and felt itself 
capable of exercising it. 

It began by a clear exposition of all its grievances. 
Each member arrived with a petition from his town 
or county, which he read to the House, and then, 
taking it at once as the text of a speech, proposed that 

' Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. i. pp. 295 — 298 ; Parlia- 
mentary History, vol. ii. col. 629. 

s 2 


the House, until more effectual lueasures could be 
adopted, should at least vote that the complaints were 
legitimate.^ Thus, in a few days, the opinion of every 
part of the country was made known. Thus were 
rapidly recapitulated and condemned, all the acts of 
tyranny from which the nation suffered — monopolies, 
ship-money, arbitrary arrests, the usurpations of the 
bishops, the proceedings of the exceptional courts. 
No opposition was made to these resolutions -^ and, 
such was the unanimity of feeling on the subject, that 
many of them were adopted on the motion of men, 
who soon after became the most intimate confidants of 
the King.^ 

Lest these means should be insufficient to bring all 
abuses to light, more than forty committees were 
appointed to inquire into existing grievances, and 
receive the complaints of the people.^ Day after day^ 
townsmen and farmers came to London on horseback, 
and in bands, bringing petitions from their town or 
district.^ Such accusations were everywhere encouraged 
and invited ; they resounded from the pulpit, and 
in all places of public resort ; they were eagerly 
received, whatever might be the source from whence 
they proceeded, or the form in which they were con- 
veyed ; and they were admitted wdth equal confidence 

' Parliamentary History, vol. ii. cols. 640 — 666 ; Clarendon's History 
of the Eebellion, vol. i. p. 316 ; Rushworth, part ii. vol. i. p. 21. 

''■ Parliamentary History, vol. ii. col. 672. 

^ Sir John Colepepper, Lord Falkland, Lord Digby, and others. 

■* Rushworth, part ii. vol. i. p. 28 ; Neal's History of the Puritans, 
vol. ii. p. 318. 

' Whitelocke's Memorials, p. 38. 


whether tliey arraigned tlie entire government in 
general terms, or mentioned individuals by name to 
demand their immediate punishment. The power of 
the committees was unlimited ; none had the right 
to oppose them even by silence, and the members of 
the Privy Council itself were bound to answer their 
inquiries as to the proceedings of that body.^ 

With this reprobation of acts was combined the 
general proscription of their authors. Every agent of 
the crown, whatever his rank, who had taken part 
in the execution of objectionable measures, was stig- 
matised by the name of Delinquent.'^ In every county 
a list of these delinquents was drawn up. No uniform 
and definitive punishment was enacted against them ; 
but they might, at any time, at the pleasure of the 
House, on the slightest pretext of increased disfavour, 
be called to the bar of the House, and punished by 
fines, imprisonment, or confiscation. 

In examining the elections of its own members, the 
House declared all who had taken part in any monopoly 
to be unworthy of a seat in Parliament. Four members 
were excluded on this ground. Many others were 
disqualified on some pretext of irregularity, but really 
without any legal motive, and merely because their 
opinions were distrusted. Two of the most notorious 
monopohsts. Sir Henry Mildmay and Mr. Whitaker, 
were admitted without difficulty ; for they had sworn 
allegiance to the new power.^ 

' Clarendon's Histoiy of the Rebellion, vol. i. p. 314. 
* Ibid., vol. i. p. 307. 

^ Parliamentary History, vol. ii. cols. 651, 656, 707 ; Clarendon's His- 
tory of the Rebellion, vol. i. p. 308. 


At the appearance of this power — so immense, so 
unexpected, and so resolute — terror seized on all the 
servants of the crown, for each had to dread an accusa- 
tion or an enemy. Por them, danger was everywhere 
impending, and defence nowhere to be found. The 
sole desire of the Court was to pass into obHvion ; the 
King, under the mask of complete inaction, concealed 
liis sorrow and anxiety ; the judges, trembling for 
themselves, would not have dared to protect a delin- 
quent ; the bishops beheld their innovations abolished 
on every side, without attempting to oppose it ; John 
Bancroft, Bishop of Oxford, died suddenly from vexa- 
tion and fear.^ The Presbyterian preachers resumed, 
without any legal title, their possession of livings and 
pulpits ; all the dissenting sects publicly recommenced 
their meetings ; pamphlets of every kind circulated 
with full liberty ; royal and episcopal despotism, 
though still existing unmutilated, with its ministers, 
tribunals, laws and worsliip, was everywhere motionless 
and impotent.'* 

Strafford had foreseen this explosion, and besought 
the King to excuse him from attending Parliament. 
"He should not," he wrote, "be able to do his 
Majesty any service there, but should rather be a 
means to hinder his affairs ; in regard he foresaw that 
the great envy and ill-will of the Parliament and of 
the Scots would be bent against him. Whereas, if he 
kept out of sight, he would not be so much in their 

' Rapin's History of England, vol. ix. p. 21. 

* Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. i. p. 355 ; Neal's History 
of the Puritans, vol. ii. pp. 320, 342. 


minds, as lie should be by showing himself in Parlia- 
ment ; and if they should fall upon him, he being at a 
distance, whatsoever they should conclude against him, 
he might the better avoid, and retire from any danger ; 
having the hberty of being out of their hands, and to 
go to Ireland, or to some other place where he might 
be most serviceable to his Majesty. But if he should 
put himself into their power by coming up to the 
Parliament, it was evident that the House of Commons 
and the Scots, with all their party, would presently 
fall upon him, and prosecute his destruction." The 
King answered that " he could not do without his 
advice in the great transactions wliich were like to be 
in that Parliament ; and that, as he was King of 
England, he was able to secure him from any danger, 
and that the Parliament should not touch one hair of 
his head."' Strafford still hesitated ; but, upon a second 
invitation, braving the storm because he could not 
avoid it, he set out for London, resolved himself to 
accuse the principal leaders of the Commons before the 
Upper House, and upon proofs recently obtained, of 
having instigated and supported the Scottish invasion. 
Aware of the blow which he intended to strike, P3rm 
and his friends anticipated it. On the 9th of November, 
Strafford arrived in London ; on the 1 0th, he was con- 
fined to his bed by fatigue and fever ; on the 11th, the 
House of Commons deliberated with closed doors, and, 

' Whitelocke's Memorials, p. 37. One would almost suppose that 
Dr. Lingard was not aware of this passage, for he says (History of Eng- 
land, vol. X. p. 107) that Strafford's friends alone advised him not to 
proceed to London, but that, for his own part, he did not hesitate a 


on the motion of Pym, suddenly impeached the Earl 
of high treason. Lord Falkland alone, although an 
enemy of Strafford, said that some delay and prelimi- 
nary inquiry seemed to him to be due both to the 
gravity of the case and the dignity of the House. But 
Pym answered that such a delay would probably blast 
all their hopes, for when Strafford should learn that so 
many of his enormities were discovered, his conscience 
would dictate his condemnation ; and so great was his 
power and credit, he would immediately procm^e the 
dissolution of the ParHament. " Besides," he con- 
tinued, " the Commons are not judges, but only 
accusers ; and it is the province of the peers to deter- 
mine whether such a complication of enormous crimes, 
in one person, does not amount to the highest crime 
known by the law." So saying, he left the House, 
accompanied by a great number of members, to lay the 
accusation before the House of Lords.' 

Strafford was at that time with the King. On 
hearing the news he hastened at once to the House, 
where Pym had, however, preceded him. He found 
the door shut, knocked loudly for admittance, and 
angrily chid the usher, who hesitated to admit him ; 
he was advancing up the hall to take his seat, when 
numerous voices called to him to withdraw. The 
Earl stopped, looked round him, and obeyed, after a 
few moments' hesitation. He was recalled an hour 
afterwards, and ordered to kneel at the bar ; and he 
was then informed that the Lords had admitted his 

' Btate Trials, vol. iii. col. 1.383 ; Clarendon's History of the Bebellion, 
vol. i. J). 382. 


impeacliment, and decided, on the demand of the 
Commons, that he should be committed to the Tower, 
He attempted to speak, but the House refused to hear 
him, and the order for his imprisonment was imme- 
diately carried into execution.^ 

The impeachment of Strafford was almost imme- 
diately succeeded by that of Laud, a man less dreaded, 
but far more odious. A fanatic as sincere as stern, 
his conscience reproached him with no crime, and he 
was filled with astonishment at his prosecution. " Not 
one man in the House of Commons," he said, " does 
believe, in his heart, that I am a traitor." The Earl 
of Essex sharply rebuked him for this language, as 
insulting to the Commons, who had impeached him. 
Laud apologised, in great surprise, and demanded to 
be treated according to the ancient usage of Parlia- 
ment. Lord Say expressed his indignation that he 
should presume to dictate to them how they should 
act. The Archbishop, in confusion, remained silent, 
unable to comprehend any other passion than his own, 
and forgetting that he had ever spoken in a similar 
manner to his enemies.^ 

Two other ministers, the Lord Keeper Finch and 
the Secretary of State Windebank, had been no less 
active agents of the royal tyranny ; but the first, a 
crafty courtier, had foreseen what was coming, and for 
three months had applied himself, at his master's 
expense, to gain the indulgence of the Opposition 
leaders ; and the other, a man of weak character and 

' State Trials, vol. iii. col. 1383. ' Ibid., vol. iv. col. 319. 


mediocre talent, inspired neither fear nor hatred. 
The House of Commons nevertheless impeached them, 
but with no angry feeling, and merely in obedience to 
the public demand. Windebank fled the country. 
Lord Finch obtained permission to appear before the 
House, and, in humble but graceful language, made a 
formal apology. The Opposition party were pleased by 
tliis, as the first homage paid by a minister to its 
power : and he was allowed time to withdraw beyond 
sea. Many of the members were astonished at so 
unequal a distribution of justice ; but Pym and Hamp- 
den, like able leaders, did not wish to discourage base- 
ness on the part of their opponents.^ Accusations 
were also brought against two bishops, several theolo- 
gians, and six judges ; but Straflbrd's impeachment 
was the only one prosecuted with any passionate 
ardour. A Secret Committee, invested with immense 
powers, was appointed to scrutinize his whole hfe, and 
to search out evidence of high treason in his words 
and actions ; nay, even in the counsels he had given, 
whether the King had adopted them or not.^ A similar 
Committee was formed in Ireland, to act as an auxi- 
liary to that named by the House of Commons. The 
Scots joined in the work by a virulent declaration, in 
which they clearly intimated that their army would 
not leave the kingdom until justice had been done on 
their most cruel enemy. In the opinion of popular 

' Parliamentary History, vol. ii. col. 686 ; Clarendon's History of the 
Rebellion, vol. i. pp. 310 — 312; May's History of the Long Parliament, 
pp. 83—86. 

^ Clarendon's History of tlio Rebellion, vol. i. p. 336. 


hatred and alarm, it did not seem too much that three 
nations should be thus leagued together to crush a 

Thus delivered from their adversaries, and antici- 
pating signal vengeance upon the only one they held 
in dread, the Commons took possession of the govern- 
ment. They voted subsidies, but of small amount, 
and merely sufficient to supply the daily necessities of 
the State.^ Commissioners selected from among their 
number, and nominated by the bill itself, were alone 
intrusted with the administration and employment 
of these supphes. The custom duties, in hke manner, 
were voted for two months only ; and renewed from 
time to time.^ To meet the expenditure, revenues 
more considerable in amount, and more quickly obtain- 
able, were required. The House borrowed large sums, 
but in its own name, and on the sole guarantee of its 
promise, from its partizans in the City, and even from 
its own members ; and thus pubHc credit originated.'* 
The Eling urged the dismissal of both armies, especially 
of the Scots, on the ground that their maintenance 
was a heavy burden to the northern counties ; but 
the House had need of them,* and felt itself justified 
in imposing this charge on the people. " We cannot 
yet spare the Scots," said Mr. Strode, plainly, in the 

* Clarendon's History of the Eebellion, vol. i. p. 376. The trial of 
Strafford forms the eighth volume of Rush worth's CoUectious, to which 
I here refer, once for aU 

* Parliamentary History, vol. ii. col. 701. 

^ Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. i. p. 364. 

* Ibid., vol. i. p. 361. 

* BaiUie's Letters, vol. i. p. 420. 

268 iiisTor.T OF the first 

House, " the sons of Zeruiah are still too strongs for 
us." The King's suggestions were eluded ; and in 
the division of the sums allowed for the payment of 
the army, greater favour was shown to the Scottish 
than to the English troops, whose officers did not all 
inspire Parliament with the same confidence.^ Some 
of them took offence at this ; but the House paid no 
attention to their complaints. More than this, it voted 
that the Scotch had lent the English brotherly assist- 
ance, that they should thenceforward be called brethren, 
and that a sum of thirty thousand pounds should 
be bestowed on them, as an indemnity and reward for 
their services. The negociations for a definitive peace 
with Scotland were conducted far more really by a 
Committee of Parliament than by the King's Privy 
Council. The leaders of both Houses, especially those 
of the Commons, dined together every day, at their 
own expense, at Mr. Pym's house ; there they were 
joined by the Scottish Commissioners, by the authors 
of the principal petitions, and by the most important 
men in the City; and there were discussed all the 
affairs of both Houses and of the State. ^ Such was 
the concentration of all powers in the Parliament, 
that the advisers of the Crown, incapable o? afraid to 
decide the slightest question on their own authority, 
referred to it on all occasions, without giving it the 
trouble to assert its right to be thus consulted. A 
Catholic priest, named Goodman, had been condemned 
to death ; the King, who did not dare to pardon him, 

' Whitclocke, p. 4.'5. * Clarendon's Life, vol. i. p. 90. 


placed his life at the disposal of the Commons, as the 
only means of saving him ; for, notwithstanding their 
passionate enthusiasm, they manifested no desire to 
shed blood. ^ The people had imbibed a strong dis- 
like to the Queen's mother, Marie de Medicis, then a 
refugee in London ; the mob daily surrounded her 
house, and loaded her with insults and menaces. Ap- 
plication was made to the Commons as to whether she 
could remain in England, and what measures should 
be taken for her protection. They replied that it 
would be better for her to leave the country, and voted 
ten thousand pounds for her travelling expenses ; and 
their wish was at once complied with.^ The decrees 
of the law courts, pronounced and executed long pre- 
viously, fell under their jurisdiction, as did also the 
private affairs of the King and his Court. The con- 
demnation of Prynne, Burton, Bastwick, Leighton, 
and Lilburne was declared illegal, and their hberation 
from prison ordained,^ together with a large indem- 
nity, which, however, they never received ; — the com- 
mon fate of past merits, which are quickly effaced by 
new deserts and new necessities. The public joy was 
their sole recompense : at the news of their return, an 
immense crowd went out to meet them; the streets 
through which they passed, were hung with flags, and 
strewed with branches of rosemary and laurel.'* Tlie 

' Parliamentary History, vol. ii. cols. 710, 713, 715; State Trials, 
vol. iv. cols. 59—63. 

^ Parliamentary History, vol. ii. cols. 788, 793 ; May's History of the 
Long Parliament, p. 107. 

^ Parliamentary History, vol. ii. cols. 639, 731. 

* May's Histor}- of the Long Parliament, p. 80; Whitelocke, p. 39. 


transports of the people, and the despondency of the 
King, all combined to urge the Commons to assume to 
themselves the reins of government, — all concurred to 
elevate them to the supreme power. 

Their first attempt at the reform of popular insti- 
tutions proclaimed, if not their sovereignty, at least 
their complete independence. A bill was brought 
forward which prescribed the calling of a new Par- 
liament, at least once in every three years. If the 
king neglected to convoke it, twelve peers, assembled 
at Westminster, might summon it without his con- 
currence : and in default of this summons from the 
peers, the sheriffs and municipal ofiicers were bound to 
proceed to the elections. If the sheriffs did not dis- 
charge their duty, the citizens had a right to assemble 
and elect their representatives. No Parliament could 
be dissolved or adjourned, without the consent of both 
Houses, until fifty days after its meeting; and the 
definitive choice of their Speakers was vested in the 
Houses alone. ^ At the first mention of this biQ, the 
King broke the silence which he had until then main- 
tained. Summoning the two Houses to Whitehall, 
he thus addressed them : " I like to have often Par- 
liaments ; for I ingenuously confess that frequent Par- 
liaments are the best means to preserve that right 
understanding between me and my subjects, which I 
so earnestly desire. But to give power to sheriffs and 
constables, and I know not whom, to do my office — 
that I cannot yield unto."~ In these words, the 

' Rusliworth, part iii. vol. i. p. 189. 

' Parliamentary History, vol. ii. cols 710 — 712. 


Houses saw only a new motive for pressing the adop- 
tion of the bill ; none dared counsel the King to refuse 
it ; so he resigned himself to his fate, but thought it 
due to his dignity to give full expression to his dis- 
pleasure. ** I do not know," he said, " for what you 
can ask that I can hereafter make any question to 
yield unto you; therefore I mention this, to showmito 
you the sense that I have of this bill, and the obhga- 
tion, as I may say, that you have to me for it. 
Hitherto, to speak freely, I have had no great en- 
couragement to do it ; for you have gone on in that 
which concerns yourselves to amend, and not those 
things that merely concern the strength of this king- 
dom, neither for the State, nor for my own particular. 
You have taken the Government almost in pieces, and 
I may say, it is almost off its hinges. A skilful 
watchmaker, to make clean his watch, will take it 
asunder, and when it is put together again, it will go 
all the better, so that he leave not one pin of it. Now 
as I have done all on my part, you know what to do 
on yours."^ 

The Houses voted thanks to the King, and at once 
pursued their plans of reform by demanding, in suc- 
cessive motions, the abolition of the Star Chamber, of 
the Court of the North, of the Ecclesiastical Court of 
High Commission, and of all the exceptional tribunals.^ 

No opposition was made to these proposals ; the 
statement of grievances rendered even discussion un- 
necessary. Even the men who were beginning to fear 

' Parliamentary History, vol. ii. cols. 716, 717. 
' Ibid., vol. ii. cols. 717, 722, 766. 


some disorderly movement, and to suspect the ulterior 
designs of the Opposition party, would not have ven- 
tured to defend powers which were rendered odious by 
their acts, and were really illegitimate, although 
several of them were invested with legal existence. 
Political reform was an unanimous wish, independent 
of all social conditions and all religious opinions ; and 
as yet no one cared scrupulously to estimate either its 
consequences or its extent. All concurred in demand- 
ing it, without analyzing either their intentions or 
their motives. Men of hold mind, or of long and per- 
severing foresight, or who were already seriously com- 
promised by proceedings which the laws condemned — 
Hampden, Pym, HoUis, and Stapleton — meditated de- 
priving the Crown of its injurious preponderance, trans- 
ferring the government to the House of Commons, and 
fixing it there irremovably. This, in their eyes, was 
the country's right, and the only real guarantee both 
to the people and to themselves. But, urged on this 
design even more by necessity than by any principle 
clearly conceived and avowed by public opinion, they 
advanced without proclaiming their intention. In their 
train, impetuous sectaries — few in number, and ob- 
scure as yet, though very active, Cromwell and Henry 
Martyn among others, — let fall, from time to time, 
words of more threatening import against the person 
of the King or the form of the Government ; but they 
seemed to possess, in the House at least, neither reputa- 
tion nor influence ; and even those who were astonished 
or irritated by their cynical violence, were not alarmed. 
Most men llaltored themselves that, after the destruc- 


tion of abuses, they would return to that condition 
which they called that of Old England, with the supe- 
rior power of the King restrained within the limits of 
the law by the periodic power of the two Houses ; 
and in the meanwhile they accepted, as a temporary 
necessity, the almost exclusive domination of the Com- 
mons, which was more conformable than they them- 
selves believed to the somewhat confused ideas and 
feelings which animated them. Thus political reform, 
desired by all with equal ardour, though with very 
diiferent views and aspirations, was accomplished with 
the ascendancy of an irresistible unanimity. 

In religious matters it was otherwise. From the 
very outset an utter diversity of opinions and wishes 
on tliis subject became evident. A petition from the 
city of London, signed by fifteen thousand persons, 
demanded the entire abolition of episcopacy.* Almost 
at the same moment, seven hundred clergymen limited 
themselves to requiring a reform of the temporal 
power of the bishops, of their despotism in the Church, 
and of the mal-administration of its revenues ; and 
soon after, there arrived, from various counties, nine- 
teen petitions, signed, it is said, by more than a hun- 
dred thousand persons, and recommending the main- 
tenance of episcopal government.^ In the Parhament 
itself, the same dissidence was manifest. The petition 
from the City was admitted only with great difficulty 
by the Commons, after a violent debate.^ A bill was 

' Rushworth, part iii. vol. i. p. 93. 
' Neal's History of the Puritans, vol. ii. p. 356. 

' Baillie's Letters, vol. i. p. 244 ; Clarendon's History of the Rebel- 
lion, vol. i. p. 356. 

VOL. I. T 


brought forward to declare ecclesiastics incapable of 
discharging any civil office, thus excluding the bishops 
from the House of Lords ; but, in order to obtain its 
adoption by the Commons, the Presbyterian party were 
obliged to promise that it should be carried no further. 
On these terms only could Hampden obtain the vote 
of Lord Falkland ;^ but the bill, on reaching the Peers, 
was nevertheless rejected.^ Furious at this defeat, the 
Presbyterians suddenly demanded the destruction of 
all bishoj)rics, deaneries and chapters f but they met 
with such strenuous resistance, that they determined to 
postpone their motion. At one tune both Houses 
seemed agreed to repress the disorders which were 
introduced on all sides into the celebration of pubhc 
worship, and to maintain its legal forms ;^ but, two 
days afterwards, their dissensions broke out afresh. 
On their sole authority, and without even informing 
the Lords, the Commons sent commissioners into the 
counties to remove suddenly from the churches all 
images, altars, crucifixes, and other relics of idolatry -^ 
and these envoys sanctioned by their presence those 
popular passions whose outbreak had preceded them. 
The Lords, on their side, finding that the sect of 
Independents had publicly resumed their meetings, 
summoned their leaders to its bar, and rej)roved them, 
though but timidly.*^ No opinion, no intention, on 

' Clareudou's History of the Rebellion, vol. i. p. 41.3. 
- Parliamentary History, vol. ii. cols. 794 — 814. 

^ Ibid., vol. ii. col. 814 ; Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. i. 
p. 416. 

* Ncal's History of the Puritans, vol. ii. p. 303. 

5 Ibid., vol. ii. p. 343. "^ Ibid., vol. ii. p. 342. 


this subject, was really predominant or national. 
Among the partizans of episcopacy some, few in num- 
ber, but animated by the energy of faith or the ob- 
stinacy of personal interest, maintained its pretensions 
to Divine right ; others, regarding it as a human insti- 
tution, judged it an essential adjunct of monarchy, 
and thought the throne was compromised if the power 
of the bishops was seriously attacked ; while others — 
and these were the most numerous — would willingly 
have excluded the bishops from any participation 
in public affairs, but maintained them at the head of 
the Church, as tradition, the laws, and state policy 
seemed to require. In the opposite party, opinions 
were no less diverse ; some were attached to epis- 
copacy by habit, although their convictions were un- 
favourable to it. In the view of many, and those the 
most enlightened, no Church constitution was either 
based on Divine right or absolutely legitimate. It 
might be varied to suit times and places. The Par- 
liament was always competent to alter it, and the 
public interest ought alone to decide the fate of epis- 
copacy, which no great principle required them either 
to abolish or maintain. But the Presbyterian body 
and their ministers regarded the episcopal system 
as an idolatry condemned by the Grospel as the foster- 
child and precursor of Popery. They rejected, with 
all the indignation of ardent faith, its liturgy, the 
forms of its worship, and even its remotest conse- 
quences, and claimed for the republican constitution 
of the Church, the Divine right which the bishops had 
unlawfully usurped. 



For some time after the first successes had been 
achieved in poHtical reform, these dissensions impeded 
the progress of ParKament. As soon as rehgious ques- 
tions were brought under discussion, the adversaries of 
the Court, who had until then been unanimous, became 
divided, and even violent opponents of one another ; 
the majority often varied ; and no party ever appeared 
which was on all occasions animated by the same 
spirit, devoted to the same objects, and able to master 
all opposition. P3rin and Hampden, the principal 
leaders of the political party, carefully humoured the 
Presbyterians, and supported even their boldest propo- 
sitions. It was, however, well known that they did 
not share in their fanatical passions, that they had it 
more at heart to reduce the temporal power of the 
bishops than to change the constitution of the Church,' 
and that, in the Upper House, among the most popular 
peers, episcopacy had numerous partizans. Some pru- 
dent men advised the King to turn these secret dis- 
sensions to account, and to prevent a union between the 
political and religious reformers, by boldly intrusting 
to the first the direction of the afiau's of the Crown 
and State. 

Negociations were accordingly commenced. The Mar- 
quis of Hamilton, ever most ready to interpose between 
parties, was the most active agent in the transaction. 
The Earl of Bedford, a moderate man, influential in 
the Upper House, and greatly esteemed by the public 
at large, took a dignified share in the matter. The 
leaders of both Plouses often assembled at his resi- 

' Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. i. p. 410. 


dence ; he possessed their confidence, and seemed 
authorized to treat in their name. The King, who 
was obHged to give a fuller consent than he could 
have wished, formed at first a new privy council :' 
Lords Bedford, Essex, Warwick, Saye, Kimbolton, 
and others of the same stamp, were appointed mem- 
bers of it ; all of them were popular, and some of 
them zealous adherents of the Opposition, but all were 
of high rank. The pride of Charles, wounded already 
by having to bend before them, could not bring itself 
to make a more humble confession of his defeat. But 
the reformers insisted ; the new councillors would not 
separate from their friends ; every day revealed to the 
King the importance of those leaders of the Commons 
for whom he felt such bitter disdain. They, on their 
side, without rejecting these overtures, showed but 
little anxiety to accept them ; and this was less from 
indifference than embarrassment. By accepting them, 
they would attain the principal object of their efforts ; 
they would enter, in the name of the country, upon 
the legal possession of power, would impose a ministry 
on the Crown, and subject it to the counsels of Parlia- 
ment. But they were required, on the other hand, to 
save Strafford and the Church ; in other words, to set 
at liberty their most formidable enemy, and to offend 
the Presbyterians, their warmest friends. On both 
sides the perplexity was great, and mutual distrust 
abeady had taken too deep root to yield so quickly to 
ambition or fear. More direct and precise propositions 

' Clarendou's History of the Rebellion, vol. i. p. 341. 

278 HISTORY or charles the first 

were, however, made. Pym was to be Chancellor of 
the Exchequer; Hampden, tutor to the Prince of 
Wales ; HoUis, a Secretary of State ; and St. John 
was at once created Solicitor-General. The Earl of 
Bedford, with the title of Lord Treasurer, was to be at 
the head of the new ministry. The men who occupied 
these posts had tendered or already given in their 

But during these negociations, which were pursued 
on both sides with but little hope, and perhaps also 
without any strong desire for success, other proposi- 
tions were made to the King, which were far better 
calculated to please him. Discontent was spreading in 
the army ; and several officers, who were members of 
the House of Commons, had given open expression to 
it. One of them. Commissary Wilmot, plainly told 
the House, " That if such papers of the Scots could 
procure moneys, he doubted not but the officers of the 
English would soon do the like."^ A report of the 
existence of this feeling soon reached the ears of the 
Queen ; Henry Jermyn, her favourite, connected himself 
with the malcontents ; by his means she was enabled 
to receive them at Whitehall, and expressed her deep 
sympathy with their condition, which, she said, was 
the same, though far less painful, far less perilous, than 
that of the King. Animated and pleasing in her 
manners, and resting her hopes on them alone, she had 

' Clarendon's History of the Ecbellion, vol. i. pp. 369 — 372 ; Whitc- 
locke, p. 41 ; Sidnc}' Papers, vol. ii. ■ [>. CiG4, G66. 
'■' Whitelocke, p. 4fi. 


little difficulty in persuading them that they held in 
their hands the destiny of the State. Secret confer- 
ences were established, at which plans of all sorts were 
suggested ; some proposed that the army should march 
upon Loftdon, and without further delay, deliver the 
King from servitude; others, more prudent, merely 
proposed that it should address to both Houses a peti- 
tion expressing its devotedness to the King and 
Church, declaring its opinion that the State had been 
sufficiently reformed, and demanding that a stop should 
be put to further innovations. The question of suc- 
cour from abroad, of levies in France and Portugal, 
was also mooted ; but such absurd notions produced no 
result, though hazarded with the utmost confidence by 
frivolous men, who had probably just risen from the 
dinner-table, or who were certainly more anxious to 
push themselves forward than to gain success for their 
cause. These interviews were accompanied by in- 
trigues, more active than efficacious, in the army itself; 
the malcontents went and came between the camp and 
London ; short pamphlets were circulated in the can- 
tonments. The King himself at length had an inter- 
view with Percy, a brother of the Earl of Northumber- 
land, and one of the conspfrators. In accordance with 
Percy's advice, he deprecated all violent designs, or any 
attempt to bring the army to London ; but a draft of 
a petition was submitted to him, fully as menacing to 
the Parliament as those which the Commons daily 
received were to the Crown and Church. He approved 
of it liighly, and, to give additional influence to the 
leaders of the enterprise, allowed himself to be per- 


suaded to affix to it the initial letters of his name, in 
token of assent.^ 

The plot continued, but made no progress ; the peti- 
tion was not presented; but nothing can escape the 
notice of a distrustful nation, for it looks upoft designs 
as actions, and upon words as designs. In the pubHc 
streets, and in the taverns, a host of voluntary spies 
had noticed the imprudent remarks of the officers. 
Pym, who attended to the police of his party, was 
speedily informed of them. Soon after, treachery sup- 
pHed him with further information ; Goring, one of 
the conspirators, revealed the whole plot to the Earl 
of Bedford. Nothing had been done ; but the King 
had listened to proposals which embodied all that the 
reformers had to fear. The leaders of the Commons 
kept silence as to their discovery, waiting for some 
great occasion in order to turn it to account;^ they 
did not even break off the negotiations, which were 
still pursued on the King's behalf, for their entrance 
into the ministry. But, from tliis day forth, all hesi- 

' May's History of the Long Parliament, p. 96 ; Clarendon's History 
of the Rebellion, vol. i. p. 405 ; Whitelocke, p. 46 ; Rushworth, pai-t iii. 
vol. i. pp. 252—257. 

