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Ex Libris 

SO, ,:,,,. '" . 


1603 1642 





ro NEW-STREET byv 















VOL. I. 



1 84 

All right* rtttrvtd 




In issuing in a connected form the works which have been the 
labour of twenty years, my attention has necessarily been called 
to their defects. Much material has accumulated since the 
early volumes were published, and my own point of view is 
not quite the same as it was when I started with the first years 
of James I. I have therefore thoroughly revised and, in part, 
rewritten the first portion of the book. 

The most important contribution to the history of the 
period is Mr. Spedding's edition of Bacon's Letters ami Life. 
The mere fact that it has given us, for the first time, bacon's 
letters in chronoloj ical order would he a cause lor the greatest 
thankfulness. With the addition of Mr. Spedding's own com 

ntary, the book is simply invaluable to the historian of 
p< riod. 

I may al refer to Mr. I'attison's Isaac Casaubon and I >ean 
Church's ' Essay on Andrewes ' in Leaders of English Theology. 
Mr. Hamilton's Calendar of Domestic State Papers has advani ed 
even since the publication of my lasl volume, and the 
/< h Calendar of State Papers relating to the reign ol Jam* . I., 
I Mi ii i he ;ell and Frendergast, has entirely appeared since 
I worked at that period. I cannol abstain from referring to 
Mr. J. T. Gilbert's excellently chosen selection of [rish Si 
I | ers printed in the Appendii es i o his Contemporary History 


of Affairs in Ireland, and his History of the Irish Confederation, 
as, though only a few of them refer to the period with which the 
present work is occupied, I hope to be able to make full use 
of them when I come to deal with the Civil War. 

Of MS. sources of information, which I had not at com- 
mand in writing my first edition, I would specify the letters 
preserved at Hatfield, access to which I owe to the kindness of 
the Marquis of Salisbury, and the series of Roman transcripts 
which are now accumulating in the Public Record Office. 
Every month, and sometimes every week, brings a new addition 
to this valuable collection, and I may probably be able in an 
Appendix to the last volume to clear up some points left un- 

I have also received permission from Earl Cowper to 
examine the correspondence of Sir John Coke preserved at 
Melbourne Hall, and from Mr. F. W. Cosens to see a collec- 
tion of transcripts of Gondomar's despatches in his possession. 

In the first edition the work opened with a somewhat 
lengthy sketch of English history down to the death of 
Elizabeth. The greater part of this is now omitted, partly 
because it seems out of place, and partly because I have 
recently given it to the world in a more mature form, in an 
Introduction to the Study of English History written by me in 
conjunction with Mr. J. Bass Mullinger. 






499-1272 National consolkl. 
1272-1307 Reign of Edward I. . 
English Parliamentary Go- 
vernment . 
1307-1399 The later Plantagenet 
kings . . . . 

1399-1485 The Lancastrian and 

Yorkist kings 
1435-1509 Reign of Henry VII. 
1509-1547 Henry VIII. and the 
Aspirations of the Middle 

The New Learning and the 

Reformation . 
Henry VIII. and Protes- 
n tn 
1547-1558 Reign of Edward VI. 

and Mary 
1558-1603 Difficulties of Eliza- 

h and Mary Si 
d the ( atfa 
h and the I'uritans 




The Vestiarian Controversy- 



Elizabeth decides against 

the Nonconformists 

J 9 


Enforcement of Conformity 


Pre !'} terianism 



Eng!)-.h Episcopacy 


'1 he Royal Supremacy 



( .1 indals archbishopric 



The Prophesyings . 


Su pension of Grindal . 



The Nonconformists and 

the House of Commons . 



\\ hitgift's archbishopric . 

1 he Court of High Com- 



mission . 
The Separatists and the 



Mai prelate Libels 
Reaction in Favour of the 


1 1 

abethan ' bun h 
Hooker's A. t lesiastical 



Polity . . ■ 



Ariosto, Cervantes, and 


Spenser . 



1 ii ,«iii ot Ehzabeth 



< in RCH AND 1 vi 1. in . ( 01 1 axil 

1560-1572 Contra 1 between 

: ; :.iti<i and Scotland , 44 

I and lb'' 
ility ■ • 45 

1 Bishops . ■;'> 

I hi ■ ■ '■■■>•■ 1 ok ol I >is- 

cipline . . -47 

1 1. ratter of James VI. . 


1584 Juri ill' nun restored to the 

Bishop . 
1 .• 1 n byti rianism re ton d . 
1593 Defeat of the Northi ru 
to make full ui e ol bu 
victory . 







1594 Exile of the Earls of Huntly 

and Errol . . . 52 

1596 Return of the Earls . 52 
Andrew Melville . . 53 
Quarrel between the King 

and the Ministers . 54 

Black's Sermon . . 56 

Black summoned before 

the Council . . S 8 

Resistance of the Ministers 59 

Banishment of Black . . 61 

Tumult in Edinburgh . 63 

1597 James reduces Edinburgh 

to submission . . 65 

Proposed admission of 

representatives of the 

clergy to Parliament 
James supported by the 

Northern clergy 
Restrictions imposed on 

the clergy . 
Absolution of Huntly and 

Parliament supports the 





re-establishment of Epis- 

1598 The Assembly agrees to 

appoint clerical repre- 
sentatives in Parliament 

James inclines to the re- 
establishment of Epis- 
copacy . 

The Basilicon Doron . 

1599 Bishops appointed 

The new Bishops not 
aeknowledged by the 
Church . 

The English succession . 

The Infanta and the Suf- 
folk line 

James and Arabella Stuart 

1601 Drummond's mission to 

James's signature to a 
letter to the Pope sur- 
reptitiously obtained 

1602 The secret correspondence 

with Sir R. Cecil 











1603 Accession of James I. 

Proceedings of the Council 
James sets out from Edin- 
Sir Walter Raleigh . . 
Sir Robert Cecil . 
1 ird Henry Howard . 
Raleigh dismissed from 

the Captaincy of the 

Guard . 
Quarrels between Scotch 

and English 
Grievances of the English 

Hopes of better treatment 

from James . 
Lindsay's Mission 
The Pope's Breves 
Letters of Northumberland 
The Monopolies called in 
- an and the Netherlands 
' party in England 
Cecil's views on peace with 

a . 
The Dutch embassy . 
Rosny's mission . 
Treaty of Hampton Court 

with France 









Watson's plot , . io3 

Information given by the 

Jesuits . . . 113 

The Recusancy fines re- 
mitted . . -115 
The Queen refuses to re- 
ceive the Communion . 116 
Cobham and Raleigh ar- 
rested . . . 117 
Evidence against them . 118 
Case against Raleigh . . 120 
Raleigh's attempted sui- 
cide . . .121 

Raleigh's trial. . .123 

The verdict . . 135 
Probable explanation of 

Raleigh's conduct . . 136 

I 1 ial of the other prisoners 133 

Executions and reprieves . 139 
Negotiation with the 

Nuncio at Paris . . 140 
James renews his assur- 
ances to the Catholics . 141 
Standen's mission . . 142 
Increase of Catholics in 

England . . T43 
Proclamation for the ban- 

ishment of the p.iests . 144 






1603 Bacon's Considerations 

touching the Pacification 
of the Church of Eng- 
land . . . 146 
James's attitude towards 

the Puritans . . 147 

The Millenary Petition . 148 
Answer of the Universi- 
ties . . . 150 
James's proposals . 151 
Touching for the King's 
evil . . . . 152 

1604 The Conference at Hamp- 

ton Court . . 153 

Death of Whitgift . . 159 

The House of Commons . 160 

The House of Lords . 162 

Meeting of Parliament . 163 

Sir Francis Bacon . . 164 


The King's speech . 165 

Cases of Sherley and 

Goodwin . . . 167 

Recognition of the King's 

title . . . 170 

Purveyance . . .171 

Wardship . . . 174 

Proposed Union with Scot- 
land . . . . 176 
Church Reform in the 

House of Commons . 178 
The Apology of the Com- 
mons . . . 180 
Supply refused . .186 
The trading companies . 187 
Discussion on freedom of 

trade . . .188 

The King's speech at the 
prorogation . . . 190 



1604 Misunderstanding between 

James and the House of 
Commons . . 193 

on a possible reconciler 194 
The Canons of 1604 . 
Archbishop Bancroft . 196 
ngs against the 
■ formists . . 197 

1605 The Northampton hire 

■ ^n . . . 198 

Cecil's opinion 00 Non- 
conformity . . 199 
Expulsion of the Noncon- 
formist 1 . 200 
1604 James and the ( 'atholics . 201 

• 203 

1693 The Spanish monarchy . 204 

1 ■ rma's foreign policy . 205 


1 1 and and Spain . 20^ 

1604 COl 

The Treaty of London . 214 

The Spanish pensioners . 214 
imercial treaty with 

France . . .217 

The blockade of the 
Flemish ports . 

Difficulty of preserving 
ni ntr.ility 

Proposed marriage be- 
tween Prince I [enry and 
the Infanta Anne 
The Ri 1 11 ancy \» 1 1 irried 

[nfc > effei 1 by the ji 
The priests banished . 
Pound's 1 

11 .hi. v fines required 
i the wealthy < atho- 
lics . . . . 
Sir James Lindsay sent to 
1605 The Pope hopes to convert 

I ia] es offei 

'l he R© m ancy fin 

1 i inboi ne 1 reati d 1 .irl of 

Difii' nlties in the way of 
toleration . 












1602 Winter's mission to Spain 

1603 Catesby conceives the idea 

of the plot 

1604 Imparts it to Winter and 


Fawkes and Percy in- 
formed . 

A house at Westminster 

The mine commenced 

1605 A cellar hired 

Fawkes sent to Flanders . 
Garnet, Gerard, and 

Digby, Rokewood, and 

Tresham admitted . 
Preparations for a rising . 
Were the Catholic peers 

to be warned ? 




Tresham turns informer . 
The letter to Lord Mont- 



The plot betrayed to the 





Capture of Fawkes 



Probable explanation of 

Tresham's behaviour . 



The conspirators' proceed- 


ings in London 



Their flight to the North . 



The hunting at Dunchurch 

2 S 8 

Failure of the movement . 



The conspirators take re- 

fuge at Holbeche 



Death and capture of the 


Character of the con- 



spiracy . 




Examination of Fawkes . 265 
Thanksgiving for the de- 
liverance . . 266 
Tresham's imprisonment 
and death . . . 267 
1606 Trial and execution of the 
conspirators who had 
been taken . . 268 
The search at Hindlip . 270 
Capture of Garnet . 271 
His examination . . 272 
His narrative of his con- 
nection with the plot . 273 
His trial . . . 277 
The doctrine of equivoca- 
tion . . . 2°.l 

Garnet's execution . . 282 
Trial of Northumberland 
in the Star Chamber . 283 
1605 Parliament opened and 

adjourned . . . 235 

1606 On its reassembling a new 
Recusancy Act is passed 

The oath of allegiance 

Canons drawn up by Con- 

The doctrine of non-resist- 

The King refuses to assent 
to the canons 

Effect of the oath of alle- 
giance . 

Financial disorder 

James professes a wish to 
be economical . 

Bacon's position in the 
I louse of Commons 

Subsidies granted . 

End of the session 

Visit of the King of Den- 










1603 State of Scotland after the 

King had left it . . 301 
Causes of his success 
against the Presbyterians 302 

1604 He intends to allow no 

more General Assem- 

1605 He fears that an Assembly 




will attack the Bishops 
and Commissioners . 304 

Presbyterian opposition . 305 

Meeting of ministers at 
Aberdeen . . 306 

They declare themselves 
to form a General As- 
sembly . . . 307 

False account of their 
proceedings sent to the 
King . . . 308 

Imprisonment of Forbes 
p.nd five other ministers . 309 

They decline to submit to 
the Council's jurisdic- 
tion . . . 310 
1606 Trial of the ministers . 311 

Their banishment . . 315 

Imprisonment of eight 
other ministers . . 316 

Position of the bishops . 317 

Andrew Melville and seven 
other ministers brought 
to London . . 318 

His verses, imprisonment, 
and banishment . . 319 

The Linlithgow Conven- 
tion and the Constant 
Moderators . . 320 

Causes of the King's suc- 
cess . . . . 322 

Opening of the English 
Parliament . . 324 

Report of the Commis- 
sioners for the Union . 324 

Free trade and naturalisa- 
tion . . . 325 

The Post-nati and the 

Ante-nati . . . 326 

King urges the f 'ora- 
mons 1 t the 

scheme of the Commis- 
sion' . . 328 

on commei 
Intercom . . 329 

1607 Violence of Sir C. Pigott 
Debates on naturalisation 
Speech of Fuller . 

And of Bacon . 

Coke's opinion 

Proposal of the Commons 

Fresh intervention of the 

Abolition of hostile laws 
and extradition of crimi- 

Prisoners to be tried in 
their own country . 

Bacon Solicitor-General . 

Relations between Eng- 
land and Spain 

Sea-fight off Dover 

Ill-treatment of English- 
men in Spain 

Proposed marriage be- 
tween Prince Henry and 
the Infanta Anne 

Kcwce's arrest 

Franceschi's plot . 

The trade with Spain . 

The Spanish company op- 
posed in the House of 

The merchants' petition . 

Spanish cruelties . 

The Commons send the 
petition to the Lords . 

Sili bury advises patience 

Northampton's contemp- 
tuous language . 

Parliament prorogued 

I )i .tin I iani es about cn- 

1608 The case of the Post-nati 

in the Exchequer < !ham- 
ber . . . 

The Post-nati natural] • d 
by the judges 

The I Hi' 01 abandoned 






34 2 





35 2 






1169-1529 The No rin. in f'on- 

quest of Ireland . . 3^8 
ind in the Middle Ages 359 

1529-150''. Ireland in the time ol 

the 1 . 360 

1598 The defeat on the Black- 
water . . . 3'ji 

1^99 F ex in I" land . . 3G2 

Mountjoy In Ireland . 

1603 Submi lion Ol tin- ■ -ountry 1 

i m< esoi the town 

1 . ' ..,. e it I oik . . 367 
Propo ied h igue betw 

tlr 1 ... 

XI 1 


Mountjoy suppresses their 

He returns to England. 

and becomes Earl of 

Sir George Carey Lord 


1604 Sir Arthur Chichester Lord 

Deputy . 

1605 Social condition of Ireland 
The septs and the chiefs . 
The Government wishes to 

introduce English cus- 
1603 Condition of Leinster and 

Of Connaught and Ulster. 

The first circuit in Ulster . 

The Earl of Tyrone . 

Sir John Davies . 
1605 Proclamations for disarm- 
ament, and an amnesty 

i ii.i' 

Protection to be given to 


the Tenants 


Chichester's visit to Ulster 


Treatment of the Irish 


The Dublin aldermen sum- 



moned before the Castle 




Protest of the Catholics . 




Proceedings against the 


Catholics in Munster . 
Chichester's views on per- 






Relaxation of the persecu- 




Indictment of Lalor . 



Chichester's efforts to re- 


form the Church 



1606 Chichester's second visit to 


Ulster . . . 
Wicklow made into shire- 



ground . 




1607 Dissatisfaction of the 

Defeat and death of 

Northern chiefs . 


O'Dogherty . 


Tyrone's quarrel with 

The massacre on Tory 



Island . 


O'Cahan refers his case to 

1609 Neill Garve and O'Cahan 

the Government 


sent to England 


Information given of a con- 

Scheme of the Commis- 

spiracy . 


sioners in London for 

O'Cahan's case to be heard 

the settlement of Ulster 

43 2 

in London . 


Difference between their 

The flight of the Earls . 


scheme and that of 

Precautions taken by the 




4 X 7 

Bacon's views on the sub- 

Chichester's views on the 

ject . . . . 


settlement of Ulster . . 


Chichester's criticism 


Quarrel between O'Cahan 

Publication of the scheme 

and the Bishop of Deny 


of the Commissioners . 


Sir George Paulet at Derry 


1610 Chichester's appeal on be- 

O'Dogherty attacked by 

half of the natives . 


'■t . 


The removal of the Irish . 


The Assizes at Lifford and 

Discontent in Ulster 




Material progress of the 

1608 Intrigues of Neill Garve . 




O'Dogherty 's rising 


Mai- illustrating the Gunpowder Plot 





The first eight centuries of English history were centuries of 
national consolidation. Gradually petty tribes were merged 
449-1272. in larger kingdoms, and kingdoms were merged in 
Nation*! trig nation. The Norman Conquest, which created a 
fresh antagonism of race, softened down territorial 
antagonisms. Then followed the process by which the English 
and the Norman races were fused into one. In the reign of 
Henry II. the amalgamation had been completed, ami the 
union between classes was strengthened by the bond of a 
common n to the tyranny of John, and to the sub- 

serviency of Henry III. to foreign interests. Fortunate!) for 
England she found in the son of Henry III. a king who was 
a thorou h Ei lishman and who was as capable as he was 

When Edward I. reached mai tate, he found his 

countrymen prepared to rush headlong into civil war. When 

he died, he left England welded together into a 

p, r COmpaCi and harmonious body. It was the null of 

1 " udL the early consolidation of the state and nation that, 

however necessary a Strong royal authority still was, tin- duty 

of directing the course of progress could be safely entrusted to 

VOL. I. B 


the nation itself. It was not here, as it was in France, that the 
choice lay only between a despotic king and a turbulent and 
oppressive baronage — between one tyrant and a thousand. A 
king ruling in accordance with law, and submitting his judg- 
ment to the expressed will of the national council, so that the 
things which concerned all might be approved of by all, was 
the ideal of government which was accepted by Edward I. 

The materials of a Parliamentary constitution were no 
doubt ready to Edward's hand. The great councils of the 
^., „ ,. Norman kings were no more than the Witenagemots 

The Parha- ... , 

mcms of of earlier times in a feudal shape, as by subsequent 
modifications they ultimately took the form of the 
modern House of Lords. During the reigns of the Conqueror 
and his sons, they were occasionally held. Under Henry II. 
they met more frequently, to take part in the great questions 
of the time, and to give their sanction to the reforms proposed 
by the king. When John and his son were upon the throne, 
the great barons saw the necessity of uniting themselves in 
their opposition to the Government with the lesser knights and 
freeholders, and accordingly, at that time, representatives of 
this class began to be present at their meetings. Towards the 
end of the contest Simon of Montfort summoned burgesses 
from a few towns which were likely to support his party. The 
advantages to be derived from these changes did not escape 
the sagacious mind of Edward. 'Without a single afterthought, 
or reservation of any kind, he at once accepted the limitation 
of his own powers. To the Parliament thus formed he sub- 
mitted his legislative enactments. He requested their advice 
on the most important administrative measures, and even 
yielded to them, though not without some reluctance, the last 
remnant of his powers of arbitrary taxation. 

He had his reward. Great as were his achievements in 
peace and war, the Parliament of England was the noblest 
:; sh monument ever reared by mortal man. Perhaps the 
.'ao'l^vem- day ma y come when that Parliament will think that 
the statue of Edward ought to occupy the place in 
Palace Yard which has been so unworthily taken possession of 
by the one among our long line of sovereigns who has the least 


claim to be represented in connection either with Westminster 
Hall or with the Houses of Parliament. Many things have 
changed, but in all main points the Parliament of England, as 
it exists at this day, is the same as that which gathered round 
the great Plantagenet. It is especially the same in that which 
forms its chief glory, that it is the representative not of one 
class, or of one portion of society alone, but of every class and 
of every portion which, at any given time, is capable of repre- 
sentation. Every social force which exists in England makes 
its weight felt within the walls of Parliament. The various 
powers of intellect, of moral worth, of social position and of 
wealth find their expression there. Lords and prelates, knights 
and burgesses, join, as they have ever joined, in making laws, 
because each of these classes of men is capable of forming an 
opinion of its own, which in its turn is sure to become an 
element in the general opinion of the country ; and because 
each of them is destined to share in the duty of carrying into 
execution the laws which have been made. 

Nor was it of less importance that those who came up to 
Parliament should come, not on behalf of their own petty 
interests, but as representatives of their common country. 
Happily, the men who composed the Parliament of Edward I. 
had learned this lesson in opposition to a long course of 
arbitrary power, and they were not likely to forget it when they 
were summoned to share the counsels of a truly national king. 
So it was that the step which seemed to divide the powers of 
the State, and in the eyes of some would appear likely to 
introduce weakness into its government, only served to increase 
its strength. Edward was a far more powerful Sovereign than 
his father, not so much by the immeasurable superiority of his 
genius, as because he placed the basis of his authority on a 
broader too! 

Yet, wide as the basis of government had become, England 

in the fourteenth century could not afford to dispense with a 

'3°7-tw9- strong monarchy. The aim of the nation was not, 
N ' • ' " f as it afterwards became in the seventeenth century, 
monarchy, the restriction of the powers exercised by the Govern- 
ment, but the obtaining of guarantees that those powers should 

B 2 


be exercised in the interests, not of the Sovereign, but of the 
nation. Hence the popularity of every king of England who 
made it his object to fulfil the duties of his office. A Sovereign 
who neglected those duties, or one who made use of his high 
position as a means to pamper his own appetites, or those of 
his favourites, was alike ruinous to the fortunes of the rising 
nation. England needed a strong hand to hold the reins, 
and it knew well what its need was. At all costs a government 
must be obtained, or anarchy would break out in its wildest 
forms. What the people felt with regard to the royal 

Illustration , • i , , , • , ,• , 

from • Piers > office was admirably expressed by a writer who lived 
in the latter part of the reign of Edward III. After 
telling the well-known fable of the attempt made by the rats to 
bell the cat, 1 he proceeds to add a sequel of his own. In his 
story the cat, of course, represents the king, the rats stand for 
the nobles, and the mice for the common people. He informs 
us that after the council of the rats had broken up, a little 
mouse stepped forward to address the assembly, which then 
consisted of a large number of mice. He warned them that 
they had better take no part in any attempt against the life, or 
even against the power, of the cat. He had often been told 
by his father of the great misery which prevailed when the cat 
was a kitten. Then the rats gave the mice no rest. If the 
cat injured a mouse or two now and then, at all events he kept 
down the number of the rats. 

It was difficult in a hereditary monarchy to find a worthy 
successor to Edward I. Edward II. was deservedly deposed. 
The later ^' s son ' Edward III., kept England in peace at 
piantagenet home by engaging it in a war of foreign conquest. 
Richard II. succumbed to the difficulties of his situa- 
tion, augmented by his own incapacity for the task of govern- 

The Revolution of 1399 placed the family of Lancaster on 

13^1435. the throne. Ruling as it did by a Parliamentary 

SstrLan"' title > il was una ble to control the power of the great 

tings. barons. Parliament was strong, but in Parliament 

the weight of the House of Lords was superior to that of the 

1 I'icrs Ploughman, 1. 361-413. 


House of Commons, and the lay members of the House of 
Lords had an interest in diminishing the power of the king, 
in order that they might exalt their own at the expense of the 
classes beneath them. Complaints that the kingdom was un- 
done for want of governance were increasingly heard, and 
waxed louder than ever when the sceptre fell into the hands of 
a ruler so weak as Henry VI. 

In the Wars of the Roses which followed, the great lords, 
though nominally defending the crown of their Sovereign, were 
The Wars of in reality fighting for themselves. Personal con- 
ies - siderations, no doubt, often decided the part which 
was taken by individuals in the wars of the Roses, but in the 
main the aristocracy was Lancastrian, whilst the strength of 
the House of York lay in the lesser gentry, and the inhabitants 
of the towns. To the Percies and the Cliffords it was an ad- 
vantage that there was no king in the land. To the humbler 
classes it was a matter of life and death that a strong hand 
should be ever on the watch to curb the excesses of the nobility. 
As long as the struggle was between a Yorkist king and the 
incapable Henry, there was no doubt which was the popular 
hero. When the question narrowed itself into a merely personal 
struggle between two competitors of equal ability, the people 
stood aloof, and left it to a handful of interested persons to 

ide at Bosworth the disputed right to the crown of 

With Henry VII. the Tudor dynasty ascended the throne. 

He took up the work which the kings of the House of York 

,.,„,. had essayed to accomplish— that of establishing a 

VM - strong monarchy, powerful enough to supp] 

anarchy, and to hinder the great nobles from pillaging and 

ill-treating the middle < lasses. By putting in fori e the Statute 

., ol Liveries, Henry VII. threw obstacles in the way 

ofLiveri* .. f the formation of feudal armies wearing the uniform 

of their lord By the enlarged jurisdiction which he gave to 

the Court of star Chamber, he reai h< d « ulprits t< 
high to be made ami nable to the ordinary processes 
of law. That Court, unpopular as it afterwards became, 
now employed in a populai 1 it e. it brought down punish- 


ment on the heads of the great, when it was difficult to find a 
jury which would not be hindered by fear or affection from 
bringing in a verdict against them, even if it could be sup- 
ported by the strongest evidence. 

Such a work could not be done by a weak king. The 
middle class — the country gentry and the tradesmen — were 
Stren th f stron g enough to give support to the sovereign, but 
the Tudor they had not as yet that organisation which would 
have made them strong independently of him. In 
consequence, the king who gave them security was reverenced 
with no common reverence. Because very few wished to 
resist him, those who lifted hand against him fell under the 
1509-1547. general reprobation. Henry VII., and still more 
Henry vm. Henry VIII., were therefore able to do many 
things which no king had ever done before. They could 
wreak their vengeance on those who were obnoxious to them, 
sometimes under the cover of the law, sometimes without any 
pretext of law. Their rule was as near an approach to despot- 
ism as has ever been known in England. But heavily as the 
yoke pressed on individuals it pressed lightly on the nation. 
One word which has come down to us from those times is 
sufficient to point out the nature of the power which men 
understood to be entrusted to the Tudor kings. Even when 
their acts were most violent, the name by which what we should 
call 'the nation' was spoken of was 'the commonwealth.' 
Every class, even the king himself, had a position of its own ; 
but each was expected to contribute to the well-being of the 
whole. Above all, the king had no standing army, still less a 
Dody of foreign mercenaries to depend on. His force rested 
entirely upon public opinion, and that opinion, inert as it was 
on questions affecting individual rights, was prompt to take 
alarm when general interests were at stake. 

The specially constitutional work of Henry VIII. was the 
admission of the House of Commons to a preponderating in- 
increasing fluence in Parliament. No doubt he filled the House 

• of the with his own creatures, and he suggested, and even 

mons. put into shape, the measures adopted by it. For all 
that, the general tone of the House was the tone of the nation 


outside, and before the expression of its wishes the House of 
Peers was compelled to give way. The submission of that 
which had hitherto in reality, as well as in name, been the 
Upper House was disguised by the exclusion of a large number 
of its clerical members through the dissolution of the monas- 
teries, and by the creation of several new peerages in favour of 
men who had risen by the King's favour from the middle 

The growth of the sentiment of national unity had,' during 
the Middle Ages, gradually weakened the hold of the Papacy 
England and on England. The refusal of Clement VII. to ap- 
the Papacy. p rove f tne divorce of Henry VIII. brought the long 
contest to a crisis. The work commenced when the Conqueror 
refused to pay Peter's Pence at the bidding of Gregory VII., 
and, carried on by Henry II., by Edward I., and by the 
authors of the statutes of Provisors and Premunire, was brought 
to an end by the Act of Appeals and the Act of Supremacy. 
Ecclesiasti- England was, in ecclesiastical as well as in civil 
denc" d '' P<:n affairs, to be a nation complete in itself. The great 
attained. object for which the nation had been striving for 
centuries was at last attained. The supremacy of the national 
Government over all individual men, and over all separate 
classes, was achieved. 

Henry had no intention of allowing any change of doctrine 
in the English Church, but it was impossible for him to stop 
the force of the currents which were influencing the thoughts 
of his generation. The very consolidation of national power 

which had weakened the papal organisation, had also sapped 

the spiritual basis on which it rested. < Her all Western Europe 

one uniform tendency of thought was at the bottom 
Axmn • „ 1 ■ 1 ' 1 1 ,-1 

of the Mid- of every movement during the whole course of the 

Middle Ages. To I heck the unruly riot of indivi- 
dual will, and to real li the firm ground of unity and ordi 1. was 
the one prevailing aspiration which manifested itself in all 
departments of human endeavour. The architects oi thi 
cathedrals which were springing up in their beauty in ever) < ornei 
of Europe took care, however irregular the ground plan ot the 
building might be, to lead the eye to one tall spire or tower which 


might give unity to their work. The one great poet 1 produced 
by the Middle Ages worshipped order and arrangement till he, 
a citizen of Italian Florence, was absolutely driven to call upon 
a German prince to bring under some kind of law, however 
rugged, the too luxuriant humours of the burghers of Italian 
cities. As it was with medieval poetry, so was it with 
medieval science. Proud of its new-found pre-eminence, the 
mind of man sat enthroned upon a height from whence it 
summoned all things human and divine to appear before it, 
and to give themselves up to the strict laws and the orderly 
classification which were to be imposed upon them. There 
were to be no obstinate questionings of the wild vagaries of 
nature, no reverent confession of inability to comprehend all 
its mysteries. The mind of man was greater than the material 
world, and by logic it would comprehend it all. Religion could 
not fail to follow in the same direction. The ideal of a people 
is generally composed of every element which is most opposed 
to the evils of their actual existence. With a people scarcely 
escaped from barbarism, that form of self-denial could hardly 
fail to be considered as the highest virtue which is shown, not 
in active exertion, but in bringing into obedience the unruly 
passions and the animal desires. The one way to the hearts 
of men lay through asceticism, and asceticism was only to 
be found in perfection in the monastery. The body was to be 
condemned to a living death, and the spirit alone was to live. 
The greatest saint was not the man who was most useful to the 
Church, but the man who showed the greatest mastery over all 
fleshly desires, and had most entirely cast off the feelings ot 
our common nature : for it was this very power of self-restraint 
which was most difficult of attainment by the impetuous spirit 
of the ordinary layman. When kings foamed at the mouth and 
cursed and swore at every trivial disappointment, it was only 
natural that the most respected of the clergy should wear hair- 
shirts and live like anchorites. Religious thought followed in 
the wake of religious practice. There was one faith drawn out 

1 Chaucer not being a medieval poet at all, except in point of time, 
but standing in the same relation to Shakspere as that in which Wycliffe 
stands to Luther. 

1509-47 THE NEW LEARNING. 9 

with the most complete exactness to the most infinitesimal con- 
sequences, which the greatest minds might illustrate, but from 
which they might not vary a hairbreadth. In every land one 
worship ascended to God. clothed in the same holy forms, and 
offered in the same sacred tongue. Men and the thoughts of 
men might change as the changing billows of the sea, but there 
was that amongst them which never changed. To Englishman 
and Italian, to baron and serf, it told one tale, and inculcated 
one lesson of submission to Him whose kingdom was above all 
the earthly distractions and commotion in the midst of which 
their lives were passed. 

At last a great change came. The craving for discipline 

found its satisfaction in the institutions of the State. Every- 

Reartion where there was a reaction against asceticism, which 

sought by crushing human nature to win a glimpse of 

ism. ° J ° . 

'j he new heaven. Once more, as in the ancient world, man, 
and the world in which he lives, became the highest 
object of the thought of man. The barriers by which the old 
world had been hemmed in fell back, and the wonders of 
creation revealed themselves in all their infinite glory on every 
hand. The boundaries of the earth receded before the 
hardy mariners of Spain and Portugal, and the secret of the 
skies disclosed itself to Copernicus. The works of the great 
masters of ancient thought were once more subjected to a 
minute and reverent study. An architecture arose which was 
regardless of all religious symbolism, but which based itself 
on the strictest observance of mechanical law. Great artists 
enchanted the world by painting men and women as they lived 
and moved. 

In Italy the new learning found itself in opposition to 
the dominant religion, In England, where the Church had 

■I with the world around it, there was 

" no such violent shock of opinion, (diet and More 

III. I- I 

ii ""- strove to reconcile the old world with the new, and 

to mingle the life of a recluse with the life of a student. It was 
this effort to harmonise separate modi - of though! which was 
the distinguishing mark of the English Reformatioa If More- 
shrunk back in this path, there were others who were ready to 


press on. Gradually, but surely, the received practices, and 
even received doctrines, were brought to the test of human 
reason and human learning. At first it was only plainly super- 
stitious usages and impostures which were rejected. Later on 
the doctrines of the Church were explained in such a way as to 
meet logical objections, whilst Cranmer, intellectually bold if 
he was morally weak, was preparing himself by long study of 
the writings of the teachers of the early Church, to renounce 
transubstantiation itself as inconsistent, not with the plain 
words of Scripture, but with those words as interpreted by the 
practice of the first ages of the Church. 

The spirit of the new learning had thus drifted away from the 
asceticism of earlier days. It found an ally in the spirit of Pro- 
Protes- testantism. Luther had expressed the central thought 
tantum. f Protestantism when he proclaimed the doctrine of 
Justification by Faith ; it was the exact converse of the religious 
idea of the Middle Ages. If you would be spiritual, said the 
monks, put the body to death, and the spirit will see God and 
live. Let the spirit live in seeing God, said Luther, and the 
body will conform itself to His will. 

This teaching of the direct personal relationship between 
man and his Creator, was gradually to permeate the English 
_.„ Church. Its introduction into England made govern- 

DlfflCultlCS , , , TT T7-TTT r J 1 ■ 1/" 

of Henry ment a hard task. Henry VIII. found himself con- 
fronted with the duty of keeping the peace between 
warring parties. The bulk of his subjects detested innovations, 
and wished to worship and to believe as their fathers had done. 
The Protestants were not numerous, but they were energetic. 
The teaching of Luther soon gave way to the teaching of 
Zwingli, which was even more antagonistic to the ancient creed ; 
its disciples attacked, sometimes with gross scurrility, principles 
and habits which were dear to the vast majority of Englishmen. 
Amidst these warring elements, Henry felt it to be his duty 
to keep the peace. He sent to the scaffold those who main- 
Hi* treat- tained the authority of the Pope, and who, by so 
doing, assailed the national independence. He sent 
parties. t0 t ne stake those who preached new doctrines, and, 
by so doing, assailed the national unity. The work was done 


roughly and clumsily ; oaths were tendered which never should 
have been tendered, and blood was shed which never should 
have been shed. With some higher motives was mingled 
the greed which marked out as booty the broad abbey lands, 
which were divided between Henry and his court. But Henry's 
strength was, in the main, the result of his representa- 
presentative tive character. The great mass of his subjects dis- 
liked foreign interference as much as they disliked 
Protestant opinions. Toleration was impossible, not merely 
Toleration because the suppression of heresy had long been held 
impossible. to b e t h e b ounc i en duty of all who exercised autho- 
rity, but because there was every reason to believe that if new 
opinions were allowed to take root, and to acquire strength, 
those who held them would at once .begin to persecute the 
vanquished followers of the old creed. 

Henry's resolute action doubtless did much to steady the 
current of change, but he could not stay it. Causes beyond 
the control of any human being were propelling the nation 
forwards. The reaction against the medieval system of thought 
IS47-I553- cou ld not be checked. When Henry died, that 
Edward vi. reaction came in as a flood. In the first, and still 
more in the second, Prayer-Book of Edward VI., the two 
tendencies of the age met. The individuality of religion was 
guided by the critical spirit of the new learning. It was not to 
xpected that SU< h work could be carried on without giving 
nee. The majority of Englishmen looked on with alarm 
tl images were torn down in the churches, and when 
prayers which knew nothing of the sacrifice of the mass were 
read in English. The selfishness and corruption of those who 
rued in Ed ward's name did the rest ; and when Edward 
died, Mary was welcomed as a restorer of a popular Church, 
and of honest government 

Five years after Mary's accession the nation had grown 
weary of the yoke to which it had again submitted. By hei 

marriage with Philip she offended the national feeling 
1553-1558. . 

1 nof of the country. By threatening to resume the abbey 

lands she terrified the men who had made their for- 
tunes by the Reformation. Above all, the sufferings of the 


martyrs warmed the hearts of the people into admiration for a 
faith which was so nobly attested. The seeds which had been 
sown by the Protestants during their brief season of prosperity 
in Edward's reign were beginning to spring up into life. 
Patriotism, selfishness, humanity, and religious faith combined 
to foster the rising disgust which threatened to shake the 
throne of Mary, and which at last found its expression in the 
shout of triumphant joy which greeted the accession of her 

Soon after Elizabeth ascended the throne the second 
Prayer Book of Edward VI. was, with some not unimportant 
is 5 8ri6o 3 . amendments, declared to be the only form of prayer 
JjJSi to be used in churches. Opinion, it was announced, 
c-uhoMc'" 1 was t0 ^ e practically free ; but all must go to 
worship. church, and the exercise of the Roman Catholic 
worship was rigidly suppressed. 1 The Queen had no wish 
to deal hardly with those who remained steadfast in the 
religion of their fathers, and she trusted to time and the 
dying out of the old generation to make the whole nation 
unanimous in accepting the new worship. She herself took no 
interest in theological reasoning, and she miscalculated the 
power which it still exercised in the world. 

It was not long before conspiracies broke out within the 
realm, and from without the tidings came that the Pope had 
Conspiracies excommunicated the Queen, and had absolved her 
Sf I tW lby subjects from their allegiance. In the background 
j£n th e f appeared Philip of Spain, the champion of the Holy 
Spain. See. For us, who know the issue of the conflict, it 

is almost impossible to realise the feeling of dismay with which 
that mighty potentate was regarded by the greatest of the Powers 
of Europe. There did not exist a nation which was not over- 
awed by the extent of his territories. By means of Naples and 
the Milanese he held Italy in a grasp of iron. Franche Comte" 

1 The best defence of Elizabeth's treatment of the Catholics is to be 
found in Bacon's tract, In frficcm memoriam Elizabeths (Works, vi. 298). 
It must, of course, be received with some allowance ; but it is remarkable 
as proceeding from a man who was himself inclined to toleration, and 
written after all motives for flattering the Queen had ceased to exist. 

1558-1603 ENGLAND AND SPAIN. 13 

and the Low Countries served him to keep both France and 
Germany in check. The great mercantile cities of Flanders — 
the Manchesters and Liverpools of the sixteenth century — paid 
him tribute. His hereditary dominions furnished him with 
the finest infantry which had been seen in Europe since the 
dissolution of the Roman Empire. Whatever life and intel- 
Engiand is lectual vigour still remained in Italy was put forth in 
bytfaf^tt furnishing officers for armies which fought in causes 

thiThands of tnat were not ^ eT own > an ^ those officers were at the 
Philip 11. disposal of the King of Spain. Nor was his power, 
like that of Napoleon, limited by the shore. His fleet had won 
the victory which checked the Turkish navy at Lepanto. The 
New World was, as yet, all his own ; and, as soon as Portugal 
had been added to his dominions, all that that age knew of 
maritime enterprise and naval prowess was undertaken under the 
flag of Spain. Great as his power was in reality, it was far greater 
The growing to ^ e imagination. It is no wonder that the Eng- 
lish people, when they found themselves exposed 
give, way. t the attacks of such an adversary, gradually forgot 
those new principles of partial toleration which had not yet 
settled deeply into the national mind. The doctrine put 
forth at the accession of Elizabeth was, that conscience was 
free, although the public exercise of any other than the estab- 
lished religion was to be suppressed. Unsatisfactory as this 
was, it was yet an immense advance upon the opinions which 
had prevailed thirty years before. By degrees, however, the 
Government and the Parliament alike re< eded from this position, 
early as in 1563 an Act was passed by which the bishops 
were empowered to tender the oath of supremacy, not only to 
persona holding Church preferment or official positions in 
the State, but to large bodies of men ; and it was enacted 

that all who refused the oatli should be visited with severe 


The position of Elizabeth was still further complicated by 
the untoward occurrence Of the flight of Mary Stuart into 
Mary smart England, she did not come, a 1 has been oi 

imagined, as a humble suppliant in sear< h oi a refuge 
from her enemies. She came breathing vengeance Upon the 


nation by which she had been deposed, and demanding either 
an English army to replace her on the throne, or permission to 
seek similar assistance from the King of France. Elizabeth 
hesitated long. She could not, even if she had wished it, grant 
her the assistance of an English force ; and to look on while 
she was being restored by a French army was equally impossible 
in the condition in which European politics were at the time. 
With Mary's claims to the English crown, a French conquest 
of Scotland would only have been the precursor of a French 
attempt to conquer England. 

After long deliberation, Elizabeth chose the alternative 
which for the time seemed to be most prudent. She must 
Her im- have come at last to doubt the wisdom of her de- 
amfexecu? cision. While Mary was lying within the walls of an 
tiun. English prison, her name became a tower of strength 

to the Papal party throughout Europe. The tale of her life, 
told as it was in every Catholic society, was listened to as if it 
had been one of the legends of the Saints. Every tear she 
dropped put a sword into the hands of the Pope and the 
Spaniard. There was not a romantic youth in Catholic Europe 
who did not cherish the hope of becoming the chosen in- 
strument by whose hands deliverance might reach the victim of 
heretical tyranny. Jesuits and missionary priests swarmed over 
from the Continent, and whispered hopes of victory in the ears 
of their disciples. Incessant attempts were made to assassinate 
Elizabeth. At last the end drew near ; the only end which 
could well have come of it. Louder and louder the voice of 
England rose, demanding that the witch who had seduced so 
many hearts should not be suffered to live. After a long 
struggle, Elizabeth gave way. The deed was done which none 
of those had contemplated who, nineteen years before, had 
joined in recommending the detention of the Scottish Queen, 
although it was only the logical consequence of that fatal error. 

If the Government and people of England dealt thus with 
Mary herself, they were not likely to treat with mild- 

lll-treatmcnt . .. , , . . , . 

of the ness the supporters of her claims. Act after Act was 

passed, each harsher than the last, against priests who 

should attempt to reconcile any subject of the Queen to the 

1558-1603 ELIZABETH'S VICTORY. 15 

See of Rome, or should even be found engaged in the cele- 
bration of mass. The laity were visited with fines, and were 
frequently subjected to imprisonment. Harsh as these pro- 
ceedings were, the mere fact that it was thought necessary to 
justify them shows the change which had taken place since 
Henry VIII. was upon the throne. Neither the arguments 
put forward by the Government, nor those by which they were 
answered, were by any means satisfactory. We shake our 
heads incredulously when we hear a priest from Douai urging 
that he was merely a poor missionary, that he was a loyal sub- 
ject to the Queen, and that, if success attended his undertaking, 
it would be followed by no political change. 1 We are no less 
incredulous when we hear Burghley asserting that the Govern- 
ment contented itself with punishing treason, and that no re- 
ligious question was involved in the dispute. 

The old entanglement between the temporal and the 
spiritual powers was far too involved to be set loose by 
argument. 2 Such questions can be decided by the sword 
alone. The nation was in no mood to listen to scholastic 
disputations. Every year which passed by swept away some of 
the old generation which had learnt in its infancy to worship 
at the Catholic altars. Every threat uttered by a Spanish 
ambassador rallied to the national government hundreds who, 
in quieter times, would have looked with little satisfaction 
on the changed ceremonies of the Elizabethan Church. With 
stern confidence in their cause and in their leaders, the English 
people prepared for the struggle which awaited them. I .eagued 
TheAr- w ' 1 '' ' ne rising republic of the United Netherlands, 

maria. jjjgy l ja de defiance tO Philip and all his power. At 

last the storm which had been for so many years gathering on 

1 In the letten of the priests amongsl tin-' Roman Transcripts in tht 
R.O., written in tin beginning of James's reign, Elizabeth is usually styled 
the ' Pseudo-Regina. 1 

7 Bacon peaks of ' matters of religion au'l the Church, which in these 
times by the confused nseof both swords arc b intermixed with 

considerations of estate, as most <>( the counsels of overeign prii 1 
republics depend upon them.' — The Beginning of the History 
Britain. Works, vi. 276. 


the horizon burst upon the English Channel. When the smoke 
of battle cleared away England was still unharmed, riding at 
anchor safely amidst the swelling billows. 

As long as the great struggle lasted it could not but exercise 
a powerful influence upon the mental growth of those who 
Effects of witnessed it. On the one hand it favoured the 
the conflict. g row th of national consciousness, of the habit of 
idealising English institutions, and above all of the great 
Queen who was loved and reverenced as an impersonation of 
those institutions. On the other hand it drove those in whom 
the religious element predominated to accentuate the differ- 
ences which separated them far more than they would have 
done in time of peace. The Catholic whose zeal had been 
stirred up by the new missionaries was far more hostile to 
Protestantism, and to the Government which supported Protes- 
tantism, than his father had been in the generation before him. 
The Protestant caught eagerly at doctrines diametrically 
opposed to those which found favour at Rome. He opposed 
principle to principle, discipline to discipline, infallibility to 

If, by the doctrine of justification by faith, Luther had ex- 
pressed the central thought of Protestantism, it was 
i^ic system" reserved to Calvin to systematise the Protestant 
teaching and to organise the Protestant Church. 

It was well that discipline was possible in the Protestant 

ranks. The contest which was approaching called for a faith 

, which was formed of sterner stuff than that of which 


with the Lutheranism was made. It was necessary that the 

asceticism of. , , r • i /- -i ,- -i • i i i i 

the Middle ideas of self-restraint and of self-denial should again 
resume their prominence. There is in many respects 
a close resemblance between the Calvinistic system and that of 
the medieval Church. Both were characterised by a stern 
dislike to even innocent pleasures, and by a tendency to in- 
terfere with even the minute details of life. The law of God, 
to which they called upon men to conform, was regarded by 
both rather as a commandment forbidding what is evil than 
as a living harmony of infinite varieties. The form of Church 
government which was adopted in either system was regarded 

155S-1603 CALVINISM. 17 

as not only of Divine institution, but as being the one mould 
in which every Christian Church should be cast. But here the 
resemblance ended. The pious Catholic regarded close com- 
munion with God as the final object of his life, after he had 
been delivered from all selfish passions by strict obedience to 
external laws and by the performance of acts commanded by an 
external authority. The pious Calvinist regarded this com- 
munion as already attained by the immediate action of the 
Holy Spirit upon his heart. The course of the former led him 
from the material to the spiritual. The course of the latter led 
him from the spiritual to the material. One result of this 
difference was that the Calvinist was far more independent 
than the Catholic of all outward observances, and of all assist- 
ance from his fellow-men. He stood, as it were, alone with 
his God. He lived 'ever in his Great Taskmaster's eye.' His 
doctrine of predestination was the strong expression of his 
belief that the will of God ruled supreme amidst the changes 
and chances of the world. His doctrine of the Atonement was 
replete with his faith, that it is only by an act of God that the 
world can he restored to order. His doctrine of conversion 
was the form in which he clothed his assurance that it was only 
when God Himself came and took up His abode in his heart 
that he could do His will. There was that in these men which 
could not be conquered. They were not engaged in working 
out their own salvation ; they were God's chosen children. In 
their hands they had the Word of God, and, next to that, they 
had His Oracles written in their own hearts. They were liable 
to mistakes, no doubt, like other men, and in all good faith 

they complained of the corruption of their hearts ; but it was 

not wonderful that in all critical conjunctures they fain ied 
themselves infallible, because they imagined that their own 

thoughts were sign-, to them of the voire of Cod. If He were 

for them, who could he against them? Anchored on the 

Ro< k of Ages, they I 011M safely bid <1< fi.iti< e to all the menaces 
of the Pope and to all the armies of the mightiest potentates "I 

When Elizabeth ascended the throne, the Calvinistii iVSti 111 

VOL. I. C 


of belief had penetrated with more or less completeness into 
the minds of the great majority of English Protestants. It 
owed its success in part to the circumstance that, during the 
it is favour- Marian persecution, so many of the English Protes- 
ceivedin tants na d come under the influence of the leading 
Ei'.zai^tivs """inds of the countries in which they passed the 
accession. t ; me f their exile ; but still more to its logical 
completeness, and to the direct antagonism in which it stood 
to the doctrines of the Roman Church. 

As a system of belief, therefore, Calvinism had gained a 
footing in England. Its system of Church government, and its 
mode of carrying on the public worship of the congregation, 
were likely to meet with more opposition. The English 
Reformation had been carried out under the control of the 
lay authorities. Such a Reformation was not likely to be 
conducted according to strict logical rules. Feelings and 
prejudices which could not be recognised by a thinker in 
his study necessarily had a large share in the work which 
had been done. The Calvinistic Reformation, on the other 
hand, was, above all things, a clerical Reformation. During 
the greater part of the sixteenth century the thought of Europe 
was to be found, almost exclusively, in the ranks of the Pro- 
testant clergy, and by far the greater part of the Protestant 
clergy grouped themselves instinctively round the banner of 
Calvin, the most severe and logical thinker of them all. 

The first difference was caused by the revival of the Ves- 
tiarian Controversy, as it was called, which had already given 
. rise to much confusion during the reign of Ed- 
rian Con- ward VI. The vestments which were finally adopted 
by the Church of England, together with certain other 
ceremonies, displeased the Calvinistic ministers, not only as 
relics of Popery, but also as bringing ideas before their minds 
which were incompatible with the logical perfection of their 
system. They believed that the operations of Divine grace, so 
far as they were carried on through human agency at all, were 
attached to the action either of the written Word or of the 
preaching of the Gospel upon the mind To imagine that the 
heart could be influenced by outward forms and ceremonies, 

153S-1603 NONCONFORMITY, 19 

or that the spirit could be reached through the bodily organs, 
was an idea which they were unable to grasp. 1 

The laity, on the other hand, as a body, did not trouble 
themselves to consider whether or not such things fitted 
into the religious theory which they had adopted. Certain 
ceremonies and certain vestments had been abolished be- 
cause they were understood to be connected with imposture 
or falsehood. But they were unable to comprehend why a 
man could not wear a surplice because he believed the 
doctrines of predestination and justification by faith, or why he 
could not reverently kneel during the administration of the 
Communion because he was certain that that which he took 
from the hands of the minister had not ceased to be veritable 
bread and wine. 

With all these feelings Elizabeth was inclined to sympathise. 
Herself fond of outward pomp and show, she would have been 

F.i> he h £»l a d t0 see in use ratner more of the old forms than 

those which she found it advisable to retain. But 

on- there were grave reasons which justified her during 

the earlier years of her reign, in her opposition to 

those who clamoured for a simpler ritual. The great mass of 

the clergy themselves were at heart opposed to Protestantism. 

( H the laity, a very large number looked coldly even upon 

moderate deviations from the forms to which, excepting for a 

few years, they had been so long accustomed. Even those 

who, from horror at the excesses of Mary, sympathised with 

1 Of course they could not reject the two sacraments, but they con- 
nected them with preaching as niucli B !e. In the Scottish I 
- ! I iith "i 1500 we find : "That sacraments he rightly ministi 
we judge two things requisite ; the one, that they lie ministrate by lawful 
minister-., whom we affirm to he only those that are appointed to the 
hing of the word, into whose mouth God bath pul some sermon ol 

exhortation," &C. (Art. xxii.) On the other hand, their hatred o( 

mality made them lays "We utterly condemn the vanity of those that 

affirm sacraments to he nothing else hut naked and hare signs'' (Ait. KX1.) 

I:, on remarked the prevalence of the same idea among I the 1 1 
I .tans :" They have made it almost of the C ence ol the ocrami 
the supper to have a . Bacon on th ( ontrovei 

of the Church, Letttri and Lift, i. <p,. 

c 2 


the overthrow of priestly domination, were by no means 
inclined to part with the decent forms and reverent ceremonies 
which remained. If Elizabeth had carried out the Reforma- 
tion in the spirit of Cartwright and Humphreys, many years 
would hardly have passed before the House of Commons 
would have been found supporting the principles which had 
been maintained by Gardiner and Bonner in her father's reign. 
What the tendency of those principles was, England had 
learned only too well by a bitter experience. 

It speaks volumes in favour of the conciliatory effects of 
English institutions that Elizabeth was able to find amongst 
the Calvinist clergy men who would assist her as bishops in 
carrying out the settlement upon which she had determined. 
They would themselves have preferred to see alterations made 
to which she was unwilling to assent, but they were ready to 
give up points which they judged to be comparatively unim- 
portant, rather than to put the fortunes of Protestantism itself 
in jeopardy. If, so late as in 15 71, Archbishop Parker had to 
wiite that ' the most part of the subjects of the Queen's High- 
ness disliketh the common bread for the sacrament,' ' we may 
be sure that any general attempt to adopt the simple forms of 
the Genevan ritual would have met with similar disfavour. 
Even if Elizabeth had been inclined to try the experiment, she 
could not have afforded to run the risk. There was, probably, 
not more than a very little pardonable exaggeration in the 
words which, in 1559, were addressed by Granvelle to the 
English Ambassador. "It is strange," he said, "that you believe 
the world knoweth not your weakness. I demand, what store 
of captains or men of war have you ? What treasure, what 
furniture for defence ? What hold in England able to endure 
the breath of a cannon for one day? Your men, I confess, 
are valiant, but without discipline. But, admit you had 
discipline, what should it avail in division ? The people a 
little removed from London are not of the Queen's religion. 
The nobles repine at it, and we are not ignorant that of late 
some of them conspired against her." 2 

1 Parker Correspondence, p. 373. 2 Wright's Queen Elizabeth, i. 24. 


Strong, however, as the reasons were which urged all prudent 

men to caution, it is not to be wondered at that there were 

some of the Calvinistic clergy who refused to give 

Some of the . ° J ° 

way. Amongst their ranks were to be found seme of 
the most learned men and the ablest preachers in 
England. To them these trifles were of the utmost importance, 
because in their eyes they were connected with a great principle. 
To Elizabeth they were nothing but trifles, and her anger was 
proportionately excited against those who upon such slight 
grounds were bringing disunion into the Church, and were 
troubling her in the great work which she had undertaken. 

For some years she bore with them, and then demanded 
obedience, on pain of dismissal from the offices which they 
The Queen held. At the same time she repressed with a strong 
gainst hand a little company of Nonconformists who held 
them. their meetings in a private house, and committed to 

prison those persons who had been present at these gather- 

Those who know what the subsequent history of England 
was are able to perceive at a glance that she had brought 
herself into a position which could not be permanently main- 
tained. As yet, however, the hope that all Englishmen would 
continue to hold the same faith, and to submit to the same 
ecclesiastical regulations, was still too lively for any earnest 
men to see with indifference a separation of which none could 
foretell the end. And, at hast until the generation had died 

out which remembered tin- enticements of the Roman Catholic 
inonial, it was only with extreme caution, if at all, that the 
• tin^ clergy COUld In- allowed to take their places ill the 

different parishes. At a later time the wisest Statesmen, with 
ghley at their head, wire in favour of a gradual r< laxation 

of the bonds which pressed upon the clergy. Excepting 

perhaps in a few p towns, the time had not yet 

come when this < mild be done with impunity. 

It is unnecessary to say that Elizabeth was influenced by 

other motives in addition to these, she regarded with sus- 

]>i< ion all movements which were likely to undermine the 
power of the Crown. She saw with instinctive jealousy that 


opposition might be expected to arise from these men on other 
questions besides the one which was on the surface at the time. 
This feeling of dislike was strengthened in her as soon as she 
discovered that the controversy had assumed a new phase. In 
her eyes Nonconformity was bad enough, but Presbyterianisin 
was infinitely worse. 

Calvinism was, as has been said, a clerical movement ; and 
it was only to be expected that the system of Church govern- 
Presbyterian ment and discipline which Calvin had instituted at 
rhur"h° f Geneva should be regarded with favourable eyes by 
government. ] ar g e numbers of the Protestant clergy. There is 
not the smallest reason to doubt that these men honestly 
believed that the government of the Church by presbyters, 
lay-elders, and deacons was exclusively of Divine appointment. 
But it cannot be denied that such a system was more likely to 
find acceptance among them than any other in which a less 
prominent position had been assigned to themselves. The 
preacher was the key-stone of Calvin's ecclesiastical edifice. 
Completely freed from any restraint which the authorities of 
the State might be inclined to place upon him, he was to be 
supreme in his own congregation. This supremacy he was to 
obtain, it is true, by the force of eloquence and persuasion 
combined with the irresistible power of the great truths which 
it was his privilege to utter. His hearers would choose lay- 
elders to assist him in maintaining discipline, and in the 
general superintendence of the congregation, and deacons who 
were to manage the finances of the Church. But as long as he 
had the ear of his congregation he stood upon an eminence 
on which he could hardly be assailed with impunity. What- 
ever matters involved the interests of more than a single 
congregation were to be debated in synods, in which, although 
laymen were allowed to take no inconsiderable share, the 
influence of the ministers was certain to predominate. 

In Scotland, where this scheme was carried out, there were 
Presbytc- f ew obstacles to its success. There the aristocracy 
acceptable wno na< ^ ta ^ en P art m tne Reformation were satisfied, 
in England. f or t h e time, with plundering the Church of its pro- 
perty, and were far too backward in civilisation to originate any 

1553-1603 rRESBYTERIAXISM. 23 

ecclesiastical legislation of their own. As a spiritual and in- 
tellectual movement, the Scottish Reformation had been 
entirely in the hands of the preachers, and it followed as a 
matter of course, that the system of Church government which 
was adopted by the nation was that which assigned the 
principal part to those who were the chief authors of the 
change. It is true that, in theory, a considerable influence 
was assigned to the laity in the Presbyterian system ; but it 
was to the laity regarded as members of a congregation, not as 
members of a State. In the eye of the Presbyterian clergy, 
the king and the beggar were of equal importance, and ought 
to be possessed of only equal influence, as soon as they 
entered the church doors. Noble as this idea was, it may 
safely be said that this organised ecclesiastical democracy could 
not nourish upon English soil. England has been Papal, 
Episcopal, and Liberal; she has shouted by turns for the 
authority of Rome, for the Royal Supremacy, and for the 

iits of Conscience. One thing she has steadily avoided: 
she has never been, and it may be affirmed without fear of 
contradiction that she never will be, Presbyterian. 

The nation saw at once that the system cut at the root of 
the cardinal principle of the English Reformation, the sub- 
jet tion of the clergy to the lay courts. The Queen occupied 
her position as trustee for the laity of England. She expressed 
the feelings of the great body of her subjects when she refused 
to assent to a change which would have brought an authority 
into the realm which would soon have declared itself to be 
independent of the laws, and which would have been sadly 
subversive Ol individual freedom, and of the orderly gradation I 

of society upon which tin- national constitution rested. 

For it 1, not to he supposed that the Presbyterian clergy 

in the sixteenth < eiitury claimed only those moderate po\. 

which an' exercised with general satisfaction in 
Scotland at the present day. 1 he Genevan ai 
phne was a word of fear in the ears of bnglisn la) 

Uberty - men. The system which led to its introduction 
ild, in the opinion ol many besides Ba< on, he i no 

prejudicial to the liberties of private men than to the so 


reignty of princes,' although it would be 'in first show very 
popular.' ' 

As a religious belief for individual men, Calvinism was 
eminently favourable to the progress of liberty. But the 
Reasons Calvinistic clergy, in their creditable zeal for the ame- 
t5fy his US * lioration of the moral condition of mankind, shared 
opinion. t0 t h e f u ll w ith the national statesmen their ignorance 
of the limits beyond which force cannot be profitably employed 
for the correction of evil. Their very sincerity made it more 
injurious to the true cause of virtue to intrust them with the 
power of putting into force measures for the repression of vice 
than it was to leave similar powers in the hands of the states- 
men of the day. The thousand feelings by which restraints 
were laid upon men of the latter class, their prejudices, their 
weaknesses, and occasionally even their profligacy itself, com- 
bined with their practical sagacity in diminishing the extent 
to which they were willing to punish actions which should 
never have been punished at all. With the Calvinistic clergy 
these feelings were totally inoperative. Penetrated with the 
hatred of vice, and filled with the love of all that was pure 
and holy, they saw no better way of combating evils which 
they justly dreaded than by directing against them the whole 
force of society, in the vain hope of exterminating them by a 
succession of well-directed blows. Of the distinction between 
immorality and crime they knew nothing. If they had been 
true to their own principles they would have remembered that, 
whenever in cases of immorality they failed to purify by ad- 
monition and exhortation the corruption of the heart, they had 
nothing more to do. If it was contrary to spiritual religion 
to attract the mind by outward forms, it was far more contrary 
to it to force the mind by external penalties. By an intelligible 
inconsistency, they allowed this argument to .drop out of sight. 
They did not, indeed, themselves claim to inflict these punish- 
ments ; in theory they had drawn the line too distinctly between 
the spheres of the ecclesiastical and the secular jurisdiction to 
admit of that. They contented themselves with pronouncing 

1 Writing in Walsingham's name, Bacon's Letters and Life, i. ioo. 


excommunication against offenders. But in their hands ex- 
communication was not merely the merciful prohibition of 
the partaking of a Christian sacrament ; it carried with it the 
exposure of the guilty person to an intolerable isolation amongst 
his fellows, and it finally necessitated a public and degrading 
ceremonial before he could again be received into favour. 

They went further still. The penalties which they shrunk 

from inflicting themselves, should be, in their opinion, carried 

Assistance i nto execution by the civil power. Once more 

offenders were to be delivered to the secular arm. 


ted to The Scottish second Book of Discipline distinctly 

maintain . . , 

discipline, enumerates among the functions of the civil magis- 
trate the duty of asserting and maintaining ' the discipline of 
the kirk,' and ' of punishing them civilly that will not obey the 
censure of the same,' though it takes care to add, that this is to 
be dune ' without confounding always the one jurisdiction with 
the other.' 1 The same opinion was expressed by Cartwright, 
the leader of the English Presbyterians, when he urged that 
'the civil magistrate ' would do well to provide 'some sharp 
punishment for those that contemn the censure and discipline 
of the Church.' a 

A reservation was expressed of the rights of the civil autho- 
rities. But it is plain that Cartwright and his friends regarded 
it as the duty of the authorities to inflict punishment on those 
who resisted the decrees of the Church, without assigning to 
them any right of revising those decrees. It was also possible, 
that when the civil powers refused to put their decisions in 
execution, the ministers might think themselves justified in 
stirring up a dcmo< rati< resistance against a system of govern- 
ment which re eived the approval of the wiser and more 
pnu ti< al portion of the laity. 

In taking her stand, as she did, against the abolition <>f 
Episcopacy, Elizabeth was on the whole acting on behalf of the 
liberty of her subjects. The Bimple expedient of allowing the 
Presbyterians to introduce their system wherever they could 

find congregations who would voluntarily submit to the di • 1 
1 Chap. x. J Second Admonition to ParUanunt, |>. ,\<). 


pline, on condition of their renunciation of all the emoluments 
and privileges of their former position, would have been as 
repulsive to the ministers themselves, as it certainly was to the 
Queen. They asked for no position which was to be held on 
sufferance ; their claim was, that their system was directly 
commanded by the Word of God, and that, without grievous 
sin, not a moment could be lost in delivering the whole Church 
of England into their hands. 

At all costs, if England was not to be thrown into confusion 
from one end to the other, some measures must be taken by 
English which such consequences might be averted, and the 
Episcopacy. on iy contrivance that presented itself to the mind of 
the Queen was the maintenance of the Episcopal Constitution. 
Episcopacy was indeed looked upon in a very different light 
from that in which it had been regarded in the days of Eecket, 
and from that in which it was afterwards regarded in the days of 
Laud. To all outward appearance, the position of the Bishops 
in the Church of England was the same as that which they 
occupied in the following century. The same forms were 
observed in their consecration : the functions which they were 
called on to fulfil were identical with those which devolved 
upon their successors. But whereas in the seventeenth century 
they were looked upon as the heads of an ecclesiastical system 
in alliance with the King, in the sixteenth century they were 
mainly regarded as forming the principal part of the machinery 
by which the clergy were kept in subordination to the State. 
The powers vested in the Crown by the Acts of the first 
Parliament of Elizabeth were sufficient to keep the Church 
down with a strong hand ; but it was thought desirable, if 
possible, to keep the clergy in order by means of members of 
their own body. It is no wonder that the Bishops, who were 
regarded by statesmen as guarantees of peace and order, were 
looked upon by Presbyterians as traitors to the cause of Christ 
and of the Chun h. All this obloquy they were ready to 
endure in order to save the nation from falling away once 
more to the Pope. Many of them were probably careless 
whether the Churrh was to be governed by bishops or by pres- 
byters ; almost all of them were ready to agree with those who 


urged the modification of the ceremonies. But they saw in 
the state of public feeling enough to make them distrust extreme 
measures, and, at the risk of being considered faithless to the 
cause which they had most at heart, they offered their services 
to the Queen. 

The cardinal principle of the English Reformation from a 
political point of view, is the doctrine of the Royal Supremacy. 
The Royal If we regard the Sovereign as the representative of 
"*• the State, the declaration that he is supreme over 
all persons and all causes, ecclesiastical as well as civil, may 
be justly spoken of as one of the corner-stones of the liberties 
of England. It meant, that there should be no escape from 
submission to the law of the land, and that justice alone, and 
not privilege, was to rule the relations which existed between 
the clergy and the people. It. was only by a slow process, how- 
ever, that the nation could learn what justice really was, and 
it was not at a moment when the Queen was bent upon her 
great task of smoothing away differences amongst supporters 
of the national cause, that she would be likely to look with 
favour upon those whose principles threatened to rend the 
ntry asunder, and perhaps to embark it upon such a civil 
war as was at that time desolating France. We may sympathise 
with Elizabeth, provided that we sympathise also with those 
who defied her by raising the standard of the rights of con- 
rue, and who refused to allow their religious convictions to 
be moulded by considerations of political expediency. 

It was inevitable that strife, and not peace, should be the 

ultimate result of what Elizabeth had done. When Cartwright, 

at that time Professor Of Divinity in the University of 

Cambridge, stood forth to defend the Presbyterian 

right government, he was met by Whitgift with the argu- 

it that there was no reason to imagine that the forms of 

Chut' h government were prescribed in the Scriptures. Christ, 

he said, having left that government uncertain, it might vary 

>rding to the requirements of the time I le then pro< e< ded 

to argue that the existing i onstitution of the ( !hun h of 3 England 

was most suitable to the country in the reign of Elizabeth. 

It might be supposed that a principle such as that announced 


by Whitgift would have inspired the men who held it with 
conciliatory sentiments. This, unfortunately, was not the case. 
AVhitgift and those who thought with him seemed to regard 
their opponents as enemies to be crushed, rather than as 
friends whose misdirected energies were to be turned into some 
beneficial channel. Even the good and gentle Grindal had no 
other remedy for Presbyterianism than to send half a dozen of 
its most attached disciples to the common gaol at Cambridge, 
and another half-dozen to the same destination at Oxford. 

But if Grindal forgot himself for a moment, he was soon 
able to vindicate his claim to respect as the occupant of the 
Grindal, highest seat in the English Church. In one of the 
of r cante h r° P gravest crises through which that Church ever passed 
bury. h e stood forth as her champion, under circumstances 

of peculiar difficulty and danger. It was plain that the energies 
of the Government could not long continue to be occupied 
with merely repressive means, without serious detriment to the 
Church, the interest of which those measures were intended to 
protect. It was all very well to enact rules for the regulation 
of questions in dispute ; but unless the conforming clergy could 
put forth some of the energy and ability which were to be 
found on the opposite side, the Bishops and their regulations 
would, sooner or later, disappear together. The Bishops them- 
selves were not in fault. They had long grieved over the 

condition of the clergy. In most parishes, the very 
Low con- °'., 1 1 ' _ ' 

dition of men who had sung mass in the days of Mary now 

remained to read the service from the Book of Com- 
mon Prayer. The livings were generally so small that they 
offered no inducement to anyone to accept them who was 
above a very humble station in life. It was well if the incum- 
bents could blunder through the prescribed forms, and could 
occasionally read a homily. 

The consequence of this state of things was, that whilst 
churches where sermons were preached were crowded, those 
where they were not were deserted. ' The only hope of a better 
state of things lay in the prospect of obtaining the services of 

1 Hooker, Eccl, Pol., v. xxii. 16, 

1558-1603 THE PURITAN CLERGY. 29 

the young men of ability and zeal who were growing up to 
manhood in the Universities. But such men were generally 
found among the Puritans, as the Nonconformists and the 
Presbyterians began to be alike called in derision. Unless 
some means were employed to attract such men to the existing 
order, the cause which Elizabeth had done so much to sustain 
was inevitably lost. 

About the time that the Presbyterian controversy was at its 
height, an attempt was made at Northampton to introduce a 
D more vigorous life into the Church. The incum- 


bent of the parish, in agreement with the mayor 
of the town, organised an association for religious 
purposes. Many of their regulations were extremely valuable, 
but they allowed themselves to inquire too closely into the 
private conduct of the parishioners, and the mayor even lent 
his authority to a house-to-house visitation, for the purpose of 
censuring those who had absented themselves from the com- 
munion. Together with these proceedings, which may well 
have been regarded as inquisitorial, sprang up certain meetings, 
which were termed Prophesyings. These exercises, which, in 
The 1 'ine respects resembled the clerical meetings of the 

""s*" present day, were held for the purpose of discussing 
theological and religious subjects, and were regarded as a 
means by which unpractised speakers might be trained for the 
delivery of sermons. Care was to be taken that the meeting 
did not degenerate into a debating society. 

Prophesyings spread like wildfire over the kingdom. 
They were too well fitted to meet the wants of the time not to 

( become rapidly popular. Abuses crept in, as they 

always will in such movements; but, on the whole, 
rally the effect was for good nun who had before been 

unable to preach, acquired a facility of expression. 

'I he lukewarm were Stirred up, and the backward 

ouraged, by intercourse with their more active brethren. 
Ten Bishops, with the Archbishop of Canterbury, the venerable 
Grindal himself at their head, encouraged these proceedings, 

which, as they fondly hoped, would restore life and energy to 1 


Church which was rapidly stiffening into a mere piece of state 

The Archbishop drew up rules by which the abuses 
which had occurred might be obviated for the future. The 
„ . , , meetings were to be held only under the direction of 
draws up the Bishop of the diocese, by whom the moderator 
prc^cn't was to be appointed. The Bishop was to select the 
subject for discussion, and without his permission no 
one was to be allowed to speak. This permission was never, 
on any account, to be accorded to any layman, or to any 
deprived or suspended minister. Any person attacking the 
institutions of the Church was to be reported to the Bishop, 
and forbidden to take part in the exercises on any future 

Under such regulations these meetings deserved to prosper. 
They were undoubtedly, as Bacon long afterwards said, when he 
urged their resumption, ' the best way to frame and train up 
preachers to handle the Word of God as it ought to be 

Unfortunately for herself and for England, the Queen 

looked upon these proceedings from a totally opposite point of 

. , . view. She had sagacity enough to leave unnoticed 

.». these opinions which differed from her own, provided they 

mietiiiKs . .... , 

with sua- would be content to remain in obscurity, and were 
not paraded before the eye of the public ; but for the 
clash of free speech and free action she entertained feelings of 
the deepest antipathy. Even preaching itself she regarded with 
ir- r rHsiike dislike. Very carefully chosen persons from amongst 
chmg. t ] ie clergy, on rare occasions, might be allowed to 
indulge a select audience with the luxury of a sermon ; but, in 
ordinary circumstances, it would be quite enough if one of the 
Homilies, published by authority, were read in the hearing of 
the congregation. There would be no fear of any heretical 
notions entering into the minds of men who, from one year's 
end to another, never listened to anything but those faultless 

1 Certain Considerations for the better Establishmoit of the Church of 


compositions. If two preachers were to be found in a county, 
it was enough and to spare. 

With such opinions on the subject of preaching, she at once 
took fright when she heard what was going on in different 
parts of the kingdom. She determined to put a stop 
fright, to the Prophesyings. Like an anxious mother, who 

the suppres- is desirous that her child should learn to walk, but 
Prophet is afraid to allow it to put its foot to the ground, 
Ings ' she conjured up before her imagination the over- 

throw of authority which would ensue if these proceedings were 
allowed. She issued a letter to the Bishops, commanding them 
to suppress the Prophesyings. 

In spite of the storm which was evidently rising, the brave 
old Archbishop took his stand manfully in opposition to the 
Grindai Queen. Firmly, but respectfully, he laid before her, 
P rot ' in its true colours, a picture of the mischief she was 

doing. He begged her to think again before she committed 
an act which would be the certain ruin of the Church. As 
for himself, he would never give his consent to that which he 
believed to be injurious to the progress of the Gospel. If the 
Queen chose to deprive him of his archbishopric, he would 
cheerfully submit, but he would never take part in sending out 
any injunction for the suppression of the Prophesyings. 

Grindal's remonstrances were unavailing. He himself was 
suspended from his functions, and died in deep disgrace. The 
udisnu- Prophesyings were put down, and all hope of bring- 

,,;cJ - ing the waters of that free Protestantism which was 
rapidly becoming the belief of so many thoughtful Englishmen, 
t<> flow within the channels of Episcopacy was, for the present, 
at an end. 

In 1 57 1, shortly before the commencement of the I'm 
phesyingS, the House of Commons stepped into the arena. 
Twelve years had done much to < hange the feelings 

The House ,,,• ,,, 111 1 « 1 

of Common* of the laity. Old men had dropped into the grave, 

Ihc', ' and it was to the aged' pecially that Protestantism 

troveny. j^j | )Ccn f ()lin( j distasteful. The country gentle- 
men, of whom the House was almost entirely composed, if they 
adopted Protestant opinions at all, could hardly find any living 


belief in England other than the Calvinism which was accepted by 
the al (lest and most active amongst the clergy. The Queen's re- 
gulations were, after all, a mere lifeless body, into which the spirit 
of religious faith had yet to be breathed. The struggle against 
Rome, too, was daily assuming the proportions of a national 
conflict. Men, who in ordinary times would have taken little 
interest in the dislike of some of the clergy to use certain forms, 
were ready to show them favour when they were declaiming 
against the adoption of the rags of an anti-national Church. 
Nor was the growing feeling of dissatisfaction with the re- 
straint put upon personal liberty by the Government, adverse 
to the claims of the ministers as long as they were on the per- 
secuted side ; although the same feeling would have undoubt- 
edly manifested itself on the side of the Crown, if Cartwright 
had ever succeeded in putting the Presbyterian system in 

Hills were accordingly brought in for amending the Prayer 
Book, and for retrenching in some degree the administrative 
] lowers of the Archbishop of Canterbury. But the most re- 
markable monument of the temper of the House was an Act, 1 
which was often appealed to in later times, in which confirma- 
mation was given to the Thirty-nine Articles. It was enacted 
that all ministers should be compelled to subscribe to those 
articles only which concerned the Christian faith and the 
doctrine of the Sacraments. By the insertion of the word ' only,' 
the House of Commons meant it to be understood that no 
signature was to be required to the Articles which related to 

its of discipline and Church government. 

Thus a breach was opened between the two greatest powers 
known to the constitution, never to be again closed till the 
Rrcarh monarchy had itself disappeared for a time in the 

en the waters of the conflict. The English Reformation 

was, as lias been said, the work of the laity of 

e^desiastidi England, headed by the Sovereign. The House of 

Commons now threatened to go one way, while the 

Queen was determined to go another. No doubt, the pro- 

1 13 Eliz. cap. 12. 

1558-1605 ARCHBISHOP WH1TGIFT. 33 

posals of the Lower House could not always have been 
accepted without important modifications. There were por- 
tions of society which found a truer representation in the 
Queen than in the House of Commons. During the greater 
part of Elizabeth's reign, the House of Commons was by no 
means the representative body which it afterwards became. 
Every member was compelled to take the oath of supremacy, 
and a large number of the gentry refused to sit at Westminster 
on such terms. If the liberty which the Commons required 
for the clergy had been granted, it would have been necessary 
to devise new guarantees, in order that the incumbent of a 
parish should not abuse his position by performing the duties 
of his office in such a manner as to offend his parishioners. In 
proportion as the checks imposed by the Government were 
diminished, it would have been necessary to devise fresh 
checks, to proceed from the congregation, whilst the Govern- 
ment retained in its hands that general supervision which 
would effectually hinder the oppression of individuals by a 
minister supported by a majority of his parishioners. 

With a little moderation on both sides, such a scheme 
might possibly have been resolved upon. But it was not so to 
,. ., be. Elizabeth has a thousand titles to our gratitude, 

Kvil conse- . ° 

quences of but it should never be forgotten that she left, as 
determina- a legacy to her successor, an ecclesiastical system 
which, unless its downward course were arrested by 
consummate wisdom, threatened to divide the nation into two 
hostile camps, and to leave England, even after necessity had 
compelled the rivals to accept conditions of peace, a prey to 
theological rancour and sectarian hatred. 

Matters could not long remain as they were ; unless the 

Queen was prepared to make concessions, she must, of neces- 

She appoint* sity, have recourse to sterner measures. On the 

'!'/ • death of Grindal, in 1583, she looked about for a 
"'"-'• ■''■ successor who would unflinchingly < any hei views 
into execution. Such a man she found in John Whitgift, the 
old opponent of Cartwright Honest and well-intentioned, but 
narrow-minded to an almost incredible degree, the one thouj hi 
which filled his mind was the hope of bringing the ministei ol 

VOL. I. D 


the Church of England at least to an outward uniformity. He 
was unable to comprehend the scruples felt by sincere and pious 
men. A stop was to he put to the irregularities which prevailed, 
not because they were inconsistent with sound doctrine, or 
with the practical usefulness of the Church, hut because they 
were disorderly. He aimed at making the Church of England 
a rival to the Church of Rome, distinct in her faith, but 
equalling her in obedience to authority and in uniformity of 

In order to carry these views into execution, the machinery 
of the Court of High Commission was called into existence. 
Format! . Several temporary commissions had, at various 
times, been appointed by virtue of the Act of Su- 
premacy, but these powers were all limited in com- 
parison with those assigned to the permanent tribunal which 
was now to be erected. The Parliament which had, four and 
nty years before, passed the Act under which the Court 
claimed to sit, would have shrunk back with horror if it had 
foreseen the use which was to be made of the powers entrusted 
by them to the Queen for a very different purpose ; and, since 
the accession of Elizabeth, opinion had undergone considerable 
changes, in a direction adverse to the principles which were 
upheld by the new Archbishop. 

The Commission consisted of forty-four persons, of whom 
twelve were to be Bishops. Its powers were enormous, and 
united both those forms of oppression which were repulsive to 
all moder.i' Englishmen. It managed to combine the arbi- 
trary tendencies by which the lay courts were at that time 
infer ted with the inquisitorial character of an ecclesiastical 
tribunal. The new Court succeeded in loading itself with the 
i of the dislike which was felt against oppression in 
either form. In two points alone it was distinguished from the 
Inquisition of Southern Europe It was incompetent to inflict 
punishment of death, and it was not permitted to extract 
confessions by means of physical torture. 

Still, as the case stood, it was bad enough. The Court 
was empowered to inquire into all offences against the Acts 
of Parliament, by which the existing ecclesiastical system had 


been established ; to punish persons absenting themselves 
from church ; to reform all errors, heresies, and schisms which 
Powers of might lawfully be reformed according to the laws of 
the Court. t ] ie rea ] m • t deprive all beneficed clergy who held 
opinions contrary to the doctrinal articles, and to punish all 
incests, adulteries, fornications, outrages, misbehaviours, and 
disorders in marriage, and all grievous offences punishable by 
the ecclesiastical laws. 

The means which were at the disposal of the Commission, 

for the purpose of arriving at the facts of a case, were even 

more contrary to the spirit of English law than the 

Means of . . ... 

obtaining extent of its powers. It was, in theory, a principle 
of our law that no man was bound to accuse him- 
self, it being the business of the Court to prove him guilty if 
it could ; and, although in practice this great principle was 
really disregarded, especially in cases where the interests of the 
country or of the Government were at stake, the remembrance 
of it was certain to revive as soon as it was disregarded by an 
unpopular tribunal. The Commission, drawing its maxims 
from the civil and canon law, conducted its proceedings on a 
totally opposite principle. Its object was to bring to punish 
ment those who were guilty of disobedience to the laws, either 
in reality, or according to the opinion of the Court. In the 
same spirit as that by which the ordinary judges were actuated 
in political < as*-s, the framers of the regulations of the new 
Couit thought more of bringing the guilty to punishment than 
of saving the innocent. But whilst the judges were forced to 
content themselves with straining existing forms against un 
popular delinquents, the Commission, as a new tribunal, 

authorised to settle new forms, in order to bring within its 
n who enjoyed the sympathies of their country- 

It would have been almost impossible 1 istituted 

an English court without assigning to it the power of arriving 
at the truth by the ordinal)- mode, 'the oaths of tweh 
and lawful men.' But, ho having been thu to this 

time-honoured institution, the Commission pi I 1 direct 

that recourse might be had ;o witne n i alone, and even I 

l> 2 


conviction might be obtained by ' all other ways and means ' 
which could be devised. 

The meaning of this vague clause was soon evident to all. 
The Court began to make use of a method of extracting infor- 
mation from unwilling witnesses, which was known as the ex- 
officio oath. It was an oath tendered to an accused person, 
that he would give true answers to such questions as might 
be put to him. He was forced not only to accuse himself, 
but he was liable to bring into trouble his friends, concerning 
whom the Court was as yet possessed of no certain information. 
The Archbishop, having thus arranged the constitution of 
his Court, drew up twenty-four interrogatories of the most 
Articles inquisitorial description, which he intended to present 
Presented to a ^ suspected persons among the clergy. They 
to all were not confined to inquiries into the public pro- 

clergymen, ceedings of the accused, but reached even to his 
private conversation. If the unhappy man refused to take the 
oath, he was at once to be deprived of his benefice, and com- 
mitted to prison for contempt of the Court. 

The unfortunate clergy appealed to the Privy Council. 
Whitgift was unable to find a single statesman who approved of 
Thedcrjo- his proceedings. Burghley, with all the indignation 
i'i' . of which his calm and equable temperament was 
Council. capable, remonstrated against the tyranny of which 
the Archbishop was guilty. He told him that his own wishes 
were in favour of maintaining the peace of the Church, but 
that these proceedings savoured too much of the Romish 
Inquisition, and were 'rather a device to seek for offenders 
than to reform any.' But Burghley's remonstrances were in 
vain. Whitgift was not the man to give way when he had 
on< ded upon his course, and unhappily he received the 

thorough and steady support <<f Elizabeth. When even these 
harsh measures failed to effect their object, recourse was had 
to the ordinary tribunals, and men were actually sent to execu- 
tion for writing libels against the Bishops, on the plea that any 
attack upon the Bishops was an instigation to sedition against 
the Queen. 

It is remarkable that, at the very time when these atrocities 

1 5 58-1603 THE SEPARATISTS. 37 

wore at their worst, the House of Commons, which had never 

let slip an opportunity of protesting against the ec- 
preiate r " clesiastical measures of the Queen, began to grow 

cool in its defence of the Puritans. This may be 
attributed in part to the great popularity which Elizabeth 
enjoyed in consequence of the defeat of the Armada, but still 
more to the licence which the authors of a series of Puritan 
libels allowed themselves. 

Moderate men who were startled by these excesses, were 
still more disgusted by the spread of what were at that time 

known as Brownist opinions, from the name of Robert 
Brownist Brown, from whom they had first proceeded. His 

principles were very much those which were after- 
wards held by the Independents. His followers considered 
that every Christian congregation was in itself a complete 
church, and they denied that either the civil government, or 
any assembly of clergy, possessed the right of controlling it in 
its liberty of action. No other body of men had so clear an 
idea of the spiritual nature of religion, and of the evils which 
resulted from the dependence of the Church upon the State. 
Far from being content, like the old Puritans, with demanding 
either a reformation of the Church, or a relaxation of its laws, 
the Brownists, or Separatists as they called themselves, were 
ready to abandon the Church to its fate, and to establish 
themselves in complete independence of all constituted au- 
thorities. If they had stopped here, they would have been 
unpopular enough. Hut some of them, at least, goaded by 
the persecution to which they were exposed, went to far 
ter Lengths than this. Holding that ministers ought to 
be supported by the voluntary contributions of the people, they 
de< lared that the whole national Church was anti-Christian, 
and to remain in its communion for an instant was to be guilty 
of a sin of no common magnitude. From this some of them 
proceeded to still more offensive declarations. Whilst dis- 
claiming all wish to take the law into their own hands, they 
called upon the Queen to ' forbid and exterminate all other 
religions, worship, and ministers within her dominions.' ' She 

1 H. Barrow's Platform. 


ought further, as they said, to seize all the property of the 
Church, from the wide domain of the Bishop down to the 
glebe land of the incumbent of a country parish. 

Terrified by these opinions, the Presbyterian Cartwright 
wrote in denunciation of their wickedness. Parliament allowed 
Reaction in itself, in 1593, f° r tne first time since the accession 

hurch of Elizabeth, to pass a statute against Protestants of 

system. an y kind. 

The latter years of Elizabeth were quieter than the storms 
which followed upon the appointment of the High Commission 
had indicated. Perhaps the sweep which had been made 
from amongst the clergy had left a smaller number of persons 
upon whom the Court could exercise its authority ; perhaps, 
also, the dissatisfied, certain that there was no hope of any 
change of system as long as Elizabeth lived, reserved them- 
selves for the reign of her successor. Such causes, however, 
whatever their effect may have been, were not in themselves of 
sufficient importance to account for the undoubted reaction 
against Puritanism which marked the end of the sixteenth 

As, one by one, the men who had sustained the Queen at her 
accession dropped into the grave, a generation arose which, 
Causes of excepting in books of controversy, knew nothing of 
action. an y rc iigion which differed from that of the Church 
Of England. The ceremonies and vestments which, in the 
time of their fathers, had been exposed to such bitter attacks, 
were to them hallowed as having been entwined with their 
earliest associations. It required a strong effort of the imagina- 
tion to connect them with the forms of a departed system 
which they had never witnessed with their eyes ; but they 
remembered that those ceremonies had been used, and those 
vestments had been worn, by the clergy who had led their 
prayers during those anxious days when the Armada, yet un- 
quered, was hovering round the coast, and who had, in 
their name, and in the name of all true Englishmen, offered the 
thanksgiving which ascended to heaven after the great victory 
had been won. By many of them these forms were received 
with pleasure for their own sake. In every age there will be a 

1558-1603 HOOKER. 39 

large class of minds to whom Puritanism is distasteful, not 
merely because of the restraint which it puts upon the conduct, 
but because it refuses to take account of a large part of human 
nature. Directing all its energies against the materialism which 
followed the breaking up of the medieval system, it forgot to 
give due weight to the influences which affect the spiritual 
nature of man through his bodily senses. Those, therefore, 
to whom comely forms and decent order were attractive, 
gathered round the institutions which had been established in 
the Church under the auspices of Elizabeth. In the place of 
her first Bishops, who were content to admit these institutions 
as a matter of necessity, a body of prelates grew up, who were 
ready to defend them for their own sake, and who believed 
that, at least in their main features, they were framed in ac- 
cordance with the will of God. Amongst the laity, too, these 
opinions met with considerable support, especially as the 
Protestant ranks had been recruited by a new generation 
of converts, which had in its childhood been trained in the old 
creed, and thus had never come under the influence of Cal- 
vinism. They found expression in the great work of Hooker, 
from which, in turn, they received no small encouragement. 

But whilst the gradual rise of these sentiments reduced 
the Presbyterians to despair, it soon became plain that the 
Episcopal party was not of one mind with respect to 
the course which should be pursued towards the 
Polity.' Nonconformists. Hooker, indeed, had maintained 

that the disputed points being matters which were not ordained 
by any immutable Divine ordinance, were subject to change 
from time to time, according to the circumstances of the 

Chun h. For the time being, these questions had been settled 

by the law of the Church of England, t<> which the Queen, as 

the head and representative of the nation, had given her 
assent. With' enl he was perfectly content, and he 

advi ed his opponents to submit to the law which had been 
thus laid down. Upon looking closely, however, into Hool 

Li work, it becomes evident that hi, < on* lusions are ba ed 
up'.n two distinct arguments, which, although they v 
blended together in his own mind at some sacrifice of logical 


precision, were not likely in future to find favour at the same 
time with any one class of reasoners. When he argues from 
Scripture, and from the practice of the early Church, the as yet 
undeveloped features of Bancroft and Laud are plainly to be 
discerned. When he proclaims the supremacy of law, and 
weighs the pretensions of the Puritans in the scales of reason, 
he shows a mind the thoughts of which are cast in the same 
mould with those of that great school of thinkers of whom 
Ba< on is the acknowledged head. Hooker's greatness indeed, 
like the greatness of all those by whom England was ennobled 
in the Elizabethan age, consisted rather in the entireness of his 
nature than in the thoroughness with which his particular 
investigations were carried out. He sees instinctively the 
unity of truth, and cannot fail to represent it as a living whole. 
It is this which has made him, far more than others who were 
his superiors in consistency of thought, to be regarded as the 
representative man of the Church of England. 

It soon appeared that the desire to hold a middle course 
between the rival ecclesiastical parties was not confined to a 

i n p few advanced thinkers. There was a large and in- 
^. ll creasing number of the laity who regarded the 

doa problem in Hooker's spirit, though they were dis- 
satisfied with his solution of it. Even men who themselves 
admired the forms of worship prescribed by the Church, and 
who felt all Hooker's dislike of Presbyterianism, nevertheless, 
without any very deep reasoning, came to a precisely opposite 

lusion. They were not yet the [-artisans that their 

dren cam.- to be, and they were more anxious to preserve 
the unity of the English Church than the forms which were 
rapidly making that unity impossible. If these ceremonies 
were only imposed by the law of the land for the sake of 
uniformity, without its being pretended that they were other- 
than of merely human origin, ought not that law to be 
relaxed ? Everywhere there was a cry for preachers. Whilst 
bishops and ministers were wrangling about points of mere 

il, thousands of their fellow-countrymen were living like 
heathens. It was to be regretted that so many of those who 
were capable of preaching should be so scrupulous about 


matters of little consequence ; but was it necessary, on account 
of these scruples, to disturb the peace of the Church by the 
expulsion of those who felt them ? Was it well that faithful 
and pious men who preached the same doctrine as that which 
was held by their conforming brethren, and whose lives gave 
at least as good an example as that of any bishop in England, 
should be cut short in their career of usefulness merely in or- 
der that the clergyman who officiated in one parish might not 
scandalise the sticklers for uniformity by wearing a surplice, whilst 
the clergyman who officiated in the next parish wore a gown ? 
Hooker's great work had more than a theological significance. 
It was the sign of the reunion of Protestantism with the new 
Protestant- learning of the Renaissance. In the beginning of 
ism and the Elizabeth's reign the current of thought had not 

Kenais- ° ° 

sance. filled the forms of the Elizabethan Church. In 

the end of the reign it was flowing in steadily, basing itself on 
large enquiry, and on distrust of dogmatic assertion. Religion 
began to partake of the many-sidedness of the world around it, 
and Hooker was a worthy peer of Spenser and of Shakespeare. 

Those last fifteen years of Elizabeth, in truth, were years in 
which many opposing elements were being fused together into 
harmonious co-operation. Those who wish to understand the 
position which England occupied during these years of our 
history would do well to place side by side the three great 
works of the imagination in which three men of genius embalmed 
the chivalric legends of the Middle Ages. 

The work of the Italian Ariosto stands distinguished for the 
distance at which it lies from all contemporary life. The poet 
of the 'Orlando 1'urioso ' wanders in an ideal realm 
'Orlando of courtesy and valour of which the world around 
him knew nothing. If his Italian readers ever 
thought of Italy, it could only be to sigh over the downfall of so 
many hopes. 

Ear different is the work of Cervantes. To him the legends 
'Don which seemed so bright in the eyes of the Italian 

Quixote.' h ac ] become ridiculous. He could see nothing but 
the absurdity of them. Regarded from this point of view, 
'Don Quixote' becomes the saddest book which was ever written. 


It is the child mocking at his father's follies, whilst he closes 
his eyes to his nobleness and his chivalry. 

Shortly before the appearance of ' Don Quixote' another 

book saw the light amongst a very different people. To 

Spenser, nursed as he had been amongst the glories 

Queen* the of the reign of Elizabeth, all that was noble in the 

. ctium old tales of chivalry had become a living reality. 
The ideal representations of the knights and damsels 
who pass before our view in his immortal poem, bring into 
our memory, without an effort, the champions who defended 
the throne of the virgin Queen. In England no great chasm 
divided th<" present from the past. Englishmen were not 
prepared to find matter for jesting in the tales which had 
delighted their fathers, and they looked upon their history as 
an inheritance into which they themselves had entered. 

Great achievements do not make easy the task of the men 

who succeed to those by whom they have been accomplished. 

The work of the Tudors had been to complete the 

■ikies . . .... 

edifice of national independence by nationalising 
the Church. In the course of the arduous struggle 
they had claimed and had obtained powers greater 
than those possessed by any former English kings. The very 
success which they had attained rendered those powers 
unn y. The institutions established by them had out- 

lived their purpose. The strong vindication of the rights of 
the State which had been necessary when religious differences 
threatened civil war, had ceased to be necessary when peace 
was assured. The prerogative of the Crown would need to 
be curtailed when it was applied to less important objects 
than the maintenance of national unity. Yet such changes, 
irable in themselves, were not easy to accomplish. The 
mental habit by which institutions are supported does not 
readily pass away. As Elizabeth grew old, it w?.s generally felt 
that great changes were impending. 

herself knew that it must be so. The very success of 
her career must have made it appear to have been almost a 
failure. Men were everywhere asking for greater relaxation 
than she had been willing to give to them. 


Whatever was to come of it, the next age must take care of 
itself. Of one thing she felt sure, that no puppet of Spain or of 
Elizabeth's tne Jesuits would ever wear the crown of England. 
death. u i\jy seat hath been the seat of kings, and I will have 

no rascal to succeed me," she said, as she lay dying. When she 
was pressed to explain her meaning, she declared that her wish 
was that a king should follow her. " And who should that be," 
she added, " but our cousin of Scotland? " Her last act was to 
hold her hands over her head in the form of a crown, with the 
intention, as it was thought, of conveying to the bystanders the 
impression that she would be followed by one who was already 
a King. 1 So, early on the morning of March 24, 1603, the great 
Queen passed away from amongst a people whom she had 
loved so well, and over whom, according to the measure of 
human wisdom, she had ruled so wisely. 

Her forebodings were realised. Evil times were at hand. 
They followed her death, as they had followed the death of 
her father. 

When such sovereigns as the two great Tudors die, it 
seems as if the saying which the poet has put into the mouth 
of the crafty Antony were the rule which prevails in the 
world — 

The evil that men do lives after them ; 
The good is oft interred with their bones. 

Errors and follies soon produce their accustomed fruits. But 

when the error has been but the accompaniment of great and 

., the fruit of those deeds is not long in making its 

way into the world. Henry VIII. must be judged by the great 

men who supported his daughter's throne, and who defended 
the land whi< li lie set free when 'he broke the bonds of Rome.' 
Elizabeth must be judged by the Pyms and Cromwells, who, 
little as she would have approved of their actions, yet owed 
their strength to the vigour with which she headed the re- 
sistance ot England against Spanish aggressioa she had 
cleared the way for liberty, though she understood it not. 

1 The fullest and apparently the most authentic account is that pub- 
lished in Disraeli's Curiosities of Literature (1849), hi. 364. 




When Elizabeth died, one great question was already pressing 
for solution — the question of the relationship between the 

1603. national Church and the dissidents on either hand 

^" es — which was destined to agitate the minds of men 
toleration. as i on g as Stuart kings reigned in England. It was 
a question to which the successor of Elizabeth was not alto- 
gether a stranger, though his mode of dealing with it in Scotland 

e little reason to hope that he would deal successfully with 
it in England. 

In many respects the aspect of Scotland in the sixteenth 
century was the reverse of that of England. The most remark- 
able feature of Elizabethan England was the harmony which 
resulted from the interdependence upon one another of the 
1560-1572. various elements of which the national life was 
composed. To the north of the Tweed, the same 

and"' elements for the most part reappeared; but they 
were seen standing out sharp and clear, in well- 
defined contrast to one another. The clergy were more dis- 
tinctly clerical, the boroughs more isolated and self-contained, 
and, above all, the nobles retained the old turbulence of 
feudalism whi< h had long ceased to be tolerated in any othei 
country in Europe. 

When the Reformation first passed over Scotland, there 
was a momentary prospect of a change which might to some 

nt obliterate the existing distinctions, and give rise to a 
real national union. Noble and burgher, rich and poor, joined 


with the preachers in effecting the overthrow of the medieval 
Church ; and it was by no means the intention of Knox and 
Knox's his fellow-labourers to erect a new hierarchy upon the 

church*" ruins of the old. According to their theory, there was 
government. t De no longer any distinction between the laity and 
the clergy, excepting so far as the latter were set apart for the 
performance of peculiar duties. Of the forty-two persons who 
took their seats in the first General Assembly of the Church 
of Scotland only six were ministers. Barons and earls were 
admitted to its consultations without any election at all. So 
far as the first Reformers had any distinct idea of the nature 
of the Assembly which they had called into being, they in- 
tended it to be a body in which the nation should be re- 
presented by those who were its natural leaders, as well as 
by those who had a closer connection with ecclesiastical affairs. 
Such a scheme as this, however, was doomed to failure from 
the first. Here and there might be found individuals amongst 
Desertion of the high nobility who gave themselves heart and 
D y e the high soul t0 tne Church of the Reformation, but, for the 
nobility. most part, the earls and lords were satisfied as soon 
as they had gorged themselves with the plunder of the abbey 
lands. They had no idea of meeting on terms of equality with 
the humble ministers, and they cared little or nothing for the 
progress of the Gospel. Nor was it indifference alone which 
kept these powerful men aloof: they had an instinctive feeling 
that the system to which they owed their high position was 
doomed, and thai it was from the influeiM e which the preachers 
were acquiring that immediate danger was to be apprehended 
to their own position. A great Sc ottish nobleman, in fact, was a 
very different personage from the man who was called by a simi- 
lar title in England. He exercised little less than sovereign 
authority over his own district. Possessed of the power of life 
and death within its limits, his vassals looked up to him as 
the only man to whom they were accountable lor their actions. 
They were ready to follow him into the field at his bidding, 
and they were seldom long allowed to remain at rest. There 
was always some quarrel to be engaged in, some neighbouring 
lord to be attacked, or some hereditary insult to be avenged 


With the physical force which was at the disposal of the 

aristocracy, the ministers were for the time unable to cope. 

But they had on their side that energy of life which 

Strength of . J . , V . .. . 

the mini*- is certain, sooner or later, to translate itself into 
power. It was not merely that, with scarcely an ex- 
ception, all the intellect of Scotland was to be found in their 
ranks ; their true strength lay in the undeviating firmness with 
which they bore witness for the law of God as the basis of all 
human action, and the vigorous and self-denying activity with 
which they called upon all who would listen to them to shake 
off the bonds of impurity and vice. How was it possible that 
there should long be agreement between the men whose whole 
lives were stained with bloodshed and oppression, and the men 
who were struggling, through good repute and evil repute, to 
reduce to order the chaos in which they lived, and to make 
their native country a land of godliness and peace? 

The compromise to which the nobility came with the 
ministers at Leith, in 1572, was for the aristocracy one of those 
TheTukhan apparent victories which give a certain presage of 
uuhops. future defeat. Sorely against their will, the clergy 
were driven to consent to the institution of a Protestant 
1 iscopate. The burghs and the lesser gentry were no match 
the vassals of the great lords, and they were compelled to 
give way. Hut it was not a concession which did any credit 
to those to whom it had been made. They had not one single 
thought to spare for the country, or for the Church of whose 
interests they were thus summarily disposing. All they cared 
about was the wealth which might be gained by the scheme 
which they had adopted. The Bishops were to be duly con- 
rated, not in order that they might take part in that govern- 
ment of the clergy which is assigned to them in Episcopalian 
churches, but in order that they might have some legal title 
to hand over the greater part of their revenues to the nobles to 
whom they owed their sees. From that moment Episcopacy 
was a doomed institution in Scotland. It was impossible for 
any man to submit to become a Bishop without losing every 
remnant of the self-respect which he might originally have 
possessed The moral strength which Presbyterianism gained 


from this compromise was incalculable. It soon became the 
earnest belief of all who were truthful and independent in the 
nation, that the Presbyterian system was the one divinely 
appointed mode of Church government, from which it was 
^ . r sinful to deviate in the slightest decree. Whatever 

Doctrine of . o o 

the Divine credit must be triven to Andrew Melville for his share 

right of . .... .... . 

yte- in producing this conviction, it is certain that the dis- 
reputable spectacle of the new Episcopacy was far 
more effective than any arguments which he was able to use. 

In 1 58 1 the Second Book of Discipline received the appro- 
val of the General Assembly. By it the Church pronounced 
I58l _ its unqualified acceptance of those Presbyterian in- 
tone! s titutions which, with some slight modifications, 
lira finally overcame all opposition, and have maintained 
themselves to the present day. During the years which had 
passed since the introduction of the Reformation, the Assembly 
was becoming less national, and more distinctly ecclesiastical. 
Its strength lay in the fact that it represented all that was best 
and noblest in Scotland, and that its Church Courts gave a 
political education to the lower and middle classes, which they 
1 ould never find in the Scottish Parliament. Its weakness lay 
in the inevitable tendency of such a body to push principles to 
remes, and to erect a tyranny over men's consciences in 
order to compel them to the observance of moral and ecclesias 

tical laws. The (ensures of the Church fell heavily as well 
upon the m;in who kepi away from church on the' Lord's Day, 
as on the loose liver and the drunkard. TJndl C tin- eye of the 

minister of the parish, the kirk-session gathered to inflict 
penalties on offenders, and in the kirk-session no regard was 
paid to worldly rank. The noblemen, who disdained to meet 
pious cobblers and craftsmen cm an equal footing, naturally 
kept aloof from such gatherings. 

That the l' riai) assemblies should become political 

institutions, was probably unavoidable. To them the Calvin- 

,,.,! istically interpreted Bible was the Divine rule of 

life. Kings and nobles were to In- honoured and 

•jr tnc 

mblies. obeyed, so far as they conformed to it, and 1 1 
their lives to the carrying out its principles in practice. 


If they did not— and of their failure to do so the clergy were 
to be the sole interpreters — it was the duty of the Church, as 
in the Middle Ages it had been held to be the duty of the 
Popes, to withstand them to the face Presbyterianism did not 
ask merely to be let alone to pursue its spiritual course un- 
hindered, it asked that the" authorities of the State should 
become its instruments for the establishment upon earth of a 
kingdom ;is like that of heaven as it was possible to attain to. 
Of individual liberty, of the manifold luxuriance of human 
nature, Presbyterianism knew nothing; but it did much to 
encourage resistance to the arbitrary power of rulers. It set 
its face like a flint against any assumption of Divine right, 
except by its own assemblies. It called upon kings to conform 
their actions to a definite law. If kings were to master it, it 
could only be by an appeal to a law wider and more consonant 
to the facts of nature than its own. 

It was inevitable that the Scottish Church at the end of the 
sixteenth century should entangle itself, not merely in questions 
relating to the enforcement of the ecclesiastical law, but even 
in strictly political questions. In those days every religious 
question was also a political one, and the compact organisation 
of the Scottish Church enabled it to throw no slight weight 
into the scale. With a wild, defiant feudalism surging around, 
and an enraged Catholic Europe ready to take advantage 
of any breach in the defences of Protestantism, the Scottish 
Church felt that every political movement involved a question 
of life or death for the nation of which it was in some sort the 

If, indeed, the ministers who guided the assemblies, and 
through them the various congregations, could have had the 
assurance that their Sovereign was a man whom they could 
trust, much mischief might have been spared. James VI., 
Character of indeed had many qualities befitting a ruler in such 
J a - difficult times. Good-humoured and good-natured, 

be was honestly desirous of increasing the prosperity of his 
subjects. His mental powers were of no common order; his 
memory was good, and his learning, especially on theological 
points, was bv no means contemptible. He was intellectually 


tolerant, anxious to be at peace with those whose opinions 
differed from his own. He was above all things eager to be a 
reconciler, to make peace where there had been war before, 
and to draw those to live in harmony who had hitherto glared 
at one another in mutual defiance. He was penetrated with a 
strong sense of the evil of fanaticism. 

These merits were marred by grave defects. He was too 
self-confident to give himself the pains to unravel a difficult 
problem, and had too weak a perception of the proportional value 
of things to enable him to grasp the important points of a case 
to the exclusion of those which were merely subsidiary. With 
a thorough dislike of dogmatism in others, he was himself the 
most dogmatic of men, and — most fatal of all defects in a ruler 
— he was ready to conceive the worst of those who stood up 
against him. He had none of that generosity of temper which 
leads the natural leaders of the human race to rejoice when 
they have found a worthy antagonist, nor had he, as Elizabeth 
had, that intuitive perception of the popular feeling which 
stood her in such stead during her long career. Warmly 
affectionate to those with whom he was in daily intercourse, he 
never attached himself to any man who was truly great. He 
mistook flattery for devotion, and though his own life was pure, 
he contrived to surround himself with those of whose habits 
there was no good report It was easy for his favourites to 
abuse his good nature, provided that they took care not to 
wound his self-complacency. Whoever would put on an 
appearance <<f i ice, and would avoid contradicting him 

on the point <m which he happened tO have set his heart at the 
moment, might had him anywhere. 

Unhappily, v. Inn James grew up to manhood, he was in 
the hands of unworthy favourites, who taughl him the lesson 
P( t ; ono f that the clergy were his true enemies. These favoui 

James. ites were known to be acting under the influence Ol 

the French Court, and it was strongly suspe< t'd thai they v.. re 
likely to favour the re-estab!ishment ol the Papal system by the 

help of foreign armies. Under SUch circumstances, the stru 
in which the clergy were engaged speedily assumed a new 
form : it was no longer a question whether the property of the 
VOL. i. i. 


Church should he simoniacally conveyed away to a few degraded 
nominees of the nobility : it was a question whether, in the hour 
of Scotland's danger, free words might be spoken to warn the 
misguided King of the ruin which he was allowing his favourites 
to prepare for himself and for his subjects. 