^ Mr. Brodie denies this {History of the British Empire, vol. iii. 
pp. 109 — 114), and thinks that the plot was not revealed by Goring 
until the month of April, 1641. This, in fact, would appear to be indi- 
cated by the depositions and examinations published in /fiishiduVs Col- 
lection (pp. 195 ct scq.). But an attentive examination of this whole in- 
trigue, and a comjjarison of the different passages indicated in the pre- 
ceding note, will, I think, prove that the meetings of the officers took 
place as early as the beginning of the winter of 1C41, and that Pym and 
his friends were informed of the plot in the early part of Mai'ch. This 
is also the opinion of Dr. Lingard (llistor// i>f EwjlanO^ vol. x. p. 128, 
note 27). 


tation disappeared from their councils ; they allied 
themselves closely with the fanatical Presbyterians, 
the only party whose support was certain, and whose 
devotion inexhaustible, because they alone had fixed 
principles, ardent passions, a revolution to effect, and 
popular force for its accomplishment. At the same 
time, the destruction of Strafford was irrevocably deter-. 
mined upon, and his trial began. 

The entire House of Commons determined to be 
present to support the impeachment. Commissioners 
from Scotland and Ireland sat with them, for the same 
purpose. Eighty peers attended as judges ; the 
bishops, in obedience to the urgently-expressed wish 
of the Commons, absented themselves, on the ground 
that they were forbidden by the ancient canons to 
assist in trials for life. Above the peers, in a close 
gallery, the King and Queen were seated, anxiously 
watching the whole proceedings, and studiously con- 
ceahng, the one his anguish, and the other her curi- 
osity. The galleries and raised scaffolds were thronged 
by a dense crowd of persons of both sexes, mostly of 
high rank, filled with emotion at once by the pomp of 
the spectacle, the importance of the cause, and the 
interest excited by the well-known character of the 
person accused.^ 

On being brought by water from the Tower to 
Westminster, Strafford passed through the multitude 
assembled at the doors of the HaU without experiencing 
either confusion or insult : in spite of the general 

' May's History of the Long Pai'liameut, p. 90 ; State Trials, vol. iii. 
col. 1414; Kush worth, vol. viii.2^(ws<m. 


hatred, liis recent greatness, his lofty bearing, and the 
terror which had so lately attached to his name, still 
commanded respect. As he passed onwards, with his 
frame somewhat prematm-ely bent by illness, but his 
eye as brilliant and piercing as in his youth, the crowd 
made way for him and uncovered their heads ; he 
acknowledged their salute with courtesy, and regarded 
this attitude of the people as a good omen.^ Hope 
had not deserted him : he despised his adversaries, had 
carefully studied the charges which they brought 
as^ainst him, and had no doubt that he would succeed 
in clearing himself of the crime of high treason. The 
accusation of the Irish alone had for a moment sur- 
prised him : he found it hard to understand how a 
kingdom, which had until then been so submissive, so 
eager even to flatter and serve him, could thus sud- 
denly have changed its character. 

On the second day of his trial an incident made 
him aware that he had formed an incorrect idea of his 
position, and inadequately estimated the difficulties of 
his defence. " I hope," he said, " shortly to clear 
myself of all those foul aspersions which my malicious 
enemies have cast upon me." At these words, Pym, 
who was managing the trial, angrily interrupted him, 
and desired the Lords "to take notice what an injury 
he had done to the honourable House of Commons in 
calling them his malicious enemies." Strafford, in 
confusion, fell on his knees, and apologised ; and from 
that moment, maintaining the most perfect calmness 

' State Trials, vol. lii. col. 1417. 


and mastery of himself, he allowed no sign of anger, or 
even of impatience, to escape him, — not a word which 
could have been turned into a weapon against him.' 

For seventeen days, alone against thirteen accusers, 
who relieved each other in turn, he discussed the 
facts which were alleged against him, A great many, 
marked by iniquity and tyranny, were undeniably 
proved. But others, immensely exaggerated or 
bhndly adopted by the animosity of his opponents, 
were easily refnted ; and, strictly speaking, not one of 
the charges came within the legal definition of high 
treason. Strafford took the utmost pains to strip 
them of this character, nobly confessing his im- 
perfections and weaknesses, opposing the violence of 
his adversaries by modest dignity, and pointing out, 
with respectful calmness, the passionate illegality of 
their proceedings. His defence was trammelled by 
abominable difficulties ; his counsel, obtained with 
great difficulty and despite the Commons, were not 
allowed either to speak upon the facts of the case or to 
examine the witnesses ; and permission to bring 
forward witnesses for the defence was granted only 
three days before the opening of the trial, though 
most of them would have to be fetched from Ireland. 
On every occasion, he asserted his right, thanked his 
judges if they consented to acknowledge it, never 
complained when they refused, and simply replied to 
his enemies, who were incensed at the delays oc- 
casioned by his able resistance : "I have as much 

' State Trials, vol. iii. col. 1420. 


right, I suppose, to defend my life, as any other can 
have to attack it." 

So much energy embarrassed and humihated his 
accusers. On two occasions, the Commons urged the 
Lords to hasten the conclusion of a trial which, they 
said, caused them to lose time most precious to the 
country.^ The Lords refused ; the success of the 
prisoner had restored to them some little energy. 
When the case for the prosecution was over, before 
Strafford's advocates had opened their mouths or he 
had himself summed up his defence, the committee of 
impeachment felt themselves defeated, at least as far 
as the proof of liigh treason was concerned. The 
ag-itation of the Commons became extreme : favoured 
by the letter of the law, and by his own fatal genius, a 
great culprit was likely to escape punishment, and 
reform, in its infancy, would once more have to cope 
with its most dangerous enemy. A decisive measure 
was resolved upon. Sir Arthur Haslerig, a stern, 
violent, and coarse-minded man, proposed that Straf- 
ford should be declared guilty and condemned by act 
of Parliament. Such a proceeding, which would 
liberate the judges from all adlierence to law, was not 
unexampled, although its precedents all belonged to 
days of tyranny, and had invariably been denounced 
as iniquitous soon after their occurrence. Some notes 
found among the papers of Secretary Vane, and given 
to Pym by his son,^ were produced as supplementary 

' Parliamentary History, vol. ii. col. 743. 

'^ Sir Harry Vane the younger was born in 1()12 ; he is the person 
wIkj frc(|ncnt]y appears in the sequel of this history as one of the leaders 
of the Independent party. 


evidence, sufficient to prove the charge of high treason. 
The}" imported that Strafford had, in full council, 
advised the Kmg to employ the Irish army to reduce 
England. The words which they ascribed to him, 
though contradicted by the testimony of several 
members of the Council, and susceptible in themselves 
of a far less odious meaning, were too conformable 
with his general conduct, and the maxims he had 
often professed, not to produce a deep impression upon 
all minds. The bill at once obtained a first reading. 
Some thought they were sacrificing law to justice, 
others justice to necessity. 

All this while the trial went on, for his accusers 
were determined to lose no chance of gaining their 
cause, and would not allow the danger of a special act 
to liberate their prisoner fi-om the peril of a legal 
sentence. Before his counsel spoke on the question 
of law, Strafford summed up his defence : he spoke at 
considerable length and with marvellous eloquence, 
making it his constant endeavour to prove that, by no 
law, could any of his acts be construed into high 
treason. Conviction every moment grew stronger in 
the minds of his judges, and he skilfully followed its 
progress, adapting his words to the impressions whicli 
he saw had been produced, and, though deeply affected 
himself, never permitting his emotion to prevent him 
from observing and noting what was passing around 
him. " My lords," he said, in conclusion, " these 
gentlemen tell me they speak in defence of the com- 
monwealth against my arbitrary laws ; give me leave 
to say it, I speak in defence of the commonwealth. 

28G HISTORY or charles the first 

against their arbitrary treason. Do we not live by 
laws, my lords, and must we be punished by laws 
before they be made ? If this crime, which they call 
arbitrary treason, had been marked by any discerner 
of the law, the ignorance thereof should be no excuse 
for me ; but if it be no law at all, how can it in rigour 
or strictness itself condemn me ? Beware you do not 
awake these sleeping lions, by the searching out some 
neglected, moth-eaten records ; they may one day tear 
you and your posterity to pieces. It was your 
ancestors' care to chain them up within the barricadoes 
of statutes : be not you ambitious to be more skilful 
and curious than your forefathers in the art of killing. 
For my poor self, were it not for your lordships' 
interest, and the interest of a saint in heaven, who 
hath left me here two pledges on earth " — at these 
words he paused, and burst into tears, but looking up 
again immediately, he continued, — " I should never 
take the pains to keep up this ruinous cottage of 
mine ; it is laden with such infirmities, that, in truth, 
I have no great pleasure to carry it about with me 
any longer ; nor could I ever leave it in a better time 
than this, when I hope the better part of the world 
would perhaps think that, by this my misfortune, I 
had given a testimony of my integrity to God, my 
King, and country. I thank God I count not the 
afflictions of this present life comparable to that glory 
which is to be revealed in the time to come." Here 
he paused again, as if at a loss how to continue ; then 
he went on : " My lords, my lords, my lords, some- 
thing more I had to say, but my voice and spirits fail 


me ; only I do, in all humility and submission, cast 
myself down before your lordships' feet ; and whether 
your judgments in my case be either for life or death, 
it shall be righteous in my eyes, and received with a 
Te Deum laudamus /"' 

All who heard him were struck with compassion 
and admiration. Pym rose to reply ; Strafford looked 
at him ; menace breathed in the immobility of his 
demeanour; liis pide and protruding lip wore an 
expression of passionate scorn : Pym became agitated, 
and paused ; his hands trembled, and in his confusion 
he sought in vain for a paper wliicli lay just before 
his eyes. It was the answer which he had prepared, 
and which he read to the Court ; but no one Kstened, 
and he himself hastened to conclude a speech which 
was repugnant to the feelings of the assembly, and 
which he found it very difficult to utter. 

Emotion is fleeting, but anger is permanent ; the 
rage of Pym and his friends was at its height ; they 
hastened the second reading of the bill of attainder. 
In vain was it opposed by Selden, the oldest and most 
illnstrious of the defenders of liberty ; by Holborne, 
one of Hampden's advocates in the ship-money aftlur ; 
and by other eminent men.^ It was now the only 
resource of the Opposition party, who plainly saw that 
the Lords would not condemn Strafibrd as judges, and 
in the name of the law. They even wished the trial 
should be suddenly suspended, and that Strafford's 
counsel should not be heard ; and such was their rage, 

' State Trials, vol. iii. cols. 1466, 1467.- 
- Ibid., vol. iii. col. 1469. 


tliat they talked of summoning to the bar and 
punishing " those presumptuous lawyers that durst be 
of counsel with a man accused by them of high 
treason."' The Lords rejected these furious pro- 
positions ; Strafford's counsel were heard ; but the 
Commons vouchsafed no answer to their arguments, 
and did not even attend to hear them, saying that it 
was " below their dignity to contend with private 
lawyers."^ Four days after, notwithstanding the 
strenuous opposition of Lord Digby, who had until 
then been one of Strafford's most vehement accusers, 
the bill of attainder was finally adopted. 

On hearing this news, the only thought of the 
afflicted King was how to save the earl, no matter at 
what cost. " I cannot satisfy myself in honour or 
conscience," he wrote to the earl, " without assuring 
you that, upon the word of a King, you shall not 
suffer in Hfe, honour, or fortune."^ All means were 
attempted at once, with the blind eagerness of fear 
and sorrow. Concessions and promises were employed 
to mollify the leaders of the Commons ; plans were 
organized for the escape of the prisoner. But the 
plots neutralized the negociations, and the negocia- 
tions caused the failure of the plots. The Earl of 
Bedford, who seemed disposed to some leniency, died 
suddenly. The Earl of Essex told Mr. Hyde, in an- 
swer to some remarks on the insurmountable resist- 
ance which the King's conscience would oppose to the 

' Clarendon's History of the Eebellion, vol. i. p. 394. 

'' Ibid., vol. i. p. 397. 

' Strafford's Letters, vol. ii. p. 416. 


bill, " that the King was obliged in conscience to 
conform himself and his own understanding to the ad- 
vice and conscience of the Parliament."^ Sir William 
Balfour, the Governor of the Tower, was offered twenty- 
thousand pounds and one of Strafford's daughters in 
marriage for his son, if he would favour the earl's 
escape : he refused. He was ordered to admit into 
the prison as additional guards, a hundred picked men, 
commanded by Captain BiUingsley, a discontented 
officer : he informed the Commons. Every day wit- 
nessed the formation and failure of some new plan for 
the earl's preservation. At last the King, contrary to 
the advice of Strafford himself, went down to the 
House of Lords, and, after acknowledging the Earl's 
misdeeds, and promising that he would never again 
employe him in any branch of public business, declared 
that no arguments or fears should ever induce him to 
consent to his death. ^ 

But the hatred of the Commons was inflexible, and 
far more daring than the King's grief; they had fore- 
seen his resistance, and made preparations for over- 
coming it. Ever since the bill of attainder had been 
carried to the Upper House, a mob assembled daily 
round Westminster Hall, armed with swords, knives, 
and clubs, shouting, " Justice ! Justice /" and threat- 
ening those lords who hesitated to declare their judg- 
ment.^ Lord Arundel* was obliged to get out of his 
carriage, and, hat in hand, beseech the multitude to 

' Clarendon, vol. i. p. 427. 
^ Parliamentary History, vol. ii. col. 754. 
3 Ibid., vol. ii. col. 755 ; Whitelocke, p. 45. 
■» According to Whitelocke, p. 45, it was Lord Montgomery. 
VOL. I. U 


withdraw, promising to hasten the accomphshment of 
their wishes. Fifty-nine members of the House of 
Commons had voted against the bill, and their names 
were posted up in the streets, with this heading : 
" Here are the Straffordians \ men who, to save a traitor, 
would betray their country.'' Similar threats resounded 
from almost every pulpit ; ministers preached and 
prayed for the punishment of a great delinquent. 
The Lords, acting upon a message from the King, 
complained to the Commons of these disorders : the 
Commons returned no answer.' Meanwhile, the bill 
still continued in suspense. A decisive blow, which 
had until then been held in reserve, was resolved 
upon : Pym, summoning fear to the aid of vengeance, 
denounced the plot of the Court and officers to revolt 
the army against the Parhament.^ Some of the con- 
spirators suddenly fled, which confirmed every suspi- 
cion. A wild terror seized upon both the House and 
the people. It was voted that the ports should be 
closed, and that all letters from abroad should be 
opened.^ Absurd alarms manifested and aggravated 
the disturbance of the pubhc mmd. A report was 
spread in the City, that the House of Commons had 
been undermined, and was to be blown up : the militia 
took to their arms, and an immense crowd thronged 
to Westminster. Sir Walter Earl proceeded in all 
haste to inform the House of the rumours : while he 
was speaking, Mr. Middleton and Mr. Moyle, remark- 

' Parliamentary History, vol. ii. col 778. 

^ Ibid., vol. ii. col. 776. 

^ Ibid., vol. ii. cols. 788, 789. 


ably corpulent men, rose abruptly to listen to him ; 
the floor creaked : " The house is falling !" exclaimed 
a number of members, rushing out of the hall, which 
was immediately fiUed with the mob from outside ; 
and another scene of the same nature occurred before 
the end of the week.* In the midst of all this agita- 
tion, skilfully-concerted measures were introduced to 
secure the dominion of the Commons and the success 
of their designs. In imitation of the Scottish Cove- 
nant, an oath of union, for the defence of the Protes- 
tant religion and the pubhc liberties, was adopted by 
both Houses ; the Commons even wished to impose it 
on every citizen ; and upon the refusal of the Lords to 
sanction this, they declared all persons who should 
decline to take it incapable of holding office in either 
Church or State. ^ Finally, to guard the future from 
all danger, a bill was brought forward, declaring that 
the existing Parhament could not be dissolved without 
its own consent.^ This daring measure scarcely ex- 
cited any surprise ; the necessity of supplying a good 
guarantee for loans, which, it was said, had become 
more difficult to raise, served as its pretext ; and the 
general excitement stifled aU objection. The Lords 
attempted to amend the bill, but in vain ; the Uj^per 
House was vanquished; and the judges lent its 
weakness the sanction of their cowardice ; they de- 
clared that, by the terms of the law, the crimes of 

' Parliamentary History, vol. ii. cols. 783, 788. 

* Ibid., vol. ii. col. 778 ; Neal's History of the Puritans, vol. ii. p. 382. 
^ Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. i. p. 457 ; Whitelocke, 
p. 45 ; Parliamentary History, vol. ii. cols. 786, 787. 

u 2 

292 HISTORY OF charles the first 

Strafford really constituted liigli treason.' The bill of 
attainder was submitted to a last debate ; thirty -fom^ 
of the peers who had attended the trial, absented 
themselves from the House ; of those who were pre- 
sent, tw^enty-six voted for the bill, and nineteen against 
it.^ It now needed only the royal assent. 

Charles still resisted, thinking himself incapable of 
suffering such dishonour. He sent for HoUis, Straf- 
ford's brother-in-law, who, on that ground, had taken 
no part in the impeachment. " What can I do to 
save him?" he asked, with anguish. Hollis advised 
that Strafford should petition the King for a reprieve, 
and that the King should go in person to present his 
petition to both Houses, in a speech which Hollis 
himself drew up on the spot ; at the same time, he 
promised to do all in his power to persuade his friends 
to rest satisfied wdth the banishment of the Earl ; and 
with this agreement, they separated. Hollis, on his 
side, set to work in earnest, and his efforts in the 
House had already, it is said, met with considerable 
success, when the Queen, who had always been Straf- 
ford's enemy, growing alarmed at the increasingly 
violent character of the popular excitement, and more- 
over, it is affirmed, fearing, from the report of some 
of her confidants, that the Earl, to save his life, had 
undertaken to reveal all he knew about her intrigues, 
beset her husband with her suspicions and fears :'^ her 
terror was even so great that she tlu-eatened to fly, to 

' Parliamentary History, vol. ii. col. 737. 

* Ibid., vol. ii. col. 737. 

" Burnet's History of liis Own Tinio, vol. i. pp. 56, r>7. 


take ship and return to France, and had already begun 
her preparations for departure.' Moved by the tears of 
his wife, and incapable of adopting an independent 
resolution, Charles first assembled a privy council, and 
then consulted the bishops. Juxon, the Bishop of 
London, alone exhorted him to obey his conscience ; 
all the others, and particularly the Bishop of Lincoln, 
an intriguing prelate, who had long been opposed to 
the Court, urged him to sacrifice an individual to the 
throne, his conscience as a man to his conscience as a 
King.^ He had but just left this conference, when a 
letter from Strafibrd was delivered to him. " Sire," 
wrote the Earl, " out of much sadness, I am come to a 
resolution of that which I take to be the best becom- 
ing me ; and that is, to look upon the prosperity 
of your sacred person and the commonwealth as infi- 
nitely to be preferred before any man's private inte- 
rest. And therefore, in few words, as I have placed 
myself wholly upon the honour and justice of my 
peers, I do most humbly beseech you, for the prevent- 
ing of such mischiefs as may happen by your refusal 
to pass this bill, by this means to remove this unfor- 
tmiate thing forth of the way towards that blessed 
agreement, which God, I trust, shall for ever establish 
betwixt you and your subjects. Sire, my consent 
herein shall acquit you more to God than all the 
world can do beside. To a willing man there is no 

' See a letter from M. de Montreuil, the French minister, dated May 
23, 1641, and pubhshed in Mazure's Histoire de la Revolution de 1688, 
vol. iii. pp. 422, 428. 

" Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. i. pp. 4.50,4.51 ; Warwick's 
Memoirs, \). 158. 


injury done ; and as, by God's grace, I forgive all the 
world with a calmness and meekness of infinite con- 
tentment to my dislodging soul, so, Sire, I can give 
the life of tliis world with all cheerfulness imaginable, 
in the just acknowledgment of your exceeding favours ; 
and only beg that, in your goodness, you would vouch- 
safe to cast your gracious regard upon my poor son and 
his three sisters, less or more, and no otherwise, than 
their unfortunate father shall appear more or less guilty 
of this death." ^ 

On the following day, Carlton, the Secretary of 
State, came on the part of the King, to announce to 
Strafford that he had given his consent to the fatal 
bill. Some surprise appeared in the countenance of 
the Earl ; and, for his only answer, raising his hands 
to heaven, he said : — "Nolite conjidere principibus et 
Jiliis hominum, quia non est solus in illis." ^ 

Instead of going in person, as he had promised 
HoUis, to ask the House for a reprieve, the King con- 
tented himself with sending them, by the Prince of 
Wales, a letter, which ended with this postscript ; — 
" If he must die, it were charity to reprieve him till 
Saturday." The House read the letter twice, and, 
without paying any attention to this cold request, 
fixed the execution for the following day.^ 

The Governor of the Tower, wliose duty it was to 
accompany Strafford to the block, advised him to take a 
carriage, to esca23e the violence of the populace. " No, 

' State Trials, vol. iii. cols. 1516, 1517. 

■^ Whitclockc, p. 46. 

^ Parliamcntaiy History, vol. ii. col. 760. 


master lieutenant," answered the earl, " I dare look 
death in the face, and, I hope, the people too. Have 
you a care that I do not escape, and I care not how I 
die, whether by the hand of the executioner, or by the 
madness and fury of the people, if that may give 
them better content ; it is all one to me." And he 
went on foot, preceding his guards, and looking about 
him on all sides as proudly as if he had been a general 
at the head of his troops. As he passed before the 
prison in which Laud was confined, he stopped : on 
the previous evening, he had sent to request him to 
be at the window and bless him as he passed. " My 
lord," he said, raising his head, " your prayers and 
your blessing." The Archbishop stretched out his 
hands towards him ; but enfeebled by age, and less 
firm of heart, he fell down in a fainting fit. " Fare- 
well, my lord," said Strafibrd, as he moved on ; " Grod 
protect your innocency ! " On reaching the foot of 
the scaffold, he mounted it at once, accompanied by his 
brother, some ministers of the Church, and several of 
his friends ; he knelt down a moment, and then rose to 
address the people. " 1 wish this kingdom," he said, 
" all the prosperity and happiness in the world ; I did 
it living, and now, dying, it is still my wish. But I 
do most humbly recommend this to every one who 
hears me, and desire they would lay their hands upon 
their hearts, and consider seriously whether the 
beginning of the happiness and reformation of a 
kingdom should be written in letters of blood. 
Consider this when you are at your homes ; and let 
me never be so unhappy, as that the least drop of my 


blood should rise up in judgment against any one of 
you ; but I fear you are in a wrong way." He then 
knelt down again, and prayed for a quarter of an hour ; 
then, turning towards his friends, he took leave of 
them all, shaking hands with each of them, and 
giving each some advice. " Now," he said, " I have 
nigh done ; one stroke will make my wife husbandless, 
ni}^ dear children fatherless, and my poor servants 
masterless, and will separate me from my dear brother 
and all my friends. But let God be to you and them 
all in all ! " As he disrobed, he added :■ — " I thank 
God I am not afraid of death, nor daunted with any 
discoui-agement rising from any fears ; but do as 
cheerfully put off my doublet at this time as ever I 
did when I went to bed." He called the executioner, 
forgave him, uttered a short prayer, laid his head 
upon the block, and gave the signal himself. His 
head fell ; the executioner held it up to the people, 
and cried, " God save the King ! " Violent acclama- 
tions responded ; numerous bands spread through the 
city, celebrating their victory with loud shouts ; 
others retui'ned home in silence, full of doubt and 
anxiety as to the justice of the wish they had just 
seen fulfilled.' 

Disturbed by this exliibition of sympathy, the 
House of Commons used every effort to repress it ; 
for nothing irritates a conqueror more than to find 
that a dead enemy is still dangerous. Mr. Taylor, 
for liaving said, in private conversation, that they had 

' .state Trials, vol. iii. cols. 1521 — 1.')24 ; Warwick's Memoirs, p. 164. 


committed murder with the sword of justice, was sent 
to the Tower, expelled the House, and declared in- 
capable of re-election.' Lord Dighy had published his 
speech against the bill of attainder ; the House forbade 
its circulation, and ordered it to be burnt by the 
common hangman.^ Never had the power of the 
Commons seemed so great, or so firmly established ; 
in consenting to the death of the Earl, the King had 
also adopted, almost without a thought, the bill which 
deprived him of the right to dissolve the Parhament 
without its own consent. Nevertheless, the Commons 
wanted some better security, and the more their power 
increased, the more irresistibly they felt themselves 
urged towards tyranny. By delivering StralTord into 
their hands, the King had degraded himself, without 
inspiring them with confidence ; and their deepened 
animosity increased their mutual distrust. A Royalist 
party, different from that of the Court, began to form 
among them. Pym, Hampden, and HoUis, found 
themselves daily compelled to a closer alliance with 
the sectaries ; and this alliance was displeasing, even 
to the warmest friends of liberty. " AVhy," they said, 
"embarrass political reform with doubtful questions? 
upon matters of worship and discipline, opinions are 
divided ; against absolute power, England is unani- 
mous ; this is the only enemy which we must 
mercilessly do to death. "^ Sometimes this view 
prevailed, and the House, resuming the discussion of 

' Parliamentary History, vol. ii. col. 815. 

" Ibid., vol. ii. cols. 754, 882. 

^ May's History of the Long Parliament, pp. 112—117. 


grievances, recovered its unanimity. The abolition of 
the Star Chamber, of the Northern Court, of the Court 
of High Commission, and of all arbitrary jurisdictions, 
was definitively decreed, and the King gave his con- 
sent after two days' hesitation/ Political reform, in so 
far at least as it had at first been desired and imagined, 
seemed now accomplished ; but what would it serve 
to have written it in the statute-book, if its main- 
tenance were to be suddenly confided to its enemies ? 
The King's hesitations, the reports of plots, and the 
defections which were noted or apprehended in the 
army and Parliament, awakened general alarm. On 
losing power, the leaders of the Commons knew that 
both they and their cause would be ruined : in order 
to retain it, the support of the people was necessary ; 
and the people, devoted to Presbyterianism, claimed in 
their turn a share in the triumph. All the old 
motions against the Church now reappeared ; the 
Scots even began openly to solicit the estabhshment 
of uniformity of worship in both nations. These 
attempts, however, failed ; and their failure, and the 
embarrassment in which the two Houses were involved 
by such a chaos of discordant passions and undigested 
plans, imparted to their proceedings an appearance of 
uncertainty and weariness, which some hoped was a 
promise of future repose. But the religious conflict only 
became more animated ; the sectaries grew bolder, the 
Church tottered daily to its fall. Even in the Upper 
House, in which its chief strength lay, everything 

' Parliamcutary History, vol. ii. cols. 853 — 855. 


attested its decline : the spiritual lords were no 
longer, according to ancient usage, mentioned sepa- 
rately at the head of the bills ; while reading, the 
clerk of the House affected to turn liis back on the 
bench of bishops; and in all public ceremonies, the 
temporal lords assumed the precedence.^ These 
symptoms did not escape the observation of the 
Presbyterian party, who incessantly renewed their 
attacks, backed by the pohtical reformers, whom they 
maintained in the possession of power ; and, in spite of 
apparent reverses, advanced daily towards success. 

All at once, the King called to mind his project 
of going into Scotland, where, he said, the execution 
of the treaty of peace, which was, at length, near its 
conclusion, required his presence. It became known 
at the same time, that the Queen, on the pretext of 
ill health, was preparing to start for the Continent. 
The disaffected army lay on the road which the King 
would have to travel ; and the Queen's intrigues with 
continental powers had long been suspected. This 
double journey, abruptly and simultaneously under- 
taken, furnished popular distrust with the aliment it 
had been seeking. And the popular distrust was 
legitimate and well-grounded. Without either strength 
or influence in London, where he was surrounded by 
useless courtiers or terror-stricken counsellors, Charles; 
had turned his eyes towards the kingdom of his fathers 
and the absolute monarchs of Europe. In Scotland, in 
regard both to Church and Crown, he intended to make 

' Neal's History of the Puritans, vol. ii. pp. 410, 411. 


every concession, to gain in this way the good-will of 
the people, and to load the nobility with favours. In 
the army, his visit, and the language he purposed 
to use, could not, he thought, fail to increase the number 
of his partizans. 

With regard to the Continent, his views were less 
precise ; however, though as yet he neither meditated 
nor anticipated war, he already sought money and 
allies. The Commons abstained from expressing their 
suspicions ; but they requested that the Queen should 
not leave London, and that the King would defer his 
departure.^ Charles showed some irritation at this 
request, affecting to regard it as a groundless caprice. 
To make it seem that he attached no importance to 
his answer, he referred the Commons to the Queen her- 
self, and to the Scottish Commissioners, who, he said, 
were pressing him to hasten his journey. The Scots 
readily consented to a delay ; the Queen very graciously 
promised not to leave the country.^ Reassured for a 
moment, the Commons strongly urged the disbanding 
of the army, which until then had been purposely 
delayed. Letters from the House guaranteed the 
troops the speedy payment of their arrears. To 
provide funds for this purpose, many zealous citizens 
melted their plate ; new loans were ordered, and new 

' The leaders of the ParHament were not mistaken in their belief 
that, even at this period, the King was seeking support on the Conti- 
nent, and that the Queen proposed to visit France for that purpose. 
The instructions and letters of Jean de Montreuil, then Resident 
Minister of France in Scotland and England, leave no room for doubt 
on this subject. See Appendix VI. 

" Parhamentary History, vol. ii. cols. 846, S.51, 852, 885, 890. 


taxes imposed.^ The disbanding, however, proceeded 
but slow^ly for want of money, and also from the 
ill-will of many of the officers.'^ The King secretly 
rejoiced ; the Commons relapsed into despair. The 
delay that had been agreed upon expired. The House 
requested a second postponement, but without success ;^ 
the King announced his intention to set forth on his 
journey. An attempt was made to demand the 
appointment of a Regent during his absence, that 
business might not be suspended ; but this idea was 
not acted upon.* The King contented himself with 
appointing the Earl of Essex Captain-general south 
of the Trent, and set out on the 10th of August, with 
hopes which he indicated by his language, but the 
motives of which men sought in vain to penetrate. 

The House soon perceived that it was losing its 
time by sitting, in uncertainty and inactivity, during 
the King's absence. It was far more important that 
it should keep a strict watch over its adversaries, and 
rekindle the zeal of its partizans in the provinces. 
After sitting for a fortnight to no purpose, it resolved 
to adjourn.^ Many of the members were desirous to 
attend to their private affairs, and to get a little rest ; 
but the leaders allowed themselves no repose. A 

' May's History of the Long Parliament, p. 105 ; Parliamentary His- 
tory, vol. ii. cols. 841 — 843. The rate of interest of the loan raised at 
this period was fixed at ten per cent. 

^ Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. i. p. 480. 

® Parliamentary History, vol. ii. cols. 897, 899. 

" Ibid., vol. ii. col. 892. 

^ This adjournment was to last from the 8th of September to the 2Uth 
of October,— Parliamentary History, vol. ii. col. 904. 


committee, under the direction of Hampden, was sent 
into Scotland, to remain near the King, and watch 
over the interests of the Parhament.^ Another com- 
mittee, consisting of many members^ and invested 
with large powers, sat at Westminster, under the 
presidency of Pym, during the interval between the 
two sessions. The House of Lords took similar 
measures.^ A great number of members returned to 
their counties, eager to diffuse their sentiments and 
impart their fears. Both parties, under the semblance 
of a truce, were seeking fresh strength from abroad, 
and mutually meditating new contests. 

In passing through the English army, which was 
being disbanded, and the Scottish army, which was 
returning home, the King did not venture to make 
any long stay. His attempts, however, to make friends 
among the troops, and particularly among the officers, 
were so public, that Lord Holland, who had been sent 
to superintend the disbanding, wrote an anxious letter 
on the subject to the Earl of Essex, ^ and added that, 
on his return to London, he would give him further 
particulars. On his arrival at Edinburgh, Charles 
granted the Church and Parliament of Scotland all the 
concessions they demanded; — triennial Parliaments, 
relinquishment of ancient prerogatives of the Crown, 
prosecutions of the principal opponents of the Cove- 
nant, intervention even of the Parliament in the 

' Parliamentary History, vol. ii. col. 902. This committee was com- 
posed of six members — the Earl of Bedford, Lord Howard, Sir William 
Armyn, Sir Philip Stapleton, Nathaniel Fiennes, and John Hampden. 

* Parliamentary History, vol. ii. cols. 910, 911. 

^ Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. ii. p. 2. 


appointment of the Privy Council, — notliing was re- 
fused. The King gave his sanction to the Presby- 
terian form of worship, with a gravity which had none 
of the appearance of complaisance, was assiduous in his 
attendance at their frequent prayers, and an attentive 
hearer of their long sermons ; the Covenanting leaders, 
whether laymen or ecclesiastics, nobles or citizens, 
were treated with marked favour ; titles, offices, pen- 
sions, and promises were lavished upon them with no 
niggard hand. 

All at once, a report spread through the city of 
Edinburgh that the two most influential nobles in the 
Parliament, Hamilton and Argyle, had left town, 
accompanied by their friends, and retired to Kinneil 
Castle, the residence of the Earl of Lanark, Hamilton's 
brother, in order to escape the danger of arrest, and 
even of assassination. The surprise occasioned by this 
report was extreme ; — men asked each other, without 
being able to obtain a reply, what motives could have 
inspired the fugitives with such fears, or the King with 
such designs. Strange conjectures were hazarded ; — 
Charles haughtily complained of being subjected to 
such injurious surmises, as an outrage upon his royal 
honour, and demanded of the Parliament the exclusion 
of Hamilton, until his honour should be vindicated. 
The Parhament, firmly and prudently, refused to come 
to any abrupt decision, and ordered an inquiry to be 
instituted. Numerous witnesses were called, on whose 
evidence the committee grounded their report, which 
declared briefly, that there was no cause for the King 
to make reparation, or for the fugitives to entertain 


any fears. Tliey returned to their places in Parlia- 
ment, kept silence, as did Charles, regarding what had 
passed, and the public learned nothing further on the 

Neither party was willing to explain the affair, 
though, in political circles, it soon became well known. 
At the very moment when the King, in order to gain 
the support of Scotland against England, was making 
such numerous and important concessions, he had 
carefully planned the destruction of his enemies in 
both countries. Feehng persuaded that the judges 
could not avoid condemning, as high treason that cor- 
respondence between the English malcontents and the 
Scottish Covenanters, which had preceded, and perhaps 
determined, the late invasion, he had gone to Scotland 
to collect the necessary evidence for instituting, on his 
return, that impeachment of the leaders of the House 
of Commons, which Strafford, anticipated by their 
prior accusation, had been unable even to announce. 
A young and high-spirited gentleman, who had once 
been devoted to the Covenant, but now enjoyed the 
King's full favour and confidence, the Earl of Mont- 
rose,^ had undertaken to procure for him the documents 
he so ardently desired. In reliance on his promise, 
Charles had undertaken his journey ; but, before his 
arrival in Edinburgh, a letter in cipher, intercepted by 
Argyle, aroused the suspicions of the Scots, and the 
King found Montrose in prison. Eoused by his 
danger, and burning for revenge, the Earl sent to 

' James Graham, Earl, and subsequently Marquis, of Montrose, was 
born at Edinburgh in 1G12. 


inform Charles that, if he could only see him, he would 
make him acquainted with his real enemies, and their 
past intrigues. By the contrivance of some trusty 
friends, Montrose secretly left his prison, went at night 
to the King's bedchamber, informed him of all he 
knew, accused both Hamilton and Argyle of having 
been partakers in the designs of the malcontents, 
assured the King that their papers would furnish 
ample proof of their guilt, and urged him instantly to 
secure the persons of those two leaders, and to " have 
them both made away," if they resisted. Ever ready 
to welcome rash resolutions, and without thinking of 
the effect which so violent an act would not fail to pro- 
duce on the minds of the people whom he was striving 
to conciliate, Charles consented to the whole scheme ; 
the plot was framed under the shield of concessions, 
and everything was ready for its execution, when the 
two lords, warned in time, caused its utter failure by 
publicly withdrawing from the capital.^ 

Acting upon wise counsel, the Parliament of Scot- 
land hushed up the affair ; it no longer feared any 
danger from that source, and it had no ^vish to run the 
risk of losing the advantages it had just gained, by 
pushing the contest to extremities. The King himself, 
to conceal his designs and their frustration, gave 
Hamilton a dukedom and Argyle a marquisate ; 
Lesley was created Earl of Leven : but Hampden and 

' Hardwicke's State Papers, vol. ii. pp. 299 — 303 ; Clarendon's His- 
tory of the Rebellion, vol. ii. pp. 17, 18 ; Burnet's Memoirs of the Ha- 
miltons, pp. 184 — 187 ; Baillie's Letters, vol. i. pp. 320, 327, 330—332 ; 
Laing's Histoiy of Scotland, vol. iii. pp. 228 — 230 ; Brodie's History of 
the British Empire, vol. iii. pp. 142 — 156. 

VOL. I. X 


the English Committee, well informed as to all that 
occurred, hastened to send full particulars to London, 
where the adjournment of the Houses was nearly 
expired. The alarm of their party was great ; ^ not- 
withstanding all their distrust, they had not yet antici- 
pated such dangers, and the leaders imagined that their 
past relations with the Scottish insurgents had heen 
fully amnestied, together with the rebellion itself, by the 
last treaty of peace. At this indication of the obsti- 
nately vindictive intentions of the King, men of other- 
wise moderate politics beheved themselves irretrievably 
compromised. Mr. Hyde one day met Lords Essex 
and Holland, talking of the news with great concern ; 
he bantered them on their fears, and reminded them of 
what they had themselves thought of Argyle and 
Hamilton a year previously. " The times and the 
Court are much altered since," they rephed.^ On the 
first day of its meeting, the House of Commons sent 
to the Earl of Essex to demand a guard, which, it was 
said, had become indispensable to the safety of the 
Parliament. It was immediately granted. At con- 
ferences held at the residence of Lord Holland, at 
Kensington, the leaders of the two Houses communi- 
cated to each other their information and suspicions, 
and discussed together the course they had best 
pursue ; all were anxious, and stimulated by their 
anxiety to dare any risk. " If there be a plot against 
us, on the part of the King," said Lord Newport, "his 

' Evelyn's Memoirs, \ol. ii. jjp. 40, 4() ; Parliamentary History, 
vol. ii. cols. 914, 915. 

^ Clarendon's Ilistorj' of the Rebellion, vol. ii. p. 18. 


wife and children are here ;"^ and their alarm was all 
the greater because they did not dare to use it to rouse 
the people, — for, as all was quiet in Scotland, nothing- 
could possibly be revealed in London. 

In the midst of tliis latent agitation, news sud- 
denly arrived that an insm-rection, as general as it was 
violent, had commenced a career of massacre in 
Ireland, and threatened the most imminent danger to 
the Protestant religion and the Parliament. The 
Irish CathoHcs, chiefs and people, had revolted in 
every part of the island, claiming liberty for their 
faith and country, invoking the name of the Queen, 
and even of the King himself, in support of their 
enterprise, displaying a commission which, they 
said, they had received from him, and announcing 
their intention to deliver themselves and the throne 
from the Enghsh Puritans, their common oppressors. 
The conspiracy, wliich had long been in preparation 
throughout the kingdom, had been disclosed by mere 
chance, at Dublin only, on the evening before its 
intended outbreak; and there had scarcely been time 
to preserve the seat of Government from its violence. 
Elsewhere, its explosion had met with scarcely any 
opposition ; in all quarters, the Protestants of Ireland, 
attacked unawares, were driven from their homes, pur- 
sued, massacred, and exposed to all the perils and 
tortures which rehgious and patriotic hatred could 
invent against heretics, foreigners, and tyrants. Hor- 
rible and lamentable accounts were given of their 

' Parliamentary History, vol. it. col. 984 ; Clarendon, vol. ii p. 12. 

X 2 



distress ; inniuiierable murdors had been committed, \ui- 
paralleled sufferings endured ; and the evil was really so 
great that it was capable of exaggeration, to suit indi- 
vidual fears or designs, without either exceeding pro- 
bability, or tiring credulity.^ A semi-barbarous people, 
passionately attached to the barbarism with which they 
were reproached by oppressors who denied them the 
means of civilization, had joyfully embraced the hope 
of deliverance which was offered them by the dissen- 
sions of their tyrants. Burning to avenge, in one day, 
centuries of outrage and misfortune, they felt delight 
and pride in committing excesses, which filled their old 
masters with horror and dismay. The English 
authorities had no means of resisting their violence ; 
out of hatred to Strafford and the Crown, and solely 
occupied by the design of establishing liberty in 
England, the Parliament had forgotten that it was its 
purpose to maintain tyranny in Ireland. The treasury 
in that country had been exhausted, martial law 
abolished, the army reduced to a mere handful of men, 
and the royal power utterly disarmed. The Parlia- 

' May, at p. 121 of his History of the Long ParUament, enumerates 
the naassacred Protestants at 200,000 ; and Clarendon (History of the 
Rebellion, vol. ii. p. 20) reduces this estimate to forty or fifty thousand. 
It seems probable, from the correspondence of the judges who were 
then at the head of affairs in Ireland, and from the inquiry made into 
the rebelhon in 1644, that even this latter number is exaggerated. This 
inquiiy, however, deserves no confidence, though Dr. Lingard considers 
it decisive (History of England, vol. x. pp. 463 — 469) ; it was made, 
not only three years after the outbreak, but at a time when the RoyaUst 
party was absolutely dominant in Ireland, and had just made its peace 
with the Catholics ; its object evidently was to extenuate, as far as pos- 
sible, the excesses committed by the insurgents, and the suflerings 
endured by tlie Protestants, and thus to excuse the alliance which the 
King was on the point of contracting. 


ment had even, in opposition to the King's wish, for- 
bidden the disbanded Irish soldiers to enter any foreign 
service ; ^ and they had accordingly become scattered 
all over the country, and lent their strength to the 
insurrection. Finally, although the Earl of Leicester 
had been appointed to succeed Strafford, no new- 
viceroy resided as yet in Ireland ; and the administra- 
tion of affairs there was entrusted to two judges — Sir 
WiUiam Parsons and Sir John Borlase — men of no 
capacity or influence, whose Presbyterian zeal had been 
their sole recommendation to this difficult office. 

A cry of terror and furious hatred to Popery arose 
throughout all England ; every Protestant thought 
himself in danger. The King, who had received the 
news in Scotland, hastened to communicate it to the 
two Houses ; announcing, at the same time, certain 
measures which, with the help of the Scots, he had 
already taken to repress the revolt, and leaving further 
interference in the affair entirely in the hands of the 
Parliament.^ Charles had nothing to do with the in- 
surrection, and the pretended commission from him 
produced by Sir Phelim O'Neil was a gross imposture ; 
but his known hatred of the Puritans, the confidence 
which he had more than once displayed in the Ca- 
tholics, the intrigues which for three months he had 
been carrying on in Ireland, for the purpose of secur- 
ing fortresses and soldiers in that country in case of 
need,^ and, finally, the promises of the Queen, had per- 

' Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. i. p. 493 ; Rushworth, 
part iii. vol, i. j). 381. '^ Ibid. vol. ii. p. 22. 

^ Carte's Life of Ormonde, vol. i. p. L32 ; vol. iii. pp. 30, 33 ; Claren- 


suaded the Irish that they might use his name, with- 
out having to fear a sincere disavowal. Ireland once 
m revolt, Charles flattered himself that so great a 
danger would render the Parhament more tractable ; 
and without supporting the rebels, without even con- 
templating a proximate alliance with them, he was not, 
like his people, seized with rage and terror at their 
insurrection ; he made no active efforts to quell it, and 
referred the affair to the Houses, in order to cast all 
the risk upon them, to avoid all suspicion of complicity, 
and perhaps, also, to reheve himself, in the eyes of his 
Catholic subjects, from the responsibihty of the seve- 
rities which they would have to suffer. 

But no cunning can avail against the passions of a 
people ; and those who wiU not serve them cannot de- 
ceive them. The leaders of the Commons, more skil- 
ful and in a better position, made it their endeavour to 
tm^n the state of public feehng to their own advantage. 
Their disquietude vanished, for the EngHsh people 
imagined they had fallen into the same danger which 
the reformers had themselves incurred. Eagerly seizing 
upon the power which was offered them by the King, 
notwithstanding the pomposity of their language and 
the violence of their threats, they made but feeble 
efforts to repress the rebellion ; the supplies of troops 
and money sent into Ireland were inadequate, tardy, 

don's State Papers, vol. ii. p. 337 ; Antrim's Information, in the 
Appendix to Clarendon's History of the Irish Rebellion. Antrim's tes- 
timony, especially as to the details of facts, does not, however, in my 
opinion, deserve the confidence i)laced in it by Lingard (History of Eng- 
land, vol. X. pp. 150 — 154), and Godwin (History of the Commonwealth, 
vol. i. pp. 220—225). 


and ill-arranged : all their speeches, all their actions, 
were addressed to England alone, and, by a step as 
decisive as it was unexpected, they resolved to pledge 
the country irretrievably to their designs. 

Shortly after the opening of Parliament, a com- 
mittee had been appointed to prepare a general Ee- 
monstrance in which all the grievances of the kingdom, 
and the means of redressing them, should be enume- 
rated. But the progress of reform had been so rapid 
that they had neglected to give so much solemnity to 
their complaint ; most of the grievances, at least such 
as were of a political nature, had disappeared ; the 
committee ceased to meet, and no one seemed to think 
any more about it. 

Suddenly, however, it received directions to resume 
its labours, and to present its report without delay. ^ 
In a few days, the Remonstrance was prepared and 
submitted to the House. It was no longer, as 
originally intended, a statement of actual and pressing 
abuses, and of the unanimous desires of the country, 
but a sombre exposition of past evils, of old grievances, 
of all the demerits of the King, of all the deserts of the 
Parliament, of the obstacles which it had surmounted, 
the dangers it had incurred, and particularly those perils 
wliich still threatened it, and called for the utmost 
efforts of its partisans to avert ; in short, it was a sort 
of appeal to the people, addressed especially to the 
fanatical Presbyterians, and which, while fomenting 
the passions which the revolt of Ireland had rekindled, 

' Clarendon's History of the Hebellion, vol. ii. p. 23. 


urged tliem to devote themselves unreservedly to the 
House of Commons, as it alone was able to save them 
from Popery, the Bishops, and the King. 

On the fu'st reading of the bill, many murmui's 
arose : an act so hostile, without any public motive, 
without any direct or apparent object, excited surprise 
and suspicion in the minds of many members, who 
until then had not been friendly to the Court ; they com- 
plained of the bitterness of its language, of its useless 
denunciation of grievances already redressed, of the 
harshness with which it treated the King, and of the 
hopes which it suggested to the sectaries. What 
could be the hidden designs, the unknown dangers, 
which necessitated such violent measures ? If the Re- 
monstrance were intended for the King alone, what 
advantage could be anticipated from it ? If it were 
addressed to the people, by what right was such an 
appeal made to without ? The leaders of the Opposi- 
tion said but little in reply, as they could not state 
their whole meaning ; but, in their private conversa- 
tions, they laboured earnestly to gain the suffrages of 
their colleagues, protesting that they merely desired 
to intimidate the Court, and to frustrate its intrigues, 
and that when the Remonstrance was once adopted, it 
should not be published. This language was not 
without its effect, for distrust was now so universally 
prevalent that men, otherwise moderate in then* views, 
welcomed any expression of it when conveyed in 
prudent and conciliator}'- language. After a few days, 
at the moment when the House, after a sitting of 
several hoiu's, was about to rise, the Opposition leaders 


demanded that the Remonstrance should be put to the 
vote at once ; they had counted the number of their 
adherents, and believed themselves certain of success. 
But Lord Falkland, Hyde, Colepepper and Palmer 
opposed so hasty a proceeding, urgently insisting on 
the postponement of the vote until the following day, 
and the House readily consented to this delay. " Why 
would you have it put off?" said Cromwell to Lord 
Falkland ; " this day would quickly have determined 
it." " There would not have been time enough," 
answered Lord Falkland, " for sm-e it would take 
some debate." " A very sorry one," replied Cromwell, 
with real or affected confidence. Though opened the 
next day at three o'clock in the afternoon, when night 
arrived, the debate seemed only to have just com- 
menced. The Com-t was no longer pitted against the 
country ; for the first time, two parties were in con- 
flict, if not both equally national, at least both sprung 
from the body of the nation, both resting on public in- 
terests and opinions, and both reckoning many good and 
independent citizens among their supporters. Common 
hopes had once united them, opposite fears now divided 
them ; each sagaciously foresaw the future in store for 
their triumphant adversaries, and lost sight of that 
which their own victory would have produced. They 
fought with a desperateness previously unexampled, 
and were all the more obstinate because they were still 
sparing of each other, and did not dare to hazard the 
open accusations which their suspicions dictated. Hours 
passed ; fatigue drove away the waverers, the careless, 
and the old ; one even of the King's ministers, Secre- 


tary Nicholas, left the House before the close of the 
debate. " This," said Sir Benjamin Rudyard, " will 
be the verdict of a starved jury." At length, towards 
midnight, the House resolved to divide ; a hundred 
and fifty-nine votes were given in favour of the Re- 
monstrance, and a hundred and forty-eight against it. 
Hampden immediately rose, and moved that it should 
be printed. " We thought as much," cried his op- 
ponents ; " it is an appeal to the people, and to infuse 
jealousies into their minds." " It hath seldom been the 
custom," said Mr. Hyde, " to publish any debates or 
determinations of the House, which have not been 
regularly first transmitted to the House of Peers. I 
believe the printing it in this manner is not lawful, 
and I fear it would produce mischievous effects ; and 
if the question be carried in the affirmitive, I desire 
the leave of the House to enter my protestation." " I 
do hkewise protest !" cried Mr. Palmer. " I protest ! 
I protest !" repeated their friends. It was now the 
turn of the other party to express astonishment and 
indignation ; protests, though usual with the Lords, 
were unused in the Commons ; Pym rose to demon- 
strate their illegality and danger, invectives interrupted 
him ; he persisted, and was answered by threats. The 
whole House was up, and many members, laying their 
hands to their swords, seemed ready to begin the civil 
war within the walls of Parliament itself. Two hours 
passed, during which the tumult was renewed at 
every attempt to procure the adoption of the resolution. 
At length, lamenting this humiliating disorder with 
mucli mildness and gravity, Hampden proposed that 


the House should rise, and the decision be adjourned 
until the afternoon. This suggestion was adopted. 
" Well," said Lord Falkland to CromweU, as he was 
leaving the House, " has there been a debate?" " I'll 
take yom* word another time," replied Cromwell, and 
whispered in his ear : — " Had the Remonstrance been 
rejected, I would have sold all I have to-morrow 
morning, and never have seen England more ; and I 
know there are many other honest men of the same 
resolution." ^ 

The afternoon sitting was more tranquil ; the 
Royalists despaired of victory, and their adversaries 
had found themselves so near losing it that they were 
not at all anxious to risk a fresh contest. They had 
annoimced their intention to impeach those who had 
protested; but Mr. Hyde had many friends among 
them, who refused to give him up. Mr Palmer was 
sent to the Tower, but liberated almost immediately. 
After some mutual explanations, the quarrel was 
hushed up. A majority of twenty -three votes ordered 
that the Remonstrance should be printed.^ The 
printing was, however, delayed, as it was necessary 
first of all to present it to the King, who was daily 

He returned, confident and haughty, notwithstand- 
ing the check which he had received in Scotland, and 
the knowledge he already possessed of the increased 

' Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. ii. pp. 40 — 49 ; Warwick's 
Memoirs, p. 170 ; May's History of the Long Parliament, 2)p. 134, 135 ; 
Whitelocke, pp. 50, 51 ; Rushwoi-th, part iii. vol. ii. pp. 425 — 428. 

^ Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. ii. p. 49 ; Parliamentary 
History, vol. ii. col. 937. 


animosity of the Parliament. Everywhere on his 
journey, and particularly at York, he had been received 
with enthusiastic expressions of affection and delight. 
In many places, his concessions to the Scots had rejoiced 
the people ; while his secret intrigues were unknown 
or imperfectly understood. In the country, moreover, 
as well as in the Parliament, the Royalist party was 
organizing itself, and giving expression to its feelings. 
Nor did the city of London remain aloof from these 
proceedings. The King's friends had carried the 
election of the new Lord Mayor, Eichard Gourney, an 
active, courageous, and devoted man, who had pre- 
pared a most brilliant reception for his sovereign. A 
multitude of citizens, well armed and mounted, with 
the banners of the various corporations displayed, went 
out to meet him, and escorted him with acclamations 
to the palace of Wliitehall. The King, in his turn, 
gave them a magnificent banquet, conferred the honour 
of knighthood on the Lord Mayor and several of the 
aldermen ;^ and on the next day after his arrival, eager 
to intimate to the Commons that he believed himself 
stronger than ever, he withdrew the guard which, 
during his absence, the Earl of Essex had granted for 
their protection.^ 

Affairs now changed their aspect ; the unanimous en- 
thusiasm of the entire kingdom was succeeded by party 
conflict, and reform was followed by revolution. The 
leaders felt this, and their conduct suddenly assumed a 

' Rushworth, part iii. vol. i. pp. 429 — 434 ; May's History of the Long 
Parliament, p. 134 ; Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. ii. p. 62 ; 
Whitelocke, p. 50 ; Evelyn's Memoirs, Appendix, vol. ii. p. 79. 

'^ Parliamentary History, vol. ii. col. 940. 


new character. The Eemonstrance was submitted to 
the King ; he listened patiently whilst it was read, and 
then, turning to the committee, inquired : " Doth the 
House intend to publish this declaration ?" " We can 
give no answer," was the reply, " Well then," said 
the King, " I suppose you do not now expect an 
answer to so long a petition ; I shall give you one 
with as much speed as the weightiness of the business 
will permit."^ This mattered little to the leaders of 
the Commons ; without waiting for any communica- 
tion from the King, they at once brought forward 
measures which were not even hinted at in the lie- 
monstrance. They had until tlien redressed grievances, 
and invoked the ancient laws of the country; they 
now proclaimed principles, and imperiously demanded 
innovations. A bill was under discussion regarding 
levies of troops for Ireland : a clause was inserted in 
the preamble : " That the King hath, in no case, nor 
upon any occasion but invasion from a foreign power, 
authority to press the free-born subject ; that being- 
inconsistent with the freedom and liberty of his per- 
son. "- Another bill was brought forward, importing 
that the organization of the militia and the appoint- 
ment of its officers should in futui'e be conducted only 
with the concurrence and consent of Parliament.^ A 
few days before the King's return, by the influence of 

' Parliamentary History, vol. ii. cols. 942, 943. 

* Clarendon's History of the Eebellion, vol. ii. pp. 69 — 73 ; Parlia- 
mentary History, vol. ii. col. 969 ; May's History of the Long Parlia- 
ment, p. 149. 