James determined to make the ministers feel that force 

was still on his side. He knew that the greater part of the 

t _ 8 nobility would concur with pleasure in any measure 

Thei which served to depress the clergy, and in 1584 he 

1 J io obtained from Parliament the Acts by which the 

whole government of the Church was placed in the 

hands of the Bishops. 

For two years the struggle lasted between the King and the 
( lergy, with various fortunes. As the end of that time James 
could not help perceiving that his opponents were, 
Tames more in some degree, in the right. In 1586 the King 
themims- of Spain was making preparations for the invasion of 
England : and if the throne of Elizabeth were over- 
turned, Scotland could hardly hope to escape destruction. 
lames had no wish to become a vassal of Spain and of the 
Pope, and he entered into a league with England for mutual 
gainst the enemy by whom both kingdoms were 
threatened Such a change of policy naturally removed the 
principal obstacles to a reconciliation between the King and 
the clergy, and though it was impossible that any cordial sym- 
pathy should spring up between them, that kind of agreement 
existed which is frequently found between persons of a dis- 
similar temperament who are united in the pursuit of a common 
obje< L In spite of constant bickerings the King, step by step, 
relaxed his pretensions, and at last, in 1592, gave his consent to 
an A< t by whi< h Presbyterianism was established in its integrity. 
It was unlikely that this unanimity would last long. The 
quarrel, however, sprang up again sooner than might have been 
expected. Early in 1593 a conspiracy was detected, 
Defeat of the in which the Earls of Huntly, Errol, and Angus were 
/by" implicated. Eike so many others of the nobility, 
they had never accepted the Protestant doctrines, 
and their great power in the north-eastern shires made them 


almost unassailable. If they had been let alone they would 
probably have remained contented with their position, caring as 
little for the King of Spain as they did for the King of Scotland. 
But the ministers were bent upon the total extirpation of Popery, 
and the earls were led to place their hopes in a Spanish invasion. 
Such an invasion would free them from the assaults of a religion 
which was perhaps quite as unacceptable to them from its poli- 
tical consequences as from the theological doctrines which it 
propounded. James, when he discovered what was passing, 
marched at once into the North, and drove the earls headlong 
out of their domains. 

With one voice the clergy cried out for the forfeiture of the 
lands of the rebels, and for harsh measures against the Catholics. 
He hesitate* James, on his part, hung back from taking such steps 
u^hil'' 11 as these - Ev en if he had the will, it may be doubted 
victory. whether he had the power to carry out the wishes of 

the ministers. The nobles who had led their vassals against 
Huntly and his confederates might be willing enough to render a 
Spanish invasion impossible, but they would hardly have looked 
on with complacency at the destruction of these great houses, 
in which they would have seen a precedent which might after- 
ward, be used against themselves. 1 Nor was the power of the 
earls themselves such as to be Overthrown by a single defeat; 
every vassal on their broad domains was attached to them by 
ties far stronger than those which bound him to his Sovereign ; 
and if their land were confiscated, many years would pass before 

1 " I have been the day before the dateof these with the King to receive 
answer in writing according to hi 1 prorni e. 1 l< bath deferred the same till 
my n«t repair. 'I effect 1 know ; and ii tendeth to satisfy hei Maje ty 
with all promise on his part. But he di himself ol mean against 

the purposi ioI lh I men who have embraced Spanish ■ 

^1 fbi the nobility of this land, they be so 

interallied, as, notwithstanding the religion they profess, they tolerate the 
opposite courses of the adverse part, and < ■ eoi cloke the faults com 
mitted. The as ured | arty 1 ■ of the mini t< 1 . barons, and burghs. With 

■ the King is bound, as he cannot suddenly change bis coui e appa- 
rently. But yet of hi rel barkenings by the mediation of them who 

in special credit with him h< ected." Bowe to Burghley, 

March 30, 1593, S. P. Scott, i. 47. 

E 2 


the new owners could expect to live in safety without the 
support of a powerful military force. 

It can hardly be supposed, indeed, that James was in- 
fluenced by no other motives than these. He was probably 
unwilling to crush a power which served to counterbalance 
that of the ministers, and he lent a ready ear to the solicita- 
tions of the courtiers who were around him. The earls were 
once more too strong to be put down without another war. At 
last he declared that they were to receive a full pardon for all 
that was past, but that they, as well as all other Catholics in 
Scotland, must either embrace the Protestant faith or leave the 
kingdom. If they chose the latter alternative they were to be 
allowed to retain their possessions during their exile. 

Such an award as this drew down upon the King the wrath 

of both parties. The ministers reviled it as over-lenient to 

, s94 . Popery, and the Catholics looked upon it as an act of 

Huntly and intolerable persecution. Huntly and Errol refused 

l\nol driven ' ' 

into exile. to accept the terms, and succeeded in defeating the 
troops which were sent against them under the Earl of Argyle. 
Upon receiving the news of this disaster James once more 
marched into the north, the ministers having supported him with 
the money of which he was in need. The success of the Royal 
arms was immediate. All resistance was crushed at once, and 
the earls themselves were forced to take refuge on the Continent. 

This victory may be considered to be the turning-point 

of James's reign in Scotland. It established decisively not 

only that the nation was determined to resist foreign 

King's interference, hut that the King had now a national 
e at his disposal which even the greatest of the 
nobility were unable to resist. The Scottish aristocracy would 
long be far too powerful for the good of their fellow-country- 
men, but they would no longer be able to beard their Sovereign 
with impunity. 

In the summer of 1596, Huntly and Errol were once 

more in Scotland. Put this time they did not come 

Return of t o levy war upon the King; they were content to 

Huntly and * .',.,. ,-,,', 

skulk in various hiding-places till they could receive 
permission to present themselves before him. 


James was not disinclined to listen to their overtures. To 
drive the earls to the last extremity would be to ruin the work 
of pacification which he had so successfully accomplished. 
He had no wish to undertake a crusade in which he would 
find little assistance from any but the ministers and their 
supporters, and which would raise against him a feeling in 
the whole of the North of Scotland which might cause him no 
little trouble in the event of a contest arising for the English 
succession. On the other hand, he may well have thought that 
the carls had now learned that they were no longer capable 
of measuring themselves against their Sovereign, and that 
they would in future refrain from any treasonable under- 

These views, which were justified by the event, and in 
which he was supported by the statesmen by whom he was 
now surrounded, were not likely to find much favour with the 
clergy. Towards the end of August, a convention of the 
I tates was held at Falkland to consider what course was to be 
. )t j,, n taken ; and certain ministers who, as it is said, were 
at Falkland. Ukgjy to L ,j Vc ;l favourable reply, were summoned to 
declare their opinions. Amongst them, Andrew Melville pre- 
sented himself, uninvited. He was the Presbyterian leader of 
the day, with a mind narrower than that of Knox, the champion 
of a system rather than a spiritual guide. He had come, he 

d, in the name of Christ Jesus the King, and his Church, to 
• harge James and the Estates with favouring the enemies of both. 

Those who were present paid little heed to such objections as 
e, and gave it as their opinion, that if the earls would satisfy 
the King and the Church, it would be well to restore them to 
their estates. 

I'pon hearing what hail pas ed, the Commissioners of the 
General A is< tnbly, who were appointed to watch over the in 
terests of the Church, during the intervals between 
"t 1i1.1t body, invited a number 01 
ministers to assemble al Cupar, These mini tei 
soon as they had met together, determined to send a deputation 
to the King This deputation was admitted to in, pri 
but when they began to lay their complaints before him, he 


interrupted them by questioning their authority to meet with- 
out a warrant from himself. Upon this, Melville, who was one 
of the deputation, seized him by the sleeve, and calling him 

-.". lie and 'God's silly vassal,' told him, in tones which must 
1 ' Kingi long have rung in his ears, that there were two kings 
and two kingdoms in Scotland : " There is Christ Jesus the 
King," he said, ''and his kingdom the Church, whose subject 
King James VI. is, and of whose kingdom not a king, nor a lord, 
nor a head, but a member. And they whom Christ has called 
and commanded to watch over his Church, and govern his 
spiritual kingdom, have sufficient power of him and authority 
so to do, both together and severally ; the which no Christian 
King nor Prince should control and discharge, but fortify and 
assist." He concluded by saying that the King's wish to be 
served by all sorts of men, Jew and Gentile, Papist and Pro- 
testant, was devilish and pernicious. He was attempting 
to balance the Protestants and the Papists, in order that he 
might keep them both in check. By such a plan as this, he 
would end by losing both. 1 

There was enough of truth in all this to make it tell upon 
the King. It is highly probable that the scheme which 
Melville thus dragged out to the light had more to do with 
his conduct towards the carls than any enlightened views on 
the subject of toleration. He was now frightened at Melville's 
vehemence, and promised that nothing should be done for the 
returned rebels till they had once more left the country, and 
had satisfied the Church 

( )n October 20, the Commissioners of the General Assembly 
met at Edinburgh They immediately wrote to all the presby- 

( ; „ n . teries in Scotland, informing them that the earls had 
returned, with the evident purpose of putting down 
and massacring the followers of the Gospel, and 
that it was probable that the King would take them under his 
protection. Under these circumstances, every minister was 
to make known to his congregation the true nature of the 
impending danger, and to stir them up to resistance. In the 

1 J. Melville's Diary, 368-371. 


meanwhile, a permanent Commission was to sit in Edinburgh 
to consult upon the perils of the Church and kingdom. Such a 
step might or might not be justifiable in itself, but there could 
be no doubt that it was an open defiance of the Government. 
From that moment a breach between the clergy and the Crown 
was inevitable. 1 

Of all the controversies which still perplex the historical 
inquirer, there is perhaps none which is more eminently un- 
... r satisfactory than that which has been handed down 

Character of ' 

the quam] from the sixteenth century on the subject of the 

between the 

Kingand quarrel between James and the clergy. It is easy to 

the clergy. . . . . " ... , , 

say that in aspiring to political supremacy the clergy 
exceeded the proper limits of their office, and that in this 
particular instance they were animated by a savage spirit of 
intolerance. It is equally easy to say that they had no reason 
to repose confidence in James, and that the stopping of their 
mouths would he a national misfortune, as the freedom of the 
pulpit furnished the only means by which the arbitrary ten- 
dencies of the Sovereign could be kept in check. The fact 
seems to have been, that whilst the victory either of the King 
or of the clergy was equally undesirable, it was impossible to 
suggest a compromise by which the rupture could have been 
prevented. There was nothing in existence which, like the 
English House of Commons, could hold the balance even. 
Partly from thi 1 condition of the country, and partly 

from the feet that the Scottish Parliament had never been 
divided into two Houses, that body was a mere instrument in 
the hands of the King and of the nobility ; and if the mouths 

of the clergy were to In- stopped, there remained no means 
by which the nation could l»- addressed excepting at the 
pleasure of the ( rovernment 

Tin weakness of the cause of the ministers lay in this — 

,,. , , that they defended on religious grounds what <ouM 

W ■ ,, m is of ', . 

1 r only be justified as a political necessity. Thai the 

the clergy. . . . . 

General Assembly was m some sort a substitute 
fur a real House of Commons; that the organization of the 

1 Caldei wo /, v. 443. 


Church had been invaluable in counteracting the exorbitant 
power of the nobility and the thoughtless unwisdom of the 
King ; and that the liberty of speech on political subjects which 
had been preserved in the pulpit had done service for which 
Scotland can never be sufficiently thankful, are propositions 
which no candid reader of the history of those times will ever 
venture to deny. But when the ministers asserted that these 
things were part of the Divine endowment of the Church, and 
i laimed to maintain their ground in spite of all human ordin- 
an< es to the contrary, they committed themselves to an assertion 
which was certain to rouse opposition wherever the institutions 
of a lay society were regarded with honour. 

As the guardian of the interests of lay society James was 
thoroughly justified in resisting the claim of the clergy to 
play in Scotland the part of the medieval Papacy. It was 
some time, however, before he made up his mind that it 
would be safe to oppose the clergy, and he probably clung to 
t i ? . the hope that some amicable arrangement might still 

'„' 1 th be possible. Me directed four members of the Privy 
oners. Council to hold an interview with a deputation of the 
Commissioners, to declare, in his name, that he would do 
nothing for the earls or their followers till they had satisfied 
the Church ; and to ask whether, if the Church should think fit 
to release them from the excommunication which had been 
pronounced against them, he might receive them again into 

;:. To these propositions the ministers gave a decided 
answer. They reminded the King of his promise that he would 

listen to the earls till they had again left the country. 
When they were once more out of Scotland, then, and not till 
then, the Church would hear what they had to say. But even 
if the Church saw fit to release them from its sentence, the 
King might not show favour to men who were under sentence 
of death for rebellion. 

,ie few days bef ;re this interview took place, Bowes, the 
BUcI English Resident at the Scottish Court, was in- 

formed that David Black, one of the ministers of 
St. Andrews, had, in preaching, used expressions insulting to 
the O^en and Church of England. Although he was at that 


time actively engaged in supporting the ministers in their op- 
position to the King, he thought it right to protest against 
Black's offence. He found that James had already heard of 
the affair, and was determined to take steps to bring the offender 
to punishment. 1 

Accordingly, when, a day or two after, the Privy Councillors 
reported the unyielding temper in which their proposals had 
The King's Deen received by the ministers, the King replied to 
a deputation of the clergy, which had come for the 
purpose of complaining of their grievances, by telling them 
plainly that there could be no good agreement between him 
and them till the limits of their respective jurisdictions had 
been more clearly defined. For his part he claimed that, in 
preaching, the clergy should abstain from speaking of matters 
of state; that the General Assembly should only meet when 
summoned by him ; that its decisions should have no validity 
till after they had received his sanction ; and that the Church 

1 " I received from Roger Ashton this letter enclosed, and containing 
such dishonourable effects against Her Majesty as I have thought it my 
duty to send the letter to your Lordship. . . . The King, I perceive, is 
both privy to this address mide to me, and also intendeth to try the matter:-. 
objected against Mr. David Black. . . . The credit of the authors of this 
report against him is commended to be good and famous. Nevertheh ss, 
he hath (I hear) flatly denied the utterance of any words in pulpit or pri- 
vately against Her Majesty, offering himself to all torments upon prool 
thereof. Yet, seeing the offence is alleged to have been publicly done by 
him in his sermon,, and to lie sufficiently proved against him by Credible 
witnei • , I hall therefore call for his timely trial and due punishment " 

(Bowi to Burghley, Nov. i, 1596,.?. /'. Scot/., lix. 63). A ton's account 
in the letter enclosed and dated Oct. ;,i 1 a follows: " About fourteen 
days since, Mr. David Black, minister of St. Andrews, in two or tin. 
hu rmons , .. most unreverently said that Her Majesty was an athi 
and that the religion thai ed there was l>ut a show (?) of reli- 

gion guided and directed 1')' tli' Bishop's injunctions; and they could not 

Ontent with this at home, hut would persuade the King to bring in the 

same here, and thereby to \«- debarred of the liberty ol the word. I 

ken I')- ] f credit to the King, who is highly offended, and at 

his coming to Edinburgh will bring the matter int. These extra 

.-how that the charge against Black was a bona /;■■' n 1 ' Dl ■ '■> an in-ult 
supposed to have been directed against the Queen, and not a mere scheme 
to get up an attack against the privileges of the Chi-reh. 


courts should not meddle with causes which properly came 
under the cognisance of the law of the land. 1 

According to the ideas which are prevalent in our own day, 
these demands could only be met either by a frank renuncia- 
tion of the independent position which had been assumed by 
the clergy, followed by a request for permission to retain those 
rights which upon impartial investigation could be shown to be 
advantageous to their congregations, or by a denial that the 
State was sufficiently organised to make it probable that justice 
would be done to them if they renounced their exclusive 

Such a reply was not likely to be made in the sixteenth 
century. The Edinburgh Commissioners, as soon as they 
heard what had passed, prepared to defend themselves against 
an attack upon what they considered to be the purely 
spiritual privileges of the Church. To them all interference 
with the Church courts was an assault made by King James 
upon the kingdom of Jesus Christ, of which they were the 
appointed guardians. We cannot blame them. If their logic 
was faulty, their instinct told them truly that, if James were 
allowed to gain a victory here, he would speedily follow it up 
by assailing them on ground which was more clearly their own. 
They therefore, at their meeting on November 1 1, resolved to 
resist to the uttermost, and they were strengthened in their 

lution by hearing that, the day before, Black had been sum- 
moned to appear on the iSth before the Council, to answer for 
the expressions which he was said to have used in his sermons. 2 

On the following day the Commissioners determined that 
Black should decline to allow his case to be tried before the 
i . , um . King and Council. The King being applied to, 
told them that he would be satisfied if Black would 
appear before him and prove his innocence, but 
that he would not suffer him to decline the jurisdiction of the 

Under these circumstances a collision was unavoidable 

1 Caldcrwood, v. 451. 

2 Calderwood, v. 453. Summons of Mr. David Black, Nov. 10, 1596, 
.S". P. Scotl. lbc. 83. 


The question was in reality only to be decided by allowing one 
of tvo parties to be judges in a ease in which both of them 
were equally interested. No compromise was suggested on 
either side ; nor, indeed, was any possible. Accordingly, on 
the 17th, the ministers drew up a declaration, which was to be 
given in by Black on the following day, in which he protested, 
in their name and in his own, that the King had no jurisdiction 
over offences committed in preaching, until the Church had 
decided against the accused minister. 1 Accordingly, on the 
[8th, Black appeared before the Council and declined its juris- 
diction. After some discussion, the final decision upon his case 
was postponed till the 30th. 2 The Commissioners at once 
sent the declinature to all the Presbyteries, requesting them to 
testify by their subscriptions their agreement with the course 
which had been pursued at Edinburgh. 3 

On the 22nd, the King took a final resolution with respect 
to the Earl of Huntly. He decided that, as it was impos- 
; ,. . sible to exterminate the whole of his following with- 

Cond " 1 1 -,-rr , L 

ex- out great danger and dilhculty, some terms must be 

acted . . - . . , 

ir i of granted, if the country were not to be exposed to a 
perpetual danger. He therefore required that the 

should find sixteen landowners who would enter into bonds 
for him that he would leave the realm on April 1, if he had 
not previously satisfied the Church, that he would banish from 
his company all Jesuits, priests, and excommunicated persons, 
and that he would engage in no attempt to disquiet the pea< 1 
of the country. At the same time James issued a proclamation, 

forbidding all persons to communicate with Huntly and Errol, 
and ordering preparations to he made for levying a force, which 

v... . to 111. in h against them if they should refuse the conditions 

whi< h lie hail offered. 4 

1 Tlii, n e the natural interpretation of tin- phrase in primd 

instantid, and agrees with the theory ol the Church courts which prevailed 
at the time. 

- Record of Privy Council, in McCries Life of Melville, note KK. 
1 alderwood, v. 460. 

* The articles set flown by His Majesty. Proclamation against the 
EarK, Nov. 22, 1596, S. /'. Scot/, lix. 69, 70. 


Two days later, the King heard that the ministers had sent 
the declinature to the Presbyteries for signature. He imme- 
Negotia- diately directed three proclamations to be drawn up. 
The first prohibited the ministers from making any 
niack. convocation of his subjects ; the second charged 

those ministers who had come up from the country to return 
to their several parishes ; and the third contained a new 
summons to Black to appear before the Council to answer 
not merely for his reflections on Elizabeth, but for several 
contemptuous observations on the King himself, and on his 
authority. 1 

Before, however, these proclamations were issued, an 
attempt was made by the ministers to come to terms with the 
King. Two or three days were spent in negotiations, which 
failed because neither party would give way on the main point. 
\i cordingly, on the 27th, 2 the proclamations were allowed to 

The next day was Sunday. Every pulpit in Edinburgh was 
occupied by a minister who put forth all his energies in animat- 
The second i n g the people to join in the defence of the kingdom 
declinature. Q f Q-, r Jst, whose spiritual jurisdiction was attacked. 
Whatever effect these arguments may have had upon the minds 
of the hearers, they had none whatever upon the King. Black 
having appeared before the Council on the 30th, and having 
once more declined its jurisdiction, a formal resolution was 
passed to the effe< t that, as the Church had nothing to do with 
deciding on questions of treason and sedition, the Court refused 
to admit the declinature. 

Upon this James made another overture. If Black would 

come before him, and de< lare upon his conscience the truth 

concerning the matters with which he was charged, 

The King's , 

he should he freely pardoned. James forgot that he 

had to flo with men who, whether they were right or 

wrong, were contending for a great principle, and who were not 

to be moved by a mere offer of forgiveness. They told the King 

1 Proclamations, Nov. 24, 1596, .V. /'. Scoll. lix. 72, 73, 74. 

2 Calderwood, 465. Lowes to liurghlcy, Nov. 27, 1596, S. P. Scotl. 
lix. 75. 


that they were resisting him on behalf of the liberty of 
Christ's gospel and kingdom, and that they would continue to 
do so until he retracted what he had done. 1 James appears 
to have been to some extent intimidated by their firmness. 
Although the Council was engaged in receiving depositions 
against Black, 2 yet the King himself continued the negotiations 
into which he had entered, and on the following morning 
agreed to withdraw the acts of the Council upon which the 
proclamations had been founded, and to relinquish the proceed- 
ings against Black, on condition that he would, in the King's 
presence, make a declaration of the facts of his case to three of 
his brother ministers. before, however, Black could be brought 
before him, James had, in consequence of the representations 
of some who were about him, changed his mind so far as to 
ask that he should acknowledge at least his fault towards the 
Queen. 3 This Black utterly refused to do, and the negotiations 
came to an end. The Council immediately assembled, and as 
he did not appear, proceeded to pronounce him guilty, leaving 
the penalty to be fixed by the King. 

It was some days before the sentence was carried into 
effect The negotiations which had been broken off were once 
I more resumed. As before, both sides were ready to 

give way in everything excepting on the main point 
at issue. At last the King's j atience was exhausted, 
and he ordered black to go into banishment to the north of the 
Tay. Not long afterwards, the Commissioners were directed 

Edinburgh, and the ministers were informed that those 
who refused to submit would be punished by the loss of their 


The Commissioners had not been Ion one when a fresh 

proposal was made by the King to the ministers of the town. 

It is unlikely that, under any < in umstant es, it would 

Octavinns. j, avc Deen attended with sat isfa< tory results. But, 
however that may have been, James did not give fail plaj to 

1 CaldowooJ, v. 482. 

-' Depositions, Dec. I, 1596, .'•'. P. Scotl. lix. •' 

■ tie was to 'confess an offence done to the Queen at least.' Caldcr- 
wood, v. 486. 


his renewed attempts at conciliation. Unfortunately there were 
those about the Court who were interested in bringing the 
quarrel to an issue. The King had for some months placed 
his confidence in a body of eighr persons, who on account of 
their number went by the name of the Octavians. Under their 
management the finances were being reduced to some degree 
of order, an operation which had only been rendered possible 
by a considerable reduction of the Royal expenditure. As a 
natural consequence, the Court was crowded with men whose 
income was curtailed by the economy which had lately come 
into fashion, and who longed for the downfall of the Octavians, 
in order that the money which was now spent upon worthier 
objects might once more flow into their own pockets. Accord- 
Thecour- ingly, there were actually to be found amongst the 
upVi)c" r courtiers some who were prepared to inflame the al 
quarrel. ready sufficiently angry temper which prevailed on both 
sides, in order to make their own profit in the general scramble 
which would ensue. On the one hand, they informed the 
King that some of the citizens of Edinburgh kept a nightly watch 
round the house in which the ministers lived, and that they might 
at any time rise in insurrection against the Government. On 
the other hand, they told the ministers that the Octavians were 
at the bottom of all that had passed, and that it was through 
their means that the Popish lords had been allowed to return. 
James at once fell into the trap, and, on the night of the 1 6th, 
red twenty-four of the principal citizens of Edinburgh to 
leave the town. As soon as the courtiers knew that this order 
had been given, they wrote to the ministers, telling them that 
it had been procured from the king by Huntly, who, as they 
falsely alleged, had visited him shortly before it had been 

On the morning of the 17th, Walter Balcanqual, after com- 
plaining in his sermon of the banishment of so many innocent 
„ . . persons, inveighed against the principal Octavians, 

Meeting in 111, 

me and requested the noblemen and gentlemen who 

were present to meet with the ministers in the Little 

Kirk after the conclusion of the sermon. As soon as they were 

assembled the meeting was addressed by Robert Bruce, one of 


the foremost of the Edinburgh ministers, and it was deter- 
mined that a deputation should be sent to the King to remon- 
Deputadon strate with him, and to demand the dismissal of his 
to the King, councillors. James received them at the Tolbooth, 
and after some sharp words had passed on both sides, left the 
room without giving them any answer. Upon the return of the 
deputation to those who sent them, they found that the state of 
affairs had greatly changed in their absence. As soon as they 
had left the church, a foolish minister had thought fit to occupy 
the minds of the excited multitude by reading to them the nar- 
rative of the destruction of Hainan, from the book of Esther. 
Tumult in Whilst they were attending to this, some one among 

" ls - the crowd, who, according to the popular belief of the 
time, had been suborned by the courtiers, raised a cry of 'Fly ! 
save yourselves ! ' Upon this, the whole congregation, with 
their minds full of the supposed treachery of the Octavians and 
the Popish lords, rushed out from the church in order to put 
Oil their armour. In a moment the streets were full of an 
alarmed crowd of armed men, who hardly knew what was the 
danger against which they had risen, or what were the steps 
which they were to take in order to provide against it. Some 
of them, not knowing what to do, rushed to the Tolbooth, and 
demanded that the most obnoxious of the Octavians should be 
delivered Up to them. 

Such a tumult as this was not likely to last long. The 
provost had little difficulty in persuading nun who had no 

wt fly definite object in view to return to their homes, a 

■upprMMd. t^k j n WM j, n ne received the full support of the 

James's conducl was not dignified. He seems to have 
been thoroughly frightened by what was passing around him, 
Behaviour erf ■'""' '"' Sl '"' :,t """' '" ''"' ministers, to whose < 0m 

the Kmg. plaints he had bo lately refused to listen, directing 
them to send another deputation to him at Holyrood, to which 
place of safety he proceeded under the e» ort of the magistrates, 

as soon as the tumult was pa< Lfii <1. 

Accordingly, in tl the new deputation set out for 

Holyrood, carrying with them a petition in whii h among other 


things, they simply demanded that everything which had been 
done to the prejudice of the Church during the past five weeks 
should be at once annulled. They can hardly have expected 
that James would grant such a request as this. He was now no 
Longer under the influence of terror, and everyone who was in 
his company during that afternoon must have urged him not 
to give way to such a gratuitous acknowledgment of defeat. If 
lie had received the deputation, and had announced to them 
that, though he was ready to agree to any reasonable terms, he 
would not surrender the rights of the Crown, there would have 
been nothing to say against his conduct ; but, instead of doing 
this, he was mean enough to employ Lord Ochiltree to meet the 
deputation on its way, in order that he might terrify or cajole 
them into returning without fulfilling their mission. 1 

The next morning James set off for Linlithgow, leaving 
behind him a proclamation commanding all strangers to leave 
Heicives Edinburgh at once, and ordering the removal of the 
Edinburgh. c ourts f Justice. It was evident that he in- 
tended to make use of the tumult of the day before to bring 
the question between the clergy and himself to an issue. No 
doubt he was determined to make the most of an affair which 
was in reality of very little consequence ; but it is unlikely that he 
was influenced, as is generally supposed, by any very deep and 
hypocritical policy. In his eyes, the tumult must have assumed 
far larger proportions than it does to us, standing at this dis- 
tance of time ; and even if he had not been surrounded by 
men who were unwilling to allow the truth to penetrate to his 
ears, he would naturally suppose that the ministers had taken a 
far more direct part in the disturbance than had in reality been 
the case. The ministers certainly did not take such a course as 
was likely to disabuse him of his mistake. They wrote to Lord 
niton, who, in consequence of his elder brother's insanity, 
was at the head of the great house which ruled over the impor- 
tant district of Clydesdale, begging him to come to Edinburgh, 
and to put himself at their head. 2 On the following day Bruce 

1 CalJcnvoo'l, v. 502-514. Spottiswoode (Spottiswoodc Society's ed.), 
iii. 27, 32. ! to Burghley, Dec. 17, 1596. S. V. Scotl. lix. 87. 

2 Caltienvood, v. 514. The letter, before it reached the King's hands, 


preached with all his energy against the assailants of the Church, 
and another minister made a violent personal attack upon the 
King. Accordingly, on the 20th, the magistrates of Edinburgh 
were ordered to commit as prisoners to the Castle the ministers 
of the town, together with certain of the citizens, in order that 
they might answer for their proceedings on the day of the 
tumult. Bruce and some others of the ministers, knowing 
that they could not expect a fair trial at the hands of their 
opponents, sought safety in flight. 1 Shortly afterwards, the 
Council declared that the tumult had been an act of treason. 
At the same time, the King issued a declaration, which he 
required every minister to sign, on pain of losing his stipend. 
By this signature he was to bind himself to submit to the 
King's judicatory in all civil and criminal causes, and especially 
in questions of treason and sedition. 

James was determined to show that physical force at least 
was on his side. There was scarcely a noble in Scotland who 
did not look with displeasure upon the pretensions 
submission, of the clergy ; and the King had soon at his com- 
mand a force which made all resistance useless. On 
January 1, 1597, he entered Edinburgh, and received the sub- 
mission of the townsmen. Going to the High Church, he 
declared his determination to uphold the reformed religion. At 
the same time, however, he refrained from any declaration of his 
intention to pardon those who had taken part in the late tumult, 
and left them with the charge of treason hanging over their 

It had not been very difficult to overpower the resistance 

of the ministers ; but. it was by no m< ans so easy to devise a 

s< heme by which such collisions might be prevent* d 

r) ' fr " :ult r , r Ml ■ r , 

position** for the future. 1 here were, 111 fact, only two w 

in which it was possible to obviate the continual 
danger of a renewal of the quarrel On the one hand, James 
might, if he were strong enough, recall into existence the 
abolished Episcopacy, or, in other words, he might attempt 

was in some way or other altered, so as to contain expn if appro- 

bation of the tumult. 

1 CatJcncooJ, v. 514-521 ; Spottiswoodt^ iii. 32 35. 
VOL. I. F 


once more to keep the ministers in silence and subjection by 
means of members of their own order. On the other hand, 
there was a proposal which had been often made for admitting 
the representatives of the Church to a share in the deliberations 
of Parliament, without giving to those representatives any 
title or jurisdiction derived from the Crown. Parliament would 
thus, it might be hoped, step in some degree into the place 
which was occupied by the body which bore the same name in 
England, so as to give full play to all the social forces which 
existed in the country, and to support the Crown in its efforts 
to mediate between the nobility and the clergy. 

This last scheme had the advantage of the advocacy of the 

Secretary, John Lindsay of Balcarres, 1 who was decidedly the 

ablest statesman in the countrv. Irreconcilably op- 

Scheme of . ' . . . ' 

Lindsay of posed to the pretensions of the ministers to an inde- 
pendent position, he was no less opposed to the equally 
exorbitant pretensions of the high nobility. It was to him 
that the representatives of the smaller landed gentry owed their 
introduction into Parliament. He hoped to be able by their 
means to counterbalance to some extent the votes of the heads 
of the great feudal houses. In the same spirit, he was anxious 
to see the representatives of the Church added to the numbers 
of those who were summoned to Parliament to treat of matters 
of national concern. 2 

1 The fact that he put it forward in the spring of 1596, in connection 
with a scheme which ina<lc the restoration of prelacy impossible, shows 
that he did not advocate it as a covert means of introducing Episcopacy. 
Calderwood, v. 420. 

[| is generally supposed that the greatest difficulty would have been 
found with the High Presbyterian clergy. Vet if, as was in itself desirable, 

ipulation had been made that the representatives of the Church in 
Parliament should always be laymen, it is unlikely that they would have 
At the Conference at Holyrood House in 1599, "It was de- 
manded, who could vote for the Kirk, if not ministers? Answered, it 
might stand better with the office of an elder or deacon nor of a minister, 
they having commission from the Kirk and subject to render an account 
of their doing at the General Assembly, and that, indeed, we would have 
the Kirk as fair enjoying her privileges as any other, and have His Ma- 
jesty satisfied, and the affairs of the common weal helped ; but not with 
the hinder, wreck and corruption of the spiritual ministry of God's wor- 


Yet, specious as this scheme appears, it may well be doubted 
whether it would have been attended with any satisfactory results. 
It is true that if the evils under which Scotland was labouring 
had been merely the results of a defect in the institutions of 
NotHkeiyto tne country, no plan could possibly have been de- 

- ed - vised which was more likely to be successful than 
the union of the bodies which were in reality two distinct 
Parliaments, legislating independently of one another, and 
constantly coming into collision. But the truth was, that the 
two Parliaments were in reality the leaders of two distinct 
peoples living within the limits of one country, and that any 
attempt to bring them to work together would only have been 
attended by a violent explosion. If, indeed, James had been 
a different man, and if he had from the beginning of his reign 
given a sympathising but not unlimited co-operation to the cause 
of the ministers, which was in reality the cause of good order 
as well as of religion, he might have been able to mediate 
with effect between the two classes of his subjects. If, for 
instance, he had been a man such as was the great founder of 
the Dutch Republic, the clergy would at least have listened 
to him respectfully when he told them that, for political reasons, 
it was impossible to deal as they wished with the northern Earls. 
At all events they would not have been goaded into unwise 
assertions of questionable rights by the supposition, which, 
however ill-founded, was by no means unreasonable, that the 
Kin^' was at heart an enemy to the Protestant religion as well 
as to the politic al pretensions of the clergy. 

shipping, and salvation of his people" ■ wood, v. 752). In 1592, at 

the time when the acts confirming the Pr< 1 n system were pa ed, 
the English Re idenl wrote a, follow : "Sundry laws arc made in favour 
of the < hurch ; bni thi oi the ministry to have vote in Parliament 

is denied, notwith landing thai they pressed the same earnestly, in n 
that the temp of the prelates (having place in Parliament foi thi 

' Imrch) were now erected and put in temporal lords and | er on , and that 
the number of the prelates remaining are few and not ufficienl to erve 
fnr the Church in Parliament " (Bowes to Burghley, June 6, 1592, S. /'. 
. xlviii. 44). The real difficulty would have comi from the nobli , 
if the ministers could have been convinced that the King was acting in 
good faith. 

t 2 


But this was not to be. James found himself in a position 
from which there was no satisfactory way of escape. He found 
Difficulties himself led on, step by step, from an undertaking in 
of James. w hich he at first embarked with a view to restrain 
encroachments upon his own power, till, before his death, he 
had himself encroached far upon the proper domain of the 
clergy, and had sown the seeds of the whirlwind which was to 
sweep away his son. 

It soon became evident that there were considerable diffi- 
culties to be overcome before the clergy and the nobility could 
be brought to work together in Parliament. It was not easy to 
obtain the consent of the ministers to the change, suspicious 
as they naturally were of the intentions which might be con- 
cealed under the King's proposal. The only chance of gaining 
the approval of a General Assembly lay in resorting to a 
manoeuvre. It was well known that the character of the 
Assembly was in a great measure influenced by the locality in 
which it met, as few of the ministers were able to afford to 
travel from distant parts of the country. Accordingly, James 
summoned the Assembly to meet at Perth, in order 
northern that it might be convenient for the ministers of 
the north to attend. These men had never shared 
the feelings which animated their brethren in the south, and 
were generally regarded by the High Presbyterian party as 
ignorant and unlearned. There were, however, on this occasion 
special reasons which would move them to take part with the 
King. If they were in some measure cut off from the intellec- 
tual movement of Edinburgh and St. Andrews, they were far 
more practically acquainted with the power of the northern 
I rls. If the confiscation of the lands of Huntly and Errol 
would in reality have served the Protestant cause, it cannot be 
doubted that these men would have been ready to cry out for 
it. In reality they must have known that they would have been 
the first to suffer from the confusion into which the country 
would have been thrown by any attempt to carry such a sentence 
into execution, and they were ready to support the authority of 
me King, which promised them the best chance of a quiet life 
fjr the future. 


When the Assembly met at Perth, on February 29, the 
King was not contented with leaving the northern ministers to 
The come to their own conclusions. The courtiers were 

Assembly employed to flatter and caress them. They were 

at Perth. ' J ... 

told that it was time for them to make a stand 
against the arrogance of the Popes of Edinburgh. They 
were closeted with the King himself, who used all the argu- 
ments at his disposal to win them to his side. The result was 
seen as soon as the first great question was brought before the 
Assembly. They were asked whether the Assembly was lawfully 
convened or not. The High Presbyterian party declared that 
it was not, as it had been summoned by royal authority ; but, in 
Npite of all their efforts, the question was decided against them. 

As soon as this point was settled, James proposed thirteen 
articles, to which he wished them to give their replies. The 
question of the vote in Parliament he left to another occasion, 
but he obtained permission to propose to a future Assembly 
alterations in the external government of the Church. The 
Assembly also agreed that no minister should find fault with 
the King's proceedings until he had first sought for remedy in 
vain, nor was he to denounce anyone by name from the pulpit, 
excepting in certain exceptional circumstances. The ministers 
were forbidden to meet in extraordinary conventions, and leave 
was given to the Presbyteries of Moray and Aberdeen to treat 
with the Karl of Huntly, who was asking, with no very good 
^race, for admission into the 'Protestant Church. 

The King had thus gained the consent of the Assembly 
to the view which he took on most of the questions at issue 
between himself and the clergy. But a vote obtained by Court 
influence could not possibly have commanded the respect of 

those who were bound by it, and it was not by the shadow of 
legality which was thus thrown over the royal acts that the 
Melvilles and the Blacks were to be restrained from pronoun- 
cing the whole affair to be a mere caricature of the true Assem- 
blies of the Church. 1 

1 Melville's Diary, 403-414. Book of the Universal Kirk (Bannatyne 
Club), 889. 


Two months later another Assembly met at Dundee, 
principally composed of the same class of persons, and ani- 
mated by a similar spirit. They agreed to accept the 

mbiy submission of Huntly, Errol, and Angus, and gave 
permission for their absolution from the sentence 
of excommunication which had been pronounced upon them. 
They consented that a commission should be granted to certain 
of the principal ministers to confer from time to time with the 
King's Commissioners on the subject of the settlement of the 
ministers' stipends, and to give their advice to the King on all 
matters concerning the affairs of the Church. This appoint- 
ment was long afterwards regarded as the first step towards 
the introduction of Bishops. But it may be doubted whether 
as yet James had formed any such intention. At present, his 
wishes seem to have been confined to the discovery of some 
means by which his authority might be maintained, and his 
experience of the last two Assemblies may well have led him 
to suppose that he could effect his purpose far better by the 
use of his personal influence than by any change in the existing 
6ystem of Church government. 

On June 26, the three Earls were released from their ex- 
communication at Aberdeen, upon declaring their adhesion to 

lution doctrines at which they must have inwardly revolted. 
of the EarU. However necessary it might have been to relieve 
them from civil penalties, the ministers who hung back from 
< ountenancing this scene of hypocrisy stand out in bright con- 
trast to the King who forced the supposed penitents to submit 
I such an indignity. 

In the course of the following month the Edinburgh minis- 
ters were again permitted to occupy their pulpits. The town had 
some time before been pardoned for the tumult of December 17, 
but not until a heavy fine had been exacted from it. 

James now seemed to have established his authority on a 

sure foundation. Huntly and the great nobles were reduced 

to live for the future as peaceable subjects. The 

return of the exiles had not been attended with the 

results which the ministers had predicted. From 

this time we hear no more of intrigues with foreign powers for 


the overthrow of the monarchy. The Church, too, had by 
means which will not bear too close inspection, been induced to 
renounce some of its most exorbitant pretensions, and it 
seemed as if days of peace were in store for Scotland. 

Everything depended on the spirit in which James took 

in hand the measure by which he hoped to obtain for the 

ministers a vote in Parliament, and on the success by 


'he which his efforts were attended. On December 1 3 

clergy . „ . 

Parliament met, and the Commissioners appointed 
in £arii£ te by the last Assembly, who had no doubt come to an 

understanding with the King, petitioned that the 
Church might be represented in future Parliaments. Here, 
however, they met with unexpected obstacles. The great men 
who sat in Parliament were by no means willing to see their 
debates invaded by a crowd of ministers, or even by lay dele- 
5 who should be responsible to an ecclesiastical assembly. 
Unwilling to assent to the proposal, and yet desiring not 
to displease the King, they passed an Act authorising those 
persons to sit in Parliament who might be appointed by the 
King to the offices of Bishop or Abbot, or to any other prelacy. 
h an Act was in reality in direct opposition to the petition 
which had been presented. The Commissioners had asked 
for seats for representatives of the clergy. The Parliament 
granted seats to two classes of persons: to laymen who had 
accepted ecclesiastica] titles in order to enable them to hold 
Church property, and to ministers who were appointed by the 
King, and who need not have any iellowTeeling at all with 
their brethren. It was said at the time that those who assented 

to this A< t were indu< ed to do so by the belief that no minister 
would accept a bishoprit from the King, and thai they would 

thus be able to shelve for ever so dis tasteful a subject At the 
same time, they took cur to point OUt that their wisli was that 

the new Bishops should, if they ever came into existence, be 
employed to exercise jurisdiction of some kind or other, by 
enacting that the King should treat with the Assembly on the 
office to be exercised by them 'in their spiritual policy and 
government in the Church.' ' 

1 Aiti of Fail. Scotl. iv. 130. 


On March 7, 1598, the Assembly met once more at Dun- 
dee. As on former occasions, every influence was used to win 
over the members to support the policy of the Court. 
Assembly There was one, however, amongst those who had 
presented themselves who was known to be in- 
tractable. Andrew Melville was not to be seduced or in- 
timidated in the performance of his duty. James had, accord- 
ingly, in no very straightforward way, taken measures to pre- 
Andrew vent his sharing in the discussions of the Assembly, 
^bidden ^ n tne preceding summer he had himself visited 
l0Slt - St. Andrews, and, under his influence, a new rule 

had been laid down by which all teachers in the University 
who did not at the same time hold a ministerial charge were 
prohibited from taking any part in Church assemblies. He 
now, in virtue of this rule, which can hardly have been made 
except for the express purpose of excluding the great leader of 
the Church party, refused to allow Melville to take his seat. 

It was not without opposition that the King carried his 
_ point. He declared that what he desired was not to 

The Kings , ... 

proposal have ' Papistical or Anglican Bishops. He wished 
that the best and wisest of the ministry should take 
part in the deliberations of the Council and of the Parliament, 
in order that they might be able to speak on behalf of the 
Church. He himself took a share in the debates, and allowed 
himself to make an unfair use of his position to interrupt the 
speakers, and to bear down all opposition. At last, by a small 
majority, the Assembly decided that fifty-one representatives of 
the Church should vote in Parliament. The election of these 
was to pertain in part to the King and in part to the Church. 
They did not think fit to descend any further into particulars 
at the time. An opportunity was to be allowed to the various 
1 Tesbyteries and Synods to consider of the precise position which 
was to be occupied by the future representatives. A convention 
was afterwards to be held, at which three persons nominated by 
each Synod and six doctors of the Universities were to be pre- 
sent. It was only, however, in the improbable case of the Con- 
vention being unanimous on the points which were to be sub- 
mitted to it, that its decision was to be final in settling the 


position of the representatives of the Church. It differences 
of opinion arose, a report was to be made to the next General 
Assembly, which would itself take the matter in hand. 

Accordingly the Convention met at Falkland on July 25, 
and decided that the representatives should be nominated by 

the King out of a list of six, which was to be sub- 
vention at mitted to him by the Church upon each vacancy. 

The representative, when chosen, was to be respon- 
sible for his actions to the General Assembly, and was to propose 
nothing in Parliament for which he had not the express warrant 
of the Church. ' As, however, the meeting was not unanimous, 
the final decision was left to the next General Assembly. 

It is obvious that this scheme was entirely different from 
that which had been proposed by the Parliament. What the 
Convention had agreed upon was the admission of a body of 
men into Parliament who would be able to keep in check the 
temporal lords. What the Parliament had consented to was 
the admission of men who would assist the Crown and the 
nobility in keeping in check the clergy. Between these two 
plans James was now called upon to decide. As far as we can 
judge, he had hitherto been in earnest in his declarations that 
he had no wish to re-establish Episcopacy. He was at no time 
able to keep a secret long, and, if he had been acting hypocri- 
tically, his real sentiments would have been certain to ooze out 
in one quarter or another. 2 Put, however this may have been, 

1 Calcbrwood, vi. 17. 

2 There is no direct evidence on one side or the other. But the 
frequency with which James's design of establishing the bishops is gpokl D 

of by Nicolson in his despatches to the English Government in the course 

of the following year, warrants us in founding upon his silence at an 
earlier period a itrong presumption that there was no such design formed 
up to the autumn of 1598. The following passage in a letter written when 
the subject was before Parliament in 1597 is interesting : " The same day 
the articles given by the Kirk was dealt in again. The King o med 
willing to have yielded them contentment, and so they acknowledge it in 
the pulpit and otherways. But the Council was against them, saying, if 
they should have place in Parliament and Council, it wen meet for the 
King's honour that they had the title of lome degree by the name of some 
degree of prelacy, and so they should be of more estimation with the 


he certainly had not taken all this trouble in order to introduce 
fifty-one delegates of the General Assembly within the walls of 
Parliament What he wanted was a body of men who would 
Live weight to the decisions of Parliament in dealing with the 
cases in which there had hitherto been a conflict between the 
two jurisdictions ; and it is no wonder that he thought that he 
could have attained his end, if a certain number of representa- 
tives had been elected for life. As far as we can be justified in 
ascribing to James any definite plan at all, it is probable that 
he expected that the Parliament, thus reinforced, would support 
him in the maintenance of his jurisdiction in all external matters, 
whilst all purely ecclesiastical affairs would be left, as before, to 
the General Assembly. 

The best thing James could have done would have been to 
throw up the whole scheme, and to wait for better days. The 
distrust existing between the nobility and the clergy, 
of restoring and the little confidence with which he was regarded 
by the ministers, rendered his conciliatory proposal 
incapable of being carried out. It was certain that the scheme 
of the convention would never be accepted by Parliament, and 
even if it h id been accepted, it would probably have been 
impossible to reduce it to working order. The time might 
come when a wise and firm Government might be able to 

r< ome the difficulties by which the double representation of 
the nation was encumbered ; but that time had not yet arrived. 

Nor was it likely that James would do anything to anticipate 
such a time. He became more and more enamoured of the 
measure which had been proposed by the Parliament, and he 
felt an increasing desire for the re-establishment of Episcopacy 

people, saying that when the Queen of England called any to be of her 
ncil for their wisdom, she honoured them with the title of Knight or 
other degree, and without some degree of prelacy or other it was not meet 
they should have place in his Council, thereby thinking the ministers would 
not receive title and place thereby. But the King, seeing the lords wo 
not otherwise agree unto their motion, willed them not to refuse it, pro- 
ing to find a myd " [? middle or compromise] "for them therein. 
Wherein they retain the matter to their choice until they may advise with the 
General Assembly."- Nicolson to Cecil, Dec. 23, 1597, S. J'. Scot!, lxi. 65. 


as the only possible means of bringing the clergy to submit to 
his own authority. With Episcopacy as an ecclesiastical institu- 
tion, he had, at least as yet, no sympathy whatever. He 
regarded it simply as a device for keeping the clergy in order, 
and he did not see that by the very fact of his clothing the 
officials who were appointed by him for this purpose with an 
ecclesiastical title, he was preparing for himself a temptation 
which would soon lead him to interfere with those strictly 
ecclesiastical matters which were beyond his province. He had 
hitherto been in pursuit of an object which was at least worthy 
of the efforts of a statesman. He was now entering upon a path 
in which the wisest man could not avoid committing one 
blunder after another. 

It was in preparing the ' Basilicon Doron,' the work which 
James drew up in the autumn of this year, 1 for the instruction 

of his son, and which, as he intended it to be kept 
The • , , , ■ , , , , , • 

silicon from public knowledge, may he supposed to contain 

his real thoughts, that he first gave expression to his 

opinions on this subject In this book he spoke clearly of 

his wish to bridle the clergy, if possible, by the reintroduction 

of Bishops into the Church. He was not likely to feel less 

strongly in the following year, when he was again 

irritated by a renewal of his old quarrel with Bruce 

and the ministers of Edinburgh, respe< tin- the amount of 

licence which was to be allowed to them in speaking of State 

affairs in the pulpit At the same time, his own conduct wa 

mkIi a^ to ijive rise to grave suspicions. Not only did the 

sentiments expr< ied in the ' Basilicon Doron' become generally 

known, when it was found impossible to keel) the existence of 
the book any longer a secret, but he allowed himself to eng 
in those intrigues with the Catholic Towers of Europe, in the 

hope of obtaining their support at the death ol Elizabeth, w 1 m < h 
afterwards gave rise to io much scandaL Seton, the President 

of the Session, and h.lphinstone, who had lately bec< me Si 1 

tary in the place ot Lind ay of Balcarres, were known to be 

1 The earliest mention of the hook i- probably in tin- undated advii 
from Nicolson ascribed l>y Mr. Thorpe to Oct. 150' /'. Scotl. 

Ixiii. 50. 


Catholics. Montrose, who had long befriended the northern 
Earls, was appointed Chancellor, and Huntly himself was con- 
stantly seen at Court, and was raised to the dignity of a 
Marquis, an honour which was by no means counterbalanced in 
the eyes of the clergy by the gift of a similar title to the Protes- 
tant Hamilton. 

Towards the end of 1599, James determined to make a last 
attempt to change the purpose of the ministers. The Assembly 
Conference was t0 meet at Montrose in March, but he thought 
at Hoiyrood. t h at ue f ore he presented himself before it, it would be 
well to summon a conference of the principal ministers to meet 
him at Hoiyrood in the preceding November. It was in vain, 
however, that he did his best to induce them to agree to the 
appointment of representatives for life, and to his proposal that 
these representatives should bear the title of Bishops. 1 When 

the Assembly met at Montrose, no better success 
Awmbiy at attended his efforts. It was there decided, that the 

representatives of the Assembly who were to vote 

in Parliament should only hold their position for a year, and 

that they were to be tied down by such a body of restrictions 

that it would be impossible for them to be anything else than 

the obedient servants of the Assembly. 

James had thus brought himself into a position from which 

it was difficult to extricate himself with dignity. He must 

either assent to the nomination of representatives who 
Appoint- , , 1 ■ , , 

mem of would never be permitted to vote, or he must appoint 

bishops who, unless he could contrive to impose them 

by force upon the unwilling Church, would not be allowed to 

exercise any jurisdiction whatever. Under these circumstances, 

everything combined to lead him to choose the alternative 

which was offered by the Parliament. It was not, however, 

till after the strange incident of the Gowrie Plot had brought 

him once more into collision with the ministers who refused 

to believe his explanation of that mysterious occurence, that 

he made up his mind to take the final step. On October 14 

1600, he summoned a Convention of Commissioners from the 

various synods, whose consent he obtained to the appointment 

1 Caldei-wood, v. 746. 


of three Bishops in addition to the few who were still surviving 
from amongst those who had been formerly nominated. These 
Bishops took their seats, and voted in the Parliament which 
met in November, 1 but they had no place whatever assigned 
to them in the organization of the Church. The exact part 
taken by the Convention in this nomination is uncertain ; but it 
is clear that, as it was not a General Assembly, it had no right 
to act in the name of the Church. The rank, therefore, of 
these new Bishops cannot be regarded as anything more than 
that which could be derived from a civil appointment by the 
Crown, which was covered over by the participation of a few 
ministers who were altogether unauthorised to deal with the 
matter. The whole of the labours and intrigues of the last 
three years had been thrown away, and James had done nothing 
more than he might have done immediately upon the passing 
of the Act of Parliament in 1597. 2 

The position which James had thus taken up towards the 
Scottish Presbyterians, was likely to affect his conduct when 
The English ne came to deal with the English Puritans. For the 
Succession. present James's attention was drawn aside to the work 
of making good his claim to the English throne. For some 
years Englishmen had been looking forward with anxiety to 

1 Calderwood represents them as being chosen l>y 'the King with 
his Commissioners and the ministers there convened.' Nicolson writes : 
"According to my last, the King laboured the erecting of the Bishops 
exceeding 1 rne tly; yet for that the same was to be done with general 
allowance of the Kirk, he directed the Lord President, Secretary, and 
others to confer with the Commissioners ol the Kirk, who, Btanding upon 
what was set down at the General Assembly last at Montrose, the King 
not pleased therewith, nor with the coldness of the estates therein, gol it 

consented unto that the three new Bisho] should have vote with 

the prelates, and 10 they bad it this day, leaving theii further authoi 
to the next General Assembly." .'■ to Cecil, Nov. 15, 1600, S, /'. 

Scotl. lxvi. 96. 

- Writers frequently speak of the King's Bi hops as if they were in 
some way connected with I ointmenl of representativi ited to 

by t he Assembly of Montrose. Su< h, however, is evidently not the i 
They derived their title simply from tie Ait ..f Parliament and the pre* 
rogative of tie- Crown. At the Assembly which met at Burntisland in 
1601, there seems to have been no reference to the Bishops on either side. 


the death of Elizabeth, and had prognosticated that it would be 
followed by internal convulsions, if not by a foreign invasion. 
Curious persons reckoned up a list of fourteen claimants to the 
Crown, 1 not one of whom could show a title perfectly free from 
objection. Of these, however, the greater number must have 
known that they had no chance even of obtaining a hearing, 
deriving their claims, as they did, from sovereigns who reigned 
before Henry VII., and thus ignoring the rights of the House 
of Tudor. The only one of these whose claim had been 
Title of the prominently brought forward was Isabella, the eldest 
infanta; daughter of Philip II. of Spain. Those who asked 
that a Spanish princess should wear the crown of Elizabeth, 
urged that she was descended from a daughter of William the 
Conqueror, from a daughter of Henry II., and from a daughter 
of Henry III. They also brought forward the fact that her 
ancestor, Louis VIII. of France, had been chosen to the throne 
of England, and they argued that his descendants had a right 
to occupy the throne in preference to the descendants of John. 2 
Such reasoning was by no means conclusive, and the support 
of her title by the more violent Catholics was not likely to con- 
ciliate the nation in her behalf. 

In fact the only doubt which would by any possibility be 
raised was, whether the succession would fall to the House of 
Suffolk, or to the House of Stuart. 

The Parliamentary title was undoubtedly vested in the 
Suffolk line. By an Act of Parliament, Henry VIII. had been 
empowered to dispose of the succession by will ; and 
ofthes'uf- he had directed that, after his own children and 
folk line ; ^q\ x issue, the Lady Frances, the eldest daughter of 
his sister Mary, Duchess of Suffolk, should succeed. Failing 
her and her children, her place was to be taken by her sister 
Eleanor. After the death of Lady Jane Gray, who was the eldest 
daughter of the Lady Frances, the claims of the elder branch 
of the Suffolk line were represented by Lady Jane's next sister, 
Catherine. If Elizabeth had died before 1587, there can be 

1 Introduction to the Corresponded of James VI. with Sir R. Cecil. 

2 Doieman (Persons), Conference on the Succession, 151. 


little doubt that Catherine Gray, or one of her family, 1 would 
have succeeded her. As long as the Queen of Scots was alive, 
the reasons which had determined the nation to support 
Henry VIII. in excluding the House of Stuart were still of im- 
portance. With the execution of Mary all these objections fell 
to the ground. There was now no sufficient cause for tamper- 
andofthe m g with the ordinary rule of hereditary succession. 
Stuart line, jf p ar liament had been allowed to follow its own 
wishes, an Act would undoubtedly have been passed securing 
the succession to James, who was the representative of his great- 
grandmother Margaret, the eldest daughter of Henry VII. But 
the prejudices of the Queen stood in the way. She was de- 
termined that in her lifetime no one should be able to call him- 
self her heir. But that when, in the course of nature, she should 
be removed from the throne, James would be acceptable, with 
scarcely an exception, to the whole English nation, was unde- 
niable. The desire to return to the regular course was cer- 
tainly strengthened by the position in which the Suffolk family 
stood at the end of Elizabeths reign. There were doubts as to 
the validity of the marriage of Catherine Gray with the Earl of 
I Iertford, and, consequently, of the legitimacy of his eldest son, 
Eord Beauchamp. If the marriage should be hereafter proved 
to he invalid, Lord Beaui lump's claim would be worthless ; if, 
on the other hand, if should he proved to he valid, the claim 
of any representative of the younger brain h of the Suffolk line- 
would be equally worthless. 

If the Parliamentary title were discarded, the claim of James 
was certain to prevail. Lawyers indeed had been found who 
Argument! ''•"' discovered that his cousin, Arabella Stuart, 

™ rof who v..- al 10 des< 1 tided from Margaret, the sister of 
Stuart Henry VIII., had a better title, as she had been 
bom in England, whereas James had been born in Scotland. 
It was a maxim of the English law, they argued, that no 
alien could inherit land in England. If, therefore, James 

was incapable Of inheriting an acre of land south ol the 
Tweed, he was still more incapable of inheriting the whole 
realm. A few of the more moderate Catholics would have 
welcomed the accession of Arabella, as the)- thought it more 
1 She herself died in 1567. 


likely that they would obtain toleration from her than from a 
King who had been nursed in the Presbyterian Church of 
Scotland ; but with this exception, these crotchets of the law- 
yers met with no response in the nation. 

The only obstacle which was likely to oppose itself to the 
realisation of the wishes of the people arose from the character 
James too of James himself. For some years he was unable to 
raUe r a t0 rarty believe that he could obtain the object of his desires 
in England. w ithout some superhuman effort of his own. He was 
bent upon getting together a party who would support his claims 
when the day of trial came. He intrigued with Essex, with 
Mountjoy, and even with the rebel Tyrone. 1 If he did not con- 
sent to head an army for the invasion of England, he at all events 
gave no decided refusal when the proposal was made to him. 

Many of his counsellors and associates in Scotland had been 
anxious to embark him on a still more dangerous course. The 
The Catholic Catholics about him wished him to become King of 
intrigue. England with the assistance of the Pope, to grant 
liberty of conscience to the Catholics of both kingdoms, and to 
set Presbyterians and Puritans at defiance. 2 They were anxious 
to engage him in a correspondence with the Pope himself. In 
1599, a certain Edward Drummond was about to proceed to 
Rome. James consented to entrust him with letters addressed 
to the Duke of Florence, the Duke of Savoy, and some of 
the Cardinals, asking them to support the appointment of the 
Bishop of Yaison — a Scotchman, named Chisholm — to the 
Cardinalate, who was expected to watch over the interests 
of James at Rome. But James resolutely refused to write 

1 This letter to Tyrone is among the Lansd. AISS., lxxxiv. fol. 79 a. 
Tyrone's answer is in the S. /'. Scotl. lxvi. 28. The whole subject of the 
relations between James and the English parties is treated of at some 
length by Mr. I5ruce in his introduction to the Correspondence of James VI. 
with Sir R. Cecil. These letters add one or two new facts to the history, 
but their chief value consists in the light which they throw upon the cha- 
racter of Cecil. Nothing can be more instructive than the contrast between 
the tone of these letters and those of Lord Henry Howard, which have so 
often, in spite of repeated protests, been taken to represent Cecil's feelings 
as well as his policy. 

1 Gray to Salisbury, Oct. 3, 1608. Hatfield MSS. exxvi. fol. 59, 


to the Pope himself, net because he had any scruple about 
negotiating with him, but because he objected to address him as 
'Holy Father.' Elphinstone, the Secretary of State, 
titious letter urged on by men higher in authority than him- 
ope- self, persuaded Drummond to draw up a letter to the 
Pope asking for the Bishop's appointment and explaining that 
the bearer was directed to say that James had no intention of 
persecuting the Catholics. Elphinstone slipped this letter in 
amongst the others which were awaiting James's signature as he 
was going out hunting, and had the titles added afterwards by 
Drummond. Some time later, information that this letter had 
been delivered in Rome reached Queen Elizabeth, and she 
directed her ambassador to remonstrate with James. James 
summoned Elphinstone to bear witness that no such letter had 
been sent, and Elphinstone not only avowed his ignorance of 
the letter, but persuaded Drummond on his return from Rome 
to support him in his falsehood. 1 

1 Elphinstone was subsequently created Lord Balmerino. In 1608 
the whole story came out. The narrative as given above is taken from 
his letter to the King, Oct. 21, 1608 {Hatfield MSS., exxvi. fol. 67), and 
from his relation in Calderwood, v. 740. My reasons for believing it will 
be given when I come to deal with I'.almerino's trial. In the meanwhile 
the following extract from a letter of the Jesuit Creichton will serve to put 
James's conduct in a clear light : " As touching the President's" (i.e. 
Balmerino's) " confession to have enl the despatch to Pope and Cardinals 

without His Majesty's COH oinmandmcnt, I will not niell me with 

that, nor anything what it may merit. Bui I assisted Mr. Edward 

Drummond in all that negotiation (thinking it to be to the King's weal 
and service) and communication of all the letters that were brought for 
that affair, I thought it ex| • inform you of the verity of all. There 

was nothing wrought in that negotiation which was not thought toin for 
the King's Majesty's service, which was t.> procure the Bishop of \ aison's 

advancement to the degree of Cardinal, to the end thai Hi M Id 

have in the College of Cardinals one ol his true and faithful su 
advance His Majesty's service, and dash and stop that which might be 
to his prejudice ; and specially thai they should not excommu/iii it< His 

, or absolve his subjects from their obedience, as there v. 
at that time busy to procure it. . . . It was not (riven to understand to the 
Pope that the King's M 1 ty was in any dis] I 01 

favour the Catholic religion, for the contrary was contained expressly in 
the letters, . . . saying that, albeit he remained constant in that religion 
VOL. I. G 


There is no difficulty in learning what James thought at 
this time on the subject of the toleration of the Catholics. In 
a letter written before his accession to the English throne, he 

expressed himself precisely as he afterwards did to his 
opinion on first English Parliament, that he was unwilling that 

the blood of any man should be shed for diversity of 
opinion in religion, but that he was also unwilling that the 
Catholics should become sufficiently numerous to oppress the 
Protestants. He would be glad that priests and Jesuits should 
be banished, and that all further spread of the religion might 
thus quickly be put a stop to without persecution. 1 

Such an idea was not very practical, but it was at least 
the expression of a desire to escape from that miserable intoler- 
ance with which Europe in every corner was defiled. 

In his effort to bring into existence a better order of society, 
James would receive no help from Elizabeth's ministers. In 

their opinion, the only reasonable way of dealing with 
Fatness' Catholics was to keep them down, the laity by fine and 
s<cre d C n°cT" imprisonment, and the clergy by the gallows. There 

was one amongst them, Sir Robert Cecil, who could 

teach James that the way to the throne of England 
did not lie in a secret understanding with the Catholics. Cecil 
had been, since his father Burghley's death, the leading states- 
man in Elizabeth's Government. He was in the enjoyment of 
the full confidence of his sovereign, and had been entrusted by 
her with the responsible office of Secretary. He saw clearly 
that it was necessary for England that James should succeed 
Elizabeth, and he saw also that James must be kept quiet, if he 

in which he was nourished from his cradle, yet he would not be enemy 
or persecutor of the Catholics so long as they should remain faithful and 
obedient subjects unto him. As, indeed, His Majesty had ever done, 
until the horrible and barbarous conspiracy of the Gunpowder. For in 
Scotland, to them of our order who are holden the most odious, and perse- 
cuted to the death by the ministers, he did never use more rigour nor to 
banish them out of the country, and constrain their parents to oblige them 
under pain to cause them to depart." — W. Creichton to Sir A. Murray, 
Jan. 27, 1609; Botfield's Original Letters relating to Ecclesiastical Affairs, 
i. 1S0. 

1 Correspondence of James VI. with Sir R. Cecil, p. 36. 


were not to throw his chance away. He therefore took advan- 
tage of the presence of a Scottish embassy in London, to let 
James know that he was devoted to his service. A corre- 
spondence sprang up, which was kept secret from the Queen, in 
which he impressed on James the necessity of avoiding any- 
thing like impatience, and assured him that he would answer 
for his ultimate success. James, who had been prejudiced 
against Cecil by Essex, and had been led to believe that the 
Secretary favoured the title of the Infanta, was overjoyed to 
find that he had gained such a supporter, and submitted for 
the remainder of Elizabeth's life to be guided by his counsels. 
This prudent conduct eventually found its reward. When the 
time came, James was welcomed from Berwick to the Land's 
End, with scarcely a dissentient voice. 




On March 24, within a few hours ' after the death of the 
Queen, a meeting was held at Whitehall. The Privy Coun- 
,6o 3 . cillors had hastened in from Richmond, and sum- 
Mareh 24. monses had been issued requesting the attendance 
Whitehall, of the Peers who were in London at the time, 
with that of the Lord Mayor, and of a few other persons of 

As soon as those who had been invited had assembled, a 
proclamation was produced, which had been composed by 

Cecil in anticipation of the death of Elizabeth. A 
tion^ copy of it had already been sent to Scotland, and 

had received the approval of James. 2 After some dis- 
cussion it was agreed to, and at ten o'clock the whole of the 
councillors and nobility present went out before the palace- 
gate, where the proclamation which announced the peaceable 
accession of James I. was read by Cecil himself in the presence 
of a large concourse of people. 3 The ceremony was repeated 
in the City. The countenances of all who witnessed it testified 
their satisfaction with the step which had been taken. During 
the time of the Queen's illness watch and ward had been kept 
in the City. Wealthy men had brought in their plate and 

' Add. MSS., 17%, fol. 5 h. 

2 Bruce, Correspondence of King James VI. of Scotland with Sir R. 
Cecil and others ', 47. 

lumont to the King of France, M ^ a6 ' 1603. King's MSS., 
123, fol. 18 b. 


treasure from the country, and had put them in places of 
security. Ships of war had been stationed in the Straits of 
Dover to guard against a foreign invasion ; and some of the 
piincipal recusants had, as a matter of precaution, been com- 
mitted to safe custody. All the apprehensions with which 
men's minds had been filled were now at an end. The citizens 
showed their confidence in the Government by putting up their 
weapons, and returning to their several occupations. All over 
England the proclamation met with a similar reception. If ever 
there was an act in which the nation was unanimous, it was the 
welcome with which the accession of the new Sovereign was 

On the day after the proclamation had been issued, Thomas 

Somerset and Sir Charles Percy were despatched to Edinburgh 

by the Council to inform the King of all that had 

^j; S n s ' passed. It was probably on the following day that a 
oftheCoun- scene took place which, a century earlier, would have 

Cll alter the ' J 

been of some importance. The Earl of Northumber- 
land was a man of considerable learning and ability, 
but hot-headed and impatient of control. A few days before 
the Queen's death he had been requested, together with Lord 
1 obhamand Lord Thomas Howard, to take part in the delibera- 
tions of the Coun< il. He had appeared at the head of more 
than a hundred men, had talked loudly of the necessity of 
acknov^ 1. mies, ami had d< 1 lari d that he was ready to 

put to death anyone who was proposed in opposition to him.' 

He now stepped forward in defence of the privileges of the old 

nobility. He had heard that the Privy Councillors had met 
at the Earl Of Nottifl . in order to take measures for 

removing the Queen's body to London. He thought this 
a good opportunity to remind them that, in consequence ol 

the death of the Queen, the}' had 1 -.1 led i" 0( < upy any oll'n ial 

it ion, until they were confirmed in their places by the new 

King. He told them that the peerage had ton long been 

• Bodcrii- to Villeroi, • "T 7 ' ' 1606, A» , i. iSr. In an account 

July 6, 

which he gave of I ir&nce at the I !oun< il to the King (<" 

of James VI. with Sir R. Cecil, p. 73) Northumberland ••ays nothing of 



treated with contempt, and that they were determined to sub- 
mit to it no longer. Sir Thomas Egerton, the Lord Keeper, 
with admirable self-control, at once admitted that his authority 
ceased with the death of the Queen, and proposed that he, and 
all the Councillors who were not members of the Upper House, 
should resign to the Lords their seats at the head of the table. 
The peers who were present would not hear of this proposal, 
and everything went on as usual. x 

As may be imagined, the Councillors were not anxious to 
prolong this uncertain position of affairs, and messengers were 
again despatched to the King begging him to estab- 
Order lish some settled government. Practically no harm 

prevails. wag done The French ambassador was struck, as 
his countrymen have often been on similar occasions, with the 
ready obedience which was paid to authorities who held power 
by so uncertain a tenure. Even in those days the long exercise 
of the duties and privileges of self-government enabled English- 
men to pass through a political crisis with a calmness which ap- 
peared almost miraculous in the eyes of a foreigner. On April 5, 
however, the crisis was at an end. The Government was able to 
inform the people that letters had been received from the King, 
confirming all officers in their places till his arrival in England. 

The two gentlemen who had been selected by the Council 

were not the first to carry the great news to Edinburgh. A 

certain George Marshall was probably the first to 

JakJhhe Pey bear the hnfo rmat i° n to James. 3 Sir Robert Carey 
first news too fad slipped away as soon as he was certain of the 
en'i Queen's death, having previously taken the precau- 
tion of placing post-horses along the road. He 
hoped to reap a rich reward by being the bearer of the news 
that his benefactress was no longer able to do him offices of 
kindness. He was probably, however, anticipated by Marshall, 

1 I suppose this to be as accurate an account as can be obtained from 
the conflicting statements contained in Add. MSS. 1786, fol. 5 b; 718, 
foL 34 b, and Beaumont to the King of France, — ^ m **' 1603 (King'; 
MSS. 123, fol. 29 b). The scene certainly took place before the 26th, 
when the Queen's body was actually removed. 

« Marshall to Salisbury, Jan. 4, 1610. Hatfield MSS. 195, fol. 95. 


and it is satisfactory to know that, although he was taken into 
favour by James, the rewards which he received were, in his 
own estimation, an inadequate remuneration of the service 
which he rendered on this important occasion. 1 

On April 5, the new Sovereign set out from Edinburgh. 
The impression which he created was on the whole favourable. 
April 5. Of his deeper characteristics, nothing could as yet be 
out"from tS known. His personal appearance was in his favour. 
Edinburgh. He was somewhat above the middle height, fair-com- 
plexioned, fond of active exercises, especially in the hunting- 
field, and well pleased to throw ceremonyaside with those whom 
he admitted to his intimacy. 2 His moral habits were praise- 
worthy. He was faithful and affectionate to his wife, Anne of 
Denmark, though her levity must often have annoyed him, and 
though he was certainly not abstemious, he was never intoxi- 
cated. 3 

James did not arrive in the neighbourhood of London till 
May 3. He must have thought that he had entered upon the 
government of El Dorado. Every nobleman and gentleman 
kept open house as he passed. He spent his time in festivities 
and amusements of various kinds. The gentry of the counties 
through which his journey lay thronged in to see him. Most of 
them returned home decorated with the honours of knighthood, 
a title which he dispensed with a profusion which astonished 
those who remembered the sober days of Elizabeth. One act 
of his gave rise to no friendly comments. At Newark he or- 
dained that a cutpurse, who was taken in the crowd, should ;ii 
once be hanged without form of trial. As he never repeated 

* Memoirs of Sir R. Carey, ]>. 180. 

2 Tin: <1'M riptiona of Jame ■ aa weak in body, and unable i" -it ;t li u i 
without falling off, oodoubl apply to him only later in life. " II Re," writes 
one who saw him at this time, "edi Faccia bella, nobile, e giovale; « 1 i 
c"l"r biano, pelo aaaai biondo, barba quadra e lunghetta, bocca piccola, 
occhi azzurri, 1 iutto e profilato, uomo allegro, ne gi 

di vita ben fatta, piu tosto grande che piccolo." Degli Effetti to Del 
Bufalo, June ' ', Roman Transcripts, R. O. 

3 The e\ 1 J bia physician, sir T, Mayerne (in Ellis, ser. 2, iii. 
1 is decisive on t li i -> point. lie drank great quantities of not very 
strong wine, and his head was never affected l>y it. 


this mistake, it may be supposed that he was warned by his 
councillors that he could not violate with impunity the first 
principles of English law. 

The number of those who were flocking northwards gave 
some uneasiness to the Councillors. To the proclamation in 
which they announced that the K ing had confirmed them in their 
offices they added a paragraph forbidding general resort to the 
new Sovereign. It may reasonably be supposed that they had 
other motives than a desire to save the northern counties from 
the crowds which threatened to devour all their resources. 1 It 
is not strange that the men who had possessed the confidence 
of the late Queen, and who had skilfully held the reins of 
government during the critical times which were now happily at 
an end, should have been anxious to be the first to give an 
account of their stewardship to their new master. A day or 
two after the issue of the proclamation they put a stop to the 
journey of the man whom above all others they were desirous 
sir waiter °f keeping at a distance from the King. Sir Walter 
Raleigh. Raleigh was setting out at the head of a large body 
of suitors when he received an order to relinquish his intention. 

It is difficult for us at this distance of time to realise the 
feelings with which Raleigh was regarded by the great mass of 
his contemporaries. To us he is the man who had more genius 
than all the Privy Council put together. At the first mention 
of his name, there rises up before us the remembrance of the 
active mind, the meditative head, and the bold heart, which 
have stamped themselves indelibly upon the pages of the history 
of two continents. Above all, we think of him as the victim of 
oppression, sobered down by the patient endurance of an un- 
deserved imprisonment, and as finally passing into his bloody 
grave, struck down by an unjust sentence. To the greater 
number of the men amongst whom he moved, he was simply 
the most unpopular man in England. Here and there were to 
be found a few who knew his worth. Those who had served 
under him, like his faithful Captain Keymis, and those who, 
like Sir John Harington, merely met him occasionally in social 

1 Cecil and Kinloss to Lord II. Howard, April g LS. P. Dom. i. 16). 


intercourse, knew well what the loyal heart of the man really 
was. But by the multitude, whom he despised, and by the 
grave statesmen and showy courtiers with whom he jostled for 
Elizabeth's favour, he was regarded as an insolent and unprin- 
cipled wretch, who feared neither God nor man, and who 
would shrink from no crime if he could thereby satisfy 
his ambitious desires. There can be no doubt that these 
charges, frivolous as they must seem to those who know what 
Raleigh's true nature was, had some basis in his character. 
Looking down as he did from the eminence of genius upon the 
actions of lesser men, he was too apt to treat them with the 
arrogance and scorn which they seldom deserved, and which it 
was certain that they would resent. 1 

In the latter years of Elizabeth's reign his heart had been 
set upon becoming a Privy Councillor. Elizabeth was deter- 
mined that he should not have the object of his wishes. She 
was glad to have him at hand, knowing as she did the value 
of his counsel in times of danger, and that there were many 
services for which it was impossible to find a fitter man ; but, 
at a time when she was herself anxious for peace, she would 
not trust in the council chamber a man whose voice was still 
for war. 

1 Northumberland's testimony is worth quoting, as lie was by no means 
likely to invent stories against Raleigh : " I must needs affirm Raleigh's 
ever allowance of your right, and although I know him insolent, extremely 

healed, a man thai desires to seem to he able to sway all men's courses 
and a man that out of himself, when your time shall come, shall never be 

able to do you much good nor harm, yet must I needs confess what I 

know, thai there is excellent good parts of nature in him, a man who 

i, disadvantageous to me in some sort, which I cherish rathei out of 
tancy than policy, and one whom I wish your Majesty nol to lose, 

I would nol thai one hair of a man's head should be BgainSl you 

that might be for you." Northumberland to James, Correspondent of 
James VI. with Sir /•'. Cecil, p. 67. 

A much I ccounl of him is given in Sloant MSS. 7 1 s. Bui the 

mo, t striking evidence i, contained in a despatch ol Beaumont's to -the 
French King, — 1603 [King' MSS. 123, fol. 94 b): "It was said at 
Court," he write,, " thai ' t'il had procured Rali race, because he 

was unable to support the weight of his unpopularity." The story is 
absurd, but '.hat it should have been invented is significant. 


He, too, turned with hope to the rising sun. Like all true- 
hearted Englishmen, he saw that the accession of James was 
indispensable to the safety of the country, and he trusted to 
find his account in the change. As it was, he must have beer 
miserable enough ; he had not a single friend with whom he 
could co-operate upon ecmal terms. Northumberland shared 
his counsels, but refrained from giving him his confidence 
The poor mean-spirited Lord Cobham seemed to be the only 
human being, with the exception of those who were depen- 
dent upon him, who attached himself to him at all. Hi 
tried to take Cecil into his confidence, and to share his 
schemes for the furtherance of James's prospects, but Cecil 
preferred to keep his secrets to himself, and warned him off 
with a few polite sentences, telling him that he, for one, had 
no intention of looking forward to such an event as his mis- 
tress's death. 1 

With, all his good qualities, and they were many, Cecil was 
not the man to comprehend Raleigh. Himself without a spark 
sir Robert °f true genius, he was not likely to be able to detect 
Cccli - it in others. To his orderly and systematic mind, 

Raleigh was a self-seeking adventurer, and Bacon an imagina- 
tive dreamer. He could no more understand the thoughts 
which filled their minds, than he could understand why the 
Catholics ought to be tolerated, or why the Puritan clergy 
ought to be allowed to break through the established rules of 
the Church. His ideas on all important subjects were the ideas 
which had been prevalent at the Court of Elizabeth at the time 
when he first grew up to manhood under his father's care. In 
all the numerous speeches which he delivered, and in all letters 
which have come down to us written by his hand, it is impos- 
sible to detect a single original idea. Nor was he more success- 
ful in action. Other men of less ability have left their mark 
upon the history of the constitution. No important measure, 
no constitutional improvement, connects itself with the name 

1 Cecil to James, Correspondence of James VI. with Sir K. Cecil, p. 18. 
This is the only passage in which he mentions Raleigh. It is not compli- 
mentary ; but it is very different from the constant abuse of him by Lord 
II. Howard. 


of Robert Cecil. As Bacon said of him, he was magis in opera- 
tione quant in opere. 

It was not altogether his own fault. His education had been 
against him. Like the Emperors who were born in the purple, 
he was unfortunately looked upon from his childhood as an 
hereditary statesman. He had never known what it was to be 
in opposition. He had never had the inestimable advantage of 
mixing with his countrymen as one who was unconnected with 
official position and official men. He was the first and greatest 
of that unhappy race of statesmen who were trained for their 
work as for a profession. If he had, like his father, known a 
time when the government had been conducted on principles 
which he detested, he might have risen into a clearer knowledge 
of the wants of the nation which he was called to guide. Even 
as it was, he never sank to the level of the Nauntons and the 
Windebanks, who were to follow. 

James did not hesitate for a moment where to place his 
confidence. In after years he was in the habit of congratulating 
himself that he had not imitated Rehoboam in displacing the 
counsellors of his predecessor, and of those counsellors there 
was none to whom he owed SO dee]) a debt of gratitude as he 
did to Cecil. His first thought on receiving intelligence of the 
Queen's death, was to express his thanks to Cecil for his care- 
ful attention to his interests. " How happy 1 think myself," he 
mote, " bythe conquest of so faithful and so wise a counsellor, 

I reserve it to 1"' e ■ cpn iSed OUt of my own mouth unto you." ' 
confidence which James thus bestowed was never with- 
drawn as long .1 ; Cecil lived. 

Although the sphere of his vision was limited, within that 
sphere he was unrivalled by the statesmen of his day. As an 
administrator, he was unequalled for patient industry, and for 

the calm good sense with which he came to his conclusions. 

If he clung to office with t> :na< nv, and if he regarded with un- 
due SUSpil ion those who were likely to he his rival,, he was no 
mere ambitious aspirant foi place, to clutch at all posts the 
duties of which he was unwilling or unable to perform. 'I he 

1 The King to Cecil, March 27. Hatfield J/.S'.S"., exxxiv. 28. 


labours which he underwent were enormous. As Secretary, he 
had to conduct the whole of the civil administration of the 
kingdom, to keep his eye upon the plots and conspiracies which 
were bursting out in every direction, to correspond with the Irish 
Government and to control its policy, and to carry on through 
the various ambassadors complicated negotiations with every 
State of importance in Europe. Besides all this, when Parlia- 
ment was sitting, it was on him that the duty chiefly devolved 
of making the policy of the Government palatable to the House 
of Commons, of replying to all objections, and of obtaining the 
King's consent to the necessary alterations. As if all this were 
not enough, during the last few years of his life he undertook 
the office of Treasurer in addition to that of Secretary. Upon 
him fell all the burden of the attempt which he made to restore 
to a sound condition the disordered finances, and of mastering 
the numerous details from which alone he could obtain the 
knowledge necessary in order to remedy the evil. 

To this unflagging industry he added the no less valuable 
quality of unfailing courtesy. Nothing ever seemed to ruffle his 
temper. When the great financial scheme for which he had 
laboured so long, and over which he had spent so many weary 
hours, was definitely wrecked, he said no more than that he 
thought the Lord had not blessed it. He was one of those 
who never willingly wounded the feelings of any man, and who 
never treated great or small with insolence. 1 

Although there are circumstances in his life which tell 
against him, it is difficult to read the whole of the letters and 
documents which have come down to us from his pen, without 
becoming gradually convinced of his honesty of intention. It 
cannot be denied that he was satisfied with the ordinary morality 
of his time, and that he thought it no shame to keep a state 
secret or to discover a plot by means of a falsehood. If he 
grasped at power as one who took pleasure in the exercise of 
it, he used it for what he regarded as the true interests of his 
king and country. 

1 The Exam, of Sir F. Hastings, Feb. 1605, S. P. Dom. xii. 74 
is admirably fitted for giving an idea of the characters of Cecil, Howard, 
and Egerton. 


Nor are we left to his own acts and words as the only means 
by which we are enabled to form a judgment of his character. Of 
all the statesmen of the day, not one has left a more blameless 
character than the Earl of Dorset. Dorset took the opportunity 
of leaving upon record in his will, which would not be read till 
he had no longer injury or favour to expect in this world, the 
very high admiration in which his colleague was held by him. 
Of all the statesmen who fell from power during the same 
period, it has been considered that none was more unjustly 
treated than Northumberland, and of this injustice the full 
weight has been laid upon Cecil's shoulders. Yet, a few months 
after Northumberland was committed to the Tower, his brother, 
Sir Alan Percy, declared his opinion in a private letter that the 
removal of Cecil from the Council would be a blow by which 
the position of the Earl would only be changed for the worse. 1 

When the order was issued for stopping Raleigh's journey, 
Cecil probably thought that he had only done a justifiable act 

[fcnry in keeping an unprincipled rival away from the Kin-. 
Howard. ]> ut morc than this was necessary. It was important 
that the Council should have someone by the King's side who 
might act for them as occasion might arise. Eor this purp< se 
they selected Lord Henry Howard. 

Of all who gathered round the new King, this man was, 
beyond all comparison, the most undeserving of the favours 
which he received. He was a younger son of that Earl of 
Surrey whose death had been the last of the series of executions 
which marked the reign of Henry VIII. ; and his brother, the 
Duke of Norfolk, had expiated upon the scaffold the trea n 

which he had meditated for the sake of the fair face of the 

en "i Scots. His nephew was that Earl of Arundel who 

had died in the prison in which lie was confined by order of 

Elizabeth, and who was reven need as a martyr by the English 

Catholics, His religion was that which openly or ecretly had 

1 the religion of his family. But with this he joined a 

reverence for the royal pi .<■, which had certainly never 

been felt by his kinsmen. I here were, indeed, men among the 

1 Sir A. Perry to CarlctOD, Sept. 4, 1606, S. r. Do;;/, xxiii. 


Catholic lords, such as the Earl of Worcester, whose loyalty 
was unimpeached. But Howard would not be content with 
the unobtrusive performance of duties with which these men 
had been satisfied. In an age when what we should call the 
grossest flattery was used as frequently as phrases of common 
civility are by us, he easily bore away the palm for suppleness 
and flattery. Long ago he had attached himself to James, and 
he had been by him recommended to Cecil. It would be 
curious to know how far the feeling with which Cecil regarded 
Raleigh was owing to the influence of so worthless a companion. 
Certain it is that Howard hated Raleigh with a perfect hatred, 
and that Cecil's estrangement from that great man began about 
the time when he was first brought into close communion with 
Howard. Yet with all his faults, the man was no mere empty- 
headed favourite. He was possessed of considerable abilities, 
and of no small extent of learning. He took his share in the 
duties of government with credit, but, as long as Cecil lived, 
he was obliged to be content to play a secondary part. 

A few days later Cecil himself went down to meet the King. 
He had not been with him long before Raleigh learned that 
he was not to retain his position as Captain of the 
R^gh 15 ' Guard. There can be little doubt that James was 
dismissed guided in this step by Cecil and Howard. On the 
Captaincy of other hand, it was natural enough that he should 

the Guard. . r , . . , . 

wish to see a post of such importance about his own 
person in the hands of one of his countrymen. Raleigh him- 
self was allowed to see the King at Burghley, where he probably 
did his utmost to throw blame on his rivals. James, however, 
paid little attention to his pleadings, and it was not long before 
Raleigh received a formal announcement that the command 
of the Guard was given to Sir Thomas Erskine, who had already 
filled the same office in Scotland. Raleigh was compensated 
for his loss by the remission ' of a payment of 300/. a year, 
which had been charged upon his government of Jersey, and of 
large arrears of debt which he owed to the Crown. 2 

' Cecil to Windebank, May 21, S. P. Dom. i. 93. 
2 The existence of a memoir by Raleigh against Cecil rests upon a note 
of Welwood's to Wilson's James I., in A'cnnet, ii. 663. He says he had 


Tne removal of Raleigh from the Captaincy of the Guard 
was only one of the changes in favour of Scotchmen by which 
in the early days of the new reign the court was 
Quarrels agitated. As yet, however, it was a mere courtiers' 
Scotch a»d question, in which the nation took little part. All 
English. t ^ e gj. eat offices f State were still in the hands of 

Englishmen. One Scotchman, indeed, Lord Kinloss, became 
Master of the Rolls ; another, Sir George Hume, became 
Chancellor of the Exchequer and Master of the Wardrobe. 
But there, so far as public offices were concerned, the 
promotions which fell to the share of James's countrymen 
ceased. The seats which some of them received in the Privy 
Council were, for the most part, little more than honorary, 
and do not seem to have given them any great influence over 
the conduct of affairs. It was as Gentlemen of the Bedchamber, 
as Masters of the Harriers, and as holders of similar posts about 
the King's person, that they provoked the wrath of Englishmen 

seen a MS. of Buck, who was secretary to F.gerton, in which he mentions this 
memorial. This evidence has not been thought by Raleigh's admirers to 
be very good, hut it seems to be put beyond doubt by a passage in a de- 
spatch of Beaumont toVilleroi, ^" 1 "' 1603 [King's MSS. 123, fol. 94 b). 
lb ,ays that Raleigh had been dismissed, ' dont le dite Sieur Ralle est en 
unc telle furie, que partant pour aller trouver le Roy, il a protest^ de luy 
declarer et faire voir par escrit tout la caballe, et les intelligent es qu'il dit 
que le Sieur Cecil a drcssees el COnduittes a son prejudice.' Another 
1 have less belief in. Osborne speaks of him, in common 
with Cobham and I lie, as wishing, apparently before the proclama- 

tion of the morning of March 24, 'to bind the King to articles ' which 

in some way to be directed against the advancement of Scotchmen. 

Thi, has been magnified into a constitutional opposition, which it certainly 
was not, u the Count il had no constitutional power to bind the King, and 
anything they might do would have been treat d by James as a dead letter, 
[gh, too, does not seem to bav< been present, as his name doe not 
appear among tho ..■ who igned the pro< lamation, though he was admitted 
at a consultation in thi g, and signed the letter to the King, then 

written [Spottiswoode, Spottiswoode Society's edition, hi. 133). Perl 

the story is found) IgC HSed by Raleigh aft* 1 he was super- 

seded by Erskine. Fortt icue also had to make room for SirGeorgi I dime 
as Chancellor of the Exchequer, which would account fur the introdui lion 
of his name. 


who aspired to these positions. It was not till the sums which 
should have been applied to national purposes were squandered 
upon favourites of both nations that the discontent became 
general. Cecil did his best to put an end to these quarrels, but 
he did not meet with much success. 

The evils under which the English Catholics laboured were 
of no ordinary description. In the first place, not only was all 
Grievances public celebration of their worship interdicted, but 
English tne mere fact of saying mass was sufficient to bring 
Catholics. t ^e priest under the penalties of treason, and those 
penalties were extended to all who should assist or ' comfort 
him,' as the law expressed it. As there were no Catholics who 
had not at some time or another been present at a mass, the 
power of the Government to send the whole number of them 
ro execution was only limited by the difficulties of obtaining 
evidence. If they failed in this, the Ecclesiastical Courts could 
always issue an excommunication for simple recusancy, or 
abstaining from attendance upon the Church by law established, 
and upon this the Civil Courts were empowered to commit the 
recusant to prison until he submitted. Of course, these harsh 
measures were only very sparingly employed. But if the 
penalty did not fall upon all who were threatened, it was kept 
constantly hanging over their heads, and the Catholics were 
always liable to arbitrary imprisonments and fines, of which 
they did not dare to complain, as they were allowed to escape 
without suffering the full penalty of the law. 

lint, besides all this, there was a regular system of fines for 
u-cusanry authorised by statute. In the first place, all recu- 
The recu- sants who had sufficient property were liable to a fine 
sancy fines. Q f 20 /_ a mo nth. Of those who were so liable at the 
death of Elizabeth the number was only sixteen. Those who 
could not pay such large sums forfeited, if the Government 
chose to exact the penalty, two-thirds of their lands until 
they conformed. This land was leased out by Commissioners 
appointed by the Crown for the purpose, and the lessee paid a 
certain rent into the Exchequer. There still remained another 
mode of reaching those who had no lands to lose, as the goods 
and chattels of any person convicted of recusancy might be 


taken possession of by the Crown. Hard as this treatment 
was, it was made worse by the misconduct of the constables 
and pursuivants, whose business it was to search for the priests 
who took refuge in the secret chambers which were always to be 
found in the mansions of the Catholic gentry. These wretches, 
under pretence of discovering the concealed fugitives, were in 
the habit of wantonly destroying the furniture or of carrying off 
valuable property. It was useless to complain, as there were 
few, if any, Catholics who had not given the law a hold upon 
them by the support given to their priests. 

Under such an abominable system, it is no wonder that the 
Catholics were anxious for any change which might improve 
h ., f their condition, and that they were hardly likely to 
mentby* acquiesce in the doctrine that they were only punished 
James. f or treason, and not for religion. It was natural, 

therefore, that both the Pope and the English Catholics should 
look with hopefulness to the new reign. Both the declarations 
which James had made, and the manner in which he had acted 
in Scotland, made many of them expect to find a protector in 

As Elizabeth's reign drew to a close, Pope Clement VIII., 
in response to the letter which had been brought to him by 
,. , I)rummond, and which he believed to have etna- 

nated from James himself, 1 thought of despatching 
the Bishop of Vaison to Scotland. 3 In order, how< ver, 
to be thoroughly sure of his ground, he took advantage of a 
visit which Sir James Lindsay,; 1 . Scottish Catholic, was pre- 
paring to make to his native country, to sound James on his 
in!' towards the Catholii ;. Lindsay brought with him a 

complimentary letter from Clement to the King. He was also 
dire' ted to a 1 iure Jam* 1 that the Pope was ready to thwart any 
whi( !i might be entertained by the English Catholics in 
opposition to his 1 laim to the throne, and to invite him, if he 

would not himself forsake the Protestant faith, at least to allow 

his eldest son to be educated in the ( latholic religion. If this 

1 Sec p, 

2 James to Elizabeth, Cot nee of Elizabeth and Jamti l'/., 153. 

vol.. 1. u 


were done, Clement was ready to place a large sum of money 
at James's disposal. 1 To this message James returned a verbal 
answer, giving to Lindsay at the same time a paper of instruc- 
tions for his guidance. In these he was directed to tell the 
Pope that ' the King could not satisfy his desire in those par- 
ticular points contained in his letter.' He was much obliged 
to him for his offers to befriend him, and hoped to be able 
to return his courtesy. He would never dissemble his own 
opinions, and would never reject reason whenever he heard it. 2 
Lindsay was prevented by illness from returning, and the Pope 
received no answer to his proposal till after the crisis had passed. 3 
The Pope, indeed, before he was aware of James's favourable 
intentions, had sent two breves to Garnet, the Provincial of the 
The breves English Jesuits, in which directions were given that, 
English as soon as Elizabeth died, the Catholics should take 
Catholic-;. care that, if possible, no one should be allowed to 
■ succeed except one who would not only grant toleration, but 
would directly favour the Catholic religion. 4 When Garnet 

1 The King to Parr)-, Nov. 1603. The Latin letter sent to be commu- 
nicated to the Nuncio is printed in Tierney's DodJ. iv. App. p. Ixvi. The 
draft in English is amongst the Hatfield MSS. 112, fol. 150. Compare 
Cranborne to Lennox, Jan. 1605, S. P. France. The proposal about Prince 
Henry's education had first been broached in the pretended commission of 
Pury Ogilvy.— S. P. Scotland, lviii. 81. 

'-' Instructions, Oct. 24, 1602, S. P. Scotl. lxix. 20. There can be no 
reasonable doubt that these instructions were actually given in Scotland. 

3 In the spring of 1603 the Bishop of Vaison was in Paris. There is a 
curious account in a letter of the Laird of Indernyty to James (y"' 3 °' 1603, 

". Scotl. lxix. 56, i. ), of a conversation between himself, the Bishop, 
and the Nuncio at Paris. The Nuncio was doubtful as to James's inten- 
tion-;, and said ' he would suspend his judgment till Sir J. Lindsay re- 
turned.' This shows that no message had been sent by another hand upon 
Lindsay's illness, as would have been the case had James been anxious to 
win the Pope by hypocritical promises. 

* Garnet's examinations in Jardinc s Gunpowder Plot, App. p. iii., throw 
back the date of the breves. Their nguage does not suit with an inten- 
tion to allow James's claim, but the Pope may have desired to alter his 
language as soon as he knew what James's intentions were. There is a 
note written by the Pope in the margin of Degli Effetti's letter of l"^i£< 
1603, in which it is suggested that Clement may have written letters before 


received these breves, early in 1602, he was at White Webbs, 
a house frequented by the Jesuits, in Enfield Chase. He was 
there consulted by Catesby, Tresham, and Winter, men whose 
names afterwards became notorious for their connection with the 
Gunpowder Plot, as to the propriety of sending one of their 
number to the King of Spain, in order to induce him to attempt 
an invasion of England. Winter was selected, and though 
Garnet, according to his own account, disapproved of these 
proceedings, he gave him a letter of introduction to Father 
Cresswell, at Madrid. Winter found a good reception in Spain ; 
but Elizabeth died before any preparations were made. Garnet 
cither saw that there was no chance of resisting James, or was 
satisfied that the lot of the Catholics would be improved under 
his sceptre, and burnt the breves. 1 Another mission was sent 
to Spain, but the King was now anxious for peace with England, 
and would give no assistance. 

Towards the end of 1602, or in the beginning of the fol- 
lowing year, an attempt was made in another quarter to 
. . obtain a direct promise of toleration from James. 

Letters of ' ■> 

Northum. Northumberland did not care much about religion 
himself, but he was closely connected with several 
Catholics, who urged him to obtain a promise from the King 
that he would do something to improve their condition. He 
accordingly senl one of his relations, Thomas Percy, to James, 
with a letter, in which, ;ifter professing his own loyalty and 
giving him much good advice, he added that ' it were pity to 
lose SO good a kingdom for not tolerating a mass in a corner.'' 2 
Percy, on his return, gave out thai toleration had been promised 

by James. In the King's written answer to Northumberland, 

Elizabeth's death to authorise istano being given to a Catholic insur- 
rection. In this note the Pop* : ' Won le habbiamo scritte nc a qui I 
tempo ne a questo, anzi tutto ileontrario.' Roman Transcripts, A'. 0. 
' Tierni • •■'. iv. App. p, ii, 

* Correspondence ofjamti VI. with Sir A'. Cecil, 56. The identifi- 
cation of this letter witb the one sent by Percy r< I partly upon fan 
ription of the bearer in his answer (p, 61), and partly on a re/erei 
t') that answer in Coke's speech at Northumberland' trial, 

ii 2 


however, not a word is to be found referring to his proposal on 
this subject. 1 Northumberland, who continued the correspon- 
dence, again pressed the matter upon the King. This time he 
received an answer. " As for Catholics," wrote James, " I will 
neither persecute any that will be quiet and give but an outward 
obedience to the law, neither will I spare to advance any of 
them that will by good service worthily deserve it." 2 It is plain 
that, though to a sanguine mind these words might seem to 
convey a promise of toleration, there was nothing in them really 
inconsistent with the deportation of every priest in England. 

The ease with which James's title was acclaimed in England 
did something to raise doubts in his mind as to the value of the 
James's services which the Catholics had offered him. " Na, 
after e hTs 0ns na," he was heard to say, "we'll not need the Papists 
accession. now." 3 But on the whole the information which 
reached London was such as to reassure the Catholics. James 
had openly declared that he would not exact the fines. He 
would not make merchandise of conscience, nor set a price 
upon faith. 

James continued to hold this language during his journey 
southwards. On May 3 he arrived at Theobalds, a house 
May 3. belonging to Cecil, not far from London. His first 
drives m acts were sucn as to increase his popularity. He 
Theobalds, ordered that Southampton, and the remainder of 
those who had been imprisoned for their share in the rebellion 
of Essex, should be set at liberty. Four days after his arrival 
Ma . he issued a proclamation concerning those monopolies 
Monopolies which still remained in force, commanding all persons 

called in. . . 

to abstain from making use of them till they could 
satisfy the Council that they were not prejudicial to the King's 
subjects. The patentees were accordingly allowed to state their 
case before the Council, and the greater part of the existing 

1 Unless, indeed, as Coke said, James meant to refuse it when he said 
that he did not intend to make 'any alteration in the state, government, or 
laws.' From the place which this sentence occupies in the letter, I do 
not think that it was intended to bear any such meaning. 

2 Degli Effetti to Del Bufalo, June ^g, Roman Transcripts, R. O. 

3 Tierney's Dodd. iv. App. p. 1. 


monopolies were called in. No doubt this was done by the 
advice of the Council. That advice was also given 
SfcyfiUes in support of the continued exaction of the Recu- 
tobccoi- sancy fines, and James accordingly gave way and 
May i- ordered the fines to be collected. If the Catholics, 
Cecil raided h e sa i<j openly, were of a religion different from his 
peerage. own, they could not be good subjects. 1 Cecil was 
now in high favour. 

On May 13 he was raised to the peerage by the title of 
Lord Cecil of Essendon. Three other barons were created at 
the same time. These were the first of a series of creations 
which raised the numbers of the House of Lords with a rapidity 
that would have astonished Elizabeth. 

Having, at all events for the present, refused toleration to 
the Catholics, James turned his attention to his foreign relations. 
Peace or ^ s ^ ar as England was concerned, with the exception 
war with of the disputed right to trade in the East and West 
Indies, there was absolutely no reason whatever for 
continuing the war. The failure of the Spaniards in their 
attempt to gain a footing in Ireland before Elizabeth died had 
been complete, and they could no longer cherish any hopes of 
success in a similar undertaking. Their new king, Philip III., 
sluggish and in< apable as he was, was not likely to attempt to 
renew his father's aggressive policy, and it was known that his 
all-powerful minister, I.erma, was anxious to recruit by peace 
the exhausted strength of the kingdom. Under thesi < ir< 11111 
stances there wanted little more to constitute a treaty between 
the two I'owers than the few lines in which the simple anniiiim c- 
ment might be made that hostilities were at an end. 

The difficulty which stood in the way was caused by the 

interminaU'- war in the Netherlands. Since the murder of the 

French king Henry HI. the Dutch had taken advan- 

The war in e . ., ,, . 

the Nether- tage 01 the diversion whl( li had < ailed away the best 

generals and the finest soldiers of Spain to spend 
their strength in a vain stJ the rising fortum • I 

Henry IV., and had pushed on, under the able leadership of 

1 Degli Effetti to I >• 1 Bufalo, June ' ', /' man Transcript , A'.O. 


Maurice, and the no less able statesmanship of Barneveld, till 
fhey had swept the Spaniards from the soil of the Seven United 
Provinces. At last the whole war gathered round Ostend. All 
the skill and vigour of the Dutch, and of their English allies 
under the command of Sir Francis Vere, were put forth in 
defence of that bulwark of the Republic. The siege had 
now lasted for no less than three long years. With all his 
military skill, Spinola was still unable to force an entrance. 
But the Dutch were calling loudly for assistance, and declared 
that, unless succour were promptly afforded, Ostend must fall, 
in spite of the valour of its defenders, and that after the fall of 
Ostend their own territory would become untenable. 

There was a large party in England which was desirous to 
fight the quarrel out with Spain. To many Englishmen Spain 
was the accursed power which had filled two conti- 
pany in nents with bloodshed. It was the supporter of the 
Pope, and of all the tyranny and wickedness under 
which the world was suffering. This evil power was now 
weakened by repeated failures. Why not strike one more 
blow for the cause of God, and hew the monster down ? Such 
feelings found a spokesman in Raleigh. In a paper, which, 
in the course of the spring, he drew up for presentation to 
James, he argued with his usual ability for the good old cause. 
Especially, he pleaded strongly for the Dutch. They had been 
allies of England in the weary hours of doubt and difficulty. 
Together the two countries had borne the burden of the day. 
It was disgraceful — it was infamous —for Englishmen to desert 
their brothers now that hope was beginning to appear. Not 
long afterwards Raleigh offered to lead 2,000 men against the 
King of Spain at his own expense. 1 

Of the spirit of righteous indignation which had animated 
the Elizabethan heroes in their conflict with Spain, James knew 
Opinions nothing. He declared for peace immediately upon 
of james. his arr ival in England. He issued a proclamation 
forbidding the capture of Spanish prizes, and waited for the 

1 ' A Discourse touching a War with Spain.' — Works, viii. 299. Ra- 
leigh to Nottingham and others, Aug. Edwards' Life of Ralegh, ii. 271. 


overtures which he expected from the Court of Spain. Besides 
this eagerness for peace, he was possessed with the idea that 
the Dutch were engaged in an unlawful resistance to their law- 
ful king, an idea in which the bishops did their best to confirm 
him. 1 He was never weary of repeating publicly, to the disgust 
of the statesmen who had taken part in the counsels of Elizabeth, 
that the Dutch were mere rebels, and that they deserved no 
assistance from him. 

It is difficult to ascertain with precision what Cecil's views 
really were. His father had been the advocate of a policy of' 
Cecil's peace. When Essex, at the Court of Elizabeth, was 

crying out for war, the aged Burghley opened a Bible, 
and pointed to the text : " Bloody and deceitful men shall not 
live out half their days." Of the memorial on the state of foreign 
affairs - which Burghley's son now presented to the King, and 
in which he expressed his thoughts on foreign affairs, a frag- 
ment only has been preserved. From that fragment, however, 
it is plain that he fully shared all Raleigh's dislike of Spain, and 
that he was anxious, by all possible means, to check the pro- 
gress of the Spanish arms in the Netherlands. But he looked 
upon the whole subject with the eye of a statesman. The lost 
p.- 1 ;_rcs of the memorial probably contained the reasons why it 
was impossible for England to continue hostilities. He knew, 
as Elizabeth had known, that England could not bear many 
Financial uu>re years of war. Parliament had voted supplies 
difficulties, w ; t ), no ordinary alacrity, but even these Supplies had 
not relieved the Queen from the ne< essity of raising money by 
extensive sales of Crown property, and by contracting loan, 
which were waiting for a speedy repayment. The revenue of 
the Crown was d( 1 r< asing, and with the very strictest economy 
it was impossible for the new King to bring even a peace 
expenditure within the limits of that revenue which he had 

received from his predecessor. If Spain was to be driven out 
of the Netherlands, Parliament must be prepared to vote sup- 
plies far larger than they had ever granted to Elizabeth, in times 

when England itself was in danger. 

1 The King to Abbot. Wilkins's Com. iv. 405. 
1 S. r. Dow. i. 17. 


As far as we can judge by the reports of his language which 
have reached us through the unfriendly medium of the de- 
_ „ spatches of French ambassadors, Cecil was anxious 

1 he Ne- 
therlands to see a peace concluded which would relieve Eng- 
land from the burden of an objectless war, and at the 
same time, to put a check on the encroachments of Spain. The 
scheme which he would perhaps have preferred, had it been 
practicable, was the union of the whole of the seventeen pro- 
vinces under an independent government, which would be 
strong enough to bid defiance to France as well as to Spain. 1 
Such a scheme has always found favour in the eyes of English 
statesmen. But in 1603, the project would certainly have met 
with even less success than in 1814. Philip II. indeed had, 
shortly before his death, taken a step which was intended to 
facilitate such a settlement. He had made over the sove- 
reignty of the Netherlands to his eldest daughter Isabella and 
her husband the Archduke Albert, a younger brother of the 
Emperor Rudolph II. He hoped that the rebels, as he still 
styled them, would be ready to come to terms with his daughter, 
though they were unwilling to treat with h'mself. But even if 
the Dutch had felt any inclination to submit to a Catholic 
Sovereign, there were especial reasons which warned them from 
accepting the dominion of the Archdukes, as the husband and 
wife were called. Their sovereignty was hampered with so 
many conditions, and the presence of Spanish troops at the 
seat of war reduced them to such practical impotence, that it 
almost a mockery to speak of them as independent rulers. 
Besides, no children had been born to the marriage, and the 
reversion of their rights was vested in the Crown of Spain. 
The Dutch had another plan for uniting the seventeen pro- 

1 This is undoubtedly the meaning of Rosny, when he says that Cecil, 
with Egtrton and Buckhurst, were ' tous d'humeurs anciennes Angloises, 
c'est a dire ennemies de la France, peu amies de l'Espagne, et absolument 
portees pour faire resusciter la maison de Bourgogne.' — Econ. A'ov, iv. 431, 
Col. Petitot. Mr. Motley unfortunately founded his whole account of this 
embassy on Sully's Mimoires, not having been aware that no dependence 
can be placed on that form of the work. His narrative is therefore 
thoroughly untrustworthy. 


vinces under one government. Let hut France and England 
oin in one great effort, and in the course of a year not a single 
Spanish soldier would be left in the Netherlands. 