3 May's History of the Long Parliament, p. 156 ; Clarendon's History 
of the Rebellion, vol. ii. pp. 68, 69. 


the Presbyterians, the bill exckiding ecclesiastics from 
all civil offices had been revived and adopted ; but the 
Lords hesitated to pass it. The Commons angrily 
complained of the delay. " This House," they said, 
"is the representative body of the whole kingdom, 
and their lordships are but as particular persons, and 
come to Parliament in a particular capacity ; if they 
shall not be pleased to consent to the passing of these 
acts, and others necessary for the preservation and 
safety of the kingdom, then this House, together with 
such of the Lords that are more sensible of the safety 
of the kingdom, will join together, and represent the 
same unto his Majesty." And the popular Lords, the 
Earls of Northumberland, Essex, and Warwick, con- 
sented to the employment of such language.^ Out of 
doors, the party raUied round their leaders with equal 
ardour : the Remonstrance was published f the City 
declared that, in receiving the King with such pomp, 
the citizens of London had not intended to abandon 
their true friends, and that they would hve and die 
with the Parhament.^ A petition from the apprentices 
set forth the bad state of trade, and imputed their 
commercial distress to the Papists, the bishops, and 
the bad councillors of the King.* In the coimties, 
associations were formed for the defence of liberty and 
religion. Support flowed in to the Commons from all 

' Parliamentary History, vol. ii. col. 916 ; Commons' Journals, vol. ii. 
p. 330. 

Ibid, vol. ii. col. 970. 

^ May's History of the Long Parliament, p. 13(j. 

* Clarendon's History of the KebelHon, vol. ii. p. 70 Rushwortli, 
part iii. vol. i. p, 462. 


sides ; sinister rumours from time to time obtained for 
them fresh proofs of the nation's attachment : now it 
was said that the life of Pym was threatened, now that 
the rebels in Ireland were preparing an invasion ; on 
the strength of a mysterious visit, or a chance word 
heard in the street, plots were denounced, and oaths 
of union formally taken ; and whilst the House daily 
demanded the restitution of its guard, the multitude, 
thronging daily in greater numbers around West- 
minster HaU, formed an escort which loudly proclaimed 
their common dangers. 

Against pretensions so daring, and supported by 
such tumultuous passions, Charles, on his part, be- 
stirred himself to rally all his partizans — the interested 
servants of absolute power, the loyal defenders of 
their king, whatever might be his cause, and the 
patriots who had recently been loud in their outcries 
against tyranny, but who had been brought back to 
their allegiance to the Crown by the fear of innovations 
and excesses. These last formed almost exclusively 
the rising Royalist party in the House of Commons. 
Lord Falkland, Mr. Hyde, and Sir John Colepepper 
were at their head. Charles resolved to attach them 
to his cause. Already, before his journey into Scot- 
land, he had had secret interviews with Hj^de, and by 
the respectful wisdom of his advice, by his aversion to 
all innovation, and most of all by his devotion to the 
Church, Hyde had gained his confidence.' Lord Falk- 
land was less agreeable to him ; he despised tlie Court, 

' Clarendou's Life, vol. i. pp. 93, 9i. 

320 HisTOUY or chables the first 

had but little respect for the King, and had not even 
allied himself with his cause since his rupture with the 
innovators, whom he opposed rather to defend offended 
justice than to serve imperilled royalty. Charles 
feared liim, and felt ill at ease in his presence ; yet he 
was forced by necessity to make advances to him. 
Hyde, his most intimate friend, undertook the nego- 
tiation. Falkland at first refused ; his scrupulous 
virtue kept him aloof from the promoters of the 
revolution ; but his principles, his aspirations, and 
the flights of his somewhat dreamy imagination, 
incessantly urged him to combine with the friends 
of liberty. He alleged his antipathy to the Court, 
his inability to serve it, his resolution never to 
employ either falsehood, corruption, or spies : " They 
may be useful and perhaps necessary measures," 
he said, "but I will not sully my hands by them." 
Though surprised and piqued at having to solicit 
a subject, Charles insisted. Hyde pointed out the 
immense injury which would accrue to the King 
from such a refusal. Falkland allowed himself to 
be persuaded, but was disheartened beforehand, as 
he was the victim of a devotedness based on neither 
affection nor hope. He was appointed a Secretary of 
State. Colepepper, a far less influential man, but dis- 
tinguished by his boldness and mental resources in 
debate, was made Chancellor of the Exchequer. Hyde 
alone, contrary to the King's wish, obstinately refused 
to take office, not from fear, but from prudence, and 
because he thought he could serve his Majesty better 
by maintaining the external independence of his posi- 


tion.^ The three friends undertook to manage the 
King's affairs in the House, and Charles promised to 
attempt nothing without consulting them. 

At the same time, other servants, less useful, but 
more ardent, hastened to him from all parts of the 
kingdom, to defend his honour and life, w^hich, they 
said, were threatened by the Parhament. Notwith- 
standing the decay of the feudal system, the feehngs 
to which it had given rise still animated many of the 
gentry. Living idly on their estates, unaccustomed 
to reflection and debate, they despised those prating and 
argumentative citizens, whose dismal creed proscribed 
wine-drinking, and the games and pleasures of Old 
England, and who aspired to govern the Ki^ng, whom 
their fathers had not even had the honour to serve. 
Proud in the recollection of their own independence, 
they paid but Httle heed to the new requirements of 
pubHc Hberty. Like the people, they had murmured 
against tyranny and the Court ; but after so many 
concessions had been made by the prince, their short- 
sighted loyalty kindled with indignation at the insolent 
obstinacy of the innovators. They arrived in London 
in arms, swaggered haughtily through the taverns and 
streets, and frequently went to Whitehall to offer the 
King their services, and ask some favour in return. 
There they were joined by other men, attracted by an 
even less pure and more bhnd feeling ofdevotedness, — 
the Reformado officers whom the disbanding of the 
army had left without pay or employment, most of 

' Clarendon's Life, vol. i. p. 100 ; Clarendon's History of the Rebel- 
lion, vol. ii. pp. 93 — 98 ; Warwick's Memoirs, p. 194. 

VOL. I. Y 


them soldiers of fortune, trained in the continental wars, 
dissolute, mercenary, and reckless, irritated against 
the Parliament because it had deprived them of their 
profession, despising the people, who detested their 
loose manners, and ready to do anything for any 
master who would employ them, no matter for what 
purpose. Young lawyers, students of the Temple, 
protected by the Court, or anxious to share in its 
pleasures, or thinking to prove their gentihty and 
elegance by embracing its cause, swelled the restless 
and presumptuous throng that daily assembled about 
Whitehall, declaiming against the Commons, insulting 
their adherents, lavish of bravado and jocularity, and 
eager that the King or chance should furnish them 
with some opportunity of pushing their fortune by 
exhibiting their loyalty.^ 

The popular party were no less impatient to give 
them this opportunity ; their assemblages became 
every day more numerous and agitated. Bands of 
apprentices, artizans, and women marched morning 
after morning from the City to Westminster, and as 
they passed before Whitehall, the cries of " No 
Bishops I No Popish Lords I" redoubled in furious 
vehemence. Sometimes they would halt, and one of 
them momiting on a post, would read to the mob the 
names of the " disaffected members of the House of 
Commons," or of the " false, evil, rotten-hearted Lords." 
Their audacity even went so far as to demand that the 
sentinel should be removed fi'om the palace gates, that 

' Ludlow's Memoirs, p. K). 


they might be able to see the King, at any hour, at 
their pleasure/ Violent quarrels soon arose ; the two 
parties were distinguished by the names of Cavaliers 
and Roundheads. The citizens at first rejected the 
latter name as an insult, but afterwards adopted it as 
a title of honour.^ The Cavaliers, in their turn, went 
to meet their enemies round Westminster Hall, some- 
times to brave their attacks, and sometimes to protect 
the royalists from menace and injury as they left the 
Parliament. The wrath of the people was especially 
directed against the House of Peers, by whom the 
bill for the exclusion of the bishops was still held in 
suspense. Dr. Williams, the Archbishop of York, 
while walking to the House, attempted to arrest with 
his own hand a young man who was pursuing him 
with insults ; but the mob fell upon him, and his 
friends had great difficulty in rescuing him.^ Both 
parties made and released prisoners by turns. Blood 
was shed; the Cavahers boasted derisively of having 
dispersed their adversaries ; but the Roundheads 
returned the next day, better trained and better armed. 
One evening, while the Lords were still sitting, the 
tumult without became so violent, that the Marquis 
of Hertford went up to the bench on which the bishops 
were seated, and advised them not to leave the House, 

' Clarendon's History of the Eebellion, vol. ii. pp. 84 — 86 ; May's 
History of the Long ParUament, p. 137 ; Parliamentary History, vol. ii, 
col. 986. 

^ Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. ii. p. 93 ; Rushworth, 
part iii. vol. i. p. 493. 

^ Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. ii. p. 90 ; Rushworth, 
part iii. vol. i. p. 493. 

Y 2 


" for," he said, " those people vow they will watch you 
at your going out, and search every coach for you with 
torches, so as you cannot escape." '^Must we then 
pass the night here ?" asked the bishops. " In all 
probabihty," replied, with a smile, the supporters of 
the bill of exclusion. They got away, however, some 
in the carriages of popular lords, others by private 
passages : but many even of their friends began to 
think their presence was not worth the danger which 
it occasioned.^ Twice did the Upper House claim the 
assistance of the Commons for the repression of these 
outrages ; but the Commons remained silent, or replied 
by complaints of the disorderly behaviour of the Cava- 
liers. " We must not discourage our friends," said the 
popular leaders ; " this being a time when we must make 
use of all friends. Grod forbid the House of Commons 
should proceed in any way to dishearten people to 
obtain their just desires !"^ The Lords applied to the 
magistrates, demanding that the rioters should be pro- 
ceeded against, according to law ; and in obedience to 
an order sealed with the great seal, the justices of 
peace ordered the constables to place guards round 
Westminster Hall to disperse the mob. The Commons 
sent for the constables, treated the order as a breach of 
privilege, and committed one of the justices to the 
Tower. ^ At the same time, the House voted that, as 
the King persisted in refusing them a guard, each 
member should have tlie right to bring one of his 

Parliamentary History, vol. ii. col. 991. 

Ibid., vol. ii. cols. 980, 987. ' Il)id., vol. ii. col. 987. 


servants, and station him at the door, armed as he 
might think fit. 

These riots and clamours, this continual and irre- 
pressible disorder, filled the King with anger and 
alarm. Never, even in his worst apprehensions, had 
he contemplated the possibility of such scenes ; he was 
astonished and indignant that his royal majesty should 
be exposed to such gross insults ; and he began to be 
alarmed not for his power only, but for the safety, or at 
least the dignity, of his life and person. The Queen, 
still more agitated, beset him with her terrors ; and 
the pride of the monarch, and the tenderness of the 
husband, could not endure the idea of danger or 
insult threatening the object of his affections, and the 
partner of liis throne. Looking in every direction for 
some support against the populace, some means of pre- 
venting or punishing their excesses, he resolved to 
remove Sir William Balfour, who was devoted to the 
Commons, from the lieutenancy of the Tower, and to 
replace him by a safe and daring man. Three thousand 
pounds, raised by the sale of some of the Queen's 
jewels, were given to Sir William, to appease his ill 
humour. Sir Thomas Lunsford, one of the boldest 
leaders of the Cavahers who were wont to assemble at 
Wliitehall, was appointed to succeed him.^ At the same 
time, the King assumed a loftier tone towards the Par- 
liament, attempting to intimidate it in his turn. Hyde 
had prepared an able and firm answer to the Remon- 
strance ; Charles adopted it, and ordered that it should 

' Clareudou's History of the Rebellion, vol. ii, pp. 8U, 81. 


be published in his own name.^ Tlie bill on the im- 
pressment of soldiers was still under discussion in both 
Houses ; before it had been presented to him, Charles 
went down to the House, and announced that he would 
not sanction it without the omission of the clause in 
the preamble, which deprived him of the right to order 
impressment.^ No progress was made with regard to 
Irish affairs ; he called upon the Commons to take 
them into immediate consideration, and offered to levy 
ten thousand volunteers, if the House would promise 
to pay them.^ The bishops, on their side, possibly 
with the King's consent, met to deliberate on their 
position. Violence awaited them at the doors of the 
House of Lords : they resolved, therefore, to absent 
themselves from it, and to explain in a protest the 
causes of their retirement, declaring null and void 
every bill that should be adopted without the con- 
currence of all the legitimate and necessary members 
of Parhament. This protest, rapidly prepared, and 
signed by twelve bishops,* was immediately presented 
to the King, who received it with eagerness : it in- 
spired liim with the hope of being one day able to 
annul, on this pretext, the acts of that fatal Parliament 
which he found it impossible to control. At once, 
and without mentioning the matter to his new coun- 

' Clarendon's Life, vol. i. pp. 97 — 100; Parliamentary History, vol. ii. 
cols. 970—977. 

- Parliamentary History, vol. ii. col. 968. 

3 Ibid., vol, ii. col. 991. 

* These were the Archbishop of York, the Bishops of Durham, Lich- 
field, St. Asaph, Oxford, Bath and Wells, Hereford, Ely, Gloucestci-, 
Peterborougli, Llandaft', and Norwich. 


sellers, whose advice he feared far more than he vahied 
their influence, he ordered the Lord Keeper to present 
the protest to the House of Peers that same day, and 
congratulated himself on his skill in contriving for 
himself a better future/ 

The surprise of the Lords' was extreme ; they could 
hardly believe that twelve bishops, whose parlia- 
mentary existence was called in question, could pre- 
sume thus to settle the fate of the Parliament itself, 
and to destroy it by withdrawing from it. The protest 
was communicated without delay to the Commons, 
and received by them with that apparent anger and 
secret joy which the mistakes of an enemy always 
inspire. The impeachment of the bishops was imme- 
diately proposed and resolved upon, for conspiracy 
against the fundamental laws of the realm, and the 
existence of Parliaments.^ Irritated by their impru- 
dence, and perhaps glad of the opportunity to abandon 
a ruined cause without disgrace, even their friends 
were silent ; one voice only rose in their favour, sug- 
gesting that they should be sent to Bedlam, and not 
before the judges.^ The Upper House sanctioned the 
impeachment, and committed the bishops to the 
Tower. Eager to avail themselves of so good an 
opportunity, the leaders of the Commons vigorously 
pushed forward all their attacks. Complaints had 
already been made of the King's declaration with 

■ Parliamentary History, vol. ii. col. 993 ; Clarendon's History of the 
Eebellion, vol. ii. pp. 113 — 116. 

* Parliamentary History, vol. ii. cols. 994 — 996 ; Whitelocke, p. 53. 
^ Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. ii. pp. 117 — 121, 


regard to the Impressment Bill, as destructive of the 
pri^'ileges of the House, which did not permit him to 
take notice of any bill while under discussion. It was 
now insisted that these privileges must be firmly 
secured, as they were the only anchor of safety amid 
impending perils. Displeasure was also expressed at the 
appointment to the Tower of Sir Thomas Lunsford, a 
man of no character, without fortune, piety, or morals, 
known only by his violent hostihty to the people, 
and capable of the most pernicious designs. Already, 
it was said, the alarm was so great in the City that 
merchants and foreigners would no longer deposit 
their bullion in the Mint. The appointment of a new 
governor was therefore demanded. Lord Digby, who 
had become the King's most intimate confidant, was 
denounced for having said that the Parliament was 
not free.^ And finally, reports were current that the 
Queen herself might probably be impeached ere long 
of high treason." 

The King appeared to yield. He took no step in 
favour of the bishops ; withdrew the government of 
the Tower from Lunsford, and gave it to Sir John 
Byron, a man held in general esteem for his prudence 
and honesty ;^ said no more about the riots ; and 
made no complaint about the recent debates. Secret 
reports and vague rumours, however, rendered the 
House uneasy. The Queen, though silent and re- 
served, seemed animated by some hope ,* Lord Digby, 

' Parliamentary History, vol. ii. cols. 969, 982, 1002. 
" Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. ii. p. 231. 
!■ Ibid., vol. ii. p. 82. 


whose presumptuous temerity was well known, had 
frequent interviews with her, and daily grew more 
intimate both with her and the King. The concourse 
of Cavaliers at Wliitehall increased. Without explain- 
ing their fears, the Commons again sent a message to 
demand the restoration of their guard. The King 
made no answer, saying that he must have their peti- 
tion in writing. Upon this delay, the Commons 
ordered arms to be brought into their place of meet- 
ing, as though assured of some immediate danger. 
Three days after, the answer arrived. It was a refusal, 
terminating in these words : — " We do engage unto 
you solemnly the word of a King, that the security of 
all and every one of you from violence is, and shall 
ever be, as much our care as the preservation of us and 
our children." But the House, more alarmed than 
ever, directed the Lord Mayor, Aldermen, and Com- 
mon Council to hold the militia of London in readi- 
ness, and to post strong guards at various points in the 

On that same day, in fact, Sir Edward Herbert, the 
Attorney-Greneral, went to the House of Lords, and, 
in the King's name, impeached of high treason Lord 
Kimbolton and five members of the House of Com- 
mons, Hampden, Pym, Hollis, Strode, and Haslerig. 
The grounds of accusation were, that they had at- 
tempted — 1, to subvert the fundamental laws of the 
kingdom, and to deprive the King of his regal power ; 
2, to alienate the affections of the people from the 

' Parliamentary History, vol. ii. cols. 1002 — 1004 ; Rushworth, partiii. 
vol. i. p. 471 ; Commons'' Journals, vol. ii. p. 916. 


King by odious calumnies ; 3, to excite the army to 
revolt against the King ; 4, to encourage a foreign 
power, Scotland, to invade the country ; 5, to subvert 
the rights and very being of Parliament ; 6, to encou- 
rage seditious assemblages against the King and the 
Parliament, for the piu'pose of securing, by force and 
terror, success to their traitorous designs; and, 7, to 
levy war against the King. Sir Edward required, at 
the same time, that a committee should be formed 
to examine into the charges, and requested that the 
House would be pleased to secure the persons of the 

The Lords remained motionless ; no one had anti- 
cipated any such act, and no one ventured to speak 
first. Lord Kimbolton rose and said that " he was 
ready to obey whatever the Lords should order ; but 
he prayed that, as he had a public charge, he might 
have a public clearing." And he resumed his seat 
amid the same silence. Lord Digby, who was sitting 
by liis side, whispered in his ear, " That the King was 
very mischievously advised, and that it should go very 
hard but he would know whence that counsel pro- 
ceeded." And he left the House at once, as if to seek 
the information he so greatly desired. Yet he it was, 
and he alone, we are assured, who had ui'ged the King 
to this enterprise, pledging himself, moreover, to de- 
mand the immediate arrest of Lord Kimbolton as soon 
as the Attorney-Greneral had impeached him.^ 

' Eushworth, part iii. vol. i. pp. 473, 474. 

^ Ibid., p. 474; Clarendon's History of the Eebellion, vol. ii. p. 125, 


A message was immediately sent from the Lords to 
inform the Commons of the whole affair. They had 
just heard that the King's officers had gone to the 
houses of the five members, and placed seals on all 
their effects. The House instantly voted that such a 
proceeding was a violation of their privileges ; that it 
was the right of the accused persons, and the duty of 
every constable, to resist it ; and that the King's 
officers shoidd be arrested and brought to the bar as 
delinquents. Sir John Hotham was sent to the Lords 
to request a conference without delay, and had orders 
to declare that if the Upper House persisted in 
refusing to unite with the Commons in demanding a 
a guard from the King, they would withdraw to some 
safer place. Whilst they were waiting the answer of 
the Lords, a serjeant-at-arms made his appearance. 
" I am commanded," he said, "by the King's majesty, 
my master, upon my allegiance, that I should come 
and repair to the House of Commons and there require 
of Mr. Speaker five gentlemen, members of the 
House of Commons ; and these gentlemen being deli- 
vered, I am commanded to arrest them, in his Majes- 
ty's name, for high treason." He then proceeded to 
name them. The accused members were present, but not 
one of them moved from his seat. The Speaker ordered 
the serjeant-at-arms to withdraw. Without tumult 
or opposition, the House directed a committee to go, 
while the House was still sitting, and inform his 
Majesty that so important a message could not be 
answered until after mature deliberation. Two of the 
King's ministers, Lord Falkland and Sir John Cole- 


pepper, were members of this committee : they had 
been kept in entire ignorance of the design. The con- 
ference with the Lords was opened : in less than an 
hour it resulted in an order for the removal of the 
seals, and in a joint demand for a guard, which was 
conveyed to the King, in the name of both Houses, 
by the Duke of Richmond, his most honest favourite. 
" I will send an answer to-morrow," rephed the King 
in his turn ; and the Commons adjourned until one 
o'clock on the following day, after ordering the accused 
members to attend in their places as usual. ^ 

On the following day, when the House reassem- 
bled, their anxiety and irritation had increased ; a 
presentiment of some new danger, unknown but cer- 
tain, agitated every mind. The Royalists sat sorrow- 
ful and silent. Among their adversaries, a thousand 
rumours, collected the previous evening, during the 
night, and that very morning, were in circulation. 
The Cavaliers had met, it was said ; the King had 
given them orders to hold themselves in readi- 
ness ; two barrels of gunpowder and a quantity of 
arms had been conveyed from the Tower to White- 
hall f the five members were surrounded by their 
colleagues, each of whom had some conjecture, or 
information, or advice to impart. They were, how- 
ever, better informed than any others. The French 
ambassador, who had long maintained a secret under- 
standing with them, and the Countess of Carlisle, 

' Parliamentary History, vol. ii. cols. 1007 — 1008 ; Rushworth, part iii. 
vol. i. pp. 474 — 476. 

' Rushworth, part iii. vol. i. pp. 476 — 480. 


who, it is said, was Pym's mistress, had informed 
them of the measure that was in contemplation,^ but 
they said nothing about it. All at once arrived Cap- 
tain Langrish, who had recently returned from service 
in France, and whose acquaintance with many of the 
Reformado officers enabled him to watch all that was 
going on. He announced that the King was ap- 
proaching ; that he had seen him leave Whitehall, 
escorted by three or four hundred men, guards. Cava- 
liers, and students, all armed ; and that he was coming 
in person to arrest the accused members. This an- 
nouncement produced the greatest disorder ; but the 
necessity of prompt resolution speedily stilled the 
tumult. The House urged the five members to with- 
draw, for many had already seized their arms, and 
were preparing to resist. Pym, Hampden, Hollis, 
and Haslerig retired at once ; Strode refused to go ; 
in vain was he advised and entreated. The King had 
already entered Palace Yard, when at length his 
friend, Sir Walter Earl, pushed him out by force. 
The remaining members took their seats. The King 
passed through Westminster Hall between a double 
file of his servants ; his guard mounted the stairs of 
the House with him. On reaching the door, he 
forbade his escort, on pain of death, to follow him any 
further, and entered, hat in hand, accompanied only 
by liis nephew, the Count Palatine. All the mem- 
bers rose and uncovered. The King cast a passing 

' Rushworth, part iii. vol. i. p. 477 ; Whitelocke, p. 52 ; Warwick's 
Memoirs, p. 203; Mazure's Histoire de la Revolution de 1688, vol. iii. 
p. 429 ; Memoires de Madame de Motteville, vol. i. p. 266. 


glance at Pym's usual seat, and not seeing him there, 
walked up to the Speaker. " By your leave, Mr. 
Speaker," he said, " I must borrow yom- chair a little." 
Then sitting down, he cast his eyes round the House, 
and thus addressed the members : — " I am sorry, gen- 
tlemen, for this occasion of coming unto you. Yester- 
day I sent a serjeant-at-arms upon a very important 
occasion, to apprehend some that, by my command, 
were accused of high treason, whereunto I did expect 
obedience, and not a message. And I must declare 
unto you here, that albeit no king that ever was in 
England shall be more careful of your privileges, to 
maintain them to the uttermost of his power, than I 
shall be ; yet you must know that, in cases of treason, 
no person hath a privilege. And therefore I am come 
to know if any of those persons that were accused are 
here ; for I must tell you, gentlemen, that so long as 
these persons that I have accused (for no slight crime, 
but for treason) are here, I cannot expect that this 
House will be in the right way that I do heartily 
wish it, and therefore I am come to tell you that I 
must have them wheresoever I find them. Mr. 
Speaker, where are they?" The Speaker fell on his 
knees, and replied — " May it please your Majesty, I 
have neither eye to see nor tongue to speak in this 
place, but as the House is pleased to direct me, whose 
servant I am here. And I humbly beg 3^our Ma- 
jesty's pardon that I cannot now give any other 
answer than this to what your Majesty is pleased to 
demand of me." " Well," returned the King, " since 
I see all the birds are flown, I do expect from you 


tliat you shall send them unto me as soon as they 
retui-n hither. But I assure you, on the word of a 
Kmg, I never did intend any force, but shall proceed 
against them in a legal and fair way, for I never 
meant any other. And now, since I see I cannot do 
what I came for, I think this no unfit occasion to 
repeat what I have said formerly, that whatsoever I 
have done in favour and to the good of my subjects, I 
do mean to maintain it. I will trouble you no more, 
but tell you I do expect, as soon as they come to the 
House, you will send them to me, otherwise I must 
take my own course to find them." And he left the 
chair, still holding his hat in his hand. The House 
remained motionless, but, as the King withdrew, cries 
of " Privilege ! privilege !" burst from all sides. ^ 

As soon as he was gone, the House, without farther 
debate, and even without announcing its intentions, 
adjourned to the following day : all the members went 
out, anxious to learn how far the King's designs had 
been carried, and what was the popular opinion 
regarding them. They found outside, on the staircase, 
in the hall, and at the doors, among their own ser- 
vants who were waiting for them as well as among 
the assembled multitude, an emotion no less strong 
than their own. The insults and threats of the 
Cavaliers formed the general topic of conversation. 
" One of them," says an affidavit of the day, " drew a 
pistol from his pocket, and cursed and swore at the 

' Rushworth, part iii. vol. i. pp. 477, 478 ; Parliamentary History, 
vol. ii. cols. 1009—1012 : Commons' Journals, vol. ii, pp. 366—369 ; 
Whitelocke, pp. 52, 53. 


Parliament for prick-eared, cropt-eared rascals, and 
said he'd kill as many of them as he could." " What !" 
said a young Templar in Ludlow's hearing, " shall we 
suffer these fellows at Westminster to domineer thus ? 
Let us go into the country, and bring up our tenants 
to pull them out." Some even asked : " When wiU 
the order come ?" as though they expected some 
sanguinary outbreak ; and these sayings, passing 
rapidly from mouth to mouth, everywhere produced 
the same indignation.' The five members had with- 
drawn into the City ; the citizens suddenly took 
arms ; the Lord Mayor strove in vain to calm them ; 
strong patrols were spontaneously formed for the 
common safety ; and during the whole evening, bands 
of apprentices patrolled through the streets, crying 
from door to door that the Cavahers were coming to 
set the city on fire ; some even added that the King 
was to command them in person.^ 

The agitation was not less great at Whitehall ; the 
King and Queen had founded the highest hopes on tliis 
bold action ; for some time, it had formed the occupa- 
tion of all their thoughts, and the subject of all their 
conversations, in their secret domestic conferences 
with their most intimate confidants. That very 
morning, at the moment of his departure, the King 
kissed his wife, and promised her that, in an hour, he 
would return master at length of his kingdom ; and 
the Queen, watch in hand, liad counted the minutes 

' Rushworth, part iii. vol. i. pp. 484 — 486 ; Ludlow's Memoirs, 
pp. 10, 11. 

'■^ Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. ii. p. 1:30. 


until his reappearance.' All had failed, and although 
the King still persisted in his design, it was without 
hoping to gain anything by it, or even knowing how 
to accomplish it. Offended and grieved, his wisest 
friends, Falkland, Hyde and Colepepper, kept them- 
selves aloof, and would give him no advice. A pro- 
clamation was pubHshed, ordaining that the ports 
should be closed, and forbidding all persons to receive 
or harbour the accused members ;^ but no one, even at 
the Court, was under any delusion as to the force of 
such orders ; it was well known that the five members 
were together in a house in the City,^ and no one had 
any fear for their safety. Lord Digby alone was 
wilHng to expiate, by his audacity, the imprudence of 
the advice he had given, and his own weakness in the 
House of Lords at the moment of the accusation. He 
offered to go in person, with Lunsford and a few 
Cavaliers, to seize upon the offenders in their retreat, 
and bring them to the King, dead or alive. But 
Charles, either from some remnant of respect for the 
laws, or because he was as timid as rash in character, 
rejected the proposal, and resolved, on the following 
day, to go in person into the City, and solemnly 
demand of the Common Council to dehver up the 
accused members ; hoping by his presence and gra- 
ciousness of speech to win the obedience of the people, 
whose anger he had not had the wisdom to foresee.^ 

' Memoirs of Madame de Motteville, vol. i. p. 265. 

* Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. ii. pp. 129, 130. 
^ Ibid., vol. ii. p. 135. The house was in Coleman Street. 

* Ibid., vol. ii. p. 131 

VOL. I. Z 


At about ten o'clock in the morning, he left 
Wliitehall, without guards, in order to show his entire 
confidence in the affection of his subjects. The streets 
through which he passed were thronged by a sullen 
and gloomy crowd, who tumultuously exhorted him 
to agree with his Parliament.' In some places, more 
menacing cries were heard : the words Privilege ! 
Privilege I resounded on all sides, and a man named 
Walker flung into his carriage a pamplilet entitled 
" To your tents, Israel !" — the cry of revolt of the 
ten tribes of Israel, when they renounced allegiance to 
Eehoboam.^ On his arrival at Guildhall, Charles 
demanded the five members, in afiable and temperate 
language ; declaring at the same time his devotedness 
to the Protestant religion, and his sincerity in the 
concessions he had made, and promising to act in all 
things according to the laws. No applause greeted 
his speech ; like the people, the Common Council were 
grave and sad. The King turned to one of the 
sherifis, who, it is said, was an ardent Presbyterian, 
and told him he would dine with him. The sherifli' 
bowed, and, when the Council had broken up, received 
the King at his house with great pomp and respect. 
But, as he went back to Wliitehall, Charles met with 
no better reception from the crowd than he had done 
in the morning, and he returned to his palace, irritated 
and despondent.^ 

* Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. ii. p. 131 ; Whitelocke, 
p. 53. 

* Rushworth, part iii. vol. i. p. 479. 

^ Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. ii. p. 131 ; Rushworth 
part iii. vol. i. pp. 479, 480. The correspondence of the Marquis de la 


On the same day, the House had met, and resolved 
that, after so enormous a violation of its privileges, so 
long as reparation was not made, and a trusty guard 
appointed to secure it from such perils in future, it 
could not sit freely ; and it had therefore adjourned 
for six days. But, though it had then adjourned, it 
did not cease to act. A Committee,^ invested with 
ample powers, was appointed to sit morning and 
evening in the City, for the purpose of making an 
inquiry into the late breach of privilege, and of 
investigating the general state of the kingdom, and 
particularly of Ireland, in concert with the citizens, 
the faithfid fi-iends of the Parliament. This Committee 
was installed at Guildhall, with great pomp ; a strong 
guard was assigned to them ; a deputation from the 
Common Council waited on them, and placed at their 
disposal all the forces and services of the citizens.^ 
Their sittings were as active as those of the House 
itself; every member was entitled to be present at 
them ; the house which served as an asylum to the 
five culprits was close at hand ; and nothing was done 
without their knowledge or against their advice.^ 
More than once even they attended the Committee in 

Ferte-Imbault, then Ambassador of France in London, gives some 
curious details regarding tlie internal condition of the Court of Charles I. 
at this time, and the hostile intrigues of France and Spain, which 
served to complicate and embitter the parliamentary conflicts. See 
Appendix VII. 

' It was composed of twenty-five members, including two of the 
King's ministers, Lord Falkland and Sir John Colepepper.— Rushworth, 
part iii. vol. i. p. 479. 

^ Clarendon's History of the Eebellion, vol. ii. pp. 132—135. 

* Clarendon's History of the RebelHon,vol.ii. p. 134; Whitelocke, p. 64. 

z 2 


person, and the people cheered them as they passed, 
proud to possess and guard such representatives. In 
the midst of their victory, skilful intrigues, framed to 
augment their zeal, maintained their alarm. Every 
day, the House of Commons and the City contracted a 
closer alliance, and mutually encouraged each other to 
greater boldness.^ At length, on their sole authority, 
it is said, and as if they had constituted the House 
itself, the Committee published a declaration con- 
taining the result of their inquiries f and the Com- 
mon Council addressed a petition to the King, in 
which they complained of his bad councillors, of the 
Cavaliers and Papists, and of the new Governor of the 
Tower, openly embraced the cause of the five members, 
and demanded all the reforms which the Commons 
had indicated.^ 

The King was alone, shut up in Whitehall, dis- 
avowed by his most honest adlierents. Even the 
Cavaliers were intimidated, and either dispersed or 
silenced. He attempted to reply to the petition of 
the Common Council, and again ordered the arrest of 
the five members.^ But his answers were unnoticed, 
and his orders ineffectual. He learned that, within 
two days, the House would resume its sittings ; and 
that the five members were to be escorted with great 
pomp to Westminster, by the militia, the peo]3le, and 
even the Thames boatmen, whose afifection he had 
until then believed he possessed. " What !" he said, 

' Eushworth, part. iii. vol. i. p. 483. 

* Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. ii. p. 155. 
" Rushworth, part iii. vol. i. p. 480. 

* Ibid., pp. 481, 482. 


angrily, ''do even these water rats desert me?" and 
this speech, spreading rapidly among the men, was 
received by them as an insult which called for revenge.' 
Deserted and humiliated, irritated by the general 
outcry which daily assailed him without one voice 
being raised in his defence, Charles could not endure 
the thought of seeing his enemies pass in triumph 
before his palace. The Queen, by turns furious and 
fearful, conjm-ed him to leave the capital. The 
royahsts, and messengers whom he sent to various 
parts of the kingdom, promised him strength and 
safety elsewhere ; the Cavahers, conquered in London, 
boasted of their influence in their respective counties ; 
away from the Parliament, the King would be free ; 
and without the King, what could the Parliament do ? 
This resolution was adopted ; he determined to retire, 
in the first instance, to Hampton Court, and after- 
wards, to a greater distance, if necessary ; secret 
orders were despatched to the governors of several 
places, whose loyalty seemed unquestionable ; the Earl 
of Newcastle set out for the north, where his influence 
was predominant : and on the 1 0th of January, the 
evening before the reassembling of the Commons, 
accompanied only by his wife and children and a few 
servants, Charles left London and that palace of 
Whitehall which he was destined to re-enter only on 
his way to the scaffold.^ 

On the day after his departure, at about two o'clock 

' William Lilly's Observations on the Life and Death of King Charles, 
in Maseres' Select Tracts, vol. i. p. 173. 

* Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. ii. p. 162 ; Rushworth, 


in the afternoon, the Thames was covered with boats, 
carrying small pieces of ordnance, and prepared for 
fight, in which the five members were escorted back 
to Westminster. A multitude of barges, gaily adorned 
with flags, and filled with citizens, followed ; along the 
banks marched the London militia, carrying the last 
declaration of the Parliament at the end of their pikes.' 
An officer, trained in the armies of Gustavus Adol- 
phus. Captain Skippon, had been appointed on the 
previous evening to command them ; he was a coarse, 
illiterate man, but a blunt, bold soldier, very austere 
in his manners, and exceedingly popular in the City. 
An immense crowd thronged after this procession ; and 
as they passed before the deserted palace of Wliite- 
hall, they came to a stand, and asked, with insulting- 
shouts : " What has become of the King and his 
Cavaliers? and whither are they fled?"^ On their 
arrival at Westminster, the five members eulogised in 
glowing language the devotedness of the City to the 
popular cause, and the sheriffs were brought into the 
House and received the thanks of the Speaker. As 
they departed, another procession came up ; four thou- 
sand knights, gentlemen, freeholders, and others, arrived 
on horseback from Buckinghamshire, Hampden's na- 
tive county, to present to the House a petition against 
Papist lords and bad counsellors, and to express their 

part iii. vol. i. p. 564. Commons' Journals, vol. ii. p. 925 ; Whitelocke, 
p. 54. 

' May's History of the Long Parliament, p. 157 ; Rushworth, part iii. 
vol. i. p. 484 ; Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. ii. pp. 164 — 

* Clarendon's History of the RebcUion, vol. ii. p. 164. 


coufidence in their worthy representative ; they had 
also another petition for the House of Peers, and a 
thu'd for the King, and in their hats they wore a 
printed oath to live and die with the Parhament, who- 
ever might be its enemies.' On every side burst forth 
that proud and joyous enthusiasm which authorises 
and conmiands the leaders of the people to adopt the 
boldest resolutions ; the Commons advanced with skil- 
ful daring, yielding to the popular pressure, as the 
pilot gives way to a violent but propitious wind. In 
a few hours, they had voted that no member could be 
arrested, on any pretext, without their consent ; a bill 
was adopted giving the Houses power to adjourn, in 
case of need, to any place they might choose ; an 
address was drawn up to request the King to remove 
Sir John Byron from the government of the Tower ; 
and until his answer should be received, Skippon was 
directed to post guards around the fortress, and to 
watch its approaches with the utmost care ; letters 
were sent to Colonel Groring, the Grovernor of Ports- 
mouth, to forbid him to receive any troops or muni- 
tions of war into the town, without the authority of 
Parliament ; Sir John Hotliam, a rich and influential 
Yorkshire gentleman, was ordered to set out imme- 
diately, and take the command of Hull, an important 
town, the key to the north of England, and the seat of 
extensive arsenals. Finally, two days afterwards, the 
House voted that the kingdom was threatened with 
danger, and should be placed without delay in a state 

' Rushworth, part iii. vol. i. pp. 486 — 488 ; Clarendon's History of 
the Rebellion, vol. ii. pp. 166—170. 


of defence : the Lords refused to join in this declara- 
tion ; but this mattered little ; the object was attained^ 
the people were everywhere on their guard. ^ 

The House had reason to anticipate war, for the 
King's only thought now was how to prepare it. In 
London, he had been powerless and humiliated; but 
when he had once left the capital, he was surrounded 
by none but partizans, was no longer reminded daily 
and hourly of his weakness, and was able to indulge 
freely in the hope of overcoming, by armed force, the 
enemy from whom he had just fled without a combat. 
The Cavaliers also had recovered their presumptuous 
bearing ; already they seemed to think war had been 
declared, and evinced the greatest anxiety to com- 
mence hostilities. On the very day after their de- 
parture, the House learned that two hundred of them, 
commanded by Lunsford, had marched upon Kingston, 
twelve miles from London, where the military stores of 
the county of Surrey were kept, as if with the inten- 
tion of seizing upon the town, and establishing them- 
selves in it ; it was also informed that Lord Digby 
had gone to them on the King's behalf, to thank them 
for their zeal, and come to an understanding with 
them, assuredly for some fatal purpose. The Parlia- 
ment lost no time in taking its measures, and these 
attempts were frustrated. Lord Ligby was so strongly 
denounced that he fled beyond sea.^ Thinking himself 

' Parliamentary History, vol. ii. cols. 1028 — 1035 ; Rushworth, part iii. 
vol. 1. p. 469 ; Clareiidon's History of the Rebellion, vol. ii. pp. 170 — 

''■ Rushworth, part iii. vol. i. p. 469 ; Nalsou's Collection, vol. ii, 
p. 845 ; Parhamentary History, vol. ii. col. 1036 ; Whitelocke, p. 54. 


still too near London, the King left Hampton Court for 
Windsor; Lunsford and his Cavaliers followed him 
thither. There, in a secret council, it was resolved 
that the Queen, taking with her the crown jewels, 
should proceed into Holland to purchase arms and 
ammunition, and to solicit the support of the con- 
tinental princes ; and that she should allege, as the 
pretext for her jommey, the necessity of taking to the 
Prince of Orange, the Princess Henrietta-Maria, a 
mere child, to whom he had been contracted six 
months previously.^ The King, on his part, still 
keeping up his negociations with the Parliament, was 
to retire gradually towards the northern counties, 
where his partizans were most numerous, to take up 
his residence at York, and there await the oppor- 
tunity and means of action. Matters being thus 
arranged, the Queen made her preparations for de- 
parture with great mystery ; and the King requested 
the two Houses to prepare a general statement of 
their grievances and present them to him in one entire 
body, promising to give them immediate satisfaction, 
and thus put an end to their contentions.^ 

The Upper House received this message with joy ; 
the King had numerous friends in that body, and 
many others, alarmed or wearied by the existing state 
of things, only aspired to put an end to the struggle, 
without any thought for the future. But the Com- 
mons, more clear-sighted and resolute, could not be- 

' Clarendon's History of the Eebellion, vol. ii. p. 176 ; Pere d'Orleans, 
Histoire des Revolutions d'Angleteri'e, book ix. p. 87. 
^ Parliamentary Histox-y, vol. ii. cols. 1045, 1046. 


lieve that the King would grant what they demanded, 
or perform what he had promised. His proposition 
was, in their eyes, a mere stratagem to get rid of them 
at a single blow, and, when they were dismissed, to 
resume absolute power. They refused to concur in 
the eager thanks of the Lords, unless the King were 
requested, in the first place, to intrust the command 
of the Tower, of the other forts, and of the militia, to 
men who possessed the confidence of the Parliament.^ 
The House of Peers rejected the amendment, but 
thirty-two lords protested against its rejection -^ and 
the Commons, strong in the support of such a mi- 
nority, addressed their petition to the King in their 
own name alone. He answered by a decided refusal 
as to the Tower and other forts, and in vague and 
evasive language as to the militia -f for he was evi- 
dently bent on making no further concessions, and his 
sole object was to gain time. The Commons, on their 
part, were determined not to lose time ; they were as 
well served at Windsor as in London, for their 
strength was very generally believed in ; they had 
spies and friends everywhere, and were ignorant nei- 
ther of the King's projects, nor of the Queen's intended 
journey, nor of the intrigues of the Court in the 
northern counties and on the Continent.^ The danger 
was pressing ; it might happen that the King would 
be ready for war before the militia question was 

' Parliamentary History, vol. ii. col. 1048. 

^ Ibid., vol. ii. col. 1049. 

3 Rushworth, part iii. vol. i. p. 517. 

■* Clarcudoii'a Iliatory of the Rebellion, vol. ii. p. 234. 


decided, and in that case, how was he to be re- 
sisted? The populace were agitated by bhnder 
but more immediate fears ; there were rumours that 
ammunition had been taken from the Tower; that 
plots existed against the lives of the popular leaders ; 
and great indignation was felt that they should always 
win fruitless victories. A fresh and strong expression 
of pablic feehng could alone, it was thought, surmount 
these new obstacles, arm the zealous, encourage the 
lukewarm, and paralyze the malignant. Petitions 
flowed in from all the counties, and from all classes of 
citizens ; apprentices, small tradesmen, poor artizans, 
London porters, and even women, thronged about 
Westminster Hall to present their addresses. Wlien 
the women first made their appearance, Skippon, who 
commanded the guard, expressed his surprise : " Hear 
us," they cried, "for where there is now one, there 
will be five hundred the next day ; and it is as good 
for us to die here, as at home." He went to the 
House for instructions, and, on his return, gently 
advised them to withdraw. But they returned two 
days after, having chosen Anne Stagg, the wife of a 
wealthy brewer, as their spokeswoman, and bearing a 
petition at the end of which they had taken care to 
explain their reasons for their conduct. " It may be 
thought strange and unbeseeming our sex," they said, 
" to show ourselves by way of petition to this honour- 
able assembly. But Christ has purchased us at as dear 
a rate as he hath done men, and therefore requireth 
of us the like obedience for the same mercy, as of 
men. Women are sharers in the common calamities 


that accompany both Church and Commonwealth, when 
oppression is exercised over the Church and kingdom. 
Therefore we do this, not out of an^^ seK-conceit or 
pride of heart, as seeking to equal ourselves with men, 
either in authority or wisdom ; but, according to our 
places, to discharge that duty we owe to God, and to 
the cause of the Church." Their petition was received, 
and Pym went out to give them an answer. They 
formed in a body around him, in front of the door. 
" Good women," he said, " your petition, with the 
reasons, hath been read in the House, and is thank- 
fully accepted of, and is come in a seasonable time. 
You shall, God willing, receive from us all the satis- 
faction which we can possibly give to your just and 
lawful desires. We entreat you, therefore, to repair 
to your houses, and turn your petition into prayers 
at home for us ; for we have been, are, and shall be, 
to our utmost power, ready to relieve you, your hus- 
bands, and children."' They departed without noise or 
tumult ; furnishing a remarkable instance of sobriety 
amid the vagaries of popular enthusiasm, and of moral 
gravity amid party manoeuvres. 

The petitions were very uniform in character ; they 
all demanded the reformation of the Chui'ch, the 
punishment of the Papists, and the repression of malig- 
nants. Some even went further, and pointed out the 

• Nearly all these petitions were presented between the 20th of 
January and the 5th of February, 1642 ; that of the women was pre- 
sented on the 4th of February. Conamons' Journals, vol. ii. pp. 938— 
961 ; Parhamentary History, cols. 1049—1055, 1072—1076 ; Clarendon's 
History of the Rebellion, vol. ii. pp. 221, 225. 


crying evils of the moment ; and in these, the House 
of Lords was openly threatened. " Let those noble 
wortliies of the House of Peers," they said to the 
Commons, "who concur with your happy votes, he 
earnestly desired to join with your honourable House, 
and to sit and vote as one entire body ; which, we 
hope, will remove from us our destructive fears, and 
prevent that which apprehension will make the wisest 
and peaceablest men to put into execution." "We 
never doubted the House of Commons," cried the 
people at the doors of Westminster Hall, " but we hear 
all sticks in the Lords' House ; and we desire to know 
the names of those peers who hinder the agreement 
between the good Lords and. the Commons."^ Even 
in the House of Lords, the language of the two parties 
began to assume a warlike tone : — " Wliosoever refuses 
to join with the House of Commons, in this particular 
of the mihtia, is, in my opinion, an enemy to the Com- 
monwealth," said the Earl of Northumberland. He was 
called upon to explain himself. "It is our opinion like- 
wise," cried his friends, who had, until then, been in 
the minority on this question. The mob were at the 
doors ; fear seized on the Lords ; several left the 
House ; others changed their views ; Lord Chancellor 
Littleton himself, with a few trifling reservations, 
supported the proposition of the Commons, which at 
length received the sanction of the Tipper House ; and, 
a few days after, the bill for the exclusion of the 

' Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. ii. pp. 224, 225, 


bishops, which had been in suspense for three months, 
was also passed by the Lords. ^ 

This bill was presented to the King separately, as 
the ordinance respecting the militia was not yet drawn 
up. His perplexity was great ; he had just informed 
the Parliament of the Queen's intended journey ; in 
order to appease the Commons, he had officially aban- 
doned all proceedings against the five members ; ^ he 
had even consented to appoint, as Governor of the 
Tower, Sir John Conyers, whom the Commons had 
recommended ; ^ but it had been his hope, by these 
concessions, to avoid doing anything further, and to 
elude all great questions, until he should be ready to 
resist. The exclusion of the bishops was against his 
conscience ; the abandonment of the mihtia would 
place all the force of the country in the hands of his 
adversaries. Meanwhile, he was hard pressed on all 
sides ; even his own councillors did not think he could 
give a total refusal ; Lord Falkland, still supposing him 
to be sincere, constantly advocated concession ; Cole- 
pepper, who was not very devout, but fond of expe- 
dients, strongly insisted on the adoption of the bill 
against the bishops, but said that the militia bill was a 
matter of far greater importance, for, with the sword, 
all might be regained, and it would then be easy to 

> Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. ii. p. 226 ; May's His- 
tory of the Long Parliament, p. 148 ; Parliamentary History, vol. ii. 
cols. 1077, 1367. 

^ Rushworth, part iii. vol. i. p. 492. 

^ Parliamentary History, vol. ii. col. 1087 ; Clarendon's History of 
the Rebellion, vol. ii. p. 236. 


revoke an assent which had been extorted by violence. 
" Is Ned Hyde of that mind ? " asked the King. " No, 
sire," repHed Hyde, " I am not ; nor do I wish that 
either of the bills should be passed." " That is my 
judgment also," said the King, " and I will run the 
hazard." ^ Colepepper went to the Queen, described 
to her the dangers which menaced both the King and 
herself, and pointed out the obstacles which would be 
placed in the way of her journey, now the only means 
of putting the King in a position to defeat his enemies. 
The Queen, as easily inspired by fear as by hope, and 
animated, moreover, by no friendly feelings towards the 
Anghcan bishops, readily allowed herself to be agitated 
and persuaded, by the vehemence of his gestures and 
language. She hastened to her husband, and with 
passionate tears and entreaties, implored him to have 
regard for his safety, for their future happiness, and 
for their children. Charles was unable to resist her ; 
he yielded sorrowfully and repentantly, as he had 
done in Strafford's case, authorized Commissioners to 
sign the bill in his name, said nothing about the 
mihtia, and set out for Dover, where the Queen was to 

He had no sooner arrived there, than he received a 
message from the Commons ; like Colepepper, they 
attached far more importance to the militia bill than 
to the exclusion of the bishops, who were already 
vanquished and in prison. They had hastened to 
draft their bill, in which they had inserted the names 

' Clarendon's Life, vol. i. pp. 114, 115. 


of the lieutenants who were to command in each 
county; and they sohcited its immediate sanction. 
" I have no time to consider of a particular answer for 
a matter of so great a weight as this," said the King ; 
*' therefore, I must respite the same until my return."^ 
As he was retm-ning, after the Queen's embarkation 
(which took place on the 23rd of February), he 
received a second message on the road, at Canterbury, 
insisting still more urgently on an answer. He 
learned at the same time, that the Commons opposed 
the departure of his son Charles, Prince of Wales, 
whom he had directed to meet him at Greenwich, as he 
intended to take him with him into the North ; that 
they had prosecuted the Attorney-General, Herbert, 
for having obeyed his orders in impeaching the five 
members ; and, finally, that they had intercepted and 
opened a letter from Lord Digby to the Queen. So 
much distrust, after so many concessions, offended 
him as deeply as if the concessions had been sincere. 
He treated the messengers very roughly, without, 
however, coming to any decision.^ On liis arrival at 
Greenwich, he found the Prince, whom his tutor, the 
Marquis of Hertford, notwithstanding the prohibition 
of the Commons, had at once taken thither, on re- 
ceiving the King's orders. Then at length, free from 
anxiety respecting his wife and children, he sent his 
answer to the Parliament ;^ he was willing, he said, 
to intrust the command of the militia to the officers 

' Parliamentary History, vol. ii. cols. 1083—1085, 1091, 1097. 

^ Clarendon's Life, vol. i. pp. 119, 121. 

^ Rushworth, part iii. vol. i. p. 521 ; Clarendon's Life, vol. i. p. 124. 


whom they had named, but he must have Kberty to 
dismiss them, if necessary, and they must except from 
the measure the principal towns of the kingdom, 
where the mihtia would remain, as before, under the 
government of their charters, and of the ancient laws. 
Then, without further delay, he set out for York, travel- 
ling by easy stages. At Theobalds, he was overtaken 
by twelve Commissioners from the Parliament. On 
receiving his answer, both Houses had voted that it 
was a positive refusal ; that, if he persisted in it, they 
would dispose of the militia without his sanction ; and 
that his return to London could alone avert the evils 
with which the kingdom was threatened. The tone 
of the messsage was rough, as though the Houses 
wished to intimate that they knew their strength, and 
would not fear to use it. " I am so much amazed 
at this message," said the King, " that I know not 
what to answer. You speak of jealousies and fears ; 
lay your hands to your hearts, and ask yourselves 
whether I may not likewise be disturbed with fears 
and jealousies ? And if so, I assure you this message 
hath nothing lessened them. For the militia, I 
thought so much of it before I sent that answer, and 
am so much assured that the answer is agreeable to 
what in justice or reason you can ask, or T in honour 
grant, that I shall not alter it in any point. For 
my residence near you, I wish it might be so safe and 
honourable, that I had no cause to absent myself from 
Whitehall ; ask yourselves whether I have not. For 
my son, I shall take that care of him which shall 
justify me to God as a father, and to my dominions 

VOL. I. 2 A 


as a king. To conclude, I assure you, upon my 
honour, that I have no thought but of peace and 
justice to my people, which I shall by all fair means 
seek to preserve and maintain, relying upon the 
goodness and providence of God, for the preservation 
of myself and rights."^ And he continued his journej'-. 
A week after, at Newmarket, other Commissioners 
presented themselves ; they brought with them a 
declaration, in which the Parliament, enumerating all 
its grievances and fears, justified its conduct, and 
conjured the King to return to London, to come to an 
understanding with his people, and thus to dissipate 
the dark forebodings which agitated all minds. Deep 
emotion was evident in the firm language of the 
declaration, and it was equally manifest at the inter- 
view between the King and the Commissioners ; their 
conversation was long, earnest, and familiar, as 
between men deeply afiected by the prospect of an 
imminent rupture, and still striving to persuade each 
other to be reconciled ; it was clear that, though they 
no longer hesitated, though they had no means of 
reconcihation, though they judged a contest inevitable, 
and were firmly resolved to maintain it, yet both 
parties engaged in the conflict with unfeigned regret, 
and made a last efibrt to avert it, with earnestness, 
though without hope. "What would you have?" 
said the King. " Have I violated your laws ? Have 
I denied to pass any one bill for the ease and security 
of my subjects ? I do not ask you what you have 

' Clarendon's Life, vol. i. p. 127 ; Rushworth, part iii. vol. i. pp. 523, 


done for me. Have any of my people been transported 
with fears and apprehensions ? I have offered as free 
and general a pardon as yourselves can devise ? What 
have I denied the ParUament ? " The Earl of Hol- 
land instanced the militia. "That was no bill," 
replied the King, "and I have not denied it." The 
Earl then endeavoured to persuade his Majesty to 
resume his residence near the Parliament. " I would 
you had given me cause," said the King ; " but I am 
sure that this declaration is not the way to it ; and in 
all Aristotle's Ehetoric, there is no such argument of 
persuasion." The Earl of Pembroke reminded his 
Majesty that the Parliament had hunbly besought 
him to come near them. " I have learned by your 
declaration," answered the King, " that words are not 
sufficient." Lord Pembroke entreated his Majesty to 
express what he would have. *' I would whip a boy 
in Westminster school," said Charles, " that could not 
tell that by my answer ; but you are iiriich mistaken 
if you think my answer a denial." "Well," said 
Lord Pembroke, " may not the militia be granted, as 
is desired by the Parliament, for a time ?" " By God ! 
not for an hour," exclaimed the King ; " you have 
asked that of me in this, which was never asked of a 
king, and with which I will not trust my wife and 
childi'en." Then, turning to the Commissioners of the 
Commons, he added : — " The business of Ireland will 
never be done in the way you are in ; four hundred 
will never do that work, it must be put in the hands 
of one. If I were trusted with it, I would pawn my 
head to end that work ; and thougli I am a beggar 

2 A 2 


myself, yet I can find money for that."' These last 
words revived every suspicion ; they were regarded as 
an acknowledgment of the possession of secret re- 
sources, and as indicative of a design to render the 
Parliament unpopular, by imputing to it the disorders 
of Ireland, and also of a desire to find himself alone 
at the head of an army of which he could dispose at 
his pleasure. The conference was carried no further ; 
the Commissioners returned to London ; the King 
continued his journey, and arrived at York without 
any other incident. 