Was this a policy which an English Government would be 
justified in carrying out, certain as it was to try the energies of 
the nation to the utmost ? The dull, demoralising tyranny of 
the sixteenth century had done its work too well. To form a 
republic which should include the Spanish Provinces would be 
to realise the fable of the old Italian tyrant, and to bind the 
living to the dead. This was no work for which England was 
bound to exhaust her strength. 

The true policy of England undoubtedly lay in another 
direction. If it were once understood that no peace would be 
made unless the independence of the existing republic were 
recognised, Spain would certainly submit to the proposed terms. 
The free North would retain its liberty, the paralysed South 
would slumber on under the despotism which it had been 
unable or unwilling to shake off. 

It was not the fault of the English.Government that this in- 
e\itable settlement was postponed through so many years of 
The Dutch war - The first embassy which arrived in England to 
embe congratulate the new Kini; upon his accession was 

one from Holland. Barneveld himself had come to see if any 
help could be obtained from Janus. Cecil told him plainly 
that the Kin^ desired pea< e, but that he was ready to consider 
the case of the States in the negotiation. The Dutch ambassa- 
dors answered thai peace with Spain was impossible for them. 
It was no wonder that niter all the trickery which they had 

experienced, they should feel a dislike to enter upon a treaty 
with their enemy, but they can hardly have expe< ted James to 
engage himself in an inti rminable war. Their immediate pur- 
pose was, however, to obtain uc 1 our for Ostend. Barneveld 
seems to have made an impression upon the susceptible mind 
of Jami . and wa 1, perhaps, the first who indu< ed him to doubt 
the truth of tl condemnations which he had been 

accustomed to pass on the cause of the Dutch He was told, 

however, thai nothing COUld be finally settled till the arrival of 
the special embassy which was expected shortly from France. 


The ambassador who had been chosen by Henry IV. was 
Rosnys the celebrated Rosny, better known to us by his 

^Rta fl oF later title aS the Duke ° f Sully ' HiS main OD J eCt 

Krance. m coming was to induce James to afford some 
succour to Ostend. 

About the time of his arrival in England, a circumstance 
occurred which was more favourable to his> design than any 
arguments which it was in his power to use. A priest named 
Gwynn ' was taken at sea, and confessed to his captor that his 
intention in coming to England was to murder the King. The 
readiness with which he gave this information gives cause for a 
suspicion that he was not in the full possession of his senses. 
However this may have been, it was, at least, certain that he 
came from Spain, and the fright which this affair caused the 
King, predisposed him to listen to Rosny's stories of Spanish 
treachery. 2 

On the occasion of Rosny's first presentation to James, a 
curious incident took place. He had come prepared to put 
Rosny himself and his suite into mourning for the late 

"Tto^ear Queen. Just as he was about to leave his apart- 
iii mourning. nien ts, he was informed that the King would be 
better pleased if he did not come in mourning. 3 There was 
nothing for it but to submit. The Frenchmen drew their own 
inferences as to the repute in which the great Queen was held 
at the court of her successor. Many months were not to pass 

1 Cecil to Tarry, May 25, Cott. MSS. Cal. E. x. 59. Rosny to the 
King of France, June 24, Econ. Roy, iv. 329. 

2 Cecil to Parry, June 10, S. P. Fr. St. Aubyn to the Council, June 6. 
olphin and Harris to the Council, June 23, 1603, with enclosures, 

S. P. Dom. ii. 3, 15. 

3 James seems to have had a general dislike to anything which reminded 
him of death. When his son Henry was dying he left London rather than 
he present at the death-bed. He did not allow many weeks to pass after 
the death of his queen, in 1619, before he threw off his mourning, to the 
astonishment of the ambassadors, who had come prepared to offer their 
condolences. Taken separately, each of these circumstances has been 
interpreted as a sign of the King's feelings in the particular case. But it is 
more probable that his conduct was the result of a weakness which occa- 
sionally shows itself in feeble minds. 


away before James would speak more reverently of Elizabeth 
than he was, at this time, accustomed to do. Unfortunately, 
when that time came, it was chiefly the errors in her policy 
which attracted his respect. 1 

Rosny's instructions authorised him to use all means in his 
power to induce James to unite with France and the Dutch 
Rosnys in- Republic in opposing the designs of Spain. Henry 
structions. jy was n0 (; indeed prepared at once to embark on a 
war with his powerful neighbour ; but he was desirous of giving 
a secret support to the Dutch, and he hoped that James might 
be induced to pursue a similar course. If, however, it should 
happen that James preferred to continue the war, Rosny was to 
discuss the best means of carrying it on, without coming to 
any final resolution. He was also to propose that the alliance 
between the two Crowns should be strengthened by a double 
marriage — of the Dauphin with James's only daughter, the Lady 
Elizabeth ; and of Prince Henry with Elizabeth, the eldest 
daughter of the King of France.' 

After some little time had been spent in negotiations, Rosny 

obtained from James, by a treaty signed at Hampton Court, 

some part of that which he had been commissioned 

June. ' ... 

Treaty with to demand. James promised to allow the levy of 
soldiers in England and Scotland for the defence of 
Ostcnd, but it was agreed that Henry should defray the ex- 
penses of this fori e, though a third part of the cost was to he 
deducted from a debt which he owed to the English Govern- 
ment' With respect to the double marriage nothing was 
settled. James, on one occasion, drank to the success of the 
future union ; but all the four < hildren were still very young, and 

there was no necessity of coming to any immediate decision. 

( )n July 21 two members of the Privy Council were raised 
to the peerage. The Lord Keepei Egerton, who was now 
dignified with the higher title of Chancellor, became Lord 

1 Barlow tells us 1l1.1t at the Hampton Court Conference James never 
mentioned Elizabeth's name without adding "in' n pectful title. lie 
docs not appear to have relapsed into In previous misplaced contempt 

2 Sully, Econ. Roy, ' ol. Petitot, iv. 261. 

* Dumont, Cor/, Diflom. v. part 2, p. ,30. 


Ellesmere ; and Lord Howard of Walden, who, as well as his 
uncle Lord Henry, had been admitted to the Council, was 
Creation of created Earl of Suffolk. He had served with distinc- 
i>eers. t j on at sea m man y f the naval expeditions which 

had been sent forth during the latter years of the late reign. He 
was known as a well-meaning, easy-tempered man, of moderate 
talents. It is possible that Lord Henry's known attachment to 
the religion of his father ' may have influenced James in se- 
lecting the nephew rather than the uncle as the first recipient 
of such honours amongst the family of the Howards. It was 
not till some months later that Lord Henry was raised to the 
peerage. The young head of the family, too, received back 
his father's lost honours, and the name of the Earl of Arundel 
was once more heard amongst those of the English nobility. 

During the month of July the Council was busy in tracking 
out a Catholic conspiracy which had come to light. Among 
... , the Catholics who had visited lames in Scotland 

W ats ins J 

visii before his accession to the English throne, was 

William Watson, one of the secular priests who had 
been very busy in his opposition to the Jesuits, and had taken 
a considerable part in the strife which had divided the English 
Catholics during the last years of Elizabeth's reign. A vain, 
unwise man, his predominant feeling was a thorough hatred 
of the Jesuits. " He received," as he tells us, "a gracious and 
comfortable answer on behalf of all Catholics known to be 
loyal subjects." 2 Armed with this promise, and probably ex- 
aggerating its meaning, he had busied himself in persuading 
the Catholic gentry to whom he had access to support James's 
title, and to turn a deaf ear to the machinations of the Jesuits ; 
and he flattered himself that it was owing to his influence that 

1 Strictly, not the religion of his father, which was the Anglo-Catholic- 
ism ot the reign of Henry VIII., with perhaps a feeling that the Catholicism 
of Rome was the only complete form in which it was possible to embrace 
the system. Lord Henry accepted the papal authority, though he attended 
Protestant service. 

'-' The most important part of the confessions upon which this narrative 
rests is published in Tierney's Dodd. iv. App. i. Some further particulars 
will be found in Beaumont's despatches. 

1603 WATSON'S PLOT. 109 

all over England the Catholics were among the foremost who 
supported the proclamation which announced the accession of 
the new King. 

After James had been proclaimed, Watson set himself to 
counteract the intrigues which he believed the Jesuits to be 
Watson's carrying on in favour of Spanish interests. The re- 
anger at the so i ut i on f James to exact the fines was regarded by 

exaction -' . 

of the fines. hj m almost in the light of a personal insult. He 
would become the laughing-stock of the Jesuits, for having 
believed in the lying promises of a Protestant King. His first 
thought was to gain favour with the Government by betraying 
his rivals. But he knew nothing of importance ; and, at all 
costs, he must do something, it mattered not what, by which 
he might outshine the hated Jesuits. Shortly after he had 
formed this determination he fell in with another priest named 
Clarke. They discussed their grievances together with Sir 
Griffin Markham, a Catholic gentleman, who was, for private- 
reasons, discontented with the Government, and with George 
Brooke, a brother of Lord Cobham, who, although he was a 
Protestant, had been disappointed by not obtaining the Master- 
ship of the hospital of St. Cross, near Winchester. 

While they were talking these matters over, Markham made 

the unlucky suggestion that the best way to obtain redress 

Markham would he to follow the example which had so often 

■ by the Scottish nation. The Scots, as was 

■lie: J 

King. well known, were accustomed, whenever they were 

un;i obtain what they wished for, to take possession of 

their King, and to keep him in custody till he consented to 
give way- It w;is immediately resolved to adopt this prepos- 

nir. But In/fore Buch a plan could 1"' carried into 

cution it was necessary to devise iome means of rendering 

j, palatable to tho te whom they sought to enlist in their 1 ause. 

They knew that all Catholics who would be willing to I 

anus againsl the King were already under the inflm n< e ol the 

r, nits. To obviate this difficulty it was gravely 

Plans of the J *" 1 i i i 1 

I ed that a number ol pei ons should be « ol 

lected together under pretence ol presenting a petition for tole- 
ration to the King ; and it was hoped that, when the time 


came for action, the petitioners would be ready to do as they 
were bidden by the leaders of the movement. All who signed 
the petition were to swear that they would endeavour by all 
' lawful means to restore the Catholic faith again in ' the 
'country, to conserve the life of ' their ' Sovereign in safety, 
and to preserve the laws of the 'land from all enemies.' They 
were to be bound to divulge nothing without the consent of 
twelve of the principal promoters of the petition. Watson 
afterwards acknowledged that this clause was a mere trick to 
bind them to complete secrecy. As the number of the chief 
promoters was less than twelve, such a consent could never be 

With these views, Watson and his confederates dispersed 
themselves over the country. They expected to be able to 
collect a large body of men in London on June 24. These 
men would, as they hoped, be ready to follow their lead in 
everything. In order to bring together the requisite numbers, 
Watson was by no means sparing of falsehoods. The timid 
were encouraged by hearing of the thousands who were en- 
gaged in the affair, or of the noblemen who had already given 
in their adhesion. All, or almost all, were left under the im- 
pression that they were required to join only in the peaceful 
presentation of a petition. 

In the early part of June, Watson, who had now returned 
to London, proceeded to mature his plans with the help of 
Lord Grey Markham and of a young man named Copley who 
iist^nsto" na( ^ ktely been admitted to his confidence. Strange 
them. t sa y ) Brooke introduced to the plotters Lord Grey 

of Wilton, a hot-headed young man of high character and 
decided Puritanism. Grey was at that time sadly discontented 
at the extension of James's favour to Southampton and to 
others of the followers of Essex, who were his bitter enemies ; 
and he was induced without difficulty to join in the plan for 
presenting a petition to James for a general toleration. Though 
no absolute certainty is attainable, it is probable that he was 
drawn on to assent, at least for a time, to the scheme for forcing 
the petition on James The relation between him and the 
other conspirators was, however, not one to endure much 

1603 WATSON'S PLOT. in 

straining. Before long Watson was considering how he might 
get credit for himself and the Catholics, by employing Grey to 
seize the King, and then rescuing James from his grasp when 
the struggle came. Grey, on the other hand, shrank from the 
co-operation of his new allies, and under pretext of postponing 
the scheme to a more convenient opportunity, drew back from 
all further connection with it. 

As the time for executing the scheme approached, Brooke 
seems to have drawn off. The plan of the confederates, in- 
deed, was wild enough to deter any sober man from joining it. 
They deter- They intended to seize the King at Greenwich, on 

Mi' n< rilc the J une 2 4- ^ s soon as tn ' s ^ a( ^ keen effected, they 
King. were to put on the coats of the King's guards and 

to carry him to the Tower, as though he were going there 
voluntarily. When they arrived at the gate they were to tell 
the Lieutenant that the King was flying for refuge from traitors 
They took it for granted that James would be too terrified to 
say what the real state of the case was, and they do not seem 
to have imagined that the mistake could be detected in any 
other way. Once within the 'lower, the whole kingdom would 
be at their feet. They would compel the King to put into 
their hands the forts of Berwick, Plymouth, and Portsmouth, 
the castles of Dover and Arundel, and any other places which 
they might think fit to ask for. He was to give hostages for 
the free use of their religion, and to consent that Catholics 
should have equal place, office, and estimation with Protestants 

in council, at court, and in the country, and that the penal 

laws should at ohm- be abrogated. 1 

Watson, intoxicated with the success which his fancy pic- 
tured to him, began to talk wildly alioiit 'displacing Privy 
Councillors, Cutting Off of heads, and getting the broad seal 
into his hands.'-' He had already distributed the chief offi 
of state: 3 Copley was t-i he Secretary \ Markham to be Earl 
Marshal; he himself wa , to he Lord Keeper. Even Copley 

1 Articles f<.r Grey's defence, Nov. (15?), S. /'. Pom. iv. Si ; Ed« 
wards' Lift of JtaUgh, i. 345, 350 ; Tierni y'a Dodd. iv. App. p. 1. 

2 Copley's ( 11, July 14, Tierney's Dodd. iv. App. p. x. 
' Watson's Confession, Aug. 10, Tierney's Dodd. App. p. iv. 


was unable to swallow this, and suggested that, at least under 
present circumstances, it would cause discontent if a priest 
were again seen presiding in Chancery, though he hoped that 
the times would soon return when such things might again be 
possible. Watson refused to listen to such an objection. 

If, however, contrary to expectation, the King declined to 
follow their directions, he was to be treated with consideration, 
but to be kept a close prisoner till he granted their demands. 1 
Many noblemen would be confined with him, and from time 
to time ' some buzzes of fear ' might ' be put into their heads,' 
in order that they might, in their turn, terrify the King. 
Watson proposed that, if James still held out, he should be 
deposed. Copley refused to assent to such a measure, and 
this point seems never to have been settled amongst them. 
Copley Whilst this question was under discussion, it occurred 

r't°the to Copley that it would be well to make use of the 
King. t [ me during which the King would be in the Tower, 

to attempt his conversion. No doubt he would readily catch at 
an opportunity of displaying his theological knowledge in a public 
disputation. If, as was more than probable, he still declared 
himself unconvinced, his mind might be influenced by a trial 
of the respective powers of exorcism possessed by a Catholic 
priest and a Protestant minister, which was sure to end in the 
triumph of the former. Watson objected that James would 
certainly say that the person exorcised had only been labouring 
under a fictitious malady ; he might also charge the successful 

rcist with witchcraft, or even refuse to be present at all at 
such a trial. Copley answered that in that case they might 
fall back upon the old method of deciding quarrels, by trial by 
battle. Watson doubted whether it would be possible to find 
a champion. Upon this, Copley offered himself to undertake 
the combat, ' provided that it might be without scandal to the 
Catholic Church, upon the canon of the Council of Trent to 
the contrary of all duellums ; and I choose the weapons, not 
doubting but my wife, who by the sacrament of matrimony 
is individually interested in my person, would (for being a 

1 Copley's Answer Aug. I, Tierney's Dodd. App. p. vii. note 2. 

1603 WATSON'S PLOT. 113 

Catholic, and the cause so much God's) quit at my request 
such her interest for a time, and also much !ess doubting but 
to find amongst the host of heaven that blessed Queen, his 
Majesty's mother, at my elbow in that hour ! " 

One evening, Markham came in with the news that the 
King intended to leave Greenwich on the 24th. They would 
Change of therefore be compelled to alter their plans. He was 
plans. t0 s i ee p at Hanworth on his way to Windsor. Mark- 

ham said that a body of men might easily seize him there, if 
they took 'every man his pistol, or case of pistols.' Copley 
asked where either the men or the pistols were to be found. 
Markham was struck dumb by the inquiry, muttered something 
about another plan, and left the room. 

On the 24th, Watson's lodgings were crowded with Catho- 
lics who had come up from the country to join in presenting 
the petition. But their numbers were far too small 

June 24. x 

The plot to carry out the design which the heads of the con- 
spiracy really had in view, and the day passed over 
without a finger being stirred against the King. The next day 
Markham brought them the unwelcome news that Grey had 
refused to have any further communication with them. Many 
hours had not passed before they heard rumours that the 
eminent was aware of their plot. The whole party fled 
for their lives, to be taken one by one in the course of the fol- 
lowing weeks. So utterly futile did the whole matter appear 
n to those who were engaged in it, that Copley and Mark- 
ham decided upon putting themselves at the disposal of the 
I nits, thinking that they alone had heads clear enough to 

i on< V effe tual s< heme tor the liberation of the Oppre 

Catholic s. 

'I he Je -uits knew more about the plot than the 1 onspirators 

were aware of Some time before the appointed day arrived, 

1 ley. uncertain whether the scheme were justifi- 

InfirmatK.n r " . ' 

convey.a ... able or not, had written to Blackwell, the An hpn 
who had 1" • n entrusted by the Pope with the 1 hai 
of the se< ular < lergy in England, to ask his advii e, and he had 
a< quainted his sister, Mrs. Cage, with the fact that he had 

VOL. I. I 


written such a letter. 1 Both Blackwell and Mrs. Gage were 

on the best terms with the Jesuits, and the information was 

by one or other of them conveyed to Father Gerard. 

Gerard passed the knowledge on to Garnet as his superior. 

Between Gerard and Garnet a closer tie existed than that 

Gamet and which ordinarily bound a Jesuit to his superior. When 

Gerard. Gerard, who was one of the most persuasive of the 

Catholic missionaries, was thrown into the Tower, he had borne 

sore tortures rather than reveal the hiding-place 
1597. . 

of Garnet. When Gerard succeeded in making his 

perilous escape by swinging himself along a rope suspended 
over the Tower ditch, it was with Garnet that he first sought 
refuge. 2 The two friends were of one mind in wishing to dis- 
countenance the plot. Something, no doubt, of their resolution 
is due to the hostility of their order to the priests by whom it 
was conducted; but it must be remembered that at present the 
whole weight of the Society and of Pope Clement himself was 
thrown into the scale of submission to the King. They still 
hoped much from his readiness to listen to reason, and they 
were by no means ready to abandon their expectation of tolera 
tion because he had exacted the fines on one occasion. 3 Gerard, 
June, 1603. at fi rst > contented himself with warning the con- 
Gerard spirators to desist : but when he found his advice 

read j 

. the disregarded, he sent a message to the Government 
informing them of the whole conspiracy. The mes- 
sage, it was true, was never delivered, but this was merely 
because a similar communication had already been made 4 by 
a priest named Barneby, who was a prisoner in the Clink, and 
who, by Blackwell's directions, had given information to the 
Bishop of London, in order that he might pass it on to Cecil. 5 

The discovery of the plot by the Catholics themselves had 
all the consequences which the Jesuits had anticipated. On 

1 Copley's Declaration, Tierney's Dodd. iv., App. p. iv. 
- Morris, Life of Gerard, 298. 

3 This may he positively asserted to have heen the case, on the evidence 
of the letters amongst the Roman Transcripts, R. 0. 

* Gerard's Narrative in Morris's Condition of Catholics, 74. 

« Degli Effetti to Del Bufalo, ] u " e 3 °' July l A 
b ' July 10, J J 23 


June 17 James confidentially acquainted Rosny with his 
purpose of remitting the Recusancy fines. 1 Yet it was not 
without hesitation that James carried out his intention. Some- 
times his mind dwelt more on the Catholics who had formed 
June 17. the plot than on those who had betrayed it. He 
poseTto™* would be very glad, he informed Rosny, to be on 
remit the friendly terms with the Pope, if only he would 

Recusancy ' . , L J 

fines, consent to his remaining the head of his own Church, 

but hesi- He told Beaumont, the resident French Ambassador, 
that, in spite of his kindness to the Catholics, they 
had sought his life. Beaumont replied that the conspirators 
were exceptions amongst a generally loyal body, and that if 
liberty of conscience were not allowed, he would hardly be 
able to put a stop to similar plots.' 2 James was convinced by 
the Frenchman's reasoning. 

On July 17 a deputation of the leading Catholics was heard 

by the Council in the presence of the King. Their spokesman 

July : 7 . was ^' r Thomas Tresham, a man familiar with im- 

a catholic prisonment and fine. "I have now," he had written 

deputation. . . . 

a short time previously to Lord Henry Howard, 
"completed my triple apprenticeship of one and twenty years 
in direct adversity, and I shall be content to serve a like long 
apprenticeship to prevent the foregoing of my beloved, beau- 
tiful, and graceful Rachel ; for it seems to me but a few days 
for the love I have to her." 3 James listened to the pleading 
of the noble-hearted man, and yielded He assured the di pu 
. tation that the fines should be remitted as long as 

remiuthe they behaved as loval subjects, if, he added, the 

hli>: .. . 

Catholii • would al 10 obey the law, the highest plai 1 s 

in the State should be Open to them. In other words, if they 
would be as base as Howard, they should sit al the Council- 

table, and take part in the government of England. 4 Howard. 
in James's language, was the tame duck by whose help he 

1 Econ. Roy, iv. 370. 

Beaumont to H< niy IV. July ' : , King 1 * MSS. 123, fol. 327 b. 

2 Beaumont to Henry IV. July 
1 Jardine's GuttJ. 1 / r Plot, 10. 
* Degli Effetti to D 1 Bufalo, July -, Roman Transcripts, A\ 0. 

1 2 


hoped to catch many wild ones. It was evident that he had not 
faced the problem fairly. There were thousands of Catholics 
in England who resembled Tresham more than Howard, and 
no remission of fines was likely to be lasting if it was based on 
the misapprehension that toleration was only a step to a hypo- 
critical conversion. 

For the present, however, the Catholics enjoyed unaccus- 
tomed peace. The 20/. fines ceased at once. With the lands of 
which two thirds had been taken there was more difficulty, as 
there were lessees who had a claim on the property. Probably, 
however, the lessees were often friends of the owners, and in 
such cases there would be little difficulty in coming to an 
arrangement. At all events the income accruing to the Crown 
from this source was enormously diminished. 1 

The Catholic problem pursued James even in his own family 
circle. When, on July 25, the ceremony of the coronation took 
July 25. place at Westminster, Anne of Denmark consented 
Coronation to receive the crown at the hands of a Protestant 
The Queen Archbishop ; but when the time arrived for the re- 
recef" the ception of the Communion she remained immove- 
Communion. a ^] c on ner seat) leaving the King to partake alone. 
Anne, however, was not of the stuff of which martyrs are made. 
Enthusiastic Catholics complained that she had no heart for 
anything but festivities and amusements, and during the rest 
of her life she attended the services of the church sufficiently 
to enable the Government to allege that she was merely an 
enemy of Puritanical strictness. 2 

For the present James was the more inclined to treat the 
Catholics well, because he had learnt that another plot was 
Cobham's m existence in which Protestants were concerned, 
plot. Brooke's participation in Watson's conspiracy had 

been discovered by means of the examination of the prisoners, 
and as soon as Cecil had learned that, he naturally suspected 
that Brooke's brother, Cobham, had had a hand in the mischief. 
In order to obtain information against Cobham, Raleigh was 
summoned before the Council at Windsor. There is no reason 

J Receipt- Books of Ike Exchequer. 

8 Dcgli Efletti to Del Bufalo, Aug. -, Roman Transcripts, R. 0. 


to suppose that Cobham had more than a general knowledge 
of Watson's doings, and of these Raleigh was unable to speak. 
Shortly after this examination, however, Raleigh wrote to Cecil, 
informing him that he believed that Cobham had dealings with 
Aremberg, the ambassador who had lately come over from the 
Archduke, and that he carried on his communications by means 
of an Antwerp merchant, named Renzi, who was 

Cobham and . . . . T . T .. 

Raleigh residing in London. In consequence either of tins 
letter or of Brooke's confession, Cobham was arrested. 
On July 17, 1 the very day on which the Catholic deputation 
was before the Council, Raleigh himself became suspected 
and was committed to the Tower. 

The truth of the story, which came out by degrees, will, 
in all probability, never be completely known. It would be 
labour in vain to build upon Cobham's evidence. He had no 
sooner stated a fact than he denied it. The only point which 
he succeeded in establishing was the undoubted fact that he 
was himself a most impudent liar. On the other hand, it is 
impossible to place implicit confidence in Raleigh's story, for 
though his veracity is unimpeachable by the evidence of six h 
a man as ( lobham, it cannot be denied that he made statements 
which he must have known at the time to be false. Whatever 
may be the truth on this difficult subject, there is no reason to 

!>t that Cecil at least acted in perfect good faith.- There 
was enough evidence to make Raleigh's innocence doubtful, 
and under su< h < ircumstances, according to the ideas of thi 
times, the right course to take was to send the accused before 
a jury. Ce< U - whole conduct during this affair was that of a 

man who looki d upon Raleigh, indeed, with no friendly 1 
and who believed that he was probably guilty, but who was 
irons that he should have every chance of proving his 

1 Extract from the journal "I ( ecil 1 iry, Add, MSS, c 1 77. 

■ Beaumont's opinion that he acted through passion 1 oAei 
apainst him, but the French ambassador had had too many diplon 
ojntli<:ts with < ec il to judge him fairly. 

3 Mr. Tytler, in h 
that the whole a trick got up l Hi fii 1 qui 


The evidence upon which the Privy Council acted was 
obtained from various sources. It appeared that there was 
a general impression among the participators in 
against Watson's plot, which they had derived from Brooke's 
information, that both Cobham and Raleigh were 
engaged in intrigues for the purpose of dethroning the King, 
apparently with the object of placing Arabella Stuart upon the 
throne. It was also said that Cobham had talked of killing 
' the King and his cubs.' This latter statement was afterwards 
denied by Brooke on the scaffold. He had, however, un- 
doubtedly mentioned it to Watson. The discrepancy may 
either be explained by supposing that he did so with the view 
of driving Watson more deeply into the plot, or, as is more 

the long letter of Lord Henry Howard, printed in Raleigh's Works (viii. 
756), as evidence that about 1602 Howard wrote to Cecil a letter contain- 
ing 'an outline of the plan afterwards put in execution, for the destruction 
of Cobham and Raleigh, by entrapping them in a charge of treason.' Mr. 
Tytler acknowledged that it was not certain that it was written to Cecil at 
all. Rut even supposing that it was, which is perhaps the most pro- 
bable explanation, it is unfair to infer that Cecil partook in Howard's 
methods of attacking their common rivals. It is still more to the pur- 
to show that the letter in question contains no scheme such as was 
discovered in it by .Mr. Tytler. It is plain, upon reading the complete 
passages from which he has made extracts, that Howard did not propose 
to entrap Raleigh and Cobham in a charge of treason, but to lead them to 
take part in difficult business, where they would be sure to make mistakes 
which might afford an opportunity of pointing out their defects to the 
Queen. This is miserable enough, but it is not so bad as the other recom- 
mendation would have been, nor is there any warrant for supposing that 
even this met with Cecil's approbation. 

Mr. Tytler's second proof was founded on a letter of Brooke's, written 
nber 18, 1603, in which he says the following words : " But above 
all give me leave to conjure your Lordship to deal directly with me, what 
I am to expect after so many promises received, and so much conformity 
and accepted service performed on my part to you." From this he inferred 
that Cecil had used Brooke to act as a spy, and had abandoned him. Is 
it likely that if this had been the case Brooke would not have used stronger 
expressions, or that Cecil would have dared to send him to the block, 
knowing that he had it in his powei to expose the infamy of such conduct ? 
Brooke may very well have rendered services in past days to Cecil and 
received promises of favour in return. 


likely, that he denied the story on the scaffold, in hopes of 

benefiting his brother. Whatever this conspiracy may have 

been, the priests knew nothing of its particulars. Brooke, 

however, distinctly stated that his brother had, before 

Cobham . . . . . , 

obta.ns the Aremberg s arrival, entered into communication with 
m^y^'n him, and had offered to help in procuring the peace 
:rg ' which his master had so much at heart, if he would 
place at his disposal a sum of five or six hundred thousand 
crowns, which he would employ in gaining the services of 
diffetent discontented persons. 1 A portion of this money was 
certainly offered to Raleigh, though, according to his own 
account, which there is no reason to doubt, he immediately 
refused it.- Aremberg promised to send the money to 
Cobham, and requested to know how it was to be transmitted, 
and ill what manner it was to be distributed. 

On Aremberg's arrival, Cobham sought him out. Whether 

his designs had been already formed, or whether they grew in 

his mind after conversation with the ambassador, is 

He declares . . , . 

abella uncertain. At all events, he seems at tins time to 

. ; have entertained the idea of assisting Arabella to the 

crown, and of course also of seeing Cecil and the 

.ards beneath his feet. He commissioned his brother to 
her to write to the Infanta, the Duke of Savoy, and the 
i Spain, in hopes of inducing them to support her title. 3 

In spit.- ol Brooke's refusal, Cobham continued to negotiate 
with Aremberg, either with a view of inducing him to countenance 
thi . 1 in hopes of obtaining money which might be 

employed to distribute amongst persons who would use their 
influence in procuring the peace of which the King ol Spain 

1 |. « ven offered to undertake a mission tO 
Spain in order to induce the King to listen to his proposals. 

ilw e ; were gradually disclosed, the suspicions 

against Raleigh 1" 1 in the minds of the m< m 

the Govt rnm< nt It was known that he had too good 
reasons to be discontented. He had been persuaded 01 

1 Brooke's Confession, July 19, S. P. Dom. ii. 64. 

2 Raleigh's Examination, Aug. 13, Jardine's Crim. '/'rials, i. 425. 

3 Brooke's Confession, July 19, S. /'. Dom. ii. 64. 


compelled to resign his Wardenship of the Stannaries, and 
when the monopolies were suspended for examination, his 
lucrative patent of wine licences ' was amongst those which 
Raleigh were called in question. Durham House, which he 
suspected. ] ia( j Y\dd f or t %ven ty years, had been claimed by the 
Bishop of Durham, and the lawyers who were consulted having 
given an opinion in the Bishop's favour, Raleigh had been 
ordered with unseemly haste to leave the house. 2 Altogether, 
he had lost a considerable part of his income, and such a loss 
was certainly not likely to put a man in good humour with the 
Government which had treated him so harshly. At the same 
time, it was well known that he was Cobham's greatest if not 
his only friend, and that they had for some years been 
engaged together in political schemes. Was it probable, it 
might be argued, that a man like Cobham, who had informed 
his brother of part, at least, of his design, should have kept 
his constant companion in ignorance ? This reasoning had 
induced Cecil to send for Raleigh at Windsor. It must have 
received additional weight as soon as the Government heard 
that, after Raleigh had left them, he wrote a letter to Cobham, 
assuring him that he had 'cleared him of all,' and accompanied 
it with a message that one witness (by which he probably meant 
Brooke) could not condemn him. 3 It was undoubtedly sus- 
picious. It was just such a message as would have been sent 
by one accomplice to another, in order to procure his silence. 
Cobham too, when the letter was shown him which Raleigh 
had written denouncing his intercourse with Aremberg, broke 
out into a passion, and declared that all that he had done had 
been done at Raleigh's instigation. His evidence, however, 
was invalidated by the fact that he afterwards retracted it on 

1 The wine licences were finally declared to be no monopoly ; but, 
Raleigh having lost them by his attainder, they were granted to the Lord 
Admiral, the Earl of Nottingham. 

- I gerton Papers, Catnd, Soc. 376. 

3 Raleigh on his trial denied sending this message. But Keymis, who 
was the messenger, declared that he had carried it, thus corroborating 
Cobham's evidence. A man who ' endeavoured still to transfer all from 
his master to himself was not likely to have invented this. — Waad to 
Cecil, Sept. 2, 1603, S. /'. Dom. iii. '2. 


his way from his examination, it was said, as soon as he reached 
the stair-foot. 

Raleigh's health suffered extremely during his imprison- 
ment ; in all probability from mental rather than from physical 
j u iy. causes. In less than a fortnight after his arrest, his 
spirits had become so depressed that he allowed 
himself to make an ineffectual attempt at self- 

The letter in which he took, as he supposed, a farewell of 
his wife, in one of the most touching compositions in the 
English language. He could not bear, he said, to leave a 
dishonoured name to her and to his son, and he had determined 
not to live, in order to spare them the shame. He begged 
her not to remain a widow ; let her marry, not to please herself, 
but in order to obtain protection for her child. For himself he 
was 'left of all men,' though he had 'done good to many.' All 
his good actions were forgotten, all his errors were brought up 
against him with the very worst interpretation. All his 'services, 
hazards, and expenses for his country,' his 'plantings, dis- 
coveries, fights, counsels, and whatsoever else ' he had done, 
were cov< red over by the malice of his enemies. He was now 
called 'traitor by the word of an unworthy man,' who had 'pro- 
claimed him ' to be a partaker of his vain imaginations, not- 
withstanding the whole course of his life had 'approved the 
contrary.' " Woe, woe, woe," he cries, " be unto him by whose 
hood we are lost! He hath separated us asunder: he 
hath slain my honour, my fortune ; he hath robbed thee of thy 

husband, thy < hi Id of hi i lather, and me of you both. O God ! 
thou dost know my wrongs ; know then thou, my wife and 
child ; know then thou, my Lord ajid Kin-, that I ever thought 
them too honest to betray, and too good to conspire against. 
But, my wife, forgive thou all, as I do; live humble, for thou 
hast but a time also. God forgive my Lord Harry, 1 i"t he was 

my heavy enemy. And lor my Lord Cecil, I thoughl he would 

nev< ke me 11 mity ; I would not have done it him, 

God kn< II'' then went on to assure his wife thai he did 

not die in despair of God's mercies. God had not left him, 

1 Certainly, I think, Howard. Mr. Brewer think I < Miam. 


nor Satan tempted him. He knew it was forbidden to men to 
destroy themselves, but he trusted that that had reference only 
to those who made away with themselves in despair. 

"The mercy of God," he continues, "is immeasurable, the 
cogitations of men comprehend it not. In the Lord I have 
ever trusted, and I know that my Redeemer liveth ; far is it 
from me to be tempted with Satan ; I am only tempted with 
sorrow, whose sharp teeth devour my heart. O God, thou art 
goodness itself ! thou canst not be but good to me. O God, 
thou art mercy itself! thou canst not be but merciful to me." 
He then speaks of the property he has to leave and of his 
debts. But his mind cannot dwell on such matters. " Oh 
intolerable infamy ! " he again cries out, " O God, I cannot 
resist these thoughts ; I cannot live to think how I am derided, 
to think of the expectation of my enemies, the scorns I shall 
receive, the cruel words of the lawyers, the infamous taunts 
and despites, to be made a wonder and a spectacle ! O death i 
hasten thee unto me, that thou ma>est destroy the memory of 
these and lay me up in dark forgetfulness. The Lord knows 
my sorrow to part from thee and my poor child ; but part I 
must, by enemies and injuries, part with shame and triumph of 
my detractors ; and therefore be contented with this work of 
God, and forget me in all things but thine own honour, and 
the love of mine. I bless my poor child, and let him know 
his father was no traitor. Be bold of my innocence, for God, 
to whom I offer life and soul, knows it. And whosoever thou 
choose again after me, let him be but thy politic husband ; 
but let my son be thy beloved, for he is part of me, and I live 
in him, and the difference is but in the number, and not in the 
kind. And the Lord for ever keep thee and them, and give 
thee comfort in both worlds ! " ' 

Fortunately for himself, Raleigh's attempt to fly from the 
evils before him failed. He was to die after long years of 
sorrow nobly borne : but he was to die no coward's death. 

1 Raleigh to his wife. Printed by Mr. Brewer in his appendix to 
Goodman's Court of King James I. ii. 93. Who is the daughter men- 
tioned in this letter? Apparently a natural child. Does anyone know 
what became of her ? 

1603 RALEIGH'S TRIAL. 123 

During the remainder of his imprisonment he was several 
times examined, but his answers have not been preserved, with 
the exception of one or two fragments, in one of which he ac- 
knowledged that Cobham had offered him 10,000 crowns with 
a view to engage his services in furthering the peace, but added 
that he had passed the proposal by with a joke, thinking that 
it had not been seriously made. 

On November 1 2 he was brought out of the Tower to be 
conducted to Winchester, where the trial was to take 

Nov« 12. 

Taken to place, in order that the persons who attended the 
ter " courts might not be exposed to the plague, which was 
raging in London. 

He passed through the streets amidst the execrations of the 
London mob. So great was their fury that Waad, the Lieu- 
tenant of the Tower, who had charge of him, hardly expected 
that he would escape out of the city alive. On the 
1 7th lie was placed at the bar, upon a charge of high 
treason, before Commissioners specially appointed, amongst 
whom Cecil and Chief Justice Popham took the most promi- 
nent parts.' 

The prosecution was conducted by the Attorney- General, 

Sir Edward Coke, with a harsh rudeness which was remarkable 

even in that age, and which in the course of the pro- 

llled down upon him, much to his own 

it, the remonstrant 1 ; of ( !e< il. 

A century later Raleigh might well have smiled at the 

hi( li was brought against him. As it was, 

! have had but little hope under what, in a 

letter Whi< h he had written to SOmeol the Lords of the 

( JoiUH il, 2 he had well termed ' the< ruclty of the law of England.' 

1 \ dory 00 1 in the Observations on Sander on's History, which had 
frequently quoted, to the effect thai the jury, not being sufficiently 

might. To this Sanderson replied in 
/„ n Scurrilous /'a>»f/i/</, p. 8, thai 'il 1 dal upon the 

y that the intended jury was changed 0V( might, fol lli' ' 

were of Middlesex, and ordered long before t<> attend at Winchester.' 

2 Letter to Nottingham and other Lords in Cayley's Life of Raleigh, 
ii. 11. 


In our own days everyone who takes part in a criminal trial is 
thoroughly impressed with the truth of the maxim, that a 
prisoner is to be considered innocent until he is proved to be 
guilty. Even the counsel for the prosecution frequently seeks 
to gain a reputation for fairness by reminding the jury of the 
existence of such a maxim. The judge repeats it, if necessary, 
when he sums up the evidence. The able counsel whom the 
prisoner is at liberty to select at his own discretion, takes good 
care that it is not forgotten, while every man in the jury-box 
has been brought up in a political atmosphere where it is counted 
as an axiom. 

How different was the course of a criminal trial in the first 
years of the seventeenth century ! It was not that either the 
judges or the juries of that age were inclined to barter their 
consciences for bribes, or servilely to commit injustice with 
iheir eyes open, from a fear of consequences to themselves. 
But they had been trained under a system which completely 
ignored the principle with which we are so familiar. Tacitly, 
at least, the prisoner at the bar was held to be guilty until he 
could prove his innocence. No counsel was allowed to speak 
on his behalf, and unless his unpractised mind could, at a 
moment's notice, refute charges which had been skilfully pre- 
pared at leisure, the unavoidable verdict was sure to be given 
against him. Such a course of proceeding was bad enough in 
ordinary trials : but when political questions were involved the 
case was far worse. In our own times the difficulty is to pro- 
cure a verdict of guilty as long as there is the slightest flaw in 
the evidence against a prisoner. When Raleigh appeared at 
the bar, the difficulty was to procure an acquittal unless the 
defence amounted to positive proof of innocence. The causes 
Change in which led to this state of things are not difficult to 
takcW comprehend. We live in days when, happily, it has 
bi i ome almost impossible to conceive of a treason 
which should really shake the country. Consequently, a 
prisoner accused of this crime is in our eyes, at the most, a 
misguided person who has been guilty of exciting a riot of un- 
usual proportions. We cannot work our minds up to be afraid 
of him, and fear, far more than ignorance, is the parent of 

1603 RALEIGH'S TRIAL. 125 

cruelty. The experience of the sixteenth century had told the 
other way. For more than a hundred years the Crown had 
been the sheet-anchor of the constitution. Treason, conse- 
quently, was not regarded simply as an act directed against the 
Government. It was rather an act of consummate wickedness 
which aimed at the ruin of the nation. A man who was even 
suspected of a crime the object of which was to bring the 
armies of Spain upon the free soil of England could never meet 
with sympathy, and could hardly hope for the barest justice. 
The feelings of men were the more irresistible when the most 
learned judge upon the bench knew little more of the laws of 
evidence and the principles of jurisprudence than the meanest 
peasant in the land. 

As might he expected, the forms of procedure to which the 

prevalent feelings gave rise only served to aggravate the evil. 

The examination of the prisoners was conducted in 

m of 

criminal private. Such a system was admirably adapted for 
procuring the conviction of a guilty person, because 
lie was not likely to persist in denying his crime whilst his 
confederates might he telling their own story against him, ea< h 
in his own way. lint it by no means afforded equal chances of 
ipe to the innoi ent, who had no opportunity of meeting his 
accuser fa< e to fai e, or of subje< ting him to a < ross examination, 
and who, if he weri ed of a State 1 rime, would find in the 

examini n who were by their very position incapable of 

taking an impartial view of the affair. In point of fact, tl 
preliminary investigation i formed the real trial. If the aC( U 
could satisfy the Privy Council of his innocence, he would at 

oik e be V I at liberty. If he tailed in this, he would be brought 

1 ourt from whi< h there v,.: . 1 an 1 I) a hope oi , . 
1 tracts bom his own depositions and from those ol otl 

Id be read before him, supported by the argumi m ■ <<t the 
first lawyers of the day, who did not disdain to bring against 
him the bases! insinuations, which he had at the momenl no 
means of rebutting. The evil was still more increased by the 
want of any real responsibility in any of the partii 1 on< 1 rn< '1. 
When the previous depositions formed almost, if nol entirely, 
the whole of the evident e, a jury would be likely to atta< h 1 "m 


siderable weight to the mere fact that the prisoner had been 
committed for trial. They would naturally feel a diffidence in 
setting their untried judgments against the conclusions which 
had been formed by men who were accustomed to conduct in- 
vestigations of this kind, and who might be supposed, even if 
the evidence appeared to be weak, to have kept back proofs 
which for the good of the public service it was unadvisable to 
publish. On the other hand, the Privy Councillors would view 
the matter in a very different light. They would see in their 
inquiries nothing more than a preliminary investigation, and 
would throw upon the jury the responsibility which, in theory, 
they were bound to feel. l Under these circumstances, trial by 
jury ceased to be a safeguard against injustice. In a conjunc- 
ture when the nation and its rulers are equally hurried away by 
passion, or have become equally regardless of the rights of in- 
dividuals, the system loses its efficacy for good. 

^'ith such prospects before him, Raleigh took his place at 
the bar. 2 If the feeling of the time with respect to persons 
The law f charged with political offences was likely to lead to 
treason. injustice, the law of high treason, as it had been 
handed down from older times, was such as to give full scope 
for that injustice. In the case of ordinary crimes, it was neces- 
sary to prove that the prisoner had actually taken part in the 
criminal action of which he was accused. In cases of treason 
it was sufficient if any one person had committed an overt act ; 
all others to whom the treason had been confided, and who 
had consented to the perpetration of the crime, although they 
might have taken no part whatever in any treasonable action, 
were held to be as much guilty as the man would have been 
who actually led an army against the King. 

From this state of the law arose the great difficulty which 
must have been felt by every prisoner who had to defend him- 

1 " Always," wrote Cecil of Raleigh, "he shall be left to the law, which 
is the right all men arc born to."— Cecil toWinwood, Oct. 3, 1603, Winw, 
ii. 8. 

2 The account here given is based upon the report as given in Jardine's 
Crim. Trials, compared with Mr. Edwards's collation in his Life of Ralegh, 
i. 388. 

i6o3 RALEIGH'S TRIAL. 127 

self when charged with a treason in which he had not himself 
taken an active share. If he had ever listened to the words of 
a traitor, it would not be enough for him to prove that he had 
not done anything which was treasonable. He could only 
hope for an acquittal if he could show that the state of his 
mind at the time when he heard the treasonable proposal was 
the opposite of that which would certainly be ascribed to him 
by everyone who took part in the trial. And even if by some 
extraordinary chance he was able to show that he had only con- 
cealed the treason without consenting to it, he was still liable 
to the harsh penalties which the law inflicted upon misprision 
of treason. 

After some preliminary proceedings, the charges against the 
prisoner were brought forward by Coke, with his usual violence, 
, ,, pt:ns and with his no less usual carelessness as to the value 
the trial. f t ] lc evidence upon which he based his assertions. 
He charged Raleigh with entering upon a treason which was 
closely connected with that of the priests, although he was 
unable to point out what that connection was. He had not 
gone far before he lost his temper. Raleigh having calmly 
asserted his innocence, and having offered to confess the 
whole of the indictment if a single charge could be proved out of 
the many that had been brought against him, he dared, in the 
presence of the man whose lifelong antagonism to Spain was 
notorious to every Englishman, to accuse him with being a 
monster with an English face but a Spanish hear! ; and with 
having plotted with Cobham to bring about the substitution of 
Arabella for the King by the help of a Spanish invasion. ( >ne 
night, he said, shortly after Aremberg's arrival, Raleigh was 
supping with Cobham, and after supper Cobham went with 
Ren/i to visit tin- Ambassador. It was then arranged thai 
Cobham should go into Spain, and that he was to return by 
way of Jersey, where he was to consult with Raleigh as to the 
l" .t means of making use of the money which he hoped to 
procure from the King ol Spain. The Attorney-General ; 
ceeded to argue in favour of the probability of this story, from 
Raleigh's known intimacy with Col, ham, from the letter which 
he had written to say that he had cleared him in all of which 


he had been accused, as well as from the message which he 
had sent to remind him that one witness could not condemn 
him. This message would be sufficient to account for Cobham's 
retractation of his accusation. Coke then proceeded to speak 
of an attempt which Cobham had made to antedate a letter in 
order to disprove the charge which had been brought against 
him of purposing to go abroad with treasonable intentions, and 
asserted, without a shadow of proof, that 'this contrivance came 
out of Raleigh's devilish and machiavellian policy.' Upon 
Raleigh's quietly denying the inferences, Coke broke out again : 
"All that he did," he said, "was by thy instigation, thou viper; 
for I thou thee, thou traitor ! I will prove thee the rankest 
traitor in all England." Raleigh again protested his innocence, 
and after the Chief Justice had interposed to restore the ordei 
which had been broken by the Attorney-General, Coke pro 
ceeded to adduce his evidence. The first document read was 
Cobham's declaration of July 20, in which, after having been 
shown Raleigh's letter to Cecil in which he had suggested that 
Cobham's dealings with Aremberg should be looked into, he 
had declared that he 'had never entered into these courses 
but by Raleigh's instigation ; ' and had added that Raleigh had 
spoken to him of plots and invasions, though this charge was 
somewhat invalidated by Cobham's refusal to give any particu- 
lar account of the plots of which he had spoken. 

To this evidence, such as it was, Raleigh immediately 
replied. This, he said, addressing the jury, was absolutely 
all the evidence that could be brought against him. He pro- 
tested that he knew nothing either of the priests' plot, or of 
any design to set Arabella upon the throne. If he suspected 
that there was anything passing between Aremberg and Cob- 
ham, it was because he knew that they had had confidential 
communication with one another in former times, and because 
one day he saw him go towards Renzi's lodging. He then 
appealed to the jury to consider how unlikely it was that he 
should plot with such a man as Cobham. " I was not so 
baie of sense," he said, " but I saw that if ever the State was 
strong and able to defend itself, it was now. The kingdom of 
Scotland united, whence we were wont to fear all our troubles ; 

1603 RALEIGH'S TRIAL. 129 

Ireland quieted, where our forces were wont to be divided ; 
Denmark assured, whom before we were wont to have in 
jealousy ; the Low Countries, our nearest neighbours, at peace 
with us ; and instead of a Lady whom time had surprised we 
had now an active King, a lawful successor to the crown, who 
was able to attend to his own business. I was not such a mad- 
man as to make myself in this time a Robin Hood, a Wat Tyler, 
or a Jack Cade. I knew also the state of Spain well ; his 
weakness and poorness and humbleness at this time. I knew 
that he was discouraged and dishonoured. I knew that six 
times we had repulsed his forces, thrice in Ireland, thrice at sea 
— once upon our coast and twice upon his own. Thrice had I 
served against him myself at sea, wherein for my country's sake I 
had expended of my own property 4,000/. I knew that where 
before-time he was wont to have forty great sails at the least in 
his ports, now he hath not past six or seven ; and for sending 
to his Indies he was driven to hire strange vessels— a thing 
contrary to the institutions of his proud ancestors, who straitly 
forbad, in case of any necessity, that the Kings of Spain should 
make their rase known to strangers. I knew that of five and 
twenty millions he had from his Indies, he had scarce any left ; 
nay, I knew his poorness at this time to be such that the Jesuits, 
his imps, were fain to beg at the church doors; his pride so 
abated, as notwithstanding his former high terms, he was glad 
to congratulate the King, my master, on his accession, and 
now Cometh < reeping unto him tor pea< e." Raleigh < on< ludicl 

by a erting that it was improbable either that the King of 

Spain should be ready to trust large sums of money on 

Cobham's bare word, or that a man of Cobham's wealth should 
risk it by entering into mason. But, however that might be, 
he protested that he was clear of all knowledge of any con- 
spiracy against the Kr 

Alter some further ai ' OH the value of Cobham's 

evident e, the prisoner app< aled to the Coin' 
nof 1 , ■ 1 , , 1 

the necessity the < ourse Which was adopted hy t ! edition, and 

,.'i,'! r '' that at least two witnesses should be pro 

d in open court. It was all in vain. 'I he Chief 
Justice laid down the law as it was then universally under- 

VOL. I. K 


stood in Westminster Hall. 1 Two statutes 2 of Edward VI. 
had, indeed, expressly declared that no man could be convicted 
of treason except by the evidence of two witnesses, who, if 
living at the time of the arraignment, were to be produced in 
court. Raleigh urged that a later statute of Philip and Mary 3 
held the same doctrine. Popham answered that he had omitted 
the important words which limited its operation to certain 
treasons specially mentioned in the Act. By another section 
of the same statute it was 'enacted that all trials hereafter to 
be awarded ... for any treason shall be had and used 

only according to the due order of the Common Laws of this 
realm, and not otherwise.' It is highly improbable that the 
legislature intended that this section should be interpreted so 
as to interfere with the wholesome practice of requiring two 
witnesses in cases of treason. At a later period a different 
interpretation was affixed to it by the common consent of all 
lawyers, who have now, for nearly two centuries, unanimously 
held that the statute of Edward VI. was not repealed by the 
subsequent Act. But in the early part of the seventeenth 
century all lawyers, with equal unanimity, held the contrary 
opinion. In 1556 the Judges had met to consult on the 
meaning of the Act of Philip and Mary which had then 
been recently passed, and had decided that it bound them 
to fall back upon the old custom, by which they were to 
be content with one accuser, who need not be produced in 
court. This doctrine had been repeatedly put in practice, and 
no remonstrance had proceeded from any quarter, excepting 
from the unfortunate men who had suffered from its injustice. 

This objection having been thus overruled, Coke proceeded 

to bring forward what further evidence he had it in his power 

to produce. A letter of Cobham's was read, in which 

duc«?b he acknowledged that before Aremberg's arrival he 

had written to him for money, and had received a 

promise of four or five hundred thousand crowns. As, however, 

1 See Mr. Jardine's remarks, Critn. Trials, i. 513, and Reeve's /fa/. 

(J Law, iv. 495"5 o6 - 

"■ 1 Ed. VI. cap. 12, and 6 Ed. VI. cap. II, 
3 1 & 2 Philip and Mary, cap. 10. 

1603 RALEIGH'S TRIAL. 131 

this appeared to be intended only to assist the progress of the 
negotiations for peace, Coke was obliged to go farther in order 
to prove that there had ever been any overt act of treason at 
all. For Cobham, remembering that the evidence which he 
gave against Raleigh might possibly be turned against himself, 
had, with the single exception of the general statement, which 
was made in the heat of passion, that Raleigh had spoken to 
him of ' plots and invasions,' always asserted that his dealings 
with Aremberg had reference solely to the negotiations. The 
Attorney-General was therefore forced to content himself with 
bringing forward Watson's evidence, such as it was, to the effect 
that he had heard from Brooke that his brother and Raleigh 
were wholly of the Spanish faction. 

The confession which Raleigh had made as to Cobham's 

offer of io.oco crowns ' to himself was also read, and Keymis's 

Raleigh'* .animation was produced, in which he spoke of a 

private interview which had taken place between 

uncc- i L 

Cobham and Raleigh at the time when the former was 
receiving letters from Aremberg. To this Raleigh 
made no reply, but he stated that Cobham's offer had been made 
previously to Aremberg's arrival in England He added that he- 
had refused to have anything to do with it. This had taken 
place, he said, as lie and Cobham were at dinner. Cobham 
had also proposed to offer money to Cecil and to Mar, to 
which he had replied that he had better 'make no such offer 
to them, f'-r, by God, they would hate him if he did offer it.' 
Raleigh concluded by again pressing to he allowed to be 
brought fa< e to fa< e with his accuser. 

11 found an un d support in Cecil, who, with an 

evident desire that Raleigh's wi ih might be granted, pressed 
■fain the judges to declare how the law stood. They all 

'.. answered that itcould nol be allowed " There must 

fronted una 

1 ■""• not," said Popham, "be such a gap opened for the 

destruction of the King as would be if we should grant you 
this . . . You plead hard for yourself, but the laws plead as 
hard for the King . ■ . The accuser having firsl coi ' ed 

against himself voluntarily, and so < harged another person, he 

1 P. 123- 

K 2 


may from favour or fear retract what formerly he hath said, and 
the jury may by that means be inveigled." 

After some further evidence of no great value had been 
produced, Keymis's deposition was read, in which he confessed 
Keymis's tnat ne na d carried a letter and a message from 
denie<fb r Raleigh to Cobham when he was in the Tower, and 
Raleigh. that he had told him that one witness could not 
condemn a man. Upon hearing this deposition read, Raleigh 
took the unfortunate step of boldly denying that he had ever 
sent the message, or written the letter. Keymis was not the 
man to have invented the story, and this unlucky falsehood of 
Raleigh's must have induced those who were present to give 
less weight to his protestations than they would otherwise have 

Once more Raleigh besought the court to allow the produc- 
tion of Cobham, and, in spite of Howard's declaration that his 
request could not be granted, Cecil once more supported him 
by asking whether the proceedings might not be adjourned till 
his Majesty's pleasure could be known. The judges coldly 
answered that it could not be done. 

The evidence which still remained was most irrelevant. A 
pilot, named Dyer, was brought into court, who swore that 
when he was at Lisbon he had been told by a Portuguese that 
the King would never be crowned, as Don Cobham and Don 
Raleigh would cut his throat first. 

According to our ideas the case had thoroughly broken 
down. Not only had there been no evidence that Raleigh had 
ever heard of Cobham's purpose of employing the Spanish 
money in support of Arabella's claim, but there had been none 
to show that Cobham himself had ever formed such a design. 
It must not, however, be supposed that on the latter point the 
Government were not in possession of more satisfactory evidence 
than they were able to produce in court. They had in their 
hands a letter of Cobham to Arabella, in which he explained 
that he had requested the ambassador's good offices with the 
King of Spain in support of her title ; and two letters of Arem- 
berg to Cobham, in which he promised him 600,000 crowns, 
and had engaged to lay before the King of Spain his proposal 

l6o3 RALEIGH'S TRIAL. 133 

that the peace negotiations should be retarded and the Spanish 
fleet strengthened. 1 Such evidence could not be produced 
in court without compromising the ambassador, but it would 
have its weight with those who were aware of its existence, 
even though Raleigh was not shown to have been concerned 
in the matter. 

Raleigh then proceeded to address the jury, begging them 
not to condemn him on such evidence as that which they had 
just heard. Serjeant Phelips said that the question lay between 
the veracity of Raleigh and Cobham. It was Raleigh's business 
to disprove the accusation, which he had failed to do. Raleigh 
replied, truly enough, that Cobham had disproved his own 
assertions by disavowing them. 

Coke was proceeding to sum up the evidence when Raleigh 
interrupted him, and asked that, as he was pleading for his life, 
kaicigh he might be allowed to have the last word. The 
fh^f s Attorney-General was treating this as mere insolence, 
when he was checked by Cecil. Coke, unused to be 
compelled to respect the feelings of a prisoner, ' sat down in a 

1 The following extract from the despatch of the French amba 
seems to prove the reality of Cobham's intrigue for setting up Arabella : — 
"Or est-il rju'en icelle," i.e. his deposition, "ledil I obham a reconnu 
'1'avoir ouvert son dessein au Comte d'Aremberg qui estoit de persuader 
Madame Art* lie ainsy qu'il se publie et apperl par la lettrequ'il lui escrivil 
laquelle ladite dame mil di n li mains du Roi, qu'il a demande 

audit Comte la somme de 600,000 > cu pour en donner une panic aux 
malcontens <le ce Royaume a im de 1 e mouvoir a se rebeller et en en- 
voyer un autre en I el Irlande, qu'il s'esl offerl d'escrire luim£me au 

! i pagne a fin qu'il 1 ;otiation de la paix et n t son 

armee de nier attendant ' 1 1 « * - telon l eil qu'il avoit pris il pul I 

d'aller a Spa conferer avec I'archiduc, passer en 1 pot 1 

donner plus di ce sa foi et de son credit, que sur toutes ces ch< 

ledit < lomte I'avoil n mi nl ■ - iuti ma conforte\ di courai 

s'enqueranl avec lui <\<-, moyens de let faire r< u ii \ qu'il lui avoit con 

donnc parole de 600,000 cscus, et ce pai deus lettr iielh 1 je cai 

[dans?] lea mains da Roi, el que pour le retardemenl de la n< 
de la paix, et de l'armee de me) donneroil avis au plustol en I 

pagne." Beaumont to the King of France, ■ „ ov ' ' ' 1603. / 

124, fol. 577 


chafe,' and was only induced to proceed by the entreaties of 
the Commissioners. 

After going over the depositions which had been read, he 
produced a letter which had been written only the day before 
Cobham's by Cobham to the Commissioners. " I have thought 
theCo°. i* ^ t '" ^ e wretched man had written, " in duty to my 
missioned. Sovereign, and in discharge of my conscience, to set 
this down to your Lordships, wherein I protest, upon my soul 
to write nothing but what is true, for I am not ignorant of my 
present condition, and now to dissemble with God is no time. 
Sir Walter Raleigh, four nights before my coming from the 
Tower, caused a letter inclosed in an apple to be thrown in at 
my chamber window, desiring me to set down under my hand 
and send him an acknowledgment that I had wronged him, and 
renouncing what I had formerly accused him of. His first 
letter I made no answer to. The next day he wrote me 
another, praying me for God's sake, if I pitied him, his wife 
and children, that I would answer him in the points he set 
down, informing me that the judges had met at Mr. Attorney's 
house, and putting me in hope that the proceedings against me 
would be stayed. Upon this I wrote him a letter as he desired. 
I since have thought he went about only to clear himself by 
betraying me. Whereupon I have resolved to set down the 
truth, and under my hand to retract what he cunningly got 
from me, craving humble pardon of His Majesty and your 
Lordships for my double-dealing. 

"At the first coming of Count Aremberg, Raleigh persuaded 
me to deal with him, to get him a pension of 1,500/. from Spain 
for intelligence, and he would always tell and advertise what 
was intended by England against Spain, the Low Countries, or 
the Indies. And coming from Greenwich one night he told 
me what was agreed between the King and the Low Country- 
men, that I should impart it to Count Aremberg. But for this 
motion of 1,500/. for intelligence I never dealt with Count 
Aremberg. Now, as by this may appear to your Lordships, 
he hath been the original cause of my ruin, for but by his 
instigation I had never dealt with Count Aremberg. So also 
hath he been the only cause of my discontentment, I never 

1603 RALEIGH'S TRIAL. 135 

coming from the court, but still he filled me with new causes 
of discontentment. To conclude : in his last letter he advised 
me that I should not be overtaken by confessing to any 
preacher, as the Earl of Essex did, for the King would better 
allow my constant denial than my accusing any other person, 
which would but add matter to my former offence." 

Never did any man appear more bewildered than Raleigh 
when he heard this letter read. As soon as he could recover 
Raleigh himself, he drew another letter from his pocket. 
This was the one which had been written in the 
Tower by Cobham in reply to the urgent requests 
which had been conveyed to his cell by means of the apple 
thrown in at the window. In spite of Coke's objections it was 
read, at Cecil's request, to the following effect : — 

" Now that the arraignment draws near, not knowing which 
should be first, I or you, to clear my conscience, satisfy the 
world with truth, and free myself from the cry of blood, I pro- 
test upon my soul, and before God and His Angels, I never 
had conference with you in any treason, nor was ever moved by 
you to the things I heretofore accused you of, and, for anything 
I know, you are as innocent and as clear from any treasons 
against the King as is any subject living. Therefore I wash my 
hands, and pronounce with Daniel, 1 ' Funis sum a sanguine 
Ziujus,' and God so deal with me, and have mercy upon my 
:l as this is true." 

I' , however, brought to confess, that although it 

untrue that he had moved Cobham to pro< ure him a pen- 
sion, yet he COUld not deny that Cobham had men 

'• • 1 ■ 1 • mi • r ... 

tioned it to him. I ins confession, coming alter his mad'- at Windsor, of having known anything of any plot 

tween Cobham and Aremberg, and his subsequent letter in 

which he based his suspicions of Cobham simply upon In. 

knowledge ol the interview with Ken/i, was calculated to do 
considerable damage t<> his cause. It was now evidenl 

Raleigh had. to say the least of it, not been telling the 
whole truth. The jury t! , after a short con- 

sultation of fifteen minutes, brought in a verdict of Guilty, 
1 The ' wise young judge' of the History of Susanna, 46. 


Sentence of death was pronounced by Popham, who probably 
thought he was standing on a ground of moral superiority in 
inveighing against the atheistical and profane opinions which 
he, in common with the rest of the world, believed Raleigh to 
have entertained. 

If we once admit the principle, upon which the jury tacitly- 
acted, that it was the prisoner's business to prove himself to be 
_ . , innocent, the whole trial resolves itself into a question 

Question of l 

Rakighs f character. Difficult as it is for us to acknowledge 

innocence. .... . . 

it, it is not improbable that, with the jury, Raleigh's 
character for veracity stood as low as Cobham's. That this 
was unjust to Raleigh we know full well. We have oppor- 
tunities of knowing what he really was which very few of his 
contemporaries enjoyed. The courtiers and statesmen with 
whom he mingled knew only his worst side, and their evil 
report was exaggerated by rumour as it spread over the 

With unerring judgment posterity has reversed the verdict 
of the Winchester jury. That Raleigh was innocent of planning 
a Spanish invasion of England, needs no proof to those who 
know how deeply hatred to Spain had sunk into his soul, 
babi ^ t ^> bowever, there is something that needs explana- 
expianation tion. Raleigh was evidently not anxious to tell the 

of the facts. & . \ 

whole truth. It is almost impossible to avoid the 
conclusion that he knew more of Cobham's plans than he chose 
to avow. That he even heard of the scheme of placing Arabella 
upon the throne, or of the Spanish invasion, may be doubted. 
Brooke's testimony of what his brother said is worthless ; and 
Cobham, at least till after his own conviction, 1 never directly 
charged him with it. The most that he said was that Raleigh 
had spoken to him of plots and invasions. On the other hand, 
it was acknowledged by all that he had offered Raleigh bribes 
to engage in forwarding the peace. The story which was told 
by Raleigh of the manner in which he rejected the offer has the 
appearance of truth. But is it certain that he was not acquainted 
with more than he liked to say of Cobham's further intercourse 
with Aremberg ? Was it only on the two occasions on which 

1 He did then. Cobham's Confession. Nov. 22, S. P. Dom, iv. 91. 


money was offered that Raleigh heard anything of the secret 
with which the whole mind of his companion was filled ? It 
was from Raleigh's presence that Cobham went with Renzi to 
Aremberg's lodgings. On another occasion Raleigh was ' below 
in the hall with Lord Cobham when Renzi delivered a letter 
from Aremberg,' and afterwards ' the Lord Cobham took Sir 
Walter Raleigh up into his chamber with him in private.' Is it 
to be believed that they went there in order to converse on in- 
different subjects ? Even the two apparently antagonistic letters 
from Cobham which caused so much astonishment at the trial 
are not so discrepant as they at first sight appear. In one 
Cobham asserts that Raleigh had not instigated him to commit 
treason. In the other he asserts that Raleigh had professed his 
readiness to accept a pension from Aremberg, to be the price 
of a betrayal of court secrets, and that this suggestion had first 
brought him into communication with the ambassador, and so 
had indirectly caused his ruin. Both these statements may very 
well have been true. Raleigh cannot have been in a gentle 
humour on that night when he came home from Greenwich, 
after seeing his rivals in the enjoyment of the sweets of power. 
" If it is to come to this," we can fancy his saying to Cobham on 
his return, " one might as well be a pensioner of Spain at once." ' 
He may even have thought that, as it was certain that there was 
to be a peace with Spain, he might at least make money by for- 
warding that whirh he could not prevent. Of course this is 
mere guesswork, but it is aguess which would sufficiently account 
for all that followed. Hi < ddenly is called before the ' !oun< il, 
and on the spur of the moment denies all knowledge of( !obham's 
proceedings. Then, after he has gone away, he reflects that 
sooner or later what had happened must come to light, and he 
knows that he has had no real part in the treason. I [ewrites tin- 
letter to Cecil, and Cobham is arrested and lodged in the Tower. 
Upon this he remembers what the English law is, makings man 
an offender for a thought, far more for a word, and instin< lively 

• At his subsequent trinl Cobban ^ai>l that Raleigh 'once propounded 
to him a means for the Spaniards to Invade England ' by sending an army 
to Milford Haven. — Carleton to Chamberlain, Nov. 27, Court and 'J'imcs 
of James I. i. 19. This may have been true as speculative talk. 


turning to the one object of stopping Cobham's mouth, he sends 
Keymis to him to do what he can. Alas ! he had forgotten that 
Cobham might see the letter which had been written to Cecil. 
Cobham does see it, bursts into a rage, and accuses Raleigh of 
things of which he had never dreamed. There is nothing for 
it now but to deny all, to state boldly that Keymis had lied as 
well as Cobham, to hide as long as possible the second offer of 
a pension, to declare that he had never committed a venial error, 
lest those accursed lawyers should torture it into the foulest 

If Raleigh's trial is remarkable for the distinct enunciation 

by the judges of the harsh principles which were then in repute 

i ressio amongst lawyers, it is equally worthy of memory, 

upon the a s giving the first signal of the reaction which from 

spectators. ,^ ,., ... ,..., 

that moment steadily set in in favour of the rights 
of individuals against the State. Many a man, who came to 
gloat over the conviction of a traitor, went away prepared to 
sympathise with the prisoner who had defended himself so well 
against the brutal invectives of Coke. 

Two days before this trial, Brooke, Markham, Copley, and 
another confederate named Brooksby, with the two priests 

Watson and Clarke, were convicted of high treason. 

Nov. 15. ° 

Trial of the Before the end of the week Cobham and Grey were 
prisoners. also convicted before a court composed of thirty-one 
peers, in which the Chancellor presided as Lord 
Steward. In Cobham's defence there was no dignity 
or self-respect Grey displayed conspicuous ability. When, 
after the verdict had been given, he was asked whether he could 
say anything in arrest of judgment, he candidly acknowledged 
that he had nothing to allege. " Yet," he added after a pause, 
"a word of Tacitus comes into my mind, '-Non eadem omnibus 
decora? The House of Wilton hath spent many lives in their 
prince's service, and Grey cannot beg his. God send the 
King a long and prosperous reign, and to your lordships all 
honour." l 

1 Carleton to Chamberlain, Nov. 27 ; Cecil to Parry, Dec. 1, Court 
and Times of James I., i. 14, 17. 


Ten days later the two priests were executed, and in a 

Nov. 29. week's time they were followed by Brooke, who died 

i utionof declaring that all that he had said was true, with the 

W auon and ° , ' 

Clarke, exception of the charge which he had brought against 
De f c ' 6 ' his brother of wishing that the fox and his cubs were 

and of ° 

Brooke. taken away. 1 

With respect to the other prisoners, the King refused to 
listen to any requests made to him, either by those who were 
desirous to save them, or by others who were anxious 
that they should be executed. At last, after some 
consideration, he determined to take a course by 
which he might have the benefit of hearing what their last con- 
ions were, without putting any of them to death. Warrants 
were accordingly issued for the execution of Cobham, Grey, 
and Markham on December 10. The Bishop of 
Chichester was appointed to attend upon Cobham, 
and the bishop of Winchester upon Raleigh, in hopes of ex- 
tracting a confession at least from one of them. Both adhered 
to their former statements. On the appointed day the three 
were brought out for execution one alter the other, but alter 
each had made his declaration, he was sent down from the 
scaffold, in pursuance of an orderwhich arrived from the King. 
Even when in instant expectation of death Cobham persisted 
in his assertion of Raleigh's guilt* At last they were all told 
th«- Km,; had countermanded the execution, and had 
granted them their lives. Raleigh, whose exe< Ution had been 

d for a 1 also informed that he was reprieved 

With Grey and Cobham he was committed to the Tower. 
Markham, I rid Brooksby wen- ordered to quit the 

kingdom.' Raleigh's personal property, which had been t"i 

n to Chamberlain, I ><c. 1 1, Court and Times ofjamet /. , i. 27. 
Cecil to Win wood, Dec. 12, Wimv, ii. 10. 

how. 1 no cowardice on 1] Id, it has often been mp« 

I -I that he knew he was not to die ; th< 1 hand, tin- 1 icpl ination 

I have adopted -•■< In . mon "i fam< 

' Markham took lerrice in the Arclxluke's army, and at the same 
time acted as a spy for the English Government. 


feited by his attainder, was restored to him. 1 Of the manor of 
Sherborne, all that fell into the King's hands was the interest 
which Raleigh retained in it during his life, as he had executed 
a conveyance shortly before the death of Elizabeth, by which 
he assigned the estate to trustees for the benefit of his wife 
and child, though reserving the profits to himself during his 
own life. This life-interest was granted by James to two per- 
sons nominated by himself, to be held in trust for the benefit 
of Lady Raleigh and her son. 2 

From the disclosures made by the prisoners concerned in 
Watson's plot, James had learned that the conspiracy which 
Fear of had been detected formed but a small part of the 
Jesuit plots, dangers t0 which he had been exposed. Watson 
had declared that the Jesuits were engaged in a plot which he 
believed to be connected with their hopes of a Spanish inva- 
sion. Nor was this an unfounded assertion. The movements 
which Watson perceived were caused by the preparations made 
by Catesby and his friends to receive the army of the King 
of Spain, if he should send a favourable answer to their re- 

Just at the time when James might well have felt anxious, 
Dr. Gifford arrived from Flanders, as the bearer of assurances 
A from the Nuncio at Brussels of the strong desire of 

Proposals the Pope to keep the English Catholics from insur- 
through the rection. The satisfaction felt by James at this an- 
Kr^ssdis and nouncement was increased by the reception of a letter 
Pans. from Sir Thomas Farry, the English ambassador in 

France, 3 in which he announced that he had received a mes- 
sage from Del Bufalo, the Nuncio in Paris, to the effect that 
he had received authority from the Pope to recall from Eng- 
land all turbulent priests. Del Pufalo further offered to 
James that if there remained any in his dominions, priest or 

1 Grant to Shelbury and Smith, Feb. 14, 1604. Rymer's Fcedera, 
xvi. 569. 

2 Grant to Brett and Hall, July 30, 1604. S. P. Docqnet. 

8 Degli Effetti to Del Bufalo, ^" g ; 2 , 4 ' Roman Transcripts, R. 0. 


Jesuit, or other Catholic, whom he had intelligence of for a 
practice in his State which could not be found out, 
upon advertisement of the names he would find 
means to deliver them to his justice by ecclesiastical cen- 

To this communication Cecil replied by asking that the 

Nuncio should put his offer into writing. Del Bufalo, however, 

being unwilling to commit himself, preferred to ask 

thTnegotFa- for the appointment of a person to treat with him in 

Paris. After some delay he was informed by Parry 

that James wished the Pope to send to England a layman 

with whom he might informally communicate, and to give 

authority to persons named by himself, to recall turbulent 

Catholics from Kngland on pain of excommunication. 1 Parry 

was also t: plai e in the Nuncio's hands a copy of Sir James 

Lindsay's instructions, in order that the bearer, who was at last 

about to start for Rome, might not be able to enlarge upon 

them. About the same time another deputation of 

James ■ 

runewihU Catholics waited upon the Council, having, in all 

nces 1 1 • , • 1 1 11 1 • 1111 

probability, been alarmed lest their cause should be 

injured by the detection of the late conspiracies. 

They were assured that the King would keep his word, and 

that the fines would not be cn;i< ted. 8 Janus, it appeared, had 

made up his mind, and had resolved to accord toleration to 

1 tholi< laity. How far this toleration was to be extended 

to the 1 was another matter, on which, as yet, he had 

entered into no ement 

In de< iding this que -non James wa 1 no doubt mu< h at the 
men dental occurrences. Anything which gave him 

personal an ould have considerable influence on his 

policy; air for the Catholi< 1, before many week \ 

ed, Jam nnoyi d. 

In the course of the summ< t Sir Anthony Standen had be< n 

' Del Bufalo to the Kins, Sept. ^ ; Del Bufalo to Aldobrandino,^/wa« 
Transcripts t A'. 0.} Jami to !'. ny, in Tiemey'a Dodd. iv. App. p. Ixvi. 
ami Hatfield MSS. 120, fol. 150; Parry to Cecil, h\\^. 20; Cecil to 
Tarry, Nov. 6, .V. /'. France. 

- Petition ApologctLal, p. 27. 


sent by James on a mission to some of the Italian States. He 
was himself a Catholic, and was eager to take part in 

July. * _ 

standees the grand scheme for reconciling England to the See 
mission. f R ome> Hq urged upon the Pope the importance of 
sending an agent to England, to discuss with the King the points 
in dispute between the Churches, and he suggested that the 
Sept. mediation of the Queen might produce good effects. 
The Queen Anne of Denmark, in fact, though she attended the 

secretly a . ° 

Catholic. Protestant services, was secretly a Catholic, so iar 
at least as her pleasure-loving nature allowed her to be of any 
religion at all, and she took great delight in the possession of 
consecrated objects. 1 

While Standen was in Italy he entered into communication 
with Father Persons, who induced the Pope to employ the 

messenger to carry to the Queen some objects of 
objeasTent devotion, and who himself wrote through the same 

medium to some priests in England. Standen was 
not the man to keep a secret, and he had scarcely arrived in 

England when he was arrested and lodged in the 

T £rt 

standen ' Tower. The presents from the Pope were subse- 
imprisoned. qucntly retu rned, through the Nuncio in Paris. 2 

James was particularly annoyed at the discovery of this 

clandestine correspondence with his wife. With some difficulty 

he had induced her to receive the communion with 

,,"> him at Salisbury, but she had been much vexed with 

Queen ' herself since, and had refused to do it again. On 
Christmas day she had accompanied him to Church, but since 
then he had found it impossible to induce her to be present at 
a Protestant service. Standen, it now seemed, had arrived to 
thwart him. He dismissed several of the Queen's attendants 
who were suspected of having come to an understanding with 

1 Degli Effetti to Del Bufalo, June ^, - ; Persons to Aldobrandino, 
Sept. ^g, Roman Transcripts, R. 0. 

2 Villeroi to Beaumont, ^°*- 2 ? ; Cecil to Parry, Jan. 24 and Feb. 4 ; 
S. P. France, Del Bufalo to Aldebrandino, Nov. — , Roman Transcripts, 
R. 0. 


Standen, and he ordered her chamberlain, Lord Sidney, the 
brother of Sir Philip, and himself a decided Protestant, to be 
assiduous in his attendance on the duties of his office. 1 

Before the impression made upon James by this untoward 
affair had worn away, the Nuncio received from Rome an 
The Pope answer to the proposal made by James, that a person 
excommu- should be invested with the power of excommuni- 
fenTcatho- 11 ' catm g turbulent Catholics. This scheme had been 
I'"- warmly supported by the Nuncio at Paris. But it 

was not one to which the Pope could give his assent. To ex- 
communicate Catholics at the bidding of a heretic prince was 
contrary to all the traditions of the Church, and Del Bufalo 
was therefore informed that James could not be gratified in this 
particular. Nor could anyone be sent to England as a represen- 
tative of the Pope, for fear lest he might be drawn into political 
contests in which France or Spain would be interested on one 
side or the other. 2 

That James should take umbrage at this refusal of the Pope 
to comply with his wishes, was only to be expected. He had, 
, however, other reasons for reconsidering his position 
towards the English Catholics. As might have been 
expe< t( d, SUM e the weight of the penal laws had been 
removed, there had been a great increase in the activity of the 
< latholic missionaries. In less than nine months after Eliza- 
beth's death no less than 140 priests had landed in England, and 
the converts made by them were very numerous, 3 though many 

1 Information given to I'd Bufalo by a person leaving England on 
Jan. — , Roman 7 , A'. O. 

2 So I interpret the Pope' note on Del Bufalo'a despatch of Dec — 
(Roman Tran 0.) : ' Quanto alia facolta di cbiamare sotto pena 

di scomunica i turbolenti, non d pai da darla per adesso, perche trattia 

con Heretici, olo di perdere i licuri, b1 come non ci par 

che il Nuntio debba premere nellacosa di mandai noi personaggio, perche 
dubitiamo che c^ ata gelo ia ti l randa e Spagna non intra limo 

in grandissima difficolta. E meglio aspettare la conclusione della Pace 

secondo noi, perche 1 sapiamo che chi mandassimo fosse per usarla 

prudentia necessaria.' 

3 Dec. — , Roman Transcripts, R. O. 


who stayed away from church now that they could do so with 
impunity, would doubtless have frequented the services if there 
had been no penalties to fear. Some months before James 
had given orders that a list of the recusants in each county 
should be drawn up. ' When the returns came in, the increase 
of the numbers of the Catholics was placed beyond doubt. 2 

It was inevitable that such a position of affairs should sug- 
gest to the Government the propriety of reverting to the old 
measures of repression. Urged by the Privy Coun- 
Thepro- cil, 3 and hesitating in his own mind, James, on 
forTh"° r February 22, issued a proclamation ordering the 
of?he hment banishment of the priests by March 19. The day 
priests. fixed was that of the meeting of Parliament, and it is 
not unlikely that the desire to anticipate awkward questions in 
the House of Commons had something to do with the King's 
resolution. There was at least nothing in the proclamation 
inconsistent with the policy which he had announced before 
leaving Scotland. Toleration to the laity combined with a 
treatment of the clergy which would place a bar in the way 
of extensive conversion was the programme which James had 
then announced, and which he was now attempting to carry 

It was not a tenable position. The flow of the tide of 
religious belief could not be regulated to suit the wishes of any 
Government, and James would find that he must either do more 
or less than he was now doing. We need not speak harshly of 
him for his vacillation. The question of the toleration of the 
Catholics was not one to be solved by a few elegant phrases 

1 This is referred to as if it had been news from England, Nov.—, Roman 
Transcripts, R. O. ; but I suppose it is only the order given on June 30, 
which is printed in Wilkins's Cone. iv. 368. 

1 Only the return from Yorkshire has been preserved, and has been 
printed by Mr. Peacock. A List of the Roman Catholics in the County of 
York in 1604. 

3 James said to the Spanish ambassador : ' Che quelli del Consiglio 
gli havevano fatto tanta forza che no haveva potuto far altro, ma che no si 
sarebbe esseguito con rigore alcuno.' — Del Bufalo to Aldobrandino, 
March — , Roman Transcripts, R. 0. 


about religious liberty. In wishing to grant toleration to those 
from whom he differed, James was in advance of his age, and 
it is no matter of astonishment if he did not see his way more 
clearly. It was no slight merit in a theological controversialist, 
such as James, to be unwilling to use compulsion if it could 
possibly be avoided. 

vol. 1. 





Consciousness of strength is the necessary condition of tolera- 
tion. Whatever tended to weaken the English Church would 
i6c 3 . postpone the day when those who regarded her 
Divisions in w j t h devotion could bear with equanimity the attacks 

the English , ,. . 

Church. directed against her by the Catholics. It was only 
natural that the Catholics themselves, who aimed not at tolera- 
tion but at supremacy, should see the position of affairs in a 
different light. 

Blackwell, the Archpriest, was overjoyed at the news that 
the Puritans and their adversaries were struggling with one 
another for the favour of the new King. " War between the 
heretics," he gleefully wrote, "is the peace of the Church." 1 
That strife in which Blackwell rejoiced, all who were not under 
the influence of Blackwell's Church were anxious to end. 
Unfortunately those who wished the Church of England to be 
strengthened, differed as to the means by which so desirable 
an object was to be attained. There were some who thought 
that the Church would grow strong by the silencing of all who 
wished to deviate from its rules. There were others who 
believed that their relaxation would promote a nobler unity. 
Foremost amongst these latter stood Bacon, the great political 
thinker of the age. " I am partly persuaded," he wrote, 
"that the Papists themselves should not need so much the 
severity of penal laws if the sword of the Spirit were better 
edged, by strengthening the authority and repressing the abuses 

1 Blackwell to Farnese, Nov. — , Roman Transcripts, R. 0. 


of the Church." 1 Bacon found the root of the matter to 
consist in spiritual freedom under the guardianship of law. 
Place must be found in the ministry of the Church for all 
who were willing to fight the good fight, unless they shook 
off all bonds by which men were enabled to work together. 
'The silencing of ministers,' he held, was, in the scarcity of 
good preachers, ' a punishment that lighted upon the people as 
well as upon the party.' " It is good," he wrote, "we return 
unto the ancient bonds of unity in the Church of God, 
which was, one faith, one baptism ; and not, one hierarchy, 
one discipline ; and that we observe the league of Chris- 
tians, as it is penned by our Saviour Christ, which is in sub- 
stance of doctrine this: 'He that is not with us is against 
us ;' but in things indifferent and but of circumstance this : 
' He that is not against us is with us.'" 

If these words do not solve the difficulties of Church dis- 
cipline for a time when there are differences of opinion on 
questions of faith as well as on questions of ceremonial, they 
were admirably suited to the circumstances of the moment. 
It was a time when it behoved every Protestant Church to close 
its ranks, not by the elimination of those who differed from 
some arbitrary standard of conformity, but by welcoming all 
who based their faith on the belief that truth was t<> be gained 
l>y search and inquiry. 

In dedicating this treatise to James, Bacon laid his views 

lief -re a man who was by no means incapable of appro iating 

1 them. James's mind was large and tolerant, and he 

avi ■ 1 to the language ol sectarian fanaticism. 

In his behaviour during the early months of his reign 

then- w< re< na he had pond< red Bacon's advi< 1 . 

Jam< had oon !«•< ome aware thai in the relation 1 1 

Puritan, the Hum h there was a problem to be solved as 

NVviii ,cnt difficult as ,1,;,t of ll,u toleration of the ( "atholi- 

in- soon as Elizabeth's death was known, Archbishop 

Whitgift despatched NeviU, the Dean of Canterbury, 

to Edinburgh, m order to make himself acquainted with the 

1 ' ' rtain Considerations touching the better Pact/Nation and Edifi . 

of the Chinch of England^ Bacon's Letters mul /.if, \.\. 103. 

1. 2 


sentiments of the new King. The messenger was soon able to 
leport, joyfully, that James had at least no intention of establish- 
ing Presbyterianism in England. 

On his progress towards London, James was called 
m ,,., upon to listen to an address of a very different na- 

The Mil- ... 

lenaiy ture. A petition, 1 strongly supported by the Puritan 

clergy, was presented to him, in which their wishes 
were set forth. 

The petition was very different from those which had been 
drawn up early in Elizabeth's reign, in which the abolition of 
Proposed Episcopacy and the compulsory introduction of Pres- 
the P^aye" byterianism had been demanded. It contented itself 
Book. w i t h asking for certain definite alterations in the 

existing system. In the Baptismal Service interrogations were 
no longer to be addressed to infants ; nor was the sign of the 
cross to be used. The rite of Confirmation was to be discon • 
tinued. It had been the practice for nurses and other women 
to administer baptism to newly-born infants in danger of death. 
This custom was to be forbidden. The cap and surplice were 
not to be 'urged.' Persons presenting themselves for Com- 
munion were to undergo a previous examination, and the 
Communion was always to be preceded by a sermon. ' The 
divers terms of priests and absolution, and some other used,' 
were to be 'corrected.' The ring was no longer to enter into 
the marriage service, although it might be retained in private 
use, as a token given by the husband to his wife. 2 The length 

Commonly called the Millenary Petition, because it purported to 
proceed from 'more than a thousand ministers.' It was said by Fuller 
(Ch. Hist. v. 265), and it has often been repeated, that only seven hun- 
dred and fifty preachers' hands were set thereto. The fact seems to have 
been that there were no signatures at all to it. The petitioners, in a 
Defence of their Petition, presented later in the year (Add. MSS. 8978) 
distinctly say, ' Neither before were any hands required to it, but only 
consent.' They probably received only seven hundred and fifty letters of 
assent, and left the original words standing, either accidentally or as be- 
lieving that the sentiments of at least two hundred and fifty out of those 
who had not come forward were represented in the petition. 

2 This explanation is adopted from the Defence before mentioned 
(fol. 36 b.) 


of the services was to be abridged, and church music was to be 
plainer and simpler than it had hitherto been. The Lord's 
day was not to be profaned, and, on the other hand, the people 
were not to be compelled to abstain from labour on holydays. 
Uniformity of doctrine was to be prescribed, in order that all 
popish opinions might be condemned. Ministers were not to 
teach the people to bow at the name of Jesus ; and, finally, the 
Apocrypha was to be excluded from the calendar of the lessons 
to be read in church. 

These demands could not, of course, be granted as they 
stood. If the clergy alone were to be consulted, a large number 
would be found among them who would view these matters 
with very different eyes. The great mass of the laity, especially 
in country parishes, would be equally averse to the change. 1 
Any attempt to enforce the alterations demanded would have 
stirred up opposition from one end of the country to the other. 
The difficulties were enormous, even if the bishops had been 
inclined to look them fairly in the face. Still, something might 
have been done if they had been animated by a conciliatory 
spirit. By a little fair dealing, the peace of the Church would 
have be<n preserved far better than by any rigid enactments. 
That a very different spirit prevailed can cause us no astonish- 
ment To the Elizabethan party some of the proposed changes 
seemed to be absolutely injurious, whilst others were only 
try in order to meet scruples whi< h appeared to them to 
I remaindi t of the petition was occupied by requests, 
iter part ol which 1 d the serious consideration oi 

all parties. The petitioners hoped thai none should hereafter 
be admitted to the ministry who were unable to preach; that 
such of these who were already admitted should be compelled 

1 In An Abridgement of that Book which the Ministers of Lincoln 
to Hi ■'■ 1605, p. 19, it is urged, in favour <>f 

abolishing the ceri , 'lint 'many of the people in all parts of the 

land arc known to be ol this mind, that the ai rami 10I rightly and 

sufficiently ministered without them.' The conclu ion drawn was thai 
suc h cen hi nol to be allowed to exist, because theii use was 

detrimental to those who placed an idolatrous value upon them. 


to maintain preachers ; and that a check should be put on the 
abuse of non-residence. It was asked that ministers 

Proposed , ..... , 

reforms in should not be required to testify by their subscription 
ofthe Cip " " to the whole of the substance of the Prayer Book, 
but that it should be sufficient if they subscribed 
to the Articles and to the King's Supremacy. With respect 
to the maintenance of the clergy, the petitioners suggested 
that the impropriations annexed to bishoprics and colleges 
should hereafter be let only to those incumbents of livings who 
were able to preach, and who were at no future time to be 
called upon to pay any higher rent than that which was 
demanded at the time when the lease was first granted. 
Impropriations held by laymen might be charged with a 
sixth or seventh part of their worth for the maintenance of a 
preaching ministry. They also asked for reforms in the ec- 
clesiastical courts, especially that excommunication should 
not be pronounced by lay Chancellors and officials, and that 
persons might not be ' excommunicated for trifles and twelve- 
penny matters.' l 

The spirit in which this petition was met was not such as 
to give any hope of an easy solution of the difficulty. The 

Universities were the first to sound the alarm. Cam- 
Answer by . 

the jjni- bridge passed a grace forbidding all persons within 
the University from publicly finding fault with the 
doctrine or discipline of the Church of England, either by word 
or writing, upon pain of being suspended from their degrees. 
Oxford came forward with a violent answer to the petition. 2 If 
the Universities could have won their cause by scolding, the 
Puritans would have been crushed for ever. They were accused 
by the Oxford doctors of factious conduct in daring to disturb 
the King with their complaints. They were told that they were 
men of the same kind as those who had so often stirred up 
treason and sedition in Scotland, and that as for their eagerness 
to preach, it would have been a happy thing if the Church of 

1 Collier, vii. 267. 

■ The Answer of the Vice-Chancellor, the Doctors, with the Proctors 
and other Heads of Houses in the University of Oxford, &c. 1603. The 
Cambridge Grace is quoted in the epistle dedicatory. 


England had never heard anything of their factious sermons or 
of their scurrilous pamphlets. 

Their demands were treated with that cool insolence which 
scarcely deigns to argue with an opponent, and which never 
attempts to understand his case. It was taken for granted that 
no concessions could be made by the King unless he were 
prepared for the establishment of Presbyterianism, and it was 
argued that the hearts of the people would be stolen away from 
their Sovereign by preachers who would be sure to teach them 
that the King's 'meek and humble clergy have power to bind 
their King in chains, and their Prince in links of iron, that is 
(in their learning) to censure him, to enjoin him penance, to 
excommunicate him ; yea (in case they see cause) to proceed 
against him as a tyrant.' 

In the beginning of July, James astonished the Universities 

by recommending them to adopt one of the proposals of the 

petitioners. He informed them that he intended to 

James pro- ' 

poses that devote to the maintenance of preaching ministers 

the Univer- ... , , . . , 

hail such impropnate tithes as he was able to set aside 
ling for the purpose, and that he hoped that they would 
follow his example. 1 Whitgift immediately took 
alarm and drew up a statement for the King of the incon- 
veniences which were likely to result. 2 Nothing more was 
heard of the matter. The Universities were left in peace, and 
the King never found himself in a condition to lay aside money 
for any purpose whatever. 

Another Step had already been taken, which shows that 

James had felt the weight of the latter part of the petition. On 

v 12 a circular was sent round by Whitgift to the Bishops, 

demanding an account of the number of preachers in theii 

tive dio< ese& This was followed on June 30 by another 
letter, requiring still more particular information.' 'liny were 
to report on the numb' r oi < ommunii ants and of re< usants in 
every parish, and were also to give a number of particulars 

1 King to Chancellor! <>f the Universities, Wilkins's Cone. iv. 369. 
King to Heads of Houses, S. /'.> 

■> Whitgift to King, .V. /'. Dam. ii. 39. 
3 Wilkins's Cone iv. 368. 


respecting the clergy sufficiently minute to serve as a basis for 
any course which might remedy the alleged evils. 

There was much in all this to raise the hopes of the Puritan 

ministers. James appeared ready to remove abuses in spite of 

Sept. the opposition of those who thought them to be no 

Touching abuses at all. In the course of September a scene 

for the . L 

Kings evil, took place which showed him to be desirous of look- 
ing with his own eyes into matters on which the minds of 
ordinary Englishmen had long been made up. When he first 
arrived in England James had objected to touch for the king's 
evil. He had strong doubts as to the existence of the power 
to cure scrofulous disease, which was supposed to be derived 
from the Confessor. The Scotch ministers whom he had 
brought with him to England urged him to abandon the practice 
as superstitious. To his English counsellors it was a debasing 
of royalty to abandon the practice of his predecessors. With 
no very good will he consented to do as Elizabeth had done, 
but he first made a public declaration of his fear lest he should 
incur the blame of superstition. Yet as it was an ancient usage, 
and for the benefit of his subjects, he would try what would be 
the result, but only by way of prayer, in which he requested all 
present to join. 1 In after years he showed less hesitancy, and 
Shakspere could flatter him by telling not only how Edward 
had cured the sick by his touch, but how he had left ' the 
healing benediction ' to ' the succeeding royalty.' 2 

During the course of the summer, the Puritans attempted 
to support their views by obtaining signatures to petitions circu- 
lated among the laity. 3 A proclamation was issued in conse- 
quence, commanding all persons to abstain from taking part in 
such demonstrations, and giving assurance that the King would 
not allow the existing ecclesiastical constitution to be tampered 
with, though at the same time he was ready to correct abuses. 

1 Letter from England, ' ( ep - ' * ' 1603. Information given by a person 

leaving England on Jan — , 1604, Roman Tra7iscripts t R. 0. 

2 Macbeth, iv. 3. 

3 Whitgift and Bancroft to Cecil, Sept. 24, 1603, S. P. Dom. iii. 83, 
and Fuller, v. 311. 


In order to obtain further information on the points in dispute, 
lie had determined that a conference should be held in his 
presence between certain learned men of both parties. No 
one, he said, could be more ready than he was to introduce 
amendments wherever the existence of real evils could be 
proved. l 

After several postponements, the antagonists met at Hamp- 
ton Court on January 14. On the one side were summoned 
the Archbishop of Canterbury, eight Bishops, seven 
Jan. i 4 . Deans, and two other clergymen. The other party 
fcrence"" Wcre represented by Reynolds, Chaderton, Sparks, 
and Knewstubs. These four men had been selected 
by the King, and he could not have made a better choice, or 
one which would have given more satisfaction to the moder- 
ate Puritans. To the proceedings of the first day 

1 he first . , - 

they were not admitted. 1 he king wished first to 

argue with the Bishops, in order to induce them to 
The Puri- b . . . l ' ... . . 

•:x- accept a variety of changes, which were in the main 

such as Bacon would have approved. 
On the second day the case of the complainants was heard. 
Reynolds commenced by urging the propriety of altering some 

points in the Ani< les, and proposed to introduce 
On. into them that unlucky formulary which is known 

?he c n o d rn day ''>' tl,c name of the Lambeth Articles, by which 

Whit-lit had hoped to bind the Church of England 

to the narrowest and most repulsive form of Calvin 

istic doctrine, and thus to undo the work of Elizabeth, who 

had wisely stifled it in its birth. Reynolds then proceeded to 

demand that the grounds upon which the rite ol Confirmation 

ed ihould be reviewed. This was more than Bancroft 

could bear. He was at this time Bishop ol London, and was 

generally r< the man who was to succeed Whitgifi 

the champion ol the existing system. He even wenl beyond 
the An hi. 1 hop, I publicly declared his belief thai the 

1 iscopal constitution of the Church was of Divine institutioa 
In defending the > entrusted to him, he overstepped all 

the bounds of decency. Interrupting the speaker, he knelt 
1 Wilkins's Cone. iv. 371. 


down before the King and requested ' that the ancient canon 
might be remembered,' which directed that schismatics were not 
to be listened to when they were speaking against their Bishops. 
Bancroft's ^ there were any there who had ever subscribed 
interruption, t0 t ^ Q Communion Book, he hoped that a hearing 
would now be refused to them, as an ancient Council had once 
determined ' that no man should be admitted to speak against 
that whereunto he had formerly subscribed.' He then pro- 
ceeded to hint that, in being allowed to speak at all, Reynolds 
and his companions had been permitted to break the statute 
by which penalties were imposed on all persons depraving the 
Book of Common Prayer. He concluded by quoting a pas- 
sage from Cartwright's works, to the effect that men ought 
rather to conform themselves ' in orders and ceremonies to the 
fashion of the Turks, than to the Papists, which position he 
doubted they approved, because, contrary to the orders of the 
Universities, they appeared before his Majesty in Turkey gowns, 
not in their scholastic habits sorting to their degree.' 

The insolent vulgarity of this specimen of episcopal wit was 
too much for James. Although he fully agreed with Bancroft 
reproitd ' n n ' s dislike of Reynolds's arguments, he could not 
by James. ^ut f mc j f au ] t w j tn ^im f or hj s unseasonable interrup- 
tion. The two parties then proceeded to discuss the disputed 
points as far as they related to questions of doctrine. On the 
whole, James showed to great advantage in this part of the 
conference. He had paid considerable attention to matters of 
this kind, and the shrewd common sense which he generally 
had at command, when he had no personal question to deal 
with, raised him above the contending parties. On the one 
hand, he refused to bind the Church, at Reynolds's request, to 
the Lambeth Articles ; on the other, in spite of Bancroft's ob- 
jections, he accepted Reynolds's proposal for an improved 
translation of the Bible. 

The question of providing a learned ministry was then 
brought forward, and promises were given that attention should 
be paid to the subject. The Bishop of Winchester complained 
of the bad appointments made by lay patrons. Bancroft, who 
treated the whole subject as a mere party question, took the 


opportunity of inveighing against the preachers of the Puritan 
school, who were, as he said, accustomed to show their dis- 
respect of the Liturgy by walking up and down ' in the church- 
yard till sermon time, rather than be present at public prayer.' 
The King answered, that a preaching ministry was undoubtedly 
to be preferred ; but that ' where it might not be had, godly 
prayers and exhortations did much good.' "That that may be 
done," he ended by saying, " let it, and let the rest that cannot, 
be tolerated." 

The remaining points of the petition were then brought 
under discussion. Unless the Puritans have been much mis- 
The King's represented, 1 their inferiority in breadth of view is 
£'t"wein the conspicuous. If James had been merely presiding 

parties. ovcr a scholastic disputation, his success would have 
been complete. Put, unfortunately, there were arguments 
which he could not hear from any who were before him. He 
was not called upon to decide whether it was proper that the 
ring should be used in marriage, and the cross in baptism. 
What he was called upon to decide was whether, without taking 
into consideration the value of the opinions held by either 
party, those opinions were of sufficient importance to make it 
necessary to close the mouths of earnest and pious preachers. 
Except by Bacon, this question was never fairly put before 
him. The Puritans wished that their views should be carried 
out in all parts Of England, 9 and when they were driven from 
this ground they could only ask that respect should be paid to 
the const 11 t the weak, a plea which did not come with 

1 With the exception "f a lettei of Matthews printed in Strype's 
Whit, ft, App. xlv. , ami of Galloway's in CaIderwood,vi. 241, and another 
of Montague's t" his mother, Win;.', ii. 1 ;, out only authority is Barlow's 
Sum of the 1 H ed with mi repn entation, ami 
he evidently did injustici i" the Puritan arguments which were distasteful 
to him, and which he did not understand. But if In- had introduced any 
actual n entation, we should certainly have had a mor< 
account from the other ide. After all, if the arguments of the run 
have been weakened, it I ble to find elsewh "ger 
proofs of I'.ancroft's deficiencies in t* mper and 1 haracter. 

2 The clause in the petition which relates to the cap and surplice is the 
only one which seems to ask for permission to deviate from an established 
order, instead of demanding a change of the order. 


a good grace from men who had been anxious to bind the 
whole body of the English clergy in the fetters of the Lambeth 
Articles. 1 

The debate which had gone on with tolerable fairness since 
Bancroft's interruption, received another tifrn, from a proposal 
made by Reynolds, that the Prophesyings should be restored. 
The restoration of these meetings had been deliberately recom- 
mended by Bacon, as the best means for training men for the 
delivery of sermons. It is doubtful whether James could have 
been brought to allow them under any circumstances, but 
Reynolds did not give his proposal a fair chance. He coupled 
it with a suggestion, that all disputed points which might arise 
during the Prophesyings should be referred to the Bishop with 
his Presbyters. At the word Presbyters James fired up. He 
told the Puritans that they were aiming ' at a Scottish 

His anger ■; " . 

at the men- Presbytery, which,' he said, ' agreeth as well with a 
word°'Pres- monarchy as God and the devil.' "Then Jack and 
Tom, and Will and Dick, shall meet, and at their plea- 
sure censure me and my Council and all our proceedings. Then 
Will shall stand up, and say, ' It must be thus ; ' then Dick shall 
reply, and say, ' Nay, marry, but we will have it thus.' And, 
therefore, here I must reiterate my former speech, le Roi s'avi 
sera. Stay, I pray you, for one seven years, before you demand 
that from me, and if then you find me pursy and fat, and my 
windpipes stuffed, I will perhaps hearken to you ; for let that 
government be once up, I am sure I shall be kept in breath ; 
then shall we all of us have work enough, both our hands full. 
But, Doctor Reynolds, until you find that I grow lazy, let that 

From his own point of view James was right. Liberty 
brings with it many advantages, but it certainly does not tend 
to enable men in office to lead an easy life. Yet natural as it 

1 The King's reply is crushing, merely regarded as an argumeiitum 
ad hominem. He asked, 'how long they would be weak? Whether 
forty-five years were not sufficient for them to grow strong ? Who they 
were that pretended this weakness, for we require not now subscription 
from laics and idiots, but preachers and ministers, who are not now I trow 
to be fed with milk, but are enabled to feed others.' 


must have seemed to him to give such an answer as this, in two 
minutes he had sealed his own fate and the fate of England for 
ever. The trial had come, and he had broken down. He had 
shut the door, not merely against the Puritan cry for the accept- 
ance of their own system, but against the large tolerance of Bacon. 
The essential littleness of the man was at once revealed. More 
and more the maxim, " No Bishop, no King," became the rule 
of his conduct. The doctrines and practices of the Bishops 
became connected in his mind with the preservation of his own 
power. He was gratified by their submissiveness, and he looked 
upon the views of the opposite party as necessarily associated 
with rebellion. 

At the moment, the self-satisfaction of the controversialist 
predominated even over the feelings of the monarch. " If this 
be all they have to say," he observed as he left the room, " I 
shall make them conform themselves, or I will harry them out 
of the land, or else do worse." 

The impression produced upon the bystanders was very 
different from that which later generations have received. One 
who was present said, that 'His Majesty spoke by inspiration 
of the Spirit of God.' ' Cecil thanked God for having given 
the King an understanding heart. Ellesmerc declared that he 
nrv.-r before understood the meaning of the legal maxim that 
est mixta persona cum saccrdote. It is usual to ascribe 

■ ■ ;md similar expressions to the courtier-like facility of 
giving utterance to flattery. In so doing, we forget that these 
were fully persuaded thai lame, was doing right in resist- 
ing the demands of the Puritans, and thai men are very ready 
to forget the intemperate form in which an opinion may be 

clothed, when the substance is a< < ording to their mind. 

Two day. later, the Kin^ again met the Bishops, and 

agreed with them upon certain alterations which were to be 
Third da/i made in the Prayer Book, It was also determined 
conference. t } iat Commissions should be appointed for inquir- 
ing into the best mode of obtaining a preaching clergy. The 

' Barlow ascribes this speech t< > one of the lord , Sir J. Ilnrin 
who was also present, assigns it to a Bishop. At the next meeting Whit- 
gift repeated it. 


Puritans were then called in, and were informed that, with a 
few exceptions, 1 the practices which they had objected to would 
The decision De maintained, and that subscription would be en- 
announced. f orcec i to t h e whole of the Prayer Book, as well as to 
the Articles and to the King's Supremacy. Chaderton begged 
that an exception might be made in favour of the Lancashire 
clergy, who had been diligent in converting recusants. The 
King replied that as he had no intention of hurrying anyone, 
time would be given to all to consider their position ; letters 
should be written to the Bishop of Chester, ordering him to 
grant a sufficient time to these men. A similar request, how- 
ever, which was made on behalf of the Suffolk clergy was re- 

The conference was at an end. Browbeaten by the 
Bishops, and rebuked in no measured or decorous language 2 
by James, the defenders of an apparently hopeless cause went 
back to their labours, to struggle on as best they might. Yet 
to them the cause they defended was not hopeless, for no 
doubt ever crossed their minds that it was the cause of God, 
and it would have seemed blasphemy to them to doubt that 
that cause would ultimately prevail. Nor were they deprived 
of human consolation : many hearts would sympathise with 
them in their wrongs ; many a man who cared nothing for 
minute points of doctrine and ritual, and who was quite 
satisfied with the service as he had been accustomed to join in 
it at his parish church, would feel his heart swell with indig- 
nation when he heard that men whose fame for learning and 
piety was unsurpassed by that of any Bishop on the bench, 
had been treated with cool contempt by men who 

Jan. 18. , ,..,., . 

were prepared to use their wit to defend every abuse, 
and to hinder all reform. 

James went his way, thinking little of what he had done, 

1 The proclamation giving public notice of this determination was 
issued on March 5, Rymer, xvi. 574 ; for the alterations themselves see 


2 There can be no doubt that many of the excrescences have been cut 
off in Barlow's narrative from the King's speeches. The coarse language 
used by James is noticed in Nitga. Ant. i. 181. 


and scarcely remembering what had passed, except to chuckle 
over the adversaries whom he had so easily discomfited by his 
logical prowess. x The Bishops too imagined that their victory 
was secured for ever, and rejoiced in the overthrow of their 
opponents. But there was at least one among them 

Whitgift , , • 

feels who felt that their success was more m appearance 

okimate ° than in reality. The aged Whitgift, whose life had 
^ been passed in the heat of the conflict, discovered 
the quarter from which danger was to be apprehended. He 
hoped, he used to say, that he might not live to see the meet- 
ing of Parliament. He was at least spared that misfortune. 
A few weeks after the conference, his earthly career was at an 
end. While he was lying in his last illness, the King came to 
visit him. He found the old man lying almost insensible, but 
Feb. 29. able to mutter a few words. All that could be heard 
Hislaat was < p r0 ecclesiix Dei: pro ecdcsiii Dei.' Narrow- 

w.,rr!s and ' ' 

death. minded and ungentle by nature and education, he 

had provoked many enemies ; but he at least believed that he 

was working for the Church of God. 

Parliament, the very name of which had caused such 

anxiety to Whitgift, was a very different body from those re- 

,, . presentative assemblies which still existed upon the 

Han hi'j. 1 . ' 

The 1 [li h Continent the mere shadows of their former selves. 
Many causes concurred in producing this difference. 
But the main < ause lay in the success with which England 
If had grown up into a harmonious civilisation, so that its 
Parliam< nl was the true representative of a united nation, and 
not a mere arena in which contending factions might display 
their strength. 

1 The King t < j Northampton, Ellis, 3rd ser. iv. 161. Here and elsc- 
wh< re d t" be written to an otherwise unl nown Mr. Blake. 

It U printed as beginning 'My faithful Blake, I dare nol say, faced 3, 1 
which is mere nonsense, [n the original MS. the word i 'blake,' not 
commencing with a < ipital letter, 3 k alwaj thi cyphei i"i Northam] 
in Jame pondence. What I no doubt ' My faithful 

black, I dare n"t say (Mack) faced Northampton. 1 Northampton had, I 
suppose, objected to being called blackfaced. 'Blake' is equivalent \>> 
'Hack.' In Spotti woode, for instance, the name of the St. Andrcwcs' 
preacher, David Black, is printed Wake. 


Where this process of amalgamation has not been com- 
pleted, parliamentary government, in the true sense of the 
word, is an impossibility. When Louis XIV. astonished the 
world by declaring that he was himself the State, he was un- 
awares giving utterance to the principle from which he derived 
his power. In the France of his day, it was the monarch alone 
who represented the State as a whole, and, as a natural con- 
sequence, he was able to trample at his pleasure upon the 
bodies in which nothing higher was to be seen than the repre- 
sentatives of a party or a faction. If a representative assembly 
is to succeed in establishing its supremacy over a whole country 
equal to that which is often found in the hands of an absolute 
monarch, it must first be able to claim a right to stand up on 
behalf of the entire nation. The position which was occupied 
by the House of Commons at the close of the reign of 
Elizabeth, was due to the complete harmony in which it stood 
with the feelings and even with the prejudices of all classes of 
the people. 

The right of representing the people was practically con- 
fined to the higher classes, who alone could afford the ex- 
pense of a residence in Westminster. But in scarcely a single 
instance did they owe their election, at least ostensibly, to 
their equals in rank. To secure a seat, it was necessary to 
obtain the favour of those whose interests were more or less 
different from their own. County members were dependent 
upon their poorer neighbours, who formed the mass of the 
forty-shilling freeholders. The borough members, with all the 
habits and feelings of gentlemen, were equally dependent upon 
the shopkeepers of the towns for which they sat. Originally, 
the right of voting in the boroughs had been vested in the 
resident householders ; but this uniformity had given way 
before the gradual changes which had passed over the several 
boroughs. In some places, the franchise had been consider- 
ably extended ; in others, it had been no less considerably 
narrowed. One member was chosen by almost universal 
suffrage ; another, by a close corporation consisting of the 
most respectable and intelligent inhabitants. In the smaller 
boroughs, indeed, the selection of a representative was practi- 


cally in the hands of the most influential amongst the neigh- 
bouring proprietors ; but even the form of an election pre- 
vented him from nominating persons who would be altogether 
distasteful to those whose votes he wished to secure. The 
effect of this was that, except in the case of agricultural 
labourers, who were, perhaps necessarily, altogether excluded 
from the suffrage, all class legislation was impossible. 

Another change, which had been silently introduced, was 
of still greater importance. The old rule had been relaxed, 
which forbade any member to sit for a place in which he was 
not a resident. If this rule had continued in force, the House 
would still have represented the popular will, but it would have 
been sadly deficient in intelligence and ability. Some evil, no 
doubt, resulted, and persons obtained seats who only owed 
them to the good-will of a neighbouring proprietor ; but this 
was as nothing in comparison with the advantage which arose 
from the introduction into the House of a large body of men 
of ability, recruited especially from amongst the lawyers, who 
became known to the electors by the talent which they dis- 
played at the bar. The services which this class of men 
rendered to the cause of freedom were incalculable. The 
learning of the ablest lawyers in the sixteenth century may 
have been small in comparison with the stores of knowledge 
which may be acquired in our own day ; but, relatively to the 
.el of education, it stood far higher. A few years 
of Parliamentary statesmen would begin to arise 
from amongst the country gentlemen ; but, as yet, almost all 
pretensions to tnanship were confined to the council 

table and its supporters. For the present, the burden oi the 
conflict iu the Commons lav upon the lawyers, who at once 

gave to the stnr. linst the Crown that Stron] I 

charai tet which it never afterwards l".t. 

It was to • hi. in as the representative of a united 

nation that, above all other i ■■■ i . the Hous< "I Commons 

'1 its growing desire to take a prominenl part in 

nai love the guidance oi tlie nation. In struggling against 

the Catholics, indeed, the Government "t Elizabeth 

had been armed by Parliament and by public opinion with 

VOL i. M 


extraordinary powers ; but those powers had been required to 
resist the foreign enemy far more than the English Catholics 
themselves, who had suffered most from their exercise. Ac- 
cordingly, a much smaller amount of repression had been 
needed than would have been required if the nation had been 
divided against itself. Yet even this repression had left results 
behind it which were likely to give much trouble. Institutions 
have a tendency to survive the purposes to which they owe 
their existence, and it was only natural that James should claim 
all the powers which had once been entrusted to Elizabeth. 
On the other hand, it was unlikely that he would be allowed 
to retain them without a struggle. There was no imminent 
danger, which made men fear to weaken the Government even 
when they disapproved of its action. 

Between the Crown and the House of Commons the House 
of Lords could only play a subordinate part. It had no longer 
The House sufficient power to act independently of both. For 
of Lords. trie present it was, by sympathy and interest, attached 
to the Government, and it acted for some time more in the 
spirit of an enlarged Privy Council than as a separate branch 
of the legislature. It is in its comparative weakness that its 
real strength consists. If it had been able to oppose a barrier 
to the Crown, or to the Commons, it would have been swept 
away long ago. It has retained its position through so many 
revolutions because it has, from time to time, yielded to the 
expressed determination of the representatives of the people ; 
whilst it has done good service more by the necessity which 
it imposes upon the House of Commons of framing their 
measures so as to consult the feelings of others besides them- 
selves, than by the labours in which it has been itself em- 

On January u, 1604, a proclamation was issued calling 
upon the constituencies to send up members to a Parliament. 
Prociama- ^ n this proclamation, James gave his subjects much 

good advice, which would now be considered super- 
summoning D ' * 

Parliament, fluous. He recommended them to choose men fitted 
for the business of legislation, rather than such as looked to a 
scat merely as a means of advancing their private interests. In 


respect to religion, the members should be neither ' noted 
for superstitious blindness one way,' nor 'for their turbulent 
humours ' on the other. No bankrupts or outlaws were to be 
chosen ; and all elections were to be freely and openly made. 
Thus far no great harm was done. But the remainder of the 
proclamation, which owed its origin to the advice of the 
Chancellor, was sure to rouse the most violent opposition. 
The King ordered that all returns should be made into 
Chancer)-, where, if any 'should be found to be made contrary 
to the proclamation,' they were ' to be rejected as unlawful and 
insufficient.' ' 

On March 19 the Parliament met. Men felt that a crisis 

was at hand. Never had so many members attended in their 

Parliament places. 2 They came not without hopes that they 

would not return home until they had been allowed 

■veep away at least some of the grievances of which they 

Since the last Parliament had met, one change had taken 
place which distinctly marked the altered relations which were 
to subsist between the Crown and the House of Common 
Elizabeth had always taken care that at least one of her 
principal statesmen should occupy a place amongst the repre 
sentatives of the people. During the latter yeai \ of her reign 
this duty had devolved upon Cecil. The Secretary was now 
removed to the House oi Lords, and he left none but 

nd rate officials behind him. With the exception oi Sir 
John Herbert, the second, or, as we should say, the Undei 

retary, a man of very ordinary abilities, not a single Privy 
I incillor had a seat in the House. Sir Julius Caesar, Sir 
Thomas Fleming, Sii Henr Montague, and a few others who 

I minor ol'fi< es u 11 < ! < 1 ( ri tV( mmi tit, or hoped 5 

day to be promoted to them, wire all respectable men, but 

1 Pari. Hi (. i. 967. 1 < the pro* Ian 

in the Egerton Papers, 384 : one is in l hand ; the 

on it, ii. i 'l he latter n!<mc < ■ (bi the 

reference of disputed elections t" ( hancery, showing that this assum] 

inated with him. 

- I. [uencej additi '. J. i. 141. 

M 2 


there was not one of them, who was capable of influencing the 
House of Commons. 

There was, however, one man in the House who might have 
filled Cecil's vacant place. At the commencement of this session, 
Sir Francis Sir Francis Bacon stood high in the estimation of his 
Bacon. contemporaries. Two boroughs had elected him as 

their representative. His fellow-members showed their appre- 
ciation of his abilities by entrusting him with the greatest share in 
their most weighty business. Scarcely a committee was named 
on any matter of importance on which his name did not occur, 
and he generally appeared as the reporter, or, as we should say, 
the chairman, of the committee. If a conference was to 
be held with the House of Lords, he was almost invariably put 
forward to take a leading part in the argument. Nor is this 
to be wondered at ; not only were his transcendent abilities 
universally recognised, but at this time all his opinions were in 
unison with those of the House itself. Toleration in the Church 
and reform in the State were the noble objects which he set 
before him. If James had been capable of appreciating Bacon's 
genius, the name of the prophet of natural science might have 
come down to us as great in politics as it is in philosophy. 
The defects in his character would hardly have been known, or, 
if they had been known, they would have been lost in the great- 
ness of his achievements. For the moment, as far as his parlia- 
mentary career was concerned, he was borne onwards on the full 
tide of success. His errors and his fall were yet to come. It 
is true that his conduct at the trial of Essex had shown that he 
was not possessed of those finer feelings which might have 
saved him from many of his greatest mistakes ; but, excepting 
to the friends of Essex himself, that conduct does not seem to 
have given offence. Excess of submission to Elizabeth was a 
fault to which Englishmen were disposed to be lenient, and the 
limits within which public duty ought to overrule private friend- 
ship were drawn at a very different line from that which they at 
present occupy. Yet with all this, he was a dissatisfied man. 
He had now reached the mature age of forty-four, and he had 
long been anxious to be in a position from which he might 
carry out the great policy which he knew to be necessary for 


the well-being of the nation. The new King had looked coldly 
upon him. It is sometimes said that his share in the condem- 
nation of Essex had told against him. But that James con- 
tinued to feel respect for the memory of Essex is, to say the 
least of it, very problematical. However this may have been, 
there were other obstacles in his path. Bacon always believed 
that Cecil was envious of his talents. It is not improbable 
that the practical statesman regarded his cousin as a visionary ; 
and Cecil had the car of the King. Bacon retained, indeed, 
the title of King's Counsel, and he drew the salary, such as it 
was ; but he was not admitted to any participation in the affairs 
of government. 

Next to Bacon, no man enjoyed the confidence of the 
House more than Sir Edwin Sandys. Without any pretensions 
sir Edwin to Bacon's genius, he possessed a large fund of 
Sandys. common sense. The friend and pupil of Hooker, he 
was no Puritan ; but, like so many others amongst his contem- 
poraries, he had learned to raise his voice for the toleration of 
those with whom he did not wholly agree. 

Of the other members, there are few who deserve especial 
mention. Nicholas Fuller was there, full of Puritan zeal — a 
_ _ r hasty and, in some respects, an unwise man. 1 lake- 

will, will tor), who in a former Parliament, when the list of 

ri.e' monopolies was read, had (ailed out to know if bread 

were among them ; Thomas Wentworth, whose father 

had suffered for his resistance to arbitrary power in the late 

reign ; the two Hydes, and a few others, made up a little knot 

ot men who would not allow their voices to rest as long as the 

of the nation were unredressed. 

Through some mistake, tin- Con ins were not present 

when the King came down to the House ol Lords to open the 

,on. lam. ,, d( nous that they should hear Ins 
The King's views to an his own hps, repeated to them the spi 1 1 n 

speech. w j i|( ^ | R . | U( | .,] rL .., ( |y ,\,.\ lv , ,, ,] m t he L'p|" 11 I tOUSC 

He told them that he was unable to thank them suiiK iently for 
the ready welcome which he had met with on his journey into 
England. He had brought with him two gifts, which he trusted 
that they would accept in pla< e of many words : one was | eace 


with foreign nations — the other was union with Scotland. To 
the Puritans he declared himself decidedly opposed, not because 
they differed from him in their opinions, but because of ' their 
confused form of policy and parity ; being ever discontented 
with the present Government, and impatient to suffer any 
superiority, which maketh their sect unable to be suffered in 
any well-governed commonwealth.' As to the Papists, he had 
no desire to persecute them, especially those of the laity who 
would be quiet. Since his arrival, he had been anxious to 
lighten the burdens of those amongst them who would live 
peaceably, and he had been looking over the laws against them 
in hopes that ' some overture ' might be ' proposed to the pre- 
sent Parliament for clearing those laws by reason ... in case 
they have been in time past further or more rigorously extended 
by the judges than the meaning of the law was, or might lead to 
the hurt as well of the innocent as of the guilty persons.' With 
respect to the clergy, as long as they maintained the doctrine 
that the Pope possessed ' an imperial civil power over all Kings 
and Emperors,' and as long as they held that excommunicated 
sovereigns might be lawfully assassinated, they should not be 
suffered to remain in the kingdom. Although the laity would 
be free from persecution they would not be allowed to win over 
converts to their religion, lest their numbers should increase so 
as to be dangerous to the liberties of the nation and the inde- 
pendence of the Crown. As to the laws which were to be made 
in Parliament, he said, " I will thus far faithfully promise unto 
you that I will ever prefer the weal of the body of the whole 
Commonwealth, in making of good laws and constitutions, to 
any particular or private ends of mine, thinking ever the wealth 
and weal of the Commonwealth to be my greatest weal and 
worldly felicity — a point wherein a lawful King doth directly 
differ from a tyrant ... I do acknowledge . . . that whereas 
the proud and ambitious tyrant doth think his kingdom and 
people are only ordained for the satisfaction of his desires and 
unreasonable appetites, the righteous and just King doth by 
contrary acknowledge himself to be ordained for the procuring 
of the wealth and prosperity of his people." It remained to be 
seen how far James's wisdom could embrace all the wants of his 


people, and how far his temper could stand under the annoy- 
ances to which he would be subjected as soon as they ventured 
to oppose him. 

Some time was to elapse before the Commons were able to 
devote their attention to those important questions relating to 
the Catholics and the Puritans on which James had expressed a 
decided opinion. 

Upon their return to their own House two cases of privilege 
came before their notice. One of these brought up the old 
question of the freedom of members from arrest, 
though in the present case it was complicated by a 
further question as whether such a privilege ex- 
tended to them before the day of the meeting of Parliament. Sir 
inns Sherley, the member for Steynine, had been, 

March 15. . . - ' , . 

after his election, lodged in the Fleet, at the suit of a 
City tradesman. The House claimed his presence as a member, 
and he took his seat on May 15. This success, how- 
ever, was not obtained without much difficulty. It 
was not until the Warden of the Fleet had been committed not 
only to the Tower, but to the dungeon known by the expressive 
name of Little Base, and the intervention of the King himself 
had been obtained, that he consented to liberate the prisoner. 
It is gratifying to know that the filthy condition in which the 
>n was found was 1 ft u il '1 to tin- House on the ground 
that it had not been used tor many years'. 1 

The other case was ofmui h greater importance, as it at on< e 
• the I! in spite of itself, into collision with the 

:win's Crown. Sir Iran- I I dwm had b 1 ted for 

kinghami hire, where he owed his seat to the votes 
of the smaller freeholders, his opponent, Sir John Fortescue, a 
Privy Councillor, having been supported by the gentry of the 
< ountry. In at 1 ordam <: with the King's pro< lamation, the ' lourt 
of Cham ery had de< lared tin- ele< tion void, on the ground thai 
t, odwin was an outlaw; and upon a second election, I "i 
tescuehad been chosen to the place which was thus supposed 
to be vacant. On the day after the matter had been moved 

1 C. J. passim from March 22 to May 22, i. 149-222. 


in the House, Goodwin was summoned to the bar, and, as 
soon as his case had been heard, he was ordered to take his 

A few days afterwards the Lords sent a message to the 
Commons, asking for information on the subject. At first the 
Commons refused to grant their request, as being un- 
constitutional ; but, upon a second message, inform- 
ing them that the demand had been made at the King's desire, 
they agreed to a conference in order to justify themselves. In 
this conference they stated that, from the omission of certain 
technicalities in the proceedings taken against him, Goodwin 
was not an outlaw in the eye of the law ; and that, even if he 
were, they could produce instances in which outlaws had taken 
their seats in the House. The King, in replying to them, took 
the whole affair out of the region of forms and precedents, and 
raised a question of constitutional law, which was a 
T ^ rth f 28 ' matter of life or death to the Commons. " He had no 
tacks the purpose," he told them, "to impeach their privilege, 
of the but since they derived all matters of privilege from 

him, and by his grant, he expected that they should 
not be turned against him. ... By the law, the House ought 
not to meddle with returns, being all made into Chancery, and 
are to be corrected or reformed by that court only into which 
they were returned." He then proceeded to argue against their 
assertion that an outlaw could take his seat, and advised them 
to debate the question and to confer with the judges. 

As soon as these expressions were reported to the House, 
the members knew that it was impossible for them to give way. 
Whatever might be the advantages of bringing ques- 
tions of disputed elections before a regular and im- 
partial tribunal (if such a one could be found), they knew that 
to yield the point to the King was equivalent to abdicating their 
independent position for ever. Without any settled design, 
James had simply proposed to make it possible for himself, or 
for a future sovereign, to convert the House of Commons into 
a board of nominees. 

It is impossible to refrain from admiring the prudence of the 
House in this difficulty. Mainly under Bacon's guidance they 


threw aside all unimportant parts of the question, and restricted 

their opposition to the main point. They appointed 

Commons a committee to draw up a reply to the King, and, 

at the same time, brought in a Bill to disable out- 

laws»from sitting in Parliament for the future. 

On April 3 the Committee, with Bacon at its head, carried 
up the answer of the Commons to the Upper House, and 
requested that it might be laid before the King. 
They showed that they had always decided in cases 
of disputed election, and they denied that they had come pre- 
cipitately to a conclusion in the present instance. They refused 
to confer with the judges. 

Two days after this the King informed them that he had as 
great a desire to maintain their privileges as ever any prince 
had, or as they had themselves. He had seen and 
considered of the manner and the matter, he had 
heard his judges and council, and he was now distracted in 
judgment ; therefore, for his further satisfaction, he desired and 
commanded, as an absolute king, that there might be a confer- 
ence between the House and the judges, in the presence of his 
council, who would make a report to him. 

The Commons again gave way on the point of etiquette. 
There were signs that it was only thus that they could secure 
unanimity. Some of the members were frightened at James's 
tone. "The Prince's command," said Velverton, "is like a 
thunderbolt; his 1 ommand upon our allegiance is like the 
roaring of a lion." 

This <li 1 with the judges, however, never took pi 

James acknowledged to the committee whi<h had drawn up 

..„. the reply of the I louse, that it was the proper judge 

ot the returns. Hut he asked the Commons, as a 

persona] favour, to set aside both the parties, and to issue a 
writ for a new m. It i, no disparagement to them that 

they gave way oik e more. They < ould not suffer a ^reat c ause 

to be wrecked upon a question of etiquette. It was well 
known that Goodwin was not anxious to retain his seat. He 
had even attempted, at the election, to indin e the electors to 
transfer their votes to Fortescue. To satisfy those members 


who were reasonably jealous of compromising the dignity of 
the House, a letter was obtained from Goodwin, declaring his 
readiness to submit to the arrangement. 1 

That the substantial advantage remained with the Commons 
is evident from the fact that they proceeded, without opposi- 
tion, to investigate two other cases of disputed election. Both 
the King and the House had come with credit out of the con- 
troversy. Unhappily it did not follow that a similar spirit of 
compromise would be shown when questions arose which in 
volved a difference of principle. 

Meanwhile, neither House had been idle. The Commons, 
especially, were bent on doing work. Questions of reform, 
Grievances which had been left untouched during the life of 
whi uired Elizabeth, were now ripe for solution. All had felt 
redress, the indelicacy of pressing her for changes which she 
would have considered to be injurious to her rights. She had 
served England well enough to be humoured in her old age. 
But that obstacle having been removed, the representatives of 
the people approached these questions in no disloyal or 
revolutionary spirit They did not force their demands upon 
James because he was weaker than his predecessor. If he 
had been the wisest and ablest of rulers, they would still have 
asked him to make the redress of grievances the first act of his 

One of the first steps taken by the Government was to 

introduce a Bill recognising James's title to the throne, in order, 

March 29. by acknowledging the principle of hereditary right, 

Recognition t0 „j ve a [ ma \ \,\ irK to any claims which might be 

of James s o ' ° 

t' tl,: - put forward by the representatives of the Suffolk line. 

As a proof of loyalty, the Bill was hurried through both Houses 
with all possible expedition. It was read for the first time in 
the House of Lords on March 26, and on the 29th it had 
reached a third reading in the Commons. 

On the same day as that on which this Bill was brought in, 
Cecil moved for a conference with the Lower House on the 
subject of the abuses of Purveyance. During the discussion 

1 C. J. i. 149 -169; Pari. Hist. i. 998-1017 ; Bacon's Letters and 
Life, iii. 164. 


in the House of Lords on this motion, a message was brought 
up from the Commons asking for a conference, in order that 
March 26. a petition might be drawn up upon the subject of 
andWarf* Wardship. The feudal system was dead, and its 
relics were cumbering the ground. The abuses of Pur- 
veyance had come down from the days of the first Norman 
sovereigns. When each little district was self-supporting, the 
arrival of the King's court must have seemed like the invasion 
of a hostile army. Even if the provisions consumed had 
been paid for, the inhabitants would have had much diffi- 
culty in replacing their loss. But it frequently happened that 
they were taken without any payment at all. The time came, 
at last, when other powers made themselves heard than that 
of the sword ; and when the representatives of the towns 
joined the knights and barons in Parliament, this was one 
of the first grievances of which they complained. Session 
after session new remedies were assented to by the King, and 
statutes were passed with a frequency which gives too much 
reason to suspect that they were broken as soon as made. At 
first the Commons contented themselves with asking that pur* 
hould be prohibited from appropriating to their own 
use money which they had received from the Exchequer 
luittal of debt, contracted in the performance of 
their duty. 1 I v. i nty-two years later they had risen in their 
lands, and obtained an assurance that nothing should be 
taken without the assent of the owner. 5 In the reign of 
I rard 111. various statutes were made upon the subject. 

At one time the Kin^ promised thai nothing should be taken 
without the ownei nt a At other tunes he agreed that 

the purcha i be appraised by the constable and four, 

dis< reet m< n of the neighbourhood ' Purveyors who gave 1< 
than the pri ted by the town, to be put 

in gaol, and, upon conviction, to be dealt with as common 

' 3 Ed I. stat. West. 1. rap. 32. 
- 25 Ed. I. stat. de Tallagio, cap. 2. 
' 14 Ed. III. stat. 1, cap. 19. 

• 4 Ed. in. cap. 3; 5 Ed. III. cap. 2 ; 25 Ed. III. cap. 1; 36 
Ed. III. cap. 2. 


thieves. In the reign of Henry VI. it was even declared that 
all persons had a right of openly resisting the offenders. 

In spite of these, and many other similar statutes, the 
grievances complained of still continued unabated. The 
Bin brought Commons drew up a Bill declaring the illegality of 
ihe a fb'u"es of these abuses, but, at the same time, that there might 
purveyors. be no complaint against their proceedings, they pre- 
Aprii2 7 . pare( i a petition in which they proposed to lay their 

Petition to L ' . . , , 

the King. C ase before the King. They assured him that they 
had no wish to infringe upon his rights, but the grievances of 
which they complained had been declared to be illegal by no 
less than thirty-six statutes. They alleged that the cart-takers, 
whose business it was to find carriage for the King's baggage 
whenever he moved, were guilty of the grossest abuses in 
order to put money into their own pockets. They would often 
order the owners of eight or nine hundred carts to send them 
in, when two hundred would be sufficient. By this means they 
hoped that bribes would be offered them by the owners, who 
would all be anxious to obtain their discharge. Those who 
were unable or unwilling to pay were often detained for a week 
before they were allowed to go. Twopence a mile was allowed 
to those actually employed, which was calculated upon the 
distance which they had travelled to the place of loading, 
whilst nothing at all was given for their actual service, or for 
the return journey. After some hundreds of persons had 
bribed the officers for exemption, the remainder of the inhabi- 
tants of the county were required to make up the full number 
of carts. What was worse still, the cart-takers were frequently 
in the habit of selecting tired horses, in the expectation that 
the owners would be ready to pay money to let them go. 

The purveyors themselves were quite as bad. Instead of 
paying for goods according to the appraisement, they were 
accustomed to call in strangers of their own choice to make a 
second valuation, and often forced upon the owners a mere 
fraction of the sum really due. They frequently refused to 
pay in ready money, and they committed to prison the con- 
stables who assisted those who stood out against their illegal 
proceedings. In the teeth of the prohibition of the law, they 

1 604 PUR VE YANCE. 1 73 

would cut down the trees round a country gentleman's mansion. 
Even justices of the peace had been imprisoned for hearing 
cases against purveyors, although the law expressly required 
them to take cognisance of such matters. 1 

James answered that he was desirous to remove all causes 
of complaint ; but that he believed arrangements had been 
The King's ma de by which such cases could not possibly recur, 
answer. jj e w j s hed, however, that the Commons would confer 
with the Council on the matter. Some of the officers of the 
household, who were standing by, declared that all com- 
plaints were invariably listened to, and that justice was always 


A few days after this interview, another attempt was made 
to obtain the co-operation of the Lords. It is characteristic of 
the different spirit which prevailed in the two Houses, 
r that the Lords proposed a Sunday as the best day 
for the ronfcrence. 2 The Commons requested them 
to fix upon some other day, as they were determined not to do 
any business on the Sabbath. With respect to the proposed 
measure, the Lords showed no mercy to the purveyors, whom 
they spoke of as harpies. But on a most important point there 
was a wide difference of opinion. The Commons held that, as 
the abuses of which they complained were illegal, the King 
was not in a position to ask for compensation for abandoning 
them. The Lords knew that the King's expenses far surpassed 
his receipts. They questioned whether the King could afford 
to remit anything to his subjects at present, and they proposed 
an annual grant of 50,000/. in lieu of purveyance, in defence 
of this suggestion they took up the unlucky ground that, as 
there v.. re many penal laws which the King did not press, he 
had a right to look to his people for some indulgence in return. 
In other word,, the King and the nation were to regard one 
another as parties to ;i bargain ; the loss of the one w.i . to be 
the gain of the other. This error was destined to be the lead- 
ing idea of the Kin^s of l n land through more than eighty 

1 C. J. i. 190 ; I . iii. 181. 

: At this time Sunday was the day upon whi< h a meeting of the Privy 
Council was always held after service. 


weary years. They never could comprehend that, if the interests 
of the Sovereign were really distinct from the interests of the 
nation, one of the two must give way, and that such a strife 
could only end in their own ruin. 1 

Upon this the Commons summoned the officers of the 
Board of Green Cloth, who presided over the whole system, to 
give evidence. The answers given by these men are curious, 
as showing the lengths to which official persons will sometimes 
go. They raked up obsolete statutes to justify the grossest 
abuses. They asserted their right to exercise the most tyranni- 
cal power ; and, whenever any charge was made against them 
for which even they found it impossible to invent an excuse, they 
boldly denied the facts. The opposition which the Commons 
met with in the matter of their efforts to deal with purveyance, 
was only equalled by the opposition which they met with in the 
Court of Wards. 

In dealing with the question of purveyance, the House had, 
at least at first, been contented with lopping off the abuses ; 
March, but with Wardship the case was different. The 
the^Cour^of w hole system was one huge abuse. But, whatever it 
Wards. W as, it was strictly legal. It was a system by which 

every King of England had profited since the days of the Con- 
queror. There was therefore no mention of proceeding by 
Bill, but the Lords were asked to join in petitioning the King 
for leave to treat with him on the subject. The King's prero- 
gative was unquestioned ; but it was hoped that he would yield 
his rights in consideration of the grant of a large and certain 
yearly revenue. The system itself might have had some show 
of reason to support it in the days when feudality was still in 
vigour. Sovereignty brings with it, even in our own times, 
obligations which in some cases interfere with personal and 
domestic liberty ; and, in the Middle Ages, every man who had 
a place in the feudal hierarchy was in some respects a sovereign. 
The ownership of land carried with it the title to command a 
greater or less number of men : it was, therefore, only natural 
that when the owner was a minor, and, in consequence, was 

1 C. J. i. 204 ; L. J. ii. 294. 

1604 WARDSHIP. 175 

unable to take his place at the head of his vassals, the lord 
should take the land into his own hands, and should receive 
the profits, as long as there was no one to perform the 
duties attached to the tenure. For similar reasons, it was not 
repugnant to the feelings of the age, that where the heir was a 
female, the lord should take an interest in the disposal of her 
hand, and should claim a right to select the husband who was 
in future to have at his command the vassals of the heiress in 
question ' If the colonelcies of regiments were heritable pro- 
perty, similar regulations might be found necessary even in the 
nineteenth century. 

This right not being confined to the Sovereign, but being 
shared in by all who had vassals depending upon them, the 
lords were by no means eager, as long as the feudal system 
really lasted, to exclaim against it. The evils against wliii h 
the Great Charter provided were abuses with which the system 
itself had become encrusted. Gradually, however, the old 
theory sunk into oblivion, and the King's claims upon wards 
dwindled into a mere machinery for bringing in money m 
a most oppressive manner. Men were dissatisfied with the 
thought that it was possible that, at their death, their lands 
might undergo a temporary confiscation, and with the know- 
ledge that their daughters might have to bribe some courtier 
in order I e from an obnoxious marriage. When the 

feudal militia ceased to he the army of the nation, every 

reason for the mainti oi the ( ourt ol Wards cairn 

an end. The legal right remained, hut the duties with which 
it was, in theory, connected, had long d to be 


1 1 being th« of opinion on the sublet t, 

the Lon Lily concurred with the Commons in 

ring relief.- It was not till May 26 thai the 
° fwi Commons brought forward a definite proposal. 1 

offered to rai e a revenue which would be larger than any that 

1 Tli> lord cl the rigbl of the marriag n male heir-, but it 

is difficult tn see on what principle, 

' C j. 1. 153- 


the King had ever obtained from the Court of Wards, and to 
grant pensions to the officers of the Court for the remainder of 
their lives. They were not precipitate in their measures. All 
that they asked for was a general approbation on the King's 
part. If they obtained this, they would appoint commis- 

May 26. sioners who should during the recess inquire into the 
Proposal proportion of the burden borne by different counties 
Commons, and individuals, in order that, in the course of the 
next session, arrangements might be made for offering a suffi- 
cient composition to the King and also to those subjects who 
possessed a similar right over their tenants. 

At a conference between the Houses held on May 26, ' the 
Lords, under the influence of the Court, threw cold water on 
even this moderate scheme. They expressed doubts 
throwcoid whether it would be possible to raise a sufficient 
revenue, and blamed the Commons for wasting time 
over questions of privilege and purveyance, though this latter 
point had been first moved in their own house. They recom- 
mended that the question of Wardships should be dropped 

May 30. till the next session. Four days later the King 
Th ?K>£g summoned the Commons into his presence and 
Commons, censured their proceedings bitterly. 

James, in fact, was thoroughly dissatisfied at their slow 
progress in a matter on which he had set his heart. At the 
. f t time when he gave way to them on the subject 
The pro- of the Buckinghamshire election, he pressed them 
whh ScoT" to take in hand his favourite measure for a union 
land ' with Scotland. He wished, as he told them, to 

leave at his death ' one worship of God, one kingdom entirely 
governed, one uniformity of law.' 2 He saw the advantages 
which would accrue to both countries from a complete union, 
and longed to anticipate the fruits which would eventually 
spring from the carrying out of his project. 3 His constitutional 

' I. J. ii. 309 ; C. J. i. 230. 

2 C. J. i. 171. 

3 The charge, that he wished for the Union in order to be able to 
gratify his Scotch favourites, can only be made by those who forget that 
he had it in his power to make any foreigner a denizen, and thus to enable 


impatience made him anxious that the work should be accom- 
plished by his own hands. His ignorance of human nature 
brought him speedily into collision with his subjects on this 
point. It had not been for want of warning : Cecil, as usual, 
had given him good advice. He told him that the two nations 
were not ripe for a union as long as they continued to look 
upon one another with hostile eyes. In process of time, such a 
measure would be heartily welcomed. All that could now be 
done was to appoint commissioners on either side, who might 
discuss the whole question, and determine how far it was 
practicable to remove the barriers by which the two nations 
were separated.' It was all in vain ; James was in such haste 
ce a marriage between the kingdoms, that he would not 
allow time fur the preliminary courtship. 

The disposition of the House of Commons was at once tested 

by the proposal that they should immediately agree to James's 

April M . assumption of the title of King of Great Britain. 

1 I < v felt that in this, which was apparently a mere 

■( King . ' . , 

verbal question, the most important consequences 
were involved. Bacon expressed the whole difficulty 
in a few words, when he asked, " By what laws shall this Bril 

governed?" In those daj of undefined prerogative, it was 

impossible to say what claims might not he raised : James the legislatures by proclamation, 

or he might fill the publi< offices of State with his 

Objected to B ' 

countrymen, without leaving any legal ground ol 
sistan< e.' 2 The < lommons therefore thought that there 

should I »e •■ • in. ni as to the terms of the union before 

him to hold lands granted by the frown, and that his chief favourites were 
naturalised by \< t of 1 ion. 

1 < ecil 1 ■■ ■• ; ll King i" postpone the Union, and 'seulement 
lembler di d'une part et d'autre a Go 

de compai la bien hire, ef 1 1 pendant donnei 

loisii aux peuplt 1 de liei doucetnenl pai marriages.' — 

Beaumont to the Kil | 1 .. fCing't .1/.V.V. [25, fol. 29. 

2 It musl not ! ■ ' 11 that the subsequent naturali ol the 
Poshhili was carried through l<y the legal technicalities of the lawyers, 
in defiance of the wish of the House of Commi 

VOL. I. N 


it was ratified by the assumption of a title. The King gave 
way courteously at first, but he soon grew vexed and angry. 
Cecil must have felt his triumph when the project of a change 
of name was abandoned, and the King consented to the ap- 
pointment of such a commission as his prudent Secretary had 
recommended. A Bill was brought in, naming twenty-eight 
commissioners, who were taken equally from the two Houses, 
to confer with a similar body appointed by the Scots ; and it 
was understood that Parliament was to meet again in the fol- 
lowing year, in order to receive their report. 

It was hardly possible that James should retain his good 
humour. In this matter of the Union, the Commons must 

have appeared to him as narrow-minded pedants, 
Th/com! eager to raise paltry objections to a magnificent act 
mons dis- f statesmanship which they were unable to compre- 
with the hend. His ill-humour was aggravated by the course 
Court settle- taken by the Commons with regard to ecclesiastical 

affairs. He had decided against the Puritans, and it 
was commonly said that three parts of the House were Puritans. 1 
If so, they were Puritans of a very different stamp from those 
who, after nearly forty years of arbitrary government, filled 
many of the benches of the Long Parliament. They committed 
to the Tower a man who presented a petition in which the 
Bishops were described as antichrists. They would have been 
ready to assent to any guarantees which the King might think 
necessary for maintaining his supremacy in the Church, as well 
as in the State ; but they took a truer view of ecclesiastical 
questions than James or his bishops were able to take, and they 
saw that unless concessions were made, all vitality would quickly 
depart from the Church. If differences were not allowed to exist 
within, they would break out elsewhere. Little as they thought 
what the consequences of their acts would be, Elizabeth and 
Whitgift, James and Bancroft, by making a schism inevitable, 
were the true fathers of Protestant dissent. 

Perhaps such a schism was sooner or later unavoidable, but, 
if the Commons had been allowed to carry out their views, it 

1 Sir R. Wingfield's account of his speech, S. P. Dom. vii. 2. 

1604 CHURCH REFORM. j 79 

might have been long delayed. The moral earnestness of 
Puritanism would not have been embittered by a long struggle 


for existence. It would have escaped the worst trial which re- 
ligion knows — the trial of political success. Men like Baxter, 
and men like Jeremy Taylor, would have laboured together as 
brethren in one common faith : truth and godliness would have 
worked their way insensibly, quietly influencing the whole social 
fabric in their course. But these are visions ; the sad reality 
presents us with a very different picture 

On April 1 6, Sir Francis Hastings moved for a committee, 
April 16. to consider ' of the confirmation and re-establishing 
rrXcim' of the religion now established within this kingdom ; 
|^ tical as also of the settling, increasing, and maintaining a 
learned ministry, and of whatsoever else may inci- 
dentally bring furtheran< e thereunto.' 

The King immediately sent to request that the House, before entering upon such matters, would confer 
wifh'convo- witn Convocation. The Commons, always jealous 
cation. f t h at body, sent a distinct refusal, though the) 

expressed their readiness to treat with the Bishops as Lords ot 

They accordingly empowered the committee to propose to 
the Lords that, in accordance with the Act of 13 Elizabeth, 
.,.5. ministers should Le required to subscribe to tin 
articles only which related to do< time and the sa< i.i 

ments, and that all persons hereafter admitted to the 
ministry should be at least Bacheloi ot Arts, and should have 
• timony of the I ity to their moral condui t and 

ability to preach [f, however, anyom rous ol ordina 

tion who had not studied at eithei oi the 1 taivei ities, a similai 
monial from six prci< h< rs ot in . own 1 ounty was to be 
:nt 1 d that no mo 1 itions might be 

ited for pluralities and non resident e, and hoped thai somi 
augmentation might \>r afford.-d to small livings ot Irss than tin 
annual value of 20/. Lastly, they begged tie Lords to join 
them in putting a stop to the deprivation of men w ho objected 
only to the use of the surplice and of the cross in baptism, 
'which,' as they said, almost in the VI .if, 

N 2 


indeed, he were not himself the framer of these proposals, 
'turneth to the punishment of the people.' 1 

Finding the Lords but lukewarm in the cause, they brought 
in two Bills in their own House — one directed against pluralists, 
Bills brought of which we have no particulars, and the other pro- 
House vi ding for a learned and godly ministry, embodying 
of Lords. tne opinions which they had expressed in their con- 
ference with the other House, 2 but adding a clause which must 
have been a terror to all unfit expectants of benefices. It was 
to be enacted that, if any person were afterwards inducted 
without the testimonials required, the parishioners might law- 
fully withhold from him the payment of tithes. It is needless 
to say that both Bills fell through in the Lords. 

The condition of business in the House of Commons was 
therefore by no means satisfactory, when on May 30 the King 

May 30. addressed them in terms of disparagement on the 
1 usiness in subject. Sore as they were at the language in which 
mons. oin he spoke, they resolved to show him by their actions 

June 1. that they were not to blame. On June 1 they deter- 
abandoned. mined to abandon the subject of wardships till the 

June 2. following session, and on June 2 they came to a 

for naming similar resolution on the subject of purveyance. At 

erVfor l the >n tne same time the Bill naming commissioners to treat 

of the Union was hurried through the House, and 

June s . sent U P t0 the Lords. James was gratified with the 
thanks the resu lt OI " his expressions of displeasure, and sent a 
Commons, message to the Commons, thanking them for what 
they had done. 3 

The Commons, on their part, naturally desired to justify 

June 20. themselves. During the next fortnight they were 
\poiogy busily employed in drawing up an Apology for their 
Commons, proceedings, and on June 20 it was completed and 
read in the House. 

The Commons, in whose name it was drawn up, began by 
explaining that they were under a necessity of justifying their 

C. J. i. 199. 2 S. P. Dom. viii. 66. 

3 C. J. i. 230-232. 


conduct. They acknowledged that the King was a prince 
eminent for wisdom and understanding, yet as it was impossible 
its pre- f° r an >' man < however wise, to understand at a glance 
the customs of a whole people, he had necessarily been 
dependent upon others for information. They were sorry to find 
that he had been grievously misinformed, both with respect to 
the condition of the people and the privileges of Parliament. 
They thought it better, therefore, to speak out, and not to leave 
these misunderstandings as seeds for future troubles. 

They had, first, to defend themselves against an insinuation 
which had been made by one of the Lords, that they had wel- 
comed the King rather from fear of the consequences 
...dthe which would have ensued upon rejecting him, than 
from any love which they bore to his person. They 
protested their loyalty to him, and assured him that 
they had looked forward to his reign with hopefulness, as 
expet ting that under him religion, peace, and justice would 
flourish, and that 'some moderate ease' would be afforded 
' of those burdens and sore oppressions under which the whole 
land did groan.' Remembering ' what great alienation of men's 
hearts the defeating of good hopes doth usually breed,' they 
could not do better than set forth the grievances which were 
universally felt. 

misinformation delivered to the King consisted of 

three points— first, that they held 'not' their 'privileges as of 

right' ; set ondly, that they ' were no court of record, 

r yet a court that can command view of records ;' 

and lastly, that the examination of the returns of 

writs tor knights and burgesses is without 'their com 

nd dui to the < ry.' 

■• From these mi i d positions, Mo t ( rra» ious Sove 

n," they pro< eed< d to jay, " the r< at< i pari oi our troubli , 
distrust, and jealousy hai n, having apparently 1 found 

that in tin-, firsl 1 '•" r 1 1 ! tin- happy reign of your Majesty, 

the privileges "t" our House, and th< rem the liberties and sta- 
bility of the whole Kingdom, hath been more universally and 

1 Here and always ' apparently ' means ' plainly.' 


dangerously impugned than ever, as we suppose, since the 
beginning of Parliaments. For although it may be true that, 
in the latter times of Queen Elizabeth, some one privilege, now 
and then, were by some particular act attempted against, yet 
was not the same ever by so public speech, nor by positions 
in general, denounced against our privileges. Besides that in 
regard of her sex and age, which we had great cause to tender, 
and much more upon care to avoid all trouble which by wicked 
practice might have been drawn to impeach the quiet of your 
Majesty's right in the succession, those actions were then passed 
over which we hoped, in succeeding times of freer access to 
your Highness' so renowned grace and justice, to redress, re- 
store, and rectify ; whereas, contrarywise, in this Parliament 
which your Majesty in great grace, as we nothing doubt, in- 
tended to be a precedent for all Parliaments that should succeed, 
clean contrary to your Majesty's so gracious desire, by reason 
of those misinformations, not only privileges, but the whole 
freedom of the Parliament and realm, hath from time to time, 
on all occasions, been mainly hewed at." 

They then came to particulars. Doubts had been thrown 
upon the liberty of election. ' The freedom of ' their ' speech ' 
Particular had been ' prejudiced by often reproof,' the Bishop 
complaints. Q ( B r i s tol had written a book in which they had been 
reviled. ' Some of the clergy had been preaching against them, 
and had even published their protestations against the un- 
doubted right of the House to deal with ecclesiastical affairs. 
' What cause ' they had ' to watch over their privileges,' was 
'manifest in itself to all men. The prerogatives of princes' 
were daily growing ; ' the privileges of subjects ' were ' for the 
most part at an everlasting stand.' They might ' be by good 
providence and care preserved, but, being once lost,' they were 
not to be 'recovered but with much disquiet. If good kings 
were immortal,' they might be less careful about their privileges. 
But a day might come when a hypocrite and a tyrant might sit 

1 On the complaint of the Commons he was compelled to ask pardon. 
He had undertaken to refute arguments used in the House of Commons — 
a high offence before debates were published, as the attacked party might 
be misrepresented, and had no opportunity of reply. 


upon the throne, and it was therefore their bounden duty to 
provide for posterity. 

They had heard that particular speeches had been misre- 
ported to the King ; they hoped, theiefore, that he would allow 
those members whose words had been misrepresented to justify 
themselves in the presence of their accusers. 

After offering a defence of their conduct in the cases of the 
Buckinghamshire election, of Sir Thomas Sherley's imprison- 
ment, and of the Bishop of Bristol's book, they touched upon 
the thorny subje< t of the Union. 

"The proposition," they said, "was new, the importance 
great, the consequence far-reaching, and not discovered but by 
Theircon- long dispute. Our number also is large, and which 
*" hath free liberty to speak ; but the doubts and diffi- 
culties once cleared and removed, how far we were 
from opposing the just desires of your Majesty (as some evil- 
disposed minds would perhaps insinuate, who live by division, 
and prosper by the disgrace of other men) the great expedition, 
alacrity, and unanimity which was used and showed in passing 
of the Bill may sufficiently testify." 

Having thus got over this difficulty, perhaps by making 
more of their own readiness to meet the King's wishes than the 
the case would justify, they proceeded to a still more 
important subjei t 

"For matter of religion," they said, "it will appear, by exami- 
nation of the truth and right, that your Majesty should be mis- 

ftndmfetten informed if any man should deliver 1 that the Kings 

ofrcl1 ' ■• of England have any absolute power in themselves 
either to alter religion, (which God forefend should be in the 
if any mortal man what o< vi r), or to make any laws con- 
iing the same, otherwise than in tempi >ral < auses by < onsent 

of Parliament. We have and shall at all tuih S by om oaths 
acknowledge that your Majesty is sovereign lord and supn me 

1 This must refer to I oni which were pa led through Convo* 
cation in this session. In an anonymo *. /'. Dotn. \\. 46) en* 

titled Su of the Doctrine </ the Church oj /.«. 'and on the King's 

Supremacy, it is expressly stated that the Kin^ had the riglu to confirm 
ecclesiastical canons, and to give them the force of 1. 


governor in both. Touching our own desires and proceedings 
therein, they have been not a little misconceived and misin- 
terpreted. We have not come in any Puritan or Brownist spirit 
to introduce their parity, or to work the subversion of the State 
ecclesiastical as now it stands, things so far and so clear from 
our meaning as that, with uniform consent, in the beginning of 
this Parliament we committed to the Tower a man who out of 
that humour had, in a petition exhibited to our House, slan- 
dered the Bishops; but according to the tenor of your Majesty's 
writs of summons directed to the counties from which we came, 
and according to the ancient and long continued use of Par- 
liaments, as by many records from time to time appeareth, we 
came with another spirit, even with the spirit of peace; we 
disputed not of matters of faith and doctrine, our desire was 
peace only, and our device of unity, how this lamentable and 
long-lasting dissension amongst the ministers (from which both 
atheism, sects, and ill-life have received such encouragement, 
and so dangerous increase) might at length, before help come 
too late, be extinguished. And for the ways of this peace we 
are not addicted at all to our own inventions, but ready to 
embrace any fit way that may be offered. Neither desire we so 
much that any man, in regard of weakness of conscience, may 
be exempted after Parliament from obedience to laws established, 
as that in this Parliament such laws may be enacted as by re- 
linquishment of some few ceremonies of small importance, or 
by any way better, a perpetual uniformity may be enjoined and 
observed. Our desire hath been also to reform certain abuses 
crept into the ecclesiastical estate even as into the temporal ; 
and, lastly, that the land might be furnished with a learned, 
religious, and godly ministry, for the maintenance of whom wo 
would have granted no small contribution, if in these (as we 
trust) just and religious desires we had found that corre- 
spondency from others which was expected. These minds and 
hearts we in secret present to that Sovereign Lord who gave 
them, and in public profess to your gracious Majesty, who, we 
trust, will so esteem them." 

'• There remaineth, dread Sovereign," they said, in conclu 
sion, after justifying the course which they had taken in the 


matters of wardship and purveyance, " yet one part more of our 

duty at this present which faithfulness of heart (not presumption) 

doth press us to. We stand not in place to speak 

Conclusion. . . 

or to propose things pleasing. Our care is, and must 
be, to confirm the love, and to tie the hearts of your subjects, 
the Commons, most firmly to your Majesty. Herein lieth the 
means of our well deserving of both. There was never Prince 
entered with greater love, with greater joy and applause of all 
his people. This love, this joy, let it flourish in their hearts for 
ever. Let no suspicion have access to their fearful thoughts 
that their privileges, which they think by your Majesty should 
be prota ted, should now by sinister information or counsel be 
violated or impaired, or that those who with dutiful respect 
to your Majesty speak freely for the right and good of their 
country shall be oppressed or disgraced. Let your Majesty be 
pleased to receive public information from your Commons in 
Parliament, as well of the abuses in the Church as in the Civil 
State and Government For private informations pass often by 
practice. The voice of the people, in things of their know- 
ledge, is said to be as the voice of God. And if your Majesty 
shall vouchsafe at your best pleasure and leisure to enter into 
■ iotlS consideration of our petitions for ease of those burdens 
under which your whole people have long time mourned, 
hoping for relief by your Majesty, then may you be assured to be 
ed of their hearts for ever, and if of their hearts, then of 
all they can do and have. And we your Majesty's most humble 

and loyal subjects, whose ancestors have with great Loyalty, 

liness, and joyfulness served your famous progenitors, Kings 

and Qu realm, lull with like loyalty and joy, both 

we and our post ur Majesty and your most royal 

issue for ever with our live . lands, and goods, ami all oilier our 
abilities, and by all means endeavour to pro. ure your Majesty's 

honour with all plenty, tranquillity, joy, and felicity. "' 

Six h v. manly and In ■ 1, DUt ( Ott ei\a 

tive and monan hi< al to the 1 ore, whi< h the House of Commons 
was prepared to lay before the King. In it they took up the 

1 l\nl. Hist, i. 1030, and S. /'. Dom. viii. 70. 


position which they never quitted during eighty-four long and 
TheQom- stormy years. To understand this Apology is to 
up theit e understand the causes of the success of the English 
Eylhis" Revolution. They did not ask for anything which 
Apology. was not j n accordance with justice. They did not 
demand a single privilege which was not necessary for the good 
of the nation as well as for their own dignity. 

The Apology thus prepared was never presented to the King, 
though there can be little doubt that a copy of it reached his 
June 19. hands. The feeling of dissatisfaction which the 
finTndai Commons, in spite of the alacrity with which they had 
difficulties, passed the Union Bill, could not but have felt, they 
expressed in another way, which must have been more annoying 
to James than the presentation of the Apology could possibly 
have been. 

Even with the strictest economy James would have found 
much difficulty in bringing his expenditure within the compass 
of his revenue. With his habits of profusion, all hope of this 
passed rapidly away. He had already incurred debts which 

The c ne nac ^ no means °f P a > 7 ' n g- His ministers therefore 

Dions asked urged upon the Commons that it would be well to 

express their loyalty in a tangible form. They stated, 
with perfect truth, that the King was under the necessity of 
providing for many extraordinary expenses connected with the 
commencement of a reign, and that it was impossible in a 
moment to return to a peace expenditure. If the great ques- 
tions of the session had received a satisfactory solution, it is 
probable that these arguments would have carried their proper 
weight. As it was, the Commons remembered opportunely 
that a considerable part of the subsidies which had been granted 
by the last Parliament of the late Queen had not yet been 
No ™uidy levied, and that it was contrary to precedent to grant a 

fresh subsidy before the last one had been fully paid. 
They did not give a direct refusal, but the tone which the debate 
assumed was not such as to promise a result favourable to the 
Government. On hearing this, James, making a virtue of 
necessity, wrote a letter to the Commons, in which he informed 
them that he was unwilling that they should lay any burden 


on themselves in order to supply him with money. 1 He 
. took care to have this letter printed, so as to lay 

The King's his conduct before the public in as honourable a 
light as possible. 
Doubtless this blow directed against the King had much to 
do with the frustration of the hope which the Commons enter- 
.. tained of passing a Bill on a subject of no slight im- 
The trading portance. When James, soon after his arrival in 
England, had summoned the monopolists to show 
cause why their patents should not be annulled, he had ex- 
pressly excepted the trading corporations. The Commons now 
proposed to treat these corporations as monopolists. At this 
time the French trade was the only one open to all Englishmen. 
By its chartered rights the Russia Company claimed the trade 
with Muscovy ; whilst the commerce of the Baltic was in the 
hands of the Eastland Company. 2 From the Cattegat to the 
mouth of the Somme, the merchant adventurers held sway. 3 
From thence there was a line of free shore till the dominions of 
the Spanish King presented what had lately been an enemy's 
coast. Venice and the East were apportioned to the vessels 
of the Levant Company. Western Africa had a company of its 
own ; and beyond the Cape, the continents and islands over 
the trade of which the great East India Company claimed a 
monopoly, stretched away to the Straits of Magellan, through 
three-quarters of the ( in umference of the globe. In the early 
days of the late reign, such associations had served the purpose 

of fostering the rising commerce of England. There was not 
suffi icnt capital in the hands of individuals to enable them to 

■ h distant enterprises, nor was the power of 

the Government sufficient to guarantee them that protection 
which alone could make their risks remunerative. The com 
panics undertook some "i the responsibilities which at a later 
period were imposed upon the State. They supported amb 
sadors, and appointed consuls to represenl their inti 

' C. J. i. 246. Then- i, a printed copy ill the .'.'. /'. Dom. viii. 7 
1 Macpherson't Annals of Commerce, \\. 164. * IbU. 220. 

' Suggestions for regulating the Levant Trade, Feb, 29, 1604, S. l\ 
Dom. vi. 70. 


They were better able than private persons would have been 
to discover new outlets for trade. The risk run in making 
voyages for the first time to such countries as Russia or India 
was so great, that it was only fair to compensate for it by the 
monopoly of the trade — at least for a limited period. Nor were 
the voyages even to friendly ports free from danger. In 1582 
the Russia Company had to send out as many as eleven well- 
armed ships, for fear of enemies and pirates. 

Now, however, the time was favourable for reviewing the 
commercial policy of the country. The Levant Company had 
surrendered its charter shortly after the King's accession. Spain 
was soon to be thrown open to English commerce. The in- 
crease of wealth made many persons desirous of engaging in 
trade who were not members of any company ; but, above all, 
there was a growing feeling of jealousy against the London 
merchants, on the part of the shipowners of the other ports. A 
native of Plymouth or of Southampton might engage in the 
coasting trade, or he might even send his vessel to the other 
side of the Channel ; but if he wished to push his fortune 
by engaging in commerce on a larger scale, he was at once 
checked by learning that the charter of some great Com- 
pany, whose members were sure to be Londoners, stood in 
his way. 

In consequence of the general dissatisfaction with the pri- 
vileges of the Companies, appeals were made to the Privy 
Council. These being without result, the whole case was re- 
ferred to Parliament. A committee of the Lower 
h,«^a t "s e House, with Sir Edwin Sandys at its head, took great 
points"" P ains t0 arrive at the truth- It devoted five after- 
^ainstthe noons to the investigation of the alleged grievances, 
and to the discussion of a Bill for throwing open 
trade. 2 Clothiers and merchants from all parts of the realm 
attended its sittings in crowds. They complained bitterly that 
the existing system was a juggle, by which the whole commerce 
of England was thrown into the hands of a few interested 
persons. Arguments were heard on both sides. The free 

1 C. J. i. 218. 


traders urged the natural right of all men to trade where they 
would, and reminded the Committee that monopolies were 
only of recent invention. They said that at most the members 
of the Companies were only five or six thousand in number, 
and that of these only four or five hundred were actually 
engaged in commerce. They pointed to the success of other 
commercial nations where trade was free. They said that in 
their policy would be found a remedy for the evil which pro- 
clamations and Acts of Parliament had striven in vain to cure. 
The rapid growth of London in proportion to other towns was 
astonishing to that generation. The money received in the 
port of London in a single year for customs and impositions 
amounted to t 10,000/., whilst the whole sum of the receipts from 
the same sources in all the rest of the kingdom was nothing 
more than a beggarly 17,000/. They trusted that freedom of 
trade would be more favourable to the equal distribution of 
wealth. Ships would be built in greater numbers, mariners 
would obtain more constant employment, and the Crown 
would reap the benefit by an increase of customs. They con- 
cluded with a remark characteristic of a people amongst whom 
no broad line of demarcation separated the different classes of 
the community : the younger sons of the gentry, they said, 
would be thrown out of employment by the cessation of the 
war, and therefore an open career should In- provided lor them 
in mercantile pursuits, where alone it could he found, 

The force of these arguments was only equalled by the 
shallowness of the oppo ition made to them. It was gravely 
urged thai no monopoly was granted to any company, bei 
a righl | ed by more than a single person could not pro 

perl) !»• termed a monopoly. It was said that all England 
could not produce more than tin- companies carried abroad; 
thai the time of the appn would he thrown away 11 thi 

1 ompani 1 ihort Tin- < ounsi I on 

behalf of the monopolists inveighed against the injustice ol 
putting an end to such useful and flourishing societies. He 
was told that there tion ol abolishing a single 

company. The Bill only provided for throwing trade open. 
If it were true, as \ 1. that commerce on a large scale 


could not be carried on by private merchants, why this opposi- 
tion to the Bill ? The permission to such merchants to engage 
in trade would be void of itself, if it was really impossible for 
them to enter into competition. Again, it was objected that 
the King would never be able to collect the customs. In reply 
to this, several merchants offered, incase the Bill passed, to pay 
for the farm of the customs a higher sum than the average of 
the receipts of the last five years. 

When the Bill stood for a third reading, 'it was three 
several days debated, and in the end passed with great consent 
and applause of the House, as being for the exceeding benefit 
of all the land, scarce forty voices dissenting from them.' 

The Bill was sent up to the House of Lords, where counsel 
was again heard on both sides. Coke, as Attorney-General, 
spoke against it, acknowledging its purpose to be good, but ob- 
jecting to certain defects in it. Upon this, on July 6, 
Juy the Bill was dropped. The Commons expressed 
their intention of taking the matter up again in the following 
session. 1 

On the following day the King came down to prorogue 

Parliament. After a few words of praise addressed to the 

House of Lords, he turned to the Commons, pleased 

The Rings to find an opportunity of venting upon them his long 

pent-up ill-humour. 

" I have more to say of you," he began, "my masters of the 
Lower House, both in regard of former occasions, and now of 
His intern- >' our Speaker's speech. It hath been the form of 
perate ian- most kings to give thanks to their people, however 
their deserts were. Of some, to use sharp admonish- 
ment and reproof. Now, if you expect either great praises or 
reproofs out of custom, I will deceive you in both. I will not 
thank where I think no thanks due. You would think me base 
if I should. It were not Christian ; it were not kingly. I do 
not think you, as the body of the realm, undutiful. There 
is an old rule, qui bene distinguit bene docet. This House 
doth not so represent the whole Commons of the realm as the 

1 C. J. i. 253. 


shadow doth the body, but only representatively. Impossible 
it was for them to know all that would be propounded here, 
much more all those answers that you would make to all pro- 
positions. So as I account not all that to be done by the 
Commons of the land which hath been done by you, I will not 
thank them for that you have well done, nor blame them for 
that you have done ill. I must say this for you, I never heard 
nor read that there were so many wise and so many judicious 
men in that House generally ; but where many are some must 
needs be idle heads, some rash, some busy informers." 

After scolding them for some time longer in the same 
flippant strain, he proceeded to compare the reception which 
his wishes had met with in England with the obedience which 
he had always' found in Scotland. He must have counted 
largely on the ignorance of his hearers with respect to Scottish 
affairs, when he added : — " In my government by-past in Scot- 
land (where I ruled upon men not of the best temper), I was 
heard not only as a king, but as a counsellor. Contrary, here 
nothing but curiosity, from morning to evening, to find fault 
with my propositions. There all things warranted that came 
from me. Here all things suspected." He then hurst out into 
an invective against them for their delays in the matter of the 
Union, and for their encoura lent of Puritanism. "You 

.''he continued, "in how many things you did not well. 
The best apology-maker of you all, for all his eloquent e, < annot 
make all good. Forsooth, a goodly matter to make apologies, 
when no man is by to answer. You have done many things 
rashly. I J not you meant disloyally. I receive better 
f omfort in you, and bi < ount better lo he king of such subjt 
than of so many kingdoms. Only] wish you had kept a better 
form. 1 like form as much as matter. It shows respect, and 
I expect it, being a king, as w< II born (suppose I say it) as any 
of my : [ wi h you would use your liberty with 

more modesty in time to < ome. You must know now that, the 
Parliament not sitting, the liberties are not sitting My justii e 
shall always sit in the same seat. Justice 1 will give to all, and 
favour to such as deserve it. In cases of justice, if I should 


do you wrong, I were no just king ; but in cases of equity, if I 
should show favour, except there be obedience, I were no wise 
man." » 

^'ith this characteristic utterance James brought the first 
session of his first Parliament to a close. 

1 S. P. Dom. viii. 93. 




The discontent which had made itself felt on both sides during 
this unhappy session was the more ominous of future strife 
Mutual di* '"-' ause it did not spring from a mere difference of 
opinion on any single question. There was between 
ie , the Kin" and the House of Commons the most 
Commons, fruitful source of strife — a complete lack of sympathy. 
The Commons could not enter into James's eagerness to bring 
about a union with Scotland, or his desire to tolerate the 
Cal lies, and James could not enter into their eagerness to 
relieve themselves from ill-adjusted financial burdens, or to 
relax the obligations of conformity. James, unhappily, lived 
apart from his people. He had his chosen counsellors and 
1 chosen companions, but he did not make himself familiar 
with the average thought of the average Englishman. When 

wiser, sometimes less wise, than his own, 

were forced upon him, he had nothing but contempt to pour 

upon them. In his public speeches as well as in his private 

1 tters the thou often lost in a flow of words, and the 

arrc with which he took it for granted that he was solely 

in the righl d inquiry into the argument which hislenj 

paragra] led. 

first differ. :.' < between the King and the House— that 

arising from Goodwin's election had been easily 

ettled, had no personal interest in 

the matter. When it < ame to the reform oi purveyan< e 

and the abolition of wardship his own neci ide him 

VOL. I. o 


anxious not to be left in a worse case than that in which he had 
been in before, whilst the Commons, who had hitherto been 
kept in ignorance of the amount of the revenue and expenditure 
of the Crown, were unaware how great those necessities were. 
James, indeed, was ready enough to redress such grievances as 
were brought home to him. Unfortunately more than that was 
needed. If James was to rule as Elizabeth had ruled, it was 
necessary that he should sympathise with his subjects as she 
had done. He must not be content to let them work out 
reforms, leaving to them the responsibility of directing their 
energies so as not to interfere with his wants. He must 
himself take the reforms in hand, and must so conduct them 
as to guide his subjects patiently on the way in which they 
wished to go. It was exactly what he was unable to do. Nor 
was he likely to find in Cecil anything but a hindrance. For 
Cecil, with all his practical capacity, was a man of the past 
age, who had had no experience as an independent member 
of the House of Commons, and who was more likely to throw 
difficulties in the way of the demands of the reformers than to 
consider how they could be carried into effect with the least 
prejudice to the State. On the still more important question 
raised by the Commons on the subject of Puritanism, he was 
too deeply imbued with the principles of the late reign to 
give good counsel. 

The one man who could have guided James safely through 
the quicksands was Bacon. He had all the qualities of a recon- 
ciling statesman. He sympathized with the Commons 

Me re- in their wish for reforms and in their desire for a more 
tolerant dealing with the Puritans. He sympathized 
with the King in his wish to carry out the Union. Above 
all, whilst he was the most popular member of the House, 
he had the highest ideas of the King's prerogative, because 
he saw in it an instrument for good, if only James could 
be persuaded to guide his people, and not to bargain with 

During his whole life Bacon continued to regard Cecil as 
the man who stood in the way of that advancement which 
he so ardently desired, both for the service of his country and 

1604 BACON AXD CECIL. 195 

for his own advancement. Yet it was not to be expected that 
James should thrust away an old and tried counsellor like Cecil, 
whom he had found on his arrival in England in possession of 
1604. authority, to make way for an adviser whose superior 
p.awn ; sad- qualities he was unable to recognise. What he did 
vancement. see j n Bacon was a supporter of the Union, who had 
been chosen one of the commissioners to meet the delegates 
of Scotland. As such he was worthy of a retaining fee. On 
August 18 Bacon was established by patent in the position of 
a King's Counsel, with which he received a pension of 60/. ' 
On the great ecclesiastical question on which he had written so 
wisely, Bacon could but hope for the best. He knew that the 
King had made up his mind, and he never again strove to 
change it. 

Whilst the House of Commons was engaged in stormy dis- 
Con cation. cusslons > Convocation was more calmly at work in 
drawing up a code of ecclesiastical law. The canons 
to which this body gave its assent had been prepared by Bancroft, 
TheCanons wn ° acted as President of the Upper House, the See 
of Canterbury being vacant. On the occasion of a 
discussion upon the use of the cross in baptism, Rudd, Bishop 
of St. David's, in a temperate speech, warned the I louse of the 
evil consequences which would inevitably follow upon the course 
which they were taking. The arguments of one man were not 
likely to have mu< h weight in such an assembly. As far as in 
them lay, they bound down the whole of the < lergy and laity o! 

land to a perpetual uniformity. Every man was del lared to 
be ev ommuni( ated who questioned the ( omplete accordant e 

of the Prayer Book with the Word Of Cod. Nor were the 

trrr nmunication felt only by those who shrank from 

bearing spiritual 'ensures. The excommunicated person was 
unable to enforce the paj mem of debt 1 whi< h mighl he dm 

him, and was himself liable to imprisonment till he conies , d 
his error. 

On July if, a proclamation appeared, in which permii 

1 Paeon's Letters and Life, iii. 217. 

O 2 


was given to the Puritan clergy to retain their livings until 

July 1 6. November 30. As soon as the time thus allowed 

The King's f or consideration had come to an end, they must 

proclama- t J 

tion. either conform or submit to expulsion. 

Shortly before the end of the term assigned to them, a 
small number of Puritans presented a petition to the King at 
The Royston his hunting seat at Royston. James, vexed at being 
petition. tnus taken unawares, told them to send ten of the 
wisest among them to the Council. The deputation did not 
gain much by this step, as they were dismissed, and forced 
to give bail to answer for their conduct whenever they might 
be summoned. 

On December 4, Bancroft was consecrated Archbishop of 
Canterbury. If there had been any truth in the fond delusion 

of his admirers in the next generation, who traced 
Archbishop all the troubles of the Church to the inefficient way 

in which his successor carried out his system, it would 
have been impossible to make a better choice. He did not, 
like Whitgift, persecute in the name of a state expediency. If 
he was not the first to adopt the belief that the episcopal 
system of the English Church was of Divine appointment, he 
was at least the first who brought it prominently before the 
world. With a full persuasion that he was engaged in repress- 
ing the enemies of God, as well as the disturbers of the 
Commonwealth, he felt no compunction in applying all his 
energies to the extirpation of Nonconformity. There were 
men in the Church of England, who, like Hutton, the Arch- 
bishop of York, felt some sympathy with the Puritans, although 
they did not themselves share their opinions. But Bancroft 
was unable to understand how the Puritans could talk such 
nonsense as they did, except from factious and discreditable 
motives. 1 In other respects he was well fitted for his office. 

1 Compare Hutton 's letter (Strype's Whitgift, iv., App. No. 50) with 
the following sentence from one of Bancroft's (Wilkins's Cone. iv. 409) : — 
" I have hitherto not greatly liked any severe course, but perceiving by 
certain instructions lately cast abroad, that the present opposition so lately 
constituted doth rather proceed from a combination of sundry factions, who 


He was anxious to increase the efficiency of the clergy, as far 
as was consistent with a due respect for uniformity, and, if it 
had lain in his power, he would have provided an orthodox and 
conforming preacher for every parish in England. 

He had not been a week in his new office before he was 

ordered by the Council to proceed against those amongst the 

_. clergy who still held out. 1 In a circular letter which 

Dec. 10. aj 

Proceedings he shortly afterwards addressed to the Bishops, 2 he 
directed that all curates and lecturers should be 
required, upon pain of dismissal, to subscribe to 
those articles which were imposed by the new canons. In the 
first of these the King's supremacy was to be acknowledged ; 
in the second a declaration was to be made that the Prayer 
ik contained nothing contrary to the Word of God ; and in 
the third the subscriber affirmed that the Thirty -nine Articles 
were also agreeable to the Word of God. The beneficed 
clergy were to be treated with rather more consideration. If 
they refused to conform, they were to be at once deposed, but 
those amongst them who were willing to conform, though they 
refused to subscribe, might he allowed to remain at peace. By 
this means, many would be able to retain their livings who, 
though they had no objection to perform as a matter of 
obedience the services enforced by the l'rayer Book, were by 

no means ready to declare il to be their conscientious cjnnion 

that everything contained in that book was in accordance with 
1 livine truth. 

ma) be supposed, this circular caused great consterna- 
tion amongst the Puritan clergj and their favourers. It has 
;i calculated that about three hundred a oi the clergy were 

in the 1 ride of their mind are loath to I"' foiled, as they term it, than from 

any reli- re or tt I 

1 The Council to! Dec 10, 1604, Wilkins's Cone, iv. 408. 

2 Bancroft to the Bishops, l></c. 22, 1604, Wilkins's Cone, iv. 409. 
• The number ha timated as low as forty-nine j but 1 

ments in Vaughan's Memorial* <»/ tin- Stuart i seem to me conclu iv< 1 
favour of the larger number. To the authorities quoted there may l.o 
added the petition of the Warwicl hip- mini t.-r-. (A'. /'. Dom. xi. 68), who 
k of twenty-seven being suspended in thai county alone; though the 
Bishop expressed ln> sorrow for that which he was forced to do. 


ejected for refusing to comply with the demands made upon 
them. The Bishops were frightened at the numbers who re- 
fused subscription, but the King urged them on. 1 To him the 
refusal to conform was a presumption of the existence of a 
Presbyterian temper. Such a temper, he held, must be rooted 
out, as opposed to monarchical order. To individuals ready to 
give way all tenderness was to be shown. " I am wonderfully 
satisfied," he wrote to the Secretary, "with the Council's pro- 
ceeding anent the Puritans. Since my departure, they have 
used justice upon the obstinate, shown grace to the penitent, 
and enlarged them that seem to be a little schooled by the 
rod of affliction. In this action they have, according to the 
ioist Psalm, sung of mercy and judgment both." 2 

On February 9, a petition in favour of the deprived 
ministers was presented to the King by four knights from 
Feb. 9 , 1605. Northamptonshire. It bore the signatures of forty- 
am^onTwre * 0UT g ent l emen 0I " tne county. 3 The King was 
petition. enraged. One sentence particularly exasperated 
him : the petitioners intimated that, if he denied their suit, 
many thousands of his subjects would be discontented ; an 
assertion which he looked upon as a threat. On the following 
day, he charged the Council to take steps against these daring 
men. Three days afterwards, the Chancellor appeared in the 
Star Chamber, and asked the judges if it was lawful to de- 
prive nonconforming ministers, and whether it was an offence 
against the law to collect signatures for such a petition as that 
which had just been presented. To both these questions they 
answered in the affirmative. 4 

1 Chamberlain to Win wood, Winw. ii. 46. 

2 The King to Cranborne, 1604, Hatfield MSS. 134, fol. 48. 

3 Petition in S. P. Dom. xi. 69. Among the signatures is that of 
Erasmus Dryden, grandfather of the poet. A little later (xi. 95) he asked 
pardon, and begged to be let out of the Fleet, to which he had been con- 
fined in consequence. 

4 to the Bishop of Norwich, Ellis, 2nd ser. iii. 215. A fuller 

and more correct account is in a memorandum in the S. P. Dom. xi. 73, 
and printed in Coke's Pep. at the end of the Reports of Trinity term, 
2 Jac. I. This mistake has led some writers into the error of supposing 
that the judges were consulted before the delivery of the petition. 


It was discovered that the petition had been drawn up by 
Sir Francis Hastings, the member for Somersetshire. He was 
summoned before the Council, and required to confess that it 
was seditious. 1 This he refused to do ; but he was ready to 
acknowledge that he had done wrong in meddling with such 
matters out of his own county. He declared that in the 
sentence to which the King objected, he had no intention of 
saying anything disloyal. He was finally ordered to retire to 
his own country house, and to desist from all dealings in 
matters concerning the King's service. He was told that this 
was a special favour, as anyone else would have been ' hud by 
the heels.' Sir Edward Montague and Sir Valentine Knightly 
met with similar treatment. 

In all that was being done the Secretary steadily supported 
the King. To him, unlike his cousin Bacon, the external uni- 
Cccii's formity of worship was the source of the higher unity. 

opinion. it W as necessary, he wrote, to correct the Puritans 
for disobedience to the lawful ceremonies of the Church ; 
' wherein although many religious men of moderate spirits 
might be borne with, yet such are the turbulent humours of 
some that dream of nothing but a new hierarchy directly 
opposite to the state of a monarchy, as the dispensation with 
such men were the highway to break, all the bonds of unity, to 
nouri ih ' In in 111 the Church and commonwealth. It is well 
said of a learned man that there are schisms in habit as well 
as in opinion, and dial unity in belief can not be preserved 
unless it is to be found in w( rship.' 2 Already in these words 
may t> I the principles of baud. The conception 

of a nation as .in artificial body to he coerced and trained 
that which Cecil had cherished in the atmosphere 
of the later Elizabethan officialism The conception of a 

nation as a growing body instinct with hie was that which 

I on was taught by his own genius to pen eive. 

James could never learn this lesson. lie encouraged 

1 F.jcim. of Sir F. Hastings, S. /'. Dom. xi. 74. 
5 " Et nonitrvatur unitat in crtdendo, nisi adsitin coUndo." Cran. 
borne to Hutton, Feb. 1605, Lodge, iii. 125. 


Bancroft to urge on the unwilling Bishops to purify their 
March i2. dioceses by the deprivation of all who were unwilling 
der e gydriv"n to conform, 1 though they were allowed to abstain 
out - from doing the work too roughly. The deprived 

ministers were to be allowed to retain their parsonages for one 
or two months, that they might have time to provide for them- 
selves and their families, now left without any visible means of 

Th-sse measures having been taken with the existing clergy, 
James hoped to be equally successful in providing that the 
April 8. Church should never again be troubled with similar 
Jath for W the difficulties. He commanded the Universities to 
Universities, administer to their members a new oath, which no 
Presbyterian would be willing to take. Even here, however, 
Presbyterianism was condemned, not as unscriptural, but as 
unsuitable to a monarchical constitution. 2 

There was at least one religious work not interrupted 

by these stormy conflicts. Puritans and Churchmen were 

able to sit down together to labour at that translation 

The T1€W 

translation of of the Bible which has for so many generations been 
treasured by Englishmen of every creed, because in 
its production all sectarian influences were banished, and all 
hostilities were mute. 

There can be little doubt that James seriously believed that 
he had brought peace into the Church by imposing conformity. 
The view taken by the Secretary was distinctly that the Church 
of England was the stronger for the late proceedings of the 
Government. " For the religion which they profess," 
viewofnon- he wrote of the expelled clergy, " I reverence them 
and their calling ; but for their unconformity, I ac- 
knowledge myself no way warranted to deal for them, because 

1 Bancroft to the Bishops, March 12, 1605, Wilkins's Cone. iv. 410. 

2 The King to Cranborne, April 8, 1605, S. P. Dom. xiii. 75. The 
most p ominent clause was: — " Deinde me credere ac tenere formam 
ecclesiastici regiminis, qua? apud nos est, per Archiepiscopos ac Episcopos 
legitimam esse, et sacris Scripturis consentaneam, novamque illam ac 
popularem quce presbyterii nomine usurpatur, utcunque alicubi non im- 
probandam, Monarchies tamen certe institute minime convenientem.' 


the course they take is no way safe in such a monarchy as 
this; where His Majesty aimeth at no other end than where 
there is but one true faith and doctrine preached, there to 
establish one form, so as a perpetual peace may be settled in 
the Church of God ; where contrarywise these men, by this 
singularity of theirs in things approved to be indifferent by so 
many reverend fathers of the Church, by so great multitudes of 
their own brethren, yea many that have been formerly touched 
with the like weaknesses, do daily minister cause of scandal in 
the Church of England, and give impediment to that great and 
goodly work, towards which all honest men are bound to yield 
their best means, according to their several callings, namely to 
suppress idolatry and Romish superstition in all His Majesty's 
dominions." ' 

The view thus taken was that of the man of business in all 
ages and in all parts of the world. To such natures the strength 
which freedom gives is entirely inconceivable. 

The policy of repressing Puritanism was not likely to stand 
alone. Partly from a desire to stand well with his Protestant 
subjects, partly from a feeling of insecurity, the months in 
which the nonconformist clergy were being driven from their 
parishes were those in which the Catholics were again brought 
under the lash of the penal laws. 

During the early part of 1604, James had hesitated between 
his desire to abstain from persecution, and his disinclination to 
see such an increase in the numbers of the Catholics 
as would enable them to dictate their own terms to 
him ell and Ins Protestant subjects. On February 22 
he had issued the proclamation for the banishment of the 
priests. 2 On March [9, in his speech at the opening of Par- 
liament, 3 he had expressed his resolution that no new converts 
should be made, jrel a month later the order for banishing the 

priests was still unexecuted, and a priest, arrested for saying 
mass, was set at liberty by the order of the King. Good Pro 
tenants complained bitterly that for many years the Catholit ^ 

' Cranbo ! gentlemen of Leicestershire, April 1605, lint- 

field J/.V.S". no, foL 117. 

P. .45. ' P - l06 ' 


had enjoyed no such liberty, and the Catholics themselves 
doubted whether James would be able to bear up against the 
pressure which was being brought against him. 1 

That the Catholics were on the increase was by this time an 

undisputed fact. In May, they themselves boasted that their 

May< ranks had been joined by 10,000 converts , 2 and the 

increase sense of growing numbers gave them a confidence 

of the 1 

Catholics. which they had not before possessed. 

James, not unnaturally, took alarm. His distraction of 

mind showed itself in his language. On May 17, he complained 

to the House of Commons of the increase of Papists, 

Impression ... . 

made on the and recommended the preparation of ' laws to hem 
them in.' 3 In his communications with the Catholics 
themselves he fell back on that dreary and impracticable 
solution which has commended itself to so many generous 
He wishes minds. Why, he asked, could not the Pope consent 
b/sum-' 1 to t0 tne meeting of a general council at which all the 
moned. differences between the Churches would be freely 
discussed, and the unity of the Church restored. 4 At such a 
council James would undoubtedly have expected to exercise a 
predominant influence. A few months before a Catholic agent 
had recommended that if anyone were sent from Rome to gain 
any influence over James, he should take care not to attempt 
openly to convince him of the error of his ways. He should 
explain that the Pope wished to apply to James as to the 
greatest and the most intelligent amongst the sovereigns who had 
forsaken the Roman See, for his advice on the best means of 

1 Relalio Domini Con., enclosed in a letter from Del Bufalo to Aldo- 
brandino, May — Roman Transcripts, R. 0. The name is there given 

as Com, but I believe him to have been the future agent at the court of 
Henrietta Maria. 

2 Account of a conversation, May 18, .S". P. Dom. viii. 30. From 
Jan. to Aug. the number in the diocese of Chester alone increased from 
2,400 to 3,433. State of the diocese of Chester, S. P. Dom. ix. 28. A 
priest is reported to have talked about an insurrection and the seizure of 
Chester, &c, Exam, of Hacking, May 20, S. P. Dom. viii. 34. 

s C. J. i. 214. 

4 Del Bufalo to Aldobrandino, June -' Roman Transcripts, R. 0. 


uniting Christendom in one true religion. 1 Clement VII. would 
no doubt have had no objection to playing with James, as an 
angler plays with a salmon, but he was not likely to agree to a 
general council, in which the assembled Bishops were, in 
mute admiration, to give their willing consent to the views of 
the royal theologian, and James was accordingly vexed to find 
that there was no likelihood that his suggestion would be 

Before long, James was recalled to the practical world. On 

June 4, a Bill for the due execution of the statutes against 

Jesuits, Seminary Priests, and Recusants was intro- 

June 4. . 

Act against duced into the House of Lords. 2 In spite of the 

opposition of the Catholic Lord Montague, who was 

committed to the Tower for the strong language which he not 

unnaturally used, it was sent down to the Commons, 

and finally passed both Houses, though not without 

undergoing considerable alterations. All the statutes of the 

late reign were con firmed, and in some points they were made 

more severe. The Catholics were, of course, anxious that the 

King should refuse his assent to the Bill. A petition 8 was 

presented to him by the priests, in which they offered to take 

an oath of allegiance. A much more important petition 4 was 

presented by a number of the laity, in which they expressed 

their readiness to be< ome responsible for the conduct of such 

priests as they might be permitted to have in their houses. 

Jul -8 '' '""' °^ et was rL 'J 1 -'' , '' 1 ' by James, and he gave his 

it in assent to the Dill. He told the French Ambassador, 

however, that he had no present intention of putting 

the Act in force, hut that he wished to have the power of re- 

pre I ion if any necessity should arise.'' As an assur.iiK <■ of the 

sincerity of his intentions, he remitted to the sixteen gentlemen 

who were liable to the 20/. fine the whole sum \\hi< h had fallen 
instable (?) to Del Bufalo, - 160 '' Roman Transcripts, K- < \ 

Jan. -j, 4, ' ' 

* I Jac. I. cap. 4. 

* Catholic Priests to the Kinp, July (?) .V. /'. Dom, viii. 125. 
1 Petition Apologetical, p. 34. 

* Pcaumont to the King of France, July - 1604, King's 3fSS. 126, 
fol. 122. 


due since the Queen's death, as a guarantee that he would never 
call upon them for arrears. 1 

The Catholics might well be content with the treatment 
which they were receiving, if only they could be assured that 
it would continue. They knew, however, that James stood 
alone amongst the Protestant English people in his wish to 
protect them, and that they were therefore at the mercy of- 
any gust of feeling which might sweep over his mind. It was 
therefore with considerable interest that they watched the nego- 
tiations which seemed likely to afford them relief by bringing 
their own King into close connection with the great Catholic 
monarchy of Spain. 

That monarchy had, indeed, of late years fallen from its 

high estate. If Philip II. had been able to carry out his 

8 _ schemes, he would have re-established the old religion 

The Spanish by the prowess of the Spanish armies, and by the 

STdeath of intrigues of which he held the thread as he sat at his 

p • desk at the Escurial. The Pope would once more 
have been looked up to as the head of an undivided Church. 
By his side would have stood, in all the prominence of con- 
scious superiority, the King of Spain, realising in his person all, 
and more than all that, in the Middle Ages, had been ascribed 
by jurists and statesmen to the chief of the Holy Roman 
Empire, the lay pillar of the edifice of Catholic unity. Kings 
would have existed only by his sufferance. Political inde- 
pendence and religious independence would have been stifled 
on every side. At last, perhaps, the symbol would have 
followed the reality, and the Imperial Crown would have rested 
on the brows of the true heir of the House of Austria, the 
champion of the Church, the master of the treasures of the 
West, the captain of armies whose serried ranks and unbroken 
discipline would have driven in headlong rout the feudal 
chivalry which in bygone centuries had followed the Ottos and 
the Fredericks through the passes of the Alps. 

This magnificent scheme had broken down completely. 
The long struggle of the sixteeeth century had only served to 

1 July 30, Pat. 2 Jac. I. part 22. 

1598 POLICY OF SPAIN. 205 

consolidate the power of the national dynasties. The signa- 
Faiiureof ture of trie Peace of Vervins was the last act of 
his schemes. Philip II., and in accepting the treaty of London, 
Philip III. was only setting his seal to his father's acknowledg- 
ment of failure. 

It was impossible that the memory of such a conflict could 

be blotted out in a day. That Spain had never really with- 

Spain still drawn her pretensions to universal monarchy, and 

that she had merely allowed herself a breathing 

with sus- J ° 

picion. time in ordei to recruit her strength for the renewal 

of the struggle, was the creed of thousands even in Catholic 
France, and was held with peculiar tenacity by the populations 
of the Protestant Netherlands and of Protestant England. For 
many years every petty aggression on the part of Spain would 
be regarded as forming part of a preconcerted plan for a general 
attack upon the independence of Europe. 

It was only by the most scrupulous respect for the rights of 

other nations, and by a complete abstinence from all meddling 

with their domestic affairs, that the Spanish Govern- 

Renuncia- . 

■ mi nl could hope to allay the suspicion ot which it 
was the obje< t. Unhappily there was but little pro- 
bability of such a thorough change of policy. It is 
true that, under the guidance of I.crma, Philip III., a prince 
whose bigotry was only equalled by his listlessness and in- 
effii had definitely renounced all intention of extending 

his own dominions or of establishing puppet sovereigns at 

I :, don or at Paris. It is also true, that now that there was no 

longer to be found in Europe any considerable body ol Catholics 
who were the subjei t . of a Protestant sov< r< ign, the poli< y of 

stirring up 1 won in the Protestant states was of necessity 

relinquished. Bui the old thi nexe still dear to the heart 

;.-rd. Philip III. was still the Catholic King, the 

pillar of the Church, the pi of the faithful. Even Lerma, 

irous as he was of maintaininj ce which alone made it 

1 him to stave oil a national bankruptcy, and to fill 
his own pockets with the plunder of the State, could nol wholly 
abandon the traditional principles of his nation. If the doc- 
trines of the advocates of tyrannic ide were suffered gradually to 


drop out of sight, it was only because it seemed likely that the 
triumph of the Church might be secured more easily in another 
„ way. The Spanish statesmen — if statesmen they can 

The govern- 3 r . . J . 

memstobe be called — saw that the opposition to the aggressions 
of Spain had everywhere given rise to strong national 
governments, and they fell into the mistake of supposing that 
the national governments were everything, and that the national 
spirit by which they were supported was nothing. Of the 
strength of Protestantism they were utterly and hopelessly 
ignorant. They supposed it to be a mere congeries of erroneous 
and absurd opinions, which had been introduced by the princes 
for the gratification of their own selfish passions, and they never 
doubted that it would fall to pieces from its own inherent weak- 
ness as soon as the support of the princes was withdrawn. 

The Spanish Government, therefore, was no longer to irri- 
tate the neighbouring sovereigns by cultivating relations with 
their discontented subjects. It would gain their ear by acts of 
courtesy, and would offer to support them against domestic 
opposition. Above all, in Protestant countries, no stone should 
be left unturned to induce the heretic king to seek repose in 
the bosom of the Church of Rome. It was by such means as 
these that sober men seriously hoped to undo the work of 
Luther and of Elizabeth, and, accomplishing in peace what 
Philip II. had failed to bring to pass by force of arms, to lay 
the hitherto reluctant populations of Northern Europe as an 
offering at the feet of the successor of St. Peter. 

Before anything could be done by the Spanish Government 
to give effect to so far-reaching a scheme, it was necessary to 
convert into a formal peace the cessation of hostilities which 
had followed on the accession of James to the throne of Eng- 
land. Before that could be done there must be some under- 
standing on the relation between England and the Dutch 

Towards the end of July 1603, Aremberg requested James 
to mediate between his master and the States. 1 A week or two 

1 Eeaumont to the King of France, July * 7 ' 1603, King's 3/SS. 124, fol. 

Aug, Of 



later the King wrote to the States, telling them that he had 
given no answer to Aremberg till he heard from them whether 
they would join the treaty. 1 This letter was accom- 
Negotiations panied by another from the Privy Council to Sir Ralph 
with Spain, yvinwood, t he English member of the Dutch Council 
assuring him that, though the King was desirous of treating, he 
would conclude nothing to their disadvantage. If the Spaniards 
declined to admit the States to the negotiations, the English 
would refuse the peace altogether. If the States refused his 
offer of including them in the treaty, James would even then 
insist upon a clause being inserted, assigning a time within which 
they might be admitted. 2 At the same time permission was 
granted to Caron, the Ambassador of the States in London, to 
levy a regiment in Scotland. The States, however, were not to 
he won by these advances. They firmly refused to treat on any 
conditions whatever. 3 England must therefore negotiate for 
itself, if it was not to be dragged into an interminable war. 

In the autumn of 1603 James seems to have been less in- 
clined to peace than he had hitherto been. Towards the end 
of September Don Juan de Taxis, Count of Villa Mediann, 
arrived with letters from the King of Spain ; but 

September. . ~ ' 

there was some informality in the address, and, above 
all, he brought no commission to treat. The Duke of Frias, 
the Constable of Castile, was expected to bring the necessary 
powers after Christmas. Meanwhile, James heard that Villa 
Medlana was employing his time in opening communications 
with the principal Catholics, and in giving presents to the 

In the middle Of January 1604 the Constable arrived at 
Bru . He bej ed that the English Commissioners might 
be enl it with him there, as he was labouring under an 

ind »n. 8 This was of course inadmissible. Spain had 

1 James to the States, Aug. to, 1603, Winw, \\. 1. 

- Lords of Council toWinwood, Aug. i", [6031 Wiitw, ii. 2. 

1 Winwood . Aug. 21, .'•'. P. Holland. 

1 Beaumont to the King <>f France. , s "'"' '"' Oct, r ' Oct. ,7 ' 1603, 

10, 16, 27, J 

King's MSS. 124, fol. 125, 151, 168. 

uimont to the King of France, Jan. ~ 1604, King's MSS, 124, 
ful. 374 b. 


refused at Boulogne to allow the ambassadors of the Queen of 
England to occupy an equal position with her own: 
Arrival of she must now acknowledge her defeat by coming to 
stable at London to beg for peace. After a delay of nearly 
four months the conferences commenced, the Con- 
stable ' having sent his powers over to those whom he appointed 
to treat in his name. 

On May 20 the Commissioners met for the first time. On 

the English side were the Lord Treasurer, the Lord Buckhurst 

May 20. °f Elizabeth's reign, who had recently been created 

Meeting of £ ar i f Dorset ; the Lord High Admiral, the Earl of 

the Com- ° 

missioners. Nottingham, who, as Lord Howard of Effingham, 
had seen the Armada fly before him ; the Earl of Devonshire, 
fresh from the conquest of Ireland, where he had been known 
as Lord Mountjoy : Lord Henry Howard, now raised to the 
peerage by the title of Earl of Northampton ; and last, but not 
least, the indefatigable Secretary, Lord Cecil. 

On the part of Spain appeared the Count of Villa Mediana, 
who had been appointed Ordinary Ambassador to England, 
and Alessandro Rovida, Senator of Milan, upon whom was laid 
the chief burden of sustaining the interests of the King of 
Spain. The Archduke had sent as his representatives the 
Count of Aremberg, the President Richardot, and the Audiencer 

As soon as some merely formal difficulties had been set 
aside, Rovida opened the discussion by proposing that England 
The con- should enter into an offensive and defensive alliance 
ferences. ^j, Sp a j n> 2 This proposition having been instantly 
rejected, he then asked for a merely defensive league, or at 
least for a mutual promise not to assist those who were in 
rebellion against the authority of either Sovereign. This, of 
course, brought forward the real question at issue. Richardot 
asked Cecil in plain language what he intended to do about the 

1 Beaumont to the King of France, May ■ --' 1604, King's MSS. 125, 


fol. 233. 

2 There is a most full and interesting report of these discussions, of 
which the original copy, in Sir T. Edmondes' hand, is among the S. P. 
Sp. There is a copy in Add. MSS. 14,033. 


States. Fortunately, Cecil had now gained the full support of 
his master. James had already told Aremberg that he refused 
to consider the Dutch as rebels. Cecil begged the Commis- 
sioners not to press him to dispute whether they were rebels or 
no. However that might be, ' he would boldly affirm that the 
contracts which were made by the deceased virtuous and pious 
Princess (whose memory he was ever bound to honour) with 
those that call themselves by the name of the United Provinces 
were done upon very just and good cause.' He demanded 
whether Spain would regard the interruption of trade between 
England and Holland as essential to the peace ; and Rovida 
was obliged to give way. 

In fact, Cecil knew that he was playing a winning game. 
It was not his fault that the States refused to be included in 
the negotiations, but as they had, he was determined that they 
should suffer no loss which could possibly be avoided. He 
knew how necessary peace was for Spain. The Spaniards knew 
it too, and step by step they gave way before him. 

By the treaty which, after six weeks of negotiation, was 

eventually drawn up, James vaguely promised that he would 

enter into negotiations with the States on the subject 

nti of the 'cautionary towns,' wherein he would assign a 

£fith?eg£rd competent time 'to accept and receive conditions 

nd ' agreeable to justice and equity for a pacification to 

I,.- had with the most renowned princes, his dear brethren, 

which, if the States shall refuse to accept, His Majesty from 

thenceforth, as being freed from tlie former conventions, will 

determine o\ those towns according as he shall judge it to 

I i • ind honourable, wherein the said princes, his lo>. 

'liren, shall find that there shall \»- no want in him of those 

id offices which can be expected from a friendly prince. ' 
With su< li unmeaning verbiage, whit h, aa ( '<■< ii a few daj . latei 
told Winwood to ''-plain to the States,' 2 meant nothing, the 

nish Comn I i were for< I d to be < ontent. T! 

1 The treaty is in Rynur % nvi, 617, in Latin. The quotations an 
taken from an English translation in Harl. J/.s.v. 351. 

> il to Winwood, Jurm 1 {, Winw. ii. 23. He pointed oul that 
James was to judge what con : greeable to justice and equity. 

VI IL. I. P 


sons of the towns were to be considered neutral. No English 
ships were to be allowed to carry Dutch goods between Spain 
and the United Netherlands, 1 but no diplomatic arts could 
gain from the English a promise that their vessels would abstain 
from carrying Dutch merchandise elsewhere. It was no less 
in vain that the Spaniards urged that James should prohibit 
Englishmen from serving in the armies either of the enemies 
or of the rebellious subjects of his new ally. All that they 
could obtain was a promise that the King would not consent 
to the levy of troops for such purposes in his dominions. " His 
Majesty," said Cecil in writing to Winwood, 2 " promised neither 
to punish nor to stay, but only that he will not consent — a word 
of which you know the latitude as well as I." Nor was this a 
mere equivocation, kept in secret for future use. The Spaniards 
knew perfectly well what the clause was worth. They had asked 
that the volunteers which were now serving the States should 
be persuaded to return, ' which was thought reasonable by their 
lordships to be promised to be done, so far forth as the parties 
serving there would be induced thereunto ; and thereupon 
the articles were so reformed as should neither import any 
such public revocation, nor to restrain the going of voluntaries 
thither.' At most, they were obliged to be contented with the 
promise that James would himself be neutral, and would throw 
no hindrances in the way of enlistment for the Archduke's 

In estimating the effect of this treaty upon the States, it 
must be remembered that by none of its articles were they de- 
prived of any assistance from England, which they had enjoyed 
since the last agreement in 1598.' At that time, Elizabeth, 
considering that the States were able to defend themselves, 
stipulated that they should pay the English soldiers in their 
service. This state of affairs was not affected by the tieaty 

1 This point was not yielded till the Dutch merchants were consulietl, 
Wirvw. ii. 23 ; and the Merchants' Statement, S. P. Hoi. (undated). 

■ Cecil to Winwood, Sept. 4, Winw. ii. 27. 

3 Nor did they lose anything which they gained by the treaty between 
France and England in 1603, as the King of France continued to furnish 



with Spain. The only possible injury which they could receive 
would arise from the loss of the co-operation of the English 
ships ; but, with their own flourishing navy, it was certain that 
this loss would not be severely felt. Dissatisfied as they un- 
doubtedly were with what was, in their eyes, a desertion of the 
common cause, they could only lay their fingers upon two 
clauses of which it was possible to complain. The first was one 
by which a certain small number of Spanish ships of Avar were 
allowed to take refuge in an English port when driven by stress 
of weather, or by want of provisions or repairs ; the other — 

inst which Cecil had long stood out, and which was only 
conceded at the last moment, probably on account of the mer- 
cantile intercuts of the English traders — bound each of the 
contra* ting parties to take measures to throw open any ports 
belonging to the other which might be blockaded. It led, as 
might have been expected, to embarrassing negotiations with 
the States. Cecil, however, always maintained that the clause 
bound him to nothing. "Howsoever we may dare operant" ' 
he wrote to Tarry, "by persuasion or treat}-, we mean not to 
keep a fleet at sea to make war upon" the Dutch "to maintain 
a petty trade of merchandi Finally, it was agreed that if 

ever the States should be inclined to make any proposal to the 
Archduke, James should be at liberty to present it on their 
behalf, and to support it in any negotiations which might 

If the Spaniards were obliged to contenl themselves, in the 
clauses which related to the States, with ambiguities which 

.. would certainly not be interpreted in their favour, 

Trade ■ th they fared little better in their attempt to obtain, from 

the Engli Co ioners, even the most indireel 

1 the illegality of the English trade with the 
Indies. The English negotiatoi 1 proposed that a proclamation 
should be i u< d forbidding English subjects from trading with 
places actually in tl pation of the Spanish Government, 

on condition that Spain would withdraw all pretensions to - 
elude them from trading with the in< entnatives. They 

1 The parties were bound ' ram' that the porta should ho 


V 2 


refused, however, to bind themselves to obtain a written promise 
from the King that he would prohibit his subjects from engaging 
in the contraband trade, and the proposition was rejected. 
They contented themselves, as Elizabeth would have done if 
she had been alive, 1 with ignoring the whole subject in the 
treaty, though they expressed their opinion strongly enough in 
the conference. 2 To leave English traders to provide for their 
own defence would, in our own days, be sheer insanity. It is 
now understood that it is the duty of the Royal Navy to pro- 
tect unarmed merchant ships in every quarter of the globe. 
In the beginning of the seventeenth century it was not likely 
that a single man-of-war would be found even a hundred leagues 
from the coasts of the British Islands. The vessels, half-mer- 
chantman, half-privateer, which were the terror of the Spanish 
authorities in the American seas, never thought of asking for 
the protection of the navy. They were perfectly well able to 
take care of themselves. The only question, therefore, which 
the English Government had to consider was, whether they 
should continue the war in Europe in order to force the King 
of Spain to recognise the right of these adventurers to trade 
within certain limits, or whether the war was from henceforth 
to be carried on in one hemisphere alone. If Spain insisted 
that there should be no peace beyond the line, 3 it would be 
better to leave her to reap the fruits of a policy which before- 
long would give birth to the buccaneers. 

One other question remained to be solved. Cecil had taken 
an early opportunity of proposing that English merchants trading 
The fn- w *th Spain should be free from the jurisdiction of the 
quiMtion. Inquisition. The Spanish Commissioners answered 
that where no public scandal was given, the King ' would be 

1 In her instructions to the Commissioners at Boulogne, the following 
passage occurs : — "If you cannot possibly draw them to consent to any 
toleration of trade, that at least you would yield to no prejudice of restric- 
tion on that behalf, but to pass that point over." — Winw. i. 212. 

- Thus Northampton said : "Our people was a warlike nation, and 
having been accustomed to make purchases (i.e. prizes) on the seas, would 
not better be reduced than by allowing them free liberty of trade." 

* i.e. the line beyond which all lands had been given by the Pope to 
the King of Spain. 


careful to recommend ' that the Inquisition should leave the 
belief of English merchants unquestioned ; but they thought 
that those who openly insulted the religion of the country in 
which they were, would be justly amenable to its laws. Cecil, 
who was fully alive to the propriety of this distinction, but who 
knew the iniquitous character of the laws of Spain, protested 
that there was no reason that Englishmen ' should be subject 
to the passionate censure of the Inquisition, and be so strangely 
dealt withal as ordinarily they had been.' If these practices 
were to continue, the Spaniards who from time to time visited 
England should undergo similar ill-treatment. The subject 

then dropped. When it was again taken up, it was agreed, 
after a long discussion, that an article should be framed to the 
effect that ' His Majesty's subjects should not be molested by 
land or sea for matter of conscience, within the King of Spain's 
or the Archduke's dominions, if they gave not occasion of public 
scandal.' The nature of public scandal was defined by three 
secret articles which were appended to the treaty. 1 It was 

ed that no one should be molested for any act which he 
had committed before his arrival in the country ; that no One 
should he compelled to enter a church, but that, if he entered 
one of his own accord, he should 'perform those duties and 

reverences which are used towards the holy sacrament of the 

altar;' that if any person should 'see the holy sacrament 

coming towards ' him 'in any street,' he should 'do reverence 
by bowing ' his ' knees, or else to pass aside by some other 

street, or turn into JOme house.' It was also stipulated thai if 

the oflft era "t any ships lying in a Spanish harbour did 'exceed 
in any matter herein, the Inquisition proceeding against them 

by office, IS only tO sequester their own proper goods, and are 

to leave free the ships, and all oth tot belonging to the 

ofl'eiidei . 

These arti<les, which were copied from a similar agrei ment 
which had been made between Queen Elizabeth and the Duke 
of Alva, contained all that the English < rovernmenl was justified 
in demanding. Every man who avoided giving public scani l 

would be treed from all molestation. 

1 ll'nruf. ii. 29. 


At last, after the work had been done, the Constable of 
Castile arrived, and on August 19 James solemnly swore to 
Aug. 19. observe the treaty. The proclamation of the peace, 
TwonTtoby m tne City, was for the most part received in sullen 
James. silence, only broken here and there by exclama- 

tions of " God preserve our good neighbours in Holland and 
Zealand ! " These good neighbours had just succeeded, by a 
masterly stroke of war, in capturing Sluys, to counterbalance 
their impending loss of Ostend. On the day on which James 
swore to the peace with Spain, there was scarcely a pulpit in 
London where thanksgivings were not offered for the success 
of the Dutch. 1 Nevertheless, those who had negotiated the 
treaty had the satisfaction of knowing that they had ended an 
arduous struggle by a just and honourable peace. In a few 
years the Dutch, left to themselves, would begin to think that 
it was not impossible for them to follow the example of 
England. No cause arising from the general position of Con- 
tinental politics made it advisable to continue the war. The 
onward flow of Spanish power, which had threatened in the six- 
teenth century to swallow up the Protestant States, had slackened. 
The onward flow of Austrian power, which was destined to 
inundate Germany in the seventeenth century, was still in the 
future. For the present there was a lull, of which England would 
do well to take advantage. After the great war with Spain, as in 
later times after the great war with France, peace, retrenchment, 
and reform were the objects which every true statesman should 
have kept in view, if he wished to prepare the vessel of State to 
meet the coming storm. It was with this work that 

Aug. 20. ° 

Cecil Cecil hoped to connect his name. He was still in full 

vise™" possession of the King's confidence. On August 20, 
Cranbome. ^ ^. a ^ QT ^ Q so i emn acceptance of the treaty, he was 
raised a step in the peerage, by the title of Viscount Cranbome. 

The new resident Spanish Ambassador, the Count of Villa 
Mediana, had other things to do besides fulfilling the ordinary 
The Spanish functions of his office. He came provided with gold, 

, : ,ers. to w j n over tne ministers of James to his master's 
service. That Northampton made no difficulty in accepting a 
1 Caron to the States General, Aug. 21., Add. Jl/SS. 17, 677 G. fol. 173. 


pension of 1,000/. will astound no one. It is as little a mattet- 
Northamp- f° r surprise that Suffolk, the old sea captain who had 
ton - fought at the side of Raleigh and Essex, refused to 

contaminate his fingers with Spanish gold. Lady Suffolk, how- 
ever, fell an easy victim, and it is probable that, through her, 
L^y Lerma knew as much of her husband's secrets as if 

:' : '. in(1 the Earl himself had been drawn into the net. She, 
4.irc. w j t h Dorset and Devonshire, had 1,000/. a year a- 
piece. Sir William Monson, the Admiral who commanded in 
the Narrow Seas, not only received a pension of 350/. himself, 
sir William but assisted the Ambassador in gaining others over, 
whilst another pension, of a similar amount, was 
assigned to Mrs. Drummond, the first Lady of the 
Queen's Bed-Chamber. 

But that which is, in every way, most difficult of explanation 
is that Cranborne himself condescend d to accept a pension of 
1,000/., which was raised to 1,500/. in the following 
year. 1 Unluckily we know scarcely more than the 
bare fact. One of the Spanish ambassadors, indeed, who sub- 
sequently had dealings with him, pronounced him to be a venal 
traitor, who was ready to sell his soul for money. On the Other 
hand we know that, up to the day of his death, his policy when- 
ever he had free play, was decidedly and increasingly anti- 
Spanish. In the negotiations which were just over, he had been 
the steady opponent of the Spanish < laims, and, almost, at the 
very moment when lie was bargaining for a pension, he 
interpreting die treaty, as far as it was possible, 
in favour of tin- enemies of Spaia We know also, from the evi- 
dence <>f Sir Walter Cope, who, shortly after his death, wrote a 

(j c i, • his 1 hanu ter, al a time when every sentence would l><- 

scanned by unfriendly eyes, thai he \\a, m.! ible t<> ordi 

nary corruption i and thisstatem< nt is 1 onfirmed by the negative 

I the silence of the letter-writers of the day on tin. 