Then commenced, between the Parliament and the 
King, a conflict previously unexampled in Europe — 
a clear and glorious symptom of the social revolution 
which then took its rise, and is now in process of ac- 
complishment. Negociations were still continued, but 
neither party expected any result from them, or even 
had any intention to treat. It was no longer to one 
another that they addressed their declarations and 
messages ; both appealed to the whole nation, to public 
opinion ; to this new power both seemed to look for 
strength and success. The origin and extent of the 
royal authority, the privileges of the Houses of Parlia- 
ment, the limits of the fidehty due from subjects, the 
militia, the petitions for the redress of grievances, and 

' This conversation is taken from a pamphlet pubhshed in London 
by W. Gaye, immediately after the return of the Commissioners, and 
which contained a narrative of all that had passed between them and 
the King. The printer of this pamphlet was sent for and questioned 
by the House of Lords ; but, upon his saying that he had the copy 
from the Lord Keeper's clerk, he was dismissed. — Parliamentary His- 
tory, vol. ii. cols. 1126, 1127 ; Rushworth, part iii. vol. i. pp. 526 — 533. 


the distribution of public employments became the 
subjects of an official controversy, in v^hich the 
general principles of social order, the various nature of 
governments, the primitive rights of liberty, the his- 
tory, laws and customs of England, were alternately 
quoted, explained, and commented upon. In the in- 
terval between the disputes of the two parties in 
Parhament, and their armed encounter on the field of 
battle, reason and learning interposed, as it were, for 
several months, to suspend the course of events, and 
to put forth their ablest efforts to obtain the free con- 
currence of the people, by stamping either cause with 
the impress of legitimacy. At the opening of the 
Parliament, England had neither expected nor desired 
a revolution : the Dissenters alone meditated one in 
the Church. A return to legal order, the restoration of 
ancient liberties, and the reformation of actual and 
pressing abuses were, in the country's belief at least, 
the sole wish and hope of the nation. The leaders 
themselves, though bolder and more enlightened, had 
formed no vaster projects ; the energy of their will 
exceeded the ambition of their thoughts ; and they 
had gone onward, from day to day, without any remote 
object or systematic design, by the mere progressive 
development of their position, and in order to satisfy 
urgent necessities. When the time came for drawing 
the sword, all were astonished and deeply moved ; not 
that their hearts were timid, or that civil war in general 
was regarded by either Parliament or people as any- 
thing unprecedented or criminal ; on the contrary, they 
were proud to read of its triumphs in the Great Charter, 


and in the history of their country : more than once 
they had hraved their masters, and had taken away and 
bestowed the crown ; but those times were ah-eady so 
distant that they had forgotten the miseries which they 
entailed, and only remembered the glorious examples 
which they famished of their energy and power. But 
it had always been in the name of the laws, of certain 
and admitted rights, that resistance had been declared : 
in achieving liberty, England had always considered 
herself as merely defending her inheritance; and to 
the words law and legal order, that popular and spon- 
taneous respect was attached, which rejects discussion 
and sanctions the most audacious designs. Now, how- 
ever, both parties mutually accused each other of 
illegality and innovation, and both were justified in 
making the charge ; for the one had violated the 
ancient rights of the country, and had not abjured the 
maxims of tyranny ; and the other demanded, in the 
name of principles still confused and chaotic, liberties 
and a power which had until then been unknown. 
Both felt the necessity of throwing the mantle of 
legahty over their pretensions and acts ; both under- 
took to justify themselves, not only according to 
reason, but according to law. In their train, the 
whole nation rushed eagerly into the hsts, agitated, to 
a greater extent than their leaders, by feehngs that 
seemed contradictory, and yet were all equally sincere. 
Scarcely emancipated from an oppression which the 
laws of their ancestors had condemned without being 
able to prevent, they engaged ardently in the search 
for more effectual guarantees : but yet their hopes 


were still attached to those very laws, whose power- 
lessness they had so recently experienced. New be- 
liefs, new ideas, were fermenting in their minds ; they 
clung to them with pure and lively faith, giving way, 
with powerful confidence, to that enthusiasm which 
seeks the triumph of truth, no matter at what price ; 
and yet, at the same time, modest in their thoughts, 
tenderly faitliful to their old habits, and fall of respect 
for their ancient laws, they dehghted in the behef that, 
far from making any changes, they were merely paying- 
homage to their ancestral institutions, and restoring 
them to vigorous operation. Hence arose a singular 
mixture of boldness and timidity, sincerity and hypo- 
crisy, in the pubhcations of all kinds, official or other- 
wise, with which England was then inundated. The 
ardour of the national mind was unbounded, the move- 
ment universal, unprecedented, and mirestrained ; in 
London, in York, in all the large towns of the kingdom, 
pamplilets, periodical and irregular journals, were 
multiphed and diffused in every direction ; political, 
religious and historical questions, news, sermons, plans, 
advice and invectives — all found a place in them, all 
were related and discussed :^ voluntary messengers 
hawked them about the comitry ; at the assizes, on the 
market-days, at the doors of churches, the crowd 
flocked to purchase or read them ; and in this simul- 
taneous outburst of heterogeneous thoughts, in the 

' These are the titles of some of these pubhcations : — Mercurius, 
with the affixes of AuUcus, Britannicus, Rusticus, Pragmaticus, FoUticus, 
Lunaticus, and so forth ; Diurnal Occurrences, Parliament Scout, Parlia- 
mentary Intelligencer, Special Passages, &c., &c., &c. 


midst of this novel appeal to popular opinion, whilst 
at the core of both actions and writings there already 
prevailed the principle of national sovereignty in 
conflict with the Divine right of kings, yet the 
statutes of the realm, the jurisprudence, traditions, and 
usages of the country were incessantly invoked as the 
only legitimate umpires in the dispute ; and revolution 
was everywhere existent, without any one daring to 
proclaim the fact, or perhaps even to avow it to him- 

In this state of the public mind, the moral position 
of the Parliament was a false one, for it was by its 
means and to its advantage that the revolution was 
to be effected ; compelled at once to promote and 
disavow it, its actions and language belied each other 
in turn, and it fluctuated painfully between bold- 
ness and artifice, violence and hypocrisy. Considered 
as exceptional maxims and measures, applicable to 
critical emergencies, but ceasing with the necessity 
which called them forth, its principles were true and 
its resolutions legitimate ; but parties will not thus 
rest satisfied with the possession of a merely ephemeral 
legitimacy, people will never feel enthusiastic devotion 
to the doctrines and interests of a day : at the very 
moment when the present alone sways them so as to 
decide both their opinions and their acts, they love to 
believe in the perpetuity of their ideas and deeds, and 
assume to regulate the future in the name of eternal 
truth. Not content with possessing itself of the 
sovereign power, the Parliament voted, as a funda- 
mental principle and definition, as it were, of the legal 


order of the country, that the command of the militia 
did not belong to the King, that he could not refuse 
his sanction to bills desired by the people, that the 
Houses of ParHament, without his concurrence, had the 
right to declare what was the law, and finally, that it 
was good and lawful to solicit by petitions the altera- 
tion of existing customs or statutes, but that every 
petition for their maintenance should be rejected as 
unnecessary.' Notwithstanding the uncertainty and 
diversity of ancient examples, maxims such as these, 
if converted into public and permanent law, were evi- 
dently contrary to the historical foundations, the 
regular state, and even the very existence, of monar- 
chy. The King hastened to take advantage of this. 
In his turn, he spoke in the name of Old England, her 
laws, and recollections. Able and learned champions 
undertook to maintain his cause. Edward Hyde, who 
was still in London, prepared, sometimes single-handed, 
and sometimes in concert with Lord Falkland, answers 
to all the publications of the Parhament. Transmitted 
to York, in all haste, by secret messengers, these 
documents were delivered to the King alone, who 
spent whole nights in copying them with his own 
hand, that no one might know their author, and after- 
wards published them in the name of his Council.^ 
Written with great skill and clearness, sometimes even 
with cutting irony, they aimed more especially to 
reveal the subtle intrigues, the artifices, and the ille- 
gality of the pretensions, of the Parliament. Charles 

' Clarendon's History of the Eebellion, vol. ii. pp. 404 — 408 ; Parlia- 
mentary History, vol. ii. col. 1140. 

* Clarendon's Life, vol. i. pp. 123, 124 ; Warwick's Memoirs, p. 209. 


no longer governed ; he had no actual tyranny to 
defend ; he could be silent as to his secret principles, 
his ultimate designs, and his despotic hopes, and could 
invoke the law, in his turn, against his enemies, who 
had now become the reigning despots. So great was 
the effect of these royal publications that the ParHa- 
ment used every effort to suppress them, whilst the 
King printed the messages of the Parliament on the 
same sheet with his answers.' The royalist party 
visibly increased ; it ere long grew bold, and turned 
the weapons of Hberty against its adversaries, George 
Benyon, a rich city merchant, addressed a petition to 
Parhament against the ordinance respecting the 
militia, and many influential citizens signed it with 
him.^ The gentlemen of Kent met to adopt one in 
favour of prerogative and episcopacy ; several members 
of Parliament, among others Sir Edward Dering, who 
first introduced the bill against the bishops, openly 
encouraged these proceedings.^ The royalist pamphlets 
enjoyed a wide circulation, and met with great favour; 
they were frequently haughty, and written with a tone 
of elegant and disdainful superiority ; even among the 
people, abuse of the leaders of the Commons found 
welcome and credence : so the pamphlets spoke with 
derisive scorn of " King Pym," and the " sugar-loaves " 
which he had formerly received as a present, and of 
the " ten thousand pounds of the King's money," 
which, it was said, he had just given his daughter as a 

' Rushworth, part iii. vol. i. p. 751. 

^ Parliamentary History, vol. ii. col. 1150. 

^ At the Maidstone Assizes. Ibid., vol. ii. col. 1147. 


marriage-portion ; and of the cowardice of the Earl of 
Warwick, " whose heart was in his boots ;" and a 
thousand other coarse insults, which, a short time 
before, no one would have cared to repeat, or even 
to hear.^ In the Parliament also, the King's friends 
acted with greater pride and susceptibility ; men who 
had previously been silent, such as Sir Ealph Hopton 
and Lord Herbert, haughtily repelled all insinuations 
offensive to his honour. It was clear that, in the eyes 
of many persons, his cause was assuming a favourable 
aspect, and that they would uphold it in case of need, 
for they no longer hesitated to avow it. ParHament 
took the alarm ; the self-love of the leaders was 
wounded; long used to enjoy popularity, they could 
not patiently endure insult and contempt, and it 
irritated them to think that, in this paper warfare, 
their enemies seemed to have the advantage. Accord- 
ingly, they resolved, as much from ill-humour as from 
motives of policy, to meet this new danger with 
tyranny. All freedom of discussion ceased ; Sir Ealph 
Hopton was sent to the Tower ;^ Lord Herbert 
was censured and threatened ;^ George Benyon and Sir 
Edward Dering were impeached ;^ and the petition from 
the county of Kent was set aside.^ A report was spread 
that it was to be renewed; Cromwell hastened to 
communicate this to the Commons, and received in- 
structions to take measures to prevent the recurrence 

' Parliamentary History, vol. ii. cols. 1164, 1405. 

* Ibid., vol. ii.col. 1118. ^ Ibid., vol. ii. col. 1242. 

* Ibid., vol. ii. cols. 1149, 1188. ' Ibid., vol. ii. col. 1147. 


of the danger.^ Making as yet but little figure in the 
House, though abeady more skilled and more deeply 
involved than any other in the intrigues of the revo- 
lution, it was in these external duties of exciting the 
people, and of watching, denouncing, and frustrating 
the royalists, that his activity and influence were at 
this time employed. 

An immediate war was no longer doubtful ; the two 
parties could no longer live together, or even sit 
within the same walls. Every day members of Par- 
Kament left London, some retiring in disgust or alarm 
to their estates, others proceeding elsewhere to seek 
new weapons against their enemies, far from a town 
where they felt themselves defeated. Most of them 
repaired to the King, who had already been joined by 
nearly all his councillors.^ An unexpected incident 
occurred to quicken this emigration, and irrevocably to 
sunder the two parties. On the 23rd of April, the 
King, at the head of three hundi-ed horse, advanced 
towards Hull, and required Sir John Hotham, the 
governor, to deliver the town into his hands. Weak 
and irresolute, moved by no bitter animosity against 
the Crown, and unprovided with instructions for the 
regulation of his conduct in such an emergency, Sir 
John, in a state of the utmost perplexity, sent to 
beseech the King to wait until he had informed the 
ParHament of his demand. But Charles still advanced, 
and appeared beneath the walls at eleven o'clock. He 

' Parliamentary History, vol. ii. col. 1 194. 

^ Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. ii. p. 538 ; May's History 
of the Long Parliament, p. 176. 


had already opened communications witli the town : 
on the previous evening, his son James, Duke of York, 
his nephew the Count Palatine, and Lord Newport, 
had entered Hull under the pretext of spending a day 
there. The mayor and several of the citizens were 
proceeding towards the gates to give the king admis- 
sion, when Hotham ordered them to return home, and, 
accompanied by his officers, went to the ramparts. 
There the King in person summoned him to admit 
him. Sir John fell on his knees, and with great 
anguish begged pardon for refusing to do so, on the 
ground of the oath he had taken to keep the place at 
the disposal of the Parliament. Violent mui-murs 
arose among the Cavaliers who surrounded the King ; 
they threatened Sir John, calling him a rebel and 
traitor. " Kill him !" they cried to the officers of the 
garrison ; " throw him over the wall !" But it was the 
officers who had induced the governor to resist. In 
vain did Charles himself attempt to intimidate or 
cajole them : after a long parley, he withdrew, but to 
a short distance only, and in an hour's time, sent to 
request Sir John to admit him alone, with twenty 
horse. Sir John refused this also. " If his person 
had been in but with half that number," he wrote to 
the Parliament, " I should have been noways master 
of the town." The King returned to the foot of the 
ramparts, ordered Hotham and his adherents to be 
proclaimed traitors, and on the same day addressed a 
message to Parliament, to demand j ustice for such an 
outrageous insult.^ 

' Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. ii. p. 383 ; Rushworth, 


The Parliament justified all their governor had 
done, and rephed to the King that the town and 
arsenals were not personal property of which he could 
claim possession in virtue of the law, as a citizen might 
claim his houses or lands ; but that they were merely 
given him in trust for the safety of the realm, and that 
the same cause might authorise the Parliament to seize 
them for the public advantage.^ The answer was frank 
and legitimate, but it was equivalent to a declaration 
of war. It was regarded as such by both parties. 
Thirty -two lords and more than sixty members of the 
House of Commons, Mr. Hyde among others, set out 
for York." The Earls of Essex and Holland, the 
former of whom was Lord Chamberlain, and the other 
first gentleman of the bed-chamber, received orders 
from the King to join him, for he was desirous to 
secure their persons, and to deprive the Parliament of 
their support. With the sanction of the House of 
Peers, they refused to obey, and lost their offices.^ 
Lord Chancellor Littleton, after long and pusillanimous 

part iii. vol. i. p. 567 ; Parliamentary History, vol. ii. col. 1197, in wliich 
wiU be found the letter from Hotham to the Parliament relating the 

' Parhamentary History, vol. ii. cols. 1188, 1193, 1204, 1209. 

'^ May's History of the Long Parhament, p. 175 ; Clarendon's Life, 
vol. i. pp. 135—146. On the 16th of June, 1642, the House of Com- 
mons was called over, and sixty-five members were found to be absent 
without any known and legitimate excuse ; it was proposed that they 
should iiot be allowed to resume their seats until they had justified 
their absence, and this motion was carried by a majority of fifty-five 
votes ; it was also proposed that a fine of 201. should be imposed upon 
them, but this proposition was rejected by a majoi'ity of twenty-one 
votes. — Parhamentary History, vol. ii. col. 1373. 

^ Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. ii. p. 163 ; Parliamentary 
History, vol. ii. cols. 1171 — 1173. 


hesitation, sent the great seal to the King, and escaped 
himself on the following day.^ This produced a great 
sensation in London, for legal government seemed 
inseparably connected with the possession of the great 
seal. The Upper House seemed ill at ease, and almost 
ready to give way. But the energy of the Commons 
prevented all indecision. The absent members were 
twice summoned to resume their seats ;^ on the formal 
refusal of nine lords to do so, prosecutions were insti- 
tuted against them ;^ all citizens were forbidden to 
take arms at the King's command;^ instructions were 
sent into all the counties to direct the organization of 
the mihtia ;^ and in many places it had already been 
formed and exercised spontaneously. The transfer of 
the military stores from Hull to London was ordered, 
and effected in spite of all obstacles.^ The King had 
commanded that the Westminster assizes should be 
transferred to York, in order that he might concentrate 
the entire legal government at the place of liis re- 
sidence ; but the Parliament opposed tliis, and its orders 
were obeyed.' Finally, the Commons appointed a com- 
mittee to negociate a loan in the City, without specifying 
the object to which the money was to be applied;^ and 
Commissioners were despatched to York, all of them 
wealthy and influential gentlemen of that county, with 
orders to reside near the King, whatever he might say 

' Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. ii. pp. 487 — 502. 

* Parliamentaiy History, vol. ii. cols. 1296, 1327. 

» Ibid., vol. ii. col. 1368. * Ibid., vol. ii. col. 1235. 

* Ibid., vol. ii. col. 1.328. « Ibid., vol. ii. col. 1319. 
7 Ibid., vol. ii. col. 1233. « Ibid., vol. ii. col. 1323. 


to the contrary, and to send a report to Parliament of 
all tliat occurred within th^ir observation.^ 

The firmness of the Commissioners was equal to the 
perilous character of their mission. " Gentlemen," said 
the King to them, on their arrival, " why have you 
come here ? I command you to depart. If you will 
positively disobey me, and stay here, I would advise 
you not to make any party, or hinder my service in the 
country ; for, if you do, I will clap you up." ~ They 
answered respectfully, but remained, exposed daily to 
insult and frequently to threats, rarely at liberty to go 
out, but acting secretly, observing all that passed, and 
sending full information to the Parliament. The 
movement was, comparatively, as great at York as in 
London : the King was beginning to raise a guard ; 
but as he did not dare imperiously to require this 
service, he had called together the gentlemen of the 
neighbom'hood, in the hope of obtaining it from their 
zeal. The meeting was numerous and animated;^ 
prolonged acclamations greeted the King's words; and 
the Commissioners of the Parliament were received 
with hissings and hootings. But, on the same day, 
there arrived at York several thousand freeholders and 
farmers, who had carefully been excluded from the 

' Parliamentary History, vol. ii. cols. 1206, 1210—1212. These Com- 
missioners were the Lords Howard and Fairfax, Sir Hugh Cholmon- 
deley. Sir Henry Cholmondeley, and Sir Philip Stapletou. 

* See the letter from the Committee at York to the Parliament, in 
the Parliamentary History, vol. ii. col. 1222 ; Clarendon's History of 
the Eebellion, vol. ii. p. 423. 

^ May's History of the Long Parliament, p. 171 ; Clarendon's History 
of the Rebellion, vol. ii. p. 429. 


invitation to tlie meeting ; they had, they said, as much 
right as the gentlemen to dehberate on the affairs of the 
country, and they presented themselves at the door of 
the room in which the royalists were assembled. They 
were refused admittance ; and accordingly, they held a 
meeting elsewhere, and protested against the measures 
which they had heard were to be adopted by the 
gentry. Even these were divided ; — when the propo- 
sition was made for levying a guard, more than fifty 
gentlemen signed a protest against it ; at their head 
was Sir Thomas Fairfax,^ yo^ig and unknown as yet, 
but already one of the most courageous and sincere 
patriots the country could boast. ^ Charles was in- 
timidated, and announced a second meeting, to which 
all the freeholders were to be invited ; the Commis- 
sioners of the Parliament were forbidden to attend it ; 
but it was held on Heyworth Moor, near their resi- 
dence, and their friends came to them continually for 
advice and encouragement. More than forty thousand 
men were present, gentlemen, freeholders, farmers, 
and townspeople, on foot and horseback, some stand- 
ing in groups, others walking about over the moor, to 
speak to their friends and rally them together. Ere 
long the Cavaliers perceived that a petition was cir- 
culating, the pui'port of which was to beseech the 
King to banish all thouglits of war, and to come to an 
understanding with his Parliament. They burst into 
invectives and menaces, riding violently among the 

' Born in January, 1611, at Denton, in Yorkshire. 
* Letter from the Committee at York to the Parliament, May 13, 
1642 ; Pariiamentary History, vol. ii. cols. 1226—1233. 

VOL. I. 2 15 


groups, snatching the copies of the petition from those 
who were reading it, and declaring that the King 
should not receive it.^ Charles arrived, in great 
embarrassment and ill-humour, not knowing what to 
say to the multitude, whose presence and enthusiasm 
had already offended his impolitic gravity. After 
reading an equivocal declaration, he was about to 
retire in all haste, to avoid any protest, when young 
Fairfax succeeded in getting near him, fell suddenly 
on his knees, and laid the petition on the pommel of 
his saddle, thus braving, even at his feet, the anger 
of the King, who urged his horse rouglily against him, 
but in vain, in order to force him to withch'aw.^ 

So much boldness in presence of the King, in the 
county most thoroughly devoted to his cause, inti- 
midated the Eoyalists, especially those who had 
recently arrived from London, with their minds im- 
pressed with a sense of the power and energy of the 
Parliament. It was already a great deal, they 
thought, to have given their prince a perilous proof of 
their zeal, by coming to join him ; — they had no 
desire to compromise themselves more deeply ; and, 
once arrived at York, they proved themselves unen- 
thusiastic and timid.^ Charles demanded from them a 
declaration of the motives which had constrained them 

' Sixth letter from the Committee at York to the Parhament, June 
4, 1642 ; Letter from Sir John Bovirchier, who was pi-esent at the meet- 
ing on Heyworth Moor, to his cousin. Sir Thomas Barrington, a member 
of the House of Commons ; Parhamcntary History, vol. ii. cols. 1345 — 

^ Carte'.s Life of Ormond, vol. i. p. 357. 

^ Clarendon's History of tlie Rebellion, vol. iii. p. 81 — 84. 


to leave London ; he wanted it in order to prove that, 
after all the acts of riot and violence which had been 
perpetrated, the ParHament, being no longer free, had 
also ceased to be legal. They signed it ; but, on the 
following day, several of them told the King that, if 
he pubhshed it, they would be obliged to disavow it. 
" What do you expect me to do with it, then ? " asked 
Charles, angrily ; but they persisted, and the declara- 
tion did not appear.^ Notwithstanding the concourse 
and bravadoes of the Cavahers, nothing was done ; on 
the contrary, money, arms, ammunition, and even pro- 
visions, were aU wanting at York ; the King scarcely 
had the means of supplying his table, and meeting the 
ordinary expenses of his household.^ The Queen had 
sold some of the Crown jewels in Holland ; but so 
great was the power of the tlireats of the ParHament, 
that a long time elapsed before she could find means to 
transmit the proceeds to the King.^ He forbade all 
his subjects to obey the ordinance respecting the 
militia,^ and gave, under his own hand, commissions 
to the Eoyahst leaders, in each county, to raise and 
organize it in his name.^ But, immediately, in order 
to diminish the effect of this measure, he protested that 
he had no idea of making war ; and the Lords present 
at York declared, by an official manifesto, which was 

* Clarendon's History of the Eebellion, vol. iii. pp. 67 — 69. 

* Ibid., vol. iii. pp. 101, 102. 
3 Ibid., vol. iii. p. 102. 

■* Rusbworth, part iii. vol. i. p. 550. 

* The first commission of this sort was given to Lord Hastings for 
Leicestershire, and is dated on the 11th of June, 1G42. — Rushworth, 
part iii. vol. i. pp. 655 — 658. 

2 B 2 


carefully circulated, that, as far as they knew, no prepa- 
rations or proceedings on his part announced any such 
intention/ All this indecision and falsehood was not 
occasioned by weakness alone : since the arrival of the 
deserters from the Parliament, Charles had been a prey 
to the most conflicting counsels ; feehng convinced 
that their surest strength resided in the popular respect 
for legal order, the lawyers, magistrates, and all the 
more sensible men advised him, henceforward, by a 
strict observance of the laws, to throw on the Parlia- 
ment alone the discredit of violating them ; while the 
Cavahers exclaimed, on the other hand, that delay 
was ruining all their prospects, and that, under all 
circumstances, it was best to anticij)ate the enemy ; 
and Charles, unable to do without the support of either 
opinion, endeavoured, by turns, to satisfy them both. 

The position of the Parliament, on the contrary, 
had become greatly simplified; the withdrawal of so 
large a number of royahst members had left the revo- 
lutionary leaders in the undisputed possession of power ; 
some voices were still raised in opposition, but they 
were reduced to the melancholy task of deploring and 
warning ; scarcely any one took the trouble to reply to 
them. A decided majority, considering war inevitable, 
had boldly made up their minds to accept it, although 
with very different views and feelings. To keep up 
appearances, a committee was appointed to devise 

' This declaration, dated on the 15th of June, 1642, was signed by 
forty-five lords or members of the Privy Council. Parliamentary His- 
tory, vol. ii. cols. 1373 — 1375 ; Clarendon's History of the Rebellion' 
vol. iii. pp. 71, 72. 


means for preventing it ; ^ propositions of accommoda- 
tion, in nineteen articles, were even prepared and 
formally communicated to the King." But while 
awaiting his answer, care was taken to suppress every 
petition that was favourable to the maintenance of 
peace ; ^ and military preparations were openly and 
vigorously pushed forward. Charles had offered to go 
in person to repress the rebellion in Ireland, which 
every day became more violent ; his offer was rejected.^ 
He refused to appoint Lord Warwick, whom the 
Commons had recommended, to the command of the 
fleet ; Warwick assumed the office in spite of his 
refusal.^ Sir Richard Gourney, the Lord Mayor, had 
not hesitated to publish in London the King's com- 
mission, ordering that the militia should be raised for 
his service and in his name ; he was impeached, sent 
to the Tower, dismissed from his office, and Alderman 
Pennington, a zealous Puritan, was appointed in his 
stead.® The City advanced a hundred thousand 
pounds ;' a similar sum was taken from the funds 
intended for the relief of Ireland;^ a subscription was 

' Parliamentaiy History, vol. ii. col. 1 31 9. 

"■' Ibid., vol. ii. cols. 1324, 1327 ; May's History of the Long Parlia- 
ment, p. 189. 

* Among others, a petition prepared at the beginning of June, in 
Somersetshire. Parliamentary History, vol. ii. col. 1366, 

* Parhamentary History, vol. ii. cols. 1169, 1172. 

' May's History of the Long Parliament, p. 209 ; Parliamentary His- 
tory, vol. ii. cols. 1164, 1165. 

^ Parhamentary History, vol. ii. cols. 1203, 1403, 1452 ; State Trials, 
vol. iv. col. 159. 

" Parhamentary History, vol. ii. col. 1328. 

^ May's History of the Long Parliament, p. 231 ; Parliamentary His- 
tory, vol. ii. cols. 1443 — 1448. 


opened in both Houses, and eacli member was called 
upon in liis turn, and requested to state liis intentions. 
Some refused to do so : " If there be occasion," said 
Sir Henry Killigrew, " I will provide a good horse and 
a good sword, and make no question but I shall find a 
good cause." But he left London immediately, for 
after such a speech, he could not have passed through 
the streets without being exposed to insult and 
danger.^ The ardour of the people had reached its 
climax ; but, both in the City and at Westminster, the 
departure of the Royahst members had filled their 
adlierents with despondency. The Parhament made 
an ajDpeal to the patriotism of tlie citizens ; money, 
plate, and jewels, were all put in requisition for the 
equipment of a few squadrons of cavalry, and interest 
at eight per cent, was promised. The pulpits re- 
sounded with the exhortations of the preachers ; and 
the result surpassed even the demands of the most 
passionate, and the expectations of the most confident. 
During ten days, an immense quantity of plate was 
brought to Guildhall — so much, indeed, that there were 
not men enough to receive it, or room enough to hold 
it ; poor women brought their wedding rings, and the 
gold or silver pins with which they fastened their hair ; 
and many of them had to wait a very long while 
before their offerings could be taken from their hands. ^ 
Informed of this success on the part of the Commons, 
Charles resolved to try the same method of raising 

' Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. iii. p. 63. 
^ May's History of the Long Parliament, p. 212; Clarendon's History 
of the Eebellion, vol. iii. p. fJ2 : Wliitelnckc, p. 61. 


funds ; but enthusiasm is not easily convertible, and 
popular devotedness can alone supply the necessities 
of a cause. The University of Oxford sent its plate to 
the King ; following the example, Cambridge also had 
its plate packed up, and a portion of it had already 
been sent off, v^hen Cromvi^ell, ever vigilant, arrived 
suddenly, and prevented any more being despatched, i 
The King's Commissioners had the greatest difficulty 
in obtaining a few paltry contributions by going from 
one country-seat to anotlier ; and ridicule of the 
niggards, an empty and dangerous pleasure to a de- 
feated Court, was the only consolation left to the 

The propositions for accommodation reached York, 
and were presented to the King, on the ITtli of June ; 
they surpassed the predictions of even the most ultra 
RoyaHsts, and deprived the more moderate of all hope. 
The Parliament demanded the utter destruction of the 
royal prerogative, and that the entire power should 
rest in their hands ; the creation of new peerages, the 
appointment and dismissal of all great public function- 
aries, the education and marriage of the King's children, 
the religious, civil, and military aifairs of the country 
■ — everything, in fact, was to be under their control, 
and without their formal sanction, nothing was in future 
to be decided. Such was, in reality, their true object^ 

' May's History of the Long Parliament, p. 222 ; Parlianientai-y His- 
tory, vol. ii. col. 1453 ; Querela Cantabrigiensis, p. 182 ; Barwick's Life; 
p. 24 ; Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. iii. p. 246. 