1 Memoir left by Villa Mediana, July -•- 1605, Sim WSS., 

2544. The name- '.f the Earl of Dunbar, Lord Kinloss, Sir T. I 
Sir I. Ramsay, >nd Sir J. Lindsay, are given for pen : 

led <>r not pai<l at all. Comp i Digby to the King, Sept 9, 1613, 
Dec. 16, 1615, April 3, 1616, S. /: Spain, 


score, though their letters teem with stories of the bribery 
which prevailed at Court as soon as power had passed into 
other hands 

There can, however, be no doubt that though he was gener- 
ally looked upon as a man who was inaccessible to ordinary 
„ . bribery, he was never regarded as indifferent to 

Conjecture ■" ° 

as to his money. He had heaped up a considerable fortune 

intention. .. . /-io 11 iiij 

in the service of the State, although he had not con- 
descended to use any improper means to obtain wealth. It is 
possible that, as soon as the peace was concluded, — thinking 
as he did that it was likely to be permanent, — he offered to do 
those services for the Spanish Government which, as long as 
it was a friendly power, he could render without in any way 
betraying the interests of his own country ; whilst, with his very 
moderate standard of morality, he did not shrink from accepting 
a pecuniary reward for what he did. This is probably the ac- 
count of his relations with the French Government, from which 
also, according to a by no means unlikely story, he accepted a 
pension. 1 

But it is plain that, even if this is the explanation of his 
original intentions, such a comparatively innocent connection 
with Spain soon extended itself to something worse, and that 
he consented to furnish the ambassadors, from time to time, 
with information on the policy and intentions of the English 
Government. Vet the despatches of those ambassadors are 
filled with complaints of the spirit in which he performed his 
bargain. Of the persistence with which he exacted payment 
there can be no doubt whatever. Five years later, when the 
opposition between the two Governments became more decided, 
he asked for an increase of his payments, and demanded that 
they should be made in large sums as each piece of informa- 
tion was given. When afterwards England took up a position 
of almost direct hostility to Spain, the information sent home 
by the ambassadors became more and more confused. 

Whatever the truth may have been, it is certain that Cran- 

1 At least Northampton told Sir R. Cotton that he believed that this 
was the case.— Examination of Sir Robert Cotton, Cott. MSS, Til. B. viii. 
fol. 489. 


borne was at no time an advocate of a purely Spanish policy. 
England and He knew well that, in order to preserve the indepen- 
France. dence of Europe, it was necessary that England should 
remain on friendly terms with France, which was now recovering, 
under Henry IV., the vigour which it had lost during the civil 
wars, and was standing in steady, though undeclared, opposition 
to Spain. Vet, necessary as this French alliance was to England, 
it was not unaccompanied by difficulties. Cranborne was not 
anxious to see another kingdom step into the place which had 
lately been occupied by Spain. Above all things, he did not wish 
to see the Spanish Netherlands in the hands of the power which 
already possessed such a large extent of coast so near to the 
shore.-, of England. The prospect of danger which might pos- 
sibly arise from such an increase of the dominions of the King 
of France, imparted a certain reticence, and even vacillation, 
to his dealings with the French ambassador, which increased 
tlie uncertainty of the policy of the English Government. 

Happily, whatever might occur in future times, there were, 

at tlie ao ession of James, no points of difference between France 

and England, excepting a few difficulties which had 

been thrown in the way of the English merchants 

who were engaged in the French trade. These were, 

however, removed by the signature of a commercial treaty, 

which dire ted the appointment of a permanent commission, 

aposed of two English and two French merchants, who were 

to it at Rouen tor the settlement ofdisputes. Henry also gave 

Up the iniquitous droit Jdithainc, by \vhi< li the King of fiance 

laid claim to the goods of all foreigners dying within his 

dominion -.' 

There was more diffii ulty in coming to an agreement upon 

the meaning of the treaty which had been signed at Hampton 

. Court m 1603. According to its stipulations, France 

had furnished tin- Dutch with a considerable sum o( 

money, deducting a third part from the debt owed 

by Henry to the King of England. As soon as the 

Spanish treaty was signed, Cranborne, who knew that Jami had 

no money to spare, declared that the agreement with France 

was no longer in force— an opinion wln< h appears to have 

1 Kymcr, xvi. 645. 


derived some colour from the somewhat ambiguous terms in 
which the treaty was couched. The French Government was 
of a contrary opinion, and continued to furnish the sums re- 
quired by Holland in yearly payments, and to deduct a third 
of these payments from its debt to England. 1 

The relations with the States-General required far more 
careful consideration. It was certain that they would feel ag- 
grieved at the treaty with Spain, and it was equally certain that 
the Spaniards would urge the English Government to break off 
Th u -k a '^ intercourse with the Republic. The first difficulty 
adeofthe was presented by the expectation of the Spaniards 
pons by the that the English merchant vessels would be supported 
by their Government in forcing the blockade of the 
ports of Flanders. The merchants themselves were eager to 
open a new trade, and a large number of vessels made the 
attempt to get through the Dutch squadron. The Dutch were 
not likely to consent to see the fruit of their efforts to starve 
out their enemies thus thrown away in a day. The English 
vessels were stopped, and their crews were subjected to no 
gentle treatment. 2 Nor were the Dutch content with blockading 
the ports of Flanders. They pretended to be authorized to 
stop all trade with Spain, and captured upon the high seas some 
English vessels which were employed in carrying corn to that 
country. 3 This latter pretension was, of course, inadmissible ; 
but Salisbury had no intention of supporting the merchants in 
forcing an actually existing blockade. In order, however, to 
fulfil the stipulation by which England was bound to take 
measures for opening the trade, a despatch was sent to Sir 
Ralph Winwood, who represented the English Government 
in Holland, directing him to request the States to be more 
moderate in their proceedings, ' and to beg them to agree to 
some regulations under which trade might, to a certain extent, 
be still carried on.' 4 A little later, a direct proposition was 

1 An account of the money paid is among the S. P. Holland, 1609. 
- Winwood to Cecil, Sept. 12, 1604; IVinw. ii. 31 ; and Sept. 28, 
1604, S. P. Holland. 

3 Edmondes to Winwood, Sept. 30, 1604 ; Winw. ii. 33. 

4 Nottingham, &c, to Winwood, Oct. 25, 1604, S. P. Holland. 


made, that the States should allow English vessels to go up to 
Antwerp, on payment of a toll. 1 The States refused to accept 
any proposition of the kind, and the ports remained blockaded 
till the end of the war. The English merchants who com- 
plained to their Government of the loss of their vessels received 
but cold answers, and were given to understand that there was 
no intention of rendering them any assistance. The pretension 
of the States to cut off all trade from Spain itself, without en- 
forcing an actual blockade, was quietly dropped. 

Although James had refused to advance any further sums of 

money to the States, he still allowed the levy of troops for their 

service in his dominions. A similar permission could 

1 for not be refused to the Archduke ; but every difficulty 
tfrie Si 111 ■ 1 • 1 , 

seems to have been thrown in his way by the 

Government 3 

It was not easy to preserve the neutrality of the English 

ports. Questions were sure to arise as to the exact limits of 

. the sovereignty of England. The crews of the fleet 

which guarded the Straits, under the command of 

neutrality. ,,. ....... ,, ..... 

Sir \\ imam Monson, were roused to indignation at 
the treatment which the sailors Oil hoard the hum hant vessels 
endeavouring to break the blockade had received at the hands 
of the Dutch. Whilst, therefore, on land scarcely an English- 

was to he found who did not favour the cause of the States, 
the sailors on hoard the fleet were animated by very different 

feelings. 1 They even went so far as to capture a Dutch ship 
whi< h was coming up the Straits with the hooty which had 

1 taken out of a Spanish prize. 4 The excuse probably was 
that it had come too 111 ai the English < oast. The capture was, 

• ever, annulled hy the Courl I >l Admiralty."' 

h Government, in the hands of Lerma, was dis- 

1 Winwood to Cranborne, Feb. 10, 1605, .v. /'. Holland, 

- Beaumont to the Kins -1 France, Mm,!, '• April '''' £*2Z-22i 1605, 

K 19, * a6i June 1, J 

MSS. 127, fol. 2yi ; 12S, foL 17/', 103. 
* Chamherlain to Winwood, Feb. 2f>, [605, Win-.', ii. 48. 
' Beaumont to the King of France, 1605, Xing' i MSS, 127, 

fol. 157. 

5 Beaumont to Villcroi, April — 1605, King's MSS, 12$, fol. ibid. 


tracted in its English policy between two tendencies which it 
was difficult to reconcile. As a temporal potentate the King 
of Spain needed a good understanding with England to enable 
him to overpower the Dutch. As a spiritual potentate — no 
other name befits the position which he claimed — he was bound, 
by the tradition of his house, to claim a right of interference 
with the religious condition of every Protestant country, which 
made a real understanding with England impossible. During 

i6o his short visit to England the Constable of Castile 
Proposed had been informed by the Queen of her wish that 
between* her eldest son Henry should marry the Infanta Anne, 
Hei!ry ami the eldest daughter of Philip III., who, as the future 
the infanta. Philip IV. was yet unborn, was at that time the 
heiress of the Spanish throne. James, it would seem, did not 
raise any objection, and Northampton, whether truly or not, 
assured the Constable that Cranborne was favourable to the 
project. The Constable, 1 who was, no doubt, prepared for the 
overture, declared that his master would gladly give his consent, 
if he could obtain satisfaction as regarded education and re- 
ligion. When he left London on August 25, he left with Villa 
Poposai to Mediana, who remained as resident ambassador, in- 
Princeas he structions to inform James that if the negotiation was 
a Catholic. t0 bg carried on, his son must be sent to Spain to be 
educated as a Catholic. 

Such, according to the two ambassadors, was the only 
human means of reducing England to the Catholic religion 
and to the bosom of the Roman Church. 2 It is no wonder 
that the immediate effect of the proposal was to open James's 
eyes to the real views of Spain, and to make him yield to the 
pressure under which he was constantly placed to hold a 
stricter hand with the English Catholics. 

If James had been hitherto tolerant, his tolerance had been, 
in great part, owin^ to his failure to recognise that 

James's talk ° * ° , ° . 

about union the Papal system was unchangeable. Not very long 
before the Constable's departure, he had been chat- 
tering, with an agent of the 1 Hike of Lorraine, of his readiness to 

1 Notes left with Villa Mediana, Simancas MSS, 841, 134. 

2 Villa Mediana to Philip III. ^^2 ibid. 841, i?o. 

1 bept. t, 


acknowledge the Roman Church as his mother, and the Pope 
as Universal Bishop with general spiritual jurisdiction. If the 
Church of Rome would make one step in the direction of union, 
he was ready to make three. It could not be said that he was 
obstinate. He was quite ready to believe all that was in the 
Scriptures, and in the teaching of the Fathers of the first three 
centuries. He took more account of the works of St. Augus- 
tine and St. Bernard than of those of Luther and Calvin. He 
was sorry that he had been obliged, against his will, to consent 
to the new Recusancy Act, but it was in his power to put it in 
execution or not, as he thought best, and he would never punish 
the Catholics for religion only. 1 

It was a rude awakening from James's dream of a union in 
which Rome was to abandon its distinctive principles, when he 
was confronted with a demand that his son should be educated 
in a foreign land, in order — it was impossible to doubt the in- 
tention of the demand — that he might some day bring England 
under that yoke which James himself refused to bear. 

Unluckily for the English Catholics, their case was again 

under the consideration of the Government when this demand 

was made. Without instructions from the King, 
1 .,,11 

Act some of the judges had taken upon themselves t<> 

< arry the Recusancy Act into effect. At Salisbury a 

seminary priest named Sagar was condemned and 

Uted. A layman suffered a similar fate on the charge Of 

abetting him in tin- exer< 1 ;e of his functions. 2 At Manchester 

several \« rSOnS suffered death. 3 It is probable that these liar 
barities were the work of the judges themselves. It was quite 

in accordance with Jai ligence of details that he 

1 Del Bufalo to Aldobrandino, Sept. " (implying an earlier date for the 
con-.' . Roman Transcripts, R. <>. The embassy from I. 

mentioned in ( rl< ton' " 1 " ( hambcrlain, Aug. 27, S. /'. Dam. ix.25 

1 ( halloner' Aft ionary Priests, ii. 44. 

* Jardine, Narrative of the Gunpowder Plot, 45, from the Rusbton 

11. a ert that the judges, before proceeding on thi uit, 

1 ived fresh instructions to • nfor< e ihe 1 1 nal itatutes. Bui here, and in 
many p . he has been misled, by following othei writers in the 

clu il mistake of upposing that Feb. 14, 1604, in Winwood'ii, 49, 

it I eb. 14, 1603-4 instead uf 1604 5. 


should have neglected to give positive orders to avoid blood- 
shed ; and the fact that he did give such orders in the follow- 
ing year, even when he was urging the judges to put in force the 
penal laws, is a presumption against his having been the author 
of these executions. 1 

It is by no means improbable that the judges brought back 

with them a report of the increasing number of recusants. 2 

Sept. s- Either through alarm at this danger, or through 

u>Tr™ide° n anno )' ance at the extraordinary demand which had 

over the j us t been made to him by the Spanish Ambassador, 

banishment l 

of priests. James determined at first to fall back on his 
original plan : to exile the clergy and to spare the laity. On 
September 5, commissioners were appointed to preside over the 
banishment of the priests. 3 It was not a measure which was 
likely to prove effectual. On September 21, such priests as 
were then in prison were sent across the sea. From the other 
side they addressed a dignified and respectful letter to the 
Privy Council, complaining of the injustice of their treatment, 
and declaring that they were in no wise bound to remain 
abroad. Before the expulsion of the priests, the Council on 
September 14 discussed the case of the lay Catholics, and by 

a considerable majority recommended that the law 
lie laity to should not be put in force against them. As Cran- 

borne voted with this majority, it is to be presumed 
that the resolution of the Council was in accordance with the 
wishes of the King. 4 

It was hardly likely that persecution, once commenced, 

1 The Nuncio at Paris, no doubt from information derived from the 
English Catholics, says that the executions were 'senza la participatione 
di quel Re. (Del Iiufalo to Aklobrandino, Aug. — Roman Transcripts, 
A'. 0.) Bacon seems to imply that the judges in Elizabeth's reign some- 
times acted as I have supposed their successors in the reign of James to 
have done, infel. mem. Eliz. Lit. and Prof. Works, i. 301. 

2 The reported increase of recusants in the diocese of Chester, referred 
to at p. 202, is made up to August. 

3 Commission to Ellesmere and others, Sept. 5, Rymer, xvi. 597. 

* The Banished Priests to the Council, Sept. 24, Tierney's DodJ. 
iv. xc. 


would stop here. 1 Thomas Pound, an aged Lancashire Catholic, 
who had suffered imprisonment in the late reign for his 
Pounds' religion, took up the case of the unfortunate persons 
who had suffered at the late assizes in the northern 
circuit. Serjeant Phelips had condemned a man to death 
simply ' for entertaining a Jesuit,' and it was said that he had 
declared that, as the law stood, all who were present when 
mass was celebrated were guilty of felony. 2 Pound presented a 
petition to the King, on account of which he was arrested, and, 
by order of the Privy Council, was prosecuted in the Star 
Chamber. According to one account, he merely complained 
of the persecution which the Catholics were undergoing, and 
of the statements made by Phelips at Manchester. There is, 
however, reason to suppose that he charged Phelips with words 
which did not in reality proceed from him. 8 Whatever his 
oflcnrc might have been, the sentence of the Star Chamber was 
a cruel one. After browbeating and abusing him for some 
time, the Court condemned him to a fine of a thousand pounds, 
and to be pilloried at Westminster, and again at Lancaster. In 
all probability he did not undergo his punishment at W 
minster. He was taken to Lancaster at the spring assizes of 
the following year, and having there made submission, he was 
apparently allowed to return home. His fine was first reduced 
to 100/., * and in the end was remitted altogether. 1 

1 Notes "fa debate in the Council Sept. ''' Simaucas M.S.S. 841, 184. 
The majority wen Northampton, Cranbome, Dorset, Suffolk, Northum- 

nd, Nottingham, and Lennox; the minority, Burghley, Kinloss, and 

2 More to Winwood, Dec. 2, 1604, Witrw. ii. 36. Seejardine, 11.45. 

* At lea 1 1 cannot 1 id in any other way the words in the 
proceedings al Vork and Lancaster, ■'>". /'. Dom, v. 73. The true date is 
in the spring <<( 1605. Ii is calendared among the undated papers <>f 

Thep ' Mr. Pound there," i.e. al Lancaster, "being 

t Ived both l>y tin: Attorney of the Wards, and Mr. Tilsley, to whom 

he n in the Star Chamber for testimony, and by all others the 

if the Peace at the formei and this assizes pre ent, of the untruth 

of his infermation to His Majesty, he thei fault." 

4 Compare I lasmon [oh ■ • , Col \g, 1610, p. 238, with Abl 
Antilogia, f<>l. 132/'. Li-' , .S'. /'. Pom. xliii. 52. 

• Al least I have been unable to find any trace of its payment in the 
Ret ks of the Exchequer 


About the time when Pound was before the Star Chamber, 
it was resolved to take another downward step in the career of 
Fines for persecution. In spite of the assurance given by the 
again're* Council to the Catholic gentlemen, towards the end 
quired. f 1603, it was now determined that the fines for re- 

cusancy should be again exacted from the thirteen wealthy 
gentlemen who were liable to pay 20/. a month. The un- 
fortunate men had given no pretext for this harsh treatment. 
It is quite possible that James's only motive was his extreme 
want. 1 Still there was much wanting to fill up the measure of 
the Elizabethan persecution. Thirteen persons alone suffered, 
whilst as yet no step was taken to trouble those who were not 
possessed of sufficient wealth to expose them to the monthly 

Such half-measures could not last long. Those who were 
most concerned in watching the course taken by the Govern- 
ment must have known that at any moment they might be 
exposed to all the weight of the old system, the terrors of which 
were still suspended over their heads. An event which occurred 
in the beginning of 1605 brought the blow down upon them. 

Towards the end of 1604 Sir James Lindsay was ready to 
proceed to Rome. He had been well received by James, who had granted him a pension, and he was entrusted 
Linlsaygoes w ' 1 ' 1 g enera ^ messages of civility to the Pope, which 
t Rome. were backed by the paper of instructions — a copy 
of which must have found its way to Rome some months 
previously. 2 As he was on his journey, he gave out that he 
was employed by James to carry a message to the Pope, though 
he acknowledged that he was not travelling in any public 
capacity. 3 On his arrival, he saw Cardinal Aldobrandino, who 

1 The date of the resumption of these payments is Nov. 28, 1604, 
though the measure may have been resolved on some little time before. 
The fact that the fines were renewed before the payments for lands were 
demanded, is placed beyond doubt by the Receipt Books of the Ex- 
chequer. They were paid by the same thirteen persons who had paid at 
James's accession, and were reckoned from the 30th of July, the day of 
the pardon ot arrears. 

- Having been delivered by Parry to the Nuncio at Paris. See p. 141. 

* This seems to be the best way of reconciling the statement of Parry 
S. P. Ft. Jan. 9, 1605), who says that in Germany and Savoy Lindsay 


introduced him to the Pope. 1 According to a report which 
reached Paris, he gave out, not only that the Queen was already 
a Catholic in heart, but that James was ready to follow her ex- 
ample if only he could have enlightenment on some particular 
points, such as that of the Pope's supremacy over kings. Ac- 
cording to his own account, he did not say a word beyond his 
instructions. 2 But James's language varied from time to time, 
and he had often used phrases bearing a meaning much stronger 
than he would have been ready deliberately to assent to. At 
all events, the Pope gathered from Lindsay that something 
might be done with James. With his fervent hope 
1 Pope of winning back England to the See of Rome, and 
his ignorance of the real feelings of Englishmen, 
he was ready to catch at the slightest symptom of a 
change. There was a passage in the instructions which may 
have been sufficient for a sanguine mind, especially when it 
had received the assistance of Lindsay's comments. James had 
'arcd that he would never reject reason when he heard it, 
and that he would never be deterred by his own 'pre occupied 
self-Opinion' from receiving anything which might lie proved 
to be 'lawful, reasonable, and without corruption.' Clement 

I heard something very like this before. In the mouth of 

Henry IV. su< h word-, had been the precursors of conversion ; 
why should not the same thing take place again? The Pope 
was overjoyed : lie immediately appointed a committee of 
twelve cardinals for the purpose of taking into consideration the 
dition of England,' Cardinal Camerino talked of sendin 
tothe I. opyoi Baronius's huge ' Church History,' which 

uncritical as il w, -I'd at Rome as establishing 

bad qualified himself ' with the title of Hi Majesty's Ami-. r, with 

Lindsay's own declaration at Venice, that he had no commit ion From 
King. Villeroi to Beaumont, I ''1604. Kin . 1.7,1.1.77. 

1 Aldobrandino t<> the King, Jan. ' 3 ' 1605, .S'. /'. Italy. 

3 Lindsay to og, Jan. 1 ti 15, S. /'. Italy. Compare Villeroi 

t Beaumont 1 1 127, fol. 77. 

' With 1 letter, compare Parry to Cranborne, 1 b. 7 (true 

. Jan. 7), 1605, S. /'. France. 

Vol, I. (j 



the claims of the Popes upon a thoroughly historical basis. 1 The 
Pope ordered that prayers, in which he himself joined with great 
earnestness, should be offered up for the welfare of the King and 
for the conversion of England. 2 Lindsay was informed that 
the Cardinals had recommended that some one should be sent 
to England, but that they had not been able to decide whether 
they should send 'a legate, a nuncio, or some secular gentleman.' 
James was greatly annoyed. 3 Eor a week or two all Europe 
believed that he was about to renounce his faith. He im- 
February. mediately directed his ambassador at Paris to declare 
? e ^upon he tnat ne nac ^ no intention of changing his religion. If 
james. th e Nuncio brought him Cardinal Camerino's present 

he was to take it rather than give offence by refusing ; but he 
believed that it was all a trick to make men suppose that he was 
engaged in secret negotiations with Rome. 

These rumours reached England at an unfortunate time. 
During the winter James had been employing his energies in 
his attempt to suppress Puritanism, and was therefore already 
labouring under a suspicion of a leaning towards Popery. 4 All 
in whom he reposed confidence, and who were not either 
openly or secretly Catholic, wished for the re-imposition of the 
fines. "I love not," wrote Cranborne, a little after this time, " to 
yield to any toleration ; a matter which I well know no creature 
living dare propound to our religious sovereign. I will be much 
less than I am or rather nothing at all, before I shall ever 
become an instrument of such a miserable change." 5 James's 

1 See Pattison's Casanbon, 362. 

2 Lindsay to the King, J;™' ?6 ' , 1605, S. P. Italy. For Lindsay's account 
of himself, see also Lindsay to Semple, Sept. 18, 1605,3". P.Spain. 

1 Henry IV. told the Nuncio Karbcrini that James had spoken to his 
ambassador as if the affair of Lindsay was his principal grievance. Barbe- 
rini to Valenti, May — Roman Transcripts, P.O. 

* " I wish, with all my heart, that the like order were taken, and given 
not only to all bishops, but to a magistrates and justices, to proceed 
against Papists and recusants, who, of late, partly by this round dealing 
against Puritans, and partly by reason of some extraordinary favour, have 
prown mightily in number, courage, and influence." — Archbp. Hutton to 
Cranborne, Dec. 18, 1604, Winw. ii. 40. 

3 Cranborne to Hutton, Feb., Lodge, iii. 125. 


principles were once more tried, and they gave way beneath 
the test He would prove the purity of the motives which led 
him to persecute the Puritans by adding to his offence the per- 
secution of the Catholics also. 

He made his determination known on February 10. On 
that day he was to address the Council on the subject of the 
He deter- Northamptonshire petition. " From the Puritans," 
bfmxtSe 1 we are told by one w ho was probably an eye-witness 
penal laws. f tne scene> « h e proceeded to the Papists, pro- 
tecting his utter detestation of their superstitious religion, and 
that he was so far from favouring it as, if he thought that his 
son and heir after him would give any toleration thereunto, 
he would wish him fairly buried before his eyes. Besides, he 
charged the Lords of the Council and the Bishops present that 
they should take care themselves, and give order to the judges 
of the land, to the justices and other inferior officers, to see 
the laws speedily executed with all rigour against both the said 
extremes." ' Three days later, the Chancellor charged the judges 
to put the laws into execution at the ensuing assizes, only tal. 
care to shed no Mood. A similar intimation was conveyed, by 
the Recorder of London, to the Lord Mayor and Aldermen. 

The effect of these admonitions was not long in showing 
itself. On the day after the Lord Mayor had been informed 
Of the King's wishes, forty-nine persons were indicted at the 

ions which were then being held for London and Middlesex. 
Indifferent parts of England five thousand five hundred ! 
sixty persons were convi< ted Oi re< nam y.' 2 

It must not, however, he supposed that anything like this 

number were actually called upon to surrender the two th 
Finp<! of their lands required by the law. Large numb 

|iy I"" 1 off by giving a small bribe to 

orothei oi the King's Scottish favourites who ' 

mostly favourable to the Catholics, or even by offering to the 

1 to th.- Bishop of Norwich, Feb. 1 :. [605. Ellis, 21 

215. Chamberlain to Win wood, Feb. r.6, 1605, fVinw. ii. 48. In the 
printed copy the date is incorrectly ^iven as Feb. 26. 

2 See the papers prime. 1 in Tien,-)', Dodd. iv. App. x < i i . The originals 

arc in the S. /'. Dom. xii. So and liv. 65. Mr. Tierney has ante-dated the 

Q 2 


King himself a payment less than that which the law allowed 
him to take. 1 The number of those who paid the full two- 
thirds, in consequence of these indictments, was one hundred 
and twelve. There were also sixty-five persons whose lands 
had been previously sequestered. The rents of the lessees of 
these lands had been allowed to fall into arrear, and these 
arrears were now demanded. In the year 1606, when these 
arrangements had come into full operation, many of those 
whose lands had paid in the previous years were exempted 
from payment. The total number of persons whose lands were 
charged in that year was one hundred and sixty-two. Of this 
number, twenty-eight had paid even in the exceptional year 
1604, forty-two had been liable to pay, but had been excused, 
and the remaining ninety-two had been fresh additions to 
the list since the spring of 1605. 2 The amount received 
from this source, which in 1604 had been 1,132/., rose in 1606 
to 4,397^- 

first of these papers by a year. The latter, which is placed in the calendar 
among the undated papers of 1606, may be restored to its true place by 
comparing it with v. 73 ; the date of which is fixed, by the mention of 
Pound, to the spring of 1605. 

1 News from London, Sept. °' Roman Transcripts, R 0. 


■ These calculations are based upon the Receipt Books of the Ex- 
chequer. The difficulty of collecting so many names and figures from a 
series of accounts extending over six thick folio volumes, is so great that 
it is quite possible that a few names may have escaped me. I am, how- 
ever, sure that any errors of this kind are not of sufficient consequence to 
affect the substantial accuracy of the results. The subsequent calculations 
have been made in the following manner : — In 1604, 37 persons were 
charged, and arrears were afterwards paid by the lessees of the lands of 
65 persons. Two names appear in both lists, being charged for different 

• ■-, of lands. Accounting for these, we have a total of IOO, as the 
number of those liable previously to February 1605. Of these, 70 only 
reappear in 1606, and there are 92 new names. In 1605, there were 38 
new names, of which 18 reappear in 1606, and 20 do not reappear. Add- 
ing this 20 to 92, we have 112 as the highest possible number of persons 
losing their lands in consequence of indictments in 1605. Persons indicted 
after Easter 1606 would not be liable to payment till after Easter 1607. 
On the other hand, it is not impossible that some of these 112 may have 
been possessed of lands which had been leased out in the Queen's times, 


Besides these additions to the list of those who were liable 
to payments for land, one name had been added to those who 
were called upon for the statutary fine of 20/. a month. The 
number of those who made this high payment was now fourteen, 
till the death of Sir Thomas Tresham, in September 1605, again 
reduced it to thirteen. 1 

A smaller amount was obtained by the seizure of the goods 
and chattels of recusants. This in 1605 reached 36S/., in 

1606 472/. It must have been a particularly annoying mode 
of obtaining money ; and it is plain, from the smallness of the 
sums which were levied from each person, that it was regarded 
as a means of rendering the poor Catholics as uncomfortable as 


The arrears which were called for in 1605 2 reached the sum 
of 3,39V- J but as the yearly or half-yearly rent due in that 
year was reckoned togi ther with the payments which had lapsed 
in former years, a sum of 2,000/. will be more than enough to 
cover all that can properly be called arrears. 

thoo ime reason they had not paid in 1604, and had not been called 

upon for arrears. These arrears were, of course, paid l>y the l< ■ , 
though ihey probably fell eventually on the owners. Mr. Jardine's figures, 
(Narrative, p. 19) are <|uite erroneous. He must have been led astray by 
inefficient copyist; as the figures in the MS. from which they are 
taken are quite plainly written ; see Notes ami Queries, 2nd series, ix. 317. 
' Though sixteen were liable, only thirteen had actually [laid at any 


•' In this statement, the years mentii ned an- financial years, co ien 

I er-day. I have no wish t" say anything which may diminish the 

ibation with which the whole system mu 1 I"- n 1 led, but it i 

tainly rather cur'n 1 real facts of the case with the 1 

1 ' \ rd, who n mon 1 1 ely followed by sui c< eding 

writers, lb ayi that the 20/. fii nanded, 'no! only foi the 

the whole period "l tin iu pen ion ; ' thai ' the l' 1 

default in th< re of all his 

two-lhii Is.' Whal bappeni d 

enough, but the 20/. men were oevei idled upon for arrears, and, as 
far as I have been able to trace tie . He- fori and 

chattels were only demanded from those from whom no lands had 1 

I. Mr. Jar line, amongst Others, adopted these erroneous statements, 
Narrative <<J the Giuifowa'cr /'lot, 23. 


The Catholic gentry must have been especially aggrieved 
by the knowledge that much of the money thus raised went 
into the pockets of courtiers. For instance, the profits of the 
lands of two recusants were granted to a footman, 1 and this was 
by no means an isolated case. 

If the victims were dissatisfied, zealous Protestants, on the 

other hand, doubted whether enough had been done. When 

the iudees were leaving London for the summer 

Protestant . ° ...... , , 

vi^wofthe assizes, James again laid his commands upon them 
not to spare the Papists. Upon this, Sir Henry 
Neville 2 wrote to a friend, telling him that it was 'generally 
feared that there ' would ' be none of the priests executed, with- 
out which,' he doubted, 'all the other provision ' would 'be 
fruitless ; for they are the root and fountain of all the mischief.' 
. . . "For my part," he proceeded to write, " I am persuaded 
they are irrecoverable, and will never be satisfied nor made 
sure to the State unless they have their whole desire at the 
full. And, however they pretend now to seek only impunity, yet, 
that obtained, assuredly they will not rest there, till they have 
obtained a further liberty. Therefore, if we mean not to grant 
all, we were as good deny all, and put them to an issue betimes, 
either to obey or not, lest it break out alieniore tempore, when 
they be more prepared, and we peradventure entangled in some 
other business." 

The equal repression of Puritans and Catholics, the old 
policy of Elizabeth, which James now adopted, was the policy 
favoured by Cranborne. That statesman, so energetic and 
diligent, but with so little power of forecasting the future, stood 
higher than ever in his master's favour. On May 4, 1605, he was 
created Earl of Salisbury, in reward for his many services. 

Thus ended this attempt at toleration, the first made 

1 Worcester to the Council, June 17, 1605 ; .S'. P. Dom. xiv. 43. The 
money was not given to the grantee till after it had been paid into the 
Exchequer, so that the owner of the land possibly knew nothing of his own 
particular case ; but he must have had a general knowledge of these pro- 

2 Neville to Winwood, Winw. ii. 77. 


by any English Government. James I. had given way, partly 

no doubt through lack of firmness. But, in the 

in'the U wa e y S main he had succumbed to the real difficulties of the 

of toleration. 

The Catholics were no petty sect to which a contemptuous 
toleration might be accorded. They were still a very consider- 
able portion of the community, even if the calculation frequently 
made at that time, that they amounted to one-third of the 
population, be discarded as a gross exaggeration. No doubt, 
to the majority of the Catholic laity, smarting under recent per- 
secution, the calm upon which they had entered soon after the 
King's accession, was sufficient gain. But to the clergy it could 
1. The priests were men who had hazarded their lives to 
disseminate that which they believed to be divine truth, pure 
and undefiled. They could not be content now with the mere 
edification of their existing congregations. They would feel 
themselves to be base indeed if they did not fulfil the mission 
on which they had come. Yet, as the number of Catholics in- 
sed — when the fear of persecution was removed it was cer- 
tain to increase itwould not he the mere growth of an obnoxious 
religion with which a Protestant Government would find itself 
fronted The Church which these men joined was pledged 
to change the moral and intellectual atmosphere in which 
I glishmen moved and breathed. Neither freedom of thought 
nor political liberty had as yet readied their perfect develop- 
ment in England, but it was beyond doubt that the victory of 
the Papacy would extingui h both. Even the received maxim, 
of the nineteenth century would hardly be proof against a 

.and for toleration put forward by a community which 
.<■<] toleration to all those principles on which 

our society i 1 ba >ed, if" it had any < han< e oi a< quiring suffii ient 
strength to emploj I others thai pei ie< ution which in its 

own case it deprecated. The one condition which renders 
toleration possible 1- a sei f se< urity ; 1 ither from the over 

whelming Strength of those who have the power to pel it 1 lite, 

or from the existenc e of a general opinion adverse to the em- 
ployment of force in the suppression of opinion. It is certain 

that in the England of the opening of the seventeenth century 


no such condition was present. No general feeling in favour 
of toleration existed. Whether English Protestantism were 
strong enough to defy the Papacy and all its works may be a 
question to which different answers may be given, but there 
can be no doubt that those who were intrusted with its guar- 
dianship did not feel confident of the results if it were left un- 
supported by the State. For a quarter of a century the tide of 
the Catholic reaction had been flowing steadily on upon the 
Continent. In Germany and in France the Jesuits had been 
gaining ground persistently, and those who governed England 
were determined that, as far as in them lay, it should not be so 

If we may fairly regret that the National Church had not 
been able to enlarge its borders in accordance with the advice 
given by Bacon and the House of Commons, it was well that 
the favoured portion of it should be that which was unhampered 
by the petty susceptibilities of the lower Puritanism. A great 
intellectual struggle with Rome was impending, a struggle 
which must be conducted on other lines than those which had 
sufficed for the reasoners of the preceding century. It would 
not now suffice to meet dogmatism with dogmatism. The 
learning of Baroniusand Bellarmine must be met with a deeper, 
wider learning than theirs ; by a more accurate knowledge of 
the history of the past, by a firmer grasp on the connection of 
truth, and on the realities of human nature. It was perhaps 
inevitable that those who were preparing themselves for this 
work, should be repelled by the narrowness of contemporary 
Puritanism, and should not perceive that they too represented 
a phase of religion which the Church could ill afford to be 

As yet the evil was not great. The Calvinistic doctrines 
were not proscribed There was no very strict inquisition into 
the absolute conformity of a minister with every minute require- 
ment of the rubrics, provided that he conformed on those points 
which had recently attracted attention. The Church under 
James was still in the main a national one. But the danger of its 
becoming a sectional Church was there, partly because after 
the cessation of danger from without men's minds were inclined 


to follow divergent courses, partly because the Church had 
attached itself to the State, and in James's hands the State 
was already becoming less broadly national than it had been in 
the days of Elizabeth. 

It was this danger which was the main result of the Hamp- 
ton Court Conference. The teaching of an age will always 
reflect its sentiments as well as its knowledge. James had 
now ruled that those who shared in those sentiments should 
be excluded from teaching. The Church of England was not 
to be quite as comprehensive as Bacon wished it to be. If it 
should come to pass that a Sovereign arose who wished it to 
be less comprehensive still, it might go hard with that Sover- 
eign. It may be that the course taken would ultimately have 
been inevitable, that it would have been impossible to provide 
any organization in which such a man as Whitgift could have 
worked harmoniously with such a man as Cartwright. But if 
this wer ase, some place must be found for the proscribed 

elements. If the Church was to cease to be comprehensive it 
must heroine tolerant. Men must agree to worship separately 
in peace if they cannot agree to worship peacefully together. 

A system in whi< h an established Church is surrounded by 
independent tolerated churches may not be ideally perfect, and 
even in England it is not likely to hold its own forever. Hut it 
was the only solution of the problem fitted for the seventeenth 

tury when once Bacon's solution had been rejected. It 

■ the national religion in a new way that combination of 

nization with individual liberty which Bacon had seen to 

lie indi le. In tin- development of this religious liberty 

the Catholics, little .1 , they knew it, were even more deeply 
interested than tin- Puritans. Only when the two parties whi< h 
divided Pri I nd were pacified, either by peaceful 

union or peaceful , would the) feel themselves strong 

Ugh to tolerate an enemy so formidable as the Church of 




The renewal of the persecution of the Catholics may appeal 
to the historian to be the inevitable result of the claim of the 
. ,. . Pope to universal authority, under the conditions of 

Indignation . . , 

of the the times. It was not likely to appear in that light 

to the Catholics themselves. They would see no 
more than the intolerable wrongs under which they suffered ; 
and it would be strange if there were not some amongst them 
who would be driven to meet wrong with violence, and to 
count even the perpetration of a great crime as a meritorious 

Robert Catesby, who was possibly a convert from Protes- 
tantism, was a man capable of becoming the leader in any 

action requiring clearness of head and strength of 

will. He was a born leader of men, and had the rare 
gift of a mind which drew after it all wills in voluntary submission. 
At the end of Elizabeth's reign he had despatched to Spain 

Thomas Winter, in company with the Jesuit Green- 
.1 to way, to urge Philip to send an invading force to 

England. He was to assure the Spaniards that they 
would not want allies amongst the warlike companions of Essex, 
who had now lost hope of employment after the Earl's death. 
Philip and Lerma adopted the proposal, and promised Winter 
to send a force to Milford Haven in the spring of 1605. Then 
came the death of the Queen. Catesby sent another of his 

friends, named Christopher Wright, to Spain, to know 
be expected if there was still any hope of Spanish intervention. 

Wright was at once able to report that there was 
none. The Spaniards were all bent on peace with James. 1 

1 T. Winter's declaration, Nov. 26, 1605, Hatfield MSS, 112, fol. 91. 


By the time that this news reached Catesby, James had 
arrived in England, and under pressure of the Privy Council 
had given orders for the first temporary collection of 
Catesby ' the Recusancy fines. As Catesby brooded over the 
fde^of the he wrongs of his Church — wrongs which were made the 
pIot- more palpable to him by the fact that so many of his 

kinsmen and friends were suffering by those evil laws — the idea 
arose within him, though we cannot tell how far it was as yet de- 
fined in his mind, of righting the grievous wrong by destroying 
both the King and Parliament by means of gunpowder, and of 
establishing a Catholic Government in their place. Perhaps the 
design had not completely taken shape when, one day, a Catholic 
Percy friend, Thomas Percy, rushed into his room. Percy was 

a relative of the Earl of Northumberland, and, at this 

r the 

King. time, was acting as his steward. Through him James, 

whilst yet in S< otland, had conveyed assurances of relief to the 
I ■ glish Catholics. He now believed himself to have been a 
dupe whose easy credulity had held back his co-religionists from 
active measures. I le angrily told Catesby that he had resolved 
to kill the King. " No, Tom," was the reply, " thou shalt not 
adventure to small purpose ; but, if thou wilt be a traitor, thou 
shalt be to some great advantage." Catesby added that ' he 
was thinking of a most sure way,' and would soon let him know 
what it wa 

A few weeks later matters looked brighter for theCatholii s. 
In July their fines were suspended, and during the remainder 

1 G '■■ let' declaration, March 8, 1606, Hatfield MSS., no, foL 30. 

This valuable paper throws back the original conception of the plot nine 

urliei than baa hitherto been supposed. It is true that 

. in a sui equenl 1 namination of March 10 [Hatfield 

A/s. . 1 1 ■, • 61. ;5) : " I never was told, nor can imagine, when or where 

1 the in. lit. i in 1, foi .ill my knowledge 1 ame by a sudden and 

short relation by Mi 'II," i.e. Greenway; but the reference to 

Percy, ai the time of his vi>it to Catesby, as one ' who, having been 

into Scotland t<> bis M by the Catholics to sue foi toleration, and 

affirming here that the t. inj^ had given his princely word to th and 

seeing the same here doI performed', wa very much discontented,' can 

only apply to the time of the first imposition <>f the lines by James in May, 


236 GUNPOWDER PLOT. ch. vi. 

of the year a more tolerant system was established. So far 
as we know, Catesby said no more about his plan, 

The plot and may possibly have intended to let it sleep, unless 

some changes for the worse took place in the policy 

1604.^ f the King. That change came in February 1604. 

Effect of the The proclamation for the banishment of the priests 

proclamation ... ... . , 

against the was not indeed carried into execution at the time, 
but it must have seemed, to a mind so sensitive as 
that of Catesby to the warnings of impending danger, to be 
ominous of evil days in store. 

A few days after the issue of the proclamation, 1 Thomas 
Winter, who was on a visit to his brother Robert, at Hudding- 
winter ton, in the neighbourhood of Worcester, received a 
toLondon letter from his cousin, Catesby, entreating him to 
by Catesby. meet him in London on business of importance. 
After some hesitation, he consented. He found Catesby at 
H fin , Lambeth, in company with John Wright, who had 
Wright for many years been one of his most intimate asso- 

with him. . J ' . 

ciates. On Winters arrival, Catesby begged him to 
join in striking one more blow for the Catholic cause. He 
told him that he had formed a design which could scarcely fail 

of success. He proposed to blow up the Parliament 
propo^s to House with gunpowder. God would surely favour 

blow up the . . , . . , 

1 liament them in taking vengeance upon that accursed den 
from whence had issued all the evils under which the 
country and the Church were suffering. Winter acknowledged 
that such a course would strike at the root of the evil, but re- 
minded him that in case of failure 'the scandal would be so 
great which the Catholic religion might hereby sustain, that not 
only our enemies, but our friends also, would with good reason 
condemn us.' It does not seem to have occurred to him that 
the scandal would be at least as great if they succeeded. 
Catesby, with that strange power of fascination which he exer- 
cised over all with whom he came in contact, soon put an end 

1 It was in the beginning of Lent. Conf. of T. Winter, Nov. 23, Gun- 
powder Plot Book. This collection, kept apart amongst the State Papers, 
will hereafter be designated as G. /'. /A In 1604 Ash Wednesday fell on 
the 22nd of February, the day of the issue of the proclamation. 


to his hesitation. Winter did not leave him until he had given 
him a promise to risk his life in this or in any other design 
upon which his cousin might determine. 

It was probably in deference to Winter's scruples that 

Catesby consented to his going over to Flanders, in order to 

obtain an interview with the Constable of Castile, 

Winter sent 

into who then was on his way to England to take part in 

Flanders. , r TT 

the negotiations for peace. He was to attempt to 
secure his intervention with the King on behalf of the English 
I tholics. If he was unsuccessful — and it is plain that Catesby 
had no great hopes from that quarter — Winter was to engage 
the services of an Englishman who was then in Flanders, and 
whose known character for courage and skill were such as to 
make him a desirable acquisition to the plotters. This English- 
man was Guido l'awkes. 

Winter left England early in April. 1 lie obtained nothing 
but vague promises from the Constable ; and from all that he 
„ heard, he fame to the conclusion that but little re- 
liance could be placed upon the Spanish Government. 
Towards tin end Of the month he returned, bringing l'awkes 

with him, who had agr< 1 d to < ome, on the general information 

fcr that some design had bei n formed of which he was 

', . hereafter to learn the particulars. Soon after Winter's 

1 return, Percy, who not to have been acquainted 

.re with the particulars ol Catesby's scheme, appeared 

the four conspirators. His fust words as he 

entered the room in which they were sitting were, 

"Shall we alwa) . gi ntli men, talk, .-mil never do any- 
thii 1 00k him a id< and proposi d that they 

should nil join in taking .in oath of set ret y before he disi losi d 
it. particulars, lor this purpose, th ■■ men met shortly 

afterwards in a hou ie behind St. ( Jlemi nl i, where they 
,'hof SW( " P :inv '■'• 1| " 1' mighl be confided 

*="' to them. They then went into another room in the 

same house, where they found Gerard, ;i J< mil prii 1 ; 2 from 

1 About Easter, which fell on the 8th ■ .f April Exam, 'if l'awkes, 
Nov. S, 1605, G. /'. B. 

■ Fawkcs's Exam. Nov. 9, 1G05, (V. /'. /.'. 


whose hands, having first heard mass, they received the Sacra- 
ment as an additional confirmation of their oath. He was, 
however, as there can be little doubt, left in ignorance l of the 
plot. As soon as they were again alone, Percy and Fawkes 
were made acquainted with the proposed scheme. It was 
M 2 agreed that a building abutting upon the Parliament 
A house House should be hired by Percy. Fawkes who, from 
his long absence from England was not in danger of 
being recognised, assumed the character of Percy's servant, and 
took the name of John Johnson. The agreement for the lease 
of the house was signed on May 24. 

Shortly after the prorogation, the five plotters separated and 
went into the country, having first agreed to meet in London at 
Michaelmas. It was then understood that Parliament would 
assemble in February 1605, and the conspirators calculated that 
Deterioration this would give them ample time for their preparations. 
spectsofthe During these months of waiting the position of the 
Catholics. Catholics was rapidly deteriorating. In July the 
King had given his consent to the new Recusancy Act. In 
August it was put in force by some of the judges. In the be- 
ginning of September the commission was issued for the banish- 
ment of the priests. When, therefore, the conspirators returned 
to London in the autumn, their zeal was not likely to be blunted, 
and the imposition of the fines on the wealthy Catholics in 
November must have seemed to them to fill up the measure of 
James's guilt. In order to have a second place in which to 
collect the necessary materials, they hired the house at Lambeth 
in which Catesby usually lodged. They gave it into the charge 
of Robert Keyes, 2 a gentleman who had been living at the house 

1 Those who distrust the evidence of Fawkes, of Winter, and of Gerard 
himself in his autobiography, may give weight to Gerard's statement, that 
he never knew of the plot till it was publicly known, as this statement was 
made to the Rector of the English College at Rome in consequence of an 
order from the General of the Society upon his obedience. — Fitzherbert to 
Smith, March 15, 1631 ; Morris, Condition of Catholics, ccxlv. 

2 Keyes's examination, Nov. 30, G. P. B. He there says that he was 
informed a little before Midsummer. 


of Lord Mordaunt, at Turvey in Bedfordshire, where his wife 
had the charge of the education of the children. He, too, was 
informed of the plot, and sworn to secrecy. When the time 
for commencing operations arrived, Fawkes was sent to London 
to examine the ground. He found that the house which Percy 
had taken had been selected by the Commissioners for the 
Union as the place in which their meetings should be held. 
This unexpected obstacle delayed the progress of the scheme 
till December 11. As soon as the conspirators obtained access 
Dec. 11. to the house they commenced their labours, and by 
irfth" ers Christmas Eve they succeeded in removing the ob- 
stacles whirh separated them from the lower part of 
the wall of the Parliament House. 

As was natural, they often talked over their plans during 
the intervals of work. They sincerely hoped that Prince Henry, 
r.,. : the King's eldest son, might be with his father at the 
Opening of the session, in whi< h case he would be in- 
volved in a common destruction with him. Percy, who was now 
a gentleman pensioner, and, as such, had access to the Court, 
promised to secure the person of Prince Charles, who had re- 
ly been created Duke of York. The Princess Elizabeth — 
with the exception of an infant princess, the only other child of 
the King— was being brought up in the family of Lord Haring- 
ton, at Combe Abbey, in the neighbourhood of Coventry, and 
she was consequently within reach of the residence of Catesby's 
mother, at Ashby Si 1 ;ers, in Northamptonshire. This would 
make it comparatively easy to obtain possession of the child. 

With this a< ■-, and with a little money and a few horses, 

these sanguine dreamers fan< ied that they would have the 

: 1 igland at their feet 

Whilst they were still working at the wall, news was brought 

to them that Parliament was pro d till October. Upon 

this they determined to give themselves a little rest. 

terand During this interval ('atcshy went to Oxford, and 
Inhn Grant «. fir- 

med of sent for \\ inters elder brother, Robert, and for John 

Grant, who had married a sister of the Winters,' 
1 Examination of K. Winter, Nov. 30, 1605, G. /'. B, Examination 



CH. VI. 

Robert Winter's house at Huddington, and Grant's house at 
Norbrook, in Warwickshire, were admirably suited for the 
carrying out of their future operations. After swearing them to 
secrecy, Catesby told them what he was doing. Winter made 
several objections, but Catesby's irresistible powers of persuasion 
were again brought into exercise, and Winter left him saying 
that it was a dangerous matter, but for his oath's sake, and for 
the love that he bore to his cousin, he would not reveal it. 
Bates joins Bates Catesby's servant, had been already admitted 
the plotters. t ^ e secre t. His master, seeing that he was evi- 
dently suspicious of what he heard and saw, thought it prudent 

to confide the whole matter to him ; ! but he was never allowed 
to take any prominent part in the conspiracy. 

In the beginning of February, by which time the whole 

system of recusancy fines was once more in full swing, the plotters 

Feb. 1605. again commenced operations. Finding the work as 

wrtht pl " :r hard as ever » tne y sent for Wright's brother Chris- 
admitted, topher, to share it with them. His devotion to the 
cause was well known, and they were certain to find in him a 

of J. Grant, Jan. 17, 1606, G.P.B. R. Winter to the Lords Commis- 
sioners, Jan. 21, 1606, G.P.B. 

1 In his Examination (Dec. 4, 1605, G. P. B.) he said that he was 
told about a fortnight less than a twelvemonth ago. 

l6os A CELLAR HIRED. 241 

faithful confederate. They sent for the gunpowder which was 
stored at Lambeth, and were thereby enabled to release Keyes 
from his duty of watching it, and to employ him in digging at 
the wall. In spite of all difficulties, they worked on for another 
fortnight. It was not an easy task, getting through nine feet of 
wall. Besides their other difficulties, the water flowed in and 
hindered them in their work. About the middle of the month 
they again desisted from their labour. 

Two or three weeks later they prepared for another effort. 
One day as they were working, a rustling sound was heard. 

Terrified lest their proceedings had been discovered, 
The con- they sent Fawkes to find out the cause of the noise. 

He returned with the intelligence that it proceeded 
wiifsuu" fr° m a ^ rs - ^ r 'yht.> who was selling off her stock 

of coals in an adjoining cellar. This cellar, as they 
found, ran under the Parliament House, so that it would be 
exactly suited for their object. Mrs. Bright agreed to sell the 
lease to them. This lease she held from a man named Whyn- 
niard, who was also the landlord of Percy's house. Percy told 
him that he required additional accommodation for his coals, 
as he intended to bring his wife to London. 

Their work being thus lightened, they proceeded to open a 
door between the house and the cellar, 1 through which Fawkes 
carried the twenty barrels of powder which had been broughl 
from Lambeth. He placed upon the barrels several bars of 
iron, in order to in< rease the eff© I Ol the explosion. The whole- 
was Covered Over with a thousand billets of wood and live 
hundred faggOtS. As soon as this was done, they all dis- 
til) < >< loher, when they expei ted that Parliament would 

During the course of the summer, the growing discontent of 

the Catholit S may I" im< I d by the renewal of the informations 

June. which from time to time rea« hed the Governmi nt of 

the suppressed dissatisfaction which here and there 

[ the ' ' 

Catholia. faun- to the surface. Men went about with wild talk 

of insurrections and revolutions, and predi< ted to their Protes- 

I ruination of Fawkes, Nov. 5 and 6, 1605, C. /'. /'. 


G UNPO I VDER PL T. ch. vi. 

tant neighbours the near approach of the day when blood would 
again flow for the cause of Holy Church. 1 Amongst the Welsh 
mountains Catholic priests preached to large congregations. 2 
In Herefordshire, the Sheriff came into actual collision with 
a body of Catholics, who were especially numerous in that 
county. 3 In August and September, in spite of the King's 
charge, three laymen were executed for attempting to convert 
their neighbours. 4 

Meanwhile the conspirators had not been idle. When they 
left London in the spring, Fawkes was sent over to Flanders, 
Proceedings where he imparted the plot to the Jesuit Owen, who 
of Fawkes, < seemed well pleased with the business.' 5 He ad- 
vised him not to acquaint Sir William Stanley with the con- 
spiracy, but promised that as soon as it had taken effect, he 
would inform him of all the particulars, and would engage his 
assistance in the insurrection which was expected to break out 
in England. Fawkes returned to London about the end of 

At this time, Lord Arundel of Wardour, a Catholic noble- 
man, who had seen much service on the Continent, was levying 
and a body of men in England for the service of the 

Catesby. Archduke. In forwarding this object, Catesby was 
particularly busy. He contrived that several of the officers 
should be appointed from amongst his friends, 6 and entered 
into an understanding with them that they should be ready to 
return to England whenever the Catholic cause required their 
assistance. In September, he sent a certain Sir Ed- 
Septemb^r. mund Baynham on a m j ss ion to the Pope. It is 

doubtful how far the particulars of the plot were revealed to 
him. He was to be on the spot, in order that, as soon as the 

1 Depositions as to seditious speeches uttered by John Parker, Aug 31, 
1605, S, P. Dom. xv. 43. 

2 Barberini to Valenti, Sept. ^' Roman Transcripts, R. 0. 

* Bishop of Hereford to Salisbury, June 22, 1605, S. P. Dom. xiv. 52. 

* Challoner's Missionary Priests. 

* T. Winter's Confession, Nov. 23, G. P. R. 

6 Jardine, 61, from Greenway's MS. Compare Birch's Historical 
View, p. 251. 


news arrived at Rome of the destruction of the tyrants, he 
might win the Pope over to second the further efforts of the 
The three conspirators. Of the three priests who were after- 
pncsts. wards inculpated, Gerard may perhaps have been 
aware that some scheme of unusual importance was on hand, 
though there is strong reason to believe that he was not made 
acquainted with the particulars. 1 Greenway both knew of the 
plot and favoured its execution ; whilst Garnet, the Superior of 
the Jesuits in England, had been acquainted with it at least 
as early as in July by Greenway in confession. He always de- 
nied that he looked upon the project otherwise than with the 
utmost abhorrence ; but circumstantial evidence leaves but 
little doubt that his feelings were not quite so strongly expressed 
a< lie afterwards represented them, and perhaps imagined them 
to have been. 2 

In September, Winter and Fawkes were busy bringing in 
fresh barrels of powder, to replace any which might have been 
Parliament spoiled by the damp. 3 Towards the end of the 

i^'c" month, they heard that Parliament was again pro 

,,;, - r - rogued to November 5, upon which they both re 
turned to the country for a icw weeks. 

Whilst they were in London, circumstances occurred which 
eventually ruined the whole undertaking. As long as the only 
question had been the Bele< lion of men fit to take part in the 
plot, Catesby's discretion hail been suffit i. nt to guide him to 

W;iI . the right persons ; bul foi the 1 ice< ution of their further 

rns money was requisite as well as men, and 
money was now running short with the conspirators. To en 

gage a wealthy man in the plot was as dangerous as it would 
have been to ei poor man. From the existing 

system of fines the poor suffered nothing, becausi tin', had 
nothing to lose; the rich suffered little because tins could 
afford to pay. Nevertheless il was a risk which must be run. 

Without horses and arms and ready money no insurrection 

- p- 238. 
2 The question of Garnet's complicity will be discussed when bit trial 
comes under review. 

• Examination of I'awke . '■ ;, >,'. /'. /i. 

i 2 

244 GUNPOWDER PLOT. ch. vi. 

had a chance of success, and for these requisites the pockets of 
the conspirators were unable to supply the necessary funds. 
In the course of September, Percy met Catesby at Bath, where 
the two friends discussed the difficult question together. 1 It 
was at last decided that Catesby should be intrusted with the 
selection of persons to whom he might confide the secret. His 
choice fell upon three men, two of them, Sir Everard Digby and 
Ambrose Rokewood, were very young ; it was perhaps hoped 
that their youth would render them sufficiently enthusiastic to 
set aside prudential considerations. The third, Francis Tresham, 
was indeed older, but his wealth offered a powerful inducement 
to men with whom money was an object ; and his participation 
in previous intrigues gave some guarantee that he would not 
be unwilling to engage in the present design. 2 

Ambrose Rokewood, of Coldham Hall, in Suffolk, had long 
been an intimate friend and an ardent admirer of Catesby. At 
Ambrose first ne expressed some reluctance to take part in the 
Rokewood. pi ot) because he feared that it would be impossible 
to save those Catholic Peers who would be present at the 
opening of the session. Catesby told him that a trick would be 
put upon them, so that he need have no fears on that score. 3 
Rokewood then said that ' it was a matter of conscience to take 
away so much blood.' Catesby assured him that he had been 
resolved by good authority that the deed was lawful, even if 
some innocent men should lose their lives together with the 
guilty. Upon this Rokewood gave up his scruples. In order 
to be at hand when he was wanted in November, he took a 
house at Clopton, in Warwickshire. 4 

Early in October, 5 Catesby was residing with Digby in the 

1 T. Winter's Confession, Nov. 23, 1605, G. P. B. 

i According to Jardine, p. 62-66, Digby was twenty-four, and Roke- 

. I twenty-seven. Wood makes Tresham about thirty-eight. Ath. Ox. 

Bliss, i. 755- 

3 Examination of Rokewood, Dec. 2, 1605, G. P. B. 

* Examination of R. Wdson, Nov. 7, 1606. He says the lease was 
asked for about ten days before Michaelmas. 

4 About Michaelmas (Examination of Sir E. Digby, Nov. 19, S. P. 
Dom. xvi. 94). About a week after Michaelmas (Examination of Sir E. 
Dighy, Dec. 2, G. P. B.). 


neighbourhood of Wellingborough. After raising some objec- 
sir Ev«ard tions > Digby too yielded to the fascination, and threw 
Digby. himself headlong into the plot. 1 A suitable house 
was procured for his temporary residence at Coughton, in 
Warwickshire, a place lying on the borders of Worcestershire. 
What was still more to the purpose, he offered 1,500/. for the 
good of the cause. 

The last person to whom the secret was revealed was 
Tresham, who had, upon the death of his father in September, 
Francis inherited the estate of Rushton, not far from Ketter- 
ing. He was a cousin of Catesby and the Winters, 
and had taken part with them in Essex's rebellion, as well 
in the negotiations with Spain shortly before the Queen's 

There were now thirteen persons who were intrusted with 
all the details of the scheme. But it was also necessary to take 
some measures in order that a large number of mal- 
* contents might be ready to join the insurrection on the 
first news from London. Accordingly, it was 
posed that Digby should hold a great hunting match at Dun- 
church on iIp- day of the meeting of Parliament, to which a 
large company of the Catholic gentry of the Midland ((.unties 
were to he invited. If Prince Charles escaped the fate p re- 
pared for his family, Percy was to snatch up the child, and to 

rush with him in Ins arms to Worcestershire. As soon as the 

news arrived that the explosion had succeeded, the gentlemen 

who had come to the hunt were to be urged to seize the Princess 
th, who was at Combe Abbey, within an easy ride of 
iili 1. Either she or Prince Charles was to be proclaimed 
the nation was t<> he won over by the an- 
nouncement of popular n rid the Protestant Church 

would be at the feet of the conspirators. 

In tlie midst of all th. nine anticipations one difficulty 

presented itself, how were the Catholi< Lords to l»- prevented 
from attending the opening of Parliament? This difficulty 
had long been felt by Catesby and his companions, hut it pre- 

1 See bis letters in the Appendix to the Bishop of Lincoln's Gunpowder 
Hot, iGj'j. 

246 GUNPOWDER PLOT. ch. vi. 

sented itself with increased force as the moment for action 
approached. There were those among the conspirators who 
The Catho- were connected by special ties with some of the Peers : 
mu!'t°be S Percy was in the service of his kinsman, the Earl of 
warned. Northumberland ; Lord Mordaunt had intrusted his 
children to the charge of Keyes's wife ; Lord Stourton and Lord 
Monteagle had both married sisters of Tresham. It would be 
impossible for any Catholic to regard with complacency any act 
which would involve in ruin Lord Montague, who had dared to 
stand forth as the champion of his religion in the House of 
Lords, or the young Earl of Arundel, the son of that Earl who 
was honoured above all the Catholic martyrs of the reign of 
Elizabeth, and who had by James's favour been lately restored 
to his father's honours. Many were the appeals which 
had been made to Catesby, who was the guiding spirit 
of the plot. Sometimes he answered that the nobility were but 
' atheists, fools, and cowards ' ; at other moments he assured his 
friends that means should be taken to warn them. He had a 
scheme for sending some one to inflict a slight wound on Lord 
Arundel, so as to incapacitate him from leaving his house. It is 
probable that many of the Catholic Peers received hints to absent 
themselves from the opening of the session. But such warn- 
ings could not safely be given to all. Catesby was warmly 
attached to the Earl of Rutland, ' but it seemed then he was 
contented to let him go.' Even Catholic peeresses who came 
merely to enjoy the spectacle must be sacrificed, though not with- 
out compunction. Mr. Catesby, accordingto Garnet's statement, 
' could not find in his heart to go to see the Lady Derby or the 
Lady Strange at their houses, though he loved them above all 
others ; because it pitied him to think that they must all die.' ' 
Among the plotters was one who had never entered heart 
and soul into the matter. Tresham had, by his father's death, 
Tresham lately succeeded to a large family property, and the 
wavers temper of a man who has just entered into the en- 
joyment of considerable wealth is by no means likely to fit him 
for a conspirator. Catesby's sagacity had here deserted him, 

1 Garnet's Examination, March 10, 1606, Hatfield MSS, no, fol. 35. 


or had perhaps been overpowered by his eagerness to share in 
Tresham's ready money. If we are to believe Tresham him- 
self, 1 heat once remonstrated with his cousin, and reminded 
him that even if they succeeded they would be exposed to the 
fury of the enraged nation. He pointed out to him that when 
the organization of the Government was destroyed, the country 
would fall into the hands of the Protestant clergy, who would 
form the only organized body remaining in existence. He ap- 
pears to have given way at last, and to have promised to give 
2,000/. to the cause. 

Tresham pleaded strongly for his brother-in-law, Lord Mon- 

teagle, and when he found that the other conspirators were 

unwilling tu risk their lives by giving him warning, he 

determines probably formed the determination to take the matter 

Mont- into his own hands. He told them that it would be 

net essary for him to go down into Northamptonshire, 

in order to collect the money which they required, ami he made 

an appointment with Winter to meet him as he passed through 

Barnet on his return, on October 28 or 29. 

On the 25th, and perhaps on the 26th, he was still in 
London. On one of those days, Winter came to him at his 
lodgings in Clerkenwell, and obtained 100/. from him.'- Shortly 
afterwards he was on his way to Rushton. 

On the 26th, Lord Monteagle ordered a supper to be pre- 
pared at his house at Hoxton, although he had not been there 
for more than twelve months. :) He was a man who had been 

1 Declaration of Tresham, Nov. 13, 16051 S, P> Dotn. xvi. 63. 

2 Thi« fact, which is di tinctly itated by Winter (Exam. Nov. 25, 

1605, G, /'. /''■), leemi to b 1 overlooks! by Mr. |.u. line. It 

the eviden I Tn ham, as it shows that he must have 

l.ecn in London within twenty-four houn of the delivery of the letter, il 
he was nut there on the very day. [< i> suspicious that while Tresham 
rather a minute account of his proa md mentioned a latei 

occasion on which Winter came to him lor money, he m I this 

vi^it in his examination. , a, if h>- had been unwilling to have it ki 

that he was in London at the time. 

1 Green way's MS. inTierney'i Dodd. iv. 50. The King's 11 tory of 

the Gunpowder Plot, Stale Trials, ii. 195. Account of the plot drawn up 
by Munck, and corrected by Salisbury, G. /'. B., Nov. 7, 1605. 


closely connected with some of the principal conspirators. He 
was himself a Catholic. He had been engaged in Essex's rebel- 
lion, and he had shared in promoting Winter's journey 
Oct. 26. ' . . _ , , r ° , J , } 

to Spain. 1 It has been suspected that even at that 

time he furnished information to the Government. However 
this may have been, on the accession of James he gave his 
whole support to the new King. His advances were accepted, 
and he was admitted to high favour at Court. 2 

As he was sitting down to supper, one of his footmen came 
in, bringing with him a letter which he had been requested to 
a letter give to his master by a man whose features he had 
Lo°rd g Mont- been unable to distinguish in the dark winter night, 
eagle. Lord Monteagle took the letter, and as soon as he 

had glanced over it, handed it to Ward, one of the gentlemen 
in his service, requesting him to read it. The letter was anony- 
mous, and ran as follows : — 

" My lord, out of the love I bear to some of your friends, I 
have a care of your preservation. Therefore I would advise 
you, as you tender your life, to devise some excuse to shift of 
your attendance at this Parliament ; for God and man hath 
concurred to punish the wickedness of this time. And think 
not slightly of this advertisement, but retire yourself into your 
country, where you may expect the event in safety, for though 
there be no appearance of any stir, yet I say they shall receive 
a terrible blow this Parliament, and yet they shall not see who 
hurts them. This counsel is not to be contemned, because it 
may do you good, and can do you no harm, for the danger is 

1 Examination of Tresham, Nov. 29, 1605, G. P. B. Note by T. 
Winter, Nov. 25, 1605, G. P. B. In the calendar, this note is said to 
refer to a message 'relative to the plot,' and it is appended to an exami- 
nation of Winter of the same date, relating to the Gunpowder Plot. This 
must be a mistake, though both papers are endorsed in the same hand- 
writing, '25 9 br 1605. The Examination of Winter.' The two papers 
themselves are not in the same handwriting, and the note evidently 
relates to the Spanish plot of 1602. It must refer, not to anything in the 
examination which is extant, but to a message in another which has been 
lost, and which was mentioned by Tresham in his examination of Nov. 29. 

■ jfardine, p. 80. 


past as soon as you have burnt the letter : and I hope God will 
give you the grace to make good use of it, to whose holy protec- 
tion I commend you." l 

Monteagle at once set out for Whitehall, to communicate 
the letter to the Government. On his arrival he found 
H . . Salisbury, just ready to sit down to supper in com- 
pany with Nottingham, Suffolk, Worcester, and 
Northampton. Monteagle immediately drew him 
aside into another room, and put the letter into his hands. 
Although vague rumours had already reached Salisbury's ears 
that some danger was in agitation amongst the Catholics, he 
was at first inclined to think lightly of the matter; 2 but being 
well aware of their discontented state, he determined to 
make further inquiries. Accordingly, he called Suffolk from 
the next room and put the letter before him. As they re-pe- 
rused the paper, it occurred to them that it might probably refer 
to some attempt at mischief by means of gunpowder. Upon 
this Suffolk, to whom, as Lord Chamberlain, all the buildings 
in and around the Parliament House were well known, remem- 
bered that the Cellar under the house would be a suitable place 
for the execution of a design of this kind. As soon as Mont- 
1 le had left them, they imparted the discovery to the other 
three lords, who agreed that it would be proper to search the 
cellar before the beginning of the session, but advised that the 
sean h should be delayed as long as possible, in order that the 
conspirators might not be scared before their plot was fully 

On the 31st, the King, who had been absent at Royston, 

■ 3 ,. returned to London, but it was not till Sunday, 

The King November -5, that the letter was shown to him. He 

return* From *" 

1 at once, if we are to believe the narrative drawn up 

under Salisbury's inspection, came to the same conclusion 

as that which had been come to by his ministers. 3 By 

1 The original is in the (7. /'. B. There is a copy with all the 
peculiariii<> of spelling in Jardint % p. 82. 

• Salisbury to Cornwallix, Nov. 9, 1005, Win;.: ii. 1 7 1 , compared 
with Munck'a account, which agrees with it in all important particulars. 

' James, a.-, is well known, took a pleasure in allowing it to lie believed 

250 GUNPOWDER PLOT. ch. vi. 

his direction, Suffolk, in execution of his office as Lord 
Chamberlain, proceeded about three o'clock on 
and °i V JerL the afternoon of the following day to go round the 
i^de. 1 10 Parliament House and the adjoining buildings. In 
this search he was accompanied by Monteagle, who 
had joined him at his own request. Suffolk, like 
the rest of the Councillors, had no very strong belief in 
the reality of the plot, and was under great apprehensions lest 
he should become an object of general ridicule, if the gun- 
powder for which he was looking proved to be without any 
real existence. He therefore gave out that he was come to 
look for some stuff of the King's which was in Whynniard's 
keeping, and, finding that Whynniard had let his cellar to 
a stranger, he contented himself with looking into it without 
entering. Seeing the piles of coals and faggots, he asked 
to whom they belonged. Fawkes, who had opened the 
door to him, said that they belonged to Mr. Thomas Percy, 
one of His Majesty's Gentlemen Pensioners. Upon hearing 
Percy's name, Suffolk suspected that there was more truth in 
the story than he had previously supposed. Monteagle, pro- 
bably wishing to shield Tresham, and hoping to put the 
Government on a wrong scent, suggested that Percy might have 
sent the letter. Upon receiving Suffolk's report of what he had 
seen, the King ordered that further search should be made, 
still under the pretence of looking for the stuff which was 

There was no time to be lost, as the session was to com- 
mence on the following morning. About eleven at night, Sir 
Discovery Thomas Knyvett went down to the cellar. At the 
powdef by d° or nc was met ky F aw kes. He stopped him, and 
Knyvett. carefully removing the coals and wood, he came to 
the barrels of gunpowder. Fawkes saw at once that the game 
was up. He made no attempt to excuse himself, but confessed 

that he had made the discovery himself. It was not a very difficult one to 
make, and the courtiers probably were discreet enough to hold their 
tongues as to the fact that they had anticipated his conclusions. On the 
other hand, it was certainly absurd to found the inference on the words 
' the danger is past as soon as you have burnt the letter.' 


that he had intended to blow up the King and the two Houses 
on the following morning. Upon this he was bound hand and 
foot, and taken to Salisbury's lodgings. Such of the Council as 
could be reached at that late hour were summoned to the King's 
bedchamber. James's first thought on hearing of the discovery 
was to offer thanks to God for his deliverance. He then 
directed that the Lord Mayor should be ordered to set a watch 
for the prevention of any outbreak, and that the prisoner should 
be carefully guarded, in order to hinder any attempt at self- 

A question has often been raised, whether the letter received 
by Monteagle was, in reality, the first intimation given to him. 

That the writer of the letter was Tresham there can 
the writer of be no reasonable doubt. ' The character of Tresham, 

the suspicions of his confederates, his own account 
of his proceedings, all point to him as the betrayer of the secret. 
If any doubt still remained, there is the additional evidence in 
the confidence which was after his death expressed by his 
friends, that if he had survived the disease of which he died, 
he would have been safe from all fear of the consequences of 
the crime with which he was charged. 2 This confidence they 
could only have derived from himself, and it could only have 
been founded upon one ground. 

'I say the least of it, it is highly probable that Monteagle 
expected the letter on the evening of the 26th. lie came out 

unexpectedly to sup at lloxton, where he had not 

nrrar i been tor upwards of a twelvemonth. If there had 

between dim . ... . . 

been no communication between him and the writer 

of the ll tter, how could the bearer of it know that he 

would find one of Monte.' I Otmen at so unlikely a spot ? 

1 Tin.- whole argnmenl Is clearly given in Jardku % pp. 83-90. The 
evidence seer rrant a stronger conclusion than that t" which Mi. 

Jardine arrived. It i^ plain, b that no doubt remained in his own 


5 Waad to Salisbury, Dec. 23, 1605, S. /'. Dom. xvii. 56. " His 
friends were marvellous confident if he had escaped thi> and 

have delivered out words in this place, that they feared not the course of 

2 :2 GUNPOWDER PLOT. ch. vi. 

Why, too, should Monteagle, instead of reading the letter him- 
self, have given it to Ward to read aloud ? Besides, if Tresham 
had calculated upon the letter alone to deter his brother-in-law 
from going down to the House, he would surely have written it 
in plainer terms. 1 

The probability is that Tresham, finding that he could not 
persuade Catesby to give a sufficiently distinct warning to 
Monteagle, sought an interview with him himself. If the object 
which they both had before them was to frustrate the whole 
scheme in such a manner as to allow the conspirators themselves 
to escape, it is impossible to imagine a more satisfactory con- 
trivance. The information given was just enough to set the 
Government upon preventive measures, but not enough to 
enable them to seize the culprits. By giving the letter to 
Ward, Monteagle conveyed the intelligence to a man who was 
likely to warn the conspirators of the discovery of their schemes; 
Ward being Winter's friend, would be certain to inform him of 
what had happened. 2 There could be little doubt that, upon 
receipt of this intelligence, they would take to flight. 

1 The greater part of this argument is abridged from Mr. Jardine's, to 
which there is scarcely anything to be added, pp. 90-93. 

* The excited feelings under which the letter was written, and the 
desire to keep the middle ground between telling too little and telling too 
much, may account for the obscurity of its style. Besides holding that 
Monteagle was acquainted with Tresham's intention of writing the letter, 
Mr. Jardine adopts Greenway's opinion that the Government, or at least 
Salisbury, was acquainted with the manoeuvre. " Many considerations," 
he says, " tend to confirm the opinion expressed by Green way in his nar- 
rative, that the particulars of the plot had been fully revealed to Lord 
Salisbury by Monteagle, who was supposed by Greenway and the con- 
spirators to have received a direct communication from Tresham, and 
that the letter was a mere contrivance of the Government to conceal the 
means by which their information had really been obtained " {Arch&ol. 

xxix. 101). 

In this theory I am unable to concur. The arguments by which it is 
supported seem to me to be weak, and there are difficulties in the way of 
its reception which appear to be insuperable. 

Mr. Jardine's first argument is that Monteagle ' received 500/. per 
annum for his life and 200/. in fee farm rents,' which he considers to be 
extravagant over-payment, ' upon the supposition th.U the only service he 


Part of this scheme was successful. Either by arrangement, 

or in consequence of his own friendship for Winter, Ward only 

Oct 27. waited till the next day to slip round to his lodgings 

o«. 28. and to tell him all that he knew. On the following 

forms morning Winter went out to White Webbs, a house 

what "ad in Enfield Chase, where Catesby was to be found, 

and entreated him to give up the enterprise, and to 

leave the country. Catesby received the news with astonishing 

rendered was delivering to the Council an obscure anonymous letter, 
which he did not understand. ' {Ibid. p. 100.) 

Surely, if the letter really was the means of discovering the plot, we 
can understand that the Government would not have scanned very closely 
the nature of the means by which they had been saved, besides, there 
were additional reasons for valuing Monteagle's services highly. It soon 
became probable that several other Catholics had received similar warnings, 
more or less obscure, and of all these not one, except Monteagle, had 
mentioned the matter to the Council. 

Another argument used by Mr. Jardine, though he acknowledges that 
it is not entitled to much weight, is, that Monteagle was one of the Com- 
missioners for proroguing Parliament on October 3, though he had not 
previously been employed on similar occasions. He thinks it probable 
that James and his Council wished to secure the Commissioners from 
being blown up on that occasion, by exposing a relative of some of the 
conspirators to danger. 

In the first place the conspirators wanted to blowup the King and 

the Parliament, and were not likely to stoop to such small game as half a 

I',,.. I ouncillon ; in the second place it is admitted that whatever 

teagle knew, he learned from Tre ham. Bui Tresbam himself knew 

nothing of the plot till eleven days after the prorogation. 

The only really important argument i-. drawn from the conduct of the 

eminent towards Tresham. <>n N 1 7 questions were put to 

a v. in. li the name, ol 1 erl un persons were proposed to him, and 
he was asked whether they shared in the plot. Among these Tresham's 
name occurs. 'Yet, though 1 pr< I on that very day 

against the others, Treshai is n •> mentioned in it' (Jardine, Nar- 

y. 120). On the 9th, Fav expn ily mi ntioned him as an 
accomplice ; yet, although he could have I" ted al any moment, he 

was not brought before the ' !oun< il nination till the 12th. 

This certainly would give some weigh) to Mr. Jardine's theory, that 
the Government wanted to span- him, il 

which make us seek for an explanation in 1 tion. In il..- first 

place, Suffolk's behaviour on the 4th looks like that of a man who knew 

254 GUNPOWDER PLOT. ch. vi. 

coolness. He decided to wait till the 30th, when Fawkcs, who 
was in the country, was expected to join them. They would 
then send him to examine the cellar, and they would be guided 

nothing more of the plot than what was on the face of the letter. But if it 
is said that Salisbury alone was behind the scenes, it remains to be shown 
what conceivable motives he can have had for the part which he is sup- 
posed to have acted. Can it be supposed that Tresham brought him in- 
formation which was so scanty that he was unable to seize the conspirators 
before their flight from London ? This information, too, must have been 
of such a character that, although Salisbury was able to issue a proclama- 
tion for the apprehension of Percy on the 5th, he was unable to name any 
of the other conspirators till the 7th. If Tresham had really come with 
such a lame story as it is necessary to suppose — if he really saw Salisbury 
before the 26th of October — he would immediately have been sent to the 
Tower, and probably tortured till he consented to reveal the names of 
his accomplices. It is plain that, with the exception of the names of Percy 
and Fawkes, not a single name was known to the Government till the 
7th. And yet, it is for this that Tresham was to be so highly favoured. 
It is obvious that whoever invented the scheme of the letter did so with a 
view to the escape of the conspirators. Salisbury was accused by his con- 
temporaries of inventing the whole plot, with a view to gain favour by his 
supposed cleverness in detecting it. Absurd as this charge was, it is 
hardly more absurd than a theory which makes him to be the inventor of a 
scheme which was admirably adapted to enable the conspirators to escape, 
and by which he did not even succeed in discovering their names. 

On the other hand, the suspicious circumstances are capable of an ex- 
planation. The information of the names must have reached the Govern- 
ment on the 7th, or late on the 6th. Perhaps Montcagle gave them up 
when the whole plot had broken down. Perhaps they were learned from 
some other source. 

At first, the Government would be unwilling to arrest Tresham, as being 
Monteagle's brother-in-law. He had not taken flight, and they knew that 
they could have him when they wanted him. When the news came that so 
many of the plotters had been killed, Tresham's evidence became important, 
and he was accordingly sent for on the 1 2th. When he was dead, the 
Government may have thought it better to allow him to be attainted with 
the others. They must have suspected that Monteagle knew more of the 
plot than he had avowed, and they may have thought that to except his 
brother-in-law from the attainder would expose him to suspicion. 

There is in Add. MSS. 19,402, fol. 143, a curious letter of Monteagle's, 
written to assure the King of his desire to become a Protestant. It is 
undated, but it would hardly have been without reference to the plot, if it 
had been written subsequently to 1605. 


by his report. Meanwhile, their suspicions naturally turned 
upon Tresham as the traitor. They expected him to pass 
through Barnet at two in the afternoon of the 29th, and it had 
been arranged that Winter should meet him there. Tresham, 
however, shrank from seeing any of his fellow-conspirators, and 
caught eagerly at any plan which would save him from their 
presence even for four-and-twenty hours. He accordingly sent 
to Winter to inform him that he had postponed his journey, and 

_ that he should not pass through Barnet till the 30th. 

He said nothing of the hour at which he was to pass, 

and pushing on got through at eight in the morning, long before 

he was expected. He had not secured immunity for any long 

0ct t time ; the next day the unhappy man was doomed 

to see the detested face of Winter at his lodgings 

in London. He had come to request his presence at Barnet 

on the following day. Tresham did not dare to refuse. At 

Nov t the appointed time he went to Barnet, where he 
found Catesby and Winter waiting for him. They at 
once charged him with having written the letter. They in- 
tended, as it was said, to poniard him at once if he gave room 
for the slightest suspicion. 1 He showed, however, so bold a 
face, and swore so positively that he knew nothing of the matter, 

1 Declaration of Tresham, Nov. 13, S. P. Dom. xvi. 33. Confei ion 
ofT. Winter, Nor. 23, G. /'. />'. Jardine, Narrative, p. 96, from Green 
way's Ms. 

A ' lalendai of the proceedings of these days may be useful : — 
Sat. Oct. 26 Monteagle receives the letter. 

Ward informs Winter. 

Winter infonni I !atesby. 

Tre ham returns. Fawkcs examines tli« cellar. 

Winter rammoi Tre ham. 

Meeting of Tresham with ( and Winter. 

Winter mi • ' 'I !• bam al I. in' '.In's Inn. 

Meeting behind St. Clement's. 

Percy goes t'> Sion. Fawkes taken. 
Flight <>f the conspirators. 

Arrival at Haddington at 2 p.m. 
Arrival at Holbeche at 10 p.m. 
Capture at Holbeche. 











1 1 





1 rl : 

. 1 


» » 




















256 GUNPOWDER PLOT. ch. vr. 

that they let him go. He again pressed them to let the matter 

drop, at least for the present, and to take refuge in Flanders. 

He found that his entreaties were all in vain. In 

1 he con- 
spirators fact, Fawkes had been sent up to London to examine 

give up their the cellar, and upon his report that he had found 
everything in the state in which he had left it, they 
came to the conclusion that the Government had attached no 
weight to Monteagle's representations, and that the conspirators 
would incur no real danger by persisting in their original plan. 
On the next day, Winter was again despatched to Tresham 
for money, and was quieted with ioo/. Tresham again pressed 
him to fly, and assured him that Salisbury was ac- 
quainted with all their secrets, and that he had laid 
everything before the King. Upon hearing this, Winter carried 
the news to Catesby, who was at last shaken by this new intel- 
ligence, and made up his mind to fly. Before taking this last 
step, however, he would confer with Percy, who was expected 
to arrive shortly from the North, where he had been engaged 
in collecting the Earl of Northumberland's rents. 

Accordingly, on the evening of November 3, a meeting was 
held at the same house behind St. Clement's in which the 
Nov. 3. original conspirators had taken their oath of secrecy 
behind st eighteen months before. Those five men now met 
Clements, again in the same place. Christopher Wright was 
the only other person present. Upon hearing all that had 
passed, Percy insisted upon their continuing steadfast. The 
conspirators could not tear away from their breasts a hope which 
had, by long cherishing, become a part of themselves, and they 
allowed themselves to be persuaded by his earnest entreaties. 
Fawkes, with a rare self-devotion, which, even in such a cause 
as this, commands our admiration, went down to the cellar and 
occupied his post as usual. Rokewood and Keyes were also in 
London, but it does not appear whether they were told that the 
plot had been discovered. 

Nov On Monday afternoon Fawkes was still at his post. 

Fawkes After Suffolk and Monteagle had left him, he may 

remains at ° ' * 

his post. possibly have thought that the danger was over. 
About ten o'clock he received a visit from Keyes, who brought 


a watch which Percy had bought for him, in order that he 
might know how the hours were passing during that anxious 
night. 1 Within an hour after the time when Keyes left him, 
he was a hopeless prisoner, and all his schemes were blown for 
ever to the winds. 

Early on Tuesday morning the chief conspirators were flying 

at full gallop along the road to Lady Catesby's house at Ashby 

St. Legers. Utterly disheartened by the conscious- 

• V of 5 'the ness of failure, they yet instinctively followed out the 
plan which they had determined upon whilst success 
seemed still within their grasp. Catesby and John Wright were 
the first to get away. At five on the morning of the 5th, Chris- 
topher Wright burst into Winter's lodgings with the tidings that 
all was at an end. He then went out to reconnoitre, and re- 
turned with the assurance that the news was only too true. He 
again went out to find Percy, whose name was now known to 
the Government as that of the tenant of the cellar. These two 
galloped off together. Some hours later they were followed by 
Keyes and Rokewood, the latter of whom did not leave London 
before ten oclock. 2 

Thomas Winter was the last to fly He determined to see 
for himself how matters stood. He coolly made his way to the 
gates of the palace, which he found strictly guarded. He then 
attempted to reai h the Parliament House, but was i toppi -1 by 
the guard in the middle of King Street. As he returned, he 
heard men in the crowd talking of the treason which had been 
red Finding that all was known, he took horse and 
followed hi, companions in their flight He seems to have 

been the only on-- of them who did not hurry himself j for 
thoueh he could not have left London at a much 
later hour than i' d, he did not overtake the 

rest of the party till Wednesday evening, when he found them 

at Huddington. 

About three miles beyond Highgate, Keyes was ovi 

by Rokewood. Further on he contrived to slip away from 

1 Declaration of Fawkes", Nov. 16, 1605, C. /'. B. 

2 Rokewood's Examination, Dec. 2, 1605, G. /'. B, Examinatii ' 
R. Rooks and Elizabeth M 1605, S. P. Dotit. xvi. II, 13. 

VOL. I. S 


him, and to conceal himself till he was captured, a few days 
later. The speed at which Rokewood was riding 

Nov. 5. . 

enabled him to come up with Percy and Christopher 
Wright, about forty miles down the road. A little beyond 
Brickhill they overtook John Wright and Catesby. In hot 
haste all five pressed on, as men press on who are flying for 
their lives. So excited were they, that Percy and John Wright 
tore off their cloaks and threw them into the hedge, in order 
that thev might ride the faster. 

Whilst these men were thus riding their desperate race, 

Digby was calmly carrying out his instructions, in complete 

ignorance of the failure of his associates. He came 

"llie hunting ° . , 

at Dun- to the hunting at Dunchurch, accompanied by his 
uncle, Sir Robert Digby, of Coleshill. Grant brought 
with him three of his own brothers, a neighbour named Morgan, 
and a third brother of the Winters. Late in the evening Robert 
Winter rode in, followed by Robert Acton, a neighbour, whom 
he had persuaded to join him, and by Stephen and Humphrey 
Littleton, of Holbeche, in Staffordshire. These two had been 
induced to come in the hope that one of them might obtain a 
commission in the force which Catesby had been ostensibly 
levying for the Archduke. All the gentlemen who arrived were 
accompanied by their servants. The number of persons present 
was about eighty. 1 Winter left the Littletons at Dunchurch, 
and rode on to Ashby with some others of his companions. He 
expected that he would thus be the first to hear the good news 
lrom Catesby, who was sure to bring the tidings to his mother's 
house. 2 

About six in the evening Catesby arrived at Ashby. He 
called for Winter to come out to him, and there he poured out 

1 Examination of J. Fowes. Enclosed in a letter of the Sheriff and 
Justices of Warwickshire to those of Worcestershire, Nov. 6, G. P. B. 

2 Examination of Francis Grant. Enclosed in a letter of the Sheriff of 
Warwickshire to Salisbury, Nov. 7, G. P. B. Examination of R. Iliggins, 
enclosed in a letter of the Justices of Warwickshire to Salisbury, Nov. 12, 
G. P. B. Examination of R. Jackson, enclosed in a letter of the Sheriff 
of Northamptonshire to Salisbury, Nov. 8, S. P. Don:, xvi. 28. R. Winter 
to the Lords Commissioners, Jan. 21, 1606, G. P. B. 


to him the whole wretched story of failure and despair. Winter 
Catesby's saw at once tnat a ^ hope was at an end, and 
A^tf- St advised instant surrender. Catesby, who had waded 
Legers. f ar deeper into treason than his adviser, refused to 
hear of it, and decided upon riding off to Dunchurch, for the 
purpose of consulting with his friends. Bates, who lived at a 
little distance from the house, was sent to Rugby to act as 
guide to some of Catesby's party, who had been left there. 

On his arrival at Dunchurch, Catesby called Digby aside, 
and told him ' that now was the time to stir for the Catholic 
cause.' He had, indeed, failed to blow up the Parliament 
House, but both the King and Salisbury were dead, so that if 
they were only steadfast in asserting their claims, he ' doubted 
not but they might procure themselves good conditions.' He 
assured him that the Littletons would be able to assist them 
with a thousand men, and that Robert Winter's father-in-law, 
John Talbot of Grafton, would undoubtedly join them with a 
large force as soon as he heard that they were in arms. 1 

These falsehoods imposed upon the weak mind of Digby 
With most of the others they failed entirely. Sir Robert Digby 
rode off indignantly, and tendered his services to the Govern 
ment. Humphrey Littleton refused to follow them, and several 
more, especially Of the servants, took every Opportunity win. li 

ed itself of slipping away unobserved. The remainder de 
termined to make the best of their way to Huddington, in hopes 
of raising the Catholics of the neighbourhood. They would 

then pass on into Wales, where they expected to be joined by 
largi- numbers of insurgi n 

A . they rode along they remembered that at Warwick there 
was a stable, in whi< h they would be able to find fresh horses, 

Sdniraof wh " '' ,; "' ' arr >' (,ff in exchange for the tired 

ones on win' h ome of the company were mounted. 

Warwii k. . , , , 

1 ierl u inter, who, as he had never |oim d in the 

actual operations, had nol llffi< iently realised his position . 

conspirator, n mon linsl this breai h of the law. "Some 

of us," was Catesby's answer, " may not lookback." " but,'' 

' Examination of Sir E. Digby, Nov. 19, 1605, S. /'. Dom. xvi. 94. 
: Examinatii I met, March 12, iC'jG, S, P. Dom. xix. 40. 

s 2 


said Winter, " others, I hope, may, and therefore, I pray you, 
let this alone." " What ! hast thou any hope, Robin ? " was 
the reply ; " I assure thee there is none that knoweth of this 
action but shall perish." Rokewood, too, felt indisposed to 
join in horse-stealing, especially as he was himself well-mounted, 
and rode on before them towards Grant's house at Norbrook. 
At three in the morning the rest of the party rejoined him there 
upon their fresh horses, but they only remained long enough 
to take away about fifty muskets and a fresh supply of powder 
and ball. They then rode on, tired as they were, to Hudding- 
ton, where they arrived, weary and desponding, at two o'clock 
in the afternoon of the 6th ; l having despatched 
Bates, as they left Norbrook, to Cough ton, with a 
letter for Father Garnet, in which their condition was described, 
and his advice was asked. 

Bates found Garnet at Coughton, and gave him the letter. 
While he was reading it, Father Greenway came in, and, upon 
hearing the news, offered to accompany Bates to Huddington. 
Upon their arrival, Catesby, catching sight of the priest's face, 
exclaimed, that ' here at least was a gentleman who would live 
and die with them.' 2 After a conference with Catesby and 
Unsuccessful Percy, Greenway rode away to Hindlip, a house about 
to'eain' ^ 0UT mi ^ QS from Huddington, belonging to a Catholic 
Abmgton gentleman of the name of Abington, who had often 
offered a refuge to priests flying from persecution. It was in 
vain that he tried to gain him to the cause. 3 Abington would 
willingly have sheltered him if he had been seeking a refuge for 
himself, but he immediately refused to take any part in treason. 

The main hope of the conspirators was now to obtain 
and Talbot tne assistance of John Talbot, whose daughter was 
of Grafton, married to Robert Winter. He was one of the 
wealthiest of the Catholic laity, 4 and was a man of considerable 

1 Examination of Gertrude Winter, Nov. 7, G. P. B. 
- Examination of Bates, Jan. 13, 1606, G. P. B. Declaration of II. 
Morgan, Jan. 10, G. P. B. 

3 Examination of Oldcorne, March 6, G. P. B. 

4 He was one of those who paid the 20/. fine, as was Throckmorton, 
the owner of Coughton. 


influence, as the representative of the younger branch of the 
family of the Earl of Shrewsbury. 1 Soon after their arrival at 
Huddington, Catesby and John Wright pressed Winter to 
write to his father-in-law. Winter, who knew him well, 
positively refused, telling them ' that they did not know him, 
for the world would not draw him from his allegiance.' 2 Even 
if his loyalty had not been steadfast, so wealthy a man was the 
last person likely to take part in a hopeless insurrection. 

In the evening the fugitives were joined by Thomas Winter. 

On the following morning the whole company, now reduced by 

desertion to about thirty-six persons, were present 

■ to at mass. 3 After its conclusion, they all confessed 
• to the priest, who was a Father Hammond. He 
was aware of their late proceedings, but does not seem to have 
considered that there was anything in them which needed 
absolution. At least Bates naively stated that when he con- 
fessed on this occasion it was only for his sins, and not for any 
other particular cause. 

After they had thus cleared their consciences, they rode off 
to Stephen Littleton's house, at Holberhe, in Staffordshire, 
The < taking with them ten of Winter's servants. As they 

lUwtii l ,assc<1 by Hewell Grange, the house of Lord 

*«• Windsor, 1 they broke into it by force, and took all 
the armour which they could find, supplying those of the 

ipany who needed it, and putting that lor which they had 
no immediate use into a cart, whi( h followed them. 

It was all to no purpose. Not a soul was willing to share 
their fate. Whilst tiny were at Windsor's a number of 

Countrymen 'am.- to them and asked them what they meant to 

1 by, in return, asked them to go with him Tins was 
no answer, and tin a iked what he intended to do. He 

1 His son succeeded to the earldom on the extinction "f the eldei branch 

in 161 7. 

* K. Winter to the Lords Commi ■ > 11 1 , Jan. 21, 1606, G. /'■ B. 

* Examination of T. Flower and Stephen Kirk, en by Sir E. 
Leigh to the Council, Nov. 0, (,'. /'. A. I \amination of Bat< , Dec. 4, 

<;. /•. B. 

* Examination of W. Elli-, Nov. 21, G. P. B. 


saw that nothing could be done with them, and contented 
nimself with saying that he was for ' God and the country.' 
1 And we,' said his questioner, 'are for God and the King, and 
the country,' and turned his back upon him. 

About ten o'clock at night they arrived at Holbeche, which 
was situated just over the borders of Staffordshire, about two 
They arrive miles from Stourbridge. Many of their followers 
at Holbeche. had, in spite of all their precautions, dropped away 
from their ranks. The Sheriff of Worcestershire was following 
them, with all the forces of the county ; and the Sheriff of 
Staffordshire might soon be expected to bar their further 
progress. Flight had now become impossible, and hope of 
gathering fresh strength there was none. Early on the follow- 
ing morning they were deserted by Sir Everard 
Digby. Desperate as their case was, they determined 
to make one more effort to get help from Talbot. Accordingly, 
Thomas Winter and Stephen Littleton were despatched to 
Grafton. 1 They found the old man at home, who at once 
drove them out of his presence. On their return, they were 
met by one of Winter's servants, who told them that a terrible 
The accident accident had occurred, and that some of their 
ai Holbeche. numD er had been killed. 2 Upon this Littleton 
lost heart and rode away, inviting Winter to accompany him. 
Winter, like a brave man as he was, answered that he would 
first find Catesby's body and bury it before he thought of 
himself. On entering the house, he found that his friends 
were more frightened than hurt. The gunpowder which they 
had brought with them had been wetted in crossing the Stour, 
and they were engaged in drying some of it when a hot coal 
fell into it. Catesby and Rokewood were slightly injured by 
the explosion. Grant suffered more severely, his face and 
hands being much burnt. Their terror was extreme ; they fan- 
cied they saw in the accident the finger of God's Providence, 
bringing vengeance upon them by the same means as that by 

1 Examination of J. Talbot, Dec. 4, G. P. B. Examination of T. 
Winter, Dec. 5, G. P. B. 

2 Confession of T. Winter, Nov. 23, G. P. B. Examination of B-tcs, 
Dec. 4, G. P. B. Greenway's MS. in Tierney's Dodd. iv. 53. 


which they had planned to take away the lives of so many of 
their fellow-creatures. John Wright, who was himself unhurt, 
stepped up to Catesby and cried out, " Woe worth the time that 
we have seen this day ! " and called for the rqst of the powder, 
that they might blow themselves all up. Robert Winter left 
the house and fled ; he was immediately followed by Bates. 

As soon as Thomas Winter entered the house, he asked 
what they meant to do. They all answered with one voice, 
that they meant to die there. Winter assured them that he 
would share their fete. The remainder of the time which was 
left to them they spent in prayer before a picture of the Virgin, 
acknowledging now, at last, that they had been guilty of a 
great sin. 

About eleven the Sheriff arrived. His men began firing 

into the house. Winter, who went out into the court to meet 

Nov. 8. them, was wounded by a shot in the shoulder. John 

Arrival .>f Wright was the first who was shot dead, and im- 

t i<:riff. " 1 • 1 , /-ni i • 1 

, loflhe mediately afterwards, his brother fell by Ins side. 
Rokewood dropped, wounded in four or five places. 

Upon this, Catesby begged Winter to stand by him, that they 

iit die together. "Sir," was the answer, " I have lost the 

use of my right arm, and I fear that will cause me to be taken." 

A . they stood near each other, Catesby and Percy 

1 fell, the same bullet passing through the bodies of 

both. Catesby was able to crawl on his knees to 

the picture of th< Virgin, which he took in bis arms, and died 
ing and embra< ing h. Percy lived for two or three days 
longer. I he a 1 ailants ru h< d in, and found the two wounded 
, men, Winter and Rokewood They carried them 

arc taken. () (f mere, with Grant and Morgan and the 

servants who had remained faithful to their ma ters. 1 The' 

Othei picked up here and there in their 

various hiding-places, most of them in the course of the next 
few days. 

It is impossible not to feel some satisfaction thai so many 
of the original conspirators es< api d the s< affold. Atroi iou 

the whole undertaking was, great as must have been the moral 
1 T. Lawley to Salisbury, Nov. 14, Add. MSS. 5495. 

264 GUNPOWDER PLOT. ch. vi. 

obliquity of their minds before they could have conceived 
such a project, there was at least nothing mean 
the con- or selfish about them. They had boldly risked their 
lives for what they honestly believed to be the cause of 
God and of their country. Theirs was a crime which it would 
never have entered into the heart of any man to commit who 
was not raised above the low aims of the ordinary criminal. 
Yet, for all that, it was a crime born of ignorance. Catesby 
and his associates saw the hard treatment to which the 
Catholics were subjected. They saw in James and his Pro- 
testant Parliament the oppressors of their Church. They did 
not see the causes which made this oppression possible, causes 
which no destruction of human life could reach, and which 
weie only too certain to be intensified by the wanton destruc- 
tion which they had resolved to spread around. 

If the criminality of their design was hidden from the eyes 
of the plotters, it was not from any ambitious thoughts of the 
consequences of success to themselves. When Watson and his 
associates formed their plans, visions floated before their eyes 
in which they saw themselves installed in the highest offices of 
the State. In the expressions of these conspirators not a single 
word can be traced from which it can be inferred that they 
cherished any such thoughts. As far as we can judge, they would 
have been ready, as soon as the wrongs of which they com- 
plained had been redressed, to sink back again into obscurity. 
One thing was wanting, that they should see their atrocrious 
design in the light in which we see it. Even this was vouch- 
safed to some of them. In their time of trouble wisdom came 
to them. When they saw themselves alone in the world, when 
even their Catholic brethren spurned them from their houses, 
their thoughts turned to reconsider their actions, and to doubt 
whether they had been really, as they had imagined, fighting 
in the cause of God. In such a frame of mind, the accident 
with the gunpowder at Holbeche turned the scale, and placed 
before them their acts as they really were. With such thoughts 
on their minds, they passed away from the world which they 
had wronged to the presence of Him who had seen their guilt 
and their repentance alike. 

:6 3 



On the morning of November 5, the news of the great de- 
liverance ran like wildfire along the streets of London. The 
suspicions of the people were naturally directed 
against the Spaniards who happened to be in the 
City, and especially against the Spanish Ambassador. If 
measures had not been promptly taken, it might have gone ill 
with the object of the popular dislike. 1 In the evening all the 
bells were ringing, and the sky was reddened with the bonfires 
which were blazing in every street. 2 

On the following morning Fawkes was carried to the Tower, 

The King, hearing that he refused to implicate any of his ac- 

Nov c ' "'"I' n ' ( cs > scnt a string of questions to which he was 

1 required to answer, and ordered that, if he refused, 

he should be put to the torture,' 1 though recourse was 

not to \>r had to the rack unless he continued obstinate. These 
questions were put to him on the same afternoon, but nothing 
was obtained from him beyond a fictitious account of his own 
origin and life. lb- still insisted that his name was Johnson, 
first the Government had only received sufficient infor- 

1 Waad to Salisbury, Nov. 5, G. /'. /•'. 

7 Chaml>cr]ain t<> CarletOD, N"\\ 7, -V. /'. Dom, wi. 23. 

* Torture, though unknown to the common law, had, fur upwards of s 
century, been frequently used to 1 strati evidence. The infliction oi il was 
considered to l»c part of the Royal prerogative, which enabled the King 
to override the common law. It could, therefore, be employed only by 
express command of the King, or of the Council acting in his name. (See 
Jardine On the Use oj Torture in the Criminal Lam oj 


mation to enable them to issue a proclamation for the arrest of 
Percy. On the 7th they obtained, from some un- 
known source, intelligence which put them in posses- 
sion of the names of the other conspirators. A proclamation 
was set forth, in which the names of all of them were mentioned, 
excepting Tresham, who was still in London, and on whom the 
Government could lay their hands whenever they pleased. On 
the same day Fawkes was again examined, probably after one 
of those gentler tortures which James had recommended. He 
gave some further particulars of the plot, and acknowledged that 
his name was Fawkes. 1 

On the 8th, the day of the final catastrophe at Holbeche, 
much additional information was obtained from him. The 
next day he was undoubtedly subjected to torture of no 
common severity. The signature which he affixed to 
his examination is written in a trembling broken hand, as by a 
man who had lost all command over his limbs. The motive for 
the employment of torture was the hope that it might be possible 
to trace the connection which was suspected to exist between 
the conspirators and the priests. Fawkes admitted that the 
design had been communicated to Owen, who, as he knew, was 
safe in Flanders, beyond the power of the English Government. 
He acknowledged that the conspirators had, after taking the 
oath of secrecy, received the sacrament from the hands of 
Gerard ; but he expressly added that Gerard knew nothing of 
their intentions. With respect to Garnet, he only stated that 
they had used his house in Enfield Chase as a rendezvous. 2 

Nov. to. On Sunday a solemn thanksgiving was offered 

The Bishop in all the churches. The news of the occurrences 

of Roches- tt 11 t_ 

ters sermon, at Holbeche, which had been received that very 
Nov. 12. morning, was given to the public by the Bishop of 

1 The King's words were, ' The gentler tortures are to be first used unto 
him, et sic per gradus ad ima tenditur, and so God speed your good work.' 
The King to the Lords Commissioners, Nov. 6, G. P. B. Sir E. Hoby 
wrote to Sir T. Edmondes, ' Since Johnson's being in the Tower, he be-j 
ginneth to speak English, and yet he was never upon the rack, but only 
by the arms upright' (Court and Times of James I. i. 53). The letter is 
dated Nov. 19, but was evidently written piecemeal. This part was ap- 
parently written on the evening of the 7th, or the morning of the 8th. 

2 Examination of Fawkes, Nov. 9, G. P. B. 

1603 TRESHAM'S DEATH. 267 

Rochester. On the 12th Thomas Winter arrived, and by de- 
grees the particulars, which were still unknown, were wormed 
out of him and those of his fellow-conspirators who survived. 
Tresham's Among those who were thus examined was Tre^s- 

b pr , is fn n ; ham. He was not sent for till the 12th. It is 

mem and 

death. possible that he was spared out of regard for Mont- 

eagle, until, by the death of so many witnesses, his testimony 
was rendered indispensable. If Salisbury still had any wish 
to treat him favourably, this wish was not shared by others at 
the Court. There were many who were already eager for the 
division of the spoil. Within a day or two of his committal, 
Sir Thomas Lake had obtained from the King a promise of one 
of his manors in the event of his conviction. 1 

The great object of the Government now was to obtain evi- 
dence against the priests. Of their connection with the great 
conspiracy it soon became evident that Tresham knew nothing. 
But he might be able to tell something of the share which they 
had taken in the mission to Spain in 1602. He was examined 
on this point, and after flatly denying that he knew anything 
of the matter at all, was finally brought to confess, not only his 
own share in the transaction, but that both ( iarnet and Greenway 
had been made aware of what was being done.- 

I Hiring these days he was seized by the disease under which 

radually sank. He had no reason to complain of his treat" 

It iHmn^ his illness his wife was allowed to remain with 

him, and his servant Vavasour was also permitted to have 

I I linn at all tin, 

On December 5, < 'oke, in searching Tresham's chamber 
at the Temple, came upon a manuscript hearing the 
title ot ' .\ T 'in Equivocation,' 4 in which 

the Jesuit doctrini • rning the lawfulness of giving false 

evidence ui rtain < in um tarn es was advocated. Tresham, 

1 The Kin^ to D01 et, Nov. is. .v. /•. Dom. xvi. 86. 
Examination of Tresham, Nov. 27, C. /'. /■'. 

1 Would this have b •■! ii he had been, as Mr. Jardine sup- 

poses, the depositary of an important St "t? 

4 This copy, made by Vavasour, is in the Bodleian Library, and has 
been published by Mr. Jardine. 


who had already given proof how apt a scholar he had become 
in that evil school in which he had been brought up, was soon 
to give another proof of how completely he had mastered the 

Dec principles of this book. On the 9th he was questioned 

about the book, and made a statement professing an 
ignorance of all circumstances connected with it, which he 
could hardly have expected to be believed. As the days passed 
on, and he felt more and more that he was a dying man, he 
was haunted by remorse for his acknowledgment that Garnet 
had been acquainted with the mission to Spain. He deter- 
mined to crown his life with a deliberate falsehood. One or 
two days before his death he dictated to Vavasour a declaration 
in which he not only affirmed that Garnet had taken no part 
in the negotiations, but, as if in mere recklessness of lying, he 
added that he had neither seen him nor heard from him for 

Dec ^ sixteen years. 1 He died on the 22nd, leaving it as 
his last charge to his wife to forward this declaration 
to Salisbury. She did so and the ridiculous untruth of the 
statement thus volunteered must have weighed much against 
any reasons for treating his memory with leniency. Hence- 
forward his name appears on the same footing as that of the 
other conspirators. His body, according to the barbarous prac- 
tice of those times, was beheaded, and his head was exposed to 
the public gaze at Northampton.* 

On January 27 the surviving conspirators, Fawkes, the two 
Winters, Keyes, Bates, Rokewood, Grant, and Digby, were 
1606. brought up for trial in Westminster Hall, in the 
TrbTofL l ,rL ' st -' nce of an immense concourse of spectators. 3 
plotters. Digby alone pleaded Guilty. The others pleaded 
Not Guilty, not with any hope of obtaining an acquittal, but in 
order to have an opportunity of contradicting some statements 
of minor importance contained in the indictment. The main 
facts were too plain to be denied, and Coke had no difficulty 
in obtaining a verdict against the prisoners. Digby having 
stated that promises had been broken with the Catholics, 

1 Coke to Salisbury, March 24, 1606, G. P. B. 

2 Phelippes to Owen, Dec. 1605, S. P. Dom. xvii. 62. 
s Slate Trials, ii. 193. 


Northampton rose and denied that the King had ever made 
them any promise at all before he came to England — an asser- 
tion which was certainly untrue. Salisbury drew a distinction 
between promises of toleration, or permission to enjoy the free 
exercise of their religion, and promises of exemption from fines, 
a distinction which has often been lost sight of. When, how- 
ever, he proceeded to say that, in answer to the deputation 
which had waited upon the Council in July 1603, nothing 
more had been promised than that the arrears then accruing 
should be remitted, he said what he must have known to be 
untrue. The promise had been that, as long as the Catholics 
remained loyal, no fines should be levied ; and this promise 
had been broken. 