* Clarendon's History of the Rebellion, vol. iii. p. 247 — 2r>l ; May's 
History of the Long Pai'lianient, p. 212. 


and such was one day destined to be the irretrievable 
result of the revolution ; but the time had not yet 
arrived when the decisive action of the Parliament in 
the government was to be introduced by the natural 
working of the national institutions, and the dominant, 
though indirect, influence of the Commons on the 
daily exercise of power. Unable to force their leaders 
on the Crown as indispensable advisers, the national 
party found themselves constrained officially to subject 
the Crown to their sway, as they could obtain safety 
by no other means ; a deceptive and impossible me- 
thod, calculated only to plunge the State into anarchy, 
but yet the only one which the ablest men could 
then devise. When these propositions were read, the 
King's eyes flashed with anger, and his countenance 
burned with indignation. " Should we grant these 
demands," he said in reply, " we may be waited on 
bareheaded ; we may have our hand kissed, the style 
of Majesty continued to us, and The Kings authority, 
declared hy both Houses of Parliament, may be still the 
style of our commands ; we may have swords and 
maces carried before us, and please ourself with the 
sight of a crown and sceptre, (and yet even these twigs 
would not long flourish, when the stock upon which 
they grew was dead) ; but as to true and real power, 
we should remain but the outside, but the picture, but 
the sign, of a king."^ And he broke off all further 

The Parliament had expected no other answer. As 

' Rushworth, part iii. vol. i. p. 728. 


soon as it was received, all hesitation even of a merely 
formal character disappeared ; the question of civil war 
was brought forward for discussion. One voice, — 
the same which, at the oj)ening of the session, had 
been the first to denounce aU public grievances, — was 
now raised almost alone in opposition. " Mr. Speaker," 
said Sir Benjamin Rudyard, " I am touched, I am 
pierced with an apprehension of the honour of the 
House, and success of the ParKament ; but that we 
may the better consider the condition we are in, let us 
set ourselves three years back. If any man then 
could have credibly told us that, within three years, 
the Queen shall be gone out of England into the Low 
Countries, for any cause whatsoever ; the King shall 
remove from his Parliament, from London to York, 
declaring himself not to be safe here ; that there shall 
be a total rebellion in Ireland, and such discords and 
distempers both in Church and State here, as now we 
find — certainly we should have trembled at the thought 
of it ; wherefore it is fit we should be sensible now we 
are in it. On the other side, if any man then could 
have credibly told us that, within three years, ye shall 
have a Parhament, it would have been good news ; 
that ship-money shall be taken away by an Act of 
Parliament, and the reasons and grounds of it so 
rooted out, as that neither it, nor anything like it, can 
ever grow up again ; that monopohes, the High Com- 
mission Court, the Star-Chamber, the bishops' votes, 
shall be taken away ; the council-table regulated and 
restrained ; the forests bounded and hmited ; — that ye 
shall have a triennial Parhament, nav, more than that. 


a perpetual Parliament, which none shall have the 
power to dissolve but yourselves ; we should have 
thought this a dream of happiness. Yet now we 
are in the real possession of it, we do not enjoy it. 
We stand upon further security, whereas the very 
having of these things is a convenient, fair security, 
mutually securing one another. Wherefore, Sir, let us 
beware we do not contend for such a hazardous, unsafe 
security as may endanger the loss of what we have 
already. Though we had all we desire, yet we cannot 
make a mathematical security ; all human caution is 
susceptible of corruption and failing. God's providence 
will not be bound ; success must be His . . . Mr. 
Speaker, it now behoves us to call up all the wisdom 
we have about us, for we are at the very brink of 
combustion and confusion. If blood begins once to 
touch blood, we shall presently fall into a certain 
misery, and must attend an uncertain success, God 
knows when, and God knows what ! Every man here 
is bound in conscience to employ his utmost endeavours 
to prevent the effusion of blood. Blood is a crying 
sin ; it pollutes a land. Let us save our liberties and 
our estates, but so as we may save our souls too. Now 
I have clearly delivered my own conscience, I leave 
every man freely to his."^ The appeal made by this 
worth}^ man was, however, in vain, and nothing re- 
mained for liim but to retire from an arena hencefortli 
too agitated for liis virtuous and prudent mind. Other 
previsions and otlier fears, equally well founded, 

' ParliaineiitaiT History, vol. ii. cols. 1416 — 1418. 


although allied to passions less pure and more unre- 
flecting, ruled the national party with imperious sway ; 
and the time had come when good and evil, safety and 
peril, were so vaguely commingled and confounded that 
the firmest minds, unable to distinguish between them, 
were merely instruments in the hands of Providence, 
which alternately chastises kings by means of peoples, 
and peoples by means of kings. Only forty-five mem- 
bers of the Commons shared in the scruples of Sir 
Benjamin Eudyard ;^ and in the House of Peers, the 
Earl of Portland alone protested.^ Warlike measures 
were at once adopted ; the Parliament seized upon all 
the public revenues for its own service -^ the counties 
were ordered to provide supplies of arms and ammu- 
nition, and to hold themselves in readiness to obey the 
first signal. Under the name of the Committee of Safety, 
five peers and ten members of the House of Commons 
were appointed to " take measures for the pubHc de- 
fence, and to see to the execution of the orders issued 
by Parliament."^ Finally, the formation of an army 
was resolved upon, to consist of twenty regiments of 
infantry of about a thousand men each, and of seventy- 
five troops, each of sixty horse. Lord Kimbolton, 

' The levy of 10,000 volunteers in London was voted in the House of 
Commons by 12.1 votes against 45. Parliamentary History, vol. ii. 
col. 1409. 

- Ibid., vol. ii. col. 1414. 

* Ibid., vol. ii. col. 1349. 

* The five lords were the Earls of Northumberland, Essex, Pembroke, 
Holland, and Viscount Say ; the ten Commoners were Hampden, Pym, 
HoUis, Marty n, Fiennes, Pierrepoint, Glynn, Sir William Waller, Sir 
Philip Stapleton, and Sir John JMerrick. 


Lord Brooke, Sir John Merrick, Hampden, Hollis, 
and Cromwell, leaders of the people in the camp as well 
as at Westminster, received commands in this army. 
The Earl of Essex was appointed Generalissimo.^ 

' An exact and complete list of the commanders of this truly 
national army will be found in Appendix VIII. 


( 383 ) 


(Page 137.) 


In the month of November, 1575, Mr. Peter Wentworth, a 
member of the House of Commons, having made a speech in 
defence of the privileges of the House, and more especially in 
advocacy of liberty of speech, was arrested by order of the 
Queen, and was subjected, by a committee of the House, on 
which sat several privy councillors, to the following examina- 
tion — a curious record of the spirit of independence which 
began to manifest itself at this time, and of the approbation 
which the very men intrusted with the task of repressing it, 
could not refuse to accord to it. 

Committee. Where is your late speech you promised to 
deliver in writing ? 

Wentworth. Here it is, and I deliver it upon two condi- 
tions : first, that you shall peruse it all, and if you can find 
any want of good will to my prince and state in any part 
thereof, let me answer all as if I had uttered all. The second 
is, that you shall deliver it unto the Queen's Majesty ; if her 
Majesty, or you of her privy council, can find any want of love 
to her Majesty or the State therein, also let me answer it. 

Committee. We will deal with no more than you uttered 
in the House. 

Wentworth. Your honours cannot refuse to deliver it to 
her Majesty, for I do send it to her Majesty as my heart and 
mind, knowing that it will do her Majesty good ; it will hurt 
no man but myself. 


Committee. Seeing your desire is to have us deliver it to her 
Majesty, we will deliver it. 

Wentworth. I humbly require your honours to do so. 

[Then, the speech being read, they went on.] 

Committee. Here you have uttered certain rumours of the 
Queen's Majesty : where and when heard you them? 

Wentworth. If your honours ask me as councillors of her 
Majesty, you shall pardon me ; I will make you no answer. 
I will do no such injury to the place from whence I came, for 
I am now no private person ; I am a public, and a councillor 
to the whole State in that place, where it is lawful for me to 
speak my mind freely, and not for you, as councillors, to call 
me to account for anything that I do speak in the House ; 
and therefore if you ask me as councillors to her Majesty, you 
shall pardon me, I will make no answer : but if you ask me 
as committees from the House, I will make you the best 
answer I can. 

Committee. We ask you as committees from the House. 

Wentworth. I will then answer you ; and the willinger 
for that mine answer will be in some part so imperfect, as of 
necessity it must be. Your question consisteth of these two 
points : where and of whom I heard these rumours. The 
place where I heard them was the Parliament House ; but of 
whom I assure you I cannot tell. 

Committee. This is no answer, to say you cannot tell of 
whom, neither will we take it for any. 

Wentworth. Truly your honours must needs take it for an 
answer when I can make you no better. 

Committee. Belike you have heard some speeches in the 
town of her Majesty's misliking of religion and succession, 
you are loth to utter of whom, and did use speeches there- 

Wentworth. I can assure your honours I can show you 
that speech at my own house, written with my hand two or 
three years ago. So that you may thereby judge that I did 
not speak it of anything that I heard since I came to town. 

Committee. You have answered that, but where heard you 
it then ? 

Wentworth. If your honours do think I speak for excuse' 


sake, let this satisfy you : I protest before the living God I 
cannot tell of whom I heard these rumours ; yet I do verily 
think that I heard them of a hundred or two in the House. 

Committee. Then of so many you can name some. 

We NT WORTH. No, surely, because it was so general a 
speech, I marked none ; neither do men mark speakers com- 
monly when they be general ; and I assure you if I could tell, 
I would not. For I will never utter anything told me to the 
hurt of any man, when I am not enforced thereunto, as in 
this case I may choose. Yet I would deal plainly with you, 
for I would tell your honours so, and if your honours do not 
credit me, I will voluntarily take an oath, if you offer me a 
book, that I cannot tell of whom I heard those rumours. But 
if you offer me an oath of your authorities, I will refuse it, 
because I will do nothing to infringe the liberties of the 
House. But what need I to use these speeches ? I will give 
you an instance, whereupon I heard these rumours to your 
satisfying, even such a one as, if you will speak the truth, you 
shall confess you heard the same as well as I. 

Committee. In so doing we will be satisfied : what is that? 

Wextworth. The last Parhament [1 8th Eliz.], he that is 
now Speaker [Robert Bell, Esq.], and who was also Speaker 
in the first session of the present Parliament [14th Eliz.], 
uttered a very good speech for the calling in of certain licences 
granted to four courtiers to the utter undoing of 6000 or 8000 
of the Queen's subjects. This speech was so disliked by some 
of the council that he was sent for, and so hardly dealt with, 
that he came into the House with such an amazed counte- 
nance, that it daunted all the House ; in such sort, that for 
ten, twelve, or sixteen days, there was not one in the House 
that durst deal in any matter of importance. And in those 
simple matters that they dealt in, they spent more words and 
time in their preamble, requiring that they might not be mis- 
taken, than they did in the matter they spake unto. This 
inconvenience grew into the House by the council's hard 
handling of the same good member, whereon this rumour 
grew in the house : " Sirs, you may not speak against 
licences, the Queen's Majesty will be angry ; the privy council, 
too, will be angry ;" and this rumour T suppose there is not 

VOL. I. 2 C 


one of you here but heard it as well as I. I beseech your 
honours discharge your consciences herein as I do. 

Committee, We heard it, we confess, and you have satis- 
fied us in this ; but how say you to the hard interpretation 
you made of the message that was sent into the house. [The 
words were recited.] We assure you we never heard a harder 
interpretation of a message. 

Wentwokth. I beseech your honours first, was there not 
such a message sent into the house ? 

Committee. We grant that there was. 

Wentworth. Then I trust you will bear me record that I 
made it not ; and I answer for that, so hard a message could 
not have too hard an interpretation made by the wisest man 
in England. For can there, by any possible means, be sent a 
harder message to a council gathered together to serve God, 
than to say : "You shall not seek to advance the glory of 
God !" I am of this opinion ; — that there cannot be a more 
wicked message than it was. 

Committee. You may not speak against messages, for none 
sendeth them but the Queen's majesty. 

Wentworth. If the message be against the glory of God, 
against the prince's safety, or against the liberty of this Par- 
liament house, whereby the State is maintained, I neither may 
nor will hold my jDoace. I cannot, in so doing, discharge my 
conscience, whosoever doth send it. And I say, that I 
heartily repent me, for that I have hitherto held my peace in 
these causes ; and I do promise you all, if God forsake me not, 
that I will never, during life, hold my tongue if any message 
is sent wherein God is dishonoured, the prince reviled, or the 
liberties of the Parliament impeached ; and every one of you 
here present ought to repent you of these faults, and to amend 

Committee. It is no new precedent to have the prince to 
send messages. [There were two or three messages recited 
sent by two or three princes.] 

Wentworth. Sirs, I say you do very ill to allege prece- 
dents in this order. You ought to allege good precedents, to 
comfort and embolden men in good doings, and not evil prece- 
dents, to discourage and terrify men to do evil. 


Committee, But what meant you to make so hard inter- 
pretation of messages ? 

Wentworth. Surely, I marvel what you mean by asking 
this question. Have I not said so hard a message could not 
have too hard an interpretation ? And have I not set down 
the reason that moved me in my speech? — that is to say, 
that, for the receiving and accepting that message, God has 
passed so great indignation upon us, that he put into the 
Queen's heart to refuse good and wholesome laws for her own 
preservation, which caused many loving and faithful hearts 
for grief to burst out with sorrowful tears ; and moved all 
Papists, traitors to God, to her Majesty, and to every good 
Christian government, in their sleeves, to laugli the whole 
Parliament-house to scorn. Have I not thus said, and do not 
your honours think it so ? 

Committee. Yes, truly. But how durst you say, that the 
Queen had unkindly abused herself against the nobility and 
people ? 

Wentworth. I beseech your honours, tell me how far 
you can stretch these words, of her unkindly abusing and 
opposing herself against her Majesty's nobility and people? 
Can you apply them any further than I have applied them — 
that is to say, in that her Majesty called the Parliament on 
purpose to prevent traitorous perils to lier person, and for 
no other cause ; and in that her Majesty did send unto us two 
bills, willing us to take our choice of that we liked best for 
her Majesty's safety, and thereof to make a law, promising her 
royal consent thereunto ; and did we not first choose the one, 
and her Majesty refused it? Yet did not we, nevertheless^ 
receive the other? and agreeing to make a law thereof, did 
not her Majesty in the end refuse all our travails ? And did 
not the Lord Keeper, in her Majesty's presence, in the begin- 
ning of the Parliament, show this to be the occasion that we 
were called together? And did not her Majesty, in the end 
of the Parliament, refuse all our travails ? Is not this known 
to all here present, and to all the Parliament-house also ? I 
beseech your honours discharge your consciences herein, and 
utter your knowledge simply as I do ; for, in truth, herein did 
her Majesty abuse her nobility and subjects, and did oppose 
herself against them by the way of advice. 

2 c 2 


COMMi'JTEE, Surely, we cannot deny it, you say the truth. 
Wp:ntworth. Then, I beseech your honours, show me if 
it were not a dangerous doing to her Majesty in these two 
respects : first, in weakening, wounding, and discouraging the 
hearts of her Majesty's loving and faithful subjects, thereby to 
make them the less able, or the more fearful and unwilling, to 
serve her Majesty another time ? On the other side, was it 
not a raising up and encouraging the hearts of her Majesty's 
hateful enemies to adventure any desperate enterprise to her 
Majesty's peril and danger. 

Committee. We cannot deny but that it was very danger- 
ous to her Majesty in these respects. 

Wentworth. Then, why do your honours ask, how I dare 
tell a truth, to give the Queen warning to avoid her danger ? 
I answer you thus ; — I do thank the Lord, my God, that I 
never found fear in myself to give the Queen's Majesty warn- 
ing to avoid her danger ; be you all afraid thereof, if you will, 
for I praise God I am not, and I hojoe never to live to see that 
day ; and yet I will assure your honours, that twenty times and 
more, when I walked in my grounds, revolving this speech, to 
prepare against this day, my own fearful conceit did say unto 
me, that this speech would carry me to the place whither I 
shall now go, and fear would have moved me to put it out ; 
when I weighed whether in good conscience, and the duty of a 
faithful subject, I might keep myself out of prison and not 
warn my prince of walking in a dangerous course, my con- 
science said unto me that I could not be a faithful subject if 
1 had more respect to avoid my own danger than my prince's 
danger. Therewithal, I was made Ijold, and went forward, as 
your honours heard ; yet, when 1 uttered those words in the 
House, that there was none without fault, no, not our noble 
Queen, 1 paused, and beheld all your countenances, and saw 
plainly that those words did amaze you all ; then I was afraid 
with you for company, and fear bade me to put out those 
words that followed, for your countenances did assure me, that 
not one of you would stay me of my journey ; yet the consi- 
deration of a good conscience, and of a faithful subject, did make 
me bold to utter it in such sort as your honours heard. With 
this heart and mind I spake it; and I piaise God for it ; and, if 
it were to do again, I would with the same miud speak it again. 


Committee. Yea, but you might have uttered it in better 
terms : why did you not so ? 

Wentwortii. Would you have me to have done as you of 
her Majesty's council do, to utter a weighty matter in such 
terms as she should not have understood. To have made a 
fault then, it would have done her Majesty no good, and my 
interest was to do her good. 

Committee. You have answered us. 

Wentwortii. Then I praise God for it. 

And he bowed. 

Mr. Seckford. Mr. Wentworth will never acknowledge 
himself to make a fault, nor say that he is sorry for anything 
he doth speak. You shall hear none of these things come out 
of his mouth. 

Wextworth. Mr. Seckford, I will never acknowlede'e 
that to be a fault to love the Queen's Majesty while I live ; 
neither will I be sorry for giving her Majesty warning to 
avoid danger, while the breath is in my body. If you do 
think it a fault to love her Majesty, or to be sorry that her 
Majesty should have warning to avoid her danger, say so, for 
I cannot ; speak for yourself, Mr. Seckford. — Old Parlia- 
mentary History, vol. iv. pp, 200 — 207. 

(Page 169.) 


The original paper still exists ; and was first published ver- 
batim by Mr. Lingard in his History. It is as follows : — 

"That man is Cowardly base, and deserveth not the 
name of a gentleman or Souldier that is not willinge to 
sacrifice his life for the honor of his God, his King, and his 
Countrie. Lett noe man commend me for doeinge of it, l)ut 
rather discommend themselves as the cause of it ; for if God 
had not taken ovr harts for ovr sinnes, he (the Duke of 
Buckingham) w** not have gone so long vnpunished." 

" Jo. Felton." 
— lAnyarcVs History of EnylaiHl, vol. ix. p. 394. 



(Page 185.) 


The letter, from which the following extract is taken, 
was addressed by Strafford to his intimate friend, Sir 
Christopher Wandesford, Master of the Rolls in Ireland. In 
it he gives an account of the manner in which he had replied 
before the King and Council to the charges which had been 
brought against him : — 

" I then craved admission to justify myself in some particulars 
wherein I had been very undeservedly and bloodily traduced. 

" So I related to them all that had passed betwixt myself, 
Earl of St. Albans, Wilmot, Mountnorris, Piers Crosby, and 
the jury of Galway, that hereupon touching and rubbing in 
the course of my service upon their particulars, themselves 
and friends have endeavoured to possess the world I was a 
severe and an austere hard-conditioned man — rather, indeed, a 
bashaw of Buda than the minister of a pious and Christian 
king. Howbeit, if I were not much mistaken in myself, 
it was quite the contrary ; no man could show wherein I 
had expressed it in my nature, no friend I had would 
charge me with it in my private conversation, no creature 
had found it in the managing of my own private affairs, so 
as if I stood clear in all these respects, it was to be confessed 
by any equal mind, that it was not anything within, but the 
necessity of his Majesty's service, which enforced me into 
a seeming strictness outwardly. And that was the reason, 
indeed ; for where I found a Crown, a Church, and a people 
spoiled, I could not imagine to redeem them from under the 
pressure with gracious smiles and gentle looks ; it would cost 
warmer water than so. True it was, that where a dominion 
was once gotten and settled, it might be stayed and kept 
where it was by soft and moderate counsels ; but where a 
sovereignty (be it spoken with reverence) was going down 
the hill, the nature of a man did so easily slide into the 
paths of an uncontrolled liberty, as it would not be brought 
back without strength, nor be forced up the hill again but by 
vigour and force. And true it was indeed, I knew no other 
rule to govern by, but by reward and punishment ; and I 


must profess, that where I found a person well and entirely- 
set for the service of my master, I should lay my hand 
under his foot, and add to his respect and power all I 
might ; and that where I found the contrary, I should 
not handle him in my arms, or soothe him in his untoward 
humour, but if he came in my reach, so far as honour and 
justice would warrant me, I must knock him soundly over 
the knuckles ; but no sooner he become a new man, apply 
himself as he ought to the government, but I also change my 
temper, and express myself to him, as unto that other, by all 
the good offices I could do him. If this be sharpness, and 
this be severity, I desired to be better instructed by his 
Majesty and their lordships, for, in truth, it did not seem so 
to me ; however, if I were once told that his Majesty liked 
not to be thus served, I would readily conform myself, and 
follow the bent and current of my own disposition, which 
is to be quiet, not to have debates and disputes with any. 

" Here his Majesty interrupted me, and said, that was no 
severity ; wished me to go on in that way, for if I served him 
otherwise, I should not serve him as he expected from me." — 
Strafford's Letters and Despatches, vol. ii. p. 20. 

(Page 196.) 

TO 1640. 

1. Richard Chambers, for having refused to pay £'. 

custom duties not voted by parliament, fined 2,000 

2. Hill yard, for having sold saltpetre . , . 5,000 

3. Goodenough, for the same cause . . . 1,000 

4. Sir James Maleverer, for not having com- 

pounded with the King's commissioners for 

the title of knighthood 2,000 

5. The Earl of Salisbury, for encroachments on the 

royal forests 20,000 

6. The Earl of Westmoreland, idem. . . . 19,000 

7. Lord Newport, idem 8,000 

8 Sir Christopher HattoD, idem .... 12,000 

9. Sir Lewis Watson, idem. ..... 4,000 


10. Sir Anthony Cooper, for having changed arable £. 

into grass land ...... 4,000 

11. Alexander Leighton, for a libel . . . 10,000 

1 2. Henry Sherfield for having broken some panes 

of stained glass in Salisbury Cathedral . . 500 

13. John Overman, and several other soap-makers, 

for not having followed the King's orders in 

the fabrication and sale of soap . . . 13,000 

14. John Rea 2,000 

15. Peter Hern, and several others, for having ex- 

ported gold 8,100 

16. Sir David Foulis and his son, for having spoken 

disrespectfully of the Northern Coiui; . . 5,500 

17. Prynne, for a libel 5,000 

18 Buckner the censor, for having allowed Prynne's 

book to be published .... 60 

19. Michael Sparkes, printer, for having printed the 

said book ....... 600 

20. Allison and Robins, for having spoken ill of 

Archbishop Laud 2,000 

21. Bastwick, for a libel 1,000 

22. Prynne, Burton, and Bastwick, for libels . . 15,000 

23. Prynne's servant, for the same cause . . 1,000 

24. Bowyer, for having spoken against Laud . . 3,000 

25. Yeomans and Wright, for dying silks improperly 5,000 

26. Savage, Weldon, and Burton, for having spoken 

ill of Lord Falkland, Lord-Lieutenant of Ire- 
land 3,500 

27. Grenville, for speaking ill of the Earl of Suffolk. 4,000 

28. Favers, idem ' 1,000 

29. Morley, for having abused and struck Sir George 

Theobald, within the precinct of the Court . 10,000 

30. Williams, Bishop of Lincoln, for having spoken 

ill of Laud 10,000 

31. Bernard, for having preached against the use of 

the crucifix ...... 1000 

32. Smart, for having preached against the ecclesi- 

astical innovations of Dr. Cosins, &c. . . 500 

£ 173,650 


This list is far from being complete ; a multitude of other 
cases, amounting to a considerable sum, may be found in the 
second and third volumes of Rushworth's Collection. 

(Page 236.) 


The King wrote to Hamilton : — 

" And as for this General Assembly, though I can expect no 
good from it, yet I hope you may hinder much of the ill ; 
first, by putting divisions among them, concerning the legality 
of their elections, then by protestations against their tumul- 
tuous proceedings." 

And elsewhere : — 

" As for the opinions of the clergy to prorogue this Assembly, 
I utterly dislike them, for I should more hurt my reputation 
by not keeping it, than their mad acts can prejudice my service ; 
wherefore I command you hold your day : but, as you write, it 
you can break them by proving nullities in their proceedings, 
nothing better." — Burnet, Memoirs of the Hamiltons, pp. 82, 88. 

(Page 300.) 



Paris, 22 Fevrier, 1641. 
Fault dire a Forster et mander a Montereuil que le 
Roy ne receuvrait pas seulement la Royne sa soeur en France 
au cas que sa sante Tobligeat d'y faire voyage, mais qu'il 
serait bien fasche qu'elle n'y vingt pas. Mais que, comme 
I'affection que Sa Majeste a pour la Royne de la Grande 
Bretagne luy donne ces sentimens, la part qu'elle prend a ses 
interets fait qu'elle ne pent ne lui dire pas qu'il fajit bien 
qu'elle se donne garde de venir mal a propos en France dans 
la conjoncture des affaires presentes ; qu'en telles occasions 
qui quitte la partie la perd, que sa sortie d'Angleterre tirera 


indubitablement apr^s elle la haine des Catlioliques et peut- 
estre la sienne propre, pour tousjours, et celle du Roy son 
mari et de ses enfants ; que dans les grands changements 
comma ceux qui sont en Angleterre, il faut craindre qu'on 
passe aux dernieres extremites, incapables par apres de touts 

Que c'est a la Royne de se donner un peu de patience jus- 
ques a ce que le mal qui la presse soit sur son retour, auquel 
cas ce que aigriroit maintenant son mal, seroit capable de 
supporter une entiere gaierison. En un mot que le Roy 
cognest la pensee d'un tel voiage si prejudiciable pour la 
Royne qu'il croiroit estre responsable devant Dieu s'il ne le 
luy reprdsentait. 


Londres, 21 Mars, 1641. 

La Royne de la Grande Bretagne ne 

cache plus a ses domestiques le ressentiment qu'elle a de la 
responce qu'elle a receue de France sur la resolution qu'elle 
avait prise d'y aller, jusques a dire qu'elle ne voudrait pas 
racheter sa vie par un voyage en ses quartiers, si elle n'y alloit 
pour reprendre les pretentions que les Roys d' Angleterre 
croient avoir sur cet Estat. 



MONSEIGNEUR, Londres, 23 Mai, 1641. 