On the 31st, Digby, Robert Winter, Grant, and Bates were 

executed in St. Paul's Churchyard. On the following day 

Fawkes, Thomas Winter, Rokcwood, and Keyes 

suffered death at Westminster. As far as we know, 

Feb. 1. » 

Execution these men, unlike those who perished at Holbeche, 
died in the firm persuasion that they were suffering 
as martyrs in the cause of God. As they passed 
along the streets, each of them, according to custom, draggi d 
upon his separate hurdle, even these iron men must have 
longed for some sympathy as they looked up at the long line 
of hostile faces. Nor was this altogether withheld from them : 
as the miserable procession passed along the Strand, they came 
to the house in whi< h Rokewood's wife was lodging. She had 
not shunned the spectacle, bul had placed herself at an open 
window. Her husband, catching si^ht of her, begged her to 

: tor him. Without faltering, she answered: "I will I I 

will ! and do you offer yourself with a good lw art to God and 

your Creator. I yuld you to Him with ns full an assurance 

that you will h tedoi Him as when He gave you to me." ' 

The whole story of the plot, as far as h n lates to the lay 

conspirators, rests upon indisputable evidence. Bui 

■ut the as soon as we approach the question of the complicity 

pr " of the pries;,, we find ourselves upon more um ertain 

ground. Of those who were impli( ated by the evident e of the 

1 Grccnway's MS. quoted by Mr. Jardinc, Narrative, p. 154. 


plotters, Owen the Jesuit and Baldwin were beyond the reach of 
the Government, under the protection of the Archduke. Of the 
three who had been in England, Gerard and Greenway had 
contrived to make their escape, and Garnet alone was brought 
to trial. Catesby, who knew better than any man what Garnet's 
connection with the plot really was, was dead. So that the 
whole case against Garnet rested upon circumstantial evidence. 
It was not till December 4 that any one of the priests ' 
was actually implicated in the plot by any of the conspirators. 2 
Bates, on that day, acknowledged that he had 
revealed the whole plot to Greenway in confession. 
On January 13 he gave a further clue by narrating the history 
of his visit to Coughton after the discovery of the plot. 3 Upon 
this a proclamation was issued for the arrest of Gerard, Green- 
way, and Garnet. The first two succeeded in escaping. Garnet 
was less fortunate. He had remained at Coughton till Decem- 
Movements Der 4, but had then moved to Hindlip, in consequence 
of Gamet. Q f t ^e i nv itation of a priest named Oldcorne, who 
had himself received shelter in Abington's house, and acted as 
his chaplain. The house was amply provided with means for 
secreting fugitives. There was scarcely a room which did not 
contain some secret mode of egress to a hiding-place con- 
structed in the thickness of the walls. Even the chimneys led 
to rooms, the doors of which were covered with a lining of 
bricks, which, blackened as it was with smoke, was usually 
sufficient to prevent detection. 4 

On January 20 Sir Henry Bromley, a magistrate of the 

county, proceeded, in consequence of directions 

The search from Salisbury, to search the house. 5 Several of the 

ip ' hiding-places were discovered, but nothing was found 

1 That Salisbury was not anxious to take any steps against the priests, 
unless upon clear evidence, appears from the fact that, though Lady Mark- 
ham on Jan. 3 offered to act as a spy from Gerard, he took no notice of 
her offer till the 15th. — S. P. Dom. xviii. 4, 19. 

2 Examination of Bates, Dec. 4, 1605, G. P. B. 

3 Examination of Bates, Jan. 13, 1606, G. P. B. (seep. 260). 

* There is a description and an engraving of the house in Nash's Wor- 
cestershire, i. 584. Compare Jardine, p. 182. 

4 Harl. MSS. 360, fol. 92. Bromley to Salisbury, Jan. 23, printed in 
Jardine, p. 185. 


in them excepting what Bromley described as ' a number of 
Popish trash.' He was not satisfied with these results, and 
determined to keep watch, in hopes of making further dis- 
coveries. On the fourth day of his watch, he heard that two 
men had crept out from behind the wainscot in one of the 
rooms. They proved to be Garnet's servant, Owen, and Cham- 
bers, who acted in the same capacity to Oldcorne. They declared 
that they could hold out no longer, as they had had no more 
than a single apple to eat during the time of their concealment. 
Two or three days after this, Bromley, who did not relax in 
his watchfulness, was encouraged by hearing that Humphrey 
Camct and ^ u ' eton naci bought his life by confessing his know- 
oidcome ledge that Oldcorne was at that moment in hiding at 

surrender. . . , . _ . . . ° 

Hindhp. 1 On the 30th his patience was rewarded. 2 
To the astonishment of the man who was set to keep watch, 
the two priests, who could bear the confinement no longer, 
suddenly stepped out from their hiding place. The sentinel 

immediately ran away, expecting to be shot The priests had 
been in no danger of starvation. There was a communication 
between their place of concealment and one of the rooms of 
the house by means of a quill, through which they had re< eived 
constant supplies of broth. They had suffered principally from 
want of air. The closet in \vhi< h they were had not been pre- 
pared for their reception, and it was half filled with books and 
furniture. Garnet afterwards stated his belief that, if these had 
.1 removed, he could have held out easily for three months, 
it was," he said, " we were well wearied, for we continually 

sat, save that sometimes we could halfstreti h ourselves, the place 
l rig not high enough ; and we had our legs so straitened that 

< ould not, sitting, find place for them, so that we both were 
in i ontinual pain Oi our legs ; and both our legs, espec lallv mine, 
were much swollen. . . . When we ( ame forth we appeared like 

twogho ■ I the stronger, though my weakness last. .1 lonj er. M 
The two priests were sent up to London. They were 

' II. I. in: relation, Add. MSS. 6178, fol. 693. 

- Bromley to Salisbury, Jan. 30, .S". /'. Dam. xviii. 52. (larnct to 
Mrs. Vaux, printed in Jardine, App, i. He ipeaka of having been in the 
hole seven days am niphts. If this is correct, lie must have been 

removed to a safer place on the 23rd. 


allowed to travel by easy stages ; and by Salisbury's express 
orders they were well treated during the whole journey. Owen 
and Chambers, as well as Abington and two of his servants, 
were sent with them. 

On February 13, Garnet was examined by the Council. 
As he was conducted to Whitehall, the streets were crowded 
Feb with multitudes, who were eager to catch a sight of 

Garnet the head of the Jesuits in England. He heard one 

by the"* man say, ' that he was a provincial,' whilst another 
shouted out, " There goes a young Pope." It was 
found impossible to extract from him any confession of his 
complicity in the plot. During the following days, he was re- 
peatedly examined with equal want of success. At one time 
he was threatened with torture. It was all alike. Nothing 
could be gained from him, either by fear or by persuasion. It 
was a mere threat, as the King had strictly forbidden the use 
of torture in his case. 

Torture was, however, used upon Owen, who exasperated 

the Commissioners appointed to conduct the examinations by 

declaring that he did not know either Oldcorne l or 


torture and his own master. An acknowledgment of his ac- 
quaintance with Garnet was extracted from him 2 by 
fastening his thumbs to a beam above his head. His fear lest 
the torture should be repeated worked upon his mind to such 
an extent, that on the following day he committed suicide. 3 
The Government having in vain tried all ordinary means 
. . of shaking Garnet's constancy, determined to resort 

Admission , ... , 

obtained to stratagem. He and Oldcorne were removed to 

bystiata- two rooms adjoining one another, between which a 

communication existed by means of a door. Two 

persons were placed in a concealed position, from which they 

1 This was his real name. Like the other priests, he had many aliases, 
and at this time he was generally known as Hall. 

- Examination of Owen, Feb. 26 and March 1, 1606, G. P. B. 

8 Antilogia, p. 1 14. The Catholics accused the Government of tortur- 
ing him to death. " There is, perhaps, no great difference," observes Mr. 
Jardine, "between the guilt of homicide by actual torture, and that of 
urging to suicide by the insupportable threat of its renewal " (p. 200). 


might be able to overhear all that passed. 1 By these means 
the Government was put in possession of information which 
enabled it to frame its questions so as to obtain more satis- 
factory answers. 

Garnet at first denied that he had ever conversed with Old- 
come through the door at all. At last, after he had been sub- 
jected to much questioning, he discovered both that 
Gamet's he could not hope to escape, and that there was no 
one still in England who would be endangered by a 
full confession. Accordingly, on March 8, he told the whole 
story of his own connection with the plotters, and this story, as 
far at least as the facts of the case are concerned, may pro- 
bably, when taken together with subsequent additions, be re- 
garded as substantially true. He now admitted that he had 
been for some length of time in communication with the prin- 
cipal conspirators. lie said that soon after James's accession 
< esby told him that, 'there would be some stirring, seeing 
the King kept not promise;'- that, about Midsummer 1604, 

came to him again, and 'insinuated that he had some- 
thing in hand,' but told him no particulars ; and that, soon after- 
wards, Greenway informed him that there was some scheme on 

which he expressed Ins disapproval both to <■'.<'• 
by and to Gre< nway. About Easter, 1605, when Fawkes went 
to I landers, Ik- gave him a letter of introdui tion to Baldwin ; 
and on June H, in the same year/' 1 Catesby asked him a 
question whirl) was intended to draw out his opinion on the 

1 The report! of the overheard conversations are printed in Jardine, 
App. ii. II'- remarks on them (p. 203) : " It is impossible to peruse the 

without being struck with the remarl able i." 1 

eaking the whole ecrel of his heart unreservedly to his 

•i in denial of hi, knowledge of the plot, 

and his • ;i >ra word from which it can be implied thai 

in hi thai he was untruly accused in this ri pect. On 

ontrary, tin- wholi 1 1 iectof hi conversation i- the -mi h 

ment of 1 by whit h he may baffle examination and elude detei tion 

his only care being to 'contrive safe .11 and to use his own 

language ' to wind himself out of thi - m itter." 1 

2 Declaration of G t, March 1 ;, S. /'. Dom. \\\. 41. 

3 Examination "f Garnet, March 12, .V. /'. Dom. \i\. 40. He says 
vol. 1. T 


lawfulness of the action in which he was engaged, without 
letting him know what that action was. The question was, 
whether it was lawful to enter upon any undertaking for the 
good of the Catholic cause if it should be impossible to avoid 
the destruction of some innocent persons together with the 
guilty ; to which Garnet, understanding it to refer to military 
operations in Flanders against some fortified town in which 
innocent persons would share the fortunes of the garrison, 
answered in the affirmative. After Catesby was gone, Garnet 
began to doubt whether Catesby's question were as abstract as 
it appeared at first. He took an early opportunity of warning 
Catesby that to make the opinion which he had given about the 
innocents worth anything, it was absolutely necessary that the 
cause in which they were to be sacrificed should be in itself 
lawful. Catesby broke off the conversation, and turned away to 
join Monteagle and Tresham, who were in the room at the time. 
Garnet gathered from his manner that some plan of insurrection 
was in hand. 1 

Garnet took alarm. He was under orders from Rome 
to discountenance any commotion amongst the Catholics ; 
and those orders were repeated in the most stringent form 
shortly after this meeting, in a letter from Aquaviva, the General 
of the Society. 

When Garnet next saw Catesby, he showed him the Pope's 
letter. " Whatever I mean to do," said Catesby, " if the Pope 
knew, he would not hinder for the general good of our country." 
Garnet replied that those who did not keep quiet would fly in 
the teeth of the direct prohibition of the Pope. " I am not 
bound," replied Catesby, " to take knowledge by you of the 
Pope's will." Would he not, pleaded Garnet, acquaint the 

that this took place on the Saturday after the Octave of Corpus Christi. 
In 1605 the Octave fell on June 6, and the Saturday after was June 8. 
1 he 9th is the day mentioned in Garnet's indictment ; but the error of a 
single day is not material. 

1 So I interpret the words : " ' Oh, saith he, let me alone for that ; for 
do you not see how I seek to enter into familiarity with this lord? — which 
made me imagine that something he intended amongst the nobility." 
Garnet's Dedai.- 4 k>n, March 8, Hatfield MSS. no, fol. 30. 


Pope with the project. No, said Catesby, ' he would not for 
all the world make his particular project known to him for fear 
of discover)'.' Catesby, however, at last engaged to do nothing 
till the Pope had been informed in general terms of the state 
of matters in England, and it was then arranged that Sir Edward 
Baynham, who was starting for Flanders, should convey the 
information to the Nuncio at Brussels, if not to Rome itself. 
To Catesby's offer to acquaint him with the plot which he 
had in his mind, Garnet returned a distinct refusal, on the 
ground of the prohibition which had come from Rome. 

That Garnet was fully aware that violence of some kind 
was contemplated it is impossible to doubt. It is equally clear 
that he had no objection on principle to such a movement. 
By his own account he armies against it on the ground of the 
orders of the Pope, but he expresses no opinion on the wicked- 
ness of righting wrongs with a strong hand, and he prefers to 
know nothing of particulars, though to know particulars would 
increase his facilities for arguing against the use of violence. 
On the other hand, he may have thought, from the message sent 
by Baynham, that the plot, whatever it was, was not to be executed 
fur some time to come. 

This last < onversation with Catesby took place early in July. 
A few days later the Jesuit Greenway visited him and offered 

■ quaint him with Catesby's design. After some hesitation, 

nel consented to hear the story, provided that it was told him 
in ' onfes lion. I Fpon this < Sreenway informed him of everythin] . 
walking aboul the room a ike, and afterwards kneeling 

down to place his statement under the formal safeguard of 
< onfessionJ 

According to G I tement, he was thrown into the 

greatesl perplexity by this revelation. " l .< rj day," he says, 

" I did offer up all my devotions and masses, that God of Hi. 
' Garnet itates that Greenway said : ' Being not master of other men' 

secrets, he would not tell it me bttt by way of confession, for to have my 

direction; but because it was too tedious to relate so long a discourse in 
confe^^ion kneeling, if I would take it as a confession walking, and afti 1 

take his confession kneeling, then, Or at any Other lime, he would tell 
me.' — Garnet's Declaration, March 8, Hatfield MS. no, fol. 30. 

7 2 


mercy and infinite providence would dispose all for the best, 
and find the best means which were pleasing unto Him to 
prevent so great a mischief; and if it were His holy will and 
pleasure to ordain some sweeter means for the good of Catholics." 
He wrote, still in general terms to Rome, saying that he ' feared 
some particular desperate courses,' and he obtained merely such 
an answer as such vague information was likely to receive. 
Garnet's horror and perplexity were natural enough, but they 
were not of that overpowering nature which would have driven 
him to sacrifice ease and life itself to make the villany impos- 
sible. He still comforted himself with the reflection that 
nothing might be done till Baynham's return, and that Catesby 
would fulfil a promise which he had made of visiting him in 
the beginning of November, and would so give him the oppor- 
tunity of remonstrating with him ; but he did not put his own 
neck in danger by leaving his hiding-place to seek him out, in 
order to plead against the crime with all the authority of his 
calling. Nor does the language which he used to Greenway, 
when the first discovery was made, testify to any very strong 
initial horror. "Good Lord!" he said, "if this matter go 
forward, the Pope will send me to the galleys ; for he will 
assuredly think I was privy to it." 

Garnet no doubt had, as it were, an official conscience. He 
might to a great extent succeed in bringing himself into that 
frame of mind which his duty required him to be in. He may 
even have shrunk with horror from the cruelties involved in the 
execution of the plot. After all, however, he was a man whose 
dearest friends were exposed to bitter persecution, and who was 
himself liable at any moment to a cruel and ignominious death 
by the sentence of a law which he thoroughly believed to be 
the work of traitors to the divine government. In such a position 
he might easily grow callous to the misery involved in the de- 
struction of the enemies of the Church, and even when he 
had awakened to some sense of the horrible nature of the crime, 
would hardly throw himself with much energy into the work of 
averting its execution. 

Garnet's trial took place at Guildhall ' on March 28. The 

1 State Trials, ii. 218. Ilarl. MSS. 360. fol. 109. 

1606 GARNET'S TRIAL. 277 

point which was selected as affording a proof of his complicity, 
was the conversation with Catesby on June 9. No evidence 
Garnet's which would have satisfied a modern jury was pro- 
duced ; but it would be unfair to censure the Govern- 
ment for disregarding the principles of evidence while as yet 
those principles were unrecognised. In fact, the scene at Guild- 
hall was a political rather than a judicial spectacle. Neither those 
who were the principal actors, nor the multitude who thronged 
every approach to the hall, regarded it as the sole or even as 
the chief question, whether the old man who stood hopeless but 
undaunted at the bar, and who, even by his own confession, had 
been acquainted with the recent conspiracy, had looked upon 
it with favour or with abhorrence. It was to them rather an 
opportunity which had at last been gained, of striking a blow 

nst that impalpable system which seemed to meet them at 
every turn, and which was the more terrible to the imagination 

ause it contained elements with which the sword and the 
axe were found to be incapable of dealing. Any man who 

e hinted that it was inexpedient that men should he 
put to death unless their guilt could be proved by the clearest 
evidence, would have been looked upon as a dreamer. The 
Pope was still toe; mui li dreaded to make it possible that fair 

play should be granted to the supporters of his influence, lie 
not yet what he became in the days of Bunyan, the old 
man sitting in his cave, hopelessly nursing his impotent wrath. 
II power ■ Burghle) and Salisbury, a powerwhich was 

only a little rid which might any day become greater, than 

their own. They thought that if they < ould get the woli by the 
est policy, a well as tlie strictest justice, to 

hold it : 

In h 1 li tor the prose< ution, 1 ( !oke attempted to show 

that the conspiracies which had from time to tune broken out 

in late y< an had then 10, ,1 m 1 ctices of the 

Jesuit So< iety. I I ted that all the plots whi< h 

had disturbed the repose ot Elizabeth had originated with 

the priests, lie told the JtOry of the breves which had been 

1 State Trials, ii. 229. 

278 THE OA TH OF ALLEGIANCE. ch. vil, 

received by Garnet before the death of Elizabeth, in which all 
Catholics were charged not to submit to any successor unless 
he would not only give toleration, but also would ' with all his 
might set forward the Catholic religion, and, according to the 
custom of Catholic princes, submit himself to the See Apos- 
tolical.' Garnet had kept these breves till after the death of 
the Queen, and had only destroyed them when he found them 
to be of no avail. Coke then mentioned the two interviews in 
which Catesby had thrown out vague hints of his intentions, 
and then passed to the conversation of June 9, which was the 
act of treason with which Garnet was charged in the indictment. 
The question was whether, in declaring it to be lawful to destroy 
some innocent persons together with the guilty, Garnet had merely 
given an answer to an abstract question, or whether he knew that 
Catesby referred to a plot against the King. If the latter were 
the case, he was both technically and morally guilty of treason. 
Of this knowledge there was no legal proof whatever. Here, 
therefore, in our days the case would at once have broken 
Want of down. But there was strong corroborative evidence 
proof of the derived from Garnet's apparent approval of the plot 

rual nature l 

of the con- at a subsequent period, of which Coke was not slow 
with to avail himself. He showed that Garnet was ac- 

quainted by Greenway with the conspiracy at least 
as early as in July ; ' and he then proceeded to allege facts 2 
which certainly went to show that he had never evinced any 
disapproval of the plot When Baynham was sent by the 
traitors into Flanders, it was Garnet who furnished him with a 
recommendation. In September, Garnet went down to Goat- 
hurst, the house of Sir Everard Digby, from whence he pro- 
ceeded on a pilgrimage to St. Winifred's Well, together with a 
large number of persons, most of whom were in some way 
connected with the conspiracy. Was it possible that he would 
have been allowed to accompany the party as a priest if he 

1 'June,' in State Trials, ii. 229; but see Examination of Garnet, 
March 12, S. P. Dom. xix. 40. 

2 Coke merely states facts, without attempting any argument. The 
arguments which are here given are extracted and abridged from Mr. Jar- 
dine's admirable chapter on the question of Garnet's guilt. 

1606 GARXET'S TRIAL. 279 

had expressed his abhorrence, as he said that he had, of that 
which was undoubtedly the subject of the prayers which many 
of them offered on this occasion ? Even if this had been the 
case, he would surely have left the party as soon as possible. 
Instead of that, he remained at Goathurst, until the family 
removed to Coughton, when he accompanied them to the very 
e which had been selected as most appropriate for carrying 
out the scheme of insurrection which was to follow upon the suc- 
of the plot When there, he requested his little congrega- 
tion, on All Saints' Day. to pray ' lor some good success for the 
Catholic cause at the beginning of Parliament.' ' It was not likely 
that the jury would think, that, knowing what he knew, he merely 
a>>ked that they should pray for the mitigation of the penal laws. 
It is worthy of notice, that while the indictment charged 
net with an a< t of treason which it was impossible to prove, 
it neglected to mention the conversation with Green- 
[* way, to which Coke referred in his speech, and 
'• about which no doubt whatever existed. In taking 

With (>rccn- " 

way. this course the members of Government were pro- 

bably influenced by a not unnatural want of moral courage. 
They knew that the jury would nol be particular in inquiring 
into the proof of the charge which tiny brought, and they 
probably considered the indictment to be a merely formal act. 
On the other hand, they were aware that the knowledge which 

< met derived from Grecnway was obtained under the seal of 
confession, and they were certain that they would be assailed 
with the most envenomed acrimony by the whole Catholic 

world, if they I d a priest whose I rime was that he 

revealed a secrel entrusted to him in confession. They 

shrank from taking their stand upon the moral principle that 

1 II iiig the following verse of a hymn -. 

"I Ml 

1 redentium de finibu 
t 1 < bri to 1 debitaa 

1 iti 1." 
Mr. fanlinc states that the hymn from which iln, verae Is taken wu au- 
ised to t" ' ' iy< ' ; " " can, however, be no dcubt 

that on 1I1 i^ occasion it was sung with peculiar fervour. 


no religious duty, real or supposed, can excuse a man who 
allows a crime to be committed which he might have prevented 
and they preferred to be exposed to the charge of having brought 
an accusation which they were unable to prove 1 

Garnet's defence was, that he had never heard of the plot, 
excepting in confession. To this he added the improbable 
Garnet's statement, which was certainly not the whole of the 
defence. truth, that when Catesby offered to give him full in- 
formation, he refused to hear him, because ' his soul was so 
troubled with the mislike of that particular, as he was loth to 
hear any more of it.' 2 As a matter of course, the jury found a 
verdict of Guilty. 

The execution was deferred. Garnet was again examined 

several times after his conviction, and there may possibly have 

been some inclination on the part of the King to 

His ideas on , . ... _ . .... . . . 

truth and save his hie. Lut the Jesuitical doctrine on the sub- 
ject of truth and falsehood which he openly pro- 
fessed was enough to ruin any man. There was nothing to 
make anyone believe in his innocence, except his own assertions, 
and the weight of these was reduced to nothing by his known 
theory and practice. His doctrine was that of the Treatise 
of Equivocation which had been found in Tresham's room, 
and which had been corrected by his own hand. He not only 
justified the use of falsehood by a prisoner when defending 
himself, on the ground that the magistrate had no right to 
require him to accuse himself, but he held the far more immoral 
doctrine of equivocation. According to this doctrine, the im- 
morality of a lie did not consist in the deception practised upon 

1 Both Andrcwes and Abbot urge the plea that whoever becomes ac- 
quainted with an intended crime, and neglects to reveal it, becomes an ac- 
complice ; but they do not give it the prominence that it deserves. — Tortura 
Torti, Works of Bishop Andrewes, Oxford, 1851, p. 365, and Antilogia, 
cap. 13. 

1 Slate Trials, ii. 242. The very long statement by Garnet from the 
Hatfield A1SS. 1 10, fol. 30, of which I have made so much use, is endorsed 
by Salisbury : — " This was forbidden by the King to be given in evidence." 
Was the reason because the Queen was spoken of in it as ' most regarded 
of the Pope,' or simply that in it Garnet denied that he knew of the plot 
out of confession. 


the person who was deceived, but in the difference between the 
words uttered and the intended meaning of the speaker. If, 
therefore, the speaker could put any sense, however extravagant, 
upon the words of which he made use, he might lawfully deceive 
the hearer, without taking any account of the fact that he 
would be certain to attach some other and more probable 
meaning to the words. The following example given in the 
treatise, was adopted by Garnet : • " A man cometh unto 
Coventry in time of a suspicion of plague. At the gates the 
officers meet him, and upon his oath examine him whether he 
come from London or no, where they think certainly the plague 
to be. This man, knowing for certain the plague not to be in 
I idon, or at least knowing that the air is not there infectious, 
and that he only rid through some secure place of London, not 
staying there, may safely swear that he came not from London, 
answering to their final intention in their demand, that is, 
whether he came so from London that he may endanger their 

of the plague, although their immediate intention were to 
know whether he came from London or no. This man the very 
light of nature would clear from perjury." 

If all liars had been subject to punishment, it would have 

ie hard with those members of the Government, whoever 
they were, who, in order to involve the Jesuits in the charge of 

iplicity with the plot, deliberately suppressed the words in 
which both Winter and Fawkes do laud that Gerard, when he 

administered the Sacrament to the original conspirators, was 
ignorant ol the Oath uhi< h they had previously taken. But the 

popular feeling was ri^lu in fixing upon equivocation as more 
downright lying] because a person who in 
d< feni 1 1 falsi hood, knowing il to be such, is far less 

likely to deceive habitually than one who deceives with words 
so framed a. to enable him to imagine thai he is in reality 
telling no falsehood at all. That popular feeling found a v 

1 Treatist on Equivocation, p. So. See the quotation from « 'e aubon'a 
letta • 1 1 1 to D In Jorditu, p. 334. Garnet held thai equivi 

don was i.nly to b • .'. ieri il be omi 1 ua 1 iry to an individual for 

defence, or (or avoiding any injustice or loss, without dang'-, ., t mi chief 
to any other person.' 


in the words of the Porter in ' Macbeth ' : " 'Faith, here's an 
equivocator, that could swear in both scales against either scale ; 
who committed treason enough for God's sake, yet could not 
equivocate to heaven." ' 

At last, on May 3, when it was evident that no further 

confession could be extracted from him Garnet was executed, 

A ri] the King having given orders that he should not be 

cut down until he was dead, so that he might be 

May 3. ° 

Execution spared the torture of the usual barbarities. On the 
of Gamet. sca ff i^ } 1C persisted in his denial that he had 

T robabi ' ia< ^ an y P os i trve information of the plot except in 
truth about confession, though he allowed, as he had acknow- 
ledged before, that he had had a general and con- 
fused knowledge from Catesby. 2 In all probability, this is the 
exact truth. 

Soon after the execution, all Catholic Europe was listening 
with eager credulity to the story of Garnet's straw. It was said 
Gamet's that one of the straws used upon the scaffold had a 
straw. minute likeness of the martyr's head on one of the 

husks. The miracle was trumpeted abroad by those who 
should have known better, and found its way from common 
conversation into the pages of grave writers. An inquiry was 
instituted by the Government, and it was found that some who 
had seen the straw declared that there was nothing wonderful 
in the matter at all, and that the drawing could have been 
easily executed by any artist of moderate skill. 

Oldcorne was taken to Worcester, where he was convicted 

1 Professor Hales, in an article which appeared in Preiser's Magazine 
for April 1878, in which he pointed out the fact that many of the places 
connected with the plot lay round Stratford-on-Avon, drew attention to 
the connection between this passage and Garnet's principles. 

■ The following version of this part of his speech puts this clearly : — 
"Decrimine quod objicitur tormentarii pulveris, . . . ita moriar in Domino, 
ac non sum conscius nisi a confessione. . . . Mihi quidem narrabat R, 
Catesbeius, universe- tantum ac confuse, pro sublevanda fide Catholica 
afflictissima jamque prostrata, aliquid esse tentandum. Nihil vero certi 
exploratique narrabat." Account of Garnet's death, May 3, Roman Traw 
scripts, A\ 0. 


of treason and executed. Abington also was sentenced to 
Execution of death, but was finally pardoned. The priests and 
Oldcome. others implicated in the plot, who were now in 
Flanders, were beyond the reach of the Government, as the 
Archduke steadily refused to give them up. 

It only remained to deal with the lords who had given cause 
of suspicion by absenting themselves from the meeting of Par- 
liament. Montague escaped from the Star Chamber with a 
fine of 4,000/., Stourton with one of 1,000/., whilst Mordaunt 
was set free upon paying 200/. to the Lieutenant of the Tower. 1 
Northumberland was a prisoner of greater importance. His 
Mr h connection 2 with Percy brought him under suspicion, 
and the fact that Percy had come down to Sion House 
,„„. to speak to him the day before the meeting of Parlia- 
ment, was certain to strengthen whatever suspicions 
were entertained. 

The Earl was examined on the nature of his dealings with 
Percy, but nothing was elicited to his disadvantage. At least 
up to Man h 3, Salisbury expressed his belief in his innocence, 
though he supposed that he had probably received some general 
June 27. warning from Percy. 8 On June 27, he was brought 
1 ::i1 '" before the Star Chamber, and was forced to listen 
( to a long and passionate harangue from Coke, who, 

r mentionin d done in Rail ! case, all manner 

of plots with which he was unable to prove that the prisoner 

'1 him « ith ha\ ing unitti d 

.pis and misdemeanours against the King. I lis 

employmenl of Pen y to carrj letters to James in Scotland was 

I him, a it he had attempted to put himsell al 

the head of the Catholic party. It wa al bjected that after 

the the plol he had written letters to his tenant ?, 

directing them to keep his rent, oul of Percy's hands, but 

nothing about the appn h< n ion of the traitor. Amid t 

e trivialities appeared a charge ot a graver nature. <>n 

1 The original fines were, as U U than those ultin 

manded. P. 235. 

3 Salisbury t-> Edmonds, Dec 2. 1605. Birch., Vigotiations, 242. 
Salisbury to Brouncker, March 3, iGuh, S. /'. Inland. 


June 9, 1604, at the very time when Percy had just signed the 
lease for the house in Westminster, that traitor had been admitted 
as one of the gentlemen pensioners, whose office it was to be in 
daily attendance upon the King. Not only had Northumber- 
land admitted him to this post, in virtue of his position as 
Captain of the Pensioners, but he had admitted him without 
requiring the Oath of Supremacy, and, if Coke is to be believed, 
had afterwards denied the fact that the oath had not been 
administered. Northumberland must have committed this 
dereliction of duty with his eyes open, as shortly after the 
King's accession he had received a letter from James, distinctly 
ordering that no one was to be admitted as a pensioner who 
refused to take the oath. 1 By this weakness— for undoubtedly 
it was no more than a weakness — he had disobeyed the orders 
given him, and had placed about the person of the King a man 
who was engaged in plotting his death. Indeed, it was by the 
opportunities offered to him by his position as a pensioner that 
Percy hoped to be able to carry out that part of the plot which 
related to the seizure of Prince Charles. 2 

The sentence was, that the Earl should forfeit all the 
offices which he held under the Crown, should be imprisoned 
The sen- during the King's pleasure, and should pay a fine 
tence. f -jo,ooo/., a sum which was afterwards reduced 

to 11,000/. 

It was supposed at the time, 3 and it has since been generally 
believed, that this harsh sentence was dictated by political 
feeling, and by a desire to get rid of a spirited rival. It may 
have been so, and it would have been strange if, with a court 
composed as the Star Chamber was, such feelings had been 
altogether excluded. Yet it must be remembered that the 
admission of Percy without requiring the oath from him was 
no light fault, and that it was one which was likely to make its 

1 The King to Northumberland, May 18, 1603, S. P. Dom. i. 81. 

2 Proceedings against Northumberland, Harl. MSS. 589, fob ill. 
Compare Add. MSS. 5494, fob 61. 

3 Boderie to Villeroi, 4^ : 1606. Ainbassadcs de M. De la Bodcrie, 

July 6, 

L. 180. This letter proves that the sentence was agreed upon at least the 
day before the trial. 


full hnpression upon the timid mind of James. It is possible 
that the nature of this fault had not come to light till a short 
time before the trial, as Cecil, in a letter of March 3, does not 
refer at all to the omission of the oath. 1 Perhaps it may have 
been the full discovery of the particulars of this transaction 
which turned the scale against the Earl. 

Undisturbed by the discovery of the danger which had been 

so happily averted, the Parliament for which such a sudden 

destruction had been prepared, had quietly met on 

Nov. 5, 1605. ' L 1 j 

Meeting of November 5. In the Upper House no business was 
done, but the Commons with extraordinary self-com- 
mand, applied themselves to the regular routine of business. 
It is difficult to understand how these men, scarcely snatched 
from death, betook themselves, without apparent emotion, to 
such matters as the appointment of a committee to inquire 
into the regulations of the Spanish trade, and the discussion of 
the petition of a member who asked to be relieved from his 
Parliamentary duties because he was suffering from a fit of the 

On the 9th the King commanded an adjournment to 
January 21, in order that time might be given for 

im- further inquiry into the ramifications of the con- 


1 This letter to Brouncker, before quoted, reads like the production of 
n. man who meant what he aid. Bi ides, there was no conceivable reason 
for a bypi 1 ii''- to mention tin- ubji cl -'i all in writing to the President of 
Munster, Sal • "F01 the other great man, you know the 

Kind's noble disposition to be alw •■ uch as, although In- may not in 
such a case as tb r< ence ind for ghl neo >sary in cases 

public, and then ti ined, upon many concurring circum- 

gtarn train liberty where he had cause of jealousy, yet, considering 

the gi ol hi I 1 the improbability thai he Bhould be ac- 

quainted with such a barbarous plot, being a nun of honour and valour, 

ty i. rath' r induced to believe thai whal iny of the trail 

have spoken of him, hath been rather th'ir vaunts than upon any oth 1 
ground; I think hi- liberty will, the next term, 1 e granted 

upon honourable and gracious terms, which, foi my own part, though there 
hath never been any extraordinary deamess between us, I wish, becau e 
this state is very barren of men <>f great bio 'I and great sufficiency to- 


On their reassembling, the attention of the Houses was 
necessarily directed to the danger from which they had escaped. 
A Bill was eagerly passed, by which November 5 was 
Jan. 21. ordered to be kept as a day of thanksgiving for ever. 1 
NOTem h ber ^ at ^ ct continued in force for more than two cen- 
set apart as turies and a half, and was only repealed when the 
thanks- service which was originally the outpouring of thank- 
ful hearts had long become an empty form. 
A Bill of Attainder 2 was also passed, in which the names 
of Owen, who was still bidding defiance to the law, and of 
Bill of At- Tresham, who had died in prison, were included 
tamder. vidtli those of the conspirators who had been killed 
at Holbeche, or who had been executed in London. The 
immediate effect of such an Act was that the lands and goods 
of the whole number were at once forfeited to the Crown. 

There had been, indeed, some who thought these proceed- 
ings insufficient. A few days before the prisoners were brought 
Tan 24 U P f° r tr ^> a member of the House of Commons 
Proposal to moved for a petition to the King, praying him to 

inflict ex- . . l ., _ ,. ,,-,,. 

traordinary stay judgment until Parliament should have time to 

punishment • j r i • i r • 1 

on the consider of some extraordinary mode of punishment, 

offenders. which might surpass in horror even the scenes which 
usually occurred at the execution of traitors. 3 To the credit of 
the House, this proposal met with little favour, and was rejected 
without a division. A similar attempt in the House 
of Lords met with the same fate. 4 It is pleasant to 
know that the times were already past in which men could be 
sentenced by Act of Parliament to be boiled alive, and that, in 
the seventeenth century, if London had some horrible sights 
still to see, it was, at least, not disgraced by scenes such as 
those which, a few years later, gathered the citizens of Paris 
round the scaffold of Ravaillac. 

It can hardly surprise us that, in spite of this 

New taws 

against the general feeling against the infliction of extraordinary 
punishments, Parliament had no scruple in increas- 

1 3 Jac. I. cap. I. 2 3 Jac. I. cap. 2. 

3 C. J. Jan. 24, i. 259. * L. J. Jan. 30, ii. 365. 


ing the severity of the recusancy laws. 1 For the first time, a 
sacramental test was to be introduced into the service of per- 
secution. It was not to be enough that a recusant had been 
brought to conformity, and had begun once more to attend 
the parish church ; unless he would consent to receive the 
sacrament from the hands of the Protestant minister, he was to 
be called upon to pay a heavy fine. It is impossible to con- 
ceive a greater degradation of that rite which the whole Christian 
Church agrees in venerating. 

In order to stimulate the activity of the churchwardens 
and the parish constables, it was enacted that a fine of twenty 
shillings should be laid upon them whenever they neglected to 
present persons who absented themselves from church ; and 
that, on the other hand, they should receive a reward of double 
the amount upon every conviction obtained through their means. 

Up to tins time, the very rich had escaped the extreme 
penalties of re< usancy, as, when once they had paid the monthly 
fine, the law had no further (hum upon them, though the 
amount of their fine might be of far less value than the two- 
thirds of the profits of their estate which would have been taken 
from them if they had been poorer men. The King was now 
empowered to refuse the fine and to seize the land at once. 
In order that the poorer Catholics might feel the sting of the 
law, a penalty of 10/. was to be laid every month upon all 

ping servants who absented themselves from church. 
Jiy this in' an . it wra 1 thoughl thai the numerous servants in the 
the Catholic gentry would be driven into conformity 
or deprived of their employment 

Tin ill : it was ordered that mi recusant should 

appear al Court, 01 even remain within ten miles of London, 
unless he were actually engaged in some recognised trade or 
employment A statute ol the late reign was also confirmed, 
which prohibited r< from leaving their houses for any 

mce above five miles. 9 It may be allowed that re« cut ex- 
perience justified the exclusion of the Catholics from all public 
offices in the State ; but it was hard to forbid them, as the new 

1 3 Jac. I cip. 4 and 5. J 35 EHz. cap. 2. 


statute did, from practising at the bar, from acting as attorneys 
or as physicians, or from executing trusts committed to them by 
a relative as executors to his will, or as guardians to his children. 
Further penalties awaited them if they were married, or suffered 
their children to be baptized, with any other rites than those of 
the Church of England. All books inculcating the principles of 
their religion were to be destroyed, and permission was given 
to the justices of the peace to visit their houses at any time, in 
order to deprive them of all arms beyond the little stock which 
might be considered necessary for the defence of their lives 
and property. 

These harsh measures were accompanied by the imposition 
of a new oath of allegiance. This oath was framed for the 
The new purpose of making a distinction between the Catholics 
oath. wno st jji U ph e id the Pope's deposing power and those 

who were willing to denounce that tenet. Objectionable as 
all political oaths are, and unjust as are the penalties which 
are inflicted on those who refuse to take them, the introduc- 
tion of a declaration of loyalty might, at this time, have been 
a step in the right direction. If it was thought necessary 
that Catholics should be punished at all, it was better that 
they should suffer for refusing to acknowledge that their Sove- 
reign possessed an independent authority than that they 
should suffer for refusing to go to church. It was in some 
degree creditable to James and his ministers that, at such a 
time, they were able to remember the possibility of making a 
distinction between the loyal and the disloyal amongst the 
Catholics ; but that which might have been an instrument of 
good, became in their hands an instrument of persecution. It 
was enacted that the oath might be tendered to all recusants 
not being noblemen or noble women, and that those who re- 
fused to take it should incur the harsh penalties of a premunire, 
whilst those who took it still remained subject to the ordinary 
burdens of recusancy. The oath which might have been used 
to lighten the severity of the laws which pressed so heavily even 
upon the loyal Catholics, was only employed to increase the 
burdens upon those who refused to declare their disbelief in a 
tenet which was inculcated by the most venerated teachers of their 

i6o6 THE CANONS OF IC06 2S9 

Church, and which might be held innocuously by thousands 
who would never dream of putting it in practice. 

Parliament had thus acted, as it was only too likely to act, 

under the influence of panic. It had replied to the miserable 

crime of a few fanatics by the enactment of an unjust 

drawn uo by and barbarous statute. Convocation determined to 

seize the opportunity of enunciating those principles 

of government which were considered by its members to be the 

true antidote against such attempts. Under Bancroft's guidance, 

a controversial work ' was produced, to which, as well as to the 

canons which were interspersed amongst its pages, that body 

its unanimous consent. These canons, as well as the 

ments by which they were accompanied, have been, in 
Liter times, justly condemned as advocating, at least indirectly, 
an arbitrary form of government. It should, however, in 
justice to the men by whom they were drawn up, be re- 

nbered that, if the solution which they proposed for the 
difficulties of the time was not a happy one, it was at least put 
forward with the intention of meeting actual and recognised 
evils. Their argument indeed struck at Papist and Presby- 
terian alike, but it was evident that it was intended as a mani- 
festo against the Church of Rome. That Church had based 
its assaults on the national sovereignties of Europe upon two 

tinct theories: at times the right of the Pope to depose 

kings had been placed in the foreground; at other times re- 

sistai encouraged against ((instituted authorities under 

the guise of the democrats doctrine of popular sovereignty. 
In the name of the one theory, England had been exposed to 
invasion, and Elizabeth had been marked out for the knife of 
the assassin ; in the name of the other theory, the fair plain, oi 
nee had been deluged with blood, and her ancient monarchy 
d to the base. All true-hearted Englishmen 

were of one mind in condemning the false! d of the prin 

(iples which had produced such results as these. Government, 
they believed, was of Divine institution, and was of far too high 
a nature to be allowed to depend upon the arbitrary will of the 

1 Published in 1690, under the title of Bishop VioalPs Con cation 

VOL. I. U 


Pope, or of any body of clergy whatever ; still less should it 
depend upon the equally arbitrary will of the people ; it ought 
not to be based upon will at all ; it was only upon right that it 
could rest securely. 

Such a theory had evidently a better side than those are 
accustomed to perceive who malign the Church of England as 
a mere handmaid of tyranny. It was a recognition, in the 
only way which, in that age, was possible, of the truth that 
society is a whole and that religious teachers cannot right- 
fully claim a place apart from it, as if they were removed from 
the errors and failings of human nature. Where those who held 
this theory went astray was in the mistake which they made as to 
the permanence of the special organization of the society in 
which they lived. They fancied that the Elizabethan monarchy 
ought to be perpetual. It was not unnatural that they should 
fancy that James was even greater than Elizabeth had been ; 
that he was indeed the rising sun, come to take the place 
of a ' bright, occidental star.' Not a suspicion ever crossed 
their minds that their ecclesiastical cause was not the cause 
of God, and they knew that for the support of that cause 
they could depend upon the King alone. It was one of the 
first articles of their creed, that the people could be moulded 
into piety by their system, and it was plain that, without 
the King's help, their system would crumble into dust. Was 
it wonderful, then, that they thought less of the law and more 
of the Sovereign than their lay fellow-countrymen ? Was it 
strange that they read history and Scripture with jaundiced 
eyes, and that they saw nothing there but the doctrine that, in 
each nation, the power of the Sovereign who for the time being 
occupied the throne, was held by the special appointment of 
God, and that this power was of such a nature that under 
no imaginable circumstances was it lawful to resist it ? The 
fact was, that the rule of James appeared to them as the rule 
of right over lawlessness, and that they gladly elevated into a 
principle that which, in their eyes, was true in the individual 

But whatever may have been the circumstances under 
which the doctrine of non-resistance originated, it is certain 


that it was false in itself, and that it hung like a blight for 
Conse- many years over the energies of England. If it had 

quences of ever obtained general recognition, it would have cut 

the doctrine . ,, , , ° . 

..-re- at the root of all that has made the nation to be what 
it is ; it would have eaten out that sense of right, 
and that respect for the law, which is at the bottom of all the 
progress of the country. 

Strange as it may seem, the first blow directed against this 
elaborately-constructed theory came from the King himself. A 

. . doctrine which based his claim to the obedience of 

James s 

letter to his subjects merely upon the fact of his being in 
possession of the crown, was not likely to find much 
favour in his eyes. According to this reasoning, as he justly 
observed, if the King of Spain should ever conquer England, 
his own subjects would be precluded from attempting to shake 
off the yoke of the invader. Nor was it only to that part of the 
canons which struck at his own hereditary title that James 
objected : he told the astonished clergy plainly that, whatever 
they might think, it was not true that tyranny could ever be of 
( rod's appointment. Me was himself desirous to maintain the in 
dependence of the Dutch, and he did not believe that in so doin- 
he was assisting them to throw off an authority ordained of 
God. 1 II' ao ordingly refused to give his consent to this un- 
lu< ky produ< tiun of the Convocation. 

If the theories of the Bishops gave offence to the King, they 
were far more likely to provoke opposition on the part of th< 
The< who were looking to the law of England as the one 

• ' lard against arbitrary power of every de 
scription. '1 I nons of 1604 had given umbrai 
i" the ( ommoi 1 lally as, in ratifying them. 

James had commanded tin in to ' be diligently ob 

served, 1 d, and equally kept by all our lo^ 

' subji our kingdom.' 8 The Common 

cou: nted this claim oi th< clergy to legislate for the 

whole people 0\ I ngl md, and 1 p< - ially their attempt to < r< 
punishable offences, a right wlu< h they held to be inherent in 

1 The King to Abbot. Wilkins'a Cone. iv. 405 

2 Cardwell'a .tynoda.ia, 

v 2 


Parliament alone. A Bill was accordingly brought in, in the 
course of the following session, for the purpose of restraining 
the execution of all canons which had not been confirmed by 
Parliament. The Bishops, however, had sufficient influence to 
procure its rejection by the House of Lords. 

Whatever the Catholics may have thought of this produc- 
tion of the Convocation, the oath of allegiance was to them a 
The oath of for more serious matter. It had been, indeed, framed 
allegiance. ^^ tne intention of making it acceptable to all loyal 
persons. The Pope's claim to excommunicate Sovereigns was 
left unquestioned. The oath was solely directed against his sup- 
posed right of pronouncing their deposition, and of authorising 
their subjects to take up arms against them. Those who took 
it were to declare that no such right existed, to promise that 
they would take no part in any traitorous conspiracies, and to 
abjure the doctrine that excommunicated princes might be 
deposed or murdered by their subjects. 

To the oath itself it is impossible to find any reasonable 
objection. If there had ever been a time when the infant 
Thede- nations required the voice of the Pope to summon 
posing them to resist tyranny, that time had long passed by. 

power of j j > 

the Popes. fh e deposing power in the hands of the Popes of the 
sixteenth century had been an unmixed evil. The oath too may 
fairly be regarded as a serious attempt to draw a line of separation 
between the loyal and the disloyal Catholics, and if it had been 
;k ( ompanied with a relaxation of the penal laws in favour of 
those who were willing to take it, it would have been no incon- 
siderable step in advance. Its framers, however, forgot that there 
would be large numbers, even of the loyal Catholics, who would 
refuse to take the oath. Men who would have been satisfied 
to allow the deposing power to be buried in the folios of theo- 
losians, and who would never have thought of allowing it to have 
any practical influence upon their actions, were put upon their 
mettle as soon as they were required to renounce a theory which 
they had been taught from their childhood to believe in almost 
as one of the articles of their faith. Nor would their tenacity be 
hout a certain moral dignity. Unfounded and pernicious as 
the Papal theory was, it certainly gains by comparison with that 


mere adoration of existing power which had just been put for- 
ward by Convocation as the doctrine of the Church of England. 
In the midst of its discussions on weightier matters, Parlia- 
ment had found some time to devote to the consideration of 
the Kind's necessities. Ever since James's accession, 

Emptiness ° J 

the state of the Exchequer had been such as to cause 
no little trouble to those who were responsible for 
the administration of the finances. The long war had consider- 
ably affected, at least for a time, the resources of the Crown. 
Parsimonious as she was, Elizabeth had been compelled, during 
the last five years of her reign, to sell land to the value of 
372,000/.,' and had besides contracted a debt of 400,000/. 
There was indeed, when James came to the throne, a portion 
still unpaid of the subsidies which had been voted in the time 
of his predecessor, which was estimated as being about equal in 
amount to the debt, yet if this money were applied to the extinc- 
tion of the debt it was difficult to see how the expenses of the 
Government were to be met. If the King had modelled his 
expenditure upon that of Elizabeth, he could hardly succeed in 
reducing it much below 330,000/., and during the past years of his 

11 his income from other than Parliamentary sources fell short 

of this by more than 3o,ooo/. 2 It is probable, indeed, that some 

e revenue whi< h should have supplied thewants of James had 

n antH ipated by his predecessor. Eitherfrom this cause, or 
from iomeothei reason connected with the returning prosperity 

lent upon the cessation of the war, the receipts of 1604 

were mm li larger than those of the preceding year. But whatever 
hope might be entertained on this a< 1 ount, was < ounterbalani ed 
by the < onfusion < aused by the extraordinary expenseswhich were 
like' imetimeto] on the Exchequer. The funeral of 

1 iew of the Ri 1 nditure, July 24, 1608, 

/' ///. \\ 1% . 

1 inpare the calculation* in T-an d, i/.vv. iG\, fols. 435, 436, 505, 

with tho e in Parliamentary fk/>a/rs in 1610, Camd. Soc, In trod. •<. 

The latter do not in< lude the ( ourt "f Wardi and the Duch; of] an* a U >, 

and they commence the year at Eastei In tead of al Michaelmas. The 

amount of tli a) James's acc< ion, which is variously stated in 

different reports of speeches, is fixed by the official account in the .S'. /'. 
Dom. xix. 45. 


the late Queen, the King's entry and coronation, the entertainment 
of the Spanish ambassadors, and other necessary expenses, would 
entail a charge of at least 100,000/., a sum which bore about 
the same relation to the income of 1603 as a sudden demand 
for 26,000,000/. would bear to the revenue of the present day. 

The financial position of James, therefore, was beset with 
difficulties. But it was not hopeless. If he had consented to 
Prospects of regulate his expenditure, not indeed by the scale of the 
a remedy. j ate p ar .simonious reign, but in such a way as a man 
of ordinary business habits would have been certain to ap- 
prove of, he might, in the course of a few years, have found 
himself independent of Parliament, excepting in times of 
extraordinary emergency. There were many ways in which the 
revenue was capable of improvement, and it would not be many 
years before a balance might once more be struck between the 
receipts and the outgoings of the Exchequer ; but there was 
little hope that, even if James had been less extravagant than 
he was, the needful economy would be practised. Elizabeth 
had been her own minister of finance, and had kept in check 
the natural tendency to extravagance which exists wherever 
there is no control over the heads of the various departments 
of the State and of the Household. With her death this salu- 
tary control was at an end, and no official body similar to the 
present Board of Treasury was at hand to step into the vacant 
place. James, indeed, from time to time, was ready enough to 
express his astonishment at what was going on. He never 
failed to promise retrenchment whenever his attention was 
called to the state of his finances, and to declare that he had at 
last made up his mind to change his habits ; but no sooner had 
some new fancy struck him, or some courtier approached him 
with a tale of distress, than he was sure to fling his prudence to the 
winds. The unlucky Treasurer was only called upon, when it 
was too late to remonstrate, to find the money as he could. 
Growth of Every year the expenditure was growing. In the 

rpeodi- twelve months which came to an end at Michaelmas 

lure arid 

ofthedeu. 1605, it had reached what in those days was con- 
sidered to be, 1 for a year of peace, the enormous sum of 
1 That is to say, the income from unparliamentary sources. The 


466,000/.' To meet this every nerve had been strained in 
vain. The revenue had been improved, and the subsidies 
voted in the time of Elizabeth had been diverted from the 
repayment of the debt, in order to meet the current expendi- 
ture. Large debts had been incurred in addition to the debt 
which was already in existence. Money had been obtained by 
a forced loan bearing no interest, which had been raised by 
Privy Seals immediately after the close of the session of 1604, 
and in addition to this easy mode of putting off the difficulty, 
recourse had been had to the method of borrowing consider- 
able sums at what was then the ordinary rate of 10 per cent. 
After all this, it was still found to be necessary to leave many 
bills unpaid. At the beginning of 1606, the whole debt 
amounted to 735, ooo/., 2 and it was calculated that the annual 
deficit would reach 51,000/., without allowing for those extra- 
ordinary expenses to which, under James's management, it was 
impossible to place any limit, but which seldom fell short of 
100,000/. a year. 

The King's extravagance had shown itself in various ways. 
About 40,000/. were annually given away, either in presents or 
in annuities paid to men who had done little or nothing to 
merit the favour which they had received. 3 Those into whose 

subsidies were uncertain, and should have been applied to the redemption 
of the debt. 

1 Winn Parliament met in 1606 £ 

The ordinary issues were ..... 366,790 
ordinary reed 314,959 

Excess of issues ^"51 ,83 1 

( . /'. Dom. xix. 46.) Besidi this, it WIS found that the actual receipts 
hod fallen ihortof the estimates by 6,000/. The extraordinary expendi- 
ture appears from the Ftth Declarations to have been about 100,000/., 
making a total expenditure of about 466,000/. 

2 By Dorset's declaration £ 

The King's debt at his ace- lion WS . . 400,000 

His extraordinary exp tring three yean . 104,000 

The new debt 231,280 

(S. P. Dom. xix. 45.) £735. 28 ° 

3 Parliamentary debates in 16 IO. Camd. Soc. Introd. p. xiii. 


pockets the golden stream was flowing were not the statesmen 
who were consulted by the King on every question of impor- 
tance ; they were the men who, whether of Scottish or of 
English birth, had raised themselves by their ability to tickle 
their patron's ear with idle jests, and to minister to his amuse- 
ments in his leisure hours. Under such conditions, the expenses 
<4 the Court swelled every year. The pension list grew longer, 
the jewels more costly, and the robes more gorgeous than those 
with which Elizabeth had been content. In political life, 
indeed, the Ramsays and the Herberts were as yet kept in the 
background. As long as Salisbury lived, such as they were 
not allowed to meddle with appointments to office, or to sway 
the destinies of the State ; but their very presence at Coiir* 
must have been highly obnoxious to the grave and sober men 
who formed so large a part of the House of Commons. 

\ et, unless the Commons could be persuaded to come 
forward with liberal supplies, James would not only be com- 
Oct 18 pclled to pause in his career of extravagance, but 
1605. would be unable to meet the most justifiable 
wSiS to be demands on the Exchequer. Salisbury, who knew 
that it would be necessary to make application to 
Parliament, had been urgent with James to retrench. Within 
three weeks of the meeting of Parliament, James had done all 
that words could do to show how completely he recognised the 
danger of his situation. " I cannot," he wrote to Salisbury on 
October 18, "but be sensible of that needless and unreasonable 
profusion of expenses, whereof you wrote me in your last. My 
only hope that upholds me is my good servants, that will sweat 
and labour for my relief. Otherwise I could rather have 
wished, with Job, never to have been, than that the glorious 
sunshine of my first entry here should be so soon overcast 
with the dark clouds of irreparable misery. I have promised, 
and I will perform it, that there shall be no default in me ; my 
only comfort will be to know r it is mendable. For my appre- 
hension of this state — however I disguise it outwardly— hath 
done me more harm already than ye would be glad of." 1 

On February 10, whilst the feelings of the Commons were 
1 Hatfield MSS. 134, foL 72. 


still under the influence of their great deliverance, the sub- 

Fcb. 10. ject of a supply was brought forward. The greater 

Su '^° 6 ' number of speakers proposed a grant of two subsidies 

M-orosed in an d f our fifteenths, which would amount to about 

Ihe Com- , , , , , , 

250,000/.' The whole matter was, however, referred 
to a Committee, which was to meet on the following afternoon. 
Of this Committee Bacon was a member. He was now 
looking forward again to promotion. In October, 1604, the 
Solicitor-Generalship had been vacant, but he had 
a in once more been passed over in favour of Sir John 
Doderidge. He can hardly have failed to gain 
the King's favour, a few weeks later, by the zeal which he 
ved in the consultations of the Commissioners on the 
Union ; and it had become evident, by the course taken by 
the Commons in the last session, that it was more than ever 
necessary to secure the services of a man of ability ami talent, 
who might take the lead in the debates. Such a part was 
tly to his mind In October 1605, he had completed his 
great work on ' The Advancement of Learning,' and he was now 
eager t ote himself to polities. Anxious as lie was for 

reform, he wished to see it proceed from the Crown, and he- 
had not given up hope that the mistakes of James were a 

1 A subsidy was an income-tax of 4_r. in the pound upon the annual 
value of land worth 20*. a-year, and a property- tax of 2s. S</. in the pound 

up >n the actual value of all personal property worth j/. and upwards. 

I property was, therefore, much more heavily burdened than real 

'III.- tenths and fifteenths were levied upon the counties and 

boroughs at a i> 'I'd by a valuation made in the reign ol 

III. Each county or borough was n ponsible for a certain um, 

whi evied by person appointed by il repn 1 in the H 

J were levied by Commi appointed by 

lor from amongst the inhabitants of the county or 

Apparently, from the laxity ol I tarn tei , the receipts had 

Steadily ng. Thu 

mbsidy of the laity, with two loths and £ 
1 5 ths, produced in 13 Elk. . . . 175,'"") 

i liz 152,290 

in 4 1 1 it/ 134.470 

Ditto in 3 Jac. 133,897 

Oct. 2S, 1608.— S. r. Dom. xxxvii. 38. 


mere passing cloud, which would be removed as soon as he 
was rendered accessible to good advice. To serve the King 
in any capacity which would enable him to share in the councils 
of the State had long been the object of his ambition. In this 
session, however, there were few difficulties of a nature to call 
for the exercise of superior powers. The effect of the discovery 
of the Gunpowder plot had been to produce a strong feeling in 
Feb. 10. the King's favour. 1 On the first morning after the 
thanuTife appointment of the Committee, the King thanked 
House. the House for its offer to supply his wants, and 
signified his readiness to allow the question of purveyance to 
be again taken into consideration. A few days afterwards, 
Feb. i 4 . however, at a conference held on this subject, the 
news^itufs 5 Lord Treasurer took the opportunity of expatiating 
explained. on the King's necessities. A month passed before 
the question was taken up by the House itself, and then, on 
Subsidies March 14, a proposition was made to increase the 
granted. supply to which they had already agreed. 2 There 
was some opposition, and the debate was adjourned till the 
1 8th. When the House met on that day, a message was 
brought from the King, begging them to come to a speedy 
decision, one way or the other, upon the proposed supply, as 
he was unwilling to see his necessities exposed to any further 
discussion. Upon this, after some debate, an additional sub- 
sidy with its accompanying two fifteenths was voted, and a 
Committee was appointed to draw up the Bill. On the 25th, 
Bacon reported the recommendations of the Committee. A 
debate ensued upon the length of time which was to be allowed 
for the payment of the six portions into which the 
supply granted was to be divided ; and it was not 
without difficulty that Bacon carried his proposal that the 
whole grant should be levied before May, 16 10. 

' C. J. i. 266. 

2 C. J. i. 271. There is no mention of the report of the Committee, 
but it must be supposed that they recommended a Bill for two subsidies 
and four fifteenths, as Salisbury speaks, on March 9, of the grant as 
already made, though nothing had been done formally (Salisbury to Mar, 
March, 1606, S. P. Dom. ix. 27). 


His arguments were rendered more palatable by a circum- 
stance which had occurred a few days previously. On the 22nd 
March 2?. a rumour reached London that the King had been 
the I Kin rs, s 0f murdered, and when the report proved false, the mem- 
death. Ders must have felt that, much as they might dislike 
many of James's actions, they could hardly afford to lose him. 
Prince Henry was still a child, and the prospect of a minority 
at such a time was not to be regarded with complacency. 

The readiness with which this supply was granted was the 
more remarkable because the efforts of the Commons to pass 
Efforu to a Bill against the abuses of purveyance had been 
abuwsof* wrecked on the resistance of the Lords. Nor were 
purveyance, (fr^y satisfied by a proclamation in which the King 
put an end to most of those abuses, as he left untouched the 
claim of his officers to settle at their pleasure the prices which 
they would give. It appears, however, that the officers took 
care not to revert to their old malpractices, and some years later 
the counties agreed to a composition by which a sum of money 
was to be paid annually in lieu of the burden of purveyance. 

Not only did the Commons pass their subsidy bill in spite 
of this treatment, but they did not insist upon obtaining an 

immediate answer to the petition of grievances whi< li 
of«rEfv." ,(: they had drawn up. They contented themselves 

with leaving it for the consideration of the Govern- 
ment during the recess. On May 27 Parliament was prorogued, 
and the King and the Lower House parted in far better humour 
with one another than at the close of the preceding session. 

A tew days after the prorogation, the death of Sir Fran< 1 1 
Ciawdy, the Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, threw into the 

hands of the ( Irown one of the most important of the 

June 20. ...,,.... 

1 legal appointments in its ^ift. I lie place was given 

to Coke, whose during the trials of the 

Gunpowder conspirators thus obtained their reward. Coke's 

1 1 houcs removal opened a prospect of promotion to Bacon, as 
' . the two men were onsuchbad terms with oneanother 


c.tncrai. that they could not be expected to work togethei in 

offices so closely connected as were those of the two chief 1 
advisers of the Crown. At the time when bacon was engaged in 


supporting the Government in Parliament during the session 
which was just concluded, he had received promises of promo- 
tion both from Salisbury and from the King himself. Ellesmere, 
who always looked with favour upon Bacon, had suggested that 
whenever the Attorney-General should go up to the Bench, 
Doderidge, the Solicitor-General, might rise to the post of 
King's Serjeant. Bacon might then succeed Doderidge, and 
the Attorney-General's place, to which he made no claim, 
would be at the disposal of the Government. 1 Accordingly, when 
July 4 . the vacancy occurred, the Attorneyship was conferred 
becomes on Sir Henry Hobart, a sound lawyer and an up- 
Attomey- right man, who had Salisbury's good word on his side. 

(.eneral. ° ' J ° . 

p.acon is not Doderidge, however, remained Solicitor-General for 
promoted, another year, and Bacon failed to receive the appoint- 
ment which he had been led to expect, though the reasons of 
his failure are left to conjecture. 

From cares of state James easily turned aside to his 
pleasures. Scarcely was the session over when he was looking 
July i 7 . anxiously for the arrival of his brother-in-law, Christian 
Kitoerf IV. of Denmark. The two kings enjoyed one 
Denmark. another's company, hunted together, and feasted to-, 
gether. Christian was an able ruler, but he was addicted to 
drinking beyond all bounds of moderation. The English court 
(aught the infection of evil. At a feast given by Salisbury to 
their Majesties at Theobalds, English ladies, who were to have 
taken part in a masque, reeled about the hall in a state of in- 
toxication, and the King of Denmark was carried off to bed 
when he was no longer able to stand. 2 James showed no sign 
of displeasure that these things had taken place in his presence. 
If he did not do evil himself, he was without the power of 
checking those who did. 

1 Bacon to the King, Letters and Life, iii. 293. 

2 Harington's Nuga antiqucc, ii. 126. 




In the busy session which had come to an end in May 1606, 
no time had been found for a discussion on that union with 
Scotland which James had so much at heart By 
•i common consent the whole subject was postponed to 

the ensuing winter. Whatever diflfo ulties might stand 
in the King's way in England, it hardly seemed likely 
that he would meet with serious opposition in Scotland. Al- 
ly, whilst the English Parliament was still in session, events 
had occurred in the northern kingdom which showed how 
much James could there venture on with impunity. 

It is usually taken for granted that the accession of James 
to the throne of England 1 n ibled him to inti rfere with gr< at 

weight iu Scottish affairs, and that it contributed in 
1 no small decree to the subsequent overthrow of the 

Pi bvterian There < an be little douhi 

r 1 111 111 

the ■ 1 hange have been 1 onsiderabl; 

• •. ,|. I- ndeed, that James was now sate fi 

radical purpo e hi strength was 

than it wa 1 bi fore. I te found no standing army 

in England which might Berv< to overawe his Scottish subje< 

., n it he had atti mpted to raise English fore to upp 1 

any movement ii tl North, he would certainly have roused 

tam e in all 1 lasses. Nor was the money whi< h 

he squandered upon som< ol hi 1 ountrymen likely to 1 on< iliate 

opposition. The men whose names figure in the accounl o( 

the EngKsh Exchequt eivera of pensions or of gifts, the 

302 THE POST-NATI. ch. viii. 

Hays, the Ramsays, and the Humes, were not the men who 
held the destinies of Scotland in their hands. The great nobi- 
lity, who now formed the chief supports of the throne, and the 
statesmen who carried on the government of the country in the 
name of their Sovereign, were not appreciably the richer for the 
change which had placed James upon the throne of England.' 

Whatever may have been the value of the victory which had 
been won by the King over the Presbyterian clergy, it was at 
„. least won by Scottish hands. It was to the coalition 

His success J 

owing to his between the Crown and the nobility that the success 

coalition . 

with the of James was owing. I he nobility, having abandoned 
the hope of retaining their independence, were eager 
to obtain in exchange the direction of the government of the 
country. Before such strength as they were able to put forth 
when united under the Crown all resistance on the part of the 
clergy was impossible, and, with very few exceptions, they 
looked with jealous eyes upon the Presbyterian Church. The 
eloquence and the moral vigour of the clergy still caused James 
to hesitate before proceeding to extremities ; but it is unlikely 
that, under any circumstances, he would have long refrained 
from putting forth his power, and he certainly was not possessed 
of sufficient wisdom to shrink from using for that purpose his 
creatures the Bishops. 

If, however, the change in James's position did not enable 
him to throw any greater weight than he had hitherto done into 
the scale of Scottish ecclesiastical politics, it was such as to 
make him look upon the contest in which he had been engaged 
from a new point of view, and to inspire him with greater re- 
solution in dealing with that system of Church government 
which was every day assuming darker colours in his eyes. The 
example of the English Church was too enticing, and the con- 
trast between the Convocation of the Province of Canterbury and 
a Scottish General Assembly was too striking, not to make him 
eager to free himself from what he considered as the disorderly 
scenes which, when he had been in Scotland, had continually 
interfered with the success of his most cherished projects. 

1 In one or two instances the salaries of Scotch officials were paid out 
of the English Exchequer, but these were of no great amount. 


For a time, however, James seems to have laid aside his 
intention Df introducing episcopacy into Scotland. His first in- 
juiy, 1604. terference, on a large scale, with the Church after 
bi h - e sum^ m ^ e crosse d the Borders, was his postponement for 
moned to a twelvemonth of the General Assembly which had 
postponed, been appointed to meet at Aberdeen in July 1604. 
It was no mere prorogation that he had in mind. In the fol- 
March, 1605. lowing March he wrote that, unless the English Privy 
james Council advised him to the contrary, he would never 

intends to J 

have no ca n another General Assembly as long as he lived. 1 

general . 

•lies. If the Scottish Church would not submit to the or- 
ganization which he believed to be the best, it should have no 
organization at all. 

But, either from deliberate intention, or from mere careless- 
ness, James set aside, upon his own responsibility, the law of 
the land. By the Act of 1592, to which the Presbyterian system 
owed its legal establishment, it was declared to be lawful for 
the Church to hold its General Assemblies at least once a year, 
if certain forms which had been complied with on this occasion 
were observed. And he had himself, at the last meeting of the 
Assembly, given his consent to the observance of this Act for 
the future. 

Sue h disregard for the rights of the clergy was sure to draw 

upon James the suspicions of all who reverenced the existing 

titution of the Church In spite of the King's orders, the 

!'•■ b ' rj of St. Andrews, winch was always the first to start 

forward as the < hampion ot I'rcsbytcrianism, sent three mini: n rs 

to Aberdeen, who, finding themselves alone, came away, leaving 
behind them a written protest that they were not to blame for 
the consequent esof such a brea< h of the laws of God and man. 

Though the Pn ibyteryof St. Andrews stood alone in pro-' 
• • ;. mist the illegality of the adjournment, there can be 
little doubt that the dissatisfaction was widely spread The 
representatives of the Church, or, as they were commonly 
called, the Commissioners of the General Assembly, had bei n 

.sen in accordance with the Ad of the Assembly oi i^oo. 

Though they had not been suffered to sit in Parliament, they 
1 The King to Cranborne, March 14, 1605, Hatfield MSS. iSS, fol. 90. 

3°4 THE POST-NATL ch. vm. 

had been treated with respect by the King, and had been con- 
sulted on Church affairs, to the exclusion of other ministers. At 
a meeting of the ministers held at Perth in October 1604, hard 
Oct. 1604. words were spoken both of the Bishops and of these 
min'i'iefsa't Commissioners of the Assembly, who were accused of 
Perth - using their position to draw all ecclesiastical power into 

their hands. The King's declaration that he had no intention 
of altering the existing system, which seems to have been in ac- 
cordance with his intentions at the time, 1 was looked upon with 
suspicion. This suspicion was converted into certainty upon 
June 7 , 1605. the appearance, in June 1605, of a letter addressed 
ponenfenTof to tne Presbyteries by the King's Commissioner, Sir 
the meeting Alexander Straiton, of Lauriston, and the Commis- 


Assembly, sioners of the Assembly, informing them that the 
King had directed another prorogation of the Assembly, which 
they had in the meantime themselves summoned to meet in 
July at Aberdeen, on the ground that it was impossible for him 
to consider of the matters which would come before them until 
the close of the sessions of the two Parliaments, which were to 
be engaged in settling the question of the union. 2 

In committing this renewed breach of the law, James 
appears to have been influenced by the belief that, if he 
Causes allowed the Assembly to meet, it would denounce 
which in- ^e Bishops and overthrow even what little had 

f uenced the l 

Kl "g- been done by the earlier Assemblies in favour of the 

appointment of representatives of the Church in Parliament, 3 
and when news was brought to the Chancellor of the meeting 
of the Assembly, he at once asked ' if there was any Act made 
against the Bishops and Commissioners. ' 4 To the Bishops, 
indeed, who actually sat in Parliament, the Assembly could 
do little harm, as they held their seats by virtue of the 
Act of Parliament passed in 1597, and they would not be 
affected by a repeal of the Act of the Assembly, by which 

1 See p. 76. 2 Calderwood, vi. 271. 3 Forties's Records, 384. 

4 This must he the meaning of Spottiswoode's statement, ' that the 
King was informed that ministers intended to call in question all the con- 
clusions taken in former Assemblies for the episcopal government,' iii. 157. 
Forbes, 401. 


voters were allowed to appear on behalf of the Church. Indeed, 
several new Bishops, and the two Archbishops of St. Andrews 
and Glasgow, Gladstanes and Spottiswoode, had been recently 
appointed by the King, without the slightest pretence of con- 
forming to the mode of election prescribed by the Assembly. 
With the Commissioners the case was different. Their tenure 
of office was at an end as soon as the next Assembly met, and 
by simply refusing to reappoint them, the Assembly would put 
an end to the only link which existed for the time between the 
King and the Church. That such a course would be adopted 
was not in itself unlikely. They were, not unreasonably, regarded 
with great dislike by the vehement Presbyterians, as men who 
lent the weight of their authority to the support of the Crown 
against the clergy. That such a body should be in existence, 
in some form or another, was looked upon by James as a neces- 
sary part of the system upon which he proposed to govern the 
Church. If he could have been sure of having commissioners 
always by his side who would give him the support of an ec- 
clesiastical authority in keeping the clergy in due submission to 
himself, he would probably have been satisfied. But this was 
exactly what he never could be sure of. Day by day the epis- 
copal system appeared more desirable in his eyes. It was not 
an ecclesiastical, it was purely a political question. Commis- 
'I a divided allegiance, and might be removed from 
offii anytime. Bishops were creatures of his own, and, 

by the very necessity of their position, would do his bidding, 
whatever it might be. 

linst tins attempt of the King to interfere with the 

Church all thai ■■■■■ noblest in Scotland revolted. The Presby- 

p • ina felt that they had right on their side. It was 

impossible thai iu< h a ;< In me as thai of Jamesi ould 

be confined i" n tricting tl from interfering with merel] 

temporal mattei 1. If then \ emblii 1 were silen< ed, or if they 

were only allowed to vote and speak under the eye "I the 
Court, there was an end for evi I of 1h.1t fr< edom lor win. h they 
hadstruggled manfully. The kingdom ol Christ, ol which 
they constituted themselves tin- champions, may haw b 

possessed in their eyes of attributes and powers which had their 
v iL. I. X 

306 THE POST-NAT/. ch. vm. 

origin merely in their own imaginations ; but it is impossible 
to mistake the real nature of the contest in which they were 
engaged. It was one, like that between the medieval Popes 
and Emperors, out of which, at the time when it was entered 
on, no satisfactory issue was possible. The King, in claiming 
to silence the voice of the clergy when it was disagreeable to 
himself, was in reality attempting to silence that criticism in 
the absence of which all authority becomes stagnant and 
corrupt. The clergy, in claiming the right of criticism for 
themselves alone, in the name of an assumed Divine right, was 
making the independent development of lay society impossible. 
The only real cure for the disorder was complete liberty of 
speech, and liberty of speech, in the face of the immense power 
of the nobility, was only attainable by organization. To crush 
that organization, as James was now preparing to do, was to 
play into the hands of the nobility, and to weaken, as far as it 
was possible, the strongest bulwark of thought over force which 
then existed in Scotland. 

This time, too, the law of the land was on the side of the 
clergy. The Act of 1592 distinctly guaranteed the yearly 
meetings of the Assembly. When, therefore, it was known 
that the King had ordered the Assembly to be again postponed, 
though the majority were unwilling to irritate him by disobey- 
ing the command, there were a few who felt that to yield at such 
a time would be to betray the cause of the Church and of the 
law, from fear of the consequences of resisting an arbitrary and 
illegal mandate. 

On July 2, 1605, therefore, nineteen ministers assembled at 
Aberdeen. A few more would have joined them, if they had 
not been led to suppose that the day of meeting had 
ihe mTmsters been the 5th instead of the 2nd of the month. 1 This 
discrepancy in the letter by which the prorogation 
had been notified to them has been supposed to have been 
owing to a design on the part of the Government to bring them 
to Aberdeen in detached bodies. 

As soon as this little handful were assembled, Straiton pre- 

' Forbes, 386. Caldcrwood, vi. 322. 


sented them with a letter from the lords of the Council. As, 
however, the letter was directed ' To the Brethren of 

Straiten pre- . . , 

them the Ministry convened in their Assembly in Aber- 
ieuer'ofthe deen,' they refused to open it till they had consti- 
tuted themselves into a regular Assembly by choosing 
a Moderator. Straiton, after suggesting John Forbes of Alford 
as a proper person, left the room. As soon as he was gone, 
Forbes was unanimously elected, and, the Assembly being con- 
stituted, the letter of the Council was opened. It was found to 
contain a warning not to offend the King by meeting without 
hi: consent, and an order to leave Aberdeen without appointing 
any time or place for the next Assembly. To the first point 
the ministers were ready to agree. They had no wish to push 
matters to extremities by attempting to transact business in 
defiance of the King ; but they were by no means willing to 
sunender the independence of the Assembly, by leaving in 
the King's hands the appointment of its meetings. They did, 
however, what they could to avoid anything which looked like 
disloyalty. They sent for Straiton, and begged him to name 
any day he pleased, however distant, and assured him that they 
would willingly submit to his derision. It was onlv after his 
Tt „. • refusal to agree to their proposal, that they them- 

selves adjourned the Assembly to the first Tuesday 
in September. It was then, and not till then, that 
the King's Commissioner declared that lu: did not consider 
them t" !"■ a lawful Assembly, as the Moderator of the last 
Assembly, who OUghf to have opened the meeting, was not 
.nt. !!.• followed this up by threatening the ministers with 
the treatment <>t rebels it" they did not instantly break up their 

11 ring accomplished the object for which they had 
,,,-, they left the town without making any resistance. Nine 

Other mini fho arrived on the 4th and 5th, also went 

home, after signifying their approval of the conduct ot their 

bn Minn.' 

Eithi t during his last < onvei ation with the mini tei •, oi on 

his way home, Straiton remembered that the effect of what had 

1 Forks, 3S8 396. 
x 2 


just passed under his eyes would be to bring to an end the 
„ . authority of the Commissioners of the last Assembly, 

Sraiton J .. . ■" 

falsifies his if the nineteen ministers who had just left Aberdeen 
fheTJ 1 - ° constituted a real Assembly. Accordingly, fearing lest 
he should be brought to account for not using more 
active measures, he determined to invent a story which would 
save him from disgrace. On his return to Edinburgh he 
boldly declared that, on the day before the ministers met, he 
had published a proclamation at the Market Cross at Aber- 
deen, forbidding them to take part in the Assembly. 1 To this 
falsehood he afterwards added an equally fictitious account of 
the forcible exclusion of himself from the room in which the 
Assembly was held. 

Unfortunately the men who occupied the principal positions 
in the Council were not likely to give themselves much trouble 
to sift the matter to the bottom. The Chancellor, 
Parted by who now bore the title of Earl of Dunfermline, had 
HnTanT' formerly, as Alexander Seton, been brought into 
Baimenno. f re q uent collisions with the clergy. Elphinstone, who 
had now become Lord Balmerino and President of the Court 
of Session as well as Secretary of State, had also old grudges 
which he was not unwilling to pay off. They were both Catho- 
lics, and as such they wished to do everything in their power to 
depress the Presbyterian clergy. They therefore, as soon as 
they received a letter from James urging them to take steps 
against the ministers, instead of attempting to enlighten his 
mind as to the deception which had been practised upon him, 
threw themselves readily into the course of persecution which 
he pointed out ; 2 although Dunfermline had not long before 
assured Forbes that he would be quite content if the Assembly 
should act in the precise way in which its proceedings had been 
actually carried on, and, when he first saw an account of what 
had passed, had approved of all that had been done. 

Accordingly, on July 25, the Scottish Council issued a pro- 
clamation prohibiting the Assembly from meeting in September. 

1 Forbes, 401. 

7 The King to Balmerino, July 19. Botfield, Original Letters relating 
to Ecclesiastical Affairs (Bannatyne Club), L 355*. 


On the same day, Forbes was summoned before the Council, 

. and on his giving it as his opinion that the meeting at 

mem of Aberdeen was a lawful Assembly, he was committed 
to custody in Edinburgh Castle, from whence, a 
few days later, he was removed to Blackness, where 
he was soon joined by John Welsh, one of those who had not 
appeared at Aberdeen till after the conclusion of the proceed- 
ings, but who was regarded by the Government with suspicion 
as a man who was warmly attached to the Presbyterian dis- 
cipline. 1 Four others were at the same time sent down to 

The King was determined to carry out his authority with a 
high hand. He sent down a letter which all the Presbyteries 
were directed to have read from the pulpit, in which he ex- 
plicitly affirmed that the law was not intended to bind him to 

rve under all circumstances the privileges by which any 
body or estate in the kingdom was allowed to meet or to de- 
liberate.' 2 This letter the Presbyteries refused to read, but it 
was published by authority some months afterwards. He also 
directed certain captious questions to be put to the imprisoned 
ministers, which were intruded to entangle them into an ad- 
mission of the unlawfulness of the Aberdeen Assembly. 

( >ii their refusal to do this, they were summoned, with some 
of the other minister who shared in their steadfastness, to 

. , k . appear on October 24 before the Council, in order 

t<< hear tin- A embly de< lared to be unlawful, and to 
receive their own sentence t<>r taking part in it 8 On the ap 

1 Forbu t 403. 

2 Calderwood, vi. 426. "As for an instance, "Jami 1 argued, "every 
burgh royal hath theii own tinu .<i publii mercata allowed unto them by 
the law, and the King'i privilege, bul when the plague happened in any of 

! i'l II-. t he, by proclamation, dischargi thi holding ..1 
mcrcat at that til ir <>f infection, and yet thereby ili'l no prejui 

to their priviligei ?" 

* Calderwood, vi. 342. The portion of tli<- Acl of 159a which ! 
upon the question, nans as follows i " It shall be lawful to the Kirk 
ministers, every year at the leaal and oftener, pro rt natd, as occa ion 
necessity shall require, to hold an.l keep General Assemblies, providing 
that the King's Majesty, or his Commissioners with them to be appointed 

310 THE POST-NATI. ch. viil. 

pointed day they were brought before the Council, and, after 
in vain beseeching the Lords to refer their case to a General 
Assembly, gave in a declinature, in which they refused to 
acknowledge the jurisdiction of the Council in a question con- 
cerning the rights of the Church, and referred their cause to 
the next Assembly. James, when he heard of the course which 
they had taken, directed that they should be brought to trial 
_ _. upon a charge of treason, under the Act of 1=584, 

The King . 

directs that which pronounced it to be treasonable to refuse to 

they shall be , ...... _ ., 

brought to submit to the jurisdiction of the Council. In order 
to insure a conviction, he sent down the Earl of 
Dunbar to use his authority with all who might be inclined to 
throw obstacles in the way. The very choice of such a repre- 
sentative was significant of the distance from the Scottish clergy 
to which James had drifted. Dunbar, who, as Sir George Hume, 
had accompanied James to England, was not a Presbyterian, 
and it was questionable whether he was even a Protestant. 

In the proceedings which followed, it is neither the abstruse 
points of law which were so diligently argued, nor even the fate 
of the bold and fearless men whose lives and fortunes were at 
stake, which principally attracts our attention. The real ques- 
tion at issue was, whether the King's Government was worthy 
to occupy the position which it had taken up. If the Assem- 
blies were not to be allowed to meet and to deliberate inde- 

by His Highness, be present at ilk General Assembly before the dissolving 
thereof, nominate and appoint time and place when and where the next 
General Assembly shall be holden ; and in case neither His Majesty nor 
His said Commissioners be present for the time in that town where the said 
General Assembly is holden, then, and in that case, it shall be lesum to 
the said General Assembly by themselves to nominate and appoint time 
and place where the next General Assembly of the Kirk shall be kept and 
holden, as they have been in use to do these times by-past." (Acts 0/ Pari. 
Scot/, iii. 541.) It is evident that this Act is not without ambiguity. The 
case when, as happened in Aberdeen, the Commissioner was in the town, 
but refused to name a place and time, is not provided for. But the King 
took up ground which was plainly untenable when he spoke of the proro- 
gation of 1604 as being one which the ministers were bound to atterrd to, 
as if it had been in accordance with the Act of 1592. The answer was, of 
course, that it had not been declared by the King or Commissioner present 
in an Assembly. — Forbes, Records, 452. 


pendently of the authority of the State, what was to be substi- 
tuted for them ? "Was their claim of Divine right to be met by 
calm deliberation, and by unswerving justice, allowing liberty 
of action wherever liberty was possible ; or by an exhibition of 
petty intrigues resting upon the support of brute force? In 
other words, did James appear as the standard-bearer of law 
and order against ecclesiastical anarchy, or was he clothing, 
ignorantly or knowingly, his own arbitrary will in the forms of 
political wisdom? In. reality it was James himself who was on 
his trial, not the prisoners at the bar. 

The proceedings did not commence in a very promising 
manner. It was necessary to remove the place of trial from 
l6n6 Edinburgh to Linlithgow, lest the Chancellor and his 
t^be'at' 1 associates should be unable to carry out their purpose 
Linlithgow. j n tne face of a population which sympathised strongly 
with the ministers. 1 On the morning of January 10, the six 
who were confined at Blackness were hurried before the Coun- 
cil at Linlithgow, and, after all efforts had been made in vain 
to induce them to withdraw their declinature, were ordered to 
prepare for trial. 

Criminal trials in England were not to he regarded at this 
period as models of justice, but it is certain that the most sub- 
servient judge who had ever sat upon the English bench would 
have been sho< I'd at tin- manner in which preparations were 
made for procuring a verdict against the ministers. Dunbar 

m by tampering with the judges, lie plainly told them 
that if they did what he called their duty, they mighl expect to 

enjoy the favour of the King ; but that, on the other hand, if 

they failed in satisfying him, certain disgrace and punishment 

them, 1 te then addressi d himself to pai 1 
a jury, knowing well unless extraord 1 arj pr< 1 autions ■• 
taken he would fail in his objo 1. At last he found fifteen mi n 
amongst his own friends and i tion who, as he hoped, would 
.e his purpose. To make everything sure, he finally filled 
the town with his followers, who would he ready to prevent any 
attempt to rescue the prisoners, ami who might also serve the 

1 Vot\ es, Records, 452. 

3 i2 THE POST-NATI. ch. vm. 

purpose of overawing the Court, in case that, even constituted 
as it was, it might by some chance show a spirit of indepen- 
dence. 1 As if this were not enough, it was arranged that the 
Lords of the Council themselves, whose jurisdiction was im- 
peached, should sit as assessors on the Court, to assist in judging 
their own case. 

The question of law was argued before the jury were ad- 
mitted into court. The pleadings turned upon purely legal 
_ . . . points, as to the interpretation of words in certain 

Decision of * \ . 

the question Acts of Parliament, and upon the extent to which the 
Act of 1584 was repealed by the Act of 1592. In 
these discussions there is no interest whatever. They barely 
touch upon the great questions at issue, and there can be no 
doubt that the decision which was finally given against the 
prisoners had been settled beforehand. 

When this part of the trial had been brought to a conclu- 
sion, the jury was admitted. As soon as they appeared, they 
The jury were addressed by Sir Thomas Hamilton, the Lord 
admitted. Advocate. He told them that it had been already 
settled by the court that the declinature of members was 
treasonable, and that all that was left to the jury was to find 
whether the declinature had proceeded from the prisoners or 
not. He assured them that the document which he produced 
was in the handwriting of the ministers ; there could therefore 
be no difficulty in bringing in the verdict for which he asked. 
He concluded by telling the jury that if they acquitted the 
prisoners they must expect to be called in question for their 
wilful error, by which their own lives and property would be 

In spite of the opposition of the prisoner's counsel, the jury 
were being sent out of court to consider the verdict, when 
Forbes's Forbes asked to be allowed to address them in the 
name of his brethren. Having obtained permission 
he went over the whole story of his supposed offence in words 
which must have gone to the hearts of all who were not utterly 
deaf to the voice of a true man speaking for his life. After 

' Sir T. Hamilton to the King, Dalrymple's Memorials, 1. 


protesting that Straiton's story of the proclamation at the 
Market Cross of Aberdeen was utterly false from beginning to 
end, he showed that the direction of the Council's letter by 
which the ministers assembled at Aberdeen were required to 
disperse, was enough to prove that that meeting was regarded 
as a lawful Assembly by the very Council which had afterwards 
called them to account. The only point in which the ministers 
had been disobedient was in refusing to dissolve the Assembly 
without appointing time or place for the next meeting. In 
doing this he asserted that they had acted in accordance with 
the laws of the kingdom as well as of the Church. The truth 
was that they were brought into danger in order to support the 
pretensions of the Commissioners of the Assembly, who were 
labouring to introduce the Romish hierarchy in place of the 
Church and Kingdom of Christ. He reminded the jurors that 
they had all of them subscribed to the confession of faith, and 
had sworn to maintain the discipline of the Church, and he ad- 
jured them to judge on that day as they would be judged when 
they were called to render an account to God of the oath which 
they had sworn. 

After some altercation between Forbes and the Lord Advo- 
cate, Welsh addressed the jury. He spoke even more strongly 
Wc , than Forbes had done of the sole right of the Church 

:ech - to judge of ecclesiastical questions. As soon as he 
had finished, Hamilton told the jury that the)' ought not to be 
moved by what they had just heard, and, after admonishing 
them to perform their duty, he concluded by again threatening 

them with punishment if they refused to find a verdict against 

tin- pri loners. On the conclusion of this address, Forbes read 
a pa "'it of tin- covenant in which King and people had 

once united to protest their devotion to the Protestant faith; 
and thm tiirnm to Dunbar requested him to remind the King 
of the punishment which had overtaken Saul lor his breach of 
the covenant which hid been made with the Gibeonites, and to 
warn him lest a similar judgment should befall him and hispo 
terity if he broke that covenant to whi« h he had sworn. After 
this, as the other prisoners declared it to be unnecessary to add 

314 THE POST-NATI. ch. vm. 

anything to that which had been already said, the jury were 
ordered to retire to consider their verdict. 

Then was seen the effect which earnest words can have 
even upon men who have been brought together for the express 

. reason that they were unlikely to sympathise with 

consider the prisoners. The jury, packed as it had been, 
began to doubt what the verdict was to be. One of 
them begged that some one else might be substituted in his 
place. Another asked for more information on the point at 
issue. A third begged for delay. When all these requests had 
been refused, they left the court. As soon as they had met 
together, it was found that they were inclined to brave all 
threats and to acquit the prisoners. The foreman of the jury, 
Stewart of Craighall, being himself liable to the penalties of 
the law, did not dare to oppose the will of the Council. He 
accordingly, as soon as he found what was the opinion of 
the majority, went back into the court, together with the 
Lord Justice Clerk, who had been illegally present in the 
jury room, and warned the judges what was likely to be the 
result. The Councillors, in order to save their credit, made 
one more attempt to persuade the prisoners to withdraw their 
declinature. Having failed to produce any effect, they not 
only tried what could be done b) again threatening the jury, but 
they sent some of their number in to assure them that they 
would do no harm to the prisoners by convicting them, as the 
King had no intention of pushing matters to extremes, and 
only wished to have the credit of a verdict on his side, in order 
to proceed to bring about a pacification with greater likelihood 
of success. Influenced by these threats and promises, nine 
The prison- o ut of the fifteen gave way, and the verdict of guilty 
nounced was pronounced by the majority which, according to 
guilty. the law of Scotland, was sufficient for the purpose. 

The sentence was deferred till the King's pleasure should be 
known. 1 

Such a victory was equivalent to a defeat. If the power of 
the King was established too firmly by means of his coalition 

1 Forbes, Records, 455-496. 


with the nobility to make it likely that any actual danger 
Effect of was t0 De apprehended, he had at least notified to 
all who cared for honesty and truthfulness that it 
was only by falsehood and trickery that he had succeeded in 
establishing his claims. From henceforward it would be un- 
necessary to go into any elaborate argument in favour of the 
independence of the Church Courts. It would be sufficient to 
point to the trial at Linlithgow, and to ask whether that was 
the kind of justice which was so much better than that which 
was dispensed in the Ecclesiastical Courts. So strong was the 
general feeling on the subject, that when James wrote to the 
Council pressing them to bring to a trial the remaining ministers 
who had also signed the declinature, he received a reply in- 
forming him that it was very improbable that such a course 
would be attended with any good result, and recommending 
him to drop the prosecution in order to avoid an acquittal. 1 

In the whole course of James's reign there is not one of his 
actions which brings out so distinctly the very worst side of his 
character. There can be no doubt that he really believed that 
he was justified in what he was doing, and that he blinded him- 
self to the radical injustice of his proceedings, and to the 
8Candal0US means by which his objects were effected. He 

in by fancying that the ministers had acted illegally, and 
then read every law or prim iple to whi< h they appealed through 
the coloured spr< t;u les of his own feelings and interests. To any 
kn< of the true solution of the really diffi< lilt questii 

whi« h were involved in the dispute, he never had the slightest | 

tensions, e» epting in his own eyes and in those of his courtiers. 

The six ministers remained for some months in prison. 
At last, m ( )< tolu-r, they were 1 ondemned to perpetual banish- 
,, . , in- m. As they went flown to the boat, at Leith, 

of thesis winch v. • iiry them away in the darkness of the 

ni^ht, the people, who crowded down to the beach 
to see them go, heard them singing the twenty-third Psalm. 
They had passed through the valley of the shadow of death, 
and had feared no evil. In prison and in banishment He who 

' Botflcld, Original Letters, i. 360* ; and note to p. 363*. 

3i6 THE POST-NATI. CH. vm. 

had been their shepherd suffered them not to want. They, 
too, deserve the name of Pilgrim Fathers. Earthly hope they 
had none ; they went not forth to found an empire beyond the 
seas ; they went forth to spend the last days of their weary pil- 
grimage in foreign lands. But their work was not there : it 
was in the hearts of their Scottish countrymen, to whom .they had 
at the peril of their lives borne testimony to the truth. They 
had done their part to build up the Church and nation, which 
neither James nor his Council would be able to enslave for ever. 
Eight other ministers, who also refused to retract 

Imprison- ° 

mentofthe their declinature, were exiled to various places on 
the coast and islands of Scotland. 1 
The Linlithgow trial had brought clearly before the eyes of 
the nation the real worth of the judicial institutions of the 
country. It remained to be seen whether its legislative body 
was any more fit to call the General Assembly to account. 
Whatever may have been the intentions of the King during the 
first years of his reign in England, there can be no doubt that 
he was now bent upon bringing the clergy under his feet by 
restoring to the Bishops their jurisdiction. He accordingly 
„,, _ ,. summoned a Parliament to meet at Perth in July, in 

TheParha- , J ■" 

mentat order to pass an Act for the restitution to the 
Bishops of the property of their sees which had been 
formally annexed to the Crown. It was notorious that many 
of the nobility looked askance upon the new Bishops. But 
their opposition was not of a nature to hold out against those 
arguments which the Government was able to use. With the 
conscientious hatred of Episcopacy which animated the Presby- 
terians, they had nothing in common ; all that they felt was a 
mere dislike of the rise of an order which might vie in wealth 
and influence with themselves. With such men as these it was 
easy to strike a bargain. Let them assent to the repeal of the 
Act of Annexation, by which so much of the Church land had 
been declared to be Crown property, and if the King were 
allowed to use some of it to endow his new Bishops, he would 
carve out of it no less than seventeen temporal lordships for 

1 Acts of the Privy Council, Botfield, Original Letters^ i. 368*. 


the nobility. 1 Such arguments as these were unanswerable 
The Parliament speedily passed the Acts which gave per- 
mission for the change, and added another, declaring that the 
King's authority was supreme ' over all estates, persons, and 
causes whatsoever.' 2 

The position occupied by James's Bishops was unique in 
the history of Episcopacy. There have been instances in which 
Position of laymen have borne the title of Bishop, and there 
the Bishops. naye ueen instances in which Bishops have passed 
gradually from the exercise of purely spiritual functions to the 
enjoyment of temporal jurisdiction ; but nowhere, excepting in 
Scotland, has a class of ministers existed who were clothed in 
all the outward pomp and importance of temporal lordships, 
whilst they were without any ecclesiastical authority what- 
ever. Such a state of things was too ridiculous to continue 
long. Any attempt to rule the Church by means of the sub- 
servient courts of law, and the half-careless, half-corrupt 
Parliaments, was certain in the long run to prove a failure. 
Everything tended to make James more determined to give 
real authority to his bishops, or, in other words, to himself. 

But if this was to be accomplished, James shrank from 

carrying out his purpose by a simple act of authority. To do 

him justice, when a scheme of this kind came into 

James de- J ' 

tcrmincsto his head, he always contrived to persuade himsell 

Rive them . 

.-.I that it was impossible for anyone to oppose it ex- 
( epting from fa< tious or interested motives. Just as 
to the end of his life he continued to believe thai the English 
House of Commons misrepresented the loyal feelings of the 
nation, he now belli ved thai the dislike of Bishops was con- 
fined to a few turbulent r. of all authority. And such 
his opinion of the justice of Ins cause and ol the force 
of his own arguments, that he flattered himself with the 
notion that even those who had hitherto resisted his wi 
must give way if he could once be brought f;i< e to t,i. e with 


1 M(lvill<\ Diary, 640. Council to James, July 4, 1O06, A/c/ios Pa/crs, 
(Abbotsford Club), 15. 

2 Acts of Pari. Scotl. iv. 280. 

3i 8 THE POST-NAIL ch. vm. 

In a proclamation issued in the preceding autumn, 1 the 
King had declared that he intended to make no alteration in 

l6o5 the government of the Church, excepting with the 

Sept. 26. a d v i ce f those whom he called the wisest and best 

of the clergy ; and he accordingly directed that a General 

1606. Assembly should be held at Dundee in July. In 
put'to'the February he sent round five questions to all the 
Synods. Synods, intended to induce them to give their assent 
to an acknowledgment of the King's authority in calling the 
Assemblies, and to promise to support the Commissioners, 
leaving untouched the position of the Bishops. 2 Failing to ob- 
tain any satisfactory answer, he wrote to eight of the principal 
ministers still remaining at liberty, in the number of whom both 
Andrew Melville and his nephew James were included, direct- 
ing them to present themselves in London on September 15, in 
order to discuss the question at issue between the ministers and 
the Crown. In spite of their disinclination to enter upon a dis- 
cussion which they knew to be useless, they consented to comply 
with the request. Their first conference with the King was 
held on September 22, in the presence of several members of 
the Scottish Council, and of some of the Bishops and other 
ministers who were favourable to the claims of the King. 
They found that they were required, as a pre- 

Conference ,.. . .. iiri 

at n.,mpton liminary step, to give an opinion on the lawfulness 
of the Assembly at Aberdeen. As anyone but 
James would have foreseen, it was to no purpose that argu- 
ments were addressed to them to prove the correctness of 
the King's view of the case, or that they were called upon 
to listen, day after day, to polemical sermons from the most 
distinguished preachers of the Church of England. They 
refused to part with their conviction on this point, or to allow 
that there was any possible way of pacifying the Church of 
Scotland, excepting by the convocation of a free General 
Assembly. Upon discovering that his logic had been ex- 
pended upon them in vain, James reported to the disgraceful 

1 Caldcrwood, vi. 338. 

- Ibid., vi. 391-396. The second of the two copies given is probably 
the authentic one. Compare the notices of it at pp. 477, 571. 


expedient of ordering the men who had come up to England 
on the faith of his invitation, to be committed to custody. It 
was not long before a circumstance occurred which gave him 
an excuse for severer measures. An epigram was put into his 
Melville's hands which had been written by Andrew Melville, 
verses. on w ] ia t seemed to him the Popish ceremonies prac- 

tised in the King's Chapel at one of the services which he had 
been compelled to attend. 1 The verses had not been put in 
circulation, nor was it intended that they should be ; but 
James, glad of an opportunity of revenging himself upon the 
man whom he detested, ordered him to be brought 

N)V. 30. ° 

HUim- before the Privy Council. When there, Melville, 
amidst the taunting words of the members of this 
unsympathising tribunal, with a not unnatural ebullition of 
impatience, turned fiercely upon Bancroft who had charged 
him with something very like treason, and reminding him of 
all his real and supposed faults, ended his invective by tel- 
ling him, as he shook one of his lawn sleeves, that these wire 
Romish rags, and part of the mark of the beast. Su< h a scene 
had never before occurred in the decorous Council Chamber 
at Whitehall, and the Lords were not likely to leave it un- 
noticed. He was committed by them to the custody of the 
Dean of St. Paul's, from whence he was, after another ex- 
amination, transferred to the Tower. There he remained a 
and banish- prisoner for four years, till he was allowed to leave 

1 !. md at tl.'- reque il <<i tin- I Mike of Bouillon, in 
whose University at Sedan lie passed the remaining years of 
In . lit.- .1 Profi or of Divinity. His nephew, whose 
1 rime was his refusal to acknowledge the King's 
I upremai v, was senl into confinement 
at N The six other ministers were relegated to dif- 

ferent 1 Scotland. 

1 "Cur slant clausi Anglu libri duo n-^ia in ara, 
I.umina exca duo, pollubl 
Num tensutn culturnque I Anglu clausum 

Lumine irde sepulta sufl ? 

Romano an rim dum n instruit a ram, 

Purpuream pingit religiosa lupam?" 

3 2o THE POST-NATI. ch. vm. 

The cycle of injustice was now complete. In the course of 
one short year the judicature, the Parliament, and the King 
had proved to demonstration that they were not in a position to 
demand of the Church the surrender of her independence. In 
theory, the view taken by James in protesting against the claim 
of the clergy to exclusive privileges approached more nearly to 
those which arc very generally accepted in our own day, than 
do those which were put forward by Melville and Forbes. But 
that which is yielded to the solemn voice of the law may well 
be refused to the wilfulness of arbitrary power. 

As yet, James did not venture upon proposing to introduce 
a copy of the English Episcopacy into Scotland ; but he deter- 
mined to make an effort to bring the Bishops whom 
of Consul" he had nominated into some connection with the 
Moderators. wor ]- m g machinery of the Church. There can be no 
doubt that, in detaining the eight ministers in England, he had 
been as much influenced by the hope of depriving the Scotch 
clergy of their support, as by the annoyance which he felt at 
their pertinacious resistance. But even at a time when no less 
than twenty-two of the leading ministers had been driven away 
from the scenes of their labours, he did not venture to summon 
a freely chosen Assembly, with the intention of asking it to sur- 
render into the hands of the Bishops the least fraction of the 
powers which had hitherto been possessed by the Presbyteries 
and Assemblies of the Church. He had, in consequence, again 
prorogued the Assembly, which was to have met in the course 
of the summer. 

Still, however, some means must be taken to cloak the 
usurpation which he meditated. He issued summonses to the 
various Presbyteries, calling upon them to send to 
gowCon- Linlithgow certain ministers who were nominated by 
vention. himself, in order that they might confer with some 
of the nobility and of the officers of state, on the best means 
to repress the progress of Popery, and that they might deter- 
mine upon the means which were to be taken for the preserva- 
tion of the peace of the Church. On December 13, 1606, this 
assembly of nominees met, according to the King's directions ; 
and though the members at first showed some signs of inde- 


pendence, they were in the end, by the skilful management of 
the Earl of Dunbar, brought to agree to all that was proposed 
to them. The chief concession obtained was, that in order 
that there might be an official always ready to counteract the 
designs of the Catholics, a ' Constant Moderator,' who might 
be entrusted with this permanent duty, should be substituted 
in all the Presbyteries for the Moderators who had hitherto 
been elected at each meeting. In the same way the Synods, or 
Provincial Assemblies, were also to be provided with permanent 
M /derators. Whenever a vacancy occurred, the Moderators 
of the Presbyteries were to be chosen by the Synod to which 
the Presbytery belonged. The Synod was itself to be presided 
over by any Bishop who might be acting as Moderator of any 
of the Presbyteries within its bounds, and it was only to be 
allowed to elect its own Moderator in cases where no Bisl 
was thus to be obtained. The Moderators, however, were to 
be liable to censure, and even to deprivation, in the Church 
courts. This arrangement, such as it was, was not to come 
into action at once. The first list of Moderators of all the 
Presbyteries in Scotland was drawn up by the Linlithgow 
Convention, and in it were to be found the names of all the 
Bishops for the Presbyteries in which they resided. 1 

ThU A< t left, indeed, the whole machinery of Presby- 
terianism in full action. Put it accustomed the clergy to 
the nominees of the Crown presiding in their courts, and mi 
easily lead the way to fresh encroachments. It was bar 
likely, however, that the decisions of this irregular Convention 
would be universally accepted as equal in authority to those of 
a free Assembly. It was soon found that resistance was to be 
expected, and the determination to resist was strengthened 
I,-. .1 report whi' li v. 1 rail) < iM ulated, to the effect that the 

Act of the Convention had been surreptitiously altered by the 
King, a report which gained increased credence from th< cir- 
cumstance that some oi tin- ministers had in vain attempt id to 
gain a sight of the original do< ument 

James, however, determined to <arry his scheme into efl I 

1 Calilcnvco /, vi. 601. 
VOL. I. Y 


in spite of all opposition. On January 17, 1607, an order was 

issued to all the Presbyteries, admonishing them to 

TheModera accept the Moderators on pain of being declared 
on r the rCed guilty of rebellion. The same threat was held over 
church. th e head of those Moderators who might be unwill- 
ing to accept the post to which they had been appointed. Some 
gave way before superior force, but others refused to obey the 
command. In the Synods the resistance was still stronger, as 
it was believed that the order to admit the Bishops as Mode- 
rators over these large assemblies had been improperly added 
to the Acts of the Convention. One Synod only, that of Angus, 
submitted at once to the change. It was only after a prolonged 
resistance that the others gave way to commands which they 
knew themselves to be unable to resist. 

James had thus secured most of the objects at which he 
aimed. Driven, by the pertinacity of the ministers who had 
Su« 1 ess of met at Aberdeen, to abandon his scheme of leaving 
the King. trie Scottish Church without any organization at all, 
he had fallen back on his older plan of giving it an organiza- 
tion which would to a great extent subject it to his own con- 
trol. Presbyteries and Synods and General Assemblies were 
to meet as in the olden days, but they would meet under the 
1 'residence of Moderators appointed by himself, and in the 
Synods that Moderator would almost always be a person who 
bore the name of Bishop. It was not likely that James would 
stop here, and he had little more to do to give to the Bishops 
the presidency by right. Yet even what he had done had been 
enough to put an end to that collision between the ecclesias- 
tical and the civil powers which had threatened danger to the 

Unhappily the means to which James owed his victory 
brought discredit upon the cause in which he was engaged. 
Causes of There had been no little chicanery in his interpreta- 
his success. t ion or evasion of the law, and the fact that his main 
supporters, Dunfermline and Balmerino, were Catholics, un- 
doubtedly injured him in the estimation of the Protestants of 
Scotland. Yet, after every admission is made, it is undeniable 
that, ever since the tumult in Edinburgh in 1596, there had 


been a considerable want of animation on the part of those 
classes on whom the Presbyterian clergy depended for support. 
What opposition there had been, came almost entirely from the 
ministers themselves. Not only were the great nobles, with one 
or two exceptions, banded together against them as one man, 
but the lesser gentry, and even the boroughs, were lukewarm in 
their cause. 