Le bruit qui avoit couru que la France armait centre 
I'Angleterre, ou je trouvois si peu de fondement, que je ne 
jugeais pas qu'il put gaigner creance aupres des personnes 
plus appreliensives et moins judicieuses, s'est augmente de 
telle sorte que le Vendredy, 17 May, le S' Pime fit sqavoir a 
la Maison Haute de la part de la Basse, qu 'apres avoir examine 
les desseins de ceulx qui avoient pris la fuitte, ils avoient trouve 
qu'ils ne s'estoient pas contentez de vouloir employer I'armee 
Angloise centre I'Angleterre, n'y de lever de nouvelles forces 
dans le pays pour destruiro sa liberte et pour delivrer le 
Lieutenant d'Irlande, mais qu'il y avoit de tres puissantes 


preuves qu'ils vouloient se servir des armes etrang^res ; et 
faire entrer une armee Franqoise en ce pays. II demanda en- 
suitte qu'on deputa quelques uns des deux maisons du 
Parlement pour s'asseurer de Portsmuth, ou cette armee 
debvoit descendre, et qu'on donnast les ordres necessaires, 
pour tenir la milice des provinces voisines en estat de marcher 
au premier commandement qu'elle en recevrait, ce qui fut 
aussy tost execute, et le Yicomte de Mandeville avec les 
Chevaliers Clothworthy et Stapleton y furent envoyez des le 

Soit que ceulx du Parlement ayant voulu se servir de ce bruit, 
auquel les domestiqi es de la Roynede la Grande Bretagne, et 
les Catholiques Anglois n'ont donne que trop de fondement, 
pour avoir un pretexte de faire armer la campagne, affin 
de reduire le Eoy de la Grande Bretagne dans la necessite 
de confirmer le Bill du Parlement contre le Lieutenant 
d'Irlande, qui passe le soir mesme dans la Maison Haute, et 
pour oster a ce Roy la volonte de la conserver en lui en otant 
la puissance ; soit qu'en effect ils ayent cru veritable ce qu'ils 
n'ont pas juge impossible; il est certain que ce bruit s'est 
augmente de plus en plus, et qu'il se diet Samedy matin 
publiquement qu'on avait receu la confirmation des soupQons 
qu'on avait eus les jours precedens, que cette armee dont on 
avoit apprehende la venue, s'estoit emparee desja des Isles de 
Gerzay et de Grenezay. Je receus trois ou quatre billets 
de mes amys sur les dix heures, par lesquels ils m'advertirent 
qu'on tenoit cecy pour asseure et me prierent ou de me sauver 
si les ports estoient ouverts, ou de me retirer quelque part 
s'ils estoient fermez, que la Royne de la Grande Bretagne se 
disposoit a prendre la fuitte. Je jugeay ce conseil peu 
horineste, et me confiant en la bonte et en la sagesse du Roy 
et de Monseigneur le Cardinal, et en ma propre conscience, 
je courus a la cour ou je trouvai que lalarme y estoit plus 
grande que Ton ne me Tavoit exprimee, que tons les 
domestiques de la Royne de la Grande Bretagne avoient pris 
avec eulx tout ce qu'ils avoient de plus precieux et que les 
carrosses de cette Princesse attendoient au pied de I'Escallier 

niais en effet h Portsmouth 

en apparence pour la mener a Wimilshow I()79rg7pxg9 
q z 99 X b, et je sceus qu'elle avait pris ceLte resolution sur la 


peur qu'on lui avoit faicte, qu'en suitte des bruits qui avaient 
couru, on desiroit s'asseurer de sa personne, et de celle du 
Roy son mary, particulierement s'il refusoit de confirmer 
le billet contre le Lieutenant d'Irlande. J'allay trouver M'^''^- 
I'Evesque d'Angouleme a qui je representay le tort que se 
faisoit la ditte dame Royne, que la fuitte estait un moyen 
pour haster le mal qu'elle appreliendoit, et pour les porter h 
I'execution d'une entreprise dont ils n'oseroient pas alors 
avoir eu la pensee, outre qu'il y avait peu d'apparence, ni 
que son de'part put estre secret, le faisant en plein jour et le 
communiquant a tant de personnes , n'y qu'il fut assez prompt 
pour se sauver, ayant tant de personnes a sa suitte, et em- 
portant beaucoup de hardes avec elle ; qu'il y avoit encore deux 
choses a considerer, et le peu d'asseurance qu'elle avoit que 
Portsmutli tint pour elle, et le danger auquel elle exposerait 
ce qui resteroit de ses domestiques, et tons les Catholiques 
qui vivent icy. Mg^- I'Evesque d'Angoulesme, qui a agi durant 
tout ce desordre avec une extreme prudence, me tesmoigna 
qu'il estoit dans les memes sentimens, mais qu'encore qu'ils 
fussent tres justes, ils seroient difficilement escoutez de la 
Royne de la Grande Bretagne. II me diet qu'il trouveroit 
moyen toutefois de les representer, et jugea a propos que 
j'allasse chez le Pere Philippe et quelques unes de ses femmes 
pour les porter a faire le mesme, affin d'essayer a obtenir 
tout ensemble ce qu'ils ne pourroient pas peut-estre gaigner 
separement. Je feis ce qu'il me proposa, et je dis de plus 
au Pere Philippes queje le priois de sc;avoir de la Royne dela 
Grande Bretagne si elle ne me commanderoit rien pour son 
service durant ces desordres, et de la vouloir asseurer que le Roy 
prenoit une part tres particuliere en son affliction, que pour 
le dessein qu'elle faisoit presentement, estant celuy qui pou- 
voit davantage sur 1' esprit de cette princesse, il estoit oblige 
plus qu'aucun autre de la porter a changer une resolution qui 
lui estoit si ruineuse, que si je n'apprehendois point de donner 
de nouveaux soub^ons a des personnes extremement jalouses, 
je m'iroisjetter aux pieds de la dicte dame Royne, pour la sup- 
plyer au nom du Roy son frere de demeurer. Le Pere Phi- 
lippes me fit response qu'il n'y avoit pas d'apparence qu'il luy 
put faire changer dc dessein, que les personnes de condition 


qui lui avoient conseille de fair avoient scevi sans doute le 
danger qu'elle couroit en deme\irant, qu'on le jugeroit coupa- 
ble de tout le mal qui lui arriveroit a Londres. II m'en dit 
assez pour me faire croire qu'il avoit autant de part que per- 
sonne a la resolution que cette princesse avoit prise. Je ne 
scay si toutes ces choses eurent quelque pouvoir sur I'esprit de 
cette princesse, mais j'appris a midy qu'elle avoit change de 
dessein, ce qui arriva ties heiireusement pour elle, par ce qu'elle 
apprist deux heures apres que le Colonel Gorin avoit informe 
le Parlement de tout ce qui se passoit et que cette fuitte eust 

pour Ba reputation 

encore este detres grand prejudice 22 22 17 10 26 50 comme 
vous jugerez, par ce qui s'est diet depuis assez publiquement 

estoit toute presto a laisser 

que cette princesse r z, 29 a d 4 8- m 17 z 27 9 90 pz 22 q 

le Rot Bon mari pour suivro If Sr. Germain 

91 86 45 95 1 x 22 25 a to 17 9 1 2 3 rt q 76 q 95 a m ; 
je vous rajDporte, Mouse igneur, des choses qui vous donneront 
de I'estonnement, mais qui sent couformes a ce qui s'est diet 
et que je diminue plustot que je n'augmente par le discours. 

J'avois pense des le jour precedent de quelle sorte je debvois 
agir pour assoupu' ce bruit qui s'estoit e'pandu du grand 
armement qui se faisait en France pour porter la guerre en 
Angleterre, et bien que d'abord j'eusse este tout prest de 
demander audience aux deux Chambres du Parlement pour 
representor comme c'estoit une chose qui n'avoit pas niesnie 
apparence de verite. J'avois toutefois juge qu'il estoit plus a 
propos de prendre une autre voye pour deux differentes 
raisons, I'une affin qu'ils ne s'imaginassent que ce fut plustot 
une apologie pour la Royne de la Grande Bretagne, et pour 
ceulx qu'on accusoit d'avoir voulu faire entrer cette armee en 
Angleterre, qu'en esclaircissement pour la France, et I'autre 
pour De leur pas faire penser qu'on eust trop de peur de les 
fascher, ce que ces peuples s'imaginent fort aysement. Je 
m'estois done contente de parler seulement a ceulx des deux 
maisonsdu Parlement qui y ont plus de credit, et avec qui j'ai 
davantage de familiarite, a qui j'avois represente le peu 
d'apparence qu"il y avoit que des personnes qui sQeussent les 
affaires presentes s'imaginassent que le Roy vouliit laisser 
en paix la maison d'Autriche dans un temps ou ily asi grand 


suject de croire qu'il la rangera a la raison, pour s'aller faire 
de nouveaux ennemys, et qu'il voulut rompre avec le Parle- 
ment et tout un royaume allie pour sauver le Lieutenant 
d'Irlande, que Ton s^ayt avoir este tres confident a I'Espagne 
et peu affectionne a la France, que je sgavois que durant que 
le Roy de la grande Bretagne avait encore un party en Angle- 
terre, et que les deux royaumes estoient divisez, le E.oy n'eust 
pas mesme voulu escouter les propositions qui eussent pu 
tendre en quelque fagon a affoiblir I'union des deux Etats, 
cequeje me contentois dedire ainsy en general sans en venir 
a de plus grandes explications, qu'il y avoit peu d'apparence 
qu'il eut voulu entendre a un dessein de cette nature, en un 
temps ou les affaires du Roy de la Grande Bretagne estoient 
entierement desesperes, qu'il y avoit une armee sur les fron- 
tiferes de Flandres et une flotte sur la coste de Bretagne, mais 
que c'estoit une chose cogneue de tout le monde qu'on alloit 
deffendre le Portugal avec celle-ci et attaquer la Flandres avec 

J'avais commence a insinuer ces sentimens des le Vendredy 
au soir, et n'ayant pu rencontrer ce jour le Comte d'Hollande, 
je I'allay trouver le Samedy, aussi tost que la resolution du 
partement de la Roynede la Grande Bretagne fut changee, et 
apres lui avoir diet les mesmes choses que j'avais represente 
aux autres, j'adjoustay que je m'addressois a luy comme a 
celuy qui avoit plus de connoissance qu'aucun du desir qu'avoit 
eu le Roy et Monseigneur le Cardinal, d'entretenir entre les 
deux Estats une estroitte union et une bonne intelligence, et 
des ofl&ces, qu'ils avoient faicts, pour empesclier qu'elle se 
put ou rompre ou refroidir, qu'il sq avoit que le royage en 
France de la Royne de la Grande Bretagne avoit este diverty 
sur cette consideration, qu'un Ambassadeur seroit ici dans 
peu de jours quiconfirmeroit encore plus particulierement ce que 
je lui disois, que je le priois cependant, et de parler de cecy a 
ses amys et de le vouloir representer de ma part a MM. du 
Parlement estant assemblez, etleur faire s^avoir quej'estois icy 
pour respondrc de tout le mal qui arriveroit, ce que je jugeoy 
a propos de faire dire publiquement, pour asseurer tout ce que 
nous avons icy de Fran9ois. Aussi cela contenta fort ceulx 
du Parlement, et servit beaucoup pour empesclier que ceulx 


de notre nation ne receussent aucune injure, ce faux bruit 
s'estant presque esvanouy au mesme temps. 

Voila, Monsigneur, de quelle sorte je me suis porte durant 
ce desordre. Je m'estimeray bien heureux si, apres avoir agi 
selon qu'il m'a semble debvoir faire, vous me faictes I'honneur 
d'agreer ce que j'ai faict. La longueur de cette de'pesche 
m'oblige a vous faire scavoir le plus succinctement qu'il me 
sera possible, ce qui est encore arrive depuis le dernier ordinaire 
affin de trouver un moyen pour estre exact sans etre toutefois 
ennuyeux. .... 

(Archives des Affaires Etrangeres de France.) 

(Page 338.) 


Monsieur, Londres, 12 Decembre, 1641. 

Le Roy de la Grande Bretagne fist son entree Jeudy' a 
Londres comme je vous ai mande par ma j)recedente, et 
Vendredy j'eus audiance publique auparavant aucun autre 
ambassadeur. Celuy d'Espagne I'eut Samedy, de Portugal 
Dimanche, de Venise Lundy. Dans la mienne, je temoignay 
premierement au Roy de la Grande Bretagne la satisfaction 
que Sa Majeste avoit eue lorsqu'elle avoit appris le bon succes 
de son voyage, et comme il avoit donne la paix a ses royaumes 
d'Escosse et d'Angleterre. Je lui dis ensuitte que lorsque je 
lui avois demande, de la part du Roy raon maistre, la permis- 
sion de faire quelque levee de ses sujets, il me Tavoit accord ee 
avec tant de temoignages d'affection que cela avoit bien fort 
oblige Sa Majeste, et que maintenant qu'elle apprenoit la 
rebellion qui estoit en Irlande elle luy offroit son assistance, 
s'il en avoit besoin. Sa Majeste Britannique me remercia et 
me dit que maintenant I'Escosse et I'Angleterre estoient en 
estat de tranquillite, que pour I'lrlande il y avoit veritablement 
quelque revoke, mais qu'elle n'estoit pas beaucoup con- 

' On the 25th of November (December 5), UMl. 


siderable, n'y ayant aucune personne de qualite de qui elle fust 
appuye ; qu'il esperoit que dans peu toutes choses seroient 
pacifiees, et que cepeudant il m'assurait qu'il se sentoit trcs 
oblige au Roy son frere, etqu'en toutes les occasions ou il vou- 
droit disposer de tout ce qui depend de luy, il en pouvoit faire 
estat. Auparavant que de voir le Roy, j'avois sonde les esprits 
de mes amis du Parlement pour veoir s'ils agreeroient ces 
offres et s'ils n'en prendroient point d'ombrage ; mais bien 
loing de cela, ils m'en ont supplie, et apres que j'eus veu le 
Roy de la Grande Bretagne, ils m'en firent faire compliment. 

Apres mon audience, Sa Majeste Britannique alia trouver la 
Royne, et moy j'y fus conduit par le S' Gerbier qui voulut aller 
devant Tadvertir que je venois pour avoir I'honneur de la voir. 
Le Comte de Dorset et le diet Gerbier vinrent au devant de 
moy me dire que la Royne viendroit aussytost. Je fus bien 
demi-lieure dans sa cliambre, et apres on me dist qu'elle s'en 
estoit alle'e. II est vrai que je ne lui avois pas demande 
I'audiance, et que peut-estre elle ne I'a pas sceu, au moins le 
dict-elle ainsi. M. de Vendosme vint hier chez moi, qui me 
dist que le Roy et la Rojoie lui avoient diet que c' estoit la 
faute du Comte Dorset, qu'elle ne sqavoit point que je fusse 
la, et qu'elle m'en feroit excuse a la premiere veue. Je ne 
feray aucun semblant d'en estre mal satisfait, et si elle m'en 
parle, je lui temoigneray que j'allois pour lui rendre compte 
de ce que j'avois diet au Roy de la Grande Bretagne, et que je 
n'aurois garde de penser qu' ayant I'honneur d'estre auprt^s 
d'elle de la part du Roy, elle n'eust pas dessein de me vouloir 
veoir, que je n'y allois pas cette fois comme ambassadeur, mais 
comme son tres bumble serviteur, 

M. de Vendosme me temoigna que leurs Majest(5z Bri- 
tanniques estoient resolues de me proposer de me mesler, de 
la part du Roy, de leur accommodement avec le Parlement, 
n'y trouvant pas grande lumiere que par cette voye la 
dans I'embarras ou sont les affaires, Je lui respondis que je 
m'estois offert plusieurs fois de servir la Royne dans ce dessein 
1^, mais qu'elle ne I'avoit jamais de'sire ; que toutes les fois 
qu'elle me le commanderoit j'y agirois comme son tres humble 
serviteur ; qu'au temps quo je luy en avois parle, la chose estoit 
bien plus facile et que dcpuis le retour de Sa Majeste Britan- 
nique, ils avoient si fort meprise tous les seigneurs du Par- 


lement et toute la Chambre des Communes que, pour 
se sauver du mal qu'apparemment ou leur vouloit faire, 
ils s'estoient reunis et cherchoient, par les loys du royaume, 
d'empescher qu'on ne leur peust nuire ; que leurs Majestez 
Britauuiques avoient au contraire reeeu toute Tautre cabale, 
qui est celle d'Espagne, avec tant d'applaudissement et de 
temoignages de satisfaction, que j'appreliendois que ces Mes- 
sieurs du Parlement ne peussent pas quitter leurs defiances 
tant qu'ils verroient les choses en cet estat, et que cette faction, 
qui leur est ennemie, seroit en credit aupres de leurs Majestez ; 
que j'etois asseure que, quand le Royne voudroit prendre les 
interests de la France, et abandonner ceulx d'Espagne, le Roy 
et mesme ces Messieurs dont elle se plaint, se porteroient a 
toutes les choses qui pouiToient contribuer a sa satisfaction. 

Le sentiment de M. de Vendosme est qu'il faut que leurs 
Majestes Britanniques me donnent parole qu'ayant travaille a 
leur accommodement et en estant venu a bout, ils rompront 
avec rEsjjagne. Je ne luy ay rien respondu la dessus, mais je 
suis d'une opinion conti'aire, et je crois qu'il fault qu'ils fassent 
la rupture auparavant que j 'oblige ceulx du Parlement a le 
desirer ainsi, leur faisant voir qu'il n'y a point de surete pour 
eux tant que ces favoris Espagnols demeureront en puissance. 
La necessite des uns et des autres est fort pressante, et de 
chaque cote ils sont a present dans lextremite 

II faut que dans dix jours il arrive quelque re vers a I'une ou 
I'autre de ces cabales, faisant I'une et Tautre ce qu'elles peuvent 
pour se miner. Celle oil jay habitude a este jusques a cette 
heure la plus forte. L'amvee du Roy de la Grande Bretagne 
a fortifie Tautre. J'espere que cela n'empescbera pas qu'elle 
ne se maintienne. L'Evesque de Lincoln, le Comte de Bristol 
et son fils sont ceux qui, pensant me brouiller avec le Roy, la 
Royne et le Parlement, ont fait courre le bruit que j'avois 
offert au Roy de la Grande Bretagne vingt mille hommes pour 
mettre les Anglois a la raison. Cela ne leur a point donne 
d'ombrage, le Comte de Hollande estant dernierement lorsque 
je lui ay parld, et le Parlement au contraire a diet tout haidt 
que je temoignois bien par mes actions que la France n'avoit 
pas envie de brouiller cet estat, puisqu'elle offroit des forces 

VOL. I. 2d 


pour chastier ceulx que la cabale d'Espagne avoit suscitespour 
en causer tous les troubles ...... 

Les Deputez d'Escosse doivent arriver dans deux jours. On 
me dit que lorsqvi'ils seront venus, le Parlement et eulx se 
joiudront pour me parler d'une nouvelle alliance. Je ne man- 
queray de vous le faire scavoir aussitost et ne loirray de les 
escoviter pour tenir I'affaire en estat afin d'attendre les ordres 
de Monseignevir le Cardinal. Si c'est chose qu'il desire, il ne 
faudra pas perdre de temps a se resoudre, car ces gens icy sont 
fort inegaux, et si on ne les prend dans le temps de leiurs 
brouilleries avec le Roy, ils sont personnes a n'en rien faire. 


Londres, 26 Decembre, 1641. 
Leurs Majestez Britanniques seront enfin contraints de 
chercher accomodemeut. On ne parloit il y a quatre jours que 
de faire couper la teste a plusieurs du Parlement. Tous les 
exiles qui sont en France font ce qu'ils peuvent pour rendre de 
mauvais offices au Dt. Sr. de la Ferte. lis se plaignent haute- 
ment de Monseigneur le Cardinal. Ceux qui sont en Angle- 
terre font encore pis, flattant leurs Majestez dans leurs senti- 


Londres, 16 Janvier, 1642. 

Les affaires d'Angieterre empirent tous les jours. II y a 
trois jours que le Parlement demanda au Roy une garde qui 
fut command ee par le Comte d Essex, laquelle il ne voulut pas 
leur accorder sur Iheure. 

Le Roy et la Royne d'Angieterre ont mis deux personnes de 
la Chambre Basse dans lem: conseil, en ont fait un autre de la 
meme Chambre Chancelier de TEschiquier, et le Comte de 
Southampton, qui est de la Haute, gentilhomme de la chambre 
du lict. Toutes ces promotions choquent extremement le 

Le Parlement estant rassomble, Sa Majeste de la Grande 
Bretague envoya le Procureur du Roy declarer a la Chambre 


Haute, le Vicomte de Mandeville criminal de haute trahison, et 
demanda qu'on I'envoyast prisonnier a la Tour, En mesme 
temps la Maison Haute envoya demander conference avec la 
Basse, et deputa ce meme Vicomte de Mandeville pour conferer 
avec elle. Les uns et les autres trouv^rent que cette action 
estoit violente, d' envoy er vm homme de condition du Parlement 
prisonnier sans en dire les raisons. Comme ils parlaient de 
cette affaire, il arriva encore d'autres deputez de la part du 
Roy a la Maison Basse, qui declarerent les Sieurs Pime, Holis et 
trois autres de cette Maison criminels de haute trahison, et 
mesme le Roy avait envoye dans les logos de ces six sceller 
leurs cabinets et coffres de son sceau. Le Parlement aprenant 
ces procedures, envoya lever le sceau, declara qu'il tenoit ces 
personnes en sa protection, qu'on vouloit ruyner leurs pri- 
villeges, mais qu'ils estoient bien resolus de les maintenir, 
qu'on faisoit des assemblees a la cour, et une garde, qu'ils 
prioient le Roi de faire retirer toute la noblesse qui s' estoit 
jettee dans son palais, et de trouver bon qu'ils eussent autaut 
de gardes qu'il en prenoit pour luy, et personnes qu'ils choi- 

Le Royne de la Grande Bretagne m'a envoye le superieur des 
Capucins me dire que je retirasse chez moi Targenterie de sa 
chapelle. En mesme temps on fit peur aux Peres qu'on les 
devoit assommer. Je fus chez la Royne qui me confirma le 
commandement qu'elle m'avoit fait faire, et I'apprehension 
quelle avoit pour ces pferes. J'y avois prdveu ddja et mes 
amis du Parlement m'avoient assure qu'on n'entreprendroit 
rien contre aux, et qu'ils avoient donnd ordre que les appren- 
tis n'y allassent point. Depuis j'ai seen que des serviteurs 
de la Royne faisoient coure le bruit qu'elle ne se soucioit pas 
des Capucins, puisque cela estoit si fort contraire aux senti- 
ments du peuple. 

Le Roy et le Parlement se roidissent chacun de son coste. 
Nous verrons bientost qui flechira. Je ne scay s"il seroit plus 
avantageux a la France que I'une de ces deux puissances 
demeurast le maistre. Je vous prie de me mander ce que j 'ay 
a faire. 

Je ne vols mes amis que le moins que je puis, ni la cour 


non plus, pour me maintenir sans ombrage. Je vous supplie, 
que je saclie les intentions de son Eminence sur ce sujet. 

On a envoye douze Evesques a la Tour ; on pensoit faire 
leur proces. Je leur ay conseilld le contraire, parcequ'^tant 
condamnez on y en pourvoiroit d'autres. La ou n'estant que 
prisonniers, c'estoit douze voix que estoient a leur avantage. 
Je crois qu'ils alentiront ce sagement. 

On ne voit prdsentement que des preparations a beaucoup 
de maux, assemblies de part et d'autre, porter publiquement 
dans la ville, chez le Roy et au Parlement poignards et pistolets 
de poclie, tirer les espees et poignards dans la chambre du 
Roy et de la Royne pour faire veoir qu'ils ont quelque dessein. 

Hier le Roy fut au Parlement avec trois cents gentils- 
hommes, et le peu qu'il a de gardes. II entra dans la 
Chambre des Communes ou il demanda les cinq qu"il avoit 
accusez, et comme le party ce jour la n'estoit pas bien fait pour 
le Parlement, j"en advertis mes amis qui y pourveurent faisant 
un quart d'heure devant esloigner ces personnes, et donnant 
ordre a la ville qu'on prit les armes. 

Le lendemain le Roy, croyant s'assurer du peuple, fut chez 
le Maire oil le conseil estoit, puis disnerent chez un cherif, 
n'ayant mend avec soi que le Marquis d'Hamilton, les Comtes 
d'Essex, de Holland et de Nieuport. II devoit aller apres 
disner a la Tour. Le bruit est que son intention estoit de 
laisser ces quatre seigneurs prisonniers s'il eut trouve disposi- 
tion aux bourgeois de la proteger ; mais au contraire dans le 
conseil de la ville et par les rues, le peuple crioit tout haut 
liberte du Parlement. Les bourgeois prirent les armes, et plus 
de deux mille furent sur le chemin de la Tour. Le Roy ne 
trouvant pas son compte est revenu droit a la Cour. Le 
Parlement et le peuple ont proteste la protection de ces six 
personnes condamnees, de sorte que mes amis, dont quatre 
estoient du nombre, se maintiendront, et de telle sorte que 
j'ay peur que Tautorite du Roy d'Angleterre ne soit bien 

Le Sieur Gerbier m'est venu trouver pour me parler d'une 
proposition que I'ambassadeur de Venise lui a fait faire, pour 
sauver I'honneur . du Roy d'Angleterre. Cet ambassadeur 


projettoit que nous demandassions audiance publique en- 
semble, et que nous prierions le Roy de donner un pardon 
general de tout ce qui s'est fait au Parlement, que les ambassa- 
deurs estant bien aupres de la Royne, ils la porteroient a cela, 
et que moy estant bien avec le Parlement, je tacherois aussi 
de le porter a y consentir, et que mes amis qui estoient en 
crime seroient par la a couvert. J'ai respondu au Sieur 
Gerbier que je ne pouvois commettre le nom de Sa Majeste 
pour aucune affaire que ce soit avec un autre ambassadeur, et 
que je ne voulois point avoir d'audiance avec personne, que je 
voyais le Roy et la Royne d'Angleterre souvent, et que quand 
ils me conimanderoient de les servir, je ferois toutes choses 
possibles pour leur tesmoigner qvie I'intentions du Roy seront 
toujours de les assister de ses bons conseils, que je n'aurois 
garde de pousser cette affaire plus avant, Leurs Majestes 
m'ayant toujours tesmoigne qu'elles ne vouloient penser a 
aucun accommodement. 

On croit que le Roy d'Augleterre n'a plus d'autre resource 
que d'aller en Irlande. 

Je ne saurois subsister si Monseigneur ne m'en donne le 
moyen. Sij'avois autant de biens comme de volonte dele 
servir, il ne seroit pas importune de moy. 

{Archives des Affaires Etr anger es de France.) 

(Page 380.) 


General-in-chief : Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex. 
Major-General (or, as the office was then called, Seijeant- 
Major-General), Sir John Merrick. 

General of artillery: John Mordaunt, Earl of Peterborough.* 

' From a pamphlet published in London in 1642, and entitled, " The 
List of the Army raised under the command of his Excellency Robert, 
Earl of Essex." 

* On the death of the Earl of Petei'borough, Sir John Merrick became 
general of the artillery, and Philip Skippon was appointed major-general. 




The Earl of Essex. 
The Earl of Peterborough. 
Henry Grey, Earl of Stamford, 
William Fiennes, Viscount Say. 
Edward Montague, Viscount 

John Carey, Viscount Roch- 

Oliver St. John, Viscount St. 

Robert Greville, Lord Brook. 
John Roberts, Lord Roberts. 

Philip Wharton, Lord 

John Hampden. 
Denzil Holies. 
Sir John Merrick. 
Sir Henry Cholmondley. 
Sir William Constable. 
Sir William Fairfax.* 
Charles Essex. 
Thomas Grantham. 
Thomas Ballard. 
William Bampfield. 


The Earl of Essex. 

The Earl of Bedford. 

The Earl of Peterborough. 

The Earl of Stamford. 

Viscount Say. 

Viscount St. John 

Basil Fielding, Viscount Field- 

Lord Brook. 

Lord Wharton, 

William Willoughby, Lord 
Willoughby of Parham. 

Ferdinand Hastings, Lord 

Thomas Grey, Lord Grey of 

Sir William Balfour. 
Sir William Waller. 
Sir Arthur Haslerig. 
Sir Faithful Fortescue. 
Nathaniel Fiennes. 
Francis Fiennes. 
John Fiennes. 
Oliver Cromwell. 
Valentine Wharton. 
Henry Ireton. 
Arthur Goodwin. 
John Dalbier. 
Adrian Scrope. 
Thomas Hatcher. 
John Hotham, 
Edward Beny. 

' Lord Manchester, known also by the name of Baron Kimbolton. 

^ Also called Lord Hunsdon. 

' A cousin of the celebrated Sir Thomas Fairfax. 

* In the writings of the period they are often called captains. 

* Sometimes also called Lord Newnham ; he was son of the Earl of 
Denbigh, and, on his father's death, in April, 164;?, he assumed the 



Sir Robert Pye. 
Sir William Wray. 
Sir John Saunders. 
John Alured. 
Edwin Sandys. 
John Hammond. 
Thomas Hammond. 
Alexander Pym. 
Anthony Mildmay. 
Henry Mildmay. 
James Temple. 
Thomas Temple. 
Arthur Evelyn. 
Robert Vivers. 
Hercules Langrish. 
William Pretty. 
William Pretty. 
James Sheffield. 
John Gunter. 
Robert Burrel. 
Francis Dowet. 
John Bird. 
Matthew Drapper. 

Matthew Dimock. 
Horace Carey. 
John Neal. 
Edward Ayscough. 
George Thompson. 
Francis Thompson. 
Edward Keightly. 
Alexander Douglas. 
Thomas Lidcot. 
John Fleming. 
Richard Grenville. 
Thomas Terril. 
John Hale. 
William Balfour. 
George Austin. 
Edward Wingate. 
Edward Baynton. 
Charles Chichester. 
Walter Long. 
Edmund West. 
William Anselm. 
Robert Kirle. 
Simon Rudgeley. 






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