The explanation of this change of feeling is not very difficult 
to find. In the first place the cause of Presbyterianism was no 
longer connected with resistance to foreign interference, with 
regard to which Scotchmen have at all times been so sensitive. 
In the early part of James's reign the ministers could appeal 
to the nation against the intrigues of France. At a later 
period, it was the dread of a Spanish invasion which gave point 
to their invectives against the northern earls. But with Huntly's 
defeat, in 1595, all this was at an end. If for a short time it 
was still supposed that Huntly and Errol were likely to renew 
their invitations to the Spanish Court, all suspicions of such 
behaviour on their part quickly died away, and the question 
between the King and the clergy could be treated as a mere 
matter of internal policy with which national prejudices had 
nothing whatever to do. 

Nor wen- the King's innovations ofsuch a nature as to pro 
yoke opposition from the ordinary members of Scottish congre 
,ns. same sermons were likely i>> Ik- preached by 

same men, whether the General A embly or the King 
the upper hand. The proceedings of the Kirk-sessions were 
<arriirl on exactly as before. There was, above all, nothing 
which addressed the eye in the changes which had been brou 
about Men who would have been horroi truck at such 
alterati those which were afterwards carried out in Eng 

land by the authority of Laud, looked 011 with indiffi i' in ■ 
long as they saw tip- old familiar servu es conducted as 1 1 1 • \ 

had been .:■ 1 u itomed to jee thi m 1 ondu< ted in their boyhood. 
To superficial obsi and in no 01 country is their 

number a limited one the question . was merely one of 

jurisdw tion, by which the integrity of the Gospel was not in any 

way affected. 

V 2 


The real evil lay rather in that which might be done, than 
in that which had actually taken place. Neither the General 
Assembly nor the Parliament could claim to be a fair represen- 
tation of the Scottish nation, because that nation was too deeply 
cleft asunder to have any real representation at all. Under 
such circumstances, the King was the sole representative of 
unity. As long as he acted as a reconciler he might go on his 
path unmolested, but if he, or his successor, should at any time 
cease to be content with keeping the peace, and should proceed 
to try the temper of the people by the introduction of changes in 
their mode of worship, he might excite an opposition which he 
would find it hard to control. If a national feeling were aroused 
against him, it would find an outlet either in the Assembly or in 
Parliament — perhaps in both combined. 

It is not unlikely that these proceedings in Scotland may 
have had some effect upon the minds of the members of the 
English House of Commons, when they were called 
Nov. 18. on to take the first steps in drawing closer the bonds 
the e Engii°sh of union with a country in which the forms of justice 
Parliament. were s0 aDU sed as they had been in the condemna- 
tion of Forbes and his brother ministers. The session which 
opened on November 18, 1606, was understood to be devoted 
to the consideration of the proposals which had been made by 
the Commissioners appointed from both countries. Those 
proposals had been framed with a due regard for the 

iV P° rt •,-,-• r 1 • ^ r , 

Com- susceptibilities of the two nations. On two of them 
but little difference of opinion was likely to arise. 
It could hardly be doubted that it was expedient 
to repeal those laws by which either country had taken pre- 
cautions against hostile attacks from the other, or that some 
arrangement ought to be made for the mutual extradition of 

The other two points were far more likely to give rise to 
opposition. The most essential measures by which the pros- 
perity of the two kingdoms could be insured, were the estab- 
lishment of freedom of commercial intercourse between them, 
and the naturalisation in each of them of the natives of the 


After mature deliberation, the Commissioners had deter- 
mined to recommend that certain productions of each country 
Commercial should not be allowed to be exported to the other, 
union. Th e English were afraid of a rise in the price of 

cloth, if their sheep-farmers were permitted to send their wool 
to be manufactured in Scotland ; and the Scotch were equally 
alarmed at the prospect of high prices for meat, if their cattle 
could be driven across the Tweed to a more profitable market 
than Edinburgh or Perth could offer. With these and two or 
three other exceptions, the whole commerce of the two coun- 
tries was to be placed on an equal footing. The Scotchman was 
to be allowed to sell his goods in London as freely as he could 
in Edinburgh ; and he was to be permitted to take part in those 
commercial enterprises upon which so much of the prosperity 
of England was already founded. A similar liberty was to be 
granted to Englishmen in Scotland ; though, for the present, at 
least, its value would be merely nominal. 

A commercial union of this description made it necessary 

to take into consideration the question of naturalisation. Un- 

N.-iniraiisa. fortunately, it was impossible to avoid touching upon 

political difficulties. The best course would have 

rl to have naturalised entirely, in each kingdom, all persons 

burn in the other, but to have incapacitated them, at least lor 

rtain time, from holding any high official position. There 

lid have been less difficulty in drawing up a measure of this 
kind, as, of the six Scotchmen who had been sworn into the 

glish Privy Council soon after the accession of James, all 
had ba a already naturalised by Act of Parliament, 1 

and might fairly have been regarded as 1 KO ptions from the rule 

whi< h w.i . to be proposed 

•on was, however, complicated by a distinction 
drawn by the legal authorities who were consulted 3 by the 

1 sir Jama Klphinstone (afterwards Lord Balmerino), the I>uke of 
Lennox, tin- Earl of Mar, Sir George Hume (afterwards Earl of Dunbar), 
and Lord Kinlos^, were naturalised in the first « i m of the reign. 

2 Opinions of the law officei of the ( rown, Nov. 16, 1604,6' /'. Donh 
x. 75. la this opinion Popham, Fleming, and <'.,kc concum 

3=6 THE POST-NAT/. ch. vui. 

Commissioners. They declared that by the common law of 
England, the Post-nati (as those who were horn in .Scotland 
after the accession of James were technically called) were as 
little to be regarded as aliens as if they had been born in Exeter 
or York. They were born within the King's allegiance, and they 
must be regarded as his subjects as far as his dominions ex- 
tended. The Ante-nati, or those born before the King's acces- 
sion, on the other hand, did not obtain this privilege. The 
Commissioners, therefore, proposed a declaratory Act pro- 
nouncing the Post-nati, in either kingdom, to be possessed of 
all the privileges of natives of the other. They also advised 
that the same rights should be communicated to the Ante-nati 
by statute. The question of the reservation of the high offices 
of state was beset with still greater difficulties. If the Commis- 
sioners had been left to themselves, they would probably have 
recommended that the Ante-nati should be incapacitated from 
holding these dignities, whilst the Post-nati should be entitled 
to accept them. This would, at all events, have thrown back 
the difficulty for at least twenty years. By that time the chief 
reasons for apprehending evil consequences from the measure 
would have ceased to exist. After twenty years of close com- 
mercial intercourse, the two peoples would have become assimi- 
lated to one another ; the generation which had been growing 
up in Scotland since 1603 would be strangers to James, and 
would be still greater strangers to his successor. By that time 
the favourites of the Sovereign would be Englishmen. If it 
would be still possible for the King to swamp the House of 
Lords and the public offices with Scotchmen, who might be 
supposed to feel no especial regard for the English Constitu- 
tion, it would also be possible for him to find Englishmen who 
would be equally ready to support him in his claims. In fact, 
the event proved that the danger which threatened the Consti- 
tution did not arise from the possible extension of the area 
from which officials could be selected, but from the want of 
control which Parliament was able to exercise over the officials 
after their selection by the King. When Charles I. wished to 
find a Strafford or a Laud, it was not necessary for him to go 
in sear h of him beyond the Tweed. 


It is possible that if the Commissioners had followed their 
own judgment they might have seen their recommendations pass 
into law, in spite of the prejudices by which they were certain to 
be assailed in the House of Commons. But, unfortunately, in 
order to carry out this proposal, it was necessary to interfere with 
one of the prerogatives of the Crown ; and when James heard 
that his prerogative was to be touched, he was sure to take alarm, 
and to do battle for a shadow even more strenuously than he was 
ready to contend for the substance. In this case the difficulty 
lay in the acknowledged right of the Crown to issue letters of 
denization to aliens, by which all the rights of naturalisation 
might be conferred, e.v epting that of inheriting landed property 

: '.ngland. Although, however, a denizen might not inherit 
land, he was < apable of holding it by grant or purchase, and of 
transmitting it to his descendants. He was also capable of 
holding all offii es underthe Crown. James protested, no doubt 
with perfect sincerity at the time, that he had no desire ' to confer 
any office of the Crown, anyoffi< e of judi< ature, plai e, voice, or 

■ e in Parliament, of either kingdom, upon the subjects of 
the Other born before the decease of Elizabeth.' ' Under these 

umstanci l,a sensible man would have gladly allowed a ( lause 

tO be inserted, depriving him of the power of granting such offices 

by letters of denization to the Ante nati. Even then he would 

have been able to cm i< h any new Scottish favourites by gifts 

nid to those who were already naturalised he might 

much moie land as he pleased. Unluckily, fame 

led thai he would bi disgraced by iu< h an attack upon 
hi^ pren 1 I ■ pi in whii h he adopted had, at lea t. 

the merit of ingenuity : hi d to the proposal of the Com 

mi refuse to the Knte nati the righl of holding offii 1 

but he also required that the future A< t of naturalisation 
should contain a distim 1 n 1 ognition ol hi 1 righl to 1 lue li tl 

denization, and thus to break through those \< \ 5 restri< tions 
which the Hoi to be asked to impose \ though at the 

same time he gave a promise thai he would make no use oi thi \ 

it of whi< h he was 50 1 ager to obtain the a< knowledgment, 

1 '.J. i. 323. The King to Crnnlinrne, Nov. 24, 1604, S, /'. Doiu, 
x. 40. i. 


It is strange that he did not foresee that the House of Commons 
would regard such a proposal as this with indignation, and 
would look upon it as an attempt to delude them with specious 

James, unfortunately, was incapable of bridling his tongue, 
When he addressed the Houses on the first day of the session, 
The King's ne entered upon a long attack upon the conduct of 
speech. those who had prepared the Petition of Grievances at 

the end of the last session, even though he acknowledged that he 
had found some of the requests made to be worthy of attention 
In treating of the Union he was no less injudicious. On this 
question he was far in advance of the average English opinion. 
He foresaw the benefits which would accrue to both nations 
from a complete amalgamation, and he was not unnaturally 
impatient of the conservative timidity of the Commons, which 
dreaded each step into the unknown. Yet he would have been 
far more likely to secure his immediate object if he had been 
less conspicuously open, and had avoided showing to the 
world his eagerness for a far closer amalgamation than that to 
which the assent of Parliament was now invited. "Therefore, 
now," he said, after recounting the benefits to be expected, 
" let that which hath been sought so much, and so lcng, and 
so often, by blood, and by fire, and by the sword, now it is 
brought and wrought by the hand of God, be embraced and 
received by a hallelujah ; and let it be as Wales was, and as all 
the Heptarchy was, united to England, as the principal J and 
let all at last be compounded and united into one kingdom. 
And since the crown, the sceptre, and justice, and law, and all 
is resident and reposed here, there can be no fear to this nation, 
but that they shall ever continue continual friends ; and shall 
ever ackr owledge one Church and one king, and be joined in 
a perpetual marriage, for the peace and prosperity of both 
nations, and for the honour of their King." 

We can appreciate the prescience of such words now. 
When they were uttered, they must have raised strange ques- 
tionings in the minds of the hearers. What, they may well 
have asked, was this one law and one Church in which they 
were invited to participate ? Were they not asked to abandon 


some of the rights of Englishmen, and, what was quite as much 
to the point, to sacrifice some of the interests of Englishmen ? 

So preoccupied were the Commons with the question of the 

Union, that the King's answer to their grievances was allowed 

Nov. 19. to pass unchallenged. On the 21st the Report 

The an^cr f t j lc Commissioners of the Union was read. At 

to the 

gviesances. once a storm of opposition arose amongst the 
English merchants aganst the proposal to set free the com- 
merce of the two countries. The merchants declared that they 
would certainly be ruined by the competition with which they 

were threatened. Scotchmen would come in and 
commercial out of England ; they would always be in the way 

when they wanted to drive a bargain ; but as soon 
as the time came round when taxes and subsidies were to be 
demanded, they would slip over the border, leaving the burden 
upon the shoulders of their English rivals. There were quite 
enough Englishmen engaged in the trading companies, and it 
was most undesirable that Scotchmen should rob them of their 
livelihood. To these and similar complaints the Scottish mer- 
chants had no difficulty in replying. They received the support 
of Salisbury, who, if he did not regard the Union with any 
great enthusiasm, had, at all events, too much sense to be 
led away by the fallacies by which it was assailed. 1 

The feeling of the merchants found expression in the House 
of Commons. That House agreed, as a matter of course, to 
abolish the hostile laws ; but though they were ready enough 
to protest against the monopoly of the trading companies, they 
looked with prejudiced eyes upon the principle of commercial 
dom when it teemed to nil against themselves. On De- 
ber 17. a cene occurred at a conference with the Lords 

whi< h augured ill for the success of the measure. The 

staid Lord Chancellor scolded the merchants for the pe- 
tition which they had drawn up against the Union. Fuller, 
in his rash, headlong way, said that the Scotch were pedlers 

rather than men hant& For this gpe» h he was taken to task 
by the I.okU, v.ho told the Common, that, if they did not 

1 Objection-* <>( the Merchants of London, with Answers by Sail ibury 

anil the Sottish Merchants, S. /'. Dom. xxiv. 3, 4, 5. 

33o THE POST-NA TI. ch. vin. 

yield with a good grace, the King would take the matter in 
hand, and would carry out the Union by his own authority. 
Under these circumstances the House gave way, so far as to 
accept certain starting-points which might serve for the heads 
of a future Bill, though it refused to give to them its formal ad- 
hesion. 1 Upon this Parliament was adjourned to February 10. 

A few days after the reassembling of the House, Sir Chris- 
topher Pigott, who had been chosen to succeed to the vacancy 
Feb. 13. in the representation of Buckinghamshire caused by 
S hePpiWs tne resignation of Sir Francis Goodwin, poured forth 
speech. a torrent of abuse against the whole Scottish nation. 
He said that they were beggars, rebels, and traitors. There 
had not been a single King of Scotland who had not been 
murdered by his subjects. It was as reasonable to unite Scot- 
land and England as it would be to place a prisoner at the bar 
upon an equal footing with a judge upon the bench. 2 No 
expression of displeasure was heard, and though this silence is 
attributed in the journals to the astonishment of his hearers, 
there can be little doubt that they secretly sympathised with 
the speaker. Their temper cannot have been improved by the 
knowledge that the King nad determined to make use of 44,000/. 
out of the subsidies which they had so recently granted, in 
paying the debts of three of his favourites. The fact that two 
of these, Lord Hay 3 and Lord Haddington, were Scotchmen, 
must have increased the disgust with which the prodigality of 
the King was regarded in the House of Commons. 4 

The next day James heard what had passed. He im- 
mediately sent for Salisbury, and after rating him for not giving 
him earlier information, and for having allowed Pigott to go so 
long unpunished, he summoned the Council, and commanded 

1 Report in C. J. i. 332. Carleton to Chamberlain, Dec. 18, 1606, 
S. P. Dom. xxiv. 23. 

2 C. J. i. 333. lioderie to Puisieux, e ' I9 ' 1607, Ambassades, ii. 


3 He had been created a baron without the right of sitting in Parlia- 
ment, no doubt in ^rder not to prejudice Parliament against the King's 

4 Chamberlain to Carleton, Feb. 6, 1607, ^". P. Dom. xxvi. 45. 


them to take immediate steps for bringing the delinquent to 

The Commons, on hearing what had taken place in the 
Council, determined to deal with the matter themselves. They 
excused themselves for taking no steps at the time on the plea 
that it was not well to answer a fool according to his folly. 
After some debate, they resolved that Pigott, being a member 
of the House, was not liable to be called in question elsewhere. 
They then ordered that he should be expelled the House and 
committed to the Tower. In less than a fortnight, he was re- 
leased upon the plea of ill-health. 

Meanwhile, the House had commenced the discussion of 
the important question of naturalisation. On February 14, the 
Debates on debate was opened by Fuller. He compared Eng- 
land to a rich pasture, which was threatened with an 
Fuller's irruption of a herd ol famished cattle. He proceeded 
speech. to draw a most dcs] >onding picture of the state of the 
country. There was not suflft ienl preferment for the numbers 
Ol 1 i ilars who crowded to the Universities. The 
inhabitants of London were already far too numerous. 
The existing trade did not suffice for the support of the mer- 
chants who attempted to live by it. If this was a true account 
of the evils under which the country was labouring, how could 
1 be found for the impending invasion from the North? 
He then asked, in language which never failed in meeting with 
a response in th 11 ol Commons, whether this docrine ol 

the naturalisation of the n ition ol Scots by the mere 

ol their being born under the dominion ol the King were 

really according to law. Tins theory made matters of the 

■ importance depend nol upon the law, but upon the 

moftl reign. The consequeno i ol ach a doctrine 

Id be fatal. It Philip and Mar) had left a son, thai aon 

would have inherited the dominions ol both his parents, and 

would have naturalised the Spaniards and the Sicilians in 

England, without any r< fi to Parliament. What might 

have happened fifty years before, might alwi pen at any 

moment under similar (in umstani . 

1 C. 7- i- 334- 

333 THE POST-NAT/. CH.vm. 

The debate was resumed on the 17th. Towards the close 
of the sitting, Bacon rose to answer the objections which had 
_ . i been made. He was, perhaps, the only man in 
Bacon England besides the King who was really enthusiastic 

in support of the Union. He had meditated on it 
long and deeply. He had occupied a prominent position in the 
debates upon the subject in 1604. He had written more than 
one paper l in which he laid his views before the King. He 
had taken a leading part as one of the Commissioners by whom 
the scheme which was now before the House had been pro- 
duced. To the part which he then took he always looked back 
with satisfaction. Only once in the Essays which form one of 
his titles to fame, did he recur to events in which he had him- 
self been engaged, and that single reference was to the Com- 
mission of the Union. 2 He would himself, perhaps, have been 
willing to go even further than his fellow-commissioners had 
thought proper to go. Like James, he looked forward hope- 
fully to the day when one Parliament should meet on behalf 
of both countries, and when one law should govern the two 
nations ; and he hoped that that law might be made consonant 
with the truest dictates of justice. He knew, indeed, that there 
was little prospect of such a result in his own day, but he was 
desirous that a beginning at least should be made. 

These views he still held, but he had learnt that they were 
far beyond anything which he could expect to accomplish. He 
contented himself, 3 in reply to Fuller, with advocating the 
measure before the House. He adjured his hearers to raise 
their minds above all private considerations and petty prejudices, 
and to look upon the proposed change with the eyes of statesmen. 
It had been said that England would be inundated with new 
comers, and that there would not be sufficient provision for the 
children of the soil. He answered that no such incursion was 
to be expected. Men were not to be moved as easily as cattle. 
If a stranger brought with him no means of his own, and had 

1 'A Brief Discourse of the happy Union,' &c. ' Certain Articles or 
Considerations touching the Union.' Letters and Life, iii. 90, 218. 

2 Essay on Counsel. 

3 Bacon's speech. Letters and Life, iii. 307. 



no way of supporting himself in the country to which he came, 
he would starve. But even if this were not the case, he denied 
that England was fully peopled. The country could with ease 
support a larger population than it had ever yet known. Fens, 
commons, and wastes were crying out for the hand of the 
cultivator. If they were too little, the sea was open. Commerce 
would give support to thousands. Ireland was waiting for 
colonists to till it, and the solitude of Virginia was crying aloud 
for inhabitants. 1 To the objection that it was unfair to unite 
poor Scotland to rich England, he replied that it was well 
that the difference consisted ' but in the external goods of 
fortune ; for, indeed, it must be confessed that for, the goods of 
the mind and the- body they are' our other 'selves; for, to do 
them but right," it was well known ' that in their capacities and 
understandings they arc a people ingenious ; in labour, in- 
dustrious ; in courage, valiant : in body, hard, active, and 
comely.' The advantages of a union with such a people were 
not to be measured by the amount of money they might have- 
in their pockets. With respect to the legal part of the question, 
he expressed himself satisfied that the Post-nati were already 
naturalised ; but he thought it advisable that this should be 
de< lared by statute. He concluded by pointing out the dangers 
which might ensue- if the present proposals were rejected. 
Quarrels might break out, and estrangement, and even separa- 
tion might follow. If", on the other hand, the House would 
put all prejudices aside, they would make the United Kingdom 
to be thi greatest monan hy whi< h the world had ever seen. 

Admirable as this argument was, and < oik liisivrly as it nul 

all the objections which had been raised by the prejudices of 

the time, il is plain thai there was our part of fuller's 

peech whh h it left wholly unanswered, [f England 

and s< otland -. lied upon to unite bi i ause all 

»ns born after the King's accession were born within tin- 
King's allegiance, why might not Spain and England be called 
upon to unite under similar circum tanc - Bacon and the 

judges might repeat as often as they phased that the naturalisa- 

1 The alhi-ion to Virginia is not in the printed speech, hut is to be 
found in the Journals. 

334 THE POST-NATI. CH. vin. 

tion of the Post-nati was in accordance with the law ; the 
common-sense of the House of Commons told them that it 
ought not to be so. Since the precedents had occurred, upon 
which the judges rested their opinion, circumstances had 
changed. In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries the ties 
of allegiance had been much stronger, and the ties of nationality 
much weaker, than they afterwards became. If, however, the 
Commons had been ready to make their acceptance of the 
Union contingent upon the King's assent to an Act declaring 
that, in all future cases, naturalisation should not follow mere 
allegiance, they would probably have found no difficulty with 
James. But they were alarmed lest the concession of English 
privileges to the Post-nati should be unaccompanied by the 
subjection of the Post-nati to English law. In the conference 
Feb. 25. which ensued, 1 Sir Edwin Sandys argued the question 
wkhthe"* ^ rom tne Commons' point of view. He boldly de- 
Lords, clared that times were changed, and that the pre- 
cedents were of no avail under the altered circumstances, and 
he ended by suggesting that it would be better to give merely 
limited privileges to the Post-nati. 2 The lawyers of the Lower 
House were less successful. Instead of assailing the position in 
the only way in which it was possible to succeed, they attempted 
to support their conclusion upon technical grounds. The 
judges being consulted, gave their opinions, with one exception, 
against the theory of the House of Commons, Coke especially 
bringing his immense stores of learning to bear upon the case. 
For once in his life he and Bacon were agreed. But it 
need hardly be said, that if they came to the same conclusion, 
Opinion of they did not arrive at it by the same road. Bacon, 
favourofthe m his enthusiasm for the cause in which he was 
"ionTf'ihe* en g a g ed > had overlooked the evils which might here- 
Post-natiby a f ter ensuc f rom the admission of those technical 

the common 

law. grounds upon which part of his argument was based, 

1 State Trials, ii. 562 C. J, i. 345. Xote of the speeches of Popham 
and Coke, Feb. 26, S. P. Dom. xxvi. 64 ; calendared as Coke's speech 
alone, and dated Feb. 25. 

2 This appears more clearly from the report in the Journals than from 
that in the State Trials. 

1607 COKE'S OPINION 335 

but which can hardly be supposed to have had any part in in- 
fluencing his judgment. To Coke those technical grounds 
were everything. For the broader aspects of the case he cared 
nothing ; but his reverence for the English common law 
amounted to a passion. He considered the system of which 
he was the acknowledged master to be the purest emanation 
of perfect wisdom. Whatever opposed the common law was 
treated by him with contemptuous arrogance. For the sake of 
the common law he had bullied Jesuits in his youth ; for the 
sake of the same common law he was in his old age to stand 
forward to oppose his Sovereign. On this occasion there could 
be no doubt which side of the question would receive his 
support. English law had grown up under two distinct in- 
fluences. The influence of the judges had drawn it in one 
direction, the influence of Parliament had drawn it in another. 
The natural tendency of the judges was to put forward on ever)' 
occasion the authority of the Sovereign ; the natural tendency 
of Parliament was to give expression to the rights of the nation. 
It happened that Parliament had never had o< casion to legislate 

directly upon the subject, and Coke had no difficulty in quoting 
precedent after precedent to show that the decisions of the 
COUrtS were all in favour of his doctrine of naturalisation by 
allegiance. The appeal of Sandys to a rea onable construction 

of the law in conscque i< c of the altered condition <>i the 
tltry, he treated with cod contempt He was there to 

are wli.u tl ininun law declared, and ol any ollici 

ll he knew tlOthi 

The Comm tod firm : they knew that whatever might 

be the value- <■: I imenl . they were in the right in 

placing the important question befon them on a 

wider basis than thai <>t tin- technical law. Whilst 

they doubted v,i,.ii coi thej were informi <l 

that the Lords had consented to hear any practical tion 

which the (din n might agree U> make. 1 

1 A papei in the .v. /'. Dom. xxvi, • ■ , Scotchmen created 

Peen in England, is endorsed by Salisbury, "AH other laws make them 
aliens, precedents contrary, ceason, nature." On tin, point the Louis ma t 

have been with the Commons almost to a man. 

336 THE POST-NATI. CH. vni. 

Accordingly, on March 14, the Commons made a proposal 

of their own. 1 They were ready to do away with the distinction 

March 14. between the Ante-nati and the Post-nati, and were 

At the willing to naturalise by statute all the King's Scottish 

Lords' re- . . ° 

quest, they subjects. 1 hey would thus get rid of the difficulty 
Sueon attending the exercise of the prerogative. A clause 
the subject. was tQ ^ e introduced, declaring those who held pro- 
perty in England to be subject to all the burdens connected 
with it ; and it was to be added that natives of Scotland were 
to be excluded from a very considerable number of official 
positions. The proposed measure would have met all the diffi- 
culties of the case. The disqualifying portions of the Act would 
certainly be repealed as soon as the natives of England and 
Scotland began to feel that they were in reality members of a 
common country. 

The Government desired time to consider this proposition, 
especially as there was reason to believe that the Commons 
thought of supporting it by passing a vote in direct condem- 
nation of the opinion of the Judges that the Post-nati were 
already naturalised. The King's ministers accordingly took 
the somewhat extraordinary step of advising the Speaker to 
exaggerate a slight indisposition, in order that the Commons 
might be unable, in his absence, to proceed to any business 
of importance. 2 Soon afterwards the dispute entered on a new 
stage. The Commons made the sweeping proposal that the 
Union should be made still more complete by bring- 
ing about an identity of the laws of the two nations, in 
order that Scotchmen who were to be admitted to honours and 
property in England might be subject to the law which was cur- 
rent in England. Bacon opposed this plan, on the ground that, 
excellent as it was, it would lead to intolerable delay. 3 

May 70. 

The King's At last it was known that the King would himself 

address the two Houses. The speech which he 

delivered on this occasion 4 was decidedly superior to any that 

1 Coll. MSS. Tit. F. iv. fol. 55. The debate in committee of March 6 
on which the proposal was founded, is reported in S. P. Dom. xxvi. 72. 

2 Salisbury to Lake, March 18, S. P. Dom. xxvi. 90. 

* Letters and Life, iii. 335. * C. J. 357. 


had yet fallen from his lips. For once he had a cause to plead 
which was not his own, and in pleading the cause of his 
country, and in striving to promote the future welfare of both 
nations, he allowed but few traces to be seen of that petulance 
by which his speeches were usually disfigured. He told the 
Houses plainly, that he looked forward to a perfect union 
between the countries ; but he told them no less plainly, that 
he was aware that such a union would be a question of time. 
For the present, all that he asked was the passing of the 
measure now before them. Though he trusted that they 
would not object to a complete naturalisation of the Post-nati, 
he would be ready to consent to any reasonable limitations 
•1 his right of appointment to offices under the Crown. 
I • tone of this speech, so much kindlier and more earnest 
than had been expected, produced a favourable impression on 
the House of Commons, and it was thought by some that if 
the question had been put to the vote immediately, the King 
would have obtained the greater part of his demands. 1 The 
speech was, however, followed by an adjournment for nearly 
three weeks, and when the House met again after Easter the 
impression had worn off. There was much discussion upon 
the course to be pursued, and it was only after the King had 
rated them for their delay that the House determined to con- 
fine its attention to the points upon whirl) there was little 

different e, and to n 11 rve the questions of commerce 

■ I u future ' onsideration. A Bill 

irdincly drawn up for tin' abolition of iho ■ 

criminal*, laws in whi< h Scotland w.i rded as a hostile 

' ountry, on the 1 ondition thai statutes of a similar des< ription 

repealed in the next Parliament whi< h met in Si 
land. It was a! decided to introduce into this Bill clau 

the manner in which Englishmen wereto be brou 
to trial for offeni committed in Scotland. During the I 
four years much had been dom fot the pacificat 
I lers. The tran portation to Ireland of many ot the wi 
offenders had been attended with satisfactory results, and 

1 Boderic to Puisieux. April —- 1607, Ambassades. ii. 168. 
vo:>. 1. z 

3J3 THE POST-NATI. , ch. viil 

harmony which now for the first time existed between the 
officers on the two sides of the frontier, had brought some 
kind of peace and order into that wild district. Still, the old 
mosstrooping spirit was not to be changed in a day. The 
Commissioners had therefore proposed that persons charged 
with criminal offences of a certain specified character should 
be handed over for trial to the authorities of the kingdom in 
which the offences had been committed. In this proposal, 
which had been acted upon since the accession of James, they 
were supported by the Commissioners for the Borders, who, as 
well as the gentry ' of the northern shires, were unwilling to 
see any change introduced which would lessen the chances of 
bringing to conviction the Scottish plunderers who still infested 
their lands. They thought that if the. thief were to be sent back 
to be tried in his own country, it would be impossible to 
procure a conviction, as no hostile witness would dare to 
present himself among the neighbours of the accused person. 

The House of Commons looked at the question from a 
different point of view. The Northern gentry had been eager 
to support a system which made conviction easy, but they had 
forgotten to inquire how it would work in the case of an 
innocent man. Under it, an Englishman charged with a crime 
which he had not committed, might be sent into Scotland for 
trial. When he was once amongst his accusers, 
Prisoners to he could hardly hope to escape the gallows. The 
iheir'ot.? House of Commons preferred the safety of the 
country. innocent to the certainty of condemning the guilty. 2 
In the spirit which was afterwards to pervade the criminal 
jurisprudence of the country, they decided that the accused 
' >uld be tried on his own side of the Borders. Nor was 
the House content even with this safeguard against an unjust 
verdict. By an iniquitous custom which had become the 
tradition of the law of England, no counsel was allowed to 

' C. J. i. 377- 

- Yet, in 1610, they changed their minds, and repealed this clause. 
The Repealing Act (7 & 8 Jac. T. cap. 1), however, was only to be in 
force till the next Parliament, when it expired, the Parliament of 1614 
being dissolved before there had been time to consider the subject. 

1607 BORDER TRIALS. 339 

speak en behalf of a prisoner accused of felony, nor was an 
oath administered to the witnesses who were called to speak 
on his behalf. This custom was the relic of a system which 
had long passed away. As long as the jury were sworn 
witnesses, they only called in additional witnesses for the 
purpose of obtaining further information. The prisoner did 
not call any witnesses at all. In due course of time, the sworn 
witnesses became judges of the fact, and the witnesses for the 
prosecution were regarded as accusers, in some measure filling 
the places of the old sworn witnesses. While, therefore, an 
oath was tendered to them, persons who might appear to give 
their testimony on behalf of the prisoner, were looked upon as 
irregularly present, and were left unsworn. The consequence 
was, that an excuse was given to an unfair jury to neglect 
evidence tendered in support of the prisoner, because it had 
not been < onfirmed by an oath. 

A, usual, the lawyers had invented reasons for approving 
of a custom which had grown up unperceived amongst them. 
When Sandys proposed that the prisoners in Border trials 
should be allowed the assistance of counsel, and added that he 
should be glad to see the same course adopted overall England, 
Hobart immediately rose and declared that he regarded this as 
an attempt to shake the corner-stone of the law, and advised 
that such suggestions should be reserved for the tune when 
they might be deliberating on a general revision of the laws of 
th'- two countries. 1 In a similar spirit, arguments were brought 

against the proposal to allow the witnes 1 - oi the prisoner to be 
sworn. 2 In spite of all opposition, the proposed clause was 
carried. Another clause was also carried, which ordered that 
juries should be chosen fromahighei cla 9 ol men than thai 
from which they were selected in tin- resl ol the country, and 
power was given them to reje< ' u< h witnesses as they mi lit 
suppose to be in< lined, from affe< tion or mali» •-, to falsify their 

lence. Nothing, however, was done to give the prisoner 
the benefit of counsel 3 

1 Notes 1 fpro ceding , May 29, S. /' ■' > .,;, xxvii. 30. 

2 Collection of arguments in the House <>( Commons, June 5> >Si P. 
Dom. xxvii. 44. 3 4 Jac. I. cap. 1. 

z 2 

340 THE POST-NATI. cil. vin. 

If these long debates had led but to a slight result, they 

at least served to commend Bacon to the King. At last, after 

years of weary waiting, his feet were fairly placed on 

BaLon 6 tne ladder of promotion. On June 25, before the 

Solicitor- close of the session, he became Solicitor-General, 

1 ■ ciieral. 

Doderidge having been induced to accept the post 
of King's Serjeant, according to the arrangement proposed by 
Ellesmere in the preceding summer. By his marked ability in 
the conduct of an unpopular cause, in which his whole sympa- 
thies were engaged, Bacon had done more than enough to 
entitle him to the honour which he now achieved. 

Busy as the session had been, the Commons had not been 

so preoccupied with the debates on the Union as to be unable 

to pay attention to the complaints of the English merchants 

trading in Spain. Ever since the treaty had been signed, in 1604, 

the relations between Spain and England had been 


Relations subjected to a strain, arising from the ill-feeling 
Kngilnd and which was the legacy of the long war— a feeling which 
Spain - the Government strove in vain to allay, by repeated 

attempts to draw the bonds of amity closer than the character 
of the two nations would warrant. 

In the spring of 1605 the question of the neutrality of the 
English ports reached a crisis. The Spanish admiral, Don Louis 
Conflict Fajardo, had received orders to transport 12,000 

"," , men from Spain into the Netherlands. If, as was not 

Spanish and ' ' 

P tchships improbable, he was unable to land them in Flanders, 

1:1 Paver * ' . 

harbour. he was to set them on shore in England, where it 
was supposed that they would obtain protection till means 
< ould be obtained to send them across the Straits in small boats 
which might slip over from time to time. The execution of 
this commission was entrusted by the admiral to Pedro de 
Cubia, who seized upon a number of foreign vessels which 
happened to be lying at Lisbon, and converted them into trans- 
ports for his soldiers. One of these was an English vessel, and 
another was the property of a Scotchman. 

On May 14 the fleet left Lisbon. By the time that it had 
arrived at the entrance of the Channel, the Dutch Admiral 
Haultain had taken up a position off Dover, with the intention 


of barring the passage of the Straits. The Spaniards neglected 
even to take the ordinary precaution of keeping together. On 
June 2, two of their ships found themselves in the presence of 
the enemy. The crews, after firing a few shots, ran them both 
on shore. A few of those who were on board escaped by 
swimming. The remainder, according to the custom which 
prevailed in those horrible wars, were massacred to a man. 

The next day the eight remaining vessels came up. The 
leading ship, on board which was the Spanish admiral, was the 
English merchantman which had been seized at Lisbon. The 
English crew were still on board, and their knowledge of the 
coast stood the admiral in good stead. They kept the vessel 
close to the shore, and were able to slip into Dover harbour 
without suffering much damage. Of the others, one was cut 
off by the enemy. As on the preceding day, the Dutch took 
few prisoners, and threw the greater part of the officers and 
men into the sea. Two more vessels shared the same fate. 
They attempted to run on shore, but were boarded before the 
crews could escape. The remaining four made their way into 
the harbour. The Dut< h, in the ardour of the combat, forgot 
that their enemies were now under the protection of the English 
flag. Tins was too mu< h lor the commander of the Castle, who 

; for two days been a spectator of the butcher) which had 
: 1 ommitted under his eyes. I Le gave orders to fire upon the 

who drew off with the loss oi about .1 hundred men. 

This affair gave rise to a long serii > ol negotiations. The 
inish ambassador, thinking that Janus would be suffi< iently 
1 .u the proi eedings of tin- I >ut< h fleet to 
;^' h grant him anything which he might choose to ask, 
demanded that the remainder oi the troops should 
d to l landi 1 - undi r the prote< tion ol the I 
fleet. This was at once refused, but James allowed himself to 
be prevailed upon to request the Stat< 1 to give permission to 
the Spaniards to pa - ov< r. When he heard that this d< mand 
had been rejected, 1 How them to ri at 1 »■ 

so long as they were maintained at the 1 xpense of the 1 
Spam. 'I lii> offer ,-i< 1 epted, and they remained in England 
for some month-. I heir numbers were much thinned b) the 


destitution which was caused by the neglect of their own Govern- 
ment. At lai;t, in December, the handful that remained took 
advantage of one of the long winter nights, when the blockading 
fleet had been driven from the coast by a storm, and made 
their way over to Dunkirk and Gravelines. 1 

In Spain itself, the English merchants who had begun, even 
before the conclusion of the treaty, to visit the country, were 

but ill satisfied with the treatment they received. 
Englishmen The officers of the Inquisition declared loudly that 
bythe' 6 ' their authority was not derived from the King of 
?° Spain! " Spain, and that, therefore, they were not bound by 

the treaty which he had made. 2 On the arrival of 

the Earl of Nottingham, who was sent over on a special mission 

to swear to the peace on behalf of the King of England, the 

, Spanish Government at first declined to include in 

Ratification the instrument of ratification the additional articles 

by which English Protestants were freed from perse- 
cution. Nottingham refused to give way, and the whole treaty 
was solemnly ratified. 3 But it was not long before Sir Charles 
Cornwallis, who remained in Spain as the ordinary ambassador, 
had to complain that these articles were not carried into execu- 
tion. As soon as an English ship arrived in port, it was boarded 
by the officials of the Inquisition, who put questions to the 
sailors about their religion, and searched the vessel for heretical 
books. If any of the crew went on shore, they were liable to 
ill-treatment if they refused to kiss the relics which were offered 
to them as a test of their religion. It was not till nearly four 
months after the ratifications had been exchanged that an order 
was obtained from the King, putting a stop to these practices. 4 
The growing estrangement between the two countries 
must have made the Spanish Government still more eager 
to convert the peace with England into a close alliance. In 

1 Mcteren, compared with the papers in Winwood, and in the Holland 
series in the .V. P. 

2 Chamberlain to Winwood, Dec. l8, 1604, Winw. ii. 41. Letters 
received from Spain by Wilson, Dec. 14 and 17, 1604, S. P. Spain. 

1 Two letters of Cornwallis to Cranborne, May 31, 1605, .9. P. Spain. 
* Memorial presented by Cornwallis, Sept. 14, 1605, S. P. Spain. 


July 1605, hints were thrown out to Cornwallis at Madrid, 
similar to those which had been thrown out by the 

Proposition r • 

for a Spanish ambassadors in England, that the King of 

between Spain would gladly see his eldest daughter married 
Henry and to Prince Henry. Spain would surrender to the young 
couple its claims to a large portion of the Netherlands. 
If the proposed marriage were not agreeable, a large sum of 
money, as well as the possession of some fortified towns in the 
Low Countries, would be guaranteed to James if he could per- 
suade the Dutch to give up their independence upon certain con- 
ditions which were afterwards to be agreed upon. Salisbury, who 
probably thought that these overtures might be made the basis 
of negotiations which might give peace to the Netherlands, and 
who was compelled by the receipt of his pension to keep up 
at least the appearance of a good understanding with the Court 
of Spain ted Cornwallis to ask that some definite proposal 

should be submitted to him. 1 The suggestion that James should 
mediate was repented. After some delay the English Council 
directed Cornwallis to inform the Spaniards that James was un- 
willing to propose to the States to accept his mediation, as it was 
certain that they would refuse to submit to their old masters upon 
any terms. If, however, the Spaniards still desired it, he would 
1 1 Winwood to sound the minds of the Dutch upon thesub- 
Ii. on the other hand, the alternative of the marriage w< n 
preferred by Spain, he would ask the States whether they would 
be willing to receive his son as their sovereign. The 

Spaniard,, however, who had perhaps never intended 


Spain and to do more than to lure Jam* 5 av,.iy from hlS alliam e 

with the Dutch, upon further consideration raised 
objections to the marriage ol the Infanta with a Protestant, and 
the negotiation fell to the ground 

After the discovery of the Gunpowder Plot, all chance of a 
close alliance bel ■•■■ 1 a the two ( rov< rnments was for the present 
at an end. The knowledge thai the English troops in the service 

of the An hdnke had been intended by the conspirators tO CO 
operate with them by invading England, indu< < <\ Jami 9 to refuse 
' Salisbury to Cornwallis, Oct. 24, 1605, li'imv. ii. 147 ; and a scries 
of documents commencing at p. 160. 

344 THE POST-NATI. CH. vm. 

to allow any further levies to be made. 1 A few weeks later, a 
clause in the new Recusancy Act prescribed that no person 
should be allowed to leave the realm without taking the oath 
of allegiance, which must have effectually prevented many from 
passing over to Flanders. Nor was the news of the severity 
with which the Catholics were treated in England likely to 
make James popular in Spain. James, on his part, was no less 
irritated at the refusal of the Archduke to give up Owen and 
Baldwin, who were believed to have been implicated in the con- 
spiracy, and he knew that in the course which had been taken, 
the Court of Brussels had the full support of that of Spain. 

Nor was James unwarranted in supposing that the feeling 
of horror with which he was regarded in Spain might lead to 
Plots formed tne formation of fresh conspiracies against his person, 
in Spain. At no time were the despatches of the ambassadors 
at Madrid and Brussels fuller of reports of plots and conspiracies 
than in the summer of 1606. Of these plots, however, one only 
came to a head. 

On July 6, a certain Captain Newce 2 was brought before 
the Privy Council. His account of himself was, that he had 
Newce's served in Ireland during the war, but had been dis- 
examination. m j sse rj f rom his p 0S t when the army was reduced. 
In May 1605, he had come to London, and, at Salisbury's 
recommendation, the Dutch ambassador had promised him a 
captain's command if he could succeed in levying a company 
for the States. With this object in view he returned to Ireland, 
provided with recommendatory letters to the Deputy. Ireland 
was at this time full of discharged soldiers, whose services were 
no longer required. When he arrived there, he found that he 
was too late, as all the Englishmen who were willing to serve 
the States had already given in their names to another officer 
who was employed on a similar errand. He then tried to pre- 
vail upon Irishmen to serve under him. They told him that 
they had no objection to enlisting again, but that, if they were 
to fight at all, they preferred fighting on the side of Spain. 
Newce, who, like many others in the days before the army had 

1 Salisbury to Wimvood, March 15, 1606, S. P. Holland. 

2 Declaration of Captain Newce, July 6, 1606, 3". P. Dom. xxii. 34. 


become a profession for life, had no scruples in joining any side 
which would pay him, readily assented, and sailed for Spain 
with two hundred men. Upon his arrival, the authorities, who 
knew that he had formerly served under the English Govern- 
ment, put him in prison as a spy, and dispersed his men 
amongst different regiments. Shortly after this he fell in with 
a Colonel Franceschi, who incited him to take vengeance upon 
the English Government, by which he had been deprived of his 
command in Ireland. He obtained from him several particulars 
of the state of the Irish fortifications, and told him that, if war 
should break out, he should be provided with 10,000/. and a 
force with which he might invade that country. Franceschi, 
who had probably received some vague intelligence of the ex- 
istence of the Gunpowder Plot, added that peace could not 
long endure. Ere long, he said, he would hear strange news 
from England, where, if he had not been deceived, there would 
.reat changes before Christmas. Meanwhile, it was suggested 
to him that he would do good service if he would go into the 
Low Countries and enter into a correspondence with some 
of his old comrades who were in the service of the States, as 
he might he able to induce them to betray some of the towns 

whi< h were intrusted to their keeping. 

Newce accordingly left Spain, as if for the purpose <>i 
travelling Into Flanders; but instead of going directly to his 

•iii.ition, he slipped over to England, and told the whole 
story to Salisbury, who din < ted him to continue Oil good terms 
with Franceschi, and to lei him know when any plot which 
might he in hand was ripe for execution. Going over to the 
Low Count tin nut Franceschi, and was told by him 

of a ice which would bring him greal rewards. He 

could not obtain any information ol the nature of this lervice, 
hut In- v, a . mi- a im d that it he would l'" mto England, a brol 
of Franceschi's hould join him there, and acquaint him with 
all that was m for him to know. II.- accordingl) re 

turned to England in the beginning ol Man h. It was not till 

June 29 that Toma o I - in< 1 1 in, who had been -'in over by 
his brother, joined him at Dover. He had cro ed in '"in 
panidnship with an Irishman, named Ball, who acted as secre- 

346 THE POST-NATI. CH. vnl. 

tary to the Spanish ambassador in London. Upon their arrival 
in London, if Newce is to be believed, Franceschi offered him 
„ . , , 40,000/. as a reward for the service which he was to 

He is asked . 

to betray perform, but refused to tell him what it was, unless 
fortified he would first take an oath of secrecy. He was also 

to find an associate, and to send his own wife and 
child, as well as the wife, son, or brother of his associate, to 
Antwerp, to be kept as hostages for his fidelity. After making 
some difficulties, he was at last induced to take the oath of 
secrecy, and was told that he was required to assist in betraying 
Bergen-op-Zoom, Flashing, or Rammekens. On the following 
day he met Franceschi upon Tower Hill. He had taken the 
precaution of requesting a friend named Leddington to follow 
them, and to do his best to overhear their conversation. Fran- 
ceschi repeated the proposal of betraying Flushing, and they 
went down the river together to look for a vessel to take Newce 
over to Holland. Leddington l asserted that, as they were 
returning from a fruitless search for such a vessel, he overheard 

Franceschi say, " A brave-spirited fellow, with a good 
to murder horse and a pistol, might do it and go a great way 

after in a day and night ; " to which Newce answered, 
" The best time for it would be when he did hunt at Royston." 
These words were declared by Newce to have been part of a 
conversation in which Franceschi proposed to him to murder 
the King ; and it must be confessed that, if they were really 
spoken, they could bear no other interpretation. 

On the following morning, Newce met Franceschi at the 
Spanish ambassador's. He told him that there were difficulties 
Bail's at- m the way of betraying the towns in the Netherlands. 
po?soV° Soon after these words had passed between them, 
Newce. j> a i| offered Newce some sweetmeats, some of which 
he ate at the time, and the remainder he took home, where he 
and his wife, and some other women, partook of them. Soon 
afterwards, all who had tasted them were seized with sickness. 
A physician who was sent for declared that they had been 
poisoned. Newce immediately sent to inform Salisbury of 

1 Deposition of Leddington, July 6, 1606, S. P. Dom, xxii. 33. 


what had happened. Franceschi was at once arrested. The 
Franceschi Spanish ambassador refused to surrender Ball, upon 
and Bali which Salisbury sent to seize him, even in the ambas- 


sador's house. Franceschi admitted that there had 
been a plot for the betrayal of one of the towns, but denied that 
he had ever said a word about murdering the King. 1 Newce, 
however, when confronted with him, persisted in the truth of 
his story. Ball, after some prevarication, admitted that he had 
given the sweetmeats to Newce. 

If Franceschi had been an Englishman, and if Ball had not 
been under the ambassador's protection, further inquiries would 
but arc sub- undoubtedly have been made. As the matter stood, 
the Government thought it prudent to let the investi- 
gation drop. Newce's character was not sufficiently 
good to enable Salisbury to rely upon his evidence, and he was 
unwilling to give further provocation to the ambassador, whose 
privileges he had recently set at nought, by ordering an arrest 
CO be made in his house. It was not long before Ball was set 
at liberty ; FraiN ichi was kept in the Tower for more than a 
year, at the expiration of which time, he, too, was allowed to 
leave the country.' 

Whilst the Spaniards were becoming more and more hostile 

to England, there was little hope that English traders who tell 

1 their power would receive even simple justice at their 
ds. These traders were now very numerous. In 1604 tin 
imons had declared strongly in favour of throwing open 
the commerce with Spain to all Englishmen who 

3hs££i. WCTU willin 8 '" ' ' he proposal had b< 

by the < rovernmt til on the ground that the 
burden of protecting the trade ought to fall in the first place 
"" the nr n hanl 1 thi m •• Ive 1, and thai some organization was 
necessary in order to provide paymenl for the 1 onsulswho were 

1 Examinations of France chi, July 6 an-l \z, 1606, S. /'. />o»i. xxii. 
39. 5'- 

-' Boderie to Puisieux, >•■ 1607, Ambassades de M. dc la Boderit, 

I. 203. This account agrees with that given in the papers in the .S". P., 
excepting in some of the dates. 

34S THE POST-NATI. ch. vn,. 

to act on behalf of English mariners and traders in the Spanish 
ports. After the end of the first session of Parliament Chief 
Justice Popham proposed, as a compromise, that a company 
should be formed, but that it should be open to all 
The Spanish who were willing to contribute a fixed sum. Salisbury 
eagerly adopted the plan, and in 1605 a Spanish 
company was established on this footing. 1 

In the session of 1605-6, however, it appeared that the 
House of Commons was dissatisfied with this arrangement. 
1606. There were many owners of small craft in the Channel 
of P th°e' tIon P or,:s ) who had hoped to be able to make a livelihood 
Commons. D y running their vessels to Lisbon or Corunna, though 
it was out of their power to pay the subscription required by 
the new company. Their cause was taken up in the Commons, 
and a Bill was brought in declaring that all subjects of his 
Majesty should have full liberty of trade with France, Spain, 
and Portugal, in spite of any charters which had been or might 
at any future time be granted. 2 Salisbury saw that the feeling 
of the Commons was too strong to be resisted, and the Bill 
passed through both Houses without opposition. 

The petty traders thus admitted to commercial intercourse 
with Spain did not always receive advantage from the privilege 
which they had craved. Their treatment by the Spanish 
authorities was often exceedingly harsh. The slightest suspicion 
of the presence of Dutch goods in an English vessel was enough 
to give rise to the seizure of the whole cargo. The merchants 
complained, with reason, of the wearisome delays of the Spanish 
courts. Whatever had once been confiscated on any pretext, 
was seldom, if ever, restored. Even if the owner was sufficiently 
fortunate to obtain a decision in his favour, the value of the 
property was almost invariably swallowed up in the expenses 
of the suit, swollen, as they were, by the bribes which it was 
necessary to present to the judges. It was suspected that the 
Government was as often prevented from doing justice by its 
inability to furnish the compensation demanded, as from any 

1 Charter of the Spanish Company, May 31, 1605 ; Salisbury to Pop 
ham, Sept 8, 1605, S. P. Dom. xiv. 21, xv. 54. 

- Memoranda, April II, 1606, S. P. Dom. xx. 25. 


intention to defraud. But whatever its motives may have been, 
the consequences were extremely annoying. That English 
ships trading with America should have been seized, can hardly 
be considered matter for surprise. But English patience was 
rapidly becoming exhausted, when it was known in London 
that ship after ship had been pillaged, upon one pretence or 
another, even in Spanish waters. Comwallis represented to the 

nish Government the hardships under which his countrymen 
were suffering. He was met with smooth words, and promises 
were given that justice should be done ; but for a long time 
these promises were followed by no practical result whatever. 

Such were the grievances which, in 1607, the merchants laid 

before the Commons. They selected the case of the 'Trial,' 

1607. as one which was likely to move the feelings of the 

House. On February 26, Sir Thomas Lowe, one of 

" ','"' the members for the City of London, brought their 


Commons, case forward. The ' Trial on her return from Alexan- 
dria, in the autumn of 1604, had fallen in with a Spanish fleet 
The Mediterranean was at that time infested by swarms of 
pirates, in whose enterprises Englishmen had taken their share. 
The Spaniards, on their part, were not content with attempting 
to repress piracy. Orders had been given to their officers to 
prevent all traffic with Jews and Mahometans, on the ground 
unlawful to trade with the enemies of the Christian 
religion. < tin tin- 1 in, the purser ol tin- ' Trial ' was sum- 

moned on board the admiral's Ship, and was told by that 

on,, the narrative whi< h was n ad in the I [ouse ol 

Commoi '111.11 Ik- ws i ommanded to make sear< h fi n 
|, v. 1 1 goods, 1 of which, if our ship had none aboard, 
he th( M h id nothing to say to them, for thai now a happy pea< e 
was concluded between the K nj as they would but only 

make search, and, not finding any, would dismiss them. But, 

notwith I inding their promises, albeit they found no Turks' nor 
lews' goods, they then alleged against them that then ship 
was a ship of war, 2 and that they had taken from a Fren< hman 
a piece of ordnance, a sail, and a hawser.' The Englishmen 

1 C. J. i. 340. 7 i.e. a pirate. 


endeavoured to prove that the ship was a peaceable merchant- 
man ; but in spite of all that they could say, the Spaniard 
' commanded the purser to be put to the torture, and hanged 
him up by the arms upon the ship's deck, and, the more to in- 
crease his torture,' they hung heavy weights to his heels ; 
1 nevertheless he endured the torture the full time, and confessed 
no otherwise than truth. So then they put him the second 
time to torture again, and hanged him up as aforesaid ; and, 
to add more torment, they tied a live goat to the rope, which, 
with her struggling did, in most grievous manner, increase his 
torment, all which the full time he endured. The third time, 
with greater fury, they brought him to the same torment 
again, at which time, by violence, they brake his arms, so as 
they could torment him no longer ; nevertheless he con- 
fessed no otherwise but the truth of their merchants' voyage. 
All which, with many other cruelties, being by our mariners at 
sea endured for the space of two months, all which time they 
enforced ship and men to serve them to take Turks, as they 
pretended.' The poor men were at last sent to Messina, 
where the officers were put in prison, and the crew sent to the 
galleys, ' where they endured more miseries than before., inso- 
much as few or none of them but had the hair of their heads 
and faces fallen away ; and in this misery either by torment, 
straitness of prison, or other cruel usage, in a short time the 
master, merchant, and purser died, and to their deaths never 
conlessed other but the truth ; and, being dead, they would 
afford them none other burial but in the fields and sea-sands. 
All of our men being wasted, saving four, 1 they were only left 
there in prison and galleys, and these, through their miseries, 
very weak and sick. One of them, called Ralph Boord, was 
twice tormented, and had given him a hundred bastinadoes to 
enforce him to confess, and for not saying as they would have 
him, was committed to a wet vault, where he saw no light, and 
lay upon the moist earth, feasted with bread and water, for 
eight days, and being then demanded if he would not confess 
otherwise than before, he replied he had already told them the 

1 There were eighteen originally. 


truth, and would not say otherwise ; whereupon they took from 
him his allowance of bread, and for seven days gave him no 
sustenance at all, so that he was constrained to eat orange-peels 
which other prisoners had left there, which stunk, and were 
like dirt, and at seven days' end could have eaten his own 
flesh ; and the fifteenth day the gaoler came unto him and not 
finding him dead, said he would fetch him wine and bread to 
comfort him, and so gave him some wine and two loaves of 
bread, which he did eat, and within a little while after, all his 
hair fell off his head ; and, the day after, a malefactor for clip- 
ping of money was put into the same vault, who, seeing what 
his fellow-prisoner was in, gave him some of his oil he 
had for his candle to drink, by which means . . . his life was 

At last the four who were left alive acknowledged that they 
had robbed the French ship of the piece of ordnance and the 
other articles, whi< h had in reality belonged to the ship when 
she sailed from Kn^land. 

The indignation felt by the House of Commons at such a 
tale a.s this may easily be conceived. They took the matter up 
warmly. This case of the ' Trial ' was only one out of 
many others. The ' Vineyard ' had been seized under 
pretence that she was carrying ammunition to the 
Turks. It was said that, besides the hardships in- 
flicted upon the crews, English merchants had been unfairly 
deprived of no less a sum than 200,000/.' But it was more 
to feel irritation at su< h proceedings than to devise a 
remedy. Even the merchants themselves did not dare to 
advise an immediate declaration of war. Merchant vei 

went far more at their own risk in those days than they do now. 
1 • ' hould • m war for the sake of a I 

traders was not to !"■ thought of. The Government did its 
part if it remonstrated by means of its amba - .and used 
all its influent e to obtain justii e. 

Still the mer< hanl 1 •■■ r< nol 1 ontent that the matter should 

here. They had discovered an old statute authorising the 

1 C. J. i. 373- 

352 THE POST-NATI. ch. viii. 

issue of letters of marque, upon the receipt of which the aggrieved 
persons might make reprisals upon the goods of the nation which 
had inflicted the wrong. They requested that such letters might 
now be issued, and their request was forwarded by the Com- 
mons to the Lords. 

On June 15 1 a conference was held between the two 

Houses. Salisbury told the Commons that peace and war 

must be determined by the general necessities of the 

Salisbury . , . . 

advises kingdom. He reminded them that it was at their 

request that the late Spanish Company had been 
abolished, and that the merchants were now suffering from the 
loss of the protection which they had derived from it. It was 
notorious that it was difficult to obtain justice in Spain, and 
those who traded there must not expect to fare better than the 
inhabitants of the country. In reviewing the particulars of 
their petition, he told them that each merchant must carry on 
trade with the Indies at his own risk. With respect to the 
other complaints, the Spanish Government had given assurance 
that justice should be done ; he therefore thought it better to 
wait a little longer before taking any decided step. He was 
able, without difficulty, to point out the extreme inconveniences 
of the issue of letters of marque. It would be immediately 
followed by a confiscation of all English property in Spain, 
the value of which would far exceed that of the few Spanish 
prizes which the merchants could hope to seize. 

He then turned to argue another question with the Com- 
mons. He maintained that the determination of war and 
and argues peace was a prerogative of the Crown, with which 
tllfnVofwaj the Lower House was not entitled to meddle. This 
arfuTbT assertion he supported by a long series of precedents 2 
determined f rom the times of the Plantagenets. It had often 
Crown. happened that the Commons, from anxiety to escape 

a demand for subsidies, had excused themselves from giving 
an opinion on the advisability of beginning or continuing a war. 
He argued that when the opinion of Parliament had really 

1 The speeches of Salisbury and Northampton are reported in Bacon's 
Letters and Lijc, iii. 347. 

2 Hallam, Middle Ages (1853), iii. 52. 


been given, it was 'when the King and Council conceived that 
either it was material. to have some declaration of the zeal and 
affection of the people, or else when the King needed to demand 
moneys and aids for the charge of the wars.' His strongest argu- 
ment was derived from the difficulty which the House must feel 
in doing justice upon such matters. After all they could only 
hear one side of the question. The Commons had themselves 
felt the difficulty. ' For their part,' they had said a few days 
before, 1 ' they can make no perfect judgment of the matter 
because they have no power to call the other party, and that 
therefore they think it more proper for their Lordships, and do 
refer it to them.' In fart, negotiations with foreign powers 
must always he left in the hands of the Government, or of some 
other select body of men. The remedy for the evil, which 
was plainly felt, lay rather in the general control of Parliament 
over the Government than in any direct interference with it in 
the exe< Ution of its proper functions. Salisbury concluded by 
assuring the Commons that no stone should be left unturned 
to obtain redress, and by a declaration that if, contrary to 
his expectation, that redress were still refused, the King would 
be ready ' upon just provocation to enter into an honourable 

Salisbury was followed by Northampton, in a speech which 

hardly any other man in England would have allowed himself to 

utter. In him was combined the superciliousness 

ol a courtier with the haughtiness of a member ol 

the old nobility. lie treated the ( 'ominous as if 

they were the dusl beneath his feet. Me told them thai theii 
only intended to express the want', ol the 1 oun 

ties and boroughs for which they sat, and thus li:" 

' only a private and local wisdom,' they were 'not fit to e amine 
or determini t State. 'I he King alone could decide 

upon such questions, and it wa likely that he would grant 

t desires if they refrained from petitioning him, as he would 
prefer that he should be acknowledged to be the fountain from 
which all acceptable actions arose. After advi inj them to 

1 C. ?. i. 381. 

VOL. I. A A 

354 THE POST-NATI. ch. vm. 

imitate Joab, ' who, lying at the siege of Rabbah, and finding 
it could not hold out, writ to David to come and take the 
honour of taking the town,' he concluded by assuring them 
that the Government would not be forgetful of the cause of the 

However insulting these remarks of Northampton were, the 

Commons had nothing to do but to give way before Salisbury's 

cooler and more courteous reasoning. They had 

The Com- ° ' 

mons give no feasible plan to propose on their own part and 
it was certainly advisable to attempt all means of 
obtaining redress before engaging in a war of such difficulty 
and danger. At Madrid, Cornwallis did what he could. He 
frequently succeeded in obtaining the freedom of men who 
were unjustly imprisoned, 1 but the difficulties and delays of 
Spanish courts were almost insuperable. In cases where there 
was a direct breach of treaty, a threat of war would probably 
have expedited their proceedings ; but there was an evident 
disinclination on the part of the English Government to 
engage in a hazardous contest for the sake of merchants. It 
was some time before English statesmen were able to recognise 
the value of the interests involved in commerce, or were en- 
trusted with a force sufficient to give it that protection which it 

On July 4, after a long session, Parliament was prorogued 
to November 10. The members of the Lower House would 
July 4. thus be able to consider at their leisure the proposed 
of r< Parifa- on ^'" s wmcn wcre intended to complete the original 
ment - scheme of the Commissioners for the Union. Of 

James's real inclination to do what was best for both countries, 
there can be no doubt whatever. In another difficulty which 
had recently shown itself in England, his rare to do justice had 
significantly asserted itself. 

Before the prorogation took place he had been called upon 
Di-tur- to deal with one of those tumults caused by the con- 
abouTen- version of arable land into pasture, which had been 

res - the root of so much trouble during the whole of the 
preceding century. In the greater part of England the inevit- 

1 Winw. ii. 320, 33S, 360, 367, 391, 410, 439 ; iii. 16. 


able change had been already accomplished. But in Leicester- 
shire and the adjoining counties special circumstances still 
caused misery amongst the agriculturists. In addition to the 
sheep farms, which were still extending their limits, several 
gentlemen had been enclosing large parks for the preservation 
of deer. An insurrection broke out, the violence of which was 
principally directed against park pales and fences of every de- 
scription. It was easily SU] pressed, and some of the ringleaders 
were executed. But the King gave special orders to a Com- 
mission, issued for the purpose of investigating the cause of 
the disturbances, to take care that the poor received no injur) 
by the encroachments of their richer neighbours. As no 
further complaints were heard, it may be supposed that his 
orders were satisfactorily carried out. 1 

Undoubtedly, however, James's mind was more fully occu- 
pied with the progress of the Union than with the English en 
;.,. closures. In August, the Scottish Parliament nut 
t/uS'r',-' 1 an ^ assented to the whole of the King's scheme, with 
ceeded with, the proviso that it should not he put in action till 
similar concessions had been made in England. It is doubt 
ful whether the English Parliament, if it had met in November, 
would have been inclined to reciprocate these advances. At 
all events, before the day of meeting arrived, James resolved \<> 
avail himself of the known opinion, of the judges, to obtain 

■rmal declaration from them of the right of th< Post nan 
to naturalisation without any Act of Parliament whatever. 
A further pn d any danger oi a pro 

I ommons till the deci ion oi the judges was n 


In the autumn of 1607, thei 

purchased in tin- name ol Robert Colvill, 3 an infant 1 1 

Edinburgh in 16 and an action was brought in his nam. 
against two persons who were supposed to have deprived him 

of his land. At the same time, a suit \ titUti d in ( ham 

1 There are several letters an e Hatfield AfSS. showing 

King's anxiety on behalf of the pool in thi flair. 

-' Known ;i- Calvin in the English lawbooks. He wi ■ p 
Lord Colvill of Culross, whose family name \va> ofter - ritten Colvin, 

A A 2 


against two other persons for detaining papers relating to the 
June, 160S. ownership of the land. In order to decide the case, 
nattadmitted ^ was necessary to know whether the child were not 
i maturaiisa- an alien, as, if he were, he would be disabled from 

tion by the ' ' 

judges. holding land in England. 1 he question of law was 
argued in the Exchequer Chamber, before the Chancellor and 
the twelve judges. Two only of the judges argued that Colvill 
was an alien ; the others, together with the Chancellor, laid 
down the law as they had previously delivered it in the House 
of Lords, and declared him to be a natural subject of the King 
of England. 1 

It is certain that James had no expectation that this 

decision of the judges would prove a bar to the further con- 

sidereration of the Union by Parliament. In Decem- 

TheVing 7 ker, ne consulted Hobart, the Attorney-General, on 

looks for- tne ex t en t f the divergency between the laws of 

ward to a ° J 

union of the two nations. He was agreeably surprised by 

laws. try 

Hobart s report. If there was no more difference 
than this, he said, the Scotch Estates would take no more than 
three days to bring their law into conformity with that of 
England. 2 

No doubt, James exaggerated the readiness of the Scotch 
Estates to change their law. When he had obtained the 
judgment of the Exchequer Chamber in his favour, 
Nothing he found that it was hopeless to expect that the 
English Parliament would give way on the Com- 
mercial Union. From the first they had been set 
against it, and it was not likely that they would change their 
minds after the question of naturalisation had been decided 
in defiance of their expressed wishes. Parliament was pro 
rogued, and it was some time before it was allowed to meet 

There are occasions, which from time to time arise, when 
progress can only be effected in defiance of a certain amount 
of popular dissatisfaction, and it may be that this was one of 

1 State Trials, ii. 559. There are also notes of the judgments in .V. /'. 
Doni. xxx. 40, and xxxiv. 10. 

- Lake to Salisbury, Dec. 8, Hatfield MSS. 194, 29. 



them. But every attempt to move forward in such a way is 
accompanied by some amount of friction, and there had already 
been too much friction in the relations between James and the 
House of Commons. The King wished to act fairly, but he 
had too little sympathy alike with the best and the worst 
qualities of the race which he had been called to govern, to 
wurk in harmony with his subjects. 




The efforts made by James to assimilate the institutions of 
England and Scotland had been crowned with a very moderate 
amount of success. In pursuing the same policy in Ireland, 
he was likely to meet with even greater difficulties. The stage 
of civilisation which had been reached by Ireland, was so very 
different from that to which England had attained, that the 
best intentions of a ruler who did not sufficiently take into 
account this difference were likely to lead only to greater 

The causes which had made the possession of Ireland a 
weakness rather than a strength to England were not of any 
recent growth. The whole history of the two countries had 
been so dissimilar, that it would have been strange if no dis- 
putes had arisen between them. 

Both countries had submitted to a Norman Conquest, but 
the process by which England had been welded into a nation 

only served to perpetuate the distractions of Ireland. 
iestof To the astonishment of their contemporaries, the 

great-grandchildren of the invaders sank, except in 
the immediate neighbourhood of Dublin, into the savage and 
barbarous habits of the natives. The disease under which 
England had suffered during the evil days of the reign of 
Stephen became the chronic disorder of Ireland. Every man 
whose wealth or influence was sufficient to attract around him 
a handful of armed men, was in possession of a power which 
knew no limits except in the superior strength of his neigh- 

1 169-1529 THE ENGLISH IN IRELAND. 359 

bours. Every castle became a centre from whence murder, 
robbery, and disorder spread over the wretched country like a 
flood. Against these armed offenders no law was of any avail, 
for no authority was in existence to put it in execution. In 
adopting the lawlessness of the natives, the descendants of the 
invaders also adopted their peculiarities in dress and manners. 
The English Government complained in vain of what they 
called the degeneracy of their countrymen. The causes of 
this degeneracy, which were so dark to them, are plain enough 
to us. lietween the conquest of England and the conquest of 
Ireland there was nothing in common but the name. The army 
differedfrom of William was obliged to maintain its organization 
. after the Conquest, as the only means by which the 
I jlish nation could be kept in check ; and in the 
Middle Ages organization and civilisation were identical. In 
Ireland no such necessity was felt No Irish nation, in the 
proper sense of the word, was in existence. There were 
numerous septs which spoke a common language, and whose 
customs were similar; but they were bound together by no 
political tie sufficiently extensive to embrace the whole island, 
nor were they united by any feelings of patriotism. Each pettj 
chief, with In . littl 1 nol of armi d foil iwei :, wa ■ ready enough 
to repel invasion from his own soil, but he was by no means 
1st his neighbour against the common enemy. If 
lit.- h ! m the < onflii t al all, he would probably be 

not unwillii the 1 1 of the rival sept humbled by 

the powi ! ind. 

There was, therefore, amidst the general disunion of the 
1 no ■ motivi to indu< e the < onqui rors to mam 

, • dn what organization nay have brought with 

them. Mo fear of an) general rising urged them to 
hold firm!) r. In some parts oi the 1 ountry, 

mdeed, the native chieftains n ained then- ancient po 
sions. Su< h cases, however, were oi lo< al im] 

tarn ■. A 1 ild or a Bourke did not fi 1 I hims< It l< is 

strong in his own castle be< ime inferior lord had 

his lands. ( )n the other hand, it" the ( >'N< ill or the ( >'l >onnell 
Id hold his own at home, he did not trouble him elf about 


the fate of the other septs of the neighbourhood. It mattered 
little to the unfortunate peasants, who tended their cattle over 
the bogs and mountains, from which race their oppressors came. 
Everywhere bloodshed and confusion prevailed, with theii usual 
attendants, misery and famine. 

The only chance of introducing order into this chaos was 

the rise of a strong central government. But of this there did 

not seem to be even the most distant probability. 

Want of a ' . 

central go- 1 he power of the Lord-Deputy was only sufficient 

vernment. . , . , , . .. ... - 

to maintain order in the immediate vicinity of 
Dublin ; and the King of England wanted both the will and 
the means to keep on foot, at the expense of the English 
nation, a force sufficiently large to overawe his disorderly sub- 
jects in Ireland. Occasionally a spasmodic effort was made to 
reduce Ireland to submission by an expedition, conducted either 
by the King in person, or by one of the princes of the blood. 
But the effects of these attempts passed away as soon as the 
forces were withdrawn, and at last, when the war of the Roses 
broke out, they ceased altogether. 

Unfortunately, what efforts were made, were made altogether 
in the wrong direction. Instead of accepting the fact of the 
Measures to gradual assimilation which had been working itself 
degeneracy out between the two races, the Government, in its 
English in dislike of the degeneracy of the descendants of the 
Ireland. settlers, attempted to widen the breach between 
them and the native Irish. Statutes, happily inoperative, were 
passed, prohibiting persons of English descent from marrying 
Irish women, from wearing the Irish dress, and from adopt- 
ing Irish customs. If such statutes had been in any degree 
successful, they would have created an aristocracy of race, 
which would have made it more impossible than ever to raise 
the whole body of the population from the position in which 
they were. 

The only hope which remained for Ireland lay in the rough 
surgery of a second conquest. But for this con- 

1 he second ,, . 

conquest of quest to be beneficial, it must be the work not of a 

new swarm of settlers, but of a Government free from 

the passions of the colonists, and determined to enforce equal 


justice upon all its subjects alike. The danger which England 
incurred from foreign powers in consequence of the Reforma- 
tion, compelled the English Government to turn its attention 
to Ireland. That Ireland should form an independent kingdom 
was manifestly impossible. The only question was, whether 
it should be a dependency of England or of Spain. Unhappily 
Elizabeth was not wealthy enough to establish a govern- 
ment in Ireland which should be just to all alike. Much 
was left to chance, and brutal and unscrupulous adventurers 
slaughtered Irishmen and seized upon Irish property at 

Ireland was governed by a succession of officials whose term 
of office was never very long. As is generally the case under such 

umstances, there were two distinct systems of government, 
which were adopted in turn. One Lord-Deputy would attempt 

lie the country through the existing authorities, whether ol 

native or of English descent. Another would hope to establish 

the government on a broader basis by ignoring these authorities 

as far as possible, and by encouraging their followers to 

make themselves independent. Sir William lit/ 

nment .... 

ofsirw. Williams, who was appointed I'eputv in 15.S6, made it 

illiamf. , t ... _ , . ., 

the mam object of Ins policy to depress the native 

chiefs. Tins was in itself by far the more promising polii \ of 

the two, but it required tO be carried OUf with pel uliar di 

tion, and, above all, it could only be iful in the hands of 

a man whose love of justice and fair dealing was above suspicion. 

Unfortunately this was not the case with the Deputy, lb 
guilty of the basest perfidy in and imprisoning some of 

'I"- chiefs, and he n<»t only accepted bribes from them, but 
had the meannt , not to perform In ol tin bargain, for 

whi( h In- had taken payment. Su< h 1 onduci as this 
was not likely to gain the aflo tionsol any part ol the 
population. The spirit ol mi tm .t ipn ad further undi 

ive Deputii . till in 1598 thi thai an Engli h 1 • 

had been defeat d at the BUu kwatei ion ed the whole ,,l lie 

land to revolt. Never had any Jn.h rebellion assumed sn<h 
formidable proportions, 01 approai hed 10 to the dignity 

ol a national resistance. At the head of the rebellion were the 



two great chiefs of the North, the O'Neill and the O'Donnell, 
who now threw off the titles with which Elizabeth had decorated 
them, in the hope that they would be objects of more venera- 
tion to their countrymen under their native appellations than 
as Earls of Tyrone and Tyrconnell. A considerable 
army was despatched from England to make head 
aeainst them, but Elizabeth insured the failure of her own forces 
by intrusting them to the command of Essex. 

His successor, Charles Blount, Lord Mount joy, was a 
Deputy of a very different character. He was known among 
the courtiers as a man of studious disposition, and 
M^untjoy in was considered as little likely to distinguish himself 
in active life. Elizabeth, however, with the discern 
ment which rarely failed her, excepting when she allowed her 
feelings to get the mastery over her judgment, selected him for 
the difficult post. It would have been impossible to find a man 
more fit for the work which lay before him. Unostentatious 
and conciliatory in manner, he listened quietly to every one's 
advice, and after weighing all that had been advanced, formed 
bis own plans with an insight into the real state of affairs of 
which few others were capable, even in that age of statesmen 
and captains. His designs, when once formed, were carried 
out with a resolution which was only equalled by the vigour of 
their conception. 

When Mountjoy landed in Ireland, he could scarcely com- 
mand a foot of ground beyond the immediate vicinity of the 
1600. Queen's garrisons. In three years he had beaten 
Feb. 25. down all resistance. A large Spanish force, which 
had come to the assistance of the insurgents, had been com- 
pelled to capitulate. The Irish chiefs who had failed to make 
their peace were pining in English dungeons, or wandering as 
exiles, to seek in vain from the King of Spain the aid which 
that monarch was unable or unwilling to afford. The system 
by which such great results had been accomplished was very 
different from that which had been adopted by Essex. Essex 
had gathered his troops together, and had hurled them in a 
mass upon the enemy. The Irish rebellion was not sufficiently 
organized to make the most successful blow struck in one 

1600 MOUNT/0 Y IN IRELAND. 363 

quarter tell over the rest of the country, nor was it possible to 
maintain a large army in the field at a distance from its base 
of operations. Mountjoy saw at a glance the true character of 
the war in which he was engaged. He made war upon the 
Irish tribes more with the spade than with the sword. By 
degrees, every commanding position, every pass between one 
district and another, was occupied by a fort. The garrisons 
were small, but they were well-provisioned, and behind their 
walls they were able to keep in check the irregular levies of a 
whole tribe. As soon as this work was accomplished, all real 
power of resistance was at an end. The rebels did not dare 
to leave their homes exposed to the attacks of the garrisons. 

ttered and divided, they fell an easy prey to the small but 
compact fone of the J teputy, which marched through the whole 
breadth of the land, provisioning the forts, and beating down 
all opposition in its way. 

The war was carried on in no gentle manner. Mountjoy 
was determined that it should be known that the chiefs were 
_ .,, without power to protect their people against the 

H nble ,. 11 1 1 «t 

character of ( joverninent. He had no scruple as to the means 

by which this lesson was to be taught. Famine or 

submission was the only alternative offered. The arrival of an 

E dish force in a district was not a temporary evil which 
Id be avoided by skulking for a few weeks in the bogs and 

forests which covered bo large a portion of the surface of the 
otry. Wherever it appeared, the crops were mercili 
troyed, and the cattle, which formed the chief part of an 

Irishman'-, wealth, were driven away. Then, when the work 

of destruction was completed, the troops moved off, to renew 
then It is impossible to « al< date the 

numbers which perished under this pitiless mod,- ol warfare. 
1 : 'i Cape Clear to the Giant 1 I ray, famine reigned 

supreme. Strange stories were told by the trooper, ol the 

tes which they had witnessed. Sometimes their hoi 
were stabbed by the starving Irish, who wi t to i< 

upon tl In one place tiny were shocked by the 

unburied corpses rotting in the fields. In another, they d 
covered a band of women who supported a wreti 1 'Mice 


by enticing little children to come amongst them, and massac- 
ring them for food. 

Before the spring of 1603, all was over. In the south, Sir 
George Carew, the President of Munster, had reduced the whole 
country to submission. 1 In the north, the Lord 
Submission Deputy himself had been equally successful. On 
April 8, Tyrone came in to make his submission, 
and with him all resistance in Ulster was at an end, O'Donnell 
having died at Simancas in the preceding autumn. When 
Tyrone arrived in Dublin, he was met by the news of the death 
of Elizabeth. The letter announcing her decease arrived in 
Ireland on the 5th. Within an hour after Mountjoy had 
read it, King James was proclaimed through the streets of the 
capital. 2 

The Deputy had achieved the difficult task which had been 
laid upon him. He had no desire to grapple with the still 
Mountjoy more difficult questions which were now pressing for 
re'u'm ',' solution. Enormous as had been the results which 
England. ) lc ] iac i accomplished, the organization of his con- 
quest into a civilised community required still greater labour 
and thought, and demanded the exercise of powers of a very 
aifferent order. He himself was desirous to return to his 
country with the honours which he had acquired, and to leave 
to others the difficulties which were rising around him. He 
was drawn in the same direction by the unhallowed ties which 
bound him to Lord Rich's wife. The first petition which he 
made to the new sovereign was a request to be relieved from 
his office.' 

before he received an answer, he was called away to repress 
commotions which had arisen in an unexpected quarter. For 
some time, the inhabitants of the seaport towns had felt con- 

1 On March 26 Balingnrry was the only castle which still held out. 
Wilmot to Carew, March 26, Irish Col. i. 6. The reference is to the 
Calendar of Irish State Papers by Messrs. Russell and Prendergast, where 
the proper reference to the original documents will be found. 

- Mountjoy to the Council, April 6, ibid. i. 10. 

3 Memorial enclosed in Mountjoy's letter to the Council, April 6, 
l6oj, ibid, i. 11. 


siderable dissatisfaction with the proceedings of the Govern- 
ment. Their grievances were very different from those 
, the which gave rise to the discontent of the great chiefs 
and their followers. The chiefs knew well that the 
efforts of the Government at Dublin would be exerted in favour 
of their dependents, and that every advantage gained by the 
population over which they ruled, would diminish their own 
excessive and arbitrary power. They hated the English, there- 
fore, with the hatred with which an abolitionist is regarded by 
a slave-owner. But the disaffection which prevailed in Cork 
and Waterford is to be traced to a different origin. It was not 
that the tendencies of the Government were too far advanced for 
the towns, but that they were themselves too far advanced for 
the Government under which they were living. They occupied 
in Ireland the same position as that which is now occupied in 
India by the non-official English. The general circumstances 
of the country required a strong executive, and it was necessary 
that the executive should determine questions which were 
absolutely unintelligible to the merchants of the towns. Yet 
though it was impossible to give them that influence over the 
Government of Ireland which was exercised by the citizens of 
London and Plymouth over the Government of England, it was 

inevitable thai the weight of the Deputy's rule should press 
hardly upon them. 

That tin- Government should act wisely upon all occasions 

was not to I.. ted. A blunder which had laid)' been 

committed, with the most excellent intentions, had 

•ices, given rise to well-founded complaints. In order 
1 tarve out the rebels, it had been proposed that 

the coinage should be debased, and that this deb; 

; should !• mgeable in London tor good money by 

those who obtained a certificate of their loyalty from the Irish 

ernment Am tion, Elizabeth gave iri to 1 

scheme. The Irish, or 'harp,' shillings, as they were called, 
always been worth only ninepenci m English money. 
Shillings were now coined which were worth no more than 
threepence. It was supposed that if they fell into the hands of 
rebels, they would be worth no more than their own intrinsic 


value, whereas in the hands of loyal subjects they would bear the 
value which they would command in London. As might have 
been foreseen, this proved to be a mistake. Even if the 
English Exchequer had made its payments with the regularity 
with which payments are now made at the Bank of England, 
the necessity of obtaining an order from the Government 
at Dublin, and of sending to England for the good coin, 
would have depreciated the new currency far below its nominal 
value. But such were the difficulties thrown in the way of 
those who wished to obtain payment from the impoverished 
Exchequer, that the currency soon fell even below the value 
which it really possessed. The misery caused by this ill-con- 
sidered scheme spread over all Ireland. Government payments 
were made in the new coinage at its nominal value. The 
unhappy recipients were fortunate if they could persuade any- 
one to accept as twopence the piece of metal which they had 
received as ninepence. Gentlemen were forced to contract 
their expenditure, because it was impossible to obtain money 
which would be received by those with whom they dealt. 1 But 
whilst the rebels, against whom the measure was directed, felt 
but little of its effects, the greatest part of the evil fell upon the 
townsmen, whose trade was interrupted by the irregularity of 
the currency. 

In addition to the evils caused by this unfortunate error, 
some of the towns complained of the presence of soldiers, who 
The garri- were m garrison either within their walls or in their 

.'ibie immediate neighbourhood. It was necessary that 
to the towns. th e Government should have the command of the 
ports by which foreign supplies might be introduced into the 
country. Garrisons were accordingly maintained in the port- 
towns, and soldiers were occasionally billeted upon the inhabi- 
tants. The presence of a garrison was by no means desirable 
in days when soldiers were levied for an uncertain term of 
service, and when, consequently, armies were composed, far 
more than at present, of men of a wild and reckless character. 

1 Lord .Slane, for instance, was obliged to send for hi? son, who was 
being educated in England, on account of his inability to maintain him. 
blane to Cecil, March 24, 1603, S. P. Pel. i. 4. 


But even if the soldiers had been models of order and sobriety, 
they could not have failed to be disagreeable to the citizens, 
who knew that, in the presence of an armed force, what 
liberties they had would wither away, and that their lives and 
fortunes would be dependent upon the arbitrary will of the 
Government. The feeling was natural ; but the time was not 
yet come when their wishes could, with safety, be gratified. 
The withdrawal of the English troops would have been the 
signal for general anarchy, in which the citizens of the towns 
would have been the first to suffer. 

To these causes of dissatisfaction was added the religious 

difficulty. Protestantism had never been able to make much 

The wa )' > n Ireland. In large districts the mass of the 

s '?,r people were living in a state of heathenism. Where - 

itanu. C vcr there was any religious feeling at all, the peo 
had, almost to a man, retained their ancient faith. Even if 
other causes had predisposed the Irish to receive the new 

■rines, the mere fact that Protestantism had (nine in under 
the auspices of the English Government would have been 
sufficient to mar its prospects. In general, the Irish in the 

ntry districts were allowed to do pretty much as they 
liked; but in the towns, though the Catholics were permitted to 
abstain from attending the < hun lies, the ( hui' hes them 1 lv< 
were in the hands of tin- Protestant clergy, and the Catholii 
priests wet> I 1 pi rform their fun< tier in private. 

m, which had loir. 1 been smouldering, broke 

out into a (lame ev< n before the death of Elizabeth. A 

1 ompan; Idii 1 - w red to < 'oik, to assist 

in building a new fort on the south side of the town. 

sir Charles Wilmot and Sir G 1 e Thornton, who, in the 
absent e of Sir G I ■ ■ . 1 ecuted thi offi< e ot Presid 

of Mm warrant to the mayor to lodge thi m in the 

I he mayor was induced by the n 1 order, John Mi ad, a 
great opponent of the English, to shut 11 in their fa< 

The soldi, i din forcing their way into thi city, 

were compelled to pass the night in a church. In reporting 
these occurrences to the President, the Commissioners had 
to add that the corporation had torn down the pi tion 


ordering the use of the base coinage, that the citizens had 
closed their shops, and that they had refused to sell their goods 
unless they were paid in good coin. 1 

Upon receiving the news of the Queen's death, the mayor, 
after some hesitation, published the proclamation of the 
„. accession of the new King. 2 On April 13, he wrote 

Disputes , r 1- t 1 

between the to Mountjoy, complaining of the disorderly conduct 
ancPthe " of the soldiers at the fort of Haulbowline, which 

guarded the entrance to the upper part of the 
harbour. He requested that the fort might be intrusted to the 
care of the corporation. A few days later the citizens demanded 
the restoration of two pieces of ordnance which had been 
carried to Haulbowline without the licence of the mayor, and 
threatened that, unless their property were surrendered to 
them, neither munitions nor provisions should pass into the 
fort. The garrison agreed to give up these guns, on condition 
that two others which were lying in the town, and which were 
undoubtedly the property of the King, should be surrendered 
in exchange. At first the mayor, hoping to starve out the 
garrison, refused ; but upon the introduction of provisions 
from Kinsale, the exchange was effected.'' 

.Meanwhile Mead was doing his utmost to incite the neigh- 
bouring cities to make a stand for liberty of conscience, and 
Proposed f° r the restoration of the churches to the old religion. 

At Cork, on Good Friday, priests and friars passed 
towns. once more through the city in procession. They 

were accompanied by the mayor and aldermen, and by many 
of the principal citizens. In the rear came about forty young 
men scourging themselves. 4 At Waterford the Bibles and 

1 Wilmot and Thornton to Carew, March 24, enclosing Captain 
Flower's relation, Irish Cal. i. 2. 

- Mayor of Cork to Mountjoy, April 13, enclosed by Mountjoy to 
Cecil, April 26, Irish Cal. i. 40 ; Annals of Ireland, Ilarl. MSS. 3544. 
This MS. contains the earlier portion of Farmer's work, of which the later 
pait only is printed in the Desiderata Curiosa Hibemica. He seems to 
have been an eye-witness of the scenes at Cork. 

3 Koyle to Carew, April 20, Irish Cal. i. 36. 

A The description of the scene by the author of the Annals is a good 
specimen of the manner in which these ceremonies were regarded by the 


Books of Common Prayer were brought out of the cathedral 
and burnt. At Limerick, Wexford, and Kilkenny mass was 
openly celebrated in the churches. 

The magistrates of these towns felt that they were not 
strong enough to carry out the undertaking which they had 
commenced. They accordingly wrote to the Deputy, excusing 
themselves for what had been done. 1 

Mountjoy was by no means pleased with the work before 
him. He wrote to Cecil that he was determined to march at 
once against the towns, but that he knew that if they resisted 
he should have great difficulty in reducing them. His army 
could only sub.>i>t upon supplies from England, and he had 
never been worse provided than he was at that moment. He 
had in his time 'gone through many difficulties,' and he hoped 
to be able v to make a shift with this.' The condition of the 
currency was causing universal discontent ; the base money was 
everywhere refused. He knew 'no way to make it current ' 
where he was ' but the cannon.' He hoped soon to be relieved 
of his charge. He had 'done the rough work, and some other 
must polish it.' 2 

The Deputy left Dublin on the 27th. He took with him 
eleven hundred men. On the 29th he was met by the Earl "l 
April n- * )nnon d- At the same time, the chief magistrate of 
Mount Kilkenny came to make his submission, and to at 

lies .. . . . 

tribute the misconduct of the citizens to the persua 
siona of Dr. White, a young priest from Waterford. 
The Deputy pardoned the town, and passed on to Waterford 
On May 1 he encamped within three miles of the city, lit 
met by a deputation demanding toleration, and requesting 
1 im not to enter the town with a largi i number oi soldiers than 
the magistrates should agree to admit, [n support ol this re 
it, they produ< ed a < harter granted to them by K ing John, 
The clause upon which they relied granted it as a privilege to 
the town of Waterford, that the Deputy should not, without 

ordinary Protestant H<- take* care t<> mention that the scourgem did 
Dot strike themselve too hard. 

1 Mountjo] to < ecil, April 20, frith ('■?/. i. 40. 
c Mountjoy to Cecil, April 25, ibid. i. 38. 
VOL. I. B l; 


their consent, bring within their walls any English rebels or 
Irish enemies. Mountjoy, of course, refused to be bound by 
any such clause as this. Next day he crossed the Suir, and 
approached the town. Dr. White came to him to try the effect 
of his arguments. The Deputy pushed him with the usual 
question, whether it was lawful to take arms against the King 
for the sake of religion. On White's hesitating to answer, 
Mountjoy replied in language which now sounds strange in 
our ears, but which in those days truly expressed the belief 
with which thousands of Englishmen had grown up during the 
long struggle with Rome. " My master," he said, " is by right 
of descent an absolute King, subject to no prince or power 
upon earth, and if it be lawful for his subjects upon any cause 
to raise arms against him, and deprive him of his Royal au- 
thority, he is not then an absolute King, but hath only pre- 
tarium imperium. This is our opinion of the Church of 

In the evening the gates were thrown open. Mountjoy 
delivered to the marshal for execution one Fagan, 
ofWater° n who had been a principal fomenter of the disturb- 
ances ; but even he was pardoned at the intercession 
of his fellow-townsmen. 1 

Wexford submitted, upon a letter from the Deputy. 2 Sir 
Charles Wilmot, hurrying up to Cork from Kerry, had secured 
Disturbance Limerick on his way. 3 From Cork alone the news 
at Cork. was unsatisfactory. On April 28, the citizens dis- 
covered that Wilmot was intending to put a guard over some of 
the King's munitions which were within the city. A tumult 
ensued, and the officers in charge of the munitions were put in 
prison. The word was given to attack the new fort, which was 
still unfinished. Eight hundred men threw themselves upon 
the rising walls, and almost succeeded in demolishing the gate- 
house before Wilmot had time to interfere. Wilmot, who had 
no desire to shed blood, ordered his soldiers not to fire. As 

1 Mountjoy and the Irish Council to the Council, May 4 ; Mountjoy 
to Cecil, May 5, Irish Cal. i. 48, 53. llarl. MSS. 3544. 

2 Mountjoy to Cecil, May 4, Irish Cal. i. 49. 

3 Wilmot to Carew, May 7, 1603, ibid. i. 59. 


soon, however, as the townsmen began firing at them, it was 
impossible to restrain them any longer. Discipline asserted 
its power, and the citizens were driven headlong into the town. 1 
Wilmot and Thornton threw themselves into the Bishop's house, 
where they awaited the Deputy's arrival. Whilst there they 
were exposed to the fire from the guns of the city, but no great 
damage was done. 

On Mountjoy's arrival, the city immediately submitted. 2 
All resistance in this ill-calculated movement was at an \:x\(\. 
Submission The rebels were treated with leniency. Three only 
of the leaders were executed by martial law. Mead, 
the- principal instigator of the rebellion, was reserved for trial. 
If, however, Mountjoy expected that the most convincing 
evidence could obtain a conviction from an Irish jury, he- 
was mistaken. At the trial, which took place at Youghal in the 
following December, the prisoner was acquitted. The jurymen 
were summoned before the Castle Chamber at Dublin, the 
Court which answered to the English Star Chamber, and were 
heavily fined. They were forced to appear at the sessions which 
were being held at Drogheda with papers round their heads, 
which stated that they had been guilty of perjury. This hi 
bition was to lie repeated at the next sessions held at Cork 
amongst their friends and neighbours. They were also Cull 
(1. inned to imprisonment during the pleasure of the Govern 
inent. 3 

His work being thus successfully brought to a conclusion, 

Mountjoy received permission to leave his post. On his arrival 
in England, In- was created Earl of Devonshire, and 
admitted to the Privy As a special reward 

for his services, he obtained the honorary title of Lord Lieu- 
nt of Ireland, to \\ln< h a considerable nvenue was attached. 

During the few remaining years of his life, he continued to de 

1 Walley to Carew, May 6, trish Cal. i. 55. Lady Carew, who was 
in the neighbourhood, showed no si^ns r,f timidity, She U^an a !• . 
lo her husband with these words, " Here 1 great wan with Cork, and 1 

am not afraid," May 5, 1603, .V. /'. 1,(1. 54. 

- Mayor of Cork lo Cecil, May 26, Irish Cal. i. 67. 
1 ffarl. 3544. Carey to Cecil, A| ril 26, 1604, Irish Cal. i. 240. 



vote much attention to the affairs of Ireland, and carried on 
a constant correspondence with the Deputies who succeeded 
him. His last years were not happy. Shortly after his arrival 
in England, Lady Rich left her husband, and declared that 
Devonshire was the father of her five children. Upon this 
Lord Rich obtained a divorce, and on December 26, 1605, she 
was married to the Earl of Devonshire by his chaplain, William 
Laud, who was afterwards destined to an unhappy celebrity 
in English history. The validity of the marriage was exceed- 
ingly doubtful, 1 and Devonshire himself only survived it a few 


The post of Deputy was at first given to Sir George Carey, 
who had held the office of Treasurer-at-War. He, too, was 
sir George anxious to return to England, and it is not unlikely that 
C are >' his appointment was only intended to be of a tem- 

appointed L * ' i i 1 i 

Deputy. porary nature. One great reform marked the short 
term of his office. No sooner was he installed than he pressed 
the English Government to put an end to the miseries un- 
avoidably connected with the depreciation of the currency. 2 
At first, half-measures were tried. Orders were given to the 
Warden of the Mint to coin shillings which were to be worth 
ninepence, whilst their nominal value was to be twelvepence. 
The old base shillings, which in reality were worth only three- 
pence, were expected to pass for fourpence. 3 Against these 
proceedings Carey immediately protested. 4 He was 

Thecurrency P lu , b , , . n J T • , , •„• 

restored. allowed to have his way. 1 he new Irish shillings 
were declared by proclamation to be exchangeable, as they had 
originally been, for ninepence of the English standard. 8 It was 
not however, till the autumn of the next year that the base 

1 The Ecclesiastical Courts only pronounced divorces a mensd et thoro 
for adultery, and parties so divorced were prohibited by the 107th Canon 
from remarrying. The decree of the Star Chamber in the case of Rye v. 
Fuljambe (Moore, 683) was on the same side of the question. On the 
other hand Parliament had refused to consider such remarriages as felony 

(1 Jac. I. cap. 2). 

- Carey and Irish Council to the Council, June 4, Irish Cat. i. 71. 
3 Proclamation, Oct. II, ibid. i. 146. 
* Carey to Cecil, Oct. 14, ibid. i. 149. 
5 Proclamation, Dec. 3, ibid. i. 170. 


money was finally declared to be exchangeable at no more than 
its true value. 1 

At last Carey obtained the object of his wishes. In July 
1604, leave of absence was granted him, which was followed, in 
October, by his permanent recall. 2 

The man who was selected to succeed him was Sir Arthur 

Chichester. A better choice could not have been made. He 

possessed that most useful of all gifts for one who is 

Appoint- * . , , 

mem of called to be a ruler of men — the tact which enabled 

Chichester , . ,,..,., . j 

,- y \ him to see at once the limits which were imposed 
upon the execution of his most cherished schemes, 
by the character and prejudices of those with whom he had to 
deal. In addition to his great practical ability, he was supported 
by an energy which was sufficient to carry him through even 
the entangled web of Irish politics. Whatever work was set 
before him, he threw his whole soul into it. He would have 
been as ready, at his Sovereign's command, to guard an outpost 
as to rule an empire. He had already distinguished himself in 
the war which had just been brought to a conclusion. At an 
earlier period of his life, he had commanded a ship in the great 
battle with the Armada, and had served under Drake in his 
last voyage to the Indies. He took part in the expedition to 

Liz, and had served in France, where he received the honour 
Of knighthood from the hands of Henry IV. Shortly after- 
wards, when he was in command of a company in the garrison 

1 1 nd, Elizabeth, at Cecil's recommendation, gave him an 

appointment in Ireland. Mountjoy, who knew his worth, made 

him Major ( ieneral of the Army, and gave him the governorship 

rickfergus, from whence he was able to keep In sub 

mission the whole of the surrounding country. The King's 

letter, 8 appointing < 'In. li. in to the va< ant office, was dated on 
I >< tober 15, 100.}. Stormy weathi 1 di tained the bearer of his 

1 Note in Cecil's hand to the ' M< monals for Ireland,' Aug. 20, 1C04, 
S. P. I id. 324. 

2 The King to < u«y, July 1 6. The King lo Carey and the In h 
Council, Oct. 15, Irish Cat. i. 295, 361. 

3 Account ol Sir A. Chichester, by Sir Faithful Fortescve, Printed 
for private circulation, 1858. 



commission at Holyhead for many weeks, and it was not till 
February 3 that the new Deputy received the sword 
of office. 

Hopeless as the condition of the country might seem 
to a superficial observer, Chichester saw its capabilities, and 
felt confidence in his own powers of developing them. He 
perceived at once the importance of the task. It was absurd 
folly, he wrote a few months later, to run over the world in 
search of colonies in Virginia or Guiana, whilst Ireland was 
lying desolate. The reformation and civilisation of such a 
country would, in his opinion, be a greater honour for the King 
than if he could lead his armies across the Channel and could 
reduce the whole of France to subjection. 2 

The difficulties under which Ireland laboured were social 
rather than political. The institutions under which a large part 
c . , of the soil was held in Ireland were those under 

hocial con- 
dition of which the greater part of the earth has at one time 

„. ' or other been possessed. When a new tribe takes 

Theory of * 

landed possession of an uninhabited region, they generally 

property. . . ,,,,.,, . . 

consider the land which they acquire as the property 
of the tribe. Private property in the soil is at first unknown. 
A considerable part of the population support themselves by 
means of the cattle which wander freely over the common pas- 
ture-land of the tribe, and those who betake themselves to 
agriculture have no difficulty in finding unoccupied land to 
plough. As long as land is plentiful, it is more advantageous 
to the agriculturist to be freed from the burdens of ownership. 
When the soil has become exhausted by a few harvests, it suits 
him better to move on, and to make trial of a virgin soil. As 
population increases, the amount of land available for cultiva- 
tion diminishes. To meet the growing demand, improved 
methods of agriculture are necessary, which can only be put in 
practice where the land has passed into private ownership. 

In a large part of Ireland this change had not yet thoroughly 
taken place. No doubt the chiefs, and other personages 

• Bingley to Cranborne, Jan. 9, 1605, Irish Cal. i. 412 ; Harl MSS. 


- Chichester to Salisbury, Oct. 2, 1605, Irish Cal. i. 545. 

!6o5 IRISH TENURES. 375 

favoured by the chiefs, held land with full proprietary rights. 

But the bulk, of the lands were held under a form of territorial 

communism, which was known to English lawyers 

(custom of by the ill-chosen name of the Irish custom of gavel- 
kind. Upon the death of any holder of land, the 
chief of the sept was empowered, not merely to divide the in- 
heritance equally amongst his sons, as in the English custom of 
gavelkind, but to make a fresh division of the lands of the 
whole tribe. Such a custom excited the astonishment of 
English lawyers, and has ever since caused great perplexity to 
all who have attempted to account for it. In all probability, it 
was but seldom put in practice. The anarchy which prevailed 
must have stood in the way of any appreciable increase of the 
population, and when land was plentiful, the temptation to avail 
themselves of the custom can hardly ever have presented itself 
to the members of the sept. Meanwhile the tradition of its 
existence kept up the memory of the principle that land belonged 
to the sept, and not to the individuals who composed it. 

When, therefore, the judges pronounced that the custom 

was barbarous and absurd, and contrary to the common law of 

England, 1 which was now declared to be law over 

demnedby the whole of Ireland, they put the finishing stroke to 

the judges. ,iii-i 11 1 

a system which the Irish were attached to by ties 
of habit, though it is possible that by judicious treatment they 
might have been easily persuaded to abandon it. 

Sll< li a < hange, indeed, rooted as the old system was in the 
habits of the people, required the utmost delil acy of treatment. 

The difficulty which Clin luster was called upon to 
titc confront was considerably increased by the conne< 

tion which existed between the tenure of land and 
the politic al ni titutions of the septs. Originally, no doubt, the 
power of the chief was extremely limited j but limited as it 

might I"', it was necessary that he should be a man ol lull 
in order to preside over the assembly of the sept and to lead 
its forces in the field. In Ireland, as in other parts of the 
world, an attachment was formed in each tribe to one family ; 

1 Davies' Reports. I lil. 3 Jac. 


but, a strictly hereditary succession being impossible, it became 
the custom to elect as successor to the chief, the one amongst his 
relatives who appeared best qualified to fulfil the functions ot 
the office. The relative thus designated was called the Tanist. 
The chief had originally been nothing more than the represen- 
tative of the sept. In process of time he became its master. 
The active and daring gathered round him, and formed his 
body-guard. The condition of the Irish peasant, like that of 
the English peasant before the Norman Conquest, grew worse 
and worse. At the beginning of the seventeenth century, he 
still held the theory that the land belonged to the cultivator. 
Little, however, of the small amount of wealth which Irishmen 
possessed consisted of cultivated land. Herds of cattle roamed 
over the wide pasture-lands of the tribe, and when land was 
worthless cattle were valuable. In time of war they fell into the 
hands of the chief who captured them, and these he delivered 
out to those whom he might favour. Those who received 
them, who ' took stock ' of him, as the phrase went, were bound 
to him as a vassal in feudal Europe was bound to his lord. 
They were under obligation to support his cause, and to pay 
him a certain rent in cattle or money. In law, the chief had 
no right to anything more than to certain fixed payments. In 
practice everthing depended upon the mere will of the chief . 
and his arbitrary exactions appeared even in the guise of settled 
customs, and obtained regular names of their own. Under the 
name of coigne and livery, the chief might demand from the 
occupier of the land support for as many men and horses as he 
chose to bring with him. But, oppressive as such a custom was, 
it was as nothing to the unrecognised abuses which were con- 
tinually occurring. Under such a condition of things, it was 
impossible for any salutary change in the tenure of land to be 
effected. If the cultivators were to obtain any fixed interest in 
the soil, it was necessary that the chiefs should obtain a similar 
interest. They must cease to be chiefs, and they must become 
landowners. As such, they must be led to take an interest in 
their estates, which they could not feel as long as they only 
held them for life. In other words, the custom of Tanistry 
must be abolished. 


The English Government had long been alive to the im- 
portance of the alteration required. In 1570 an Act had been 
The Govern- passed, establishing a form by which Irish lords might 
w™boJuh >US surrender their lands, and receive them back to be 
held under English tenure. In many cases this per- 
mission had been acted upon. In other cases lands forfeited 
by rebellion had been regranted, either to English colonists or 
to loyal Irishmen. In every case the grants were made only 
upon condition that the new lord of the soil should assign free- 
holds to a certain number of cultivators, reserving to himself a 
stipulated rent. By this transaction each party profited. The 
new lord of the manor lost, indeed, with his independent 
position, the privilege of robbing his followers at pleasure; but, 
under the old system, the property of his followers must have 
been extremely small, and, with the increasing influence of the 
English Government, his chances of being able to carry out 
that system much longer were greatly diminished. In return 
for these concessions, he gained a certainty of possession, both 
over the rents, which would now be paid with regularity, and 
over the large domains which were left in his own hands, and 
which would bo ome more valuable with the growing improve- 
ment in the condition of the surrounding population. Above 
all, he would be able to leave his property to his children. 
The new freeholders would gain in everyway by the conversion 
of an uncertain into a secure tenure. The weak point in the 
arrangement lay in the omission to give proprietary rights to 
every member of the Sept, so as to Compensate for his share ot 

the tribal ownership, of which he was deprived. The precau 

tion of building up a new system on the foundations of the old, 
ly that saving virtue which the men of the seven- 
teenth century were likely to ncglc t. 

It was indeed with no ill will to the natives that the English 

Government was animated. Even those who st -t in motion the 

rule of the Council table and the Castle Chamber 

■jnd to CX- 

the were by no means desirous to extend unnecessarily 
privileges of , . . , r .,, 

Engiuh the functions of the central Government 1 hey 

wished that Ireland should become the sister of 
England, not her servant. The two countries were to be one, 


as England and Wales were one, as it was hoped that, one day, 
England and Scotland would be one. They were ready enough 
to deal harshly with factious Parliaments, and to fine perjured 
juries; but they did not imagine it possible to civilise the 
country without all the machinery of freedom in the midst ot 
which they had themselves grown up. The moment that they 
saw any prospect of converting the wandering Irish into settled 
proprietors, they were anxious to put the whole ordinary ad- 
ministration of the country into their hands. The new free- 
holders were to furnish jurymen, justices of the peace, and 
members of Parliament. If they were called upon to perform 
functions for which they were hardly fitted, at all events the 
mistake was one upon the right side. 

During the reign of Elizabeth, in spite of many errors, con- 
siderable progress had been made. When Chichester entered 
Progress upon his office, the greater part of Leinster was in 
re U i S n g of he a settled and orderly condition. In the spring of 
Elizabeth. 1604, assizes had been held in different parts of the 
province, and it was found that the gentlemen and freeholders 
were able to despatch business as well as persons of the same 
Condition of condition in England. 1 But even in Leinster there 
Lemster, W ere exceptions to the general tranquillity. The 
counties of Carlow and Wexford were overawed by a band of 
eighty or a hundred armed men, who found hiding-places for 
themselves and a market for their plunder amongst the 
Cavanaghs and the Byrnes. The latter sept, with that of the 
Tooles, still possessed, after the Irish fashion, the hilly country 
which is now known as the county of Wicklow, but which at 
that time had not yet been made shire-ground. 

In Munster there had been, during the late reign, great 

changes in the ownership of the land. Many of the Irish 

chiefs had been uprooted, and had given way either 

to English colonists, or to Irishmen who owed their 

position to the success of the English arms. Carew had been 

succeeded, as President, by Sir Henry Brouncker, a man of 

1 Davies to Cecil, April 19, 1604, Irish Cal. i. 236. He adds, "The 
prisons were not very full, and yet the crimes whereof the prisoners stood 
accused were for the most part but petty thefts." 


vigour, who, though at times apt unnecessarily to provoke 
opposition, succeeded in maintaining good order in the 

Connaught was, fortunately, in the hands of a nobleman 
who, like the Earl of Thomond in Clare, was wise enough to 
of Con- see where the true interests of himself and of his 
naught, country lay. The Earl of Clanrickard was the 
descendant of the Norman family of the Burkes or th; De 
Burghs, which had been counted during the Middle Ages 
amongst the degenerate English. At an early age he had 
attached himself to the Government, and had remained con- 
stant during the years when the tide of rebellion swept over 
his patrimony, and seemed to offer him the fairest prospect of 
obtaining on independent sovereignty. He was now invested 
with the office of President of his own province. He exercised 
the whole civil and military authority in Connaught, but in the 
spirit of a dependent prince rather than in that of a subordinate 
officer. The Deputy was contented to know that things were 
going on well in that distant province, and prudently refrained 
from exercising a constant supervision over the acts of the 

If Chichester could look upon the condition of Connaught 
with complacency, it was far otherwise with regard to Ulster. 
It was difficult to say how civilisation was to be in- 
troduced into the northern province as long as bar- 
barism was under the protection of the two great houses of the 

. O'Neills and the O'Donnells, The head of the 

,IIs - ( ) Neills, the Pari of Tyrone, had submitted OH con- 
dition of receiving back his lands, with the exception of certain 
which were to be held l>y tWO Of his kinsmen. 1 The 

1 .,;,.,. last O'Donnell had died in exile, and his earldom 

of Tyrconnell was disputed between his brother Rory 

and Neill Garv< ( PDonnell, a more distant relative. The latter 

had taken the title of The O'Donnell, which was looked Upon 

a, a sign of defection from the English Crown. 1 he progress 

1 Henry Oge O'Neill and Tirln^h McIIenry. Note by Mcuntjoy, 
April 8, 1603, Irish Cat. i. 16. Three hundred acres were also reserved 

for the fori at Charlemont, and the same quantity for the fort of Mountjoy. 


of the war, however, made it plain that it would be impossible 

for either of the kinsmen to maintain himself without English 

aid. Upon Tyrone's submission, the competitors hastened to 

seek the favour of the Government. 1 Mountjoy at once 

decided in favour of Rory. Not only was he the heir to the 

earldom, according to English notions, but the character of his 

rival was not such as to prepossess the Deputy in his favour. 

Neill Garve was violent and ambitious, and was not likely to 

prove a submissive subject. 2 He was, however, indemnified 

by the grant of a large extent of land in the neigbourhood of 

Lifford, which had formerly belonged to the chief of the sept, 

but which was henceforth to be held directly of the Crown. 

The new earl received the remainder of the territory of his 

predecessor, having agreed to give up any land which might be 

needed by the Government for the support of garrisons. When 

Mountjoy returned to England, he took the two earls with him. 

They were well received by James, and returned with the full 

assurance that the Deputy's promises should be fulfilled. 

During their absence, the Chief Baron, Sir Edward Pelham, 

went on circuit through Ulster. It was the first time that an 

l6o3 . English judge had been seen in the North, or that 

The first t h e peasantry had ever had an opportunity of look- 
circuit in * ' . 
Ulster. ing upon the face of English justice. The results 

were, on the whole, satisfactory. He reported that he had 
never, even in the more settled districts near the capital, been 
welcomed by a greater concourse of people. He found that 
'the multitude, that had been subject to oppression and misery, 
did reverence him as he had been a good angel sent from 
heaven, and prayed him upon their knees to return again to 
minister justice unto them.' When, however, he came to apply 
to the more powerful inhabitants, he found that the fear of 
Tyn^ne was still weighing heavily upon them. It was in vain 
that he pressed them to allow him to enrol them in the com- 
mission of the peace. They told him that it was impossible for 
them to take such a step without the permission of their chief. 3 

1 Docwra to Mountjoy, April 8, 1603, Irish Cat. i. 20. 
' Mountjoy to Cecil, April 25, 1603, ibid. i. 38. 
8 Liavies to Cecil, Dec. 1, 1603, ibid, i. 169. 


The position which was occupied by the two earls could 
not long continue. They were not strong enough to be in- 
Positionof dependent, and they were too proud to be subjects. 
uponYheir It was on b' a question of time when the inevitable 
retum. quarrel between them and the Government would 

break out. 'When Tyrone returned from England, he found 
that the cultivators of the land would no longer submit to the 
treatment which they had borne in silence for so many years. 
As soon as he attempted to renew his old extortions, a num- 
ber of them fled for refuge to the protection of the 
TheGovera- English Government. Upon hearing what had hap- 
ment refiua p en ed, he demanded their surrender. He was told 

to surrender ' 

1 »ne'i that they were not his bondmen or villains, but the 
King's free subjects. 1 It was by his own choice that 
he held back from holding his land by English tenure, and 
giving himself fixed rights over his tenants. He must take 
the consequenc es if they refused to submit to his irregular and 
exorbitant demands. 

Another question between the great Earl and the Govern- 
ment arose from his refusal to allow the appointment of a 
Hed»ciine«; sheriff in his county, as he justly regarded such a 
:iit ;i measure as the first step towards sunersediiiLr his own 

sheriff in l . . 

Tyre rule by regular justice. At the same time, it must 

be allowed that he showed .nmc activity in repressing thieves. 
He even went so far as to hang a nephew of his own. 8 

In Donegal, Neill Garve was still master of the whole 

IMllGarvi county in the spring of 1604. The new earl was 

lying quiet within the 1'ale, ' very meanly followed.' 

''•,',' In Fermanagh, open war was raging between two of 

managh. tnc \J a ^uircs, who were equally discontented with 

the share of land which had lately been allotted to them. 

The military force upon which Chichester could rely was 

not lar^e. Inland was a heavy drain upon the English 

Thearmyin Treasury, and, with peace, the army had been con 
irehnd. siderably reduced. The proportions in which these 

troops were allotted to the different provinces, -show plainly 

1 Davics to Cecil, April V), 1604, frisk Cat. i. 236. 

2 Chichester to Cecil, June S, 1604, ibid. i. 279. 


where the real danger lay. The whole army consisted of three 
thousand seven hundred foot, and two hundred and twenty- 
nine horse. Of the infantry, five hundred men were sufficient 
to guard Connaught. Munster was held by nine hundred. 
Six hundred kept order in the neighbourhood of Dublin, and 
in the south of Leinster. Four hundred lay in Deny, and 
thirteen hundred were posted in the long line of forts by which 
Ulster was girdled round from Carrickfergus on St. George's 
Channel, to Ballyshannon on the Atlantic. 1 By these garrisons 
the North of Ireland was held as in a vice. 

In carrying out his plans Chichester had the assistance of a 
council, composed of persons who had long served the Crown, 
either in a civil or in a military capacity. They were 
active and industrious in the fulfilment of their 
duties ; but none of them were men who rose above the level of 
an intelligent mediocrity. The only man of real ability, upon 
whom he could rely, was the new Solicitor-General, Sir John 
sir John Davies. He had arrived in Ireland towards the end 
Davies. f x 603, and had at once thrown himself energetically 
into the work of civilising the country. His honesty of purpose 
was undoubted, and his great powers of observation enabled 
him at once to master the difficulties which were before him. 
The most graphic accounts which we possess of Ireland during 
the time of his residence in the country are to be found in his 
correspondence. He was indefatigable in his exertions. Far 
more than any of the more highly-placed law officers, he con- 
tributed to the decisions which were taken upon the legal and 
political questions which were constantly arising. Unhappily, 
his great powers were seriously impaired by one considerable 
defect : to a great knowledge of institutions he joined a pro- 
found ignorance of human nature. With him it was enough 
that he had the law upon his side, if he was sure that the law 
when carried out would be attended with beneficial conse- 
quences. It never occurred to him to consider the weaknesses 
and feelings of men, or to remember that justice is a greater 
gainer when a smaller measure of reform is willingly accepted, 

1 List of the Army, Oct. 1, 1604, Irish Cal. i. 352. Another state- 
ment of the same date gives rather higher numbers. 


than when a larger improvement is imposed by force. He was 
capable of becoming an excellent instrument in the hands of 
such a man as Chichester ; but it might safely be predicted 
that if ever he should be able to induce the English Govern- 
ment to adopt a policy of his own, the most disastrous conse- 
quences would ensue. 

Chichester had taken formal possession of his office on 
February 3, 1605. On the 20th he notified, by the issue of 

two proclamations, that the Deputy's sword had not 
mationTof" fallen into sluggish hands. 1 The first began by rc- 
rf e n SSi ion citin g the abuses committed by the Commissioners 
l aw <ln a erai for *° r execut ' n g Martial Law, and by revoking the 

greater number of such commissions. The other 

mem. . 

proclamation was of far greater importance. Carey 
had issued an order for a general disarmament, by which 
alone it would be possible to maintain peace for any length of 
time. He had ordered that persons travelling on horseback 
should carry nothing more than a single sword, and that 
persons travelling on foot should carry no arms at all. But 
Carey had allowed his directions to remain a dead letter, e\- 
cepting in Connaught where tiiey had been enforced by Clan- 
rickard. 2 Chichester now repeated these directions, and 
ordered that all who contravened them should be imprisoned, 
and their arms brought to the commander of the nearest fort. 
In order to interest the rommanders in the seizure, it was 
added that they should be rewarded with half the value of the 
Confiscated arms. Exceptions were made in favour of gentlemen 

of the Pale and their servants, of merchants following their 

trade, of known householders within the Pale, and, finally, 

of any loyal subject who might receive special permission to 
carry arms. 

March it, These proclamations were shortly followed l>y 

;';;•;; another setting forth the prin< iples upon which the 
nmnesty, government was to l»- carried on. 8 

Full pardon was at once granted for all arts Committed 

1 Proclamations, Feb. 20, 1605, Irish Cat. i. 433, 434. 
s Davies to Cecil, April 19, 1604, ibid. i. 236. 
3 Proclamation, March II, 1605, ibid. i. 448. 


against the Government before the King's accession. The 
officers of the Government through whom the pardons passed 
were forbidden to extort anything beyond the regular fees. 1 
No complaints of robberies or outrages committed before 
November 1, 1602, were to be listened to. The proclamation 
then turned to lay down, in plain and strong language, the 
policy of the Government towards the mass of the 
action P to° population. The Deputy promised to receive all 
the poor. p Qor p ersons unc i er the King's protection, ' to defend 

them and theirs from the injuries, oppressions, and unlawful 
exactions of the chief lords and gentlemen of the several 
counties wherein they dwell, as also of and from the extortion 
qnd violence of all sheriffs, escheators, purveyors, and all othei 
officers, ministers, and persons whatsoever which have, or pre- 
tend to have, any jurisdiction, authority, or power over them ; 
and that as they are all His Highness' natural subjects, so will 
His Majesty have an equal respect towards them all, and 
govern them all by one indifferent law, without respect of 

Coming to particulars, the proclamation then noted several 
abuses which prevailed. Since the rebellion, many lords and 
Tenants to gentlemen had received grants of their lands, to be 
'uthlTr'fuif h e ^ by the English tenure. The patents were full of 
rights. i on g phrases, as is usually the case with legal docu- 

ments. These phrases had been interpreted by the landowners 
as giving them full power over their dependents. They proceeded 
to treat men whose ancestors had, as members of the sept, held 
land for generations, as if they were now no more than mere 
tenants-at-will. Another grievance was that the lords who re- 
ceived their lands back after losing them by attainder, not find- 
ing their tenants mentioned by name in the patents, pretended 
that the attainder included the tenants, whilst the pardon did 
not contain any reference to them at all. They inferred from 
this, that they were still affected by the attainder, and that their 
estates were now, by the new grant, vested in their lords. The 
Deputy declared these interpretations to be contrary to the in- 

1 A shilling in the case of a gentleman, and sixpence from any other 


tention of the grants. He also adverted to the arbitrary exac- 
tions which were levied, under various high-sounding 

exaction names, by the Irish lords. He declared that they 
were nothing better than an organised system of 

robbery. He told the lords that these proceedings were illegal, 

and he enjoined upon them to let their lands at fixed rents. 
Another source of complaint was that the lords still retained 

powers in their hands which were inconsistent with the estab- 
lishment of a settled government. It was therefore 

None but . ° 

the legal necessary to inform them that they were no longer to 
injuries to be have the power of arresting their tenants for debt, or 

for any other cause, unless they were provided with 
a lawful warrant issued by the ordinary ministers of justice. 
They were not to levy fines on their tenants, excepting in such 
ways as the law allowed, nor to remove their tenants from one 
place to another against their will, nor to treat them otherwise 
than as freemen. 

The proclamation then proceeded to sum up the whole 
substance of the English policy in the following words : — ' To 

the end the said poor tenants and inhabitants, and 

All Irishmen ' 

nrnedi- every one 'of them, may from henceforth know 

and understand that free estate and condition wherein 

they were born, and wherein from henceforth the) 

shall all be continued and maintained, we do by this presenl 

proclamation, in His Majesty's name, declare and publish, thai 

.- and every' one • "i them, their wives and children, are 

the free, natural, and immediate subjects of His Majesty, and 

are not to be reputed 01 • ailed the natives, 1 or natural follow 
of any other lord or chieftain whatsoever, and that th< 
every ' one ' of them, ought t<> di pend wholly and immediatel) 
upon His Maji sty, who is both able and willing to prote< t them, 
and not upon any other inferior lord or lords, and thai tl 
may and shall from henceforth n I red thai no person or 
persons wl er, by reason of any chiefry or seignory, 

by 1 olour of any custom, use, ot pr< m ription, hath, <>i ought to 
have, any interest in the bodies 01 goods of them, or any ol 

1 i.r. M ■ 
VOL. I. C C 


J-hem ; and that all power and authority which the said lords 
of counties may lawfully claim or challenge is not belonging to 
their lordships, chiefries, or seignories, but is altogether derived 
from His Majesty's grace and .bounty, whereby divers of the 
said lords have received, and do enjoy, their lands, lives, and 
honours ; and that His Majesty, both can and will, whensoever 
it seem good to his princely wisdom, make the meanest of his 
said subjects, if he shall deserve it by his loyalty and virtue, as 
great and mighty a person as the best and chiefest among the 
said lords. Howbeit we do, in His Majesty's name, declare 
and publish unto all and every the said tenants, or other in- 
ferior subjects, that it is not His Majesty's intent or meaning 
to protect or maintain them, or any of them, in any mis- 
demeanour or insolent carriage towards their lords, but that it 
is His Majesty's express pleasure and commandment, that the 
said tenants and meaner sort of subjects, saving their faith and 
duty of allegiance to His Majesty, shall yield and perform all 
such respects and duties as belong and appertain unto the 
said lords, according to their several degrees and callings, due 
and allowed unto them by the laws of the realm.' ' 

The Deputy knew well that mere words were not sufficient 
„ . , to carry out the noble policy which he had so deeply 

Chichester . '. _ j- , j •, • 

goes into at heart. He accordingly determined to go in person 
into Ulster, accompanied by the Council and by some 

of the judges. 

At Armagh, he persuaded O'Hanlon, who was the 

ceedings at chieftain in that part of the country, to surrender his 
land, and to receive it under English tenure, upon 

condition of making freeholders. 

1 In a Memorial in the Cott. MSS. Tit. vii. 59, Chichester attributes 
to himself the suggestion of this proclamation. He had, however, obtained 
the King's consent before publishing it (see Chichester to Cranborne, March 
12, Irish Cal. i. 450). Captain Philipps, in a letter to Salisbury (May 19, 
ibid. i. 480), says that he published it in Antrim. "The people will 
not endure any more wrongs of their chieftains and lords, but do pre- 
sently search for redress, which they before durst never do, but were as 
bondmen. ... As soon as I had the proclamation read among them there 
were many which complained against their chieftains and lords." 


At Dungannon, he succeeded in inducing Tyrone to create 
his younger sons freeholders. He was soon besieged with 
at Dun- petitions from the gentlemen of the county, request- 
gamr-.,, m g hj m t0 se ttle their differences with the earl. They 
desired to have their property completely in their own hands, 
and asserted that they had been freeholders beyond the 
memory of man. Tyrone, who took a different view of Irish 
tenure, declared that the whole country belonged to him. 
Chichester, perhaps to avoid giving offence to either party, told 
them that he had no time to consider the question then, but 
took care to order that the land should remain in the possession 
of the occupiers until his decision was given. From Dun- 
gannon he passed on to Lifford, where he persuaded 
,rd - the Earl of Tyrconnell and Neill Garve to submit 
their claims to his arbitration. To Neill Garve he assigned 
land to the extent of nearly thirteen thousand acres ; the rest 
of the county was awarded to the earl. One exception was 
made. The Deputy was particularly struck witli the situation 
of Lifford, and reserved it, not without giving umbrage to 
Tyrconnell, 1 for the purpose of establishing a colony there. 
The colony was to be composed of English and Scotch, and 
was to have attached to it a sufficient quantity of land to sup 
port the settlers, in order that they might not be dependent 
upon trade. Chichester was also successful in persuading 
Tyrconnell to create freeholders on his lands. Sir Cahir 
O'Dogheity, the most important of the lords dependent upon 
the earl, < onsented to adopt the same course in his own country 
in the peninsula of Innishowen. 

Bl idi thi u '■ win' h he made of his time in ^aininj^ over 

,, . the great men of the North to ai < < U the new ordffl 

He inspect . ' 

ihefortifica <>! things, the Deputy was a< tive in inspecting the 

condition of the fortifications at the different forts, 
and in holding assizes at the chief towns through which he 

I'pon his return, Chichester sent a detailed report of his 
proceedings to the Government He considered that he had 

' Tyrconnell to Salisbury fSq>t. 30], Irish Cat. i. 539. 

C C 2 


made some way, though he had not accomplished all that he 
could wish. 1 A few days later, the dark side of the 

Hi. report . ■ ' . . 

to the Go- picture seems to have been uppermost in his mind. 

One of his chief difficulties was that of obtaining per- 
sons sufficiently independent to be fit for the office of justice of 
the peace. No Irishman could, as yet, be expected to maintain 
equal justice between rich and poor, and the Englishmen who 
were at his disposal were, on account of the smallness of their 
pay, liable to the temptation of bribery. The remedy that 
occurred to him was the introduction of English and Scotch 
colonists. The abbey lands, still in the King's hands in Ulster, 
would put it into his power to introduce them without confis- 
cating the property of a single Irishman. 2 

On his return to Dublin, Chichester found his attention 
called to a very different subject. During the greater part of 
Practical tne * ate re 'S n no attempt had been made to compel 
toleration the Irish Catholics to attend the Protestant service. 
Q U JSf 's e There was indeed an Act in existence by which a 

fine of one shilling was imposed for every time of 
absence from church, but the impossibility of enforcing it over 
the greater part of the country, and the imprudence of making 
fresh enemies where it could have been imposed with less 
difficulty, had prevented the Government from taking any steps 
to put the law in force. In 1599, however, an attempt was 
made to enforce the fine, but the design was soon given up, 
greatly to the annoyance of the youthful Usher, who predicted 
that God's judgments would fall upon a country where Popery 
was allowed to exist unchecked. 3 But with the submission of 

1 Chichester and the Irish Council to the Council, Sept. 30, Irish Cal. 
i. 538. 

2 Chichester to Salisbury, Oct. 2 and 4, ibid. i. 545, 548. 

3 In preaching from Ezek. i. 6, he applied the forty years which arc 
there spoken of to Ireland. ' From this year,' he said, 'will I reckon the 
sin of Ireland, that those whom you now embrace shall be your ruin, and 
you shall bear their iniquity.' It has been generally supposed that these 
words were spoken in 1601, and they have been considered to have been 
a prediction of the Rebellion of 164 1 ; but Dr. Elrington has shown that 
the sermon cannot have been preached earlier than the end of 1602. — 
t sher's Works (1847), i. 23. 


the whole island, a temptation was offered to those in power to 
avail themselves of the means which were in their hands to 
enforce attendance upon the services. They had a strong 
feeling of the benefits which would result if the Irish could be 
induced to accept the religion under which England had grown 
in moral stature, and they had no idea of the evils which 
attended the promulgation of truth itself by the strong hand of 

The strength of the old faith lay chiefly with the upper 
classes of the principal towns, and with the inhabitants of the 
, ,. . more (ivilised country districts. All those who would 

Religious . ' 

ion of under a less centralised government have taken part 
in the administration of affairs, clung to the tenets of 
their ancestors as a symbol of resistance to foreign domination. 
In the wilder parts of the country that domination was rapidly 
becoming a blessing to the mass of the population, which was 
only loosely attached to any religious system at all ; yet it may 
well be doubted whether the impressionable Irish Celt would 
ever have been brought to content himself with the sober re- 
ligious forms which have proved tOO sober lor consider.!! il< 
bodies of Englishmen. 

h a doubt was not likely to make itself heard al the 

lining of the seventeenth century. Shortly after the acCCS 

sion of James, rumours reached Ireland thai he in- 
tended to grant a general toleration. The Archbisho 
of Dublin and the Bishop of Meath immediati 
wrote tothe King, prot< jainsl sucha measure, 

and entreating him to put some check upon 1 
end ovi 1 good prea< hers, and to 1 ompel the people 
to h hur< h. 1 

•a ho. at the beginning ol his reign, had suspended 

the action of the Recusancy laws in England, took nonotici of 

the first and l.i t ol these requ< I . bul signified his 

ntion of plantii d ministry in Ireland. 

It v. inly time that something should be done. 

Excepting in the towns, scarcely anything worthy of the name 

1 The Archbishop of Dublin and the Bishop of Meath to t!,c King, 
June 4, 1603, Irish Cal 7 

vor. 1. 


of a church existed, and in the towns the preachers almost 
universally failed in obtaining even a hearing. 1 In the country 
the condition of the Church was deplorable. It was generally 
believed that the majority of the clergy were unable even to 
read. During the times of anarchy, the livings had fallen into 
an evil plight. It frequently happened that the patrons took 
possession of a large part of the income of the benefice, whilst 
they nominated, for form's sake, some illiterate person to the 
vacant post. This nominee usually agreed before his institution 
that he would be content with a mere fraction of his nominal 
income. Cases were known in which grooms and horse-boys 
held two or three benefices a-piece. Nor was this the worst. 
Even bishops, who should have stemmed the tide of corruption, 
took part in it themselves. Foremost in the ranks of these 
episcopal pluralists stood the Archbishop of Cashel. In ad- 
dition to his archiepiscopal see, he held three bishoprics and 
seventy-seven other benefices. The infamous sale of promo- 
tions which took place in his diocese became afterwards the 
subject of a special inquiry. Hundreds of churches were lying 
in ruins over the whole of Ireland. In hundreds of parishes 
no divine service was ever celebrated, no sacrament adminis- 
tered, no Christian assemblies held of any kind. Here and 
there, to the disgust of the Government, a few benefices were 
in the hands of Jesuits, and the Papal Nuncio obtained an 
annual income of forty or fifty pounds from a living which he 
held within the Pale. 2 But these were exceptions. As a rule, 
heathenism would have settled down over the whole face of the 
country if it had not been for the ministrations of the Catholic 

On his way to the North in the course of his first progress, 

l6o . Chichester found the Cathedral at Armagh in ruins. 

Chichester's There were dignitaries of various kinds, but all of 

proceedings ° > 

at Armagh, them had received ordination from the Church of 
Rome, and held their posts in virtue of commissions from the 

1 The Archbishop of Dublin and the Bishop of Meath to the Council, 
March 5, 1604, Irish Cal. i. 223. 

2 Davies to Cecil, February 20, 1604. Justice Saxey's Discourse 
[1604], ibid. i. 213, 397. 


Pope. They refused to use the English service. There was 
attached to the church a college for twelve vicars choral, en- 
dowed with tithes, but its revenues had been confiscated by the 
dean without any lawful authority. It happened that the Arch- 
bishop, who rarely visited his diocese, was in the Deputy's 
company. Chichester ordered him to provide a minister for 
the place, and directed that he should himself reside in Armagh 
for at least three or four months in the year. The tithes which 
had been so scandalously embezzled were, for the present, to 
be employed in maintaining poor scholars at the College in 
Dublin, till a sufficient number of educated men were provided 
for the service of the Church. 

As soon as he had reached Dublin, the Deputy found that 
James had determined to make an attempt to drive the re- 
cusants to church. On July 4, a proclamation had 

Proclama- , J ' * 

been issued by the King himself, commanding all 

ancy persons in Ireland to repair to their several churches, 

and directing that all priests who remained in the 

country after December 10 should be banished. 1 Directions 

were also given, that all the judges were to attend the Protestant 


The Deputy, whose ideas on religious liberty were like those 

of the mass of his contemporaries, prepared to carry out his 

instructions. He sent for Sir John Everard, the 

ard onlj one "I the judges who refused to conform, and 

entreated him to give way, offering to allow him as 
much time for consideration as he wished for. After 

the lap . as he still refused to comply, he was finally 

n movi d from his post 9 

t the recusants in general, the Deputy was furnished 

With fewer weapons than those which were at the disposal Of 

, ; i, yin the Government in England. No Irish Act oi Pai 
:i liament existed which authorised the exaction oi more 

than a shilling for « very absen< e from 1 hun h. Un- 

pily an id' .1 mi uiied, either to Chichester or t'> some ol his 

1 Pro* tarnation, Irish Cal. i. 513. 

■ Oi" ' ' and the Irish Council to the Council, Oct. 5. D&vil 
Salisbury, I'cc. 5, ito6, ibid, i. 554, ii. 69. 


advisers, 1 by which he hoped to be able to supplement the 
deficiency of the law. The elastic powers of the Castle Cham- 
ber might be stretched to cover a less urgent case. Chichester 
had set his heart upon the improvement of Ireland, and he was 
firmly convinced that, without the spread of Protestantism, all 
his efforts would be in vain, and he was too much in earnest to 
wait for the operation of time. The shilling fine indeed might 
drive the poor into submission, but it was ridiculous to expect 
that it would have much effect upon a wealthy merchant or 
shopkeeper. It was therefore necessary that stronger measures 
should at once be taken. 

In the course of the month of October, the aldermen and 
several of the chief citizens of Dublin were summoned before 
The Aider- the Council. The Deputy distinctly disclaimed any 
DubHn desire to force their consciences. To change the 

required to faith of any person was the work of God alone. But 

attend J l 

church. the matter now before them was not a question of 
conscience at all. He merely asked them to sit in a certain 
place for a certain time. They were only required to listen to 
a sermon. They need not profess assent to the doctrines 
which they heard. It was a mere question of obedience to the 

It was all in vain. With one voice they told the Deputy 
that they could not with a clear conscience obey the King in 
They refuse, this point. 2 Accordingly, on November 13, formal 
summoned mandates were served upon them, commanding them 
before the t attend church on the following Sunday. 3 They 
chamber. disobeyed the order, and sixteen of them were sum- 
moned before the Castle Chamber on the 22nd. Of the pro- 
ceedings on this occasion, all that has come down to us is a 
speech delivered by one of the King's Counsel, whose name is 
not given. In this speech the claims of the civil power to 
obedience were put forward in the most offensive way. After 
a long argument in favour of the King's jurisdiction in 

1 It was certainly supported by Davies. Davies to Salisbury, Dec. (?), 
1605, Irish Cal. i. 603. It looks very like one of his suggestions. 

2 Fenton to Salisbury, Oct. 26, ibid. i. 565. 

3 Mandate, Nov. 13, ibid. i. 573. 


ecclesiastical matters, the speaker proceeded with the following 
extraordinary remarks: — "Can the King," he asked, "make 
bishops, and give episcopal jurisdictions, and cannot he com- 
mand the people to obey that authority which himself hath 
given ? Can he command the bishop to admit a clerk to a 
benefice, and cannot he command his parishioners to come 
and hear him ? . . . The King commands a man to take the 
order of knighthood. If he refuse it, he shall be fined, for it is 
for the service of the commonwealth. Can the King command 
a man to serve the commonwealth, and cannot he command 
him to serve God ? " ' 

Before the proceedings were brought to a close, Chichester 
discovered that they were likely to awaken greater resistance 

Petitioi t ^ ian ' lc ' Ul( ^ expected The principal lords and 
present.^ i, y gentlemen of the Pale appeared before the Court 

the Im-ds and . . . . 

gentlemen of With a petition in which, after protesting their 

loyalty, they begged that the execution of the King's 

proclamation might he deferred until they had informed 

ll Majesty of the injustice to which they were subjected. 9 

Sentence was pronounced upon nine of those who had been 
summoned before the Court. Those of them who were 

Scntenceof a ' ( ' crllH ' n wcrt -' eaCn to l' ;l >' a ,me of One bundled 

ch C 'bc tlc I ,oum ' s ! the othei 1 escaped with a payment of half 

thai sum.' Chi< luster, who afraid lest he should 

1 ed ol having set thee prosecutions on loot for the 
]>ur| hing the Exch< qui r, dire* ted thai the fii 

ild be expended upon the repairing of churches and bridj 
and othei worl ol publii utility.' A few weeks later the 
remainder ol tin- ixfc ntenced to similar fines, with 

the in ol one ol the aldermen, who promised to come 

to churr h. 

1 Speech of Council, Nov. 22, Irith Cat. i. 579. 

3 Petition cncloscl by Chichestet to Salisbury, Dec. 7, 1605, 

i- 5' 

1 Decree "f thi ' Chamber, Nov. 22, ibid. i. 604. [ntheconi I 

•rial Salisbury's letter arrived, giving an account of the di a 
the < itinpowdet Plot Chichestei read the letter in the pn lence of a large 

concourse of people who ha'l assembled to wat< li the proi eedii 

' Chichester to Salisbury, (Jet. 29, ibid. i. 567. 


The immediate result of these proceedings appeared to be 
satisfactory. The parish churches were better attended than 
they had been for many years. 1 The Deputy felt 
imprison- himself strong enough to imprison some of those 
some of the who had been most forward in preparing the petition, 
petitioners, ^hose w h asked pardon were soon set at liberty ; 
but one or two, who showed no signs of contrition, were retained 
in confinement. Upon this the petitioners forwarded their 
complaints to Salisbury. The Castle Chamber, they asserted, 
never before had been used as a spiritual consistory. 2 Before this 
letter could reach England, Sir Patrick Barnwall, who was 
believed to have been the contriver of the petition, was sum- 
moned before the Council. After a warm altercation with the 
Lord Deputy, Barnwall was committed to prison. "Well," 
said the prisoner, " we must endure, as we have endured many 
things." " What mean you by that ? " asked Chichester. " We 
have endured," replied Barnwall, " the late war and other 
calamities besides." The Lord Deputy lost all patience. " You! " 
he cried, "endured the misery of the late war? No, sir, we 
have endured the misery of the war ; we have lost our blood 
and our friends, and have, indeed, endured extreme miseries 
to suppress the late rebellion, whereof your priests, for whom 
you make petition, and your wicked religion, was the principal 
cause." Barnwall was at once ordered off to prison. 3 It was 
an easy way to close a controversy which threatened to be 
endless. Ultimately Barnwall was sent to England, to tell his 
own story to the Government 4 

The citizens who had been fined resorted to tactics which 
never fail to irritate a Government bent upon carrying out 
Resistance unpopular measures. On the plea that the Castle 
to the pay- Chamber had exceeded its jurisdiction, they all 

ment of • • i ■ 

the fines. refused to pay the fines, or to admit into their 
houses the officers who came for the purpose of collecting the 
money. Orders were given that the doors of two of the mal- 

1 Chichester and the Irish Council to the Council, Dec. 5, Irish Cal. i. 588. 

2 Chichester to Salisbury, Dec. 9, ibid. i. 600. 

3 Davies to Salisbury, Dec, ibid. i. 603. 

* Chichester to Salisbury, April 25, 1606, ibid. i. 709. 


contents should be broken open. Next morning all Dublin 
was full of stories of the violent proceedings of the officers to 
whom this commission had been entrusted. Doors had been 
broken open, the privacy of families had been violated, and 
women and children had been terrified by this unseemly in- 

The next step was the empannelment of the jury which 
was to value the property to be seized in payment of the 
fines. The owners hoped to baffle the Government by mak- 
ing all their property over, by deeds of gift, to persons of 
their own selection. To make matters more sure, they had 
been at the pains to antedate their deeds by six months. In 
ordinary times these deeds would at once have been set aside 
as fraudulent ; but such was the indignation felt by the whole 
city, that the jury gave in a verdict to the effect that no pro- 
perty existed which could be touched by the Crown. The 

eminent had recourse to its usual remedy : both the per- 
sons who had given and those who had accepted the deed-, oi 
were cited before the Castle Chamber, where the documents 
were pronounced to be fraudulent and void, and the fines were 
at once levied. 

Not content with bringing the richer citizens into court, 
Chichester determined to make an attempt, by means of the 
shillin fine, to force tin- poorer inhabitants of Dublin to attend 
church. Indictments were accordingly served upon four hun- 
ns. ( )l tin se, one hundred and sixty-nine were not 
forthi oming in 1 ourt of the remainder, eighty-eight conformed, 
whilst the number ol those who refused to submit, and wen 
sentenced to pay a line, was one hundred and forty three. 1 

In Munster, an attempt was made to <arry out similar 

measures, in most of the town,, many ol the poorei inhabi 

tan; ■ ompelled to pay the shilling line. \ ( i 

dii ts of this kind were generally obtained onh by 

threatening the jury with the terrors oi chi I astle 

Chamber. The richer citizens were summoned at once before 

the President and his Council, and were heavily lined. Some 

1 Chichester and the Irish Council to the Council, with em la res, 
March 7. Daviei to Salisbury, Feb., Irish Cal. i. 648, 66l. 


of the members of the Irish Government were in high spirits. 
They believed that before long the majority of Irishmen 
would be reduced to the Protestant faith. 1 

It is plain, too, that Chichester's experience as a persecutor 

was beginning to tell upon him, as experience of this kind will 

always tell upon natures such as his. Even whilst 

Chichester's .... ...... 

-non he was engaged in bringing the Dublin citizens before 
the Castle Chamber, he was struck with the state of 
feeling prevailing in the city. He had intelligence, by means 
of spies, from all parts of Ireland, and he was soon made aware 
that his measures, instead of drawing the people to conformity, 
had evoked a spirit which would have broken out into open 
resistance, if the country had not been completely cowed by 
the results of the late war. 2 His forces had lately been con- 
siderably reduced, and, in the spring of 1606, he was obliged 
to provide for keeping order in a large country with less than the 
numbers of a single modern regiment. 3 Six months later he 
began to discover that there were better means of conversion 
than those which had been practised in the Castle Chamber. 
In June he wrote to the English Council that he saw little 
chance of prevailing with the aged and the wealthy, though he 
thought that the young and the poor might yet be won. The 
best hope of success was to be sought for in the education of 
the children. 4 

In the meanwhile Barn wall had arrived in London and was 

committed to the Tower. On July 3 the English Privy Council 

July 3. requested the Irish Government to justify its pro- 

! : ° unciI ceedings in issuing precepts under the Great Seal to 
explanation, compel men to come to church. 5 The reply 6 which 
was, after a long delay, sent in the name of the Irish Council is, 

1 The Council to Chichester, Jan. 24, Irish Cat. i. 630. 

2 Chichester to Devonshire, Jan. 2, 1606, ibid. i. 622. 

3 April I, 1606. Horse and foot in Ireland, ibid. i. 683. There were 
only 880 foot, and 234 horse. 

4 Chichester to the Council, June 3, ibid. i. 749. 

s The Council to Chichester and the Irish Council, July 3, ibid, 

i- 779- 

6 Chichester and the Irish Council to the Council, Dec. 1. 


perhaps, the most curious monument which exists of the sen- 
timents with which the question was regarded by men of the 
world in that age. 

They began by treating the refusal of the aldermen to attend 
church as an act of disrespect to the Deputy, and to the 
Dec. 1. Sovereign whose authority he bore, and argued that, 
th e P irU°h even 'f there were anything in attendance upon 
Divine worship which did not properly come within 
the notice of the civil authorities, they had certainly a right to 
inflict punishment for disrespect to the King. 

"And if," they continued, "it should be admitted to be 
an ecclesiastical action, by reason that the circumstances are 
ecclesiastical, yet the King, being Supreme Head in causes as 
well ecclesiastical as civil, his regal power and prerogative do 
extend as large as doth his supremacy. And the statute giveth 
power to civil magistrates to enquire and punish, so the same 
is become temporal, or, at least, mixed, and not merely 

With this unlimited belief in the power of an Act of Parlia- 
ment to change the nature of things, they had no difficulty iii 
proving, satisfactorily to themselves, that the King had always 

exercised this supremacy in ecclesiastical matters. They seem, 
however, to have felt that their argument would carry them 
too tar. They therefore hastened to qualify it by adding that, 
though the King's command ought to be binding in all things 
referring 'to the glory ol God a, well as to the good of 1 1 1. 
commonwealth,' yet it extended 'nol to compel the heart and 
mind, nor the religion ol the parties, but only the external 
m <>f the body.' 

They su knowli dged thai there wi re two cases in whi< h the 
Kingoughl not to interfere even with 'the external action of 
the body,' namely, either when the person was liable 'to be 
drawn into the dangei ol hypocrisy,' or when the action com 

manded was 'prohibited by lawful and binding authority.' 

They argued, however, thai there was no danger of lead 
anyone into hypocrisy by ordering him to go to < hurt h. l I 1 

1 objection they mel by saying that when a Catholii pi 
directed those who would listen to him to absent themselves from 


the Protestant service, he was only giving them advice, and the 
mere reception of advice freed no one from the duty of obey- 
ing the King. Besides this it was necessary that the Castle 
Chamber should cover the deficiencies of the Irish statutes. 
If no English precedent could be found, it was because no 
such interference had been needed where the law itself was 
so much more perfect. 

The Council then returned to the main point, as if conscious 
that their answers had not been altogether satisfactory. It was 
plain, they argued, that to come to church was commanded by 
the law of God, for it was impossible to admit that Parliament 
would command anything contrary to the law of God. He 
who resisted the law of God was in danger of damnation, con- 
sequently it was ' a charitable thing, by terror of temporal 
punishments, to put such persons out of that state of dam- 

After a few more remarks, they fell back on those general 
arguments to which most governments in the wrong have 
recourse when they are pressed hard. If men might disobey 
the law under pretence of conscience, no laws would be obeyed 
by anyone. " So that be the laws never so wise, wholesome, 
just, or godly, the common and unlearned people may dis- 
charge themselves of their duties by claiming or pretending the 
same to be against their erroneous or ignorant consciences, 
which is no other than to subject good laws to the will and 
pleasure not only of the wise, but of the simple." 

Chichester felt that, however desirable it might be to 
compel all Irishmen to attend church, it was an impracticable 
scheme. On the very day on which the letter of the Council 
was written, he sent off another to Salisbury, in which 
letter to he gave expression to his own feelings. "In these 
Salisbury. matters of bringing men to church," he wrote, " I 
have dealt as tenderly as I might, knowing well that men's 
consciences must be won and persuaded by time, conference, 
and instructions, which the aged here will hardly admit, and 
therefore our hopes must be in the education of the youth ; 
and yet we must labour daily, otherwise all will turn to 
barbarous ignorance and contempt. I am not violent therein 


albeit I wish reformation, and will study and endeavour it all I 
may, which I think sorts better with His Majesty's ends than 
to deal with violence and like a Puritan in this kind." l Upon 
the receipt of this letter the English judges were consulted, and 
gave an opinion that the proceedings in Ireland were according 
to law. Barnwall was, upon this, sent back to Ireland, and 
required to make submission to the Deputy. He had achieved 
his object. In spite of the opinion of the English judges, no 
attempt was ever again made in Ireland to enforce attendance 
at church through the fear of a fine in the Council Chamber. 2 

Two or three months later, Salisbury received a letter from 

Lord Buttevant, protesting against the measures which were 

being taken in Munster by the President. 3 Upon this the 

Jul), i«o 7 . English Council wrote to recommend that a more 

l,inn moderate course should be taken with the recusants. 4 

of the pcr- 

This order cannot have been otherwise than agree- 
able to the Deputy. He had engaged himself in repressive 
measures, not from any persecuting spirit, but because he 
believed that the religion of the Catholics made them enemies 
to order and government. He gave way, like the Duke of 
Wellington in 1829, without modifying his opinion in the least, 
oon as he saw that his measures had provoked a spirit of 
tan< e which was tar more dangerous to the State than the 
elements which he had attempted to repress. 

The death of Sir Henry Brouncker, in the summer of 1607, 
made a change of system easy in Munster. It was found that 

he had lefl the prim ipal men of all the towns in the 
thof .... , 

s, r n. province either in prison, or on bond to appear 

when they were summoned.' I he greater pari of 

the prisoners were released. 6 For some little time indictments 

1 Chichester to Salisbury, Dec. 1, Irish Cat. ii. (,\. 

■ The Council to Chichester and the Irish Council, Dec. 31, ibid, 
ii. 83. 

1 Buttevant to Salisbury, Feb. 1 1, ibid. ii. 137. 

4 The Couni ii to Chichester, July 21, Hid, ii. 230. 
'lory-son to Salisbury, June 25, ibid, ii. 266. 

' Fourteen were kept in prison, wli 1 1 to sign a bond thai they 
would not leave the province without leave, and that they would appeal at 


were brought under the statute, and the shilling fines were 
levied ; but even these were gradually dropped, and, for a 
time at least, the Government was convinced that the attempt 
to convert Irishmen by force was more dangerous than they 
had expected. 

A trial which took place in the early part of 1607, can 
hardly be considered to have formed part of the persecution, 
Laior, vicar- which was at that time dying away. Amongst the 
thr"e r d!o'- n priests who were lying in prison at the end of the 
ceses. preceding year, was Robert Lalor, Vicar-General in 

the dioceses of Dublin, Kildare, and Ferns. He obtained his 
release in December, by confessing that it was unlawful to 
hold the office which he occupied, and that the appointment of 
Bishops rightfully belonged to the Sovereign. He also promised 
to obey all the lawful commands of the King. 

It soon came to the ears of the Government that he had 
been giving a false account of the confession which he had 
„ . . made. He had attempted to excuse himself to his 

He is in- _ * 

dieted under friends by asserting that he had only acknowledged 

the Statute , , . , __. . XT 

ofPremu- the authority of the King in temporal causes. Upon 
this he was indicted under the Statute of Premunire. 
The Government do not seem to have been animated by any 
vindictive feeling against the man, but they appear to have 
been glad to seize an opportunity of demonstrating that he 
could be reached by a statute passed in the reign of Richard II., 
and that the claims of the Catholic priesthood had been felt as 
a grievance, even by a Catholic Sovereign and a Catholic 
Parliament. Pie was accordingly charged with receiving Bulls 
from Rome, and with exercising ecclesiastical jurisdiction. He 
had also instituted persons to benefices, had granted dispen- 
sations in matrimonial causes, and had pronounced sentences 
of divorce. At his trial he urged that he belonged to a Church 
whose decrees were only binding on the consciences of those 
who chose voluntarily to submit to them, and that therefore 

any time when summoned before the Council, and that they would not 
willingly converse with any priest. The late President had laid fines to 
the amount of 7,000/., but only 80/. was actually levied. — Chichester to 
Salisbury, Aug. 4, Irish Cat. ii. 316. 


the Statute of Premunire, framed to check a jurisdiction re- 
cognised by the State, had no longer any application. Davies, 
who had become Attorney-General in the course of the preced- 
ing year, would hear nothing of this argument. A verdict of 
guilty was brought in, and sentence was pronounced. 1 Lalor, 
having served the purpose for which his trial was intended, 
slipped out of sight. It is not probable that he was very 
severely punished. 

Chichester betook himself to a more congenial mode of 
reforming the Church. He could not do much where the 
Chichester's Archbishop of Cashel was plundering four dioceses,- 
refonnthe anc * where scarcely a parish was sufficiently endowed 
for the support of a minister. But he did what he 
could. He had his eye upon every preacher of worth and ability 
in Ireland, and as the sees fell vacant one by one, he was read) 
to recommend a successor, and to propose some scheme by 
which to increase the pittance, which the last occupant had 
probably eked out by illegal means. The rule which he laid 

m for the choice of bishops for Ireland may be gathered 
from a letter in which he informed Salisbury of the death ol the 
Bishop of Down and Connor. He reminded him that, in choos- 
ing successors to any of the Bishops, regard should be 'had as 

well to their ability of body, and manners and fashion of life, 
as to their depth of learning and judgment : these latter quali 
tions being fitter for employments in settled and refined 
doms than to labour in the reformation ol this.* a X"! 
were thei e his onlj servici to the ( !hun h. 1 1>- wa 
for< mo t in pn ing on thi tran ilation of the book 
of Common Prayer into Irish, and as soon as the work 
accomplished in il took an active part in dispersing it 

through the ( otmti 

The Deputy's office wa rily not a bed of roses. 

Whilst the whole of the < latholic South was openly expre 

1 State 7 , 1 .'.' . ii. 533. 

. Aug. .). Iri h Cal. ii. ;i 5, 
< to Salisbury, Jan, 1 i, 1 id. ii. 104. 

1 //,:>■'. .)/.'.■.. 554.1. The translation of the New T< lament had 
completed in 1603. 

VOL. 1 DD 


its detestation of his measures, the state of the North was such 

as to engage his most anxious attention. After his 
1606. ° ' . , , 

Affairs of visit to Ulster in 1605, he had formed some hopes 

ter ' that the great chiefs would quietly submit to the new 

order of things. In the spring of the following year, he began 
to be doubtful of the success of any attempt to convert an Irish 
chief into a peaceful subject. The rule of the law had come 
near enough to the two northern earls to make them discon- 
tented. Tyrone himself promised that he would obey the laws. 
Chichester, who put little faith in his promises, was only con- 
firmed by his intercourse with him in the opinion that Ulster 
would never prosper until it was brought under the settled 
government of a President and Council. ' Tyrone must have 
had some inkling of this opinion of the Deputy, for, not long 
afterwards, he wrote to the King, protesting against such an 
indignity, and declaring that he would sooner pass the rest of 
his life in exile than come under any government but that of 
the King himself, or of the Lord Deputy ; 2 or, in other words, 
that he would do anything rather than submit to any govern- 
ment which was near enough to reach him effectively. 

Chicnester determined to leave it to time to develope the 
results which were certain to ensue, and contented himself 

with employing the summer in a progress through 
,'na" the three south-western counties of Ulster. His first 

resting-place was Monaghan, then a village composed 
of scattered cottages, chiefly occupied by the soldiers of the 
little garrison. The inhabitants of the surrounding country 
were, for the most part, members of the sept of the Mac- 
Mahons. Monaghan had been made shire-ground sixteen 
years before, and had been divided into freeholds, to be held 
1 iy the principal men of the district. But the flood of rebellion 
had passed over the unhappy country before the new order of 
things had well taken root, and had swept away every trace of 
these arrangements. The freeholders themselves had been a 
j articular mark for those who had found their account in the 
old anarchy, and such of them as did not aid the rebels were 

1 Chichester to Salisbury, May 10, Irish Cal. i. 726. 

2 Tyrone to the King, June 17, ibii i. 763, 


either slain or driven away. To restore order amidst the 
confusion which had set in was no easy task. Chichester 
set about it with his usual good sense and courtesy. He 
arranged the whole settlement so as to make as few changes 
as possible. Whenever he found that an alteration was 
necessary, he laid it before the chief persons present, and 
succeeded in securing their full consent to his proposals. It 
only remained to obtain the requisite powers from England 
before his final sanction could be given. 

The necessity which existed for a change in the social con- 
dition of the country became apparent as soon as the assizes 
were opened. Prisoner after prisoner was brought to 
the bar ; it was to no purpose that the most con- 
vincing evidence was tendered against them ; in every case a 
verdict of Not Guilty was returned. The cause was soon dis- 
covered : the jurymen knew that if they returned a verdict 
of Guilty, they would he exposed to the vengeance of the 
relations of the prisoner, and that they might consider them- 
selves fortunate if, as soon as the Deputy's cavalcade 
gone, they only saw their lands pillaged and their cattle 
driven away. 

'I he county was plainly Unfit tor the c\er< ise of trial by 

jury. The simplest remedy would have been temporarily to 

d the system. Hut such an idea never occurred to 

Engli ihmen at that time, except in 1 ase . ol a< tual rebellion. I;. 

jurymen were visited with 'good round fim 

next jury was terrified into giving a true verdict. W< 

not told what b of the persons who < omposed it after th< 

1 1 one. 

One '■! thi customs ol the county was a nuisance which 
Chichester was determined to abate. 'I he principal men ol 

the I had long made il a to 'eat their he I in. in liu 

1 . 1 Pale.' in on!. 1 to make this po n indi ipi n table 

member of their household was a professional 1 
1 .na. e who went by the respectable appellation ol 'The 
gli: " 1, i terer.' In order to give th( ■ people a h 

such proceedin t come to an end, two ol the great Q 

whose tables had been supplied m this irregular way were in- 

d u 2 


dieted as receivers of stolen goods. They acknowledged their 
fault upon their knees, and were immediately pardoned. 

Before leaving Monaghan, Chichester obtained the consent 
of the chief men of the county to the building of a gaol and a 
sessions house, and persuaded them to contribute 20/. a year 
for the maintenance of a school. 

In Monaghan there was some recollection of a land settle- 
ment. In Fermanagh the Irish tenures had prevailed unin- 
terruptedly. The county was in the hands of two of 
the Maguires. Connor Roe Maguire had joined the 
English at the time of the rebellion, and had been rewarded by 
a grant of the whole county. When the war was concluded, 
Mountjoy, wishing to bribe into submission the rebel chief 
Cuconnaught Maguire, took advantage of a legal flaw in 
Connor's patent, and divided the county between them. No 
patent was, however, to be granted till freeholds had been 
established. Here, again, Chichester was called upon to solve 
the knotty question of the Irish tenures. On making inquiries, 
he found that here, as everywhere else, two theories prevailed. 
The lords, with one consent, declared that all the land belonged 
to them ; the occupants no less stoutly protested that the land 
was theirs, and that the lords had only a right to certain fixed 
dues. 1 Chichester noted down in his memory the rival doc- 
trines, and reserved them for future consideration. Davies, 
with characteristic readiness to grasp at any theory which made 
against the Irish lords, set down the case of the tenants as fully 


From Fermanagh the Deputy proceeded to Cavan, where 
he found the county in a state of unexampled confusion. Be 
fore the rebellion broke out, a settlement of the ques- 
tions connected with the land tenures had been pro- 
d by which the greater part of the district was to have been 
allotted to Sir John O'Reilly and his immediate relations. But, 
if this arrangement had ever taken effect, no legal records of it 

1 Precisely the same opposite doctrines as those which arose in Russia 
about the land tenure during the discussions on the emancipation of the 



had been preserved, and Sir John himself had died in arms against 
the Queen. On his death, his brother Philip set at nought the 
arrangements of the Government, and took possession, as tanist, 
of the whole district, giving himself the title of The O'Reilly. 
He did not long survive his brother, and was succeeded by his 
uncle Edmond, who was afterwards killed in rebellion. Upon 
his death no successor was appointed. Whilst the greater part 
of the family had taken arms against the Queen, Sir John's 
eldest son, Molinary O'Reilly, had served under the English 

eminent, and had been slain fighting against his country- 
men. Upon the restoration of peace, his widow, a niece of the 
I ; 1 of Ormond, demanded the wardship of her son, and a 
third part of the land as her own dower. This claim was not 
supported by law, as Sir John had never taken out his patent 
to hold his land by English tenure, and consequently his son 
Molinary had never been the legal owner of the land. Carey, 
however, who was the Deputy to whom her request had been 
made, acceded to her wishes, though he gave the custody of 
the land to one of Sir John's brothers. The inhabitants of the 

nty took advantage of the confusion to refuse to pay renl to 
anyone. I the whole subject, and, as he 

had done in thi of the other two counties, reserved his 

■ n till after his return to Dublin. 

whi< h wen ected to ensue from the 1 oming 
nil out, by Davii . in warm, but by uo in' 

lowing " All the po >sessi< ms," he 

wrote, " shall d cend and be conveyed according to 
ommon law ; ever) man shall have 
now the < ertainty of h hereby 

the people will be encouraj ed to manure ' then- land with 
better industry than i re hath been u ed, to bring up 

children m lly, to provide for then po t< rity more care- 

fully. This will < to build better housi th< i 

•y, and to [hbourhood. And there will arise 

villages and towns, which will draw tradi in' n and artifi< ei . so 
as v eive a hope that th( 1 1 ountries, in a short time, will 

1 i.e. cultivate. 


not only be quiet neighbours to the Pale, but be made as rich 
and as civil as the Pale itself." l 

When the proposed settlement in Cavanand Fermanagh was 
laid before the English Privy Council, it appeared that the 
Nov. i 4 . view there taken of the course to be pursued was 
\ more liberal than that of the Lord Deputy. They 
Com charged him to see that the natives were satisfied in 

the division of land, and that but few Englishmen should receive 
a share 'lest, if many strangers be brought in among them, it 
should be imagined as an invention to displant the natives, 
which would breed a general distaste in all the Irish.' 2 

The summer, which had been employed by Chichester in 
his northern progress, had also seen the conversion into shire - 
Wickiow ground of the last southern Irish district which had 
maintained the independence of the English law. 
round. From henceforth the country of the Byrnes and 
Tooles was to be known as the county of Wicklow. On his 
return from Ulster, the indefatigable Davies accompanied the 
chief justice, Sir James Ley, on his circuit. For the first time, 
the new county was to be visited by the judges. They set out, 
without entertaining any very favourable expectations of the 
reception with which they were likely to meet, as it was gene- 
rally understood in Dublin that the Wicklow hills were a mere 
den of thieves and robhers. They met with an agreeable sur- 
prise. The people flocked around the judges in such numbers 
that it was a matter of astonishment to them how the desolate 
mountains could support such multitudes. Old and young 
poured forth from the glens to welcome the magistrates, who 
were to confer upon the county the blessings of a settled and 

liar law. Nor was the feeling confined to the poorer 
classes. The gentlemen and freeholders paid the court the 
highest compliment which it was in their power to bestow, by 

1 Report of the Deputy's visit to Ulster, enclosed by Davies to Salis- 
bury, Sept. 20, 1606, Davies' Historical Tracts, 215. Chichester and the 
Irish Council to the Council, Sept. 12, 1606. Chichester to the Council, 
Sept. 12, 1606, Irish Cat. i. 847, 848. 

2 The Council to Chichester, Nov. 14. ibid. ii. 37. 


appearing in what was to them the awkward novelty of the 
English dress. 1 

If these unwonted signs of loyalty were manifested amongst 
the native population they were owing to the growing conviction 
that Chichester meant well by those who were subjected to his 
authority. Armed force he had but little to dispose of, but 
the knowledge that he was doing his best to establish justice 
weighed heavily on his side. By his attempt to force the Irish 
to conform to a religion which they detested, he had, from 
the best of motives, done much to weaken that impression ; but 
that mistake was soon to be abandoned, and if only the settle- 
ment of Ireland could have been carried out in the spirit which 
had dictated the despatch of the English Council on the division 
of Cavan and Fermanagh, Irish history would have been more 
cheerful reading than it is. 

1 Davicsto Salisbury, Nov. 12, 1606, Irish Cal. ii. 33. 




Satisfactory as the progress of improvement was, on the 
whole, the Deputy found materials for anxiety in the condition 
pissatisfac- of Ulster. In the summer of 1606, a report reached 
nor n them he nim that Tyrconnell and Cuconnaught Maguire had 
been attempting to obtain a passage for France on 
board a Scottish vessel, which happened to be lying off the 
coast. 1 In January, 1607, Chichester took the op 
portunity of a visit which Tyrone was paying in 
Dublin, to question him on the subject, but he was unable to 
elicit from him any information except that the two chiefs were 
miserably poor, and had expressed to him their discontent. 
Tyrone himself was in no good humour ; he was irritated by 
difficulties connected with the ownership of land in his own 
country, which had been perpetually recurring, in one form or 
another, ever since his return from England, 2 and which were 
likely to recur as long as the English Government looked with 

1 Depositions of Gawin More and Kilmeny, of Glasgow, Aug. 30, 
1606, Irish Cal. i. 830. 

2 A few months before James expressed himself in a way which shows 
that he, at least, had no deliberate wish to despoil Tyrone of his inherit- 
ance, which, as he says, if it were determined by strict law, might be doubtful 
4 in a country where their evidences and records are so ill kept.' lie sent a 
message to Salisbury, ' that as, on the one side, he will/iot maintain Tyrone 
in any encroaching of such greatness upon his subjects as were not fit, so 
on the other side he would wish all occasions to be taken from him of just 
complaint, considering what dependency the Irish have on him, and how 
ticklish their disposition is towards the State.' — Lake to .Salisbury, Aug. 27, 
1606, Hatfield MSS. 118, fol. 09. 


jealousy on his proprietary claims, which carried political 
authority with them. His chief quarrel, however, 
quarrel with was with Sir Donnell O'Canan, his principal vassal, 
or uriaght, as he was called by the Irish. O'Cahan's 
territory was of considerable extent, reaching from the river 
Bann to the shores of Lough Foyle. He boasted that it had 
been held by his ancestors for a thousand years. When a 
successor to The O'Neill was chosen, it was to O'Cahan that 
the privilege was assigned of inaugurating him by the various 
ceremonies which were required by the Irish custom. 1 When 
The O'Neill went to war, O'Cahan was bound to join him at 
the head of one hundred horse and three hundred foot, in 
return for which he claimed the suit of apparel which was worn 
by Tlie O'Neill, and the horse upon which he rode, as well as 
a hundred COWS. 0'< ahan, on the other hand, paid to The 
O'Neill a yearly rent of twenty-one cows. According to 
O'Cahan, when he had performed these services, he was as 
much the lord of his own land as any English freehold. 1 
O'Neill, on the other hand, had never been sparing, whenever 
he had the power, of those various forms oi exaction which 
Weighed so heavily upon an Irish \.\ al. 

'I his state of things, liable enough in itself to give rise to 

endless disputes, had been aggravate d by the interpretation 
which each of the rivals had put upon the promises of the 
English Government O'Cahan had followed hi:, chief in re 

lion, but had been the first ' • his peace. As a reward 

tor In 1 .mi <>t the Irish 1 au e, Mountjoy had promi ■ 1 1 

him that In- should in future hold In,, directly from the 
Crown. He actually received a patent, granting him thi 

■ idy ot the lam the ame rem as that whu h he had 

' After the chief bad sworn t" observe ti "f the tribe, and 

ha<l taken bis pi." e on the tone on which the chiefs "i 
at their installation, the principal sub-chief presented him with a rod. 
Then, 'after receiving the rod, the kit d hi 

placol his feet in the impress, in the tone, "I hi I" ", 

",iing forward, the sub-chieftain placed sandals mi hi, chief feel 111 
token of obedience, retained one of the royal in honourabli per* 

quisite, and threw thi 1 the king's head ;> • an augury oi 

luck.'— Dublin University Mag. No. ccexxxv. p, 531. 


been accustomed to pay to Tyrone ; and he had a promise 
that an absolute grant of them should be made out, as soon as 
the Government had time to attend to such matters. But, 
before anything was done, Tyrone had himself submitted, and 
had received a grant of all the lands which had been in posses 
sion of his grandfather, Con O'Neill. 

Upon Tyrone's return from England, his first thought was 
to claim O'Cahan's submission, in virtue of the grant which he 
brought with him. He hated O'Cahan as a deserter, 
and he demanded that two hundred cows should at 
once be sent to him, and that O'Cahan should engage to pay 
him, in future, the same number as an annual rent, which was 
considered to be equivalent to a payment of 200/. As a pledge 
for the performance of his demand, he took possession of a 
1606. large district belonging to O'Cahan. At first, 
^'bmiteto O'Cahan submitted without resistance, as he knew 
Tyrone. that Mountjoy had taken Tyrone's part, and whatever 
hopes he may have entertained were at an end when Tyrone 
showed him the royal grant. Believing that he had been 
betrayed, he resigned himself to his fate, and signed a 
paper, in which he agreed to give way in everything. He with- 
drew all claims to an independent position, and promised to 
submit any quarrel which might hereafter arise between himself 
and any of his own followers to the arbitration of the Earl. ' 

It was probably during a visit paid to Montgomery, the new 
Bishop of J Jerry, Raphoc, and Clogher, in the summer of 1606, 
that a new light dawned upon O'Cahan's mind as to the support 
which he was likely to obtain from the Government. Mont- 
gomery had discovered that three bishoprics in Ireland might 

1 Agreement, Feb. 17. It is signed by O'Cahan only. Irish Cal. 
ii 144. The editors give thedateas 1606, but place the document in 1607. 
There can be no doubt that 1606 is the right date. It was probably 
drawn up by some priest who attended Tyrone, who, from his foreign 
education, would be accustomed to begin the year on January 1. February 
1606-7 is an impossible date, as Chichester speaks of the quarrel as 
already revived in his letter to Salisbury on January 26, 1607. Compare 
O'Cahan's petition, May 2, 1607, Irish Cal. ii. 120, 196 It appears 
that the seizure of the cattle took place in the beginning of October, 1606. 
— Da vies to Salisbury, Nov. 12, 1606, ibid. ii. 33. 


afford but a poor maintenance to a bishop, and, as he knew 
that a large part of the lands which he claimed on behalf of the 
see of Deny lay in O'Cahan's territory, he encouraged the 
Irishman to go to law with Tyrone, on the understanding that 
he was himself to reap part of the benefit. 1 Rumours, too, may 
well have reached him that inquiries had been made into the 
nature of the connection between the chiefs and their subordi- 
nates, and it must soon have oozed out that the Government 
was by no means desirous to allow more to the great chiefs than 
strict justice required. 

Whatever rumours of this kind may have been abroad, 

they failed to make any impression on Tyrone. Scarcely had 

I hichester returned to Dublin, when the Earl pro- 

J yrone , 

reeded to further aggressions. His wish was to gain 

over O'Cahan's followers to his own service. The 

method by which he hoped to obtain his object had, at least, 

merit of simplicity. He drove off all the cattle which he 

could find in O'l Mian's district, and told the owners that they 

could only regain their property by breaking off all connection 

with his rival. - 

In May, O'Cahan laid his case before the Deputy and the 

< unciL Alter detailing his grievances, he requested that 

he might be allowed the services of the Attorney- 
May 1607. ° 

ieral. a His request was complied with, and the 
two rivals were ordered to present themselves before 
the Count il. It had b< 1 n diffi< nit to indut e Tyrone toapj 1 
it was not to I d thai he should comport himself in 

sue li a manner as to satisfy the Council. His proud S] 
unable to brook tl 1 dation oi being railed in question for 
what he regarded as his ancestral rights, rle can hardly have 
doubted thai a decision against him was a foregone conclu 
and that the legal qu< rci ol the patenl granted 

1 Monti; ■ . I '. 1. I' "7, Irish Cal, ii. 2Kr, 2S2, 

• This is O'Cahan's account of the matter. Tyrone, in his answi i I 
O'Cahan's petition (May 23, 1607'. for rent. 

Perhaps O'Cahan refused to pay the stipulal < of two hundn 

I'Cahan's petit;"!), May 2 ; Tyi wer, May 23, Irish Cal. ii. 

196, 212. 


by James to himself was likely to be settled in O'Cahan's favour 
on political grounds. 1 "I am come here," said O'Cahan, "to 
be protected by the King, and to the end that I and my kindred 
may depend only on the King. If you send me down again to 
live under O'Neill, and to hold my country at his pleasure, I 
must do as I have done and be at his commandment in all 
actions he shall undertake." 2 No sooner had O'Cahan begun 
to read the papers on which he rested his case, than Tyrone 
snatched them violently from his hand, and tore them in 
pieces before his face. It was with difficulty that the Deputy 
restrained his indignation, and contented himself with giving 
him a slight reproof. 

Chichester had reasons of his own for visiting so mildly this 
disrespectful conduct. Reports had reached him which led him 
to believe that an agitation was prevailing in the country which 
might at any time lead to an outbreak, and he was unwilling to 
precipitate matters by any appearance of severity. 

Salisbury had received information of a plot which was in 

existence in Ireland, from a younger brother of Lord Howth, 

Sir Christopher St. Lawrence, who was at that time 

Information * 

of a con- serving in the Archduke's army in the Netherlands. 

spiracy given ° _ , , , .... 

to the Go- But St. Lawrence s character for veracity did not 
stand high, and it was difficult to take any measures 
solely upon his evidence. On May 18 a circumstance occurred 
which corroborated his statement ; an anonymous paper was 
found at the door of the Council Chamber, stating that a plan 
had been formed to murder the I )eputy and to seize upon the 
government. 3 Not long afterwards St. Lawrence, who had 
lately succeeded to his brother's title, arrived in Dublin. The 
new Lord Howth told his story to the Deputy. He said that 
it was intended that a general revolt should take place, in which 
many of the nobility, as well as the towns and cities, were to 
take part, and that they had received assurance of assistance 

1 See the apparently temperate statement in St. John's letter to Salis- 
bury, June I, Irish Cal. 'i. 223. 

- Davies to Salisbury, July 1, ibid. ii. 279. 

* Chichester to Salisbury, May 27, inclosing a copy of the paper, ibid. 
i. 217. 


from the King of Spain. The original idea had been to seize 
upon Dublin Castle at Easter in the preceding year, and to 
surprise the Deputy and Council. This was to have been the 
tal for a general rising. The plan was at that time relin- 
hed, in consequence of the refusal of Lord Delvin, one 
of the lords of the Pale, to concur in any scheme by which 
Chichester's life was threatened. He declared that, sooner 
than the Deputy should be slain, he would reveal the whole 
plot to the- Government. Howth added that, before he left 
^ders, the learned Florence Conry, Provincial of the Irish 
Franciscans, assured him that everything was now ready in 
Ireland for an insurrection. The King of Spain, however, who 
was to furnish ten thousand foot and two hundred horse, would 
not be prepared till the autumn of 1608. The Provincial was 
himself entrusted with a large sum of money, which was to be 
placed in Tyrconnell's hands. Howth also declared that Tyr- 
connell had been present at the meetings of the conspirators. 
On the other hand, though he had no doubt of Tyrone's com- 
ity, he was unable to prove anything against him. The 
information was afterwards fully confirmed by the < onfession of 
Delvin. 1 Chichester, however, at the time, put little confidence 

in a Story which came from such a source. Howth himself 
refused to In- prodU( I '1 in public as a witness, and there was 
little to be done except to use all possible mi m . of acquiring 

additional i . 'ion. That such a conspiracy existed was 
sufficiently probable. Tin attempt to enforce the Recusancj 

laws in 1605 could not but have had the effect of disposing the 

lords of the 1'aie and the merchants of the towns to look with 

litioil with tin- ( hiefs of the North, who were 

ttisfied on very different groum 

Meanwhile Tyrone's pi at Dublin had changed The 

lawyers, with Davies al their head, bail hit upon the notable 

1 Chichi'-''r • 1 Salisbury, Sept. 8. Delvin' ion, Nov. 6, Irish 

Cat. ii. 296, 301, 336, 337, 43.S. The plot wu imparted by Tyrconnell 
t ■ • Howth mul Delvin at Maynooth, about Cbri 1 15. 

- Chichi ■ 1 ilisbury, July 7. Tim Council to Chichester, July 22, 

si. 296, 301. 


idea that the lands in question belonged to neither of the dis- 
rhe lawyers putants, but that they were, in reality, the property of 
O'Cahan'r the Crown. Proud of their discovery, the King's 
to n the elonss Counsel requested Chichester to allow them to ex- 
Gown, hibit an information of intrusion against the Earl, and 
assured him that they would be able to bring the whole district 
into His Majesty's hands. The Deputy's strong good sense 
saved him from being led away by such a proposal. An order 
was made that two-thirds of the district should remain in 
O'Cahan's possession, and that Tyrone should keep the re- 
maining third till the question had been decided. Both Tyrone 

j uIy l6- and O'Cahan were at this time anxious to have leave 
be h heard in to §° to England, and to plead their cause before 
London. the King. 1 After some delay, the King decided upon 
taking the matter into his own hands, and to hear the case in 
England. 2 

In August, Chichester again set out for Ulster. His inten- 
tion was to carry out some, at least, of the reforms which he 
had planned in the course of his last visit. On his way, he had 
frequent interviews with Tyrone. The Earl was now evidently 
dissatisfied with the prospect of a visit to England, but was 
apparently engaged in making preparations for his journey. 

In fact, the news that Tyrone had been summoned to 
England had spread consternation in the ranks of the con- 
Constema- spiratbrs. It was impossible for them not to suppose 

"con-° ng tnat more vvas meant than met the eye. They 
spirators. fancied that all their plans were in the hands of the 
Government, and they looked upon the order for Tyrone's 
journey to London as a clever scheme for separating from them 
the man whose presence would be most needful when the in- 
surrection broke out. Accordingly, they soon became convinced 
that all chances of success were at an end, and that they might 
consider themselves fortunate if they succeeded in saving their 
lives from justice. 

1 Chichester and the Irish Council to the Council, June 26, with en- 
closures. Davies to Salisbury, July 1, Irish Cal. ii. 267, 279. 

- The King to Chichester, July 16. Chichester to the Council, Aug. 
4, ibid. ii. 288, 316. 


On Saturday, August 29, Chichester saw Tyrone for the last 
time. The earl visited the Deputy at Slane, and entered into 
. . conversation with him on the subject of his intended 
Chichester journey to England. When he took his leave, the 
downcast expression of his countenance was noticed 
by all who saw him. He may well have been dejected. The 
dream of his life was passing away for ever. Calmly and steadily 
the English usurper was pressing on over the land where obedi- 
ence had been paid to his ancestors for generations. He had 
easily credited the warning which reached him, that if he set 
foot in England he would himself be committed to the Tower, 
and that Chichester would be appointed to govern Ulster as 
Lord President Nothing remained but to seek refuge in a 
foreign land from the hated invader, whom he could never 
again hope to expel from the soil of Ireland. 

He next went to Sir Garret Moore's house, at Mellifont 
When he left the house, the inmates were astonished at the 
FUghi f wildness of his behaviour. The greal earl wept like 

1C - a child, and bade a solemn farewell to every person 
in the house. On the 31st he was at Dungannon, where for 

1 days he re ted for the last time among his own people. 
Late on the evening of September 2 he set off again, accom 

ied by his wife, his eldest son, and two of his young 
childrea A party of his followers guarded their chief and his 

ily. Between him and his countess there was but little love; 
in his drunken bouts he had been a< 1 ustomed to behave to her 
with th rudeness. Nothing but absolute m 

forced hei to remain with him, ami she had only been 
prevented from betraying his secrets to the Government b) 
the rare with which he avoided entrusting her with any. 1 
A the train was hurrying through the darkness of the night, 
she slipped from her horse, either being in reality overcome 
with fatigue, or being desirous of escaping from hei husband, 
lared f : was unabl< p furthi r. Tyrone 

was not in a mood to 1. 1 issed ; he drew his sword, and com 

1 When Chiche tei w North in 1605, La lyTyrom had offered 

to play the spy f"r him. — Chichester to Devonshire, Feb. 26, 1606, with 
endosurcs, Irish Cal. i. 654. 


pelled her to mount again, swearing that he would kill her, if 
she did not put on a more cheerful countenance. The next 
day, he crossed the Foyle at Dunalong, in order to pass un- 
noticed between the garrisons of Deny and Lifford. The 
Governor of Derry, hearing that the carl was in the neighbour- 
hood, and being ignorant of his intentions, sent a messenger to 
ask him to dinner, an invitation which Tyrone declined. Late 
on the night of the 3rd, the little band arrived at Rathmullan, on 
the shores of Lough Swilly, where Tyrconnell and Cuconnaught 
H ., Maguire were waiting for them. 1 Maguire, who had 
Tyrconnell been acquainted with the conspiracy, had gone over to 

and Maguire . . ° 

at R.-uh- Brussels in May, 2 apparently in order to see whether 
there was any chance of obtaining assistance from the 
Archduke. A few weeks earlier, Bath, a citizen of Drogheda, had 
been sent by the two earls to ask for help from the King of Spain, 3 
but had met with a cool reception. The Spanish Government 
had enough upon its hands in the Low Countries to deter it from 
embarking in a fresh war with England. Maguire had not been 
long in Brussels before information reached him that their whole 
scheme had been discovered. It was said that the Archduke 
had given him a sum of money to enable him to assist in the 
escape of the persons implicated. With this he bought a ship 
at Rouen, where he met with Bath, and in his company sailed 
for the north of Ireland. 

They had been preceded by a letter written from Brussels 

by Tyrone's son, Henry O'Neill, to his father, which, probably, 

conveyed intelligence of their intended arrival. 4 On August 25, 

., they had cast anchor in Lough Swilly, where they 

They set sail > ... b , , J \ ' 

from Lough had remained under pretence of being engaged 

in fishing until Tyrconnell and Tyrone could be 
warned. On September 4, the exiles went on board, and on 
the following day they bade farewell for ever to their native 
land. It is said that they were detained by a curious circum- 

1 Chichester to the Council, Sept. 7. Davies to Salisbury, Sept. 12, 
Irish Cal. ii. 343, 354. 

- Examination of James Loach, Dec. 18, ibid. ii. 493. 

3 Examination of Sir Thomas Fitzgerald, Oct. 3, ibid. ii. 390. 

4 Confession of Sir Cormac O'Neill, Oct. 8, ibid. ii. 424. 


stance. 1 There was an infant child of one of Tyrconnei's 
brothers, who was, according to the Irish custom, under the care 
of a foster father. It happened that the child had been born with 
six toes on one of its feet. A prophecy was said to have beer 
handed down for generations, that a child of the sept of the 
O'Donnells would be born with six toes, who would drive all 
the English out of Ireland. Such a treasure was too valuable to 
be left behind, and the whole party waited till the child had 
been brought on board. The pains which were taken to secure 
this infant were the more remarkable, as one of Tyrone's own 
children was left in Ireland. 

Chichester felt the full extent of the danger. He knew 
that if a Spanish army were to land in Ireland, it would be 
Precautions impossible for him to meet it with more than four 

I , ;. ythe hundred men, and there was little hope that he would 
mcnt - r* 1 eive any active assistance, even from those among 

the Irish who were ill-disposed to the cause of the two earls. 
Whatever could be done, he did at once. Small garrisons 
were thrown into the chief strongholds of the fugitives, and 
orders were given for the arrest of the few persons who were 
known to have taken part in the conspiracy. 2 Commissioners 
were sent into the northern counties to assume the government 
in the name of the King, and a proclamation was issued, in 
which assurances were ^iven to the common people that no 
harm should befall them in consequence of the misconduct oi 
their superii 

Still, the Deputy was anxious. In Ulster, as in so manj 
other pari "I Ireland, though there were a few men of wealth 
who dreaded the< t a new rebellion, the mass oi the 

population were in Buch extrem* poverty as to welcome th< 
pro peel of war, in the hopes of gaining something in the 
general scramble Alreadj bands were formed which began to 
plunder their i lire, and to infest the surrounding distri< 

1 This explanation would reconcile Davics, wl that thej 
ship on tlu' 4th, with Chichester, who says th;u they sailed on the 5th. 
Perhaps, however, one "f the dates is incorrect. 

2 Chichester to the Council, Sept. 7. Chichester to Salisbury, S< pt. '■>, 
1607, Irish Cdl. ii. 343, 347. 

VOL. I. I- 1- 


Chichester was not only in want of men, but money, as usual, 
was very scarce. He tried to borrow 2,000/. in Dublin, but 
the merchants of the capital had not forgotten the proceedings 
in the Castle Chamber, and refused to lend him a shilling. 

Amidst all these difficulties, Chichester kept his eye steadily 
fixed upon the future. He saw at once what an opportunity 
Chichester's offered itself for changing the northern wilderness 
£uTeient the into the garden of Ireland. If his plan had been 
of Ulster. adopted the whole of the future history of Ireland 
might have been changed, and two centuries of strife and misery 
might have been spared. Let the King, he wrote, at once take 
into his own hands the country which had been vacated by the 
earls, and let it be divided amongst its present inhabitants. 
Let every gentleman in the country have as much land as he 
and all his tenants and followers could stock and cultivate. 
Then, when every native Irishman of note or good desert had 
u , received his share, and not till then, let the vast dis- 

He hopes to 

be able- to tricts which would still remain unoccupied, be given 

bring the , , , . . , , . ° , 

.irators to men who had distinguished themselves in the 
military or civil service of the Crown, and to colonists 
from England or Scotland, who might hold their lands upon 
condition of building and garrisoning castles upon them. By 
this means, everything would be provided for. The country 
would be put into a good state of defence, at little or no ex- 
pense to the Government, and the Irish themselves would be 
converted into independent and well-satisfied landholders, who 
would bless the Government under which they had experienced 

: an advance in wealth and prosperity. If this were not 
done, Chichester concluded by saying, no alternative remained 
but to drive out all the natives from Tyrone, Tyrconnell, 
and Fermanagh, into some unapproachable wilderness where 
they would be unable to render any assistance to an invading 
army. 1 

The answer received from England to this proposal was 
favourable. James was willing to adopt Chichester's plan ; but 
it would be necessary first to proceed to the conviction of the 

1 Chichester to the Council, Sept. 17, 1C07, Irish Cal. ii. 358. 

1607 OCAHAN'S CLAIMS. 4' 9 

fugitives, as nothing could be done with their estates before 
their attainder. ' 

For the present, however, the Government had its 

hands too full of more important matters to allow it to 

, devote much time to tracing out the ramifications of 

Anxiety of . , 

the Govern- an abortive conspiracy. The flight of the earls had 
respect m brought with it a considerable alteration in the rela- 
tions which had previously subsisted between the 
Government and the chiefs of secondary rank in the North. 
As long as Tyrone and Tyrconnell remained in Ulster it was 
natural that their dependents should look with hope to a Govern- 
ment which was likely to support them in any quarrel which 
might arise between them and their superiors. But as soon 
as the earls were gone, these men stepped at once into their 
place. The same fear of English interference which had driven 
Tyrone and Tyrconnell into rebellion now filled the minds of 
their vassals with anxiety. It soon became evident that nothing 
but the greatest prudence and forbearance on the part of 
the English officials would succeed in maintaining the peace in 

The two Englishmen, upon whose discretion the preserva- 
tion of peace principally depended, were the Bishop and the 
Governor of Dcrry. Unfortunately, at this time both 

erryand these nnp< irtant posts were occupied by men emi- 
nently unfitted to fulfil the duties of their position. 

ther of them had been appointed at Chichester's recom- 
mendation. Montgomery had obtained the bishopric throi 
the favour of J. hip if. He employed himself diligently 

in promoting the temporal inter* il i of the Si e, to the i ompl 

of his spiritual dutii . A yeai I" fore he had supported 
O'Cahan against Tyrone, because a large part of the land 
which he ' laimed as the prop* rty of the See wa - in < >'( lahan's 
territory, 2 and he thought that it would be ea ier to reclaim 

i The Council to Chichi ; f . 20. Irish Cal. ii. 3 

2 "Sir Donnell is a man of bold spirit, altogethei unacquainted with 

the laws and civil conversation" . . . "and undoubtedly hath niwh 
malice within him, especially towards his neighbours ; yet I an) ofopi 
he might have been made better by example and good usage ; and when 

E E 2 


them from him than from Tyrone. O'Cahan, however, showed 
signs of resistance, and gave cause of suspicion to Chichester 
of an intention to rebel. 

The commander of the garrison at Derry, Sir George 
Paulet, was, if possible, still less fitted for his post than the 
si r G. Bishop of the See. He had been recently appointed 

oovlmorof Dv the English Government, and it was said that 
Derry. ^g 0W ed this favour to the employment of bribery. 

From the first Chichester had regarded the choice with dis- 
approbation. 1 Not only was Paulet no soldier, but his tem- 
per was beyond measure arrogant. He was soon at bitter 
feud with his subordinate officers. He certainly did not incur 
their dislike by over-strictness of discipline ; even the most 
ordinary precautions were neglected, and — incredible as it may 
seem, in the midst of a population which might rise at any 
moment — he allowed the garrison to retire quietly to rest at 
night, without taking even the precaution of posting a single 
sentry on the walls. Such conduct had not escaped Chichester's 
observant eye. If Paulet had been an officer of his 
own appointment, he would, doubtless, have removed 
him from his post without loss of time. As it was, he was 
obliged to content himself with warning him against the conse- 
quences of his negligence. Unfortunately, he had to do with 
one of those who never profit by any warning. 

Such a man was not likely to be a favourite amongst his 
Irish neighbours. He had not been long at Derry before 
lie suspects ne was on tne worst possible terms with Sir Cahir 
funding O'Dogherty, the young and spirited lord of Innis- 
to rebel, howen. About two months after the flight of Tyrone, 
the smouldering embers of the quarrel burst out into a flame. 

this nation do once find that their neighbours aim at their lands, or any 
part thereof, they are jealous of them and their Government, and, assur- 
edly, his first discontent grew from the Bishop's demanding great quantities 
of land within his country, which never yielded, as he saith, hut a chiefry 
to that see : and so did the Primate's demands add poison to that infected 
heart of Tyrone."— Chichester to Salisbury, Feb. 17, 1608, Irish Cal. ii. 

• Chichester to Salisbury, Feb. 20, 1607, ibid. ii. 147. 


On October 31, O'Dogherty collected a number of his followers, 
for the purpose of felling timber. In the state of excitement 
in which the country was, it was impossible for a man of 
O'Dogherty's mark to bring together any considerable body 
of men without exposing himself to suspicion. He was at 
that time more likely to be regarded as a man inclined to 
make a stir, as he had recently put arms into the hands of 
about seventy of his followers. Within a few hours, therefore, 
after he left his home at Birt Castle, a report spread rapidly 
over the whole neighbourhood that, together with his wife and 
the principal gentlemen of the district, he had taken refuge 
in Tory Island, where he intended to await the return of 
Tyrone. No sooner had this report reached Paulet than he 
wrote to O'Dogherty, pretending to be extremely grieved at the 
rumours which had reached him, and requesting him to come 
at once to Deny. Paulet, after waiting a day or two for an 
and fails in answer, set out for Birt Castle, accompanied by the 
u?«u^S? sheriff and by what forces he was able to muster, 
liirt ca-stit. jj c hoped lo b e able to surprise the place in the 
absence of its owner. On his arrival he found that, though 
< I I >ogherty himself was absent, his wife had remained at home, 
and refused to open the gates. His force was not sufficiently 
large to enable him to lay siege to the place, and he had 
no ilioire but to return to Derry, and to write an account 
of what had passed to the Deputy. At the same time he was 
able to inform him that O'Cahan had been lately showing signs 
ndependence, and had been driving the Bishop's rent- 
gatherers off the disputed lands. 1 

1 Hansard to Salisbury, Nov. 1 and 6, Irish Cat. ii. 425, 448. 
O'Dogherty to Paulet, Nov. 4. Paulet to Chichester, Nov., ibid, ii. 429, 
430. Chichestei to the Council, April 22, May 4, [608, ibid. ii. (162, 686. 
Thai O'Dogherty was innocenl "f any intention to rebel wu believed by 
Hansard, who, ai Governor of Liffbrd, «.i^ likely to be well informed, 
heater, t'>'>, ipeaka of tin- matter in a letter t<> the Council <>n 
April 22, as on.- 'wherein all men believed he had been wi B 

side-., If he hail intended treason, Neil] Garve would certainly have known 
of it; and if anything passed between them, some evidence <>f il 
would surely have been discovered when witnesses were collected from . II 
quarter-, at a later date. 


Although O'Dogherty was unwilling to trust himself in 
Paulet's hands, he did not refuse to present himself before 
O'Dogherty Chichester at Dublin. The Deputy, who at this time 
&\tt ds h ' m * l°°ked with suspicion upon all the northern lords, 
Chichester, listened to his story, but it was evident that he did 
not altogether believe it. Having no proof against him, he 
allowed him to return, after binding him in recognisances of 
1,000/. to appear whenever he might be sent for. Lord Gor- 
manston and Sir Thomas Fitzwilliam became securities for his 
appearance. * 

Shortly after his return, O'Dogherty was called upon to act 
as foreman of the grand jury which was summoned to Lifford, 

esat in order to find a bill for high treason against the 

,rd> earls and their followers. The jury consisted of 
twenty-three persons, thirteen of whom were Irish. They do 
r.ot seem to have shown any backwardness, though at first 
they felt some of those scruples which would naturally occur to 
men who had lived under a totally different system of law from 
that in the administration of which they were called to take a 
part. Having expressed a doubt as to the propriety of finding 
a bill against the followers, some of whom might only have 
acted under coercion, they were told that the indictment with 
which alone they were now concerned was only a solemn form 
of accusation, and had nothing of the nature of a final sentence. 
Opportunity would afterwards be given to such persons to clear 

mselves, if they could. The jury were satisfied with this 
answer, but wished to know how they were to find the earls 
guilty of imagining the King's death, as there was no evidence 
before them that either of them had ever had any such inten- 
tion. They were then initiated into one of the mysteries of the 
English law, and were told that every rebel conspired to take 
the King's crown from him, and that it was evident that a man 
who would not suffer the King to reign, would not suffer him 
to live. Upon this they retired, and within an hour found a 
true bill against the accused 

The judges then crossed the river to Strabane, in the county 

1 Chichester to the Council, Dec. II, 1607, Irish Cal. ii. 486. 


of Tyrone where a true bill was again found against Tyrone, on 
the charge of having assumed the title of The O'Neill. 1 
and at He was also found guilty of murder, having executed 

nineteen persons without any legal authority. After 
this the judges told the grand jury that they should thank God 
for the change which had come over the country. They were 
now under the King's protection, who would not suffer them to 
be robbed and murdered, and who would not allow anyone to 
be imprisoned without lawful trial. To this address they all 
answered with cries of "God bless the King !" 2 A few weeks 
afterwards process of outlawry was issued against the fugitives, 
with a view to their attainder. 3 

During these months attempts were repeatedly made to 

induce O'Cahan to submit himself to the authority of the 

lish officers. It was only after the Deputy had 

prepared a small force to march into his country, that 

he submitted) and gave himself up in Dublin, where 

he was kept in confinement, at his own request, till 

he could disprove the < harges brought against him. 

If CDogherty had been left to himself, he might possibly 

have remained a loyal subject Unluckily, he fell under the 

influence of the wily and hum rupulous Neill Garve, 

f whose lands lay to the south of his own territory. 
Neill G.irvc. , . 

Neill Garve had never forgiven the Government for 

preferring Rory O'Donnell to himself, and he was now more 
than ever exasperated al tin- di COV< i) that the Deputy showed 
DO signs of any desire to obtain for him the earldom whi< h was 

once mote vacant He stirred up the excitable nature of 

' I I 'oghcrty,' who was vexed at the insult \vhi< h he had re< eiv< d 

1 'lli Mi].]' 'iii- da anient, in tin- body <■! 

which h( 11, though in In he u ."I t he name 

i yrone. 
Davies to Salisbury, Jan. 6, ifx>s, frith Col. ii. 517. 

1 < hichestei to the Council, Feb. 11, Chichester \>> Salisbury, Feb. 
17, [608, ibid. ii. 542, 568. 

* These and other statements relating to Neill Garve's procei 
1 upon the depositions enclosed in Chichester's letter to Salisbury, 
Oct. ji, 1609, Irish Cal. ni. 5 1 j. 


from Faulet, and was displeased that Chichester had thought 
it necessary to require him to give bonds for his appearance. 
At the same time, Phelim Reagh, O'Dogherty's foster-father, 
poured oil upon the flame : he had his own injuries to complain 
of, having met with harsh treatment from the judges at the last 
assizes. 1 

By the middle of April these evil counsellors had so far 
wrought upon the high spirit of this ill-advised young man as 
to persuade him to throw himself headlong upon the English 
power. The most extraordinary thing about the enterprise was, 
that no plan whatever was formed as to the measures to be 
taken in the event of success. Probably all that O'Dogherty 
thought of was the prospect of immediate revenge upon Paulet. 
Neill Garve seems to have been filled with confidence that, 
whatever happened, his wits would succeed in securing some- 
thing for himself in the general confusion. For the present, he 
contented himself with informing O'Dogherty that if he suc- 
ceeded in surprising Derry, he would himself make an attempt 
upon Ballyshannon. 

The practised eye of Hansard, the Governor of Lifford, 
perceived that something unusual was in preparation. He, 
Caution sent accordingly, put the town in a good state of defence, 
to Pauiet. anc j at tne same time sent a warning to Paulet, to 
which not the slightest attention was paid. 2 

The chief obstacle in the way of the conspirators was the 
O'Dogher- difficulty of obtaining arms. Since Chichester's pro- 
'u^ris'ing^ clamation for a general disarmament, it was almost 
Cuimore. impossible to procure weapons in quantities sufficient 
to give to a rebellion the chances of even a momentary success. 
O'Dogherty, however, knew that arms were to be obtained at 
the fort of Cuimore, which guarded the entrance to the Foyle. 
Such a prize could only be gained by stratagem. On 
April 1 8, therefore, he invited Captain Hart, the commander 

1 Dillon to Salisbury, April 25, 1608, ibid. ii. 671. 

2 The details of the sack of Derry are given by Chichester to the 

Council, April 22, and Bodley to ? May 3, Irish Cal. ii. 662, 682. 

See also the reports of Hart and Baker, enclosed by Chichester to the 
Council, May 4, 1608, ibid. ii. 686. 


of the fort, to dine with him at his house at Buncrana. He 
complained that the ladies of Derry looked down upon Lady 
O'Dogherty, who was in consequence deprived of all society 
suitable to her rank ; he hoped, therefore, that Hart would 
bring his wife and children with him. The invitation was 
accepted. As soon as dinner was over O'Dogherty led his 
guest aside, and, after complaining of the Deputy's conduct 
towards him, said that as Chichester would not accept him as 
a friend, he should see what he could do as an enemy. He 
threatened Hart with instant death unless he would surrender 
the fort. Hart at once refused to listened to such a proposal. 
He stood firm against his wife's entreaties, which were added 
to those of Lady O'Dogherty. His host told him that his wife 
and children should all perish if he persisted in his refusal, and 
offered to swear that if the fort were delivered to him, not 
a single creature in it should be hurt. Hart, like a sturdy 
Englishman as he was, answered, ' that seeing he had so soon 

Otten his oath and duty of allegiance to ' his 'Sovereign 
Lord tlie King,' he 'should never trust oath that ever he made 
again.' He might hew him in pieces if he would, but the fort 
should not be surrendered. Upon this O'Dogherty took Hart's 
wife aside, and persuaded her without difficulty to second him 
in a scheme whi< h would enable him to get possession of the 
fort without her husband's assistance. 

Towards the evening he set (nit with about a hundred men, 
and arrived alter nightfall at ( ulmore. As soon as lie came 
close tO the gate he sent the lady forward with one 
Surprise of ol his own Servants. She < in d out, according to her 
in mictions, thai hei husband had fallen from his 
horse and had broken his lr^, and that he was lying not far off. 
Upon this the whole of the little garrison rushed out to help 

their captain. Whilst they wen- thus employed, O'Dogherty 
quietly slipped in at the gate, and took possession oi the 

plai e. 

Having thus obtained the arms ofwhil h he was in need, he 
, ircof setoff for Deny. When he arrived at the bog by 

Deny, which the town was separated from the adjoining 
country, he divided his forces, and put one part under the 


command of Phelim Reagh. This division was to assault the 
principal fort, which lay upon the hill, whilst O'Dogherty him- 
self was to direct the attack upon a smaller fortification at the 
bottom of the town, in which the munitions were stored. Their 
only chance of success lay in their finding the garrison off its 
guard, as there were in the town a hundred soldiers, and an 
equal number of townsmen were capable of bearing arms. It 
was about two in the morning when the attempt was made. 
Phelim Reagh succeeded in effecting an entrance, and at once 
made for Paulet's house. The Governor was roused by the 
noise, and succeeded in making his escape to the house of one 
of the other officers, where he was finally discovered and put 
to death. After some fighting, all resistance was overcome in 
this part of the town, and the buildings in the fort were set on 
fire. The lower fort was seized by O'Dogherty with still less 
difficulty. Lieutenant Baker, having been baffled in an attempt 
to retake it, collected about one hundred and forty persons 
— men, women, and children — and took possession of two 
large houses, in which he hoped to be able to hold out till 
relief reached him. At noon on the following day, provisions 
running short, and O'Dogherty having brought up a gun from 
Culmore, he surrendered, upon a promise that the lives of all 
who were with him should be spared. 

Neill Garve had sent sixteen of his men to join in the 
attack. As soon as the place was taken, O'Dogherty, according 
Neill to agreement, sent him a part of the spoil. Neill Garve 

Garve'sdis- re f use d to take it. What he was anxious to obtain 

ment- was a share of the arms, and he was disappointed 

that none had been sent. 

News of what had occurred soon spread over the country. 
The little garrison of Dunalong at once retired to Lifford, and 
its example was followed by the Scottish colony 
at Lilbrdre- which occupied Strabane. With this assistance Han- 
sard made no doubt that he would be able to main- 
tain himself at Lifford against any force which O'Dogherty 
could send against him. 

Whether Neill Garve was really offended with O'Dogherty, 
or whether he was only anxious to keep well with both parties 


it is impossible to say. It is certain that the first thing which 
„ . , „ he did was to sit down and write to Chichester, re- 

Ncill Garve . . 

makes pro- questing him to give him the whole of the county 
m- Jl of Donegal. To this modest demand Chichester 

replied by advising him to show his loyalty at once, 
and to trust to him for the proper reward afterwards. 

The Deputy saw the necessity of crushing the rebellion 
before it had time to spread. He at once despatched the 

Marshal, Sir Richard Wingfield, into Ulster, with all 
tentmto the troops which he was able to muster at the 

moment, and prepared to follow with a larger force. 
On Wingfield's approach, O'Dogherty perceived that the game 
was up, unless a general rising could be effected. He set fire 

to Deny, and, after leaving Phelim Reagh at Cul- 

O'Dogherty .... ... 

retreat, to more with thirty men, and throwing a garrison into 
;usllc - Birt Castle, lie himself retired to Doe Castle, a fast- 
ness at the head of She< p Haven. 

To O'Dogherty's honour it must be said, that his prisoners 
were all released, according to promise. Excepting in actual 
conflict, no English blood was shed in the whole course of the 

On May 20, Wingfield arrived at Deny, and, finding it in 
ruins, pu bed on to Culmore. In the course of the night 
Phelim Reagh sei fire to the place, and, having embarked in 
or three boats all the booty he had with him, made his 
[nouhowea wa ) to Tory Island. Wingfield proceeded to subject 
j; 1 "^ 1 Inni-.liov.cii to indiscriminate pillage. 1 The cattle and 

hoi es of the unfortunate inhabitants were (allied 
off, and wen n to the town. men of Deny, in compensation 

I es. 

Neil! Garve, seeing that O'Dogherty was unable to make 

the 1 nglish, thought it was tim< to 
submit to the Government He accordingly came 

the ( iovem- . . . ' 

ment. but into Wingfield I c.HI)|>, UpOH i'Minn;' a |.|otcitloIl 

communi- .. . c . . . . . . 

■.vith from the consequences 01 1 rli had nol 

been long in the camp before he sent to( >'Doghertyj 

1 Enclosures in Chichcs,ter'., letter to the Council, May 4, 1608, .'>. /'. 


assuring him that he need not despair, as the forces sent 
against him were by no means strong. He told him that he 
had himself only submitted to necessity, and that he was in 
hopes that arms would be put into the hands of himself and 
his followers, in which case he would take the earliest oppor- 
tunity of deserting. 

Wingfield was only waiting for munitions to lay siege to Birt 
Attempt to Castle. In the meanwhile he received intelligence 
i : >''i")" r -her wmcn § ave n ' m hopes of capturing the rebels. Neill 
frustrated Garve, however, sent information to O'Dogherty of 

by Neill . . ' , . ' ,. , , , , b } 

(iarve'3 the plan of the English commander, and the attempt 

treachery. ended ^ ^^ 

Not long afterwards the traitor left the camp, and betook 
himself to unadvised courses, which quickly drew upon him 
Arrest of the suspicions of the Marshal. He took great 
Neiii Garve. num bers c f O'Dogherty's followers under his pro- 
tection, and plundered those who had submitted to Wingfield. 
Nor did he stop here. He presumed himself to summon the 
inhabitants of the whole county to join him, as if he had been 
lord of the entire inheritance of the O'Donnells. 1 He com- 
manded that all men who had ever carried arms should, when 
they answered his summons, provide themselves with arms 
under pain of a fine. This was too much for the Marshal's 
patience. As his former treachery was now beginning to ooze 
out, he was immediately arrested, and sent a prisoner to the 

O'Dogherty's case was now hopeless. He was unable to 
cope with Wingfield, and Chichester's forces would soon be 
o'Do hen aclclecI to tr >ose of the Marshal. One desperate 
defeated and attempt he made to break through the toils, perhaps 
in the hope of exciting a more widely spread insur- 
rection. With four hundred men he made his way across 
Ulster, and surprised and set fire to the little town of Clinard, 
in the neighbourhood of Armagh. But here he found that his 
way was barred by Chichester's cavalry, and there was nothing 
to be done but to attempt a hopeless retreat to Doe Castle, 

1 Bishop of Derry to Chichester, June 15, Irish Cal. ii. 782. 


the only place where it was any longer in his power to obtain 
even a temporary shelter, as Birt Castle, in which his wife, his 
daughter, and his sister were, had fallen into the hands of the 
English. 1 It was all to no purpose : he never reached the 
place of safety. On July 5, as he was approaching Kilma- 
crenan, a small place about six miles to the north-west of 
Letterkenny, he found Wingfield stationed across his path. 
The English immediately commenced the attack, though their 
numbers were considerably inferior to his. 2 The Irish were 
completely routed, and O'Dogherty himself was slain. It was 
better so, than that he should have met the fate of a traitor. 
Nothing good could ever have come of his rash and ill-timed 
rebellion. But he was not a mean and treacherous enemy, like 
Ncill Garve. Under other circumstances he might have lived 
a useful, and even a noble, life. He had set his life upon the 
throw ; but it is impossible not to feel compunction in reading 
the Deputy's letter, in which he announces that, the body of 
the man who had spared the prisoners of Deny having been 
taken, he intended to give orders that it should be quartered, 
and the fragments set up on the walls of the town where he 
had shown an example of mercy to a conquered enemy. 

Of his followers, some of those who could not escape were 
hanged at once by martial law, and some were reserved for 
trial. 3 Amongst the Litter were Phelirn Reagh and one of 
O'Cahan's brothers, both of whom wire executed. Two davs 

,,i on after O'Dogherty's defeat, his brother in law, Oghie 

Oge O'Hanlon, wenl into rebellion with a hundred 

men, but was speedily overpowered. < >ne sad scene has been 

handed down to u from the hi story of this abortive attempt at 

insurrection, sm h a i musl ofti n have o< 1 urred in these horrible 

[rfsh wars. A poor woman, We are told, 'was found alone by 

' Chichester ami the Irish Council to the Council, July 2, Irish Col, 
ii. 810. 

• Chichester to th<- Council, July ( \ ibid, ii. .S17. \[ iii<- numbers arc 
correctly given, O'Dogherty mu«l have had leven hundred mm. Ashe 
marched out with four hundred only, he musl have gathered followers on 
his- way. The English numbers are given at thre< h 

* Chichester to the Council, Aug. 3, ibid, iii. 7. 


an Irish soldier, who .... stripped her of her apparel,' and 
left her ' in the woods, where she died the next day of cold 
and famine, being lately before delivered of a child.' l 

The employment of treachery by the English commanders 
is even more repulsive than a casual act of cruelty. Where- 
ever any of the rebels were still to be found in arms, Chichester 
allowed it to be understood that he would pardon no man un- 
less he could show that he had put some of his comrades to 
death. 2 

One of the escaped bands had taken refuge on Tory Island. 

Sir Henry Foliot, who was sent in pursuit, found that they 

had all fled, except a constable and thirteen warders. 

Foliot offered to spare the constable if he would 

The mas- *■ 

sacreon within two hours deliver up the castle on the 
island with the heads of seven of his companions, 
amongst whom was to be a certain M'Swyne. While this 
negotiation was going on, one of the English officers was, 
by Foliot's orders, dealing with M'Swyne to kill the con- 
stable and some of the others. " So," wrote Foliot coolly 
to Chichester, " they departed from me, each of them being 
well assured and resolved to cut the other's throat. By ill 
hap, within the time appointed, it was the constable's for- 
tune to get the start of the others, who killed two of them. 
Presently the rest of them fled into the island, hiding them- 
selves among the rocks and clefts, which, after the break of 
day, I caused them to look for, and gave them two hours for 
the bringing in of their heads without the assistance of any of 
the soldiers ; otherwise their own were like to make up the 
number promised by them ; and, after a little search, they 
found three of them in a rock. The passage to it, in every 
man's opinion, was so difficult that I had well hoped it would 
have cost the most of their lives ; but the constable, with the 
first shot he made, killed the principal ; the other two men ran 
away toward us, the one of them promising some service, which 
I inquired of and found little matter in it, so delivered him 

1 Davies to Salisbury, Aug. 5, Irish Cal. iii. 15. 

2 Chichester to the Council, Sept. 12, ibid. iii. 40. 


again to the constable to be hanged ; and as he was leading 
him to the execution, the desperate villain, with a skean he had 
secretly about him, stabbed the constable to the heart — who 
never spake word— and was after by the other cut in pieces 
himself with the other three, and so there were but five that 
escaped. Three of them were churls, and the other two young 
boys." x That an English officer could originate such a tragedy, 
and calmly recount it afterwards, goes far to explain why it was 
that even the efforts made by the Government in favour of the 
natives did not go far to win the Celtic heart from their own 

It was not till June 1609 that Neill Garve was brought to 
trial. The evidence against him was irresistible ; but his neck 
June, 1609. was saved by the old difficulty. Before the verdict 
* ei!1 . was given it came to the knowledge of the court that 

the jurors would never convict the lord of their own 
country. Upon this an excuse was found for stopping the 
He and trial. 2 The prisoner was sent to England, together 

Jun are w ith O'Cahan. They were both detained in prison 
Kngiand. t jj] tnC y died, in spite of their complaints of the 
illegality of such treatment. 

When O'Dogherty's rebellion had been crushed, all possi- 
bility of resistance was for tin: present at an end. The English 
c Government had only to consider what use they 

" irc - would make of theii conquest. It was necessary to 
take some steps for the settlement of Ulster. On the spirit in 
which the new system was introdiu cd would depend the p 

pects of Ireland for centuii The temper of the native 
population was such as to promise well for the success of any 
•riment which might be introduced by a ruler who combined 
a pi knowledge of the circumstances of the country with 

a statesmanlike appreciation oi tin; want 1 , of the people with 
whom he had to deal. The recollection <>i the harshn oi 
English rule, indeed, continued to form a barrier between the 
Government and a great part of the inhabitants of Ireland, and 

1 Foliol l" Chichester, Sept. 8, Irish Cal. iii. 54. 
3 Davia to Salisbury, June 27, ibid. iii. 398. 


to hinder any sudden loosening of the ties which had united 
the people to their chiefs. But, though signs were not wanting 
that those ties were not as binding as they had once been, the 
task was one of no slight difficulty. Even if Chichester's plan 
of treating the Irish of Ulster with justice and liberality in the 
distribution of land had been followed out, no action of the 
Government could have checked the daily insults of the English 
population, arrogantly conscious of superiority to a despised 
race. The spirit which made possible the brutalities of Tory 
Island could not be allayed by any Government, however wise. 

If any Englishman could conduct the settlement of Ulster 
to a profitable end, it was Chichester. On October 14, he 
placed some notes on the condition of the six escheated 
counties of Tyrone, Donegal, Coleraine, Armagh, Fermanagh, 
and Cavan, in the hands of Sir James Ley and Sir John Davies, 
the Irish Chief Justice and Attorney-General, who were to visit 
1608. England in order to lay the ideas of the Irish 
no h te C s h on er ' s Government before the English Privy Council at a 
Ulster. consultation in London, in which they had been 

summoned to take a part. 1 In these notes the Deputy entered 
at length into the character and circumstances of the principal 
natives, and concluded by recommending, as he had already 
done by letter, that they should be satisfied with grants of land. 
When that had been done, and the officers who were to 
head the settlements, which were virtually to act as garrisons 
for the country, had also received their shares, whatever re- 
mained undisposed of might be thrown open to English and 
Scottish colonists. 

On their arrival, Ley and Davies were directed to join with 
Sir Oliver St. John, Sir Henry Docwra, Sir Anthony St. Leger, 
Commission an d Sir James Fullerton, in drawing up a plan for 
in London. t p, e p r0 p Csec i colonisation, or, as it was called, the 
plantation of Ulster. On December 20, these commissioners 
produced a scheme for the settlement of the county of Tyrone, 2 
and, at no long interval, they extended its principles to embrace 

1 Chichester's instructions, Oct. 14, 1608, Irish Cal. iii. 97. 

2 Keport of the Commission, Pec. 20, Irish Cal. iii. 202. 


the whole of the six counties. 1 In many respects their sugges- 
tions were not unlike those which had been made by Chichester. 
1609. They proposed, as he had done, that the new inha- 
£* bitants of Ulster should be composed of the retired 
,j r t j^ n of ci^'il and military servants of the Crown, and of 
Chkhester. English and Scottish colonists. But whilst Chichester 
would have treated with the Irish as being the actual possessors 
of the soil, and would only have admitted the colonists after 
the bargain with the natives had been completed, the Commis- 
sioners were ready to look upon the map of the North of Ireland 
as if it had been a sheet of white paper, and to settle natives and 
colonists in any way which might appear at the time to be most 
convenient They were all men who knew Ireland well ; but 
the question was one of that kind which demands something 
more than personal knowledge of a country. Of the part which 
each of them took in the production of the scheme there is no 
evidence whatever, but the error which was committed was so 
precisely of the kind which was likely to proceed from I >.i\ ies, 
thnt it is difficult to avoid the conclusion that it is principally 
to him that the mischief